Yeah, the angry man-hating lesbian is gonna talk about pornography. Better run away, scary scary!
Along the way to equality, we seem to have gotten sidetracked. In Old Testament times and societies (well, the real ones, anyways), women were seen as evil, filthy. Their bodies were dirty and they made men unclean. They were weak, unfit to lead, and to be controlled. If they could not be controlled, they were to be killed.
We have progressed in minor ways from this mindset. For example, even though we still think that women's bodies are dirty and ugly -- take, for example, what seems to be the repulsion of most men towards women who haven't shaved their cunt -- we now fetishise their bodies out in the open, rather than fetishising them and thus forcing them to "cover up" or they'll get raped or worse.
Okay, I lied. That wasn't an example of how we progressed; it was an example of how we're still the same. One thing that you could consider progress is that, if we can't control a woman, instead of killing her, we demonise her and humiliate her. Nowdays, instead of calling women who refuse to be controlled whores and sluts and temptresses, we call them prudes, sex-haters, man-haters, cock-teases, bitches. Note that we have fairly few names to call women who do what men want them to do, but we have plenty of epithets to fling at women who don't do what men want -- namely, to give their lives and their bodies up to any man who wants them.
I can hear some men now, "That's not what I want in my girlfriend!" Well, you watch porn, don't you? And by searching out porn that you want, you are programming yourself to expect women to act just how you want in order to please you. (It works on women, too; I had a hefty dose of pornographic "education" around the age of 13 telling me that submissiveness was exactly how a man wanted me.)
Onwards. Later on, we started romanticising women and their nurturing "instincts", using that an excuse to force them to stay at home, clean, and raise children -- also, oddly enough, to get the vote. I shit you not. (For Her Own Good by Barbara Ehrenreich and Deirdre English) This went through a few phases; first, the mother's instincts were normal and inborn, keeping women from actually holding power; next, the mother's instincts were infantile and she had to regress to have them; then the mother's instincts were destructive, and would destroy her child if she let them surface. It may seem like we can't make our minds up about women. But, if you look closely, we can and have: women should -- no, they're obligated to do what men want them to, in a line of descending priority, starting with the husbands/boyfriends and then (in adulthood), if the woman is single, to all of manking. (Note: mankind.)
Finally we went into the Sexual Revolution (the one in the 60s, anyways) and things started looking up; women could have sex whenever they wanted, with whoever they wanted - or, well, so they thought. It became clear a ways through that what women's new "sexual liberation" was about was having sex with all men who wanted to unless one of those men wanted her to have sex with just him. And if you didn't you were a dyke and/or man-hater.
Nevertheless, what wasn't really women's choice was paraded as women's choice (and still is). Women could choose to do this for men, or they could suffer. I must relate now a scene I read in Ariel Levy's Female Chauvinist Pigs: it involves the filming of Girls Gone Wild. In that scene, they came upon some young women together, and after the film crew shouted at them to take it off, the crowd following them began to do the same. In a culture where gang-bangs (and -rape) are glorified, and mob mentality is a real, predictable threat, what do you think these women were thinking? "I can choose not to"? How about, "If I don't do this, I'm going to get hurt"?
What is strangest yet is that, amidst the flurry of the push for equality in women's rights to their own bodies, we have been doing two things: first, we have made choices, any choice a woman makes, out to be Feminist; second, we have made sure that women don't really think they can choose. Not comfortable with anal sex, pornography, oral sex? You'll never get a man. Are you willing to do all of these things and more? Well, that's your choice, and I believe in a woman's right to choose!
It's downright odd that people think this is some way "progressive", or that we live in a "post-Feminist" culture (alright, so third-wave Feminist individuality isn't all that Feminist, but it's not as though Feminism is unnecessary any longer). Throughout all of recorded history, it seems that women have never been seen as just people: not pure, not filthy, just as capable of great acts and selfishness as men are. Not necessarily sexy, but not a threat. These days, women's choices -- as long as they coincide with the wants of men -- are put on a pedestal, untouchable, just as their bodies are called "filthy" or "dirty" and fetishised.
This results in a rather bizarre piece of dichotomy on the subject of women: women are either dirty sluts or frigid bitches, and no one wants a woman who's bad in bed so you might as well take the slut. We are not liberated by these new "choices", the "choices" to consume other women and/or be consumed ourselves: we are trapped. We are stumbling in the dark, unsure of ourselves. He looks at those women, does he really find me attractive? If so, why isn't he masturbating to me? Is my body bad? I don't have big breasts, and I'm not that thin. I have to diet, and I have to get breast implants to keep him.
And then we wonder why women are so unhappy with themselves that they are embracing, en masse, eating disorders? You, men, say that eating disorders aren't hot, but you say hot as if it's an obligation for women to be -- to please you. And we know, because we see the pornography; we know that what pleases you is thinness. We've tried dieting before, so how are we going to get there any other way? We just want to feel good about ourselves. The problem is, you don't see that you're not giving us any other choice but to appeal to you to make us feel good about ourselves.
In order for us to be free, you have to put down your entitlement, that you need to see and masturbate to any woman available to you, that you have the right to tell us how we look just because we're walking down the street. You have to put down your pornography, and start looking at us for who we are. Not raging sex fiends, nymphomaniacs, not sluts who were "asking for it", not frigid man-haters or dykes or prudes. You have to see us for people. And pornography won't let you do that.
Women. We can't make men do this. We cannot. Yes, we can try to educate them, tell them how pornography makes us feel, and offer up support. But this is their addiction. They must realise that, if they love women, they must stop doing this. You can help them do this by not supporting their addictions, their "vices" as you so cutely call them, but they are ultimately responsible. And if the man in your life won't.. then you might have to make the choice between bruising his heart and being unsafe.
We all have to make a choice here.
(Note: this is a repost from my old blog.)