Vintage posts are a series of posts from my old Livejournal.
First time I came across the term sex positive feminist I hated it, I id’ed as a rad fem at the time and felt that they took an overly optimistic view of the world, and fell into the traps of middle class I have choice lets talk about that feminism, something which is still endemic to feminist as a whole, then I read a book which changed my life
A Restricted Country by Joan nestle
, gave me the strength to start considering gender (though the lens of passing women*). I read about the struggle for lesbian rights, about McCarthyism and the fear of “are you now or have you ever” but it was one of the last essays in that book that shock me to my core, I think it was called dyke’s and whores, and sort to draw connections between socially unacceptable female sexuality, I remember lying in bed, struggling with her words, how could she say that lesbians (good sexuality) and whores (bad) where the same.
Binaries are funny things aren’t they, so for all the things I have to thank Joan for I think the most important thing for me was that she pointed out I still judged women by how they behaved sexually, and in doing that I mirrored the patriarchy I was trying to avoid.
The specific quote from my friend was that sex pos feminists believe avoid the real issue, we talk about the workers rather than the product of pornogrpahy, and it is the product that does the real harm (assuming consenting and well treated workers), now first off, I don’t believe that sexually explicit material is in of it’s self harmful, I do believe much pornography needs to be challenged and discussed for its racism, sexism, the very small set of body types it uses, as well as many other issues.
However I would invite anyone to sit down and watch the latest season of Australia next top model with me and not come up with all the same complaints, “you will never be the girl next door” said to a women of non Anglo (I believe aboriginal) decent or the size 10 model told that she no longer made a dress look good because of her weight. I don’t think as feminists we do ourselves any favours by setting up yet again good women bad women stereotypes, which I believe the porn critical feminists (look mum no scare quotes) do when they set up mostly het ( because this conversations often talk about male partners using porn against their partners wishes) – mostly economically privileged (in that they are not people who might have to do survival sex) women as victims of pornography which contributes to a society where women are only seen as sex objects.
Women have always in Western societies, and I suspect in all societies been seen as sex/marriage/procreation objects, as connected to their fathers, their husbands, their brothers, the real people and frankly given the choice I would, as someone passed as female rather be seen under the guise of cock hungry whores 48 rather than the genesis’s eve, the reason we no longer inhabit the garden of Eden, or Pandora, a punishment sent to man bringing disease and pests to the world.
*Female assigned people who passed as men, many of whom I now believe would consider themselves trans men/genderqueer today.