Feminism in dire need of a pro-sex feminist
Why do so many women not want to call themselves feminists? I sincerely think it's because the word carries the stigma that feminists don't like fucking -- least of all fucking guys.
If feminism wants its good name back, it will have to come up with a pro-sex, highly bonkable feminist spokeswoman, who is seen to fuck guys, and to like fucking them. Often. A feminist who digs cock.
Feminist Catherine McKinnon is the big case in point. Even though she is highly bonkable herself, she has placed porn at the center of male domination. She holds that it's because of porn that women aren't free and equal to men, which, in today's sexualized environment, comes across like she has something against fucking itself.
To men and women who've grown up in a porn environment, where they watch porn together for their personal use -- to make their own fucks hotter -- this must seem like the height of silliness. Any male-domination role that porn has historically had, has long since collapsed under the fact that young people today use porn like they use alcohol, dope and chocolate: for its turn-on consumer value.
McKinnon's analysis is not without merit: "Sexuality, as socially organized, is deeply misogynistic. To male dominance, of which liberalism is the current ruling ideology, the sexual misogyny that is fundamental to all these problems cannot be seen as a sex equality issue because its sexuality is premised on sex inequality. Equality law cannot apply to sexuality because equality is not sexy and inequality is."
This is very witty, and the wit, although misplaced, continues here: "Women are commonly raped, battered, sexually harassed, sexually abused as children, forced into motherhood and prostitution, depersonalized, denigrated, and objectified – then told this is fun and equal by the left and just and natural by the right."
You have to admit, she's very deft. I'd like to have a lawyer like her on my side in front of a judge. She's also plenty angry: the ACLU is the center of the “pro-pimp lobby”.
On the other hand, here's a Major Chick Pundit who must be applauded for the pioneering work she's done in furthering the cause of sexual harassment, a very new and necessary crime in our law. (Shit, I hope I'm not sounding patronizing. Any man who ventures into a feminist discussion knows that uncomfortable feeling of putting his very balls, two sensitive and easily bruised organs, on the line.)
OK, let's get down with her argument. Look, many men, including me, share MacKinnon’s belief that many men fear and despise women. But, as this article on McKinnon's new book, Women's Lives, Men's Laws, states, "the idea that pornography bears a significant causal responsibility for all this is remarkably unimaginative and is not supported by evidence that sexual violence increases when pornography becomes more available in a society. Some of the most misogynistic and abusive cultures are those with the strictest censorship, and some of the least misogynistic, such as Sweden, were the first to lift restrictions."
The reviewer continues: "MacKinnon is right to insist that the unequal status of women pervades sexuality and is not limited to the public sphere. But this causes her to undervalue sexual pleasure, which we all have to take where we can find it. The huge pornography industry serves this end by feeding people’s fantasies. Since she finds most male fantasies revolting and degrading to women, and most consumers of pornography are men, this doesn’t matter to her. In fact she wants to stop it, and therefore fixes on the illusion that she can fight inequality by controlling men’s fantasy life.
What about female sexual pleasure? MacKinnon mentions it only once, in a riposte to Judge Richard Posner’s unwise claim that men have a stronger sex drive than women. This, she says ignores 'the clitoral orgasm, which, once it gets going, goes on for weeks, and no man can keep up with it, to no end of the frustration of some. (This underlies the often nasty edge to the query ‘Did you come?,’ when it means, ‘Aren’t you done yet? I am.’)' We are evidently in a war zone."
The reviewer adds: "MacKinnon’s anti-liberal credo seems to me to require a moral justification that she does not even attempt to provide." In order to redress social inequalities, state power cannot simply invade the personal autonomy of individuals (which an attack on porn will be). If individual rights are "given no weight and automatically overridden by claims of group inequality and group subordination, we will get tyranny in the name of equality – a familiar result. Catharine MacKinnon should either explain why her contempt for rights of privacy, autonomy and freedom of expression does not have this consequence, or else explain why it is acceptable."
As someone who grew up in apartheid South Africa, where most of the West's literature canon was banned on sexual grounds, I can attest that the greatest human right is freedom of expression. And that is what is wrong with feminism as it is popularly perceived: they appear to be against freedom of expression, especially freedom of sexual expression. Which more or less puts them in the same camp as Evangelical sex-hating gay-bashers.
Until some sexy cock-happy feminist appears to gainsay this stereotype, feminism will remain lurking in the shadows of popular culture. It needs a poster child bad.