"And how should I presume?"

The unsophisticated ramblings of an unenlightened twenty-something who hopes to, one day, change the world.


Cast of characters:

The Anna to my Elsa (and tag)
The Michael to my Wendy Darling (and tag)
The Wash to my Zoe (and tag)
The John to my Sherlock
The Keladry to my Alanna
The Mal to my Zoe


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This Journal Is Sex Work Positive

This Journal Is Body Positive

This Journal Is Positive

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Posts tagged "rant"

1225491-1986:

thisgingerischronic:

Fucking kinksters and this “aftercare” mess. No, really, not EVERYONE engages in “aftercare” because not EVERYONE has to beat their partner or traumatize them in order to get off, and if you do, you’re fucking sick.

Like stop insisting that your violent lifestyle is normal by trying to make it ~relateable~ to healthy relationships. No, actually, cuddling and talking after sex ISN’T AFTERCARE. I fucking KNOW what aftercare is, I’m experienced, and it’s not even remotely the same.

So, no, not “everyone” does it. People in unhealthy relationships do. Stop trying to fucking normalize violence.

People who are too fucking dense to tell the difference between aftercare and emotional bonding after sex are the worst.. #smh 

Cuddling and talking after sex isn’t aftercare? Guess I’m doing this whole masochist thing wrong, then, because that’s what I do for my aftercare. Occasionally I might get a glass of water, because I get thirsty after sex.

Don’t fucking try to save me if I didn’t ask to be saved.

(via 20863)

To be perfectly honest, I prefer calling male feminists… male feminists.

I mean, I understand why some feminists think they should be called feminist allies or whatever, but:

  1. Straight allies are called “allies” because they themselves are not queer. Saying that male feminists should call themselves allies makes it sound a) like all feminists are female and b) all females are feminists, which is patently false.
  2. That’s a problem, because unlike straight allies (or white allies or neurotypical allies or other things I’m not qualified to talk about), issues of feminism affect all genders. It doesn’t affect men to the same degree (hence “feminism”), but it still affects them. My not being murdered because of my orientation does not affect straight people. Femininity not being considered lesser doesn’t just affect women, but everyone, including people who don’t ID as women, including cis men.

I agree that men shouldn’t enter women’s safe spaces, nor should they dominate discussions of feminism (as I said before, it affects them, but not nearly to the same degree). In many ways men should behave like allies, in that they shouldn’t speak over more experienced voices and use their privilege when they can to call out other men.

But I hesitate to call them allies. It just rubs me the wrong way.

mrs-cheese:

More USA politics rant under the cut.

Read More

No, not only the French have revolutions, but they do get a lot more political clout for their protests than we do.

Over all, there won’t be any change if you don’t work for it. And the people who hold the power in your country will never listen to you if you don’t make them listen.

We vote. We have petitions. We have marches and protests. What more do you want us to do?

The government in my country learned decades ago, that it you don’t mess with the people you reign over.

Brilliant. Not every country is your country.

Illigalizing the crossed out swastika? The people put stickers with a tripple crossed out swastika everywhere until the law was revoked (I personally was part of this, btw.)

Here is a map of Germany superimposed over a map of Arizona. Here is a map of the United States with Arizona highlighted, for reference. Your “everywhere” is not our “everywhere.”

Trying to illigalize so called “killer-games” (usually first person shooter). The gamers all over the country set up petitions and demonstrated in front of the government buildings till we got what we wanted. Today, many many games that where doubed illigal here are now ligalized again (such as the first Doom).

Again, “all over the country” for you is the size of one state for us. Could you get the entirety of Europe to agree on one subject? No? Then why do you expect all of America to do something?

Setting up college fees? Students blocked all paths around the universities and refused to study till the fee was revoked.

Students at UC Davis had a protest a couple years ago to protest rising school fees (that’s right, rising: in America, we don’t have free or reduced-priced college fees. Higher education has always been the realm of the rich and privileged). They were pepper-sprayed while sitting down.

Splitting the country in half? The people tore down the wall.

After… thirty years or so, wasn’t it? It’s not like it was torn down immediately.

True, the USA is not germany, there are many cultural differences, but in the end, all people are the same. The USA are not North Korea or China, where the people are not allowed to speak up without the fear of being executed.

One does not need to live in a dictatorship to experience a systemic loss in power.

The people in the USA are free and have a voice. The leaders just need to hear it.

And they shut their ears and refuse to listen. They say things like “the louder they scream, the more we know we are getting something done.” They willfully ignore statistics, facts, and the will of the people. They deliberately manipulate laws to prevent people from voting. What more do you expect us to do when the people in power actively prevent us from making any effective change?

torei:

bemusedlybespectacled:

torei:

zrayak:

torei:

theconcealedweapon:

"A patriarchy is where men control 100% of positions of power. A matriarchy is where men control anything less than that."

- MRA logic


So then how are countries where women can vote patriarchies?

Because the point was that both those definitions were wrong, and that giving women some modicum of power doesn’t immediately make a society matriarchal, or even non-patriarchal.

some medium of power? What power do men have that women don’t?

Would you like the list alphabetically or categorically?

Categorically please.

ACCOMPLISHMENTS

  • Women’s contributions to science are repeatedly ignored or plagiarized.
  • Women only represent 4.4% of both Fortune 500 and Fortune 1000 companies.
  • Women still, on average, make 77 cents to men’s dollar, and that’s not factoring in women of color, who make substantially less than that.
  • Women are expected to either give up their careers to become mothers, or do both work and family raising. Men do not have this expectation and their masculinity is not called into question if they do not put in an equal effort in raising the kids. There are few if any articles discussing “can men have it all?” the way there are for women.

BODILY AUTONOMY

  • In some states, a woman may be kept on life support against her wishes for the sake of a fetus.
  • In some states, a woman may be jailed if she suffers a miscarriage.
  • A man’s health decisions are not subject to religious or moral criticisms.
  • There is no masculine equivalent for slut shaming.
  • If a man is disagreed with for his values or politics, it is unlikely that he will be criticized based on his physical appearance or his supposed number of sexual partners.

MEDIA REPRESENTATION

  • In 2013, women only made up 16% of all directors, executive producers, producers, writers, cinematographers and editors.
  • When women have representation, it is primarily in the form of a skinny white woman who functions as the love interest.

PERSONAL SAFETY

  • Men face significantly less sexual harassment than women, whether in the workplace, online, or on the street.
  • Women are taught that their chance of being raped depends largely on their own actions, as if rapists were rain and the chances of getting wet depended on whether or not you brought the right umbrella. Men do not experience this culture.
  • A man need not worry if dressing appropriately for the weather will somehow indicate that he is sexually available, nor will he be told that the amount of skin he is showing is distracting.

This is the short list, by the way. I could go on. My point is this: women having the right to vote is not the end-all, be-all for women’s rights. And women still have significantly less power than men. Going “but having the right to vote means it isn’t a patriarchy!” is ludicrous.

Asker Anonymous Asks:
The stupid thing about that candy quote is that it a) assumes all men owe all women some kind of invisible debt and b) assumes feminism isn't actually trying to make female privilege more of a reality than it already is
bemusedlybespectacled bemusedlybespectacled Said:

machetediplomacy:

Wellllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll

Women receive 60% percent of jail time compared to men that do the exact same crimes.

Male circumcision is still legal even though the “health benefits” have been disproved.

98% of work related death are of men.

Domestic violence is around equal to men and women but there aren’t ANY shelters or support groups specifically designed for men

There are no legal penalties for falsely accusing a man of rape. Even if the man goes to jail or was harmed due to people hearing about the rape and taking action for themselves.

Alimony, child support, and custody

Deaths by prostate cancer and breast cancer are almost equal but breast cancer research and treatment gets twice as much money.

Men have higher suicide rates

——

Can you please tell me how women are oppressed by the law and government structure?

Why yes, I can.

Women receive 60% percent of jail time compared to men that do the exact same crimes.

There is a misogynistic notion that women are weak little flowers who could never do anything wrong because they are women, whereas men are violent and can’t control themselves. That’s not female privilege.

Male circumcision is still legal even though the “health benefits” have been disproved.

As much as I disapprove of male circumcision and would not allow it to be practiced on my children, I’ll believe that it’s a crime equal to that of FGM when male circumcision involves cutting most of the penis off and leaving on a stump for sexual intercourse.

98% of work related death are of men.

Actually, it’s 92%. And if you look at that link, you’ll see something interesting: women are more likely to die on the job as a result of a road accident or being murdered, and men are more likely to die of falling or contact with dangerous equipment or substances. That a gender thing only in that men are given different jobs than women (again, because of the idea that women are delicate flowers and men must do heavy labor).

Domestic violence is around equal to men and women but there aren’t ANY shelters or support groups specifically designed for men

Excuse me? It’s true that men face fewer resources (as well as patriarchal ideals of masculinity that make it harder for them to seek help because they’re supposed to be strong), but that there are zero resources is not true. Oh, look. Another one

There are no legal penalties for falsely accusing a man of rape. Even if the man goes to jail or was harmed due to people hearing about the rape and taking action for themselves.

This is bullshit. Falsely accusing someone of a crime is a serious legal offense and can fall under (among other things) perjury and filing a false report.

Alimony, child support, and custody

Women are more likely to be awarded alimony and child support due to the outdated, misogynistic family model that says that women are best suited to raise children and men are best suited to support children financially. Custody tends to be awarded to women because women are more likely to ask for custody in the first place. It’s not “men and women both ask for custody and the woman is awarded it more often,” it’s “women ask for it more often, so they get it more often.”

Deaths by prostate cancer and breast cancer are almost equal but breast cancer research and treatment gets twice as much money.

And diarrheal diseases kill more frequently than either. Perhaps it’s because breast cancer research is funded with misogynistic campaigns like “save the ta-tas”?

bemusedlybespectacled:

Men have higher suicide rates

No, men have higher successful suicide rates. Women actually attempt suicide more often than men, but men tend to be more successful at killing themselves than women, probably because the methods they use differ (i.e. a man uses a gun and dies immediately, a woman tries to swallow Tylenol and gets her stomach pumped and is fine).

thepeacockangel:

sluteverxxx:

southern-conservatism:

adoption should be the ONLY allowed alternative for unwanted pregnancy/parenthood. your undesired to raise a child YOU created does not give you the right to kill them at your will. 

If its in my body, that does give me the right bye.

It’s not a child until it has a brain, also I am not required to donate a kidney to a family member who would die without one, I have the right to keep my kidney and allow that person to die, similarly I can have a fetus removed from my body and allow it to die

I’d hate to put any child of mine into a system that is essentially a lottery, where if they win they get to join a loving family, and if they lose they are abandoned, abused, or simply fall victim to the dozens of tiny issues that come with adoption like wondering why their parents gave them up or not having a fully informed medical history. And this is coming from a middle-class white person: things get even more complicated when you factor in race, disability, and class, among other things.

And adoption still doesn’t deal with: babies that are the product of rape, stillborn babies, babies with deadly and incurable medical conditions such as anencephaly…

Basically what I’m saying is, adoption is not a magical solution for unwanted pregnancy, and if you think it is, you don’t know shit about adoption or unwanted pregnancy.

Asker Anonymous Asks:
You really stepped in it this morning. I have been marginalized, harassed, and lost great opportunities because I identify with the power exchange dynamic. Yet I couldn't possibly understand what it's like to not be able to be out for fear of my physical safety and employability or what it's like to lose people I care about because they can't be supportive. I couldn't possibly understand because it doesn't fit neatly in your acronym. Thank you for telling me my experiences don't matter.
bemusedlybespectacled bemusedlybespectacled Said:

tattooeddicks:

fwippy:

fyseq:

That’s not what I was trying to do, and I’m sorry for hurting anyone. My point more than anything is that we don’t fit in an acronym. LGBT doesn’t work because it leaves people out, QUILTBAG even though it’s my personal favorite leaves people out, and many people don’t feel like GSM does it justice. I think all of our experiences matter, just that all of our experiences are different. Like I pointed out earlier: The thing about specific spaces is it’s supposed to be a safe space where you can be with people who share your struggle and your experiences. That can definitely be a grey area, but it’s important that we ask ourselves “do I share this struggle? What am I contributing by being in this group? Am I taking focus away from certain oppressed groups?”

Like as a DFAB trans* person I stick to safe spaces for trans* people in general or DFAB trans* people in particular. I’m not going to insert myself into DMAB trans* people’s spaces because that takes focus away from a group of trans people that are ignored and marginalized by our society. I’m also not going to talk over intersex people or put myself into intersex communities. There are communities for everyone, that’s a great tool that many people haven’t been able to use before.

-FYSE

lol, cishet thinks that having a fetish is comparable to being queer

I’m a trans lesbian with a heck of a lot of fetishes weirder than “switch,” (does that even count? y’all so vanilla) and i can tell you that none of them have been a stumbling block at any point in my life.

BOO HOO I’M OPPRESSED BECAUSE OF MY FETISHES I DESERVE A SPACE TOO yeah make your own goddamn space and PLEASE leave me out of it entirely?

as a kinky, pan, genderqueer trans dude i literally want 0 to do with the cishet kink community WHO SEEM TO THINK THAT THEY ARE WIDELY OPPRESSED because a) you aren’t oppressed for being kinky i know this because i and basically everyone i know are kinky and b) y’all have this idea that you know more about queerness than we do and deign to solve all of our problems with your kumbaya biological determinism bullshit. i have had it up to HERE (note that my hand is currently in space) with “you shouldn’t mark your gender as m if you’re bio female gender doesn’t matter in the kink community” and “i’m not homophobic for not wanting to have sex with you cause you’re queer” and “so you say you’re bi (i did not say i was bi btw) but i know you’re straight because i have a good gaydar now let me ram you up the ass faggot”

SERIOUSLY i’m done with cishet kinky people y’all DO NOT need a place in queer spaces because you’re literally the worst. you’re even worse than vanilla cishet people and that’s saying something because you know who’s in the “vanilla-ass chishet” category? rick perry. mitt romney.

stop it please i’m SO SO tired just stop i’m literally going to cry just stop stay away from the queer community forever and ever and go fuck yourselves you do not deserve to be included in queerness just fucking stop.

I’ve written on why I don’t support acronyms like GSM or GSD before, but let me reiterate the most important thing about this:

ANYONE CAN BE KINKY. ANYONE CAN BE POLY. ONLY QUEER PEOPLE CAN BE QUEER.

By which I mean: the Venn Diagram for queerness looks like this:

Not this:

addictedtofemslash:

bemusedlybespectacled:

is this person seriously suggesting that heterosexuality is not real

is this person honestly saying that all straight women (and, I would presume, bisexual women) are actually something else (I would presume this person thinks all women really should be lesbians, given a cursory reading of what I could find on Google Books)

I agree with her assertion that the patriarchy asserts that heterosexuality is the only acceptable and good orientation for women

and it is true that some women are pressured into behaving heterosexually because of homophobia (aka being in the closet)

but that doesn’t mean that all heterosexuality is because women are experiencing Stockholm Syndrome jesus christ

I actually think this is a really powerful quote that deserves a lot more reflection than you are giving it. I mean there are there are parts of it that aren’t true (for example I don’t like the universal condemnation of femininity, though ill admit it is a complex and multilayered issue), but I actually agree with the idea overall.

The thing is, I can accept that certain behaviors are normalized and held up as the only way someone can be. But someone behaving in that manner doesn’t mean that they have been forced to do it because of a threat of violence (which is what the book suggests).

The book says that things like heterosexuality are women duping themselves into thinking that what they want is to be straight, when really they are forced into being straight in order to please men. Women seek out “kind” men (and yes, the original has the sneer quotes) who they think will not be violent towards them and will protect them from other men’s violence. Graham is basically saying that heterosexuality is a subconscious “choice” (in that decisions under duress are not choices) between experiencing violence and pleasing men, and some end up experiencing violence anyway.

And while I can accept, as I said, some aspects of that argument. Yes, femininity (in women) and heterosexuality are considered “good,” and it’s no accident that typical femininity implies submissiveness. That is indeed a result of a patriarchal culture, and I am not disputing that.

However, this is straight-out saying that women have no agency, that their only choices are between violence and less violence (because remember, “kind” is in sneer quotes and “elements of rape can be found in sex occurring between even the most trusting and loving partners”).

I cannot abide by any feminist who says that she and she alone knows what’s best for women, what’s really happening to them, that she has broken out of the patriarchal miasma and sees how they’re oppressing themselves by doing such self-harming things like loving men. It really, really frustrates me. Being reduced to a victim who doesn’t know how awesome sex with ladies is and really would do much better to get my relationship needs from other women is really, really frustrating.

And I’m not even going into how this is a simplistic view of sexuality and gender relations, ignores atypical relationships and relationship structures, and ignores the many sexualities and orientations that are not part of the gender or sexuality binary.

is this person seriously suggesting that heterosexuality is not real

is this person honestly saying that all straight women (and, I would presume, bisexual women) are actually something else (I would presume this person thinks all women really should be lesbians, given a cursory reading of what I could find on Google Books)

I agree with her assertion that the patriarchy asserts that heterosexuality is the only acceptable and good orientation for women

and it is true that some women are pressured into behaving heterosexually because of homophobia (aka being in the closet)

but that doesn’t mean that all heterosexuality is because women are experiencing Stockholm Syndrome jesus christ

(via haleyth)

Because so few serving in politics have worn their country’s uniform, they have collectively forgotten how to put country before party and self-interest. They have forgotten a ‘cause greater than self,’ and they have lost the knowledge of how to make compromises for the good of the country. Without a history of sacrifice and service, they’ve turned politics into war.

The Washington Post’s Dana Milbank, suggesting that we need to re-instate the draft because, as a country, we’ve lost our sense of self and sacrifice. “The costs would be huge,” he says. “But so would the benefits: overcoming growing social inequality without redistributing wealth; making future leaders, unlike today’s ‘chicken hawks,’ disinclined to send troops into combat without good reason; putting young Americans to work and giving them job and technology skills; and, above all, giving these young Americans a shared sense of patriotism and service to the country.”

Thoughts?

(via shortformblog)

Yeah, this is one of the worst ideas I’ve heard yet. It’s almost up there with the nonsense neo-reactionaries spew(for my followers, look them up. They’re worse then libertarians and ancaps and that’s saying something) The lack of a draft didn’t cause the toxic strain of self-interest in the world, neoliberalism and capitalism did.

(via stoicmeditations)

What I find in situations that involve violence, people who have experienced it, when given the option of subjecting other people to it or not, tend to actually want people to experience it. You find this in people who continue hazing traditions because “it happened to me, now it’s my turn,” or in people who were bullied who think bullying “toughened” them, or in people who served in war who think everyone should.

Also, his premise that unjust or unnecessary wars would end if the draft was reinstated ignores who’s in politics (rich people), who tended to be given cushy assignments rather than serving on the front lines (drafted rich people), and how unnecessary and unjust wars still occurred even though the draft was a thing (see: Korea, Vietnam).

Also, anyone who proposes ending economic inequality without redistribution of wealth has zero idea of how wealth works.

Yeah, this guy’s a dick.

(via stoicmeditations)

Asker mathelitist Asks:
Lots of gays take issue with queer. Reclaiming it is hella complicated. Calling someone a radfem instead of addressing the issue is childish, no? Also simply claiming it is a widely used umbrella term is inaccurate. The use of queer is contentious, with lots of us choosing very specifically not to use it. I think you need to look at this a bit more
bemusedlybespectacled bemusedlybespectacled Said:

I’m not calling her a radfem, she is literally a radfem

And I understand that people take issue with the word queer, but I feel that it’s in a slightly different category than, say, white people using the n-word, due to it being used in academia (aka “queer theory” or “queer studies”) and as part of the expanded acronym LGBTQ. I see it more like the reclamation of the word “slut” - some people have good reasons to want to use it, and some people have equally valid reasons not to.

And I recognize that some people don’t want to use it, and that there are certainly people who shouldn’t use the term (see: straight poly people, straight kinky people), but when using it to mean “not straight” (which, if you look at it with the original meaning, “queer” meaning “weird” in comparison to “normal” heterosexuality is super obvious othering) I think it’s okay for me, a not-straight person, to use it. And for other not-straight people to use it, especially if they aren’t gay but have a more ambiguous sexuality, because gay people already have a word.

And the same goes for people who use it in terms of their gender identity, as in “genderqueer.”

thecurlyqueer:

bemusedlybespectacled:

hot tip: bisexuals, pansexuals, and other people attracted to more than one gender are still queer

even if they are in a relationship a cis person of a different gender

because, hey, it’s still a gender among the many that they can be attracted to

they are not “betraying the cause” or whatever shit just because they are in a relationship that happens to make them appear straight

because they ain’t straight

i just want to throw myself off a cliff

if you’re not gay you shouldn’t be “reclaiming” a slur that’s been historically directed at GAY PEOPLE

I’m sorry I can’t hear you over a widely-used umbrella term 

(via thecurlyqueer-deactivated201401)

life-is-a-gray-area:

bemusedlybespectacled:

its-just-the-tenth-doctor:

genderqueergiraffe:

bemusedlybespectacled:

hot tip: bisexuals, pansexuals, and other people attracted to more than one gender are still queer

even if they are in a relationship a cis person of a different gender

because, hey, it’s still a gender among the many that they can be attracted to

they are not “betraying the cause” or whatever shit just because they are in a relationship that happens to make them appear straight

because they ain’t straight

THANK

or it doesn’t fucking matter whether someone’s straight or not
how about that

image

This has precisely jack shit to do with whether or not being straight is wrong or whatever. That’s not what I’m arguing at all, and if that’s what you think, the point just sailed over your head by a foot and a half.

When someone calls me “straight” when I’m not, it fucking matters to me. And not just because you’re calling me something that I’m not, which is fucking obnoxious.

Bisexual erasure is an actual problem. It means that people think that bisexuality doesn’t exist (and therefore think that bisexual people never experience problems at the same level gays and lesbians do, even though we do, in larger numbers). It means that my identity is constantly belittled and ignored and my problems are dismissed and denied. It means that straight people think I’m just saying I’m bi to get attention (since, of course, I’m “actually straight”) and gay people think I’m not as invested in queer issues and will eventually “settle down” as a straight person (because, of course, I’m “actually straight”).

So yes, it does matter if people say I’m straight when I’m not. Not because being straight is a bad thing or a wrong thing, but because it’s not who I am, and insisting otherwise has actual consequences.

… i wasn’t saying you thought being straight was wrong.

i am absolutely aware that bisexual erasure is a thing.

however, what i’m saying is

your sexuality is literally your business, and no one else’s

your sexuality does not define who you are

obviously, if you’re getting annoyed by someone insisting that your straight, you have every right to correct them

i just don’t see why you should care when it’s literally no one’s fucking business who you have in your bedroom

i’m bisexual too. i know this exists.

i just choose not to care. because i know who i am and who i fuck is not going to change who i am as a person. i am involved in queer issues, and i care a lot about them. if someone thinks otherwise, whatever, their own fault for being blind and stereotyping.

you shouldn’t let your sexuality define you.

and don’t say you’re not, because you definitely are.

My sexuality is not the only important thing about me. But it is a significant and important thing about me. My sexuality influences a lot more about my life than who I fuck, and to deny it any meaning other than “who I fuck” reduces it to something less than it is.

And yeah, if someone thinks otherwise it’s their own fault. Unless, of course, I correct them. Because I care. And telling me not to care about something that I care about is, quite frankly, really patronizing.

(via )

its-just-the-tenth-doctor:

genderqueergiraffe:

bemusedlybespectacled:

hot tip: bisexuals, pansexuals, and other people attracted to more than one gender are still queer

even if they are in a relationship a cis person of a different gender

because, hey, it’s still a gender among the many that they can be attracted to

they are not “betraying the cause” or whatever shit just because they are in a relationship that happens to make them appear straight

because they ain’t straight

THANK

or it doesn’t fucking matter whether someone’s straight or not
how about that

This has precisely jack shit to do with whether or not being straight is wrong or whatever. That’s not what I’m arguing at all, and if that’s what you think, the point just sailed over your head by a foot and a half.

When someone calls me “straight” when I’m not, it fucking matters to me. And not just because you’re calling me something that I’m not, which is fucking obnoxious.

Bisexual erasure is an actual problem. It means that people think that bisexuality doesn’t exist (and therefore think that bisexual people never experience problems at the same level gays and lesbians do, even though we do, in larger numbers). It means that my identity is constantly belittled and ignored and my problems are dismissed and denied. It means that straight people think I’m just saying I’m bi to get attention (since, of course, I’m “actually straight”) and gay people think I’m not as invested in queer issues and will eventually “settle down” as a straight person (because, of course, I’m “actually straight”).

So yes, it does matter if people say I’m straight when I’m not. Not because being straight is a bad thing or a wrong thing, but because it’s not who I am, and insisting otherwise has actual consequences.

fuckyeahsexpositivity:

aquietrevolutionary:

faineemae:

When I started to become acquainted in later years with the world of feminist activism, I immediately felt alienated by the ways in which mainstream feminist movements approached things like sexual empowerment and body acceptance. Almost 10 years later, the face of popular, “sex-positive” feminism seems to have changed very little. It still seems to be a movement geared towards middle-class, mostly white, liberal, cis-women for whom liberation may indeed be a simple matter of achieving greater sexual satisfactionending the culture of slut-shaming, and re-appropriating femme aesthetics.

For people who face more obstacles in the path towards reclaiming and realizing their sexuality, this sort of uncompromisingly positive and monolithic view of sex can come off as anywhere from frivolous to brutally alienating. During the long period of my life in which I felt that I was completely incapable of having any kind of healthy manifestation of a sex life, I often felt wracked by the guilt of not being a “good” feminist.

A woman who was assigned male at birth will likely have a different relationship with her body than a woman who has gone through her life with cis-gendered privilege, just like a woman who is subject to types of sexism that are intertwined with racism and colonialism will likely have a different relationship with her body than a woman who lives sheltered by white privilege. As surely as there are no right or wrong bodies, there are no right or wrong ways of relating to our bodies.

If we wish to construct a feminism that is truly “sex positive,” it must address the myriad forms of oppression that violate women’s lives and bodies on a global scale. “Freedom in society can be measured by distribution of orgasms,” reads another slogan of Wallace’s Cliteracy project — a statement that seems almost painfully ludicrous when we consider the millions of women worldwide whose freedoms, sexual and otherwise, are devastated on a daily basis by state violence, environmental degradation, poverty, racism, and the wide variety of other hardships women must tackle in the contemporary world, in addition to a lack of sexual gratification. Women’s sexual empowerment is not an issue which can be separated from broader struggles for gender justice, and in order to support its realization, we must fight collectively for serious social and political change with the same passion and uncompromising desire we bring to our bedrooms.

“As surely as there are no right or wrong bodies, there are no right or wrong ways of relating to our bodies.”

But that’s exactly what sex-positive feminism is all about, is it not? 

^Commentary has it right. Sex positivity is NOT about promoting a cookie-cutter, one size fits all version of sexuality. It is not about having sex all the time. And it’s certainly not about orgasms for everyone, and I loathe people who’ve twisted it into that.

Sex positivity is, at its core, the idea that you should be allowed to do what you want with your body, and that there is no bad body or bad way of using it. 

It’s about ending rape and rape culture. It’s about ending objectification. It’s about ending stigmas about asexuality and celibacy in addition to slut shaming. It’s about letting you wear what you want to wear, whether that’s a pink 50s cocktail dress, a burqa, or a bikini. It’s about distinguishing between consensual kink between adults and domestic violence, and condemning the latter. It’s about supporting and protecting sex workers who choose the trade while working to eliminate human trafficking. It’s about promoting comprehensive sex education that includes material for all kids, including queer kids or kids with disabilities. It’s about calling out and eliminating the fetishization of people of color, of queer people, of people of size, etc..

It’s about recognizing that one person’s sexual freedom is totally different than someone else’s sexual freedom, and neither one is wrong. It’s about recognizing violence and oppression and wiping it out through any means necessary. It’s about realizing that everyone is different and has different and that’s okay. It’s about creating a culture of open communication and consent. And I have not even covered a tiny portion of the stuff we talk about on this blog.

So this idea that sex positivity is just a bunch of orgasm-centered cishet women is ridiculous. Not that it never happens (oh boy, does it happen), but that’s like judging feminism by the antics of FEMEN. I recommend this article by the Pervocracy about talking past each other when we talk about sex positivity, because it breaks things down way better than I ever could.

—BB