Remember the 80’s, when women were allowed to wear ankle-length skirts with boots and baggy sweaters, and you didn’t have to “empower yourself” by dressing sexxay in order for anyone to take you seriously? If you were born in the 90’s (or God forbid the 2000’s), obviously not. But try to imagine this prior time!
The 80’s were far from perfect, but feminists were still able to state the (obvious) truth that objectifying women as fuck dolls or brainless assemblages of body parts (which is the same as a fuck doll) was anti-feminist. I mean, really!
I was watching tv over Christmas and there were these really gross ads for Adult Swim. In the first, a magician is standing next to a woman’s sexxay legs, in high heels and stockings, while the rest of her body from the waist up is sitting on a floating platter. Then in the follow-up ad, the upper body is sitting in one chair in the waiting room, and her legs are sitting in a different chair.
“Why is this making me so upset?” I thought. And then I thought “Because haven’t men been making jokes that the only ‘good’ part of a woman is the bottom half for centuries? And when they say ‘good’, we all know what that means.” But in case you don’t, it means a fuckhole with no “blowhole” so she can’t even “squawk” back.
Benjamin Franklin made this joke in point #5 of his advice on choosing a “mistress”. Magicians (men) sawed their “assistants” (women) in half on stage for a hundred years, starting in the late 1800’s. In 1978, Hustler went a step further and just ground the “useless” part of the woman up. The Hustler cover was so over the top that men kind of got it, and maybe even chilled out for a little bit in the 80’s!
And yet here we are, in the post-sexism 20-teens, and a woman who claims to be a feminist and ally to some of the most disadvantaged women (prostitutes) publishes a book which replicates this horribly, deeply misogynistic trope right on its cover! Seriously, there is no “critique” in that cover image – it’s simply recapitulation of the kind of brazenly sexist bullshit that the feminists of the 70’s and 80’s would never have silently ignored. Or, they would have called it out: check out this amazing post Are Women Human? featuring words by Catherine MacKinnon and advertisements from genderads.com.
I’m writing this as a trans woman, who has lived half her life as a girl/woman. I never want to overstep my bounds when talking about feminism due to the whole male socialization thing, but I think I get a say about this one since I’m usually perceived to be female, and I face a lot of the same body pressure and objectification that other women do. So while in general I try to tread lightly in critiquing the activism of other women, I just have to speak truth to power here.
It’s infinitely depressing that in today’s climate of penis-centric feminism, intentionally demeaning other women by reducing them to fuckholes to be sold to men has been transformed into a “feminist” act. This is very much the definition of a patriarchal reversal, and it goes to show that some of the most effective MRA’s are actually females who consider themselves “feminist”.
I weep for girls growing up today. “Choice is the language of the powerless.” But it doesn’t have to be this way!
Note: originally posted here.