Manhood and masculinity is just a box at best and a trap at worst.
We say it is a man’s world and we speak about male privilege, there is no disputing these things are a thing but the rules and regulations that have to be followed for a male to be seen as a man are staggering and repressive and should explain in part why men behave like well… men.
Men are painted as more sexual than women. They are supposed to love sex with women so much that they are unable to resist the urge unless they are gay or wimps. The myth is that men have no self-control when it comes to sex. The sad thing is to prove that they are virile men, they sometimes find themselves in tight corners.
For a woman, we are told (rightly so) that no means no.
But, a man is not allowed to say no without being judged and vilified.
A video made the rounds lately of Banky W being intimately groped by a woman that was standing close to the stage he was on. She slid her hand sensually from a place dangerously close to his groin right down his thigh. He was instantly disconcerted and said.
“I am a married man, don’t touch me like that.”
The lady sounded genuinely surprised at his retort and apologised by saying
The conversation that followed on various social media sites was very disappointing.
A lot of women thought he should have just gone with it. He was an entertainer after all. They said it was just an adoring fan and she meant no harm.
A friend asked me
“Would it have been ok to touch him if he wasn’t married?”
I thought of that as well. Are single men open to groping?
Then I realised that it was not about that. A man cannot make noise about being touched without his consent. It is not a manly thing to do. This is because the society tells us men enjoy these encounters every single time. He could not have said
“Don’t touch me that way. I don’t know you and it is creepy.”
His masculinity would be questioned. So he had to hide behind being married to defend what should actually be his unquestionable right…the right to consent to any sexual intimacy.
Women get very salty when they are rejected by men. They will question that man’s sexuality, his penis size and his potency. Then they will internalize the whole situation and question their appeal. In an intimate situation, women will shout out loud their right to engage in sexual activity.
“I have a right to say no just before penetration.”
But men are not given that luxury. A man that says no to a woman he could easily have slept with will be questioned by other men too.
Unless sexual harassment is blatant i.e by a female with some leverage over the guy, men do not even recognise sexual harassment.
I asked a few male friends how they would feel if they had a colleague, maybe a subordinate, suddenly start making sexual overtures at them. It could subtle like a lingering hand on their arm or going for the kill by bending down in a tight mini skirt to look for something on the floor. Or even blatantly sending inappropriate mails and text messages suggesting intimacy. They all said they would be flattered even if they were not interested in her that way.
But that is sexual harassment. Unsolicited and unwelcome sexual advances. Ok maybe I am stretching things here. But let me see if I can sell it. Society teaches men that they are to welcome sexual advances from women. They are supposed to be flattered by it. So men are conditioned to not dwell on the fact that some sexual advances are unwelcome. They roll with it. Also, men do not feel threatened by a woman making advances by them. Men simply do not make a big deal.
Ok, I think I have overstretched things here. Let me attempt to bullet point it.
1. Men are conditioned by society to see sexual harassment as normal.
2. To take it further, sexual harassment of a man by a female should be flattering and an attestation to their virility.
3. Men are not allowed to say no.
Back to Banky W, a huge argument was that he was an entertainer and expected to be open to being touched. When Trey Songz wants to be touched, he gets a female from the audience that is willing. He will proceed to dry hump her till she starts ovulating (I watched a clip… is my husband reading this? I assume he is. Let me say the video was disgusting…. just like licking ice cream is disgusting). Usher does this as well. R Kelly is known to stomach his dislike for adult women to allow them touch his body when he is on stage. These are all acts. But a Banky W did not open himself up to that. I know what is like to stare at a delicious desert stand without money. You look but you don’t touch. He had every right to protest without any excuse.
Lastly, all these male musicians with baby mamas and no wives know exactly what they are doing. Your gropability helps with album sales. Shrieking “I am a married man” on stage is not what your female fans want to hear.
Lastly lastly and finally, dear men, no means no even when you are the one saying no.