Saturday, June 18, 2011

Overcome by Passion

If you've read some of the same bits of history I have, you may be familiar with the way uncontrollable sexual appetite used to be seen in Western society as a female characteristic rather than a male one (discussed in this NYT opinion piece).

You do kind of get the sense that a lot of times women's uncontrollably lustful nature was being blamed for the corruption of otherwise stolid men who would be spending their time in hard work or prayer or military triumphs or whatever, rather than merely being recognized as a sort of personal quirk. I'm not sure it was a tolerant/apologist "girls will be girls" as much as a "lustful girls will tempt otherwise virtuously nonsexual boys who would never do such horrible and undignified things."

If nothing else, though, it's an interesting reminder that cultural assumptions about who 'naturally' wants sex and who needs to be talked into it change, like lots of other cultural assumptions.

Possibly, in fact, people of both sexes may be interested in having sex from time to time? And possibly shouldn't be either shamed for feeling interest, or excused for acting like a jerk about it?

No, you're right, that's way too easy. I mean impossible.


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