Wednesday, 6 April 2016
HOW TO LOVE WOMEN by Sky Gilbert
I know this may seem strange coming for a gay man, but I’m going to try and tell you what it means when a man loves a woman (apologies, Percy Sledge).
I’ve noticed that when Donald Trump and other straight men are accused of being misogynistic, they often come up with the same answer. ‘I love women,’ they say, adding, for good measure — ‘I’ve always loved women.’
Well I wish to clarify the difference between having sex with women and loving them.
You see what these guys mean when they say ‘I love women and therefore I am not a woman-hater,’ is ‘I desire women, sexually, and have sex with them, and therefore I am not a woman-hater.’
But sex is not the same as love. And just because you have sexual desire for women and/or have sex with them, doesn’t mean that you love women.
What does it mean to love a woman?
To love a woman, you must, first of all, have respect for her. You must give her the same respect you give a man. She must feel free to get angry: do not call her a bitch if she raises her voice. You must not demand that she ‘act like a woman’ but accept that whatever way in which she chooses to act is the way a woman acts, because she is, after all, a woman. You must listen to her. If you, as a male, have greater body size, weight and power than she does (as most men do) then you must not threaten her with that power. Above all, whatever sexual or romantic feelings you have about her, you must always remember that she is a human being, and not just a body you are attracted to. You must focus on, respond to, and interact with her personality, intelligence and her ideas. You must install governments that give her equal pay, and you must only be employed by corporations that are governed by equal numbers of female CE0’s and Vice Presidents as men. Finally, you must acknowledge that any work that women want to do, is suitable for them. And, most importantly, you must want to do all the things I have articulated above. The impulse must come naturally. You mustn’t have to work hard to ‘give women what they want.’ It should simply be common sense to treat women (when you are not having sex with them) exactly the same way as you would treat men.
Now when you think about the above, does it frighten you, or make you angry? Do you have a deep nostalgia for the ‘good old days’ when ‘men were men and women were women’?
If so, you may be misogynistic
But don’t worry because it’s probably not your fault.
After all, we live in a patriarchal culture that still heavily privileges men and which is fundamentally distrustful of women (remember Eve and the serpent?).
All you can do is your best. Try and change.
And what if the idea of treating a woman like a man makes relationships with women seem less, well….sexy?
That’s just because ‘difference’ of any kind is both scary and sexy, and power differentials are the sexiest thing of all.
Just remember that if it turns you on to have power over someone else — or for them to have power over you — that is sex. Even just talking is sex — if you are playing chatty power games. If you want to consensually do that with someone — go ahead. But please don’t do it while you are planning your retirement income or arranging to have someone come in and spray the trees. It’s sexist and inappropriate.
You can only ‘play with power’ when you are having consensual sex.
And you can’t have sex with women 24 hours a day.
And if you don’t understand that concept, then —at the very least — you need professional help.
It takes a village to raise a child; and it takes a gay man to tell you guys how to love women.