Let me be clear that in no way am i saying that one

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Let me be clear that in no way am I saying that one should not have passion for wgmen AIDS patients. Of course one must recognize that women are as likely to get AIDS from engaging in the same high-risk be- haviors as men. But that's precisely my point. Women don't engage in those behaviors at tates anything like men. One is put at risk for AIDS by engaging in specific high-risk behaviors- activities that ignore potential health risks for more immediate pleasures. For example, sharing needles is both a defiant flaunting of health risks and an expression of community among LV. drug users. And the capacity for high- risk behavior-unprotected anal intercourse with large numbers of partners, the ability to take it, despite any potential pain-is also a confirmation of masculinity. The victims of men's adherence to these norms of masculinity-AIDS patients, rape victims, victims of sexual harassment-did not become vic- tims intentionally. They did not ask for it, and they certainly do not deserve blame. That some women today are also sexual predators, going to swank bars or waiting outside athletes' locker rooms or trying to score with male subordinates at work, doesn't make William Kennedy Smith, Mike Tyson, Magic Johnson, Randy Moss, Ot Bill Clinton any less predatory. And the men-the date tapists, the sexual harassers, the AIDS patienrs- are not perverts or deviants who have strayed from the norms of masculinity. They are, if anything, overconformists to destructive norms of male sexual behavior. Until we change the meaning of manhood, sexual risk-raking and conquest will remain pan of the rhetoric of masculinity. And we will scatter the victims. both women and men, along the wayside. MEN, MASCULINITY. AND THE RAPE CULTURE THE SEXUAL POLmCS OF SAFETY What links all these struggles-against sexual harassment, date and acquain- tance tape, and HN -is that all of them require a sexual politics of safety. The politics of safety may be the missing link in the transformation of men's lives, in their capacity for change. Safety is more than the absence of dan er, al ou that isn't such a bad thing either. Safety is proactive, the creation of a space in whiCll an people, women and men, gaY and straight, and of all col- ors, can experience the fullness of their beings. can work to their potential, and can express themselves fully. Think for a moment abour" how the politics of safety affects the three areas I have discussed in 'this essay. What is the best way to prevent AIDS? To use sterile needles for intravenous injections and to practice safer sex. Sterile needles and safer sex share one basic characteristic: They both require -...L I that men act responsibly. This is not one of the cardinal rules of manhood. Safer sex programs encourage men to have fewer partners, to avoid certain particularly dangerous practices, and to use condoms when having any sex involving the of bodily fluids.

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