January 18, 2018

Asking Philip Roth to take #MeToo seriously.

At the NYT, Charles McGrath interviews the venerable novelist, who says a lot of words, but does not answer the question:
C.M. One of your recurrent themes has been male sexual desire — thwarted desire, as often as not — and its many manifestations. What do you make of the moment we seem to be in now, with so many women coming forth and accusing so many highly visible men of sexual harassment and abuse?

P.R. I am, as you indicate, no stranger as a novelist to the erotic furies. Men enveloped by sexual temptation is one of the aspects of men’s lives that I’ve written about in some of my books. Men responsive to the insistent call of sexual pleasure, beset by shameful desires and the undauntedness of obsessive lusts, beguiled even by the lure of the taboo — over the decades, I have imagined a small coterie of unsettled men possessed by just such inflammatory forces they must negotiate and contend with. I’ve tried to be uncompromising in depicting these men each as he is, each as he behaves, aroused, stimulated, hungry in the grip of carnal fervor and facing the array of psychological and ethical quandaries the exigencies of desire present. I haven’t shunned the hard facts in these fictions of why and how and when tumescent men do what they do, even when these have not been in harmony with the portrayal that a masculine public-relations campaign — if there were such a thing — might prefer. I’ve stepped not just inside the male head but into the reality of those urges whose obstinate pressure by its persistence can menace one’s rationality, urges sometimes so intense they may even be experienced as a form of lunacy. Consequently, none of the more extreme conduct I have been reading about in the newspapers lately has astonished me.
Maybe you forgot the question by the end of all that!

The question is whether he has come to understand a woman's point of view that has become so widely publicized in the past year, and he talks and talks, and he never says one thing about a woman.

It's as if he's telling us by showing us that women are nothing at all. They're the background against which we are able to see what a man is.

What do you make of the moment we seem to be in now...? Nothing!

IN THE COMMENTS: Rob said:
The question wasn't about a woman's point of view, it was about male sexual desire and its manifestations. That's precisely what Roth answered.
The question was an invitation to see male behavior in terms of the many highly publicized accounts given by women. This is a woman's point of view. His answer makes the women invisible. He says nothing about how the women have told their stories. He says there's no "moment" to make something of as far as he's concerned, because he's been looking deeply into the sexual behavior of men. He's already told the story... and more... and better. There's nothing new here for him. In fact, we ought to read his old books, because he's been way ahead of us for decades.

95 comments:

chickelit said...

Maybe Roth just sees #MeToo as vowel movement and responded accordingly.

Rob said...

The question wasn't about a woman's point of view, it was about male sexual desire and its manifestations. That's precisely what Roth answered. And btw, he received and answered the questions by email, so there was no need for him to commit the question to memory.

Bob Boyd said...

"What do you make of the moment we seem to be in now...? Nothing!"

He didn't say nothing, he said, "Meh"

MayBee said...

I don't really see the question as being whether he has come to see the woman's point of view.

He is asked "what do you make of the moment", and he talks about the man side of the moment.

rhhardin said...

Women don't see the degree to which their value comes from men being interested.

Otherwise all their body parts are just kneecaps, desire-wise, just hygiene problems and nothing about self-worth.

Women might become sane.

Men being interested gives women access to talent.

Amexpat said...

"he never says one thing about a woman"

Some male writers can write fully realized female characterless and see things from their perspective. What's wrong if Roth realizes that's not his forte or interest and chooses to focus on the male perspective? Would you criticize a female writer if she chose to just focus on women?

rhhardin said...

Way too many big words though.

rhhardin said...

I think of a man and take away reason and accountability.

chickelit said...

@Althouse: Confusing double negative in your first line -- intentional?

Ignorance is Bliss said...

The question is whether he has come to understand a woman's point of view...

Actually, the question is What does he make of the moment. And he does answer what he makes of it.

There are ( at least ) two aspects of the moment. One is the abuse that has been revealed, and the other is the women who are revealing it. He focuses on the former, which is not surprising given that the intro to the question focused on his recurring theme of male sexual desire.

rhhardin said...

I never found any Roth book readable.

Kate said...

Roth's answer: Men are shits. I've known it for years, I've written about it for years, and I'm not surprised the moment has arrived when other people say it, too.

Except he uses fancier words.

dreams said...

I think women have been hurt by all this, I have less respect for these women.

Sebastian said...

"They're the background against which we are able to see what a man is." A powerful fictional standpoint.

"What do you make of the moment we seem to be in now...? Nothing!" No: better than nothing.

He responds to the actual question about male sexual desire and refuses to accept the primacy of women's standpoint.

Carol said...

urges sometimes so intense they may even be experienced as a form of lunacy.

Ha, Aziz Ansari for example. Came on like a lunatic...at least Trump seems halfway normal, according to trusted sources. Not even anal on the first date!

FIDO said...

One of your recurrent themes has been male sexual desire — thwarted desire, as often as not — and its many manifestations. What do you make of the moment we seem to be in now, with so many women coming forth and accusing so many highly visible men of sexual harassment and abuse?

Male sexual desire. What did Roth make of it?

He sees it as men losing the struggle with their tumescent sexuality and behaving in understandable but immoral ways. He answered it just fine, albeit very wordily.

Just because he didn't make it about the women doesn't make him wrong or 'dismissing' women as backdrop. He choose to speak about men.

Not everything has to be about women. There are two actors in this scenario and if you want the 'female' perspective, there are only about 6,789,527 other sites which do that.

I think this was a badly structured case.

Karen said...

How often do women try to understand what’s inside the head of a man? Studies show that men have sexual thoughts at least 27 times a day. They are hard wired for that. And yet, most of them learn to grapple with that and still live heroic lives, caring for their wives and children, navigating often hostile workplaces and contributing to their communities in times of both peace and calamity. Don’t paint all men with the Weinstein brush. Get inside their heads and try to see life from that perspective.

buwaya said...

Male reality usually is isolated to what men do and think.
Mine certainly is. Women, even in the workplace, are usually incidental players. And this is true of any real survival process, those of doing stuff to material objects and manipulating natural phenomena. And, especially, how to beat those other guys.

Natural male attitudes toward women are in that vein, manipulating natural phenomena, as problems to be solved. Women constantly present an array of frustrating problems.

Women overthink men. Its their typical error.

rhhardin said...

Domestication, not elimination.

Carol said...

I never could read Phillip Roth either. Although I keep trying. Must be a guy's writer.

I did finally get Catcher in the Rye. At first I hated Holden Caulfield, that whiny little shit! But 20 years later I realized he just needed to meet a nice girl.

Fernandistein said...

he never says one thing about a woman.

Well, out of all the women involved in this fad, only one or two did anything worth mentioning, e.g. the one who called the cops on Harvey, wore a wire but then she chickened out. They're really a pitiful bunch.

Carol said...
I never could read Phillip Roth either.

#MeToo!

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Studies show that men have sexual thoughts at least 27 times a day.

This is because we occasionally have to stop to eat something or kill something. Otherwise we would only have sexual thoughts once a day, lasting from when we woke up until when we went to sleep.

EDH said...

"The Hook is My Home."

I watched the movie "Kiss Kiss Bang Bang" (2005) last night.

Looking back from the perspective of #MeToo, I forgot how Robert Downey Jr.'s heavily self-narrated part captured the duality of the male inner monologue of one who's trying to balance his desire with some sense of chivalry.

Two scenes:

Nipple... detective.

Tit spider... "The hook is my home."

dreams said...

"I did finally get Catcher in the Rye. At first I hated Holden Caulfield, that whiny little shit! But 20 years later I realized he just needed to meet a nice girl."

You could have made a man out of him, well, at least a male feminist.

Big Mike said...

I didn't like Portnoy's Complaint when I first read it. All these years later the main thing I remember is the narrator humiliating his girlfriend after they are invited to Gracie Mansion, telling her not to go down on the mayor in public. That, and the character's obsession with oral sex.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Carol said...
I never could read Phillip Roth either.
#MeToo!


MeToo! as well.

Roth is a tedious writer and now it appears that he is even MORE tedious in real life.

Carol said...

You could have made a man out of him, well, at least a male feminist.

God I hope not.

Ann Althouse said...

"Studies show that men have sexual thoughts at least 27 times a day."

A day?! Are you sure?

If you'd given me "Studies show that men have sexual thoughts at least 27 times a ___________," I would have gotten it down to "hour" or "minute" before hesitantly going with "hour."

Kevin said...

The question was an invitation to see male behavior in terms of the many highly publicized accounts given by women. This is a woman's point of view.

Feminism: A woman is not how a man sees her.

However, these same women feel just fine of late defining every man through the eyes of a woman, or worse, her spreadsheet.

Which is it going to be, ladies?

Ann Althouse said...

"I did finally get Catcher in the Rye. At first I hated Holden Caulfield, that whiny little shit! But 20 years later I realized he just needed to meet a nice girl."

He wanted an unspoiled little girl like his younger sister. That's not a problem I would use the word "just" to explain. That's a lifelong fuckup.

Richard Dolan said...

It's all a bit overdone, don't you think -- all of the "moment we're in" stuff? As for women coming forward and accusing powerful men of harassment and abuse and then doing something to deal with it, Susanna did a pretty good job of that in Nozze di Figaro (1786). One reason among many why people still watch and enjoy that opera. Just one example, but perhaps the 'moment' isn't quite so new or different.

The swipe at Roth isn't all that convincing either. Roth (according to Althouse): "It's as if he's telling us by showing us that women are nothing at all. They're the background against which we are able to see what a man is." No. He talks about what interested him when he was writing all those novels that rhhardin could never get through (unlike him I've read Roth's books with pleasure). At least no more than Althouse, whose interests and emphases are a bit different from Roth's, is telling us by showing us that men are nothing at all -- they're the background against which we are able to see what a woman is.

Ralph L said...

I’ve stepped not just inside the male head
Shouldn't he have stepped outside it?
I've never read him, but the quote doesn't sound like he has done it often.

Ann Althouse said...

"I think of a man and take away reason and accountability."

That's a popular movie quote about how a male writer writes about women. Roth is talking about how he, a male writer, has written about men. He's certainly not saying that he sees men as full of reason and accountability.

To rewrite the movie quote so it embodies what Roth said:

I think of a how a woman would write about a man and I take away even more reason and accountability.

Lewis Wetzel said...

Althouse wrote:
It's as if he's telling us by showing us that women are nothing at all.
Does Roth ever morally condemn any of the sexually obsessed male characters he creates? Does he judge them? I don't think he does, but I've only read Portnoy's Complaint & that was a very long time ago.

Ralph L said...

before hesitantly going with "hour."

You're assuming there's a gap between thoughts.

Gahrie said...

The question was an invitation to see male behavior in terms of the many highly publicized accounts given by women. This is a woman's point of view.

Perhaps men aren't interested in seeing their behavior in terms of accounts by women or women's point of view?

How interested are women in seeing their behavior in terms of how men see them?

buwaya said...

I don't like Roth either.
He obsesses over trivial matters. There is no mass of interesting problems external to the writer, no lovely detail, no grand sweep. He doesn't build a world, to explore and get lost in.
"Portnoys Complaint" was minutely parochial and obsessive.
One feels like giving him something real to worry about.
The Maoists had a point, guys like this would benefit from a dose of reality such as being sent to the villages.

n.n said...

I think of a man, of his equal, and his complement. Add two moral axioms: individual dignity and intrinsic value, mix together, and reconcile.

robother said...

When my daughter was taking acting classes, she would constantly interject "what's my motivation?" That's a question no post-adolescent male has ever asked non-ironically.

Gahrie said...

I think of a how a woman would write about a man and I take away even more reason and accountability.

Well...we're just splooge stooges after all.

buwaya said...

Roth writes about guys for girls.

n.n said...

As for sex, what behaviors would a man invite or tolerate. The vast majority of men do not have a transgender orientation (e.g. homosexual, bisexual). They are not sadomasochists. So, a woman as man's equal and complement, is unlikely to have a transgender orientation, or a sadomasochistic personality. Individuals may and will vary, but in a normal distribution with small deviation.

Lewis Wetzel said...

I'm not interested in what the women abused by people like Weinstein or Loius C.K. felt, unless it was an actual assault. I don't think that what these guys did was okay. The women reacted in what was likely the normal female way. What the guys did was so bizarre -- jerking off in front of strange women? This is not normal. The not normal is more interesting than the normal.

CStanley said...

To rewrite the movie quote so it embodies what Roth said:

I think of a how a woman would write about a man and I take away even more reason and accountability.


Yes, and this explains his answer to the question IMO. He didn't directly state anything about the women in these situations but it was strongly implied that the women found themselves in the situations because they didn't understand that men are often irrational (and behave immorally) when sexually aroused.

Big Mike said...

If you'd given me "Studies show that men have sexual thoughts at least 27 times a ___________," I would have gotten it down to "hour" or "minute" before hesitantly going with "hour."

Meade, you old dawg, you!

dreams said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...

woman's point of view

What exactly is the woman's point of view? The women I've known have expressed many different view points on men, relationships and sex. Who gets to define the official woman's point of view?

I think of a how a woman would write about a man and I take away even more reason and accountability

Well, that settles it. I guess we all have the potential to be both unreasonable and unaccountable.

BDNYC said...

How is Roth supposed to explore and comment on a woman’s point of view? He answered the question, which was about male sexual behavior. There you go again, expecting men to be mind readers. If he did try to touch on women, he would be criticized for it. Philip Roth, noted male sexual pervert, thinks he can relate to women and their experiences?!

Anonymous said...

27 times a day is very suspect. I've always thought of it as more of a default setting, i.e., when you're not thinking of something else, you're thinking of sex. Now that I'm 70, I can go for hours without thinking of sex. (In my experience, women can go for days without thinking of sex.)

David said...

"I’ve stepped not just inside the male head but into the reality of those urges whose obstinate pressure by its persistence can menace one’s rationality, urges sometimes so intense they may even be experienced as a form of lunacy."

Well of course. Sexual desire can make people do things that no other urges can reach. It is designed by nature to be an imperative which at times can transcend everything else. Preservation of the species. Human societies limit these urges through social rules. The rules can be subtle or very explicit, and more than one set of rules operates simultaneously. There is a new set of rules that is being made and enforced by women. That's unsettling. It is also generative of pushback and evasion by men.

So stay tuned.

rhhardin said...

Men's interest in women isn't all fucking. They're mysterious creatures

[Sailing ships--] When a man is in the midst of his hubbub, in the midst of the breakers of his plots and plans, he there sees perhaps calm, enchanting beings glide past him, for whose happiness and retirement he longs -- they are women. He almost thinks that there with the women dwells his better self; that in these calm places even the loudest breakers become still as death, and life itself a dream of life.

Nietzsche quoted in Derrida _Spurs_ p.45

David said...

Rex: "(In my experience, women can go for days without thinking of sex.)"

How can you possibly know? At the least they may be thinking of England.

buwaya said...

What some of those guys did, or the details thereof, are bizarre (plants are a new one). Male sexual behavior is fairly easily perverted by experience imprinting and opportunity. I think this explains homosexuality to a large degree - this stuff is like falling into a bad habit. Also, probably, anal sex.

But at bottom Weinstein and co, including his more normal co-abusers, are simply and clumsily taking advantage of their positions in the human hierarchy. Its the same as Sultans of Morrocco acquiring harems of hundreds of women (there is also a collectors instinct in those cases; imagine a stamp collector who can, instead, collect women). Or Genghis Khan impregnating all his tribute-women before giving them away to his followers.

Some of this boss-taking-advantage stuff is moderated by social convention, as in the case of Louis XIV, where his position depended, in large part, on playing a ceremonial role. So he did his thing ceremoniously, with a string of complaisant official mistresses. His great-grandson Louis XV bucked this convention, to some scandal, with his parc-aux-cerfs, where he maintained a harem of much less socially acceptable sorts.

Short answer - if men can get away with it, they will, or a great many will, unless limited by effective social conventions. And if they are somehow twisted by a lifetime of bad habits (and no doubt this sort of twisting is a filter of sorts, into those industries), then the form is likely to be odd.

buwaya said...

To go medieval on this, think of Weinstein as exercising his customary (in those circles) movie-producers droit de seigneur. In a rather clumsy and vicious way, in his case, but the same as dozens before him. And in no way different than the ancient feudal lords customary right.

rhhardin said...

Women's feelings matter to the guy who wants to catch her interest, not to other guys than him.

If a woman wants to matter, do what guys do, say something interesting.

Ann Althouse said...

"Does Roth ever morally condemn any of the sexually obsessed male characters he creates?"

I don't think high-class literary novels work like that.

rhhardin said...

70s New Yorker cartoon, businessman at dinner table with wife, maid hovering, "What do women want, Mabel?"

rhhardin said...

What Women Want, with the same Mel Gibson, has the guy able to hear what women are thinking. An ability he wanted to get rid of, but with some consequences to having it too.

Badly conceived ending, happy but not insightful.

Dust Bunny Queen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dust Bunny Queen said...

Bushman said: What exactly is the woman's point of view? The women I've known have expressed many different view points on men, relationships and sex. Who gets to define the official woman's point of view?

This is spot on. What is "THE" woman's point of view? As if there is one cohesive woman's way of viewing things. As if women all march to one drummer, think alike, vote alike, care for the same things? The idea that women are an indistinguishable block of interchangeable beings is patently ridiculous. Do we think the same thing about men? That they all have one point of view? Of course not.

The left delights in taking people, putting them into groups, assigning thoughts to them, categorizing and stereotyping. Blacks. Hispanics. Women. Then further dividing the groups into smaller groups. Then pitting these groups against each other. Blacks against Whites. Women against Men. All the better to control you with, my dear.

Feminists today, who are willing to purge their ranks of heretical women, such as the latest dogpile onto Margaret Atwood for her heresy, are doing what they have objected to when done by men. Objectifying and depersonalizing women and turning them into objects.

There shall be no dissension from the party line. Screw a bunch of diversity. You will think what we tell you to think.

Bay Area Guy said...

Absolutely hated "Portnoy's Complaint." Read it in high school -- for class! (Public school, NorCal). Could not understand the appeal of a book about a loser Beta Male whacking off several times a day, then being unable to sustain any semblance of an enjoyable, romantic relationship with a nice gal.

Even as a virgin teenager back then, I knew the New York cultural left was all screwed up.

Jupiter said...

"It's as if he's telling us by showing us that women are nothing at all. They're the background against which we are able to see what a man is."

That sounds about right, from what I recall of Portnoy's Complaint. The only women I recall were his mother and The Monkey. And they were both pretty one-dimensional.

rhhardin said...

The matter of good readings vs bad readings is more interesting than claims of individuality.

Men differ on all sorts of things but the experience of sexuality is pretty much the same. It's wiring. Needs a good reading.

Women, I have noticed, have a corresponding not to say complementary wiring.

From that good reading, still needed, individuality adds itself.

JAORE said...

If you'd given me "Studies show that men have sexual thoughts at least 27 times a ___________," I would have gotten it down to "hour" or "minute" before hesitantly going with "hour."

I'll suggest quarter hour. But I'm getting old.

When I was 16 I only thought about sex once a day, from waking until sleep. Excepting dreams, of course.

Jupiter said...

A woman once asked me how men think about women. With perhaps more candor than was advisable, I replied, "Imagine you are very, very hungry. Imagine there is a hamburger sitting on a plate in front of you. But before you can eat it. you have to get it to like you."

MrCharlie2 said...

For men there is nothing other than the man's point of view.

MrCharlie2 said...

Jupiter ... exactly. We may try to rise "above" that, but it's artificial or pathological.

William said...

Roth said somewhere that his libidinal urges were frequently in conflict with his wish to be a decent human being.......He was a celebrated writer and not bad looking. Any number of impressionable young English majors fell within his orbit. Now they're older and perhaps a little rueful about past experiences. The dark shadow of The Reckoning chills his bones and inhibits his words,

wildswan said...

Roth put in a lot of words to suggest that he was writing about extremes

I have imagined a small coterie of unsettled men [small coterie]
obstinate pressure by its persistence can menace one’s rationality [note "can"]
urges sometimes so intense [sometimes]
may even be experienced as a form of lunacy [even]
the more extreme conduct I have been reading about [extreme conduct]

So he wasn't writing about "men" but about "extreme" male desire, maddened men. He explicitly states that the men he has been reading about (Weinstein and Co,) are parallels with the men he has been writing about. (the small coterie whose rationality is menaced) So in relation to women his writing is a warning bell - you aren't present at all to some men. This is hard for women to understand since it's your body these crazed types want and you who they are thinking about. To us our body isn't an object separate from our self. Nothing happens to it or by it or with it that doesn't happen to us ourselves. But what Roth is trying to show is that for this obsessed kind of man you (the woman) aren't there at all. Don't think you are at all present. And you never will be. Get away.

And Hollywood forced women into subjection to such men. Or rather, as Althouse said at the beginning of it, Hollywood is grinding up young women by making them choose between no career or subjection to Philip Roth type men, Rothmen. When we look at a movie we are looking at women who've been assaulted and remained silent. All of them. And these Hollywood women also have known that young women with no hope of a career were being tricked into assault-encounters aka "meetings" with Rothmen, tricked into accepting an assault as the price of a career and then dismissed without even the career as compensation.

And the point is that this is NOT normal male behavior, it's coterie of obsessives getting worse over the years as they get indulged and standards slip. It all could have been so much better and outside Hollywood it usually is.

n.n said...

Screw a bunch of diversity. You will think what we tell you to think.

Individual (e.g. character) diversity, yes. But, the left's concept of diversity is based on color, sex, gender, etc.

Sebastian said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sebastian said...

@buwaya: "And, especially, how to beat those other guys." True. But we own up to it. Women also compete, but seem mostly in denial.

"Women overthink men." So do many men. Case in point: Roth

wildswan said...

They should make a "Noises Off" type movie where Portnoy's Complaint is being made by a Weinstein type producer and crew who think they are feminist men. Wink, wink. With Meryl Streep portraying a feminist enabler. Wink, wink. And Lena Dunham as the women's issues advisor who emulates the three monkeys. And an unknown from Kansas who leaves Kansas after a tornado and Hollywood after a mudslide.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

The idea that any one individual can portray the "man's" or "woman's" point of view is unrealistic.

I can portray, my point of view and perhaps what I imagine to be someone else's point of view. I, as a woman, can try to imagine the point of view of a man. It may be accurate, but most likely is not. How can I possibly "know what it is to be a man". I can guess based on my experience with the men that I have known in my life, but even still...it is just based on their own unique and individual points of view. Ditto the same for me as a woman, trying to imagine what another woman's point of view may possibly be.

How can they expect Roth to know what a woman's point of view on any subject might be. He would be guessing as much as I would be doing.

Imagining another person's inner emotional view point is a part of being an empathetic person. It is also crucial to being a fiction writer. Even the most empathetic person will 'get it wrong'. There have been books written by a man who is portraying a woman as the main character. Some get it. Other fiction writers are so wrong it is laughable. Same thing with those dopey bodice ripper romances who portray men as so ridiculously one dimensional. The writer doesn't get it. How can they.

HOWEVER........Imagining another person's point of view is also very crucial in competing, selling, war and in trying to win. This isn't a function of empathy where you feel for the other person, but rather a function of accurately guessing what will work and benefit yourself. You don't have to feel empathy with the other...just be able to guess correctly.

The Art of the Deal!

William said...

They slut shamed Joyce Maynard for her take down of J.D. Salinger. I wonder how if that will be reevaluated post Reckoning.......Woody Allen's daughter said why shouldn't she try to take down her father. Salinger's sins were nowhere near as shameful as those alleged to Allen, but neither were they consistent with the highest ideals of humanity.......I'm sympathetic to both parties. Salinger was a shattered vet. He was looking for Esme, some perky, non judgmental girl whose very subterfuges were innocent and endearing. Maynard was looking for some wise elder who could guide her through the turns and counterturns of the dance. She had a good story to tell about her life with the great man. Why shouldn't she tell it?

William said...

The Darwinian Boogie. We all do it. Women do it backwards and in heels not because it's harder but because it's sexier.

Gahrie said...

"Does Roth ever morally condemn any of the sexually obsessed male characters he creates?"

Let me let you in on a little secret...most men are sexually obsessed to one degree or another.

Sebastian said...

"The question was an invitation to see male behavior in terms of the many highly publicized accounts given by women." Umm, no. In any case, he prefers to see male behavior as he sees it. Which in some way converges with the "highly publicized accounts." Which would seem to validate a portion of the "highly publicized accounts." Which would seem to be a very responsive and feministically welcome contribution to the interpretation of the supposed "moment." Even if Roth doesn't pretend to understand What Women Want. That's bad, of course: men should at least try and pretend. But he can afford not to care.

rhhardin said...

Take marriage as a rejection of false autonomy.

exiledonmainstreet said...

When I was 16 I only thought about sex once a day, from waking until sleep. Excepting dreams, of course.

1/18/18, 11:15 AM

I read "Portnoy's Complaint" when I was college. I said to a guy that I thought the part where Alex was going on about screwing everything, including a piece of raw liver, was a hilarious piece of hyperbole. The guy looked at me and said, "It's not hyperbole."

rhhardin said...

DACA enthusiasts: wet dreamers.

dreams said...

I predict Brigitte Bardot will be the next to apologize for criticizing Me Too accusers.

http://www.breitbart.com/big-hollywood/2018/01/18/brigitte-bardot-majority-metoo-accusers-hypocritical-ridiculous/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social

n.n said...

Ask #MeToo activists to take #MeToo seriously, not limited to harassment of conscious and unconscious women, but inclusive of transgender and female chauvinist predators. Also, don't deny due process, forensic evidence, and moderation, in your multi-trimester adventure through social progress.

#SheKnew #SheEnabled #SheProgressed #HerChoice (and choice), not limited to the female sex.

Earnest Prole said...

"What do you make of the moment we seem to be in now?" is a question that can be answered many ways, including from a male point of view attempting to understand the female point of view, and from a male point of view attempting to understand the male point of view. You would like to see the former, while Roth prefers the latter (which you consider nonresponsive).

Bad Lieutenant said...

rhhardin said...
Men's interest in women isn't all fucking. They're mysterious creatures

[Sailing ships--] When a man is in the midst of his hubbub, in the midst of the breakers of his plots and plans, he there sees perhaps calm, enchanting beings glide past him, for whose happiness and retirement he longs -- they are women. He almost thinks that there with the women dwells his better self; that in these calm places even the loudest breakers become still as death, and life itself a dream of life.

Nietzsche quoted in Derrida _Spurs_ p.45


...


Should the Wide World Roll Away
BY STEPHEN CRANE


Should the wide world roll away
Leaving black terror
Limitless night,
Nor God, nor man, nor place to stand
Would be to me essential
If thou and thy white arms were there
And the fall to doom a long way.


Bad Lieutenant said...

God lay dead in heaven
by Stephen Crane

This poem was published in 1905 in the volume The Black Rider & Other Lines.


God lay dead in heaven;
Angels sang the hymn of the end;
Purple winds went moaning,
Their wings drip-dripping
With blood
That fell upon the earth.
It, groaning thing,
Turned black and sank.
Then from the far caverns
Of dead sins
Came monsters, livid with desire.
They fought,
Wrangled over the world,
A morsel.
But of all sadness this was sad --
A woman's arms tried to shield
The head of a sleeping man
From the jaws of the final beast.

Bad Lieutenant said...

And, ladies -


You can be that,

But would rather be pussy hats?


WHY?

Leora said...

I may be misremembering but back in the 70's I seem to recall seeing a piece by a young woman novelist about her date with Philip Roth that was much in the same vein as the Aziz Ansari piece except less graphic. I think her first name was Cindy or Cynthia and her well received first novel explored sexual matters from a woman's point of view. Of course the reach of the "little" magazine was not the same before the social media.

exiledonmainstreet said...

dreams said...
I predict Brigitte Bardot will be the next to apologize for criticizing Me Too accusers."

I believe she supported Marine LePen and has come out against importing Muslim refugees, so maybe not. Once you've put yourself outside the PC pale, why apologize?

Alex said...

Notice how heterosexual male sexual desire is now a thing to be reviled, demonized by everyone! Healthy heterosexual male desire for women is what propagates the species. If you stand against that, what does that say about YOU re: humanity?

Bay Area Guy said...

In discussing the sexual foibles, crimes and misdemeanors of Aziz Ansari, Phillip Roth, Harvey Weinstein and others, I am dumbstruck by a few simple observations from the non-famous:

1. Yes, healthy males have healthy sexual drives towards attractive women.
2. Attractive women don't want to spend their nights alone or with Beta males or dorks. They want to be wined and dined and impressed.
3. And, if you wine and dine and impress them, after a few dinners and movies, voila!, all the stuff Ansari, Roth, and Weinstein are apparently dreaming come true! Mutual, consensual, and sensual.

Is this news to anyone?

Will someone tell these horny frustrated losers to shape up and re-learn how to woo women?

Char Char Binks said...

Why take something that ridiculous seriously?

Lewis Wetzel said...

Whatever the numbers are, I am pretty sure men think about sex more often more than women think about sex. But obsessive is too strong a word. Thoughts of sex don't make men unable to function as human beings. The vast majority of men manage to live their entire lives without conspiring to get a woman alone so they can drop their pants and masturbate in front of her. This is not, as far as I know, a common male sexual goal.
If all men were as bad as some feminists think that they are, there would be no institution like marriage to defile. It was men, after all, who invented the idea of priestly celibacy.
Men are different from women not only because they think of sex more frequently than women, but because they want to think of sex more often than women. There is choice involved. In every stag group I've worked in, and I've been doing front line (not back office) tech work for nearly forty years, I have found men doing things to make them think of sex when there are no women present to make them think of sex. The look at porn and go to strip clubs. They tell obscene jokes and stories. They will sexually speculate about (absent) female acquaintances.
But there are still topics that remain taboo. Talking about wives, daughters, any blood relative in a sexual way is off limits. I suspect this is because there is an instinct as well as a tradition that requires men to act as sexual guardians of female relatives.
Being a pimp is not a typical male fantasy. I have never heard a man say that he really wanted to get into the pimp business.

Will Cate said...

He seems to be saying, "Well, it came straight out of my brain! That's what I think about it."

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