The male sense of entitlement to sex.

In my entry on the sense of entitlement, I explain that entitlement happens when a person believes ey is owned something due to eir social role. To bring up a simple example, a customer believes ey is owed service above and beyond a person’s job description simply by virtue of being a customer (“the customer is always right,” and so on).

As far as I can see, all social roles entail some form of entitlement, although the reason for that entitlement may be very different; for the dominant social roles, the entitlements are an expression of that dominance, and for the subordinate social roles, the entitlements are meant to make people feel better about being part of a subordinate group (on the latter, see The Culture of Conformism, p50-51).

Likewise, men, fitting in their gender role and feeling biological urges, feel entitled to sex with women. This is not just the purview of a small minority. The lure of sexual entitlement is very, very strong, and even entraps well-meaning men (including atheists, anarchists and antinatalists who otherwise hold respectful egalitarian beliefs towards women). This is not overly surprising, since we live in a society which is drenched in the evaluation of women primarily as sex objects, whatever culture or sub-culture you live in.

Of course I understand where this sense of entitlement comes from. For most men with a libido, sex is as salient a fact as eating, sleeping and breathing, and failure to obtain sex may push one to believe that not being able to obtain sex is a form of social oppression (it is not an original deduction that woman-haters must be sexually frustrated or sexually repressed). In the worse cases, mostly MRAs, complex systems of beliefs about a female conspiracy to withdraw sex, and hierarchies of fuckability (“alphas”/”betas”/”omegas”), are developed.

I am not going to address the conspiracy theories and the hierarchies of fuckability, because there’s not much point in arguing about anything made up by people for ulterior motives (and yes, I realize the hypocrisy given that I’ve written about theology for years, but at least that’s somewhat interesting). There are only so many ways you can explain that the very reason they’re alone is their hatred of women.

Instead, I do want to address the feeling of entitlement. Now, as a socialist, I completely agree that we are entitled to all sorts of things, such as clean air, food, shelter, health care, and so on. I do not agree that men are entitled to sex. The difference, I hope, is obvious: the things on the former list are all necessary for survival (if not always, then at some point), while sex is not. In fact, not having sex does not cause any physiological effects on men, for the very simple reason that they can masturbate. Although they may want it, men do not need sex for any biological purpose (and no, I don’t count procreation).

Furthermore, even if it was true that men were entitled to sex, it would be undesirable to implement it, since it would entail rape. If we have to choose between widespread rape and some woman-hating men not getting sex (unless they pay for it, but prostitution is not much better), I’m gonna go with the latter.

However, it would not do to single MRAs as an exceptional case. All present cultures, whether based on traditional marriage (Christian-style, Islamic-style, or any other religious style) or on the porn culture (liberal-style or capitalist-style), promote belief in sex entitlement. Marriage itself is a claim of sexual ownership, traditionally of men against women, and now of both sides against each other. Marital rape has only recently been banned in Western countries. We are confronted with a modern rape culture perpetuated by the dehumanization and objectification of women. The porn culture’s answer is to make women available sexually to everyone instead of making them available sexually to only one person.

As far as I can see, all woman-hating is backed and fueled by this entitlement. This is not too surprising, as abstract concepts aren’t as effective as biological desires. But we also know that woman-hating, and the sex entitlement, are not the inevitable result of human nature. While there has never actually been any matriarchal society in history (even advocates of “matriarchal” societies admit that it is really egalitarianism they are talking about), there have been many egalitarian or near-egalitarian societies (see Societies Without Government for some examples) where women lived on a roughly equal footing with men.

The more stratified a society is, and the more of an emphasis a society puts on gender roles and the monogamous family as an isolated unit, the more likely there is to be woman-hatred. Woman-hatred has to start with male perception of the female as a subordinate Other. In our societies, this happens because the male is raised in an environment where the male perspective is used almost exclusively and where females are devalued and objectified. All the way from children’s fairy tales to pornography, men are portrayed as subjects and women are portrayed as objects, objects which are generally only valuable if they are of use to men.

Now here’s another problem: when you pipe up and say that men are not entitled to sex from women, you get accused of being a bigot against men. But it is not bigoted to say that men are not entitled to sex any more than it is bigoted to say that men are not entitled to a free helicopter. Sure it would make many men happy to get a free helicopter, but hedonism (while it has its merits as part of a personal orientation) is not a sound basis for a society.

I am not denying that sexuality is a human need. Should a free society break the hold of sexual ownership? Of course. Should sexuality, especially female sexuality, be valued instead of exploited or devalued? Sure. Should we eliminate economic inequality and let everyone create new relationships on even playing grounds? Definitely. But there is a gulf between that and being entitled to sex. In fact, both are opposite tendencies: the entitlement to sex has always been associated with sexual ownership, exploiting or devaluing sex, and profound economic inequality.

We can’t talk about male entitlement to sex and sexual ownership without talking about prostitution, the commodification of sex and, through human trafficking, the commodification of human beings. People’s attitude towards prostitution depends on whether they support traditional marriage or the porn culture; the former are against the selling of sex because they believe a woman’s sexuality is owned by her husband, and the latter are in favor of the selling of sex because they believe a woman’s sexuality should be available to everyone.

In all cases, the man’s attitude towards prostitution is dictated by the kind of entitlement to sex he believes he possesses. And this is why they fail to understand the radfem position, which is strictly anti-johns (more specifically, decriminalization of prostitutes, and criminalization of johns and pimps, following the Swedish model). They cannot understand why someone would specifically blame the men who traffic in young girls, and the men who buy their sexuality, without attacking women twice as hard. Because for the Patriarchy, women are always ultimately responsible for the gender-targeted crimes committed against them.

Ultimately it is the little girl’s fault if she was the target of human trafficking. Ultimately it is the prostitute’s fault if she is beaten by her pimp or raped by johns. If the men are responsible then the woman must be doubly responsible, because she is using her sexuality to “exploit” men.

To the rare person who is not stuck in some form of woman-hating, these conclusions may be seen as absolutely fucking insane.

I think this also provides a window into the “sex-positive” mentality. Someone who’s actually “sex-positive” wouldn’t be defending prostitution and pornography, unless they were only defending sex from the male point of view. What they are really “positive” about is fulfilling the male entitlement to sex by all means necessary, including prostitution and pornography. Their primary concern is serving the male gaze and the penis, not feminism.

53 thoughts on “The male sense of entitlement to sex.

  1. Gomi July 26 2012 at 21:36 Reply

    Because a person who’s sex-positive about porn must only be considering porn as an article of consumption for men. Because women never consume porn.

    • Gomi July 26 2012 at 21:42 Reply

      Normally I’d think this goes without saying, but I think I might need to be explicit here: A positive attitude towards porn does not mean a positive attitude towards all porn, and certainly not a positive attitude about the state of the porn industry now or in the past. Sexually explicit media intended for titillation or sexual arousal, or porn, *can* be created for both men and women, and having a positive attitude towards adults consuming such media isn’t purely about that material created for the straight male gaze.

      • Bedelia Bloodyknuckle July 26 2012 at 22:04 Reply

        There is no such thing as “positive porn.” Why is this so hard for people to understand?

        • Gomi July 27 2012 at 5:18 Reply

          So when a couple (straight, gay, lesbian) films themselves having perfectly enjoyable and consensual sex, and then releases that on the ‘net for others to enjoy, that’s bad? That’s exploiting women (even if it’s a gay male couple)? Because that’s still porn.

          Part of the point of sex positivity in this matter is that the horribly exploitative nature of the porn industry today (which exploits far more than just women), isn’t an inherent part of sexually explicit media (porn). It’s the idea that people, man or woman, gay or straight, cis or trans, should have control and enjoyment of their own sexuality, without it being coopted or exploited by another.

          • Bedelia Bloodyknuckle July 27 2012 at 12:37

            If you are selling a PRIVATE moment with your special someone for profit then yes, it is bad! Gay porn is marketed to men, no matter how much you protest.

          • Gomi July 27 2012 at 14:11

            Yes, if you’re selling that private moment out behind your partner’s back, that’s bad, I entirely agree. But if both partners agree?

            And yes, gay male porn is marketed to men. So, obviously, no women consume porn or can have porn intended for their consumption.

          • Bedelia Bloodyknuckle July 27 2012 at 17:41

            Your point? Porn still harms women. Just because a minority of women (white upper-class women) “choose” to go into porn, it doesn’t mean that every woman who goes into it goes into it by their own “choice”

          • Gomi July 27 2012 at 18:22

            Which is why, BB, I explicitly clarified that being positive about porn is *not* the same as being positive about the exploitative nature of the current porn industry. Apparently, though Francois thinks its whining, I did need to be explicit about something I thought should be self-evidently obvious.

          • Bedelia Bloodyknuckle July 27 2012 at 18:40

            Sorry, I refuse to be positive about the porn industry especially when porn exploits women and is created for males to get off on that degradation.

          • Gomi July 27 2012 at 18:50

            Then on that, we entirely agree.

          • Francois Tremblay July 28 2012 at 0:12

            You’ve made your fucking point. You can stop now.

      • Francois Tremblay July 26 2012 at 22:35 Reply

        Uh… dude, this entry is not about porn, but about sex. Defensive much? Pornography must be a very troublesome issue for you if you see it everywhere.

        • Gomi July 27 2012 at 5:21 Reply

          Uh… dude, you wrapped up a great post on sex with a statement on porn that I disagreed with. I’m not the one being defensive about that. And you’re the one who brought porn into the discussion in your own post.

          • Francois Tremblay July 27 2012 at 11:45

            So because I mention pornography in the very last paragraph as part of the hypocrisy of sex-positivity, you interpret that as a good reason to go off on pornography?
            I can’t wait to see how much you’ll freak out when my entry on pornography comes out…
            Like I said, you have an issue.

          • Gomi July 27 2012 at 12:34

            I freaked out because I disagreed with how you interpreted sex positivity and porn in the context of male entitlement? Okay, sure. LOL. And that must mean I have an issue with porn if I disagree with your position. LOL. Alright, fine, carry on.

          • Francois Tremblay July 27 2012 at 12:35

            Well, why else are you doing all this whining on an irrelevant topic? You tell me, idiot. You are making yourself look worse and worse with every entry you comment on.

          • Gomi July 27 2012 at 14:13

            I made a single comment, and clarified that comment. Oh, so much whining. LOL.

          • Francois Tremblay July 27 2012 at 14:14

            Don’t look, but you are generating a whole comment thread almost by yourself. “Single comment”? Nope. You won’t shut the fuck up about defending porn on an entry that has nothing to do with porn! Shut up about it already, Gomi! Keep it for the pornography entry!

          • Francois Tremblay July 27 2012 at 14:15

            Either you are obsessed by porn, or you want to defend male entitlement but don’t have the balls to do it directly. Either way, this is your personal obsession, not ours.

          • Gomi July 27 2012 at 15:21

            Or I think that rendering female consumers of porn invisible by painting porn as a solely male product is kind of entitled in its own way.

            I know, I know, it’s easier to say I’m either some kind of pervert or a misogynist, but those aren’t the only explanations.

  2. Bedelia Bloodyknuckle July 26 2012 at 22:03 Reply

    Porn is the sexual exploitation of women on film. Is there anything else that needs to be said? There is no such thing as good porn, the same with “no such thing as a good genocide” Both of those examples are results of a privileged group wanting to control the underprivileged and use violent means to do so. I cannot believe that this is so hard for people to understand in 2012! I mean, stories about women being raped and abused by their johns and pimps is far more accessible now than ever! I guess the more accessible the information, the less likely it will be believed?

  3. rightswithoutresponsibility July 28 2012 at 11:37 Reply

    The “author” states… “Now, as a socialist, I completely agree that we are entitled to all sorts of things, such as clean air, food, shelter, health care, and so on. I do not agree that men are entitled to sex. The difference, I hope, is obvious: the things on the former list are all necessary for survival”.

    As a man I would suggest that for the future of the human race the one thing in your list that IS necessary (other than food and water) is sex to reproduce and therefore continue surely? You could live/exist without shelter or healthcare but not sex – have you been to a basic biology lesson?

    I would also ad that my partner and I who are very happy would feel trhat she is “entitled” more than I as she has a slightly higher sex drive than me…not much but if I was being honest a tiny bit higher so she feels she is equally if not more entitled to sex as part of our loving relationship. Entitled in the sense you are badly trying to portray is not a man is entitled to fro ma women. What hole have you been drafting this rubbish in?

    • Francois Tremblay July 28 2012 at 11:41 Reply

      “You could live/exist without shelter or healthcare but not sex – have you been to a basic biology lesson?”

      What? Are you delusional? You can live without sex. Heck, there are people out there who don’t have sex on purpose. They are called asexuals. There have also been various religious orders that prohibited sexual activity.

      “I would also ad that my partner and I who are very happy would feel trhat she is “entitled” more than I as she has a slightly higher sex drive than me…”

      She is not entitled to sex any more than anyone else. She can masturbate, can’t she? You do know masturbation exists, right?

      If she is using any kind of pressure to get you to have sex, you need to step back and realize what’s going on in your relationship.

      “What hole have you been drafting this rubbish in?”

      What hole did YOU crawl from that you are so ignorant about basic facts regarding sex?

  4. rightswithoutresponsibility July 29 2012 at 16:46 Reply

    Nope, not delusional, though one of us is. The art of REPRODUCTION involves sex, or as I like to think of it MAKING LOVE. Your argument about such a minor section of “society” is laughable. We reporduce by having sex, without it, we as a lifeform would not exist.

    In a NORMAL relationship she and are are entitled to expect that as part of a normal relationship things go on that are normal in that relationship such as cuddles, love, talking, support, making love – therefore as part of that normal relationship she IS entitled to expect it. If you are seriously suggesting that masturbation is a replacement for a normal loving relationship then your form of relationship (oooh look I masturbate alone just so that someone doesn’t expect sex from me – that is so so sad) is not something I would ever wish to subscribe to. How lonely and empty a masturbating life must be.

    *I* don’t need to take a step back – we have a WONDERFUL, happy, emotionally NORMAL relationship.Two people sharing love and life is something to be shouted out about. The fact that you are trying (very very badly) to suggest that there is some form of control/issue where sex and “entitlement” is concerned is sad for you. I love my life, my partner, my relationship and if she “expects” me to make love to her every now and then then great.

    I am in a normal adult 1 loving man, 1 loving woman 2 kids relationship – if I happened to have crawled out of that hole as compared to your then THANK GOD. Basic facts of sex you will clearly never understand. You clearly have a problem not me. I would suggest that humans have SUCCESSFULLY and HAPPILY done 1 man, 1 woman, kids in a normal relationship for over 70,000 years. The tripe that you “publish” is a recent arrival and is based on an extremely small, on the fringe, chip on the shoulder 99% feminin section of society that considers itself “normal”. It is isn’t and my relationship is. If you want to argue with evolution and facts please go ahead otherwise crawl back into the rad-fem whole you popped out of to publish this absolute uninformed anti-male rubbish.

    Ps. my partner fully agree’s that WE are normal and what you are so badly trying to say is a joke!

    • Francois Tremblay July 29 2012 at 16:57 Reply

      My only conclusion is that you are lying because something I wrote made you uncomfortable. I don’t know what else to say in the face of such deliberate delusion, esp. given that I already gave you facts that debunked it. You are no better than a fundamentalist Christian preaching the wonders of God.

  5. Divad Nordneg July 30 2012 at 10:03 Reply

    The only point of disagreement is than I’m against the Swedish model, which I think it’s a cops Pandore Box. Nobody should be entitled to control anything on anybody, so we should criminalize all work and many consumers of everything also if we adopt the Swedish model for prostitution (even though pimps should be more severely punished for the same reason than slavery, but we have to define what a pimp really is).

    But otherwise, it’s a great post!!

    • Francois Tremblay July 30 2012 at 12:24 Reply

      Well, we’ll have to agree to disagree on that… I’ve already discussed how capitalist work contracts are nonsensical and criminal, so I’ve got no objection to criminalizing work. Of course, I’d rather society be changed rather than have cops do it, but I’d rather they did do it than not do it.

      • Divad Nordneg July 30 2012 at 13:23 Reply

        So why other radfems dismiss the fact the workers brains are sold?

        • Francois Tremblay July 30 2012 at 13:25 Reply

          I dunno… no interest in Anarchist theory because most Anarchist men are entitled pricks?

          • Divad Nordneg July 30 2012 at 13:28

            I didn’t say that there’s no interest in radical feminism, but why we can (for them) sell our brains but not our body?

        • Francois Tremblay July 30 2012 at 13:30 Reply

          Uh… we may have had a miscommunication. What I meant is that radfem are not interested in Anarchist theory, and that is why they don’t make the link between exploitation of prostitutes/actresses and workers in general.

        • Francois Tremblay July 30 2012 at 13:37 Reply

          And actually I do have an entry in my queue where I discuss issues of consent in sex and how they relate to work in general, based on something femonade wrote. But she herself denied any such connection.

  6. Divad Nordneg July 30 2012 at 10:05 Reply

    Gomi, female porn consumption is anecdotic…

    • Gomi July 30 2012 at 13:06 Reply

      How is female porn consumption anecdotal, but male porn consumption isn’t? Do you mean apocryphal? In either case, there are studies all over the place of such consumers, so they do exist.

      • Francois Tremblay July 30 2012 at 13:19 Reply

        Do your so-called studies also differentiate between women who watch porn alone, and women who are coaxed into watching porn by their boyfiends? (yes, they are fiends, not friends by any stretch of the imagination)

        • Divad Nordneg July 30 2012 at 13:25 Reply

          Okay, female porn consumption only for herself is utterly apocryphal.

        • Gomi July 30 2012 at 13:38 Reply

          No, but do you have any so-called studies to show that women don’t consume porn except when coaxed?

          What’s sexually arousing can differ between men and women, as much as it always differs between individuals. And, also the particularly interest in porn can differ between individuals. But where’s the proof that women, as a class, as a distinct group of humans different from men, don’t enjoy the consumption of erotic material for sexual arousal?

          If you’re going to claim that women’s brains, based purely on chromosomal differentiation (rather than social or cultural influence), are so different from men’s that as a group they don’t enjoy porn, you’re going to need to supply some proof. Personally, I don’t think women are so dramatically different in their sexuality.

          • Francois Tremblay July 30 2012 at 13:46

            No, I have no such data either. But the typical contact that women have with porn is through their boyfiends, and your belief that women are flocking in droves to pornography is a bit silly.

            Also, I made no claims about enjoyment or brains. I don’t know what the fuck you’re going on about. Irrelevant bullshit. Even if women cream at the merest glimpse of a cinematic penis, it doesn’t change the facts about how they come to see it.

          • Divad Nordneg July 30 2012 at 14:49

            Porn is made for men. Show me any porn made for women.

          • Gomi July 30 2012 at 15:28

            Most porn is made right now is for the heterosexual male gaze, yes, but that doesn’t preclude female consumers of it, or the existence of porn for women otherwise.

            See my earlier comments on the porn industry if this is unclear.

  7. Divad Nordneg July 30 2012 at 13:33 Reply

    Fiends, many women have sexual preferences for fiends.

    • Francois Tremblay July 30 2012 at 13:34 Reply

      Hah. Well, in this case I am using it to talk about men who watch porn, so… I doubt women are attracted to such a quality. :)

  8. [...] recent entry I wrote on the male entitlement to sex fairly exploded with comments both on and off this blog, mainly [...]

  9. [...] pornography in any way whatsoever is a direct attack against the liberal mainstream. When I posted my entry against male entitlement, which only mentioned pornography once as an aside, all the replies I got from the liberals [...]

  10. […] thoughts into proper sentences, but I recommend reading a few other posts about sexual entitlement here, here and it’s follow up […]

  11. […] to men as a class. One thing it does is indoctrinate men and women about their status. Men do feel their entitlement to sex keenly and need little prodding to support rape, but a significant percentage of women also […]

  12. kjhrigsnfv February 15 2014 at 0:09 Reply

    “but prostitution is not much better”

    I don’t think it’s better, *at all*. I (am a male who) sympathize with the radfems who consider it rape.

  13. Cammy March 27 2014 at 19:52 Reply
  14. […] (x). Yet this enforcement of male sexual entitlement (x) (x) (x) (x) with the sex industry (x) did not liberate the sexes from gender roles and racist stereotypes (x), nor improve intimacy, […]

  15. […] The male sense of entitlement to sex […]

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