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[personal profile] eleri
This started out as a G+ comment, and then I realized I didn't feel like getting into it with people there. Then it went into a G+ post, but it got long and ranty, and there's no cut tags on G+. So over here it came.

I have to admit, sometimes the whole "that's sexist!" discussion confuses me- and I'm female. I like looking sexy. I like looking at things that look sexy. I also like characters that kick ass, regardless of what they are (or aren't) wearing. As far as I can tell, this makes me sexist.

I don't have a problem with anyone saying they'd like to see more modestly dressed female characters. I think that's a perfectly reasonable, valid, important thing to ask for. I don't see a problem with things like pointing out how idiotic most supergal poses are compared to their male counterparts, or how almost every urban fantasy out there with a woman protagonist has a cheesy image on the cover. Women are almost universally pictured sexy first, and there should be more of a balance.

What I have a problem with is how many people label every instance of cheesecake as 'sexist', say every person who appreciates female attractiveness is thinking 'sex first, everything else second', and anyone who points out that it isn't a crime to think women are sexy as 'mansplaining'. I hate that term. It means, in essence "I don't have to listen to you! Your viewpoint is automatically invalid because you have a penis!" Can you imaging the uproar if some guy used the term 'vagsplaining'?

It is, honest to god, possible to think a woman is sexy and appreciate fully their non-physical assets. It is even possible to tell a woman you think she's gorgeous, sexy, hawt stuffs, and have it be a genuine compliment, not a commentary on the fact that you only want her for her body. And, horrors of horrors, you can even want to have sex with a woman, even say that out loud and not have it mean you think of her as an object only for your sexual enjoyment.

Radical concept, I know. In the current mindset, stating out loud you find a woman sexually attractive is anathema. Unless, it seems, you've gone out of your way to point out all of her other traits first, and even specifically not mention her appearance lest you be thought of as as exist.

Guess what. I think that is BULLSHIT. Absolute and complete bullshit, and more demeaning to *both* parties than being an actual sexist pig could ever be.

Some guy tells me I'm hot? I don't automatically assume they are devaluing me and demeaning me. I might even gasp have sex with them without them having to get to know every facet of my personality first. Why? Because my body, my sexuality, my appearance is a part of me, just as much as my brains, my personality, my spirituality, and everything else that I am. Having that facet of me acknowledged is as valid and equal to me as anything else. I don't assume someone who says "Damn, you're clever!" thinks I'm ugly, why should I assume someone who says "Damn, you're sexy!" only sees my body?

I get to decide what makes me feel objectified, limited, demeaned. I get to decide if I like shaving my legs, putting on makeup, wearing tight-ass jeans for me, or if I'm doing it as some sort of "caving in to cultural pressures and assumptions of beauty". I get to decide if I can be a stay at home mom, and be a sex kitten, and not have it be a "betrayal of women's progress".Me. Not some feminist mindset, not some outraged whoevers. Me.

Date: 2012-05-15 09:22 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] zanda-myrande.livejournal.com
Well, I'm thinking "damn, you're sexy!" purely on the basis of reading this. But then you know how I feel about you.

There's a kind of feminism which comes across as puritanism in a different hat, which is just as controlling and coercive as what it's supposed to be against. I like yours better. Sadly, aa a bloke, I don't get to decide what feminism should be...

Date: 2012-05-16 03:45 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] nightshade1972.livejournal.com
I frequently have good-natured chats with hubby about the whole "you only want me for my body" thing. I know better, and he knows I know better. Honestly, it's great to be married to a guy who *does* value me for my brain as much as for my body.

I do consider myself a feminist, but I get tired of the "all sex work is demeaning/degrading/chauvinistic" rant. While it's certainly true some women sorta fall into it because they have no other choice (for whatever reason), plenty of women do it because A, they make good money, B, they enjoy roleplaying in its various forms, C, they like being a wealthy guy's "kept woman", etc etc. It's not up to me to tell a woman she can't make a living selling her body, if that's what she wants to do.

I loathe wearing makeup. I rarely wear "girly" clothes. The only "hairstyle" I have is pulling it back with a headband. In some quarters, this apparently means I'm not "really" in love with my husband of seven years, I'm a closet butch lesbian.

Which brings me to another point. I've only ever dated men. I do love my husband, very much. But I have felt, from probably my early teens, that if I had the chance to explore intimacy with another woman, I wouldn't turn my nose up at the idea. I really, truly do not understand why everyone "must" either be heterosexual or homosexual, and bisexuality is somehow either "cheating" or "not being your true self". I also don't fully buy into the idea that being a couple is the only way to be. I see nothing wrong with polygamy, open marriage, whatever you want to call it. As long as boundaries are respected, protection is used, and there's no secrecy, why should a relationship "properly" exist between only two people, of opposite genders?

Date: 2012-05-16 11:35 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] zanda-myrande.livejournal.com
P.S. You have gmail.

Date: 2012-05-17 02:48 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] eleri.livejournal.com
I do? *pokes at in box*

Date: 2012-05-18 11:16 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] zanda-myrande.livejournal.com
You should have. I sent it to the @ddress in your LJ profile. It's song lyrics.

I'll try sending it again. If you like it, I'd like to post it on LJ and maybe come up with a tune.

Date: 2012-05-18 02:34 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] eleri.livejournal.com
ah! there it is. I do like. And for some reason in my head it had a Gordon Lightfoot-y tune.

Date: 2012-05-17 05:34 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] hitchhiker.livejournal.com
fully agreed

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