Well, I'll go to the foot of my stairs...

Often startled, frequently amused, sometimes scared; rarely speechless. Can be found at witchywoo22@yahoo.co.uk

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Witchy-woo's Wednesday Wow this week...

...is inspired by two posts. The first one comes from Kiki at Saucebox whose wonderfully insightful exploration of the conflict between men's (accepted) biological and their culturally defined sexual response to women raises some interesting and thought provoking issues. There is stuff in Kiki's post that could be used over and over to counter those tired old arguments about men, women, sex, pornstitution and the general sexual oppression of women.

Truly, it's a fab post and I've had a hard time hanging on to it for a whole week! A taster:
If men are hardwired to want to mate with as many women as possible as often as possible, why is it that they are so picky about the weight or breast size or stature or proportions of the women they fuck?
Hence, I can only conclude that sexual response and sexual drives are at least as influenced by culture and socialization as they are by biology, if not more so.
And yet another....
Once you start accepting that the demonstration of desire, in whatever form it takes, is as inevitable as the desire itself, well you’re basically saying that men are not in fact rational and sentient beings capable of consciously choosing to treat women as people rather than sexual objects in spite of any uncontrollable sexual desire they may feel towards them. So which is it? Because if I were a man, I’d be incredibly insulted by the notion that I’m nothing but a slave to my penis and all the other inner sexual biological workings that my penis represents.
Ooooh... go read the whole thing... Really, it's fab. I really wish Kiki would post more often - she's so good.

The second wow comes from Spotted Elephant at The Bipolar View

There has been a lot of discourse of late amongst radfem bloggers about the 'beauty rituals' thing. Lots of my favourite bloggers (look right to spot the links ---->) have been arguing - yes, arguing - about the radfeminess or otherwise of complying, or not, with patriarchial 'beauty' values.

Some say pure rad-feminism demands a total rejection of 'beauty' procedures. Some say 'poo' to that; they're aware of the patriarchial nature of such procedures for patriarchially defined ends but that's not why they participate - and some say they understand both points of view but they're just not 'there' yet.

Some might consider that, by dividing us the way it seems to have over the issue of 'beauty' rituals, the patriarchy has scored another goal against the feminist movement. And some might say, yeah.... they might have.

Spotted Elephant says:
Are we only willing to fight alongside one another when we’re in full agreement? Don’t we have more important enemies than each other? The last thing any woman needs is other women as her enemies. Our numbers aren’t that strong. We’re far stronger together than we are apart. Can our community survive this? I think it’s worth fighting for.
And I totally agree. Our community is so worth fighting for.

For what it's worth: I do wear make up sometimes and, sometimes, I shave my legs and underarms - when I want to. I never feel 'less than human' when I don't. (Isn't that what patriarchy demands....that we don't feel like 'real' women unless we look like fake ones? That we feel 'sub-human' if we don't look like something from the cover - or centre-fold - of some 'men's magazine?) And when I shave/wear make up, it isn't the occasion that demands it - it's me. It's what I feel like. For whatever reason.

I identify as a radical feminist because I believe that patriarchial ideology is the root of the oppression of women and that we (collective) need to overthrow the patriarchy in order to achieve human status for women and girls. I also believe that is a huge journey for individual women to make. It's not easy and it's not quick. And, let's face it, there aren't that many of us to support one another along the way.

So; while I might feel quite ok going hairy-armpitted to a House of Commons Select Committee meeting but just might fancy shaving my pits for a village hall quiz night - just because it's all about what I want - I'm not about to diss another woman for wanting to do anything differently.

We're all just at different places on the same journey, surely?

Please... read Spotted Elephant's post.


  • At 3:21 AM, Anonymous Kiki said…

    Thanks for the shout-out, wicthy.

  • At 9:57 AM, Blogger Spc. Freeman said…

    Excellent points. And I think Kiki is right. Cultural standards do play a much larger role in sexual aesthetics than we give credit for.

    I've seen this among guys I know. They find a girl attractive, but she doesn't fit the accepted standard of beauty for our culture.

    Example: a few months back a guy I knew was hanging out with me and my wife, along with a few friends, at a local pub. Across the room was a young German woman that this young man couldn't help staring at. She was very attractive, but to some her weight might have been a turn-off. This guy kept making nasty jokes and comments about her, to the mild disgust of the rest of us:

    "I think her blood-type is Ragu."

    You get the idea. Anyway, my wife finally got so tired of this, she flat-out called him on his hypocrisy. She told him he was just too afraid to go talk to the girl, and that he was masking his attraction in frat-boy solidarity. Put out by this, the boy brashly accepted the challenge to go and buy her a drink.

    The girl shut him down. He deserved it.

    Truly a classic moment.

  • At 10:34 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Interestingly I went hairy for years - hated the whole shaving thing. But since becoming single last year I've started shaving legs and pits - for me, not for anyone else, not because it "put's me back in the available market" or makes me more attractive, but because I feel like it. The woman I was living with was a hairy pitted one and I felt pushed to follow her lead. This is my way of liberating myself.

    And I feel GOOD!

  • At 12:51 AM, Blogger Edith said…

    I have always wondered about that "biological imperative" logic, too! Like, if men have to spread their seed to every feminine hole they see, why must the definition of feminine "acceptability" be so narrow? That is obviously a direct contradiction, don't you think? Either you think men are hardwired to screw every woman they encounter, or men are hardwired to screw only a select few women who measure up to whatever the evolutionary biopsychologists are calling "perfection" this week.

    I fart in all of its general direction, so to speak.

  • At 3:44 PM, Blogger simply wondered said…

    More well-textured stuff to chew on from the WW - it's like feminism for those bright enough to think about it but too busy or lazy to do the legwork (sadly I'm probably the latter - lazy, not legwork). Respect to Kiki, but I think it's fairly obvious that sexual aesthetics are almost entirely defined by our time and place - but maybe I'm unfair to you and there are lots of people who are denying the 'obvious' truth of that assertion.
    And on the being-totally-dominated-by-the-penis bit - well maybe not totally, but it seems the brain is dependent on a very specialist mix of chemicals and when one is just a teeny bit out, we do things we might rationally not expect to. And if men (or women too) are led by a particular part of their make-up why should any of them think that is an excuse. Whatever we do, think and say we have to take responsibility for it and the consequences; if not to others, at least to ourselves. Even if we feel we are predetermined to act in certain ways that doen't mean we have to go along with it. If you see something you really want it doesn't mean you go and steal it...or even buy it. I'm sure Mr Dylan would have something impenetrable to say about it.
    And perhaps, Edith, men are 'hardwired' to want to screw this week's version of perfection but will happily screw whatever they can get. I am indeed a sad old cynic, but I guess all we can do is try to be better.

  • At 4:41 AM, Blogger witchy-woo said…

    I just think it's strange...all this current emphasis on body type, breast size, hair colour and the fetishisation of women's physicallity generally.

    Isn't the biggest, hugest turn-on knowing that someone actually loves you never-mind-what-you-look-like and that you love them as well?

    I wonder, sometimes, what's happening to real, human relationships as a result of all these pressures.

  • At 10:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    "Isn't the biggest, hugest turn-on knowing that someone actually loves you never-mind-what-you-look-like and that you love them as well?"

    Yep. But it is so hard to believe that sometimes.

  • At 10:57 PM, Blogger simply wondered said…

    and why are so many apparently intelligent people blogging like crazy when they could be working on those old-fashioned real human relationships.

  • At 8:27 PM, Blogger simply wondered said…

    mind you, spotted elephant's blog is very good; and way more fun than real people

  • At 11:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I'm real! I have many online friendships and at times they mean more than my friends I see regularly in "real life"

    Why is there a distinction between the internet and "Real life" Surely this is just another method of communication?

    Oh and while I'm on the internet subject - I hate SPAM. I hate being told I can "Please more women" adn where to get cheap viagra - as for the one today titled "Printer ink cheap" that was an offer of plastic surgery in the back of beyond. Do they think we're stupid.



  • At 11:05 AM, Blogger simply wondered said…

    absolutely, Sarah; I enjoy it too (by definition) was being flippant. like you site and its aims. I'm your classic lazy green. must try harder.

  • At 11:09 AM, Blogger simply wondered said…

    i love the irony that you get spam offering to help you 'please more women' when all the bloggers like you, Witchy (are your blogcircle a coven???) , spotted elephant etc etc etc (loads of others obviously) are presumably doing just that by writing thinking blogs and supporting each other. ah well


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