Will Men Ever Pull a Lysistrata on Feminists?

"Eradicate men," read a sign at one of the anti-Trump "women's marches" that took place on January 21, 2017.

Alongside footage of women wearing knitted vulvas on their heads (which do not look like vulvas to me, but I have made love only to one woman in my whole life, so what do I know?), women dressed in full-body genitalia costumes, Ashley Judd's speculating on the president's nocturnal emissions, and Madonna's admitting she thinks about firebombing the White House, one sign championing the elimination of men might not seem so important.  After all, George Ciccariello-Maher said he wanted "white genocide" for Christmas and became an overnight hero when those pesky right-wing extremists ("white supremacists") took exception to his sentiments.

But "eradicate men" is a telling slogan because it points to a problem with the entire ethos of the women's marches.  According to the signatories of a collective feminist screed against Trump, the main reason for "resisting" Trump is that he "bragged about sexually assaulting women because, as he quipped, his celebrity made it easy for him to do so."  This refers, of course, to a decade-old Access Hollywood tape in which Trump said in a secret conversation with another man that women will let a man grab their private parts "when you're a star."

Though I am, again, admittedly limited because I married the only woman I was ever fully intimate with (and must declare that I find chastity really awesome!), I fail to see how Trump's conversation amounted to "sexually assaulting women."  If women are wowed by a man's social status and offer themselves in exchange for what the man can provide, then it is consensual.  Of course that is not assault.

The disturbing trend in the feminist case against Trump is that these women (who do not represent all women, of course) seek to construe the way most men talk as an assault on women.  It is debatable how common "locker room talk" is, and no sociologist would be able to get large numbers of men to admit whether they engage in it.  Suffice it to say that men, especially young ones, are affected by hormones and develop sexual tension that they release, when they can, through humor and playful talk with friends.  Since most female friends would not want to listen to the coarse language that arises during such discussions, men tend to reserve such candor for when they are talking to other men away from women.  The tape recording foiled Trump.

Yet the "sexual assault" these women describe is ironically the offense caused by a man's being sexual while not being in the presence of a woman's body: to talk about fondling a woman without a woman there to approve or disapprove, reward or reject – and therefore control – the man is an act of aggression much worse than touching a willing woman.  Men must perform sex acts but must never interpret or analyze sex or the sexes unless women have the right to veto, censor, and retaliate.  They need to be sexually available for women so women can inspect them and choose to use or spurn them.

The central plank in the womanly platform against Trump is a falsehood: he did not brag about sexually assaulting women and most likely did not sexually assault women.  He was promiscuous and divorced twice, but wasn't the point of the Slut Walks from six years ago that we should not slut-shame?  Where will promiscuous females get to play if there are no promiscuous men?  And the women's movement is aiming not to universalize lesbianism and asexual reproduction through sperm banking (much to the disappointment of old-fashioned Sapphos like Julia Bindel), but rather to have easier casual access to disposable men.  Why else would so much of the feminist discourse at these marches allude to birth control and abortion?

Perhaps the hidden, ugly truth is that women are not the victims, but the perpetrators of erotic aggression in the twenty-first century.  It sounds like science fiction, but maybe it's postmodern reality: a large portion of the female population wants to turn men into unfeeling sex robots, available for stimulation when women feel the urge, but thoroughly controlled in terms of what men say and do, even when they are not around women.  To "eradicate men" is not to eliminate male bodies, but rather to eliminate every part of the male will that does not serve women's sexual appetites.

At different points in literature, one finds bold writers uncovering an ancient secret about men and women.  For the vast majority of history, societies have feigned a consensus that men are lusty and women coy, men predators and women prey.  Yet in the Bible's Book of Proverbs, Solomon presents dangerous women with voracious appetites, like this one: "She grabs and kisses him, she brazenly says to him … Come, let's drink of lovemaking until morning, let's feast on each other's love!" (Proverbs 7:13-18).

Ovid got himself in a great deal of trouble because his writings alluded repeatedly to women's sexual rapacity as overshadowing that of men.  In Book III of Metamorphoses, Tiresias is asked by Juno and Jupiter to decide a dispute: who gets more joy from lovemaking, men or women?  Because of two miracles, Tiresias was a male for most of his life but spent several years living the life of a woman, and apparently gaining some carnal knowledge in the latter state.  Risking the wrath of Juno, who hopes to paint females as victims of male exploitation, Tiresias states that women "gain more than we do from the pleasures of love."

Giovanni Boccaccio, of course, ramped up this naughty inference of female lustiness in the Decameron, which presents countless instances of fourteenth-century females entrapping and devouring male ingénus in its one hundred episodes.  The tenth story on the fifth day of the Decameron is the most shocking, presenting a discussion between an old housemaid and a young wife.  The older woman encourages the young lady to sneak out and have love affairs with other men: "a woman is always ready to do it, but the same is not true with men; what's more, a woman can wear out a number of men while a number of men cannot wear out one woman[.] ... In this world, you've got to grab what you can get, and especially a woman, who needs, even more than men, to take advantage of every opportunity that presents itself" (434-5).1

Feminists will object that these are male fantasies projected onto women, but maybe there is a nugget or more of truth to Ovid and Boccaccio.

Five years ago, researchers at the State University of New York announced their findings in a fascinating study that seems to have been buried very quickly by the press.  As the Daily Mail reported, they found evidence that women depend upon male bodies for emotional health for a basic reason: "Semen contains … chemicals along with spermatozoa, including cortisol, which is known to increase affection, estrone, which elevates mood and oxytocin, which also elevates mood."  That is to say, every man is a walking pharmacy with a powerful drug that women crave and suffer without, a natural anti-depressant.  The researchers found that women who used condoms or who did not have sex with men were more likely to be depressed and unhappy.

Given all these data, "eradicate men" is not a harmless little sign.  Men are a natural biochemical resource that these anti-Trump feminists hope to harness and harvest without men exerting any will that might complicate their ancient quest for a natural mood serum.  The millions of women marching in dozens of large American cities point to the possibility that real danger lurks ahead if these succubus-like activists get their way.

There is a way to win against them, and the secret lies with Aristophanes's Lysistrata.  In that classic Greek comedy, women try to stop a war by refusing to give the men sex until they stop fighting.  It is time for the men who are being targeted by these activists – sexually available men with many doses of oxytocin inside them – to take action and go on strike.  (I would do this, but I am irrelevant because I am married to a woman who wouldn't go to any such marches anyway.)  Men across the globe should unite and pledge not to have sex with any woman who goes to one of these "Eradicate Men" marches until the feminists are deprived of sexual satisfaction and eventually come around to admit that these protests are fruitless and frankly embarrassing.

Men wouldn't have to give up all sex – just sex with the marchers like the ones who filled American streets the day after the inauguration.  I suspect that it wouldn't be that hard to carry out a sex embargo, and all men in the world would probably feel much safer for it.

Robert Oscar Lopez can be followed at English Manif, Soundcloud, or Twitter. 

1 Boccaccio, Giovanni. The Decameron. Trans. Mark Musa & Peter Bondanella. New York: Signet, 1982.