This morning, Dan Corjescu tweeted a link to a CounterPunch article about the traumatic wounds being reopened by the Kavanaugh hearings. Curiously, he has his own, very different article published there on the same day: Power, Politics, Prudery or the Totalitarianism of Sex. So let’s take apart this dude’s anti-feminism from the left.
Sex is a dangerous subject. Rape even more so.
However, the question is: does the current climate of sexual victim narratives exactly fit in an age that is allegedly post-sexual liberation?
To be clear; violence used to gain ones pleasure against the will of another should always and everywhere be rightfully condemned.
But despite this obvious disclaimer is there still somewhat of an antiquated double standard operating in the sex lives of men and women?
Who alleges that the current age is post-sexual liberation? Who enforces the double standard and where does it come from? I understand writing about systemic, structural, cultural problems, but those things don’t just come from the aether.
He wasn’t talking about the obvious double standards:
If not, why is it then that if young men are forced to have sex with women, or disrobed by them unwillingly, or made to perform or undergo sex acts by them that no one, in the end, really cares including the young men involved? Or if this is not the case, then is it because young men are ashamed to report such behavior? Or are they less traumatized by such behavior for social, cultural reasons? To put it more dramatically, do young men view the fact of having sex, even unwillingly, with more than one partner in a night as a somewhat different experience than do women? And if so, does this mean men and women are after all different and perhaps unequal in questions of sexual modesty or that women’s view of their own sexuality has to let go of the last vestiges of Victorian prudishness?
The answer to the question is yes, they’re less traumatized for social, cultural reasons. That’s the point. He misses the point with his bizarre framing about modesty and prudishness. I mean, he just said being upset after getting raped by multiple assailants is a matter of “Victorian prudishness.” For this to even make sense, he’s implying that women have a problem with their feelings about themselves, not their actual treatment by men. This is absurd.
If modern day feminism is to be consistent I think they must choose the latter [letting go of prudishness]. This would mean that women should not be expected to be more traumatized or incensed by certain unwilled sexual acts than would men. This, too, means that the concept of rape has to be carefully rethought. After all both sexes often enjoy the thrill of a bit of violence in their sexual relations. Anyone who denies this is a liar and a hypocrite. (But yes Americans are sooooo good at hypocrisy) Sex is complicated but at the same time shouldn’t its ambiguities be shared equally?
Rape is only upsetting if you expect it to be. I can’t believe nobody thought of that before! He’s a genius! He totally just solved feminism.
Both sexes engage in sadomasochistic behavior. It’s true. The question is rather: should sex be about violence and domination? Would it be, if people were socialized differently? Does it even make sense to dominate someone and love them at the same time?
Conservatives enjoy the thrill of violence in many areas of life, but we agree that they shouldn’t act on those impulses. Why is sex different?
The “liar and hypocrite” move is pretty much the same as people using evolutionary psychology to argue that Victorian ideas are human nature itself. He’s threatened by the idea of anyone existing that’s not like him, that makes different choices or has different ideals. Personally, I don’t want to reenact getting bullied in middle school during sex, and I don’t want someone asking me to act like my bullies during sex. Does that mean I’ve never experienced sadomasochistic impulses? No. Do I want to act out my trauma in my sex life instead of dealing with it? No.
Here’s an even more extreme example to contemplate. If someone puts a gun or a knife to your throat and literally forces you to commit a sexual act, let’s say for the sake of argument, that for most people that would be an undesirable situation to be in. Yet, if a woman were to play the role of the violator in this instance would society expect the man who was violated to be deeply and irrevocably traumatized? So the question here is: why does society still encourage women to view themselves as victims and sex, even violent sex, as the terrible monster from which they will never recover?
I’m starting to think that nothing bad has happened to Dan Corjescu in his life. He’s just too sure that he’d be fine if a crazy woman credibly threatened him with a knife or a gun. As part of its torture program, the American government used female interrogators on Muslim prisoners specifically because that would be more deeply upsetting to them. All those dudes in the Lynndie England photos from Abu Ghraib are fine now, right?
Should not women be encouraged to view sex, all kinds of sex, as something natural and, just as for men, if they should be in a position to commit unwilling sexual acts that this is unfortunate but not, barring physical damage, an irrevocable caesura in their Dasein?
For the record, I am emphatically not saying that rape, however it will be defined in the future, is OK and not a serious event. It is. Yet what I am saying is that I think our present day culture is a schizophrenic hybrid of outdated Victorian mores and supercharged Pornographic fantasies which send an overwrought and confused signal to young men and women. If men are raped by women we, and they themselves, expect different things/responses from themselves than the reverse situation. Is that right?
It couldn’t be more blatant: the white male is the base case for all humanity. Everything else is a deviation. He like dominatrix porn so rape can’t be that bad. End of story.
If someone put their vagina, unwillingly, on a young man’s face how do we expect them to react? Do we view it as an unmentionable crime? I think not. But if a young man exposes himself in the same way towards an unwilling woman the response is inevitably histrionic. Again why? Are today’s young women not psychically strong enough to take such an event in their stride? Are their psyches so weak and their bodies more sacrosanct then young men? Or are we indeed operating here with a double standard inherited from the Victorians which view women as always the potential innocent victim with the evil, demonic male principal ever lurking to satisfy his disgusting lusts on a pure virginal symbol.
This is from the day after the Kavanaugh hearings, by the way.
It’s like he never heard of the male victims of the Catholic Church pedophilia problem. Surely someone as enlightened Dan Corjescu would agree that the meaning of being violated shouldn’t depend on the gender of the perpetrator. It follows that all those kids just need to man up or something. Get over it. Don’t be so sensitive.
Most Republicans would agree with this analysis:
C’mon people grow up already. Women are just as sexually manipulative, conniving, and opportunistic as men are. As often as not, society encourages them to capture and use the age old Victorian narrative to their advantage. And who benefits? Often powerful men, who want to bring down other powerful men. Demonization has always been one of the tricks of the trade of totalitarian societies. In the USA, true to Orwellian form, SEX CRIMES are the clever if not so subtle way to destroy ones opponent. After all, even in the Soviet union enemies of the state were always referred to, among their many negative epithets, as sexual deviants.
His final recommendations are, of course, incoherent:
We should not stay silent over this insidious culture and institution of thought crime. A first step forward is to be responsible modern people and start viewing young women as equal to men in their sexual appetites, sexual powers, sexual machinations, and sexual conflicts. Both sexes are equal in their abilities to sustain the ups and downs of the sexual circus that is part of the travails and tribulations that is sexual experimentation. Massive institutional intervention is not necessary and probably unwise in the long run. Diffusing sexual events, even unpleasant ones, of any histrionic metaphysical meaning; of making sex more spiritually at home in the female; and making both sexes equal combatants in the arena of passion might, in the end, free us from both the power and the prejudice of the American Totalitarianism of Sex.
We need to make sex less meaningful and more spiritual. Got it.
Sex with this guy is all about experiments in a circus and hard work and great suffering and combatants. He might consider human connection or something.