The Backlash! - Backlash Article Archive - Ogling
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By Rod Van Mechelen
If ogling women who wear tight or revealing clothing is "conduct of a sexual nature," it's because women who wear tight or revealing clothing are engaging in "conduct of a sexual nature."
White Ribbon Campaign
1993 Bellevue, Wash. - Pop-feminists are on the prowl for "oglers". The Seattle Times reported that Canadian pop-feminists of the male persuasion are out to crack down on the nefarious crime of looking with amorous interest at women on tropical beaches during spring break.

In an Associated Press article that, in true pop-feminist style, compared the murder of 14 women at the University of Montreal in 1989 to "ogling," one sophomore at North Carolina State explained that a few male pop-feminist college students are wearing "plain white ribbons as a quiet symbol" of their opposition to ogling, because "it's not quite as cool as it used to be."

Maybe these guys know something the rest of us don't: that all the young women who spend their spring breaks on tropical beaches are misandristic lesbians who hate the attentions of men. Or perhaps the sex roles on modern campuses have reversed themselves, and women of the 90's are now taking over responsibility for initiating relationships. Or perhaps these young men are shrewder than we think, and they know that the women's studies programs have persuaded young women that any expression of uninvited masculine interest in women is tantamount to rape or murder, and that the best way for a man to get the sexual affections of these women is to espouse the pop-feminist parody of purity.

Power of the pointed finger
What is more likely, however, is that these misguided men have bought the pop-feminist cow, and they believe that bikini-clad heterosexual women frolicking on tropical beaches don't want men to look at them with amorous interest.

Pop-feminists claim sexual harassment is not about sex, but about power. They're right. It's about women getting power over men. To use the power of the pointed finger to harm with haughty impunity when the "wrong" men respond to their sexual signals.

If we accept the fact, for it is a fact, that a growing number of women are learning to abuse this "power of the pointed finger," then these men who wear the "plain white ribbons as a quiet symbol" of their opposition to ogling do all of us a big favor. For as a growing number of men heed their message, women will find, as some have already found, fewer men asking them out, leaving in significant numbers only the men whose lack of sensitivity inclines them not only to ignore the warning of the white ribbons, but to boorishly harass, or worse, as well.

Kiss the best bye-bye
This is already happening, and some women complain of it creating a "new hostile environment for women." Complaining that the fear of sensitive men -- men who care for and respect women, and therefore treat their female co-workers and co-eds as the pop-feminists demand -- leaves their social life lacking for want of the amorous attentions of gentlemen. This can only work to our eventual good.

Decades ago, pop-feminists demanded it "all." They demanded the right to promiscuity without responsibility, careers without curbs, and children without husbands. Now they decry the "toxic workload" of the masculine workplace, complain of men who ignore their slowly sagging silicon-implanted breasts, and demand retribution against "deadbeat dads" who refuse to support children they are not allowed to share. And as they do, a growing number of women are turning on such pop-feminist pundits as Gloria Steinem and demanding to know, "why didn't you tell us it would be like this?"

My 1993 prediction: Girls will get wild
Pop-feminism is its own worst enemy. As their claims of injustice become more unjust, and their demands for more-than-equality place women upon ever-higher pedestals, soon so many men will stop trying to please that the majority of women will have the choice of prostituting themselves to the richest, most desirable men, or indulging their youth in night after one-night-stand night in stringless sex. But both will be followed by a prolonged and asexual middle-age, or lesbianism, and both will be despised by men.

What is more likely, however, is that many women will become more sexually aggressive, as many aging princesses already are. But many more will demand the return of men's ogling, male initiative, and courtship.

To make this day come soon, the best we men can do is this: lean close to the pop-feminist pundits, hear too well their exhortations, then practice with a vengeance what they preach. For time, and female self-interest, are on our side.


Rod Van Mechelen

Rod Van Mechelen is the author of What Everyone Should Know about Feminist Issues: The Male-Positive Perspective (the page now includes several articles by other authors), and the publisher of The Backlash! @ He is a member of the Cowlitz Indian Tribe and served for 9-1/2 years on the Cowlitz Indian Tribal Council.


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