I'm officially done with the Twisty Faster Is Fucking Insane posts. Not that she got any saner, but I worry the point of those posts was lost. The point was "these people are hateful and unreasonable under the guise of 'feminism,' and that isn't feminism at all," but it too often seemed to come out as "look at these feminists, they're so hateful and unreasonable." Every time someone says that they're not a feminist because they like men and sex and they don't feel miserably oppressed--well, I don't want to feel like I'm contributing to that. The old posts stay up but there will be no new ones.
A common charge, one visible on the "Feminisn't" blog linked in the last post, seems to be that feminism opposes sexiness. This is actually close to the truth. Feminism (at least my brand) doesn't oppose sexiness, but it opposes compulsory sexiness.
It's the difference between putting on makeup to look like your slutty fantasy, and putting on makeup to leave the house. Between wearing heels because they make your ass tight and your legs long, and wearing heels because they're in your dress code. Between smiling at a sexy stranger and having "hey honey, why aincha smiling" yelled at you. Between having sex because your pussy is wet and your muscles are quivering, and having sex because it's time to put out.
And I'd go further and say it's also the difference between being a sex worker because that's a legitimate career option, and being a sex worker because it's the only way you can eat. It's the difference between sexified female bodies being used as porn, and them being used as decorations and advertisements. Maybe most importantly, it's the difference between women being taken seriously when they talk about sexuality, and women not being taken seriously when they're not sexy enough.
I love sucking cock. I don't love having to suck cock. Whether "having" consists of direct coercion or merely a subtle set of social expectations, it not only ruins my day, it ruins the blowjob! You might get my mouth on your cock by convincing me I owe you or I'm supposed to, but the only way to feel me thrill to your reactions, to hear me make little moans around your cock, to see my body sweat and tighten and quiver with the act, is to let me suck cock when I want it.
Because compulsory sexiness isn't just demeaning and creepy, it gets in the way of real sexiness. Makeup and heels aren't even sexy any more, and even the ever-present images of mega-sexed-up models are barely a blip on the bonerometer. If women could be sexy on our own time--if looking and acting sexual was an indicator that we were actually interested in being sexy, rather than just doing what we gotta--then sexiness would mean something. We'd realize that actually, women aren't sexless when left to our own devices. We'd discover the many different things that make women feel sexy (some of us kinda rock the cargo pants, thank you) and we'd be more comfortable with women being unsexy when they had other shit to do.
I think that if women--if people--were free to express their sexuality when and how they wanted, there'd end up being more sexiness in the world, and this is why feminism is ultimately pro-sexy.