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I’ve been following (to a limited degree) the Radical Feminist (RadFem) vs. Sex-positive Feminist (sex-pos)discussion for a bit. It’s an interesting bit of society, especially given my position as a Christian Housewife.
The Rad-fems have real issues with the sex-pos camp. Mainly (as well as I can glean) that the sex-pos folks are perpetuating the stereotype of women as toys and property, due to the objectification through pornography and strippers. I mean, you don’t look at strippers because of their minds. The sex-pos folks say that it’s their bodies and they can do as they damn well please with them. The Rad-fems believe it is every womans responsibility to look out for other women, and to shove our culture in a direction that views women as equals to men. Unfortunately that implies that any woman who isn’t a Rad-Fem is in need of shoving, preferably by a Rad-Fem.
Well ok. I can see both points. Honestly, if I had the ability to pole dance I would. I’ve always thought exotic dancing was phenomenally sexy and looked like a whole lot of fun. I also think the ability to make men bark and act foolish is a certain form of power in it’s own right. I think pornography has it’s place, and like potato chips or muscle cars, can be distracting to the point of causing a person to fall. Any obsession is dangerous.
TO assume that a man is reduced to animal-like behavior by sexually charged material is to denigrate the man. Not all men fall to their knees and drool at the sight of Barbie in a thong, and those that do are (in my experience) held in contempt by those that don’t.
That’s not to say I like pornography. I don’t. Frankly, I feel polluted after I’ve seen it. I don’t like slasher movies or anything with Adam Sandler in it either. However, I can totally see how someone would become aroused by watching porn. I can see how someone like me (middle aged housewife) could use it as a means for fresh ideas in the bedroom. I’ve considered it, but I am too concerned with seeing the things I DON’T want to see to be willing to risk it in order to get to the stuff I could use. I just don’t want it in my mind, to rattle around for years and raise it’s head at the most inopportune moments (like Communion, or while kneading bread).
I still can’t get the fisting scene from Caligula out of my head. Most of the time, no problem, then BOOM there it is, Whats-his-name-Sutherland with a handful of lard.
Maybe other folks don’t have that problem, but my memory is too crisp and too random to allow me to be cavalier about what goes in.
Anyway, back to the rad-fems and all. They believe what they believe very strongly, and with great coherence to their arguments. Howver, enough of them become strident and catty with their remarks as to discredit themselves. Seriously, when someone starts calling names, I assume they don’t know what they are talking about and have to resort to 7th grade restroom tactics “XX is a SLUT” and “YY is a STUPID SLUT”. They totally discredit themselves in my eyes.
I have the great privilege of belonging to a demographic both sides have utterly forgotten about: White, Middle class, Christian housewife. In general, I’m ok with that. My mandate as a WMcChHw is to take care of my own, and when that’s done I worry about the rest. I don’t feel the urge to march with my tiny fist raised in defiance to the Patriarchy, because I, being who I am, am an equally yoked partner with the Patriarchy. I don’t feel any oppression. I feel great privilege and honor to be able to do what I do. I don’t want to defy him. I love him. He loves me. I sacrifice for him. He sacrifices for me. No oppression there.
I remember being in the 10th grade, and we took these career apptitude tests. It was determined that I was suited for a career in medicine or some kind of science/research thing. My teachers cheered, those 1980 Gloria Steinem Feminists. I was going to be Important and Cure People and Stuff. Then one actually bothered to ask me what I wanted to do. “Housewife and mother” I replied and you’da thought someone just shot Mother Earth. NOOOOOOOOO! they howled.YOU’RE WASTING YOUR INTELLECT! YOU’RE SACRIFICING YOURSELF ON THE ALTAR OF THE PATRIARCHY! They were very shrill in their disapproval. Which only cemented my resolve. My mother did it. I can do it.
See, even then, I thought the whole idea behind feminism was choice. Prior to the movement, women didn’t have a choice. They were expected to stay home, and divorcee’s were Bad. I thought feminism was about options. It turns out it was, as long as the option you chose was acceptable to the Matriarchy. And Housewifery wasn’t on the list.
So, I dropped under the radar and did what I felt was best. I found a man who shared the same world view, and we’ve spent the last 20 years propping each other up and helping each other shoulder the burdens.
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