Adolescent Sexuality, Bad Ideas, Courage, Dan Cohen, Free Spirit, Friends, Guilt, Honesty, Horniness, Human Nature, Judgementalism, Learning, Life, Living, Loneliness, Love, Lovers, Lust, Quality of Life, Relationships, Seduction, Self-Knowledge, Sex, Sexuality, Sexualization, Shame, The Art of Living Well, Values, Well Being, Wisdom

Sleep With Your Friends, Not Your Fascinations!

(About a 7 minute read)

Guys, I apologize for a bossy post title, but I just could not resist the alliteration.  A good phrase has so often been my undoing in life.  Twice, for instance, I said, “Make it happen!”, at the worst possible moment.

“Make it happen” is one of my favorite phrases.  I stole if from my younger brother. My bro is superb at making even seemingly impossible things happen.  But twice, I’ve said it when I should have thought before I said it.  “Do you, Paul, accept this woman as your lawfully wedded wife…”.

“Make it happen!”

“I’ll take that as an ‘I do’. You may now kiss the wench.”

Continue reading “Sleep With Your Friends, Not Your Fascinations!”

Adolescent Sexuality, Bad Ideas, Cultural Traits, Culture, Erotic Love, Ethics, Free Spirit, From Around the Net, Fun, Horniness, Human Nature, Jane Paterson Basil, Judgementalism, Learning, Life, Living, Love, Morality, Morals, New Love, Play, Seduction, Self, Self Identity, Self Image, Self-determination, Self-Flourishing, Self-Knowledge, Sex, Sexuality, Sexualization, Society, Stolen From The Blogosphere, Village Idiots

The Feral Sexuality of Teenage Girls

(About a 6 minute read)

It is easy to fall for the cliché that ours is the most sexually liberated age in history.  It might be actually closer to the truth if we were to think of ourselves as among the most sexually complicated ages in history.

Continue reading “The Feral Sexuality of Teenage Girls”

Alienation, Cultural Change, Culture, Internet, Memes, Miscellaneous, Nudes, Quality of Life, Self, Self Identity, Self Image, Sex, Sexualization, Society, Values

You Can Tell a Lot About Someone from the Nudes They Email You

(About a 4 minute read)

I can still recall how surprised most of us were back in 1974 when someone pinned a semi-nude Polaroid photograph of Vicki on the high school announcements board in the hallway by the principal’s office.

Of course, it was only up for a few minutes before one of the teachers noticed it. Up just long enough for me to pass by, glance at it, and — this may surprise you — fail to realize it was a photo of a semi-nude girl!

Continue reading “You Can Tell a Lot About Someone from the Nudes They Email You”

Abuse, Anger, Emotional Abuse, Emotions, Human Nature, Jerks, Life, Regret, Sex, Sexual Abuse, Sexualization

A Jerk in Bed

(About a 4 minute read)

We had been sitting next to each other at the coffee shop’s counter for a few minutes when she introduced herself to me.  Looking up from her magazine, she pointed to the article she’d been reading and said something about it that I can no longer recall.

I was instantly pleased with her for taking the initiative.  I usually like it when women start up conversations with me, and I tend to think of them as a bit adventuresome for having done it.

After that first meeting, I saw her around from time to time.  She would always say hello and we’d usually exchange a few words.  Things stayed casual though.  There was nothing flirtatious in her manner or attitude.

Continue reading “A Jerk in Bed”

Bad Ideas, Censorship, Cultural Change, Cultural Traits, Culture, Family, Human Nature, Internet, Love, Lovers, Loyalty, Masturbation, Mental and Emotional Health, Morality, Obsession, Political Issues, Politics, Pornography, Relationships, Sexuality, Sexualization, Values

Men, Women, and Internet Porn

(About a 4 minute read)

I am old enough to have known a time — long before the internet — when porn was something you could get hold of only by being man enough to face a real human in order to lay your sweaty hands on it.  A store clerk, or at least now and then, a postal carrier.

Well, I concede you didn’t really have to be fully a man to get it.  In an earlier post on this blog, “How to Get Away with Buying a Playboy, Circa 1970“,  I confessed to how I would buy porn long before I  — much to my mother’s surprise — actually turned into a man.

Continue reading “Men, Women, and Internet Porn”

Abuse, Alienation From Self, Bad Ideas, Drug Abuse, Emotional Abuse, Ethics, Evil, Family, Human Nature, Life, Love, Morality, Morals, People, Physical Abuse, Psychological Abuse, Quality of Life, Rae, Relationships, Sex, Sexual Abuse, Sexuality, Sexualization, Shannon, Spiritual Alienation

Is Ignorance the Root and Stem of All Evil?

(About a 6 minute read)

“Ignorance is the root and stem of all evil” — Plato

Trigger Warning: Explicit references to child sexual abuse, etc.

Shannon’s father and two uncles were widely reputed to be the three most evil beasts in Champaign County, Illinois.  For one thing, before the Chicago gangs moved in with their greater numbers, the brothers and their friends controlled the hard drug trade in the county.

To call them “beasts”, however, is somewhat misleading since it might imply that the brothers were somewhat on the dull side.  In fact, just the opposite seems to have been true.  The brothers had a reputation for brains.  It was pessimistically said, they could not be outsmarted.

Continue reading “Is Ignorance the Root and Stem of All Evil?”

Abuse, Bad Ideas, Christianity, Ethics, Morality, Morals, News and Current Events, Politicians and Scoundrels, Religion, Religious Ideologies, Seduction, Sexual Abuse, Sexualization, Spirituality, Values

Should We Keep the Catholic Church?

(About a 3 minute read)

It seems it has been at least 20 years now since the first credible reports of wide-spread child rape and sexual abuse by Catholic priests began making the news.  Since then, the reports have spread to nearly every industrialized nation where the Church has a presence.  Even Poland, I recall, has reported victims in the thousands.

I suppose too, the documented numbers are most likely well below the actual number of victims.  Ten thousand children in all of Australia?  Seems incredible it should be so few over 50 years.

Continue reading “Should We Keep the Catholic Church?”

Adolescent Sexuality, Drug Abuse, Erotic Love, Horniness, Human Nature, Infatuation, Intelligence, Life, People, Relationships, Sex, Sexuality, Sexualization

The Janet I knew, and the Real Janet

(About an 8 minute read)

As nearly every adult knows, adolescence — whatever else it is — is a time of confusion and heartache.  I think our memories of the heartache can stick with us for life.  At 61, they are still almost vivid to me.

The confusion is another matter though.  It is quite easy enough to recall being confused, but it can be just as difficult to recall precisely how we were confused.  Perhaps that’s because our current clarity has simply crowded out our years of confusion.

Continue reading “The Janet I knew, and the Real Janet”

Abortion, Abuse, Aesthetics, Art, Artist, Authenticity, Bad Ideas, Beauty, Being True To Yourself, Dance, Don, Erotic Dance, Free Spirit, Fun, People, Sex, Sexuality, Sexualization, Wisdom

Elle: Nurse by Day, Stripper by Night

(About a 10 minute read)

The first thing I noticed about Elle was that she seemed mysteriously out of place.  She was sitting alone at a table in Shotgun Willies’, watching a young woman dance on one of the stages, and smoking a cigarette.

Because Elle was fully dressed in street clothes, I wasn’t sure what she was doing there?  Was she an erotic dancer?  Then why the clothes?  But if she wasn’t a dancer, what was she doing in an erotic dance club? I spent no little time wondering about her like that before she rose, crossed over to the other side of the room, and strolled through the dressing room door.

Continue reading “Elle: Nurse by Day, Stripper by Night”

Abuse, Adolescence, Adolescent Sexuality, Alienation, Art, Artist, Attached Love, Attachment, Celibacy, Competence, Erotic Love, Ethics, Free Spirit, Horniness, Human Nature, Lovers, People, Political Issues, Quality of Life, Relationships, Self, Self-Knowledge, Sex, Sexuality, Sexualization, Values, Wisdom

I Dumped Her When She Soaked Me With Buckets of Love

(About a 6 minute read)

Ask nearly anyone to sum up adolescence in a few words and most likely one of those words will be “confusing”.  Whatever else it is, that word is just as focused on a key truth as a teenage boy is focused on his friend’s suddenly perky nipples the very first time he espies them by the light of the werewolf moon.

What is often not mentioned, however, is how frequently adolescent confusions turn all manner of relationships into cruel ropes that jerk their victims back when they try to run from a bad situation.  Even blind or unintended abuse is magnified by the fact kids bond so quickly and firmly to each other.

Continue reading “I Dumped Her When She Soaked Me With Buckets of Love”

Abuse, Alienation From Self, Child Sexuality, Children, Sexuality, Sexualization

If I Got My Hands on You

(About a 2 minute read)

TRIGGER WARNING: Childhood sexual abuse.

 

How many ways
Can you fuck up a child
That will fuck
Her up for life?

I’ve seen your work.
You’re a sick fuck
And a craftsman alright.

Emily, Diane,
Paula, and Tomoko,
Others I knew less well,
Were all turned
On your lathe
And to your standards.

She lacks boundaries now.
Knows every innuendo
In the English language,
Sticks her hands
Down boy’s pants,
Jumps from bed to bed,
Slow dances with your leg
Between her thighs
At too young an age,
Trying to make sense
Of what all you did before
You tossed her naked
In the finished bin.

She talks in even, objective tones
About her profane second birth
About the things you did
To shape the life she now has.

She grew up
Through the cracks
Though you pave over her.
But her roots are shallow,
Her leaves small and gnawed,
Stems short and thin.

Still she keeps coming back.
You’ve got to hand it to her:
Still she keeps coming back
Whenever someone cuts her,
Wacks her down again

People say, “You’re a slut”,
Not knowing it’s you
Who was first a slut to her,
You who turned her one.

People say, “Why the anger?”.
People say, “Why the hate?”,
And “Stop teasing me, bitch.”

They don’t know and I doubt
Even you know all that you did.

Sometimes you turn them worse
Than you usually do:
Volcanic tempers and abusers
Themselves.

You can still love her
Like that — it’s not like
She’s nothing more than her abuse.
But you must leave her anyway.
It’s either you or her
In the end.

You crucified me too.
Thrust your lance in my heart
I’ve paid in blood and in tears
For her that I loved.

You fuck with a child,
You fuck her friends too,
You fuck her lovers hard,
You fuck everyone who
Will ever love her,

Everyone who will ever
Come close enough to care,
Close enough to know
The machine marks
For what they are.

You’re the weed man,
The wacker, the monster
And the centurion all.
Your the prince of darkness
That’s darker than black.

No matter how fine the suits
That you wear, no matter how many
Cars that you race, no matter how many
Bibles that you own,
You’re a pig.

I won’t tell you what I’d do,
If I got my hands on you —
Even you would not believe it,
Even you would be unprepared.

You’d never die under my hands.
I’d never let you die.

Abuse, Alienation, Alienation From Self, Authenticity, Bad Ideas, Being True To Yourself, Community, Cultural Change, Cultural Traits, Culture, Miscellaneous, Obligations to Society, Self, Self Identity, Self Image, Self-Knowledge, Sexuality, Sexualization

The Objectification of Young Women and Something that Might Help

(About a 6 minute read)

As loyal, long-time readers of Café Philos might recall — supposing, of course, they are still able to recall anything besides the trauma of reading Café Philos over a foolishly long period — about two decades ago, I was quite strangely befriended by dozens of young men and women in their teens and early twenties.

One of the ways in which those years opened me to new realities was this: I had not been at all aware of  how much younger women these days can be devastated by our current culture — which so strongly encourages them to sum up their value to both themselves and others almost solely at times in terms of their looks and sexuality.

As it more fully came to me what was going on, I at first became concerned, then more greatly concerned, and at last frightened.  And I am still frightened.  Yet my chief reason for that might not be what you would at first think it was.

Yes, I believe it is true that the objectification — for that is precisely what it is — the objectification of young women is causing untold emotional suffering.  The sort of suffering that is so often purposelessly hidden from casual view by the women who suffer because it would just be all too crippling to announce it publicly.  And sure, that’s a  concern of mine, but it’s not the chief reason the moral stupidity of objectifying women concerns me.

What most concerns me is closely related to, but not quite the same thing.  That is, objectification, when it is internalized by a woman, robs her of one of the most precious things in life: Her authenticity.  He right to be reasonably true to herself.

And that is an evil thing.

Or — for those of us who object to the word “evil” as too vague — it is something that threatens to destroy both the quality of her life, and the fullest possible realization of her individual potential.  Neither of those two points is intended to be an exaggeration.  Yet, for now, I won’t discuss what all they mean for the simple reason it would distract us from more important matters.

The first of those matters is to make as clear as possible just what is meant here by “objectification”, for many of us are confused about the term.

Some folks mistakenly believe that objectification occurs whenever a man looks at a woman in a sexual way.  That’s not what is meant here by the term.  I do not doubt for even the fleeting moment required by a mouse to pass a fart that men have been looking at women with sex shining in their eyes since our noble and esteemed species of fur-challenged poo-flingers first arose in Africa about 300,000 years ago — and yet women have not suffered from it — at least, not to any extent similar to their suffering from true objectification.

So what is objectification?  Simply put, it is seeing a person as valuable only in terms of just one or a very few of their traits and qualities.

Ideally, we appreciate a person for perhaps almost everything they are.  For their kindness, for their wit, for their creativity, for their rationality, for their brains, for their generosity, and so forth.  If we truly appreciate someone then there is even a sense in which we appreciate their so called “negative” traits too.  In other words, we ideally appreciate the whole or complete person.

But when we objectify someone, we reduce that person in our view of them to just one or a few traits.  And those traits can be anything.  They can be a person’s looks, for sure, but they can also be her brains, or her kindness, or her passion for living.  Reducing a person is just as bad no matter to what you reduce her, because doing so is always a denial of the whole or complete person.  It is the moral and psychological equivalent of chopping off most of her body parts.

But of course, objectification only begins with the mental reduction of someone.  In practice, it involves treating that person as if her whole value lay in just those traits you have reduced her too.  So, for instance, if you were to date a woman you had reduced to her sexuality alone, you would be likely to treat her as if she was no more than tits and ass.

It gets worse, far worse, because women are prone to internalize such messages if there is enough felt pressure to do so.  That’s simply because women, like men, are social animals.  We evolved to pay attention to each other, and perhaps even to some extent see ourselves as others see us.

All of the above raises to my mind what, if anything, can be done about objectification?

Obviously, quite a lot of things are currently being tried to combat it. For reasons of space, I won’t get into those here because a few google searches can lead you to articles on them.  Instead I would like you to consider a solution — albeit only a partial one — that I have seen no where else.

Mix the ages!  That is, do whatever you reasonably can to socially bring together older men and women with younger men and women.

Sound too simple?  Consider this, the ages have increasingly become segregated.  That segregation has led to a number of consequences, but among them I believe, is the consequence of furthering or facilitating the objectification of young women.  But how?

Imagine a woman in her 50s meeting up with a woman in her 20s to enjoy some coffee together and slyly ogle the more attractive men (Yes, your Uncle Sunstone sees all).  Forget all about the older woman giving the younger woman advice.  Who on earth wants a lecture on being true to yourself?

No, imagine instead the older woman setting a positive example for the younger woman.  The very fact the older woman is most likely to be interested in such things as the younger’s aspirations, dreams, and accomplishments might alone be enough to relieve the younger woman of some anxieties.

I hope now you can begin to imagine the possibilities.  Over sufficient time and contact, the younger would could greatly benefit from being treated as a whole, more complete, person than she’s accustomed to.  For I have seen the sad fact that — in general — young women of the same age do not always support each other to the extent they need to in this matter.

But don’t stop with just an older woman and a younger woman.  Mix them all up!  Older men and younger women, older women and younger men, older men and younger men.  But why the men too?

Well, I think older men can teach younger men quite a bit about how to see and treat women as individuals.  That’s been my own experience, at least.  Younger men will even eagerly approach an older man for advice in those matters.

And older men and younger women?  In a way the same thing: Younger women can benefit greatly from men who are willing and able to treat them as whole persons, and — whether one knows this or not — most older men are not skilled lechers. I myself proudly stand out as one of the few true lechers I know of.

We have a cult of youth that I believe is in part responsible for dividing and segregating the ages.  In the old days, the myth was that all older people were wiser than younger people.  That myth has been shot down. But it has been replace by an equally dangerous myth that older people have nothing of value to teach younger people — even by example.

So I’m here to say: Rant all you want about the consequences of objectification, but be sure to take a few steps to actually combat it too!

I fear all the rants in the entire atmosphere will do little or nothing, in part because they tend not to focus on practical solutions, and because they are fighting against billion dollar industries.    Those industries are no more going to quietly cave in than did the Southern planters voluntarily gave up the foundation of their own wealth — slaves.

Get busy! Do something real!  Befriend an older or younger person today.  Take them to coffee, go with them to a movie.  Make a real friend — test to see if I’m right about this.


Please Note: This post was in part inspired by a conversation over at Jen’s Life.