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suck it….and other tools of the patriarchy

Posted by pocochina on May 12, 2007

This one’s been buzzing my whole adult life.

Sexualized insults are the shittiest thing ever.  Sexualized insults are the tool of the patriarchy.  Sexualized insults are, among all these terrible things, the biggest turn-off ever.  Sexualized insults, especially in the context of both compulsory heterosexuality and actual heterosexuality.

First off, what do I mean by “compulsory heterosexuality”?  What I mean is, the cultural mandate that assumes that everyone is completely heterosexual (including not just the out and political LGBTQI population, but also those of us in the Kinsey 1.5 “heteroflexible” area).  An integral part of this compulsory heterosexuality is hegemonic masculinity and emphasized femininity, where men are dominant over women, period.  This is, I think, a huge part of why the gender-benders of the world, regardless of where they fall on an actual Kinsey scale (which is of course very retro in its assumption of, well, two binary genders) are classified as queer.  Sexuality is related to, but actually seperate from, gender performance – and this fucks with even the most open minded of us.  That’s not to say that there aren’t butch lesbians or girly gay boys out there – there are, and these girls and boys fucking rock.  But there is also a spectrum of gender performance and identification in the breeder zone, too, and transqueer people as well.  Gender and sexuality are not the same, but compulsory heterosexuality assumes that one is a necessary property of the other.

(Incidentially, again – I know, totally off-topic – the fading in and out of “bisexual chic” is interesting in this light.  Women making out in a bar for the boys?  Hot.  Women actually enjoying it for its own sake?  Not so much.  Female sexuality must always be in the male gaze – and male bisexuality, not so hot, because it fucks the the Manly Hetero Dude’s self-image.  Maybe women are slightly more biologically likely to be bisexual, we need to get off a lot more frequently than our bodies want to make babies, but I’m going to make an unprovable hypothesis and guess that there’s lots of mildy bisexual or heteroflexible men who are never going to breathe a word of that particular corner of their sexuality.  Not only would masculinity come crashing down, but also?  Women don’t have as much to lose in this particular gender/sexuality hierarchy.  We can’t be as fully agents of heterosexuality, which in its socially preferable form is a Dude Thing.)

There’s large numbers of men and women, though, who do identify as cisgendered, and are attracted somewhat, mostly, or only to the opposite sex.  In terms of the patriarchial hierarchy, we have it pretty good, but compulsory heterosexuality matters to us, too, and not in a good way.

Which brings me to sexualized insults.

Women are extremely aware of the male homosocial experience.  We may not be actually physically allowed into the boys’ club, but we glimpse it at parties or at class or work, and it’s splashed all over every Dane Cook movie, every popular culture experience that treats women (or, more frequently The Hot Girl) as plot points for dudely character development.  This is a  world where the worst thing you can be is to be a girl, or at least as bad, a Big Homo.  (The Big Homo, incidentally, fucks with The Dude’s head.  He loves the cock – ew!  But he has a cock!  The cock is all mighty!  Is it all that mighty?  Huh?  What?  Scooby snack?)  And from our glimpse into this world, we see that the worst insults the guys throw at each other are almost always about women and our bodies, lightly seasoned with homophobic slurs.

Women live in this environment where “suck it!” is bad, where “lick my balls” means disrespect, where “pussy” and “cunt” are gross, where “fuck you” is actually a bad thing.  We know it long before we know what those words actually mean.

Oh, but women are “so uptight,” we have “low sex drives,” we “always want to taaaaaalk.”  Cry me a fucking river.

When you think “suck it” is such a degrading, awful thing to do….guess what I’m not going to do for you?

When you can equate my cunt with the worst thing you can think to call another guy, don’t expect me to be all “oh, baby, do me now.”

Sexuality, once you start to see that our entire fucking world is arranged this way – whoa.  Major, major turn-offs lurk around every corner and turn of phrase.  I don’t know how to resolve all of this satisfactorily; I’m pretty sure I never will
It’s weird to navigate the politics of attraction.  (*I understand that there’s equally difficult, if not way tougher, issues in the queer dating scene, I just haven’t experienced them.)

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