...actually, first read the OP and the links at trin's, because I think the following comment is a textbook example of exactly the thing they're talking about. Basic thesis of all three posts: trying to squish your sexuality into someone else's mold is not good for women and other living things. Particularly if you're doing it primarily because someone's trying to shame you into renouncing or at least being very, very quiet about, your sexuality; because, in some way that's yet to be satisfactorily defined, but with much passion and spittle, you have been reassured that it -hurts- other people, your sexuality, and oh by the way: it makes you disgusting and sick and selfish and and and.
Yeah, I'm a bit familiar with that one.
Even though--surprise! neither trin nor Ren has -the same- sexuality as me (nor each other). We all seem to have that experience in common. Curious.
Not Ok said...
There’s no other way for me to say this. I hate you. I don’t even know you and I hate you. I keep coming back here hoping you’ve changed some how, that something’s clicked in that Machiavellian head of yours and you’ve figured out that so much of what you stand for, defend, do, and make light of is built on the broken souls and bodies of other humans and instead, you get more and more vicious every time. No, it can’t all be blamed on you, that’s not the point. You do however propagate real harm to other humans, and not even for something that is necessary for people to survive. People don’t need porn. They don’t need strippers. These are not needs, they are destructive diversions both to those who make and consume them. You just flat out don’t care.
I know you do charity work, I know you donate money, but that’s like putting a band-aid on a gunshot wound. I know you're rabid about being seen as a woman who has made her own choices, crafted her own destiny so to speak, and guess what, I think you are. “Victim” is never a word I'd associate with you, even though you've been one. You’re a hard, calculating businesswoman who has parlayed good looks and personal lust into a career, a profitable career, with all the cutthroat efficiency of CEO.
But Goddess, look at what you’re selling! Look at what you’re promoting and defending and advocating! Meaningless, violent, degrading sexuality where little is out of bounds, respect means nothing, and achievement is a perfected, ideally sexual body and extreme acts are common place- bodies most women will never have, sex that most women will never want. No, it’s not all on you. But it is on your industry, the industry that you defend, even while mentioning its faults (generally in passing). YOU may have claimed your true sexuality and power in the world of raunch and the Patriarchy, it may suit you to a T and fit like a second skin, but you and every other hardcore supporter of your industry force that on other women and girls, and men too when it most certainly does not fit, does not give us power, and I hate to say this but it’s true: Hearing a pro-porn agenda and defense out of a woman most of us will never be and have no desire to be is a hundred times worse than hearing it out of a man. You help legitimize the stereotypes. You help insure that men think this sort of thing is okay and women do really want it. Your personal kinks and sexual quirks, when put on film or out there in other ways, normalize them and desensitize men to them. Your “good sex and good paying job” are many women’s ideas of torture and hell. You know that, you admit it, yet you support it anyway. Vehemently.
Fantastic that it’s worked for you, RE. In this patriarchal world you’ve managed to own your sexuality, profit from it handsomely, and probably even parlay it into real power: financial security, an impressive education, happiness, and even moderate amounts of prestige, respect and notoriety, and I have no doubt you’ve used your brains and charisma as well as your body to do it. That’s great for you, but how you manage to smile and enjoy it when you damn well know what it costs other people is beyond me. You can’t claim ignorance; you’ve had people tell you time and time again how they’ve been hurt.
You even pretend to listen, but you don’t change, and you don’t care.
You've made jokes about being a bit of a mercenary? Well, the term is accurate. You profit on death and destruction, you just don’t use a gun to do it.
And you know it.
The bit that really stuck out for me, I mean besides the very sisterly "I hate you, woman whom I do not know:"
You help insure that men think this sort of thing is okay and women do really want it. Your personal kinks and sexual quirks, when put on film or out there in other ways, normalize them and desensitize men to them. Your “good sex and good paying job” are many women’s ideas of torture and hell.
Well, there are a couple of things there.
One, blame the Other Woman for the mens' behavior; this is, of course -totally feminist.- Because we can't can't can't expect men to change, much less understand the difference between fantasy and reality; and we have no power to say "no, I don't want to do that," of course. It's all about the Men, always; they're the only ones with any agency here (except when it comes to completely overhauling your career and personal sexuality, I guess). Don't show -that-; the Men might get ideas. Let's yell at the Bad Woman so that the Men don't get ideas. Because Men, well, they're just too powerful to talk to. And also too stupid. They're like...wild beasts, really: they watch things, they make their women do things, and all we can do is wring our hands, yell at the women, maybe act out on the street a couple of times, and continue to purge our ranks of impurities, of course. Terrific. Well, this is not news.
But then, there is this, and this is what -really- sends me into overboil:
Your personal kinks and sexual quirks, when put on film or out there in other ways, normalize them and desensitize men to them.
Yes, Christina Diana forbid she ever get the idea she might be in any way shape or form normal. Same with the other, o, two or three women in the entire world (right) who share her proclivities. I mean, I -guess- we can tolerate your existence; but better not EVER forget what a total freak you are, it's too threatening to the rest of us. No, so, she can have her filthy sexuality, she just, what is it now? Shouldn't flaunt it. Not PARADE it. Stay in...the closet. Innocent women and children and puppies (and the Bad Villains who want to harm them but otherwise would have no template for it) might get ideas. Even though it's sick and disgusting and no sane person would want to do it.
Gee, where have I heard THAT one before think think think.
Well. I suppose it's somewhat different in this case in that we're assuming that teh Menz are a different species and it's them we're worried about: getting ideas. Because of course the women whose idea of hell it is, why, goshes, they just don't have to watch it, do they? I know that's how I feel about Nora Ephron movies. Certainly, as we've just been reminded, women--excuse me, NORMAL women are far too pure to come up with this shit all on their very ownsome. Our. Wait, -am- I a woman, I mean a -real- woman? I forget, see. I forget these things, sometimes.
Because, according to just an awful lot of people, one way or another, my own desires really shouldn't exist at all, either. And really, neither should I. At minimum I should have the good grace to know my place. No one NEEDS sexual things, after all; not THAT kind of sexual thing, anyway. Your shit is of central importance, necessary and natural. My shit is frivolous at best, dangerous at worst. Got it.
And...yeah. In a way, you know, this isn't really THAT different from the fundie line, either. In content as -well- as principle. Not this particular comment, at any rate. Here it is, the bottom line, as bald as it gets:
Won't someone please think of the heterosexuals?
The NORMAL ones, that is. The straight ones. Not the kinky and poly ones, not the gender-bending ones, not the freaks who flaunt it in public or sell it on a weekend. The nice girls. And their...men. Who in this case, apparently are the root of all evil; but somehow or another, it all boils down to the same goddam thing: blame the deviant for harshing the nice straight folks' mellow.
Yes, I first and foremost mean the reactionary religious Right, and I mean the ignorant fuckhead division of the General Public; BUT, here, too, I mean this commenter, too, and any number of "feminists" I've heard taking similar lines over the past x months.
Because, that's what this is really about, isn't it? Why can't you think of all the nice normal straight partnered women out there. It's not like the argument is that men will see Ren's movies and leap out of the bushes at strangers; no, they see this and think that's how they can treat their girlfriends, right? Their wives, even. It's a rather astonishingly consistent argument across the ideological spectrum when it comes to the anti-porn movement. At least when the religious right blames the scarlet woman/homewrecker for the dissolution of all that's good and safe and pure, it's a bit more ideologically consistent.
And yeah, sometimes, you do come across lesbians, self-declared, who also spout this line, more or less. Not many, these days, but there are a few holdouts, and a few newcomers to what is frankly a very anachronistic but once pretty popular (as these things go) worldview. Sometimes they also have shit to say about how other lesbians run their sex lives. Mainly though it comes back to the Men, the Men, the Men. Why can't you help us rein in the Men. You're not cooperating! Stop focusing on your selfish objectifying sexuality, stop putting those other freaks and men and male-identified people (the pervs, the queers, the whores, the sissies, the trannies,) who have nothing to do with us as lesbians, as WOMEN, that is, because that comes first, ALWAYS (remembering always) that Some Women are More Women than Others). Help us concentrate on what's really important ! the Bad Men! and the traces of bad Manliness that we must purge ourselves of! Odd, that, I find.
So, of course, of course, it's -ridiculous- for me to be calling homo-bigotry on feminists like our commenter friend here, because real! live! lesbians! might back her up, hell, she -might- even be one herself for all we know In fact, these are the PURE, the REAL lesbians, really: it's not about desire, it's not about sex, certainly not -that- kind, it's about -womens' culture.- Or rather, heh, -loving- women, yes, without necessarily bringing all that icky, objectifying sex into . Putting women FIRST. (p.s. and some women are more women than others).
I've wasted far more energy on these anachronisms than I should already, and I have other shit to do, but what the fuck, I guess it's cathartic or some shit like that.
So, let me just make a Statement on this once and for all:
Maybe for you lesbianism (if such you are, I have no further patience with straight women spouting this crap, "feminist" or otherwise, much less forfuckssake men) is a loving gentle thing, totally utterly different from the world of men and that's what's so wonderful about it, freedom from, not freedom to, well--mazel tov, good for you. And hey, I won't even tell you how abnormal you are.
But that's NEVER been what it's about for me, and, in my experience, it's not what it's about for most queer people, frankly. (And yes, goddamit, the men count, here. I -do- have more in common with gay men -in this regard- than i do with straight women, and you can sit on a tack if you have a problem with it).
It's about DESIRE.
It's about LUST.
It's got fuckall to do with Sisterly Solidarity. I don't care what Adrienne Rich said. That was a -long time ago,- in a particular milieu. More to the point, she's not me. I'll bet she's not even you, either.
Look, call yourselves whatever you want. But the buck stops when you start trying to police my and others' seuxality, sister. Some of us are all too familiar with that.
If you're not, well--gee, that's a different experience to mine, and--in that sense, if not others? Lucky you. Seriously.
If you are, well: aren't you an asshole for turning around and doing unto others what you hated being done unto yourself.
I really can't make it any plainer.