Children should understand the importance of standing up for themselves. They should be given guidelines for dealing with negative behaviours, such as online and face-to-face name calling. They should understand how actions such as making sexual comments and sharing sexual pictures, either in person or online, may cause shame and affect someone’s reputation.
Behaviours that can offend or upset others include sexual insults. These can be verbal, written or communicated by gestures. Name calling is particularly hurtful when a person knows that they belong to a social group that is victimised in society e.g. women, gays, ethnic minorities or social underclasses. The person making the insult has a sense of superiority and confidence from knowing they have the support of the society around them.
Children should be taught when to stand up to bullies and when to ask for support from adults. A bully is not a strong person. A bully feels successful if they are able to victimise someone who is more vulnerable than they are. Teenagers should be informed about the emotional impact and legal implications of different types of harassment and abuse in relationships.
The male propaganda suggesting that everyone should love sex is an implicit bullying tactic. There is no ‘should’ about sexual pleasure. A person either enjoys sexual activity naturally (probably because they are easily aroused) or they don’t. Pornography and erotic fiction give young women the impression that they are supposed to engage in activities like oral sex and that they should enjoy such activities. But these are activities that men enjoy and that men hope (in their fantasies) that women will perform for them.
There is a view that predominantly younger, less experienced women should be encouraged to talk about the orgasms they think they experience. But these are only stories. Women should be educated in their own sexuality as well as men’s sexuality. But women who have been told that their sexuality involves easy orgasms, may not be willing to relinquish the emotional beliefs that make them feel more sexual than they truly are.
Teenage girls especially can be highly sensitive to remarks made about their appearance. Men like to imply that women should want sex for their own orgasm as if women have male sexual urges. Many women of any age translate eroticism into dirty (disgusting or objectionable). This causes women to feel ashamed of their sexual role of facilitating male orgasm. Women may need support in knowing how to reject sexual invitations or other unwanted intimacy. We all need to think about how we deal with rejection, feeling shame and feeling used. Girls can be just as hurtful as boys.
Sexual harassment including stalking is most usually (but not always) perpetrated by men with women as the victims. If men are victims of sexual abuse, they may be reluctant to get help because of the shame of being a victim. Many women put up with sexual harassment because they are too embarrassed to complain or they don’t know how to deal with the conflict.
Women can travel alone today if they travel with others. But as soon as a woman is alone with a man (in a taxi or boat for example) she is likely to feel vulnerable. A man could easily threaten her (even passively by leaving her in the middle of nowhere) to force her to hand over her valuables. Some people feel that women should never take the kind of risks that are routine for men. But in civilised societies it is not right to limit every woman’s freedom just because of the anti-social behaviour of a few dangerous men.
Women expect so-called civilised men to restrain themselves. This attitude is evidence that women never experience a sex drive as men do. Women don’t understand that sex drive cannot easily be supressed. Young women rely on the protection of society to tease men by behaving in a provocative manner but never having to face the consequences. This is the equivalent of a gazelle prancing in front of a ravenous lion with the full knowledge that the lion cannot get at it. It is hardly moral or right. Any man who attempts a sexual advance is accused of sexual harassment. Women want the right to tease but not to deliver. Women need to be educated about male sex drive.
Men dominate almost every aspect of heterosexual society. But men’s interest in sex means that their views are especially dominant in any discussion of sexuality. The only way that a woman will succeed in such an environment is by reflecting male beliefs. The only female perspective that is promoted involves women saying what men want to hear. In a civilised society there should also be a place for the truth about female sexuality.
Ignoring what someone says is a form of bullying. One person promotes their own point of view thereby implying the invalidity of the other person’s until they give up. Once the second person has been silenced, the first person claims victory. Thereafter the first person concludes they are right because no one objects. When someone is trying to keep you happy or they need your support, they may agree with you just to please you. If someone is making money out of you, they will agree with almost anything you say.
Your partner’s not there to service you, it’s not their job to keep you sexually satisfied. You’re together because you love each other and want to make each other happy. Constantly hassling the for sex does the opposite. (Tracey Cox 1999)