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On Footbinding. Or, If I’m Not Raping You, It’s Because I’m Chivalrous! September 18, 2010

Posted by FCM in books!, feminisms, gender roles, health, international, PIV, pop culture, rape.
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this is an image of an elderly chinese woman, who was footbound as a child.  in “woman hating,” dworkin characterized chinese footbinding and witch burning as the two most obvious, widespread and devastating gynocidal atrocities ever perpetuated against women, in the history of the world.  in china for 1000 years, women were permanently hobbled as children, by having tight bindings wrapped across and around their feet, bringing the small toes under and across the bottom of the foot, and bringing the heel and the ball of the foot closer and closer together, until there was a cleft between them.  its cleavage, but for your feet!  heres what it looks like on the inside, along with what a human foot is supposed to look like, in case anyone isnt sure (the normal foot is the one on the bottom):

now, i am not the first to notice a connection between chinese footbinding and modern high-heels, the fashion accessory thats more likely to permanently cripple you than any other, and in fact even on a good day limits your mobility and spontaneity, alters your gait, and depletes your very spirit as you writhe in excruciating pain, even if you dont show it.  i even have an xray film of a model wearing heels in my collection of multimedia snark:

podiatry snuff film

ouch!  and the point has been made elsewhere that whats so everloving sexxay about targeting womens feet for patriarchal abuse is that it does hobble them, and makes it harder for women to get away from violent men who would rape them.  metaphorically, it symbolizes womens subordinate status, and in actuality, it solidifies that status, in a real, tangible way, by literally handicapping and hobbling us.  sure, absolutely.  i think thats true.

now, lets take it a bit further, shall we?  consider what must be going through mens heads, seeing all these pathetic, crippled women teetering about on mile-high heels?  completely ineffectual humans who cant even walk, and most certainly could never run, or run very far, or very well?

heres what they must be thinking:  “wow, i could totally rape that woman if i wanted to, and arent i such a great guy for letting her pass?”  arent i chivalrous!  now, someone give me a cookie.

and in fact, its true isnt it?  men are being chivalrous for not-raping women, who could do very little about it, if a man were to decide to do it.  in mens own minds, men who arent rapists, not-raping women is the good-guy thing to do.  they sure as hell arent not-raping women because they are afraid the women would kick their fucking asses if they tried, thats for sure.

now, lets talk about the fun-fems “enthusiastic consent!!!11!!!1” bullshit.  from the fun-fem or male feminist perspective, calling PIV “enveloping” instead of “penetration” solves all of PIVs problems for women, because the only thing wrong with PIV is that women just take it wrong.  and being “enthusiastic” about your “consent” makes it easier for everyone to distinguish between a wanted act and an unwanted one.  you know, according to them, in their own words.  i am not making this up.  now, my question is:  why do PIV and rape look so much the same, that you literally need special language thats outside most peoples understanding, to tell PIV and rape apart?  or to separate a creepy act of sexual aggression from a loving act of, well, love?

what i am thinking at the moment is that theres a reason (DUH) for all this very calculated mental-gymnastics, that the sex-positive crowd and everyone in fact obsess over, where they try SO HARD to separate PIV from rape.  and its to solve (well, obfuscate anyway) the very obvious problem that penis-in-vagina pretty much describes, if not defines, most acts of rape.  doesnt it?  and penis-in-vagina also both describes AND defines the act of heterosexual “sex” and het sexuality too.  and thats kinda a big problem.  really, problems dont get much bigger than that.

regarding chivalry too, i think its clear that mere everyday PIV, the PIV everyone wants to have, the PIV that we think about when we think about it at all, is PIV with “chivalry.”  whereas “rape” is PIV without it.  isnt it?  chivalry being something that makes women “feel” better about the encounter, and something arbitrary (rather than substantive) that separates the rapists from the good guys, when they are all placing women in harms way by sticking their dicks into women, with only varying degrees of coersion, aggression, and violence?

so if the only thing (or a very important one) that separates PIV from rape is chivalry (and only very recently, fun-fems “funny language”, but even thats not mainstream yet) then the more opportunities for men to appear chivalrous, the better.  because good-guys dont, and in fact, cant rape, if chivalry makes rape impossible.  indeed, most men are “good guys” within this paradigm.  how convenient!  for them, of course.  not for us.

see, in order to create opportunities for male chivalry, men must also create instances of women needing to be rescued.  and its nonstop.  indeed, women as a sexual class need to be rescued; so men as a sexual class are seen as chivalrous.  (and viola!  the problem of rape is solved.  for men, of course.  not for women.)  binding the feet.  women starving themselves to be too thin and lightheaded to function, or taking diet pills that make you nuts.  hobbling women financially, emotionally, physically and socially with medical events and childrearing duties.  keeping us tired and broke through expensive and otherwise oppressive feminine rituals.  in this pathetic state, women do need help.  because men have literally turned us into the pathetic, ineffectual humans that they need us to be.  so they can be the heroes.  so they can be chivalrous.  even when they do nothing.  ie.  not-raping women who couldnt do a damn thing about it, if they tried.

and in the end, the reason for all of this female pain is to convince whomever is worth convincing that PIV and rape are so different, and that PIV is inherently valuable and benign too, and that its very easy to tell them apart.  so that rapists dont go to jail for rape, and no one sees PIV as inherently harmful to women, so that we can all keep having PIV, and being harmed by PIV.

not quite worth it, if you are a woman.  totally and completely worth it, if you are a man.