Um, Paul?

Did anyone read Paul Sheehan’s piece in the SMH today? I’m not quite sure what to make of it: The secret desires of men, and why they go unfulfilled:

We are awash with an appetite for romantic and sexual fantasy. Call it the Twilight phenomenon. It merely adds to the sexual suggestiveness which permeates our lives. But underline the word ”fantasy”.

Ooh, Sheehan attempts to be relevant with a clumsy Twilight reference. Which is particularly clumsy given the next few sentences are about divorce, that social trend commonly found in teenagers.

And then bingo – Sheehan is a cheer squad for Bettina Arndt, who is herself a cheer squad for old, privileged white men like Sheehan. Aww, isn’t that sweet?

She is a one-woman battering ram against the suffocating excesses of feminist victimology, with its irritating assumptions of moral superiority.

You know, he’s got a point here. I’m a feminist and I certainly feel morally superior to Sheehan.

He then spends a lot of time talking about erectile disfunction and older men who use Viagra. A lot of time. I’ll leave it up to you to decide what that means.

Even by Sheehan’s standards, this is a pretty rubbish opinion piece. I’m not sure if everything is my fault (because I’m a feminist), or if everything is the fault of men who don’t accept that their own declining sexual interest is a part of nature, or if no one should ever smoke, or if people should be nicer to each other, or if he just wants to have Arndt’s babies.

14 responses to “Um, Paul?

  1. “Arndt told me her favourite person in the book is a transsexual, Anita Wolfe Valerio, who became Max Wolf Valerio, and wrote a memoir about the metamorphosis from woman to man.”

    that’s not helping me

    is this book supposed to help me or drive me to celibacy.

  2. I reviewed Arndt’s book for the SMH (should be out this weekend or next), and what I found most striking about it was Arndt insisting on the one hand that there are these Big Biological Differences between sensuous, horny men and cold frigid women, and then showing in the content of her research that there wasn’t so much. Of course, this is a case of seeing what one wants to – in both Arndt’s case and mine – but it does suggest things are more complex than the book’s marketing copy would indicate.

  3. The opinion piece is certainly a mish mash. Just by choosing one topic and giving it more respect he could have produced something worth reading.

    From all the comments I receive from older men there does appear to be a problem with sex between men and women in the later years. I talk to a lot of men who are desperately trying to understand why their wives no longer want sex. I feel sorry for them both as I find it hard to believe that women are happy and well without regular sexual interludes in their lives.

    • Doll, that’s a really good point about the frustration both parties feel. Some of it could be about not taking the time to turn each other on (it’s easy to fall into a rut when you’ve been together for so long), and also about making sure you have physical intimacy without sex (if you’ve been with someone for 40 years, how often would you just pash?). But I don’t think it’s at all useful to point the blame at one side (the women) which is what Arndt does.

    • Also, intercourse is not a human right.

  4. ugh! dreadful, then again I have yet to read any article by Sheehan that doesn’t make me sigh in disappointment that the SMH keeps allowing such a hack a forum for his bullshit…then again we know why, we’ve talked about that before…haven’t we Miranda Devine!

    “The great majority of sexual relationships end in break-up, sexual mediocrity or no sex at all”. Generalise much? assume much? Any evidence base for this sweeping personalised statement or do you only have your own and your mates marriages as a reference point? Doesn’t say much about him and his social circle if this is the case.

    “In the process, she will remind her audience why she is much more popular with men than with women” – yes for obvious reasons! if I was disliked by the majority of my gender I’d have serious cause for concern. The shallow men that may like you Bettina but they do so for a reason, not cos your arguments are so valid and well researched – its cos you argue for them, the men who feel they don’t get enough and they also get a slight sense that you just might put out!

    Arndt comes up with one excellent slogan: ”Give it up to get it up.” excellent by whose standards Paul – not mine that is for sure!

    Oh, and isn’t ‘sexually fallow’ an attractive phrase for an older women not that bothered about sex anymore (reasons unknown – maybe her husband smells!). Clearly she’s now infertile and could do with a spot of ploughing etc etc etc. Yuk.

    PS check out Nigel K Williams of Sydney comment – blimey!

  5. I just had to tell you that I keep coming back to this and laughing.

  6. Pingback: 29th Down Under Feminists Carnival

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