Believe it or not I can go through the day without seeing a scantily clad woman.

I was confronted recently with a leftist newspaper that featured various female models for fashion and a nude woman advertising an event (with her breasts and vagina covered by items for that event). Shaking my head at another product of manarchists (it’s a great word, use it) I set before myself the following question: as a heterosexual male is my need to constantly see hot ladeez on par with my need for food? Answer: no. It fucking isn’t. So why do I see more advertising and more references to ‘sexy’ women on a regular basis than I do for food? Or for that matter seemingly anything else? I can’t go outside without getting bombarded by marketing pornography.

I can only assume the rainbow of negative effects this has on women which has often been detailed by great feminist writers more talented than myself, but how does it affect me and me fellow str8dudes? Now here I’m going to be really honest and hope to foster the kind of environment that really gets all the shit out. Cuz, in case you didn’t notice, us hetero guys got a lotta baggage. All this constant temptation, all these ludicrously unattainable bodies, sexual imagery, wanting eyes, and subjugated individuals really does a number on my psyche. The relentlessness of it makes me feel lonely and miserable. It reminds me that I’m not currently dating anyone or who I am dating is not nearly as hot as this perfected digitally created courtesan and by the time I see it 100 times on my way home from work it starts to get to me and make me think about three words: women, bodies, and sex. It ingrains in me this need for more, more porn, more women, more ads. That’s a big part of it, the wanting more, the feeling like all these hundreds of women I see daily want me and I SHOULD want them. Maybe I’m weak, maybe I’m just pathetic but you know what? I prefer to blame the corporate empire smothering me in hypersexualized advertising for 24 years rather than blame myself. (And if it seems like I’m exaggerating I’d just like to point out that I live in New York City so no, I am not).

Now, onto more gritty honesty. One terrible thing that seems to be happening to me after such a long saturation of immoral representations of women is that I get agitated when I see the ads. I get annoyed. I think look, I get it, I’ll never date a woman that hot, so why are you fucking shoving this into my face? No one looks like this! They’re all photoshopped! You’re making me become more and more critical of actual people! There’s only so many millions of perfect photoshopped models I can see before the imperfections of real women start comparing and losing. I want to be attracted to real women ok? I really do - but this bullshit is making it harder and harder. I don’t want to turn into an asshole. I don’t want to, 20 years from now, not be turned on by my life partner (if I have one) because she’s ‘too old’ or ‘not thin enough’ or doesn’t have ‘perfect skin’. I don't want to judge women on their looks! This is how hetero men become assholes, people. Take note.

All this stress contributes to the general difficulties that come with all romantic relationships and perhaps my greatest fear of all is that one day, in a fit of anger, I’ll blurt out some subconsciously implanted misogynistic desire for the supermodel aesthetic in the form of an insult to a current partner. Could this happen? I hope not but I’m not holding my breath. Shit, I grew up on Baywatch people.

So what’s the answer to all this? First of all, men need to realize the reality of this situation. We have to love women for who they are, not what they look like. Second of all we need to take a stand in our personal and public lives - we need to not purchase products made by misogynistic companies and we need to reject negative representations of women and the representations of drooling men associated with them. Perhaps most importantly when in a relationship we have to be honest: we have to listen to women when they think we are being assholes, when we're being sexist, and we need to be open to critique.

Simply put: we need to reclaim our gender! I’m not a stereotypical meathead – are you? Are your friends? Are you sold on something because a woman in a bikini tells you to buy it? Do you really want to be that dumb pawn? I doubt it. So just opt out of our sexist society as often as you can. Don't buy into the game. Be honest about your troubles like I’ve tried to be in this post. Just getting it out makes me feel a little bit better but you know what feels really good? Having open and honest feminist relationships to all the women in my life. Feeling real love from family, friends, and lovers. Nothing is more fulfilling than love!

Oh and there's one more thing you can do: get a graffiti marker and fuck up those ads! Not only will it fill you with a justified sense of righteousness (something us guys usually feel, except unjustified) but it will let men and women who walk by feel somewhat less alone in our divided and materialistic world.
Epilogue: well then...epilogue sure is an official sounding word! Anyway, expect more articles from me under the maniker (ha haaa jk it's moniker wow i'm hilarious) of tokenstr8dude in the future! I'll be talking about masculinitiy, male sexual problems, men relating to society and people, men's role in patriarchy, and a variety of other issues that the heteronormative male populace I hail from rarely talks about! Sound exciting? Hell yes it does!

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