For years this little phrase has plagued the recesses of my soul and warped the characteristics of the ideal me. Body count: these two words are the summation of a hyper sexualised and archaic world view. In truth though, the words point to numbers and it’s the connotation that I’m at odds with. The idea that a single number could let people know the value that you have in society is one that I find incredibly flawed but once championed. Funny thing is that I had no idea that I was championing it until I grew up a little more.
The gist of the idea is this: we were made to conquer and the more conquests we have, the greater we are. Great men throughout history have had scores of women vying for their affections. King Solomon (supposedly the wisest man that ever lived if you discount Plato’s Socrates) is said to have had a thousand women in his harem so it’s quite easy to make the “great men have lots of women so having lots of women will make me great” leap. This view of things is rather toxic but let’s give it a good once over least we dismiss it incorrectly and cause more problems than we’re trying to solve.
Alright the idea here is that women are to be attained. We put in the work and they gift us with the forbidden fruit. So in most cases, a man with a high body count is seen as rather successful and a successful man is likely to have a high body count. Sounds about right ne?
On the flip side of this is the woman. A gift that is rarely given is seen as more valuable. I have a few friends with relatively high body counts and a few friends with relatively low ones. Some are male and some are female; some are gay and some aren’t; some are fiends and some are angels. The group that are both male and have relatively high body counts, they are often seen as gods of some sort. The group that are both female and have a low body count are seen as goddesses.
For a long time, I thought that I needed to have a high body count to feel good about myself. I wasn’t a man unless a three digit figure followed the proverbial question; this style of thinking is the key that opens the door to perpetual unhappiness. I tried to mould myself into a Barney Stinson type character and, ‘til this day, I cannot tell you what snapped me out of it. Maybe the fact that I didn’t surround myself with the people I tried to be like, contributed most to my failure.
How do we change this sort of thinking? Feminism is doing quite a lot to change this so I’ll only talk on the one thing I think isn’t highlighted enough. I once had a girl sort of track me down and ask me out and this changed the game for me. I’m the kind of guy that you’d swear had a phobia of women so this was wonderful for me. Recently, while I was talking to a few friends of mine, I started going through the names on my list (in my head) and realised quite a bit later that I had completely forgotten to include her name. Now this isn’t because she was the most insignificant because there were others that played a more ‘lowkey’ type of roll in my life but they were counted. My best guess is that I don’t really believe that I ‘achieved’ her so I often forget to include her on my short silly list.