It was recently brought to my attention that there are A-sexual individuals who populate this world right next to us indiscriminately leg-humping horndogs. I hadn’t previously considered the fact that there were people out there who had no sexual attraction to others or that there were those with zero sex drive who weren’t interested in sex at all. Once I realized this, I thought myself very narrow-minded and self-focused to never have contemplated this possibility but I tried to forgive myself because most people don’t become aware of things in a vacuum; they have to expose themselves to outside sources and influences in order to become educated and informed. That’s what reading is for. That’s why human contact with a variety of people is necessary.
Back to the point: here on this little blue marble, there is EVERYTHING, ranging from full-on “sexual addiction” to A-sexuality and ALL of it should be respected. However, use of the word “slut” points toward the complete avoidance of voluntary female sexuality. Female sexuality is only acceptable as a passive acceptance of the inevitable penis which must invade our helpless vaginas, because it is the way of things. Amen. However, if a female is utterly and completely uninterested in said penis, she is considered a deficient anomaly to be similarly dismissed and marginalized as “abnormal.”
To make things worse, our culture pushes emphasis toward the sexual median and forces all of us to walk a fine line between harlotry and frigidity, asserting that neither “extreme” of sexuality is acceptable. If we are completely uninterested in sex with others, we are defective and have issues. If we are too enthusiastic about sex and relish the opportunity to engage in every available casual encounter, we are overzealous and have issues.
If a “slut” is a promiscuous woman, how do we define “promiscuous”? By church-going, Republican-Baptist standards, promiscuity is pretty much defined as any extra-marital sexual engagement. Even a quick rub-and-tug. By free-loving, debauching, Liberal-atheist standards, promiscuity is alleged when you don’t know their first name. In the adult industry and swinging community, promiscuity isn’t a term that’s really even taken seriously; it’s considered laughable and ridiculous — however, this phenomenon is due to the commonality of casual sexual encounters and has little to do with tolerance of others. Those same adult communities ridicule those who choose not to participate with multiple partners.
The intolerance of diverse sexualities plagues our nation, with everyone attempting to shame everyone else to sexual practices that are more like their own. Don’t be gay, be straight. Don’t be slutty, be abstinent. Don’t be straight, be gay. Don’t be gay, be bi. Don’t be A-sexual, be a slut. Everybody’s human. Why can’t we just hump when we want to?
Just in case you don’t know the answer to this question, it’s PATRIARCHY. (Again.)
Why is that? Well… because that’s how oppressive, insecure men prefer their women: compliant but not too eager (lest a woman’s sex drive cause her to find a better dicking somewhere else.) And the Patriarchy is the system under which oppressive, insecure men set the cultural rules. If our cultural norms reflected female perspective, men would be similarly shamed for infidelity and promiscuity. But under current rule, there is no shaming word for men who like to fuck. There also isn’t a comparable word to the stigmatized “frigid” for men, either. That’s because men get to fuck who they want when they want – and don’t fuck who they don’t want to fuck – and they refuse to be shamed by their preferences.
Unfortunately, part of the problem is women themselves. Women help pass around the word “slut” and “whore,” eagerly slandering and belittling each other with the weapons that men happily wield against them. This is not because “women are naturally competitive.” Men are naturally competitive, too. If we lived in an oppressive Matriarchy, men would turn on each other in the same way women do in order to compete for validity. But here we are, clawing our way through the crowd to prove our sexuality and denounce our whoredom, therefore affirming our validity in a Patriarchal world. We’re truly pathetic.
Why can’t we just like ourselves and wait for the person who likes us back? Let’s stop buying into the degrading makeover reality shows and be ourselves for once; do we really believe that men will forever deny us? Are we really that convinced that we have to make out with our best friend to score dick on the weekends? Let’s fuck who we wanna fuck, labels be damned, and laugh in the faces of those who would try to insult us with meaningless references to our conquests. Let’s be proud of our sexuality, whatever it is, and deny the Patriarchy the right to shame us for what we do with our own vaginas.
I realize that I might be accused of being a decade too late for this discussion, but looking back at 1995, the Star Trek writers did a truly phenomenal job of painting a flawless portrait of our first female captain, (Elizabeth) Kathryn Janeway.
In my teens, I’d skipped the Star Trek Voyager series entirely. I took the attitude, as devoted TNG Trekkie, that nothing could ever be like The Next Generation, so why bother? Now, at age 2*, as I finally embark on a journey of self-discovery and feminist theory, I find that I am eager to discover strong, female role models to admire. Loneliness frequently haunts my voyage and sometimes the weight of despair about the state of our world and its ingrained sexism engulfs me. But if I can find evidence of egalitarianism and show proof that sexism needn’t be present in all fictional depictions of women, it becomes easier to revitalize my hope and faith in a positive future.
Janeway very much revitalizes my optimism. I’ve watched the complete first season (I’m partway through Season 2) and I am utterly satisfied that her character was invented and executed with incomparable equity and sensitivity. She conducts herself professionally while retaining charm and personality. Her mind – and wit – is sharp at all times. She exudes strength and perseveres heartily through adversity. The other characters relate to her in a respectful manner (or else they learn to do so in short order) and she even has a sense of humor. Neither too harsh nor too soft, she stands up for herself and others when injustice or disrespect rears its head. She speaks for those who have lesser voices and maintains high standards of personal integrity.
There are millions of unwanted stereotypes that could’ve crept onscreen, such as:
- A complete absence of sexuality
- Overdone harshness
- Overdone sexuality
- Exaggerated youthful appearance
- Heavy makeup
- Skimpy or cleavage-accentuating uniform
- Obsession with her body image
- Emotional vulnerability (not to say she lacks sensitivity, but she consistently conducts herself as Captain.)
- Obsession with her age
- Competitive attitude toward other women
- Subservience toward the second-in-command male
- Control issues
and much more… but these things haven’t surfaced. And as I continue my journey into the great unknown, I am comforted with Janeway by my side. If she can do it, maybe all of us can.
Collectively, as a society, we decide what is culturally “beautiful” based on what we see depicted as sensual, sexual and beautiful on a regular basis. Maybe if there were more fat girls depicted within the sexual, sensual arena, it would help our culture accept fat sexiness as fact.
The problem doesn’t lie solely in the fact that women are emphatically encouraged to feel shame about their bodies and to “fix” them if they are not the required size or proportion; the fact is, people who are attracted to fat women (and men!) are shamed as well. If people aren’t allowed to speak up about their attraction to fat women and men, how are the “skinny slickers,” the “toothpick tappers,” the “bone bumpers” ever going to realize that not everyone sees it their way.
I have finally come out of the closet after battling with myself for YEARS… my name is Nikita Blue and I am a “chubby chaser.” I myself have wished I had softer curves and a gentler physique all my life. Even as a young girl, when I thought of sensuality, I imagined a voluptuous goddess with a soft face, tender eyes and a pouting smile. I dreamed that I’d be with a girl like that someday… or maybe even be a girl like that someday. However, my body was destined to be scrawny and diminutive my entire life.
As you might guess, I was never one to be particularly swayed by the media (largely because I grew up in a restrictive, Baptist home and we weren’t exposed to much media) or by my peers (I also had few friends, partially due to my lack of desire to “blend”). However, this desire – my sexual interest in fat girls and boys – was one that I immediately learned held great shame. Powerful shame. I still dated the boys and girls I liked – and I typically dealt with the discrimination through fights, defending my lovers’ body weight to insecure, often stick-bodied bullies of both sexes – but I never truly ‘fessed up about my preference for full-figured gals and barrel-chested men. I knew it was forbidden. When friends were gathered, divulging the dirtiest details about their sex lives and fantasies, I knew that my secret crushes and lusty daydreams would be scoffed at. So I kept my mouth shut and simply nodded enthusiastically, agreeing with whatever they said and whomever they admired, even if I could find no angle of interest.
For a while, I thought I was a lesbian altogether, since men with their musculatory systems hanging out at me held NO interest whatsoever. But I finally came to the conclusion that I just didn’t like those types of men. I wanted something more.
Once I finally came to terms with what I really wanted, I still kind of had a problem with the word “fat.” Why? Well, it’s obvious: people use the word as an insult, not a statement of fact. “Yeah? Well… you’re fat!” (It also seemed to be a word which “naturally” coupled itself with “ugly.” You don’t want to date Sarah’s sister; she’s fat and ugly. Fat-and-ugly. Fat-and-ugly.) Sooner or later, everyone gets the point.
But “fat” is not – and should not – be an insult. Some people are fat, some people are skinny… most people have fat – and, no, it doesn’t mean that those people should be terrified of diabetes or heart disease or whatever, for God’s sake. Breathe, and relinquish all concern for a person’s health to that person… and breathe… okay… now, some people are fat, some people are skinny, and most people have fat. (Also, lots of people smoke cigarettes and drink, but they don’t get dragged onto talk shows with family members who are “concerned” for their health.)
But because of the fact that I’d been fed the huge LIE that beautiful = thin for so long… and the equally-as-damaging lie that people who get turned on by soft curves or meatier muscles have something wrong with them, I have been in the closet with my secret for over 20 years.
I love ALL of the fat on my boyfriend’s body. I also love every follicle of hair, every square inch of skin and every powerful muscle.
And I’m not ashamed to tell you that I think fat women are HOT.
Rosario Dawson, Hollywood starlet and activist extraordinaire – a thesbian who has involved herself in a plethora of admirable causes from environmental activism to racial equality, GLBT advocacy, women’s rights, global needs and domestic violence prevention – swooped in to save the day for embarrassed, close-mouthed molestees everywhere at the 2011 Independent Spirit Awards.
It all started with a joke. The setup was that Eva and Paul had a “really funny bit” planned where he was going to grab her tits, but they were running out of time… and that’s when Paul Rudd grabbed her tit, apparently going ahead with the plan – a long walk for a lame, shock-factor half-a-laugh. Then again, award shows have gone downhill in terms of entertainment value lately, and the pathetic, failed grasps at humor have come to be expected.
However, the flaccid drollery had already been shamefully executed and the lights had gone down… and still, as the clip montage was running, Eva’s breast continued to suffocate in Paul’s grasp. Dawson told CNN what she was thinking as the moments crawled by:
“He did this vice grip on her breast, and I was like, OK, it was funny for like a second. But then it kept going and going and going. And then the lights went down and the clip started rolling and he was still vice-gripping her! I was sitting there with my fork like, ‘If he doesn’t stop, I’m going to stab him with my fork.’”
Sure enough, Rudd didn’t release his grip, and – sure enough – Dawson leaped onstage and stabbed him with her fork! But Rudd wouldn’t have it; he remained fastened to Eva’s chest… so Dawson did what she had to do, in the name of equality and protest: she grabbed his package. Mendes’ laugh had a touch of hysteria as she squealed, “What’s happening?” and her hands fluttered anxiously on the envelope. She read off the winner, sounding stressed and flustered.
The boob-grab/crotch-grab incident was criticized by some as an overreaction by Dawson to the situation; by others, it was condemned as a disgraceful lowering of the discourse; and others disregarded Rudd’s offense entirely, pointing accusatory fingers only at Dawson.
Racialicious.com’s Latoya Peterson said it best: “Activism is about education – but it is also about protest.”
The problem is, we don’t know what Mendes was or wasn’t thinking or feeling. It’s our job, as activists, to err on the side of caution – whenever we see a citizen in trouble; whenever we sense danger or encounter fear; whenever we perceive a sister to be in peril – we will be there. We will not hesitate, we will not fuck around.
Superman never twiddled his thumbs and neither do we.
Go Team Dawson!!
Is this one of those things where a company does something totally rude and offensive, leaves it out there until people complain about it, and then says, “Surprise, it was all a joke. We were just kidding, so now you’re being whiny bitches”?
Seriously, are we being punk’d?
Because, otherwise, this makes no sense. Dr. Pepper seems to be going out of their way to make themselves look like chauvinist pigs. In a world where women are already presumed by a majority to have inherent “sissy” qualities that predispose them to sentimentality and vanity, do we need more reinforcement that “women don’t enjoy action movies” or that “women are obsessed with being thin”?
It’s not that I don’t get it… but it seems like they’re going the long way around just to make it to the punchline. I still like Dr. Pepper and, for the record, LOVE action movies… but I think their delivery is a little off.
Maybe they should practice in front of a mirror or something. I’m not sure how to help them at this point.
Men are one way and women are completely different. This is the case at all times.
Dude, that is fucking hilarious.
“Why Men Love Bitches.” As soon as I laid eyes on that title, I knew I wanted to get to know this book a little better. And, like most bad relationships, it was good in the beginning. Don’t chase him, Don’t cook for him, Limit your availability, Believe in your worth – most of the first few sections of Sherry Argov’s book are fairly attractive (and contain practices I implement effortlessly, anyway.)
And then we arrive at page 75. Dumb Like a Fox: How to Convince Him He’s in Control While You Run the Show. Just the title gave me an uncomfortable tingle in my lower back. I knew something noxious was lurking on the other side of the page… and then – whoa. Check this one out: “When you appear softer and more feminine, you appeal to his instinct to protect. When you appear more aggressive, you appeal to his instinct to compete.” Yeah, um…. I’m going to have to call bullshit on this.
Maybe the guys she’s been with have had major insecurities… but I am here to tell you that lots of men are attracted to aggressive women. My current boyfriend loves it when I’m aggressive. In fact, if I wasn’t, he’d lose interest.
I don’t know how she does it – I suspect her idea of flirting is squeezing a guy’s bicep and cooing at it – but when I flirt with a guy, I’m usually battling wits or playing some sort of mental tag with him. I’m showing off. I’m “arm-wrestling” him a little. This does not turn guys off… competition is intriguing. However, Argov argues that when you “give a man the impression that you want to ‘wear the pants,'” you’re competing with him. When you compete with a man, according to Argov, he “plays to win at your expense,” since you’ve now become his opponent, and “good luck getting anything that way.” Personally, I prefer telling a man outright what I want and what I don’t want. Why? Because people tend to do better with clear instructions.
She then offers helpful tips on how to make him feel studly. I laughed out loud at the absurdity of these propositions, and when I read them to my boyfriend, so did he.
Argov’s Suggestion: If you hear a noise at night (like a bird pooping on the roof), act really scared. Tell him to check to see “what that noise is about.”
What I’d Actually Do: Grab my asp and pepper spray, get up, investigate, and devise a hypothesis. After determining it was a pooping bird, go back to bed.
Argov’s Suggestion: Ask him to open a jar that you can’t open (even if you can) or unzip your dress (even if you can reach it.) Or, you can ask him to lift a small box for you.
What I’d Actually Do: Open my own jar… though I would definitely let him unzip my dress if I thought it might make him horny… but, dammit, why stop at a small box? I’d make him lift a big box if I was struggling terribly with it – like my 60-inch TV. Thank god he was here to help me get that son-of-a-bitch upstairs.
But here’s the thing, Shel: aren’t you defeating your own purpose in the long run? I mean, are you really going to act that way all the time?? No, of course not – so what happens when you slip up and accidentally lift your own small box or kill your own spider or open your own jar? Won’t his ego be crushed and devastated from the realization that you didn’t really need his help all of those times? How manly will he feel when he figures out you’re feigning weakness?
If you truly want him to feel manly, show that you’re capable and strong. Then when you do need him, he will really feel needed. He’ll know that he did something big. Something important. Something macho.
He might even grunt with pride, if you’re lucky.
Seriously, Shelly, your exes must’ve had issues. Stand up for yourself? Yes. Be mysterious? Definitely. Play hard to get? Absolutely. But please don’t tell me to feign incompetence so that he’ll be attracted to my inferiority. That’s not foxy. That’s just dumb.