Sunday, December 11, 2011
Sex is Natural, Sex is Fun: C-c-c-c-c-c-c'mon!
A friend of mine was giving me shit for being a feminist. He equates feminism with sexism. I'm sure some feminists are sexist penis-haters as he was implying, just as some African-Americans, in particular one of my ex-girlfriends, are racist Afrophobes, but please don't judge me for what some other crazy person thinks. It shocked me the first time my ex told me she'd never consider dating another black person. But I soon realized that was sadly one of the least crazy ideas floating around inside her head and so I shrugged it off as her personal quirk and not a quirk commonly shared by other six foot tall gorgeous black lesbians, and especially not by the African-American community in general.
So yes, I am a feminist. And no, I'm not a man-hater. I think my dating record has clearly shown I am an equal-opportunity annoying girlfriend. It's what comes out of your mouth that pisses me off, not what's in between your legs.
What got my friend's panties in a wad was my comment to his post about how people who can't afford to take care of their kids should stop popping out more as a way to get government handouts. I'm sure he didn't appreciate my know-it-all tone.
"People have an evolutionary imperative to copulate. Human beings are just apes with a voicebox. If we're serious that we want people to be responsible for not bringing unwanted children into the world, free condoms should be available to anyone, anytime. Don't play it like women are conniving sluts trying to rip men off. Sure, there are probably some women in the world like that, but certainly not most. If I'm wrong I guess I just hang out with decent folks. But don't go blaming women for having sex. Sex is as natural as eating, drinking, and breathing. If we don't have sex, our species dies."
He responded that he never made any gender-specific claims and countered with, "My biggest grip with feminists is that they seem to constantly look for a way to be offended."
Now wait a minute. I am constantly looking for ways to be offended, I'll give you that. But I don't think it's because I'm a card carrying feminist. I would like to think I'm socially evolved enough that I would also be an overly sensitive complainer if I were born with what in my mind is merely a very swollen clitoris and a flatter chest. Oh, and a fuzzier body, but in my case that would only be slightly. Check my medicine cabinet for my facial hair grooming implements if you like the next time you're using my john.
So I countered with, "I can't speak for all feminists, but I've always been very pro-penis. And pro-vulva. I am angry about many things in our culture, but I am not angry at men in general or at penises specifically. Penii?
I don't think feminism is equal to sexism. Feminism is not a belief that women are better than men, or deserve more rights than men (including child care laws, which I agree with you have historically been far too slanted in favor of mothers). Feminism is the belief that women, who have historically had fewer rights than men in our culture (except in the areas of child care, as you point out), deserve to have equal rights as men. Not better. Not special. Just equal.
I am a feminist, but even more so, I am a humanist. I believe all people, regardless of secondary sex characteristics, should be treated with the same regard, respect, fairness.
That said, the reason I specifically said, 'Don't play it like women are conniving sluts trying to rip men off' is because often when people blame welfare recipients for popping out babies as a means to gain free money from the government, it's women they're talking about. But you did not specifically mention women in your status update, so let me rephrase my first comment so it's less sexist sounding:
People have an evolutionary imperative to copulate. Human beings are just apes with a voicebox. If we're serious that we want people to be responsible for not bringing unwanted children into the world, free condoms should be available to anyone, anytime. Don't play it like people are conniving sluts trying to rip others off. Sure, there are probably some people in the world like that, but certainly not most. If I'm wrong I guess I just hang out with decent folks. But don't go blaming people for having sex. Sex is as natural as eating, drinking, and breathing. If we don't have sex, our species dies.
Also, I was trying to point out that women like sex too, and there's nothing wrong with that. This is a birth control issue, not a sex issue. Often in our culture it's assumed that women just have sex to have babies, but many women have sex because it fucking feels good, not because they want to support a child. Just like men. Just like anyone. Sex is natural, sex is fun. Oh crap, now I'm quoting George Michael."
So I woke up the day after engaging in this fun argument and read these words in the book, "Spontanenous Happiness" by Dr. Andrew Weil:
"For years, oxytocin was thought of only as the hormone that stimulates dilation of the uterine cervix and uterine contractions at the onset of childbirth as well as the production of breast milk soon after. Like all endocrine hormones, however, oxytocin has a broad spectrum of action, including effects on the brain and emotions. It is now commonly referred to as the hormone of love, trust, and pair bonding. Touch promotes the release of oxytocin, which in turn causes the release of dopamine in the brain's reward center...Just as we need to eat diverse nutrients and engage in a range of physical activities, human beings need a variety of touch experiences on a regular basis. These might include friendly handshakes, hugs, physical contact with companion animals, massage sessions, and passionate sex. As long as both participants engage willingly, there are few experiences that offer human beings a more profound opportunity for improving and maintaining emotional well-being." (Pg. 123-124)
I kid George Michael, but now I see he's on to something.