Category Archives: Mankind – L’humanité

Men and women: The stripper discrepancy.

Let’s address a fundamental question here:

Why is it okay for the media to show a male model stripping to cheering women when it’s morally unacceptable to show a women stripping to cheering men?

Why is it okay for women to objectify men but not okay for men to objectify women?

In a nutshell, that’s because very few women actually objectify men whereas very few men manage to see beyond what sexually arouses them.

As a gay man in my 30s, I got to experience both sides when living in England and I have to say there is a massive difference in how the model/stripper is treated. Maybe I have been living in Care Bears world but unlike men, I have never witnessed women calling the stripping man names such as “fucker”, “cunt”, “slag”, “whore”, “piggy”, “bastard”, “dirty little slut” et al.

I have never heard women say to the stripping man: “You want it, don’t you? I know you do, you dirty pig! To suck my pussy! Yeah, that’s right! All you really want is me to sit on your face so I can shove your nose in it. Come on, baby, open your mouth and taste my juice. We both know that’s why you’re here!”

I have never seen a women crossing the lines that were clearly marked. Never have we had to even restrain a female friend because she simply decided it was better to disregard what we talked about, what the agency told us beforehand and just shoved her hand in there to grab the guy’s penis or force him to perform a sexual act right here, right now just because she pays the price. That’s rape, by the way.

With women, the ambiance is of fun. Genuine fun. Little alcohol and a lot of laughter in a mostly bright environment. Once, the room was dark but all the other couple of times, it was fully lit and we could all see each other very clearly. I never felt disgusted or disgusting. On the opposite, the point was to, indeed, enjoy the amazing body of a man who worked hard to get it, but mostly to have a fun and to make fun of the most prudish girls by making the guy dance on them as they were cringing whilst also laughing.

My female friends would talk with the guy afterwards like a normal person after he put his clothes back on. We would share drinks and would talk to him, he would become part of the guests until he had to go to his next job.

We would pay him for his stripping as a entertainer and we would always acknowledge his humanity. Some have thought otherwise, I am sure, but we never acted like we owned him for the time he worked for us. Of course we had his body in our head and we talked about it with him too, trying to hide the fact that we did crave for him to pound each of us until we turned blue. Nevertheless, he was never meant to feel like just a piece of worthless meat designed solely for our most unbalanced sexual fantasies, or as an morally reprehensible accessory we would share in secret as mean to bound us further.

Whereas all the abhorrent talk and insults I mentioned before is what I have always witnessed with men. With men, it’s squalid, insulting, disgusting. You always find yourself in some weird places in the badly-lit backstreets of towns, in a room where you cannot see anyone else but the girl doing what is essentially a job to pay the rent, the food for her kids or her studies. Do any of the men present ever think of that as they shout insults? Does it ever cross their mind that the moving body in front of them is living beyond these walls, has a life and has a story to tell? No. And not because they are inherent low-lives but because they drink to behave as such.

Indeed, unlike with women, there is this constant need for alcohol with men because of course behaving like beasts doesn’t come naturally to humans anymore. Education means inhibitions that will only go away with drugs.

With men, I witnessed what we have normalised as “locker room talk”: this competition in being the one who will degrade the stripping woman the most, this bounding in the secrecy of doing together something they know to be wrong or reprehensible. This “Bros before hoes” mentality where the “hoe” will pay the price of the men becoming “bros” – sports being the cesspit of this type of masculinity.

Personally, I have seen married men having to be pushed back by bouncers because they always want to put their hands where they know they mustn’t. I have seen friends of mine in long-term relationships becoming nothing but sex on legs, rubbing their crouch, if not just plainly masturbating within less than a minute after the girl started.

There are many reasons to explain the difference in behaviours and why women very rarely objectify men like that men objectify women. One of them is how men and women behave towards finding a mate to begin with, as women are told very early that finding the “right one” is an essential goal in their life. Therefore every “alpha male” is not yet another fuck on the way to menopause but a potential father. It is deeply carved in the psyche of society and women so competition between women will be to be the most attractive to that man, the most wife-material and that’s not by drinking, swearing and assaulting them that it will occur. Men don’t have this kind of expectations regarding women and themselves.

Actually, speaking of gender education, what I am saying is not entirely true for men are changing. In November, the Guardian published an article showing that men do not enjoy the debauchery of stag-dos anymore, a study that comes after travel agencies have noticed a change in stag-dos pattern and what men do before they get married: no stripper, it’s all about arts and wine.

What these studies show is a trend towards the end of objectification altogether as brotherhood is being redefined. We thought men enjoyed objectifying and found it acceptable, we thought and still think it is the norm within between men, as shows the question I am addressing. In fact, no matter what Mr Trump and over-60s ilks might think, do, say and pretend, it turns out, overall men actually don’t enjoy it. As men are ever more educated towards gender equality and being in touch with their feelings and the ones of others, they find objectification more and more degrading for the woman and also for themselves. They don’t enjoy being reduced to senseless beasts anymore.

Now, we are a long way from a group of men platonically inviting the female stripper to join them as a guest to their party but we are getting there in terms of mutual respect. And aside the sexual roasting of footballers and other sportsmen, I can’t help but also seeing American series like Friends which, more than a decade ago, were already showing the decline of a brotherhood and male friendship built solely around the sexual objectification of women. And as far as sisterhood is concerned, it is defined within the realm of femininity, not towards or at the direct expense of men.

In the meantime, this difference between men and women,  the difference in how they see and treat the other gender stripping, how much of their humanity they actually acknowledge, the difference is what part the other gender plays in the definition of brotherhood and sisterhood is what makes women enjoying a man stripping morally more acceptable.

In brief: You are cruel, cold and calculating. Not Nature.

First Dog On The Moon mentioned something in one of his latest work that had me thinking about an issue I have been wondering for years: the all-to-common nature documentary where animals are filmed, at length dying, or being killed. I hate these and frankly don’t understand the point of it.

There we are, seeing a lioness with a cub then the music comes in or there’s a cut on a whole gang of hyenas and you know something bad will happen and be closely and passively documented. That’s where I have learnt to change channel or close the Internet page. But it does take a certain amount of seeing the mother getting brutally killed then having to witness the cubs dying of hunger or thirst over the next 30 minutes to know when it will always happen.

Is it really necessary? Why do they feel the need to show us that? Is it part of a the bill of specifications when the budget was discussed?  Do they feel a fraud for not automatically showing such things?

The debate has brought up many answers:

1. “Nature is cruel and that’s the reality of life. We are filming a documentary, not a Disney movie so it is our duty to show this.”

To which people, including me, have already answered that it is not. Nature as a cruel jungle is nothing but an erroneous, twisted interpretation of what Darwin and others have been discovering about it. And this interpretation is here to serve the greater purpose of justifying the death of the weakest and poorest in our societies by quoting the so-called “laws of Nature”.

“Nature is cruel, death with it!” So Oliver Twist must die, social inequalities are a fact of Nature, and it is normal for humans, “the most powerful of all creatures”, to burn everything to the ground and bury it under a layer of concrete and gold in the name of the Industrial Revolution that was booming at the time. And ever since in the name of economy growth.

Now that we are starting to wonder if maybe it would a better idea to live within Nature than always trying to fight and destroy it – because it is indeed a meaningless fight that has nothing but backfired – guilt, shame and anxiety are taking over. So how convenient and how comforting to see these documentaries showing that we are not the only one to brutally kill and destroy! How convenient, too, to not mention that the destruction we are indulging ourselves in everyday has little to do with survival, rather increasing comfort.

I am not saying Nature is in fact a Disney movie. I mean, they have been utter shite for the past 20 years so that would be quite insulting to Nature…

Seriously, yes, animals kill to live and sometimes the weakest die but it has also been proven repeatedly and at length that Nature is also full of mechanisms of solidarity where, for instance, trees and ants live together protecting each other; animals gather in entire communities where they help each other. Take songbirds: orphans chicks are often adopted by foster families, without the need for endless paperwork – which is what humans do and is utterly unnatural.

Nature is not just about brutality, it’s also about harmony and showing baby animals getting killed in every single of one’s documentary is an editorial choice, not a reflection of reality. A reality that could show Muscovites loving sparrows and feeding them crumbs during bitter cold winters as the birds dare to venture inside cafés, bars and restaurants in search of heat and sustenance.

And frankly, how many times do we need to see orkas throwing sea lions on rocks until they die? We got it the first time, thank you, we’ll refer to that one, move on.

2. When it comes to saving the dying, we hear the right-minded: “We were here to observe, we must not disrupt the course of Nature.”

So you document at length the slow end of a valuable life you could have saved but you rather have wilfully chosen not to do anything because it would have been “wrong to interfere”. Is it how you treat everything in your life? When you come across a human baby abandoned in the street, you just pass your way in the name of not interfering? Do you always use the not-interfering rule to absolve yourself?

Turning off the camera and picking up a starving cub, kit or chick,  feeding him and giving him a chance to survive is not disrupting Nature, it is applying one of the fundamental attributes Nature has given humans: empathy and power which gives us a chance to do good rather than just stand there watching.

One also has to notice that the not-interfering clause does not apply to driving massive 4×4 and leaving your rubbish in the bush or the rainforest. When it comes to making the documentary itself, there never seems to be a problem disrupting the course of Nature…

Bottom line is: not helping and deciding to just point the camera and wait there texting on your brand new I-Phone with a tuna sandwich and cooled Evian water until the baby dies is not natural.

Helping her to have a life, on the other hand, is. The truth is that your editorial choices are driven by the lack of what Nature gave us: the ability to be humane.

Crash and burn

Humans are like fire.

We settle somewhere and eat everything our insatiable appetite can reach. Earth, fauna, flora and air will burn, water will boil to oblivion until there is nothing left for us to feed on.

Human are like fire.

When we have left nothing but scorched earth and cinders, we will die out, slowly. The most resistant of us gasping, gripping into the little bits we still did not manage to completely annihilate.

Humans are like fire.

And we are wrong because we have not understood yet: it’s not the planet we are destroying but our own habitat, the environment that allows us to live. It’s not the planet we are killing, it’s ourselves. Earth will always remain. We won’t.

Humans are like fire, burning bright, untameable in their own pride until we starve ourselves to death.

The planet saw worse than a couple of fires and a few billion tiny individuals whose own greed has convinced their survival depends on the exhaustion of the life it bears. The truth is that we are nothing but tiny animals on a tiny planet. We are not that important.

Humans are like fire.

Earth was here before us and will remain after: wounded and changed but it will carry on. New life will appear, like it has before and new beginnings will occur after Nature has managed to eradicate the fire she mistakenly ignited.

It’s not dystopia, just a matter of time.