Darnit, I'm not done being angry. Twisty's new post on sex-positive feminism is so goddamn narrow-minded. There's so much in it about wanting to restrict the actions of women for their own good, to keep them from playing into the Patriarchy. I'll try to quote rather than rephrase here, so as to avoid "strawman" accusations as much as possible.
...“sex positive” feminists focus on is the ability to accept themselves as sexual, which they only attain by presenting a version of themselves that others readily find acceptable and have since way before I was born. Would you feel so empowered by your sexuality if you didn’t have a receptive audience?
First of all, not everything in sex-positivism is readily acceptable to society. I'm pretty sure that my posts about getting cut up in bed or embracing the sexuality of fat people aren't winning me any mainstream-patriarchy popularity contests. And secondly, even when my views do fit with the mainstream, they're still my views. Tell me I'm wrong if you must, but don't tell me "you don't really think that."
I’m “sex positive,” (stupid term) by the way, and I think that this label is completely misused by practically everyone as a way of insinuating that those who disagree with their self-exploitation are somehow anti-sex.
Self-exploitation? I have to admit, I do a lot of that; I make me buy me stuff, I send me to work my shifts for me, and yes, I even make me have sex with my boyfriend. But here she seems to be using "self-exploitation" to mean exhibitionism. If a woman makes a free choice to show her stuff to the world, because she gets off on it or because she wants to be popular or get paid, that is her decision to make. And if you start telling her that she's not allowed to do that because it might make the patriarchy happy (as a side effect of her happiness), you're constraining women's freedom and you end up on the same side as the misogynist puritans.
It’s an expedient justification, a way to rebrand what everybody does when they’re in their twenties, which is to drink too much and screw a lot, as a cool 21st-century-activist political activity.
Don't know who brought drinking into it, but screwing is political, when I do it on my own terms and don't allow anybody to shame me for it. Sexuality is only one battleground of feminism, and it may be a fun one, but it's a battleground nonetheless.
What do I mean by “sexy feminism”? Suicide Girls. Bust magazine. BDSM. The “position” that women should be free to “choose” femininity if that’s what bangs their box. The idea that embracing sexploitation is “empowering.” The notion that women “can do what we want despite patriarchy.”
"Scare" "quotes" "sure" "are" "fun"! I don't know much about SG or Bust, but I sure as hell know BDSM and I didn't get into it because a man told me to, I got into it out of my own twisted desires. And telling me that oh, they must not really be my desires, no woman could actually be a pervert herself so they must be the product of some internalized misogyny, is hideously stupid and condescending. Denying female sexual desire is, once again, putting the radfems and the patriarchs in the very same boat.
And yeah, women can choose femininity, they can show off their sexuality, and they can do pretty much what they please. I'm not telling them they have to, if modesty's your thing then go hog wild, but it's not right to tell other women not to express themselves.
We’re living in a war zone and orgasms are a dime a dozen. The performance of pornulated, dude-appeasing sex moves just isn’t important enough to form the basis of an entire political ideology.
Oh, I'm not going to claim that I'm saving the world here, but that doesn't make it worthless. This attack on sex-positivism is like going to the dog food drive and yelling "don't you care about starving people?!?"--the fact that it's not the most important thing ever doesn't mean that sexuality is insignificant.
And if receiving sexual pleasure the way I want it is dude-appeasing, all I can say is that it's also so damn lady-appeasing that I think it's a fair deal.
I propose third, easy-breezy alternative to the suffocating conformity demanded by this tiresome positive vs. negative binary thought system: sex-neutralism. Get busy, don’t get busy, whatever!
That is, I believe, a very moderate-sounding way of telling women who like sex to shut up. "Oh okay, they can have their lifestyle, but gosh, they don't have to talk about it."
I like sex, I like equality, I think sexuality matters, and I'm not going to shut up.