Men beating and raping and getting off on the degradation of women is a men’s issue, yeah. But what happens when we ask male allies to address these issues? They a) write books (that women have usually already written) and make money off of them or b) join feminist/women’s lib groups…
When I asked male interview subjects what they would like to do in bed, “ejaculation on a woman’s face” was most often at the top of their lists. But when I asked them what the attraction of this act was and whether it meant anything, their initial response was puzzlement. They had never given it much thought. With time for reflection, however, most came up with answers very similar to those of the pornographers I interviewed: it is about controlling women, doing something disgusting to them. It’s like spitting or urinating on them.
Thus something unsettling about gender relationships mediated by pornography is revealed: on-screen male domination is sugar-coated — portrayed as causing women ecstasy — which in turn arouses further desire on the part of the male viewers: the desire to experience the pleasure derived from control and aggression. And deep down, these viewers understand it. “The second you have an orgasm and that passion sinks out of your body, and you’re still watching the movie, you start to really see what’s going on,” one male college student said. “This is not sexy. This is not sex. This is not how I want to experience sex.”
One must ask, if socialism is slavery [as Hayek claims], what exactly is capitalism? What is capitalism to the billions who live on less than two dollars a day? What is capitalism to millions of children who go hungry every night? What is capitalism to the single mom working three jobs just to scrape by? What is capitalism to the homeless man begging outside the Louis Vuitton store? If capitalism really is freedom, then I cannot fathom what an unholy Hell socialism must be.
But what really is socialism? Socialism is the political power of the working class and oppressed peoples concretely realized. The incredible idea that human need, potential, and progress is more important than making a profit. Socialism is the audacious demand that everyone deserves a meaningful existence not plagued by servitude and exploitation; an opportunity to realize themselves and better humanity as a whole. What an unimaginable terror socialism must be.
Disturbing as it may be, what we are witnessing today in more and more blatant forms is the constant promotion of raunch culture in the name of women’s sexual liberation. Amongst those who indulge in this perversity are female chauvinists, or what I would like to identify as ‘comprador women’—those women who come to employ the strategy of objectifying theirs and other women’s bodies in the attempt to attain the same elevated status and financial gains of the dominant group (in this case, male entrepreneurs and professionals). Through their work these women not only objectify their own bodies but also those of other women, and more often than not, advocate that women should embrace capitalism and get as much power and money for themselves as they can in order to fight oppression. Examples of female chauvinists or comprador women include: the woman entrepreneur who unhesitatingly uses her class power to unleash aggression on both male and female employees; the woman journo at Playboy, Cosmopolitan and Femina magazines who earns a killing by telling women what’s the “in thing”; the woman fashion designer whose fashion line popularizes Size Zero and whose one flick of the hand sends shivers down the chain of garment workers employed in developing and under-developed countries; the Ekta Kapoor-kind of women producers whose showcase-it-all movies have popularized movie plots evolving around sex scandals; the entire pool of bourgeois artists (Kareena Kapoor, Malaika Arora Khan, Priyanka Chopra and the likes) who adamantly claim their semi-nude bodies on billboards and the silver screen do not encourage a sexist culture; etc. Ultimately then, the interests of women capitalists and some upward mobile women professionals are linked to the perpetuation of a biased, sexist culture and gender oppression of the majority of women.
Another brand of feminist practitioners includes those who have come to seek ‘empowerment’ in the reclamation of patriarchal feminity, and hence, have come to defend and celebrate this feminity as a feminist action. The general misconception amongst them is that women are exercising an active choice/agency when indulging in patriarchal feminity such as by wearing body-hugging clothes, painting nails, getting piercings, going for implants, looking ‘pretty’ in order to feel powerful, participating in ‘slut walks’, and even reclaiming disempowering terms or language like slut/whore/bitch/cunt/behanchod/chutia. Subsequently, the denial of such choice to indulge in patriarchal feminity is read as oppression and is seen as antagonistic to the goal of feminism, let alone any emancipatory politics.
Such behaviour and politics is troubling because of its ridiculous assumption that women who dress in hyper-feminine ways are beating the patriarchal, sexist structuring of society at its own game. Defenders of such positions also tend to argue that sexualized dressing challenges the predominant image of the docile, ‘traditional’ woman imbued with feminine respectability. For this reason the ‘right’ to hyper-femme dressing has emerged almost like a non-negotiable demand within the current feminist movement. However, it is worth remembering that both the commodified woman and the normative woman or bhadramahila are creations of capitalist society. Both are forms of a woman’s sexual being that are used to keep each other alive. While the former is often despised, she is still desired. Similarly, while the latter is often worshipped, she is also shunned. Hence, both the commodified woman and the bhadramahila are feminine roles which should be smashed rather than incorporated and defended.
we joke about procrastination but nothing is worse than the nauseating feeling of having every intention of doing something but physically not being capable of doing it and then feeling like you want to throw up because the deadline is just getting closer and closer.
“We have not long to love.
Light does not stay.
The tender things are those
we fold away.
Coarse fabrics are the ones
for common wear.
In silence I have watched you
comb your hair.
Intimate the silence,
dim and warm.
I could but did not, reach
to touch your arm.
I could, but do not, break
that which is still.
(Almost the faintest whisper
would be shrill.)
So moments pass as though
they wished to stay.
We have not long to love.
A night. A day….”—"We Have Not Long to Love," Tennessee Williams