Why Am I Always So Tired and Broke? (Do Not Try This At Home, If You Can Help It, At All) August 7, 2010Posted by FCM in authors picks, books!, feminisms, gender roles, health, PIV, pop culture, porn.
Tags: beauty, dworkin, economy, footbinding, woman hating
in a frame…this is why. or its a big fucking part of it. this drawing is from dworkin’s ”woman hating” (see p. 117). i always had a sense of this, but it finally clicked for me when i saw this drawing, specifically the wrists. the wrists. our wrists have to be beautiful fuckable too? why yes, yes they do. our wrists!
i mean, shaving isnt that expensive really. if you really want to, you can do it with soap and water. it is time consuming though, which is not a small thing. but bracelets are fucking expensive: or at least, you can spend literally any amount acquiring them. its a sliding scale, based on your income. ie. opting out is not an option, and you cannot claim that you cant afford it, no matter how little you make. thanks, claires boutique $5 jewelry (and another $5 when your skin turns green. and then another. and another. its disposable!). thanks wet-n-wild 99-cent makeup! (99-cents times 10, to get all the products you need…then another 99-cents times 20 when you realize all the colors you got look terrible with your skin tone, and you have to try again…twice).
importantly…there is nothing comparable that men have to spend their hard-earned cash on. nothing. comparable. if the bracelets and perfume dont bring that point home, then the makeup and hair removal should. we make less, and we spend more. if this sounds like a recipe for disaster, it is.
of course, the drawing above also outlines what dworkin calls “oppressive grooming practices.” in “woman hating”, she discusses in detail a historical practice that was rooted in the deepest misogyny: chinese footbinding. and she makes the following highly cogent points about that practice (here are the actual pages out of the actual book, with my notes…cause i am too lazy to type it all out):
the art of sex. male-female harmony. do we get it now? earlier in the book, she describes how chinese men for 1000 years suffered from a mass delusion that women with bound feet had yummy, “extra folds” inside their vaginas. again, it was a MASS DELUSION. it wasnt real. but they allegedly saw and felt these nonexistent ”extra folds” while they were having PIV with mutilated, footbound women. physical structures that, of course, werent even fucking there. because binding the feet has nothing to do with womens vaginas. HELLO.
only a few pages later, dworkin presents us with the splayed, bedazzled, and deodorized “modern” figure above. its not hard to see how she got there. specifically, she observes that male-made beauty standards literally define the dimensions of a womans freedom:
and it very clearly does define everything, for women. its exactly as dworkin says it is. how we spend our money, how we spend our time, and literally our agility, stamina, posture, and just about everything else are dictated by these fuckability mandates. not only that, but most women end the day in agonizing pain due to their shoes, and endure terrible or at least constant and nagging pain throughout the day, through various female-only garments and practices. (and we pay big bucks for the privilege! not that any of us can afford to spend our money this way. but almost all of us do.)
but…what if this wasnt an accident? its pretty obviously deliberate, when it comes to women spending money we dont have to garner dangerous male attention and to fuel a male economy, while simultaneously making ourselves poorer, and more dependant on dangerous men. but what if female pain is also deliberate, and required, to properly socialize women to be submissive, and to give men something to fetishize about us, and to differentiate themselves from us, instead of regarding us as human beings:
i think its time that we realized this, on a mass scale. this shit is deliberate. its not ”my feet are killing me, because i ate too much salt and its really hot out, and it made my feet swell inside my otherwise lovely shoes.” its “the human foot is made of tissues and fluids, and to the extent that womens shoes do not allow for that, womens shoes are not made for human feet.”
this last page is important, which is why i included the whole thing, even whats in the margins. i read it a few times, and made a bunch of notes, and then i read it a bunch of times, again (this is what all my books look like, when i am done with them! libraries are not my friend, but amazon is.) as everyone who has read her probably knows, dworkin was a visionary, but she believed in action. she and mackinnon, who is now a law professor at the university of michigan, worked their asses off to write and pass anti-pornography legislation in the 1980s. they put everything on the line, everything, for the cause. for women. they gave up every shred of privacy they ever had, they revealed themselves as “strident” to those who loathe strident feminists (everyone) and they were mercilessly hated and attacked for not only what they said, but for what they thought and believed too. how dare they have anti-pornography thoughts!! how dare they believe that women arent fuckholes, for men!!11!!1 and ultimately of course, they also lost. they lost, in the end. the legislation didnt pass. misogyny, and males using and abusing female bodies as male speech, carried the day. its still carrying the day.
but some of us have been wondering lately what action can we take, as feminists, in real life, thats actually going to help. and over the last 6 months or so, i have been ruminating over this drawing from dworkins book. i have become PIV-critical, less concerned with being literally fuckable. i am starting to realize that female bodies arent for fucking, and they are made of tissues and fluids (you know, like human bodies) and that we are also made of chemicals. you know? and when you are in pain, your body is releasing all kinds of chemicals and hormones in response to that, so that womens normal chemical condition isnt anything even resembling whats baseline normal, for a functioning human, who isnt in constant pain.
theres something most of us can do about that part of it, to some degree. and…its cheaper to disengage from any or all of it, to whatever extent you can. this is a trap, ladies. it really fucking is. that is all.