Archive for Sexsh

Stuff We Forgot

Have you seen the BBC 4 three part documentary “Women”?
If you haven’t, you should. After all, it’s not everyday that we get to see feminism on the telly. And we should really make the most of it while it lasts.

The Guardian has published a critique of the programme’s third part, “Activists”, titled “Enough middle-class feminism” and written by a middle-class feminist. Her words seem to have struck a chord. Her intentions were probably good, as evidenced by this line:

“They have lots to say about the media objectification of women but, bizarrely, little to say about consumerism or capitalism.”

Unfortunately it goes downhill after that.

We’ve been here before, and I’m sure we will be here again. Every time feminists attack the sex industry somebody is compelled to butt in and tell us that “we are not dealing with what really matters”. My opinion on the subject hasn’t changed: the sex industry, especially in it’s everyday manifestation of pr0n, advertising, entertainment, media, et al, and it’s spilling over as the “beauty” industry, that’s fashion, dieting, looks, et al, is the only remaining ideological tool with which women are being oppressed in the realm of the superstructure. (And all this theory is way out of my league!). What on Earth am I trying to say? Simple. The message still is “women, stay in your place”, because women must, at all costs, stay in their place. But now they can’t come out and say it like that. The religious arguments don’t hold much water in rich, liberal democratic societies. The biological determinist idea that women are just not good at the “big stuff” has been reduced to shreds through decades of feminist theorizing, researching and probably Margaret Thatcher. The arrangement of woman as “mother and homemaker” can’t apply anymore, because now every adult human is needed in the labour market to keep productivity high and wages low. To recap. “Women are not as good as men because Christ wasn’t a woman”, crossed. “Women are just not as good as men, they are not rational, intelligent, whatever”, crossed. “A woman’s place is in the home”, crossed. What are we left with? “Women are just good for sh*gging”. Or pretty things to look at.

Back to the article, I have to say it does bring up something that crossed my mind when I was watching the documentary: sure, sure, the sex industry should be killed with fire, but… what about the other stuff? There’s not even a hint of a critique of capitalism. I can’t remember anyone acknowledging that not every human being, or every feminist for that matter, lives in London.

That said, I am getting increasingly tired of everyone and their dog using the “where are the working class women” card to attack feminism, of the second wave or the third one. Feminism doesn’t have monopoly rights over forgetting the working class. And it most certainly isn’t the only movement to forget working class women. To put it bluntly, feminism forgot about the working class just as the Left forgot about women. There’s enough guilt to spread around.
And if we’re going to be painfully honest, the Left has forgotten about the working class as well. Deprived of its core ideology, that is, the economy, it has been left rumbling about like an undead corpse, kept alive exclusively by debates over politically correct language and multiculturalism. Hardly conducive of revolutionary change. And if you ask uneducated, ignorant, old me, this is too similar to what feminism has been reduced to, that is, focus on the culture and the ideas, the “superstructure”, and leave the “base” intact.

What we have in our hands is the conflict of how to go about changing the root of the problem when all we can see is its effect on the surface. Feminists attack the discursive ideas of women as sex objects because that’s where we see misogyny and oppression taking place. In reality it stems from some place else, but what that is or where exactly it’s located, we have no clue.
The traditional Left, however, has known what it needs to do to revolutionize society for more than a century. What’s their (our) excuse?

I’m beginning to think that women’s oppression and worker’s oppression share a common root, and that both should be tackled at the same time. These ideas are too fresh in my mind, however, to write about them as of yet.

Before you go, take a look at this article on a seemingly entirely unrelated topic, “Yes, striking is a human right”. There’s this one word that got me thinking…

“The real question we should be asking is not why do people strike, but why they do not do so more often? To respond by saying that workers are all happy bunnies compared with their forebears would not be the right answer.”

Could the sex industry and capitalism have more in common than we previously thought?

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And THAT Is How It’s Done

Behold, fellow Feminists! Battles are being won before our very eyes! Or at least in Iceland.

“Iceland has passed a law that will result in every strip club in the country being shut down. And forget hiring a topless waitress in an attempt to get around the bar: the law, which was passed with no votes against and only two abstentions, will make it illegal for any business to profit from the nudity of its employees.”

Simple and to the point. Wasn’t so hard, now, was it?

Guðrún Jónsdóttir of Stígamót, an organisation based in Reykjavik that campaigns against sexual violence, (said):

“I guess the men of Iceland will just have to get used to the idea that women are not for sale.”

This feminist victories in Iceland remind me of the expansion of women’s rights in Spain in the last decade. And all it took was a government that was committed to equality and had the outrageous conviction that domestic violence was unacceptable.

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“Sex And Freedom”

Some years ago I found this magazine about to be chucked in the bin. I rescued it because the issue was about “Liberty”. I didn’t know the magazine at the time, though it turned out to be “The New Internationalist”, of November 1993. In it there was this article by Catherine Itzin, titled “Sex and Freedom” which goes through the basic arguments against pornography.

*WARNING* IT MAY BE TRIGGERING

To read the article:
1) click on the thumbnail; this will open the image in a new window.
2) place cursor over image and embiggen.

freedom-1

freedom-2

Sixteen odd years, my friends. Sixteen years and things have only gotten worse. That’s the thing about misogyny; it doesn’t stop itself.
Yesterday, Jessica Valenti over at Feministing was getting her knickers in a bunch over the release of a misogynist movie whose plot seems to revolve around a misogynistic “sexual” practise. (rape, more like). I felt like crying out, “why Jessica, dawlin’, where do you think this little gem comes from?”. I was too busy booking my plane ticket to Manchester (YAY!) to post such a comment, which probably saved me from high blood pressure and bloggy embarrassment. The comments that were posted pretty much agreed that the “knickers in a bunch reaction” was the appropriate one. Though as is always the case when this topic is brought up, it didn’t take long for the “anti-censorship” bunk to appear.
I advocate censorship. I advocate a LOT of censorship. Mind you, in this particular case, I’d go further and advocate sticking dynamite up the arsehole of whoever came up with this arseholishness. But I would understand it if anyone thought this might be going a bit too far.
There are laws against speech that incites racial hatred, and I don’t hear people going “eek, the censorshipz!” about them. If you dare to deny the Holocaust in Germany, you will most likely get kicked in the butt. Speech has limits. Speech SHOULD be limited. No one has a right to hurt others, or to incite hurting of others. And this is exactly what this is about.
I wouldn’t press on this issue so much if it wasn’t because I think this will be the biggest challenge the next generation of feminists will have to face. Otherwise misogyny will keep advancing and becoming more acceptable, eroding the (few) rights we have won.

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A Rather Evil Path

How wonderful. There’s a guy at liberal conspiracy who’s telling us what the “real” causes of women’s oppression are and aren’t and how worrying about meaningless little things like re classifying p0rn as actual p0rn won’t do anything to help us. (won’t link to him, it’s easy to find anyways)
First of all, Mr Dude, it’s not up to you, or any man, to decide what the causes of women’s oppression are. That’s something we women have to do, and you men have to put up with whatever decision we come up with.
Secondly, even if it were true that the causes of women’s oppression had nothing to do with lads mags, it is no less true that they do have an impact on women’s everyday lives. And even if they didn’t, their existence still pisses us off. That should be enough reason to get rid of them.
Thirdly, we cannot actually legislate against the real causes of women’s oppression. Because the only way to end with women’s oppression would be for men to stop oppressing women. That exceeds the power of the law. And we have to make do with what we currently have.

Now I’m not going to waste valuable space on my blog explaining things to yet another guy who doesn’t “get it”, who isn’t interested in “getting it” and who will never know I am here writing about his arrogant ignorance. Instead, I’ll focus on how the causes of women’s oppression are related to lads mags/p0rn.
You can visualize the oppression of women as a river with many paths, each one corresponding to a different aspect of life, extending over a huge surface that eventually covers the whole of society. In order to control women’s oppression and to eventually destroy it, the feminist movement has focused on blocking many of those paths that carry the oppression everywhere. It has had some success, of course. The path of the “public sphere” has been blocked to some extent, and now at least it’s not so acceptable to demand women get back in the kitchen.
But as with any river, when one path is blocked, the water has to find another way to get through. And there is one path that no one has been able to block so far. That’s the path of the “sexual sphere”. Never before has the sex industry been so big. Never before has so much misogyny been pouring into what we call “human sexuality”. And it’s terrifying. Women’s oppression is not “decreasing”. It’s merely going where no one can control it. That’s why I favour any measure to contain this constant, ever increasing flux of sexual misogyny. Because when oppression is contained, it becomes easier to destroy.

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Fake Boob Phenomenon

Let me share with you my last brainstorm. Earlier today I had an “AHA” moment. I discovered a missing link in the reason for the existence of what I’ll be calling the Fake Boob Phenomenon.

Fake Boob Phenomenon: The cultural and social representation of an artificial form of the female chest. Though present throughout western history, it has been markedly stronger with the advancement of the Malestream Media. The main consequences of the Fake Boob Phenomenon is the mismatch between what people, especially men, believe the female chest to look like and what it actually looks like.

(Brought to you by the Radical Feminist Pocket Book of “Super Secret Radical Feminist Code Words”)

In other words, the insistence of the graphic portion of the Malestream Media to depict boobs as ingravid, solid, in your face and of the size of a small planet. Through history boobs have been squeezed in, squeed up, squeezed out; anything but being left alone.
See, the respectable EvoPsychos have kindly explained to us that the Fake Boob Phenomenon responds to men’s natural, biological attraction to Fake Boobs. The reason is because those are preciely the boobs which belong to the youngest and, therefore, most fertile of females. Except, that the don’t. And I’m going to kindly explain to the EvoPsychos why.
In short, because supposedly “young” and supposedly “fertile” women don’t have ingravid, solid, in your face and of the size of a small planet boobs. It’s a myth created by those who don’t actually have boobs but like to look at them, which are usually men. And so the Fake Boob Phenomenon has no “natural” explanation.
I am quite sure that it must respond to some kind of fetishism that I don’t have the capacity to discover by myself (we’d probably need a feminist equivalent of Marx for that). What I have discovered is this: boobs are supposed to look like anything other than what they actually are. Because natural boobs are not “different enough” to what men have on their own chests. It takes very little for men’s chest to start resembling women’s (at least at some point of the boob developing stages), and most of them inevitably will, sooner or later. Which seems logical, since boobs are little more than men’s boobs with slightly more fat tissue in them. But this is not different enough. Which leads me to think that part of the attraction of men to women and of women to men lies in the “difference”. A difference that is very small in reality but is magnified by culture and society’s depictions and expectations of what women and men should look like. It’s the difference that is erotized, not the actual bodies. And since it’s women’s prerogative to attract men in a patriarchal society, it is women’s jobs to differentiate from men. That’s why women who haven’t done the patriarchal duty of beautifying themselves are said to resemble “men”. It’s because without artificial intervention, women DO resemble men.
Now, this is when you tell me, “Duh, Mary, there’s a hundred feminists who have been saying that for two hundred years”. And I responde, “Please, tell me where”. This “erotization of the difference” cannot be my “discovery”, but I cannot think of who has covered it before.

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