University of California, Riverside professor Jane Ward called heterosexuality “tragic,” adding that it encourages men to objectify women, and pulls them into “toxic” masculine culture.
“It really looks like straight men and women don’t like each other very much, that women spend so much time complaining about men, and we still have so much evidence of misogyny,” said UC Riverside professor Jane Ward to Insider.
“From an LGBT perspective, [being straight] looks actually very tragic,” added Ward, who is a professor of Gender and Sexuality Studies at the university.
Ward goes on to say that she feels sorry for straight women, who she says report some of the lowest sexual satisfaction in society. The professor adds that she also feels sorry for straight men, who she claims are pigeon-holed into a “toxic” masculine culture that tells them they need women, but that they also need to demean them.
The article also cites an uptick in divorces and “lackluster sex” among straight couples since the coronavirus pandemic began.
“I think in some ways the pandemic is revealing the tragedy of heterosexuality to people who might not have otherwise paid attention to it,” said Ward, who has also authored a book, titled The Tragedy of Heterosexuality.
The article also lists Ward’s criticisms of heterosexuality, which include, “straight women are the least likely to orgasm during sex,” “rituals like weddings and gender reveals have resulted in literal disasters,” and “heterosexual men are encouraged to objectify women and smother their own feelings.”
One “queer” woman who was interviewed for the professor’s book said that she found it “depressing” to see what her “straight female friends put up with regarding treatment from men.”
“I really sympathize with these women, but at the same time it makes me feel alienated from them,” the woman said. “Our lives become so different when theirs revolves around attachment to a cruel, insensitive, self-centered, or simply boring man.”
When it comes to “rituals” like weddings and gender reveal parties allegedly causing harm, the article cites a California wildfire that was started a gender-reveal party, and large weddings leading to coronavirus outbreaks and deaths.
The article further criticizes gender reveal parties for assuming that “there are only two genders.”
“It’s that 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,” said Ward.
The professor also describes a so-called “misogyny paradox,” which she claims causes straight men to struggle to appreciate and respect women, due to a culture that she says applauds men and considers them to be more masculine for hating and objectifying women.
“I think that if men could recognize that equity and feminism are actually really central to a healthy and happy relationship, if that’s something they want, then they might be able to move further in that direction,” said Ward.