Pun intended. I am inspired by recently reading a great piece about this. Women in the West are still objectified as if there never was a fight against sexism. I’m going to address heterosexual men about this right now. (Gay men and women deserve their own pieces. This is for White Straight men.)
The oppression of women is also a form of racism. They’re considered less because of what their bodies look like. They are told this from a young age. And then destined for the role of slaves. Feminism and modernity have made inroads and more men are allies to women. Yet, whatever is still here of the phenomenon of women’s oppression is as off as it always was.
Talking of racism, as I mentioned before, spousal murder still did not get its ‘George Floyd moment.’ George, may he rest in peace, was murdered in cold blood by a White policeman in full view of the whole world. It led to worldwide protests against police brutality and systemic racism. But the murder of wives is still kept away from the public eye. Even in headlines. The Jerusalem Post had the audacity to headline the latest Israeli spouse murder report “Police searching for man suspected of brutally attacking his wife” when she was already reported dead over 5 hours at least!
Sexual abuse, genital mutilation, domestic abuse, and murder of sisters, daughters, and (ex) wives form merely the (horrendous) tip of the iceberg of misogyny. And being oversexed plays a central role in all of this.
What are things that make Straight men continue to be obsessed with sex? Let’s face these things to get better at confronting and rejecting these ills.
1. Bad examples. When a father treats his wife as a lesser creature, most kids will copy that in adulthood. Old habits die hard.
2. Addiction. Sex can work as an addiction. Especially when it’s regarded a way to feel great. Instead of as a way to cement a relationship. (Just like treating food as a way to feel good instead of replenishing the body.)
3. Whites feel extra lonely. As kids, most of us were so ashamed of the racism uttered that we turned our backs on Whites forever. We were very small and don’t remember. But we feel clumsy about making friends with non-Whites leaving us isolated. Nothing helps a sex addiction like isolation.
4. Power looks attractive. As long as women are portrayed as weaker, sexism will prevail, and so will unequal relationships with power abuse.
5. Seeing sexism as a problem for women. This also happens in many other oppressions. As if antisemitism is a problem of the Jews, racism a problem of the non-Caucasians, etc. Men caught in sexism and sex are lesser men.
6. Sexism is like most other oppressions a comfortable fit with monetary exploitation. They keep the over-powerful powerful, the vulnerable weak, wives as unpaid, unloved housekeepers, mothers, sex workers, kooks, etc.
7. Tolerance of nastiness in men who must be served. What arrogance!
Jewish Law set rules and customs against each of these problems:
1. A woman should be the head of the household, supported and honored by her husband. She’ll make a human out of him. (If the woman has worse character traits than her husband, making it work is considerably harder.)
2. Sex is for the relationship and the people in it and that’s it. With many rules on how to help prevent casual, recreational, impersonal sex. Sex is too good and holy to squander.
3. Men should have male buddies to learn and pray with, and he should get married and so, at home, he may be close to his wife.
4. The more power people have, the more obligations Judaism hands them. No privileges for the comfortable. Jewish Law is based on obligations, not on rights.
5. Women are superior to men and closer to G^d. Men have a ton of more rules to abide by to be equal to women.
6. We are all alive to learn to give, not to grab and take.
7. Greet people before they greet you. Receive everyone with a smile.