Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Hallowe'en -- The Critical Analysis

First off let me start by wishing everyone a happy belated Hallowe'en to everyone. Whether you went trick or treating, stayed home and gave out candy, went to a costume party or watched The Rocky Horror Picture Show, I hope that you celebrated my favourite holiday of the year in style. Secondly, I was planning on posting this blog yesterday and was almost finished typing it all up and then the power went out and I lost it all. At first I was worried about the power going out on Hallowe'en of all days, I assumed foul play. I narrowed my list of suspects to: Jason Voorhees, Ichabod Crane, An American Werewolf in North Bay, or Tim Curry in drag. I was relieved when the power came back on and nobody in my house was found murdered or doing the Time Warp. Thirdly, I'd like to wish all Catholics out there a Happy All Saints Day!!! The religious holiday invented to counter yesterdays pagan activities. As a non-practicing Catholic, I pray to Saint Christopher, the patron saint of travelers, often. So if you happen to be praying at all today, give me a shout out in your words to the big guys upstairs!!!

So after that long winded and non-sequitur introduction, I'd like to get into the topic that I was intending all along, my night out for Hallowe'en, which through the magic of hyper-linking by clicking right here if you haven't already given that a once over.

In that entry, I alluded to the fact that I had my ass grabbed a number of times throughout the evening. Most of the grabbers were women, and most of them complete strangers to me. Now, I'd be lying if I said that my more egotistical side completely loved the attention, but the more critical side of me got to be thinking. What if I were a woman? If a man grabs at a woman that he doesn't know then he is a complete creeper and would more than likely find himself on the receiving end of a beat down by some chivalrous goon. Yet when a woman is the groper instead of the gropee, it is somehow ok. How is this different?

About a year ago we were all treated to Debra Lafave saga. For those of you unfamiliar with her story, she was a teacher who had an affair with a 14 year old male student. She was sentenced to a mere three year house arrest and a seven year probation (You can read her Wikipedia entry by clicking right here). So I have to ask, what if she was a man having an affair with a 14 year old female student? Whenever a male teacher or person of authority has sexual relations with a student then there seems to be no charge harsh enough. How is this different?

I have to be honest with you on this one, when you first heard the Lafave story, I first thought "Good for him!!!" as I'm sure many of you did too. When I was a horny 14 year old I would have been thrilled to be:
a) Had a sexual partner other than a stack of magazines
b) Had one as attractive as Lafave
I can understand where the teen was coming from, hell I'd probably take either of those two opportunities as a horny 23 year old, but that's a story for a different entry. But I have to also ask, how many 14 year old girls have crushes on any of their teachers or other male authorities? Probably a lot. How is this different?

Somehow a woman grabbing a man is different than the man grabbing the woman. Somehow a woman abusing her authority to have sexual relations with a teenager is different than a man doing the very same thing. There is a clear double standard on the issue here. Many would say, it is against men, but I would turn it around and say it is in fact against women.

A man in a tutu getting randomly groped, and a teenage boy having sex with his teacher are seen as being willing participants. Consent is implied based on gender. Men are pigs after all, and want sex at any time. Where as a scantily clad woman getting randomly groped, and a teenage girl having sex with her teacher are seen as victims. They are seen as meek victims under the oppression of some predatory male. In all scenarios it is the man who is empowered, either as a free sexual being or a fulfiller of the fantasies. And the women, who are disempowered, preyed upon by a grabby man or manipulated by some tyrannical educator to perform their sexual whim. How does this view favour the woman?

I find it sad that in our so-called modern, advanced, equitable society that we can still have such a glaring double standard when it comes to the perception of women. Women are not just meek, tame creatures being preyed upon by men everywhere. There are some women out there who are just as capable of violating someone as a man is. However, in order to recognize this you need to give women the same amount of sexual empowerment that a man has.

I just looked back at how much I have written and it seems like this is getting long. I feel like I could go on about this topic for quite a bit more. So, in the interest of everyone I’ll just stop right here. If you want to talk more about this issue please hit me with a comment.

Until next time,


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