Why can we perve on men, but not women?

06:08, Jul 26 2013

The exercise gods rewarded me for getting my lazy butt out of bed last week.

I had the morning off and I wanted to stay curled up in my warm bed, but I forced myself to get up for a swim.

And I'm glad I did.

The Crusaders rugby team were also at the pool, warming down after their weekend game.

As they walked to the water in their togs, all eyes turned to stare at their chiselled shirtless bodies. People openly gaped at their rippling muscles, with some wolf whistling and grabbing their phones to snap a discreet pic.


I'm not going to lie, I too indulged in a wee perve (it was impressive!) but I tried to keep it discreet and get on with my workout.

It was only afterwards that I thought about how overt everyone's appreciation of the men was. No-one considered that the Crusaders might feel embarrassed or uncomfortable by the attention.

If it was a team of cheerleaders jumping around in the pool instead of rugby players, would men have been drooling in the same manner? Probably, but I think they would have been a bit more subtle about it and other women would have been clucking their tongues about "perverts".

When a female sportswoman is revered for her body people cry foul about not appreciating her sporting prowess, but a male's sexy body seems to be an accepted part of the package.

A similar incident happened at a dinner with friends recently.

My girlfriend and I were talking about our other friend's younger brother who is 17 and, shall we say, developing nicely.

We were discussing the merits of his muscles, when a man at the table interrupted our chat.

"If that was us talking about a girl in that way, you'd all be calling us disgusting," he said.

It was true.

If they men had been speaking that way about a young girl, praising her curves, I would have been really creeped out.

There seems to be a massive double standard between the sexes when it comes to sexual objectification.

Why is it acceptable that women can sexualise and openly harass young men, but it can't go the other way around?

In the case of the Crusaders, they had the added attraction of being famous bodies (a woman next to me shrieked in delight when she noticed Dan's body among the crowd), but it doesn't just happen with celebs either.

Go to a bar at night and you're likely to see a group of women at a hen's party clawing at young males. They grab them, grope them, call obscenities at them - all as part of the fun and games.

If it was men at a stag party pawing at young females, someone would step in and tell them to back off.

(Although those mobs at hen's parties can get pretty aggressive. I wouldn't want to fight off the maid of honour after a few tequila shots.)

Maybe the double standard has arisen because women are usually at more of a physical disadvantage than men.

Or do men simply not mind (or even enjoy) the attention?

I don't possess a Y chromosome, so those of you who do will have to fill me in. Men - do you feel uncomfortable with the way some women treat you? Comment online, email me or follow me on Twitter.

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