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Eroticizing Sex September 2, 2012

Posted by FCM in authors picks, books!, liberal dickwads, porn, rape.
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this is actor/comedian julia sweeney giving a TED talk on how she introduced her 8-year old daughter to internet porn.  har!  you see, it all began innocently enough: she was answering the girl’s questions about animals, reproducing.  for illustrative purposes, sweeney turned to the internet, and showed her daughter videos of animals, mating.  the daughter of course asked if there were videos on the internet of humans, mating.  sweeney replied that there were not.  the audience laughs, because porn, and because porn + 8-year-old girls = FUNNY!  oh, liberal dickwads, you all FUCKING SUCK so much!  fuck you!  but i digress.

now, in case anyone doesnt know this, animals, mating can be nasty and brutish and often is.  ducks might be some of the worst?  they are known to mate in the water, where the female is pushed under and can drown — an unreasonably dangerous activity, and likely to end in death for the female (but not the male).  and male ducks appear to be exceedingly rapey — moreso than other male animals — and are often the subject of scientific study.  of duck-rape.  in this article, “rape” is in not-really-rape quotes, and in that form is used interchangeably with “unwanted mating attempts.”  because “unwanted mating attempts” are only really-rape when human males practice this behavior on human-females, i guess?  clearly, these similar behaviors are routinely framed as being distinct and different, but why?

cutting to the chase, i think something very serious happened when humans first eroticized mating.  because the thing with mating is that its going to keep happening, whether the females want it or not — it just is.  there is nothing inherently erotic about it — its nasty and brutish, and as inherently erotic as anything else — that is to say, its not.  it is difficult to even imagine anything being inherently erotic, actually, considering that what is “erotic” is highly dependent on cultural mores.  we know this.  in fact, eroticization of intercourse has been criticized as being heterosexist — insofar as elite, straight males have linked (equated) intercourse to sexual desire or romantic love, it clearly *is* heterosexist, as even the pomos and queers point out.  they would never go so far as to point out the misogyny of it, or the ways intercourse supports male power of course.

and vaginal-penile penetration specifically is not any more inherently erotic than any other penetration or even vaginal penetration, such as acupuncture, or gynecological examinations, or torture, is it?  sure, there are some people who have managed to eroticize those things, but thats not because these things are inherently erotic — if anyone has managed to eroticize acupuncture, for example, and im sure its been done, it was deliberate, and probably took some work.  or, perhaps some individual kinkster had a kink for needles, in true individualist fashion, or conceivably, “other” penetrations are modeled and eroticized after the primary one — intercourse.  but many women dont even like intercourse, and many who do, now, didnt initially and had to train themselves over time.  does this sound like anything resembling “inherent” to you?

in reality, the only thing i can reasonably think of that might be inherently erotic is genital friction, applied to the penis in males and to the clitoris in females, in that it is likely to induce sexual arousal across time and place, and with little room for variation among individuals.  this has nothing, of course, to do with intercourse.  especially not for women, but not really for men, either.

so regarding the eroticization of intercourse, what does it mean to have eroticized something thats nasty, brutish and often dangerous to the female — and something thats going to happen anyway, whether women want it to or not?  if all women suddenly and collectively refused to consent to intercourse, are we to believe that no more instances of intercourse would take place, even to the point of population decline or extinction?  i think we all know the answer to that.  notably, joanna russ explores this in her book “we who are about to” where space-travelers in a future, post-patriarchal world crash-land on an uninhabited planet and patriarchy returns to the unintentional colonists’ unintentional society within two days, rape included.  because propagation of the species.

so it is from here that we must examine the eroticization of intercourse, because we have, in fact, managed to eroticize inevitable intercourse — intercourse which cannot be avoided and which will occur regardless of consent.  which is, by the way, rape.

discuss.

Hate Speech July 12, 2012

Posted by FCM in books!, pop culture.
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how many times as a radical feminist blogger am i going to have to hear a woman reader respond to my (or any, or all) radfem work thusly: i have a male child, how do i reconcile that fact with what i have just read?

the woman doesnt disagree with what shes just read, she isnt confused by it either, she just cannot reconcile it with the fact that she has a male child, as if that has a single goddamned thing to do with whether radical feminists are right or wrong.  frighteningly, the truth is not the issue: mothers of boy children are struggling to accept radical feminist observations and theorizing about boys and men independently of their assessment of the truth or falsehood of our observations and theorizing.  that is to say, something being demonstrably true is not enough for that thing to be accepted into these womens worldview.

the truth is not enough, when you are a mother to a boy child.

this is an enormous problem, and its not just women struggling with radical feminism.  mothers of boy children frequently struggle with reality in general, since the reality about boys and men is often that they are violent, sexual predators.  like this mother, who said, as her son was being led off to begin his prison sentence for possessing the documentary evidence of children being raped by men which he apparently found not inconsistent with his own values and worldview i mean child pornography: This is not happening, this is not happening, this is not happening.

that mother ended up being an activist for male sex offenders.  an activist.  for.  male sex offenders.  not against.  handmaiden of the patriarchy much?  also, activist?  really?  that strains the very spirit of the concept if not the letter of it.  she is also spending her own time, energy, money, and self, every moment and calorie and penny of each, and her female self, on making the world a better place for male sex offenders, and a worse place for herself, and girls and women.

to these women who already have boy children, and are struggling with the obvious conflicts of interest that creates, i am sorry to say it, but it might be too late for you in some, many or even all ways.  you are in very, very deep.  this is deliberate, of course, and a fine way to make sure that women are so internally and externally conflicted that they cannot even accept the truth into their worldview.  the truth is irrelevant.  (but if the truth doesnt inform your worldview, what does?  this is not a rhetorical question).

the truth.  is irrelevant.  the truth.  is irrelevant.  whats the definition of “delusion” again?  this problem is huge.

radical feminist science fiction addresses the issue and envisions a future world different from this one: for example, joanna russ’s “the female man” presents one possible future where there have been no men around for 800 years, and where mothers and their children  — genetic descendents of two mothers — spend the first 5 years of the child’s life together then are separated.  i thought that was interesting, because there will certainly be mothers who do not want to be separated from their daughters and would probably fight russ on that.  its russ’s vision, cannot she be allowed to have it, even if its not ideal, or even if its wrong?  at least its different.  i liked that she didnt not-publish the book just because her vision for the future was somewhat harsh, or (arguably) lacking.

i think, in order to imagine a future without patriarchy, we have to be willing to imagine a future where there are no people at all.*  if we decide that its worth it to have people survive, and if women can figure out how to do this outside of patriarchal constraints — including patriarchal reproductive technologies obviously — then we will need to decide what that looks like, and what we are able and willing to do (and what we arent).  honestly, doing it the other way — where we have to consider culling the herd of existing or even potential males — might just be too hard.  its also a derail, of the “what about the men” variety.

* “because its not consistent with propagation of the species” is not feminist analysis.  its not.

On Feminist Writing May 3, 2011

Posted by FCM in books!, meta, pop culture, prostitution.
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i was inspired to write another “creativity” post after finishing joanna russ’s classic “how to suppress womens writing.”  i have been avoiding actually doing it though, because i am kinda sick of scanning pages out of books…but what do i know really?  i just work here.  and unfortunately, for anyone who hasnt heard, ms. russ died last week.  boo!  its just horrifying to me that so many elder feminists are dying recently…but thats probably another post.
 
anyway…joanna russ was a (relatively?) well-known feminist science fiction writer.  as a perfect (perfect!) example of that, heres the prologue to “how to suppress womens writing” in its entirety:

hello!  that first part is priceless isnt it?  russ apparently wrote this book, which is nearly pocket-sized although not exactly an effortless read, during a seven-month convalescence, and her intent was to “define patterns” that have persisted over a century or more, in mens minimizing, mischaracterizing, appropriating, ridiculing and erasing womens written work.  she identifies 9 general strategies by which this is accomplished, and gives examples of each.  now, i am not really that interested in literature, you know, which may have quite a lot to do with the fact that almost all of it has been written by misogynist dudes (though not all of it, as russ notes: it has been a common tactic of women writers to use male-sounding pen-names for example…producing profound works which were initially praised, then instantly downgraded and recategorized once the literary critics realized that women had written them.  wuthering heights being a prime example).

no, i am not interested in that kind of writing, not really.  what i am interested in is radical feminist commentary, addressing any and all subject matter, utilizing any and all media (currently, i am utilizing short essays and graphics, and am particularly fond of the silly-graphic, but serious ones are good too).  and what struck me when i was reading russ’s book is not only how women, as a sexual class, are not supposed to be writing at all, but that the subject matter long considered worthy of both writing and reading about has been pretty exclusively the sick empornulated fantasies (and realities) of misogynist men.  obviously, its not just who is doing the writing, its what they are writing about: in particular, “blood and guts and fucking whores and puking in the streets.”  fucking.  whores.  see?  a decidedly male point of view, on decidedly manly pursuits: mens first-, second-, and third-person accounts of actively destroying women.  this is the history (and the criteria) women writers are up against, when they put the pen to the paper, to write.

so russ enumerates the obstacles women writers stare down daily, and in the chapter describing the lack of female role models in academia and literature, largely due to the erasure of womens work (or minimizing and exceptionalizing it, for example, bookstores carrying only one title from a female author when she has actually written many) she describes her own experience as a writing student in college:

GAH!  how did she ever make it through school as an aspiring writer?  anyway, it occurs to me that, as radical feminist writers, not only are we women, and women-identified women writing from our perspective as women-identified women (this is who we are) we are also, too, in addition, creating and expounding on feminist subject matter that absolutely crucifies BOTH empornulated men, and empornulation-as-art.  and writing, specifically, was never meant to do this.  stringing words together was never meant to describe womens reality, and shine a bright light on the ways men actively annihilate us, what that looks like, and to insist that it matters.  never.  and producing written material for other peoples consumption was never supposed to trigger…womens recognition of a shared plight.  the revelation of mens lies.  descriptions and evocations of the ways men constantly, constantly harass, threaten, obliterate and annihilate women, and lists and pictures and tips and compassion and…humor.  we are laughing at them.  oh yes we are.

i almost think this has gotten away from them…could this be possible?  of course, as soon as putting the pen to paper to create strings of words meant to be consumed by other people starts to work for us, they will certainly shift the goalposts, and say that writing was never that great of a medium anyway, and video games are where its at!!!111!  you know, or something.  but look.  what is consistently ranked among the top 10–if not the number-one–inventions of all time?  everyone knows its the printing press.  its quite possibly the (the!) most important invention.  of all time.  men have been saying this for centuries, and the reason we know they think this (or at the very least we know they say it) is because its written down.  in print.  they cant deny it now.

so whats the deal?  did men not anticipate that womens reality is real?  that its real, and it can be described, using words?  and being that this is the case…women are now laughing and describing and evoking and calling shit on sick empornulated misogynist men, utilizing the written word.  this was not supposed to happen, i dont think.  but it is happening.

it is.