by Biting Beaver
[Article posted in the Genderberg.com discussion forums on 06/23/2006]
I have often been accused of being 'against male sexuality' from, surprise, men. These statements always bother me, and not in an "OMG! You've helped me to see the light!" but rather in a "What the hell are they talking about?" kind of way.
I am always rather surprised when some dude steps forward to say, "What the hell BB? You're so anti-male and anti-male sexuality!" because, quite frankly, it makes no sense to me. When a man asks me the question, "How are we supposed to act in regards to women?" I am always floored, so much so that I rarely bother answering the questions because it seems so frigging simple to me. Nevertheless, I have decided that I shall create a list of sorts in which I posit exactly what I'm asking for. It has become apparent to me that I need to do such a thing because apparently, long, well-thought out posts that detail every given aspect of behaviors that I find reprehensible are not doing the trick.
So here, for the convenience of my male readers who don't 'get' it and who ask me to please explain better (after I've done 300 and some odd posts that average six pages a piece on every aspect of female oppression at the hands of males that I can think of) I have attempted to devise a list.
What do I expect from males? It's really rather simple.
1. No means No: I take this one very literally. She says "No" you stop. Period. No begging, no harassing, no arguing, no guilt trips, no nothing. All attempts at sexual behaviors stop here, at this one little word. If the word "No" escapes her lips at any time during the activities it is YOUR cue to a full stop. No more "if you loved me you'd do x" No more excuses, no more bullshit. No means No. Get it? Got it? Good.
2. Stop othering us- This is another of my pet peeves. Stop thinking of women as just being 'wired differently'. Just because your mother cleaned up after you your entire life doesn't mean she 'just likes it'. Just because the women in the porn you view appear to love having dicks crammed in every available opening doesn't mean that SHE likes it. We are not fundamentally 'different' from you. When you use this as a basis for your expectations of female/male relationships you will always, each and every single time, attribute the exact OPPOSITE characteristics to a female that you attribute to yourself.
3. Stop staring at us- We are not freaks in a zoo. Our purpose in this world is not to be YOUR eye-candy. Just stop it. Stop staring at the woman in line who you think is 'fuckable'. Stop undressing us with your eyes. Stop muttering shit under your breath, stop giving us the full body stare. You know, I went to the zoo yesterday with my partner and my children and do you know how many 'hotties' were there?....
Neither do I. Why? Because, I'm not interested in grading people, ANY person, on their tits, their asses, their oh-so-manly 5'oclock shadow or their washboard abs. Seriously, I have no fucking CLUE if anyone there was 'hot' by societal standards. And no, not because I'm a fathairylesbiandykeprudebitchwhojustneedsagoodfucking but rather because I'm not so preoccupied with the thought of fucking that I can only see people as potential fuck toys. Seriously, this preoccupation with fucking and who is fuckable and who's hottt and who's nottt is ridiculous. So stop it. Stop staring at us and stop rating us.
4. Put the porn down- Yep, you heard me. The suffering of MILLIONS of women is what you're viewing. Stop making excuses, stop saying, "Well, it's not in MY porn" when anyone who has done any research on the topic will tell you that each and every single large manufacturer of porn has had scandals involving under aged women, trafficked women, or otherwise. Just put it down. Stop excusing it and stop creating this fucking double standard that you have. Sure, you'll boycott Nike, or Wal-Mart, but gosh fucking forbid that you give up your jerk off material. You want to know what I want from you? It's simple. Stop ignoring our pain for your own chubby erections.
5. Stop objectifying us- This goes hand in hand with 'othering' but it's still worth a mention. Stop using our bodies as status symbols for you. Stop being proud that your girlfriend is 'acceptable' to your buddies. Stop being ashamed when she's 'too fat' by the standards of your buddies. Stop the excuses and stop being blind to it. If you happen to fall in love with a woman who is culturally beautiful then stop patting yourself on the back when your buddies say, "Whew, good catch friend!" or when men stare at your girlfriends ass. Stop using her to bolster your self-esteem. We are not objects. We are humans and there is sooooooo much more I could write on this one but I'll stop for the sake of becoming even MORE long winded than usual.
6. Stop laughing at sexist jokes- That joke about the 'dumb blonde' on the Wal-Mart horse ride is sexist. Get over it. Stop supporting men in your work place when they leer at the company secretary who's stuck in pink collar hell and who's working to support 2 kids but who has nice tits that the other guys talk about at lunch. Stop laughing at rape jokes, stop taking it lightly and when you see it call out others on it.
7. Stop giving your money to organizations that are misogynist- Stop renting movies like "American Pie" start putting your money where your mouth is and stop supporting industries that are harmful or send rotten messages about us.
8. Stop buying us- Stop consuming women as though they were oatmeal. Stop believing that men have a 'right' to buy the use of a woman's body for their sexual pleasure. Prostitution, strip clubs, pornography, all of these are excellent examples. Stop believing that because you have a dick, women, or a group of women should be available for you to buy. If you don't believe that women should be available for purchase then you cannot support these industries.
9. Stop believing that rape is rare- It's NOT rare. It's NOT a small occurrence being perpetrated by a select few individuals who are just 'born that way'. Women, real live women who exist in this society, know that rape is NOT rare. Those of us who have studied these things know the official numbers and we know that the closer numbers can be closer to half of us. That's NOT rare. That's NOT one lone man running around violating up to half of the population of females. WE know this. It's time for YOU to know it, internalize it, believe it and act accordingly as well.
10. Stop fantasizing about hurting us- STOP thinking of triplexxxteens. Just fucking stop it. Children are NOT acceptable masturbatory fodder. Raping women is NOT acceptable masturbatory fodder. Stop excusing it; stop accusing those of us who fear you because you think that rape is hottt of being 'thought police'. If your thoughts are dangerous then you need to look at that. You think it's so fucking wonderful? Fine, how do you feel about someone masturbating to the thought of violently raping your mother, your girlfriend or your daughter? You lovin' that thought? Then YOU need to stop it as well. No excuses, no bullshit. Just knock it off.
Now, if you men out there believe that this is all part and parcel of male sexuality then I'm afraid that you're a bigger 'man hater' than you accuse me of being. If you believe that raping, objectifying, staring, leering, bullying, minimizing and supporting female hating industries are 'normal male sexuality' then gosh, do I ever feel sorry for you. I, for one, do not believe that this is the 'normal' state of affairs for men and I believe that they can pull themselves out of the poisoned society in which we live to carve out a more egalitarian society from which women and men would benefit.
If YOU believe that it is in the 'male nature' to visually assault, assess, grade, degrade and objectify each and every woman you see based upon your interpretation of her 'fuckability' then YOU are the one with the problem.
If YOU believe that it is in the 'male nature' to enjoy, feed off, be aroused by, or masturbate to women's pain in ALL porn, then it is YOU who has the problem.
If YOU believe that it is in the 'male nature' to laugh at, joke about, bond over and find humorous the verbal assaults framed as 'jokes' on women, then it is YOU who has the problem.
If YOU believe that it is in the 'male nature' to talk into, nag, harass, scare, intimidate, pressure, coerce or otherwise 'get' sex from a woman when she says "No" then it is YOU who have the problem.
If YOU believe that it is in the 'male nature' to believe that women, or a class of women, should be available to you to buy and sell then it is YOU who have the problem.
If YOU believe that it is in the 'male nature' to believe that women are somehow inherently different, strange, from Venus, confusing or 'othered' from you then it is YOU who have the problem.
If YOU believe that it is in the 'male nature' to masturbate to children, raping, bestiality etc and that this is perfectly normal, acceptable, desirable, harmless, and even good then it's YOU who have the problem.
Does this spell it out enough? Because, see, I'm getting exhausted with the whole, "BB you just hate male sexuality" gig. It's old. It's tiresome and it's clearly not true. When male sexuality does not impinge upon my right to exist and be free from YOUR sexuality if I don't want it then you're fine. However, when YOUR sexuality impinges upon my right to not be fearful, to not be intimidated, to not be stared at like a creature in a zoo it becomes MY problem.
You want to be sexual? You want to have your prized 'male sexuality' that's fine and fucking dandy but DON'T impinge upon the rights of me and my sisters to live an existence that is FREE from YOUR sexuality. Stop forcing it on us and stop thinking that it's your RIGHT to force it on us. Your rights end where MINE begin and I have a right to be free of whatever form of sexuality you decide to engage in.
MY sexuality is cemented, formed and pursued in such a way that I'm NOT impinging upon the rights of others. I didn't spend my day at the zoo grading men or women on their perceived ability to turn me on. They are people FIRST. Fat, old, skinny, young, they are fucking PEOPLE and their existence in this life is not dependent upon whether they can make me hottt under the collar.
MY sexuality doesn't require me to think about THEIR sexuality before anything else.
MY sexuality dictates that THEIR sexuality means exactly jack fucking shit to me because it's simply NOT important unless and until we decide to become intimate with one another. THEN their sexuality, their hotttness factor, and everything else that's wrapped up into it is probably something I should think about.
When you use others for the benefit of YOUR sexuality then you are impinging upon MY right to exist free from the effects of YOUR sexuality.
MY sexuality is not based around any thought I have given to whether or not a person will do something, say something, wear something or engage in any activity that I perceive to be hottt.
MY sexuality has nothing whatsoever to do with attempting to get anything from an individual. From oral sex, to particular touching, to anything that I may or may not enjoy it is NOT my job to tell them anything or affect, influence or otherwise meld THEIR sexuality around MY sexuality.
Sexuality is experienced it is not expected and MY sexuality tells me that influencing, asking, begging or otherwise affecting their sexuality is something I refuse to do. THEIR sexuality is akin to a flower. A flower just is it cannot, nor should it, be asked to be a different sort of flower. It cannot, or should not, be manipulated, controlled, or influenced by me despite what society has told me, and you, that flower shouldn’t be fucked with. I have no right to ask that flower to do something that doesn’t come naturally to that flower. Period.
MY sexuality allows me to experience the sexuality of others with NO interference from me. No demands, No presuppositions, No judgements, No thought of what they can do FOR me. If the sexuality of me and my partner jive with one another WITHOUT my forcing a ‘jive’ then all is good. It is never, ever my place to turn an iris into a rose. Again, I repeat my sexuality is experienced not expected.
Feel free to have YOUR sexuality, but don't impinge upon the rights of me and my sisters to exist free from the effects of whatever the fuck you term as sexuality.
Biting Beaver is a writer and a radical feminist activist, and she is also one of the pioneer radical feminist bloggers. She fuses personal testimony with incisive radical feminist analysis in a way that comes off very relatable. She is the creator of the brilliant Anti-Patriarchy website "Den of the Biting Beaver", at bitingbeaver.blogspot.com