Friday, December 1, 2017

sexual feeding frenzy

Portuguese man o' war
The feeding frenzy engulfing an increasingly milquetoast news media is focused on the past advances made by men in power on younger and less-powerful women. Grab-ass, rape, groping, grabbing, manipulation, demeaning sobriquets ... every day a new allegation is lodged; every day some pooh-bah is fired or urged to resign; every day a new story bubbles to the surface and someone's ox is gored. Women who have carried a burden for a long time step forward ... and the mighty are brought (sort of) low. Am I wrong or are these men all millionaires in one way or another?

Irrespective of financial status, they are getting what they probably deserve. Getting such matters out in the open is some relief, I imagine, to the powerless who suffered at the hands of the powerful.

But I also sense that the media ink and glee is facile. No journalist who wants to keep his or her cred suggests that the bird-dance of sexual attraction is more faceted. Isn't sex both capable of manipulation and incredibly delicious? Can't it be a vortex of wonder and a tsunami of cruelty? Men may be horndogs and assholes, but women are not beyond cozying up to the dizzying deliciousness of that precipice. No, I am not blaming the victim: I am saying that sex is a wowsers world in which joy and enjoyment can lie cheek-by-jowl with withering selfishness ... shall I be fired for saying I think a woman has an attractive ass? or trying to pick up someone in the same bar I went to in order to pick someone up who may herself have hoped to be picked up and ... well, you know the routine.

I can hear the yowls even as I type: This is not the same; this is blackmail and disrespectful and manipulative and unkind and ... yup, it's all true. All true and yet with a soupçon of something less maleficent, perhaps. Everyone wants to be adored, for example... or accepted, or enfolded... and perhaps there is an admixture of "I deserve it" which may be arrogant ....

The tendrils of sexual attraction dangle like the tentacles of a Portuguese man o' war jellyfish ... sometimes stinging, sometimes nourishing, sometimes wondrous, sometimes demeaning....

But woe betide the journalist who suggests in a money-making feeding frenzy that sex, while capable of generating great harm, is also capable a myriad other rocketing delights and dismal results.

In the midst of these endless stories, is there no room for the confounding and contradictory and painful and scrumptious potential underlying the matter? If right and wrong were the true yardstick of sex and all its magic and potential ugliness ... well, how would that work? Do I get penalized for liking a woman's ass?

I favor listening to those who were manipulated. I dislike manipulators. But I also favor some nod to human beings and their capacities, good and bad, sane and insane, stupid and smart. Without injecting some element of life into their stories, I think the media are both mistaken and far from helpful.


  1. There is risk taking, and there is regret. There is forgiveness, but there are also serial offenders. And you're expected to sort this out when young and hormonally driven. But some are raised to be respectful, and others are raised to feel entitled. Asking permission can be a real mood killer, but then so is misreading a situation and being publicly reviled for it. But I've always been better at finding fault than finding solutions. Sorry.

  2. On the subject of female derrières I must say that Zappa said it the best: ‘The bigger the cushion the better the pushin’.’

    1. Zappa shared many of his insights. In many ways he was a modern sage. However, I don’t think he really was referring to really obese women.

      Just my take.