This is Part III in my exploration of the human obsession known as sexuality. The other parts are:
Part I: An introduction to male omnisexuality and why heterosexuality is even a thing at all.
Part II: The sex drive and sexuality – human obsessions and two misunderstood and badly abused concepts. Also a brief consideration of homosexuality, asexuality, and forced sexuality.
Although their actual life-or-death needs are exactly the same as those for women and are exactly four in number – food, water, sleep and shelter – in their natural proclivity for violence, power and control, men have elevated ‘sex’ (defined as dick servicing) to a life-or-death need. It isn’t. No man has ever died from lack of sex.
Using standard male logic, men will try to argue that women should be made available to them, either through unpaid or unequal barter-based sex slave relationships (girlfriend, wife), or through paid rent-a-sex-slave situations (prostitution) because without it they will a) become more violent and agitated, in general, b) will lose control and rape, and c) it is magically ordained by some sky-god or by Nature. The conclusion (threat) that follows from this (non-) logic is: “let us rape you or we will rape you harder, and cause lots of other problems as well.” And a lot of women will believe this ‘men have needs’ illogic and give in to what, in a nutshell, is coercive or manipulative rape. There is all sorts of mindfuckery that accompanies the threat so as to paint rape as an expression of love and to paint women’s reluctance or denial of service as some sort of cruel punishment or selfishness or prudery. Coercive or manipulative rape, the most common and least acknowledged form of rape, will be discussed in another post.
Simplicity vs Complexity: Men and Women
Men are easy to understand. Get a handle on understanding the motivations of power, control, selfishness, violence, and high emotionality within a limited range, and you’ve pretty much got them down. Even their omnisexuality and why they choose to gravitate, for the most part, to declared heterosexuality (despite what they do behind closed doors) is very, very easy to understand.
Women, on the other hand, are much more difficult to pin down. And there are a few very good reasons for this. Part of it may be that we are more complex beings to begin with. Men often say this as a criticism, but that only speaks to their inability to understand complex systems and their failure to control us completely. Our inner lives are deep and rich. We understand things on so many more levels. We are detail-oriented as well as big picture thinkers. We think both concretely and abstractly. We are connected with nature on a fundamental level and yet our minds and spirits soar beyond all horizons. We are more in touch with our instincts, and at the same time, have the capacity to override our lizard brain gut reactions and act with logic, compassion, empathy, and compromise. Yes, we are complex beings, and in this way, are usually hard to put into the categorical boxes that men design for us.
But there is another reason women are hard to pin down. Unlike men, women are not allowed to be natural. I wrote a whole post on the interaction effects of nature and nurture and how only women are not allowed to realize their natural selves, forced instead into a male-defined, simplistic, discrete system of stereotypes and categories. Our exploitable natural qualities are reinforced and used against us, while the natural abilities and tendencies that threaten the male dominance structure are punished and suppressed. In reality, we have no idea what a natural woman is. We don’t know what female power looks like. We don’t know exactly how strong female energy burns. What we do know is that the way men force us to define ourselves is not only inadequate, but completely unnatural and self-destructive. And we do know that the natural woman has not predominated because we are not violent by nature. You can’t fight natural male violence with reason, logic and intellect despite what many feminists say.
So What About Female Sexuality?
I have a young, female friend here in China who suggested to me recently that all women are lesbians. She is 21, she has no sexual interest in men, she is not sure if she is sexually interested in women, and she is trying to figure out what she is. This is what everyone who doesn’t succumb to hetero brainwashing wrestles with. What are they? You MUST be sexually attracted to something. It is mandatory. But what if you aren’t? When I talk to my young friend, I know she is drawn to women. She feels comfortable and safe with them. She likes to experience a rich, deep perspective on the world that only women can give. She has, at an enviably early age, discovered the joys of reading women’s writing – mostly from other countries as Chinese women don’t have much of a voice in Chinese literature. Like myself and other women, she has realized that men’s writing offers little. It has no depth, no nuance, no intellect, and too much literal and figurative violence. You cannot recognize yourself in male writing if you are a woman who has escaped or started to escape your heterosexual programming.
So, is my friend a lesbian?
Unfortunately, we are forced to define ourselves through our sexuality, thanks to men and their simplistic way of thinking. It can be very confusing to those who don’t fit into boxes and those who haven’t embraced their programming completely. So using male language and self-concepts, being a lesbian primarily means you get sexually turned on by women. You can still hate women, hate yourself, support harmful gender parodies, and be completely unable to connect with women on all levels but a sexual one. You can be a complete misogynist and still be a lesbian as long as you lust after girls. And ironically, you can connect with women in many ways, but be excluded from the lesbian team if you don’t connect sexually with women. Although I don’t think men are smart enough to have engineered this sad situation, through their violent sexual machinations throughout history, this genital obsession and sex-based club formation has become the perfect way to divide women and keep men supported.
In order to really examine women’s sexuality (if it exists naturally), you have to remove the male voice from the equation entirely. Nothing a man does, says or thinks ever truly helps women understand their natural selves or their needs or desires. I have never, ever, ever met a male who doesn’t include himself, his ‘needs’ and his desires in his plans, opinions, reactions and interactions. Men cannot talk about female sexuality without thinking about themselves, even if they cloak the language in something that seems objective on the surface. Women are too quick to hand out blow jobs to male people who pay some kind of faux lip service to women’s ‘choices’ and ‘freedom’. Men are not objective. Remember, they have too much to lose from women discarding them and discovering their natural selves and their true freedom. And as predators, men are expert manipulators. So, to explore women’s natural state, you have to remove male influence, the male voice, and the male threat. It is very difficult to do. We are not taught to think about ourselves, and male people of all ages have a way of tapping into the altruistic and/or sympathetic parts of our natural selves and derailing us from taking care of ourselves.
To explore natural sexuality, you have to examine needs. What do women need? Forget those asinine women’s magazines which are basically outlets for the male voice. Women don’t need to feel sexy or beautiful. Women don’t need a closet full of clothes or the right colour lipstick. Women don’t need the ‘right man’ or flowers on her birthday or a special night to focus on her orgasms instead of sucking her master’s cock.
First, women need food, drink, sleep and shelter. Those are the basic survival needs. After that, we start talking about needs related not to survival, but quality of life. Women need love, affection, human connection, acceptance – all of those things related to human interaction and relationships. And to escape from male language control, when I say love and affection, I’m not talking about sex or orgasms. I’m talking about feeling loved and appreciated and having emotional exchange, all free from threat, duty and coercion. I suspect all men and most women don’t truly understand what this means as we have been so corrupted by male thinking on what love and relationships are.
Women also need dreams, goals, confidence, aspirations, inspiration, motivation, hope, and empowerment. Again, these are needs related to quality of life – those things that make life worth living, and that make having consciousness make sense. These are not related to the material world or to sex. And while no one dies from lack of love or lack of empowerment or dreams, they will likely live in a depressed state with plenty of physical and mental health problems. This is how most women currently live, and I’d argue that it is because of forced heterosexuality and living in the male system that relies upon it. Forcing women to submit to men deprives them of those needs that make life worth living. And all of their energies instead are poured into ensuring that men not only achieve all of these personal needs, but they also have an abundance of them to draw from any time they wish. Further, introducing a sexual element to a relationship, especially, but not only with men, redirects energy away from women having their own quality-of-life-based needs met and into ensuring the male partner is well cared for and sexually catered to.
The best friendships I’ve had with women have been those that tap into quality-of-life needs, and those friendships, if they break down, are always because of the intrusion of a demanding parasitical male. Hetero-programmed women are hard to be long-term friends with, I’ve found, for this very reason. There is always a parasite lurking, whether it be a husband, a new boyfriend, or a male child. Marriage and breeding paradigms – systems invented by men to support male supremacy – have always served to divide women, break down female friendships, and redirect female energy into male goals and success.
Friendships with men, regardless of their age, have never genuinely addressed affection needs or empowerment needs. Males in friendships have their needs addressed, as they siphon female energy. And I can’t think of a single friendship with a male that didn’t end up destroyed by sexual propositions or downright sexual harassment, sometimes after years of supposedly platonic interaction. By design, I currently have very few males in my life. One of the last remaining ones, a former student here in China, 21 years my junior whom I’ve kept around only because I have had some success mentally desexing male students and seeing them only as ‘students’, just ruined our two-year, ongoing interaction last week by announcing that he is ‘in love with me’. It was so utterly disappointing and confusing, especially because I am open about not being interested in men, and I stupidly thought I was immune from most sexual predation from men because I’m 45 and I don’t feminize. I’m not sure if there are mommy issues going on or the idea of converting the possible ‘lesbian’ was irresistible. Regardless, the teaching point here is that there is no such thing as an exception when it comes to men. They are all predators. They make everything about sex. And no woman is safe. Ever.
So back to the question: what about female sexuality? Are women sexual beings? I suspect this wouldn’t be an important question if men didn’t exist. I don’t think sex would take on even a fraction of the importance it has now if men didn’t exist. I don’t think relationships would form and break up on the basis of sexual activity and attraction if men didn’t exist. I think without men, women would take physical pleasure in each other, but it wouldn’t form the basis of relationships, and wouldn’t be the stuff of obsessions. Life would be rich, complex, layered. As it is now, everything is sex. People kill themselves and each other over it. Half the population is enslaved because of it. Without men, there would be so much less pain and destruction. With men in the picture, women are not naturally heterosexual. Nothing about heterosexuality is naturally good for women. If women were naturally straight, programming would not be needed. Violence would not be needed. There is so much effort put into turning women into men’s sex and labour slaves, it is impossible to argue that heterosexuality is natural for women. I think women are naturally drawn to women, but I would define ‘lesbian’ differently than it is currently understood in system of male dominance. There may be a sexual component, but the affinity is based on more complex things that override any kind of central sexuality.
In short, I don’t think male language and thinking are adequate for describing what women are naturally. Categorical male thinking and vocabulary – heterosexual, bisexual, queer, homosexual, asexual – may be fine for describing men (I prefer omnisexual as a more accurate description of what men are), but not for women. Ideally, women need be released from male control and male demands for sex so that they may discover what they need and to realize and embrace the quality of life no woman has yet achieved, but so very clearly deserves.
Women have very little idea of how much men hate them.
I generally dislike using quotes and those who quote frequently/constantly either in speaking or writing. I teach my writing students that, unless their essays are specifically about discussing the ideas inherent in a particular quote, to try to avoid using quotes altogether because it breeds a dependency on them and a lack of originality in thinking. My problems with quotes are multi-fold. First, most things have been said before in different ways by many people. Second, men frequently get credit for things that were most likely said by women first (often their mothers or female spouses, but also friends and colleagues). Third, nasty and/or dumb people live on in history for some chance statement that they have stolen and said loudly enough to be heard, and are then remembered as clever or noble. And finally, heavy reliance upon quotes can be problematic as it prevents you from trying to use your own words, and I find that most of us misunderstand the original meaning of quotes or get the attribution wrong. Quotes can be handy for starting discussions or to start an essay, but addiction is easy.
I do take a bit of exception to feminist quotes because for one, women, their existence, their ideas, and their words are typically erased from history by men. When a feminist says something important that is remembered, I try to preserve it. As well, feminists tell us very important truths about reality, and we’d all do well to remember them. Women tend not to remember or even acknowledge their realities. So I have a choice slideshow of feminist quotes in my sidebar, and today, I’ve pulled one of my favourites, one of the simplest and easiest to remember, and of course, one of the messages that pretty much all women forget.
It would be easy and convenient if it were only rich, white, Christian, straight dudes who were the thorn in Woman’s side. They could easily be targeted and dealt with. They certainly are not the majority in the world. But alas, it is not true. The truth is that all men hate all women. It might be seething violent hate manifesting openly in criminal behaviour against women. But it can also be as hidden as an undersized testicle, no one finding out about it until the right set of circumstances put you into direct contact with it. But it is there, in all men. On a continuum from violently open to extremely well-hidden. And one thing women don’t want to believe is that even men who are clear or visible members of Oppressed Groups™ hate them too. One of the worst mistakes a woman can make is to assume that a man can bond with her over being silenced or erased.
No, you see, men are men and all that comes with it (this is the differential interaction effect of nature and nurture on females and males). Key among their group qualities is a real and significant inability to empathize. And this means that men in groups that are hurt by society are unable to feel anything for other marginalized groups and are often quite easily able to abuse those people without any kind of self-reflection. And by ‘those people’, I mean women, primarily. Oppressed men can frequently feel some kind of kinship with men from other marginalized groups, but not with women, in general, or women in said groups. So in this way, a poor man can show support for a gay man, but is open about his rape fantasies of lesbians or watches ‘lesbian’ porn. Likewise, men of any and all groups will take the PTSD of male soldiers seriously, but will have a laugh about or just dismiss the rape of female soldiers by these same male soldiers. (Oh, and by the way, soldiers are not ‘oppressed’ – quite the opposite, in fact, as they are state-sanctioned murderers, and the males are state-sanctioned rapists, as well. I’m referring to PTSD, a mental health condition, which is marginalizing.)
And within groups themselves, women have discovered that fighting the good fight alongside their male counterparts hasn’t been all it’s cracked up to be. Lesbians don’t get support from gay men. Poor women don’t get support from poor men. Atheist women don’t get support from atheist men. Black women don’t get support from black men. Rather, they are expected to do all the grunt work, act as cannon fodder on the front lines including getting arrested, take charge of feeding and watering the male members, look after children if there are any, and (except in the case of LGB groups – although that is changing since adding the T and Q) provide sex. When there are movements for change, what women forget is that men aren’t interested in equality. They are interested in moving up the ladder of power, the rungs of which are women’s backs, and we see this time and again in revolutionary movements. The underclass fights the oppressors, and then replaces them and keeps the same male hierarchy in place. Nothing changes. Women are still on the bottom and left wondering what the fight was for.
So let’s get to gay men – that is, after all, the topic of this post.
I recently wrote a post about another marginalized group – atheists. And as atheist men hate you, so do gay men.
I just spent three weeks travelling through California, which means I was surrounded by tons of out-and-proud gay men loudly spewing woman-hate, and not caring if women were around to hear them. I sat in restaurants PAYING for service that didn’t just include food, but also large sides of misogyny. PAYING to sit there listening to the gay men across the room – including gay staff members – talk about bitches and cunts and say some of the most misogynist things I heard on my trip, even surpassing the bullshit said by straight men I encountered. If I were a gay man having to listen to homophobia in a restaurant, I could probably sue. But as a woman, I have no rights to feel safe in a public place. I would have been laughed out of the joint.
You don’t have to look far to find nice little object lessons. And yet another was presented to me the other day online. The latest horrific piece of news in Trans-World is that some smug little MtT is looking to take leadership within the UK’s National Union of Students as the Women’s Officer. It is distressing. And women are blogging in protest. I headed over to the reblog of an article on this by a woman I read only to find some dude was already jizzing all over the comments. He had provided an insulting reference to a female public figure commenting on how the trans looked like her (he didn’t, actually – I couldn’t see the similarity). He also couldn’t figure out from the title of the original blogged article what the issue was with a trannie heading up the arm of a major women’s organization. He went on a mansplaining, dick-wagging, woman-shaming blah-blah-blah about clothing and how lesbians dress or don’t dress. It actually didn’t make any sense and had nothing to do with why the article was reblogged. If the mainsplaining didn’t give him away as a misogynist, it was the inability to understand the problem with the article that did.
I normally try to resist interacting with clueless men, but he asked a question: what is the issue here? He thought it was clothing. I had no idea he was gay or actually known to and a friend of the female blogger. All I knew was that he was pro-trans and thus anti-feminist. I mean seriously, he has nothing to lose from a man taking over a woman’s movement or women’s spaces. So, of course, he will promote it. Only women are hurt by this. So I let him know that the information about what was being disapproved of was clear in the title (directly naming ‘male pretendbian’, which we all know means ‘MtT pretending to be a lesbian’) of the post. I mean come on, my Chinese students have better reading comprehension, I said. The misogynist responded with a flurry of woman-hate, calling me both a genius AND an imbecile, which was hilarious, and for some bizarre reason, telling me that the article was a reblog, which I and everyone else knew. And then, when I addressed the blogger on the woman-hate in the comment section, Dood attacked me again by announcing his gayness and positing that the only way he could possibly hurt women is by throwing a glitter bomb on us. Clueless, but given that he supports men in dresses, and by definition, of the pro-trans right of men (in dresses) to demand sex from lesbians, this is not a big surprise. Men think they are harmless. Even when they are in the middle of being harmful.
Gay men may not actually rape us, but they play an important role in normalizing violent and denigrating thinking about women and about normalizing the idea of women as objects (e.g., negating women in the LGB movement) and filthy, hateful things (e.g., the ‘ick factor’) or as walking pornified sexual stereotypes (e.g., gender reinforcement through drag queening). And they are often more vocal in their misogyny than straight men. And they are just as excellent at mansplaining as straight dudes. And because they are marginalized, they get away with it.
The lesson here is that you should never forget that no matter how marginalized a man may say he is or that society says he is, he is always more powerful than all women. As I appear to continually say (because it’s true, goddammit), penis trumps vagina. Always. Always. Always. Don’t be fooled. Gay men hate you too. And it’s more than just glitter bombs and cat fights they threaten you with.
I first moved to another planet in 2003. It was called Taiwan. And then several years after leaving, I returned to that part of the solar system and moved to a planet called China.
I guess I should explain, since I’m coming off as a space cadet of sorts. There are places you go that feel so completely different and seem to operate so differently that it’s as if they are a separate world from your own. There are a number of things that factor into other-worldliness. Operating language, political and economic system, values, social structure, racial composition, general standard of living, environmental conditions, educational system, taboos – really, it’s hard to list everything that goes into how out of your element you might feel. I think it’s different for everyone – both the factors and the level of differentness you experience.
I don’t really want to get into the particulars of China or Chinese culture except where they involve feminism and atheism – the purpose of this blog. I have a completely separate blog on China that I have maintained for several years.
I will say that while Chinese culture is very complex and convoluted in some ways, there is something missing that the West hasn’t managed to export (yet) and that makes it very simple in some important ways.
Sexual and identity politics.
When I read what Western feminists are talking about – things that are going on in their home countries, particularly around trannies and issues surrounding the silencing of feminists – it is a little hard for me to believe. It has been a while since I lived in – or I should say was immersed in – Western culture. Even in the last 10 years when I have lived in the West, I’ve not lived in cities or around young people or within academic circles. So it astounds me the level of craziness that is going on with this need to ‘identify as’ something. To be honest, it sounds very ‘high school’ to me. It smacks of this needy, dysfunctional immaturity that one typically sees with teenagers as they strive so hard to be different, unique and rebellious, and that ends up making them all kind of the same. Pathetic, sometimes laughable, but mostly harmless. Most of us go through it – when we are kids – it’s a phase. But unlike with teenagers and their identity quests, what is going on is having serious legal and social consequences. For women, feminists in particular. Nothing laughable about that.
We just don’t have this in China. We are still barely dealing with the idea of homosexuality here. And for me, since I’ve become used to the insanity that for a long time marked China as a different planet, the sexual/identity repression has become a major factor in my seeing/feeling China as another world.
It is very hard for me to describe China to people who have never been here in a way that they can understand. For example, the best, but still mostly inadequate, way for me to describe it is that it is a mix of the 1950’s and almost-now. The almost-now part refers to technology. For example, their high speed rail system is top notch and puts public transportation in North America to shame. And they skipped email and went straight to smart phones and texting as the primary mode of communication. But sexually and socially, China is living in the past. A traditional culture coupled with a dictatorial government is responsible, I believe. Gender roles are strict and people generally comply. Even the rebellious weirdo type isn’t commonly seen – and I live in a major city where you are more likely to see this stuff.
To this day, I’ve only met one person who has told me they are gay, even though my gaydar has gone off for both males and females tons of times over the years. These folks will go on to marry and breed and perhaps never wonder why there is little joy in their arrangement, unfortunately. I’ve met many people who adamantly profess that they are not gay, however. The gay-jokey accusations are constant among students. All in all, being gay really isn’t on the table as an option and there is nothing resembling a social movement here.
But on a smaller scale, I’ve noticed that students are paying more lip-service to both valuing female babies as well as acknowledging that gay people both exist and should be treated better, however. One of my Masters students asked if he could choose the topic of gay rights for his speech in my class – not that HE was gay – because he was feeling some shame and sympathy that gays and lesbians were treated so badly in China. He also told me that he wouldn’t dare talk about this anywhere other than in our English class – it wouldn’t be accepted. I’ve also noticed a few student groups tackle a gay topic when our department has held film-making contests.
All in all, this is where things are in China’s sexual landscape with regard to identity. It feels not sufficiently open but safe from identity pirates at the same time. It is a naive society, although becoming less naive due to the intrusion of Western sitcoms coming through via the internet. I’m not aware of any Western television programs that both encapsulate the transgender or queer identity madness and have made their way into Chinese consciousness. I’m trying to imagine attempting to explain it to my students. Someone would inevitably ask me what it all means. I do get students ask me why, for example, Americans are obsessed with sex. That is what they see in television and films. Sex, sex, and more sex. And I try to give an explanation.
I don’t really feel I’ve done this topic justice, but I’ll conclude. While I feel like I’m living on a completely different planet, I will say that similar to the planets I’m familiar with, all are run on patriarchy and misogyny. China is simpler, but not better, and at its core, perhaps not all that different.
Addendum: I just read the following post by Phonaesthetica on the show ‘Transparent’, and the second-to-last episode of season 2 which paints lesbians in a bad light because they don’t accept MtTs in their space. The description of the episode sounds like the usual activist drivel – the man-in-dress character is painted as a Nazi-victim. I’m glad this nonsense hasn’t hit China. I’m having this weird sense of dread that like with their technology experience (skipping email and going directly to text messaging), they are going to skip the gay rights movement and move directly into pushing every gender-confused person into forced sex changes. Sounds crazy, but yanno, this is a crazy world.