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Feminism

I have been considering lately the issue of sexual desire, and when I read this article I was angered by the continued intellectual stagnation demonstrated by the contents.

Male sexual desire is a problem the world over but I think the effects of the problem are much more prevalent in the West because of the nature of western consumerism. I further feel that the lack of resolution of this desire is by political intent – at least to some extent.

What is this problem? There is a desire for sexual satisfaction. This desire can be satisfied out of wedlock, it does not require love. It builds up in young men from their teens, and wanes as a man gets older. For different men there is also a desire for companionship and having children, but all these desires are not constant, they are different in different men. And the problem? What do women do about these desires? This question is fundamental to relationships, and will be discussed in this blog.

Rape is a big problem, and it appears for the younger generation that there is an implied acceptance by most women that they must have sex. If there isn’t a choice then that is rape – a form of rape by social consensus and indoctrination. If it is promiscuity by social imposition then this is just legalised rape.

At the same time within some cultures satisfying the partner’s needs is part of the relationship, within those cultures it is a duty. Basically the women are brought up to believe it is their sexual duty to have sex with their husbands. When younger I met an Indian man, a teacher like myself. His family had some money and position, and his marriage was arranged. When I first met him he was alone and pining for his wife, he became so happy when she and his son eventually joined him it was a pleasure to see. For this family the system of arrangement worked, I hope it still is working. Because they accepted it was their duty to make each other happy they tried.

Compare that with a western relationship, how do people get together? There is no clarity. People meet at discos and parties, and the relationship starts with sexual attraction and how they manage sex; is this sensible? Sometimes there has been a build-up to the party, say for example the office party, where work-based relationships flourish – more stability and depth there. Often there is a relationship established through family and social status (similar to arranged marriages). But it is all extremely messy. The only
constant is that there is a lot of pressure on young people to get into relationships, both natural and social; this is something I saw when teaching in different cultures.

But does western society think about sexual desire other than men lusting for everything in sight? There appears to have grown in the last 30 or 40 years a notion that women lust after men in a similar way that men lust after women; I find this hard to accept. I do not believe male sexual desire is the same as that of a female. Throughout nature there are “courting rituals amongst species” but these rituals are not between likes but a process where male and female interests complement each other. This is not equivalent lust by both. I am concerned that the intellectual concern for equality between the sexes has developed an apparent “lustful” parity in their sexual drives, and such a parity in my view is not natural. If it is not natural it is not stable.

I have one maxim concerning this, if it is natural it is right so somehow it becomes necessary to attempt to determine what is natural. And this is why the feminist charter made me so angry, it never even considers that aspect of nature that women are a part of children and family. So this brings up the question, does feminism represent the interests of women or the interests of society or simply the interests of those feminists?

I need to discuss violence against women; I have mentioned rape already but there is also physical repression by violence. It was these violences that led me to sympathy with feminism when I became a political adult 25 – 30 years ago. Rape is not acceptable, beating your wife is not acceptable but neither is creating such a situation acceptable. If a married man is considering rape or violence then both people in the relationship have to consider the source of that. His desire is almost a complete constant, only diminishing with age, so if rape is on his mind when he is married, why? This is where I feel the lustful parity causes a problem, I do not believe a woman’s lust is the same as the man’s, and if a woman expects only to have sex in order for that lust to be satiated then the relationship will not be stable. Are men innocent? Far from it. But do men in a stable loving relationship become promiscuous, rape or seek prostitutes? In general, no, in promiscuous societies in the West sex outside marriage either consensual or financial is not discouraged, if it leads to family breakdown it is; not getting caught seems acceptable.

This is very much from my male perspective, however much I try to be detached I cannot. I am a man, I have my sexual desires. I am old, and I have never found a satisfactory relationship situation. In the end I realised I had nothing to offer a woman, and to fulfil my spiritual needs I stay alone. I think this is a balanced solution but in the culture I live I am continually questioned. Living alone, where are my children? And it is mostly women who ask this. So how does this fit in with the feminist charter in this article

I decided I had nothing to offer in a relationship. This requires a little explanation but remember you are only getting one side. When I was still trying I paid for a home including a budget, this seemed fair to me. I described what else I wanted and that was agreed. There didn’t have to be agreement but there was. In the end I decided that the agreement was forced. They wanted to live with me and the only way they could do that was to agree with me …. so they did.

To the rational part of me this seems eminently fair but it never worked. So what I was offering was not what was wanted. Why was there agreement? The women hoped they could get what they wanted when they moved in. Life became a battle with their trying to get what they wanted, and my agreement being my benchmark. It never worked.

Significant amongst what I wanted was the peace and time to continue my spiritual develpment. To these women that appeared to matter little yet for me it was more important than a relationship. This was the purpose of the agreements for me. I had hoped the security of the home that they claimed they wanted was enough – it wasn’t. With regards to the limited relationships I had it was never clear to me what was wanted. It seemed that the agreement was a benchmark to push against, a starting point to develop what they wanted from.

I assessed that I could never give them what they wanted. I assessed that the benchmark agreement was a starting point for them to try and get more, and as such there was never a possibility of stability, never a possibiliy for the peace and time to develop spiritually. Because that spiritual drive was stronger in me than lust, stronger than the need for security and whatever else people get from relationships I had no choice but to live alone. Comfortably.

Women tell me I knew the wrong women but did I? I cannot answer that but I have never seen a woman who could accept it. I have met many who say they could but in my view none that could.

For me an essential characteristc of women is to make the best of a situation by “pushing” – inherent instability before a relationship begins. Their lives are spent coping with difficult men, pushing is their way of life.

Now let’s consider the real reason for relationships – children, bringing up the family. And how does this relate to love? A man loves a woman, does a woman love a man? As we grow up our conditioning brings us towards marriage in one way or another. With this a man develops passions for women, the cosmic one, the love of his life, and the woman responds. All her life she has been looking for the right man, the man who will look after her and bear her children. This is very traditional but bearing in mind the feminist article it has more basis in the factual experience of the majority of women than does that of these feminists. Once there is marriage there are children and the relationship between man and woman changes; he is displaced. For that marriage to work – work meaning that they successfully bring up the children – the man has to accept this changing role, and devote himself to the maintenance of the family. In doing this he must work to bring in the money to maintain the family. A man should do this, he should have that discipline but many don’t. In a promiscuous western society men often stray, have affairs, break up their family and lose their homes.

The issue for me, is it just losing discipline? It is understandable that women prioritise their affections towards the children but it appears for some men this prioritising appears exclusive.

Why am I writing this? Firstly I am unlikely to upload it. And more importantly no woman is going to accept any of this. So why write it? I don’t really know. When it comes to certain things women are intractable, this has been my experience. What about truth? As a spiritual person truth is the highest. Where does truth come? Second to what is expedient. If it suits a woman to say she loves, then she says she loves; if it suits her to agree she agrees. The man brings truth to the relationship through his love. Now that is idealistic, very rarely happens, but might well be the truth – I am not sure. Whether he does or not, if it is expedient for the woman it matters not.

Personal

In this blog I am now going to investigate relationships between women and men. To understand where I am coming from here is some personal history – to give perspective.

When I was younger I had great sympathy for the feminist movement hopefully always treating women as equals. When I went to Africa, I had relationships with women there. The culture, and nature of these relationships, were very different. It was Southern Africa where AIDS was prominent, and very simply this was caused by promiscuity. To begin with I found myself overwhelmed by the availability of gorgeous young women for a 42-year-old man. Whilst I had had sexual relationships, mostly serious personal relationships, I moved in circles where sex was not reaidly available. When younger I sought sex and love but I was very independent – this basis was formed by my spiritual needs.

Up until I was 32 I had one meaningful relationship which I initially thought was love. I had a period of maybe two years in which I was “successful” finding different partners in meaningless relationships but mostly I was not sexually satisfied and for me at that time my desire for a meaningful relationship was also not satisfied.

At 33 that changed as I fell completely in love. This relationship was so deep and bitter it altered my relationship goals completely. I was in love but not loved. I became a provider but never found satisfaction. My spiritual desires were dragged down and in the end I was forced to leave after being extremely battered emotionally – feeling the scars for a long time afterwards. In retrospect from the word go I was exploited as I became the provider for the woman and her children, but of course this is just one view of the relationship – from my side. After a couple of years I was still in love but began to assert myself making demands against the exploitation. These were rejected and I left. I would assess that for many my leaving was not socially acceptable as there was a child and 2 teenagers of working age involved, but I was personally suffering and the giving was in one direction. They were left with the home that they failed to maintain, and I had financial burdens as a consequence of this years later.

Following this I still sought sexual relations but not avidly as I was unwilling to be damaged again, and nothing happened. My own hurt and the women I knew through politics meant no sexual interaction. That is not to say political people were not sexually active, it just didn’t work for me.

When I moved to Africa young women actually sought me – for my wallet and the security they thought that brought. I was not looking for love but was hoping for companionship and a pleasant home, African women were very homely – comfortable. All I found was sex and turbulence. That turbulence had enjoyable moments but it was never fulfilling relationship-wise, it was mostly just enjoyable, but risky, sex (AIDS). After Africa there was a brief fling with a Filipina in Oman. Whilst there I had begun to think Asian women were an answer because they had a reputation for a commitment to home.

Later as I became confirmed in my Buddhism I began to believe that religion needed to be at the basis of a relationship, so when I moved to Thailand I moved with hope. But in Thailand I just saw mutual exploitation, the men exploiting the beauty and vitality of the young girls, and the girls taking the men for their money. Obviously there are exceptions but they are few and far between.

In this blog I am making an attempt to look at relationships between the sexes. I believe tradition is nearer an understanding of the way relations work, but that tradition often has culture and family to back it up. Are those traditions close to an understanding of relations? Women and men come to relations with totally different mindsets, mindsets governed by totally different physicalities and emotions. Quite obviously Nature has given women and men different roles in procreation, is it sensible to see equality in everything but procreation?

Feminism came in because of violence, and bullying is never acceptable – bullying of any form. Feminism has changed the way we view genders. The “Victorian” man dominating the home even with the use of violence has been well rid by feminism, at least it is not now socially acceptable. But feminism has brought gender equality, and this appears to me to be an intellectual framework of equality despite natural differences. It is this intellectualism I am primarily attacking here, typical of it is the following interaction. I was discussing with an Australian woman my experiences with the women in Africa, she had never known me there. She came with a preconception of sex tourism. I explained that I had one relationship that was off and on for most of my time, one woman I loved, one woman I cared for, two that were sexual over 6 years. In Australia that track record would not be considered promiscuous even if it was young people exploring, but for her the preconception was all that mattered so after I had opened my heart to explain my relationships she simply said “sex tourism”- an assessment that has ignorance on so many levels. When you have such ignorance being displayed it is no wonder that relationships don’t work. Fundamentally relationships need listening on both parts, and an examination of what is rather than preconceived frameworks that distort. As a man in a relationship I was always the most vulnerable I can be. When in love I was a lost puppy, and in retrospect it seems that love was just used. Being love is the greatest expression a human can give, are men at risk loving women – at risk loving? The world needs love, and the world needs to prepare to accept love. But is it safe to love? ,

At the core we are unity, this is absolute truth. But in life there is separation, and we are on Paths to return to that unity. Are these Paths different for women and men? Traditional religions are dominated by men as teachers and leaders, is it a relative truth that men are spiritual leaders? Or is the practice simply chauvinism?

There are many wise spiritual male leaders but not many women. In Theravada Buddhism this is institutionally defined but is being questioned. Will there be a female pope?