Friday, November 10, 2006

Serious ew

Via feministe, a twofer: first, a video of a "father-daughter purity ball." Which is totally and completely healthy, just like you're already thinking.

Then, link to an article by some charmer called Cary Tennis. Answering (on Salon, yet, this guy has a column) a reader's query ("Is it dangerous for a woman to wear party clothes on the bus at night?" [or, is my friend's boyfriend just a control freak and i do mean FREAK, basically]), he replies:

There is something to be said for being invisible. For the city is also a stage, occupied by actors trying to become real. Suffocated by the sheer numbers around us as we sit on the buses and subways day after day, we sometimes feel that we are less real than others, less powerful, less important and respected; we dream of doing something to take some of that power and visibility away from them. So we attack them, take their money and spend it, take their credit cards, take their lives.

How do we pick our victims? We pick the ones who catch our eye, the ones whose bright colors enrage us, whose sexual attractiveness fills us with resentment and anger.

Who will be the victim? That pretty one there.

Perhaps this is what your friend’s boyfriend understands...

... Or perhaps her boyfriend is not really thinking about crime per se, but about something a little more subtle. Perhaps it is his own discomfort at knowing what men think when they look at his girlfriend in her party clothes. He knows because he is a man and thinks certain thoughts, and knows from talking with other men that they think these thoughts too, when they look at women whom they do not know. He knows that on the subway men who do not know his girlfriend will look at her in a certain way and think these thoughts. He does not like these thoughts. They are an outrage.

He does not want men thinking these things about his girlfriend, but there is not much he can do about it. A man's thoughts are private. No law can say what a man may think. Only if what he is thinking shows in his eyes can one know. So what can he do?

... I do not know the answers. I am just another man on the subway, invisible, hungry, alone, watching.

in other words:

"You talkin' to me?? You talkin' to ME???"



Meanwhile, not very far away, red stapler remarks on a fellow evangelical's apologia for the haggard Haggard:

As every pastor knows, we are always at risk from the sin in us and the sinful temptations around us...

My suspicion is that as our culture becomes more sexually rebellious, things will only get worse. Therefore, as a means of encouragement, I would like to share some practical suggestions for fellow Christian leaders, especially young men:

...Most pastors I know do not have satisfying, free, sexual conversations and liberties with their wives. At the risk of being even more widely despised than I currently am, I will lean over the plate and take one for the team on this. It is not uncommon to meet pastors’ wives who really let themselves go; they sometimes feel that because their husband is a pastor, he is therefore trapped into fidelity, which gives them cause for laziness. A wife who lets herself go and is not sexually available to her husband in the ways that the Song of Songs is so frank about is not responsible for her husband’s sin, but she may not be helping him either.

Yes indeedy. Wifey has gone cold and lost her girlish figure, which naturally makes hubby go after the hot young boys who, um, haven't lost their...girlish...figures...yet?

Don't you hate it when that happens? mebbe Curves needs to start a new program: "Thin Thighs and a Penis in Thirty Days!"

Praise the Lord and pass the Slim-Fast! bless his heart. and, it is damn good of him to

"lean over the plate and take one for the team on this."

A real trooper, that one.

Finally, antiprincess links to some dude who is apparently of the opinion that

...[feminist blogger] goes on about never being able to walk down the street without fear, never be able to camp in the woods without fear, and that, "I will never experience a time when I can, without fear, without reservation, bring a man to my house and not have it even cross my mind that he would rape me."

Wow ... she's finally catching on.

Yep, all those things are ABSOLUTELY correct.

But where you radical feminists get it wrong is that these facts are not the result of some sort of "social conspiracy" meant to "dominate women" - these things are GENETIC, and necessarily so.

Based on the behavior of the vast majority of the women I have encountered, if most men did not have the drive to PERSUE A WOMAN A LITTLE MORE AGGRESSIVELY THAN SHE ORDINARILY CARES FOR, at least at first, there simply WOULD BE NO MORE HUMANS.

Yes indeed, the armchair evolutionary psychologists are in the HOUSE. did he use the term "alpha male?..." eh, can't be bothered to look.

all's i know is that any species or subspecies that produces people/giant lizards/insects who say things like

Yep ... I can see how having someone in your life who is sufficiently attracted to you that he even wants to slip you the sausage when you're maybe not quite at your best is sufficient cause to CONTEMPLATE SUICIDE.

...really has some ways to go with that whole "evolving" thing. or at any rate, the individual in question certainly does. not least for the odious phrase "slip her the sausage."


Renegade Evolution said...


This alpha female is all over that alpha males ass :)

and yeah, a woman loosing her figure, sure sign her man has to go for...young men?

As for the subway comment? Prolly the only way they guy can get ANY kicks.

belledame222 said...

that guy skeeves me maybe even more than the others. does he even -know- how creeptastic he sounds? i guess it's useful to know how people like that actually think, but...ew, just ew.

Winter said...

Based on the behavior of the vast majority of the women I have encountered, if most men did not have the drive to PERSUE A WOMAN A LITTLE MORE AGGRESSIVELY THAN SHE ORDINARILY CARES FOR, at least at first, there simply WOULD BE NO MORE HUMANS.

Yeah, because obviously there's no other conceivable reason why women are not exactly leaping upon the body of this particular man with gusto. Oh no.

belledame222 said...

It's reading d00dz like this that one realizes where all those Z-movies a la "Amazon Women On the Moon" (or whatever the real equivalent would be) come from.

Alex Barreto said...

On this side of the ring--Genetics; on the other--Social Conspiracy. Can social conspiracy punch the meth-addiction out of Genetics or will Genetics lead the straight male into a future without progency.

What the fuck.

Okay, so you have rape fantasies, but you think that's Genetic? That's key to the survival of the species? I guess following that logic my juicy didloed ass is key to passing on my genes. What a velvet rope concept this guy has about sexuality and sexual fantasy.

On THAT note, I've decided that as a gay man my contribution to society is to help repressed straight-folk learn to talk about sex in a non-dumb way.

Alex Barreto said...

Oh, and btw, Winter, Right ON. The evil side of this guy's admission and your perception, though, is that they reveal how some men justify rape.

I wish that, much like the character Hiro on NBC's Heroes, I could stop time right when guys like him are thinking their thoughts and then position them in really embarrassing poses, like sticking a hamster up their butts, then starting time up again. Maybe this kind of conditioning would stop their insanity.

Suzanne said...

Why? Why? Why?

I hate people.

Rootietoot said...

My husband has opined that father-daughter balls (called Daddy-Daughter Dinner Dances here) originated in West Virgina and Kentucky. (He's from W.Va)

Rootietoot said...

"A wife who lets herself go and is not sexually available to her husband in the ways that the Song of Songs is so frank about is not responsible for her husband’s sin, but she may not be helping him either."

This is an extremely common excuse used in the Christian community. It's one more "damned if you do, damned if you don't" scenario. If you let yourself go, then you drive your hubs to other, younger, more attractive women (because he's a man and can't control himself, so it's your job to control him), and if you keep yourself up then you're just trying to attract other men, who belong to women who've let themselves go. Of course, I've never seen Ted Haggard's wife so I don't know what she's like. But you can just bet (in the eyes of many members of the Christian community) that she's done something morally heinous, because he's such a righteous man and couldn't possible just wander down that messy road all by himself.

"...[feminist blogger] goes on about never being able to walk down the street without fear, never be able to camp in the woods without fear, and that, "I will never experience a time when I can, without fear, without reservation, bring a man to my house and not have it even cross my mind that he would rape me."

That kind of paranoia is terribly sad. To live in constant fear that half the population of the world is just itching for an opportunity to violate you...well. She must either be physically very fragile, or possessed of such overwhelming anxiety that she can't function.

I am aware that most men own the equipment to rape me. Just as I own the equipment to blow their brains out (literally). I don't think they see me as a potential murderer whenever they see the shape of breasts and hips under my clothes, anymore than I assume they're rapists until proven otherwise (which, unfortunately according to some femnisits, can never be proven), just because they shave their faces every day. These thoughts diminish men in the same way assuming all women are whores diminishes them.

As wife to 1 man and mother to 4 more, I am feeling more pity toward her than I am solidarity.

K. said...

Slight sidetrack:

I'm always amazed when I go to bars frequented by a predominantly heterosexual clientele with my friends and men simply cannot take the hint that not only am I not interested in them as an individual, but in the entire sex as a whole on the intercourse level. Granted I don't just out myself right away, but if said man begins to flirt aggresively enough to make me uncomfortable I politely tell them to bugger off and that I'm gay.

I realize that there is some danger in this as in recent months this sort of response has either led to even more aggresive attempts at gaining my favor or just pure anger. The anger, I'm beginning to realize, comes from the fact that they don't believe me. I mean really, how could it possible?! If I were a lesbian, shouldn't I be at a gay bar (right, I'll go to the same two bars for the rest of my days, woo)?!

Also, on a more subconscious level, I think they are mad because they cannot believe that I, as a woman, wouldn't ever want to participate in a lifestyle that didn't involve them stickin' it in and gettin' me preggers. Hell, there must be something wrong with me if I'm 23 years old and still "experimenting" with my "girl on girl" phase. When I was younger the reactions were more nuanced, it seemed that my male peers were more open to the concept and either thought it was "really hot" (eew, pandering to male fantasy aside) or just accepted it for what it is.

But now I'm a hotshot graduate student surrounded by a slightly more "mature" crowd and I'm finding myself challenged at every turn...

So yeah, in answer to "aggressive man" all I have to say is...shut the fuck up.

JackGoff said...

I'm guessing that prick was talking about BB. "Sure, we rape all the time! This is normal, right? Right?! RIGHT?!?!?! It's ok, come on, say it is! It's genetic! After all, we're only ordinary men! Alpha men! MANLY MEN! HIGH FIVE?"

God, I can't understand my sex sometimes.

belledame222 said...

The feminist blogger in question had already been raped and otherwise abused throughout her life, rt.

she's also someone i've had considerable problems with myself, in the past. I have my own opinions as to how erm healthy her methods of coping are; and I certainly don't care for the idea of her worldview being the basis of you know legal policy. in terms of her herself, ultimately, though: what are you gonna do.

R. Mildred said...

Does this freakish VD clone have a Mouthbreathing Brainsquib too?

belledame222 said...

k: oh, i know. and of course, aggressive man doesn't tweak the heavy heavy role socialization plays; one suspects this is because socialization, for whatever reasons, didn't rub off on him so well, in general.

R. Mildred said...

That kind of paranoia is terribly sad. To live in constant fear that half the population of the world is just itching for an opportunity to violate you...well. She must either be physically very fragile, or possessed of such overwhelming anxiety that she can't function.

I've actually had men attempt to rape me a couple of times, that's on top of the genral purpose acts of sexual harrassment from customers, employers and fellow employees, most feminist bloggers have been almost raped or been in situation where they were almost raped or physically abused sexually.

That's ontop of 30 out of 50 states in the US holding the legal position that if a wife doesn't struggle too much, or is drunk or intoxicated or unconcious, her husband can legally rape her, and that the national rate of rape is something like 1 in 4 women having been raped at some point in their life.

And that's before we get into the whole messy business of rape camps and rape being used as a form of ethnic cleansing in various third world countries, of virgin women being raped because some really dumbfuck african guys thing that hymen juice can cure HIV, and of rape being used to intimidate and silence political dissidents in pretty much every totalitarian regime you can name (including america, or did you think the american police forces would have balked at raping feminist and POC activists a decade or two ago.

Rape is horribly normative and if you haven't been raped or almost raped you are REALLY REALLY Lucky, and while it may be paranoid to think that about half of the opulation will try to rape you given a chance, it is also unfortuantely backed up by the stats and the figures and, well, reality basically.

It's a valid and justified paranoia, and no, we still function despite of it because we have to you see.

I actually almost wrote something about how lesbians are soo lucky not to have to deal with thatand the deprogramming of men that is pretty much required to function as a het woman in a patriarchal society, fortunately my common sense part of my brain woke up for the first time in years and stopped me, but society is so fucked up, and the men that society produces and is made up of is so VERY VERY fucked up that such a statement almost seemed to make sense.

R. Mildred said...

of course one of the reasons why being lesbian isn't really some magic cure all for rape that I get hte impression some het feminists thing it is, is because it only saves you from dealing with rape wihtin a sexual relationship, you're still likely to be raped by close friends who happen to be men or just being raped as part of gaybashing becasue every good homophobe knows that lesbians just need a good fucking right?

Sorry, didn't want to seem like I bought radfem lesiban exceptionalism

belledame222 said...

well, and of course, being lesbian is hardly a protection from being raped, either; all it means is you're less likely to be raped/abused by a man in a dating/relationship context. Which is a large chunk of rape statistics, but by no means all; particularly if you include -acquaintance- rape; and of course most lesbians have some prior experience in the hetero dating world, given the nature of the world, so...really not that much difference.

and then too, there's plenty of abuse, sexual included, within lesbian relationships. yeah, I really love the radical "political lesbian" notion that women are so much -safer.- please, Mary. maybe in one particular way/context we're not as socialized to perform a certain kind of abuse; but that don't make us -safer.- not to mention the foaming fits it sends me into when supposed "lesbians" suggest or even say in so many words that really, sex isn't all that crucial. and desire? who what?

because of course the experience of being told that we don't or at least shouldn't exist, sexually speaking, non-het folks i mean, and women, also, in general, i mean, is -in no way horribly familiar.- NO.

belledame222 said...

that first paragraph could've mostly been just shortened to "what RM said," of course, but well anyway.

belledame222 said...

as per programming, it's true that (usually) you don't have to deal with classic male programming; but instead you get a double dosage of female programming on top of homophobic programming, so: really doesn't solve anything.

honestly, back on "political lesbians" for a moment, i do not get the idea that it's "easier" to try to have a romantic/sexual relationship with someone you're -not- inherently attracted to; fuck me, that's what i spent my whole goddam adolescence struggling with, and it makes me -mental- when people who should (i think) damn well know better start taking that line for some spavined "political" reason. there is -nothing- easy -or- beneficial about suppressing your natural desires and trying to cobble up an attraction that doesn't exist in order to satisfy some externally planted ideology. if you're really feeling asexual, then groovy: just frigging come out and say you're asexual. if you manage to find romantic longtime companionship under such circumstances, well and good for you; if you don't personally see any need for any such things at all (cough*spinsteraunt*cough), that's totally fine as well.

but do NOT frigging start talking as though you are now (more than ever!) in a position to tell everyone -else- what is and isn't okay sexually; if i wanted -that,- i'd go to the frigging Pope.

belledame222 said...

and by the way: I know i've mentioned it before, but this book i'm (sort of) reading? "the Sexual Liberals and the Attack on Feminism"? (ed. Dorchen Leidholdt and Janice Raymond), possibly the most annoying little tome ever written?

In it, among the usual whinnying offerings by Raymond and Sheila Jeffreys and the impassioned chest-beatings of Dworkin, there is this rather extraordinary little piece by a group known as the Southern Women's Writing Collective. i'll just quote a sample:

"We believe that homosexuality, pedophilia, lesbianism, bisexuality, transsexuality, transvestisim, sadomasochism, nonfeminist celibacy, and autoeroticism [!] have the same malevolent relationship to conceptual and empirical male force and does heterosexuality These activities represent only variations on a heterosexual theme, no exceptions. There is no way out of the practice of sexuality except -out.-...We know of no exception to male supremacist sex.

...We have learned that we cannot trust our feelings as the litmus test for the truth about sex because--although sex is experientially about feelings--it is about constructed, manipulated feelings..."


of course, learning to -not- trust your feelings is one of the key tenets of any good authoritarian system; not to mention the lovely paranoiac position they take here. Admittedly they're too extreme for anyone else in this volume to agree with them, including the editors (Leidholdt at least); but that they even see fit to include this missive from CloudCuckooland at all...

and by the way, this was copyright 1990, so you can't even chalk it up to too much goofing on the zeitgeist.

Oh, I love this bit, too:

"After all, if we can teach pigeons to play ping-pong, incarnating in them desires they never thought they had, perhaps we can teach ourselves to prefer a nonsexualized woman-identification to the desire for subordination and for self-annihilation that is the required content and social paradigm of our sexuality."



and of course: there is -nothing- more anti-Patriarchal than Behaviorism.

belledame222 said...

...and of course, they are hopelessly confused as to the difference between -desire- and operant conditional theory--behaviorists are specifically -not- concerned with anything except actual -behavior-, "desire" is simply not what it's about --but well, they're confused about quite a lot of things.

including apparently the difference between people and pigeons; then again, my experience of reading their output is remarkably similar to the experience of being crapped on the head, so perhaps there is something to it, at that...

K. said...

I briefly scanned the thread Belle and R., but yes it's true that to an extent as a lesbian one deals with less of the machismo garbage on a daily basis.

However, something interesting I'm finding as I re-enter the dating scene after several years of monogamy, is that the butch culture of Boston actually encourages typical male displays that we find most appalling. I know that may sound like stereotyping, and I guess it sort of is, but I'm noticing a real trend in sexism commentary from my fellow dykes and that ain't right.

Also, as a lesbian feminist it's rather difficult to function in the larger feminist populace as a result of the unique schema we operate in. Like black or third world feminist, lesbian feminism seems to me a splinter cell that is highly complicated within the larger context.

That said, I'll take a closer look at the thread in a few hours and come back with a more thorough response - I just got off of work and am desperate for a nap ;)

belledame222 said...

oh yah, well, there's definitely a goodly strain of what i'd call "femmephobie or "femmebigotry" amongst lesbians, as with the general public. there's also problems with the overtly butch, too, of course, particularly among the "celesbian" or "lipstick"/mainstreaming set.

on the whole, though, this culture has fear and loathing for all that it's consigned to the "pink" box, and lesbians (along with gay men) are not immune from this. sadly.

belledame222 said...

sudden thought:

you know how we say so and so--women, queer person, POC, has (respectively) "internalized" misogyny, homophobia, racism, whatever? as distinguished from the people who do -not- belong to that category, but are plain ol' homophobic, etc.?

what if another way to look at it was: it's -all- "internalized." because inevitably the fear of the Other is projected fear of the qualities you're disowning in yourself (personally or collectively), right? The misogynist man is disowning his "feminine side," whatever that actually means; the racist is expressing a fear based in the implicit knowledge that the "whiteness" is indeed a -created- status, and can effectively be taken away from hir at any time, in fact. hence the emphasis on things like essentialism, "blood," biology is destiny, yadda.

but it's ultimately all internalized; the hater can't exist without the hated, because sie's using the Other as a projection screen for all that sie doesn't want to know or own about hirself.

the only reason to call some of that stuff an "ism" is because in certain forms it swells to the level of institutionalization, and certain designated demographics are "chosen" to automatically be the bearers of those qualities for another demographic.

but it all boils down to teh same thing, in the end.

Cassandra Says said...

You've gotta love guys like the one you quoted whose thought process seems to go as follows...
"In my experience no woman I have ever met seems to want to fuck me without being coerced into doing so. Clearly this means that women as a whole would never have sex unless men forced them to. Think of the little babies! Who are these frigid women that I see all around me to deny the little spermies their chance? Thus, rape is the only logical solution, except rape sounds so cold, you know? Let's call it nature instead."
What scares me is that I see more of these men all the time. They can't all be the victims of traumatic head injuries, which was my initial suspicion...what is going on here? Why are they proliferating like this? Also, could someone please teach it how to spell "pursue"?
And seriously, Cary Tennys is a pretentious moron. Why does this man still have a job? It's like taking advice from the drunk uncle who always corners you to leer, drool and babble at family events.
And father-daughter balls? Ew. Ick ick ick. Why must these people expose the rest of us to the details of their inappropriate family dynamics? Can't they just keep that shit to themselves?

I'm trying so hard not to start on the political lesbian thing, because once I do I might not be able to shut up...suffice it to say that I think the whole idea is codswallop. Lesbians are lesbians because they're attracted to women. Being a dyke may force one into taking a more active interest in politics than might otherwise be the case, but ultimately it's a personal decision, not a political one. If a person is asexual that's fine, but why call herself a lesbian? And why attempt to impose her asexuality on the rest of us?
Oops, see what happens when I start talking about this? That quote from the Southern Women's Writing Collective really ticked me off. If our own desires aren't a reliable litmus test then what is? Just because you're all wishy-washy about what you mean doesn't mean that I have to be. Every time I try to talk to people who're coming from that perspective I always end up saying something along the lines of "bite me", which is neither mature nor particularly productive, but really, what else can you say? From a sexual point of view I've always known EXACTLY what I want, and I really don't appreciate it when someone comes along and says "don't be silly dear, you can't possibly know what you want, let your dear old maiden aunt tell you what you really want." Nope, no thanks, not buying it. Or in other words, bite me. (Of course this produces a lecture on how I must be male-identified to resort to such an ickily aggressive expression).
And the whole thing about teh good pastor's wives letting themselves go...isn't it great how if you just try hard enough you can self-justify your way out of almost anything? Yep, wife's getting a bit pudgy, that's why he's fondling little boys. Of course, what other reason could there be?
Religion rots the brain, it really does.

Rootietoot said...

rmildred- the 'all men are potential rapists' mentality is foreign to me. I have had my own form of ptsd, so I can (sort of) understand it from that angle, but my experience with men has been almost exclusively positive, so try as I might to wrap my brain around the concept, I just can't. I know I came across as insensitive, and I apologize for that, it comes out of ignorance, not out of contempt.

emily said...

Janice Raymond, Belledame? Stop right there thank you very much.

Purity balls are so wrong, but perfectly encapsulate a certain evengelical patriarchalist viewpoint..