“Pourquoi les féministes sont meilleures au lit”

Great article over at sexactu.com. I want to draw attention particularly to

3) Les féministes sont meilleures au lit parce qu’elles aiment les hommes. Sans doute le point le plus important. Je crois sincèrement que les femmes non-féministes méprisent les mecs. Leur discours, c’est que les hommes ont dans leur nature le viol, la violence, la guerre, la domination gratuite, et que par conséquent il faudrait leur pardonner comme on pardonne à un chat de bouffer un lézard. Personnellement, j’ai une plus haute image des garçons et je pense qu’ils savent parfaitement se servir de leur cerveau, donc 1) ceux qui se comportent comme des connards doivent aller en prison, 2) les autres doivent être considérés comme des humains et pas des prédateurs sanguinaires. A mon niveau, théoriser la violence permet d’évacuer la rancoeur. Si je n’étais pas féministe et que je regardais les infos sur, par exemple, les Talibans, peut-être que je me mettrais à haïr les mecs. Et ça, vraiment, j’ai pas envie.

and:

5) Les féministes sont meilleures au lit parce qu’elles sont consentantes. Sinon elles diraient “non”. Et en l’absence de “non”, tout le reste est “oui” – un vrai “oui”, pas “chais pas enfin nan mais en fait aux tréfonds de mon âme je pensais non et tu aurais dû deviner”.

I was told the following one was incorrect but I hereby lodge my protest. It is very perceptive and well-put:

9) Les mecs féministes sont aussi meilleurs au lit. Mes trois derniers mecs étaient féministes. Je ne reviendrai jamais en arrière 🙂 Oh non, jamais jamais jamais.

I notice I haven’t mentioned this blog before but I’ve spent a lot of time there these past months and am recommending it highly. Here’s the link again. The blog is written and maintained by Maïa Mazaurette

One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

This in last week’s New York Times:

Ruth Padel, the great-great-granddaughter of Charles Darwin, made history at Oxford when she became the first woman to be elected to the position of Professor of Poetry since the job was created in 1708.

(…)

But Padel’s election was marred by Nobel literature laureate Derek Walcott’s decision to withdraw as a candidate from the election after anonymous letters attacking him were sent to Oxford academics.

British newspapers reported that the letters made reference to an allegation of sexual harassment made against the St. Lucia-born poet by a former student in the 1980s.

The papers said the letters included references from the book ”The Lecherous Professor: Sexual Harassment on Campus,” by Billie Wright Dziech and Linda Weiner, which carries allegations against Walcott made by a Harvard freshman in 1981. At the time of his resignation, Walcott said he had never commented on the claims and would not do so now. But he called the anonymous letter campaign an attempt at character assassination.

Padel came under increasing pressure after The Sunday Times quoted e-mails it said she had sent to two unidentified journalists drawing their attention to the book. In a statement announcing her resignation, Padel acknowledged sending the e-mails. But she said she did not engage in a smear campaign, explaining that she had only passed on information already in the public domain.

”I acted in complete good faith, and would have been happy to lose to Derek, but I can see that people might interpret my actions otherwise,” she said in the statement.

Oh, they might?

Different Worlds

Today, on i09: Annalee Newitz on Feminism in Battlestar Galactica, one of the best TV shows of recent years. Her excellent article is a nuanced piece of thinking about her subject. This crucial distinction here’s from the conclusion:

If we define feminism as the critique of a world where men unfairly wield power over women, then BSG is post-feminist. In other words, that critique is no longer necessary in the world of BSG: The show more or less successfully depicts a universe where women and men are equal in the realms of work and family. However, BSG was not made in a post-feminist world, so there are all kinds of hiccups where you get retrograde characters like Cally, or naked cylon chick fetishism, that are relics of our own society, which still so desperately needs a feminist slap upside the head on a regular basis.

"Feminazi"

A debate at two blogs, among them Irene‘s wonderful blogeous ode to inebration, has centered on outrage against prescriptive modern feminists. What they, especially Sybarite (post one, post two), think of strident feminists is well described by the slur “Feminazi” that neither of them uses, but that people who take the exact same line, do use. And yes, it is no accident that their positions, especially Sybarite’s, can be summed up as using a slur coined by Rush Limbaugh. I started to write a comment at Sybarite’s blog but it became too convoluted so I thought I’d take it to my home turf.

Rereading their posts, I think they fail to see a major problem: what some feminists are saying is that you only THINK you are choosing for yourself, that your choice is, in fact, made for you, once you learn language, behavior and manners. The cultural imprint is so strong that it is an illusion to be able to chose for one’s self. And yes, it is a very dangerous balance, between liberating women and rhetorically restricting their behavior. A good case in point is judith butler’s work on feminist matters, which vacillates between severely pessimistic accounts and accounts of freedom. You can’t disprove Butler’s argument easily, especially not by saying: how can I not know myself and my own decisions? which makes it all a tightrope act. Where do you cross into tyranny, into paternalism? I especially feel extremely uncomfortable writing this because my kind have been silencing female voices for centuries, and am I not now engaging in a similar undertaking? That creeps me out, to be honest.

So I’ll keep things brief. One thing, neither of the two mentioned, is the sexualization of little girls, the Bratz dolls are a case in point (also, related, remember the recent scandal over the Sasha and Malia dolls?). The things some feminists are complaining about hurt our children first, there are issues such as bodily self-image, sexualization, plus, most recently, the American culture which has experienced a rollback in sexual morals (will post the study once I dig it out); to cut to pop culture: look at how girls describe their love and admiration for Stephenie Meyer’s inane Twilight books? To brush all this aside by a coquettish moue, saying: But I like it that way! is appalling, to me. The direction our societies are taking is clear, unmistakeable, and ugly.

To reiterate: your own decisions may not be your own decisions, especially since they reinforce cultural stereotypes, which are shown to be culturally specific, most certainly not biological, so if feminists point that out, i.e. the fact that you dress in what amounts to a garb of capitulation to the prevailing cultural misogyny, they may not be “replac[ing] a patriarchy with a matriarchy” (a misogynistic term if I ever saw one) but, on the contrary, point out the mire we’re all still in. still the same stereotypes, only this time we like ’em. the wide acceptance by the so-called “new feminism” of essentialist, hurtful images and ideas is frightening.

All this is rather vapid, empty blather, since I am reluctant to dish out. It is not my place to speak up here, it just isn’t. My position is best described by Katha Pollitt, an old-fashioned feminist, and an invigorating writer. IN her 2006 collection Virginity or Death! she writes the following:

Women have learned to describe everything they do, no matter how apparently conformist, submissive, self-destructive or humiliating, as a personal choice that cannot be criticized because personal choice is what feminism is all about.”

The bitterness of her words and the trap that she sees there, are both important and noteworthy.

Feminism is a complex issue, not easily resolved. There are very smart feminists as well as utter idiots (Camilla Paglia, anyone?). Arguments such as Sybarite’s, which miss several important points, succeed, because they attack a position by attacking the dimwits among the supporters of such a position. That’s too easy. Take it up with the smart ones.

Arrogance

Despite initial “hopes for co-operation” the Vatican has fallen out with President Obama just days after his inauguration, accusing him of “arrogance” for overturning the “global gag rule” or ban on state funding for family-planning groups which facilitate abortions overseas.

Archbishop Rino Fisichella, president of the Pontifical Academy for Life, said that with “the arrogance of someone who believes they are right”, Mr Obama had signed a decree which would “open the door to abortion and thus to the destruction of human life”.

He added: “What is important is to know how to listen, without locking oneself into ideological visions with the arrogance of a person who, having the power, thinks they can decide on life and death. If this is one of the first acts of President Obama, then with all due respect it seems to me that we are heading toward disappointment even more quickly than we thought”.

(from the Times) Note that this statement comes from the Catholic Church. methinks someone would do well with a tad self-awareness.

A Horrifying World

“It was a horrifying world, but it was a real one. How many of us can say we’ve made a new world out of the things that terrify and move us?” At least a few of the women writing horror today can say just that. And there’s no way to mistake the new worlds they’re making for the work of men.

That was from an overview of recent Horror fiction written by women and although I’m generally wary of the olde ‘women write differently than men’ claim, and have yet to find an instance of a decently argued statement of that claim, the quoted point is interesting.

Love this Song (27)

Heard this twenty times today. May delete this later when I stop loving this. I still don’t like her delivery but this song hit me hard when I saw the video today. IT’s so well done, not just matters of gender but also race, power etc. Look closely. Not subtle but really great. And the song gets better as it progresses.