…constructed as hierarchy.
That’s where this business of prostitution and pornography jumps across the lines of class, and the reason the left will not be correct until we are correct on this.
Talking with Lydia today, and Elaina yesterday (she’s in town, and it was a tremendous pleasure hanging out with her), and Elaina and Yolanda day before yesterday… sex difference is real. Males and females are not alike, unless someone out there with a Y chromosome is bearing children or menstruating or breastfeeding. Postmodernism cannot jump over this with “transgressive narratives” any more than George W. Bush can jump over his defeat in Iraq by calling it a victory. This is not “essentialism.”
There are men, and there are women, and they are different. That is not the genesis of the problem. Difference is not the issue. Power is. Difference constructed as the hierarchy of men OVER women. This is not reducible to class defined by economic exploitation. It is not resolvable with the elimination of exploitative class. It is the social contract developed by men and enforced against women — ever since the old patriarchy of feudalism died out — of male protection in exchange for female obedience.
Male or female, what gets you off sexually is not evil — we are not theocrats. But what gets you off sexually is also not natural; and because it gets you off sexually does not make it innocent of power. Swapping a role does not undermine the role; it reproduces it and re-valorizes it. Our desires and our orgasms are not off limits from critical examination. How we desire and even what allows us to come are “put inside us,” as Lydia so directly and accurately states it, and not by some generic “drive,” but by our socialization.
And gender is not mere economic exploitation; it is nto simply “inequality.” It is, at its core, more elemental. It is the demand for obedience, at all times. It is subjugation; and it is based on a real sexual difference — real men subjugating real women because they are women.
Once the real differences are recognized as heirarchy, then the differences are culturally magnified through beauty standards, through the construction of HOW we desire, through the roles that are valorized or devalued for men and women. Magnification of difference constructed as hierarchy is magnfication of hierarchy. Difference is constructed as hierarchy, then difference is magnified through all the social constructions of sex… we construct difference-magnified.
Just a late-night outburst. It starts with compulsory heterosexuality, which is not an enforced preference for certain kinds of sex, but difference = heirarchy. Access to women’s bodies… on demand… as an entitlement.