I have a little article here called “Pornography for Women | Is it merely male sex fantasies warmed over? Pornography“. For shock value today, we’ll study women’s pornography – but first, Chaitanya Charitamrita! Heheheh! Ah, I want to go just a little bit and turn to the some of the more troubling practical applications that are bothering us in these modern or postmodern times.
This comes up because charges have been made that Prabhupada claimed women like to be raped. This is part of the case that Prabhupada is a sexist and a male elitist. Apparently men who rape often claim that women like to be raped, and Prabhupada is quoted as having said this. But actually what Prabhupada said is a little different.
The statement that Prabhupda made in this regard you can find in Srimad Bhagavatam, where he is talking about the nature of sexual desire. In Bhagavatam 4.25.41 purport the woman says:
O my dear hero, who in this world will not accept a husband like you? You are so famous, so magnanimous, so beautiful and so easily gotten.
So Prabhupada says, “Every husband is certainly a great hero to his wife. In other words, if a woman loves a man, that man appears very beautiful and magnanimous.” and so on. Then Prabhupada goes into something that sounds weird, “The husband is considered magnanimous because he gives as many children to wife as she likes.” Who wants children, right? He talks about how one should satisfy a wife. In this regard the word vikhyātam is significant. Vikhyātam means ‘famous’ as Prabhupada translates it. “A man is always famous for his aggression toward a beautiful woman, and such aggression is sometimes considered rape. Although rape is not legally allowed, it is a fact that a woman likes a man who is very expert at rape.”
Notice that Prabhupada doesn’t say a woman likes a man who rapes. The key word is expert. This is the key word. Because as it turns out, there is good amount of literature to document that this is true. I read and heard this charge that Prabhupada said women “like being raped,” but this is why Prabhupada says “expert.” It doesn’t mean being knocked over in a parking lot by some stranger.
So this is old. According to a 1975 New York Times article by an American woman writer, Lois Gould, called “Pornography for Women | Is it merely male sex fantasies warmed over? Pornography” , apparently what turns men on doesn’t turn women on at all. There are certain things that women really like that are sexually arousing. And, you know men buy pornography literature or works of art that cause sexual arousal. What women like men don’t like.
As it turns out, to make a long story short, there has been a lot of research – and this is something that could be investigated further but it’s not really what I want to read about. Men get turned on pretty exclusively by very, uh, this sort of a anatomical plumbing action – a really gross depictions of sex that women don’t seem to like very much. What women like better is a sort of romance with a heavy emotional content and not graphic at all.
Lois described two different scenes from literature and film of what women really like. One is the famous American novel Gone with the Wind which was a book and then became a big movie Clark Gable as Rhett Butler and Vivien Leigh as Scarlett O’Hara, and he is a real guy, you know, Rhett Butler has connections with the underworld, gambling and Scarlett O’Hara is a very willful woman who is in a position of some independence. She has inherited a mansion. This takes place in American South, just after the Civil War or during the Civil War. She has this whole plantation and everything that she has inherited.
She’s very good; she is very independent, very strong-willed, and she falls in love with Rhett Butler and he marries her. She’s a decent woman and he thinks it’s improper for him to let it all go and have sexual relations with her because she is on a pedestal so to speak. But finally they have these big fights and big conflicts, and the main scene is really where he finally picks her up in his arms at the big spiral staircase – cherries up the staircase – and she’s banging on his chest, “Let me down, let me down, let me down!” and disappears into the bedroom and it fades, you know. It’s basically rape, but expert.
And this is one of the things that women universally report as one of the best things they ever saw as far as sexual arousal goes. There are several scenes like this in books and movies. So there is a lot of documentary evidence. Apparently there is some concern to feminists that women are having sexual fantasies which are not correct, that they should not be having; and they’re hoping that in the course of time they’ll learn to change. But anyway, that’s why Prabhupada said what he said. He was not sanctioning rape. I just want to get that out in the open.
Because again he is talking about what is sort of naturally there in a woman, naturally there in a man and we should take it as that. We do have our natures.