Another day, another feminist smackdown

Iridescence, by Allison Gregory, 2009.

I was alerted to the presence of an article criticizing the No More Page 3 campaign that was so maliciously ignorant that even Neil Wallis couldn’t have written it.

Feminists, if you think lefty libertarians are your friends, read this (and the comments) and think again.  I know that whole “let people do whatever they want because freedom and individuality are the most important thing in life” philosophy is a really attractive one, especially if you’re an oppressed person who has been denied and restricted for most of your life.  But you’ve been sold a sexual-libertarianist pig in a poke.

The article digs out the old “prude” and “OMG CENSORSHIP” arguments we’re all so familar with, and is mocking No More Page 3 by setting up a petition of its own, which it invites all knuckle-dragging mouth breathers to sign.  Hilarious!  Or, you know, not.

Neil Wallis didn’t stop us with his patronizing paternalist crap, so now they’re stooping a bit lower and sending a woman to attack us.  Since this isn’t going to stop us either I doubt it will be long before we start to see the kind of attacks that the Sun used against Clare ShortBring it, I say.

Anyway, in case their belief in freedom of speech doesn’t extend to those who point the finger straight at them and holler “You’re not a freedom fighter, you’re a woman-hating assclown!”, my comment upon that article is here preserved.  Apologies if you’ve heard all this before.  We need to keep saying it.

For the record: though I once called myself a liberal, I now cleave to no (official) political faith, for they all bring women’s blood.  (With apologies to Arthur Miller).  Also, criticizing the left does not mean one is on the side of the right – it only means that one has refused to buy into the belief that “one’s own side” is categorically immune from misogyny.

This isn’t hard to understand, unless you’re heavily invested in the status quo.

Clothing is a marker of status and power. To make someone of lower status remove their clothing for your entertainment is an act of humiliation. It’s an act of violence, and it’s an act of oppression.

“But women smile when they’re doing it. But it’s a better job than working at the Tesco bread counter. But… but… but…” But women didn’t choose to be born into a world where they are paid less, have fewer opportunities, experience discrimination and deprivation at every level, and are pounded incessantly with the message that they need male approval to validate their existence, or they are worthless, and the only way to get that approval is to embrace their male-assigned destiny to be decorative buckets for male bodily fluids. This would bother you, if you thought women were people.

Males think they have the right to women’s bodies. They conflate this access, acquired through male privilege, with human rights, and when anyone dares to suggest that they stop doing it, shout about how they’re being oppressed and how we’ll all end up in the gulag if anyone gives up their porn. “Pornography or Death!”, cry these stalwart defenders of the freedom to keep women a subhuman sex class. You’re a real inspiration to us all, you modern-day Patrick Henrys.

But wait! It’s a woman we’ve got here proclaiming how proud she is to be a citizen of a nation that exploits female bodies in the daily tabloids! Doesn’t that invalidate all of my arguments? After all, a woman said that oppressing women is okay. She even said that oppression isn’t really oppression! She wouldn’t be lying to us, would she? You know a publication of such journalistic integrity as the Sun would never lie. Surely you can trust anyone who has a stake in defending it?

Not all women believe in freedom for women, sadly. Especially women who have a fairly good deal going with the men to attack their own kind in exchange for extra crumbs from the master’s table. Oh, they’ll say they believe in freedom, but then it turns out that they only “freedom” they believe women should have is the “freedom” to do whatever men want. So whenever women speak out for women’s rights, there are people like Donna Edmunds to hurl words like “prude” and “censorship” and give us little lectures about American history, as if she understood what those things mean.

The appellation of “prude” is always trotted out to shame any woman who rejects the prevailing idea in our culture that she exists to serve the glorious cause of giving men boners, and who dares to express a desire to not be objectified. I’m surprised Ms. Edmunds didn’t borrow “fat, jealous killjoy” from her bosses over at the Sun, but maybe they wore out those insults after hurling them at Clare Short so many times.

OMG CENSORSHIP is an old favorite, too, showing that the sexual libertarians of the world don’t really understand what censorship actually is. (Hint: it has to do with a government punishing people for criticizing the government, and has nothing to do with guaranteeing men an endless supply of wank fodder). Edmunds hopes that the censorship hysteria will distract readers from the fact that No More Page 3 isn’t actually calling for a ban, only a boycott of the Sun’s advertisers. Last I checked, petitions and boycotting weren’t acts of censorship, but of political activism.

What’s truly ironic is that every time a woman speaks out against oppression, the roar of male (and male-aligned female) voices try to drown her out. But that’s never considered censorship, because women aren’t people.

No more Page 3. And no more misogyny disguised as freedom. We’ve had enough, thanks.

4 thoughts on “Another day, another feminist smackdown

  1. Do you follow Dworkin and MacKinnon, that all p0rn is a representation of rape? Or, when I view p()rn to look at men, is the p()rn I am viewing not a representation of rape, as men can’t be onjectified? Ditto with my [spanky spanky sex stuff I write]

  2. Had to modify a little part of your comment there, for the same reason as before. Thanks for using my () spelling.

    Dworkin and MacKinnon pretty much nail it. When you look at p()rn, you’re looking at patriarchy. Even if there isn’t a woman in it. You’re looking at a system that dehumanizes you even as you watch it. That sucks, if it happens to be something you enjoy, but the oppression of women is an international humanitarian crisis. The need to fight it trumps our need to individually enjoy things that aren’t really good for us as a class.

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