Anonymous said: what do you mean when you say you don't believe in asexuality

gasinmylung:

I mean humans aren’t capable of it because we’re a sexually dimorphic species that reproduces sexually.

It’s a knee-jerk reaction to a corporate pornographic saturated culture.

yeah i once id’d as asexual for years but realised most of it was linked to pornified shit re: het and lesbian sexuality. now i’m bi but yeah

The naive liberal excitement around making ‘feminism’ mainstream through encouraging more people to identify with it (cf ‘he for she’) is evidence of its complete irrelevance and toothlessness. Patriarchy can’t be overthrown via deidentifying with it.

Central to pro-sex thought is the idea that there is a plethora of sexual preferences and practices which profoundly violate societal re­strictions. Among these restricted sexual activities—which are seen as wildly divergent—are cross-generational sex (to use their euphemism for child sexual abuse), fetishism, sadomasochism, and the making and use of pornography. Such deviant sexualities, so the theory goes, are at the bottom of a hierarchy of sexual privilege, which has heterosex­uality, marriage, and procreation at its pinnacle, and “vanilla” homo­ sexuality somewhere in the middle. “Those engaging in these privi­leged acts,” Carol Vance writes in her introduction to Pleasure and Danger, “enjoy good name and good fortune.”

All of this sounds logical and persuasive until you move beyond society’s pieties and look at what it actually practices. Then it becomes clear that, instead of being forbidden or persecuted, these frowned upon sexual activities are, in the case of men, promoted, encouraged, and rewarded, and, in the case of women, imposed and enforced. More­ over, instead of being incredibly different from one another, they all have a common denominator: a power relationship that replicates in miniature the power relations of society.

How deviant is cross-generational sex, for example, when, laws against child sexual abuse notwithstanding, the activity is so popular that more than a quarter of all females are sexually abused as children? How nonconformist is fetishism when “regular guys” proudly identify themselves as “tit men” or “ass men,” and the best-selling men’s en­tertainment magazines devote whole glossy pages to just our genitals, just our breasts? How taboo is sadomasochism when Penthouse boosts sales by displaying Asian women tied up like slabs of meat and strung up from trees and trendy sportswear manufacturers successfully pro­ mote their products by showing battered-looking models in tom clothing? How forbidden is pornography when, aided by antiobscenity laws, the industry rakes in more than the film and record industries com­bined?

As for the hierarchy of sexual privilege, it too sounds convincing, until you examine the position of women in this hierarchy. Heterosex­uality, procreation, and marriage may mean privilege for men, but they mean something very different for the married woman. Her “good for­tune” is a one out of three chance of being a battered wife, a one out of seven chance of being raped by her own husband, and a statistically undetermined probability that she will be her husband’s domestic ser­vant and that her identity will be subsumed in his. The so-called good fortune of lesbian feminists is either public denigration or invisibility and often loss of jobs and family.

Dorchen Leidholdt, ‘When Women Defend Pornography’, The Sexual Liberals and the Attack on Feminism (1990).
“What remains of the radical left now operates largely outside of any institutional or organized oppositional channels, in the hope that small-scale actions and local activism can ultimately add up to some kind of satisfactory macro alternative. This left, which strangely echoes a libertarian and even neoliberal ethic of anti-statism, is nurtured intellectually by thinkers such as Michel Foucault and all those who have reassembled postmodern fragmentations under the banner of a largely incomprehensible post-structuralism that favors identity politics and eschews class analysis. Autonomist, anarchist and localist perspectives are everywhere in evidence. But to the degree that this left seeks to change the world without taking power, so an increasingly consolidated capitalist class remains unchallenged in its ability to dominate the world without constraint.”
David Harvey, Seventeen Contradictions and the End of Capitalism (via apoliticalnonsense)

The Fifty-Year Ridicule (from The Dialectic of Sex, by Shulamith Firestone)

I find this part of the text to be particularly poignant as it encapsulates the contradictory nature of the present period in which feminism is only tentatively emerging amidst a two-decade-long backlash, but within the confines of mass media institutions and neoliberal social relations and social media sequestered away from any major organs of collective organising and genuine community. It is not a movement at present, inasmuch as it is currently a set of behavioural exhortations and taboos on critical and systemic thought, as the very question of women’s liberation is unfortunately mediated via an accepted rendition of radical-liberalism and the neoliberal notion of choice.

More on that from me some other time. Here’s Firestone’s brilliance:

How did the Myth of Emancipation operate culturally over a fifty-year period to anaesthetise women’s political consciousness?

In the twenties eroticism came in big. The gradual blurring together of romance with the institution of marriage began … serving to repopularise and reinforce the falling institution, weakened by the late feminist attack. But the convalescence didn’t last long: women were soon reprivatised, their new class solidarity diffused. The conservative feminists, who at least had viewed their problems as social, had been co-opted, while the radical feminists were openly and effectively ridiculed; eventually even the innocuous committee-women of other movements came to appear ridiculous. The cultural campaign had begun: emancipation was one’s private responsibility; salvation was personal not political. Women took off on a long search for “fulfilment”.

Here, in the twenties, is the beginning of that obsessive modern cultivation of “style”, the search for glamour (You too can be Theda Bara), a cultural disease still dissipating women today — fanned by women’s magazines of the Vogue, Glamour, Mademoiselle, Cosmopolitan variety. The search for a “different”, personal, style with which to “express” oneself replaced the old feminist emphasis on character development through responsibility and learning experience.

In the thirties, after the Depression, women sobered. Flapperism was obviously noot the answer: tey felt more hung up and neurotic than ever before. But with the myth of emancipation going full blast, women dared not complain. If they had gotten what they wanted, and were still dissatisfied, then something must be wrong with them. Secretly they suspected that maybe they really were inferior after all. Or maybe it was just the social order. They joined the Communist party, where once again they empathised mightily with the underdog, unable to acknowledge that the strong identification they felt with the exploited working class came directly from their own experience of oppression.

In the forties there was another world war to think about. Personal hangups were temporarily overshadowed by the spirit of the War Effort — patriotism and self-righteousness, intensified by a uniquitous military propaganda, were their own kind of high. Besides, the cats were away. Better yet, their thrones of power were vacant. Women had substantial jobs for the first time in several decades. Genuinely needed by society to their fullest capacity, they were temporarily granted human, as opposed to female, status. (In fact, feminists are forced to welcome wars as their only chance.)

The first long stretch of peace and aflluence in some time occurred in the late forties and the fifties. But instead of the predictable resurgence of feminism, after so many blind alleys, there was only “The Feminine Mystique”, which Betty Friedan has documented so well. This sophisticated cultural apparatus was hauled out for a specific purpose: women had been hired during the war, and now had to be made to quit. Their new employment gains had come only because they had been found to make a convenient surplus labour force, for use in just such time of crisis — and yet, one couldn’t now just openly fire them. That would give the lie to the whole carefully cultivated myth of emancipation. A better idea was to have them quit of their own volition. The Feminine Mystique suited the purpose admirably. Women, still frantic, still searching (after all, a factory job is no man’s idea of heaven either, even if it is preferable to women’s caged hell), took yet another false road.

This one was perhaps worse than any of the others. It offered neither the (shallow) sensuality of the twenties, the commitment to a (false) idea of the thirties, nor the collective spirit (propaganda) of the forties. What it did offer women was respectability and upward mobility — along with Disillusioned Romance, plenty of diapers and PTA meetings (Margaret Mead’s Mother Nurture), family arguments, endless and ineffective diets, TV soap operas and commercials to kill the boredom, and, if the pain still persisted, psychotherapy. Good Housekeeping and Parents’ Magazine spoke for every woman of the middle class, just as True Confessions did for the working class. The fifties was the bleakest decade of all, perhaps the bleakest in some centuries for women. According to the 1950 version of the Myth, women’s emancipation had already been tried and found wanting (by women themselves, no doubt). The first attempt to break away from a stifling Creative Motherhood seemed to have failed utterly. All authentic knowledge of the old feminist movement by this time had been buried, and with it the knowledge that woman’s present misery was the product of a still-virulent backlash.

lehaaz:

I don’t get any type of celebrity stanning especially if the celebrity supports war criminals. people are willing to excuse people like gaga beyonce katy etc. but want to drag a 14 year old on tumblr dot com. and that’s scary and mind boggling.

“The bourgeois want art voluptuous and life ascetic; the reverse would be better.”
Theodor Adorno, Aesthetic Theory (1968)