Archives for posts with tag: sexism

The rallying cries to end racism, to end homophobia, and to smash the patriarchy are all passionate pleas calling for sanity in a world gone crazy with unfounded hatred and hegemonic power imbalances. They all wish for the same thing: the elimination of injustice. We want to destroy capitalism. We want to abolish racism. We use colourful language like this with grand images of violent revolution because it is an anger that stirs within us that wants to lash out in retaliation against the oppression that we see inflicted upon the less fortunate. Seeing the devastation that injustice can bring would indeed drive any rational person mad, so to condemn the seething reactions begotten by this social terrorism is as absurd as condoning the appalling apathy that inevitably accompanies it. I use “we” because I am not excluded from these feelings, though my preferences tend toward simmering cynicism over boiling rage.

What are these injustices? Racism is the preference of one race over another, often structurally enforced by anachronistic institutions built prior to the bleeding heart enlightenment. Basically samesies with sexism, replacing race with gender where appropriate. And so on. Now, obviously they’re not identical and intersectionality has come a long way in explaining why, but they do share one common element: they are all ideas. Ideas fused into systemic practice, yes, but at their foundation they are intangible worldviews.

How do you destroy an idea? Tangible things are easy. Audrey Lorde’s quotation about being unable to dismantle the master’s house with the master’s tools would be irrelevant if she were talking about a literal house. That shit would be a breeze to knock down. We have hate speech and anti-discrimination laws in Canada that prevent overt oppression meaning that, on paper, injustice has been triumphantly eliminated from our country. Well done, Canada! Except obviously it hasn’t. The tangible injustice is all but gone, leaving only the insidiously abstract injustice to be destroyed, and it seems the abstract is far more resilient.

Yet to destroy, demolish, dismantle, and decimate (if you wish to reduce injustice by a tenth) can only succeed negatively. What I mean by this is eliminating injustice can only ever negate the status quo. It seeks to thwart an inherently destructive idea with other destructive ideas. If you believe Lorde, then it’s simply never going to work.

Within the last year, there have been several sexual assault cases that were gravely illuminating about the flaws within our justice system. Kesha was forced to continue working with a man who sexually assaulted her. Brock Turner received a slap on the wrist. The judge for the Jian Ghomeshi case highlighted the problem by stating that without hard evidence, it comes down to the testimony of the accuser against the accused. This is then subject to often harsh cross-examination which can easily raise reasonable doubt as trauma is neither the best for memory nor unambiguous in its mental affectations. Thus, too often does justice ignore the victims of one of the most heinous crimes today. The legal system is an institution, but more than an institution, it is an idea. It is an idea that did not take into account the unique tragedy of sexual assault victims during its conception.

Screaming that the legal system is broken will not fix it. An argument could be made that the squeaky wheel gets the grease, but imagine a group of workers complaining about the conditions of their factory to the owner. The owner may eventually implement a solution, but it will be a solution created by the owner who is likely going to avoid shifting the system too far as he is the one currently benefiting from it. Progress requires new ideas. The elimination of injustice will be the byproduct of these new ideas, not their predecessor.

The Broadway musical Rent has a lyric that states that the opposite of war isn’t peace, it’s creation. This line is then followed by a jubilant WOOOOO! to celebrate its veracity. Peace is only the stagnation of where the war left off. Creation is the opposite of war because creativity produces something new. We need to stop trying to destroy, and start building.

A key that can open any lock is a master key, but a lock that can be opened by any key is worthless.

What this is saying is that men can sleep around with honour and pride, but any woman that tries is a worthless whore. Really, any argument that reduces human beings to one-dimensional phallic and vaginal objects shouldn’t be held in any kind of esteem, but for some reason this argument is brought out any time someone tries to say that slut-shaming is a bad thing. I mean, it’s so ridiculous, if you even just change the objects around a little bit, you alter the entire idea. Like, “An iPhone that can be charged by any cord is a practical iPhone, and a cord that can charge any phone is also super practical.” When Apple released that new iPhone that wasn’t compatible with any of the old chargers, people were pissed, but all Apple was promoting was normative monogamy.

This is bullshit that no one should take seriously, but that’s exactly my point. Male genitals do not have teeth and ridges in them, nor do female genitals have a unique set of tumblers. If you can’t manage to get your dick into a girl, it’s not because you’re drunk and at the wrong house… actually, it might be. Nevermind. My point is: dicks aren’t keys, and pussies aren’t locks. Your argument is dumber than actually trying to fuck a lock.

This maxim only came into being because people were trying to justify sexist ideologies. It’s not like cavemen discovered a locking mechanism and thought to themselves, “Oh hey, this exists! Guess women must all be sluts!” Society maintains this anachronistic view that men can do whatever they want and women just have to take it, often with all the innuendo that that implies, and some nerd discovered that unlocking a door was exactly like having sex and took just as long, and created the comparison.

The problem with aphorisms is they inherently possess verisimilitude (I learned this word specifically for this blog. It means that something seems like it’s true) I’m not just making this up.  If something sounds poetic, people will believe it. Why do you think nobody questions that Birds of a Feather Flock Together and Opposites Attract are both equally considered truisms, despite being entirely contradictory? The veracity of something is never, ever related to how it “sounds,” so quit being morons.

Using the proper function of a brain, it is unsurprisingly simple to dismantle this metaphor for slut-shaming. However, people still love shaming the shit out of all those sluts, and they’ll still high-five a dude for doing the same thing. Within the last week, I have heard a woman referred to sarcastically as “classy” for partaking in some delightful heavy petting on a public bench, as well as a few other choice words for a girl getting double-teamed in the middle of a school dance floor. Nothing negative was said about the men, despite the fact that in both these scenarios they are engaging in literally the same sex act. These women were not masturbating, folks! It’s like saying only half the people during a heist are actually committing a crime, and the mark of innocence is dictated by genitals alone.

Women. Like. Sex. Everyone likes sex. Have you ever had it? It’s amazing! Why would you condemn anyone ever in wanting to have it? I want you to stop what you’re doing, and masturbate until climax right now.

Welcome back. Wasn’t that great? Wouldn’t it be better sharing that with a partner? You bet! Why would you put restrictions on something like that? Obviously safety and health are crucial aspects, but people don’t slut-shame because they’re worried about a gonorrhea outbreak. If they were, it wouldn’t be gendered abstinence that they were advocating. This is hypocrisy at its very worst because it is depriving orgasms from half the population. This is something I will not abide.

 I’ve already discussed why this happens with my tool and temple analogy in regards to sexual autonomy, which actually works quite well with the key and lock metaphor. Perpetuating harmful social conditioning is a bad idea.

So. To clarify. Women enjoy sex. Men enjoy sex. Having sex is great. Stay safe, kids. Wrap it up.