But first, there's my Don't hate me because I'm beauti-- er, thin — reloaded (and, alas, in German), wherein happens much blaming and questions such as, Why are people so concerned with whether young women pick skinny models as, well, role-models, when the question is why they choose models at all? are asked. Part of the problem of course being that as a member of the sex class, you do not get to opt out of the hawtness contest entirely. More so when these days, you exist to the degree that you exist in the media and your primary currency (as a member of the sex class) is self-pornification.
When the white male is the default human being, the standard, you're set up to fail at that standard. When by those standards the only thing males aren't supposedly better at is "female hotness", the results are somewhat predictable. In the same vein, twisty has this on feminity:
Behold the neat trick. First, you make women act like simpletons, broodmares, janitors, mannequins, and sex slaves before you grant them social approval. You call this behavior “femininity” and explain that it is their essential nature, and that any deviation from the program will be punished. Then you infantilize and ridicule the ones who get it right, and vilify and abuse the ones who get it wrong (you can also vilify and abuse the ones who get it right, because, let’s be honest; the world is your oyster).
With so much riding on it, whether femininity is performed right or wrong is an issue of enormous concern to women. That’s where the Empowerful Pink Marketing Juggernaut comes in.
Femininity is a set of practices and behaviors (boob jobs, FGM, "beauty"™, the "veil"™, the flirty head-tilt, pornaliciousness, BDSM, fashion, compulsory pregnancy, marriage, et al) that are dangerous, painful, pink, or otherwise destructive; that compel female subordination; […] that are overwhelmingly represented by ‘girly’ feminists as a ‘choice’; and that are overwhelmingly represented by [conservatives] as ‘natural instincts’. In fact these practices and behaviors are nothing but inviolable cultural traditions in abject compliance with which comfort, contentment, and personal fulfillment are [available], and from which deviation is discouraged by the threat of ingenious punishments ranging from diminished social influence, to unemployability, to ridicule, to imprisonment, to rape, to murder, to the policing of feminist blogs. […] The flipside […] of the concept of femininity as-self-policed-subordination is femininity as-survival-skill.
Another fallacy is to assume that just because the feminine role is problematic, the masculine role isn't. Patriarchy hurts everyone — just to different degrees, depending on your intersection of privilege (based on race, sex and gender, wealth, age, …).
I think transcending those (false) dichotomies may be a good way to an epiphany or two.
And while we're looking at people through the lens of sex, another false dichotomy may hide in the world of BDSM. Just because making the eroticization of power dynamics explicit may have some benefits over keeping aspects of this implicit or being in outright denial over them, that doesn't mean that one wouldn't be better off ultimately transcending these dynamics altogether. Especially since coupling inequality with orgasm (by "pantomiming the dynamics of oppression through hackneyed sex maneuvers and jokey outfits") might train a dangerous mindset. alephnul has a bit on this, and another that links it to RPG-theory — interestingly enough the referenced push/pull model (where push is about forcing things and pull about giving others space to do things) very much mirrors this competitive (basketball) vs co-operative (jam session) model of sex. In fact some of the initial comments are pretty interesting:
communication is far more central to human interaction than power imbalances are — and yet far more people seem to fetishize power imbalances than do communication. In fact, there's this weird cliche of romantic fiction that relies for its effect on audience consensus that communication itself is somehow inherently … anti-sexy?
But yes, let's move on from guys who think being gracious to sex partners defeats the purpose of fucking someone to pornography. Recently in a conversation, the question of why there's "more than one porn movie anyway" came up, alluding to the fact that the number of combinations of hair and skin colour, orifices, and body-type is ultimately limited. Robert Jensen argues that that's where cruelty enters the picture — there are only so many "sexual" acts, but cruelty is infinite. And really, if your fantasy already postulates that the other party (in this case, the woman) just loves exactly what you want to do and how you're doing it (and is therefore non-threatening, for one thing), what is the added benefit of making her so worthless that her (positive) opinion (of you) is irrelevant? What kind of person do you have to be to find the idea that all women are worthless sluts (or, half of them are, and they'll have to take it for all those frigid ones who rejected you) more plausible than the idea that one might actually enjoy getting naked with you? Not because she's stupid, or worthless, or a sex-maniac, or doesn't deserve anything good happening to her, but because you're not such a bad old stick and she actually wants to? Are you really so horrible? Or is it really so ghastly to think of acknowledging your (fantasy-) sex partner's humanity? Or do you just bring a lot of anger at women to the table?
And if so, did you buy into that Men are from Mars, Women are from Vegas crap? That implies men and women are so very different they're hardly the same species (so if men are human, where does that leave women)? Which in turns implies that women will always be incomprehensible, arbitrary, and frustrating?
Quoth spinster-aunt Faster (yes, we're having a bit of a twisty-fest today):
images that seek to normalize [the] oppression [of the sex class] are themselves oppressive. Furthermore, in our wonderful world pornography, which is violence, and sex, which is women, are now synonymous. Thus the experience of pornography is neither narrative nor vicarious; it is desirable specifically because it provokes a primal physical reponse independent of cognition or intellectual analysis.
Personally, I have little trouble with banning that shit as hate speech, but lo and behold, when you suggest that, you usually get US-Americans, even those who will admit that at least some pornography is harmful (see bottommost entry on linked page), Americans who already have laws about libel and slander and possibly hate speech or fighting words on the books who stand up and propose that any limitation of free speech is unthinkable (in stark contrast to the aforementioned already on the books laws, mind), Americans, mind you, who let their "free speech" be contained to "free speech zones." Note, if you will, that this is insanity. You know who I blame.
Mal sehen, was passiert. :)
So weiß ich wenigstens wer Schuld ist, wenn jetzt lauter spannende (oder vielleicht auch doofe) Leute kommen. ;)
Zuerst dachte ich, "Naja, /offensichtlich/ relevant ist ja nur der erste Teil," aber wer sowas liest, ist ja auch potentiell Kunde für die anderen Thematiken. Und der "wie mache ich meinen Sex besser"-Teil schließlich betrifft ja ein breites Segment der Bevölkerung. ;)
ich gehe nicht davon aus. man hat sich dort jetzt auf mich eingeschossen, und ich vermute, dass der großteil dort weder deinen text (sprachlich) versteht noch ein interesse an dieser art von auseinandersetzung mit dem thema hat.
Ja, das ist vermutlich gedanklich recht harter Tobak, wenn man nicht regelmässig mit feministischer Theorie (und/oder English) am Gange ist. Ich hätte das auch auf "Magazin" schreiben könne ("ohne Vorwissen, Zwischenschritte werden erklärt"), aber dann wäre es drei Mal so lang geworden, und hätte auch mindestens drei Mal so lange gedauert.
Für den Einstieg (kurz):
Für den Einstieg (ausführlich):