Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Criticize the Women Who Allowed It, Not Anthony Weiner's Behavior!

This morning I was doing my usual scan of the day's news when I came across a lovely New York Times articled titled "Weiner's Women".

(Because as you know, if a women engages in sexual activity with a man, she belongs to him.)

Some highlights of the article include:
THERE is something missing from the endless moralizing and sophomoric jokes aimed at Anthony D. Weiner. That something is the role of women in a coarse and creepy Internet culture dedicated to the fulfillment of both male and female desires for virtual carnal knowledge. 
You know what we don't do enough? Criticize women!
Nevertheless, the female thrill seekers are as bewildering in their own way as the sleazy would-be mayor of New York is in his. Why is he called a pervert while Sydney Leathers’s statement that their Internet contact progressed to phone sex twice a week — “a fantasy thing for both of us,” she told one tabloid TV show — is greeted with neutral, if not exactly respectful, attention? Some fantasy. Cinderella, where are you now that we need you?
A married man in a position of power, authority, and responsibility sending unsolicited sexual images to women who may or may not want to see it, who may or may not be underage = a woman enjoying phone sex. Good to know. Cinderella, come back, I want to clean floors again!
These women are not victims of men like Mr. Weiner (or of ordinary, obscure sex seekers in the digital world) but full and equal participants. There is no force involved here; people of both sexes are able to block unwanted advances. Women are certainly safer on the Web than they would be going home with strangers they meet in bars.
Okay, so... women are capable of being safe and equal online... but you cannot imagine ANY POSSIBLE REASON that women would want to engage in sexual activity online rather than in person.
But the “sex” that women engage in with often anonymous men on the Web has nothing to do with pride in one’s body or mind.
She knows this because shut up, she does.
Sex with strangers online amounts to a diminution, close to an absolute negation, of the context that gives human interaction genuine content. Erotic play without context becomes just a form of one-on-one pornography.
Interacting with a single human being that you chose, for your own reasons, to interact with = getting paid to have sex on camera. Okay?
Nor do I consider it worse for women than for men to engage in this behavior. But I do suspect — because I concede the validity of the numerous studies concluding that men are more interested in and aroused by pornography than women are — that women who settle for digital pornography are lowering their expectations and hopes even more drastically than their male collaborators are.
Every woman is the same! Conform, dammit!
As a feminist, I find it infinitely sad to imagine a vibrant young woman sitting alone at her computer and turning herself into a sex object for a man (or a dog) she does not know — even if she is also turning him into a sex object.
She's saying it as a feminist, so it's okay, guys.
This is not the sort of equality envisioned by feminism. It is, rather, the equality of the lowest common denominator — a state of affairs that debases the passion and reason of both men and women.
If you don't work for the New Yorker, you are worthless. Also, women being held to higher standards than men = TRUE FEMINISM DUHHHHHH

Let me show you an online NYT post, shoved into the bowels of its online archives:
Set aside the debates over fidelity, monogamy and marriage for a moment. Just take Weiner’s behavior on its own terms, without reference to his marriage vows. Here is a middle-aged man sending photos of his erection (clothed and unclothed) to women he’s never met, aping the panting misogyny of hard-core porn in chats with near-strangers, snapping preening photos of his pecs coming out of the shower and sending them to some of his more eager Twitter followers. Do we really need the additional ratchet of adultery to say that this is inappropriate behavior? That it’s gross, undignified, and unbecoming of a serious adult? I know that there’s a cultural libertarianism afoot now that sneers at somewhat-nebulous concepts like “dignity” and “shame,” and that reduces morality entirely to issues of consent. But I don’t care how ubiquitously tempting virtual sex becomes: A culture that “adjusts” itself to accommodate grown men in positions of authority tweeting their endowments (because hey, he was just “texting while male,” and anyway it’s as addictive as Angry Birds!) would be adjusting itself into a kind of barbarism.
Whether or not you agree with the content of the article isn't important. What the article addresses is. Because you'll notice (even if you read the entire thing), not once does the (male, btw) author of the article discuss the motivations or worthiness of the female participants. Why? Because it's not relevant.

Women are an easy target. Their actions are subject to a huge degree of scrutiny. So often in our culture, we choose to criticize women rather than men, simply because it's easier. Remember the Steubenville case? How often did we talk about how those boys shouldn't have done what they did, and how often did we talk about how that teenage girl shouldn't have dared to put herself in any sort of vulnerable situation?

I trawled through seven pages of search results for "online sex" on the New York Times website, and found zero articles dissecting the motivations of men. It's all about women and children - aka, the people who need to be protected from themselves. The people who need to be told what to think. The people who need to be told what to do.

This may shock you, but women are, in fact, not children! And there's no need to discuss their motivations, or give them permission to do anything. You can keep your True Believer "sort of equality envisioned by feminism", NYT - my kind of feminism makes me an equal, plain and simple.


  1. Slut-shaming: endorsed by the New York Times since 1851.


  2. Yeah, I've always equated being a feminist to being for men and women being EQUAL, not men being men and women being whatever they tell us to be. That "feminist" has their wires crossed.