One time I was masturbating in the shower and came so hard that I couldn’t keep in my scream but I knew my brother was in the bedroom next door and that he’d hear and know what I was doing so I quickly transitioned into singing the opening of the Lion King.
“[I]magine what would happen if, instead of centering our beliefs about heterosexual sex around the idea that the man “penetrates” the woman, we were to say that the woman’s vagina “consumes” the man’s penis. This would create a very different set of connotations, as the woman would become the active initiator and the man would be the passive and receptive party. One can easily see how this could lead to men and masculinity being seen as dependent on, and existing for the benefit of, femaleness and femininity. Similarly, if we thought about the feminine traits of being verbally effusive and emotive not as signs of insecurity or dependence, but as bold acts of self-expression, then the masculine ideal of the “strong and silent” type might suddenly seem timid and insecure by comparison.”—
Julia Serano, Whipping Girl: A Transsexual Woman on Sexism and the Scapegoating of Femininity (“Putting the Feminine Back into Feminism,” pg 329)
Make him feel like a piece of meat: “It’s a huge turn-on to hear a woman objectify me,” 30-year-old Christopher says. “It seems simple, but it’s so powerful.” Take his words to heart and don’t be afraid to tell your guy everything you like about his body or what he does that drives you crazy. He’ll be obsessed.
That’s not what objectification means. That’s not making him feel like a piece of meat. That’s just sexual compliments. Yeah, sure, it’s easy to say “I don’t know what those ladies are complaining about, you can objectify me anytime” if you think it means your girlfriend tells you you have sexy abs.
Objectification is focusing on a person’s usefulness to you with total disregard for their desires. In the context of compliments, it’s not saying “You turn me on.” It’s saying “You turn me on, and whether you want to turn me on is utterly irrelevant.”
Saying “nice ass” to a person who’s deliberately wiggling their ass at you is a compliment; saying “nice ass” to a person who’s just walking by is objectification. “I want to sleep with her” is expressing desire; “I’d hit it” is objectification. “You’re sexy” is nice to say on a date because it’s a compliment; “you’re sexy” is hideously undermining to say at a business meeting because it’s objectification.
jeez i would love to order that thing online, but i don’t know what size to order it in because women’s clothing sizes are determined by the alignments of the planets in relation to the fuck you galaxy
Marginalized people often are prevented from knowing really important things. Things that they need to know in order to live in the world.
Some conversations about things like privilege and oppression are primarily conversations between marginalized people about how to notice what’s going on and live well in a world that hates them.
These are not the same kinds of conversation as general talk about the nature of privilege or how the world works. They’re also not the same as conversations that are oriented towards getting powerful people to care about the problems of marginalized people.
Sometimes, conversations are for peer support and work done between people who are directly affected by an issue. Sometimes they’re for people who need to understand what’s going on in a particular case, without having to explain from the beginning that the issue exists.
And often, those conversations get derailed by privileged people who assume that the conversation has space for them. (Sometimes, very well meaning privileged people who don’t understand that what they are doing is harmful.)
For instance, here’s a way it can play out:
Some disabled people are talking about body image or feeling physically repulsive after an instance of discrimination
Then someone comes and says “Hi, I’m wanting to check my able-bodied privilege here. I’ve never heard of this. Why do you feel that way?”
This can be really derailing and make the problem impossible to discuss, even if the person means well
Because sometimes you need to discuss these things with people who understand and can have insightful things to say *based on already understanding certain things*
And it can be really emotionally exhausting to need emotional, intellectual, and conceptual support, and then be interrupted by people who don’t understand and might be skeptical
Sometimes, you just want to know that you’re not alone
Sometimes you need to talk to people who have been there and can help you to understand it and to bear it
People talking about something doesn’t mean they have to be up for talking about the thing with everyone who is interested
It doesn’t mean that they have to be up for discussing it with every *well meaning* person who is interested, either
Sometimes that’s not even possible, particularly when just starting to think about and articulate the problem is terrifying and draining (which is really common, especially for people who have never had peer support before and are under attack constantly.)
It’s not always easy to tell which kind of conversation it is, but when marginalized people from a group you’re not part of are talking about something awful they’re dealing with, it’s important to be mindful of the possibility that this is not a conversation you should be participating in.
Some approaches I think help:
If a blog tells you that it’s for a certain group, and you’re not a member of that group, don’t weigh in on its threads
If someone tells you to get off their thread on Tumblr, it’s usually important to do so, particularly if it originated from a personal blog
If you see a conversation that looks like it might be oriented towards people personally experiencing the thing or who have back, and you want to ask a question, ask privately first
And ask if it’s ok to ask a question about the thing and *be prepared to take no for an answer*
Usual standard note when I’m discussing this topic: This is not that kind of blog - this is a public blog and it’s not for any group in particular. You can ask anything here that you’re sincerely interested it, and it’s ok to comment on things. I reblog things I see when I want to respond or boost; I answer asks when I feel like I have something to say.
But group-specific blogs, spaces, and conversations very much do need to exist, and it’s important to respect that.
This is such a great unpacking of this phenomenon and why it can be harmful.
This is why I try to specifically focus on marginalized groups in sex education because so many groups go without information tailored to them in sex and health.
"When I was about 20 years old, I met an old pastor’s wife who told me that when she was young and had her first child, she didn’t believe in striking children, although spanking kids with a switch pulled from a tree was standard punishment at the time. But one day, when her son was four or five, he did something that she felt warranted a spanking–the first in his life. She told him that he would have to go outside himself and find a switch for her to hit him with.
The boy was gone a long time. And when he came back in, he was crying. He said to her, “Mama, I couldn’t find a switch, but here’s a rock that you can throw at me.”
All of a sudden the mother understood how the situation felt from the child’s point of view: that if my mother wants to hurt me, then it makes no difference what she does it with; she might as well do it with a stone.
And the mother took the boy into her lap and they both cried. Then she laid the rock on a shelf in the kitchen to remind herself forever: never violence. And that is something I think everyone should keep in mind. Because if violence begins in the nursery one can raise children into violence.”