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Bad Sense February 24, 2012

Posted by FCM in authors picks, feminisms, logic, news you can use, PIV.
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like the dishwasher dilemma, which is the source of endless and unresolvable conflict in the het partnership, the “sex” fight is one that can happen every day, all day without ever being resolved.  because its a clash of 2 realities, where women are saying that from their perspective, things look, sound, feel, taste and smell like shit, they dont like it, and they want it to change; and men disagree that anything should ever change, when the current arrangement is so obviously beneficial to men and supports male power.  thats what the sex fight is about: women dont like living in mens reality, where men make the rules to benefit themselves, at womens expense.  and men do like it, and they never, ever want it to change, and they will never do anything to change or disturb the current order, and they will do everything in their power to support it and perpetuate it forever.

and the sex-fight comes in 2 flavors, doesnt it?  we are all familiar with the one where women are sick and fucking tired of being pronged by men, where they have had enough of submitting to unwanted intercourse that is boring, painful, degrading, risky, dangerous, or terrifying.  otherwise known as the “frigid woman problem“.  you know, from mens perspective.  where NOT engaging in painful, terrifying or degrading intercourse is known as abstinence, because intercourse, no matter how terrible it is, is what sex is, and going without it is the same thing as abstinence.  according to language.

but theres also the problem of women wanting PIV too much, or more than their partners do.  theres a very clinical and very nasty-sounding name for women who actually desire all that PIV thats being done to them, and would be done to them anyway, whether they liked or wanted it or not: nymphomaniacs.  because men know that theres something very wrong with women who actually want intercourse.  you know, considering how dangerous it is for women, and how much it is clearly against womens best interests.  men know this, and they are naming their reality constantly: women would have to be literally insane to want PIV.  of course, since no women are free to opt-out of PIV completely, this also implies, doesnt it, that engaging in unwanted intercourse (as opposed to intercourse thats wanted) is actually the sane thing to do, and is what passes as sanity for women.  rape and rapeability as sanity, and evidence of good mental health, for women.  omg.  but i digress.

my point is that women wanting more PIV than their partners — and the frigid woman problem — are really manifestations of the same thing.  radical feminists are always bombarded with stomach-turning porntastic proclamations by both women and men, whenever we criticize PIV, where despite what we know about womens shared experience with PIV and how devastating it has proven to be to girls and women around the world, there are apparently some women who like it.  looooove it, even.  and i am sick of hearing about it, but its not because i dont understand it, and its not because it challenges my position and i dont like being challenged.  its because i dont like being bombarded by fucking porn, for one thing.  and its also because it doesnt challenge anything at all, and its actually completely consistent with a radfem analysis of dueling realities, and PIV.  and the stupid — combined with the porn — just really fucking burns, yannow?  it really does.

so lets put this one to bed.  some women want lots and lots of PIV because if they are going to engage in it at all, and take on the extreme risk of engaging in PIV at all, it makes perfect, nauseating sense that they would also want to do it a lot.

because once you have engaged in intercourse one time, there is no way of knowing for sure that you havent become impregnated against your will: you wont know that until you get your next period.  and this is terrifying.  youve jumped off a bridge, and theres no going back.  so doing it 10 more times really doesnt make anything better, but it doesnt really make it worse, either.  not really.  the first time is the worst, because it introduces terror into the equation for the first time.  and going from no-terror to some terror is more of a change, than going from one degree of terror to another.  or at least, going from none to some is objectively measurable, where going from one degree of terror to another is subjective at best, and dependant on many variables, like where you are in your cycle, birth-control failures, and the like.

this is what sexual “empowerment” looks like for women, under the PIV-as-sex paradigm.  taking an area of subjectivity and manipulating it the best they can, so that their interests are at least somewhat represented.  otherwise, they wouldnt be.  at all.

*i* was this woman once, and i was rendered absolutely mute when it came to articulating this, because there are no words for it.  i fought with nigel constantly about our “sex life” which consisted of infrequent PIV, just frequent enough to leave me wondering every (or every-other) month whether i was pregnant, and thats it.  the absolute most risk with the absolute least payout (for me).  it became just another repetitive bicker-fest and was never resolved, partly because in order to articulate this one, so that it can be addressed, you first need to understand the concept of reproductive harm, and that concept does not exist under patriarchy.  it is literally unutterable.  not that most men would be interested in addressing this one properly, even if most women could articulate it.  but that goes without saying, and demonstrates why this is actually a HUGE problem, and probably cannot be remedied.  because men dont want it remedied.  no, they like it the way it is.  now why might that be?

so anyway, assuming you have engaged in PIV that critical first time, you have already jumped off the bridge, and the “sexually empowered” woman wants to enjoy the fall, as much as she can.  note that the entire process *more or less* resets itself after you start your period: you start back at zero, with 100% confidence that you arent pregnant.  but even thats not really true, now is it?  in reality, youre never really sure.  but lets pretend we dont know that.

i believe this can be expressed in a simple graphic.  the first graph represents female confidence, and how that is diminished after the first fuck.  the second graph shows how, for the woman who likes PIV, both terror and pleasure are introduced into the equation at the same time — the time of the first fuck.  a womans net-pleasure can be manipulated in subsequent encounters (but not really in the first):

watch that first step -- its a doozy!

(click on image for full-size)

well, maybe its not *simple* but it is a graphic.  after the first fuck, the terror relating to risk of unwanted pregnancy appears.  and female net-pleasure can be manipulated after that first fuck, by increasing pleasure, or decreasing terror, based on many variables.  what you can never do though, is remove the terror once its there.  that stays, no matter what.  you can play with the levers a bit, thats all.  thats where women find their pleasure from PIV (the ones who get any from it, and many dont).  and that is just so completely fucked up, it makes me furious.

now, if you wanted to be really conspiratorial about it, you might think about whether the black areas, while indicating female terror, might *also* indicate male pleasure.  consider that they might be the same thing.  if they were, it would explain, wouldnt it, why men are so fond of fucking virgins, and having one-night stands.  because in both graphs, the woman’s terror arises after the first fuck, but doesnt really increase that much thereafter, or not in any way thats completely predictable, and in control of the man.  and whats in it for men, if they cant increase female terror/male pleasure any more than it already is, and control women in predictable ways?

anyway, i get that some women loooove PIV, and want a lot of it.  it doesnt make what radical feminists say about PIV wrong, or even challenge it at all.  not by a long shot.

The Dishwasher Dilemma February 17, 2012

Posted by FCM in authors picks, gender roles, news you can use, pop culture, sorry!, thats random.
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i found this on you tube (obviously).  i was actually looking for an episode of “teen mom” where the happy couple was fighting in the car about “having the same conversation over and over.”  about cleaning the house.  i couldnt find what i was looking for, but its not like its difficult to find examples of that particular argument, which is, in fact, my entire point.  you know the one: it goes “you never help me clean the house” then “i do too help you clean the house, i do this, this and this all the time” and then “no you dont, i always do everything and you never do anything unless i nag you about it” and so on and so forth.  its as common as…PIV in het relationships, and fights about PIV in het relationships.  now, why might that be?

i would really like to write an english-to-radfem translation program for these things, but im not a programmer so…small obstacle there.  but i can write about it, so i will.

you see, the very repetitive “housework” fight is about patriarchy!  just like everything else.  its about women getting constantly shit on by individual men and by men collectively and by mens patriarchal institutions.  and if there are no words to express this, its not a coincidence.  its very deliberate, this language problem, so that women are literally unable to even frame the issue in a coherent way, and in this case (as in many others) are rendered completely unable to express their dissatisfaction in reasonable terms that “make sense” (to men and other male-identified persons) mute so that womens reality is never acknowledged, so they never get what they need.

or perhaps more to the point, this language problem functions to ensure that womens reality is never actually actively and obviously discarded, with extreme and obvious prejudice, with an obvious culpable agent making those decisions, where even the men who allegedly love us tell us we can go to hell, to our faces.  no, its never hardly ever that obvious.  theres a reason for that.  it ensures that we never quite get whats happening here, or gives men plausible deniability when its pretty obvious they are fucking us over, deliberately.  so we never give men what they really and actually deserve, which is less than nothing.  and so we never see them for what they really are: the enemy.  of women.

SO.  let me put words to this one, if i may.

the very repetitive “housework fight” is about mental labor, and project management.  this has parallels to the work that men do, and that men get paid very well to do, and when men do it, its an actual, real thing, and is a skill that is very difficult to teach, requires intuition and good judgement, and constant vigilance and around-the-clock mental and physical labor (or whatever passes for that in mens world, 9-5 i guess?  8 to 8?  that one time some dood couldnt sleep?  cry me a river asshats.)  project management is one of the highest paid and most prestigious positions men reserve for themselves, because its the hardest and most important, and not everyone can do it, or is willing to do it.  so, lets go with that.  running a household is project management.

and project management, no matter what the actual project is, refers to both mental and physical labor, and includes that awareness thats always going on in the back of the project managers mind, where she knows the entire layout of the entire project at all times, is attuned to the slightest change and reads the tea leaves constantly to assess whats needed, to avoid potential exacerbations and escalations that will require even more work (and possible catastrophic failures, and snowballing catostrophic failures) down the road, and has many, many schedules running in her head simultaneously.  and it necessarily involves delegation of certain duties, especially very menial tasks that even the most unskilled laborer could do.  because the project manager’s time is worth more.

dont shoot the messenger, i didnt make this shit up.  im just using mens words and mens concepts here, since nobody seems to get it when women use their own words.  in fact, it might even be true: certain projects might actually need project managers.  its possible i guess?  that one seems right to me, having actually worked on projects before, in life.  how men deal with this reality and create their hierarchies around it is on them, im just saying.

so anyway.  an example of this kind of mental labor is as follows: i watered the plants that need to be watered every month 2 weeks ago; i watered the plants that need to be watered every 2 weeks 2 weeks ago, so…i need to water those plants, but definitely not the other ones, or all the plants will die.  and then i will reset the schedule in my mind.  that kind of thing.

so the actual watering of the plants is only part of it.  its a large part of it, because if all the mental labor happens but the plants dont get watered, we will have a very obvious failure on our hands.  but as incredibly important as that is, theres even more to than that, running below the surface that causes those plants to stay alive.  so if i ask you to water a plant, and you do it, how much is that really worth?  im just asking.  you arent the reason that plant stayed alive, now are you?  you wouldnt even have known which one needed water, or known which one wouldve died if you watered it just then, without me telling you.

and if i have to fight with you for more than 10 seconds about watering the fucking plant, its a complete waste of my time and i couldve just done it myself.  but even if theres no fighting involved and its done immediately, and graciously, its still not like very much of *my* labor was rendered obsolete.  you have made my life easier, but only a very little bit.  note that the value of the physical labor, and how much of it there really is to do, varies, based on the size of the project.

so.  if we borrowed the hierarchies that men use when they are talking about their own projects, and applied them to the example of the household, the men would be the unskilled labor, who only make a dollar an hour (or whatever) because thats all their labor is really worth.  you know, according to themselves.  and yet, rather inexplicably, they act like they deserve their own personal superbowl-victoryesque parade dedicated to all the awesome that is THEM, for watering a plant, and performing other very unskilled labor, when, in applying their own hierarchies, the work they just performed is only worth a dollar.  and when you give them the dollar, they act like the dollar is a penny.

this is really about mens dishonesty, and using and framing womens labor in a way that they would never use and frame mens labor, because it supports male power and damages women to do that, and thats what men do, and they never stop.  and they take away womens ability to express their reality, through disingenuous issue-framing and controlling language, because it supports male power and damages women to do that, and thats what men do and they never stop.  and women dont like this reality.  and men do.  thats what this fight is really about.

men are so impossible!

YES, yes they are, if by “men” you mean “the het partnership in a patriarchy, from women’s perspective.”  its based on lies, and in the case of the housework dilemma, its literally impossible to reconcile this one.  it is literally impossible to explain or confront this in a way which is consistent with maintaining the relationship, or maintaining the heterosexual partnership in general, at all.  and *thats* where advice-columnists go off the rails.  even “dear momma” pulls her punches on this one big time: she tailors her advice so that its consistent with maintaining the relationship.  its advice with an agenda.  in reality, this one cannot be reconciled.

i hope this is helpful to someone.

PS.  heres “dear momma” on PIV.  its pretty good.  no fun for whom indeed.