There’s something seriously wrong when a tv network believes that it’s audience would rather see Jaime Lannister rape Cersei instead of enjoying consensual sex with the woman he loves. HBO’s insistence on adding extra violence towards women in the series is truly disgusting.
In a world ordered by sexual imbalance, pleasure in looking has been split between active/male and passive/female. The determining male gaze projects its phantasy on to the female figure which is styled accordingly. In their traditional exhibitionist role women are simultaneously looked at and displayed, with their appearance coded for strong visual and erotic impact so that they can be said to connote ‘to-be-looked-at-ness’
An active/passive heterosexual division of labor has similarly controlled narrative structure. According to the principles of the ruling ideology and the physical structures that back it up, the male figure cannot bear the burden of sexual objectification. Man is reluctant to gaze at his exhibitionist like. Hence the split between spectacle and narrative supports the man’s role as the active one of forwarding the story, making things happen. The man controls the film phantasy and also emerges as the representative of power in a further sense: as the bearer of the look of the spectator, transferring it behind the screen to neutralize the extra-diegetic tendencies represented by woman as spectacle.
My colleagues and I refer to this belief as ‘The Boiler Theory of Men.’ The idea is that a person can only tolerate so much accumulated pain and frustration. If it doesn’t get vented periodically—kind of like a pressure cooker—then there’s bound to be a serious accident. This myth has the ring of truth to it because we are all aware of how many men keep too much emotion pent up side. Since most abusers are male, it seems to add up.
But it doesn’t, and here’s why: Most of my clients are not usually repressed. In fact, many of them express their feelings more than some nonabusive men. Rather than trapping everything inside, they actually tend to do the opposite: They have an exaggerated idea of how important their feelings are, and they talk about their feelings—and act them out—all the time, until their partners and children are exhausted from hearing about it all. An abuser’s emotions are as likely to be too big as too small. They can fill up the whole house. When he feels bad, he thinks that life should stop for everyone else in the family until someone fixes his discomfort. His partner’s life crises, the children’s sicknesses, meals, birthdays—nothing else matters as much as his feelings.
It is not his feelings the abuser is too distant from; it is his partner’s feelings and his children’s feelings. Those are the emotions that he knows so little about and that he needs to ‘get in touch with.’ My job as an abuse counselor often involves steering the discussion away from how my clients feel and toward how they think (including their attitudes toward their partner’s feelings). My clients keep trying to drive the ball back into the court that is familiar and comfortable to them, where their inner world is the only thing that matters.
-Lundy Bancroft in Why Does He Do That? Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men
(2002), pp. 30–31 (via mikroblogolas
If your partner’s controlling or devaluing behavior is chronic, you no doubt find yourself thinking about him a great deal of the time, wondering how to please him, how to keep him from straying, or how to get him to change. As a result, you may find that you don’t get much time to think about yourself - except about what is wrong with you in his eyes.
The media present a woman’s fear of losing her career as the fear of losing herself. But the greatest fear of most mothers is not being able to provide for their children. Mothers with high-paying jobs go back to work to earn money for their kids. Married mothers with low-paying jobs quit to save money for their kids. Single mothers struggle to find work that pays enough to support their kids. Self-fulfillment is a low priority in an economy fueled by worker insecurity.
The assumed divide between mothers who work inside and outside the home is presented as a war of priorities. But in an economy of high debt and sinking wages, nearly all mothers live on the edge. Choices made out of fear are not really choices. The illusion of choice is a way to blame mothers for an economic system rigged against them. There are no “mommy wars”, only money wars - and almost everyone is losing.
Men fear being a woman. They fear being penetrated…’being taken’…the symbolic and literal loss of boundaries to someone [another male] who is more powerful, [fuelling] horrible, violent, obsessive, paranoid hatred of anything hinted at [male] homosexuality…men designate their body to its seamless, phallic mastery.
-A. Potts. The Science/fiction of sex: Feminist deconstruction and the vocabulary of heterosex
, 2002. (via radfemale
Many years ago I did sex work. I do not look back on that time as dreadful, but neither was it ‘empowering’. I was not getting the better of men – they were paying for a service, and my body was the receptacle. I did not have edifying conversations with interesting men – in prostitution it is blatantly clear (at least it was to me) that men do not want to talk to women. Those stereotypes of whore as counsellor as much as sex worker were erroneous.
I have seen an awful lot of ultra PC liberal bollocks about it online. That no one should be ashamed of such work, that it is ‘just’ a service, that somehow in a world that has a healthy attitude to sex prostitution will be totally acceptable and even respectable. The reality is: prostitution is mostly provided by women with some pretty serious problems, abuse in childhood usually being at the root of them.. The women who are not in this situation (myself included) tend to go in, make a lot of money in a short period of time and get out again. The men who go to prostitutes vary, but generally I would rate their attitude to women as we’re OK if we’re doing what they want.
My experience was over 20 years ago, so I expect quite a lot has changed, but I bet what hasn’t changed is the pervasive attitude that women are expected to service men and ‘keep them happy.’
If none of this
sick to your stomach
then you are not paying attention.
Open your eyes.
Food is not fuel,
you are not a machine.
Has this disease
so riddle your brain
that you don’t remember
who you are?
You are a human being,
and you deserve to eat
rubbed so hard
made it spread,
what was once yours.
My veins are maps
leading to my heart
as they twist and turn
around mass and bones
and it shouldn’t be this hard
to love a person.