When men and women meet up, some form of performance review happens afterwards. The man sees his boys and gives them a recap. If he did poorly, he either makes the lady look bad or props himself up. The lady does the same with her girls. Women are usually more honest in these things. They’re more into the particulars, into how the man compared to their expectations, his looks, his attitude to them, and even how he regarded people around them.
If all goes as planned, neither party becomes aware of how they’ve been presented to the performance review committee of friends. If it’s a poor date, the two never meet up again and they both disappear into the routines of their lives, becoming just another face at the bar, another number in the contacts list. If they choose to give it another try, the lady might catch some parts of her review when one of the boy’s friends wink at him in approval. Women are usually less transparent if the review was good, but they would show their disapproval if the review was less than stellar. Rarely, though, do these review happen in public.
A tale unfolded on a section of Nigerian Facebook last week involving a guy and a lady who went out and came to air the aftermath of their bad date on Facebook. The details of the drama are too long, the characters too silly to fully recount here. The summary of it was that the two of them met for the first time at the home of the guy’s friends. The man propositioned for sex. The lady declined and went home. She felt embarrassed later—one assumes, because she was made to look easy. She took to Facebook share her embarrassment. She didn’t name the guy, yet he took umbrage at her choice of platform to discuss their failed dalliance. And the rest was yam pepper scatter scatter.
Of all responses to this communications mess, the most interesting was of men who took to Facebook crying about the potential of women megaphoning their sexual missteps. The worst of these wrote mock non-disclosure agreements they intend to present to women who they know online but choose to later meet offline. The inherent arrogance in this is, of course, obvious. The kind non-billionaire man who thinks he’s so good women will sign a contract just to meet him, even as a joke, is one who hasn’t learnt the limits of his hubris.
The more fascinating bit of this, however, is how men are now in a precarious situation. Perhaps, for the first time in their lives they have to carefully judge what happens when they meet up with women. This is an action that is exclusively known to women (or other minority groups). They are the ones who have had to judge the way men perceive them. Both as a precaution, in case they’re meeting with a potential Lekki Liar or a serial killer on the prowl, or for fear of rejection. Men have always acted with the belief that whatever they do to women, during a date, will be without consequence.
This change is partly possible because of the increase in people who have taken shame out of sex. There was a time when a woman admitting to meeting with a man and being offered sex, even if she refused, couldn’t be aired in public without being shot down by people hung up on morals no one really follows. Sex has always been a conquest for men, an experience to be survived for women.
At the first sight of an upset in this relationship, men have chosen to present themselves as victims. It’s good to examine their concerns. The body wants what the body wants, they claim, so when they meet women, they still want to find out if the other party is open to sex. How do we do this when women take offense at a polite request, they ask. What then is consent, they wonder, if we can’t even walk up to ladies and ask if they would like to go to bed with us. Isn’t that what women want? Don’t they desire honest men who will be sincere with what they want, rather than play games with their hearts and jilt them once the ‘box is smashed’?
I remember reading The Power, Booker-winning novel by Naomi Alderman, and feeling an exhilaration at the ability of women to release electrical currents from their fingers, thus becoming more powerful than men. This is fantasy. But in watching the men whinge about their dwindling ability to solicit sex without implications, I caught glimpses of a world where a woman can zap a man who asks for sex without fitting her expectations. This is horror for men, but the reverse has always been reality for women.
So, do men now need a pre-consent to gain consent? Perhaps they do. Mating dances are complicated; why should adult human males have it easy because they have penises and can do whatever they want? Women have always had to gauge the responses of their partners and adjust behaviour to keep themselves safe. Now, with the ubiquity of social media and the rare opportunity it presents, giving women as much power and influence as men, the table is being turned, one shamed man at a time. Men can argue about the fairness of this and blame the feminists all they want, but they shouldn’t expect sympathy from women. If you want sex, learn to preen yourself for the woman to desire like the adult cock you are.
Do you think men are being treated unfairly now? Do you think the nice things men can do is being lost to the overreaction of women? Do you think feminists have not done enough and more men need to be shamed? Let’s hear you speak. Do it freely.