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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.

“Woman Hating” Part 2 August 15, 2010

Posted by FCM in books!, gender roles, health, international, kids, PIV, pop culture, porn, WTF?.
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since i started talking about dworkin’s “woman hating” i thought i may as well finish.  for those who havent read it, dworkin starts out describing fairy tales and porn, and how they both “tell us who we are,” mapping out very clear psychological, physical, and behavioral distinctions between women and men.  from the fairy tales we were all told as children, or that we were at least aware of, we know that the only good woman is a dead/sleeping/inert woman.  and men are heroes, no matter what they do (or dont).

and porn…well porn and fairy tales seem to share that narrative, dont they?  realizing that PIV is inherently dangerous to women, women are inert as all receptacles must be, and participating in our own destruction when we engage in it.  and men come out smelling like roses as they say, even as they actively annihilate us.  all hail the heroic come-shot!  also, viewing women as “carnal” and evil when they arent asleep or dead, porn takes the evil-stepmother figure, quite literally, for a ride.

in “woman hating,” dworkin made the connection between the shared narratives of fairy tales and porn, and between two of the worst (best?) examples of misogynist hate, gynocide, the world has ever seen: chinese footbinding, and the persecution of witches.  of course, mens entire belief-system about women is all a bunch of shit, misogynist reductionism, and lies.  but clearly, when they are the ones writing the narrative, they can make up any old shit they want: then, men make their own wildest dreams about women come true.  for example:  women are inert, ineffectual humans who exist only to be destroyed (and perhaps also rescued) by men…becomes womens feet should be only 3-inches long.  presto change-o!  yes, they were, in china, for 1000 or so years, thanks to ritually binding chinese girls and womens feet.  three!  inches!  womens this and that are thus-and-so, and mens arent.  you get the picture.  or…just in case you dont:

woo-hoo!  this creating-reality stuff is all so sexxxay, isnt it?  and it apparently has a lot to do with womens feet.  in fact, dworkin characterizes footbinding, and the eroticization of the bound foot as nothing less than a MASS DELUSION about women.  literally millions of men worshipped the bound foot over a period of 1000 years, and claimed to be able to see and feel yummy “extra folds” inside the vaginas of footbound women; folds that (OF COURSE) werent even there.  it wasnt real.

regarding witch burning, women were long regarded as being carnal and evil…and also happened to be lacking in all kinds of manly attributes.  and lo and behold, all the specifically male attributes women pretty unsurprisingly lacked made them susceptible to the influences of the debble!  so over 300 years, an estimated 9 million people, almost all women, were imprisoned and executed for “practising witchcraft.”

and again, we see the MASS DELUSION aspect of it: for example, witches were said to be able to render mens dicks invisible, and some witches were even allegedly able to collect mens dicks in boxes, where they were fed oats and corn and scurried around like hairless mice in the bottom of the box, until returned.  PEOPLE REPORTED ACTUALLY HAVING SEEN DICKS IN BOXES, EATING CORN.  i nearly choked on my lunch when i read that.  i wrote “wow” in the margin, and thats only reserved for the truly, truly noteworthy, in my margin-writing parlance.  i think i have only used it maybe a dozen times in twenty years of reading and marking up my books:

dworkins point was that all our mens fucked-up beliefs about women are being acted out, on real girls and women, in real time.  and that there are acts of gynocide being perpetrated, lasting across centuries, millenia, and they are barely being recorded as noteworthy.  rather, they are “footnotes” in american, european and “world history.”  a curiosity of a culture, at most.  or as fashion.

its worth noting that dworkin largely critiqued literary pornography, which she was well-versed in, having spent many years of her early life immersed in “great” literature…which she eventually realized was absolutely steeped in misogyny.  today, of course, our pornography is happening in real time, to real women.  so its entirely possible that modern-day porn will be looked back on as a century (or more) of misogynist hate, and as fairy-tale and literary-porn narratives being acted out on real girls and women in real time too.  and that our own participation in it, and responses to it, will also be remembered. 

as dworkin has pointed out, these gynocidal atrocities have something in common, and they include MASS DELUSIONS about women, by men.  so, in the case of modern porn, can anyone spot the MASS DELUSION?  anyone?  i think i can.  in addition to PIV = sex, which is clearly, CLEARLY not true at all, we have this:

i've got wesson-ality!

the neo-vagina!  vagina-as-fuckhole, for men.  women are just castrated men, with fuckholes between our legs.  aka.  transwomen.  noone knows where children come from: its a great mystery, and a conspiracy against MRAs.  or something.  honestly, i think PIV, the neovag, and women-as-castrated-men is the great mass-delusion of the century, if not the millenia.  this is what we are living with, and living through, every fucking day of our lives.

Why Am I Always So Tired and Broke? (Do Not Try This At Home, If You Can Help It, At All) August 7, 2010

Posted by FCM in authors picks, books!, feminisms, gender roles, health, PIV, pop culture, porn.
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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.