The fox and the lily

{March 26, 2010}   I can’t say I like them

I have a very large problem with 3rd wave feminism, yet I keep hearing everyone extolling the virtues of it from the right to bare arms pornography, to the right of women to have abusive power dynamics as well as long as it’s only with children and animals and other women; unless she wants to get an abortion or contraception….than she has the right to try to get a thousand or so dollars up in 2-8 weeks (I’m thinking of a very cheap abortion here) and than get a procerdure that will leave her tender for a few days but still have go to work, and all because women – according to theird wave feminist thought – have the right/should do sex without a condom like in porn. The rationale is that porn is liberating to women, for any number of reasons, from that it stops men from raping us (rape rates have been jumping since porn became mainstream), to porn introducing ideas to spice up the bedroom (which is sad mind, because I didn’t need porn to make your girlfriend have fully consenting sex with me last night1.), so porn must be something we should want to emulate because it’s so ~~*~~freeing~~*~~.

Yes I just used the ~~*~~fairy sparkles~~*~~ for freeing, because in this case these are people who are on the other end of the patriarchy stick, and seem to think they have left the stick altogether because they were liberated by the less extreme 2nd wave feminist factions out there.

To make it a little more personal I know a female bodied person, who’s fairly young – around my age actually – that has a healthy sex life with their five long term lovers/romantic partners, is an encyclopedia of safe sex, doesn’t have sex without lube, a dental damn and a condom (last two at different times of course) and knows how to do herbal abortions. They’re also child-free, anti-porn,, vegan and an environmentalist. They also have an active social life. Overall they’re a very empowered and individual person, and they’re about as sex-positive as you can get.

However for all this empowerment they can’t masturbate. Not because of sexual trauma, not because of religion, not because of their partners, or anything like that. They’re reasoning is, and I quote:

“All the feminist that I grew up around where in to the newschool stuff, and the general consensus on masturbation was that if you weren’t doing it you were repressed and would never have mind-blowing sex. Also that you should know how to get yourself off because all you heeded to do was just rub your clitoris, or stick something in yourself, and you needed a vibrator to be liberated, or if you were a guy you just needed to pump your dick and that was it. It was automated and instinctual, feelings weren’t allowed and only the type of passion was the type portrayed by Max Hardcore or HBO late night. I’m really too ashamed to find self-pleasure because vibrators feel weird, my sex is all about the feelings my partner(s) and I have for everything, and my clitoris and vaginal canal aren’t all that sensitive compared to the rest of the stuff down there. Mostly though it’s because I don’t know how, and none of these “liberated” women will talk about it…unless there’s a vibe or a clit to be had.”

This is because my friend grew up in an area that was fairly progressive and had more third wave feminist than you could shake a stick at. They grew up in one of the few places were “feminist” was a cool word, so long as you didn’t mention Mary Daly of course. Feminist who say that porn is good, but that we shouldn’t learn our sex from it, taught this poor soul that the exact opposite of the old style of oppression is still oppression.

The idea that you have a right to say yes with no mention of the right to say no except in passing, is no different than the idea of “well she didn’t say no explicitly”. The right to say yes but only to say no to the “right” men or your repressed is a false power. It says that you can say yes, but than the second you say “no, I don’t feel like I want this” it tells you that you’re repressed, that you have to say yes because he’s hot/just your type/doesn’t look like a rapist/is into BDSM/is liberated to, that you’re being irrational What do feelings matter when he’s hot, and/or liberated, and/or the right guy for you to say yes to?

This is what the third wave believes. That there is a yes, but only sometimes a no. That shame is only shame when it doesn’t agree with what they watch and what the male culture wants. That those who are not oppressed can co-opt are oppression and claim it for themselves because they have enough money to get bone sawed off in their face and have their dick sliced off. They believe that in the end they are liberated because they listen to men, and just like the 2nd wave they’re going to have a power dynamic over children to by either having them, or by not having them and hating them and their cow like mothers. And I just can’t not have beef with that.

1: Burn!


{March 1, 2010}   Baby daddy issues

Today I was at the store with a friend of mine. We were picking up peanut butter and soup, and there was supposed to be spinach somewhere in there but that doesn’t really matter to the story. This friend and I were in one of the back isles of the story when a women in a lovely red power suit came down the isle with twin toddlers. One was a quiet little girl that smiled and walked like the world was her playground, and the second was a little boy who was lagging behind and was throwing a ball around, and generally causing havoc. The mother in this scenario had stress lines just from the day, and she was trying to get her son to listen and stop bothering other people. She was so sincerely apologetic when the little boy almost hit us, that I felt sorry for her.

We saw her later at the self-checkout. Her daughter was right on her heels with a pensive look that screamed “mommy make the thing I don’t like go away”, her son however was off to the side of the self-checkout machines screaming softly for his ball. The mother looked embarrassed but she ignored the boy in favor of getting her job done and making everyone else’s lives pleasurable. Her son also seemed to have an understanding of how this was not going to play out in his favor because he kept his face down and his screaming was quiet compared to the average two year olds – he understood he was not getting his ball back from his mother but he wanted to save face like any boy raised two year old. It wasn’t until half way through checking out that she went to the cranberry juice sale display case beside the registers and picked him up along the way, and than brought him back to her register to set him beside his sister. The woman finished checking out as her son went from screaming to just asking for his ball back, to finally being so humiliated by his twin looking at him as if he were the stupidest person she knew that he stopped.

We finished checking out before her, but right before we got out of range my friend turned back around, walked up to the woman and said have a better day with a smile. The woman’s hard features melted and she looked at both of us with the same smile that a teenager does when zie’s been given validation. She was so relieved that no one blamed her for her son, or thought she was less than human because she wasn’t a good mother, or told her that she should have done something else. Instead she got a girl probably half her age telling her that she was a good enough person to be wished a better day by a perfect stranger who had nothing invested in her having a happy life. We left with her smiling and her shoulders less hunched inwards.

And this got me thinking why would a woman who looks like she’s a single professional that is on the pill and lives in an urban high rise have two toddlers and with obviously no daddy? How come she was dragging around two children after what looked to be the worst 24 hours of her life and buying broccoli and chicken tenders in a professional work outfit, instead of coming to the store in sweats to buy broccoli and California roll sushi? This was a woman that looked like if she had been having a better day would have thrown out any man who refused to wear a condom and would have spent the evening laughing at Youtube videos of Target Women or watching the first season of the L word on D.V.D; having children was not in the cards for her with all the charisma and genuine charm she had.

The short simple of it is that society forces women in to having children. It’s the reason why mothers urge their daughters to give them grandchildren and than pressure their daughters in to being good mothers and why men assume that marriage means condoms aren’t needed, and why when people are against abortion they say the woman is a whore and this is her punishment/the child’s life, or worse yet they make abortions to expensive specialty and won’t help her pay for it but still call her cow. It’s entitlement on the part of the oppressors.

Men feel entitled to planting their seed in a women if they’re married to them, and if they abort it than that means the woman who they had impregnated has taken away what they are entitled to; the ability to brand her his so that other men are not a threat, and so that her sex is all his and not anyone else’s, including hers. Mothers and anti-abortion women with children feel entitled to make their daughters be forced in to the same mold, so that they may stay above their daughters and thus have some power in the world. Child-free people who don’t go out of their way to help women get the ability to not have children feel entitled to their fringe status and the superiority they have over women who they see as not being able to keep her legs shut/get an abortion. All these people feel entitled to use the body of a child-bearing woman as a means to either affirm their own status in the patriarchy or their life choices. And these are only examples of what the whole of society does.

The pregnant woman or the woman that has given birth and now has children is a sign of a owned woman in the greater society. She may be a slut because she wasn’t able to keep her legs closed and not have the children, or she may be doing god’s work and having children, or she may be experiencing one of the only two acceptable ways for a women to experience love with someone that does not own her because she owns the children and thus is allowed to love them. She is not however just having children that she will teach just enough to allow them to know how to roam the world and explore by the time they can walk and run and play on their own. There is never such a thing as a woman who has given birth that is a person over being a mother, unless she is objectifying her children and then she is a woman that, while still owned, is more a person than she was if she were single and childless.

The act of having a child is a permanent stamp of womanhood that proves that the mother is a woman and can be nothing but, and she is a woman that is either owned or was owned and has committed a societal sin for not staying owned. It proves that she is not a threat to the privilege men have and to the privilege that parents have, and to the structure that our society uses that shares an uncanny resemblance to The Great Chain Of Being.

So this women who looked like she was tired, who tried to treat her children like people even if it made her feel ashamed for not being good enough, and who looked like she would have loved living in New York and having long lasting sexually and emotionally fulfilling relationships, is dealing with the life of having a child because she is owned. She will disappoint her mother for not being harsh enough; and the anti-abortion advocates will tell her that she shouldn’t blame her children because she didn’t remain a virgin even though it was her lover who didn’t wear the condom and who wouldn’t settle for mutual pleasure instead of penetration; and she will stay tired and stressed and waiting for the few times in her life where someone will tell her to have a better day; because even those who will never have it happen to them still need to prove Aristotle right and that she is wrong for being born woman; and being too scared to say no and too scared to go to the abortion clinic all on her own with the voices calling her a moo and a slut racing around in her head while she tries not to think about any of it.

et cetera