I’ve looked at lust from both sides, now.

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Here’s an interesting (and SFW) post on lust and gender.  While I agree with the general argument, I do have just a small problem with this bit:

Thought Experiment:  If nearly naked men had been dancing in those columns, do you think the audience would have thought “hot men for the women!” or “how gay!”?   I think many, if not most, would have thought “how gay!”   A female gaze that validates women’s sexual subjectivity and the sexual objectification of men is simply less accessible for both women and men.

This, I think, has much, much less to do with privileging male subjectivity than it does with the fact that we’ve all been told for, well, forever that “women don’t think that way.”  That is, that women are not particularly aroused by visual stimuli.  Thus, nearly naked men dancing behind translucent screens registers as aimed at gay lust, not female lust, because we’ve all been told it wouldn’t generate female lust.

So while I think the author is correct that most people would respond with “how gay!,” I think the inference she draws about causality is probably incorrect.

It may well be that she would respond by saying the “women don’t think that way” meme is another example of gender stereotyping and is factually inaccurate.  For all I know, she’d be right.  But, equally, for all I know, she could be totally making it up.  Which is the problem all us non-females have, so as on most things, we take for true what we hear most often.

Via Yglesias

Update: Oops.  Forgot to add the linky-link to the actual post.

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4 Responses to “I’ve looked at lust from both sides, now.”

  1. Sandi Says:

    I spent all of college and grad school convincing myself that men and women are not all that different. Maybe I, and all the academics I was reading then, was right. But the anecdotal evidence we see around us every day does, admittedly, suggest powerfully that the opposite is true — if not intrinsically, then at least in the world we actually inhabit.

    In other words, I would find images of naked men dancing (even if they all looked like Johnny Depp or whoever) about as alluring as watching C-Span. So if anecdotal evidence is at all helpful . . . this woman does not think that way.

  2. alsturgeon Says:

    And I, as a man, get a little excited watching C-Span. Whatever that means. 🙂

  3. urbino Says:

    Dude. That’s effed up.

    Thanks for the data point, Sandi. And welcome back.

  4. dejon05 Says:

    I have no substantive input. But offer these off-topic conjectures.

    1) I too am glad to see Sandi weighing in. I do hope you and your family are well.

    2) This insight Urbino has provided will not impact my life significantly in any form or fashion. Yet I love it. It is this kind of discernment that allows one the ability to offer up cogent critiques that I covet.

    3) Keep on rockin’ in the free world.

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