Can the way men view women really affect the way we view ourselves? Of course! It can and it does. Many individuals shudder at the term “sexism” because we tend to shun the idea that men intentionally degrade women. But, sexism…like racism and many of the other -isms…often comes from someplace under the radar. It’s not always intentional and that’s one of the reasons why it is so difficult to stop. Often times the worst perpetrators are the individuals that aren’t even aware that they are participating in a social injustice. Unwittingly, they become the force that perpetuates the lies that we tell ourselves about each other…the stereotypes that we buy into…and the actions that we submit to.
Today I’m talking about lust and how it’s favor with so many men as a healthy and masculine past time can cause women so much grief. So what is lust? Lust is the sexual desire that we allow to control our minds and actions. It’s a severe problem that many young men (and some women) are often faced with these days. They are compelled to dabble in pornography, hopelessly ogle every passing woman, make unrequited advances and put pressure on their partner to submit to their whims of fantasy. Why? Because in today’s technological age, in a world flooded with naked flesh and machismo (not relegated to Latinos), we have men growing up with no control over their own emotions or desires. These days there is little chance of impulse control for any Americans. We are used to instant gratification and getting it our way. Be it television, internet or other means, we want it now and we want it on our terms. This doesn’t bode well for men growing up in technological age that is still fueled by the sexist pursuits of the previous millennium. It doesn’t bode well for women either. We are surrounded by a world that is essentially caving in on us. The media purports it’s views on our features, our fashion, our sweetness and our ability to “please” men, emotionally and physically. We are faced with the recollection each day when restaurants choose to hire only eye candy, television shows complain about baby weight and pornography tells men what they should expect from a woman. It is forced on underage boys who are told they need to “man-up” and “stop acting gay“. God forbid, what would we do if our society created sensitive, caring men who value women rather than treating them as party favors? But the fact is, these men do exist. They are out there in numbers, loving and not using women, raising confident daughters and responsible sons. We may not hear about these men often, but they are a growing community and hopefully one that will continue to support each other in a society where sex sells and money rules.
In a world where women are always being put into competition with each other and made to feel that one image surpasses the other or will garner more attention, what are we to do? Young women especially, who are growing up in a generation that has seen nothing else and takes these views as the norm. What about the young men who don’t realize the impact their efforts could have on the out look of women, or realize that we become what they expect of us, even at the expense of our own self-worth. Women have to be stronger and men do too. We will put aside our worries about not being “good enough”, if you can put aside your worries about fitting in with “the guys” and just be the strong, caring men that women need.
Hola! I’m Chantilly Patiño, mom to a multiracial Latino family, living in South Texas and we’re proud to share the food and culture of the place we call home. ❤ Questions or comments about the blog? You can email me at Hola@BiculturalFamilia.com. For Brand Partnerships, click here.