Why Erykah Badu’s Opinion Is Dangerous
Dominique Matti

In re-reading this I wonder however what it is men are supposed to “control”; are grown men supposed to “control” staring at pre-teen girls, without a doubt, in fact it should not even be something that needs to be controlled, “biology” (based on an entirely social period when 13 year old women got married and people died of old age at 30) notwithstanding. Should men control the impulse to touch, demean, degrade, violate women’s bodies simply because they excite them sexually? A resounding “of course!” and, again in fact, most men do not have the above impulses. However do you mean that men should control their impulse to look, their impulse to want to have sex, their desire to approach, interact and, if there is MUTUAL attraction desire pursue a physical encounter? Women should be able to dress anyway they want w/o fear of being molested, harassed, grope or raped. Clearly any normal/sane man agrees with that. However that does not confer a right to control men’s natural instinct to look or desire or approach. Men do not have to avert their eyes, pretend not to notice, nor commit to not attempting to speak/engage/seduce. That is everyone’s right, man or woman, as it is everyone’s right man or woman to decline interaction/conversation/intimacy/sex/relationships/marriage/friendship with anyone they don’t desire those with and to do so without fear or harassment. Along with that comes the recognition that other people might desire those from us, might approach us in an attempt to initiate any of those, that it will often not be the person we wished would do so and it is neither a crime or infringement on our “rights” when they do so. I worry greatly that we burden our young men with terms like “toxic” when discussing their sexuality or words like “control” if it is meant anything but applying the basic concept of mutual respect to any desires they may have. And our young girls while definitely learning to “not shrink and not hide” should learn that they are still sexual beings living in a sexual society and the choices they make to enhance their sexual attraction will by extension lead to sexual attention. All they have is the right to say no and be treated with respect, they don’t have the right to that attention only from whom they want when they want. Let’s not criminalize our men and boys while empowering and protecting our women and girls.

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