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Posts tagged ‘penises are not magical’

Transactional Models of Sexuality are Anti-Sex

The transactional model of sexuality is horrendous, and we know this already. But even outside of the paradigm of straight-up rape, it creates the implicit assumption that whenever women are having sex, it’s because they got paid for it somehow, and that whenever a man does anything nice for a woman, he’s entitled to sexual activity sooner or later—justifying rape, since the fact that she accepted the gift (or that he offered it at all) is taken as prospective consent.

Yes, that little bastard of an ideology is also the culprit behind any variation of, “all women are money-sucking whores.”

And it’s also the driving force—and one of the primary justifications behind—defenses of pornography and prostitution. That payment should ever be accepted as a sign of consent is absolutely anti-feminist. This is not the radical feminist stance, it is the feminist stance: that true consent cannot exist in circumstances that require one to “consent.”

When anyone is forced to submit to sexual activity in order to fulfill their basic needs (for example, trading sexual favors for food), we consider that sexual assault at minimum. It’s not like it’s hard to see why consent is problematic in that situation.

Even aside from the sex pox redefinition of “rape” to exclude having to submit to sexual activity because you will starve or freeze, though, the transactional model of sex is harmful to women’s sexual liberation in the view of sexual pleasure at all. Rape can and has been conflated with sex, often. However, as I mentioned earlier, the transactional model of sex also includes the tenet that all women demand money or gifts—payment—for sex, because women have no fundamental interest in sex itself. Men need sex; women do not. Women have no intrinsic interest in sexual pleasure or orgasm.

Because if women did have an intrinsic interest in sexual pleasure and orgasm, it would be unacceptable to approach sex without the assumption that you both were going to try to make sexual pleasure mutual… and it would be downright insulting to offer payment—whether it’s money, jewelry, clothing, relationship stability, whatever—whether sexual pleasure was going to be involved or not. Because it wouldn’t be necessary: if women are human, like men—if women belong to a species with an innate capacity for round-the-clock, non-estrus sexual pleasure—if women are human, like men, then women have an equal interest in mutual, reciprocally pleasurable sex.

Sex is pleasurable. And you can’t really argue that nature doesn’t actively encourage hedonism, even if it is tempered by empathy. Ergo, women have an interest in sex in their own right: because done right, it feels good. There is no reason for men to try to bribe women into sex—and in fact, a bribe implies that consent is not genuine.

And if men are willingly participating in and perpetuating a society that forces women to have sexual activity regardless of whether or not it’s pleasurable for them, but for survival—then men are actively encouraging sexual assault, not because women are not willing to have sex, but for only two reasons: a) men are not willing to consider women’s interest in sexual activity as just as valid as their own, OR b) men get off on sexually assaulting women, and that’s why they perpetuate a society where women must have sex for their safety and survival. Sexual assault comes in a continuum because consent does—however, unlike the sex poxes, I am absolutely unwilling to accept effectively forced consent as anything other than sexual assault.

Because sexual assault strips you of your personhood. It is perpetrated on you whether or not you like it, and often because you don’t like it. And all too often, you have to submit to it because to resist endangers your survival. This is a feminist statement: the decision to have sex should never have to be any part of a calculation on your survival and basic quality of life.

This is not sexy. Being paid for sex is not sexy. But then, anyone who’s been near a porn set knows that it is basically one of the unsexiest places in the world—hospices notwithstanding.

“Sex work is like any other job,” is part and parcel of the transactional model of sex because if you boil it down into its most succinct meaning, it is: “Sex is a job.” Or, alternately, “I have no problem with my lovers feeling as though sex is a job as long as I get laid.” It is something you do in order to get payment from it—without passion, without happiness, because it is a “choice” that is inherently forced, inherently constrained. Pleasure has nothing to do with it. You simply cannot say no.

And believing that is acceptable—that is anti-sex and anti-feminist.

I believe sex is a profoundly good and awesome thing, and that choice should mean something more than just a buzzword that allows you to do whatever the fuck you want, however exploitative, coercive, or depersonalizing it is. Your orgasms are not the only ones that matter. Welcome to women’s sexual liberation.

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This is a Rant Post

Just about done with “radical” men. I have never had the ridiculously invalidating experiences with radical women that I have with any male-bodied person who bothers to call themselves a “radical.” And yes, this is a rant post.

With most men, all I have to do when I call them out on their privilege is roll my eyes when they call me bitch! But any male-bodied person, once they get it into their heads that they’re “radical,” become about ten times worse. Every asshole and a half feels the need to tell me how I am ugly and angry and that’s why I’ll never get a man, but nothing even comes close to the fucking tantrum “radical” men throw when you point out something they don’t want to have pointed out.

You know, I’m still too pissed off about how it’s a part of male privilege to feel you get to decide how you are or are not privileged. Oh, sure, these “radical” men are willing to admit that they have white privilege and class privilege… maybe male privilege, too, if you’re lucky. But try pointing out that carnism is an integral part of Western privilege (which is to say, UK, US and AU), in addition to being oppression of non-human animals all on its own, and dude. Suddenly it’s all like, Oh ho! You dare call me privileged? I haven’t consented to that! You’re privileged! So there!

Even worse is when the twit completely misunderstands the basic concept of privilege and actually tries to tell you that all your ideas are privileged because, hey, guess what! Every idea from a person who lives in the West is privileged? Now isn’t that something? I guess all the feminists can all just pack up and go home—we’re privileged, you know: our ideas can’t be trusted. Funny how the “privilege” argument only works when it’s going to apply to a behavior they/i> want to continue.

And telling you he’s an ex-vegan is about as convincing as an MRA telling you how he used to be a feminist, but then he learned better. Gee. No conflict of interest there, Marge.

Men, seriously. GTFO until you’ve learned to take being called out gracefully—and actually look at your privilege in terms of your concrete behavior, instead of just, like, admitting you have it. Seriously, I have an ego the size of Mars and even I do it better than this.

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