Columns 2017

Fox just seems to attract them

Fox News is really having a rough year. Not as rough as the years women working there had to endure a culture of sexual harassment, but a tough year nonetheless. Yet another employee of the organization, host Eric Bolling, has been suspended for texting lewd photos of male genitalia to women who had definitely not asked to see them. Given how badly this type of activity has gone in the past (can you say Anthony Weiner?), one has to wonder what these men are thinking when they indulge in this creepy pastime.

I’m not a prude. I’m well aware that there are probably some women who find these photos titillating. If they are adults freely indulging in this activity with another willing adult, then it is clearly no one else’s business. It’s when a man sends this type of photo out to women who have never expressed any interest in seeing his private parts, who maybe have never expressed anything except possibly negative interest in the sender, that one has to wonder what they think they are accomplishing. Most of all, in today’s world of the Internet and all its attendant tools, what makes them think it will ever stay private?

I realize there are some men out there who value themselves only insofar as they imagine how impressive the size of their genitalia must be to all women. I’m sure they are shocked when they realize that most women receiving that picture will recoil in horror while throwing up in their mouths. All of which is probably, if you think about it, a better reaction than if the women just pointed and laughed the next time they actually ran into the guy.

So assuming these men know that the women they send this obscenity to are not going to fall over in awe at the sight and immediately demand sex with them, what outcome do they imagine? In the workplace, it would seem that the only real answer to that question is power. Somehow they hope the picture of their manhood will intimidate women into understanding a female’s subordinate position in the workplace. Sadly for these men, that doesn’t usually happen anymore.

Throughout history, the threat of rape and its actual occurrence has been used to dominate and intimidate women. For centuries in Europe and elsewhere, women were considered the “property” first of their fathers and then of their husbands. Except for the very rich and powerful, women simply did not exist except for reproducing. A woman had no right to refuse her husband. If she tried, he had a right to beat her into submission. In some parts of Europe, the lord of the manor exercised the right to take a woman on her wedding night before turning her over to her husband. Talk about using sexual intimidation for power.

In 2017, much of the world has come to realize that women are equal partners in life’s journey and that they are capable of much more than just reproducing. But this apparently still scares some men, many of whom work at Fox.

So just to be clear to any other men out there with an urge to send pictures of their genitals over the airwaves and onto the devices of unsuspecting women – don’t do it. You do not come out looking good. You come out looking stupid for doing something that has already resulted in the downfall of multiple other men. You look small because you either are or the picture has really shrunk you down. You will be the subject of laughter and derision among women who find your pathetic attempt to be an alpha male amusing. And you will probably lose your job when it all blows up in your face because one of the women on the receiving end of the post goes public.

Being a man in today’s world means respecting women, not dominating them. Being a man in today’s world means understanding that a woman is more than the sum of her sexual parts. Being a man in today’s world means understanding that women are equal partners in the journey of life. Trying to impress them with photos of parts of your body that no one thinks are as amazing as you do is not the way to get to first base with most women.

Your genitals are not what make you a real man. They are what make you male. A real man is so much more than the sum of his genitalia.