“Prisons do not disappear social problems, they disappear human beings. Homelessness, unemployment, drug addiction, mental illness, and illiteracy are only a few of the problems that disappear from public view when the human beings contending with them are relegated to cages”—Angela Davis (via socialjusticewarriorgirl)
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” homosexuality 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.
Moreover, 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 promote their products by showing battered-looking models in torn clothing?
How forbidden is pornography when, aided by anti-obscenity 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 1 out of 3 chance of being a battered wife, a 1 out of 7 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.
It’s not that “cross-generational sex,” fetishism, sadomasochism, and trafficking in or using pornography are never punished.
Sometimes they are, but never enough to dampen their popularity. Just enough to make them seem forbidden and keep them exciting.
It’s not that there are no sexual choices that truly violate society’s rules. What I am suggesting is that the “deviant” sexual practices defended and promoted by the pro-sex people aren’t really proscribed by society; they’re prescribed.
They’re not really deviant at all. They’re good soldier conformity.
- When Women Defend Pornography, Dorchen Leidholdt
Debunking the Myth of “Vanilla Privilege”: That ‘deviant sexuality’ is in actuality, mainstream in a porn & rape culture.
“Within patriarchal culture, the girl who does not feel loved in her family of origin is given another chance to prove her worth when she is encouraged to seek love from males. Schoolgirl crushes, mad obsessions, compulsive longings for male attention and approval indicate that she is rightly pursuing her gendered destiny, on the road to becoming the female who can be nothing without a man. Whether she is heterosexual or homosexual, the extent to which she yearns for patriarchal approval will determine whether she is worthy to be loved. This is the emotional uncertainty that haunts the lives of all females in patriarchal culture. From the start, then, females are confused about the nature of love. Socialized in the false assumption that we will find love in the place where femaleness is deemed unworthy and consistently devalued, we learn early to pretend that love matters more than anything, when in actuality we know that what matters most, even in the wake of feminist movement, is patriarchal approval.”—
“[W]omen’s clothing and shoes are notoriously restrictive, painful, and do not allow for spontaneous movement, making women physically vulnerable to both the elements and to men’s whims, including male violence. When “properly” dressed, such as in overly restrictive or overly cumbersome clothing that is prescribed for women cross-culturally, women cannot easily run away from physical danger including sexual assault. Binding and otherwise restricting and harming women’s feet is especially fetishized across cultures, because healthy feet are critical to physical autonomy; in women, physical autonomy is not sexy, and women’s vulnerability, injury, and perpetual victimhood are. These imposed vulnerabilities are actually very dangerous, require extreme vigilance and planning for contingencies, and can and do cause serious physical and emotional harm to women, and this heightened risk and potential and actual female harm are both sexually arousing (for men) and (therefore) mandatory for women.”—femonade (via fuckyeah-radicalfeminism)
Some of the other things that are very common in porn is the very stereotypical scenario where a woman says “No” but then she’s somehow forced to do the sex act anyway and at some point she discovers that she really loves it and that’s what she’s dreamed of doing her whole life and that’s extremely common in pornography.
And when you have guys masturbating to something like that, learning about sex from something like that what that’s actually teaching them is that A) Women’s boundaries don’t matter, B) Anything you do to a woman she’s always going to love it…They are watching this stuff, they are masturbating to it, they’re getting these messages and they’re internalizing these messages not just on an intellectual level in terms of ideas but also now physically in their bodies; what they feel.