#121

Over9000ft posted:

chickeon posted:


Please explain how this is the case tomorrow



I gave examples in the text, you apparently chose not to read them (how sexual relationships are made economic by liberal legal systems in terms of contractual obligations like leases and mortgages, credit reporting, insurance liability, lack of right to counsel in divorce proceedings, etc). I also stated in the text how despite being glaring opportunities for purported leftists to address these real life issues, purported leftists have no experience with these issues and are thus blind to them, because they are either young and single without much said real life experience, or trust funders who don't have to worry about them in the case of Jacobin writers and DSA management.

Which leads me to the conclusion, also posted already in the first text, that the problem with the supposed leftist voices in the USA addressing the material aspects of sexual relationships is not leftism, it's that those people are solidly children of the bourgeoisie.

You can shall we say, have some anal sexual discourse with your one day bans. I see no need to type all of this a third time and have real a problem with typing it twice.

Edited by Over9000ft (today 04:16:24)



when will the young and libertine american left (nubile) grow up and confront the harsh material underpinnings of gender relations (joint 401k accounts for bourgeois heterosexual couples)

#122

liceo posted:

can't we just agree that a world without sex is a better world for everyone


#123
On the one hand, I was deliberately stoking the flames, so, fair play on the probation. On the other hand, even a cop has to tell you why you're being thrown into the slammer, so to the filthy mod who did so: fuck you, you pig, you coward, you can't even elaborate your own thoughts, you haven't even decided on the law I breached and yet you click the cop button, I spit on you and the family that produced such a cowardly little rat!!

To get to the responses:

招瑤 said "i guess it sound like what you're implying, and maybe this is projection on my part, that being trans is a psychological disorder, that gender confirmation surgery is a cosmetic gloss that can't help that underlying pathology, which could just as well be ineffectually covered up with brain meds"

My claim is the exact inverse of what you accuse: I feel like anxiety isn't "solved" by anxiety meds and schizophrenia isn't "solved" by antipsychotics! Several threads have been posted on these forums by people with schizophrenia or even during psychotic breaks, critical of the medicalisation of these issues!! I've known several people who've died during or just after psychotic breaks, some of them close friends of mine. Nobody gives a fuck about them, as a category of people. Afaik, absolutely correct me if I'm wrong, but there's evidence for schizophrenia having a legit genetic component and as of yet there isn't for gender dysphoria or likewise. Nobody complains if you say "yeah, medicating schizophrenia is not the best option". And that's fine!!! Because people understand that you're looking for a better solution to a strange and complex but really existing problem. I claim that all of these issues are part of the same continuum, and the pharmaceutical industry is not the best option. Yet you dare to utter to an American audience this mere notion and this is literally unspeakable, cfr the pig coward who probated me, shame on your mother for raising such a disapointing child, because philosophy has become redundant for any position that might conform to the other side of the liberal/conservative split is evil by definition.

Skylark posted:

ultragauchiste posted:

Being a little older and having gotten some 2nd wave feminist thought passed down through my parents, feel like:
- No-one should have to resort to physical surgery and often harmful medical treatments to change their perfectly healthy body because they feel it is somehow defective.

To my probated queen.. A lot of this post is super valid imo, and I would buy you Reddit Gold if I could milady. This one point I quoted from the post is the one I feel iffy about, so Im going to use it as a jumping-off point to talk about issues I have with GC claims in general (not you in particular!). You put it pretty mildly but Ive seen some ppl taking crazy extremes along these lines, I'll give an example in a min.. But first of all I want to say that it's kind of impossible to draw the line between what is "necessary" medical intervention and what is "unnecessary". A cleft palate "correction" is not really required, but ppl generally would opt for it if it's available. Historically intersex people's genitals have been "corrected" too, by being surged into more "normal" genitalia until recently, and that's wrong because, as babies, they didn't have agency over what happened with their bodies. The ideal is people having decision-making power over medical intervention, in my opinion, and I feel like it's a mistake to conflate (totally legitimate!) issues with the medical industry with medicine as such. Like, one of those issues is that, in the United States, the only way to get a transition-related surgery considered to be "optional" is to declare it to be an urgent life-saving medical necessity, when they could probably for the most part be described more accurately as "Would be nice!". Insurance sucks and the medical industry sucks and you have to play the game to get what you want, and maybe that plays a role in making the surgery culture look worse to ppl who are on the outside of it. Heres an anecdotal story from my life: I had to talk to a therapist to get a recommendation letter, and they were asking me questions like, "How is your life? How do you feel about your body" and i was answering like, "My life is great! I would say that im really happy," & so on, and after a while the therapist said, "Look, this isn't working. What they are looking for is you basically saying 'im going to freaking kill myself if i dont get this surge ASAP!!!'" so i was like ok yea maybe just put that then. It's fucked up hahaha

Ive had a "pretty large" amount of plastic surgery, and I think it's cool, and I'll probably get a little more at some point.,. Recovery is hard and theyre dangerous, and sure like I guess maybe people downplay how big of a deal they are. But I see a lot of GC people making a claim that it is better to have a "natural" body than an "unnatural" one, which is just completely absurd to me. Everything is "unnatural". But also, everything is "natural". Do you know what I mean..It just doesnt really make sense. When I was first exploring GC stuff i remember this one blog I found, where the blogger took on a 'challenge' from tumblr called "10 Questions for Terfs" that were meant to short-circuit terf brains like in Tron or something. I just watched Tron last week. One of the questions was, "How much body modification do you think is okay?", or something like that. And the answer was completely bonkers, she straight-up said that she thinks people should stay "natural" to the extent that they don't even clip their nails or cut their hair or dye it or anything like that. Got to respect her standing her ground lol. Obviously most people wouldn't say that but I think it illustrates how impossible the "natural"/"unnatural" distinction is.

To wrap up, Im gonna take us back to the beginning of the thread. Im going to bring it back to page 1 baby, while addressing another common gc argument I have an issue with (not one anybody brought up here tho). It's super common for GC people to say that transition is not the answer, and instead of modifying healthy "natural" bodies, the solution is to simply change gender roles/abolish gender, and thus eliminate the need people feel to transition. Like Ultragauchiste said:

ultragauchiste posted:

Transgenderism is obviously a social phenomenon obviously influenced by modern conceptions of gender and sex which are obviously influenced by the enormous porn industry.


It's definitely true! We're all shaped by all kinds of social and historical forces we have no control over. My guess is that a lot of trans identity starts when a little kid internalizes various messages from the world around them as a lil kid or baby or whatever, forms an identity in response to that, and then stays sad about it. And then just have to deal with that in whatever way is most livable. So, for me, that GC argument fails in the same way that some of the TRA things I was complaining about in my other post fail, in that it appeals to some hypothetical future utopia instead of addressing the world as it is, the world that, for better and for worse, shaped our brains as babies and we have to try to live in. I totally agree with 👇

chickeon posted:

It is not the responsibility of trans persons to provide theoretical justifications for their own existence


ANd just like that, we are back on page 1. But it felt seamless.. epic even. Like we have gone around the whole world, or a Lord of the Rings adventure for the ages. To be honest, I don't think it's possible to abolish gender, really, at least not with the definition of gender I was talking about. At the end of the day (for now at least.. You know a bish is playing Cyberpunk 2077! Who knows what will happen in 2077, but you bet your arse it will be poggers) we are animals, and were freaking HOrny for certain other animals. We're instinctively going to identify sex characteristics in each other, and probably always make some kind of assumptions based on what we see. It would definitely be great to scale back those assumptions as much as possible. I just think its really important to stay focused, when we're speaking politically, on the experiences people are having in the world as it is now. And we can talk about how we think things could be, or how we would like them to be in the future. What frustrates me is what seems like self-delusion or dishonesty, and bad-faith arguments that are everywhere in public clashes on this issue on both of the sides arguing, since I like actually have a stake in it. At the very least, more honesty, material analysis and compassion would be cool. And subscribe to my Onlyfans as well. Peace n luv guys ✌



Yeah fair enough, I get it, what is a "natural" body even? Men used to be more or less immune to the beauty industry, I've seen and lived the changes in that, how young men nowadays go crazy on fitness and want crazy muscled bodies. Technically 'natural' (except for all the fucked up dietary shit and straight-up doping nowadays)... If you have a literal life-altering desire for a certain body, necessary for your happiness or even your very survival, who could possibly deny that without being a monster? People split their tongues in two and brand images in their back, who I am to judge, do with your body what you want and it should absolutely be paid by society.
Nonetheless, that being said, am I monster for thinking that a person like 'Martina Big' (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=urrXtXxGz6g)is doing something very unhealthy? I wouldn't deny her the right to do as she pleases with her own body, but I feell like we should still discourage this? On a more realistic level, closer to how people actually experience life, I feel like it's fucked up that at a time of so-called body-positivity there has never been a larger industry of ever more radically transforming to body to conform to an ever more idealized notion. We've never seen more nor more extreme stylized images of sex, of nude bodies, of what sex means, and yet it's all reproducing a profoundly reactionary culture.

Lenin was a nudist and practiced Freikörperkultur, literally "free body culture", still popular in 'Eastern' Europe. Imo, this was the exact fucking opposite of the entire culture today. Of course nudism as a culture has a lot of swingers etc. in it nowadays, but FKK was not a sexual thing; The body as it is, devoid of all mysticism, a recognisition that everybody deviates from the 'norm', everyone has a 'strange' body, contrary to repressed western values in fact profoundly non-sexual and in a sense the literal liberation of the body of all the sexualisation, the literal antithesis of what passes for progressivism on a sexual level now. I find it profoundly negative that the fashion, cosmetic, pharmaceutical, surgical industries are now proclaimed revolutionary and that any criticism of this trend in the anglophone (and thus, ultimately, also in my own) world is pronounced reactionary. Imho this is absolutely, obviously, clearly connected with the obvious concerted propaganda in favor of the fashion, cosmetics, surgery, ... indutries. Twentyfive years ago it was perfectly normal to say that destiny's child was an reproducing extremely sexist stereotypes; say the same thing about Beyoncé today and you're literally Hitler, even though none of the arguments changed.

And, again, I am not American and I don't care about online anglophone discourse, really. But your poisonous discourse seeps through (or rather, it reinforces and is born from the same conditions and ideology) elsewhere as well, and in my workplace I look every day at posters promoting how how all sexualities and genders are welcome, yet in this city with a majority muslim population it is literally ILLEGAL for you to get a job here if you are an overtly muslim woman. This is not trans' people fault, nor is it the fault of transgenders or non-heteronormative people in general. Absolutely, trans people have been a disproportionally large part of the movement against the pinkwashing of fascists and cops in the gay pride here these past few years. Like BHPN said we have to reckon with that. Nonetheless there is an ENORMOUS discrepancy on the part of the white male ruling class as to how 'sexually' oppressed minorities are treated, and the non-white populations absolutely notices. How could they not?! Hamas supposedly 'threatens' a gay palestinian, welcome to Europe; Israel oppresses your entire ethnicity and you live in crushing poverty all your life, back to the west bank with you! We have to reckon with that too. Specifically, we have to reckon with the parts of transgenderism that can be perfectly integrated into modern white male liberalism, and the parts that cannot, and by dismissing the discussion as a whole we already ensure the outcome!

#124
A really good interview from Feminist Current on relationships, sex, heterosexuality, the commodification of sex, how patriarchy encourages rape within relationships, etc.

https://www.feministcurrent.com/2018/03/04/interview-dr-meagan-tyler-way-sex-therapy-reinforces-compulsory-heterosexuality-can-push-back/

MEGHAN MURPHY: In your research on sex and relationship advice, self-help books for women, and sex therapy, what kinds of trends have you come across?

MEAGAN TYLER: The strongest trend I’ve come across in all the texts I read for this research is an underlying, constant pushing of women to accept whatever sexual demands a male partner wants of them. It often wasn’t said outright, but there is a constant pressure for women in heterosexual relationships. To be “good,” sexually, is to agree to whatever your male partner wants of you or find a way to pretend to enjoy it.

MM: I find it personally and politically troubling, as a feminist and just as an individual woman, that sex is taken for granted in relationships. We hear messages like, “If you aren’t having sex, that’s a sign of a bigger problem in your relationship,” for example. And of course, when we’re talking about sex, we’re talking about penetrative sex… We equate marriages that don’t include much or any penetrative sex to “loveless” marriages. We tell others or are told that if our partner isn’t engaging in sex with us, we should leave them or that we have the right to cheat. What’s at the root of all of this? Why are these messages so accepted in our culture?

MT: The existing literature would probably just say it’s the result of the male sex right. It would say that men’s sexual access to women is the cornerstone of heterosexuality, and that women and men exist under unequal conditions of power, so women not submitting to sex acts that they don’t find particularly enjoyable represents the downfall of the heterosexual construct.

It’s extremely threatening, although not consciously, to sex therapists and sexologists that that’s what all of this is founded on. As you say, it is about penetrative sex — they might talk about it in other ways, but they absolutely take sex to mean heterosexual sex and they take it as shorthand for coitus.

There are some fascinating case studies of couples coming to , perfectly happy not having penetrative sex. By their own criteria, if the couple doesn’t feel it’s a problem, the therapist shouldn’t treat it as a problem either. But in fact, these therapists were horrified and thought these people were very aberrant. I think it’s fascinating that this still exists — that the gloss we get of pop psychology around sex therapy is very, like, “Do what you want! Do what you feel comfortable doing!” But when you break it down just a little bit, what you really find is, like you say, the message that you should be in a relationship (because none of this advice is aimed for single people) and that sex is absolutely an expectation of relationships… But it has to be penetrative sex in a heterosexual relationship. It’s the gold standard.

There’s some great stuff by Jenny Kitzinger, probably about 20 years ago now, talking about how none of this advice makes sense in the context of lesbian sexual relationships. It just completely falls apart. It only makes sense in a heterosexual paradigm.

MM: You’re likely familiar with Dan Savage, the sex columnist… And of course his work isn’t just centred around heterosexual relationships — he’s gay and he writes a lot about queer sex. But he coined this idea: “good, giving and game,” which is basically the idea that if you’re in a relationship, that should be your approach to sex — that you should be open-minded and willing to consider anything, within reason, because you want to please your partner and you want your partner to be happy and that’s the deal or contract you enter into in intimate relationships. I wonder what you think about that idea?

MT: It’s interesting the way that it goes in cycles, and I imagine that gets touted as quite progressive in some circles — I’ve seen the way a lot of his advice is… But it echoes advice from decades — if not centuries — ago in sex therapy and sexology before that. So you have things like the famous Joy of Sex handbook from the 1970s, which promotes similar ideas. Food, for example, is a constant analogy to sex in a lot of pop sex therapy. And it’s the same in the Joy of Sex as well, where you have everything broken down into appetizers and entrees and main courses and what have you and it’s very nauseating to read through it. One of the comparisons makes is: If you had a partner who liked Chinese food and you didn’t, you would eat it sometimes to make them happy, so is exactly the same.

And I think it’s really scary that all those notions that we have outside of regular sexual relationships of consent — of positive affirmation and enjoyment of sexuality — are supposed to go out the window in long-term heterosexual relationships. There’s huge pressure, as you say, to keep up a particular kind of sex… I think there’s probably more pressure to agree to certain sex acts than others, for example. Why does that concept of consent we claim to value irrelevant once you’re in a long-term relationship? It speaks volumes that we need this entire industry to cajole women into having forms of sex that they often don’t want to have.

MM: And why is that a bad analogy? What’s the difference between eating Chinese food and sex?

MT: Well, I guess forcing yourself to eat Chinese food you don’t love is not the same as being coerced into sex that can end up being rape.

It’s also this continuation of what Kathleen Barry talked about — prostitution sex — bleeding into everyday life. And having done some studies recently about men’s abuse of women in brothel prostitution, for example, it’s really interesting how that gets represented as “regular work,” but if you take consent away from it, it’s rape. And I think it’s the same kind of thing when you’re trying to run all these other analogies about sex in relationships: if you don’t acknowledge that if it goes wrong and there’s coercion, or if this is someone agreeing to sex they don’t want, then you are looking at coercive sex — you are looking at abuse. And that has really traumatic consequences for the people involved, that maybe eating something you don’t like doesn’t.

MM: And in your work on sex advice and sex therapy, you do use that feminist analysis of prostitution as a framework. I wonder if you can explain that a little more — what’s the connection between prostitution and the treatment of heterosexual relationships in sex advice, self-help books, and therapy?

MT: The most obvious one and the one that was kind of horrifying to me and meant that I was motivated to look into this, was the way in which porn stars and women in prostitution were being held up as the ultimate sex experts. Because the more sex you had, the better you must be at it and the more you must know about it. And there was no contextualizing of the fact that that is, at its most positive, faking sexual enjoyment for a camera.

Ariel Levy talks about this in Female Chauvinist Pigs — that sexual enjoyment then just becomes performing for someone else’s enjoyment, and that gets conflated.

That was probably one of the most obvious ways that this kind of notion of commodified sex in its most basic form was being touted as the model for all women to mimic in their everyday heterosexual relationships.

But then there was also the radical feminist analysis that has existed for decades, looking at the fact that maybe the defining elements of prostitution isn’t just the about economic exchange (which is what is seen as separating it from other forms of sexual interaction), but the sexual inequality between men and women and that — at its heart — one person’s sexual desires determine everything that happens, and that there is one person in that interaction who is not getting their interests or sexual desires or needs taken into consideration at all. They purely exist to meet the other person’s conception of what they want. And that model is prevalent in sex therapy, particularly in self-help books for women. Self-help books for men are markedly different, which is also quite interesting.

MM: Something you hear about fairly often these days is this notion of “maintenance sex.” In your research, how common have you found this practice and term to be, and what’s your perspective on it?

MT: In the literature I came across in my research — in the academic side of things — “unwanted sex” was probably the more common term, which then started bleeding into these less harmful sounding terms like “maintenance sex.” It’s this idea of doing it anyway, even when you don’t want to, and that this keeps the relationship going and keeps everyone happy. In fact, we saw that in the post that went viral about a mommy blogger talking about getting over and done with because that makes for an easy life. I think sexologists have really struggled to categorize that — they certainly wouldn’t say it’s a bad thing, generally, and they think high levels of sexual interaction is really important.

Again, I was shocked to read how many of them were counselling women who, even though they had three or four small children, were still having sex with their husbands three or four times a week, but he wasn’t happy with that amount, so something had to be done to help the woman have more sex. They wouldn’t say, “Hey, you know what? Actually there’s nothing wrong with you, and that actually sounds like quite a lot of sexual activity in a house where there’s a hell of a lot else going on.” So there’s definitely that constant treatment of women as aberrant — the benchmark is always his sexual desires.

So “maintenance sex” fits quite well into that. It’s not about what women want, and whether or not they want or get any physical enjoyment or connection out of that sexual activity. It’s is about maintaining heterosexuality at all costs and that the ultimate benchmark of good heterosexuality is meeting male sexual desires. So I think maintenance sex is a really harmful concept. It is absolutely normalizing the idea that women shouldn’t be connected or entitled to enjoy or want the sex that they participate in.

We saw the pointy end of that in sexological literature after Viagra came out (which seems so normal now — when I talk to my undergraduate students, they can’t imagine a time before Viagra, when
men just had to put up with not getting erections), and seemingly solved erectile dysfunction, according to a lot of people in the sexology and sex therapy industry. There was this huge shift in attention to: How do we get women to now deal with the fact that there are a lot more erections going around? Often this was happening in with regard to older women in relationships, for example, who hadn’t had penetrative sex for a long time. One of the things that started to develop was this idea of receptivity — this idea that women didn’t just go around with active sexual desire, wanting sex, but that they had to be sort of awakened by men’s touch, and then get interested in sex. So they’re encouraging women to just agree to sex, first off, and then see how they felt about it, because maybe a few minutes in, they might find that it wasn’t so bad and they might end up enjoying it. That was their great idea for the leap forward of “women’s sexual therapy treatment” — that you encourage women to just give it a go for a while and see what happens.

It is extraordinary that we’re saying that this is the way forward, when in actual fact it was like the “sleeping beauty” model of women’s sexuality that has existed for centuries — that women don’t have any sexual desires of their own, they only exist in relation to men.

MM: Speaking of Viagra, in recent years there’s been this push to find a “female Viagra.” And in order to justify this push to come up with something that will increase women’s libidos, there’s also been a lot of talk about “sexual dysfunction” in women — the idea that if a woman doesn’t desire sex, she’s dysfunctional in some way, and that’s a problem that can or should be treated. Have you studied that phenomenon at all?

MT: Not directly, but kind of doing the analyses of the literature that deals with sexual dysfunction. Again, as someone outside the field, studying it as a political scientist and a sociologist, it’s astounding, some of the claims that get made.

One of the spikes after the interest in Viagra and the interest in finding a female Viagra, was this widespread claim that came out of the journal of the American Medical Association — a highly regarded medical journal — that most women were sexually dysfunctional. So there was obviously a huge rush for marketers to find a pharmaceutical product for this, but no one ever questioned that assumption that most women were sexually dysfunctional. What does “dysfunctional” actually mean, anyway, if you’re talking about a majority of women?

It’s funny seeing how often these things reoccur. It made me think of the Hite Report from the 80s, finding that a majority of women almost never
orgasm when having penetrative sex with men, and that is still classified as a disorder, even though it actually represents a lot of women’s experiences. That is really unchanged. It’s the bedrock of not wanting to question what we think sex is — penetrative heterosexual sex, focusing on male pleasure — and then telling women they’re dysfunctional for not liking that, rather than saying maybe this whole setup that we’ve got is not about women’s pleasure, so it’s not surprising that women aren’t gagging to do it… Well, certainly not all women, anyway!

MM: I wonder there’s anything to this idea of sexual empowerment. It’s something that we hear about so much as far as third wave feminism goes and the sex positive movement that has really taken off in the last couple decades. Is it possible, do you think, for women to be or to feel empowered through sex, or do you think that’s a bunk concept?

MT: I suppose it’s trying to separate out what sex is under patriarchy and what it might be. And I think, just like adopting anything as is, whether in terms of beauty practices or in terms of other patriarchal standards of femininity, it is difficult to find them empowering under patriarchy or believe that at a rational and analytical level they can actually be empowering. That doesn’t mean some women don’t enjoy those things, but I think the difference with sexuality is that if you’re looking at it on a global scale and an anthropological level, this is seen as such a fundamental part of our lives as human beings. Sexuality doesn’t have to take the form of the “gold standard” of heterosexual penetrative sex, though it is the West. So I wouldn’t want to throw sexuality out, like a baby with the bath water kind of scenario.

There have been some great feminist activists, Women Against Sex in the 1970s being a really good example, saying that women should just withdraw from sex and sexuality altogether. But for me, I’ve got to keep some level of optimism about what we might be able to achieve under different circumstances.

I often go to Andrea Dworkin on that; so thinking there’s some kind of underground resistance in women — thinking that there might be a humane sensuality that we can achieve outside of the patriarchal structures of sexuality that, come the revolution, could be a strong source of power and enjoyment for women.

MM: When I was younger, and before I become more radical in my feminism, I did think that sex was really central to our existence and to our lives. Ironically, when I did think that, I wasn’t having orgasms yet … But today, I’m in my late thirties and my perspective is that sex is overemphasized, so I have definitely started to push back against the narrative that sex is what makes the relationship good and that we’re obligated to have sex with our partners. But because of that people will often just try to dismiss me as a “prude.” And it’s not just men pushing that narrative. I can’t actually think of a man in my personal life who has used that word to describe me — more often, it’s women. I have more than one female friend who has accused me of prudery because I challenge these male-centered norms about sex and what a healthy relationship or “sex life” looks like. I wonder why you think women do this to one another? Why do women accuse one another of being prudes or of being bad partners, for challenging our cultural expectations of sex or our understanding of sexual relationships with men?

MT: I suppose there’s the old concept of horizontal violence — that women, or any oppressed group, will often keep other members of that group in line, more overtly than a more powerful group. I do think that sexuality is one of the big battlezones for patriarchal norms… is so interwoven with our understanding of sexuality that people get very threatened when you talk about sexuality as being culturally constructed.

I heard Gail Dines talk at a conference once, and she said exactly what you did — that the older she gets, the more she thinks we have a culture obsessed with for no good reason. She said it’s like teenage boys are running the culture. So I think it is threatening on some level when you stop doing that, in the same way women who stop shaving their underarm hair sometimes get looks and stares and comments from other women — because there is something threatening about saying, “Actually you can step outside these norms.” I think it’s easier to believe that it’s not possible or that it’s biologically determined. And when you see women making those other decisions, then you see it can be done, which can be quite threatening to the conceptions that you have been carrying around.

Certainly that’s what lesbian feminists have been arguing for decades — that the idea of lesbian feminism is so threatening to the whole system that they’re often not taken seriously, or it’s not seen as a central idea: that you could overthrow heterosexuality just by women withdrawing their energy out of it at a very basic level.

MM: And how you respond to those accusations — of being called a “prude” or being called “sex negative”?

MT: I once made badges that said “prude,” just to get it over and done with, so there’s no confusion. I had “prude” on one side and “frigid” on the other.

I’ve come to more laugh at it or embrace it. I don’t know that that is necessarily a politically useful way of going about it, but personally very useful, that you can just say, “Yeah, all right, what of it? You think I’m a prude? I don’t really care.” I suppose at a day-to-day level that was useful to me — I really did get to the point where I just don’t care any more. But I suppose the anti-sex thing irritates me for the same reason it irritates so many feminists — when you are trying to reclaim this as something that could be potentially positive in women’s lives and saying that women should be entitled to want and desire and access sexual pleasure in ways that they find fulfilling, and we’ve lost that as an option because we’re presented with either “do it the way the dominant construction has been presented to you via popular culture” or “withdraw from it altogether.”

I think when you even threaten the edges of dominant construction of heterosexuality, you’re labelled a prude. There is no concept of the fact that we could restructure it or remake it… Not that I have some great hope for that, but in terms of our personal lives, just trying to buy out of it a bit while still being heterosexual (for example, in my case) is seen as prudish. Anything that isn’t full-on in agreement with dominant heterosexuality is seen as anti-sex. And, again, I think it suggests how fundamental the dominant construction of heterosexuality is to the patriarchy — that people think that even just fraying out at the edges might just bring the whole system down, so we desperately have to stop or shun people who say that this might not be the way that it has to be.

MM: And finally, what do you wish would change? What do you think a feminist approach to relationships or sex therapy would look like, for example? What could change in terms of sex advice or relationship advice to centre women and empower women in an actually feminist way?

MT: That’s such a tough question, really, and I have changed my opinion back and forth over the years as to whether a feminist sex therapy is truly possible. I know some great women who have tried, but obviously the system of sex therapy is so founded on really harmful concepts to women that it is difficult to work within that framework in a positive way. At the same time, I think there are a lot of women who do better sex therapy, and the more feminists you can get in there who don’t say things like, “You absolutely have to be okay with your partner watching violent pornography” the better. I think the more women who can find therapists who say, “Actually you can say no to that — that’s fine,” is an important interim measure — that women can go for help and be reassured.

I guess my ultimate aim was that women should be allowed to say “no” — years ago, that’s what I kept thinking. That what needed to underlie the support for women: that it was okay to say “no” to all of these things, including sex altogether and any kind of sexual interaction you might have with another person. And I still think that’s really true and fundamental, because we can’t ignore the context in which we exist. There is such widespread sexual harassment and sexual violence against women that it’s kind of extraordinary that women would ever seek heterosexual relationships under those conditions at all. And sex therapy, generally, as a discipline, ignores that context altogether. It doesn’t understand the constant threat of sexual violence that women live in; it doesn’t understand the unequal relations between men and women.

It was actually my thesis supervisor who challenged me on that, and said: That’s all good for the moment, that you just want “no” as your absolute baseline and that all women need to eventually be in positions where they can say “no” to anything they don’t want to do, but that’s not a great utopian vision. For her, that’s where lesbian feminism came in and thinking about what kind of power could women have if they develop those sexual bonds together or if there was room for women to develop those bonds together. What might sexual enjoyment look like under those conditions instead? And maybe we do need a utopia where we can imagine being outside of this system, as well as the interim tools to deal with the kind of oppressions that we experience now.
#125
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#126
Reading radical feminists and coming away with the conclusion that men need to get together and figure out their own new woke way of desiring & fucking women is the most galaxy brained shit imaginable
#127
Next up: the dismantling of white supremacy by forming study groups of Robin DiAngelo's seminal White Fragility
#128
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#129
e: this was a response to toyot's weird personal attack on me which he edited out

Edited by blinkandwheeze ()

#130
for all i call posts bizarre or stupid or whatever, i have never stooped to dragging up personal posting drama or attempted anything like this crude psychoanalysis & critique of your character. you have done this more than once to me, over what amounts to pretty trivial online arguments. i'm sure you consider yourself to be the more productive and civil one here but i think you should question that
#131
Do we as individuals have a role in improving ourselves, fixing our behaviors, and coming together as a community to work to dismantle patriarchy in all the way it manifests? Absolutely. However, asking men to come together and come up with a new model has some pitfalls. Having any other oppressor group come together to dismantle the system of oppression they’re active participants in isn’t the solution for dismantling that system of oppression. We don’t expect Davos to turn into the Comintern for a reason.
#132
Ya that & it's a fantasy to believe that we can simply forge a new sexuality, anymore than we can expect ourself to simply forge a new gender or racial identity by pure will. these things are materially and socially constituted by deeply impersonal institutions and structures. they're not spectres empowered only by collective cultural belief, that they are not "true" does not make them any less real.

the only dismantling possible is by organised collective intervention on the concrete social modes that these behaviours emerge from. there is no male sexuality free of the constraints of the patriarchy until its institutions and reproduction is eradicated
#133
I have a lot of personal interest in theorizing about ways to shape our personal lives/conduct in pursuit of political goals (see my attempts at this discussion about a month ago) but the last time we had this discussion we had people just talk about the kind of porn they like to masturbate to and which women they should fuck so I’m thinking that this isn’t friendly to an online medium
#134
that's a more appropriate conversation to have in person & moderated by valerie solanas holding a pair of scissors
#135
*steps down momentarily onto sun-scorched thunderdome sand* i only wanted to say one thing and its that i hope youre all having a good time, keep it stupid everyone
#136
i hope we all have an evil and bad time
#137

blinkandwheeze posted:

i hope we all have an evil and bad time


oh no

#138

ultragauchiste posted:

FKK was not a sexual thing


sorry to burst your idealist utopian bubble but FKK is profoundly sexual and always has been. in fact, the abuses associated with FKK have been the unshakable red stain of the DDR and sachsen in general is still slammed for this bullshit faux-feminist sex cult garbage. go back to prison

#139
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#140
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#141
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#142
It isn’t contradictory to say the following things: men participate and benefit from patriarchy, white people are participants and benefit from racism, the core participates and benefits from imperialism, and liberation for all is bound in dismantling these structures. These are not “outside” cultural projects imposed by capitalism.

Does patriarchy have negative effects on men? Absolutely, similar to how racism negatively effects white people and imperialism prevents the liberation of the first world. However, if we don’t understand the power dynamics at play and the institutional structures at work, then a liberatory project won’t be successful.

One aspect that makes patriarchy unique is that it is reproduced within the household, most Palestinians don’t live under the same roof as the Israelis.

The history of struggle shows that members of the oppressing classes will play a role in the dismantling of these structures, but it will be done alongside the oppressed classes under their leadership. I absolutely think small groups for men to talk about how patriarchy hurts them is part of this process, but it’s not what’s going to take down patriarchy because patriarchy isn’t just a set of attitudes foisted on men by capitalism.

This is why a radical feminist critique is important, it can provide a materialist and dialectical understanding of patriarchy and its role within capitalism.

Edited by pogfan1996 ()

#143

some of the first acts of the invading state were to suppress women's birth control, and teach men their new gender.



Their gender wasn't taught to them in class rooms or struggle sessions, the social relations that make up the gender (marriage, kinship, inheritance, etc.) were enforced by law and colonial violence against women and children until any alternative was untenable in the mainstream. We won't unlearn it through struggle sessions either.

these are not to the benefit of men, unless you for some reason agree with rape culture's image of the man, as a thing always desiring sex



The insidious thing about ideology is that you don't have to consciously accept and believe it for it to be reproduced through your actions. We can reject the image but maintain the function. All kinds of monks and priests throughout history have been required to take vows of celibacy but remained the official representatives of the strictest old fashioned patriarchal systems. Some of the most patriarchal young men are the ones who reject that image the most; they claim entitlement to women's bodies because they feel their new propriety should be rewarded. Nice guys and faux feminist creeps are a dime a dozen.

I also think it's strange that you would defend pornography. The most important criticisms of porn as oppressive to women have already been discussed in this thread, but in light of your focus on how patriarchy hurts men, I'm surprised you don't decry the well documented widespread psychological and physical harm this highly addictive substance does to men and boys.

Edited by colddays ()

#144
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#145
i think it should be clear that discussing the ways in which patriarchy conditions and constitutes male sexuality is not reproducing or naturalising rape culture. it's the opposite, identifying that it doesn't make sense to talk about sexuality at all as something that is not socially produced. we cannot untangle our notions of sexuality from the social conditions that produce them, we have no privileged access to a true male sexuality that patriarchy distorts because it's constituted by the dominant social modes of sexual relations from the first instance

just like the discussions of gender earlier, believing you can somehow abstain from these impersonally reproduced social structures by individual behavioural choice is idealism. a man is still conferred all the social power of this gendered hierarchy whether he fulfils a cartoonish vision of its expectations or not

patriarchy validates mens comfort at every social level, it rewards those who abandon the expectations of its cultural signifiers as much as those who fulfil them. as the cultural signifiers of masculinity shift then patriarchal society shifts to accomodate them. chad is a cartoon, liberal society has long adapted to and encouraged soft boy expressions of masculinity. teaching men to fight the expectations of classical masculinity is fodder for gillette ads

without confronting the actual structural reproduction of gendered relations, all these expansions of masculine cultural identity does is serve as congratulations and social reward to those who make these aesthetic departures
#146
A couple significant books to me were men possessing women and right wing women by Andrea dworkin. I don’t really feel qualified to fully reproduce and argue her points in this context. There’s material reasons why men as a group violently defend patriarchy and the domination of women on personal and communal levels. Right wing women in particular is really good for anyone already convinced that porn is damaging, addictive, and needs to be abolished.
#147

toyot posted:

patriarchy's techniques have a different material purpose than class parasitism: patriarchy wants to raise the rate of reproduction. are we sure this is to the benefit of 4 billion men?


reducing patriarchy to simply the demands of basic biological reproduction is extremely reductive. that's one of the concrete aspects of its social character, yes, but it's one that shifts in importance with the shifting demands of labour utilisation and labour reserves. which are needs that fluctuate at different stages of productive development. just as or if not more important is the social reproduction of the labour force - the maintenance of the social demands of labour in order ensure their active existence as productive subjects

the social maintenance of the labour force does not cease after the basic demands of biological reproduction. this is bought with a super-exploitation of women's labour, enforcing a double exploitation where they are marginalised in both the productive and social spheres, actively benefiting the position of men as a class in patriarchal society. if you have read federici & mie, you should be keenly aware that while historically important at various periods, the exploitation of women far surpasses their simple reduction to wombs

further still is the material function of patriarchy as a base for extracting profits from the entire industry of sex work, a productive base which requires the reduction of women to effective chattel in order to operate

#148
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Edited by solidar ()

#149
The disagreement I have with toyot’s recommendation is that it is my perception that it centers men as victims of patriarchy, rather than women.

You see this in a lot of other movements too, a lot of us have probably been to anti war events where speakers talk to the audience about how much money it costs to kill millions of Iraqis and how the working class in the US is the real victim because there’s less money for schools or whatever. Framing the negative effects of these systems can be a great entry point to get people from the dominant/oppressing class to learn more about society. However, if it doesn’t progress to centering political action alongside the oppressed, then it becomes chauvinistic.

We have seen this in the anti-racist movement too. Tim Wise made an entire career out of telling white people that white people are the ones being oppressed by racism and then teaching them the lingo so they can demonstrate wokeness. Obviously toyot’s proposal is different from the Time Wizard’s but if the goal isn’t to get men to understand the material, social, emotional, and physical benefits and harm from patriarchy as well as the personal/institutional structures that recreate it, it’s just gonna create more effective misogynists.

Also I disagree with the stuff that narrows in on reproduction but that’s already been covered. Like I said, small groups to crit/self-crit are a great starting point but we have to have the correct end goals in place to prevent chauvinism.

Edited by pogfan1996 ()

#150

solidar posted:

i think this is obviously false, even in previous posts it's acknowledged that those that meet the expectations are granted a higher relative position, while those that aren't are subject to feeling worse about themselves.


you should read my posts keeping in mind that when i discuss how these expectations make men feel bad about themselves, i am playing the world's smallest violin in mourning. i simply don't think these are serious concerns, the extent to which men actually feel bad about themselves is basically trivial. most men who aren't sexually active are often completely healthy and self-actualized, the demands to outwardly embody the signifiers of classical masculinity simply are not particularly imposing at all

the idea that men are meaningfully hurt by memes about soy consumption produced by imageboard incels is about as laughable to me as suggesting that pepe the frog is empowering white supremacy. a lot of words to say something tears very succinctly stated several pages ago

#151
i'm also not entirely pessimistic about the ability for men to contribute to discussions and organisation around the concerns of patriarchy at all. what i am pessimistic about is these being led by men, focusing on the specific concerns of men, or dedicating the limited resources of an organisation to somehow therapeutically treating men. it simply isn't the role of any effective political organisation to intervene in the insecurities plaguing its members personal lives

such personal issues should only be a meaningful subject of discussion if they pose any obstruction to effective political activity, and the consequences of these obstructions tend to be entirely felt by women so it's natural that women's concerns will be the foremost centre of attention
#152
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#153

solidar posted:

and even then my point has always been on how it pushes men to act worse and the harmful consequences of that on others


i just think this is reversing causation completely. those who would feel meaningful insecurity and behavioural influence from this culture would only be primed to do so if they have already bought into its values

#154

my wifes son showing me the virgin vs chad meme he made
#155
AITA for goatseing my boyfriends wife?
#156

toyot posted:

fundamentally patriarchy is not to the benefit of men, it's to the benefit of capitalism, in that capitalism created modern patriarchy in response to a reproduction crisis early in its history.



Coming back to this, the material precedence of patriarchy is very important, an attempt at understanding patriarchy that begins with the advent of capitalism is idealist and doomed to fail, not to mention completely at odds with Marx Engels Lenin etc.

#157
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#158

toyot posted:

it will always be true that one of the most-upvoted posts in the rhizzone's sex and gender thread was by a fucking onlyfans pornographer. what vision of human liberation includes onlyfans?

i find a lot of views expressed here to be actually disgusting. maybe this discussion was overdue. the laissez-faire shoulder-shrug towards solving social problems, socially-taught body dysmorphia, thru individualized, irreversible surgeries. trans discomfort with amerikan culture, demanding they modify themselves to match sex to gender, is just taken here as a given, instead of as a sick reflection on the amerikan masses who deny them love. the stomach-churning rape culture. now the unanimous refusal of so-called radical men here to address the division of intellectual labor about patriarchy. i should have thought deeper about why, by the time i got here, this space was male-dominated. i don't share a vision of human liberation with this forum, and this is my last post here. i spent yesterday working on the lathe i built with my hands, thinking about this, becoming more disgusted as i put the views together into their whole. i don't want my writing associated with the rhizzone. i don't write on any other social media for you to 'follow me' on, and i've PM'd shriekingviolet asking to deep six my old posts, the ol tpaine special. goodbye!



lmao

#159

toyot posted:

i spent yesterday working on the lathe i built with my hands, thinking about this, becoming more disgusted as i put the views together into their whole



catchphrase

#160

solidar posted:

my wife reads and posts on all the same social media, forums, etc that i do: any suggestions on how i make it clear to her that when i derisively call someone a 'simp' it in no way reflects my opinions and how i respect her? how when i post 'virgin vs chad' memes that they don't have any bearing or relation to how i think of our sex life? my son is still pretty young but is starting to understand jokes: what age do you think i should start sharing my enjoyment of the 'chad vs virgin' memes?


this is really funny but instead of getting angry at you, i'm going to explain: you have it backwards. you call someone a "simp" because your personal opinions and your respect for your wife aren't powerful enough to alter your behavior when you're on your forums and social media. if you want to keep your beliefs intact you better stop practicing behavior that will alter your beliefs over time.