Why Is It So Difficult to Talk About Female Sexual Pleasure?

The author of "Vagina: A New Biography" analyzes some responses to her new controversial book

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Olivier Culmann / Tendance Floue

Has there really been a sexual revolution? One of the themes I explore in my new book, Vagina: A New Biography, is that the supposedly sexually liberated society we now live in, in which sexual images and content are available everywhere, hasn’t really been that liberating for women. While many responses to my book were positive, the tone of some of the critiques — from “mystic woo-woo about the froo froo” to “bad news for everybody who has one” — suggests to me that our culture, even one in which Fifty Shades of Grey is being devoured by millions of women, still has problems discussing women’s sexuality in a positive, empowering way. And we — perhaps women especially — need to be able to have that conversation.

(MOREFifty Shades of Grey: Why Is It News that Women Like Sex?)

The modern history of female sexuality has been plagued with misinformation, embarrassment and sexual frustration. When Shere Hite published her famous (and at the time notorious) The Hite Report: A Nationwide Study of Female Sexuality in 1976, about a third of women reported that they did not have orgasms during sex when they wished to. This finding preceded Hite’s important — for the time — assertion that penetration was not all there was in terms of female sexual response, and a wave of information about female sexuality followed. Although The Hite Report was initially greeted with great controversy, in the end society agreed that women’s pleasure and sexual well-being mattered and deserved respectful inquiry.

But in the past decade, instead of informed and respectful discussion about women and their bodies, we have veered into a raunch culture in which celebrities boost their popularity by releasing porn videos, rock star John Mayer casually says he sees hundreds of vaginas before breakfast, and critically acclaimed new TV shows feature young women recounting horrible hookups with ever escalating porn-based expectations. Women’s desire, arousal and satisfaction, let alone their (or men’s) emotional needs, are very rarely part of this picture.

(MOREThe Tyranny of the Sexy Mom)

Indeed, serious or even remotely respectful discourse about women’s erotic well-being has been so marginalized that in today’s climate, when one brings new findings on female arousal and satisfaction into public debate, as I am doing with my book, I find that one must make the case from the start that these numbers — and female sexual satisfaction — matter at all.

Here’s one stat that says it all: 12% to 43% of women in the U.S. self-report “hypoactive sexual desire disorder” — a loss of libido, a decline of desire. Other estimates put the prevalence rate at about one-third of American women. The Association of Reproductive Health Professionals claims that 30% of women do not reach orgasm regularly when they wish to, a percentage that has not budged since Hite’s report.

With pleasure so elusive and mockery of the very discussion so normative — even in serious venues such as the New York Times and the Washington Monthly — it seems clear that women have a long way to go before we are living in a society respectful of our bodies, our minds and the connections between the two. We deserve a climate in which women’s sexual self-knowledge is valued and in which new information is welcomed into mainstream discussion and discussed as if we are grownups rather giggling third-graders or hysterical chaperones at a 1950s prom.

(VIDEOAuthor Naomi Wolf Arrested at Occupy Wall Street Protest)

It is odd to me that one would have to make a case for this in 2012, but as we should see by now, the next sexual revolution — the one that actually values women — is long overdue.

57 comments
BensArnold
BensArnold

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amjadkeryo
amjadkeryo

women need love and care as well not only sex is something but respect and response also security 

LolaDown
LolaDown

As a woman and a feminist, I engage in self-pleasure all the time and I'm committed to helping other women feel liberated in their own sexuality.  Read and learn more here: mysexlifewithlola 

LolaDown
LolaDown

Female sexual is something that I engage in frequently and I'm committed to women's lib in every sense.  Learn more by reading: mysexlifewithlola  See you there.

RobertSF
RobertSF

Why Is It So Difficult to Talk About Female Sexual Pleasure?

Because you and other mannish women are trying to make females experience sex like males. But the truth is that few women experience sex like that. Just getting off is rarely enough for females, yet it's usually quite enough for most males.

Men are orgasm-centric for physiological reasons; for many reasons, women simply are not. In my life as a unmarried man in his fifties, I have found that fewer than 10% of women have the same concerns men do. Most of them want psychological security from sex, not physical release.

I remember in my 20s, after reading Dr. Reuben's "Everything You Wanted to Know About Sex... But Were Afraid to Ask," I vowed that no woman would thence pass through my bedroom without experiencing an orgasm, even if it killed us both. I quickly ran into a stubborn opposition.

Like one girlfriend screamed at me before departing forever, "I don't give a sh*t about coming! I can do that on my own. If I let you f*ck me it's because I want  to feel like a woman, not a rutting pig!" 

George McDowell
George McDowell

It's not difficult for me. That pussy Romney is a corporate criminal who hasn't pleased his wife sexually since 1994, and then only with the aid of a sex worker.

See? It's not difficult at all.

WarrenMetzler
WarrenMetzler

It saddens me to notice that after decades of so-called women's liberation, we have a highly trained and smart woman telling us that the most significant thing about being a women is the sexual experiences you have. Nothing could be further from the truth. Femininity is about discovering and enhancing beauty, refinement, quality relating, facilitating others to open up and be their true selves. Yes, feminine women have sex and enjoy it. But it is a tool to more deeply communicate with their partners. It is not primarily some erogenous activity. 

Palladia
Palladia

Mr. Metzler, sexuality is one of the facets of being human, of either gender.  It isn't neccesarily a "tool to more deeply communicate;" it is something one can do by oneself.  Not only to "feminine" women have sex and enjoy it; some women who would not be considered to be "feminine" and some men who would not be considered to be "masculine" enjoy  it. 

This is the true liberation: that people get to define for themselves what their sexuality is, and what they will do with it.  It isn't up to you to make that decision for anyone except your self.

WarrenMetzler
WarrenMetzler

Pall, your reply saddens me even more. Because you have obviously succumbed to the delusion that each person gets to determine their own reality. The universe is very structured, and in each activity there is one way you can approach it, and experience a certain amount of bounty (each bit a quality sensation, a moment of pleasure), which is always a sign that you have just developed a bit while doing that activity, and from then on will be a bit more mature, a bit more skilled at successful living (successful living being able to produce a viable result —optimally excellent result—, and enjoy the process —optimally thorough enjoyment / rewarded) in almost every activity you do. Or you can approach each activity in a variety of manners that leads to a failed outcome, and you degenerate a bit (become a bit less skilled at some aspect of life), plus experience one or more limitations (each one an experience of discomfort: physically, emotionally, mentally, attitudinally, or in your environment). 

Everyone who believes they can create their own reality experiences a failed outcome in most of the activities they do, and becomes progressively restricted the longer they live. 

Neither you, or any other person gets to determine their reality, except in their delusions. 

Palladia
Palladia

Mr. Metzler, one of us is deluded, and I am not the one who thinks it is possible to tell other people how to live their lives.

I have been quite successful at living a happy and productive life, thank you, and am probably a bit older than you.

When you get over the notion that you can control others, you will have achieved a level of maturity which you do not yet evince.

walkingonthesun
walkingonthesun

When is the last time you saw any book about a man's penis and how it is the center of his universe? How about penis monologues? It is certainly easier for society to talk about women's body parts than men's body parts.

Some of the comment threads are more interesting than the article. One woman exchanged barbs on how society would be better off we men and women were treated like cattle with one bull, many cows and the rest of the males castrated. If women think like this about men and women, how can we expect men to be any better.

Colin Sydney
Colin Sydney

the popular rhetoric of how women should be submissive to man is so old and yet so modern. i can not understand why even in this century women are treated as second class.

Fatesrider
Fatesrider

 The first thing we have to get over is the thought of equality between men and women.  We are physiologically different and while we can and should strive for civil, social and legal equality, those physiological differences will have an impact on them in such a way that there may never be parity in all things toward which we strive.

The next thing we as a society need to get over our collective schizophrenia about sex.  We treat it as something sacred, when it's simply sex - a natural and pleasurable activity that occasionally leads to pregnancy.  Being able to talk about it without any embarrassment should be something that adults can do.  That, too, is a goal toward which we should strive.

But while we are under the influence of a religion which demonizes women - and sex - there's no chance that any of these things will ever happen no matter how many people write books about it.

UncleElmer
UncleElmer

Naomi wants to have a conversation about sex but quickly deletes my comment advising women to stop navel-gazing about their vaginas and learn how to cook. Her mockery is well deserved. The Vaginalogues have lost their freshness, ladies.

Randall Pfeifer
Randall Pfeifer

Unless you're intimate with them, discussing sexuality or even using a euphemism will label you a pervert and get you a slap to the face.

Ande Lyons
Ande Lyons

Naomi,

You always know how to shed just the right light on a difficult topic... thank you!

When I launched BringBackDesire.com I thought speaking to women about deepening intimacy, deepening sensual pleasure and deepening sexual excitement in long term relationships would be easy.

What I quickly learned is the topic of female sexual pleasure is so private, so taboo and still kept under a blanket of disapproval, I found many raised eyebrows and pursed lips when I cheerfully brought up the topic of how to stay tuned in and turned on with your self and your partner.

Yes, there is a decline in women's libido... stress, birth control pills, too many distractions and not making sensual pleasure a priority will easily take the desire for sex out of any woman's life. And... a woman might actually feel arousal, but she's often  lost the DESIRE to have sex.

That's why I curate and showcase the best written romantic erotica on BringBackDesire.com... these adult bedtime stories provide delicious and arousing tips, tools and resources for couples to try themselves in the emotionally safe boundaries of their bedrooms. In fact, studies show reading hot 'romantica' can quickly get sex on the female brain... and women who read this arousing material are having sex way more often! Hence all the excitement around FSOG!

iVillage did a study in early 2012 that showed 75% of married women want to be more sexually active. So let's get this female sexual revolution started... woo hoo!

Cheer!

@AndeLyons:disqus

Founder, BringBackDesire.com

UncleElmer
UncleElmer

Today's woman can't cook. That's the real problem that needs discussion, not some self-absorbed gradue about ladie's sexual plumbing. The pros know how it all works so spare us the navel-gazing.

The topic of domestic skills vs. marital marketability is explored in this riveting expose :

http://www.the-spearhead.com/2...

Lastrova
Lastrova

I would think that it would be much easier for women to talk about their sexuality than men.  Sexuality often translates into feelings, and men have always had a more difficult time tapping into their emotions.  We weren't brought up that way--to systematically and analytically examine the finest threads of our emotional lives.  For men, sexuality is demonstrable.  When he is aroused, it is plain to see.  This seems to be the default response for male sexual introspection.  If everything is in working order, then all that needs to be accomplished is orgasm.  Men are also uncomfortable feeling sexually vulnerable.  What would male sexual vulnerability actually mean for most men?  It would probably mean the inability to perform.  Between a rock and a hard place, it seems.

Sara L. Rose
Sara L. Rose

Naomi Wolf proves that female sexuality isn't difficult to talk about--all you need is a book to promote.

Cynthia Rouse
Cynthia Rouse

Well, she does know how to sell books; doesn't she?

Brian1001
Brian1001

She has done some interesting work in the past, and has some very valid points about cultural liberation, but I think Naomi Wolf's overall emphasis on vaginal intercourse is...highly questionable.People can obviously get down however they like, and do whatever is most enjoyable for them personally, but that being said, there's more evidence leading in the other direction than in the direction Naomi Wolf is pushing for.

The fact that 70-80% of women don't orgasm through vaginal intercourse alone would be a good place to start.

Here are two videos on the subject (which is a pretty important one)..."Is your relationship M.I.B.? (mutual in bed)" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v..."It's Not You...It's Sex." http://www.youtube.com/watch?v...

rdevaughn
rdevaughn

Um, It's not? Maybe the whole world just isn't as worried about your womanhood as you are- after all, I (a male) don't go around talking about my sexuality all the time.

I'm worried you're one of those people living in outrage of ideals that have long since been discarded by the majority of reasonable people. I'm worried because in doing so, you make people averse to reason- because your un-warranted aggro brings out their inner contrarian.

Palladia
Palladia

I don't think women "live in outrage," so much as men do.  It's usually men who get into various problems of aggression.

Women, I think, live more in exasperation: Men seldom TALK about their sexuality, after all.  They just assume it is The Way Things Ought to Be.  That they will get theirs.

There really is a lot to be said for co-operation.

Cynthia Rouse
Cynthia Rouse

If you have to talk about it; you are not doing it right.

If you want a great sex life, you need to find someone to love. You will never find it in a pile of one night stands.

Palladia
Palladia

You mean, there's a "right" way?

What on earth did I say to indicate that I'm into "one-night stands?"  Did I say, for that matter, that I want a "great sex life?"  Or are you given to making assumptions?

I was recommending co-operation in the endeavor.  That takes a certain amount of practice to make perfect, much as a play or ballet is rehearsed (usually with the same cast) until it works. 

Jitoo Parekh
Jitoo Parekh

Female orgasm is not connected with Reproduction as it is in Male.Male discharges millions of sperms on almost Evey orgasm while that is not the case for a woman.The Basics of all Life is to Reproduce.

Heterotic
Heterotic

Wat a truly dumb article. There is a lot of useful information online, there is a lot more knowledge today than before, each woman can explore her own body to determine what works best; what will more discussion do? It is like the national debt, all of the continued discussion has changed nothing.

Cynthia Rouse
Cynthia Rouse

I find it very interesting how many men are commenting on this article. They wouldn't really know, how it feels to be a girl, would they?

Typical male delusion, even trying to control an article about vaginas...

I am laughing.

Belisarius85
Belisarius85

Men comment on a PUBLIC forum and you assume we're trying to control the article?

Don't you think you're being a tad defensive?

Cynthia Rouse
Cynthia Rouse

Great chemistry leads to great romance and great sex. There is no way to manufacture or create chemistry; it is natural, spontaneous and organic, it is either there, or it is not there. Expecting great sex in the hook up culture is analogous to expecting great nutrition at a fast food joint. Chemistry is evident the first time you meet someone, it is powerful, like being struck by lightening; and this energy holds the couple together as they build a life together.

I also think the long lives that people now enjoy adds additional challenges to long term couples. The work of everyday life is a challenge. Nothing will quench a hot night like a couple of screaming kids.

People who have been together for decades have different challenges, relationships and erotic desires change over time; and in all candor, people only lived to be 50 in earlier centuries, and so I think part of this is also evolution, where middle aged, and elderly couples are concerned.

The best chance anyone has of finding their lifelong love is when they are young. That has been proven over and over again. I would also say to young women, be careful of the beauty trap; if you are young, educated, gorgeous, sexy, well bred,and charming; you can have any man you want. Throwing yourself away on cheap relationships will eventually crush you; and ruin your chances of finding, and keeping "the one"

Cheap sex is like binge drinking; it feels good at the moment; but the next day, nothing but regret. Trying to build a relationship on these encounters is futile. Men like that kind of behavior, like they like strippers and porn; but they never call. They just find another dummy who puts out for strange men.

People should treat their sexuality as a gift, something to be shared with someone who is chosen, and deserving.

If people want a great sex life, they should find somebody to love...

Grant MacDonald
Grant MacDonald

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Grant MacDonald

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Rumionemore
Rumionemore

Women I know don't have a problem with discussing any aspect of female sexuality, though some may prefer not to get too personal about it. Okay with me. That's what close friends, doctors, counselors and well-researched materials are for. More women are visiting internet porn sites, and I understand there are sites for women. What could be positive about this is women learn what they want and don't want. Not just what men want. And women should ask for what they want. 

DarthWhatever
DarthWhatever

Even as a women, I don't quite understand what it is women seem to be looking for here.  There's nothing wrong with figuring out how your own anatomy works and there's nothing wrong with taking care of yourself in the bedroom (or whatever room you fancy getting off in)... whether you're alone or with a partner.  Personally I think the issue isn't society over all but that women just need to quit worrying about pleasing everyone else and take responsibility for their own happiness.   Sorry but (in my experience) tossing a man on the bed and telling him exactly what you want has never ended badly.  At the end of the day, your sexual pleasure and the value placed upon it is your responsibility.

Rumionemore
Rumionemore

Amen. Amen again. Thing is, women like drama. They'd often rather talk about an issue than resolve it. Even after they solve a problem, they still keep talking about it.

Sex is important and equates to good health, but let's put things in perspective. Life really is not all about sex, even though media would have us believe otherwise. Sex is natural. You do it. It should feel good. If not, see a doctor or change partners. Then go on with thew rest of your life.

Clara D. Pare
Clara D. Pare

Giving a male-dominated society what it wants from women doesn't do anything to help women, Ms. Wolf.  And neither does being a rape apologist for Julian Assange. http://Zap21.com

xzaebos
xzaebos

I don't understand Clara. What does your reply have to do with Rumionenmore's comment?

NaveedXVO
NaveedXVO

You suck....how dare you spam me!!!!

Chris Roberts
Chris Roberts

On Naomi Wolf Or How Reading "Vagina" is Like Committing Intellectual Suicide

M. K. Hajdin
M. K. Hajdin

Would anyone be talking about Wolf's book if it were entitled "Brain: A New Biography"?  Doubtful, eh?  Women are expected to serve up bodies for the male gaze - if not their own, then those of other women. Even self-styled feminists resort to naming their books after lady parts and talking about sex to get attention.   But the only attention that tactic gets is prurient male interest, mixed with scorn.

Giving a male-dominated society what it wants from women doesn't do anything to help women, Ms. Wolf.  And neither does being a rape apologist for Julian Assange.

Rumionemore
Rumionemore

In some ways women have played right into the sweaty hands of men. But I am thinking this is part of a process that will eventually bode well for smart women. Maybe they will be more interested in expanding brain size rather than chest size. There will always be helpless women who'd prefer to be victims. It's much better conversation among girlfriends. Same for men. They enjoy victimhood, too, but just exhibit it differently - actually, sometimes through violence.When women are taught self-reliance, they will almost always do well in life, sexually and otherwise.

Palladia
Palladia

Where are you getting this "being a rape apologist for Julian Assange" business?

Disquskurr
Disquskurr

No problems here !! Tell me all you want !!

Wait, wait.......ok let me call you back, my wife just woke up !!

Talendria
Talendria

I don't understand what the author is asking for.  I don't want to live in a world where people discuss vaginal discharge over dinner.  Achieving sexual bliss is simple.  1) Get a female GYN, and don't let her leave the room until you've asked about everything that's troubling you, no matter how indelicate.  2) Get a partner who truly cares about your desires instead serving his or her own.  3) Train yourself to forget about the laundry, the kids, the job, and everything else for 30 minutes each day (15 if you're pressed for time).  That last one is key.  Most women can't have an orgasm because they're too busy worrying about what comes next.

Belisarius85
Belisarius85

"Informed and respectful discussion" does not happen in popular culture, or anywhere else the mob gathers, and it never will.

That being said, no other major cultures really have that kind of discussion about sexuality either. It is considered a taboo subject, couched in some sort of sacred mysticism, or only discussed via humor and "raunch culture".

Perhaps there is a reason for this. Female sexuality is the gateway to reproduction, and since that is a powerful cultural weapon it is (and should be) taken seriously by most right-thinking societies.

Rumionemore
Rumionemore

A growing number of women do not want the experience of pregnancy, childbirth or child-rearing. How is reproduction a "weapon?" If women don't care to swim upstream and spawn, are they worthless to society?

Belisarius85
Belisarius85

>>A growing number of women do not want the experience of pregnancy, childbirth or child-rearing.<<

That's fine.

>>How is reproduction a "weapon?<<

Reproduction has always been a weapon. For most of human history more people = more soldiers. This is still true, but less relevant today since numbers can be countered with superior technology.

Nowadays reproduction is used mainly as a demographic weapon when the low-fertility populations of the developed nations are being slowly replaced by the high-fertility populations of the developing world.

>>If women don't care to swim upstream and spawn, are they worthless to society?<<

No, they are not worthless to society. I neither said nor implied this in my previous post.

Nathaniel M. Campbell
Nathaniel M. Campbell

The problem is that we've replaced one form of misogyny--be a good housewife and your husband will take care of you, even if that means raping you at will or starving you sexually--with another--the asymmetrical expectations of the hook-up culture and the demands of an urban elite that force women to compete with men to see who can sacrifice their personal lives on the altar of career advancement the fastest.  There has got to be a better way to encourage both gender equality and stable, emotionally-fulfilling, loving and committed relationships.

worth_every_cent
worth_every_cent

Full equality does not exist as a viable system because the closer you come to it, the bigger the benefit to an individual who defies the system. This encourages more defiance, which moves the system away from its goal. If all men were monogamous, and women were variable, then the one polygamous male would have every reason to defy the general rule of monogamy. One would quickly assume that other males would recognize the benefits and switch behavior.

Equilibrium is never attained at equality, and this is a good thing, as total benefits of all members exceed the total benefits of all members of the equality system. This leads to members selling their equality in favor of the benefits the system has to offer.

You really have an uphill fight as all systems are susceptible to exploitation. Outlawing exploitation is the championship of mediocrity.

Palladia
Palladia

There is.  We could re-consider our willingness to accept the generalized apartheid which is inherent in the Abrahamic religions. 

When we stop thinking about an "opposite" sex, we'll be closer to a real symbiosis.

worth_every_cent
worth_every_cent

Your slavery counter example fails because slavery was not defeated by machines or by moral outrage, it was defeated by free economies that greatly out-competed the slave economies. Many ancient civilizations were aware of this even while they still practiced slavery. Furthermore, there is no benefit to the slave, whereas inequality frequently is mutually beneficial. People today lament the inequality today, and struggle to find the roots in traditions and practices thousands of years old, without sufficiently considering that genocide was a real and constant threat to most of humanity for most of that period. Security comes at a dear price. 

Palladia
Palladia

Unfortunately, slavery has not "been defeated."  There are places where it is still in effect, although not as openly as once it was.  Children in impoverished areas are sold into slavery, and a fair amount of goods and services are still produced by people who are not compensated for their time and effort.  Some crops are picked, carpets are woven, and other things are done on that basis.

It would be nice to think that there was no longer any slavery in existence, but it is not so.

There is, as I pointed out, also sexual slavery in various places.

Belisarius85
Belisarius85

It isn't just the Abrahamic religions that do this. Almost every culture for the past 8,000 years has done this to varying degrees.

This "sexual apartheid" didn't just spring up across the world unbidden. It came into being because it offered some competitive advantage over previous norms.

It spread across practically the entire world because it offered some advantage over previous norms. 

It has endured because it has continued to provide some advantage over other norms.

If you want to overthrow the "sexual apartheid", why don't you offer up an egalitarian system that can out-compete it. 

Belisarius85
Belisarius85

@Palladia:disqus 

For some reason I cannot reply directly to your comment.

Slavery was not always found in the great civilizations throughout recorded history - it was intermittent because it was not always beneficial. Monogamy and the "sexual apartheid" have thus far been pretty much constant.

That being said, I am not arguing that norms cannot, or should not, change. 

If an egalitarian social order is beneficial and can overcome the cultural inertia of current gender norms, then what you say will come to pass.

In my view, your view's biggest current impediment will be that it is potentially self-defeating. Egalitarianism seems to be leading to lower fertility rates, and that just results in the egalitarians being demographically replaced by non-egalitarians with higher fertility rates. 

You still have a chance if you can "convert" the non-egalitarians faster than they replace the egalitarians, but even then there will be another wave of non-egalitarians from somewhere else in the world ready to take their place.

As to your last point, you're probably right. But I have a feeling that if there is ever some great societal collapse, we'll quickly revert back to slavery and "sexual apartheid" and have to start the process all over again.

Palladia
Palladia

Slavery was a "norm" that endured for quite a while, too.  It was widespread, and it had the advantage that the people who were not slaves didn't have to do physical labor.

Now that we have machines which do most of the physical labor, slavery has essentially disappeared, except, interestingly, in the area of sexuality.

In several forms, it tends to endure there because the benefits - again - accrue to the people who are not themselves slaves.  And it's not as if the ones on the other side of the equation are really people: they're kids, or women, and sort of expendable.  A fair amount of this goes on under our noses, and a good bit in countries that are impoverished.

It was very difficult, and took time and external presssure to get South Africa - and the Southern states of America , less recently - to change, but now that it has happened, we all seem to be better off.

Now that we as a species are to a great extent moving into societal situations in which either gender can do (whatever) I expect that the "sexual apartheid" will also wither away.  Someday, it will be as slavery was: something humanity once did, but no longer does.

Nathaniel M. Campbell
Nathaniel M. Campbell

So it was the Abrahamic religions that decreed that women would have a uterus and bear the major work of reproduction?  Get rid of that religious imposition and we all can live happily together, male or female giving birth as it pleases us.

Palladia
Palladia

Quite obviously, it is not the Abrahamic religions that decreed that women have a uterus.  Evolution "decreed" that, as you well know.  Or ought to know.  Evolution also decreed that male mammals were  susceptible to gelding, handy for livestock raising and the production of eunuchs.  Or castrati, in the case of choirs.

What the Abrahamic religions did was decree that women were somehow less than men, less worthy, less "in charge."  And then they codified this so as to impose artificial restrictions on girls and women that are only now being overcome, in some parts of the world, at least.

You know, I've been female for a long time, and the reality of being female never mattered to me.  I was the one to get pregnant?  Fine, I could deal with that.  I could deal with having, as a rule, less physical strength than men of my size and weight.  (There is much to be said for leverage and hydraulics.)  I could also "deal with" my lessened likelihood of having a hereditary disease, which males seem to be susceptible to.  There are intrinsically good and bad points to either gender. 

But all the rest of the socially-imposed limitations and "benefits" were just silly.  And, in general, they spring from that "ol'-time religion."  Of whichever particular hue.

Belisarius85
Belisarius85

Perhaps, but it would involve "correcting" female hypergamy and male hypogamy - both of which bestow competitive evolutionary advantage.

The "natural" state (if there is one) is fundamentally asymmetrical, and that doesn't bode well for gender equality.

Palladia
Palladia

I don't know how much livestock raising you've ever done, but the "male hypogamy" situation is seen from a different point of view.  Male physiology lends itself to an alteration which changes it altogether.  (g) 

One need keep only one bull (or ram, boar, whatever) for quite a few cows (ewes, sows, whatever).

Think of the lessened crime rate and reduced numbers of wars we would have. . . And a lot more attention paid to the general furtherance of human well-being.

I'm not quite advocating for that.  I just think about it, occasionally, when I hear about certain crimes and the repetitious nastiness that goes on in the world with these "hypogamous males" running things.

walkingonthesun
walkingonthesun

Do you really think that most women would be happy with polygamy? The newest members of the polygamous marriage are often treated as slaves. What about about love between a man and a woman? Do you really think that most men would be happy to be castrated? Most men want to have families and the heartfelt love of a woman.. You would deny this to them? You would make them suffer day in and out and for what? Do you really think that parents would allow their sons to be castrated? Do you think that any man would low himself to be castrated? What Nazi would do the castrations?...and, even if somehow you feminists convinced the world to treat humans like cattle, there would still be many mouths to feed. The world would still need resources and castrated men to work and fight for those resources. Without any investment, without love, happiness, children and grandchildren, why would they what to work and fight for the feminist society?

Palladia
Palladia

As I said, I'm not actually "proposing" it. 

But I do think that something has gone seriously wrong with what actually seems to be the form that human masculinity often takes.

Certain practices that seem to have become practically institutionalised in humanity just don't seem to happen much with other mammals.

And, certainly, palace eunuchs have been somewhat well-known for political manipulations. 

That said, I'm not at all sure that "a bunch of castrated men" wouldn't be inclined to put all that deflected energy into something useful.

It is often said that someone who can  read, but does not, is no better off than someone who cannot read in the first place.  If it is possible to have a celibate clergy busily furthering the designs of a church, why wouldn't it be possible to have a group of males further some other purpose which wasn't war or criminal activity?  Any horseman can tell you that geldings are generally the most useful of horses.

Belisarius85
Belisarius85

Harem formation around powerful individual men was relatively common at one point in history, with the vast majority of men having to fight over the "scraps".

Those cultures were largely destroyed by monogamous societies precisely because more men had a vested interest in said societies. (I don't care how awesome a few guys are, they will not be able to stand against 10x as many average guys.)

The problem with your modest proposal is the same. A bunch of castrated men would probably not give one whit about the society that castrated them, but are also still perfectly capable of causing plenty of trouble.