For those of you just joining in, this is Part 2 of my fisking of a particularly slimy blog post from RMildred of Punkass Blog savaging Rachel Kramer Bussel for her latest Lusty Lady column Fucking and Feminism. I have added my own annotations within the post where needed.
Let’s get back to the fun now, shall we??
Oh, and then she blah blahs for a while, men are mentioned, this guy (who I assume is never giong to be invited around her parent’s place for dinner ever again) tells her he wants be fucked up the ass, because men are oppressed too you see.
Which is nice and all, especially as she’s spent the entire thing telling us that all the things that women do, including the various deeply self harming things, are all A-OK and nothing to worry about, because there is no patriarchal oppression, there is merely Twisty, oppressing women with her mean old cock mockage.
Yeah, all those “self-harming” things like anal sex and blowjobs and kissing other women and tattoos and clit piercing and breast enhancement and high heels (more on that later)….all that is far, far more threatening to the cult of radicalfeminism than one blogger spilling her loathing of women who like sucking a cock.
And let’s not include the oppressive act of men wanting their girlfriends to fuck them in the ass with a dildo, because that is so oppressive and patriarchial…even when gay men do it all the time. (But that’s because they are MEN, you know.)
Let’s move along to the next bit of RM myopia:
anyway, here’s the next interestingly stupid bit;
Sara DeKeuster is one of my heroines. In 2005, in The UWM Post, an independent student newspaper, she ran a photo essay exploring her rape fantasies. The uproar was instantaneous. One blogger, Kyle Duerstein, wrote (but later deleted), “Sara DeKeuster ought be[sic] raped today. And after that, she ought be [sic] raped tomorrow, by someone else . . . she might be killed by her attacker. Maybe then, she’ll get it, and if not, she’ll be dead, and the world will be a less f*$!ed up place.” The Women’s Resource Center claimed the spread created a “hostile campus” and was “an active act of harm.” In response, DeKeuster evoked Cindy Sherman: “I am not sorry for my art! It would be like saying I’m sorry for being a woman and that I like sex (or to be fucked rather).”
Of course, while DeKeuster is pissing around with her, ahem, “rape” fantasies (which are nothing of the kind, they’re just standard BDSM roleplaying fantasies in which she’s an “abused” sub), there is a whole world full of men who, having been told by the patriarchy that no doesn’t really mean no, are raping and murdering and abusing women.
But have fun with your “Rape” fantasies, I mean, there’s no possible reason why people would find that offensive, especially not on a college campus (where 1 in 4 women ARE NOT raped, remember). I love how she basically just pulled the “I’m entitled to be a selfish asshole who doesn’t care about anyone’s feelings but my own” justification after she got critiscised (but she dressed it up in “sex positivity” so it’s okay).
Now, here is where things may get a bit confusing. What Ms. DeKuester defines as her “rape fantasies” are really what I would call “ravishment fantasies”, where a woman is willingly overpowered by a man or a group of men. The difference between these kind of fantasies and a real rape is the difference between night and day: a real rape involves direct force and coercion as well as serious physical and emotional injury and a deliberate intent to hurt and harm; while in the ravishment fantasy, the woman “gives in” to an extent, but there is no pain or injury, and the woman gets the full amount of pleasure in the fantasy. It may be a touchy issue amongst feminists due to the nature of the ravishment fantasy, but many women — including some very powerful feminists — are admitting publically to having and enjoying such fantasies; and some are even prone to enact such fantasy roles with their lovers in their “loveplay”. It is similar but not quite the same as BDSM or D/s play in that it usually remains just a fantasy not to be enacted.
But, certainly, acknowledging ravishment fantasies is IN NO WAY an endorsement of rape, and even Ms. DeKuester acknowleges that much, even when defending her photo essay from people like Kyle Duerstein, who all but reccommended that DeKuester was enabling rapists….and even went as far as to recommend that she be raped to prove his point!!! Certainly, RMildred isn’t recommending that women who act out or acknowledge having “patriarchial” fantasies deserve to be raped, is she??? Hmmmm…
Strangely enough, Amanda Marcotte, in her own critique of RKB, implied that Duerstein’s statements (which basically match the criticism of both Amanda and RM) were an implication of a hidden compulsion to rape. I’ll leave it to you the viewer whether that statement should be taken in whatever context was intended.
In any case, none of this has anything to do with Rachel’s main point…which was that even powerful women and feminists can admit to having such submissive fantasies, and still remain strong enough to defend their rights as human beings in the real world.
Oh and next week I’m going to germany so I can goosestep through a few holocaust memorials while wearing an SS uniform, but it’s a “choice”, and therefore above reproach, and no one is allowed to critiscise me or I’ll call them “Politically correct” waaaah!
This would be actually funny if Rachel had actually even mentioned SS troops or the Holocaust or Nazis anywhere in her article. And a nice touch with comparing sex-positive feminists who disagree with RM’s analysis with genocidal Nazis.
God, how old is this woman? Is she planning on growing up anytime soon you think? Or is she a baby boomer?
The feminist sex wars were largely fought before I was born, yet sadly, women continue to battle each other over what we do in bed, as if coming up with the most politically correct form of orgasm will automatically solve other inequities. I believe in advancing the cause of sexual freedom for everyone, by increasing our knowledge and offering room for fantasy and safe, nonjudgmental experimentation.
Of course, your vapid justifications for every single abusive sexual act possible, from rape to het women kissing each other has just enabled god knows how many asshole men to go out and abuse their partners and call it “liberation”.
Well done indeed….from merely defending blowjobs and “submissive” sex and sex fantasies and……het women kissing in public, right to enabling sexual abuse and rape!!! And I thought that only right-wingers engaged in this kind of “slippery slope” illogic??
What I love about this sort of thinking though, is it’s totally disengenuous, why have feminists been critical of many of these sexual acts that bussel feels the need to defend? What’s the motivation behind such “attacks”? Who knows, because the unsourced strawfeminists presumably engages in total sophistry (as far as I can make out), which just handily means never having to actually engage anyone’s arguements about anything.
And there’s the problem with these “don’t mock the penis” types who have been trying rather lamely to kick Twisty while she’s dealing with her operation, they cannot admit that there’s valid reasons why all sorts of “choices” are wrong, the only important thing is that they’re “choices”, and as long as women choose something, including patriarchal oppression, well no one’s allowed to criticise because Oppression is Empowering (as orwell would say).
Now…this is a real laugher. Apparantly, Rachel must be a secret blogger at Twisty’s site to know that she is dying of cancer (actually, Twisty has been posting about that publically), so Rachel chose this exact time when Twisty is near death to add the final nail in the coffin…..by attacking her supposedly brilliant innovative feminist ideas. Why, in that case, we must suspend all our thoughts of accountability and meekly accept Twisty’s beliefs as proven fact (even in the abscence of evidence to back them up), out of sheer pity…errrr, solidarity…for her condition.
And as for the notion of “engaging the arguments”: well, it’s kinda hard to have a real engagement when one side chooses to lob stink bombs and ad hominens at the other, and professess their chosen views as THE ONE AND ONLY acceptable feminist view; while wrapping themselves in the skirts of “sisterhood” and rapping their critics as “girls”, “dupes of the patriarchy”, “oppressiors” and so forth. It’s one thing to say that you don’t like another woman’s choices; it’s something entirely different to impose those personal dislikes on others as “feminist doctrine” and disrespect other women for making that choice.
And the anti-fems do this because they have no real response to the charges of oppression, pretty much most of the examples Bussel provides of contentious sex is all heavily patriarchal, from strippers and the porn industry (both of which are unwaveringly demeaning towards women), to DeKeuster declaring that all women want to be raped (the other side to that nasty quote up there), Bussel, like wonkette before her, wants you to come away from her screed with the impression that, not only have feminists been simply declaring some things bad without good cause, but that you can engage in any sort of deeply misogynistic and self harming act, and not only is no one allowed to tell you that you are harming yourself (and thus stopping you from actually dealing with your problem) because it’s your “choice”, but you’re then allowed to go around telling people that the self abuse is “empowering” you as a sexual creature.
Note the nice channelling of the former Wonkette (Ana Maria Cox) and her review of Katha Pollitt’s book that stirred up quite a shitstorm among the feminist blogosphere…as if Cox’s review had anything to do with RKB’s column or renouncing radfem either. But, with all the references to “self abuse” (does that mean that masturbation is also a plot of the “patriarchy” too) and “self harm” (as if an individual act of sexual arousal by and individual woman was a cosmic threat to the entire feminist Borg collective), I tend to wonder whether the kind of feminism that RM favors is more appropos of the ex-gay fundamentalist revivalists than any classic feminism I know. Oh, I forgot….feminism can’t be linked with the right wing; that too is a fiendish plot of Teh Patriarchy and “the pornographers” to divide and conquer feminism!!!
Of course this is nothing new, all oppressive systems do something like that, usually masking the oppression with talk about “culture” or “tradition”, both of which are inherently “good” things despite the oppression and hate and violence that such words end up associated with them. In America it’s most obvious with the homobigot fundie types, but in the last post I added something that, I admit, was an intentional provocation, designed to probe harshly at the edge of the Highheel spot, that place where way too many feminists will fight for their right to fuck their leg muscles, tendons, toes, ankles and spinal column up, more often than not in the name of attracting the attention of objectifying men. That’s not why all women wear highheels, but it’s certainly why the abuse positive women like Dowd and Wonkette and Bussel wear them.
Now…does RM have any evidence that Maureen Dowd or Ana Cox or even Rachel Kramer Bussel wear highheels for any extended length of time??? (Funny, but MoDo doesn’t seem to be the “slut” type, being quite busy with more earthy affairs like condeming Bush’s wars and such.) Rachel might indeed wear highheels herself (even as props for her sex fantasies..but what the hell does that have to do with anything here…other than just another means for RM to smack down sex-positives???
Of course, with trolling comes people who get trolled, and Erica provided a perfect microcosm of the whole Bussel bullshitfest with this neato little comment:
I’m not sure what to make of this kind of attack against femme women. For one thing, it reminds me of men who make these claims against feminists. We must all be ugly sows for wanting equality. For another, it reminds me of anti-feminist prudes who say, “No, no. Nice girls don’t do that. Only bad girls with low self-esteem wear slutty clothes or sleep around.”
I used to have real self-esteem issues. I was worried about what everyone thought of me. Now that I’ve grown up, I believe that doing what you want, with little or no thought of the opinion of others, is a truly feminist act. It really disturbs me that at least one commenter on this thread has asked for R. Mildred’s permission to wear high heels. Fuck that.
Now you have here the problem, the paradox that allows otherwise good feminists to get shipwrecked on the craggy metaphors of anti-feminist rationalisations for patriarchal abuse, the first, most important step anyone under patriarchy has to do is say “goddammit, bullshit to hell yah, I don’t take no orders from anyone about my behavior!”, but this aspect of liberation does not mean that “I like this, therefore it’s not patriarchal” is a true statement.
So, in other words, just because some women say that they like certain things that some radicalfeminists don’t particularly like, that allows the radfems to dump their myopia on them and call it “feminist theory”??? And to declare those other women’s beliefs to be illegitimate and dismissable because….well, they’re not “feminist”??? And they wonder why feminism is so marginalized and weak these days???
Highheels are painful and debililtating, they also are the only shoe in exisence that leave the wearer unable to cross cattle grids without getting stuck.
They’re patriarchal, objectively so, if you do wear them for non-sexual reasons that actually are kinda empowering, that still doesn’t change their harmful and patriarchal nature, and there’s probably an alternative out there somewhere that isn’t (though I’m already tall enough to loom over people who dare oppose me, so I’ve always gone in for floor level footwear and don’t know anything in particular to help you ks, sorry).
Wait a sec, RM….are you saying that wearing high heels is antifeminist because they can get rather painful to wear; or are they antifeminist because it turns men on?? It’s not as if “the patriarchs” are requiring women to wear them all the time; or that even those women who do wear them don’t get any pleasure from wearing them on occasion. I guess that wearing thongs and push-up bras and makeup should be condemned for elevating the “slut culture”, too???
The lesson we can learn from highheels is that some objects and behaviors are just plain downpressing to women, you can fuck around and try to co-opt them all you want, but the patriarchy is laughing at you while you do.
This is true of Bussel’s “submissiveness”, it’s not roleplaying, BDSM, feminist freindly submission, she’s saying that women can be a man’s chew cum stress relief toy in the bedroom, and that is bad, because she invites the power differential on which all abuse and oppression exists, into her bed and asks other women to do the same because “I like this, therefore it’s not patriarchal”.
Got a newsflash for you kid; the patriarchy can trick you, no really, and sometimes what you think you like, is actually just a result of conditioning.
Because, unless it has the “feminist” seal of approval, it must be “patriarchial” and no self-respecting woman or feminist would ever do such self-abuse on herself and her sisters.
My goodness….what a journey into nothingness.
If this is what passes for “liberal feminism” these days, then from now on, count me the fuck out. At least Biting Beaver and Dim have the decency of being up front and honest with their antisex bigotry, rather than painting a “feminist” gloss all over it.
Rachel Kramer Bussel is as accountable to criticism as any other woman….but she does not deserve this bullcrap. Thankfully, she is classy enough and woman enough to rise above this.
I’ll take a classy slut like Rachel over an arrogant, elitist, sex-hating, male baiting, proto-fascist hack like RMildred any day.
Two words in parting, RMildred, on behalf of all the progressive men who are NOT rapists or sex fiends:
/end of rant