Monday, April 30, 2007

Because of the World Order

This comes from I Blame the Patriarchy again. I know I've been referencing a lot of other bloggers lately, but this was an excellent description of the position I've been trying to argue but not really getting across. People tend to get all up in arms if anyone tries to challenge their individual right to do something, but this argument isn't about you. It's bigger than that, but people don't want to hear it. I'm not even saying this is necessarily my own position, but certainly in all good debate, an issue doesn't have to be your own belief to be able to argue it. If not, then you just aren't a competent debater.

The Twistolutionary manifesto argues that anything called “porn,” whether or not it is explicitly violent or BDSM-y or designed to titillate ‘feminists’ vs. sweaty, beer-gutted pervs, exists only to enthrobulate the fetishization of culturally-generated (and, frankly, comically hokey) constructs. It is readily apparent to the visitor from the planet Obstreperon that these constructs include arbitrary standards of physical sexihotness, arch-backed-heavy-eyelidded-ooo-baby body language, penetration worship, dominance and submission, corny fashion accessories, “the art of seduction” et al — and that they have, at their root, everything to do with a paradigm of dominance and nothing to do with actual sex between individuals with equivalent personal sovereignty.

So what’s the big whoop, the empowerful young feminist asks?
Well, in addition to pornography’s negative philosophic value, which anyone possessing even a sliver of sapience can see is reason enough to give it the old stink-eye [1], our world order is predicated on binary sex roles, one of which is privileged and dominant, the other of which is oppressed and submissive. In such a society, where a woman is a member of the oppressed sex class, her performance of sex in a film which is then consumed by paying customers to satisfy their prurience, this is not even remotely a politically neutral act. Porn — gay, straight, bi, live-action, animated, or ‘feminist’ — is the graphic representation of the oppression of the sex class. Until the sex class is liberated from male oppression, porn can be nothing else, no matter how many fun feminists claim it empowerfuls them.

Or, if you prefer, in order for porn to be politically neutral, it can’t be porn. Merely announcing ... that one’s participation in porn, whether as a consumer or as a prostituted woman, is voluntary does not make it so. This is because the women doing the announcing are, and have been since birth, deprived of such privilege as is necessary for them to freely make that choice.

When you’re already oppressed, it is, in fact, impossible to volunteer for oppression. A woman is a member of the sex class whether she “chooses” it or not. This pre-existing condition forms the backdrop to any fun feminist’s conclusion that her compliance with the patriarchal sexbot mandate is voluntary. She may believe otherwise, but her belief does not alter the fact that patriarchy — a social order predicated on an oppression to which she is already subject — is real and in effect and entirely beyond any unrestricted control she may wish to exert and only too glad to welcome her as a team player and sign her up for the rewards program.

The fun feminist confuses “empowerment” with the decision to acquiesce. This is understandable; it’s the one actual choice she has in this game: surrender, or stand and fight. She doesn’t have to be Candida Royalle to recognize that if she chooses the latter all she’ll get for her trouble is ridicule, hostility, suspicion, and the threat of bodily harm.

Whereas the rewards for surrender to male porn culture are not inconsiderable: social acceptance, male approval, little psuedo-privileges that accrue according to the degree of one’s conformity, and of course the enormous relief at not having to fight it anymore. The if-you-can’t-beatem-joinem gambit has enjoyed millennia of popularity for good reason. It gives the appearance of the shortest and easiest route to life’s rich pageant. Too bad that, once they get there, chicks are only eligible for the women’s auxiliary.
1. Porn’s negative philosophic value, in addition to its general assault on T & B (Truth and Beauty) spans the whole of women’s oppression, from Maybelline to rape culture.

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