Monday, April 26, 2010

"Man Boobs", or Oh, Please, with "Boobquake" and the White Het Guys selfishly being ALL FOR IT!

[this image of yet another obnoxious WHM jerk, is from here]

Mild warning: another man boob is featured below.

Please click on the title of the piece that follows, to link back to the original source. I don't think extensive analysis is needed here.

Russell Blackford thinks he's NOT a "pseudo-feminist" by defending and promoting the Boobquake phenomenon. Clearly, Russell Blackford is a big boob. Here's his very silly (but apparently well-argued because he mentions a feminist, discusses feminism, and tells us all what really smart people--white het guys--think about this matter.

In Support of Boobquake



Russell Blackford
Russell Blackford
Metamagician and the Hellfire Club

Posted: Apr 26, 2010


Good for Jen McCreight of Blag Hag for coming up with the idea of Boobquake.
image
For those who don’t know, this little meme ridicules the idea that “immodest” dressing by women leads to lascivious thoughts from men, which results in fornication and adultery—which, in turn, cause earthquakes. The idea was proposed a few days ago by a senior cleric in Iran, but of course it’s in line with the common thought in Islam that there’s something wrong with a woman “showing her beauty to the world”. Christianity is not much better, of course: there’s a long tradition of Christian theologians problematising women’s (and men’s) bodies, deprecating sexual beauty, and expressing anxiety about sex itself.

Go back to the Church Fathers, to Saint Augustine and Saint Jerome, for example, and look at what they have to say. Their writings are saturated with ideas of sexual sin and shame. Those ideas have carried right through to the present day, but they are absurd, miserable, and life-denying ... and they deserve our mockery. They exemplify the way that religion does dirt on the good things that this world has to offer.

Unfortunately, there was a lot of 1980s pseudo-feminism that took a similar attitude to that of Christianity and Islam, problematising displays of female beauty and even expressing disgust with heterosexuality itself. The worst offender was the egregious Andrea Dworkin—who died relatively young back in 2005. In her case, good riddance. These pseudo-feminists merely use feminist-sounding language to rationalise the religion-based anti-sex morality into which they were socialised. But they lack the self-insight to understand that it’s what they’re doing.

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Get it clear: there is nothing wrong with the beauty of the human body, male or female, nothing wrong with enjoying it, and nothing wrong with displaying it to the world. If you’ve been blessed with physical beauty, then for Aphrodite’s sake display it; take pleasure in your good fortune, and let other people take pleasure in it. Strut your stuff, and don’t let anyone make you feel ashamed about so-called “immodesty”. Feel free to scorn the moralism of Islamic clerics and anyone else who tries to put you down.

I find it incredible that there’s still so much irrational, religion-based shame and guilt about the body even within Western societies: so much fear of the body’s beauty, and of its power to arouse sexual feelings. We see this shame, guilt, and fear even among atheists, many of whom have not fully liberated themselves from traditional morals. (For Zeus’s sake, what’s the point of being an atheist if you still buy into the same morality as the religionists? You need to get beyond that.)
Let’s return to a healthy pagan value-set. For the Greeks, beauty, creativity, analytical intelligence, athletic ability, and many other things would have been seen as excellences that it’s good for a human being to have. Unfortunately, few of us possess them all (I most certainly don’t!), but all of them are worthy of enjoyment and celebration wherever and whenever we do encounter them. All of these human excellences open up possibilities of one kind or another, and give a sort of power to those who possess them; all of them are admirable; and all of them can be used to bring pleasure to others.
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Anxiety about the body and its beauty is sometimes rationalised on the basis that we should value cognitive abilities above physical beauty, though I’d love to see a rational argument as to why we should adopt any particular hierarchy of values. In any event, this is not a zero-sum game. You can have many of these human excellences; they don’t exclude each other; and you can take a proper pride in them all. (As it happens, most of the beautiful women whom I’ve been fortunate enough to know have also been highly intelligent and creative. But why expect otherwise?)
Apparently, judging from this follow-up post, Jen McCreight has been given a hard time by some of the remaining pseudo-feminists—Dworkin has gone, but they’re not quite extinct—who still purvey a miserable 1980s ideology. Well, let them, but they deserve no more respect than Islamic clerics, or Vatican officials, or irrationalists of any other species.

Russell Blackford is a fellow of the IEET, an attorney, science fiction author and critic, philosopher, and public intellectual. Dr. Blackford serves as editor-in-chief of the IEET's Journal of Evolution and Technology. He lives in Newcastle, Australia, where he is a Conjoint Lecturer in the School of Humanities and Social Science at the University of Newcastle.



COMMENTS


I am trying to get a patent for 'artificial cleavage' which will let anyone get the boobs they want without surgery. It would be a holographic projection from a necklace.



Hi Russell,

Are you referring to Andrea Dworkin's work to hold pimps accountable for what they do when trafficking women? Or her work to challenge rape as natural and inevitable? Or her work to show that pornography is an industry comprised of gross sexual exploitation, profiting corporate pimps, not women as a class.

I'm unclear from your statements. She was not affiliated with or supportive of any major patriarchal religion, that's for sure. She wrote a whole book critiquing the U.S. Christian-dominated Right-wing, in fact.

Are you talking about her pointing out the tyranny of the "Beauty Industry" which tells women incessantly that beauty requires buying products and modifying their bodies, because, naturally, women are supposed to think of themselves as unattractive? Are you talking about the feminist critiques of beauty that are racist and anti-lesbian?

And, what background do you have in Feminist Studies to make yourself an authority on what is and is not "pseudo-feminism". What is legitimate feminism, to you? The variations that don't critique systems of oppressive power and privilege and entitlement, such as those based on white supremacist and male supremacist ideologies?

I look forward to your reply.

A REPLY:
From a man named Kyle, and not from Russell himself.


Posted by Kyle Munkittrick  on  04/26  at  12:12 PM

Julian,

Dworkin allied herself with Christian conservatives to get porn censorship bills pushed through state legislatures. Those bills ended up largely ignoring the kind of porn that subjugates and objectifies women. Instead, the laws were excuses to declare lesbian and BDSM erotica and pornography obscene. Duggan and Hunter's "Sex Wars" make it clear that Dworkin and MacKinnon's efforts were both wrong in principle and in practice.

I agree with you, however, that neither Russell Blackford, nor anyone, has authority to declare some specific brand of feminism heterodox.

As for the other questions, I'll let him dig himself out or down deeper, as the case may be.

MY REPLY TO KYLE:
Re:
Dworkin allied herself with Christian conservatives to get porn censorship bills pushed through state legislatures.

That's entirely incorrect. I was there.  The activists who worked on this issue worked with many city councils, and, surprise, some city councilors are liberal and some are conservative. Some of those who "got it" about pornography being harmful to women on civil rights grounds, not criminal ones, were conservative men, just like some conservatives get that abuse of animals is wrong. If someone appeals to a conservative city councilor to get any animals rights or human rights ordinance passed, does that mean the activist is, themselves, "right wing" or "conservative" or promoting right wing policies and politics. I don't think so.

What you are stating is consistent with media misunderstandings and academic sloppiness (and antifeminism) in its telling of history on the matter of feminist antipornography activism in North America.

Dworkin was quite on record for opposing state censorship approaches to regulating pornography. She co-drafted a civil rights law--she could have drafted a censorship law, yes? The law she co-drafted and supported politically supported women harmed in and by those who use misogynist pornography to sue the harmers on sex discrimination grounds, not on criminal ones. It did not empower the state to remove pornographic materials. Have you read their law? You can find it here:

http://www.nostatusquo.com/ACLU/dworkin/other/ordinance/newday/TOC.htm

Re:
Those bills ended up largely ignoring the kind of porn that subjugates and objectifies women.

Wrong again. The Dworkin-MacKinnon ordinance was designed specifically to address and provide recourse to most of the women used and harmed in and by the industry. It defined pornography in terms of what pornography, at the time, regularly and routinely did to women. Where are you getting your information from? A secondary source, perhaps?

Re:
Instead, the laws were excuses to declare lesbian and BDSM erotica and pornography obscene.

You're speaking about what Canadian legislators decided to do with the Dworkin-MacKinnon law, which Andrea Dworkin did not support. You're aware of that right? How is Dworkin responsible for what Canadian legislators do? That's giving her a bit too much power, yes? You know she did not approve of what they did, yes?

Re:
Duggan and Hunter's "Sex Wars" make it clear that Dworkin and MacKinnon's efforts were both wrong in principle and in practice.

Right, Duggan and Hunter's misreading and misunderstanding of the whole matter. Gotcha.

Re:
I agree with you, however, that neither Russell Blackford, nor anyone, has authority to declare some specific brand of feminism heterodox.


As for the other questions, I'll let him dig himself out or down deeper, as the case may be.

I welcome him to try.

7 comments:

Katula said...

This was amazing, I love watching people struggle under the weight of their ridiculous claims after someone points them out. :D

Julian Real said...

Hi Katula,

The opportunities are endless for anyone to point out such ridiculousness by these super-privileged, callous, self-concerned, misogynist fools.

Thanks so much for your comment. I appreciate it!

BlancaMcleroy1230 said...

Nice Post~!!!. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Julian Real said...

Welcome Blanca Mcleroy1230,

And thanks for your praise for this post! :)

AST said...

If you’ve been blessed with physical beauty, then for Aphrodite’s sake display it; take pleasure in your good fortune, and let other people take pleasure in it.

But only if you're beautiful in the commercialized beauty way.

I find it incredible that there’s still so much irrational, religion-based shame and guilt about the body even within Western societies: so much fear of the body’s beauty, and of its power to arouse sexual feelings.

As if those sexual feelings aren't conditioned responses to that same religious-based view of the body, which is reinforced many times a day by commercialized sexuality.

We see this shame, guilt, and fear even among atheists, many of whom have not fully liberated themselves from traditional morals.

Because it's just so easy to recognize all the programming one has received in life, to live in a world that upholds those values and to interact with other people who may or may not be trying to confront that themselves.

Let’s return to a healthy pagan value-set. For the Greeks, beauty, creativity, analytical intelligence, athletic ability, and many other things would have been seen as excellences that it’s good for a human being to have.

Ah, the Greeks argument, the cousin of the evo psych argument. Men retain the vast amount of power and money in society, but we should reinstate "free love" because sex is "natural" and "beautiful".

Julian Real said...

THANK YOU, AST!!!! Exactly.

His rant amounts to this: "I wanna see those large breasts, or at least the cleavage and shape of those breasts, so please, don't take that away from me!!!"

At least if he wrote THAT, I'd give him points for honesty.

One has to wonder how many other "freedom campaigns" he's fought so vigorously for!

Thank you for highlighting the issues about his wish to ensure the liberation of ONLY WOMEN'S breasts. (Liberation of women as human beings from men's violations? Not so much of an issue for him. Funny that.)

I checked online images--there are plenty of men with breasts large enough to meet his "fetish-sized" criteria and were it not for the chest hair, you wouldn't know whether they were men's or women's breasts.

As you note, he's only interested in promoting his right to view COMMERCIALLY CORRECT women's breasts. Yes. And again, thank you!

Keep commenting, folks!

JENNIFER DREW said...

'Get it clear: there is nothing wrong with the beauty of the human body, male or female, nothing wrong with enjoying it, and nothing wrong with displaying it to the world.' Extract from Russell Blackford's longwinded pontification.

However, I've yet to see images of naked men being displayed in public despite Blackford's claim 'there is nothing wrong with beauty of the human body, male or female'

Blackford clearly only wants women's bodies to be made available for him and other like-minded men to ogle. Male bodies however, are sacrosant and must never, ever be viewed in 'all their glory' - meaning totally naked.

Ever wondered why during the 19th century paintings of totally naked males always included the obligatory 'fig leaf' covering their penises. Answer is because showing a male in all his 'naked glory' would immediately dispel the myth of the male penis. It is not that huge or wonderful - it is instead a fragile piece of male anatomy which must always be protected and hidden from the female public gaze.

The ancient Greeks were never afraid of depicting males in 'all their glory' and quite rightly, female statues were rarely naked, instead they were clothed. How times have changed, now it is men's bodies which must be protected and women's bodies are defined as being either men's private or public property. Depending on whether the male is rightwing or leftwing of course.

Any excuse is sufficient since white men never tire of ogling women's bodies since women are not human but men's sexual service stations. Oh yes I've seen men's huge breasts, particularly when the weather is hot and men rush to take off their shirts and display their breasts. Unfortunately some of these men are clearly in need of a bra or other upholstery, given their breasts are so large.