McMinn in the chapter on "Sexuality and Culture" describes the "cultural scripts" of maleness and femaleness. They change and modify from culture to culture, and from one time period to the next. She gives the "flannel-graph" narratives she heard growing up in church where men were always in charge and while women were always caregivers and nurturers. She now sees flaws in those stories. In my last post (which I want to discuss further), I quoted McMinn on men who were generally conditioned to expect sex when they experience emotional closeness. This post, I want to post a piece of what she observes about women.
"Throughout history, women have found covert ways to exert power, particularly in relationships with men. Sometimes this averted evil and brought about good...sometimes this manipulation for power brought about evil" She states "Women's use of manipulation to exert power is as old a practice as the patriarchal systems that deny them voice and power. We still see women manipulating men in efforts to catch, keep, and control them."
I am glad a woman observes this. :-)
She talks about affirming the desire for "intimacy" as "good." Then she describes some of the ways in which women "manipulate the system to obtain the intimacy they desire but do not have." She challenges the "sacredly held assumption that men have to be the initiators for relationships to be good, or even godly."
She then describes how women can manipulate by being coy and flirtatious. One of her concerns is the way women use their freedom to dress provocatively or the way they want to get men's attention. She talks about the need to balance a desire to be attractive and sensual with the desire to use one's body in a manipulative way to compete with other women or get men's attention. "Female sexuality is distorted when a women's voice is asserted in ways that put her interests and desires first, at the expense of others, and often at the expense of herself." She notes, "When women are taught to be coy and flirtatious and let men do the talking and leading and deciding, it is difficult for them to assert their voice in sexually and emotionally charged moments." Of course, gaining men's attention in these ways or competing with other women as far as cultural criteria for beauty, they in turn become sexual objects.
This manipulative behavior, obviously, then attracts men who treat women (and don't think Bible believing Christians are immune to this) as sexual objects, men who can't resist their sexual urges, men who expect sex when they experience emotional closeness.