Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Asymmetric libidos & the right to say no

I am interested in - though rather late in responding to - Bettina Arndt's view that a few year's after having children 'most' women don't particularly enjoy sex but that most men do.  Indeed the claim is that once a woman has a secure relationship her sex drive ebbs quickly. It is one of these 'most' statements that you would want to be careful with - Arndt cites some evidence. If Arndt's analysis is correct it has strong implications not only for marital life - I'll also begin to laugh less frequently at the jokes men tell - after they have had a few beers - about 'not getting enough'. It clearly isn't a joking matter!

Arndt's prescription for what she sees as an epidemic of mismatched libidos on gender lines? Well, ladies, although she sees the right to say 'no' as an important advance in the 'rights of women', Arndt believes that women should be more careful about exercising that right because of the destructive impacts on men.  Indeed, The Age makes the astoundingly perceptive observation on the basis of the Arndt analysis that a happy marriage requires sex! Who could ever of thought such a thing!

Some ugly feminist responses to the Arndt argument are presented here along with a selection of blog links that I didn't care for.  The gist seems to be that Bettina is advocating 'rape in marriage' and that men faced with a reluctant spouse should accept a monastic lifestyle or find other means of 'relief'. I guess they weren't thinking at all about alternative 'trade in' or 'update' options but I assume that more than a few men would. This would often turn out to be a regretted outcome for all involved.


Steve said...

It's hard to imagine a more hysterical and deliberate mis-characterisation of Arndt's point that that which appears in many of those Hoyden posts. Unbelievable.

hc said...

I agree Steve. These misandronists are hysterically anti-sexual and anti-marriage - they cannot see Arndt's point that marriage is a partnership. They also promote the puritan illusion that sex is incidental to marriage.