Sunday, 21 June 2009

Things That Are Just Bizarre

And Obviously False, Vol. Whatevertheheck:

I don’t, for the record, think “external contact” with ejaculate for sexual purposes (or fellatio) is inherently degrading or disgusting. But my experience is that many men DO think their semen is an inherently icky, disgusting substance magically capable of rendering a woman a “freak who’ll do anything” if she swallows it or lets it touch her exterior.

I can’t remove bukkake from that narrative. (I don’t think it _exists_ outside that narrative, whereas intercourse most certainly does.) If I did find a man who had never seen any porn at all, then what in Hell would make him wake up one morning and think “Gee, I’d like to come all over your FACE, Honey,” if not a desire to degrade me?

It’s the fact that it’s the face that bothers me. In what other context is squirting something on someone’s face, or even discussing same, not insulting and degrading? “In your face!” is, after all, slang for “I just dominated you.”

I wouldn’t argue, without knowing much more about someone, that doing bukkake made that person “not a feminist.” But I’m of the opinion that a “facial” can never be anything but the opposite of a feminist act.

Uh, what? So... stuff comes out of his body... that is inherently tied to his sexual pleasure... and there is absolutely no way that he could possibly, in a world where porn doesn't exist, think it's hot to see a substance intimately connected with his pleasure and orgasm on his partner's skin?

Is this person kidding?

Or is it specifically the face she takes issue with? I don't see why that would be either, honestly, because, well, one way of having sex involves genitals and faces, and people often have that kind of sex unprotected. Ergo: at least potential messiness.

I'm not one to be excited specifically by messy faces myself, mine or others', but... does she have the same attitude toward a man (or a woman, for that matter) who enjoys having a female partner's wetness all over his face while or after giving head to her?

I do understand that there is a connection in the current culture between giving head to men and degradation. But the thing is, if she asserts that no one wants sexual fluids on their faces absent Patriarchy because it's inherently something no one would think of if they weren't Big Meanies, what does she think of cunnilingus, anyway?

It's this "never" stuff and this "things have only one unalterable meaning" stuff that simply baffles me. What?

That's it. It's not even anger any more. It's just complete bafflement.

Also, what is with the constant bringing up bukkake, anyway? I mean, sure, some people do it and more people watch films of it, but what exactly does that have to do with... anything at all? Bukkake has about as much relevance to me, for example, as scubadiving cats would.

Saturday, 13 June 2009

Feminist acts and anti-feminist acts

ND is up to her usual tricks.

I'm... not feeling like responding right now, really. These folks are very much a broken record about what they consider to be "antifeminist" and are not at all consistent about why they do. I know that a lot of you look to me to debunk this stuff, and I hate to let you all down. But I am really quite burnt out of the same fights over and over.

So I will reiterate that I do not think that it is possible to call someone's personal sexual life antifeminist without knowing her personally and specifically as an individual. I will also reiterate that I do not think we can call all sexually explicit media antifeminist in a sweeping way either.

And with that I will go eat lunch and pass the torch to you all for the moment.

Saturday, 6 June 2009

Phantom of the Opera

xposted from my LJ


Ooooof.

Phantom of the Opera teaches girls bad, bad, orful thingz!
Of course, to call it a two-and-a-half-hour musical about rape vastly understates the bizarreo-world factor of this musical, although it's hardly an inaccurate statement.

At first, I was merely staggered by what this show must do to thirteen-year-old girls. I mean, it's just utterly designed to be seductive to anyone who doesn't want to own their sexuality and is drawn to any sort of narrative of submission, ordeal or apprenticeship. I should have, in fact, been all over this shit. At thirteen, I surely would have been. And the gaggle of girls that age we saw in the bathroom surely were.

....What a completely bizarre and vaguely intellectually offensive show. Man, when this first came out, gender and sexuality scholars must have been like "happy birthday to me" -- what a goldmine of crazy!
Where do I even begin?

Perhaps with "It didn't make me any less dominant..."

I wanted to be Christine for a few months, sure.

Then I asked myself "Why shouldn't he be singing my music?" and it was all over but the shouting. :)

And of course, rather than asking whether stories like that one attract people who have D/s leanings, we have to ask the same old tired "won't people get D/s leanings from this?" question.

And, honestly, what all the stories like this about D/s-y romance taught me was not "Be submissive!" but rather "If you be your dominant self, you will never be happy. Dominance is for the villains, and the villains are always either vanquished or voluntarily give up what's presented as their only chance for companionship because they realize they can never be themselves without doing harm."

These stories do not tell you that D/s is harmless, or is awesome, and I'm always stunned when feminists say they do. These stories are very, very, very clear about erotic power dynamics' destructive potential. They have to be. It's not socially acceptable for them not to be.

It may well be socially acceptable for them to be in romance novels and such geared toward adults, but all the stories I was allowed to see as a youth? None of those said that submission ultimately leads to fulfillment. They said, as I stated above, that dominance was what made the villains hot. The villains, by definition, lose.

Submission is something the heroine experiments with -- Hell, gets hypnotized into experimenting with -- and ultimately rejects. Do you really think Christine has the same dynamic she had with Erik with Raoul?! Yeah, right.

Why, when we examine this stuff, do we ask how it will affect a child we assume to be a vanilla tabula rasa? Why don't we ever, ever, ever ask what this says to people who are already dominant or submissive? Because they usually say "Your relationships are tragedies waiting to happen." If not "You're gonna grow up to be a homicidal maniac who can never be responsible about sex and love, kiddo. Sorry to tell ya, but we thought you should know."

If y'all need me, I'll be cranking Point up to max volume (and, yes, it is about rape, and yes, that is problematic. But FFS, the guy is a homicidal maniac! It's not like the show says "woo, rape!")...

...provided I can freaking find my copy of the OCR, anyway.

Dear radical-leaning feminists...

...if your big thing is fighting for the really real actual empowerment of women (rather than the icky fake sparkly "empowerfulizing" of women)... why do you always want to disempower me?
The situation of men who enjoy playing the M in relation to female prostitutes is instructive here. In a society that systematically gives men power over women, men usually have enough ability to retaliate that a female S is, ultimately, very much in their power. On this basis, John Stoltenberg has argued that sadomasochism may be liberating for men in a way that it cannot be for women in a patriarchy.
Is it just an obsession with "prostitutes" that makes you so constantly run at the mouth/keyboard about pros with only a footnote about everybody else (usually that we're so rare and it proves you right about everything)? Because I really don't understand it and, to be honest, it really ticks me off. It bothers me to see you folks so constantly insinuate that no one would be like me unless someone paid them for it.

Stop it, please.

And honestly? As a person with a disability, I am used to constant small disempowerments. It really bugs me to turn to the feminist movement and find the same thing all over again.

What really saddens me is that the actual people who write this stuff will likely never see what I just wrote. These folks are Professors, who Get Stuff Published. I'm just someone with a blog. My story matters less than the theory, and the theory says "no right-minded female would be like you unless cash were involved." Uh... no thanks to that.

(And I'm not even addressing here how disrespectful to actual dominatrices, prostitutes, and other sex workers that kind of gloss is also. Yuck with a capital Y.)

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

More on feministing

I'm noticing that on this Feministing thread, a lot of people are bringing up how they experience kink as orientational. Basically they're saying "Hey, this isn't some random thing I decided was fun, and I can't sit here and talk myself into doing something else on Saturday because the feminists were meen bulliez."

I agree with that myself, and that is how I experienced my kinky attractions from the beginning.

But right now, honestly, for myself I've stopped caring about that almost entirely. What bugs me now is not so much that people don't get that this is not the sort of thing I can change at will, but that the way my activities should be understood seems, on that analysis, to change wildly depending on what I happen to do.

If I go to a BDSM club and play and find it dull, and then go home and have very, very hot sex that doesn't involve pain and only involves power insofar as I happen to be in a D/s relationship, do I get a pass for examining that day? If the week after that we're more interested in knives and face-slapping than genital canoodling, do I have to take my timeout to think first?

That's the big thing that I really don't get about all this. It all centers around acts but pretends not to. "I want to know why you submit" but that gets parsed, most of the time, as "I want to know why you (would ever want to) let him do that."

Which creates this really odd thing where, well, everything we do sexually gets reduced to BDSM, and gets reduced to the kinds of BDSM or the reasons for BDSM that its opponents are most worried about. Our sexualities and our sexual practices don't get discussed as wholes often at all. Kink is simply something that consumes us.

Yeah, kink is important in my life... but lately I'm really wondering what makes it so Important with a big I. It's something I happen to do. Something a little more controversial than most things I do, but why does that matter so much, exactly?

Basically, I'm at the equivalent of "Yeah, I'm gay... why'd you care again exactly?"