I did a Critical Examination where I talked about how dumb the latest video of Anita Sarkeesian is by pointing out that any expression of sexuality of a character in an art form is open to interpretation. However, there is one thing that was glaringly bugging me. Something that I couldn’t just leave alone. Mostly because it highlights a dichotomy between sex negative and positive feminism that is just so amusing to me.
A long time ago, the YouTuber Shoe0nHead did a video where she made sport of the things that feminists have talked about. She said that it is one of her least-favorite videos and that she would delete it if it wasn’t so popular. The reason why is because she makes a statement poking fun at the whole thing about feminists being so butthurt about women showing skin in video games, and then poking fun at the women who get butthurt when they walk outside in their underwear and people are off-put. She didn’t understand that there were two differing points of view on the subject. The first is Sex – feminism, that says that female sexuality is icky and any depiction of it is wrong. The kind of thing that Anita Sarkeesian falls into. Unbelievably-squarely. Not even kidding, she hits the mark so fucking well. The second is Sex + feminism, which says that female sexuality is supposed to be loud and proud and fuck the haters. That’s where we get the things like Slutwalk. If that’s still a thing. Haven’t heard much about it in some time, but still.
What I think Shoe missed is the fact that these two dichotomies and the contrasting thoughts between them is worth pointing out. Why? Because this discrepancy is interesting. Anita Sarkeesian, in her “Lingerie is not Armor” video, says that one of the arguments that people make for why female characters dress the way they do is because the character wants to do that. She claims that that is the most ridiculous argument of all the one’s she’s heard (all of which are bullshit, and one of which is so weird that I have NEVER heard it said by anyone). Did you all catch that? She said that no woman anywhere wants to be sexy. Wow…
It’s statements like that that make me wonder how other feminists can listen to her. There was a video she made about “Women as Background Decoration” where she made a point about sex workers in video games being exploited and how no woman would want to be in that position in real life. Naturally, that ruffled people’s feathers. Because no woman anywhere wants to do things like porn or has chosen of her own free will to hook. Right?
But I haven’t heard much about this video. Why? Ladies, this woman is literally saying that no woman wants to be be sexy for her own gratification. That is the most patently-absurd thing I have ever heard. Let me get any of the lady-friends I know who follow me on Instagram and ask them if that’s the case, with their selfie output. Or perhaps I could go to a beach and ask one of the women wearing a two-piece if she wants to look sexy for her own gratification. I bet the answers would be pretty much unanimous – yes. How do women not find this sort of thing unbelievably-condescending? A woman who claims to speak for you and your gender as an advocate is saying that you do not want to be sexually-appealing. Ever. I would think women who work very hard at fashion or other things might want to smack a bitch in the face. Very hard.
Okay, just did an impromptu poll of my lady-friends. Almost-universally the response was that anytime they dress up, sexy or otherwise, it is so that they can feel good about themselves. It is self-aggrandizing. So I just blew the brains out of Sarkeesian’s argument. I blew it’s fucking brains out all over the floor. Why do I talk about this stuff? Honestly, I think the reason is because I am just so fascinated by the fact that there are women who take what this bitch says seriously.
More than that – why does Anita feel this way? Well, part of it is because she’s a con artist and she has a narrative to pander to. But assuming that she’s not, and she actually believes any of the words that come out of her mouth (and there are plenty of women who do think this way, so it still works), I can’t help but think that she is sexually repressed. She is so afraid of her body and her sexuality that she can’t imagine an idea where someone would be happy enough with how they look to want to show it off. Again, this is taking what she says at face value. We all saw that picture of her in a dress at a Time Magazine event. But for those who actually do buy this (because they’re REALLY dumb), it must mean that they are so scared of how they look that this is the only way they can justify a woman dressing in a sexy way.
Oh, and she again ignores that lesbian and bisexual women exist and find women sexually attractive. What else is new? So, I still have responses from girly-mates coming in on my social media about this, so now I will ask the women in my audience here – do you ever dress up in a way that shows off your body or flaunts your sexuality for your own sense of self-satisfaction? Just so you can feel good about yourself? Let me know in the Comments.
Until next time, a quote,
“Enjoy your body. Use it every way you can. Don’t be afraid of it, or what other people think of it. It’s the greatest instrument you’ll ever own.” – Baz Luhrmann, Everybody’s Free to Wear Sunscreen