Many of us are taught as children that we are all equal: Men and womenSpread are of the same notion and devotion. We are born as one. We share all rights together.

We suffer together.

Do you think that idea of equality is true, or are there internal differences that place one gender over another either viscerally or demonstrably?

Are there certain mandatory body positions of power and submission that require one gender to take a lesser position of human stature in order to be served?

Does the mere knowledge of one gender’s propensity over another for creating a submissive position create unconscious inequality and separateness?

When you think of spreading your legs — and I’m not just talking about sexually — which gender is more required to get on their backs and open their legs in the most vulnerable position the human body can create?

Is there power in spreading legs or is that position seen as a universal human indicator of weakness and open submission?

31 Comments

  1. It sure is quiet today for such a provocative post, David!
    I think women are, by body, more submissive because of medical needs and birthing children. There is power in that position but many men see it as submissive and not powerful.

  2. Hi Anne!
    I’m beginning to think that posting on the weekends is no longer a good idea. The traffic and comments don’t equal the effort it takes to be provocative. It seems to be a smarter use of time and effort to post new stuff over the five day work week only.
    😀
    It does fascinate me that men are not often placed in the same vulnerable spread-legs body position as women. Does that mean we have a division of power based on anatomy?

  3. I understand your sadness about the comments and I don’t blame you. Why post if the comments aren’t there? Maybe you’ll just post and not allow comments? Then you’d post more maybe because you would not have to respond to comments?
    Yes, women, by the definition of our bodies, are more stereotypically vulnerable and that can be a blessing or a curse dependent upon those viewing you in space and time.

  4. Anne —
    I have flirted many times with turning off comments and then just posting three posts a day as regular readers of this blog already know.
    Blogs are ever-changing and in-motion and the time might be nigh to make such a change. I don’t post more than one article a day right now because I don’t want to lose the perspective of the post, but if comments are dying, then it may be time to turn them off and just post more “editorial” articles instead.
    I appreciate your honesty about gender and body position discrimination. It does wildly fascinate me when we judge each other on anatomy alone.

  5. The ‘concept of spreading legs’ is crudely known as the position of submission for women in sexual act. But it is also the position when women give birth to a child, naturally.
    The idea of equality/ inequality is perceived as true, but basically a myth – because men and women complement each other, they don’t compete. At least, they should not.

  6. Katha!
    Thank you for your blunt comment. I agree women are unfairly stereotyped by some men as “wet holes” and access is provided by the spreading — but is there something deeper and more ominous going on here?
    Are women created and born to suffer in subliminally submissive positions in order to serve the full demands — and virtues — of their bodies?

  7. Hi David!
    The female species, capable of giving birth naturally, are genetically and physiologically programmed to ‘suffer’ in this ‘legs spread’ position.
    Can we see it in terms of good, bad, right, wrong, black, white…? I think, this is something which can be called ‘gray’.
    Women have power to decide whether they want to ‘suffer’ in this position or not, and in today’s date – they can, or they may not.
    May be a million years from now, someone will discuss the agony of a ‘close legged position of the other gender’ – which will be normal/stereotypical then!

  8. Interesting topic …………
    Again I am the odd one out here – the missionary position never did anything for me at all – even early experimentation was me on top !
    My four children were born with an element of elevation – the last two I was standing up – gravity helps !
    However when I was seriously ill , flat on my back and frequently under examination has to have been the most *disturbing* situation I have ever been in – and certainly one that made me feel very vulnerable.
    I am of the opinion that as women give birth – and because men *want us/need us/ need sex* so much that we are actually in the position of power – we can say NO.
    I think alot of men resent this unspoken power we have over them.
    I also realise that there are very few women who think like me on this issue.

  9. It’s my understanding that women are physiologically more susceptible to the gynecological problems which lead them to go for a regular medical check up.
    Allowing an outsider to examine very intimate body parts can be extremely uncomfortable and frustrating regardless of gender, but again a day might come when an internal medical check up can be done in a completely different way…who knows?

  10. Nicola!
    Okay, so the missionary position is out — but if you want to experience “traditional sexual penetration” — aren’t you required, as a woman, to at some point spread your legs to allow the experience to unfold?
    Men can have intercourse and penetrate without needing to spread their legs, right?
    I agree woman are powerful — some mothers teach their young daughters “you’re sitting on a pot of gold” in order to let them know about the tremendous power between their legs — but I do wonder about men who ritualize sex into submissive and dominate codes that can lead to stereotyping of body positions that may have nothing to do with the reality of the act but still indiscriminately colors a woman’s vulnerability.

  11. Hi Katha!
    I know women who must visit a doctor every two months for gynecological exams because of internal troubles. The stories I hear about the ordinary humiliation of the necessary experience creates hard-to-heal tender moments of total vulnerability and submission.
    Men don’t have that same sort of experience — even while checking for hernias for testing for prostate trouble. They’re either standing in the first case or bending over in the second – both positions allow for relatively easy “escape” and control if threatened.

  12. Hi Katha!
    I guess you’re helping confirm there is an inequality in vulnerability when it comes to gender.
    Women, when it comes to the insertion of medical implements at least, have it much harder than men do on a routine basis.

  13. I am helping you to confirm the inequality in vulnerability when it comes to medical examination. 😀
    The women may not want to give birth to a child in that vulnerable position, men do not need to.
    Women can say “No” to sex, so do men.

  14. Giving birth in the supine position is an unnatural birthing position. This position was apparently popularized by Louis XIV in France, who was a voyeur and wanted to watch the births in his court without their knowledge of his presence. This position caught on because it was associated with upper classes and therefore imitated. This position was further popularized by the introduction of forceps in 1560. Women who deliver in a physiological normal position, such as standing or squatting, are much less apt to have perineal tears and are more likely to have normal, non-surgical second stage labour. Lying supine while pushing out the baby is a position that is actually unfavourable for birth because this position brings excessive pressure of the delivering baby into the posterior vagina, and it decreases the diameter of the pelvic outlet. The squatting position also keeps the pregnant uterus off the major blood vessels leading to the heart. The blood supply from the mother to the baby is improved during squatting, resulting in increased safety for both. So you can see that giving birth spreading your legs on your back is indeed giving away your power as a woman.
    As for the missionary position during sexual intercourse … In the animal world turning on your back, and exposing the vulnerable areas indeed indicates submission. From a perspective of a women this could also be the case when you have intercourse unwillingly. However during intercourse between two people who love and desire each other this takes on a different perspective. Surely during such a sexual encounter one may begin with the missionary position and end with it, but in between will vary the positions as the urge takes the couple without any feeling of submission? In a balanced relationship giving and receiving happens in a natural exchange of energy, just as naturally as the during the day the sun is dominant and during the night the moon is dominant. Much therefore depends on the relationship whether spreading your legs and receiving the man is submissive or not. Being vulnerable is being open. To receive anything one must be open to receive. It can indeed be wonderful to receive the man you love from a position of mutual strength, then it is receiving pleasure.
    In classical masculine and feminine terms the man is designed to give and the woman to receive, but not as a signal of submission, for in receiving the woman transforms what is received from the man into a new creation. Thus for the woman receiving becomes also a creative act when in mutual harmony and vision with a man.

  15. Just a point, I only learned recently:
    If you study JiJitzu, the “prone” position of on your back, legs wrapped around the aggressor is actually the preferred position. It’s harder for the person inside of your legs to escape than it is for you to change position. This is actually true in most martial arts.
    It puts you in the control point, with the higher ground.
    So no, that’s not necessarily the “weak” or “submissive” pose at all 😉

  16. I agree with most of what Sophia said.
    Do you think that idea of equality is true, or are there internal differences that place one gender over another either viscerally or demonstrably?
    I think that idea of equality is true yes. I’m not sure what you mean with the second part of your question though..
    Are there certain mandatory body positions of power and submission that require one gender to take a lesser position of human stature in order to be served?
    I guess you’re referring here to the ‘mandatory body positions’ that female patients ‘have’ to take on in hospitals when giving birth or when getting gynecological exams. First of all, these positions can’t be forced to any human being, because everybody has free will and the right to refuse. However most women feel probably obliged to do as the doctor tells them and therefore indeed take on a lesser position than the doctor to serve his wishes. Though it is totally unnatural for a woman to spread her legs apart just like that for a stranger because it is a very sexual (and vulnerable) position for a woman. Women instinctively spread their legs when they are horny (the wider, the more horny). During gyn exams, women are usually placed with their legs as far apart as possible. Everybody justifies it, because it is a socalled medical exam, but the body doesn’t know that and therefore may feel vulnerable, humiliated and raped. I don’t understand therefore why women submit to this, but that’s another story.
    In your question here, you seem to suggest that these socalled mandatory body positions are necessary, which it is not. It is purely the wish of the (male dr who invented this for women) doctor to have his patients in this position for his comfort and certainly not for hers. Women do not have any ‘more’ medical needs than men, not even for birthing children. This idea was born out of the patriarchal mind and now everybody seems to believe it. So women are NOT required to be in a submissive position to stay healthy or give birth.
    Does the mere knowledge of one gender’s propensity over another for creating a submissive position create unconscious inequality and separateness?
    Yes, I believe so. That women allow themselves to be in this position for medical exams and giving birth does make them unnecessarily submissive, despite that they may like to give it a twist and think they are strong, they are not (in that position).
    When having sex, I think it does make her submissive as well when she does it with someone ‘just for sex’. If it is a loving relationship and there is real respect, then sex doesn’t have to be a dominant-submissive roleplay. If the guy, however, still sees it as if he is ‘taking’ her, then I don’t think there is real respect involved there. The guy should always adapt to her rythm and should make her feel that he will only enter her when she wants it.
    When you think of spreading your legs — and I’m not just talking about sexually — which gender is more required to get on their backs and open their legs in the most vulnerable position the human body can create?
    As I already said, it is a woman’s instinct to spread her legs when she is sexually turned on. Apparently men do not have this instinct, so the woman will indeed be more likely in this position. In non-sexual situations, like medical settings, we also see that women are more often placed in this submissive position than men are. This definetely indicates that the two genders are not treated equally. Doctors just assume that women ‘don’t mind’ and are supposedly by nature submissive, so therefore the submissive position they place women in, is easily justified.
    Is there power in spreading legs or is that position seen as a universal human indicator of weakness and open submission?
    I don’t think there is any power in this position when strangers are involved. But when man and woman are having sex privately, and see each others as equals then the role of the woman is about receiving and that of the man as giving, this is not the same as one being submissive and the other being dominant. For that there has to be real love between the two when having intercourse, if not than I do see it as one being more dominant over the other.
    Therefore I also think that sex (with intercourse) is meant to be based on love. It’s easy to make up a philosophy where you believe that women are by nature more submissive than men, because you have seen her many times in this vulnerable position. But maybe it is the culture that we live in that turns her into a submissive being, rather than that she was designed to be submissive. If you could truly love and respect women, then you would realise that those med exams are wrong and disrespectful, so is porn and so it is when you’re ‘f*cking’ a woman.
    [Comment edited for content by David W. Boles]

  17. You women need to shut up and stop whining about being “vulnerable.” This is feminist cr*p. You know that you want to spread your legs and have sex, you want it just as much as men do, but you just aren’t as honest as men are about it. This is why single women go out to bars and clubs and the like, looking for some hunk that will give them a boning of a lifetime. Stop the lies about the vulnerability crap, you know that you want to get banged as bad as we want to bang you. Its nature!!
    [Comment edited for content by David W. Boles]

  18. That’s interesting. My husband loves when I am on top. He prefers the visual.
    I like different positions at different times. It may be relationally tied, as in sometimes a woman wants to be submitting and other times she may not. In bed, we both like submitting to one another. In life, we sometimes scramble for upper hands.