The Sexiest Oppression

9 Dec

Excellent work by Natasha Chart, via Feminist Current

Excerpt:

“To see a commercially produced picture of an obviously terrified and restrained woman with a knife held up to her face, presented as an object of sexual entertainment, is to infer the existence of an audience that is pleasurably aroused by this scenario. I hope that I know no such men, that I never meet them, that no one I care about crosses the path of such a person. Because how would you know? There is no “type” of man who rapes and abuses — such men are everywhere, they look like everyone else. No woman has any reason to give a man who enjoys a picture of a woman being abused the benefit of the doubt that he would not like to experience that in person, that he would not like to cause that fear himself.

This is part of how a woman’s fear becomes something other than evidence of intimidation, as it should be, how instead our fear becomes evidence to men of sex, romance, even love. A man can fear for his life and kill a stranger in self-defense after a single encounter. A woman fears for her life because of a long history of threats or violence, and if she stays, or complies, or even retaliates, her actions will be viewed through a lens that sees fear as a normal part of a supposedly consenting sexual relationship for women. Any injury the man commits will often be seen as her shared responsibility, part of their relationship.

Too many men see the torture and abuse of women and think it’s an especially sexy kind of fun. Too many women, anxious to avoid being called “sex-negative,” want to be game and go along with it. The existence of some women who like their part in pornography or religiously compelled submission are held up in male-dominated politics as the only women’s voices that matter; no one is supposed to care about women who experienced these cultures as a long series of abuses that they couldn’t find their way out of at the time, or the other women who have to deal with the consequences of how men behave after such indoctrination.”

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