I want to suggest to you that a commitment to sexual equality with males, that is, to uniform character as of motion or surface, is a commitment to becoming the rich instead of the poor, the rapist instead of the raped, the murderer instead of the murdered. I want to ask you to make a different commitment – a commitment to the abolition of poverty, rape and murder; that is, a commitment to ending the system of oppression called patriarchy; to ending the male sexual model itself.
Andrea Dworkin “Our Blood”.
Its a simple idea but there’s more to be said than just this. Too much of white, western, bourgeois, liberal-feminism is based on the notion that we merely achieve parity with men. This overlooks the basic differences in class and race between men and also reinforces that system which inevitably leads to men being on top.
There is no equality to be achieved in a white-supremacist, capitalist patriarchy, there is no equality to be achieved under imperialism. There is only the passing dream of choosing to be an exploiter, if you can.
The sadistic attitudes of many women who follow this line of thought towards those of us who are open and honest about our own abuse by the hands of this system and those of us who refuse to accept models of “harm reduction” because we intuitively know that one woman abused affects all women, come from a place of identifying with perpetrators over victims. They come from a place of not wanting to be vulnerable to anything (which I can understand psychologically but that doesn’t make it okay).
I struggle everyday with my attitudes towards women like this and it causes me a great deal of pain because its where my internalized misogyny comes out most heavily. I am not willing to allow women who have internalized the value systems of those who have perpetrated against them to sway my convictions towards true liberation, true equity and justice even as they attempt to silence and dismiss my experience. I am going to be vulnerable and I am going to speak my truth and not be hardened, regardless of how much work it takes.
We are taught to value the ideal of hope. That mythical concept which implies that we lack all agency to create new and better alternatives, that our lives rely on the whim of those who are powerful be they god or man.
We are also taught that our boundaries are meaningless. The invisible lines which we set up for play and love have no tangible meaning because we can be taught to desire new and different forms of play that will make us more interesting and exciting for those who would want to play on the fields that are our bodies stretched before them.
But agency implies we have a choice, a set of options that aren’t drastically stacked for or against us. As women we don’t have the ability to exercise agency free from this not-so-subtle coercion. Try not conforming and valuing yourself enough to say no to something and stand firm in it. See what happens to you.
We develop our ability to exercise agency when we turn away from the nonsensical choices laid before us and choose not to opt into it any longer. We develop our ability to exercise agency when we develop zero tolerance for those who would abuse us, shame us, hurt us and maim us.
Okay so I agree with the concept that women shouldn’t be shamed for having sexual feelings or desires, duh. But thats not what its used to describe in actuality.
You see, faux feminist liberal hedonists use the term to slander anyone who speaks out against the sex industry because its all about you know, shaming women who for lack of real choices enter into a job where they can capitalize on their sexuality which men view as for sale anyway whether officially on the market or not.
But anyway, whats great about being a slut anyway? Is the purpose of feminism to liberate women into being willful whores? Is that what its about? Or is it about transcending that dichotomy entirely? You see, an individual has every right to sleep around all they want and behave in whatever manners they see fit as long it doesn’t cross a certain line but this idea that we all have to affirm other people’s shitty choices is wrong.
This applies to both males and females and everything in between. Being sexually promiscuous is not healthy and not something to find pride in. You have every right to engage your own body in self destructive behavior but its not my duty to affirm you in that.
This is the essence of being what I’ve come to call an “auntie-sex” feminist. We’re like the older aunts who give you down to earth, sometimes offensive advice and speak the truth to you because deep down its coming from a place of love and honesty.