Earlier this year I wrote about how truly disturbing it is that so many of our insults have sexual connotations. “Fuck you,” is a choice example, but I give lots more in the original post (read at your own risk). I concluded:
…it’s interesting, right, to notice how often attempts to hurt other people come in the language of sexuality. This reveals why sex can be scary, especially for women who are so often positioned as the one who “gets fucked”… It’s also part of how we demean and marginalize gay and bisexual men.
This post came to mind when I saw this confession at PostSecret:
Let me put this in black and white: this person expressed “hate” by exposing another person to his penis. So he considers his penis a thing that can defile. This is the same penis that he puts (presumably) in his wife who he (presumably) doesn’t hate. If I were his wife, I would wonder how exactly he decides when putting his penis in things is a loving thing to do and when it’s a way to harm or humiliate someone.
I don’t mean to pick on this individual. The idea that it’s funny (“LOL”) to expose this woman to his genitalia without her consent is widespread. This confession is just a manifestation of our cultural belief that men can hurt people with their penises. And that it’s funny when they do.
Lisa Wade, PhD is an Associate Professor at Tulane University. She is the author of American Hookup, a book about college sexual culture; a textbook about gender; and a forthcoming introductory text: Terrible Magnificent Sociology. You can follow her on Twitter and Instagram.