X. Commodifying the Sexual Self Is Problematic
Both regarding workplace relationships and men needing sex more than women, consider the following quote from a 2001, Personality and Social Psychology Review study, by psychologists Roy F. Baumeister, Kathleen R. Catanese, and Kathleen D. Vohs: “In any given relationship, whichever partner wants sex more is in a weaker position, insofar as greater desire creates dependency on the partner. To the extent that sex can serve as a medium for social exchange involving any other social or material resources, it may influence the entire relationship.”
While the previous quote involved the study of couples, its underlying theory can be applied to a non-coupled, professional relationship or even to one that is strictly business, where one partner has a material-and-not-sexual something that the other partner more wants. With that recognized, and returning to working women, enough of them use their sexual powers over men in the dog-eat-dog world of the marketplace. (Although many men, with higher sex drives, like or even demand that women so use their sexual prowess in their mutual, professional environments.)
To understand the potentially immense, both blatant-and-subtle pressures that women are under to use their sexuality in the workplace, at the Women20 summit of April 2017 in Berlin (designed to “promote women’s economic empowerment”), the U.S. President’s daughter, Ivanka Trump, sat beside another summit panelist, who NBC News deemed an “uber-qualified speaker”: Christine Lagarde, the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund. At such a side-by-side seating, both the U.S. President’s daughter and the IMF Director, for the world’s women to see and emulate, sat in above-the-knee skirts so short that, fearing a lack of modesty otherwise, their legs were obligatorily crossed—or if uncrossed, not spread too wide.
In July of 2017, at a Women’s Entrepreneurship Finance event in Hamburg, this same pair repeated their performance to the world’s women of how to use female sexuality to advance a woman’s career: again shoulder-to-shoulder (this time not beside more-modest-dresser Angela Merkel, but next to World Bank President Jim Yong Kim), they were, due to their skirts’ hems falling above their knees, forced both to sit cross-legged and to set themselves down, shift when need be, and arise ever so carefully. (Despite Jewish Law obligations for a woman’s public modesty, the Orthodox-Jewish Mrs. Jared Kushner, also, felt obliged to wear what looked like four-inch heels.)
If a woman is speaking words of truth, why would she wish to distract listeners from her message via her bringing unnecessary attention to her appearance? Is not a speaker dressing to the nines like a guest wearing all red to a white wedding?
But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head.
1 Corinthians 11:5
Again, Marina comments (slight grammatical edits): “You are preaching to the choir here. I AGREE that if women want to be perceived as powerful leaders, we should dress in the female equivalent of the power suit! Not the power slut! Ha, ha.
“Imagine if men were to dress skimpily. They would be perceived as comical fools! It is a difficult task, indeed, to insist on more respect toward women—while showing so much skin that respect is the last thing on everyone’s mind.
“That said: Ultimately, men must control those urges. That is NOT an unfair expectation in a world that is so full of unfair consequences and hardships for women–too often at the hands of men. When I see a man in a kilt or in other revealing clothing, some thoughts go through my head, but I TAKE RESPONSIBILITY for those thoughts and respect his humanity enough not to ogle or to make lewd remarks.”
However, and responding to Marina’s very last comment, I repeat my earlier riposte that it is generally easier for a woman to so control herself.
Some defend a working woman’s decision to put up with either any sexual commodification of herself or any sexual harassment for the sake of her career. However, these someones should recognize that such proverbially-or-literally-prostituting-themselves women are, in whatever measure, selling their souls to Satan for some benefit and not having enough faith in God Almighty to provide were they simply to do the right thing.
Moreover, when an on-the-job woman, in any way, shape, or form, starts either to market her sexuality or to allow sexual overtures or harassments, such is the slippery slope that prevents the obligatory screams that a woman must scream when she is under the threat of sexual abuse.
Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
Many will claim that my position is unfair to women who must work to support their children. However, and to reiterate, for this reason it is critical that prospective brides be choosy about potential mates so that the best male provider is selected. By being discerning, females will, in the future, be the least likely to have to sacrifice their emotional well-beings for marketplace financial gains—because the husband should be the one generating needed income. (Hence, governmental insistence that there be fair, family-sized wages for working men is, too, imperative.)
The obligation incumbent upon a woman to put an immediate stop to a man’s unwanted sexual advances must be considered when going over news accounts of (sometimes very old) sexual harassment allegations that are only coming to light after the fact. While, of course, many of such claims are genuine and truly harrowing, some are not. [Of the latter, the author has personal experience. Moreover, in that case, a man peripherally involved said that if I called the authorities (I was physically attacked by the father of the dishonest woman in question in such a man’s restaurant) he would lie to them to testify that what the fabricating woman said was true! However, undeterred, I still called the police.]
Regarding false harassment claims, while studies have flip-flopped about which of the sexes lies more, it is important to recognize that women may be able to lie better than men: being a successful liar entails covering all one’s bases so to not trip oneself up; and, women, more sensitive and with multitasking minds, can more readily see to details. Moreover, women have a natural privilege to lie in a way that men do not. After all, a circumstance may readily arise where, for a woman’s safety, the best and smartest thing for her to do is to lie (in particular, to a man whom she considers dangerous). In contrast, a man behaving deceitfully in a similar circumstance is, pejoratively, a coward.
Moreover, and without negating the need for true sexual harassment claims to come to light, some after-the-fact accusations of on-the-job harassment may be caused by women wanting to get over their feeling cheap for having, in some manner, once commodified themselves sexually either for whatever job perks or for the job itself. Consider: if a woman can blame the man, she, then, becomes innocent and can lift her self-image.
Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.
Paraphrase of William Congreve
Crucially, to prevent depression or excruciating feelings of guilt, it may be psychologically beneficial for a woman to boost her self-respect by blaming the man even were she responsible, in whatever part, for the sexual overstepping. Let us consider gift-to-the-world Marilyn Monroe’s mental path to her tragic demise and the following start of an Economist article on sexual harassment (October 21, 2017, pg. 59):
“I spent a great deal of time on my knees,” Marilyn Monroe once said of how she became a film star. “If you didn’t go along, there were twenty-five girls who would.”
Therefore—and in the same way that it may be best not to tell a woman that she is looking unattractive even when she is—if it is advantageous to allow women, who are more sensitive than men, to lie to themselves for the sake of their self-esteem, can it be right that men—both who are, in contrast, socially trained and biologically equipped to man up and better bite the bullet and who are designed to protect women—be held fully responsible for their not defending themselves against sexual abuse allegations by women? Does not a man allow himself, without retaliation, to be slapped by woman, even when the woman is not in the right?