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April 11, 2024

  • Poetics of April
    As we enter into the poetics of April, also known as national poetry month, here are four voices from well to lesser known. The Tradition – Jericho Brown Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, Brown visited the last American Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP 2024) conference, and I loved his speech and humor. Besides […]
  • Barbara Marie Minney in Perrysburg
    Indie bookstore, Gathering Volumes, just hosted poet and (transgender) activist, Barbara Marie Minney in Perrysburg To celebrate Trans Day of Visibility, Minney read from her poetry book – A Woman in Progress (2024). Her reading depicted emotional and physical transformations especially in the scene of womanhood and queer experiences. Her language is empowering and personally […]
Spring Housing Guide

Culture of masculinity hurts women

Sign that the Fall semester at BGSU has begun No. 37: As you drive down Wooster, honk your horn and put more than 10 people over the legal limit.

And, while the front-lawn kegger appears to be a good time for those in attendance, it creates a hazard for people just walking by, especially for those who happen to be female.

Drunken revelry leads to drunken sexual advances, and sometimes confrontations.

A person walking down the sidewalk is just trying to get somewhere, but that seems to be of little concern for the partiers. Sit back and watch sometime – virtually every female walking or driving by and especially those dressed for the warm weather, will be placed on sexual display for the entertainment of

those assembled.

Oftentimes, one or more of the partiers will make a sexual advance, if that’s what you want to call shouting, “Hey Sweetness, want a beer?” at the top of your lungs.

I sometimes wonder what would happen if the female in question turned and said, “Sure, your place or mine?”

The guy in question would likely have a stroke.

People like to be complimented, and I am sure there are women out there who say they enjoy being catcalled in this way, but there is a time and a place for everything.

Guys – just because a woman walks past you does not mean she wants or needs you to shout out what a great body she has.

These sexual advances are really little more than verbal assaults.

The men don’t actually think that the women will accept, yet they call out anyway. Why do they do this?

Maybe they want to demonstrate their heterosexuality to their friends; perhaps they want to be included, since everyone else does it.; or maybe they are drunk and would normally be completely respectful. The effect is the same, regardless.

Women live in a world where at any time, and often against their will, they will be put up for sexual display by men.

Males simply don’t have to worry about that. Ever wonder why guys don’t wear makeup? Now you know.

Men have what sociologists call patriarchal power, and they tend to dominate whatever social space they are in.

Researchers have even found that posture differs between men and women.

Men in this culture tend to spread out when they are sitting down.

Women, on the other hand, sit with their legs together or crossed tightly, arms in.

We live in a male-dominated, patriarchal culture, and men frequently exercise their power in ways that negatively impact women.

So when a woman walks down the sidewalk past drunken partiers, she enters the social space of the males in attendance. Then the men call out to assert their male power.

The woman is put on the sexual defensive, and the male looks cool in front of his buddies.

This is the very definition of a losing situation.

While our world is created by our perspective and our actions, giving us power to change it, there are also some things that simply exist and impact us without our direct consent.

Power is one of these things.

Most of the time, no one consciously chooses to be powerless, just as people often do not choose to assert power over others.

We do what we think is right, and we are surprised when others complain that our actions have harmed or offended them.

As often as power over others is consciously used to control, it is stumbled upon, used to benefit oneself at the expense of others and forgotten.

So guys, next time you make some overtly sexual comment to a random girl walking down the street, think about the makeup you are not wearing, the hassle you impose and the power you wield, and try not to forget.

Send comments to Jason Lamb at [email protected].

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