Women can be as sexual as they like - but heaven help any man who responds

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Women can be as sexual as they like - but heaven help any man who responds

Post by 5829 » Sun Sep 08, 2019 3:40 pm

'Women can be as sexual as they like - but heaven help any man who responds': In his controversial new book DOUGLAS MURRAY exposes the contradictions of #MeToo movement

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https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/articl ... -book.html

Ellen DeGeneres noted 'big balloons' while staring at Katy Perry's chest in photo
Mayim Bialik flashed Piers Morgan her cleavage but said she has a flirting 'policy'
Claimed her 'sexual self' is reserved for private situations and 'dresses modestly'
Seems women can be as sexy as they like but cannot be sexualised by others
By DOUGLAS MURRAY FOR THE MAIL ON SUNDAY

PUBLISHED: 17:49 EDT, 7 September 2019 | UPDATED: 22:18 EDT, 7 September 2019

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When it comes to relationships between the sexes, confusion reigns. And perhaps it always has. The mysteries of the dating ritual have been a staple theme of comedy and tragedy from the very earliest times until the present.

But in recent years the mating game seems to have mired itself in whole new levels of complexity.

Take an incident in 2016 that came to be known as ‘Cleavagegate’. It happened when, during a live TV chat show, the US actress Mayim Bialik, famous for her starring role in the 1990s sitcom Blossom, stood up and exposed her breasts to fellow panellist, and Mail on Sunday columnist, Piers Morgan.

The first three minutes of Nicki Minaj's Anaconda music video consist of her wiggling her bottom in the camera's eye +3
The first three minutes of Nicki Minaj's Anaconda music video consist of her wiggling her bottom in the camera's eye

She teases viewers while stretching during a yoga class in a hot pink string thong and keeping intense eye contact
She teases viewers while stretching during a yoga class in a hot pink string thong and keeping intense eye contact

Her action – a protest against comments he’d made about women showing what he considered as too much cleavage in inappropriate situations – was received with huge cheers and laughter from the studio audience and lapped up by viewers.

Back then, in 2016, exposing your breasts was a ‘feminist’ act. Revealing them to a man who had not asked to see them was an especially feminist act.

Indeed, the idea of women exposing themselves to men, making men feel uncomfortable or presenting themselves as notably ‘feminist’ for groping or harassing men, was a trope that lasted for years.

She suggestively eats a banana while dressed in a skimpy maid's apron and her cleavage on display
She suggestively eats a banana while dressed in a skimpy maid's apron and her cleavage on display

Minaj then squirts a can of squirty cream on to her cleavage, wiping her fingers across her breasts and feeding the cream to herself
Minaj then squirts a can of squirty cream on to her cleavage, wiping her fingers across her breasts and feeding the cream to herself

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All that changed a year later with the first #MeToo claims against the movie producer Harvey Weinstein. At that stage there seemed to be a rapid consensus that any and all sexual advances were intolerable and that no excuse whatever could be made for them.

She started the #cleavagegate after surprising Pier Morgan with a flash
Mayim did after confronting Piers on his dust-up with Susan Sarandon
US actress Mayim Bialik is famous for her starring role in the 1990s sitcom Blossom, stood up and exposed her breasts to fellow panellist, and Mail on Sunday columnist, Piers Morgan

James Cordon and Piers seem absolutely beside themselves as at the gesture. Mayim has received backlash as she spoke about how she does not 'act flirtatiously' with men 'as a policy' a year later +3
James Cordon and Piers seem absolutely beside themselves as at the gesture. Mayim has received backlash as she spoke about how she does not 'act flirtatiously' with men 'as a policy' a year later

The new lines appeared to have been dug very deep as well as very fast. Intriguingly, a year after her TV performance, Bialik made the following comment: ‘I make choices every day as a 41-year-old actress that I think of as self-protecting and wise,’ she said.

‘I have decided that my sexual self is best reserved for private situations with those I am most intimate with. I dress modestly. I don’t act flirtatiously with men as a policy.’

Her remarks got her into a certain amount of trouble with other women in Hollywood who claimed she was ‘victim blaming’ – specifically, that she was blaming the way women dressed for the behaviour of men. She was eventually forced to apologise. But stranger than this was that so much of what Bialik said ran in direct contradiction to what she had done only a year previously. None of which is to say that women shouldn’t be able to do what they like with their bodies. But it is fair to say that women – perhaps especially the most famous and celebrated – send out very confusing messages. The word ‘mixed’ doesn’t even begin to address it.

There is a song by Nicki Minaj called Anaconda which sums up the complexities of the current situation. The first three minutes of the video accompanying the music consist almost entirely of Minaj in a bikini, wiggling her bottom for the camera. Sometimes she has a group of other women with her, similarly dressed, who wiggle their bottoms too.

'Bring out the big balloons': Ellen DeGeneres shows there are different rules for women in terms of sexualising others as she posts a picture oggling Katy Perry's chest for the singer's birthday +3
'Bring out the big balloons': Ellen DeGeneres shows there are different rules for women in terms of sexualising others as she posts a picture oggling Katy Perry's chest for the singer's birthday

Other than that, the only other things that happen are Minaj suggestively eating a banana, then spraying a can of squirty cream on to her cleavage, wiping her fingers across her breasts and feeding the cream to herself.

All of this is completely normal and banal imagery in the world of pop music videos, where female stars tend to dress and dance like strippers.

The important part is the last minute and a half of the video, which opens with Minaj crawling on all fours towards a fit young man who is sitting in a chair. Wearing just a bra on top and a pair of lacy and holed leggings, she moves around the man, gyrating as she goes.

She puts a leg over his shoulders. She leans in front of him pushing her bottom in his face and wiggling it up and down. Eventually, as her bottom is waved in front of his face for the umpteenth time, he places one hand gently over her buttocks.

At which point it’s over. The vocals go ‘Hey!’ and Minaj hits his hand away and walks out.

As she makes her exit the man leans forward in the chair and puts his face in his hands, apparently mortified at his inexcusable behaviour.

The confusion that Nicki Minaj acts out here is representative of a whole host of other things in our culture. It contains an unresolvable challenge and an impossible demand – that a woman must be allowed to lap-dance in front of, drape herself around, and wiggle her ass in the face of any man she likes. But if that man puts even one hand on the woman then she can change the game completely.

She can go from stripper to mother superior in a heartbeat. And it is he who must learn that he is in the wrong.

The impossible demand that cannot be met but which has been written into contemporary mores? It is that a woman must be allowed to be as sexy and sexual as she pleases – but that does not mean she can be sexualised by others.

This applies even when clothing and accessories are meant to present women to men in an even more sexual light than they might otherwise appear.

What are we to make of the vogue for fake stick-on nipples, for example? Companies like Just Nips present these items on their website as though they are largely intended for women who have had mastectomies. In fact, as the wider marketing makes clear, the ‘bra-less’ look and prominent nipples are a known turn-on for men.

At the start of the #MeToo scandal any man who had ever objectified, let alone inappropriately touched, a woman was in trouble. But it seemed that the American TV celebrity Ellen DeGeneres, who came out as a lesbian in 1997, did not have to play by the same rules.

Late in October 2017, the month that Harvey Weinstein fell from grace, she posted to social media a picture of herself with pop star Katy Perry who was wearing a noticeably figure-hugging dress which displayed her breasts to great effect. The photo showed DeGeneres with one arm around Perry, at eye-level with her breasts and ogling them with her mouth open. ‘Happy birthday Katy Perry!’ read the accompanying message on DeGeneres’s Twitter account. ‘It’s time to bring out the big balloons!’

Because, although by then there was considerable agreement that men could not objectify women, it appeared that an exemption clause existed for celebrity lesbians.

This is just one of the contradictory situations in which we find ourselves. But there are plenty of others. For instance, there is the one that simultaneously insists women are in every meaningful way exactly the same as men, possessing the same traits and competencies. Yet simultaneously – magically – they are also better than men. An example of this paradox has been displayed by Christine Lagarde, head of the International Monetary Fund for most of this decade.

In 2018, on the tenth anniversary of the financial crash, Lagarde took to the IMF’s website to write about the lessons that had been learned from it.

She used the opportunity to talk about the need for a greater number of women to be on the boards of banks and agencies overseeing financial institutions. And she repeated what had been one of her favourite mantras of the previous decade.

‘As I have said many times,’ she wrote, ‘if it had been Lehman Sisters rather than Lehman Brothers, the world might well look a lot different today.’

This was not simply a reiteration of the problem of groupthink that had so contributed to the events of 2008. Lagarde was making a bigger point. She was saying not only that women were needed in financial institutions – almost nobody could doubt that – but that if women were more prominent in that workforce or, better still, leading it, then the results and outcomes would be different. Lagarde was not alone.

Shortly after the crash, the TV host Fern Britton was on the BBC’s discussion show Question Time. ‘It appears that an awful lot of men have been in on this money business and they’ve made a very bad fist of it,’ she said to enthusiastic applause.

‘If there were some women doing some old-fashioned housekeeping where women traditionally are pretty good at making sure the money goes in the pot for the electricity and the gas and the phone and the food… we didn’t pillage and rob it and stick it all on a horse to see if the money would come in next week.’

The Equalities Minister in the 2010 to 2015 Coalition Government in Britain, Liberal Democrat Lynne Featherstone, propounded of the same theory. At her party’s conference in 2011 she blamed men for the ‘terrible decisions’ made in the world’s economy and said that men as a whole were the principal reason for ‘the mess the world is in’.

So here is the conundrum. How is it that women are exactly the same as men – as capable, as able, as suited to the same array of tasks – yet also better?

Exactly how it can be that women are exactly the same as men, yet also better, remains ill-defined.

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IN an upmarket hotel near the City of London in the autumn of 2018, more than 400 very smart women are gathered together. Smart, it should be clarified, in every sense of the term.

Not only are the attendees all business leaders from the top of their professions, but whenever the door swings open with another arrival it is as though we are at a fashion shoot. High heels, swishing scarfs, the power clothes of the business elite. I am one of the few men invited to speak that day.

One of the first things that strikes me is that there appears to be a set of confusions centring around the issue of ‘power’. What is striking is that these women are focused only on one sort of power.

This is a sort of power which – it is presumed – has historically been held solely by mainly old, mainly rich, always white men. It is why the joking and berating about the behaviour of ‘alpha males’ goes down so well at this gathering.

Here are deep waters. But I make a suggestion to the conference nonetheless. Why are we focusing on only one type of power? I ask.

There certainly are types of power – such as rape – which men can sometimes hold over women. And there is a type of power which some old, typically white, males might be able to hold over less successful people, including less successful women.

But there are other types of power in this world. Historical old man power is not the only one. Are there not, I suggest, some powers which only women can wield?

‘Like what?’ someone asks. At which point, having waded in this far it only makes sense to wade further. Among other types of power that women wield almost exclusively, the most obvious is this. That women – not all women, but many women – have an ability that men do not.

This is the ability to drive members of the opposite sex mad. To derange them. Not just to destroy them, but to make them destroy themselves.

It is a type of power which allows a young woman in her late teens or 20s to take a man with everything in the world, at the height of his achievements, torment him, make him behave like a fool and wreck his life utterly for just a few moments of almost nothing.

This is not a point which is received warmly in the room. This is very definitely not what the attendees want to hear.

But now we are on to the next topic: inappropriate behaviour in the workplace.

A lot of women have terrible stories about this. Many in the room doubtless have stories of their own. But then it is suggested by one of the attendees that the whole matter of relationships between the sexes is in fact now very straightforward to arrange.

Especially in the wake of the #MeToo movement, everything has become clear. Men simply needed to realise that there was behaviour that was appropriate and behaviour that was inappropriate. My suspicion is, however, that anyone who has ever worked in an office knows that it isn’t at all as straightforward as that.

‘Is it permissible to ask a colleague out for a coffee?’ I wonder out loud.

This appears to be a borderline case. If coffee was requested more than once then this was an obvious problem. ‘Men have to learn that no means no,’ it is suggested.

‘Don’t do anything you wouldn’t do in front of your mother,’ is put forward as one basis for a moral norm – ignoring the fact that there are plenty of perfectly legal and very enjoyable acts that adults perform that they would not do in front of their mother.

‘It’s really not that difficult,’ says one fellow panellist.

Except that it is, isn’t it? And every woman knows that to be the case.

For instance, they know that a considerable percentage of men and women meet their future life partner in the workplace.

So is it entirely wise to cordon off this significant tributary of potential mates?

To do so would be to demand the following: namely, that every man has the opportunity to pursue only one woman in their work life. That that woman could be asked out for coffee or a drink on only one occasion. And that this sole shot must have an absolute, 100 per cent accuracy rating on the one occasion on which it is deployed.

Is this a sensible, orderly, or indeed humane way to arrange relations between the sexes?

Of course, most of those in the room laugh at the very suggestion. Because it is laughable. And it is risible.

And it is also the law of the modern workplace.

An investigation by Bloomberg, published in December 2018, looked at attitudes among senior figures in the world of finance, which is an undeniably male-dominated sector, with male majorities in each main area other than support staff.

In interviews with more than 30 senior executives from the world of finance, men admitted to no longer being willing to have dinner with female colleagues.

They also refused to sit next to them on flights. They insisted on hotel rooms being booked on different floors from female colleagues and avoided any one-on-one meetings with women.

If it is meant to be so straightforward, how come it is so complex?

© Douglas Murray, 2019

The Madness Of Crowds, by Douglas Murray, is published by Bloomsbury Continuum on September 17, priced £20. Offer price £16 (20 per cent discount) until September 30.To pre-order, call 01603 648155 or go to mailshop.co.uk.

Now even men's magazines can't wait to condemn the 'patriarchy'

Forms of the new misandry, or prejudice against men, tend be viewed in a lighthearted manner. For instance, there is the term ‘mansplaining’ to decry any occasion when a man can be said to have spoken to a woman in a patronising or supercilious manner.

Everybody can think of examples when they have heard men speak in such a tone of voice. But most can also think of times when a woman has spoken to a man in the same way. Or indeed when a man has spoken patronisingly to another man.

So why does only one of these circumstances need its own term? Why is there no term for – or wide usage of – a word like ‘womansplaining’?

Then there is the concept of ‘the patriarchy’ – the idea that people (largely in Western capitalist countries) live in a society which is rigged in favour of men and with the aim of suppressing women and their skills.

In a 2018 article commemorating the centenary of women in Britain over the age of 30 gaining the right to vote, a piece in the women’s magazine Grazia said: ‘We live in a patriarchal society, that much we know.’

The reasons it gave as evidence were ‘the objectification of women’ and ‘unrealistic beauty standards’, as though men are never objectified or held to any standards in their appearance (a claim that men who have been surreptitiously photographed on trains by strangers and had their photos uploaded to ‘Hot dudes reading’ on Instagram might dispute). Men’s magazines seem perfectly happy to adopt the same presumptions. Reflecting on the events of 2018, the men’s magazine GQ was happy to editorialise approvingly that during that year ‘For the first time in history, we’ve all been called to account for the sins of the patriarchy’.

Worst among the new lexicon of anti-male slogans is that of ‘toxic masculinity’. Like each of these other memes, ‘toxic masculinity’ started out on the furthest fringes of academia and social media. But by 2019 it had made it into the heart of serious organisations and public bodies.

In January this year the American Psychological Association (APA) released its first ever guidelines for how its members should specifically deal with men and boys. The APA claimed that 40 years of research showed that ‘traditional masculinity – marked by stoicism, competitiveness, dominance and aggression, is undermining men’s well-being’.

The APA went on to define traditional masculinity as ‘a particular constellation of standards that have held sway over large segments of the population, including: anti-femininity, achievement, eschewal of the appearance of weakness, and adventure, risk, and violence.’

It was just one of the inroads that the concept of ‘toxic masculinity’ has now, alarmingly, begun to make into the mainstream of society.



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Disclaimer: The opinions are my own. Nobody else wants them.

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