Thursday, June 27, 2013

The Feminist Sex Wars 25 years later: they never really went away, even after ending second-wave of feminism

Liberal feminism is utterly meaningless to me. I have fundamental disagreements with liberal accounts of the individual and of the self; I consider myself an anti-capitalist with less than zero interest in reformist agendas; legal redress cannot in itself guarantee equality (hell, “equality” isn’t my end goal to begin with when it comes to feminism); having more women in positions of economic and political power does not necessarily ease the boot off the necks of the least powerful. “Choice feminism” is a corollary to liberal feminism that similarly lacks an analysis of power and is defined by its relation to neoliberal ideologies, in which the concept of “choice” is sacred and unquestionable and positioned in an apolitical vacuum that is made all the more political by its lack of analysis. I don’t know how many times I’ve had to say something along the lines of, “not every choice you make is a feminist choice just because you ID as a feminist” to someone, but I’d be thrilled if I never had to say it again. Related to choice feminism is sex-positive feminism, much of which makes me rather uncomfortable. It often seems to me that, for many self-identified feminists, sex is the one domain in which feminist politics should have no import (unless that politic is that sex and/or pleasure is always good and healthy and desirable and that fantasies and desires have no bearing on life outside the bedroom). Sex is not a realm separate from politics — it is always already political and social and it doesn’t happen in a vacuum. Kinks are not necessarily harmless. Even the notion of consent, considered by so many to be a simple matter, is problematic — in a patriarchal society where women’s agency is circumscribed by male supremacy, how meaningful is consent? These issues are purposefully obscured by sex-positive feminists who believe that sex is an inherent good and that to feel otherwise is somehow aberrant, abnormal, a position that should be remedied. These beliefs also extend to discussions about pornography and sex work — that both are good to neutral and that less-than-happy experiences are anomalies.
Jillian Horowitz, in her interview with Thought Catalog

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Feminist Sex Wars, which effectively ended the second wave of feminism.

And not surprisingly, the anti-sex (or sex-negative) feminists have not yielded an inch, meaning that the Feminist Sex Wars are undeniably still ongoing, although no one ever mentions it.

There is just so much wrong with this quote, I don't even know where to start.

First, Ms. Horowitz says that she has no interest in reformist agendas because liberal feminists are trying to reform laws for the betterment of everyone. How can a person be anti-capitalist if they have less than zero interest in reformist agendas? That is not possible. The only way to get rid of the patriarchy is to dramatically reform our society — there's no getting around that.

Sure liberal feminism has is weak points — such as ignoring the plight of minority women, fat women and trans women — but criticism of liberal feminism due to its reformist agendas is not among them.

And "choice feminism"? Sounds very derogatory, especially to an individualist feminist (or i-feminist) if you ask me. Individualist feminists are, much like other feminists, 100% pro-choice, but with a strong anti-government (and anti-tax) bent (They refuse to join the Tax Day Tea Party rallies due to the Tea Party's extreme anti-choice views, instead individualist feminists in America form their own anti-taxation events and join other feminists in events such as Slutwalks.).

Ms. Horowitz does have a point when she says that “not every choice you make is a feminist choice just because you ID as a feminist”. Case in point being this time last year when Bitch Magazine decided to objectify the men of Magic Mike in the most disgusting manner possible.

Objectification of men is definitely not a feminist choice, because objectification is still objectification. That is kinda like a woman responding to a man who called her a "cunt" by calling him a "dick". It's still blatantly offensive and sexist, and by calling the man who insulted her a "dick", she did not negate the "cunt" insult one bit — instead she made the sexism even worse.

Then there is her attack on sex-positive feminism, which Ms. Horowitz accuses as ignoring a intersect between sex and politics and says that kinks and fetishes are harmful to women and that consensual sex is no different than rape.

How many times do I have show that sex-positive feminists are taking on such issues? Apparently, no matter how many times we call out domestic violence, abuse and sexual assault, it will never satisfy anti-sex feminists like Ms. Horowitz, whose anti-sex beliefs have now been codified into new language Google inserted into the Blogger terms of service, which takes effect on Sunday.

This policy comes due to anti-sex feminists like Jillian Horowitz, who equates consensual sex as being just as harmful to women as sexual assault.

What that means is that all ads are prohibited from being displayed on Blogger, since non-adult ads have scantily clad women on them. This new policy means that Babeland advertisements are no longer allowed, as are advertisements for any business that has any kind of adult content whatsoever. This includes, but is not limited to: eBay, the Fairfield, Conn.-based CD Universe (and their Gay Video Universe and Sensual Universe stores), Amazon, ratuken (formerly, Netflix, Overstock, Barnes & Noble, Gamestop, and DeepDiscount.

All of these sites mentioned are very popular with people who post their widgets on Blogger. And after Saturday, none of them and thousands of others, will be allowed on Blogger anymore due to the fact that they sell adult content — including sex toys. If Blogger detects any site — regardless of whether the blog was flagged for adult content or not — with monetized ads from any of those stores — as well as any adult store — Google will IMMEDIATELY delete the blog.

I know for certain that everyone's favorite local dominatrix, Domme Lady Eve (legal name Wanda Evelyn Clements) of Augusta, Ga., has already received such a notice from Blogger. Female feminist allies Kitty Stryker and Gypsy Taub, and nudist Mitch Hightower, all received such notices in their inboxes as well. Nearly all sex workers took down all of their ads, including the non-adult ones, due to Google's naked bigotry towards women, nudists and other groups of traditionally oppressed people.

Now, the exodus is on. Ms. Stryker has already announced her move to Wordpress. Several other feminists, nudists and sex workers have done the same. Others, myself included, are exploring other options. I announced plans Wednesday night to get either a Windows Phone, Blackberry or an iPhone should my current Android phone no longer be functionable. I will no longer get an Android phone unless the policy is rescinded.

Predictably so, Google has not responded to any inquiries about their new policy. Very obvious that they only care about money.

Since that is what they really care about, let's give them something to really fear.

Tweet to @google (and @Blogger, if you wish) using #notbuyingit as a hashtag. Let them know why you are blacklisting their evil corporation.

[Thought Catalog]

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