You know..it was my intention to keep my defense of Rachel Kramer Bussel’s column on “Fucking and Feminism” to the high road, since Rachel is more than capable of defending herself from criticism from all angles….including the type lobbed by Pandagon’s Amanda Marcotte that I fisked last night. And I figured that there was still some hope that the discussion would not degenerate into a flame fest on which sexual acts were considered poltically correct or “feminist” enough. At least Amanda tended to be amicable, if passionate, in her criticism of Rachel as a closet sexual submissive.
Apparantly, even that was not quite hostle enough for some feminists, though….because today while skimming through Bitch Lab’s comments on the issue, I came across a link to what amounts to a virtual lynching of RKB which consolidates and distills every urban legend and strawwoman stereotype about sex radical/sex positive women as traitors of feminism and enablers of “patriarchy” into one massive fireball of hate, arrogance, resentment, and hypocritical elitism.
To save you the trouble of linkage, I will just repost the (long) essay in its entirity, and I will offer my usual annotations and emphasis as I go along. Trust me, Clones….it is more than worth the time to read this.
Published by R. Mildred July 18th, 2006
Oh baby, yeah that’s it.
In case anone hasn’t noticed, I haven’t actually tackled the OMGsporkitdeadSPORKITDEAD! Village Voice piece yet.
That last post, that was just my initial reaction to some of the comments in the various threads that the peice has spawned in the blogosphere, and now that the various threads have had an opportunity to mature somewhat, I have to doff my hat to Twisty again, the number of tools and straight guys who she offended is most impressive, she has earned her Oppressed Minority To Watch Out For status ten fold, and I can only parrot bitchPhd in the Boobalectemy ‘06! thread over at IBTP: Twisty, I would so mess (around) with you. (though my hetereosexuality would now doubt leave me unable to mess you properly). Any lesbian who can make so many heterosexuals so incredibly uncomfortable with two very short posts, deserves a crown and an ermin robe which she can wear as she rules over the earth as its queen.
But enough about Twisty’s amazing ability to turn the heads of easily swooned het women, what about the Bussel peice?
Well where should I begin really? The gawd aweful picture of a pasty white pseudo-goth crack whore wannabe, her eyes sort of not quite squinting at the camera, her body resting back on her elbows because her boobs are about to pop out of the butt floss she accidently put on the wrong end of her body.
Seriously, where does one begin tearing this sort of crap apart when that’s the accompaning photo? The caption to which is nothing less ironic than “no one has the right to tell you how to fuck”, which is precisely the sort of caption you should have under a photo of a woman who’s obviously been jammed into that faux-vampirella top (Cuz it’s sexy, bitch) and told to find the most ungodly uncomfortable position possible (cuz it’s sexy, bitch) by the photographer, who one can only assume had somewhere better to be that day because MAN, does it look rushed. But remember kids, being horribly abused and demeaned by the porn industry is “empowering”, a word that is quickly losing what meaning it once had thanks to its current use as prime anti-fem doublethink, doesn’t matter what it is these days, if it’s abusive and disempowering, some anti-fem is calling it “empowering”, as bussel is detirmined to prove over and over again
Oh sweet chocolate Cthulhu, I just wrote two paragraphs just on the photo that goes with the piece, God Help Us All…
Ah, yes…nothing quite like a highbrow criticism of Rachel’s ideas, ‘ya think??? We start right off the bat with a deconstruction of her faceshot (actually, part of a personal photogallery that Rachel did about a year ago). I mean, you’d think that RKB all but called out RM and other feminists personally with just the photo alone!!!
And the “pasty white pseudo-goth crack whore wannabe” smack is especially delightful in its insanity, too…I mean, it really strengthens your feminist critique of someone’s ideas be referencing her looks….but I thought that was only what antifeminists and patriarchs do, ehhh???
Anyways….that out of the way, on to the main piece….but not quite yet:
No wait, can’t start on the actual piece yet, there’s more horrors on the page aside from the actual main peice.
For instance here’s two of the ads* in the side bar:
[Description of escort ads snipped by me for brevity]
*HeadDesks* yes folks, we have officially reached primo grade DEEP HURTING, a piece about how liberating sucking the patriarchy’s cock is, unsurprisingly, bracketed by ads for Prostitutes Escort Agencies, because whoring is fun and always entirely voluntary!
Of course, RM seems to ignore the fact that RKB’s column happens to appear in the “SEX” section, along with other pro-porn and pro-sex columnists (including Tristan Taormino and Dan Savage); and that escort service ads are just a general portion of the VV’s daily offings. But I guess that all that is just more worship to Teh Evil Patriarchy which warps women like Rachel to believe that sexual slavery is really freedom….riiiight???
Let me jump right in at the beginning, but ignore the intial start where she plugs some books for what sound like some anti-fems who I neither know nor care about. They’re anti-fems, there’s twenty more money grubbing assholes for every one with an actual book deal, and they’re all very careful to be pretty interchangable, so it doesn’t matter if she does lambast them, they’re anti-fems, you’re supposed to lambast them, what do you want? A medal?
Actualy, the books that Rachel allegedly “plugs” are the Ariel Levy, Pauline Paul, and Rabbi Shumbley Boteach books which have been debated in the feminist blogosphere for months…and I hardly think that RM would cal Levy or Paul “antifems”, either. Besides that, RBK doesn’t even call them “anti-fem”; just points out their general criticism of women who pursue sex for its own pleasure. (Boteach is a bit more problemmatic, since he has written for Christian Right wingnut outfits like WorldNutDaily..but his critique is chock full of the usual antiporn boilerplate about how women have been “objectified” and “degraded” by the pursuit of sex outside of marriage and “love”. Hmmmm…kinda like, you know, some liberal feminists I know??
This bit is the first bit that jumps out and pisses me off personally:
[quote from RKB’s article] These well-intentioned prudes proffer a false choice: Be the next Jenna Jameson or support Hillary for president. There’s no room for a lusty woman in office (never mind Mary Carey’s political ambitions), and certainly no credence given to strippers or adult performers, who they see as airheaded sluts.
… now what bugs me is that Hillary is, and always has been, nothing more than an expression of the misogynistic left-of-centrists’ barely functioning sense of shame about their unwillingness to actually support feminist causes or politics, she exists as a candidate and politician only so that these Kos-holes can pretend that they’re treatment of women is in some way different from the repugs. She is in short the left wing’s equivalent to Condileeza Rice, a total tool who’s ownership of a vaginal token has gotten her to places that other toilet cleaners just can’t reach. She is in short, a perfect mirror image of Jenna Jameson, as both have achieved what they’ve achieved by being vaginas first and people second.
Funny, but doesn’t much of Hillary’s power come mostly from having been former President Bubba Clinton’s vagina for so long??? At least Jenna actually gotten real pleasure from her pussy, and she’s managed to even become quite a saavy and successful business woman…and she doesn’t pander to right-wing fascists, either.
And no, having been a professional corporate lawyer and getting on Wal-Mart’s Board of Directors doesn’t change that fact that Hilliary’s (and Condi’s) power is mostly from the institutions she has exploited. A big difference between that and Jenna, who happens to be very much respected as a human being and a woman for her rise to the top of her profession…even by those who get the privilege of fucking her.
Oh, and Hillary is no Leftist by any means, but a consistent center-right Democrat, just like her husband….and is a consistent supporter of antiporn legislation, too…as is most Repubs….why bite the hand that feeds you, RM???
And the thing about giving credence to strippers and “adult performers” (of course adult performances often involve pretending to be jailbait in school uniforms, but hey! Nothing wrong there!), I mean, Wtf? They’re victims, even those who aren’t physically assaulted in their profession, I mean, come on! Their jobs involve being sexual objects who pander to the patriarchal sense of entitlement men have which tells them they all deserve pussy on demand, and how do they feed this sense of entitlement? By paying hard cash for pussy.
Nothing wrong there, so men are buying women like they’re inhuman commodities? So what? That’s normal isn’t it? Like honor killings in modern islamic countries, it’s a cultural thing, you’re not allowed to criticise it!
Oh, RMildred, where to begin??? For the last time (today): Men and women do not buy sex when they buy porn; they buy the right to watch men and women have sex with each other. And for someone who professes herself to be such a “moderate” feminist, as opposed to the Dworkin/MacKinnon school of eternal porn-as-primer-for-male-rape feminism; you certainly seem to have adopted their ideology in total about heterosex being nothing more than men forcing their hard dicks on “submissive” or resistant women.
And on this “modern Islamic countries” favoring “honor killings” nonsense…great to see that your bigotry and ignorance extends beyond sex; you can bash and bait Muslim culture with the best of neocons.
Still looking hard for any relevance of all this to what RKB actually wrote…keep reading while I search this dark closet….
Oh boy oh boy, I love this next sentence, Love it to pieces!
We’re in the middle of a culture war around sex, and it goes beyond left vs. right. Many of the voices quick to excoriate you for buttfucking, baring your boobs, having a threesome, or public sapphic smooching come from the left.
Now why I emphasised that is for the very simple reason that I’m pretty certain that Bussel (named after a form of victorian asspadding for high society ladies, because it’s silly names month at Punkassblog) is not actually referring to lesbians kissing in public, because that would in some way not reinforce heteronormativity, and every single one of these would be counter-twistylutionary polemics are all about the heteronormativity reinforcing (except my ones of course, because I am the God Shi-halud, and free from heterosexual privelage of course, teehee).
No, what “public sapphic smooching” refers to in this case is two het girls (and with women this immature, the term girls is appropriate in this case) kissing each other in front of some het guys, to show them all that these two women are willing to do anything to display their unwaivering allegiance to the patriarchy, including gaying it up with their friends. It is of course crap like that that gives Bisexuals such a bad rep in the LGBT community, but I guess that if the act wasn’t hurting some women somewhere bussel wouldn’t have mentioned it.
Ahhh, I see…a 30+ year old woman is now reduced to an inmature “girl” for stating the obvious fact that some het and bi women might like the feel of kissing, sucking, or even fucking another woman without rejecting men outright. She may call it “unwaivering allegiance to the patriarchy”; most of us not blinded to radfem sophistry are more prone to call it personal growth and development. I mean, there just might be the idea that young women might be attracted sexually to other women simply because IT FEELS DAMN GOOD TO THEM, and not merely out of a desire to join a radicallesbianfeminist group or to “put out” for men..right??? Naaahhh, it’s just the evil patriarchy warping girls’ brains again to succumb to Teh Cock.
Levy argues that women have to (and want to) out-’ho ourselves to fit into our increasingly raunchy, male-identified sexual culture. She cites Paris Hilton as a lead “pig.” That the devil-may-care heiress wasn’t chastened for her slutty ways irks those who think women should never flaunt their bodies�even voluntarily.
Oh save us from the “voluntary” patriarchy victims! I’ve been thinking alot about multicultural feminism recently , and the thing I’ve stated to notice is a pattern that keeps reoccuring across all the various cultures that opress women, what happens is that a feminist will start talking about the nastiness in a foriegn culture and inevitably someone will whip out some variant of “but the women think that female genital mutilation is a good thing! Who are you to intervene?”, which of course instantly shuts down any discussion. Now of course western society is superior to all others, it is more enlightened, and of course feminism is no longer needed in the west for it has achieved its aims. This is bullshit, the “who are you to intervene” canard has kept large aspects of feminist critiscism silent all over the world, first and third world both, feminists are never allowed to actually criticise any culture for its abusive nature towards women, because there’s this culture and the women really want to be oppressed, really.
Do you know what? When a friend of mine turns into a total alchoholic, do you know what I’m obligated to do? Stage an intervention, irregardless of how much he really likes drinking til he pees himself, I’m supposed to stick my big fat nose into his “choice” to be addicted and gently kill himself with booze, because he needs help, and he needs to be made to realise that he has a problem.
But if it’s a woman, addicted to patriarchal self destruction, well that’s different, that’s a different sort of self-destructive “choice” all together, one she’s allowed to “choose” and if she’s being gently killed by her husband, well that’s an issue between man and wife and nothing for us to be concerned about.
Alchoholics get interventions by their family and friends, patriarchal abuse victims get bussel’s gentle rationalisations for their oppression.
Makes sense to me.
Me, too….I mean, we really shouldn’t differentiate between a social drinker who dabbles in a couple of glasses of champagne or wine cooler and a stone-drunk alcoholic who could get behind the wheel of a car…so why should we do the same with a woman who “degrades” herself and her sisterhood by having “patriarchial” sex which by RM’s edict automatically degrades and threatens her sisters??? (/snark) That’s what feminism by RM’s account should be, I guess; sort of an “Sluts Anonymous” that rescues women from their own evil baser instincts.
I really don’t think that the phrase “We die a little with each orgasm” was meant to be taken that seriously….and WTF is “killed gently”???
And…it’s so nice to see consensual sex acts be redefined as “patriarchal abuse”, too.
Blogger Twisty of I Blame the Patriarchy (http://blog.iblamethepatriarchy.com) incited feminist ire when she wrote, “There’s a reason that deep-throating a funk-filled bratwurst makes a person retch.” Holier-than-thou pronouncements of sexual superiority don’t scream “sisterhood” to me.
Yeah, and you know what? Uptight little asswaste little heterosexual women doing their best to marginalize lesbian viewpoints doesn’t exactly scream “sisterhood” either, in fact the word “sister-fucker” comes to mind, along with the other term “anti-feminist”. FFS, Twisty is never Holier-Than-Thou, Twisty just doesn’t fuck around and pretend that she doesn’t mean precisely what she means. strange how when it comes to women sucking patriarchal cock, you’re free to do whatever but Oh. My. Gosh. As soon as someone actually blames the patriarchy for shit and Dares to mock the holy phallus no less, well, that’s just not on.
LOL, look at me getting all upset by this, like I’ve never seen a lesbian being marginalized before…
This is the most hilarious point of RM’s analysis…I didn’t know that Rachel was baiting and attacking all lesbians with the statement that ALL women should have the right to pursue sex for their own meanings and pleasure; I would assume that that principle would also include lesbians as well. But what do I know…I’m one of those evil patriarchial men who exist just to get into women’s panties as often as possible. (Not.)
And this defense of Twisty’s original anti-blowjob smack is fascinating, since it was this very blog that produced a particularly stong critique of Twisty’s ambush. I guess that defending blowjobs is only legitimate when radfems criticize other radfems; but when those outside the charmed circle do the same, it’s defending patriarchy?!?!
There’s a world of difference between being branded a sex object and choosing to be one under certain circumstances.
Umm, the net result if that you’re still a sex object, so that world of difference is not really all that different or good, is it?
Yup…only women who have sex with only one other partner for their entire life (hopefully only with a woman), and only in a certain “sisterly” kind of way without any mention of sex toys, lust, orgasms, or other “patriarchial” interference, can be accepted as a true feminist; any deviance from that and you fall from the pedestal into the profane world of “sex object”. Tell me again, RM, that you are any different from the Religious Right or the MacDworkinites???
Recall Tad Friend’s classic 1994 “do-me feminism” Esquire article, in which Lisa Palac said, “Degrade me when I ask you to” (emphasis mine). Women’s true desires may not make for perfect propaganda, but sex is justifiably complex. I may like to get spanked until I scream, but I still deserve to be treated as an intelligent human being. Submitting sexually doesn’t equal becoming a doormat outside the bedroom.
Yes, except this brand of “there’s nothing wrong with being abused” sexuality does kind of require you being a doormat with a vagina.
So, it doesn’t matter if you are respected in the real world as a human being; once you cross the line into accepting or even tolerating such acts, you have fundamentally sinned into becoming a “doormat”. Who’s objectifying whom here???
OK….so this will have to take two posts for a proper fisking. Just hang on, and I’ll finish this. I appreciate your patience.
[to be continued in next post]