“Straight mythology demands that the woman be the object, and the man be the aggressor. And, similarly to how a straight women expressing an overt sexual agency opens herself up to violence, a straight man who tries too hard to be hot opens himself up to ridicule.”
Years ago there were a slew of commercials whereby women were inviting men to their pads for a drink. I no longer remember what was being advertised, but the point of the ad was clear enough: straight mythology is just that: myth. Women should be just as free to invite men over as men are free to invite women.
There have been several movies and TV shows that have the guy living over at the girl’s apartment instead of the other way around. The TV show ‘Blindspot’ comes to mind. This is another way the myth is being challenged.
However, the object-aggressor mystique only lasts until two (or more) strangers get to know one another. This is blatantly clear when I watch the opening scenes of a move (or new show) that needs to bring several very different characters together for some team operation. I have been appointed to any number of committees at work where we had to tackle a particular problem. We strangers become friends over the course of our time together. The object-aggressor mystique breaks down as my defenses do. And pretty soon we see each other as persons and not conquests.
Woman and man will become Sally, Mary, Jill and Emma only when Sally, Mary, Jill and Emma get beyond the room of men and start meeting Daryl, Tom, Jerry and Bill. Whenever I go to a party my first priority is to pursue the room to see if I know anyone there and introduce myself to those I don’t. The same is not true when I enter a public bar or restaurant. Here is where the object-aggressor mystique is on full display. Unless I recognize someone, the mystique takes over.
The mystique does allow for the rejection of unwanted attention and to that end it behooves me to dispel the mystique if I really want a deeper relationship.