that so-called Sex Positive Feminists are, for the most part (all the parts I’ve seen, anyway), waaaaay off base. Misguided. And they usually have to twist themselves into pretzel shapes to try to make their rationalizations sound, well, rational. In the cases I’ve seen they don’t quite make it.
I’m not trying to be unkind, but it’s disheartening to see young women so clearly trying to talk themselves into something that’s just not true and not good for them in any case.
Here’s just one example. FeministGal cites a postcard with this titillating text: “When I jog by men I breathe heavily and moan, so they imagine fucking me as I trot past”
To blogger FeministGal, whoever wrote that:
is taking the control and power of her sexuality to make him imagine her in the way she wants to be imagined….
which just happens to coincide with what he’s already thinking anyway. Sigh. Surely the very soul of self-empowerment.
Now let’s see her use her sexuality to successfully make him imagine her as a powerful woman at the head of some corporation, or a matriarchal figure of enormous power in her community, she who must be obeyed in either scenario, or at least not she who is vulnerable to being ranked — or just imagined — relative to her fuckability as all hot young chicks are.
What’s that? You don’t think she can do that, that it works that way? Oh, shoot. Why not?
i also think it’s empowering for this particular woman to have chosen to take back her power in this way and reclaim the power of her own sexuality.
Uhhhh, mostly it’s empowering for men, and Patriarchy, since her own sexuality that she’s “reclaiming” meshes so nicely with their view of women as mostly fuckability fodder.
In that respect, this IS celebrating female agency because it’s not socially acceptable for women to assert themselves in that sort of sexual way and by doing so they are taking that power back
No, hon. It’s perfectly “socially acceptable,” it’s just that they’re typically referred to as “loose women” or worse. They (Patriachy) do that to confuse you. There’s a very important and carefully guarded place in Patriarchal society for these women. They just don’t want everyone going there.
In fact, Patriarchy has always been careful to sexually and emotionally wound a certain percentage of its female members while they are children so they grow up to be women with very loose sexual boundaries, willing if not eager to be indiscriminate sexual partners with men. These women may or may not become sex workers, but they definitely fulfill a role that the Patriarchy defends with all its might, even while denigrating and demeaning the women who fill those roles.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not anti-sex, not at all. In fact, I’m very pro-sex, but I think it should be elevated not degraded, respected not defiled, but all this culture knows how to do is profane everything from tobacco (sacred herb for Native Americans) to sex. If you don’t respect sex, it’s difficult (impossible?) to respect those who engage in it with you (e.g., women).
It seems to me a much better way for women to take back their (sexual) power is to absolutely insist on respect for sex and for themselves as sexual partners. You know, elevate the whole thing. I’ll have more to say about this in a later post.
In the meantime, though, here’s an absolutely brilliant deconstruction, thanks to I Blame the Patriarchy:
…our world order is predicated on binary sex roles, one of which is privileged and dominant, the other of which is oppressed and submissive.
When you’re already oppressed, it is, in fact, impossible to volunteer for oppression. A woman is a member of the sex class whether she “chooses” it or not. This pre-existing condition forms the backdrop to any fun feminist’s conclusion that her compliance with the patriarchal sexbot mandate is voluntary. She may believe otherwise, but her belief does not alter the fact that patriarchy — a social order predicated on an oppression to which she is already subject — is real and in effect and entirely beyond any unrestricted control she may wish to exert and only too glad to welcome her as a team player and sign her up for the rewards program.
The fun feminist confuses “empowerment” with the decision to acquiesce. This is understandable; it’s the one actual choice she has in this game: surrender, or stand and fight. She doesn’t have to be Candida Royalle to recognize that if she chooses the latter all she’ll get for her trouble is ridicule, hostility, suspicion, and the threat of bodily harm.
Whereas the rewards for surrender to male porn culture are not inconsiderable: social acceptance, male approval, little psuedo-privileges that accrue according to the degree of one’s conformity, and of course the enormous relief at not having to fight it anymore. The if-you-can’t-beatem-joinem gambit has enjoyed millennia of popularity for good reason. It gives the appearance of the shortest and easiest route to life’s rich pageant. Too bad that, once they get there, chicks are only eligible for the women’s auxiliary.