“not deep romantic love”≠ “soul-sucking evil”

I keep seeing people who are– very justifiably and understandably– concerned about straight men taking advantage of women they have sex with, but who direct that concern and suspicion specifically at men who ID as aromantic, and like…

setting aside my doubts about how many such unscrupulous aro-as-an-excuse men actually exist…

Are we really back at “Casual sex is evil” and “Ladies, if he won’t buy the cow, don’t give away the milk for free”? Do you really think that the only way women can expect a basic level of decency from their partners is through Big Serious Romantic Love?

If we’re going to talk about manipulation tactics and justifications for shitty behaviour, do you really think men who (are in/say they’re in) Deep Romantic Love are necessarily safer?

Societal pressure to have casual sex can cause people a lot of harm!

Societal pressure to find True Love and be in a devoted, monogamous long-term relationship can also cause a lot of harm!

(And manipulative people can and will spin any kind of societal pressure to their advantage.)

Women are disproportionately harmed by both these and other societal pressures around sex and relationships, because sexism.

Aromanticism isn’t the problem here.

I understand why, under the right circumstances, “men who want to have sex with you but don’t love you” sounds like “evil scary men who want to take advantage of women”, believe me, I understand. But again, under the right circumstances, “men who are So In Love and want to do every romantic thing and want you to be So In Love with them too” is also something that can be manipulation.

And which type is more prevalent or more likely to harm you mostly just depends on where you live and who you associate with, and I don’t think either one of them is categorically worse than the other.

 

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