Boys, there is something you need to know, and I need to tell you because it becomes increasingly obvious to me that all but a very few of you do not know it. Women are not here strictly for your pleasure.
There is nothing inherently wrong with noticing an attractive person. I do it. Women all over appreciate a good-looking man, but so much of the male gaze has nothing to do with even appreciating an attractive woman as much as sizing her up. All women are fair game to so many of you, and if you just listened to yourselves for a minute, if you reflected upon your words, if they were maybe presented to you as someone else’s you might be shocked.
It is difficult to have a conversation with a straight man about any woman without her suitability as a potential lover coming into the fold (unless one or both of the men are blood related to the woman in question.) This isn’t an occasional thing, trust me, I have walked both sides of the gender binary. I have heard the once in a while joking among lady friends, and I have been with men, either while not trying to pass, or before I came out, and if a woman comes up, the conversation at some point always turns into a critique and/or speculation of her sexuality. It always turns to an assessment of her attractiveness.
I really do not understand why, in this day and age, you still do this. I am ashamed to admit that I have enabled too many of my straight male friends in this. I know I am partly to blame, along with the rest of us who have tolerated this behavior. It is time to stop though.
So long as you cannot break away from the habit of viewing woman as existing for your pleasure you cannot truly accept them as equals. I know many of you want to be good men, and view yourselves as feminists, step up to the plate and prove it. Don’t just say “I believe in equal rights” look within to see what you have to change in yourself, otherwise the women you love so much are going to continue to be held down.