Posted by: hellonhairylegs | August 17, 2008

Woman =/= Sex

People in my class are unable to distinguish between women and sex. Every second page they are blathering about Cleopatra displaying her sexual power, which magically trumps all of Antony’s political power. According to them all of his mistakes are all her fault as a result of sex.

If they applied the same criteria in the Cleopatra/ Antony relationship to the Caesar/ Antony relationship (or the Iago/ Othello relationship) there would be a lot of Shakespearian slash.

Also, a dude in that same class are saying it is intrinsically female to have no physical power. I guess I will just have to use my womanly wiles and poison that dude instead.

ETA: I was shamelessly ripping off quotes and ideas from old essays and the same problems emerged. I was told tales of “feisty heroines” and “forefathers.” At least I know “mankind” is doing well because according to some guy writing in 2005, women are equal now. Woopahoo.

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Responses

  1. Thought you might be interested in this:

    http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/26182276/

  2. Thanks mb. Young girls getting waxed is yet another symptom of our obsession with eliminating body hair. I remember it was the pressure from (male) peers that made me get waxed. I was called “monobrow” for a while. It sucks to be female in highschool when the dudes a) act like they have the right to comment on your body b) compare you to a select portion of the population which have been further “improved” through airbrushing etc.

    I think that article would have benefited from less focus on the mothers and more focus on the patriarchy and crappy beauty ideals.

  3. Whoa, that article mb linked to…anyone else get a red flag at this paragraph?

    >> “It’s not uncommon for girls to get their period at 9 or 10 years old, and with that development comes increased hair growth,” said Dr. Doris Pastor, a clinical associate professor of pediatrics at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. “The waxing itself is not an issue; the bigger issue is whether they are encouraged to engage in risky behaviors.” <<

  4. I now want Shakespearean slash. …wait, was that the point?

  5. Yeah, I feel really fucking powerful after I spend hours plucking and waxing and ironing and painting and primping and slithering into restrictive clothing and shoes that make my feet blister only to have the great and mighty power(!) of having a dude decide I’m a good enough receptacle for his cock in an act that is typically boring, smelly, and sometimes painful. I’m so fucking powerful guys!

    Men like to think we’re powerful because they, by the grace of their socialization and privilege, feel that every second of every day is wasted if they are not having sex or trying to have sex. But there is that pesky thing called “consent”, and most, but not all, men feel that they have to get that consent (with blackmail and shame and guilt, sometimes) before they can fulfill their daily purpose: porking. So all that stands in the way of their ultimate fulfillment of their infinite pussy quota is a woman with free will.

    If your entire myopic purpose in life is sex, then free will is quite a pain in the ass, isn’t it? Sometimes I would just like to shake dudes like that until the stupid falls out.

  6. Amy, yep that was a red flag moment. It is aggravating to think that for some people, that it all the informed coverage they get. How are they expected to get past the constant drumbeat of blame-the-mother-blame-the-mother?

    Lemur, one of the reasons I wrote that post is so I could use the term “Shakespearian slash.” Right now I’m writing (or should be, procrastination is my curse) an alternate version to Antony and Cleopatra where Cleopatra and Octavia end up on a beach somewhere together (set in modern day).

    Jenn, I’m with you on wanting to shake the stupid out of dudes. Many of the guys I go to school with are utterly unable to see past their dicks. You’re very good at the ranting thing. I think I’m going to have to blogroll you. 🙂

  7. My sister was telling me that she saw a production of Othello recently where Iago was cast as a female– and then she went on about how the character was “more evil” as a woman, because she was using her sexuality (ZOMG!!!), and not just cunning.

    I tried to explain to her that this was clearly playing on a harmful “scary bisexual/lesbian” stereotype (she was still married to a woman), and that even as a male, Iago does use sexual manipulation (particularly towards his wife), and he certainly manipulates Othello’s trust in him as a friend (though I’m intrigued to read the play with slash goggles on now!)– and I asked her why it seemed so much “worse” when it was a woman. She couldn’t really give me a satisfactory answer, but I hope I planted some seeds anyway. 🙂

    Oh, I did a Google search, and it turns out there’s an LJ group for it: Bard Slash 😛

  8. LJ: Slash for every occasion.

    Nice work Beppie. 🙂

  9. I wish i could email you off blog – you should really set one up – but i agree with you about most people being racist and sexist assholes – the whole “mexican wh*re” sterotype thanks to American TV – it doesnt seem to matter to people at school that my family is from cuba not mexico

    of course most kids are the type of people that think “archaic” is a type of chocolate chip cookie and that a particle accelerator is a brand of vacuum cleaner

  10. hellonhairylegs@y7mail.com – You’re welcome to email.

    I hope school gets better for you. I’ve found that the feminist blogosphere helps me handle the crap, maybe the same will happen for you.

    Hollywood has become synonymous with *headdesk* for me. If you distilled American media you would get a whole lot of white patriarchal ooze.

    Welcome to the blog Marta.

  11. Far be it from me to suggest that orgasms are of greater importance than the revolution, but in defense of hetero sex, I must address Jenn’s comment: “an act that is typically boring, smelly, and sometimes painful.” As a feminist who likes sex (which is NOT the same thing as a “sex-positive/pro-sex feminist,” just to be clear), I feel obligated to point out that if it’s boring, smelly, and painful, someone’s doing something very wrong.

  12. -has no knowledge of hetero sex-

  13. Pardon my ignorance, but what on earth does “Shakesperian slash” mean?

  14. Gay fanfic for Shakespeare plays.

  15. As a feminist who likes sex (which is NOT the same thing as a “sex-positive/pro-sex feminist,” just to be clear), I feel obligated to point out that if it’s boring, smelly, and painful, someone’s doing something very wrong.

    Of course, that was the point. I have found, in my many mishaps (before I fell upon radical feminism, thank god) that the type of men I snagged with the typical “boy meets girl” narrative outlined above are the types to be horrible and selfish in bed.


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