Friday, 26 July 2013

Neo-Liberalism and the Defanging of Feminism

Combating so-called "Third-Wave" Feminism and the pantomime of Slutwalk et al

The brilliant Gail Dines writes:
"I have been reading some of the media comments about the new UK measures to limit children's access to porn and struck by how neo-liberalism is the new normal. I said this last year in my talk below on how neo-liberalism has taken over feminism, but it has taken over just about everywhere. Speaks to the power of hegemony!"

Saturday, 20 July 2013

Portsmouth Remembers...

I took these photographs showing the projection onto Portsmouth Guildhall by ETC UK Ltd.
The projections were part of the Portsmouth Remembers memorial concert in July 2005 to mark the 50th anniversary of the end of the Second World War. 

Monday, 15 July 2013

Exeter Exeposé Sucks...

Exeter Exeposé
Issue 606
Sex-on-the-Exe: are blowjobs really that hard to swallow?
By "Anonymous"

I responded to this piece some time ago but the editors chose to censor the opinions of any critics to their very own self-styled, narcissistic little Carrie Bradshaw columnist. So here is my response in full...

Whilst an interesting piece I couldn't help but note the glaring contradiction contained within the "Anonymous" article on 'blowjobs'. Overlooking the fact that a self-confessed "ardent feminist" chose to disregard International Women's Day, preferring to use the week in which it fell to instead promote the somewhat dubious and puerile 'Steak & Blowjob Day', I have to take the article to task. 

The author proudly declares, from behind the curtain of anonymity, her love of blowjobs, her sexually submissive nature and her desire to be dominated by men, before proceeding to immediately back-peddle, stating the act of giving head is actually far from being submissive but rather is 'empowering'.

Whilst of course it is true the art of fellatio per se is not a submissive act, for example when performed as part of the ubiquitous '69', or if you have your man blindfolded and chained to the bed, the author does not refer to such encounters, so it is baffling why she seeks to cloak her sexuality with a perhaps well-meaning but somewhat half-hearted justification. Although not necessarily debasing, a blowjob is, outside of a loving and stable relationship, generally a submissive act of phallocentric oral worship of the dominant and masculine, the above examples aside. Indeed the more extreme and denigrating forms of blowjob such as the opprobrious 'bumkin' (if you have to ask I doubt this unique kink is for you, although Urban Dictionary does provide a satisfactory if perfunctory explanation) are nothing more then debasing. Whilst a submissive may find a servile and degrading position on their knees in a toilet cubicle an aphrodisiac, and perhaps even liberating, in could never be described as 'empowering'

However, I think the salient point to be picked from this article is the reported reaction of her fellow "feminists" to her open admission surrounding her sexual proclivities. The objective of feminism has surely been primarily the fight for equality in all areas of society, including sexuality. A woman can be whatever she wishes; an Amazonian warrior, a prim school ma'am or a sensual submissive. Feminism should be liberating a woman in the bedroom, not monitoring or judging her.

Whilst the article clearly had it's tongue firmly in cheek (pun intended) I can't help feel it was a missed opportunity by the author to celebrate her individual sexuality, rejecting any shame and embarrassment others seek to project and embracing the incredible, multi-facet intricacies of human nature that are still, to this day, are so readily oppressed by society. Falling into the time worn trap of trying to justify who she is by assuring us that isn't who she is, combined with her desire for anonymity makes me wonder if it really is 80 years since Anaïs Nin first put her work, and name, above the parapet of societal understanding of human sexuality.

The wise and erudite Susan Sontag once cautioned:
"Fear of sexuality is the new, disease-sponsored register of the universe of fear in which everyone now lives."