Sex Hate Unmodified (Or, Why Catherine MacKinnon Still Sucks)

You know…I really, really, really do try to give antiporn feminists the benefit of the doubt.  I do admire and respect their passion in opposing authentic cases of abuse of women and rape and other aspects of misogyny, and they do make some legitimately correct and quite lucid points about how sex can be misused and abrogated in unequal ways that sex-positives and sex radicals do need to consider.

The problem is….their solutions and policies in dealing with such issues just don’t mesh with the reality…and are just plain tyrannical and regressive.

I understand that even people who generally are more progressive on such matters may see my opinions as beyond the pale and even a bit extreme to the other direction….but you just can’t please everyone.

It’s just that being a male Leftist sex rad and a long time feminist supporter and having seen and admired more than my share of sexy, intellegent, thoughtful, and intellectual women who manage to make, consume, and produce explicit sexual material as well as engage in all sorts of sexual variations without much damage to their self-esteem, their self-agency, or their sense of well being.

So you will excuse me if I restate my original position that Catherine MacKinnon is, to put it mildly (and to return Stan Goff’s greetings at me), as full of shit as Rush Limbaugh after eating a stuffed Thanksgiving Turducken.

What is driving my anger is this exchange over at Bitch|Lab in which Ms. B resets one of MacKinnon’s earlier seminal essays, in which KittyMacK asserts her fundamental belief that sexual domination of women by men is the fundamental lynchpin of “patriarchy”, and as a result, no act of sex, even if willfully consented to by women, can be construed in any form other than male domination of women….if not absolute rape.

Of course, this principle is submerged under the usual postmodern, academic prose which C-MacK is more than famous for producing, and it is part of a really looooooong (13 page) essay pretending to cover MacKinnon’s core social theory of “feminism” as she would like to view it.  Just sample a taste for yourself (taken from Ms. B’s excerpts, with emphasis added by me):

The Diary of the Barnard conference on sexuality pervasively equates sexuality with “pleasure.” “Perhaps the overall question we need to ask is: how do women .. . negotiate sexual pleasure?”22 As if women under male supremacy have power to. As if “negotiation” is a form of freedom. As if pleasure and how to get it, rather than dom-inance and how to end it, is the “overall” issue sexuality presents feminism. As if women do just need a good fuck. In these texts, taboos are treated as real restric-tions—as things that really are not allowed—instead of as guises under which hierar-chy is eroticized. The domain of the sexual is divided into “restriction, repression, and danger” on the one hand and “exploration, pleasure, and agency” on the other.23 This division parallels the ideological forms through which dominance and submission are eroticized, variously socially coded as heterosexuality’s male/female, lesbian culture’s butch/femme, and sadomasochism’s top/bottom.24 Speaking in role terms, the one who pleasures in the illusion of freedom and security within the reality of danger is the “girl”; the one who pleasures in the reality of freedom and security within the illusion of danger is the “boy”. That is, the Diary uncritically adopts as an analytic tool the central dynamic of the phenomenon it purports to be analyzing. Presumably, one is to have a sexual experience of the text.

do sexuality and gender inequality have to do with each other? How do dominance and submission become sexualized, or, why is hierarchy sexy? How does it get attached to male and female? Why does seIuality center on intercourse, the reproductive act by physical design? Is masculinity the enjoyment of violation, femininity the enjoyment of being violated? Is that the social meaning of intercourse? Do “men love death”?25 Why? What is the etiology of heterosexuality in women? Is its pleasure women’s stake in subordination?

Taken together and taken seriously, feminist inquiries into the realities of rape, battery, sexual harassment, incest, child sexual abuse, prostitution, and pornography answer these questions by suggesting a theory of the sexual mechanism. Its script, learning, conditioning, developmental logos, imprinting of the microdot, its deus ex machina, whatever sexual process term defines sexual arousal itself, is force, power’s expression. Force is sex, not just sexualized; force is the desire dynamic, not just a response to the desired object when desire’s expression is frustrated. Pressure, gender socialization, withholding benefits, extending indulgences, the how-to books, the sex therapy are the soft end; the fuck, the fist, the street, the chains, the poverty are the hard end. Hostility and contempt, or arousal of master to slave, together with awe and vulnerability, or arousal of slave to master—these are the emotions of this sexuality’s excitement. “Sadomasochism is to sex what war is to civil life: the magnificent experi-ence,” wrote Susan Sontag.26 “[I]t is hostility—the desire, overt or hidden, to harm another person—that generates and enhances sexual excitement,” wrote Robert Stoller.27 Harriet Jacobs a slave, speaking of her systematic rape by her master, wrote, “It seems less demeaning to give one’s self, than to submit to compulsion.”25 It is clear from the data that the force in sex and the sex in force is a matter of simple empirical description—unless one accepts that force in sex is not force anymore, it is just sex; or, if whenever a woman is forced it is what she really wants, or it or she does not matter; or, unless prior aversion or sentimentality substitutes what one wants sex to be, or will condone or countenance as sex, for what is actually happening.

To be clear: what is sexual is what gives a man an erection. Whatever it takes to make a penis shudder and stiffen with the experience of its potency is what sexuality means culturally. Whatever else does this, fear does, hostility does, hatred does, the helplessness of a child or a student or an infantilized or restrained or vulnerable woman does, revulsion does, death does. Hierarchy, a constant creation of person/ thing, top/bottom, dominance/subordination relations, does. What is understood as violation, conventionally penetration and intercourse, defines the paradigmatic sexual encounter. The scenario of sexual abuse is: you do what I say. These textualities and these relations, situated within as well as creating a context of power in which they can be lived out, become sexuality. All this suggests that what is called sexuality is the dynamic of control by which male dominance—in forms that range from intimate to institutional, from a look to a rape—eroticizes and thus defines man and woman, gender identity and sexual pleasure. It is also that which maintains and defines male supremacy as a political system. Male sexual desire is thereby simultaneously created and serviced, never satisfied once and for all, while male force is romanticized, even sacralized, potentiated and naturalized, by being submerged into sex itself. 

The Banard conference, incidentally, is a reference to a 1984 conference on female sexuality featuring opponents of MacKinnon’s “radical feminist” vision of sexuality that was openly assaulted and invaded by antiporn feminists….even to the point of utilizing MacCarthyite tactics like publicizing the personal sexual practices of participants as beyond the pale.  The ensuing controversy became the foundation for Carol Vance’s anthology Pleasure and Danger: Exploring Female Sexuality, which was one of the first efforts to develop a “sex-positive feminist” theory and practice in opposition to MacDworkinism.

You may notice, of course, the absence of even a tiny hint of female self-will and agency when it comes to sex….apparantly women have no sexual life or assertiveness, or even sex organs, to even begin with; even their clitorises apparantly must have been imposed upon them by rapicious men who simply want to use them as human blow-up dolls and sperm deposits. Notice also the comparison of the supposedness of an “infantalized” and “helpless” woman to the status of a child incapable of even giving consent…or even having their feelings respected.

And, of course, there is also the ultimate absence of any acknowledgment of male empathy towards women…in MacKinnon’s eyes, even the most apparently consensual and loving and intimate sexual relations between men and women amount to nothing more than just another means of justifying the domination and abuse of women by men…..in essence, even the most loving sex is justification for the beatings and rape.  And the mere act of a erect penis going into a woman’s vagina (even if the owner of said vagina authorizes it and gets real pleasure from it) becomes nothing less than the ultimate violation of women’s space and the ultimate signature of male ownership.

Now, you would think that lesbian and gay sexual experiences would be exempt from MacKinnon’s wrath, since they don’t involve male-female sexual intercourse or domination.  Unfortunately, you’d be quite wrong….in fact, MacKinnon is as obsessed with regulating female sexuality and cleansing it of its “patriarchial” influences as she is with baiting men as rapists:

Nor is homosexuality without stake in this gendered sexual system. Putting to one side the obviously gendered content of expressly adopted roles, clothing, and sexual mimicry, to the extent the gender of a sexual object is crucial to arousal, the structure of social power which stands behind and defines gender is hardly irrelevant, even if it is rearranged. Some have argued that lesbian sexuality—meaning here simply women having sex with women, not with men—solves the problem of gender by eliminating men from women’s voluntary sexual encounters.” Yet women’s sexuality remains con-structed under conditions of male supremacy; women remain socially defined as women in relation to men; the definition of women as men’s inferiors remains sexual even if not heterosexual, whether men are present at the time or not. To the extent gay men choose men because they are men, the meaning of masculinity is affirmed as well as undermined. It may also be that sexuality is so gender marked that it carries domi-nance and submission with it, whatever the gender of its participants.

Each structural requirement of this sexuality as revealed in pornography is pro-fessed in recent defenses of sadomasochism, described by proponents as that sexuality in which “the basic dynamic . . . is the power dichotomy.”49 Exposing the prohibitory underpinnings on which this violation model of the sexual depends, one advocate says: “We select the most frightening, disgusting or unacceptable activities and transmute them into pleasure.” The relational dynamics of sadomasochism do not even negate the paradigm of male dominance, but conform precisely to it: the ecstasy in domina-tion (”I like to hear someone ask for mercy or protection”); the enjoyment of inflict-ing psychological as well as physical torture (”I want to see the confusion, the anger, the turn-on, the helplessness”); the expression of belief in the inferior’s superiority belied by the absolute contempt (”the bottom must be my superior . . . playing a bottom who did not demand my respect and admiration would be like eating rotten fruit”); the degradation and consumption of women through sex (”she feeds me the energy I need to dominate and abuse her”); the health and personal growth rationale (”it’s a healing process”); the anti-puritan radical therapy justification (”I was taught to dread sex . . . It is shocking and profoundly satisfying to commit this piece of rebellion, to take pleasure exactly as I want it, to exact it like tribute”); the bipolar doublethink in which the top enjoys “sexual service” while “the will to please is the bottom’s source of pleasure.” And the same bottom line of all top-down sex: “I want to be in control.” The statements are from a female sadist. The good news is, it is not biological.

And I don’t need to remind you of MacKinnon’s fundamental belief about porn…but just for reminder’s sake:

Thus the question Freud never asked is the question that defines sexuality in a fem-inist perspective: what do men want? Pornography provides an answer. Pornography permits men to have whatever they want sexuality. It is their “truth about sex.”32 It connects the centrality of visual objectification to both male sexual arousal, and male models of knowledge and verification, objectivity with objectification. It shows how men see the world, how in seeing it they access and possess it, and how this is an act of dominance over it. It shows what men want and gives it to them. From the testimony of the pornography, what men want is: women bound, women battered, women tor-tured, women humiliated, women degraded and defiled, women killed. Or, to be fair to the soft core, women sexually accessible, have-able, there for them, wanting to be taken and used, with perhaps just a little light bondage. Each violation of women—rape, battery, prostitution, child sexual abuse, sexual harassment—is made sexuality, made sexy, fun, and liberating of women’s true nature in the pornography. Each specifically victimized and vulnerable group of women, each tabooed target group—Black women, Asian women, Latin women, Jewish women, pregnant women, disabled women, retarded women, poor women, old women, fat women, women in women’s jobs, prostitutes, little girls—distinguishes pornographic genres and subthemes, classified according to diverse customers’ favorite degradation. Women are made into and coupled with anything considered lower than human: animals, objects, children, and (yes) other women. Anything women have claimed as their own—motherhood, athletics, traditional men’s jobs, lesbianism, feminism—is made specifically sexy, dan-gerous, provocative, punished, made men’s in pornography.

Pornography is a means through which sexuality is socially constructed, a site of construction, a domain of exercise. It constructs women as things for sexual use and constructs its consumers to desperately want women, to desperately want possession and cruelty and dehumanization. Inequality itself, subjection itself, hierarchy itself, objectification itself, with self-determination ecstatically relinquished, is the apparent consent of women’s sexual desire and desirability. “The major theme of pornography as a genre,” writes Andrea Dworkin, “is male power.”33 Women are in pornography to be violated and taken, men to violate and take them, either on screen or by camera or pen, on behalf of the viewer. Not that sexuality in life or in media never expresses love and affection; only that love and affection are not what is sexualized in this society’s actual sexual paradigm, as pornography testifies to it. Violation of the powerless, intrusion on women, is. The milder forms, possession and use, the mildest of which is visual objectification, are. This sexuality of observation, visual intrusion and access, of entertainment, makes sex largely a spectator sport for its participants.

If pornography has not become sex to and from the male point of view, it is hard to explain why the pornography industry makes a known ten billion dollars a year selling it as sex mostly to men; why it is used to teach sex to child prostitutes, to recalcitrant wives and girlfriends and daughters, to medical students, and to sex offenders; why it is nearly universally classified as a subdivision of “erotic literature”; why it is protected and defended as if it were sex itself.34 And why a prominent sexologist fears that enforc-ing the views of feminists against pornography in society would make men “erotically inert wimps.”35 No pornography, no male sexuality.

A feminist critique of sexuality in this sense is advanced in Andrea Dworkin’s Pornography: Men Possessing Women. Building on her earlier identification of gender inequality as a system of social meaning,36 an ideology lacking basis in anything other than the social reality its power constructs and maintains, she argues that sex-uality is a construct of that power, given meaning by, through, and in pornography. In this perspective, pornography is not harmless fantasy or a corrupt and confused misrepresentation of otherwise natural healthy sex, nor is it fundamentally a dis-tortion, reflection, projection, expression, representation, fantasy, or symbol of it.37 Through pornography, among other practices, gender inequality becomes both sexual and socially real. Pornography “reveals that male pleasure is inextricably tied to victimizing, hurting, exploiting.” “Dominance in the male system is pleasure.” Rape is “the defining paradigm of sexuality,” to avoid which boys choose manhood and homophobia.38

Women, who are not given a choice, are objectified; or, rather, “the object is allowed to desire, if she desires to be an object.”39 Psychology sets the proper bounds of this objectification by termining its improper excesses “fetishism,” distinguishing the uses from the abuses of women.40 Dworkin shows how the process and content of women’s definition as women, as an under-class, are the process and content of their sexualization as objects for male sexual use. The mechanism is (again) force, imbued with meaning because it is the means to death;41 and death is the ultimate sexual act, the ultimate making of a person into a thing.

Why, one wonders at this point, is intercourse “sex” at all? In pornography, con-ventional intercourse is one act among many; penetration is crucial but can be done with anything; penis is crucial but not necessarily in the vagina. Actual pregnancy is a minor subgenetic theme, about as important in pornography as reproduction is in rape. Thematically, intercourse is incidental in pornography, especially when com-pared with force, which is primary. From pornography one learns that forcible viola-tion of women is the essence of sex. Whatever is that and does that is sex. Everything else is secondary. Perhaps the reproductive act is considered sexual because it is con-sidered an act of forcible violation and defilement of the female distinctively as such, not because it “is” sex a priori. 

Yup….only hardcore rapists and abusers are the only ones buying Nina Hartley’s Sex Guide videos. Not average people who simply want to educate themselves from the sexual ignorance imposed upon them by the dominant conservative and restrictive culture; not women who simply want to discover what that “thing” is between their legs and why does it feel so good when you rub your fingers against it, and certainly not women and men who actually believe that they should have some choice in whom and how they have sex.  Nope….only the nastiest brutes would ever degrade the mass of womanhood and feminism enough to masturbate to images of women touching themselves or allowing others to touch them. (And let’s not even get into the women who say they enjoy such attention…in the mind of Catherine MacKinnon and the like-minded, they are just either in denial or outright lying or direct agents of the rapists and sadists and “pornographers”.)

Such from a woman who is praised in some Leftist (and not a few conservative) circles as the “most brilliant feminist mind in the 20th Century” (as Robert Jensen once wrote of Andrea Dworkin).

Now, this isn’t to say there isn’t some bit of truth to some of MacKinnon’s analysis about male aggressiveness and female passivity/subordination as an ideology imposed on people; there is indeed a subset of porn that expresses exactly the kind of brutality she and Dworkin opposes; and rape and abuse of women is certainly a real and ongoing problem that men really must confront.  The fork in the road for me, however, comes when MacKinnon and her followers completely ignore the positive potential of sexual pleasure and sexual expression to promote equality and empower women and men to discover themselves as full human beings.

But what is especially galling and frustrating to me as a progressive man is the basic fact that MacKinnon is so Goddess-damn fucking ignorant about male sexuality, yet presupposes herself to be an arbeteur of what men like me think about sex and how we treat the women who are the subjects of our desires.  (Note I said “subject”, not “object”, for a sexual woman is still A WOMAN and A HUMAN BEING, with feelings and desires that should be always respected.)  A vagina is simply more than just a sex organ; just as a penis is; it happens to be attached to a real, flesh-and-blood human being with a brain, a heart, a soul, and a mind. A woman who chooses to have consensual sex with another human being, or get sexually aroused at the sight of other human beings enjoying enthusiastic consensual sex, is simply not even on the same plane as a woman who is physically raped, or who is forced against her stated individual will to engage in sexual contact she doesn’t want at the moment.

And, yes indeed, there are indeed men who do, if given the power and opportunity, use their economic power and privilege to attempt to game women for sex, and some will resort to some pretty scummy methods (date rape drugs, getting women drunk, raping and assaulting strippers and prostitutes, and the like).  No man of any genuine decency or progressive standing should defend such boorish behavior…..but to say that these few men represent the attitudes of ALL men (not just imply, but state out right) amounts to the worst form of collective guilt…..and pretty damn close to outright fascism. Yet, such is the dominance of MacKinnon’s influence on the dominant stream of feminism (especially its second wave variants) that even so-called “male feminists” such as John Stoltenberg and Robert Jensen (along with not a few Leftist intellectuals such as Noam Chomsky) have swallowed her toxic theories hook, line, and sinker; at the expense of more realistic and empirical analysis.

Fortunately, there are women and men who are slowly but surely standing up to the likes of MacKinnon and her repressive theories and policies, and taking a stand for some common sense approaches to sexuality that do not deny the dangers and risks but also acknowledge the consensual pursuit of pleasure.  (Both Iamcuriousblue and Miriam/Renegade Evolution have broken off some spirited responses to MacKinnon’s nonsense over at Ms. B’s blog, and other sex-positive women and men (some of whom are avowed feminists, too) have risen to the challenge and asserted their right as sexual people to determine their own fate and destiny.

As for me, I prefer a much more personal anecdotal approach to answer MacKinnon’s notions.

One of the porn sites that I am a member of belongs to a exceptionally beautiful and sexy woman (NOT Nina, mind you; this woman will remain anonymous for her and my protection) who only entered the industry in her late 30s after a long career as a corporate executive.  She happened to be a practicing swinger who decided that doing porn was a much better alternative, mostly because she absolutely loved sex and couldn’t get enough of it. Unfortunately, she had a husband who had a pretty violent streak that would abuse and humiliate her constantly….even as they maintained an open and active sex life. One day last year, after an especially rough episode, she decided that she had enough of his shit and threw him out of her house and filed divorce papers. His response was the usual one for bullies who can’t stand it when their victims actively strike back: he committed suicide. What I especially admire about this woman is that while she certainly did not like the abuse, she still rrespected and grieved for her former husband for everything he was…the good and the bad.  She had his remains cremated and then had his ashes ceremonically thrown across the Atlantic Ocean.  Then, once the grieving period was over, she jumped back immediately into her life and her work, and even found a new boyfriend as a fuckbuddy and friend….and she, if anything, is that much more independent for the experience.

The moral of that story is simply this: Sex need not be entirely the vector of eternal oppression that the likes of Catherine MacKinnon put it out to be: and even the seemingly most “prostitiuted victims” have some say in their destiny, if they allow it. In fact, the pleasure of sex itself can be a real force for empowerment and self-esteem; and women who deliberately choose to be openly sexual beings despite all the screams of “Patriarchy!!!” are perfectly capable of handling their own business without men or women standing over them lecturing them on their supposed inferiority.  Those who are truely abused and denigrated by their experiences deserve to speak out against those who abused them; and there are institutions in place for them.  But those who use the sex industry and sexual entertainment and expression for spreading the gospel of consensual and mutual pleasure and mutual respect should be equally respected for what they say and do and experience.  That some Leftists and “radical feminists” refuse to open their minds and hearts to the stories of the latter is a absolute disgrace and a parody of everything feminism and progressive policy and theory should be.

The right to say “Hell, NO!!” when it comes to sex is certainly important.  The right to say “Yes, yes, oh Goddess, YES!!” is equally so.

War Lady Chatterley, and Catherine MacKinnon still sucks. 

I’m out.

 

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9 thoughts on “Sex Hate Unmodified (Or, Why Catherine MacKinnon Still Sucks)

  1. you will really love the way Halley breaks down MacKinnon.

    I will try to break down Halley since I know so many folks don’t have time or inclination, because she has much to say. What I appreciate about her is that she refuses to sit comfortably in some box.

    as for postmodern: please don’t call MacKinnon that! she is no pomo. she’s a legal scholar who uses specialist language. it is not pomo! Janet Halley is pomo. Pomo are your friends when it comes to sex positive theory. seriously. dissing CM with that word is like totally not c00l.

  2. That’s funny, Ms. B….I never said that C-MacK was in any way “pomo”….and my problem with her is far more fundamental than her methodology. It is her principles that rankle me to no end.

    Personally, I don’t consider myself anything near a “pomo”, as I tend to ground my own philosophies on more earthy, empirical grounds. But…any port in a storm, I guess.

    I’m looking forward to Halley’s grand smackdown of MacKinnon immensely…and also to your breakdown of Halley.

    Anthony

  3. ::Of course, this principle is submerged under the usual postmodern, academic prose which C-MacK is more than famous for producing,::

    I was referring to calling it “postmodern academic prose”

    Foucault, Butler, Gayle Rubin, Amber Hollingbaugh, another in the Sex wars on the sexpos ‘side’ — all use postmodern theory to make the case against MacKinnon, Radfem, Cultural fem on the issue of sex.

    And they are very much grounded in real life. Butler, grounded in the performance of sexuality in drag, voguing, etc. Rubin with her anthropology of leathermen, Hollinbaugh has turned to same material.

    All the porn studies folks in academia — use pomo.

    And it’s really not any port in a storm, but a fundamental academic rupture that grew out of real live politics: the sex wars of the 80s, how to deal with the AIDS crisis, etc. (It is not an accident that the Big Red Book htes pomo, not an accident that Levy hates pomo and anything influenced by it, etc.)

  4. forgot: one of the things Halley talks about is the way pomo refused to see male sexuality in the way MacK and others do. They insisted on much more complexity. And that’s where it gets really interesting. They refuse to neither valorize and prettifier it nor cast it all as evil. In turn, they have refused to simplify women’s desire as if it contains no elements of what Halley called “the dark side.” long story that. but good stuff.

    so, don’t hate the pomos!

  5. OK…I meant to say that the prose she uses looks postmodern, in that it confuses more than it clarifies….but that’s more a knock on C-McK than on postmodernists on my part.

    Hey, I readily admit it…the issues I have with MacKinnon are pretty personal, and have everything to do with my direct hostility with the way she defines male sexuality…and especially how she dumps on male leftists tremendous guilt complexes for their lack of acquiescence to her “feminist” principles.

    I was only being fercicious about the “any port in a storm” comment, BTW.

    I do know that traditional Marxists are almost as down on pomo as the radfems, mostly due to the argument that in emphasizing shared difference, it tends not to favor direct activism against the root sources of power inequality….”pornstitution” and patriarchy for the radfems; capitalism for the Marxists.

    Personally, I have no preference for either…both pomo and traditional Marxism have their strengths and both can be useful in a progressive critique.

    Anthony

  6. Yah, I wuz gonna say: never would’ve considered C McK postmodern. Pre-modern, if anything. No, not that.

    what she is, imnsho, is

    1) a lousy writer
    2) a crank
    3) taken more seriously than Dworkin in part i’d say, besides class and looks pretty and traditionally het and all the other expressions of privilege, is precisely -because- she’s a crap writer. (And yes, there are good academic writers and bad academic writers. iacb is right: she is -bad.-)

    Because people read this shit (if at all) and their eyes glaze over, and then she goes and actually speaks and she looks so, well, normal, and you get the gist of whatever it is as: Abuse: bad; porn: bad ’cause it promotes abuse, and, well, goddamit, she’s persuasive, and who wants to be in support of abuse?

    Dworkin, well, whatever else, you can’t accuse her of not putting it right there on the table.

    Maybe it’s unfair to suggest that MacKinnon is deliberately disingenuous; but between this and her other actions I keep returning to Orwell, you know, “Politics and the English Language:”

    “When there is a gap between one’s real and one’s declared aims, one turns as it were instinctively to long words and exhausted idioms, like a cuttlefish squirting out ink.”

  7. …and you know, i realize, re-reading this, that in fact she doesn’t actually use that much jargon at all, and that she, like many anti-pornistas, uses, well, ummmm, vivid imagery, yes. And yet -she’s still really boring.- How -does- she do it? I’d go farther into examining exactly -why- she’s a bad writer, but goddamit, she’s just giving me hives.

  8. and, okay, I gotta ask, seriously: if “men” are so categorically awful, why o why does the woman still fuck ’em? or whatever it is she does with whosis who she was with for a while fairly recently, i’m sure far more evolved than the rest of us poor deludanoids can imagine in our porn-tainted little imaginations. point being: why spend time with them at all? why have relationships with men? Why is this man different from all other men?

    You know, i can’t stand the “political lesbians” who talk this line either, but at least you know they’re more consistent. Either “men” are this awful other species who inevitably (unless perhaps subjected to the right trainer? hmm) objectify women, connect sex with violence, yadda; or, well, maybe not so simple. But if it’s not so simple, you’d never know it reading this kind of shite; and if it IS so simple, well, once again, wouldn’t the logical next step be, yes, to abstain?

    o whatever; i’m sure it’s all because i’m too patriarchally brainwashed. clearly i need another blow on the head to see things properly. zen, you know.

  9. …and you know, i realize, re-reading this, that in fact she doesn’t actually use that much jargon at all, and that she, like many anti-pornistas, uses, well, ummmm, vivid imagery, yes. And yet -she’s still really boring.- How -does- she do it? I’d go farther into examining exactly -why- she’s a bad writer, but goddamit, she’s just giving me hives.

    You’re right that her problem isn’t the use of jargon – I can read her without having to go to a dictionary or Google. The big problem with her writing is her atrocious sentence structure. Take this sentence for example:

    The struggle to have everything sexual allowed in a society we are told would collapse if it were, creates a sense of resistance to, and an aura of danger around, violating the powerless.

    Is there a main clause in that sentence? I sure don’t see one. (Unless MizB simply mistranscribed it.)

    And her writing is full of wandering thoughts and run-on sentences, tangents, catches, subheadings, and hidden clauses, all of which stand in apparent violation of, and even active opposition to, writing a clear sentence. (See, with a little practice kids, you too can write like MacKinnon!)

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