In defense of objectification

Dear Son,

It's needless to say that women are a surprise, and that beyond this horny women are the most enjoyable surprise of all.  A quick glance through the erotic literature section in your handy internet bookstore will yield the fact -- not a theory, but a fact -- that you, as a man, had no idea what they were dreaming about when you were dreaming about them.  This can be proved not only by the extensiveness of the "shapeshifter romance" genre, about men who turn into animals and animals turn into men, but by the advertisement for Bearly in Control, an erotic novel by  the inimitable Milly Taiden.  It runs as follows:
For vet and animal whisperer Charli Avers, talking to bears is all in a day’s work. But when she finds a man—a very sexy, very alpha man—where a bear ought to be, the wild comes close to home. Charli is drawn to this mysterious stranger. She wants to help him piece together the past he can’t remember—even if that means shedding her human misgivings and embracing her more carnal desires. 
After shifting from bear to man, Barry believes he’s finally found his mate. Now he just needs to find himself. He doesn’t know much about the animal within him, but his human heart aches for Charli. She ignites his instincts to protect her from all danger—including their electric attraction.
Keep in mind there are hundreds of these books, and many of them are are well-rated by legions of adoring subscribers.  But despite the diversity in the plots they can all boiled down to generalities; and the common tie between Santa Bear and Saved by a Bear and Private Eye Bear's Mate and The Bear Comes Home for Christmas and Bear Christmas Magic and Bear's Christmas Bride and (my favorite) Sheltered by the Bear -- all, by the way, not written by the same authors or by men or even published by the same company -- isn't actually the bear.  It's that the shapeshifting man who desperately wants the woman is alpha.

In none of these books I'm aware of, even those bordering on the masochistic, is the cover graced by anyone even remotely as effeminate as any of the cast of Friends.  He's always young but not too young; probably somewhere between 25 and 30.  He's most usually half-naked; everything except his face, that is, which is usually cut out of the picture entirely.  He's muscular beyond the usual trappings of vanity -- freshly shaved all over his body to accentuate the purity of his skin and the definition of his abs.  And as the advertisements of these novels prove (which at this moment I'm sorry to say is the furthest I've gotten), he is apparently wild and possessive and dominant.

We can't really fault women for wanting any of these things, and the reason we give them a pass is because we're on the opposite end of the spectrum.  It's the old adage about throwing stones from glass houses.  They all want to be curvy; we all happen to want curves.  We all want to be muscular; they all happen to want muscles*.  They are looking for a savior and in many cases an owner; we are looking for someone to save and to lead and to dominate**.  In all these things we find a series of desires that are for the most part foundational; and if we do find ourselves laughing at women for dreaming about bear-men we're at least thankful they aren't imagining us as ducks.  The teenage dreams we had about magical powers and shape-shifting and what we would use them for (and let's not pretend it wasn't eventually to get women) weren't even our individual dreams.  The details, the who's and how's and what's we were engaging in, were ours to enjoy alone.  The gist of it was communal.  We were dreaming of essentially the same thing.  We were dreaming in the strangest way of each other.

And yet to say that we were dreaming of each other isn't entirely true.  That we've fallen in love and had wild dreams about our crushes is obvious; but that we dreamed of someone we didn't know, a stranger appearing only in the night, is even more obvious than this.  She showed up without warning and without precedent.  Her face, her hair, her skin were all generally hazy.  Her body type was specific.  It was from the nude statues of ancient Greece and the lusty paintings of Frank Frazetta.  We wanted what we needed -- and nothing could take its place.  Even the figures we knew in real life began to conform in our dreams to our dreams; and the faces we saw in the daytime were merged with the bodies we saw in the night.

That women have been experiencing these dreams, not necessarily of shape-shifters, but of the primal and ideal nature of the bodies of the opposite sex, was something I wasn't acquainted with until adulthood; and that they could be almost as uniform as my own was a revelation bordering on the divine.  And we know what they dream because when women openly fantasize -- when they're bold enough to openly fantasize; when the strange and shocking images burst out of an otherwise hidden inner-consciousness -- the healthiest of them and most frustrated of them and the most primal of them are all dreaming the same things.  The embarrassing dominating fantasies of an almost faceless erotica.  The half-nude alpha male with the muscles on the cover. 

This is objectification and women do it and claim to hate it and this is the point of the essay.  They do it because we have to dream of mating in order to mate.  They love it when they do it because doing it is life.  They approve of their doing it because even the lust of a woman is legs spread -- which at the bottom of the matter is a welcome mat.  They hate it when we do it because they can't control what we dream.  If they don't want you they hate it because of what you imagine doing to them***.  If they want you they hate it because of what you imagine doing to somebody else.

Your father,

*It's worth mentioning that for all the whining we hear on this subject, women control how men dress as much as men control the women.  Observe any article on facial hair.  The reason "science" says a rugged stubble is best is because women like it better than beards or a bare face.  The way we grow beards revolves around mating, just like the rest of life.  Why should any woman feel differently?  Why should any woman define herself apart from man when any healthy man can't define himself without woman?

No woman who's on top of the mating pyramid fights this and none ever will.  Sexual leftism is for people who can't compete, and if they can compete, for people who enjoy ruining better people's fun by trying to appear "moral."  The only bit of sexual leftism I approve of is monogamy.  To spread men and women around equally, not by quality but by quantity, is about the safest and noblest thing anyone can ever ask for.  Polygamy means all the women belong to a few rich men.  I would rather kill than allow anyone other than me to have all the best women to himself.  If Solomon was alive today I would murder him -- it is what lions do and we aren't too far in desire from the lions.

**Excepting the willfully sterile, women are always looking for a hero.  The current popularity of paid maternity leave is a testament to the fact that childbirth and independence can't go together comfortably; and when a woman is unwilling to throw herself upon a particular man, she uses the power of many men to force herself upon the entirety of men.  Her "independence," the ability to breed independently of a husband, has nothing to do with her self-sufficiency.  It has everything to do with hiding her insufficiency.  As with nearly all other matters of third-wave feminism, her "dignity" exists through sleight of hand.  She won't say it but she needs us.

***There are several reasons women hate objectification, and the implicit threat of penetration is only the biggest one (and in the case of some unlucky men the littlest).  The other reason I can think of is that many women don't measure up to the things that are being objectified.  This is half the reason modesty was invented; not only as a function of the jealous patriarchy but a protection of an aging, sagging, and painfully conscious matriarchy****.

The inevitable result of romance is a consumption of itself, not only by the gradual cooling that comes from familiarity beween partners, but by the physical destruction of the woman's body.  Schopenhauer once wrote that beauty was a trap.  A woman who falls apart after marriage can be described like an ant that loses the value of its wings after mating and sheds them.  Pregnancy can't ruin a woman's face (which in a beautiful woman is always her defining feature), but it will tragically ruin her midriff which pulls the whole woman together.   A woman can get a man's attention with her beauty.  A heavy reliance on bodily beauty is unlikely to keep it.

On this note there are some people out there who believe that man's fall from grace was his discovery of sexuality.  I believe it's untrue and much more likely the opposite.  Our mark that we're ruined is not that we learned what wives were for, and God must surely have known that.  It's that we can ever go a day without thinking of our own wives as purely sexual objects.

****As such, the imposition of modesty was never really about men vs. women, but in man's case man vs. man, and in woman's case old vs. young.

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