Meh. British chic catches up with continental standards, 20 years late but moving fast. Film at eleven.
Man mag mal eine Ausgabe English Vogue, French Vogue, German Vogue und American Vogue ("bloody Abys- bloody -synian bloody Vogue, darling!" — Italian Vogue lassen wir mal außen vor, die hat sich ja inzwischen zum Schimpfwort unter Feministinnen gemacht mit ihren Gewalt gegen Frauen-Fotostrecken) vergleichen, am Besten aus dem selben Monat, das ist instruktiv. Ebenso ist es interessant, US BH-Grössen mit den deutschen zu vergleichen, sowie die Präferenzen unter den jeweiligen, haha, Herren der Schöpfung. Zum einem ist der "goldene Bruststandard" im englischsprachigen Raum nicht exakt derselbe wie in Kontinentaleuropa. Wenn dort also korrigiert wird, tangiert uns das nicht notwendigerweise. Erstens generell, und zweitens, wenn ohnehin nur in Richtung "unserer" Standards korrigiert wird. Zum anderem ist in Grossbritannien gerade eine Saison mit Lack und Latex und gewissen Schnitten usw. usw. durch, also das was böse Zungen hooker chic nannten — das ist schwer zu steigern, und ich bin nicht überrascht, daß jetzt etwas anderes dran ist, etwas mit weniger "display" z.B. — Mode ist ohnehin reichlich fragwürdig, aber dann eher "immer und überall," als nur dann wenn Frau B vom Telegraph gerade mal meint, nicht die Zielgruppe zu sein.
This article is broken in that it is about mystical unicorn porn. That is, it bends over backwards to give porn-users a "fair shake" in that it is about porn that is not obviously degrading, vulgar, or gross, and I'm not sure such material even exists (aside from that fact that if it does, it by some definitions would not count as pornography in the first place). Hence this article needs work. It might also go away until these issues are rectified. Until then, I suggest you go read something else — there's got to be at least one good article on this log — or, if you wish to stick with the topic, you may wish to read about pornography elsewhere.
Way back when I wrote a paper called Pretty in Pain. ("Rape culture, by any other name —" You'll have to excuse the style; it was one of the first things I wrote at university, and went online because it predated the plethora of much better papers you'll find nowadays by several years.) Anyway. Back then I mentioned to some people that I'd love to ultimately write a treatment on porn, but given that "both sides" had studies and treatises and what-not, it would take quite some time to do the research — time I sadly didn't have. It's been years, and I still haven't found the time. And perhaps more importantly, better researchers and more insightful people than I am have. So I'll offer a — by now terribly biased — opinion instead.
One of the fabulous subversive words invented by the incomparable twisty — more on her in the "footnote" — is empowerful. Empowerful as in empowered, the prefix em-, like en- or in- denoting that the power is invested in her from without, lest somebody think that females might be naturallypowerful. The distinction matters.
Empowermentis a rather fitting word though, as it is traditionally suggested that the power held by women is sexual power. In other words, sexuality grants women "power" over men who hold actual, real power. Women use that vile witchy power of sexuality to "control men" and channel some of those men's power into themselves, thereby empowering themselves. This obviously is quite different from finding her own power within, that is, actually being powerful by herself, rather than by proxy. It follows quite naturally that the more sexuality a woman can express, the more empowerful she is. It is for this reason that women aide in their own pornification. This pornification, some may say, is reaching new heights both in intensity (in the current fetish fashion and raunch culture) and extent (the pornification of preteens; "corporate paedophilia"). Enough maybe for some to think that it has come to the point where something's gotta give, where only a backlash can follow, but personally, I'm not so sure. That this will happen. That if it happens it will be a backlash that makes things better for women.
This of course means that there are women who don't get to be empowerful: those who cannot or will not conform to beauty standards; those who will not pornify themselves, the fat and the old and the butch and, oftentimes, the poor. It also means that if you end up in one of those groups — by gaining weight, getting old, getting bored with the effort of the performance that is beauty, or otherwise not being a feast for the male gaze and thereby neglecting your duties as a member of the sex class —, you fall out of favour, and lose "your" power, as it is only by power by proxy, and never was yours to begin with.
This is particularly interesting when considering how well we're told many 1st world women do in school and uni in recent years. It would certainly be instructive to investigate to what degree this finding intersects with that that nowadays, we exist to the degree that we exist in the media. Which, if we stick to the modes of expression traditionally allowed to us, reinforces those stereotypes, of course.
Yes, Virginia, comic book physique is possible. Within reason. Thing is, who wants to be a comic book character these days?
Most of you have seen the I'm a Marvel / I'm a DC spots. I didn't even bother to watch them all, because they made DC look so bad, and, always having been a DC girl, that just put me off.
But maybe, it's time to take a closer look at things. Tally. On the Marvel side? Spidey dealing with child abuse and fighting people who want to give bad sex ed (I'm not making this up, follow the link! Issue includes some sex ed basics, advertised by Stan the Man himself, at that. The bit about homosexuality is certainly off, but hey, it's from the '70s — not an excuse, certainly, but an explanation.).
Meanwhile, what does DC offer us? The rape of Batman. The rape of Green Arrow — and his son Conner/Green Arrow 2 kissing daddy's rapist, because, you know, that's better than being considered gay — right? Right?
This post/thread says it all, so, rather unusually for this weblog, I'll let the quotes speak for themselves:
The conservative-sexist metaphorical framework of sex is Sex As Conquest. […] Sometimes the struggle over the pussy is between men (ex: jokes about fathers guarding their daughters’ bodies from young male interlopers) and sometimes women themselves are tasked with defending the pussy from sex. If sexual intercourse happens, by definition, the man who gets to fuck the woman has won and the defender (father or woman herself) has lost. Sex happens when women surrender, in this model.
The liberal-feminist view of sex is that it’s not a war or a game, but more of a mutual collaboration, less like a battle and more like playing music. In this model, to be a sexual person is to be a musician and sex is playing your instrument. Sometimes you play by yourself, sometimes you get with others and jam, and sometimes you actually have a band that you have a long-term relationship with. There aren’t winners and losers, but there can be good and bad sex, just like there can be good and bad music. […] Homosexuality creates a lot of grief to those who have a fairly strict conservative view of sex because you can’t even tell who’s supposed to be the offense and the defense. It’s simply outside of their model, and it creates cognitive dissonance, which often makes the person suffering it want to wipe out the source of the dissonance. […]
The conservative-sexist model of rape is the same one used to define a foul in basketball. Basically, when sexual intercourse happens, the man team has scored a point against the woman team. Each team is allowed some strategies and disallowed others. In basketball, you’re supposed to snatch the ball from the other team, but you can’t cross certain lines or you’ll get a foul. This explains why rape trolls are so eager to find out what the “rules” are, i.e. when they are permitted to force sex. (”Is it rape if she’s drunk? What if she says yes and changes her mind? Is it okay to bully someone into it, so long as you don’t actually hold her down and force her? Are guilt trips okay?, etc.”) If there’s some ambiguity when the referee calls a foul, your teammates (other men) are supposed to clamor to your defense, regardless of whether or not you actually fouled. If the foul is called, then the woman team scores a point (or a free throw in basketball, but you get the idea). The idea that it’s wrong to have sex with someone unless she really, really wants to do it makes about as much sense as saying that you should only be allowed to get the ball in basketball if the defense hands it to you.
[Amanda, continued below the fold]
"Heard of some gravesites, out by the highway
a place where nobody knows
The sound of gunfire, off in the distance
I'm getting used to it now
Lived in a brownstone, lived in the ghetto
I've lived all over this town"
Rape as a fetish is packaged and marketed to men and women as a steady stream of images which blur the lines between rape and the kind of passionate sex we’re all meant to want. Movies show us a man and woman fighting, then suddenly fucking. Two bodies slamming against a wall, or a wrought-iron fence, or a car hood, walking the line between sex and violence. Her head, pulled back by his hand pulling her hair. She tries to run, but he pulls her to him and she collides with him, sobbing yet horny (of course). … These scenes are decidedly different in tone from those that seek only to represent the desperate yearn and clamor of a passionate fuck, as fight-fucking is infused with a sense of both force and yielding, and suggestive that both are necessary components of any “real” fuck. It is within these scenes, where an attractive woman is overwhelmed either physically or pheromonally (or both) by a powerful man, that we begin to understand the unsettling association between ravishing (beautiful) and ravish (rape).
And while we're at it, let's earn this article a language tag as well, shall we?
If you're a man planning to read any of this, Ilyka may have a good introduction for you: Don't get all defensive; if you're not the problem, this isn't about you. This was not written with you as a primary audience in mind.
Also if you're a man, you may be under the assumption that I'm posting this because it was a particular shitstorm of a month in the girlzone and I've cracked. Nope. Sorry. Drop in any week of the year. When you're not looking, I blame the patriarchy. And dudes, that's the setup that disenfranchises you too.
Likewise, you may assume it's only in those silly Americas that people routinely make themselves look like woman-hating asswipes. Not so. Seriously, I commend you for not reading the Guardian on the grounds of being a zionist, but their assault-related articles really aren't so bad.
So, you may wonder, if this isn't a particularly bad month, does that mean I'm upset all the time? Nope. Because I'm not upset now. I might have been ten years ago, but you learn to understand that none are as blind as those who will not see. You stop being surprised. But the beauty is, if something doesn't hurt you, you can defend those who would be with relatively little effort. It takes so little to say, Dude, we don't do that in this tribe. I'm not upset. I'm not hurt. But I'm wary. And it's not quite the same wary you may feel about the surveillance state. Semper paratus.