Recently a letter was signed by over 300 women, who are claiming to be against the #metoo movement, and are arguing for men’s ‘right to pester’.
If you’ve read any of my previous posts, you will know my views about #metoo, and if you haven’t, then I’ll save you the suspense- I’m all for it!
I do believe that women being able to talk about their frustrations, fears or grief around sexual violence, or even pesterings, is a wonderful thing. The idea of anything less would be to say ‘pipe down woman and get me a sandwich’, which be quite a vulgar phrase to use.
That said, I was very interested to hear the opinions of these women, one of whom is Catherine Deneuve, who have offered a different opinion on the matter. In the signed letter, they were talking about the idea of seduction. That feminism comes from a feeling of injustice, and so it simply cannot be anywhere near the idea of seduction.
To the contrary, the feminism I know is to do with respect, which, in my eyes, has everything to do with being a whole and healthy human being, which is seductive in and of itself.
The issue these women have with the #metoo movement is not with those that have actually suffered abuse, it is the kind of catcalling women receive on the street (certainly in a city) on a regular basis.
They believe that men may feel put off from seducing women, and want to let them know that they should, indeed, have the ‘right to pester’.
Where do I stand on this?
I am aware that we are all humans. We have the desire to procreate written deep into our cells. Man will always desire woman, and vice versa (and a lot of wonderful people outside of this heteronormative construct will always be attracted to each other 😉 love ya!) … Overall, sex is going to happen!
I do believe it can be a real fun part of life, being hit on and hitting on someone. A man should not be chastised just for wanting to stick his penis inside a woman. If I may be so crude – a lot of women want penises inside them!
The problem is not sex. It’s not even the desire for sex. Lets be clear here, it’s being hit on by ugly men! (Ok, I’m joking, but that’s probably a part of some women’s repulsion!)
No, the main problem is the way the seduction or lack thereof is gone about. A simple smile and a hello when you see an attractive woman, surely could not be considered an impingement or offensive act. Calling out offensive things to women is one, just annoying, and two, will likely never work. It does feel a little like being, as Iliza Schlesinger so aptly puts it, ‘shot with a dick gun’.
It is a difficult balance to achieve. On the one hand, if you’re being hit on for the fifth time that day and all you want to do is get home and hang out in your pyjamas with your girlfriend and eat cheerios, I hear your pain, girl. At the same time, if you’re one of those guys out there living his life, desperately horny and sick of jacking it off to unrealistic sex on the internet, I also feel you (although, not that way, sorry, bro’). It’s a conundrum. All I can say is, if you’re going to hit on someone, be polite, don’t follow them, or ask them three times for their number or stare at their tits. The basics. Don’t yell at them or whistle for them to heel like dogs!
But, the point is that, we’re looking for an ideal world, here. In an ideal world, all men would be expert seducers, with high-emotional intelligence, and wonderful manners. The problem is, people come in all shapes and sizes. And there is always going to be the weirdo on the bus who slurs the word ‘avocado’ at you while he looks at your feet like he wants to eat them.
That said, I am not for the ‘right to pester’, never for pestering rights – because no one likes being pestered! Being pestered is about as sexy as a fly stuck in a jar. But. The only way I can feel empowered in this paradigm is to accept the sexual part of the human experience. To accept the fact that men are attracted to women and that they need to express it. (If not only because otherwise, we would all die out!) Even the ugly ones. Even the ones with buckteeth and low IQ scores, yes.
And I am hoping that certain men can learn a little more the art of seduction, rather than the art of pestering. (Although none of them are likely to ever be reading this blog post.) I suppose the little things that break down a woman’s confidence can be just as harmful as a full-blown attack.
At least that can be pointed out. Women don’t go up to men and say things like, ‘can I touch your balls!’
So… I reject your right to pester, ladies. But I do allow the right to gentlemanly seducing. As Sandrine Muller said, ‘There is seduction and seduction’ – no one will ever accuse you of harassment for writing a poem.
Show ’em hows it’s done, David! …