(cross-posted from my personal blog)
"If women liked sex as much as men, there would be straight cruising areas in the way there are gay cruising areas. Women would go and hang around in churchyards thinking: 'God, I've got to get my fucking rocks off', or they'd go to Hampstead Heath and meet strangers to shag behind a bush. It doesn't happen. Why? Because the only women you can have sex with like that wish to be paid for it."Fry, 53, continues: "I feel sorry for straight men. The only reason women will have sex with them is that sex is the price they are willing to pay for a relationship with a man, which is what they want," he said. "Of course, a lot of women will deny this and say, 'Oh no, but I love sex, I love it!' But do they go around having it the way that gay men do?"
so sayeth mr. stephen fry. (and also here) now, i have no personal affection for mr fry, unlike much of britain. nor do i think as a public persona he is required to be infallible.
but i find his continued perpetuation of this stereotype of women as frigid to be insulting (and even potentially dangerous) for a few reasons:
a) it's just flat out archaic - what're we, in the 1950's?
b) he's a gay guy, speaking on something he knows nothing about
c) it insults women everywhere by implying that we only have sex either passively or manipulatively
d) the implicit passive role of women in sex is something we have fought long and hard to overcome - women have a right to their god-given built-in sexuality, including enjoyment, exploration and initiation of sex. reinforcing lazy stereotypes undermines that message, and diminishes the work of sex-positive feminism.
e) viewing women as undesiring, apathetic, or averse to sex *as part of their biological makeup* undermines the power and necessity of women's active, engaged, willing consent as part of sex.
and if society don't take women's "yeses" seriously - how do we expect them to take our "noes" seriously?!
women have enough messages out there about how they can't/shouldn't/mustn't enjoy sex. we don't need another clueless voice added to the chorus.