You know, I keep going back and forth between being exasperated, pissed off, and just sort of amused by this shit. But, okay. Amanda Marcotte tells it as she sees it:
One example that stuck in my craw recently was on a thread that Marc started because he was a bit shocked at how vile the advertising for rape porn is and belledame, straining to rearrange the pro-porn side to explain this shit away, went on a long rant about how it’s understandable that men have all this anger because of the oppressive patriarchal imperialism etc. etc. in their lives, all of which is true enough but not exactly unknown. She half-excused this stuff with this:
Me, I just keep flashing on this song title. it was a favorite of my best friend’s abusive asshole brother. “I Want You To Hurt Like I Hurt.”
These feelings of powerlessness and invasion are unbearable. Quick, pass them to someone else. -dump the load- Ah, that’s better.
And I retorted:
Nice theory, belledame. If the anger that leads to rape is caused by feeling powerless, then women should rape more than men since we feel that powerlessness more than men. But we don’t. Why?
Because it’s not about powerlessness. It’s about feeling entitled to have what you want on demand and then, when you don’t get it, throwing a temper tantrum like a spoiled brat.
This anger at not getting what isn’t yours will only disappear when we quit coddling and spoiling men and telling them they are entitled to have what isn’t actually theirs.
It seems so simple to me, and it’s also the middle ground between the two camps. It concedes to the pro-porn side that fantasies are a reflection of society, but it refuses to go along with the idea that fantasies themselves are somehow beyond analysis or criticism that makes the person clinging to the fantasy responsible for his own hatefulness...
There's more, a lot more, at the site, if you've an interest; it's all about AM's personal journey wrt the porn business and male sexual demands and the "patriarchy" and so on and so forth. I'm just there as an illustration, really. And there is stuff that I actually agree with, pretty much:
Thinking it all through, it doesn’t seem that hard to admit both that most porn is vile while also admitting that it doesn’t have to be that way, a solid middle ground between the pro and anti camps. So why is there this notion that common ground can’t be found? My theory is that it’s because the anti-porn feminists fled to legal recourse so quickly...
or, well, that's ONE thing, the legal business; but, well, Bitch Lab or someone (one of the actual radical feminists, I mean; well, maybe that is what delphyne was saying in the comments there, she's said it in so many words before; strangely enough, i couldn't really bear to look at that whole mess) could be along in a moment to explain why actually it's all rooted in the radical feminist theory, which she's been saying for months now but Amanda isn't gonna know on account of she delinked BL in a fit of pique during the last contretemps (in which we learn that treating a random near-anonymous blogger like a pinata and/or blank screen for all one's own mishegoses is not only fine and dandy but Serious Feminist Critique, O.K.) And Amanda, I am getting the strong impression lately, not the world's most curious person, at least when it comes to stuff that doesn't pretty much directly concern her.
But yes, there OUGHT to be "middle ground." That has in fact been sort of my project all along? or ONE of them. probably the incandescent rage doesn't help so much in this project, i admit, o.k. But I will say that there are now some radical feminists whom, while we disagree on a lot, I respect a lot more than, well...
Anyway. Since this is my site and this is all about me, I'm gonna just recenter this one a tad:
Numero uno: For those just tuning in. I NEVER FRIGGING SAID NOT TO ANALYZE MOTHERFUCKING PORN. Or sex, or any goddam thing else. Hello. I asked for MORE (deeper! harder!) analysis of this shit.
what i have been SAYING is, "ain't this awful" is NOT CRITIQUE. Understandable, sure. But in itself? Not terribly interesting. To me. Maybe to you. If so, you know what: knock yourself out. I've been to that rodeo before, see. Misogyny: not news. Rape happens a lot, and it's hideous, no shit. The existence of rape porn: not a shock. (Yes, I know, not to you either, you're "not ladylike," here's your cookie/ladyfinger). Thank you.
Numero two-o: I am not on a "pro-porn side." Not the way you and a lot of people (thanks again, if there's one thing i needed it was reinforcement of the widespread perception that I am Miz Flaming Porn Apologist And Male Enabling Patriarchy Fucker) seem to think, which leads to:
Numero the third and most important: And, while it may seem "so simple" to you, it isn't to some of the rest of us.
For some of us it isn't all about motherfucking men. Or about RELATIONS between frigging MEN and WOMEN.
Get it now?
I talk about (straight) men and their sexuality in this way because I CAN. Because it simply isn't so weighted for me. Because I find it interesting, in an anthropological sort of way;
and also, as someone who ALSO has been repeatedly told that her sexuality was foul icky disgusting sinister and/or simply frivolous, must you be so SELFISH--hell, here's one more way I relate: desire for WOMEN in particular--I, weirdly, kind of sympathize.
And yet, not.
Because, and I know this may come as a shock to some people, but I, too, am a WOMAN and yes! Have been subject to the vagaries of institutionalized misogyny my VERY OWN SELF. Honest and for true: I really don't need you or your straight male pals to explain this experience to me. Dim, "intellectually dishonest" (you're awfully fond of that phrase lately, aren't you, Amanda?) though I or at least some of the people I love and respect obviously am. Are. Be. Whatthefuckever.
gah. You know, and there is also a reason why I feel as empathetic as I do to brownfemipower and Black Amazon and the rest of the bloggers of color who have their own frustrations right now.
Because, how many fucking ways are there to explain, hello, some people have OTHER EXPERIENCES OF MARGINALIZATION IN ADDITION TO YOURS? which is not to say "o, okay, you win in the Oppression Olympics," but means OUR EXPERIENCES ARE DIFFERENT?
and, further, are now feeling extremely marginalized, by, among other things and people...you. Yep, that's right. Which stings more, supposed ally, we-are-all-in-this-together. Well apparently no, we fucking aren't, after all.
Not because you don't mean well. Not because you're deep-down bone-racist/homophobic/EVOL/whatever.
Because you just don't pay close attention. Because you aren't CURIOUS enough to do so.
(and here broaden this to a general you; it's hardly as though you're unique in this)
And meaning well isn't enough.
And: it is EXASPERATING to be constantly misprepresented and misunderstood, because, in large part, not only do you not read very carefully before you go swanning off to use whatever/whoever it is as fodder for your very own blog, but you simply don't or i don't know, won't seem capable of grasping that there might be any other frame of reference in the entire fucking world besides yours.
I really don't know how else to put this. And please, please do start bringing the "radical lesbian feminists" into this. Some of my best friends/allies are. Please, PLEASE do.
Do you know why certain kinds of radical lesbian feminists resonate with you so well, Straight Woman?
That's right. Because even though they are LES-BE-ANS, they mostly talk about, well, men. Specifically, how awful and oppressive they are. Which, apparently, you can relate.
No disturbingly unfamiliar talk of issues specific to queer folk (not just women, either); no talk about our OWN sexuality, our OWN issues of internal abuse, sexual and otherwise; nothing so tricky and squirm-inducing as internalized homophobia and the deep anger that can sometimes well up not just at men, but at you, too, straight women,
...none of that, and thank God. Lesbians are just like...well, what? Your favorite cozy crotchetyspinster aunt. Yas'm.
Well, good on you for finding your mentor or whatever it is; lord knows i oughtn't to let my own grinding axe get in the way of such a tender nurturing relationship.
Just: you know. It irks a tad. Even people who know better: "well, of COURSE a lesbian is going to find blowjobs disgusting! She's a LESBIAN!"
Really...no. Just: no. But thank you, again, for spreading that comfortable belief.
It makes my life just so much easier.
Because I of course have no buttons at all about "gee, that sexuality of yours? kind of irrelevant, really. At best. So just hold it in, for, like, ever."
O yeah: apparently the closet doesn't factor at all either into this strange twilight world.
But I digress. We weren't really talking about the more curious detours of "political lesbianism" and so on.
What were we talking about?
I'm pissed off. And bored. Again.
And: I don't mind if you want to flame me; considering our last major interaction was me storming into your space and shrieking at you and your regulars to SUCK MY TAMPON, i am not surprised that i am not exactly high on your love list. And no, we don't really need to get more into why I did that again, I expect; if it isn't clear by now, I really don't know how much clearer to be; and anyway, the woman in question has long since sailed into the sunset, and more fucking power to her.
But for the love of fuck: what is that phrase? Intellectual honesty? Well, I'll settle for just plain honesty.
Stop painting me as someone I'm not. Stop suggesting I am saying things that I am not. Do not use me or what I symbolize to you as pivot babe for your circle jerk.
If you can't be arsed to come and find out there's more to "sex-positive" -or- feminism than the fun wacky world of hetero hijinks, that's fine. But, and I think someone else said this to you in a different context just recently, and no, you still don't seem to be tweaking this either:
You don't get it.
You are, it appears, only interested in your own POV.
Which is fine as far as it goes.
As such, I for one would like it if you could kindly stick to your own shit and owning that it is, indeed, your shit, until such time as you can address the "other" people you are using with more respect.