Silvio Berlusconi has been in the news recently for having quite a lot of sex with lots of women in various arrangements and situations (up to the point of driving his wife to divorce him).
Now, personally I don’t see much point in getting hugely het up about this, given that there’s plenty of other stuff to hate Berlusconi for (rampant corruption, electoral coalitions with Fascists, and racist policies spring to mind) but it seems to have been picked up at least in the media. And I stumbled across this article, entitled ‘Naughty, Silvio, but nice one’, the main thesis of which is, look, men just want loads of sex and so we all secretly admire this guy and wish we were like him, because, look, I believe in sexual equality and everything, but men are polygamous by nature and women are monogamous by nature* so there’s always going to be a tension between those two and we shouldn’t worry too much about.
A nice quote is “[Berlusconi’s behaviour] brings a smile to the face and puts a spring in the step” of this Telegraph writer.
And of course there’s the recurrent trope “Men and women are made differently, think differently, act differently…Men are simple creatures and, in matters sexual, are bound by a rudimentary arithmetic. Two women are better than one, three women are better than two.”
Now, this ‘made differently’ is one possibility. But let’s recall Occam’s Razor: if a phenomenon can be explained in a simple way by already known causes, we shouldn’t introduce some alternative cause to complicate the picture. And whatever trend there is of more promiscuous men can be very simply and parsimoniously explained by reference to a known fact.
That fact is that society defines men as people and women as objects. This is undeniable for up until the last 50 years or so in the West, and if people want to suggest that those millenia of history have been entirely undone in the last few decades, well, they can go ahead but I’ll ignore them. Note that both of these definitions are wrong – humans are both people and objects.
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