And I guess this kind of discussion deserves two levels. The first around what he says, and the second around the fact that he is saying it and how he is saying it.
First. I am very glad he is saying this, and I back up his message. I am extremely happy to have other sane men speaking out to share that men who enjoy sex with women can do so without thinking of women as adversaries – without thinking of their right to consent as an obstacle between you and your objective.
And second. I personally take some encouragement from his writing this and sharing it. My question is how do women experience what he is sharing. Perhaps I’m just being too nervous, but could his comparison of pick-up-techniques to video games be seen as trivializing something that is super problematic? Namely the habit many men have of believing the only winning scenario is where their desire is fulfilled regardless of what women might desire or prefer. This habit is actually awful. It is dangerous and it is gross. Yet its totally normalized. Which might be why it doesn’t seem that strange to equate it with something else super common: video games. In fairness, I think the analogy will work well with male audiences, or gaming audiences in general (which are comprised of far more women than most people suspect), and probably helps him make his point. But should we be concerned with making something really gross (ignoring women’s choice) seem kind of relateable and cartoony?
I’m somewhat torn. I think in the end it’s ok because through the use of his analogy he nails home the important point. It’s stupid and awful to approach women as an objective to be acquired or an opponent to be outwitted. Instead let’s not settle for anything less than enthusiastic consent.
And hey, while we’re at it, maybe we could start thinking of women outside of their role as potential sexual partners! What? Too much for one day? Sigh.
Check back Monday for the continuation of my reading of Bell Hooks’ “Feminism is For Everybody.”