When the issue of sexual harrassment surfaced, then, we were told, “men don’t get it,” when in fact, neither sex “gets” it. Men don’t get women’s fears of harassment that stem from the passive role; women don’t get men’s fears of sexual rejection that stem from the initiating role. Each sex is so preoccupied with its own vulnerability that neither sex “gets” the other’s vulnerability.
The difference? Feminism has taught women to sue men for sexual harassment or date rape when men initiate with the wrong person or with the wrong timing; no one has taught men to sue women for sexual trauma for saying “yes,” then “no,” then “yes,” then no.” Feminism left women with three sexual options — their old role, the “male” role, and the “victim” role. Men were left with less than one option — they were still expected to initiate, but now, if they did it badly, they could go to jail. For an adolescent boy who barely knows what sex is, this is a scary half-option.
Farell, Warren, The Myth of Male Power. New York, NY: Simon & Schuster publishing, 1993, page 16.
It’s high time we seriously consider roles, and discuss all issues involving sex, hookups, and not just assault, because frankly, they are all interrelated! This includes the initiating party’s fears and reservations.
I will admit that Dr. Farrell has touched a nerve in me. I am scared to death of hookups, because of the very possibility that he raised. I’ve never done one, because I’ve seen the confusion, hurt, and anger in both sides, because they were young, and didn’t know what they were doing. I’ve seen two of my closest friends tear all my friends apart. It’s never black and white.
I am moved to tears by some of the signs on campus. Can we please be less callous? Can we actually talk about this and not post accusatory slogans?
P.S. Dr. Farrell is an avowed feminist and masculinist. Before interpreting this quote, please read up on him. It should not be read out of context; I just can’t post more of it.