Housework and compulsory heterosexuality

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Deck access's picture
Deck access
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Apr 23 2013 18:25

Thank fuck, you do actually think it’s a bad thing, I’m really relieved. Obviously I completely misunderstood, and for that I apologise. So it’s fair that you called me a tosser.

bastarx
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Apr 24 2013 00:45
Deck access wrote:
Of course your mate who who bought sex was just a normal guy, that's the whole point- normal guys are abhorrent.

Male feminists are always great to see on the internet but male radical feminists take it to new levels of moralising awesomeness.

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Apr 24 2013 19:25

we already discussed this
Joseph Kay wrote:

Quote:
I think it's Delphy again who argued the gender binary is hierarchically structured, so there can't be an equal relation between genders, only abolition/transformation. In that sense, maybe the gender binary is maintained by male power over women (and other men, homophobic bullying etc), and so giving up that power does threaten masculine identities. Certainly that would explain the common defensive male reactions to feminist claims. Or another way, maybe masculinity can only be performed as dominating women, whether through sexual conquest/laddism/intellectual one-up-manship/mansplaining* and so that identity is incompatible with feminist struggles. which would mean men either defend their sense of self and make themselves enemies or give up masculine identity.

'masculinity can only be performed as dominating women' = 'normal guys are abhorrent'
don't you think? or are normal guys not masculine? or is dominating women not abhorrent?

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Apr 24 2013 17:40

Moralizing and stramanning, upping the ante, I see.

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Apr 24 2013 19:29

bastarx and Chilli Sauce, I apologise for my tone and for misrepresenting your views. I’ve thought about my opinions, and I want to try and drop any unhelpful moralistic ideas I have. I would appreciate it if anyone wants to explain things to me that I’ve got wrong. (Like A Wotsit said, I think there is mostly common ground at least)
Here is where I am at the moment:
Patriarchy will be destroyed by the self-organisation of women to take control of their lives, in the workplace, the family, personal relationships etc. Men can undermine this with e.g. sexual harassment, rape, violence towards women and buying sex.
Those men who are revolutionaries should stand in solidarity with women. Although the extent of heterosexuality and PIV is also part of patriarchy, refraining from them is not helpful, and pressuring people to have sex in a certain way is misguided (with the caveat of specific situations such as a sex strike).

I am not sure about viewing porn. Of course the only solution is for the workers in the porn industry to organise themselves. Stopping watching porn is not helpful in that sense. But here is a line of thought, I’m honestly not sure if it contains moralizing-

Some ‘porn’, even if it’s a very small amount, is actually rape. There are women who know that their rape was filmed. There are women who know that men continue to watch and masturbate to their rape. Don’t you think we should stop watching porn, out of respect for them? If you can somehow be sure that you only watch porn with willing participants, then that would be great. But I do not know how to be sure of that.
If there are flaws in my reasoning, please point them out

edit: A Wotsit, thanks for sharing that twitter account smile

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Apr 24 2013 21:40

deleted- not happy with my posts. I've posted enough badly-thought-through stuff on this thread already.

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Apr 24 2013 21:39

deleted- don't feel like I'm contributing to a good discussion anymore.

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Apr 25 2013 16:45

On the subject of whether punters are assholes, well I think Rebbecca's letter is fair enough in this regard, as even the nicest punters aren't that nice that they would rather guarantee the person they're having sex with wants to have sex with them, than guarantee that they get to have sex. They might prefer to believe the prostitute enjoys it, but if they wanted to avoid having sex with someone who's hating it but pretending to like it, then they'd adopt the model of enthusiastic consent and stop hiring prostitutes. Sadly I think punters are quite normal in the sense that they'd rather have sex than be sure the other person wants to, but I think the fact that it's normal is really tragic. Many people will have sex with someone who doesn't want to, as if getting them to say yes is the only thing that counts, and the pressures that lead to the yes are irrelevant. Our society has nothing close to a model of enthusiastic consent. It doesn't even recognise every "no" as valid, let alone recognise some "yes"'s as invalid.

For a very clear example of this I think this scene is pretty good 
[trigger warning for fictional discussion of coerced sex, the humour is at the expense of the asshole but it's still pretty dark]
http://youtube.com/watch?v=ar9spNzOFPk

Saying "Are you fine with this? If you're not into it we can stop, no problem" just runs the risk that you'll get the response "Yeah actually let's leave it" and then you'll have sacrificed sex for the sake of doing the right thing. This shouldn't be that hard but I think male entitlement exacerbates the problem. Punters are just particularly bad because they can't even pretend there's no pressure on the other person to have sex with them. Maybe it's moralising to see them as bad people. We all do bad things. But I don't think it's moralising to think they're doing a bad thing.

Edit: I didn't mention the porn. I haven't made my mind up about it. Definitely stuff uploaded by exhibitionists for fun is fine. As far as the commercial stuff is concerned, I think it's fair to assume its as shit for a porn actor having sex they don't want than for a prostitute, but I don't think it's as bad masturbating over a video of someone who's already had the sex they don't want, as it is actually having sex with them when they don't want to. Not much help I know.

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Apr 25 2013 16:34

Regarding whether men are abhorrent, earlier in the thread there was discussion about how man as a social construct is designed to dominate women. I don't think that assuming men generally conform to it is such a leap, even though I'd disagree. I'd also dispute that this kind of radical feminist man-hating is  always biologically essentialist. People are assigned the category man or woman on the basis of biology, and then conditioned accordingly. Recognising this isn't essentialist. 

However I think deck was making a bit of a leap to get to "normal guys are abhorrent". The gender assigned to men is a list of qualities best attributed to someone to who's role it is to dominate women. However, not all these qualities are abhorrent (though some of them definitely are) or even dominating. Taking the classic false dichotomy of rational (logical, cold etc) vs. emotional (caring, irrational, etc) it makes sense to attribute to men a quality that make a person better suited to make important decisions about society, and it makes sense to attribute to women a quality that means they are better at looking after a family. So while there's nothing wrong with being rational, attributing the quality to men justifies their dominance. Thing is, as we can tell from talking to people, men and women are both just as able to be "rational" and/or "emotional". So there's a massive difference between man as a social construct, and what the people assigned that category are actually like. The platonic ideal of a man may be abhorrent, designed as he is for no other purpose than to dominate women, but luckily a lot of people are quite resistant to their conditioning. This is fortunate as women are socialised to be submissive, just as much as men are socialised to be dominant, so if this conditioning was working perfectly efficiently there'd be no hope for them to bring down patriarchy in the way Deck outlined in his original post. 

jolasmo
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Apr 26 2013 02:04

I think Konsequent just won the thread.

~J.

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Apr 26 2013 02:17

Yeah those were great posts Konsequent

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Apr 26 2013 17:34

Thanks! *blushes*

(Although I was hoping for some more debate, so don't hold back on ripping my arguments to shreds, and I'll do my best to respond.)

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Apr 26 2013 17:43

I'm going back into reflection and learning mode- after my posts went a bit awry- still hope for more posts from others also!

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Apr 26 2013 20:18
Quote:
Thanks! *blushes*
(Although I was hoping for some more debate, so don't hold back on ripping my arguments to shreds, and I'll do my best to respond.)

Ok, I’ll have a go wink

Quote:
I don't think it's as bad masturbating over a video of someone who's already had the sex they don't want, as it is actually having sex with them when they don't want to

I think it depends what direction you’re looking from. Here is a relevant quote from Catherine Mackinnon’s ‘Only Words’ (I haven’t read the whole book)

Quote:
You always know that the pictures are out
there somewhere, sold or traded or shown around or
just kept in a drawer. In them, what was done to you is
immortal. He has them; someone, anyone, has seen you
there, that way. This is unbearable. What he felt as he
watched you as he used you is always being done again
and lived again and felt again through the pictures-your
violation his arousal, your torture his pleasure.
Watching you was how he got off doing it; with the pictures
he can watch you and get off any time.2

So even if it’s not ‘as bad’, it’s still unacceptable.
Also, I might be too cynical, but I’d still wonder if there was a degree of coercion in some stuff uploaded by exhibitionists, or if some stuff might be uploaded without their consent, etc.

On the rational vs. emotional thing, this is true:

Quote:
Thing is, as we can tell from talking to people, men and women are both just as able to be "rational" and/or "emotional".

But that is not so much that people are resistant to their conditioning- it’s that we are never conditioned like that in the first place. I think it’s just a myth invented to justify male dominance?
In comparison, men are definitely conditioned to feel entitled towards women. Evidence for this is the extent of heterosexuality and PIV, and the existence of prostitution, porn (excluding exhibitionist stuff), rape, domestic violence etc. ‘Gender’ is a weasel word. There are three rough meanings I can see:
1. Qualities that are a direct part of male rule (this is where gender is as class, and where you might say men are abhorrent)e.g. men feel entitlement towards women/women put up with it
2. Qualities associated with men and women that originate as myths to justify male rule e.g. women are emotional so they are better at childcare/men are rational so they should be in charge
3. Qualities associated with men and women that are arbitrary (these are different in different times and places)e.g. women wear pink/men wear blue

Quote:
luckily a lot of people are quite resistant to their conditioning. This is fortunate as women are socialised to be submissive, just as much as men are socialised to be dominant, so if this conditioning was working perfectly efficiently there'd be no hope for them to bring down patriarchy in the way Deck outlined in his original post.

This ignores that patriarchy is a lot worse for women than it is for men. Women will notice this, and want to change the situation. Female resistance to patriarchal socialisation is not analogous to male resistance to it.

Your assessment of punters was spot on, and that video was horribly realistic.

jolasmo
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Apr 29 2013 19:03
Quote:
Your assessment of punters was spot on, and that video was horribly realistic.

Its Always Sunny in Philadelphia is a goldmine for this sort of stuff. Check out this bit of genius:

Anyway more on topic, I think the analysis you present is interesting, but I have issues with it. I've never really been sold on "gender as class" analyses. I'm generally pretty sceptical of theories which rely on borrowing a system of analysis developed in one context and applying it wholesale to another. I think class is very different from gender. Treating class and gender as the same thing erases important characteristics of both things in order to make the analysis fit. And we don't have to treat genders as classes to recognise gender-based struggle as an important part of the class struggle.

~J.

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Apr 29 2013 21:17

jolasmo wrote:

Quote:
And we don't have to treat genders as classes to recognise gender-based struggle as an important part of the class struggle.

Yes, this discussion is only worthwhile so long as it’s useful.

On the basis of this following comment I saw on tumblr, I think we ought to push the thread in a more useful direction:

Quote:
just made the mistake of checking on the libcom forums and theres a big theory discussion about patriarchy with lots of mostly straight, non-trans, men arguing with each other and throwing round references to everything from lesbian feminism, and radical feminism to queer theory to Marxist feminism and anarcha-feminism. Like as far as i can see there’s been three women participating (two of them unfortunately sex-posi, but are entitled to their opinions as they are women) and one trans man (who’s made some interesting points), but at least 85% of the posts are by males who will have never experienced oppression based on sex or gender.
I just wish I could remember my password for the forum, because I just want to scream at the blokes - even the men who are saying things I agree with - feminism is not for you! Concentrate on tackling male violence and calling out misogyny when you see it. but participating in debates on feminist theory (which tbh you are mangling because you have no lived experience to base your understanding on it) is completely fucking unproductive and is just speaking over and mansplaining things to women who are trying to sort this shit out for ourselves.

She’s right that men's job here is ‘tackling male violence and calling out misogyny when you see it’ (and I would add, 'showing solidarity to women in their struggles', but I'm pretty sure all of us are already aware of that). To that effect, I’ve tried making an informational leaflet smile What do you think? It’s pretty blatant but whatever:

Some of you may notice ‘stop watching porn’ in there- Catherine Mackinnon convinced me, and if anyone objects I really want to hear your reasoning.

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Apr 29 2013 21:40
Deck access wrote:
tumblr

kingzog
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Apr 29 2013 22:01

deck access quoting from tumblr:

Quote:
just made the mistake of checking on the libcom forums and theres a big theory discussion about patriarchy with lots of mostly straight, non-trans, men arguing with each other and throwing round references to everything from lesbian feminism, and radical feminism to queer theory to Marxist feminism and anarcha-feminism. Like as far as i can see there’s been three women participating (two of them unfortunately sex-posi, but are entitled to their opinions as they are women) and one trans man (who’s made some interesting points), but at least 85% of the posts are by males who will have never experienced oppression based on sex or gender.
I just wish I could remember my password for the forum, because I just want to scream at the blokes - even the men who are saying things I agree with - feminism is not for you! Concentrate on tackling male violence and calling out misogyny when you see it. but participating in debates on feminist theory (which tbh you are mangling because you have no lived experience to base your understanding on it) is completely fucking unproductive and is just speaking over and mansplaining things to women who are trying to sort this shit out for ourselves.

Maybe this person is right, maybe us male's should not be inserting ourselves into any discussion about feminism. "It's not for us." Maybe we should just resign ourselves to tackling male violence and misogyny like the tumblr quote suggests. (note: I am not being sarcastic or facetious .)

wojtek
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Apr 29 2013 22:41

It's great regurgitating second wave feminist theory when you don't have to live in the real world, seriously can i be there when you prosletyze that leaflet and people rolls their eyes/laugh at you.

Fleur
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Apr 30 2013 00:44

I guess I must be one of the "unfortunately sex-posi" women referred to in the tumblr post and I'm so, so pleased that I am entitled to my opinion. I wasn't feeling that my position was particularly unfortunate until I read that post. I guess you guys ought to get back to changing the oil in your pick-up trucks, or whatever other gender appropriate activities you should be doing. After all, it would be entirely pointless to engage any male allies in any discussion relating to gender.

kingzog
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Apr 30 2013 09:23

Fleurnoire-et-rouge wrote:

Quote:
I guess you guys ought to get back to changing the oil in your pick-up trucks, or whatever other gender appropriate activities you should be doing. After all, it would be entirely pointless to engage any male allies in any discussion relating to gender.

Actually, that's a good point. I take back what I wrote earlier.

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Apr 30 2013 12:08

dp

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Apr 30 2013 12:02
Quote:
I just wish I could remember my password for the forum, because I just want to scream at the blokes - even the men who are saying things I agree with - feminism is not for you!

Yes, men, you are not allowed to discuss issues of gender and patriarchy. Sex-posi women (as opposed to sex-negi women?), you're allowed to discuss. But you're wrong.

Also, I'm amazed at this unnamed person's ability to tell both gender and making sweeping judgements of folks' attitudes toward sex based on, what, avatars and a couple hundred words?

Thanks for Deck, really pushed the conversation forward. roll eyes

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Apr 30 2013 15:50

wojtek wrote:

Quote:
seriously can i be there when you prosletyze that leaflet and people rolls their eyes/laugh at you

I’m not going to proselytise. I don’t see what’s wrong with explicitly stating what I wrote there? I kinda think we have to explicitly say it... confused

jolasmo
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Apr 30 2013 21:10

So I'm supposed to concentrate on tackling male misogyny and sexual violence, that's fine, I'm happy to do that. My question is, how am I going to manage to do that effectively without theorising things like porn, sex work, feminism, housework, heterosexuality, etc. etc. ? If this discussion is "not for me", how am I supposed to know how to approach the task of "calling out sexual violence when I see it"? How am I supposed to see it at all if I can't take part in conversations about what it is and why it's a problem? It seems like what the person you quoted is asking me to do is basically impossible.

I mean I'm happy to accept that men should basically take the lead from women when it comes to stuff like this, but in reality there's no single "Women's Voice" for me to take orders from. There are a myriad of feminisms out there many of which advance political platforms that are in contradiction to each other. So if I'm going to do anything, I have to make some sort of judgement about what I think a coherent, practical feminist politics actually is.

~J.

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May 1 2013 11:12
Deck access wrote:
On the basis of this following comment I saw on tumblr, I think we ought to push the thread in a more useful direction:

Quote:
… Like as far as i can see there’s been three women participating (two of them unfortunately sex-posi, but are entitled to their opinions as they are women) and one trans man (who’s made some interesting points), but at least 85% of the posts are by males who will have never experienced oppression based on sex or gender.
I just wish I could remember my password for the forum, because I just want to scream at the blokes - even the men who are saying things I agree with - feminism is not for you!

deck access, what do you think about this comment? From someone you seem to agree with, they are saying you are not entitled to an opinion and should not discuss feminism.

Onto that comment, of course women are far more adversely affected by patriarchy than men, but it does negatively affect men as well, for example:
http://www.dailymaverick.co.za/article/2013-04-29-raymond-buys-15-years-...

as for men not being able to discuss feminism, surely you must realise that that is just silly. At my family dinners, there are often comments from my sister telling her daughter that a woman's place is in the home, that it is the woman's job to do housework, etc, and from the daughter saying that abortion is murder and should be banned. And in my predominantly female workplace occasionally I get comments from my female union members complaining that female managers are worse than male ones because they are more bitchy or irrational or what have you. And I think it's important to challenge these views, whoever they come from.

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May 1 2013 19:28
Quote:
deck access, what do you think about this comment? From someone you seem to agree with, they are saying you are not entitled to an opinion and should not discuss feminism.

Yeah I agree she is jumping to conclusions about how productive this discussion is. I posted the comment because she said ‘I just wish I could remember my password for the forum’, so it would’ve been rude for me to ignore it, whether or not I agreed with her.

The part I picked up on was ‘Concentrate on tackling male violence’. I think male entitlement and violence towards women is the keystone of patriarchy. Women are best placed to combat this, but also men should stop being entitled and violent towards women. That is why I made that leaflet.
I am not imagining a propaganda campaign. It is through being involved in struggle that people can start to think communist and feminist ideas make sense. This is where it is important to fully and clearly articulate those ideas, as I am trying to do.

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May 2 2013 01:15

hmm, I'm a female-assigned person for whatever that's worth. though I'm personally inclined to see gender as being a class division (though maybe less now than in pre-capitalism) I'd agree that oppressions don't have to be class-related to be important to dismantle.

isawamouse
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May 2 2013 18:54

Of course partriarchy and misogyny are not good and need to be challenged. From reading through this thread, I get the impression that the thread starter, deck access believes that all men are inherently misogynystic and violent towards women, though, which is far from the case. Also that there is some inherent causative link between "PIV" sex and capitalism, which again I think is rather flawed. It seems like somewhat naive and extremely black and white thinking.

I also think some of the terminology being used is borderline absurd, such as "PIV" sex, sex-posi etc. etc. I'm unsure as to how people using this sort of language could expect to be taken seriously outwith the circles within which these terms have originated.

There's something extremely condescending and very troubling about the implication that women who "allow" men to have "PIV" sex with them are somehow perpetuating patriarchy and misogyny.

Regardless how society is organised, "PIV sex" is something that is likely going to continue to take place, and indeed, we'd be in a spot of trouble if it didn't.

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May 2 2013 20:02

Deck access, I realise you obviously are thinking things through and navigating sexual politics in all good faith, but that leaflet is really bad.

Firstly, "TO ALL MEN AND BOYS". Your demands do not apply to all men. Gay men and some men who aren't dicks, for example.

"Stop buying sex"
If someone is, for example, disabled and unable to leave the house, meet people, find sexual partners in the 'traditional' way, why is it so repellant and disgusting that they would want to pay for sex? Does it make them some kind of rapey pervert? We can talk about coersion, and why the commodification of sex means the sex worker is not freely engaging in it, but neither are care workers, nurses etc. Is it less repellent and disgusting for a disabled person to pay someone to clean their house, cook them dinner etc?* If so, why?

"Stop watching porn"
There are several things going on here. Firstly, even if we accept your premise that all porn is about degrading women etc, how is not watching/consuming it a way to challenge that? Not buying coffee at Starbucks isn't an effective way of improving conditions for Starbucks workers. I'm not sure in what ways this differs. Unless of course your argument is premised on sexual morality?
Secondly, I'm sure there's plenty of really nasty, horrible, misogynistic porn out there. In fact the vast majority is certainly misogynistic. But moralising against people who consume products which are reliant on misogyny is ridiculous. The entire beauty and cosmetics industry, an overwhelming section of the clothes and food industries, and probably more that I can't think of right now, are completely reliant on misogyny and perpetuate it consciously and aggressively. There's nothing morally or inherently wrong with food, clothes and cosmetics.
Thirdly, women watch porn too. Loads of women. Loads of porn.

The other points, fair enough. Those things are sadly the norm, but it's still pretty innaccurate to aim that at ALL MEN AND BOYS.

*This was an argument put to me when I was younger and more inclined to think that people who paid for sex were all misogynist perverts. (Tho obviously, some just are).