I love those blog posts that make me shout, “Yes!”
Infinitethought has posted a biting critique of the bulging strawfeminist-packed closets of the so-called “sex-positive” individualist feminist, the second, larval stage of the embryonic INAFBer :
Trotting out the tired old line ‘I used to think that all feminists were miserable and hairy’, Valenti does her very best to sell us her feminist manifesto, in all its, cough cough, radicality: ‘liking your body can be a revolutionary act’ she concludes, regarding her navel with a curious kind of joy as centuries of political movements that dared to regard the holy body as secondary to egalitarian and impersonal projects crumble to bits around her.
Do we really, really need more people talking about how anger and body hair are terribly counterproductive to the women’s movement? How can someone profess to like their body with a straight face while still thinking “Hair is gross and icky, ewww!”?
I’ve mentioned my dislike of the term “sex-positive” in my bio, but haven’t really elaborated. Here’s my take: Any set of ideas that insists that I affirm my personal sexual availability every time I talk about my politics, as not even a footnote but a mandatory adjective, is not for me. What’s liberatory about this? Are women to be freed of everything except their paramount sexbot role? “Sex-positive” functions like “pro-life”; it only serves to construct a false category of “sex-negative”, which is, of course, automatically “bad”. Consensual sex is lumped in with the worst of rape-roleplay and exploitative porn and everything in between, and those who are against some must of course be against the other in this particular binary. Why is one of the biggest divisions in feminism all about sex? Why are we categorising women using sexual attitudes as a primary descriptor? Whose hands are we playing into by maintaining this as our focus?
The look-at-me priority of little black dress feminism obscures the central tenets of the movement – that ALL women are people. That women everywhere in the world deserve to be free of rape, abuse, hardship, reproductive control and oppression. Not just smooth-legged cheery L’Oreal-infested twentysomethings dancing their asses off in American nightclubs.
Valenti makes some excellent points in the meat of her Guardian article – about rape, equal pay, reproductive rights, and political representation. So why qualify it all by treating her audience like apolitical ditzes? Her Guardian article opens with beauty:
You don’t need to get bogged down in political analysis to know that feminism is still necessary – you just have to look in a mirror.
and closes with sex:
Feminists do it better.
Infinitethought sums up:
Stripped of any internationalist and political quality, feminism becomes about as radical as a diamanté phone cover.
 INAFB = “I’m not a feminist, but…”
Categories: gender & feminism