Archive for the 'heterocage' Category

Additional notes on heterosexuality and privilege

Just to make things clear, my series:

is NOT in any way a defence or excuse of anti-lesbianism from part of heterosexual women. Anti-lesbianism is part of men’s arsenal to crush women and prevent us from resisting compulsory heterosexuality and bonding with other women. Just as with anti-feminism, racism, classism and general maiming of women, men use the women they own as vessels of anti-lesbian repression. I have repeatedly stated in many of my posts that any form of misogyny from part of women, whoever the woman is and whatever the form it takes, is a result of being oppressed and colonised by men and that it can be unsafe to be around such women. Although I never blame any woman for being oppressed or colonised by male ideas, I do hold her responsible for ceasing to harm other women.

I also maintain that just as with any aspect of male oppression, anti-lesbianism is driven and organised by men, not women. Focusing on the snide remarks, exclusion and snobbery of women compared to the institutional crushing of lesbians by men is like looking at the pebble instead of the mountain. It is not women who set up the asylums to lobotomise and electrocute lesbians, who commit corrective rapes of lesbians, who write the laws to outlaw lesbianism, who control the medical and psychiatric institutions which pathologise lesbians and force us to mutilate ourselves so to assimilate physically to men, nor do women secretly control the male gay movement which turned lesbianism into phallic-worshipping BDSM practices, own the porn industry which transformed the entire lesbian movement into an LGBTQ male porn fantasy, or control the male trans lobby which erases lesbians to the extent of replacing us by men in dress, etc, etc.

My series is also NOT a judgement of lesbianism, of lesbian communities, lesbian commitment or of the rightful anger against the oppression and erasure of lesbians, and actually my post has not much to do with lesbianism at all (sorry). I’m criticising the misogynist and male-centred views on heterosexuality of a very specific, small group of women which has emerged in the 80s and call themselves radical lesbians. Radical lesbianism is a small fringe within the lesbian and lesbian feminist movement and doesn’t represent all of radical lesbian feminism at all. It’s a hybrid lesbian separatist movement with some twisted input of pseudo feminism, intersectional and gay/queer ideology on heteronormativity. For some reason some radical lesbians also call themselves radical feminists or radical lesbian feminists and I don’t know whether or not they’re aware of the difference in meaning but it’s important we don’t confuse them and name radical lesbian ideology accordingly.

In fact radical lesbian views on heterosexuality works very much like intersectionality in that it’s displaced anger against women based on a myth and reversal of female privilege, and especially based on pervasive hatred and disgust of what men have reduced women to be under eons of debasement and sexual subordination – the disgust of women who are penetrated by men. While the anti-lesbianism of such women is real and truly felt by lesbians, the fact these women are beneficiary agents of this erasure, and deserving of contempt for being owned by men is totally wrong. As I said colonisation of women by definition works against all women, the colonised as much as the recipient of their misogyny. Take a look at my posts on intersectionality and colonisation for further information as I’m not going to repeat myself.

In the same way as intersectionality, radical lesbian views on heterosexuality are an outgrowth of lefty male anti-feminist tactics which renders men’s responsibility invisible, undoes feminist analyses of men’s sexual violence, intimidates and silences those women who denounce it and targets women instead of men.

The reason I insist in writing this and on criticising radical lesbian views on heterosexuality is that it specifically attacks the foundation of feminist understanding of our oppression: the inherent oppressive nature of intercourse and heterosexuality. Intercourse and hetero-captivity being the central building block of men’s oppression, it comes to no surprise that men do everything to erase our awareness of it. It’s also perfectly normal in a context of continued backlash against feminists that the reversals and denials have deeply infiltrated women’s groups, whether lesbian or not. However such misogynist views have no place in radical feminism and my point is to demonstrate that having contempt for the vast majority of women trapped by men’s heterocaptive system is, well, extremely misogynist.

Anyhow I don’t understand why hardly anyone openly protests against the enormity of the reversal that hetero-captivity and intercourse are a source of privilege and freedom of choice for women. This belief fails such basic understanding of patriarchal violence and is such a direct product of common male propaganda that I can’t understand how it’s been tolerated for so long in the radical feminist movement. Not to mention that it is primarily lesbians who produced most of radical feminist criticism of intercourse and compulsory heterosexuality, and saying that it’s anti-lesbian to name the inherent violence of PIV and heterosexuality is just laughable.

I’m also sick of the crass misogyny of statements such as heterosexual women are privileged dick-lovers who should own up to it and go eat more dick (paraphrasing here), and that radical feminists who criticise PIV and heterosexuality are just “ex hets” frustrated about having had bad sex with men and want to whine about it or get sympathy from lesbians. The “you just need to be fucked right” is the typical kind of rape-threat men throw at women who refuse to submit to them sexually. These views are unacceptable and a reproduction of the most vile and base woman-hatred. What it also amounts to is accusing women of being whores who are too stupid to admit they are one.

Well, why not say that to prostitution survivors? Say that to incest rape survivors. Say that to abuse survivors. No? Because this is what we all are as women. Prostitution, PIV/rape and incest *are* the heterosexual institution. Ask a man if it’s gay to penetrate his daughter, his wife, the prostituted woman. The essence of heterosexuality is sexual violation, and no woman has escaped this violation when in close and prolonged contact with men. We are all survivors of male abuse, at different degrees for sure, but male abuse it is.

***

Some basic facts on heterosexuality:

Heterosexuality is compulsory, that is we are psychologically conditioned (through propaganda) and physically forced into it (through sexual harassment, rape, marriage and pimping). This is one of the very basic tenets of radical feminism. Compulsory means the opposite of choice. By definition women never choose to be owned by a man, and the only free choice we can make is to resist hetero-captivity by becoming separatist, lesbian or celibate.

Heterosexuality is the system which guarantees each man sexual access to a woman and exclusive ownership over her so he can rape, impregnate and use her as his personal breeder and domestic slave. It’s the foundational institution of patriarchal oppression, on which all patriarchal institutions – economic, state, medical, religious, military, etc – are built on.

Most if not all patriarchal societies have divided the heterosexual system into two sub-systems: one is marriage in which individual men acquire individual women exclusively for intercourse, reproduction and domestic slavery; the other is prostitution, in which some men (pimps) own and rent women exclusively for being raped by any passing man, as a form of public service by and for men.

In the old days and still very much today, marriage used to be the only political structure that guaranteed men’s right to acquire a woman permanently for intercourse and breeding. The term “heterosexuality” is fairly recent in history, and appeared in the 19th century at the same time as the pathologisation and psychologisation of lesbians and gays. When women started to free themselves from the institution of marriage, men progressively replaced marriage with compulsory intercourse to all men, and this was sold as sexual liberation to women. However this was nothing other than the liberation of lefty men so they could fuck all the women they wanted outside of the constraints of bourgeois society (see Ti-Grace Atkinson, Sheila Jeffreys and Andrea Dworkin).

***

Heterosexual privilege?

No radical lesbian so far has given any concrete and sound evidence for this mythical heterosexual privilege: on what economic, material, psychological advantages is “het” privilege based on? On anti-lesbian behaviour by some women? Anti-lesbianism from part of women is no evidence of privilege, but of being colonised by men. Economic advantages? Possessed women don’t even own themselves and most husbands control or loot their wive’s resources. Heteronormative advantages at work or in social circles? How can it be a social advantage to exist only as a potential prey for sexual harassment and as dick receptacle to men? I can’t see how women who are turned into penetrable, touchable possessions by men, devoid of any right even to basic integrity, colonised to such an extent that we don’t even have thoughts of our own, socially gain from this. It makes no sense at all that this be considered a privilege.

In the same way, the claims that lesbians and celibate women are more subject to violence than women who are directly possessed by men are unfounded. It’s a reversal both from a logical and statistical perspective: the degree of freedom from patriarchal oppression/violence is measured by how much male violence you’re subjected to, in terms of frequency and severity, and thus by the extent to which you’re held captive to an abusive man or male institution. Women who are or were recently possessed by men are by far the most exposed population to regular rape, beatings, psychological violence, forced pregnancy, persecution, exploitation, theft and murder, because that’s exactly how men maintain and exercise their sex right over us. Statistically, around 80% of rapes and all forms of violence against women are committed by men close to the victim – that is men who have ownership rights over the woman (father, husband, pimp/trafficker, boyfriend, brother etc.). Women’s first cause of death in the world is murder by a male partner.

Therefore, absence of male owner = less exposure to the violence and terror of a male owner. It’s of absolute simplicity. Those women who live furthest away from men on a daily basis and who are more economically autonomous from men are those who are least exposed to male violence, whatever their sexuality is. The further away you go from a source of danger, the least likely you are exposed to that danger. Once we leave men and former abusers no longer have their grip over us, the violence is more likely to come from the outside rather than from within our own home, which makes a lot of a difference both in how we perceive it and how we can escape or resist it. And it doesn’t mean lesbians or spinsters are privileged or less oppressed, but simply that once we’ve ejected men from our intimate lives we’ll be less exposed to male violence on a regular basis compared to a woman who lives with and is owned by a man. We’re lucky. That’s all. This isn’t oppression olympics but simply stating a fact that the closer you are to violent men, the more you’re exposed to their violence. And that’s the very point of freeing ourselves from men and becoming a lesbian / radical feminist separatist in the first place, because it’s a way of protecting ourselves from the worst forms of male violence.

If we view heterosexuality as a privilege and free choice instead of as the source of all women’s oppression, how can we even claim to be a feminist? What is women’s liberation based on if the point isn’t for all women to free ourselves from men and save our lives? If lesbianism/separatism is more oppressive than being owned by a man, on what moral, political and ethical grounds should we argue for women to leave men if we see it as forsaking privileges and social protections? On the grounds that lesbianism or separatism is morally purer, that women can purge their sins of being a whore by becoming a lesbian? Is that what it means?

If we view heterosexual women as privileged, then what’s the point of creating rape crisis centres, women’s refuges, support networks for abuse victims who want to get away from men? We might as well send them all back to their abuser’s home and ask them to check their privilege first, how dare they come up with het stories up into our face! How oppressive and inconsiderate to us! And before they leave, not forget to wag a finger at them for having made a bad choice and for betraying us lesbians. Is that what lesbian feminist solidarity is based on? Or, maybe the view is more “nuanced”, and we distinguish between “real” victims who are completely innocent because reasons, and “bad” privileged victims who are slutty dick-loving traitors who asked for it because they had all the choice of the world, but they just can’t own up to that fact and pretend to whine about it?

Seriously, I’m not saying that lightly, I’ve rarely seen or heard such misogynist and woman-blaming statements by women as from radical lesbians.

The truth is that the menace of het privilege is as phony as cis privilege: it’s a lie, to intimidate women, to make us feel guilty for what men inflict on us, and especially, to threaten and silence women for denouncing men’s sexual violence, for calling intercourse and heterosexuality for what it is: rape and enslavement.

Women, don’t be deceived by it.

 

Cutting through the throes of intersectionality part II: on the structure of men’s interlocking chains

Androcentric view of oppression versus gynocentric view of oppression.

Intersectionality applies the logic of male status on women, which is the second reason why it’s off the ball. One thing I haven’t said in the first part is that what I’m attempting to draw here is a feminist understanding of men’s interlocking oppressive bonds, as opposed to an intra-male-sectarian vision of oppression based on the reversal that women, like men, are always subjects and direct beneficiaries of male status and economic wealth which awards us real power and security. This is true for men, but the same doesn’t work with women. Women’s situation is more complex since we are oppressed by all the different classes of men who are the originators and subjects of patriarchal snooldom. They are the rapists. The multiple violations men put some women into serve a completely different purpose than men’s own class divides – or put in another way, both serve only one class interest: male supremacy. Racism, classism and division of labour between men strengthens men’s global rapist apparatus against women, while from women’s perspective it is a male divide-and-conquer tactic to reinforce our sexual subordination to men.

Even though I’ve been thinking about this for several years now, I haven’t yet come across feminist theories of layered oppression that don’t lose sight of the core (men) and looks at how racism and classism attacks women, specifically as women. This is my first attempt to put it in writing publicly, and since I don’t have that many prior references to rely on or spring from except conversations with friends and a few comments or internet discussions here and there, there will possibly be some things to improve on.(there always is anyway)

For women, racism and classism have sexist intents and purposes, that is to increase our vulnerability to rape and to specific forms of female subordination to men. There is a world of difference between male and female victims of racism/classism: one simple example is the fact that male undocumented migrants and asylum seekers will at worst be enslaved in unethical corporations, whereas the typical route for female undocumented migrants will be prostitution or working as domestic servants, the latter also leading to rape and abuse by employers.

From men’s perspective, racism and classism is what provides male corporations with a continued flow of desperate, pliable male workers to exploit, who seek to escape the misery of their colonised country or impoverished region. It serves a capitalist and patriarchal interest because it supports the accumulation of wealth of a minority of men, which overall strengthens the patriarchal system. When we look at women, racism is what will provide all men with a continued flow of desperate, pliable women to be prostituted, raped and exploited in female subservient tasks. In this sense racism and classism benefits all men as it increases their ability to rape more women. Not to mention that all male economies are largely driven by trafficking in women, pimping, pornography and theft of women’s domestic work.

Men, as a sex-group, are not divided. Men’s borders, countries, classes, divide only women and set women against each other because men will increase their power over women with this system while women will have to treat each other as the enemy, which reinforces our bondage to men. Men fight each other because they want more access to beings to violate and don’t want to be at the bottom of the ladder. They are really at war against women.

Deadly division of women: assigning women to incubator and dick- receptacle functions.

Racism and classism are part of men’s arsenal for dividing women into different rape and reproductive classes. Which means that men arrange women into different reproductive and domestic functions according to their pre-assigned racial and class status. Treating women as machines, this division maximises the efficiency of men’s reproductive control.

Mostly, men distinguish between women belonging to their caste and women belonging to the caste of other men. They use the women of their own group as incubators, and invade other male groups to use their women as prostitutes and domestic servants (second-degree prostitutes). I believe this to be men’s core patriarchal-building method.

1.The in-group women: incubators, or married women

Groomed exclusively for breeding, married women are held captive in the man’s home and are either abducted, sold by the father or, more recently, manipulated or “seduced” into marriage and hetero-imprisonment. Her basic function will be to breed children until she dies from it, and if she doesn’t die after she has accomplished this horrific function, she may be killed, left to starve, or she will be used for domestic chores or to surveil other women’s children, or re-marry. If she’s lucky enough, she might be able to reduce the number of birthed children, survive her husband and enjoy slight freedom as a widow or spinster in the remaining years of her life.

Married women are evenly spread out across all male classes, nations and ethnic groups. All men of all groups conscript a majority of their daughters to marriage and forced procreation. All married women will be raped, forcibly impregnated and tortured to varying degrees according to the whim of their owner and more generally, according to the misogynistic customs of his male group.

Sub-categories of married women:

Married women are typically divided and isolated from other married women, especially from women belonging to other camps of male owners, since their interactions will mostly be limited to people authorised by her owner. The wife is assimilated to her owner’s condition, her self moulded like clay by the man’s identity. Her condition and expected behaviour is determined and tied to the social standing, class and ethnicity of the man who owns her (either father or husband) or by whom she was raised. It will also determine how other men and wider male institutions will treat her. For instance women attached to men of higher class will be exempt from various degrees of external institutional limitations, constraints, scorching poverty, violence and humiliations that will systematically be inflicted to women belonging to men of lower or colonised / genocided status.

Kept on a leash by their husbands, married women have no choice but to be loyal to her owner’s group-belonging and take his side in their useless wars, invasions and social divisions (racism and classism). Women’s autonomous class mobility is very limited if not almost impossible compared to men simply because all men will continue to treat us as property and not as subjects. The appearance of social mobility in women is achieved if a woman of lower class is married to a higher-class man, or if the low-class man she’s married to happens to climb the social ladder over years. But of course she will never be the primary beneficiary and her class belonging will remain that of a woman, underneath all men.

Another distinction between married women according to the social belonging of their owner, will be the amount of work and the type of work required from them inside or outside the man’s house, and the conditions in which they will have to breed and raise the children. While upper-class, wealthy men will hire an army of subordinate females to cook, clean the house, feed and raise the children, lower / midlle-class women will have to do everything by themselves or with little help, and those on the lower end of the class spectrum will have to work or toil outside of the house to earn money on top of her domestic and breeding obligations.

Finally, according to the country or region in which the women are married, degrees and intensity of men’s systematic violence against the women they appropriate may vary greatly, and women’s material and legal possibilities of escape varies also in degree from country to country or from group to group.

Anyway, there’s no way I can be exhaustive about all the different conditions in which men encage married women and what it means since my view is necessarily limited in time and scope. The point isn’t to get lost in details but to pin down the mechanism of oppression and class-division between women.

2. The outer-group women / unmarried women:

Prostituted women: these are the women reserved for men’s leisure rape, a sort of necrotic public service organised by pimps and woman-traders who offer men the possibility to rape women without the bother of having to individually attack, manipulate or capture the woman themselves. This is the fate reserved to loose women, those who weren’t married or those made homeless through invasion, land expropriation, forced exile, child abuse or other.

Unlike married women, prostituted women are systematically othered: they are extorted from outside the dominant group, from colonised lands or oppressed minorities, generally bearing more outlandish traits compared to the local women. Women othered and debased in this way are more likely to be held in contempt or feared by the married women, so it reinforces division and illusion of lucky exemption in the married women. The point of men warring each other is for the male invaders to increase their poole of rapeable women, and to generally have free reign to rape all women since it’s the only time where they can break the rule of having to respect other men’s private property (women), when it comes to colonised men. Which is one reason why colonised men feel so “emasculated” (deprived of their rape host, probably experienced as their dicks being cut off). Of course the colonised men define it as an attack against themselves and their sacred rape-right, and not as an attack to women, since women aren’t considered as subjects. But I digress.

Hence most prostituted women will be found amongst those who were expropriated from their lands, severely impoverished or made homeless and forced into exodus to big towns where their only chance of survival is prostitution; those whose region or country was invaded, and the women systematically raped and sent to brothels, whether for the defending or invading army; those who formed the subsequent generation of women after the occupation or war and who are now so extremely impoverished they are abandoned by their family or have to leave their home to be prostituted in men’s big towns. In such colonised countries, as many as one woman out of two or three may be forced into prostitution at a given time, even many decades after the war has officially ended. Indeed the vast majority of women trafficked for prostitution or forced domestic work come from the global south. Within the group of colonisers or higher-class men, homelessness in women is mostly generated through severe child abuse, incest rape and pimping of their own children for child prostitution rings or pornography. All this appears to be true at the local as well as the global level.

This is my speculation but it is quite possible that the institutionalisation of prostitution and brothels came about through men’s systematic raping of unmarried or homeless women as a way of punishing them for not belonging to a man, to make sure no women escaped rape and male conscription. Collective raping of women is also men’s preferred form of bonding so it might be that men always considered prostitution necessary for holding the cohesion and fabric of men’s society together. Given that they’re obsessed by paternity and furthering their genetic lineage and that it’s considered a crime for another man to sully his reproductive property, they must have decided for the sake of male-peace-keeping and preventing too many fights over ownership to set some women apart for public, collective raping – to make sure that every man could have a go at raping. I guess they would otherwise always want to rape other men’s wives or daughters and it would have disturbed men’s social order or strict reproductive control scheme. I wonder whether the history of prostitution development has been documented anywhere. Someone told me that it first started in Sumerian societies, alongside the practice of veiling married women.

Domestic servants: Same mechanism as for prostituted women except that their acquisition will be reserved to wealthier men who can afford to have slaves and/or servants in his domain. They act as surrogate inferior wives, wet nurses, cooks, cleaners, nannies, completing work that would otherwise be reserved for the married woman. The pater familias usually has right of rape over the domestic servants.

Then of course there are all those wild women who have bravely or luckily escaped male bondage: spinsters, lesbians, witches, hags, and other such revolting women that men have hunted down with all their might.

This is it for now. Stay tuned in for the next part which will focus on what it does when men inflict different degrees of violence between women.

intercourse and manufactured female pleasure: politics of love part III

My previous post of the series was about how emotional/sexual attachment to men (‘heterosexuality’) exists only within the context of OPPRESSION, GENOCIDE or globally organised violence against women by men as a class. Which means that this emotional bond to men can’t be anything else than an uncontrolled chemical response to that inescapable violence and oppression. A response to which men have conditioned us through a fine-tuned system of repression, deprivation, constraints and reward, grooming and brainwashing – aimed to modify our behaviour to ensure our long-term submission. Within this inescapable subordination to men, we can only fear them or trauma-bond to them: therefore love does not exist towards men.

One aspect I haven’t talked yet about men’s heterocage is the role pleasure plays in securing our sexual submission. In other words, how sexual pleasure with men is manufactured – it’s not pleasure but dissociation from the invasion, pain or fear. It’s always worth reminding FCM’s definition of fear and trauma-bonding inherent to intercourse:

as i think has been made abundantly clear by now, women are literally putting their lives and physical and mental wellbeing on the line, every fucking time they engage in PIV. (sorry! really, i am). if its not the very reasonable fear of being raped at some point during the encounter, its the fear of disease, and the dread, absolute dread of an unintended or unwanted pregnancy. and that last one applies even in wanted encounters with trusted partners, does it not? every single act of intercourse, from somewhat pre-menstruation to somewhat post-menopause. or…until your mate gets his nads snipped…and even then. fear, and dread. foreboding, terror, and bargaining with god. counting the days. … when women have PIV with men, we are encountering a life-threatening situation, with another person, by definition. not surprisingly, we form intense bonds with our war-buddies, these men with whom we have literally faced death and disfigurement. terror.

Before I go any further I just want to pull up again some basics on consent, violence and oppression, because that applies to every situation of violence: no matter how much you think you want, enjoy or choose to submit to an act of violence, violence excludes choice by definition, so it’s never something you could have chosen. When we define an act of violence and a system of oppression, we look at what the abuser or oppressor class does to the victim that qualifies as violence or oppression in any form. This is the only usable criteria; anything else than the actions of the oppressor is excluded from the definition, such as how the victims react (or are made to react) to this violence, whether or not she submits. When we define patriarchy we look at the structure, the pattern of what men do to us. All this is always external to us, outside of the victims. It doesn’t have anything to do with women and our individual choices as free beings but with men, patriarchy. Their violence is about them.

The very purpose of violence is to inflict something on you that you don’t want and that’s against your interest: the point is to harm, destroy you or go against your will. It’s biologically impossible to want your own destruction, you always only want what’s good for you and your survival, because that is how female life is designed. The only reason we seem to be drawn to subordination to men is because men’s violence functions in a way that turns our survival impulse against ourselves, by making us paradoxically seek self-destruction for our survival (see previous post on colonisation).

Consent is meaningless and irrelevant with regards to defining men’s violence and describing the objective reality of it. The only ones to choose and want are those who do the violence: men. They choose to resort to violence because they want to obtain something from us that they wouldn’t otherwise be able to obtain (using us as their dick receptacles, control our reproduction). Will, calculation, intent and choice of means to achieve their end are all on their side. Saying that we choose and want it is a reversal and lie. The illusion of our choice protects men not us, because deception and reversal is in part how they maintain their rule.

Violence only gives two possible options for the victim:
#1- to get away from / stop the violence (therefore there is no more violence)
#2- to submit to violence and oppression because there is no escape > forced to stay in proximity to abuser

Neither of which are a choice. In situation one, for the sake of your life and safety, you have no choice but to get away. In situation two, for the sake of your life and safety, you have no choice but to do what the abuser/oppressor orders of you.

What (liberal) men want us to believe is that the options in violence are split between:
#1- to choose not enter in the situation, because you don’t fancy it, you’re not that kind of girl.
#2- to choose to stay in the situation because you want more of it.

Both of which have the effect of erasing the reality of violence, since violence only commands submission or requires escape, without which violence doesn’t exist.

Back to the topic of sexual pleasure in intercourse that so many women claim to have and which is often the only reason that keeps us into it. As radfems, we always say that whether or not we take pleasure in intercourse, it’s irrelevant to the point that PIV is inherently harmful: but that’s partly incorrect, because the pleasure is part of the intended harm too. Here’s why:

#1. The pleasure we experience during intercourse isn’t natural, but groomed. Men teach us how to instantaneously associate the fear, pain and/or invasion of the penetration to clitoral stimulation, so we dissociate from it – cut it off – and think it’s pleasurable. Clitoral stimulation may function in the exact same way as dissociation in a situation of sexual violence because it sends dissociative drugs to the brain. Dissociation is a drug, so this reaction to PIV may become an addiction, a rush we crave for like cocaine.

#2. This groomed chemical response to intercourse is harmful because it deliberately diminishes our capacity to identify rape/PIV as violence and get away from it. It confuses us into thinking we wanted it and enjoyed it. In BDSM for instance, it is very common for men to ask women to rub their clitoris during the acts. They know it will confuse their victim, letting her believe she likes being raped and humiliated and that she is a slut after all, exactly what he told her. It will make her feel more ashamed. It’s intentional. The best way for a man to obtain long term sexual subordination from a woman is for him to get her to believe she likes it and wants it, as he would do for pimping, marriage and any form of sexual slavery. It reduces his efforts in having to control her while maximising his use of her.

#3. So this so-called sexual arousal isn’t about pleasure at all and was never intended to be: it’s about power-over and domination, it’s a way for men to obtain obedience.

Men deceiving us into finding intercourse pleasurable has been documented historically. It was part of a very organised and institutionalised strategy to quash the “anti-sex” feminist movements of the late 19th and early 20th century, to put women back to the function of dick-receptacles and breeders. IOW when women started to run away from men en masse, men launched a massive campaign to trick women back into PIV by making us think we liked it, instead of the normal ‘we should do it because that’s the way it is, we’re subordinate to our husbands’. Sheila Jeffreys explains it all very well in her introduction to Anticlimax:

In my first book, The Spinster and Her Enemies, I showed how the sexologists before the Second World War believed that they would ensure women’s subordination by eliciting a sexual response to men. Compulsory conscription into heterosexuality and the performance of the orgasm with a man were seen to ensure woman’s submission to her husband and the death of feminism, lesbianism, manhating and spinsterhood. A Freudian psychoanalyst of the 1920s made this clear when he wrote: ‘To be roused by a man means acknowledging oneself as conquered.’ Throughout the history of sexology the focus of concern has been the resisting woman. The incitement of women to respond sexually to men continued after the Second World War. This becomes clear in a consideration of the politics of sex in the 1940s and 50s, when the future of male-dominant marriage was seen to hang on curing women’s frigidity. At this time sexologists showed no self-consciousness about asserting the connection between woman’s sexual response and her subordination.

In the 1960s women were enjoined to respond in more varied positions and situations and single women were conscripted into active heterosexual sex. The language of liberation was so loud in connection with the new sexual prescriptions for women that commentators have assumed some obvious relationship between the ‘sexual revolution’ and progress in women’s condition. There is no good reason to suppose that the sexologists changed step and started believing, contrary to all their previous ideas, that women’s sexual response to men would actually liberate women. As we shall see the rules of sexologic remained unaltered. Behind the baloney of liberation, the naked power politics of male supremacy were being acted out. The high priests of sexologic, helped by the pornographers, progressive novelists and sex radicals continued to orchestrate woman’s joyful embrace of her oppression through the creation of her sexual response. Sexologists have for a hundred years dedicated their lives to eliciting orgasms from women in order to prevent our liberation.

Sheila Jeffreys, Anticlimax p. 4-5

The great scam of the 20th century goes threefold: that women’s liberation consists in

  1. being free to be fucked by any man

  2. having orgasms in being fucked by men

  3. achieving equality to men with the pill, so we can now be fucked by men without consequences, that is dissociate PIV from reproduction.

What it is about is men‘s freedom to rape more women, and diminishing men’s restrictions in raping already-owned women. They want to be able to rape even their neighbour’s wife or daughter and not get in trouble for trespassing other men’s private property. It’s about breaking down barriers to male ownership and trade of women, installing the model whereby all women are potentially touchable and violated by all men in public: the model of women’s constant prostitution to men, disguised as our sexual liberation. Liberalism, from its very beginnings, has always only been about liberalising access to property (as women) for all men.

I always find it interesting to look at the language of pre-‘sexual liberation’ for female subordination mandates. It’s surprising how everything was much more explicit before and how much more lucid women seemed to be about the fact that they didn’t have any choice about submitting to PIV and that was what they were married off to men for.

One reason it took me such a long time to get away from PIV and realise that it was destructive was precisely because I thought it procured me those “orgasms”. Believing that I enjoyed it despite the unease, fear and shame I always felt, and the fact I thought I had no other option, I never stopped seeking it until it became painful again, but that’s when I noticed that the dude didn’t stop, he continued regardless and didn’t care whether I enjoyed it or not. It dawned on me that the whole time my taking pleasure in PIV wasn’t about me or about reciprocity at all, but only a useful tool for men so they could effortlessly use me for penetration, having me thinking I wanted it.

As I said above, it has nothing to do with pleasure, because it’s a knee-jerk genital response that men teach us to have to the invasion of penetration, so we numb it off and feel this intense genital stimulation instead. It is over time and repetition that we learn to stimulate the clitoris with PIV and the body memorises this reaction mechanically: the first intercourses are mostly painful or uncomfortable. It’s like Pavlov who tortured / groomed a poor dog into drooling at the sound of the bell because it was associated to reward/punishment. In a similar way, at the sight of men’s erection or at feeling penetration, or even at the sight of men, we mechanically react in that way to protect ourselves from the fear or pain, because they’re either a rape threat or actual rape. It’s an uncontrolled chemical response to violence / threat of violence, just like trauma bonding is, it’s actually one aspect of trauma bonding, the “sexual side” of stockholm syndrome.

You know it’s a form of dissociation because it has this intense feeling followed by a release or a feeling of emptiness or excruciating need for more. If you pay close attention to it, when you’re in need it feels excruciating, like your insides are being hooked out of you. It’s a craving/longing followed by a high followed by a low. This is how you recognise dissociation and addiction as opposed to pleasure.

So a consequence of PIV orgasm policy on us is to to experience men’s presence as potential fucks instead of as rape threats, which is very, very deadly and puts us in harm’s way millionfold. In fact both potential fuck / rape threat situations are one and the same, the same pervy men and the same invasive gestures, but in the first case we dissociate through genital / emotional urges and aren’t consciously aware of the threat, and in the second case, we are aware of the external threat, feel fear directly and take measures to protect ourselves from it. So what helps me whenever I am invaded by such thoughts again in front of a man is to tell myself he’s a rape threat, which is precisely why I’m reacting that way, and he’s even more of a threat to me because of that reaction which hypnotically draws me to him instead of making me run away (thanks to Rididill for pointing out the men as rape threat vs. potential fuck).

Since PIV is violence and dissociative, it causes traumatic memory, which will be triggered in situations that recall it. And everything in this male world directly or indirectly refers to PIV, to women’s status as fuckholes. Any party, bed, public space, every film, book, song, ad, church, every other man leering at us, any man who physically resembles our previous rapist, every damn conversation. Men have turned every aspect of our daily life into a constant PIV threat / rape threat and reminder of our subordinate status. They even turn mundane objects such as cucumbers, beer bottles, lollipops and bananas into rape threats, which they euphemise as “sexual innuendo” or “sexual connotation”. As a result we may be continually invaded by visual/physical flashes of PIV. However what men have called “nymphomania” or “heterosexual thoughts and urges” are nothing but visual and sensory flashbacks of eroticised rapes from which we dissociated through genital arousal, so the thought of it trigger those same physical sensations and the need to dissociate again through PIV to overcome the current anxiety.

These flashbacks in presence of men or PIV ‘connotations’ can linger on for a very long time, even after years of celibacy, separatism from men or lesbianism. It haunts you and it feels like self-betrayal as a feminist, even though it’s not your fault. But more time passes, the more the effect wears off and the more the violence becomes physically and emotionally evident, becomes less abstract.

Our worth is only measured in how much men want to penetrate us, and we are forced into it from all sides; the violence of penetration/rape is erased and named “making love”; genital dissociation reinforces the erasure because we take this for orgasm. Men make us dependent on PIV by dangling carrots of “recognition”, “food”, “affection”, “prince charming”, “orgasm” (scare quotes because these rewards aren’t true) which traps us into a vicious cycle of more and more PIV because we never get what we’re so desperately looking for, so we try again, and again, and again, ad infinitum. More PIV is also offered as the only solution to our more or less unconscious resistance to PIV such as feeling uneasy, apprehensive, anxious, emptied, vulnerable, disgusted, abandoned, used, stuffed – they explain to us that we just haven’t tried it well enough, found the right man or tried with enough men, we haven’t learned to enjoy it the right way, tried the right positions, we need to put more lubricant, we just need to chill, be more cool and liberated and sexy.

Our normal physical defence reactions are defined as personal flaws, as frigidity and vaginismus, so instead of doing less or stopping altogether, we think we need to do more in the hope that we’ll end up becoming used to it, adapt to it, that this will eventually shake off the fear and make it feel as normal as eating.

We are also told that our feelings of fear, disgust, apprehension or second thoughts are due to the “double standard” that shames women and not men in intercourse. The inherent problem of PIV and men is displaced to being an external problem of diffuse societal shaming of women who do PIV. Men’s solution to this is to encourage us to be proud and open about PIV and our ‘sexual urges’, to free our inhibitions, be more open, push our limits to fear and pain further and further, which of course traps us back with men’s dicks and men’s violence. And their solution never works because the more we do it, the more we accumulate dread and shame, the more worthless we feel. And the more worthless we feel, the more vulnerable it makes us to assholes who manipulate us for intercourse/rape. As said before, this order to free our inhibitions to PIV is about men’s will to free restrictions to their sexual use of women, not about freeing ourselves. PIV escalation leads us to sink more and more into dissociation. There is no limit to this, it’s a bottomless pit, and the logical conclusion of this is “slutwalks”, “slut prides”, BDSM, torture, death. We can be trapped in this cycle forever, circling into more and more violence, forever trying to find freedom in our annihilation.

If we look at those genital arousals from a purely logical perspective, we have this. Intercourse may be experienced in three different ways:

either:

#1. PIV causes Genital Arousal

#2. PIV causes Genital Arousal + Pain

#3. PIV causes just Pain

or

#1. PIV + more Violence = Genital Arousal

#2. PIV + more Violence = Genital Arousal + Pain

#3. PIV + more Violence = Pain

or

Male violence on its own = GA

Male violence on its own = GA + Pain

Male violence on its own = Pain

or

just male presence = GA

just male presence = GA + Pain

just male presence = Pain

PIV / male presence are the minimum level of violence, and most often but not always in evident ways, men inflict additional violence on top of PIV. Genital arousal, contrary to choice, coexists with violence and doesn’t annul it. It may be experienced from the minimal to maximum level of violence, even torture. It follows that the experience of ‘orgasm’ is the same as experience of pain: it’s a natural and uncontrolled reaction to violence.

PIV is always rape, ok?

Just to recall a basic fact: Intercourse/PIV is always rape, plain and simple.

This is a developed recap from what I’ve been saying in various comments here and there in the last two years or so. as a radfem I’ve always said PIV is rape and I remember being disappointed to discover that so few radical feminists stated it clearly. How can you possibly see it otherwise? Intercourse is the very means through which men oppress us, from which we are not allowed to escape, yet some instances of or PIV and intercourse may be chosen and free? That makes no sense at all.

First, well intercourse is NEVER sex for women. Only men experience rape as sexual and define it as such. Sex for men is the unilateral penetration of their penis into a woman (or anything else replacing and symbolising the female orifice) whether she thinks she wants it or not – which is the definition of rape: that he will to do it anyway and that he uses her and treats her as a receptacle, in all circumstances – it makes no difference to him experiencing it as sexual. That is, at the very least, men use women as useful objects and instruments for penetration, and women are dehumanised by this act. It is an act of violence.

As FCM pointed out some time ago, intercourse is inherently harmful to women and intentionally so, because it causes pregnancy in women. The purpose of men enforcing intercourse regularly (as in, more than once a month) onto women is because it’s the surest way to cause pregnancy and force childbearing against our will, and thereby gain control over our reproductive powers. There is no way to eliminate the pregnancy risk entirely off PIV and the mitigating and harm-reduction practices such as contraception and abortion are inherently harmful, too. Reproductive harms of PIV range from pregnancy to abortion, having to take invasive, or toxic contraception, giving birth, forced child bearing and rearing and all the complications that go with them which may lead up to severe physical and emotional damage, disability, destitution, illness, or death (See factcheckme.wordpress.com for her work on the reproductive harms of PIV, click on the “intercourse series” page or “PIV” in the search bar). If we compare this to even the crappiest online definition of violence: “behaviour involving physical force intended to hurt, damage, or kill someone or something”. Bingo. It fits: Pregnancy = may hurt, damage or kill. Intercourse = a man using his physical force to penetrate a woman. Intention / purpose of the act of intercourse = to cause pregnancy.  PIV is therefore intentional harm / violence. Intentional sexual harm of a man against a woman through penile penetration = RAPE.

If we look at the act in more detail (skip this parag if you can’t take it), PIV is a man mounting on a woman to thrust a large member of himself into her most intimate parts, often forcing her to be entirely naked, banging himself against her with the whole weight of his body and hips, shaking her like he would stuff a corpse, then using her insides as a receptacle for his penile dejection. How is this a normal civilised, respectful way to treat anyone? Sorry for the explicit picture, but this is what it is and it’s absolutely revolting and violating.

The term “fuck you” is not an insult for nothing, men know why – it’s the worst thing you can do to a human being. It is in itself an extremely physically invasive act, very often painful, generally at the beginning before the pain may be cut off by the genital arousal; causes all sorts of tears, bruises, swelling, discomfort, STDs, vaginal infections, urinary infections, genital warts, HIV and death. Not to forget the additional sado-gynecological interventions/ costs of PIV-maintenance, and all the secondary physical mutiliation and financial costs that go with our duty to make ourselves look decorative for male sexual consumption – such as hair removal, make-up, starvation or forced feeding, torturous limb deforming or cutting up, etc.

The fact intercourse causes so many infections and tears and warts attests to the unnaturalness of intercourse, that it’s not meant to be. The vagina’s primary function isn’t to be penetrated by a penis but to eject a baby for birth. They are two muscle tissues / sphincters pressed against each other to help the baby be pushed out. Penetration of the penis into the vagina is completely unnecessary for conception.

There’s a reason men need to groom us into it, and why this grooming takes so long- because it’s so grossly violating and traumatising that we would otherwise never submit to intercourse. The only reason we may now not feel raped or have the impression we desired or initiated PIV, is because men broke down our barriers very skillfully and progressively from birth, breaking down our natural defences to pain and invasion, our confidence in our own perceptions and sensations of fear and disgust that tell us male sexual invasion is painful, harmful and traumatic.

Through an all-pervasive and powerful male propaganda, they stuff our minds from infancy with the idea that PIV is normal, desirable and erotic, before we can even conceive of it as something horrifying, and make sure we never see any alternative to their lie – or that if we do, we can no longer take in the information, are punished for thinking and saying otherwise. The fact we may not immediately feel raped doesn’t mean it’s not rape, objectively speaking. To give a classic example, many women in prostitution may not identify the act of prostitution as rape, except if the act wasn’t paid for. It doesn’t stop us from saying that all prostitution is rape. We know that our subjective feelings or thoughts may be colonised by men’s perspectives and as radical feminists we don’t let that override and erase the objective reality of violence. (PS -The reason why ONLY the lack of payment is defined as rape is because the offence here isn’t against the prostituted woman but the pimp who was deprived of his income. Rape comes from rapt, which is an old word for theft of woman-as-property.)

Lastly, from a structural point of view, as a class oppressed by men, we are not in any position of freedom to negotiate what men do to us collectively and individually within the heterocage. Men, by whom we are possessed, colonised and held captive, are the sole agents and organisers of PIV. Men dominate us precisely so we can’t opt out of sexual abuse by them; intercourse is the very means through which men subordinate us, the very purpose of their domination, to control human reproduction.


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