Here’s what I’ve been thinking about today: the way guys talk about how they try to get with women. Really frequently recently, I’ve been seeing a whole lot of Facebook statuses from guys - or Facebook groups - that refer to “preying” on women. Usually this is said in reference to drunk women as well. Preferably, they will be the most drunk woman of a group, who the man will then be able to “pick off” from the group. None of this is exaggeration - and men chase girls, they single them out, they stalk from a distance and then make their move. They like things like Valentine’s Day because it can make girls feel insecure, and weaker, and easier to hunt out.
Because that’s the thing, isn’t it? In all of these metaphors, the man makes all of the choices, takes all of the actions, and does his thing. You don’t hear about predator/prey relationships where the prey is willing and consenting, do you? I’m not saying that every guy who talks like this is out there waiting to attack women and literally prey on them. But it’s a really problematic way of talking about women, and I think it really highlights the prevalence of rape culture in our society. All these phrases, so called jokes and real intentions alike, perpetuate that horrible idea that if the girl is drunk, she’s “fair game.” These metaphors paint the man as the one in control and the woman as a helpless, passive person who might be singled out or might not but doesn’t get a say in it either way. And the emphasis on finding particularly drunk girls makes it worse - how many of these guys who think that they’re just doing what men do, looking for a woman, just looking for sex, are going to take the time to evaluate whether this girl is drunk but lucid, or if she’s drunk and too drunk to make any kind of informed consent? Are they going to actually pause in their hunting out and taking home game to ask for consent? Or are they just going to press their advantage?
I accept that a lot of it is to do with the portrayal of masculinity and how boys think they have to talk and act to be MEN. It’s part of a bigger problem focused around stereotypes and gender roles and all sorts. But why does it always, always seem to come at the expense of women?