What Do Men Want — A Harlot or a Virgin?
The Bible Has the Answers
I wish I understood what makes men tick, but I have no idea what they really want from women.
When Roe v Wade was recently overturned, it brought back a lot of memories shrouded in confusion for me. I looked at the men of the Supreme Court, the male politicians making announcements about their recent victory, and I shuddered with contempt. What the hell do these damn religious men want from us, I wondered.
I took a leisurely country drive on the first Sunday after the overturning of Roe v Wade. I live in a midwestern state where a lot of evangelicals reside. I couldn’t stop thinking about the recent news. I wanted to stop thinking about it, my mind needed a break, but I couldn’t. Every time I passed a church, I pictured a congregation of Trump supporters rejoicing in the Lord. They’d just scored big points for the Christian theocracy. I could almost hear the glory hallelujahs coming from the congregation.
My mind took me places that I’d rather not go. I began to wonder what men really want from women. It seems they want sex. I often encounter disgruntled men who thoroughly believe that they’re not getting the amount of sex or the kind of sex they deserve. Either their wives don’t service them enough or their wives won’t engage in some of their fantasies or they’re single and can’t get laid.
They’re frustrated and angry.
Then there’s those who get it wherever and whenever they can from whomever they want but remain detached from any feelings. Instant gratification is all they want. Or there’s those who chase a woman until they catch her and then lose interest shortly thereafter. These are a few stereotypes, but stereotypes are there for a reason. There are many, many anecdotal accounts of men tormented by the belief that they should be getting lots of sex.
Yet, at the same time, they also want to keep women from having sex or at the very least make them pay dearly for indulging them. It’s almost masochistic.
I was raised in a religious cult. Sex was always on everybody’s mind even though it was demonized. Women were seen as great temptresses, so we were covered from head to toe. Buttoned to the neck and wrists and skirts touching the ground. We only wore gray. I had a closet with four or five dresses that looked exactly alike lined up in a row.
That still wasn’t enough.
The sisters had devised a cape that fit over the bodice of the dress. It covered the spaces between the buttons that might gape and hid our silhouettes. Our hair was uncut and twisted into a knot at the nape of our necks. No makeup, jewelry, or color to enhance our appearance.
We were plain and everyone looked the same.
From the time I was about 12 years old my father began keeping an eye on me. If he thought for one second that he detected the spirit of prostitution in me, normal adolescent interest in sex was taboo, he doubled down on micromanaging my every move. You see, women were either virgins and saints or whores and harlots.
The problem being that men want both types of women yet punish us for being either one.
By the time I was 18 and left the cult, I had never been on a date with a boy. I’d never even held a boy’s hand. With my long dresses, I was still a temptress. It wasn’t just me either. That’s the way all girls are treated by the men in fanatical religions. And, if we married, which we were expected to do, we had babies and took care of our husbands. They made the decisions and we were to remain in subjection to them.
I didn’t like it.
Deep down inside, I began to suspect that there was something wrong with the way the men I knew viewed women. I knew that they had power and I had none. I was at their mercy and there wasn’t much mercy within them.
If I was to have a life, I’d have to leave the cult.
I did. But I soon learned that this notion about women was part of mainstream America, too. Maybe not in such a severe manner as in the closed society of fanatics where I was raised, but certainly there were plenty of similarities. Our Christian heritage is so deeply ingrained in our culture that women are forever limited by their only two options, either a harlot or a saint.
Women aren’t allowed to be sexual beings like men.
There are great restrictions placed on them and devastating consequences as well. Men want sex, as much as they can get, even believe that they deserve sex, but resent a woman who feels the same way about herself.
And when the babies come, oh, my.
So many men disappear from their child’s life. They’re busy taking care of themselves. Yes, many men stay as well but often their heads aren’t in the game. They don’t necessarily bond with the child. Some even resent the time that their wives spend caring for the child.
But what can you expect from a culture that believes that a single woman was the downfall of mankind?
I’m talking about Eve. She brought this all on us. She tricked Adam into eating the apple and ruined his life. From that point on it was a struggle between men and women, with men being told that they were the ones to whom God had given power. It was their God-given right to rule over women. Of course, I’m not the only woman who refuses to obey. My type of woman is always a threat to men and their perceived personal powers.
Women will never be able to please men, because our society isn’t designed for camaraderie.
It’s designed for conquest. The male must dominate, or he loses confidence in his own maleness. The Bible tells him so. Behind every law that holds women back lurks our Christian heritage.
We’ve NEVER been able to keep the church out of the government. Our culture IS the church.
Why do you think it was so hard to get a divorce for years and years and years? Our culture, the church, said divorce was sinful. That’s why. The government agreed with them. The cultural expectations that came directly from the church determined what we were allowed to do, not the laws.
Cultural expectations are better at controlling human behavior than laws will ever be.
Women bore the brunt of cultural shaming for being divorced back in the day, too. They were looked down on by society. The shame of divorce was so great that most people lived out their entire lives in horrible marriages rather than risk the public scrutiny of a divorce. People had to go to divorce friendly states to end a miserable marriage.
That was our culture.
Our Christian heritage determines what is normal, wholesome behavior. Even those of us who are not so religious are influenced by these deeply entrenched ideologies. We don’t even know that we are because that’s the way cultural expectations work.
You don’t question the rules because you don’t even know to question them.
So now we’re headed backwards into a more extreme version of our Christian heritage, but we never lost that connection in the first place. It’s always been who we are whether we like it or not.
Burning women at the stake for being witches while filling the courts and pulpits across America with men is who we are, not who we’ve become.
Men want that 1/10 piece of power back that they’ve lost over the last 100 years. Our Christian culture tells them that’s what it means to be a man, to wield unlimited power over women. It doesn’t make any difference whether it’s from the pulpit or from the courts, men wield the power.
Well, they’ve been trained for centuries to please men except we can’t please men. Men want it all and we can’t give them that. They want a virgin and a whore. They want a wife and freedom. They want kids without responsibility. That’s what our Christian culture gives them. It’s their right to have it all.
How do we change cultural expectations?
Well, it’s almost impossible because most people don’t ever question the culture they inherited through the lottery of birth.
If I’d been born in a culture where women didn’t cover their breasts, I would be working, cooking, feeding my babies, gathering food, and socializing naked from the waist up. Nobody would think it was strange. No one would even question it. I suspect that the breast wouldn’t even be sexualized. It would be such a common sight that seeing a breast would be like seeing an elbow. The culture normalized the behavior and so no one questioned it.
Do you get my point?
Our culture is at the crux of everything we do. It’s the lens through which we see the world. It’s how we interpret reality. It was handed to us at birth. We grew up thinking this was normal. People from other cultures were the weird ones, the cruel ones, the ignorant ones. Not us.
Cutting ties with our Christian heritage will take centuries of social evolution and eons of self-awareness.
We were beginning to see some pretty radical moves toward redefining our cultural expectations in the last few centuries, but it’s far from over. We have miles and miles to go before we can effectively separate church and state.
We haven’t managed it yet.
And, we have even farther to go before we can get rid of the patriarchy. We’ve made unprecedented progress in the last few centuries, but that progress is only faintly etched into our collective psyches. The old Christian heritage is still the dominant force.
That’s why even women will vote for the patriarchy and walk backwards into the old familiar ways of their ancestors.
We’ll never know what men want from us either because they don’t know what they want from us. Mostly they want to keep their power, however. It’s all they’ve ever known. Without it, they feel emasculated. They aren’t comfortable sharing that power with women.
The two sexes will remain adversarial if women keep pushing to have the same rights as men.
We can be a saint or a whore, but we can never be a free agent with the same personal power that men have enjoyed. Why?
In America, it’s because the Bible tells us so.
Teresa Roberts is a retired educator, author, world traveler, and professional myth buster. You can find her books on Amazon.