Pond Skipping and the Universal Whore

It’s my first post of October. Alas, I have been out of town and away from my keyboard. It’s my first chance to write.

I normally find it healthy to get out of China once or twice a year. China is not the greatest place to live as a non-Chinese woman. Outside of your apartment you are public property, permanently on display for every man, woman and child. And they’re not polite about it. I’ve learned to dissociate as soon as I leave my apartment, much like I have done during a pelvic exam at the gyno’s office or during a sexual assault. I pretend I’m not there. I wonder at the long-term damage to my spirit, all this dissociation.

But for a few reasons, I’d been stuck in China for about 14 months. And then I found a way to leave for about 10 days that overlapped with a Chinese holiday and the rest, well, I took a few days off work. I went to the United States, Los Angeles specifically, to visit a complicated friend. Or is it a simple friend with whom I have a complicated relationship? Dunno.

Going from China to the US – or any Western country for that matter – is always strange to me. They are such different experiences, although there are many underlying similarities. As this is a short post, I’ll just mention one thing that really stands out to me that illustrates this unique quality – the differentness and the similarity of the places.

China is distinctly not white. White people don’t rule the day-to-day business. On a global scale, that is a different matter – although I think that is starting to change. But on the ground, white people don’t have special rights, and in fact, are often denied rights and are abused in the way that foreign workers or tourists usually are anywhere without workers’ rights or human rights standards as the norm. Chinese is the dominant race and culture. Among the foreign population, most (in my city) are not white. Among the white population, white women are a rare thing. Men are always more plentiful among travellers and foreign workers. Women are just less likely to work abroad unless they come with a partner or have a personal well of confidence. So if you see a white woman, it is an uncommon thing, indeed.

Los Angeles, on the other hand, is distinctly multiracial and multicultural. White is still the dominant race power-wise, and more specifically and pointedly, white men rule.

Yet, in both places, white women are the universally-accepted whores.

When I walk around in the very, very non-foreign-populated community in which I live in China, you will see large poster advertisements in the commercial areas of white women in lingerie or in sexy poses for some stupid product or other. It is offensive and disconcerting. Most people have never seen a live white person, but might be faced day-to-day with a larger than life advertisement of a scantily-clad white woman. And then they run into me. How do they see me? I have first-hand knowledge of the poor treatment that can result. Going by the behaviour of some of them, I can only imagine they think I am public property, especially if they are watching American films and television in addition to viewing misogynist advertisements.

While in L.A., even in my friend’s upper middle class neighbourhood, there were plenty of billboards and advertisements along the commercial streets. And most of them were of nearly-naked white women selling all sorts of shit from construction boots to gym memberships. There were a couple of new, highly-offensive and scary ones that had been put up since I was last there. I’ve never understood the logic of what is done in advertisements. It can’t just be catering to men’s penises. The ads are so hateful, I can only imagine that they are also designed to remind women of what their place is and the fact that they will never truly measure up. You are all whores. You need to have this skin colour. And of course, you need to look like this. Why would we want to be whores, though? Why do women accept this pronouncement? These ads?

For some reason, white women have become the target of many, men and women, alike. Women, in general, do make the easiest targets, and white women are easier to attack than the real culprits – white men. They are the cannon fodder. The ones white men put in front to take the heat, to shoulder all the blame. And because white women are part of the sex class, they become the whore all women should both aspire to and hate at the same time. But the thing is, white women don’t have real power. Forget what some dumb fun-feminist tells you about empowerment through nudity and sucking cock. They still have less power than all men of all colours. Always have. They are still victimized by the lowest men on the male hierarchy. A homeless, mentally ill man of colour can terrorize any woman on the street and get away with it. He can even scream racism at her as she cowers from his male threat, not his race. The woman can’t escape.  She just needs to ‘relax’, ‘take it easy’ – she is the privileged one, right? The public and law will support him over her. He is justified. As long as women are objects, they have no power. As long as we have to witness our naked bodies on display for entertainment and marketing, we will never be free or be safe or have power or be taken seriously. Those billboards hurt.

If your only rejoinder is that ‘sex sells’, well, guess what? None of this is sex. It is debasement, objectification, exploitation, and subjugation. Of a class of people.

It’s not ‘sex sells’. It’s ‘sexual slavery sells’. And it sells everywhere in the world, thanks to men of all colours, led by the white boys. The solution is not to include more women of colour in the public nudie parade. It is to take the group-specific sexploitation out of entertainment and marketing entirely.

I’d like to live in a place where advertisements (if they must exist at all) are limited to the product and its qualities. No whores needed. In China, in the US, anywhere, everywhere.

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Feminism, atheism and other stuff

Posted on October 16, 2015, in Human Rights, Male Privilege, Violence, White Women and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on Pond Skipping and the Universal Whore.

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