Monday, June 28, 2010

Because when men don't want sex it is considerd cool



I just watched 'The Hurt Locker" which was .... well... it was another war movie.


But one of the things that struck me in it, was when men isolate themselves in sexless situations, it always has an element of "cool" or something beyond their so-called massive sexual drive. When a man leaves his wife and places himself in a war situation where (supposedly - lets not even get started on that one) it is a sexless situation, it is seen as really cool and STILL really "masculine".


This tells me that even stronger than the drive to hyper-sexualise every female in order to define masculinity, is the desire to reject every female in order to define masculinity.


Could you have the same kind of film with a female character? Yes, but she has to be a man - G.I. Jane is a good example - but even so it would never get the same cred that a film about a man rejecting a woman and sex in favour of .... an addiction, or power, or some other non-existent male fantasy, generates.


There is still something very 'cool' about a man who rejects his woman. Or sex, as this film indicates at the end.


Yes, we all know the main character is messed up, but who amongst us can really honestly say there wasn't a measure of admiration for him also?  A desire to "be" him in some way. A need to emulate?

Ultimately, his power comes from his choice of certain death over sleeping with the mother of his child. (It is worth noting that there was a great deal of criticism for this film from men who actually performed the tasks depicted in the film. Particularly the lead character was cited by The Air Force Times as precisely the kind of person who would never get the job.)


If women reject sex they are considered prudes or gods police. They get described in ways that implies their vaginas and wombs shrivel up. Yet, when a man rejects it, it's cool and he's some sort of super hero.


Sex is supposed to be a thing of incidental pleasure to a man. In one conversation its a driving force (that is when he's in a domestic situation, he is unnaturally driven by his desire to fuck everyone other than his partner) and in other situations it is an aggressive pastime he will engage in off to the side of his real life goal (that is when he is in a position of some importance). For women, sex is supposed to be the centre of their life. That is being available for it at any time. She's no hero if she rejects it. (Even Beatrix Kiddo's main enemy is the man she slept with)


In romance novels sex is an integral part of all the hero and heroines lives because love - the kind of love Shakespeare talks about in Anthony and Cleopatra  - the love that frees both man and woman from stereotypes - is the ultimate goal and healing energy for all human creatures. Men and women are fighting themselves to get to each other; and this is another one of the reasons women love romance novels  so much.

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