A recent male-bashing joke I saw involved a six year-old boy who came home from school and for some reason dropped his drawers and pointing to his testicles, asked his mother, “Are these my brains?” To which she replied, “Not yet!”
I was reminded of that joke when I read about Dominique Kohn-Strauss on the heels of what is continuing to develop as the Arnold Schwarzenegger story. Time magazine in the current issue takes a look at the phenomenon of powerful men and what turns them into pigs. They quote studies hypothesizing that with power, wealth and/or fame comes increasing opportunity and a feeling that those very traits that would seem to make indiscretion more likely to be discovered, also insulate the powerful from the danger of doing anything about the indiscretion.
My take on it is a little different. I believe that there is a difference between the genders when it comes to the sexual urge, and it is a little more subtle than whether we are from Mars or Venus. Different even than whether we divide ourselves by gender with some having ritualistic bloodletting and others making baskets to gather fruit and nuts.
I don’t claim to have a cultural knowledge of all countries when it comes to sexual awakening. My Master’s degree in International Affairs was a little light on that emphasis. But my suspicion is that regardless of infant and childhood experiences, which can be as life-affecting as mutilation and abuse, there is a gradual awakening of sexual curiosity around the time of puberty. For girls, it is a natural curiosity with hormonal stimulation that leads to a desire to appeal to the opposite sex.
For boys I think there is the need to appeal, but there is also a need to gain control, to have some sort of “trophy” conclusion to the attraction process. Most boys learn what works best for them and as they mature they remember those lessons, probably for the rest of their lives.
Those whose strength lies in their appearance don’t do all that well when their appearance wanes. Sometimes, if they are mated, that works to the advantage of the relationship. Sometimes, on the other hand, it leads to embarrassing flirtations. Those who find success in wit, humor or as the English call it “cleverness” have a skill that develops rather than diminishes. Lucky them!
For girls, the downside if any, is the development of a competitive nature with other girls. As they mature this competitive spirit, if it worked in adolescence, may be a skill that encourages continual flirting. If competition wasn’t a great success, they may become more reserved and become a greater target of conquest for the male.
Now all of this is conjecture and based on anecdotal experience, but I think it makes some sense. The coup de gráce is that in some ways it explains why powerful men do such stupid things. Whether it is that they can’t help themselves and have a higher success rate than we normal guys, or whether they intentionally take advantage of their situation to put more conquests on their shield, golf cart or $400,000 vehicle, they are acting to type.
Time mentioned an explanation for why women come out of the woodwork when a high profile allegation is made. They claim it is because the environment is now “safer”. Skeptic that I am, I believe it is more opportunistic. I can picture the ads on daytime LA TV, “Have you been groped by Arnold? Please call 800-555-1212, and we’ll assist you in your grief. Oh, by the way, if you have been taking bisphosphonates, please press “2” at the prompt, and we’ll help you with that also.”
The mention of bisphosphonates gives me an idea for Saturday’s blog. Maybe I’ll explain Mary’s experience with the left side of her body…
Assuming no reader sympathizes with our “womanizers”, do you have feelings about the attitudes taken by their wives?