Women always complain how hard it is for them to exist in the world where they can’t be out without facing harassment in the form of hungry stares and catcalls from men. Men drooling over women like dogs, they would say, are sick members of the misogynistic society.
Let’s examine in this post 1) why men stare at women, and 2) how far women are justified in their claims of harassment of this form.
Why do men stare at women?
It is instructive to read Sexual Economics by Roy F. Baumeister to understand what follows in this post better.
In the sexual marketplace, women are the ones holding the resource called sex. The resource that men desire. Women trade sex for commitment from men (which comes with wealth sharing and/or protection from men).
That is economics applied to the realm of sexuality; and explained by Roy Baumeister as sexual economics.
Women are the “sellers”, and men are the “buyers” in the sexual marketplace. Moreover, it is a seller’s market. Meaning, there is always more demand than supply of sex, putting women (sellers) in a powerful bargaining position. Consequently, it is to women’s advantage to be passive in the sexual marketplace while men have to be super active.
If a woman actively seeks to trade her sexual resource, the value of her resource would go down. On the other hand, if more men want to “buy” her resource, she is said to be commanding high value.
In normal language, a woman who actively seeks men for sex is seen as low value woman. And if many men desire a woman, that woman is a high value woman.
Since there are always more men desiring sex and ready for it at a given point of time than women, it is to women’s advantage to stay passive and allow men to approach them. That is why men approach and women decide.
Make no mistake, women want to be approached by men. If men did not approach women, evolution would fail and humans would soon go extinct.
Now imagine yourself as a buyer. Buyers screen products on offer. The sellers, especially in the seller’s market, don’t need to look at or solicit the buyers, but the buyers would compulsively scrutinize all sellers and their products to get the best deal. They even window shop when they don’t want to buy. They may not be in a position to buy certain product that they desire, but they would look at it when it is on display. That is the buyer’s mind. And men are the buyers in the sexual marketplace.
That is essentially why men stare at women. It is not harassment from men’s point of view. It is the biological design of nature that keeps the species alive.
It is the same force that makes men stare at women makes them approach women. And women want to be stared at and be approached by men. If not, they wouldn’t be carrying themselves the way they do.
Why do you think they show so much skin wearing revealing clothes? And the use of cosmetics to make them look attractive is just a seller’s tactic to draw more potential buyers. Women spend so much on looking attractive that nearly half of their attractiveness is fake, a result of cosmetics.
So why do women rail against men staring at them and catcalling them?
Have you seen a bum being shooed away from a shopping mall? Now you would know why.
Women want attention from men. They want to be stared at and be approached by men. But not just any man. Women want the attention of the men who they perceive to be of high value. Their attention whoring is to compete for high value men in the sexual marketplace.
Women can’t admit this. Hence the hypocrisy and double standard.
If a woman is stared at or is approached by a low value man, she would cry harassment and call the man pervert. This is their strategy to keep the low value men away.
If a high value man stares at a woman, he is deemed interested. If a low value man stares at a woman, he is pervert.
That has been, and is, the evolutionarily successful strategy for women.
You may also like my companion post: Rape Through the Lenses of Sexual Economics.
This article was originally published on Max Newman’s blog. Follow Max Newman on Twitter.