Friday, January 05, 2007

There's not enough to go around

In the midst of a feministe post examining the intriguing spectacle that is Dawn Eden (aka Everything I Ever Learned About Women I Learned From 'Sex in the City'), a commenter said something i thought was worth highlighting:

As for Sex & the City, I hated what I saw of it because I was living in Manhattan at the time (Columbia student), and it seemed to romanticize the classism I saw there. I think most conservatives hate it because (a) it has “sex” right there in the title, (b) the women are sexual agents, and (c) they can take general criticisms of shallowness and materialism and piggyback their sexual agenda on them.

As I said over there:

yupper. and i think that (c) is the real killer, not just with stuff like this but also the whole, o, gay men are so much richer than the rest of us! (lesbians don’t exist so much) just look at all these portrayals of Chelsea folk living the high life! see, o hardworking Just Folks out there in the mythical Heartland (because also, all gay folk and “independent” women who like teh sex live in the citay, on the coasts) they don’t need any more rights! in fact, their very existence is taking away from you! “let them eat quiche.”

There's not enough to go around; but don't for heaven's sake look at the origin of that idea; don't really concentrate on, say, why -are- we holding up people who live in some mythical bubble of fabulous wealth as ideals that we can never, ever live up to, but somehow should? (sex optional). And pay no attention to the billionaires and corporations behind the curtain. Just assume that this much is right and proper; the real problem is all those other people and "special interest groups" fighting over the crumbs that are left for the rest of us, be those material goods, civil rights, safety, food, clean water, shelter, good health, freedom, beauty, sex, love,friendship, attention, "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness," or anything else that one might desire. That's what it's all about, after all, right? There's not enough to go around. That's how it -has- to be. How else would we know that what we had, or indeed we ourselves, were worth anything?


Anonymous said...

If you're curious about what conservatives think on an issue or why they take offense at something...

why not ask a few instead of assuming the worst, and pontificating on it? Who knows, maybe you might learn something.

belledame222 said...

the italicized quote is not mine. and y'know...ah, skip it.

Zan said...

Well, as someone who was raised by conservatives I can say there's a certain amount of truth to the quote. Most of the conservatives I know -- of the religious variety -- are very uncomfortable about sex, period. It's not something you speak about in mixed company. And they're even more uncomfortable with women being sexual. That's not to say they're ignorant or in denial about the fact that women are, yes, in fact sexual. It's just to say that really, they don't want to talk about it, they don't want to advertise it. Because there seems to be a sense of shame attached to sex. Personally, I think that's colored from the religious aspect -- a misreading of the religious text, I believe, but there it is. I also think a lot of the conservatives I know don't understand just how radically different some people's lives are from thiers. There's the assumption that X is true for them, therefore it is true for everyone. (And, admittedly, everyone of any political ideology does that to a certain extent). There's a real feeling that living in a radicially different way is somehow wrong, because it feels threatening. I think it comes from a sense of, well it it's not wrong for someone to live like X, then why am I not living like X? It's more from a sense of uncertainty of themselves than anything else.

Which isn't a completely conservative problem, of course. Everyone goes through that to some degree or other, it's just that most of us aren't projecting onto other people. I'm about as liberal as you can get, but I have no problem with people living by whatever rules they want, so long as they're not actually harming others. ( I don't particularly like them hurting themselves either, but since I believe in personal freedom I have to allow that, so long as that harm doesn't expand to other people.) But there are a lot of conservative people who would like to keep me from living the way I want to, because they don't agree with my choices.