What do women want? According to one University of California at Riverside professor, the answer to the mystery which haunted Sigmund Freud is: other women. What do men want? The same professor believes the answer is that men want to be freed from the straightjacket of toxic masculinity, enabling them to enjoy more feminism and gender “equity”* in their relationships.
UC Riverside’s Jane Ward, author of The Tragedy of Heterosexuality and professor of – wait for it - Gender and Sexuality Studies, gave an interview with Insider last month in which she declared that surveys taken during the coronavirus pandemic have exposed the “tragedy” of lackluster heterosexual sex and the ongoing misogyny of heterosexual men. “She feels sorry for straight people, especially straight women, who typically report some of the lowest sexual satisfaction in society, Ward told Insider. But she also feels sorry for straight men, who are pigeon-holed into toxic-masculine culture that teaches them they both need, and yet should also demean, women.”
Ward’s book has been praised by The New York Times Book Review (naturally) and by something called Bitch magazine, which referred to the book as “a loving lesbian intervention.” She interviewed almost 100 men, women, and “non-binary” people of various sexual orientations about their thoughts on heterosexuality, and concluded that “from an LGBT perspective,” being straight “looks actually very tragic.” It’s unclear if Ward interviewed anyone about non-binary relationships and whether they look tragic from a heterosexual perspective.
As an example, one “queer” European white female told Ward she felt sorry for her straight female friends for having to put up with relationships with “a cruel, insensitive, self-centered, or simply boring man.” The implication is that straight men are typically cruel, insensitive, self-centered, and boring, and that their partners would be happier in “queer” relationships because women aren’t ever cruel, insensitive, self-centered, or boring.
“Straight culture is based in a presumption that men and women are really different kinds of people, that they want different things, that they have different interests, and that they are sort of opposite,” Ward claims. “And they come together sexually and romantically because opposites attract.” No, they come together sexually and romantically because they are biologically and emotionally complementary, not opposites. In any case, Ward’s view is that heterosexuality is not just tragic but also a danger to society, since “binary” traditions such as gender-reveal parties and large weddings have resulted in wildfires and coronavirus deaths.