Monday, November 24, 2008

Fall 2008


This has been the most difficult term of my life...Never before have I learned so many new philosophies that ultimately affect my core being.

Sex and womanhood and race and childhood and poverty and gender....the list goes on! I've had to study all of these from every feminist angle, and I must say, I'm tired.

I go home at nite trying to debunk from the videos and lectures on child prostitution, on "ethnic" womanhood in America, on the myth of erotic sex, and the construction of women....wouldn't you be tired too? I need some kinda mental break or something...maybe I'll take a class on pottery next term lol

All of these classes have made me question if I
really want to spend my life completely immersed in these kinds of issues...and I question this for my own sanity...Can I do this for the rest of my life? Am I just torturing myself? It's during times like these when I must remember the question: If I don't live for the cause, who will?

Sometimes, I feel like I couldn't stop working for change even if I tried...I'm hard-wired ( I hope I said that right lol)


I found this quote...it really speaks to me :)


No woman is required to build the world by destroying herself. ~Rabbi Sofer

6 comments:

Dekk said...

I love that quote...

Do what you can while still being able to separate at night. If you get burnt out by doing to much you will end up lost, bitter and angry, which accomplishes nothing...

Take care of yourself before you go on saving the world... After all, you are the one thing in the world that you can change the most...

Liam Rosen said...

Erotic sex is a myth?

Randa said...

Why yes, it is, according to McKinnon. She says that erotic sex is a means of creating the power dynamic of submission and oppression within the natural procreatory act of sex. We are the only mammals who have recreational sex and who also included a power dynamic within that sex...this is what McKinnon says and one of the philosophies we've studied....it's a hard one to swallow but it makes sense.

Dekk said...

can you be more elaborate in your explanation...

First of all, what does McKinnon define as "erotic sex"?

Seems like an extremely relative term (erotic sex that is) so I would need to hear her definition before agreeing that her philosophy makes sense.

Andrea said...

MacKinnon says that any sex other than sex used to procreate (make a baby) is erotic sex. She questions its purpose. She says that erotic sex is always sex with domination and submission or a hierarchy. Erotic sex, according to her, is the epitome of patriarchal control over women because masculine sexuality is attached to power and female sexuality is attached to not having power. She explains how sexuality is the dynamic of inequality between the sexes. It is a mode of force to produce gender distinction. Erotic sex produces woman's sexuality as different than man's sexuality and therefore inferior because of the male dominant role in society. MacKinnon looks at pornography and rape as identifiers of masculine sexuality. She says that pornography shows us what men want. When shopping in a porn store, customers walk away believing that women want to be possessed and dehumanized by their erotic sexual partners. This effect is not limited to male customers only...As for rape, MacKinnon points out an extreme idea. She claims that all heterosexual sex can be defined as rape because women cannot freely choose or consent to sex without any type of consequence considering they are already oppressed in this patriarchy in which we live. She says rape is not prohibited, just regulated by laws. In fact, there is no other crime that requires resistance in order for it to be defined as a crime.

I hope that helps! Randa-I feel ya woman! I am also struggling!

dekk said...

Thank you Andrea. I did further research online as well. Although I can certainly acknowledge and recognize that our perceptions of sexuality are inherently conditioned by patriarchy, I cannot help but think that Mackinnon's theory fails to account for the pleasure and comfort that many couples reach together.

Mackinnon seems to completely reduce sexuality to institutional patterns, which in my opinion is irresponsible. Terms such as sexuality and consequence are extremely relative and dependent on the unique experience of each individual.

After reading some of Mackinnon's perspectives I couldn't help but be reminded of all of the times I've heard anti same sex marriage groups claim that the sole purpose of sex is procreation and therefore same sex couples should be condemned. It's funny that she questions the purpose of erotic sex because that same logic is often used to further oppress disenfranchised groups.

I cannot agree, based on this definition, that erotic sex is a myth. Perhaps there is more that I should read.

It is obvious that on a grand scale institutional equality for women is far from existing, but to insist that heterosexual sex is the epitome completely contradicts what all other power disparities can be often be traced to.... distribution of wealth and resources... This is not to say that women aren't oppressed in terms of their sexuality, but only to recognize that even if we erased erotic sex, patriarchy would still rein based on control of institutions..... and the determinant for that control is wealth, not sex... In my opinion, sex is a symptom of the condition no the other way around...

I dunno... I am a male though... lemme think on this more k?!