There’s a nice piece over at The Absent Minded Housewife about the problem of assuming girls are things and boys are brutes.
The point that keeps coming up in my mind, is that no one ever tells boys or men that women will think of them as mere objects if the woman sees them shirtless, yet at the same time, it’s women who are portrayed as less human and in-control than men. If that were true, wouldn’t it be women who were running wild, assaulting men because they were unable–poor weak things that they are–to stop themselves from acting like mindless beasts after seeing a man’s unclothed chest or a flash of his tightie-whities? The lack of logic that makes boys into mindless sexual brutes over a glimpse of breasts can’t hold up to the dichotomy of male superiority that is espoused by the same people.
Men supposedly rule the world because they don’t have vaginas and menstruate and get pregnant and bear children and become prey to hormonal surges and imbalances that (we are told) make women incapable of ruling their own bodies and minds, and yet… it’s men who are hormonal idiots when the discussion is about all the other aspects of male/female gender relations. The argument is self-defeating: a man can’t claim a woman is an inferior object because of her hormones and sexual/generational function on one hand, and then claim he’s unable to withstand his own hormonal urges and sexual function when he sees a woman in a tight top on the other, while still running the show.
Once again we get to the nub of the problem: when you hide or prohibit something, you provoke the monkey-brain response of wanting that thing irrationally and open the door to all sorts of problems. Education and understanding are the solution, not the gateway to hedonism or anarchy.