Often men’s impulses to coerce and degrade women seem to express not a confident assumption of dominance but a desire to retaliate for feelings of rejection, humiliation, and impotence: as many men see it, they need women sexually more than women need them, an intolerable balance of power.
Of course, the reason it feels intolerable is that, from the cradle, men are told they are better than women and that women exist to serve them: sexually, domestically, and at times, in the workplace. Growing up and wanting something from women and finding out that they can say “no”—despite the fact that they were put here to serve you!—is often extremely distressing to men. The invention of the nonsense word “misandry” goes back to this. Men who fling it about are, in my experience, usually referring to women refusing to give them something they believe they’re owed: sex, attention, placating smiles, demurely wiping tables while the men are talking. When women deny them what they believe women owe them, instead of asking if in fact they were owed these things, they instead lash out at women.
They sexually harass them, which is a way of saying that you have no right to give them no attention, so if you don’t give them the positive attention they desire, they will extract some attention from you, even if it’s just annoyance or fear. Anti-choice men come from the same mentality, I’ve learned from dealing with them. Their anger at rejection from women gets projected onto the fetus, or even to sperm. They convince themselves that there was some sort of patriarchal paradise in the past when women didn’t get to say no to men, and believe that if they could at least revoke women’s legal right to say no to a man impregnating her, they could have those days back.
It’s Really Time For the Harassment to End