Pussywhipped

Jordan Clapper

This term has served to comically refer to men who are seemingly slaves to the women they are in a relationship with. Though more recently the term has been shortened to “whipped,” the prefix nonetheless stands as an implied entity, the aggressor to this supposedly one-sided situation. The implication is that a man has sacrificed everything in his life and is at the beck and call of a woman, often giving up social functions and personal preferences in order to please her, all with the idea that he will be rewarded with sex in the end. Let me say, as someone who has been ascribed this term by others, you could understand how I might have a problem with what this term implies.

As per my experience, I cannot say that I know if this term is utilized in lesbian or other such relationships where there is not a strict male-female coupling (I defer from using the term “heteronormative” to describe my relationship, because I would not consider it as such), so I apologize if this article may seem a bit one-note.

The first problem with this term is that it is used to describe relationships where it seems that the male is overly loyal to his female partner. From my experience, the conclusions drawn are basically one-sided. When the “whipped” term is used, it immediately takes into consideration only the experiences of the man. Her involvement in the relationship is not even seen as relevant. Does she make sacrifices? How many of his events does she attend? Exactly what is the power ration in the relationship. The term implies the following respective answers: no, none, all of the power is hers. Now, to be fair, there are many relationships with power imbalances, but to assume that a “whipped” man relinquishes all power to his female counterpart is unfair, no different than ascribing ethic, racial, or any other such stereotypes on an individual. Yet with this sort of term, we make an exception.

The term also makes light of the fact that this man has placed his partner/girlfriend/wife/other at the center of his existence. She is! (Or at least should be.) A relationship implies that you have chosen to place this person’s well-being at the top of your priorities (There should be many, “at least should be’s” in this article, so I’ll make this my last one). To do so should not be an emasculating trait. A relationship should be empowering, but it’s terms like this that draw that power away.

“This woman is bad,” is what the term also implies. No matter how empowered she is in the relationship, it is seen as a negative trait. The implication that she should be subservient or willing to relinquish her say in the coupling is equally unfair. Overall, though, that a woman with any amount of power is cause for ridicule, even if she is not the butt of a joke, is a problem.

There seems to be a trend in the ways in which men are made fun of. If a man is weak, he is called a “pussy.” A young boy who is not conforming to his masculinity is called a “girl.” A man unwilling to conform to the same masculinity is called a “bitch.” Even the so called “worst word” in the American vernacular (I know you all know it) is just another way in which femininity is demonized and used as an emasculating agent.

I am a married man. I love my wife. I make concessions to be with her at times, but never at her prodding. I appreciate the time I get to spend with her, prefer it over that of any other person. She can take care of herself, and what I do is neither to protect her or to coax sex from her. Does this make me weak? Maybe in the knees, but not otherwise.

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