Thursday, February 18, 2010

To Kevin, who insists Anatomy is Destiny when it comes to Vaginal-Penile Intercourse

 [image is from here]

We can note, that in the supposedly politically neutral image above, the man has browner and darker skin and is that the female's skin is "pink" and she's tipping backward, whereas he is leaning forward. I wonder why they didn't depict her bending over him? Het-genital intercourse happens that way too!

I will note that the above image does not even begin to depict the complexity of the clitoral superstructure, which extends from the clitoris and includes what some call "the G-Spot". It would be surprising to me that most men don't even understand basic female anatomy except that the "sex education" materials pimps produce don't really care about women's pleasure at all.

What follows is a portion of commentary/discussion about a post by feministx over at her blog linked to here. I have problems with many of the comments, and so have edited them for my own blog. I also have problems with some that appear below, but will, in time, address them. Kevin is being a doofus. I guess that's what you need to know before proceeding.
Kevin said...
You`re right, hetero sex IS degrading, and women ARE ingerior - it is useless to deny this basic truth. All this means is that women ARE inferior and SHOULD be in an inferior position - nature seems to demand this as she makes propagation of the very species dependent on it. But all pointless metaphysics aside, the fact that the survival of the human species depends on something that is inherently degrading and lowering for women, we must stop expecting reality or nature once and for all to be *fair*. It isn`t. Nietszche long ago insisted that at its very core, at it the center of its being, human life was unfair and depended on exploitation, violation, and unfairness and we should not expect nature to conform to our quaint moral norms. Okay, so sex is lowering to women - what of it? Should we now cease to propgate as a species? Pah. We should simply continue lowering women, cheerfully and with a good conscience, and go along existing. The more enlightened of us can accept that women are not the equal of men. The rest can fight it, but they will lose against nature.

SDaedalus said...
Kevin's got a point. Although I don't agree that heteronormative sex is generally degrading to women, a successful argument to this effect has follow-on consequences which I'm not sure have been fully thought through by some of the propagators of this argument.

Julian Real said...
@Kevin, You'd have made a good slaver. Same logic. There's nothing inherently degrading about non-abusive sex, and sex can be non-abusive and non-degrading, and that was the point of Dworkin's book, Intercourse. All the antifeminists got it wrong: she was saying precisely the opposite of what ppl claim, that "all sex is rape" or "all sex is degrading". She was saying that as long as males are socialised to view women as inferior, het intercourse for women will often be degrading, because women who have sex with men will often feel that contempt during the act. There's no "biological" necessity for women to have lots of sex with men, btw. And "degradation" doesn't happen asocially. Sorry to bust up your wack misogynistic theorising. (You get that sociobiology is a joke science, right?)

kevin said...
Julian, that doesn`t seem to be the case, and as FemX pointed out and Dworkin may or may not claim - I never read her so I don`t know - a certain amount of unavoidable inferiority is inherent in the submissive, receptive posture of women during sex. At best, if not degradation, then at the very least inferiority. It has nothing to do with attitude or conditioning, it just is, as part of the physical process. For me personally this is no problem because I have an appetite for unpalatable truths, but for those who don`t like it, it poses insoluble problems. Better accept it. I`m not in the least bit misogynistic - I love women, I just don`t for a moment take the absurd view that they are, as a whole, equal to men. I don`t know why women even wish to be equal to men - to be equal to men, they would have to transform into men. Essentially, feminism is the most misogynistic idea out there - I`m not well versed in this nonsense but I`m sure this point has been made by someone before, so I won`t belabor it. It`s pretty obvious. Women should be happy with what nature has made them, temperamentally, physically, and intellectually, as a group, inferior to men, and they should proudly embrace that role and revel in what they irerevocably ARE - it has it`s advantages. It would be as much use for a plant to rebel against the fact that it is green as it is for women to rebel against the fact that they are women. Neither are responsible in any way for their nature, but as products of nature they would lead healthier, happier lives if they affirmed their identity.

SDaedalus said...
Julian: There's nothing inherently degrading about non-abusive sex, and sex can be non-abusive and non-degrading, and that was the point of Dworkin's book, Intercourse. All the antifeminists got it....She was saying that as long as males are socialised to view women as inferior, het intercourse for women will often be degrading.... That's not true. You are narrowing both Dworkin and Fem X's argument, which speaks to heteronormative sex generally, without distinguishing between abusive and non-abusive heteronormative sex. Basically, what both of them are saying is that heteronormative sex generally is abusive. Example: Dworkin refers to Shere Hite, who objects to thrusting during sex. I can't accept that heteronormative sex (and attendant thrusting) in Western society is inherently degrading in the sense you use this term (which I note corresponds with my definition 1. above), although I can accept that in certain circumstances (e.g. rape, it may be degrading) Re slaving argument, unnecessary self-definition of members of a gender as perma-victims compulsively engaging in the very activity alleged to victimise them does not empower that gender. Women (who in all honesty have been happily constructing and polishing their own chains for centuries) are sometimes their own worst enemies.

jason said...
Heteronormative sex can be degrading for a woman or a man, but is not necessarily so in either case. I don't think degrading is a property of the act alone -- it's a property that belongs to the combination of the act and the participants. Some people might find it degrading to wear blue jeans. If the people involved in the act don't find it degrading, then I'll defer to their judgment on that one. You used one particular sex position in your argument. However, plenty of men enjoy getting on their knees with their legs slightly spread, head down and back arched, while getting pegged by their female lover (ask Dan Savage). Is that degrading? I bet most of these men don't feel that way. If it's an act that you want to participate in, and people see that act as low rank, then you already see yourself that way and hence are not lowering your rank. Suppose a woman jumps on top of a man (he's lying on his back) and she rides him hard. She's taking over, occupying him and could even hurt him if she does it too hard. Is that degrading? Again, it depends on if she feels like she's degrading him and if he feels degraded. It's just a fact that our genitals are such that the man does the penetrating. That doesn't seem relevant to the argument. I did enjoy your post and think you made some good points. Seems like a topic worthy of more exploration

mengbomin said...
Towards the post: I can see how this line of thought strings together, but I don't see how it is any way useful. Note:I'm going to use "heterosexual sex" rather than the post's "heteronormative sex" mainly because I think that heterosexual is a more appropriate adjective for the act of intercourse, whereas heteronormative refers to broader social patterns. Since heteronormativity revolves around heterosexuality and not vice versa, it's hard to see how the former term can be more applicable than the latter, unless you think there is something fundamentally different about heterosexual sex between two individuals who do not have a heteronormative ideology. That said, what is the intention of naming and emphasizing degradation of the female as a primary attribute of heterosexual sex? The primary directions that such a line of thought can lead are in favor of lesbianism or female asexuality or an acceptance of Kevin's argument that women should be degraded and are inferior. Unless you have another argument in mind with more complicated logic, it seems that you are either arguing against heterosexual sex or for female social inferiority. As an interjection, I will say that neither line of thought jibes with my own. As a female who, based upon your past posts, has had sex with at least one male, was the concern of degradation a primary feeling that you had during those times? If so, do you feel that your experience is representative of that of all women participating in heterosexual sex? If not, why do you feel it is important to promote degradation as an fundamental attribute of heterosexual sex when it was not a primary concern during your own experience with heterosexual sex? I also think it's worthwhile to explore why a male in a position similar to that of a female during heterosexual sex would find the position degrading. From a reproductive standpoint, a female who is having sex with a male is behaving in a manner "designed" to pass on her genes. A male behaving in a similar manner would receive no such benefit and would face a possible detriment. Given that point, is your thought experiment still useful?

mengbomin said...
All the arguments against against feminism based on difference have been used to justify the subjugation of different races. Even if that were true, it wouldn't hold that such arguments could be dismissed on that basis. A male and a female of similar ancestry are more different from one another at the macroscopic level than two males of distant common ancestry. Therefore, it is possible that arguments that should not be accepted when they are used to justify subjugation of other races may be acceptable arguments against feminism. That is to say, a refutation of said arguments requires independent reasons for dismissal. Male-female relations should not be treated in the same manner as interracial relations. Thus if an argument advocating a set of norm, actions, or behaviors is incorrect in the case of the latter, that does not imply that a similar argument is incorrect in the case of the former. Feminists don't want women to be like males as they are now. Feminsts don't want anyone to be like males as they are now. I suspect that you want to clarify what you mean, because being like "males as they are now" can refer to any number of attributes within a very large set. Interpreted at the most general way, it would suggest that feminists are advocating a Sisyphean task with unclear benefits, which isn't a positive light in which to cast feminists. Since your pseudonym is FeministX, I assume that's not what you meant. A final question: Why did you name this post "The Science of Heteronormative Sex"? It seems to me to be more of an ideological framing of an issue rather than anything involving scientific rigor.

sabril said...
I agree with mengbomin. I would just add that FemX's use of the word "women" to refer to women while using the word "males" to refer to men is a transparent attempt to dehumanize men. Which is actually part of the reason I have so much contempt for feminism. It reminds me of white supremacists who capitalize "White" but not "black." (Or black supremacists who do the reverse.) Anyway, I hope this blog doesn't degenerate into the sort of anti-man screeds which are so common among feminists.

collegeboy said...
hey femmyx I remember reading your fears of the up and coming sex-bot revolution about women being wiped out and stuff like that. well check this out: http://www.cnn.com/2010/TECH/02/01/sex.robot/

SDaedalus said...
Jason: I don't think degrading is a property of the act alone -- it's a property that belongs to the combination of the act and the participants Mengbomin: what is the intention of naming and emphasizing degradation of the female as a primary attribute of heterosexual sex? Unless you have another argument in mind with more complicated logic, it seems that you are either arguing against heterosexual sex or for female social inferiority and As a female who, based upon your past posts, has had sex with at least one male, was the concern of degradation a primary feeling that you had during those times? These are all really good points.

Anonymous said...
Isn't cleaning your teeth even more "degrading"? Surely no one looks good doing that and people do not do it in the street. As much as I usually like your blog posts, there is nothing admirable on Dworkin's work; she is an ideological counterpart of Lenin, a bigoted hater with chiliastic quasi-religious zeal, mightily concentrated on turning the entire world upside down because she knows the Truth Revealed and the Right Path. Not to mention her personality ... zero humanity, zero sense of humor; an example of the classical obsessed fanatic who cannot change her mind and won't change the subject. I still cringe at the memory of reading her. Brrr. Now I probably committed a thought-crime.

Suomipoika said...
1. FemX's little "bend over on your knees and imagine getting pounded by a 6 inch schlong for several minutes" experiment could just as well be describing sex between gay guys. What's so "hetero-normative" about that??? 2. Doggy is not the one and only position in heterosexual intercourse. Many women like doggy, so they want to be degraded? Or they simply want to enjoy hetero sex in its various forms? It would be just as easy AND silly to "empirically verify the degrading nature of heteronormative sex" towards men by telling women to experiment and imagine getting the most sensitive piece of their body being pumped up and down by 120 lbs of bone, fat and muscle. 3. "experiment in question 2 is practiced at lying, bribery, coercion and emotional manipulation and enjoys using such methods to convince you to engage in the scenario described in question 2." - 100% straw man argument. Any act achieved by lying, coercion etc is often degrading. Heterosex does not have to involve any of those, if it does THEN it can be degrading. If some selfish individual uses such methods in order to get laid it tells something about that person, not about heteronormative sex per se. It would be too easy to list more counter-arguments, I won't even bother. I have enjoyed reading some of FemX's posts, especially at the beginning of her blog but this time she has hit rock bottom.

Julian Real said...
@Kevin, Re: a certain amount of unavoidable inferiority is inherent in the submissive, receptive posture of women during sex. Kevin, anatomy doesn't dick-tate experience, sorry. And there's nothing intrinsically inferiorising or degrading about a woman welcoming a penis near her body and deciding, with action--her own, to envelope it with a strong muscle, known as the vagina. There's nothing "subordinating" or "submissive" that has to occur for vaginal-penile intercourse to occur. She may, for example, never be beneath a man in order to accomplish the act, and may arrange for some clitoral stimulation while enjoying intercourse. You make women sound terribly "passive" during sex, for all women. Are you sure you're not drugging them or having sex with very drunk women? Perhaps that's how you approach it with women--requiring her passivity. I hope not. You see hetero-intercourse the way pornographers and pimps want you to--as a dick forcing its way in. But that's not how sex has to be, and many women enjoy such intercourse without it being "an invasion" or "a violation": because the women take that penis into them, they don't "let it in". See the "Make Porn, Not Love" website for more details on how to have great heterosex.

8 comments:

Gwenyth said...

Wow. That's awful.

I hope you won't take it amiss, since this is my first comment here(I've been reading here for a bit), but what was your intent with this post?

Julian Real said...

Hi Gwenyth,

And welcome here as a commenter!

I sometimes wonder what the point is of posting stuff here that other people say elsewhere.

In this case maybe some major editing was in order.

To answer your question, my point was to document how people discuss these issues, and how ppl think--to expose the mindsets of people who don't get what many radical feminists are working so hard to make socially visible as harm, as oppression, that others willfully refuse to see, or don't want to admit to, or do see but think it is inevitable and natural--an evolutionary "step forward", and such.

I want to show how it is not radical feminists who are the "essentialists"--even though it is radical feminists who are targeted specifically by antifeminist men and women who want radical feminists to shut up.

I don't want radical feminists to shut up.

I feel that outside the academy, and a few cultural circles, radical feminist perspectives and values are lost, never heard of, never paid attention to or respected, and that those very values are critically important to the liberation of women from male supremacy and domination.

I want to show that it is regular men, men such as Kevin, who are the essentialists society should be concerned about--and that they speak for "us".

I want to make the point that there are a lot more "Kevins" out there who ARE essentialists, who are biological determinists, than feminists who aren't either but are stigmatised, endlessly, as both.

sibling of said...

Julian Real

Just to say I enjoyed our discussion on Fem X's website as it gave me an insight into where you and FemX were coming from.

I was trying to keep my gender out of it, but having been (correctly) called out on speaking for women generally, all that I could do going forward was to speak for myself.

You did a great job defending FemX's point of view. Although we still remain quite far apart, I think we both appreciate the other's sincerity.

I have left a comment to this effect below your last comment on Fem X's site. I'm happy to continue the discussion there if you wish.

Best wishes

SDaedalus

Julian Real said...

@SDaedalus,

You are more than welcome here, SDaedalus.

Thank you for a very engaging conversation!! That was one of the better and more constructive exchanges of ideas and perspectives I've had online with someone with whom I have significant disagreement. Credit to you for keeping the tone constructive and engaging!

Jessica "Wolverine" Metaneira said...

Quote from Kevin:

'a certain amount of unavoidable inferiority is inherent in the submissive, receptive posture of women during sex. At best, if not degradation, then at the very least inferiority. It has nothing to do with attitude or conditioning, it just is, as part of the physical process.'

Lol! LOL! I'm sorry I can't maintain a calm constructive tone...I'm laughing so hard in real time as I type this, I'm in danger of peeing my pants.

Plenty of sexual postures involve the woman being in a neutral or even a dominant position. If the woman goes on top, is she still in the position of being inferior? Is she still inferior if she is the dominant partner in dominance-and-submission play? What about paraphilias such as muscle and strength fetish? Are men who specifically desire female fighters or bodybuilders still 'superior' because they're the ones with the penis? Really?

Julian Real said...

Hi Jessica "Wolverine" Metaneira,

I'm so glad you got a good laugh from this. Sometimes these fools seem so absurd and silly. At other times completely obnoxious and outrageous.

Boys will be men and men will be boys. Either way, it sucks for girls and women, eh?

Jessica "Wolverine" Metaneira said...

I know this was written back in 2010, but thought the idea was worth exploring anyway...

http://jessicawolverinemetaneira.blogspot.com/2011/04/anatomy-is-destinyum-ok.html

Jessica "Wolverine" Metaneira said...

Yep sadly, men will be boys.

Although I hesitate to call people like this 'men'. Man = adult male human being, and this individual behaved neither like an adult nor a human being.