'You just can't go your whole life being told that the worst thing you could do is be like a woman and expect to actually like women at the end of that.'
A video going viral on TikTok this month features a therapist sharing the most eye-opening thing she learned about men: "Men don't actually like women," KC Davis—a licensed professional therapist who goes by @domesticblisters on the video-sharing platform—says in the video. Revealing that she learned this particular theory in college from her human sexuality class professor, she said: "He said that the way our society socializes boys to 'become men' is not to tell them how to be men. It's just to teach them how to not be women."
Davis went on to share a few examples of how this plays out in the upbringing of boys: 'Don't cry. Be a man,' 'Don't be a pussy. Be a man,' 'Don't be weak. Be a man,' 'Don't be sensitive. Be a man,' 'Don't like those things. Those are girls' things,' etc. "And the tool we use to do that kind of socializing to steer them away from feminine things is, shame," she explained. "And you just can't go your whole life being told that the worst thing you could do is be like a woman and expect to actually like women at the end of that."
"They are also taught that their sexual attractiveness to women and ability to get women is a status symbol in front of other men," Davis continued. "So they will sexually pursue women, but they don't actually like them as people. This is how patriarchal masculinity socializes men, and why shame, violence, and disgust are so intricately linked." In a follow-up video, she explained how this same theory also explains homophobia. Responding to a comment that stated "most homophobia is hatred of femininity," Davis said: "This is absolutely true. This professor went on to say that the real cause of homophobia is not a hatred of gayness but a hatred of women."
"When the worst thing you could be as a man is to be like a woman and you view gay men as being effeminate, as being receptive in the sexual interaction, then that's the most abasing thing you could do as a man. Men will fetishize lesbian sex and feel a deep discomfort and disgust at gay male sex. A disgust so deep it leads to violence," she continued. "Watch anyone joke about prison sex and the shame isn't that you might dominate another man and have sex with them because 'if you starve anyone long enough, you'll get it somewhere.'"
"The shame is that you might be someone's b*tch. You might be the woman in that sexual interaction. This is so deeply socialized into men, you can ask the most enlightened, feminist, cis-gendered, straight man you know how they feel when they view lesbian sex vs how they feel when they view gay male sex and 90% of them, if they are being honest, will tell you they feel a deep discomfort at the gay male sex that they don't feel for the lesbian sex. They may hate this about themselves and know it is homophobic and misogynistic, but it's still there," Davis concluded.
Speaking to Forbes about the "crushing effects of patriarchy on men and women today," Terry Real—a renowned couple’s therapist, lecturer and bestselling author—said: "We all live under patriarchy. That's an old-fashioned word and it was, until the current climate, that if you said the word 'feminist' people would head for the door. If you said 'patriarchy' people would start to snooze. But now things have become so reactionary, culturally, that people are picking up the sword again of feminism."
"We all live under patriarchy, which is a rigid dichotomy of gender roles. And we all know what the dichotomy is. Traditionally, men are supposed to be strong and feel independent, unemotional, logical and confident. Women are supposed to be expressive, nurturant, weak and dependent. One of the things I say about those traditional gender roles is they don't make anybody happy and they don't make for intimacy," Real added. "What I've seen is that the essence of masculinity is contempt for the feminine. Misogyny and masculinity are flip sides of the same coin. What it means to be a 'man' today is to NOT be a girl. Not be feminine. The contempt for the feminine is part of the patriarchal culture."