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Is Sexual Desire Dehumanizing?

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Studying feminist theory requires an ability to maintain sanity in the constant presence of madness. Today while making my rounds inside the online feminist lunatic asylum, I encountered this:

When women say “But I like to be objectified! Doesn’t everybody, sometimes?” it used to annoy me, but now it just breaks my heart a little. Because she can’t disentangle being desired or loved from being treated like a thing. And she’s right. That’s the world we live in: We cannot conceptualize desiring a woman without dehumanizing her. That is sexuality under heteropatriarchy.

Who thinks this way? What strange structures have you built into your mental universe so that aesthetic admiration or erotic interest toward another person means you have “objectified” them, reduced them to “being treated like a thing”? On what basis does one discern the difference between love/desire (good) and dehumanized objectification (bad)? Does it not occur to people who talk this way that they are simply overthinking this stuff? Only very unhappy people, deficient in ordinary animal vigor, could permit their minds to become so cluttered with intellectual theory that they view sexual attraction in such terms.

So, who thinks this way? An autistic 26-year-old white “butch” lesbian who is “still figuring out gender stuff,” that’s who.

They’re defective. Darwinian errors. “Broken people.”

Scratch a feminist and a kook bleeds.

UPDATE: How did I miss this? The same person who wrote that quote also blogs as “The Freelance Feminist,” and describes herself:

I hold a BA in Women’s and Gender Studies from Wellesley College and an MA in Gender and Cultural Studies. I’m currently finishing up a second master’s in public policy because I don’t want to stay trapped forever in the echo-chamber of academia.

More importantly, I’m an autistic butch lesbian. My politics are shaped much more by my own experience in the world than they are by my academic background. My work focuses on the intersection of gender, sexuality, disability, and embodiment. I have extensive experience with media analysis, and in my academic life I am trying to synthesize that with policy analysis. I want to draw attention to how cultural narratives inform collective attitudes which, in turn, shape policy. Stories are vitally important, and they reverberate through every aspect of our private, public, and civic lives.

Which just confirms everything I said previously, of course.

First published at TheOtherMcCain.com



 

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