If you are a male you would have at some time in your life been concerned about the size or appearance of your penis. The fear of being considered inadequate or different haunts most human beings but there is a particularly deep connection between men’s self-confidence and their genitals.
Men know this and so do women. Sadly, this knowledge has been used to humiliate, taunt, belittle, delegitimize and denigrate men since the time we first walked upright.
I believe this predicament, which all boys and men face, is something women and girls do not have to endure despite the claims that body shaming is something females experience on a constant basis in the media and in their daily interactions.
The first point I always like to make when I raise this subject is the fact that being taunted for your weight is most certainly a hurtful experience but it is something over which every individual has some control and if motivated enough it is something which can be changed.
I cannot recall a time when I saw a character in a movie or sitcom make a nudge wink reference to cavernous vaginas or tiny breasts. There may well have been but this would be a rare occurrence. Derogatory comments about penises are legion in the world of tv and movies.
A man cannot change the size or appearance of his penis unless he is willing to undergo surgery which is costly, invasive and risky. It is, for most men, as immutable a fact as his height, skin colour or shoe size. This makes any attacks on this physical characteristic even more cruel and hurtful than a criticism of ones’, weight, hair style or choice of clothes.
Mockery of penis size and appearance has been an accepted form of behavior in our mainstream media and culture in general for decades.
Hell would freeze over before any media campaign on health and safety decided to mock the physical appearance of young women. It would never be considered.
Imagine a campaign telling fat girls that their risk of heart disease and other related life-threatening illnesses could be lessened were they not so fat. What if such a campaign could be justified with evidence to show it would save lives! Yeah-your imagination is the only place where such a campaign could happen. In fact, we do have endless campaigns, articles and advertisements that present female obesity as normal and beautiful.
Obese men have never been presented as sexually attractive in any magazine or advertisement. The mockery of obese men has never been called body shaming. Women who express their lack of interest in fat men are not themselves accused of body shaming or having shallow values.
Baldness is another issue men simply have to accept with a sigh of resignation and zero empathy or support. I remember when I was thinning in my late twenties how both men and women felt it was entirely appropriate to make comments about my impending baldness -often in the most public of forums which clearly only increased my humiliation and self-consciousness.
I noted that some of the women who made observations about my hair were borderline obese and I often wondered at their lack of self-awareness and what the ramifications of a barbed retort focusing on the size of their backsides would have been.
I know. I would have been branded a vicious, unthinking brute who insensitively mocked a woman’s body. Her unasked-for comments on my thatch would not even have registered on the radar of most people as anything other than a bit of fun.
Back to the penis.
There are endless references to penis size in our culture which every young boy absorbs. Size does matter is regularly used in advertisements be they about chocolate bars or flat screen televisions.
Countless comedy shows and movies make veiled and not so veiled references to penis size and feminists most common retort when their twisted world view is eviscerated by a male is to attack the man’s penis size. Clementine Ford does it on a regular basis.
What brought this issue to a head for me is a rather innocuous weekly tv show titled, Gogglebox. The whole premise of this show sounds absurd but it simply amounts to five or six different families watching television in their loungerooms. We, the viewers, get to see and hear their reactions to popular shows which we all have access to on our own tv screens.
Almost every week, a young female couple (friends) who share a home and another trio of women-a grandmother, daughter and granddaughter make comments about men’s bodies with particular emphasis on their penises. The couple ask each other who they would and wouldn’t “do it” with and the feminine trio deride the size of penises on a regular basis whenever an episode of Bondi Rescue or any other show where men are semi naked is showing. They repeatedly comment on the men’s genitals.
What is stunningly apparent is the fact that the many males, young or old, on Gogglebox, rarely make sexual references about the women they see. My heavily tattooed and very open-minded son stopped watching the show some time ago because he was so disgusted by the endless penis ogling and judging and the even more maddening double standards in play.
The worst example of this behavior occurred only a week or so ago. Sixty Minutes (The Australian version) had a much- hyped interview with Stormy Daniels. During the interview President Trump’s penis became the major focus of the discussion.
As soon as the interview began, the women on Gogglebox were calling out:
“I’ll bet it’s small!”
“Yuk-how could you have sex with him?”
The interview included Daniels detailed descriptions of Trump’s penis which mentioned its size and unusual shape.
This also garnered “Yuk’s” and “Ooohs” from the females.
All of these women are proud and loud feminists. One regularly wears her girl power t-shirt when sitting on the couch and they endlessly deride and joke about men. The others have openly proclaimed their feminist leanings on more than once occasion.
I cannot begin to fathom what would have occurred if a male journalist interviewed a male escort agent who had slept with Hillary and written a detailed description of her vaginal flaps and breasts. Can you imagine the escort disparagingly referring to Hillary’s unusual and rather ugly vaginal flaps and her saggy breasts? Stretch the boundaries of your mind and picture a popular television program which cuts to the reactions of the males who feature in it reacting with disgust to the descriptions and laughingly expressing their disbelief at the notion that any man would sleep with her.
Trump has been depicted naked in statues placed in public areas where hundreds of people have posed with their fingers pinching the tiny penis sculpted so lovingly by the artist. Countless women posed next to it making their disgust and derision very clear.
Now all of this could be considered the simple functioning of a society where freedom of speech and freedom of expression are highly valued. However, when such freedoms only apply to the mockery and denigration of one gender, it must be called out.
What makes the recent fascination with Trump’s penis so ironic is the endless calls of body shaming and sexism being made by female politicians both here in Australia and in America.
Our former Prime Minister, Julia Gillard used the gender card whenever she faced criticism of her policies or integrity. She sat on stage with her soulmate Hillary a month or two ago and they whined in unison about the terrible way in which women in politics are treated. They raised the issue of online trolls and rape threats.
This is a home run for women who wish to be victims.
They know such threats are the hollow rantings of a tiny fringe of anonymous trolls and ignore entirely the fact that male politicians receive threats of violence and intimidation at a higher rate than females. But no-one cares about this kind of abuse. Why is rape an inherently more heinous threat than that of castration or murder? Can male politicians call these very personal and violent threats, sexist? Apparently not. There doesn’t appear to be any category for the online abuse of men other than “miscellaneous” or perhaps, a new category-“shit happens-get over it”
I think what is most disturbing about women like Gillard and Clinton is that they really believe they are being treated unfairly. They are so caught up in the feminist bubble they don’t see even the most outrageous sexism faced by male politicians like Trump. He has had his hair, hair style, skin color, sexual performance, weight and penis size endlessly discussed and endlessly ridiculed and not one person in the media has called it out as being sexist. A female politician can have her policy critiqued or corruption exposed and she immediately brands the attacks sexist. Even more disturbing is the fact that such absurd claims will always be roundly supported by many in the media.
It is insane. Just imagine Richard Nixon calling the journalists who exposed his criminal behavior, sexist. Yet this is the absurd reality in today’s politics. If you are a woman in Washington it is your automatic ‘go to” card when the shit hits the fan.
I know I say this with monotonous regularity but it needs to be said. Try and imagine a “serious” news network devoting whole segments of their program to discussing Hillary’s vaginal flaps with a male gigolo.
This is the level of utter Orwellian hypocrisy we have reached in the western world.
Two years ago a female host of a popular radio show here in Melbourne loudly declared that we should all celebrate the anniversary of the day Bobbitt had his penis hacked off by his angry wife.
I heard her laughing and making derogatory comments about how shriveled the penis would have been after a night of exposure to the outside elements. She said it was a good warning to all men to make sure they keep their woman happy. Her two male hosts laughed and made no protest to the idea of celebrating this vile, criminal act.
I rang the station to voice my outrage after hearing the podcast of the show and to her eternal credit, the receptionist was as angry as I was and promised me she would bring it to the attention of the radio station manager. Sure enough, the manager rang me back and proceeded to apologize for the comments. He said he had no idea how the comments which went on for five minutes managed to slip by the censor. I asked him why the same comments were being promoted on their daily podcast hours after they had been spoken live on air. He had no answer. An hour or two later the conversation was removed from the podcast.
I asked what consequences Chrissie Swan would face for asking people to celebrate the severing of a man’s penis. He said he would talk to her. I asked him if he would simply talk to either of the male hosts of the show had they advocated the celebration of the genital mutilation of a woman. He didn’t hesitate- ‘I would sack them.” When I called out his double standards he simply agreed with me and said he understood my concerns and the different way our society views the two genders in situations like this.
To this day the woman has continued in her job with not one consequence for her lengthy celebration calls and laughter over the genital mutilation of a man.
This same Chrissie Swan was once a contestant on Australia’s Big Brother. One night the women on the show were discussing penis size and having a mighty good time doing it. At one point, Ms. Swan told the story of a time she went out with a bloke and when the time for intimacy arrived she took one look at his tiny todger and decided she would have nothing to do with him.
That was disgusting enough, but only a day or two later, Ms. Swan (who was quite obese) overheard a couple of the camera crew making jokes about her size behind the walls of the Big Brother house. She wept and talked of the body shaming she had endured.
I could not believe what I was hearing. This was the very same woman who decided a man’s penis size was all she needed to know when selecting a possible sexual or life partner. Now she was weeping because someone said she was fat.
I’m sure you understand who gained the outpouring of empathy and support.
You all know there are countless other examples of women mocking the mutilation of men’s genitals but these have been covered in other articles.
I smile when I think of the predictable response my article would bring from any feminist who stumbled across it.
You must have a tiny penis!