I have been enjoying the thought provoked by a heated discussion on The Happy Feminist blog, regarding a post on porn. Towards the end I was cutting and harsh, as it seemed she was not hearing or responding directly to my main points.
It is an interesting conversation, between conservative feminists and liberal post-feminists. I see the traditional/conservative feminists as unaware of the shared researches of Pick Up Artists, who study and hone and apply the arts of seduction, and so unaware of the general female prediliction towards being attracted to dominant males (especially during ovulation), and how the buttons of females are pushed by males. And unempathetic to the male condition of what generally turns us on. It must be threatening to a traditional feminist to imagine that sexuality roles are not entirely social constructs that can be re-written in gender neutral terms.
When I highlight the more animal aspects of sexuality, it comes across as threatening, as if sexuality could or should be cleansed of anything resembling dominance or submission. But how can you make statements about porn without first being aware and educated and having experience the full range of erotic possibilities? Unless you can appreciate S&M, a person lacks the empathy to Grok the sexuality involved in porn. Knowledge without an embodied empathetic resonance is a collection of disorganized facts, not Groking. I tried and tried to get the discussion earthy and embodied, but she didn’t consider my ideas worth engaging with much more than dismissive hand waves and en-vague-enment-alities. My main points didn’t bring out direct responses that took my points seriously enough to directly address them. Finally and understandably she closed the thread. I had nothing to agree with her about, therefore was boring.
She seems to want to say that men oppress and women are tricked into being oppressed, but men aren’t biologically impelled to oppress. She is uncomfortable with the idea of men and women having gender specific sexual tendencies, with some biological roots and some social constructs built upon those roots, and talks as if cross gender sex relations could be entirely neutral to all things physical, including gender itself. How fun could it be to bump buttons with a woman who thinks that men and women are not only equal, but the SAME?! Feminism gone mad, all up in the head, no appreciation for cock.
I was rebuffed not go guess at her sexual style, and to not universalize gender differences. I don’t universalize, I generalize, which is necessary and appropriate when discussing gender differences. It goes without saying that sexuality is a spectrum. And that there are poles to the spectrum. We can discuss the poles, through generalities. We can talk about male versus female sexuality meaningfully. As to guessing her sexual style and reading into her words more than was apparent, that’s like saying that you shouldn’t extract the meaning of a metaphor from the concrete literal images. She says that men who watch certain porn get off on the shaming of women, and that the women who bare flesh on Girls Gone Wild tittie flashing videos are duped fools permanently scarred with shame. Am I not to see an internalized shame of nudity and sex here? Sex is shameful, men shame women with sex. And then that is filed under the name of Feminism and Empowering Women, all the while disempowering the libido from brave, optimistic discovery. Men don’t suck more than women, Happy Feminist. Men don’t suck nearly as much as you would wish us to suck.