First, a side note:
I’ve been sick the past few days and completely fell off the face of the planet. I’m finally starting to feel a bit better but now, because I’ve slept like 18 hours a day for the past 2 days, I can’t sleep for shit.
To the internets!
About a week ago (maybe a week? I don’t know, my sense of time is all fucked up. Sleeping for two days straight will do that to you), I was perusing through Twitter and saw something Steel had retweeted, a Cosmopolitan article entitled, “5 Perfect Sex Positions for Pegging Your Man.”
M’kay so, if you have a penis and are not interested in things like, “How to Tell if He Likes You,” you may not be super familiar with the cultural phenomenon that is Cosmo. I feel like it’s lost some of its popularity in the last couple decades, because it’s become more and more sexual, and some people are just prudes and don’t like it.
Which, I mean, come on. For eons and eons, sex was taboo, and no one could talk about it. Even the majority of spouses weren’t comfortable talking to each other about it. Now here’s a massively popular media with over a hundred years of success, and they decide to bust right through that taboo wall and put it right there on the headlines.
And of course, everybody loses their fucking shit. There are all kinds of petitions to shield the covers of the magazine in stores, because the sexual headlines are offensive to their delicate sensibilities.
“But the children, Jen! Think of the children!”
I have a child, thank you. You think I give two shits about her seeing anything sexual? I’d rather her watch a movie scene depicting two people having sex than a scene depicting something graphic and violent and disturbing. Sex is normal. Torturing another human being (or animal, for that matter) is not.
And I find it hilarious that so many people are so against kids seeing anything even remotely sexual, anytime, ever. Y’all do realize that there are tons of high school (and middle school) kids becoming parents, right? Maybe some frank, open, honest discussion might do some good. The rate of teen pregnancy is dropping, but the U.S. still leads the rest of the industrialized world in teen pregnancies.
Here’s the thing. Kids are stupid (no, I’m not a kid person. How did you guess?). Add puberty and hormones, and they get extra stupid.
There’s just so much they don’t know, and rely on us to teach them. And their brains are like sponges, soaking up everything they see, good and bad. And they’re stupid, but they’re not stupid. They’re figuring this shit out on their own. But without guidance, they’re really just winging something which they most definitely should not wing.
If we can open up about sex and talk about it like a natural, normal part of a relationship (you know, like it says in the Bible… Song of Songs?… Ring any bells?… Anyone?… Bueller?), then maybe we can help kids learn to figure some of this shit out without accidentally reproducing. Or getting an STD.
Enter Cosmopolitan. It’s found that unique niche that straddles mainstream media and those dark, perverted things mainstream media doesn’t like to talk about.
Which (finally) brings me to the topic of discussion. I saw an article Steel retweeted and followed the link.
And it was all kinds of awesome. I was so stoked that a huge mainstream media outlet had something like that out there. That tons of young women are reading this and learning that it’s not some bad, evil thing. I wish there was an equivalent for young men, so they could read it, too, but I’ll take what I can get.
So after scrolling through the article, I noticed other links, and followed those.
When what to my wondering eyes should appear, five more articles about pegging!!!
Like, holyfuckingshit, how awesome is that?
You’ve got the sequel to the positions article, 5 More Sex Positions Perfect for Pegging Your Man.
Then you’ve got 9 Porn Star-Approved Pegging Tips.
And then, because it can still be an intimidating thought for a woman who has never done it before and may not have that super-adventurous spirit, you’ve got 14 Women on Why They Love Pegging, and What Women Think About Pegging.
But that’s not all. It’s no secret that I’m not a supporter of the concept of “The Patriarchy” (insert suspenseful, dramatic, foreboding music here… for some reason whenever I see or hear that, all I can hear in my head is this dramatic “dun, dun, duuuuun,” tune. Yes, I have embraced my neuroses) as it pertains to current feminist trends.
However, there’s a somewhat-controversial concept within such current feminist trends that, while it is often taken to almost-laughable extremes in the articles I’ve read, I whole-heartedly agree with.
And that’s the concept of toxic masculinity.
It’s not a new concept. Sounder told me about a comedian who did a bit about it, years before it was this big cultural thing. The comedian talked about how men can’t cry, can’t express any emotion whatsoever, can’t enjoy things current gender roles have determined to be feminine, can’t acknowledge that puppies are cute, at the risk of being considered less of a man by his friends.
So no, it’s not a new concept. Feminists simply put a name to it, organized what it is, and explained, in pretty clear terms, why this is a bad thing.
It’s a bit controversial because, in my own personal experience, feminists are not always the most tactful of people. And I get it. They’re passionate. They’re frustrated that certain issues are still issues in today’s world. They want change. I get it.
Still, “tactful” and “diplomatic” are not words I would readily use to describe the majority of women who call themselves feminists (no, they’re not feminists. They’re feminazis).
For clarification, I’ll explain my opinion of the difference between feminists and feminazis. Feminists are intelligent and tolerant people who understand that men are not our enemies, and that we need to work together to resolve the issues women still face.
A feminazi is someone who believes men are “evil,” and any woman who dares to want a lifestyle other than one that is profoundly “feminist,” (ie, stay-at-home moms like me, and submissive women, and vanilla women who just prefer their husbands to lead) is single-handedly setting women back 50 years. These people are psychotic. I once had a woman tell me that a man can’t be a feminist because he could never understand the trials a woman goes through. No, I will never call her a feminist. She is a feminazi.
So anyway, there’s passion. Frustration. Desire for change. Restlessness regarding the slowness of said change. I get it.
The problem is they’re often coming across kind of dick-ish, and some people may interpret their message to mean that all masculinity is toxic, and bad, and whatever. And it doesn’t help that there are some very vocal feminazis who further that misinformation.
Even intelligent, well-written, well-thought-out, remarkably accurate and thought-provoking articles like this one can put off male readers with the very first sentence, and thereby not sharing the information they’re wanting to share.
Hell, even I almost stopped reading after the first sentence.
Toxic masculinity is one of the ways in which Patriarchy is harmful to men.
I groaned when I read that, and thought, “Oh, so it’s going to be that kind of article.”
A well-known masculinity/men’s rights movement that is not mostly anti-feminist has yet to appear.
M’kay, just fuck right off, thanks.
I can name two. Off the top of my head. And I’m sure a Google search would reveal more.
The first is the National Coalition for Men, a website I’ve looked through quite a bit of and couldn’t find anything that would lead me, a non-psycho feminist, to believe that the group is “mostly anti-feminist.”
The second is Men’s Movement, a site I only recently discovered when they found and followed me on Twitter. I haven’t looked through quite as much as the NCFM site yet, but with what I’ve seen of the recent blog entries, resources, and mission statement, there’s nothing there that could be even remotely considered “anti-feminist.”
I mean, Evel Kneivel couldn’t make that leap.
My point is that there’s this incredible article, detailing specific examples of what toxic masculinity is and why it’s a problem, but it loses 80% of the people it really needs to reach in the first three sentences.
Because yes, it’s a feminist website, and it deals with feminist issues, but toxic masculinity is a men’s issue, and while women should obviously be aware of how their own actions are working to perpetuate the problem, as well as helping to spread awareness (you know, the way men should do for women’s issues… cooperation, working together, and all that) the ones who really need to see it are men.
I don’t know many men who wouldn’t be annoyed by those sentences, particularly the second one, and stop reading, assuming the rest of the article is a bunch of misandric bullshit.
But I urge all my readers to push past that first part and read the rest of it. The rest of it is definitely worth reading.
So toxic masculinity sucks. And there’s this notion that anything our current societal trends has deemed as feminine…. no, not even feminine, anything deemed as not overtly masculine makes someone “less of a man,” or somehow inferior.
And, understandably, this annoys a great number of men. Like the military man who applied for leave to go to his unborn child’s baby shower, and was denied on the grounds that “Men don’t go to baby showers.”
His response makes me want to hunt him down and buy him a drink.
So it’s a problem. And a nice chunk of the problem revolves around sexuality. There’s this notion that there’s only a handful of things men are allowed to do sexually. They’re supposed to “smash that pussy.” They’re not supposed to be emotional or overly sensual during it. They’re not supposed to want their partner to take charge. And holy hell, they’re definitely not supposed to like anything in their ass.
Because that’s gay, and gay supposedly isn’t super-ultra-macho-manly, and for some reason it’s considered an insult for straight men to call each other gay, because you’re somehow seen as “inferior” if you’re gay.
And that’s distinctly male problem. Women don’t sneer and call each other lesbians as an insult. I literally cannot fathom that. I cannot understand why being called gay would be an insult, because I’m a woman. Because women don’t have that problem. There’s no toxic femininity. Women are freer to explore sexually, to find out what they like and what they don’t, without embarrassment or shame.
So that’s a massive tangent. I said allllll that to bring up another article Cosmo published, shortly after an incident where Kanye West’s ex tweeted that he liked butt stuff. He freaked out and insisted that it wasn’t true.
The author of the article touches on the concept of toxic masculinity, on the very limited spectrum of sexual activities men are “allowed to enjoy,” and that it’s okay to be into butt stuff. It’s just as okay for men as it is for women.
And I love the fact that Cosmo is using its massive influence to do this, to spread awareness that sexuality is meant to be explored, that pegging is an awesome thing, and that it doesn’t make a man “less of a man” to enjoy it, and that it really is worth a try, whether there’s a power dynamic involved or not.
Change comes slow, but big media outlets like Cosmo bringing it into the light and talking openly about it is a pretty big step in the right direction.