Sunday, November 19, 2006

Wait. Gay men? All-male pr0n? Who? wha?

Back on the urgent question of DP or not DP for a sec (as in, Dickheads, Patronizing), this just in: some men actually like being penetrated, too. Who knew? Via monotonous.net, a refreshing break from the relentless heteronormativity informing the Sex/Pr0n Wars:

I consider myself lucky to have grown up in a household where sex and porn were looked at with a generally laissez faire attitude....

Because of my upbringing and my own experience with sex as a gay man, I’m always left baffled by arguments like the one my friend Amber is currently involved in–where some guy has made the following statement about heterosexual double-penetration scenes in porn:

When he mentioned a type of sex he liked to watch in pornography called a DP — double penetration, in which a woman is penetrated vaginally and anally at the same time — it really started to dawn on him: In these scenes, the sex was defined by men’s sense of control over, and domination of, women. […] the pornography he had been consuming is not just sex, but sex in which men act out contempt for women.


Some other male professor, defending the statement above, argued that “men’s ability to achieve sexual pleasure by masturbating as they watch DP scenes in pornographic movies [is] an example of a failure of empathy.”

I don’t really agree, since I’m coming at this from a different angle. When I watch porn, it’s almost always with an all-male cast. A lot of times, the guys in these porn videos engage in the so-called “misogynistic” behavior described by anti-porn feminists. There are cumshot facials, double-anal pentration scenes, and plenty of dirty talking. I like it all, and tend to identify with all parties in the videos. Is it degrading when I am actively imagining myself in both the role of the so-called “degraded” and also as the “degrader?”

If I can watch porn and enjoy identifying with the bottom-role, why do these anti-porn feminist guys think that’s impossible for a woman?...



Well, clearly they can't imagine such a thing; this is because they are simply stuffed full of empathy. Empathy, as we know, means staking out an ideological position and grimly clinging to it no matter what, even if it means having to stick your fingers in your ears and go LALALALALALA when someone reasonable comes along and challenges your preconceptions. Just like feminism means men speaking on behalf of women to other men, and patronizing/shutting down women what don't agree with them.

***

evening update:

elsewhere, Anthony dug this up:

That brings me to one of the most delicious ironies of Bob Jensen's ranting about male heterosexuality: he is, in fact, an outed gay man.

Here is an exerpt from an interview he did for a gay ezine called OutSmart.com:

...First, a note about the rather complicated position from which I speak. I am a gay guy who has had a girlfriend. Or, maybe it’s more accurate to say that I’m a straight man who sometimes has been sexual with men, at one point closeted and later openly. Or maybe I’m bisexual. Or maybe I’m making it up as I go along. Because I have crossed lines often, maybe I have shaky standing to speak about gay male sexuality. Or because I cross lines, maybe my vantage point provides a valuable view. Readers can make their own decisions about how, or whether, to listen to me...

...Because the object of gay male desire is the male body, not the female, it is tempting to dismiss this feminist critique as having no relevance for gay men. Yet in many ways, gay and straight men are not all that different in the way they are trained in our culture to understand and practice sex: sex as the acquisition of physical pleasure from another, sex as the exercise of power over another, sex disconnected from intimacy and affection toward another. That doesn’t mean every man, gay or straight, is locked into those values, but simply that typically we are raised with them. Those values are one part of what we can call "patriarchy"; it’s the water in which we swim...


Which, well, kind of puts the whole business about really wanting to tell the boy who wanted to know what was wrong with het DP porn to strip and spread 'em for a bunch of guys in a rather new light, doesn't it?

Well, actually, no, for me; it just makes the light i already was looking at it a bit brighter and more well-defined.

Yet in many ways, gay and straight men are not all that different in the way they are trained in our culture...

goddamit. And again: this is -exactly- why a serious mens' movement is needed; because see if he'd stuck to talking about THIS shit, I'd have no problem with him. In fact, I'd be really interested in what he has to say.

but no; instead he gloms onto one of the few relatively available critiques of the normative system, radical feminism, because i guess for -some- reason he doesn't feel entirely comfortable with queer or gay this or that.

oh, I don't even know...

63 comments:

R. Mildred said...

Don't forget all the girls (straight or otherwise) who love them the gay pr0n!

Is it degrading when I am actively imagining myself in both the role of the so-called “degraded” and also as the “degrader?”

strictly speaking, the professor's critique isn't supposed to apply to gay porn being watched by gay men for the purpose of masturbation.

But that still doesn't excuse the fact that the prof's biggest trouble is serious reading for comprehension troubles, I read this:

...the sex was defined by men’s sense...

And the operative word there for me is the word "defined", the trouble iwth porn is not DP or the particular sexual acts, but how those acts are defined within this ubiquitously misogynistic framework of submission and domination - and that such defining isn't limited to a small sub-genre specifically designated for a sub/dom sexual dynamic, but is found as the lynch pin which defines how sex between anyone is portrayed in porn and mainstream media also.

IMHO

R. Mildred said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
belledame222 said...

>Don't forget all the girls (straight or otherwise) who love them the gay pr0n!>

-crickets crickets crickets-

Cap'n Dyke said...

well held, belledame; well held.

Faith said...

I don't believe that DP or facials are inherently misogynistic or degrading. What people seem to have a problem with is simply separating sexual activity and sexual attitudes. There are very few sexual activities that I perceive as inherently degrading. One must instead examine the attitudes of the participants involved.

In the case of DP, do the men respect the woman and women in general? Are they seeking to give her pleasure or are they seeking to degrade and harm her? Are they only concerned about their own pleasure?

I believe we have to be very, very careful when labeling sexual activities as degrading. It's the attitudes that tend to surround certain activities that is the problem.

belledame222 said...

Wouldn't you think?

I'm glad you're weighing in here, faith (welcome, btw); because in fact the people who are taking this position are claiming to do so in the name of not just feminism but anti-abuse.

and using anyone who objects to the way they go about their activism/theorizing/whatever is anti-feminism, anti-woman, and selfishly and willfully blind to the realities of rape, abuse, etc. etc.

which, you know, sends -me- into fits and I don't even ID as a survivor; I know survivors who do -not- agree with these people wrt, you know, this or that sexual thing being -inherently- degrading, BDSM, porn (at least not ALL porn), sex work, etc; and, well, yeah, it has been interesting to observe what happens when they do challenge people like this.

but I mean; okay, has this assclown (Goff or Jensen, take your pick) ever read any Dorothy Allison? for that matter, I ask again: do they know -any- queer people? there's that, too. hence this post. among others.

belledame222 said...

I mean, and I know that the porn, much less sex work, is a hot button and isn't gonna be resolved here; and there is certainly a valid point in objecting to its exploitation of actual people involved in its making and even critiquing the sexist imagery within;

and I expect you may well already know these people or will encounter them at the upcoming feminist anti-porn conference, as linked at your spot; perhaps I am out of line in calling them assclowns, reflexively.

but it's like, okay, these are people and particularly i'm sorry but these men, okay, who have devoted the last umpteen -years- to "studying" porn;

and I think to myself, exactly how much more studying do you need to do, here? and why the focus on this or that -act,- and especially why shut down women who come in to talk about their own experiences? how is this helping? whom is this helping?

belledame222 said...

and, too, there seems to be a very big and widespread problem with "I found this a degrading experience" and "All women find this degrading."

It's particularly troublesome in that in the focus on the -act-, one lets go of what to me has always been the bottom line: context, consent.

And I mean: okay, I get that there are fuzzy areas wrt "consent," sure; and yes, it is worth talking about the influence of the media, subtle forms of coercion, etc.; particularly when thinks like, you know, survival needs are involved, when there's a real-world power imbalance between the asker and the consenter;

but at the same time, I think: if one is not willing to accept or believe a woman's "yes," then how can one accept or believe her "no?" Then, even if one understands about "no means no," if one is invalidating a woman's words and shared experience in any -other- context, one is -not-, in fact, respecting women; one is simply recasting old forms of paternalism (or maternalism, sometimes) in slightly new shapes. I think.

belledame222 said...

>strictly speaking, the professor's critique isn't supposed to apply to gay porn being watched by gay men for the purpose of masturbation.

well, again: do gay men even -exist- in his universe?

I ask also because of the business wherein he, or rather Jensen, fantasizes about having asked the young man who wanted to know what's wrong with DP porn to strip off all his clothes, hold his ass open, and allow the men to plunder (doubly) at will;

and i was like, well, one, aren't -you- the colorful little imagination;

but, two: well, and what if he'd gone: "...actually, that sounds kinda hot"? Would your head have exploded?

i mean, the odds of that actually happening aren't great, given that the kid was clearly coming from a primarily straight (at least publically) orientation and also who would want to "open up" to a guy like that, at that juncture? hell, i sure wouldn't.

but, i mean.

The implication is that it's not just that the attitudes behind DP hetporn are overwhelmingly reflective of woman-hating (which, i am not the expert here), but rather that -being penetrated-, especially in such a you know wanton, "slutty" display, is inherently degrading, and clearly no one would want it; the only hot thing about such a scenario is from the POV of the penetrator getting off on the victim's misery;

which to me you know says a lot more about Jensen (and Goff) than it does anyone or anything else, ultimately.

cicely said...

the trouble iwth porn is not DP or the particular sexual acts, but how those acts are defined within this ubiquitously misogynistic framework of submission and domination - and that such defining isn't limited to a small sub-genre specifically designated for a sub/dom sexual dynamic, but is found as the lynch pin which defines how sex between anyone is portrayed in porn and mainstream media also.

IMHO


I find it interesting how this arguement allows anti- sub/dom feminists to be right even when they're wrong. A submissive gay man is 'feminised' - he is being degraded as a woman, or as *all* women are degraded. A submissive lesbian is being degraded in the same way, even though she actively chooses and enjoys it, no men are involved, and in her day to day life she feels empowered and effective as a feminist getting stuff done in the world on behalf of women.

The underlying assumption is that women without men or men without women - and all without patriarchal influence - would never enjoy sexual relations that involved dominance and submission. This is a big stretch, imo. It's an un-knowable (handily, because of the way we're soaking in patriarchy) but the arguement seems to be saying that anti-dom/sub feminists of the last 36 or so years have worked out exactly what 'natural' (for want of a better word) human sexuality isn't, (dom/sub), although not exactly what it is.

Or - if I'm wrong about that - is the idea that we should suspend dom/sub relating - because there's nothing intrinsically wrong with it - until post-patriarchy when it will not be reflecting male dominance overall?

Carpenter said...

I've greatly enjoyed reading you ongoing pr0n posts this week I got to this blog from Bitch|Lab.

i really hate it when people start with the x is inherently y, unless they are talking about physical observables like gravity is inherently a conservative force or cats are inherently mammals.

my problem reading this DP dude wa his declaration that men seeing DP as degrading was the important thing that magically made the act degrading. I mean, say I do some guy, plain old vanilla stlye,no dirty talkg or anything, and I have the best sex of my life. I wake up the next morning, dont feel degraded and proceed to neve call the guy again. But suppose the guy perceived all himself as degrading me, cuz to him, all penetration is dominance.
Was the sex degrading to me or not? I dont feeel degraded, I feel great. But according to Dr. DP I was degraded if I feel like it or not because men have the magic power to define non physical states with their mental perception.

thus I disagree with the statement
"..the sex was defined by men’s sense...."

who says who defines what?

Also, looking to porn to dcide if some sex act is degrading is of coarse the pinacle of stupidity. According to lots of(but not all) porn, every sex act is sold as degrading.

as an aside, dig gay man porn. Probably cuz lots of mainstream het porn is degrading, why bother when I can just watch two dudes.

belledame222 said...

Hey, cheers, welcome, carpenter.

>Or - if I'm wrong about that - is the idea that we should suspend dom/sub relating - because there's nothing intrinsically wrong with it - until post-patriarchy when it will not be reflecting male dominance overall?>

"Jam tomorrow, jam yesterday, but never jam today."

but no, i think in general the idea is that there IS something intrinisically wrong with dom/sub relating. there may or may not be something intrinisically wrong with (anal sex, blowjobs, filming oneselves doing the Act), but that, we will never know until after the Revolution. where we will all eat strawberries and cream, and we will LIKE strawberries and cream!

belledame222 said...

carpenter: well, i guess it depends on whether or not the dude TELLS you "haha, i feel so DOMINANT, now, i bet you didn't enjoy that one little bit, DID you?? ahhhh" ?

shrug.

Carpenter said...

yeah, it would ruin you day if the guy you just did tried to verbally psych you out. You might not fel degraded so much as like breaking the guys nose, which you might do then feel better. It was just the dismissiveness of the woman, if noone says anything and people just feel like things and the woman feels non degraded but then somehow is cuz the guy is more important.

Peoples takes on other people sex acts are like some kind of Rorsach test.
Did you see the Artistocrats? They say if someone tells nthe joke and it involves eastiality, keep them away from yoour dog. If it involves old people, keep them away from your grandma.
DP is inherently degrading cuz of how men feel about pentration, keep that dude away from your asshole, and away from the assholes of young men who ask him questions apparently.

BTW does the dom/sub = bad thing relate to the red fem idea that sex oppresion is the template of all opressions? Im not up on rad fem theory but I thought it went like All power is fetishised... like not just that all sex=dom/sub under patriarchy but that all dom/sub is really a sexual-like hrill for the oppressor sex is sublimated nto all things. is that how its supposed to go?

belledame222 said...

yeah, basically. and/or: patriarchy="power-over;" therefore we want to get rid of the hierarchical model in anything, and particularly sex.

how consistent people are about actually applying this in other areas is something else, of course...

Carpenter said...

I wonder what Dr DP would have us do? It seems his advice to young men is dont get involved with DP cuz its degrading.
I mean, I get DPed by guys who tuley repesects me and I like the sesation, but Im degraded.
I get DPed by guys who want to degrade me but they dont say that(cuz the degredation need is subconcious or they are just coward or whatever), and I like it so I walk away feeling fine and I'm degraded.
Apply that to all sex, and where am I? Where's my ablity as a woman to show agency and self-define the sex Im having? What action am I to take? Just be constantly aware of my degredation untill the non hierarchical revolution?

emily said...

wait, wait, wait.

Some men *like* being penetrated? Women do as well? Liiiies!

emily said...

*some women

drydock said...

How about a parallel critique of Professor Jensen's race politics, which I believe stem from the same guilt-ridden impulse. I bet a lot of the posters ragging on him here probably agree with his race politcs, such as calling the movie "Crash" a white supremacist movie.

belledame222 said...

Haven't seen Crash, haven't read him on race, couldn't say.

anyway it's not -guilt- per se that's the problem here; or, well, not guilt alone, certainly. if that were true he'd be a SNAG. he ain't that. the equivalent with race politics would be him becoming not just an anti-racist but I don't know, a Black Panther; climbing on soapboxes and going off about how "people of color" (all 978,485,222 of them, especially the one with the ingrown toenail) think or feel this or that. then when some POC come along to say, actually, in my experience, really, no, calling hir a troll and "inserting" himself in hir comments.

and basically telling POC that he understands their experiences better than they do, whilst simultaneously overtly saying anyway he's not even talking to them, he's talking to other white people...

antiprincess said...

I bet a lot of the posters ragging on him here probably agree with his race politcs,

well, that's just it though - it wouldn't matter if I thought Jensen was god's gift to people of color. I disagree with Jensen on porn, therefore I'm too selfish and thick to have any other opinion worth considering on anything. I could march lock-step in Jensen's army on EVERYTHING ELSE and it wouldn't matter.

Amber said...

Spot-on with the analogy about race, Belledame.

THat is all.

Anonymous said...

a Black Panther

The funny thing is that the BP are currently pro-segregation, so for a white person doing an impression of the black panthers in the vein of jenkins, jensen, eggheaded-nitwit-guy cockburn the third, whatever, you'd have to be making one of those "but we need to oppress POC to protect them from themselves" arugements favored by the hardcore wingnut bellcurve types who argue that slavery was the best thing that ever happened to those silly little bantus.

I second amber, nice analogy.

I bet a lot of the posters ragging on him here probably agree with his race politcs, such as calling the movie "Crash" a white supremacist movie.

Yeah, why is holding a valid position out of guilt or choosing to stand up for people who you see as being marginalised bad things again?

It's just everytime I see an issue of race come up someone always automatically whips out a "shut up white people, you're just feeling guilty!" ad hominem with the subtext that guilt invalidates the position a priori.

Never seen it explained how that works though, any thoughts?

I find it interesting how this arguement allows anti- sub/dom feminists to be right even when they're wrong. A submissive gay man is 'feminised' - he is being degraded as a woman, or as *all* women are degraded. A submissive lesbian is being degraded in the same way, even though she actively chooses and enjoys it, no men are involved, and in her day to day life she feels empowered and effective as a feminist getting stuff done in the world on behalf of women.

Well it is a bit problematic because of how anti-sex feminists use it to cover their bigotry behind a veil of "hate the sin, not the sinner!" BS.

The thing is though that if you're really wanting to deal with Teh Bad Pr0n, you need to be able deal with the way society makes the dom/sub dichotomy so automatically a default, that even enlightened feminist anti-sexers buy into hte idea that being a sub is automatically a bad thing - which is just a sort of don'tknowwhatthefuckthey'retalking about acceptance of the same hierachal thinking they're saying they're railing against.

So if your arguement, or the arguement of some you know, involves the notion that being penetrated or being sexually submissive is an automatic BADTHINGeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeewwwwwww that's ickyickygrosspatriarchal if not out and out "of Teh Gaye" too boot, your feminism is just plain broked, and you, sir/madame, need a spanking with a clue-by-four weilded by a butch in highheels.

piny said...

strictly speaking, the professor's critique isn't supposed to apply to gay porn being watched by gay men for the purpose of masturbation.

Like Belledame said. That's not an alternate explanation for apparent heterosexism. That constitutes heterosexism.

piny said...

...First, a note about the rather complicated position from which I speak. I am a gay guy who has had a girlfriend. Or, maybe it’s more accurate to say that I’m a straight man who sometimes has been sexual with men, at one point closeted and later openly. Or maybe I’m bisexual. Or maybe I’m making it up as I go along. Because I have crossed lines often, maybe I have shaky standing to speak about gay male sexuality. Or because I cross lines, maybe my vantage point provides a valuable view. Readers can make their own decisions about how, or whether, to listen to me...

I have decided not to listen to you precisely because you think the people you bonk is the important thing here (and I'm going to take a wild guess as to which of these conclusions you hold most valid). Did it make a difference to Ted Haggard? No? Well, then.

Because the object of gay male desire is the male body, not the female, it is tempting to dismiss this feminist critique as having no relevance for gay men.

Jesus Gay, no. It's not because feminists are talking about gay men when they're not gay men. It's because they're talking about gay men in ways that insist that gay men are no different from straight men. Like you are. I think that this approach is simplistic in the extreme. I don't think it's true that gay male sexuality can be reduced to straight male sexuality, because gay men, no matter how sexist, are not straight men.

belledame222 said...

no, no, piny, it is always only about Class Men and Class Women. you missed the memo.

and lesbians are exactly like straight women, except that they're like Supra-Feminists. but they are at least as keenly interested in ranting about the "sweaty, stinky cock of the patriarchy" (just ganked that one somewhere, guess the sexual orientation of the speaker) as all other womenz, and mens' opinions are what really matter, which is why we have to fight them so hard all the time.

and we really hate all those pseudo lesbians who wear lipstick and look femmey and sometimes even make out with each other for the delectation of boyz. -real- lesbians never -ever- are interested in exhibitionism. or lipstick. or penetration. or making out with each other. this is why we approve of the concept of "political lesbianism," because we hate appropriation so much.

piny said...

Um, I have that post almost finished. I need to comment on this Out Smart thing, because it's important, and then maybe I'll have my final draft. Didja read the whole essay? "Anonymous (which I suppose means casual) sex is patriarchal sex."

piny said...

Oh, and gay male effeminacy is no different from gay male hypermasculinity.

belledame222 said...

Class Men and Class Women, and there is only -one- sort of relationship possible between them under the Patriarchy, which is apparently inescapable and omnipotent; and yet we're gonna overcome it, presumably by taking on one one incident at a time. Mocking women who wear traditionally feminine garb and act like "sexbots" shall be considered an important part of this activism.

after that, we're gonna go purify the polluted ocean by going down to the beach and emptying in individually sized bottles of disinfectant.

belledame222 said...

> "Anonymous (which I suppose means casual) sex is patriarchal sex."

oo, no, i missed that one. how exciting! yes, verily, glory holes as prescribed by the ancient Biblical Patriarchs; clearly hooking up in monogamous, discreet, and quite possibly chaste relationships is FAR more Revolutionary.

which of course is the only reason why one would want to engage in any sort of erotic relationship: how politically revolutionary it is or isn't.

Out Smart?

Amber said...

"Anonymous (which I suppose means casual) sex is patriarchal sex."

For fuck's sake. *eyeroll*

It also makes the baby Jeebus cry.

R. Mildred said...

Like Belledame said. That's not an alternate explanation for apparent heterosexism. That constitutes heterosexism.

Well obviously, but on the principle htat the stupid arguement being put forth isn't designed to stand up to this sort of examination, it's very unfair to examine it in such a way and then expect it to still make any sense.

"Anonymous (which I suppose means casual) sex is patriarchal sex."

I thought anonymous sex was when your partner fails ot sign the guest book afterwards?

Sweeet-o, I love that Dawn Eden is being made ideologically redundant thanks to the sillier feminists.

after that, we're gonna go purify the polluted ocean by going down to the beach and emptying in individually sized bottles of disinfectant.

Isn't it more "sowing the sea with salt to stop things growing in it" though?

Ooo, got an actual post brewing now, haven't felt sufficiently outraged at anyone recently to actually blog.

Woo!

Tom Nolan said...

Cicely

This is a belated rejoinder to your post way up thread.

I'm sure the argumentative strategy you mention has a name in rhetoric, but even if it hasn't, it's a pretty transparent ploy. "All racism is antisemitic at bottom." "What do you mean? What about all those black people who suffer the consequences of racial prejudice, they're mostly not Jews." "Yes, but in so far as they do suffer them, then they're being treated *as though* they were Jewish. See what I mean?" "Oh, er, right. I erm think".

Quite a few internet radfems get round the apparent irrelevance of gay pornography to the patriarchal project of subordinating women through humiliating erotic imagery by deploying a similar argument. When - as happened not long ago on "Alas" - a man pipes up to say that he recently took a part (ahem) in a pornographic film, he gets told that his generally positive feelings about the experience are an irrelevance because, as a man's, they are categorically different from what women in the same situation go through. In other words, the humiliation of men in pornography goes onto the "subordination of women" account; their pleasure or indifference onto the "advantages accruing to the ruling sex" account.

piny said...

I'm sure the argumentative strategy you mention has a name in rhetoric, but even if it hasn't, it's a pretty transparent ploy. "All racism is antisemitic at bottom." "What do you mean? What about all those black people who suffer the consequences of racial prejudice, they're mostly not Jews." "Yes, but in so far as they do suffer them, then they're being treated *as though* they were Jewish. See what I mean?" "Oh, er, right. I erm think".

Thanks for articulating this. If oppression is what defines a class, then being oppressed means that you have been defined within that class. Is how I think the logic runs.

belledame222 said...

>I thought anonymous sex was when your partner fails ot sign the guest book afterwards?

*snort*

You know, if people would use their -real- names in hott! online!! chat!!! and in glory hole encounters, we probably wouldn't have wars, global warming, or American Idol. Ann Bartow is writing a thesis on this even as we type.

belledame222 said...

>Thanks for articulating this. If oppression is what defines a class, then being oppressed means that you have been defined within that class. Is how I think the logic runs.

The binary nature of the whole thing makes me want to :headdesk,: and that's not even taking into account the dicey proposition of defining one's "people" primarily if not solely on the basis of solidarity through oppression. yah, that's there; but where's the joy? where's the creativity? where's the celebration? where is the -eros?-

but yah, i keep thinking of what best friend told me would be the response, when i asked, if i went to one of the most tension fraught places in Northern Ireland and ID'd as a Jew.

"Are you a Catholic Jew or a Protestant Jew?"

belledame222 said...

>jenkins, jensen, eggheaded-nitwit-guy cockburn the third

gahhhh, Cockburn.

who's Jenkins?

FoolishOwl said...

I don't think I'd call "Crash" white supremacist, but the point of the movie seemed to be that racism is self-generating and there's nothing you can do about it. It was a movie about racism that denied that racism could be overcome.

drydock said...

Jensen gets some media play-- I've heard him on the radio and seen his articles in some bigger magazines and websites. I also remember him getting rejected by some academic magazine (social text??) for being a lightweight.

Anyways, my small point is that his race and gender politics in my opinion are pretty related, I tossed out the word guilt but I think Belladame point about projecting his idealogy (leftists never do that!) onto others was a pretty good point.

There's a nickname for white leftists like Jensen and it's not ally. It's doormatt (nice name for a Sub). I guess I see some leftys willing to go to the Matt (so to speak) around things like porn but when ding a lings like Jensen start talking about race a lot of people get pretty quiet.

belledame222 said...

> I also remember him getting rejected by some academic magazine (social text??) for being a lightweight.>

this makes me happier than it should, i know.

The thing about "guilt" is, it's just not all that useful, of itself. The implication to me of certain types of self-flagellation is, it's -still- all about the self-flagellator, not about the Other; the Other's just being used as the convenient scourge. Yeah, guilt happens; i'm not saying purge, purge; and i suppose if it works in a pinch, you know, it -may- be better than nothing. not really ideal though.

"If you have come to help me, please go home. But if you have come because your liberation is somehow bound with mine, then we may work together."

--via Ally Work.

otoh, i think when certain defensive white/hegemonically privileged-in-question people use the term "white guilt" as an accusation (come to think of it, i've never heard it as "straight guilt" or "male guilt;" i suppose there are probably equivalents), what -that- really means is, roughly,

"You're just trying to make me feel guilty, aren't you?! Mememe! Well, I don't WANT to feel guilty! Even if I'm one of the ones who's (likely) been whipping the guilt stick right and left in other contexts, when it suits -my- needs! This is DIFFERENT. Guilt is HURTY. I'm not like other people! I can't stand pain, it hurts me!..."

...so actually here you have two problems, one more immediately obvious than the other. The first being, well, as above: so and so is defending strenuously against hir own vestigial pricklings of conscience/consciousness, and, naturally, being a real prick in the process.

But the second problem is, the sort of people who already wear the hairshirt proudly tend to pounce on this with, aha! now we see the violence inherent in the system! YOU have not accepted your allotment of shame, as we have. BAD you! BAD you!...

which is of course exactly what the defensive person is defending against; -and-, funnily enough, is -also- what the more righteous folks are defending against. so in fact they end up reinforcing each others' opinions of each other.

and of course, the actual Other who this was purportedly about in the first place has by now pretty much vanished from the discourse altogether, assuming sie was ever really there to begin with. because no one is actually talking TO hir; they're -all- concerned with themselves. The added layers of guilt don't negate the essential self-absoprtion; they just obscure it and thus make it even more difficult to actually identify and deal with, so that -maybe- we can FINALLY get to the actual problems of the actual Other People in the room. --oh, wait, the Other People have all actually formed their own discussions/said "fuck it" and gone out for a beer. not a bad idea at that.

belledame222 said...

short version: there's a valid distinction to be made, i think, between guilt and empathy*, although the boundaries aren't often clearcut.

*yes, Jensen keeps using that word. I do not think it means what he thinks it means.

piny said...

The binary nature of the whole thing makes me want to :headdesk,: and that's not even taking into account the dicey proposition of defining one's "people" primarily if not solely on the basis of solidarity through oppression. yah, that's there; but where's the joy? where's the creativity? where's the celebration? where is the -eros?-

In the bank vault of the patriarchy, I suppose. Nothing is left to the oppressed but fish tacos and hemp clamdiggers. Jensen's already indicated that he has little if any respect for what queers have managed to make of themselves. Our degeneracy is appalling.

I really like your suggestion, by the way...maybe it's not a good idea for me to write the intro all by myself? Maybe that's why I'm stalling.

Um, what did you think of the post itself?

piny said...

And it isn't always there, either--defining us on the basis of solidarity allows people like Jensen to ignore actual community in favor of supposed potential alliances. The ways in which we have politicized ourselves and relied upon each other are discarded out of hand.

belledame222 said...

o, i liked it. didn't know you wanted to talk about it out here...but yeah, it's on point wrt this business, certainly. kicking off with a kick at paternalistic straightboy (or effectively) "feminists" works for me.

were you thinking of that as part of the pitch or as a post?

btw, do we have the mechanics set up? first host, alla that?

piny said...

If it's not a derail; I can't access email right now.

btw, do we have the mechanics set up? first host, alla that?

No, not really. I'd be happy to be the first host, but...

Hm. D'you think it'd be a bad idea for several people to host?

belledame222 said...

> allows people like Jensen to ignore actual community in favor of supposed potential alliances. The ways in which we have politicized ourselves and relied upon each other are discarded out of hand.>

That MacKinnon piece where she essentially dismisses lgbt rights as per overturning the sodomy laws as an irrelevant distraction (at best) from feminism on account of i guess it's all about the MENZ and their PENII, never mind that as a straight and privileged woman she can and does whatever she likes with the penis of her choice...i just saw red. How dare she. I mean, i figured that the gay rights movement in general really hadn't gotten much help from that lot, protestations of pro-lesbian or even -being- lesbians notwithstanding, but...

piny said...

Pretty much. If they don't consider those problems important, fine, but they don't get to complain when I start using words like "marginalize," and "heterosexist."

piny said...

Per multiple hosts: like, what if we all contributed a post and/or some links?

belledame222 said...

At one time, you mean, as opposed to rotating? I dunno; I've never seen a carnival as such structured like that. Why so?

I suppose if you wanted to get back into the more involved possible structure we were batting about with Kevin (among others obviously), then maybe it'd make sense to make "Sideshow" one carnival, one that's more narrowly themed (wrt SGL/queer analyses of sexx and other heterocentric-ized issues w/in the 'spheres); and then maybe other people would like to host other carnivals along similar themes of those feeling excluded (as per your intro) but along different axes (race, class, and so on); they could all be under the umbrella of Transformative Politics but each potentially exist as an ongoing carnival in its own right.

if -that's- what we want to do, though, then I think we really need to talk and plan more, especially with the other folks you brought on board, because that's getting really ambitious already.

If it's just going to be on the Sideshow themes as you were laying out, i'm not totally sure why it would need to be on several different sites at once, i guess.

are you feeling stage fright? directorial/producer's fright, rather? i get that. i'm a foot-dragger myself...

belledame222 said...

slip. oh, i see. sure, i guess. i mean...i guess i'm confused as to how that differs from yer average Carnival. you mean, you'd like to set it up among the organizers (and whoever we decide to contact i guess) first, not just open calling for submissions, but actually doing teh posts and cross-linking to each other, as a kind of spontaneous "carnival?"

piny said...

Because that's what I'm most worried about, I think: managing this thing. Partly I make Michael Cimino look like Robert Altman, but also because I don't want to miss anything. It'd be ironic, and not in the good way, to have an anti-singularity carnival fail because one person made the most decisions.

So how about a decentralized carnival?

We can come up with some stupid pun for the name.

piny said...

Well, instead of linking to posts, we'd be linking to demesnes.

And, yeah, I do think I'm going back over the idea of a singleminded carnival.

piny said...

slip. oh, i see. sure, i guess. i mean...i guess i'm confused as to how that differs from yer average Carnival. you mean, you'd like to set it up among the organizers (and whoever we decide to contact i guess) first, not just open calling for submissions, but actually doing teh posts and cross-linking to each other, as a kind of spontaneous "carnival?"

And yeah, pretty much. Kind of a carnival of carnivals with a central theme of transformative politics but no one person's special focus or interpretation? There'll obviously be selection bias, but the multiple organizers can help correct that.

belledame222 said...

>demesnes

a who?

>And, yeah, I do think I'm going back over the idea of a singleminded carnival.

Can you clarify?

yeah, sure, a decentralized one; or, well, you know, the "three-ring" (or however many) model could work for the pun, too. "sideshow" could work as, well, one aspect.

we still have to figure out how we're gonna coordinate this, and who, and when.

belledame222 said...

>And yeah, pretty much. Kind of a carnival of carnivals with a central theme of transformative politics but no one person's special focus or interpretation? There'll obviously be selection bias, but the multiple organizers can help correct tha>

slip again. so, yeah, we're pretty much on the same page, then.

have you heard back from the other folks yet? i forwarded to the people you'd asked.

piny said...

have you heard back from the other folks yet? i forwarded to the people you'd asked.

No, but I'll write up a formal announcement and send it out.

Amber said...

Sorry piny for not responding yet... i've been working 12-hour days and only sneaking in extracurricular computer time here and there. I wanted to be able to give your email and good read where I actually pay attention. I wasn't ignoring you!

piny said...

Sorry piny for not responding yet... i've been working 12-hour days and only sneaking in extracurricular computer time here and there. I wanted to be able to give your email and good read where I actually pay attention. I wasn't ignoring you!

I'm flakier than a bowl of raisin bran, so no worries. I'm gonna try to wrap up some of these thoughts tonight and send out a revised email so this doesn't sound so off-the-wall. I've been getting ready for three art shows and finishing up a bazillion other things, so I've been a little absent of late.

Spc. Freeman said...

Great post. Good to see you're still fighting the good fight.

I dunno. I think your source raises some excellent points. For all the talk of gay-straight, the similarities in the two persuasions are greater than the differences, I think. Can DP be enjoyed free of a sex-as-control mindset? I think it can, potentially. But if so, it must by necessity have as much to do with the mindset of the viewer as with the production values. There's a lot of facets.

A joy to read, as always.

Tom Nolan said...

Oh, BD, I just saw your query re: empathy. It must be derived from en +pascho - to experience or suffer as though one were "in" somebody's predicament. What distinguishes it from "sympathy" for ordinary purposes (though this is not etymologically justified) is that we can sympathize with a person or with an experience ("I sympathize with your frustration") but we can empathize only with a person.

belledame222 said...

hey, spc freeman! good to hear from you as well.

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