So I’m watching Les Mis again because my daughter loves it so much she can’t handle it and I like it for a number of reasons but I also hate it… Hate it hate it hate it hate it hate it hate it. Hate it. Seriously, this story, this book, this movie, this play, this musical, this whole thing is the epitome of every single thing that is wrong with story telling in our society today. And I get that it’s an “old” tale but it’s not insofar as the modern world has latched onto it with such a fervor and they’ve done so for a reason.
My issue with Les Mis is that this shows us all in great detail who’s of value, who’s important, and who’s not. In this tale of tales men are quite obviously the central actors. All the action centers around them, they are the deciders and the doers of things. The women are on the periphery and we see that women can be two things: rewards or casualties. Eponine and Fontine are casualties of the choices of men, they don’t get whole entire stories of their own, they don’t really even get to be whole people, they’re just tragedies that lay in the wake of the men’s action, nothing more. Consequence. Cosette is a reward, she is a reward for both Marius and Jean Val Jean in different ways but she is also not a real person, she doesn’t exist in any capacity other than the ways she relates to the men who are rewarded with her as their prize. Consequence.
The unnamed women in this world are all equally consequence as well. The women in the factory who advocate for Fontine’s sacking who’s very attitudes arise from a fear of themselves being made into the very causalities Fontine is made into don’t exist as people they exist as gatekeepers of the Rules of Men. The various prostitutes and street women Fontine encounters during her fall are all just as tragic as she is and are, it could be argued, also reward for the men who can afford to pay for “a girl who can’t refuse.” The women who clean up after the big battle are again consequence. They don’t get to be a part of the action but are instead responsible for the aftermath of the men’s actions, casualties in a less dramatic way but perhaps no less tragic when one considers that the drudgery of that life is not more valued than the life of a whore, it’s simply less violent (one hopes though abuse is certainly common enough) and kills slower.
And then there’s the inn keeper’s wife. Of all the women in the story she quite possibly has the most agency of anyone, she gets a life such as it is. That could theoretically count towards personhood though she still doesn’t really get any real action for herself. She is her husband’s helper, she sits on the sidelines and does the drudgery work (sorting and collecting) and the “woman’s work” (employing sexual wiles as a distraction) while he gets the lion’s share of the actual action. Her story is more in depth but she is still no less consequence than any of the other women.
In the end, even the unnamed men in the barricade have more agency than the named women in the story. Even the child Gavroche has more action and personhood than any woman with a second’s screen time. Women are casualties and rewards to and for the actions of men. Men get the actions, women get the consequence of those actions.
And then, of course… everyone’s white as far as the eye can see so there’s that as well… I guess it’s nice for white women that we get to be consequences since Women of Color appear to not exist at all…
I am for the legalization of women selling their bodies for sex
I am against making buying women’s bodies for sex legal
only 10% of people arrested for prostitution are actually johns. they are the most silent and unnoticed criminal scum bags in this debate about legalization or legitimization. once again, the sex industry is about the women, not the men who are “buying” women.
johns are the ones who are raping women, beating women, killing women, using women, torturing women, dehumanizing women
as a marxist, I am for a just society where women do not need to sell their bodies to feed their families or themselves, to pay rent, to stay out of jail etc
as a marxist, I am for a just society where men view women as equal partners in life and as dignified, sovereign human beings
as a marxist, I am against all forms of violence against female sex workers. however, I am also against violence against all women under patriarchy. the sex industry is violence against all women, not just women engaged in sex work. it markets women (all women) as meat and as orifices, as your male violent fantasy to fuck on demand so long as you pay her (or even not, as so often happens when males do not pay). this adds to the most sinister lie: that women are commodities and attainable in a market, which is theoretically everywhere. men believe they can own women, that women have a price, that you can steal women or trade women or break women as if they are merchandise.
I was walking down the street this evening and saw a man following a woman who was wearing a dress and high heels and walking quickly. she was almost in tears, confused and afraid. he was following her, panting, wallet out: how much baby? how much? she’s saying, no no no. he’s following her: do you think you’re too good for me? fuck you bitch. tell me how much. perhaps this woman was a sex worker, perhaps she is just a woman walking down the street. but the violent, hostile, entitled attitude from the man was a pure result of a society that treats women as pieces of meat that can be bought, that can be yours, but most importantly, as pieces of meat, not fully human. of course this is an attitude that needs to be changed. of course this cannot be done by legitimizing, condoning, or even legalizing his hostile, violent, entitled attitude that tells him he can buy women.
Anti-prostitution from a Marxist perspective. Very interesting.
Prostitution is NOT “selling their bodies” nor is it people “buying” those bodies. Sex work is the selling of sex, it’s the selling of a service, it’s the selling of a relationship, it’s the selling of an experience. The sex worker always and forever maintains and retains hir body. The people who use sex work are not purchasing bodies, they do not gain or control or own another person’s body. They might sometimes violate those people and their bodies, they might rape, mutilate, and destroy those people and their bodies but they damn sure aren’t “buying” them and separating sex workers as people from their bodies is a pretty fucked up thing to do. Everyone NEEDS to STOP spreading this bullshit about sex workers “selling their bodies,” it’s a completely hateful, erasing, disrespectful, objectifying, misogynistic, and fucked up thing to say. You’re not helping anything when you say shit like that. In fact, you’re treating the sex workers the same way you’re accusing the johns of treating them. You’re part of the problem when you say shit like that.
Just saw Batman (aka The Dark Knight Rises) and I was really struck by how disturbingly absent women are in this film. I mean, yes, on the one hand we have two main characters who are women and who are very important to the plot and action of the movie, in fact, the movie couldn’t have happened without their characters at all. But the problem is that was it, it was just those two women. In the teaming masses thronging the streets on both sides of the battle there wasn’t a single female to be seen. Not a single one. It’s as though there were no female citizens or officers within the whole of Gotham city… or, more likely, it didn’t occur to the decision makers of this film that there could or would be any female people in any of those roles which is, of course, bullshit. In a world where something like the plot of this film was real, actually happened in real life, there would obviously be women in all aspects of the action right alongside the men because WOMEN ARE PEOPLE TOO; people who have strengths, weaknesses, fears, convictions, desires, and motivations just like everyone alive does. But the decision makers of this film didn’t see that, they see men as people and women as women, not people.
And that’s ironic considering that the point hammered home over and over again every single time the two main female characters are on screen is don’t underestimate women. Both the characters of Selina Kyle and Miranda Tate make it explicitly clear that making assumptions about women is an ultimate fail. The decision makers of this film obviously understood that fact because those characters drove that point home literally each time they were present in the action of the movie. The juxtaposition of making the point that we shouldn’t be underestimating women while at the same time having all the decision makers of the movie completely underestimate women in real life, making ridiculously biased assumptions about people just because they happen to be women is astounding and ultimately upsetting on a visceral level.
It’s upsetting because it’s not at all surprising that this issue played out as it did. It’s not surprising because while this appears to be a contrast (women shouldn’t be underestimated but yet they are being underestimated at the same time) it actually isn’t a contrast at all, it’s just two sides of the same misogynistic coin. While they were pointing out that underestimating women is dangerous that’s the only point they were making. They weren’t acknowledging that women are people, people who can and do have skills, strengths, motivations, and abilities all their own just like all humans do. They were saying that occasionally a Special Snowflake (TM) female will appear when you least expect it and fuck everything up because she doesn’t “act like a girl.” Selena Kyle and Miranda Tate are presented as exceptions, as fantastical exceptions. They’re ultra-rare, they’re mythical, they’re unicorns, they’re different from all the other women on the whole entire planet and no matter what they do or what they accomplish they will still always, at the end of the day, be women, not people, no matter what. And it is that extreme rarity of women (not people) like Selena Kyle and Miranda Tate that kept women out of every single other aspect of the whole entire film and that’s just fucked up.
I’m getting seriously sick of people obsessively sexualizing Black Widow’s uniform. And yes, it’s a freaking uniform. Sure, people talk about the collective asses of the male Avengers but not one person has made fun of what they’re wearing by claiming that it’s nothing but eye candy. Everyone gets that what the male characters are wearing is functional, it’s a uniform. Even Captain America’s fierce boots and fancy spangles are understood to have a purpose because, you know, he works for SHIELD so obviously they’d give him something made out of badass future tech materials - you know, the kind of badass future tech materials that can get straight blasted by alien weapons and come through it all unscathed. Thor’s skin tight mail-ish armor is magical shit from Asgard and Hawkeye’s skin tight stuff also comes from SHIELD so, again, obviously it’s badass armor. I’ve yet to hear a single person make a comment that would intimate that any of the male character’s uniforms are anything less than functional or somehow only exist to provide highlights for their bulges and nothing else.
But Black Widow? Nope, all anyone ever does is make snide, derisive comments about how it’s “skin tight” and “sexy” and makes her look good as though that’s literally all it is, nothing more. Thor, Captain America, Hawkeye, and even Iron Man are all wearing uniforms that are completely skin tight, that are form fitted to the max because THAT’S HOW ARMOR WORKS! Armor can’t function as efficiently as possible if there’s space between it and your skin so ALL armor is skin tight. Ever seen any other armor anywhere? Like maybe if you studied any sort of history or if you have seen any other movie with battle scenes in it (how about the Spartans in 300)? Notice how their shit’s skin tight too? That’s because THAT’S HOW ARMOR WORKS! But when it’s a girl, when it’s a female, when it’s not a d00dbro people can’t see what she’s wearing as functional, it’s just eye candy. She’s a master fucking assassin who works for the most technologically advanced and wealthiest super secret organization the world has ever known and you don’t think they’d have given her something to wear that’d actually function?! It’s a UNIFORM, she’s wearing badass future tech armor designed by SHIELD to protect her because they’d like to keep her around and her missions are dangerous.
She’s a valuable operative, they have all the money and tech in the world at their disposal, why would they just send her out in something that’s pretty to look at and nothing more? Oh, wait, you just can’t see her as valuable because she’s
a girl not a man and since you can’t see her as valuable anything but a sex object you can’t see her uniform as anything other than designed specifically to give you a boner. Because that’s all women are to you, they’re sex objects, tools here to please you in whatever ways you decide. That’s fucked up.
- Less than 2% of human illnesses (1.16%) are ever seen in animals. Over 98% never affect animals.
- According to the former scientific executive of Huntingdon Life Sciences, animal tests and human results agree “5%-25% of the time.”
- Among the hundreds of techniques available instead of animal experiments, cell culture toxicology methods give accuracy rates of 80-85%
- 92% of drugs passed by animal tests immediately fail when first tried on humans because they’re useless, dangerous or both.
- The two most common illnesses in the Western world are lung cancer from smoking and heart disease. Neither can be reproduced in lab animals.
- A 2004 survey of doctors in the UK showed that 83% wanted a independent scientific evaluation of whether animal experiments had relevance to human patients. Less than 1 in 4 (21%) had more confidence in animal tests than in non-animal methods.
- Rats are 37% effective in identifying what causes cancer to humans – less use than guessing. The experimenters said: “we would have been better off to have tossed a coin.”
- Rodents are the animals almost always used in cancer research. They never get carcinomas, the human form of cancer, which affects membranes (eg lung cancer). Their sarcomas affect bone and connective tissue: the two are completely different.
- The results from animal tests are routinely altered radically by diet, light, noise, temperature, lab staff and bedding. Bedding differences caused cancer rates of over 90% and almost zero in the same strain of mice at different labs.
- Sex differences among lab animals can cause contradictory results. This does not correspond with humans.
- 75% of side effects identified in animals never occur.
- Over half of side effects cannot be detected in lab animals.
- Vioxx was shown to protect the heart of mice, dogs, monkeys and other lab animals. It was linked to heart attacks and strokes in up to 139,000 humans.
- Genetically modified animals are not like humans. The mdx mouse is supposed to have muscular dystrophy, but the muscles regenerate with no treatment.
- GM animal the CF- mouse never gets fluid infections in the lungs – the cause of death for 95% of human cystic fibrosis patients.
- In America, 106,000 deaths a year are attributed to reactions to medical drugs.
- Each year 2.1 million Americans are hospitalised by medical treatment.
- In the UK an estimated 70,000 people are killed or severely disabled every year by unexpected reactions to drugs. All these drugs have passed animal tests.
- In the UKs House Of Lords questions have been asked regarding why unexpected reactions to drugs (which passed animal tests) kill more people than cancer.
- A German doctors’ congress concluded that 6% of fatal illnesses and 25% of organic illness are caused by medicines. All have been animal tested.
- According to a thorough study, 88% of stillbirths are caused by drugs which passed animal tests.
- 61% of birth defects were found to have the same cause.
- 70% of drugs which cause human birth defects are safe in pregnant monkeys.
- 78% of foetus-damaging chemicals can be detected by one non-animal test.
- Thousands of safe products cause birth defects in lab animals – including water, several vitamins, vegetable oils, oxygen and drinking waters. Of more than 1000 substances dangerous in lab animals, over 97% are safe in humans.
- One of the most common lifesaving operation (for ectopic pregnancies) was delayed 40 years by vivisection.
- The great Dr Hadwen noted “had animal experiments been relied upon…humanity would have been robbed of this great blessing of anaesthesia.”
- Aspirin fails animal tests, as do digitalis (heart drug), cancer drugs, insulin (which causes animal birth defects), penicillin and other safe medicines. They would be banned if vivisection were believed.
- Blood transfusions were delayed 200 years by animal studies.
- The polio vaccine was delayed 40 years by monkey tests.
- 30 HIV vaccines, 33 spinal cord damage drugs, and over 700 treatments for stroke have been developed in animals. None work in humans.
- Despite many Nobel prizes going to vivisectors, only 45% agree that animal experiments are crucial.
- The Director of Research Defence Society, (which serves only to defend vivisection) was asked if medical progress could have been achieved without animal use. His written reply was “I am sure it could be.”
I have no problem with working to stop animal testing, but this stuff doesn’t exist in a vacuum and discussing it like it does doesn’t help anything.
For starters I honestly don’t even think animal testing is a problem in and of itself, I think an overall lack of compassion and respect within the medical industrial complex combined with an overall lack of respect for all life instead of just the lives a few people consider valuable and important is the problem. If we actually lived in a world where compassion and respect were not only valued but considered the most significant aspects of all actions and decisions and where non-human animals were seen as peers instead of tools and where all humans were all seen as equally valuable instead of the hatefully misogynistic and white supremacist world we live in now where certain people are considered less valuable or less human than others I think there’d be far fewer issues within the world of medical testing as a whole.
Beyond that the issues within the medical industrial complex as a whole need to be addressed, just dealing with animal testing atrocities won’t fix anything, won’t change anything, won’t make life better for anyone. If we’re not testing on non-human animals then we’re testing on humans. If we’re testing on humans what humans are we testing on? Are we testing indiscriminately in everyone considering that all of us benefit both directly and indirectly from any and all medical advances? Or are we testing on the “undesirables” of society - poor people who need the money handed out for studies and therefore are willing to compromise their safety for it, prisoners who have no rights and are believed by many to deserve no rights, the elderly and infirm who are considered to be unimportant and burdensome - people who will never have any opportunity to benefit from the treatments that are being developed at the cost of their lives? And what are we doing the research and testing for? Are we pumping billions upon billions into solving problems than can turn huge profits and only in ways that can and will turn huge profits for drug companies and doctors while literally ignoring anything that’s not profitable because it’s considered less valuable regardless of any other benefits or needs? Are we creating treatments that can only be utilized by the incredibly wealthy and powerful or are we actually creating options that will benefit everyone? And where do these treatments come from? Do they come from imperialist practices that destroy and appropriate other cultures and other nations as though those people don’t matter and don’t have/deserve rights?
These issues are all interconnected. If you’re only looking at one thing then you’re missing everything else and you’re absolutely helping to perpetuate all those other problems with your myopic nonsense.
Does sex have a history? Does each sex have a different history, or histories? Is there a history of how the duality of sex was established, a genealogy that might expose the binary options as a variable construction? Are the ostensibly natural facts of sex discursively produced by various scientific discourses in the service of other political and social interests? If the immutable character of sex is contested, perhaps this construct called ‘sex’ is as culturally constructed as gender; indeed, perhaps it was always already gender, with the consequence that the distinction between sex and gender turns out to be no distinction at all.
Judith Butler, Gender Trouble. (via workandentropy)
@Autumn: YAY I FOUND IT!!!!
Understanding how sex is “always already gender” is a fantastic tool for moving beyond the somewhat simplistic, if not misleading, construction of “Sex=biology/gender=culture.” The fact of the matter is, ANATOMY AND BIOLOGY ARE NOT GIVEN TRUTHS. Discourses on biology and anatomy, i.e., SEX, are JUST AS CONSTRUCTED BY CULTURE AS DISCOURSES ON GENDER, because culture shapes the very discourses and values through which biologists and anatomists are even able to establish those medico-epistemological discourses.
This is an important point for people to understand, because one of the problems with the Sex/gender distinction established by second wave theorists is, it implies that because culture is constructed, biological sex is somehow not, i.e., is somehow a “factual” truth about the person in question, i.e., is somehow outside of the politics of gender, is untouchable for political critiques of gender.
We have to consider, though: Who are these doctors, biologists, etc., who have historically dominated, and in many ways continue to dominate, established discourses on anatomy? And how might their subject position within society and culture, their identities, influence they ways they have established for us to talk about anatomy?
The Answer is: DUDES. MOST OFTEN STRAIGHT, WHITE DUDES.
Perhaps the best example of what I’m talking about is the history of anatomical discourses on the clitoris. The most striking aspect one notices in surveying the history of the clitoris is that IT TENDS TO DISAPPEAR FROM ANATOMY BOOKS QUITE OFTEN. In the history of publications on sexual anatomy, there have been frequent periods where the clitoris receives no mention whatsoever: it appears in one anatomy text, then disappears with another, only to reappear later in another.
And I’m not talking about the history of the clitoris in the 20th century: I’m talking about studies of anatomy that have been going on for centuries. This disappearing/reappearing act that the clitoris performs throughout the history of anatomical discourses is not surprising when, again, we consider who has been establishing and maintaining these discourses throughout history: STRAIGHT MEN.
Is it really an surprise that men of the 19th century and early 20th, thoroughly entrenched in the values established by heterosexualist patriarchy, which say that straight, male pleasure is paramount, would consider the clitoris negligible, and not worth studying or even mentioning, despite the fact that, for many people with a vagina and vulva, clitoral simulation is the easiest, if not only, way for them to achieve orgasms?
Is it really any surprise that men situated within heterosexualist patriarchy as such, historically and contemporarily, have not cared about women’s pleasure?
The construction of sex also rears its ugly head in categorization and “treatment” of intersex conditions. There’s an odd bias where genitalia that’s “distinctively male” is less likely to be categorized as intersex than similar conditions in “female” anatomy, almost always under the presumption that questioning a person’s manhood is psychologically damaging (apparently it isn’t as damaging the other way around?). There was a tumblr post that talked about this extensively, but I can’t find it at the moment. If anyone else knows what I’m talking about please send me a link.
Another great book on the subject is Sexing the Body by Dr. Anne Fausto-Sterling (Ph.D, not M.D.) - a biologist and geneticist who basically breaks down how biological sex is totally a construct by calling out all the bias within the medical establishment. She also points out that if we use medical definitions for sex then a surprisingly large percentage of the population is actually intersex. It’s great stuff. As an add-on to the previous discussion - There’s this theory out there about how circumcision came to be (for both people with penises and people with vaginas), its historical roots, that says it exists because people fear a mixing of the sexes and require a strict difference between the two. In this theory the foreskin on a penis resembles the labia on a vulva and therefore must be removed because “feminine” parts on a “masculine” organ is scary and wrong and awful while the clitoris on a vulva resembles the penis and therefore must be removed because “masculine” parts on a “feminine” organ is scary and wrong and awful. I think it’s a fascinating theory and it would make sense considering that since biological sex is socially constructed the concepts need to be constantly maintained and reinforced through rigid definitions in order to keep people believing the lie. Additionally, if we look at modern America and the way most modern Americans are horrified by the thought of female circumcision and think it’s barbaric and evil and wrong but see nothing at all wrong with male circumcision in anyway through the lens of this theory and couple that with modern American sexism that is essentially all about being as male and as masculine as is possible for all people that particular hypocrisy makes a whole lot of scary sense.
Racist jokes, disabled jokes, cancer jokes, sexist jokes are fine but good god DO NOT TALK ABOUT RAPE BECAUSE FORGET ABOUT DOUBLE STANDARDS WAH I GOT RAPED. Give a fuck man, shove your double standards up your arse. Either don’t joke about anything or joke about everything.
Okay this requires a little more critical thinking in my opinion.
1. Racist jokes aren’t funny. They’re an intrinsic part of a massive power structure that subjugates and oppresses most of the population. They’re harmful, and not just to an individual who has experienced it. They perpetuate this flippant attitude that so many people have towards racism, and thus perpetuate the power structure itself. They make people complacent, belittles something that is dead fucking serious.
2. Disabled jokes aren’t funny. I don’t know much about the topic, and it’s kind of obvious why they aren’t funny. Not to mention, that’s probably the least clever joke one could come up with.
3. Cancer jokes…are iffy. So many people die from cancer. Three people that I was very close with died of it. I’m not offended by it. Two of my best friends lost their parents to cancer. From my experience, cancer jokes usually follow thoughts along the line of, “Man, cancer really fucking sucks,” and it’s a coping mechanism. I can see how some cancer jokes would be offensive, but most of the time, it’s really just a means of coping and expressing in a light way how bad cancer sucks.
4. Sexist jokes CAN be funny. Jokes can be prejudiced (I hesitate to use sexist here) against men or women (like how men won’t ask for directions or they’re completely controlled by their dick, both not true, but both can be humorous sometimes). As long as I understand that the person telling the joke knows that it’s stupid, and most of the time that’s apparent (like the ‘go make me a sandwich’ joke), it’s just not a big deal. Using humor to address something is fine. I also think using humor to ridicule something SO stupid as sexism is fine. It points out how ridiculous it is a lot of the time.
5. Rape jokes. Never funny. You all know why. 1 in 5 people. And it’s not just a physical act of violence. It’s a psychological one, and one that only a handful of people really treat seriously. When I see people get mad about others saying rape isn’t funny, it drives me crazy. More and more people are realizing how fucking serious and horrible it is to degrade, dehumanize, and objectify someone, to rob them of their autonomy, their freedom of choice. Just because people start to get angry about it doesn’t mean we’re all insane asshole feminists (although I’d consider myself among those ranks). Think of your 5 year old brother or sister, your mother, your cousin…1 in 5 people. You’ll probably never know. Just stop bitching and don’t fucking joke about it, it’s not that big of a fucking deal.
Also there’s a difference between using irony and humor as coping method or as a method of resistance for oppressed people and a privileged person making fun of something they will NEVER experience in their life and think is hilarious and totally ok to joke about because they say so regardless of how victims/survivors feel. A huge difference. HUGE! There’s also a huge difference between making jokes about an oppressive system and making fun of oppressed people. The first one actually helps to shine a light on oppressive systems and helps to dismantle them (if even just a teeny tiny bit) while at the same time empowering the oppressed people. Meanwhile the second option simply reinforces oppressive systems and further damages the oppressed people.
It’s a contextual thing. ”Tosh.0” making rape jokes, racist jokes, sexist jokes, homophobic jokes, transphobic jokes, abled jokes (which would include cancer jokes, btw), classist jokes = totally not ok under any circumstances ever ever ever ever ever. Anyone making jokes at the expense of rape victims, people of color, women, LGBTQIA people, poor people, people with disabilities, etc etc etc = not ok every under any circumstances AND horribly oppressive. Meanwhile, a homeless guy making jokes about poverty (NOT poor people), a Person of Color making jokes about racism (NOT PoCs), a disabled person making jokes about ableism (NOT people with disabilities), women making jokes about sexism,/misogyny (NOT women), survivors of sexual assault and/or rape making jokes about rape culture (NOT survivors), GSM people making jokes about heterosexism, cissexism, homophobia, and transphobia (NOT GSM people), and so on and so forth = an invaluable tool for coping, resistance, empowerment, and addressing all those oppressive systems.
TL;DR - Check your fucking privilege and don’t bitch when oppressed people call you out for being oppressed. People wanting you to actually treat them with respect and not use their pain as fodder for your humor as though they’re so far below you that they’re not even human and most certainly aren’t deserving basic compassion, empathy, and kindness is not oppressing you and if you really have a problem with not being able to make jokes at the expense of rape victims or any other group of oppressed people you are seriously awful beyond all measure.
I’ve been seeing a lot of stuff lately about the benefits of sex - health benefits, emotional benefits, physical benefits, mental benefits, relationship benefits, benefits, benefits, benefits all over the place. According to the internet there are many many benefits to sex and I’m fascinated by the fact that people keep needing to point this out as though they’re arguing for why sex isn’t a bad thing or something. It’s weird. But what really bothers me about all this talk, all these “studies” and “findings” is how unabashedly phallo-centric it is. Seriously, none of those benefits actually come from having sex… well, that’s probably not entirely true… some of those benefits probably do come from just having sex… but for the most part all those studies and findings are talking about the benefits of orgasms. Not sex, orgasms. Like the brain chemistry stuff and the physical relaxation stuff, the vast majority of the benefits people say come from sex don’t actually come from engaging in sex at all but from having an orgasm which means that equating them with sex is heinously fallacious and scientifically inaccurate. Gee, why would scientists and doctors and other “professionals” who are supposed to be “unbiased” get something so completely wrong? Could it be that they’re actually biased after all and don’t realize it because the bias is so socially ingrained it’s virtually invisible?
So let’s break this down. In our society the common mythos is that sex is finished when the male partner(s) (if any) ejaculate(s). In our society most sex that involves people who are capable of achieving an erection and ejaculating with a penis involve a physical (contractile phase) orgasm for that person virtually all the time. I’m not gonna say it’s 100% bc that’d be ridiculous but I feel like the pervading myth in our culture really is that it’s 100% which means it’s definitely the vast majority of the time. It’s also something that’s been studied in some detail and we can say with relative certainty that it’s true even if we ignore all the cultural references and just look at “science.” In our society it’s also known that people with vaginas [dear Tumblr, vaginas is a word, it’s the plural form of vagina, what’s wrong with you that you don’t already know that?!] do not achieve orgasm every single time they have sex. There are studies about this, there are cultural myths about this, there are jokes and stories and anecdotes about this. It’s well documented.
This means that when all these “professionals” are being completely inaccurate by talking about the consequences of sex when they really mean the consequences of orgasms they’re talking about cis men if not hetero cis men because they’re the only ones for whom sex = orgasm 99% of the time. And that’s because in our society male is considered the default for everything and heteronormative is considered the default for all relationships; everything/one else is “other” and is often erased or ignored. All of these people doing these studies and reporting on those studies are so enmeshed in the concept of hetero cis male as default that they don’t even realize they’re biasing everything they do with it and that’s fucked up. In fact, they’re so biased that even when they talk about stuff that is only specific to people who aren’t hetero cis males they still use the same fallacious language. An example would be all the biologically essentialist bullshit about how “women are more emotionally involved in sex” (so wrong for so many reasons) because “when they have sex they release tons of oxytocin.” WRONG! While it might be accurate that a majority of cis women release large amounts of oxytocin during orgasm it certainly doesn’t happen from a sexual encounter that doesn’t involve an orgasm. And yet this same lie continues to get passed around as scientific fact over and over again with nobody in any scientific community calling out for being wildly incorrect and completely biased.
I am so sick of a world that believes scientists and journalists and all the people with the power to shape the ways we learn about and understand the world around us are completely unbiased and “objective” as though that’s actually a thing that really exists. Fucking stop it. They’re biased just like everyone is biased because every fucking individual capable of thought is a purely subjective being. A person can actively try to ignore that subjectivity and bias but it doesn’t make it go away and believing otherwise allows all sorts of oppressions to be continually reinforced while at the same time reinforcing the power these completely biased people have in our society. That whole objectivity myth has got to go if we’re ever going to make any progress anywhere. Seriously…
Except it only works this way for white women, most typically middle and upper class white women. Women of color always and also lower class women often thought not always are thought of as being inherently slutty, preternaturally unpure. They’re born lesser, they exist as lesser, they can never be pure because they simply are unclean, worthless whores by their nature. For white women existing as a person who make your own choices makes you a slut, for women of color simply existing at all makes you a slut. That’s the intersection of race and sex, that’s how the white supremacist patriarchy has defined it. Erasing this reality doesn’t help anybody and does a whole lot of damage.