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Friday, April 07, 2006
Things that piss me off #132
I'm back! (to ranting)
Do you notice that when talking about street harrassment or porn or things that dehumanise and exploit
women with men we always have to relate these random women to them. Like "that's someone's mom or sister
or daughter." Because we can't be human in our own right, we need to be human in relation to men.
I can't say: "stop watching porn it's exploiting women" with the same impact that the statement has when I say:
"stop watching porn b/c you could be exploiting your daughter/sister/girlfried/mother/etc". Why the hell
should I have to say that? Why can't I be a treated as a person withoug having to resort to relating my
status to other men? I know it's more effective that way, but really that's the problem.
I think most things come back to the points I made way back in my post about Compulsive masculinity that men categorise us. All feminists are aware of this. There's the sluts/whores/"loose women" who appear in porn or who like to have sex, there's the girlfriend (to this I will add relatives as well) who are pedestalised, and then there is the challenge. That would be me: the woman who is intellegent (and doesn't hide it), who is autonomous, and who the men can be friends with or even sleep with, but who in the end are women who challenge them too much and will never be in the girlfriend category. The last 2 groups are superficial respect, b/c if they respected us there wouldn't be these classifications or these tiny pedestals for us to stand on (or try to smash).
Every time someone does the "you shouldn't harrass women on the street b/c that woman is someone's (pick one of the terms above: sister/etc)" I die a little inside. It kills me because I know that that's the only way some men will listen: to respect other men's property. Can't disrespect the man by disrespecting his sister/gf/whatever. And if this method did *actually* work I think that I can guarentee we wouldn't be living in the pornographised culture that we currently have. Why? Because we wouldn't be exploiting other men's property, I mean, relatives or love interests. So it doesn't work, but it seems to work for a time until our culture and pro-porn 'feminists' tell these guys that yes we want to be exploited and that we choose it. (OK< so the pro-porners are saying that we find it liberating, but I guarentee that the guys are still thinking of the women in porn not as liberated, but as some [insert anti-woman slur like slut here].) Then they can safely move women into their correct categories and feel safe in the idea that their gf/mother/sister/daughter would never be one of those women, you know, the ones with "loose" morals.
Now sometimes this works. Sometimes guys wake up and go "OH MY GOD!!! I never thought of it that way!!" They need the relation b/c many of these things they will never experience themselves. But why? I don't need to experience racism personally to know that it's horribly cruel, fucked up and wrong. Doesn't matter what your skin colour is, we're all PEOPLE for chrissakes. People all deserve to be treated as such, and as equals. So why can't men do this? Why can't men see women and understand that we're people. I know, I know, social conditioning blah blah, but there are scores of people who have some sembleance of an understanding about oppression and basic human rights (decency) what's so fucking hard about extending that to women? (And I AM talking about the left here you fuckers.)
And just to talk about my favourite topic for a second: if burlesque has nothing to do with men's sexuality and all about the women on stage expressing themselves how many men would go and watch their sisters? Seriously, none, b/c burlesque is not about art or performing, it's about performing sexually for men. FOR MEN. Need that again? Burlesque is about PERFORMING FOR MEN. Ok, now that we got that cleared up. I have no problems with getting up and performing my sexuality, but it's so far outside the norm that it's not assumed to be sexual. My relatives have seen it. Why? I'm a clown. I love making an ass out of myself. That is the cornerstone of my sexuality. Me being me and having fun. (And when I say me being me, I mean the me who pushed through all those ideas that I was raised with about being sexy, etc. Me being who it took me years and missteps to find. And I must say, at least with regards to my sexuality I feel very confident that it is something I came to on my terms without (or because of) societies influences.) My entire sexuality is about me being silly. I can do it anywhere I want, but it's not me performing for others: it's me performing for me and so I am exempt from the overt sexual exploitation (for the most part...people really like clowns) that comes with performances like burlesque or 'sexy' fire dancing or what have you. (See how slyly I worked that in there? huh, huh?)
Actually the next time there's a burlesque show that I happen to catch I think that letting everyone know that
these women are indeed someone's sister/gf/mother/daughter /etc. I wonder how they'll take it.
Do you think they'll like to hear that?