Thursday, September 10, 2009

How women could fight patriarchies by having anal sex with Straight Men. And how this could also destabilise white supremacies....

The archetypal male body is straight, able bodied, and more often than not, white. The archetypal male body is also pitched as sealed and impenetrable. This is why many Straight Men often freak out when you finger their arseholes while having sex. The Straight Sex Script is one where Man penetrates, and Woman is penetrated. The body of a Man being entered, is not the standard manly way to have sex.

This Straight Man archetype, is also one of the roots to homophobia and misogyny. If the (superior)male body is meant to penetrate, and the (inferior) female body is to be penetrated, then the gay (stereotyped) male body messes up this rule. Bluntly, in a narrow Straight Guy worldview, a gay man lets his body be used like a woman, which is a Bad Thing. Straight Man homophobia stems from the reminder from gay men, that men’s bodies are not inherently sealed and impenetrable. This reminder seems to be so threatening to the Straight Man identity, that gay men and transgender peoples are harassed, ridiculed, imprisoned and murdered.

Provocation Defence/Homosexual Panic Defence was used recently to reduce murder to manslaughter, and is only now, in 2009, on its slow way out. The Provocation Defence works like this: “He was hitting on me (a manly red blooded heterosexual man), and I found it so offensive, that it induced a psychotic state in me and I killed him.

Transgressing the hetero rule of Men and the rigid rules of gender expression and identity, is threatening to archetypal Straight Man identity, because it points out that masculinity, gender and identity, are not set in stone and God proclaimed.

It’s not purely, as some Straight Guys have said, that they just aren’t into anal sex. It’s more than that. Many Straight Guys also won’t be too keen on giving your strap-on cock a blow job either. If they say they’re “just not into blow-jobs”, this is more socially acceptable, logical and understandable than if a woman says this.

Blow-jobs done by women on men’s cocks are considered a “natural” and expected part of the Straight Sex Script. Blow-jobs by men on women’s cocks are not.

We are talking about social assumptions and expectations, not purely personal preference of whether or not you’re into anal sex and blow-jobs. We are also talking about whose bodies are assumed to be into certain sex acts, and why. Rather that the whole bunch of sex acts being neutral and not power and gender laden, where anyone can just give it a go if they feel like with no pressure.

Straight Men as a generalised grouping, being afraid and disgusted about being fucked up the arse, apart from linking to tropes around misogyny and homophobia, is also a bit sad. It’s sad, because it’s in the same vein (but different of course) like when many women didn’t know about their clits. Many Straight Men haven’t discovered their prostates can be really pleasurable.

I feel like it’s also further than homophobia and misogyny. There are also threads of archetypal White Masculinities and its boundaries.

By this I mean that gender expression is raced (as well as classed). Our gender expression is shaped by the race, ethnicity and class cultures (at the very least) we are part of and interact within.

White culture, White desire and White fears can also be seen in the expression of White Masculinities. White colonial nations, are orbited by fears of infection (penetration) from aliens. Asian invasion, yellow peril, “Terrorists”. Fear of contamination by uncivilised others, the erosion of Our society’s moral fabric. Or because racist liberals have become more subtle, fear of “our” (white) national values being undermined.

The colonial body (empire/male) fears being invaded and penetrated, because it knows that the way it has done that, has not been in negotiation, reciprocity and equal respectful relation. It posits penetration, and therefore in like kind, vulnerability, as weak and undesirable; woman like.

Women, and female bodies are not exempt from this spotlight either. In a binary, one thing cannot exist without the other. There is a role that Femininity plays in white supremacy and patriarchy, homophobia and transphobia. Femininities are often more flexible, morphus and less fixed than masculinities. Or there are a myriad of feminine archetypes, and the stereotypes of femininities may ring less true less often, or are often more complex being affected and reacted from masculinities.

However, un-interrogated, un-examined femininities, no matter how kick-arse, can be Patriarchal Femininities, White femininities, capitalist femininities, colonial femininities, so on and so forth.

Femininities also police and create the boundaries masculinities operate and oppress within.

“I want a real man”. “God he was a terrible lover, couldn’t keep it up”. “What an arsehole cheating bastard, and he had a small dick”. “Don’t worry about her, you’re so much hotter, she’s a fat, ugly bitch”. “She isn’t doing anything with her life, look at her now, she’s up the duff”. “I’m not into fat guys, it’s OK for a woman to have a bit of fat on her, but men should be strong and muscley, or lean and slim”. “Nah I can’t go out with him, I only go out with guys that are taller than me”.

If it is just white masculinities that oppress, then there would have never been any need for non-white, queer, working/underclass, differently abled, fat women to call out racism, homophobia, transphobia, classism, ableism and body hatred within (white) Feminism. But there was a need, and still is.

Whiteness/pakeha culture, as well as any dominating or privileging culture, is expressed and perpetuated in how white/pakeha men be men, and white/pakeha women be women. Dominating and privileging oppression, are also done through our gender expression and sexuality.

So this spiel is not actually about anal sex with straight men. It’s about putting the spotlight where the sun don’t shine (haha) and showing that our sexual orientations, sexualities, how we do (or don’t) have sex, our gender expressions, how we be men and women and everything in between, is also a medium and manifestation of things like class, ableism, race, ageism, colonisation, sexism, sub/culture and a myriad of other things in life.

Though it can be about anal sex if you want it to be.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Hatred of fat people is consumer and capitalist guilt.

In the dominating and oppressive-in-so-many-ways society I live within, there is alot of hatred of fat people and fat bodies. There has been some (tokenistic at times) headway made in many spheres. Homosexuals are no longer illegal. White women got many of the rights they focussed (white) Feminist agendas upon. There are racial discrimination laws etc etc. To the happy sappy liberal, it’s all looking pretty good in “our” multicultural diverse society, where “we” have the Best Race Relations In The World.. Yawn...

Sometimes, it is easy to think that (mis) re-presentation of women people, coloured people, queer people, trans people and working/underclass people, activists, rebels and revolutionary people (think Che Guevera lip balm) on products, movies, advertisements and magazines, means equality and acceptance.

It doesn’t. At least not in entirety.

It most likely means, that all of those once hated and despised groupings of peoples, are now marketable in a guilt-paying off kinda way, or a man-that-is-so-edgey-and-raw easy to consume way.

However, let’s play some devil’s advocate. Let’s also acknowledge that representation, no matter how stereotyped, narrow, tokenistic and defined by a dominant grouping, does play a small part in pushing mainstream boundaries by being visible and creating some kind of unequal awareness.

The representations of “successful” (acceptable, digestible)women, coloured, queer, transgender, working class and activist/rebel/revolutionary peoples, even within internal publications (feminist mags, gay/queer print), are still largely of slim, toned, “normal” bodies. They are rarely fat. Why not?

I feel that it’s because there has been a mainstreaming, a capitalising, a consuming, of those once and still marginal groups. Colors of Bennetton, GAP, a handful of non-white supermodels. There are liberal feminists who think getting top jobs in an oppressive society is equal rights and equality for women; mainstream queers who “are just like everyone else”, and they are. Coloured peoples real happy to have equal access to a violent capitalist economy and business model. Even transgender bodies are considered hot and desirable if they fit the confines and criteria of standardised beauty.

In this mainstreaming, various marginal groups, have been accepted into (to certain degrees) and allowed to consume “equally”.

Step up! Step up! Equal rights to consuming in a violent oppressive society, right now! Equal opportunities to consume folks! Come get them right now!

So we consume.

And underlying this rampant consumption is an underlying feeling that something is not quite right. An innate squashed down knowing that our consumption in the rich-multicultural-liberal-women-rights-and-gay-rights-loving-democratic-free society we are so lucky to have built from colonisation, land theft and the oppression of indigenous peoples, is guilt. We know we partake and live with over-consumption. And fat peoples’ bodies, the constructed connotation of greediness that fat induces, are a visible reminder of societal greed and over-consumption. So as always, when there’s something that makes us uneasy and uncomfortable, we don’t examine what it might stem from. No, no. We vilify and ostracise those peoples, those bodies, those histories. It’s a pretty classic dynamic, set-up a scapegoat so we don’t have to deal with our issues.

Guilt about our rampant addictive over-consumption, is exorcised and channelled into fat peoples’ bodies, who are then set-up for our hatred and disgust.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Why I sometimes feel a bit sorry for White people and bio men.

I feel aggrieved about where my genderqueer, androgynous, female-masculine Chinese diasporic body, although simultaneously middle class, able-bodied, colonisation-privileged body, is placed within a White, colonial, racist, sexist, homo/transphobic and monolingual amongst other things, is a place where I need to struggle to remain whole, and to love and accept myself.

Saying that, I also feel sorry for White people and Straight bio men at times.

“Why?!!!” you might ask.

Because, when I ponder things within my body, and within the Va/Wa/Ma (relational concept of space from Samoan, Maori and Japanese frameworks), I realise that I can be a real horrible meany when things get me real down, and I’m feeling insecure and triggered. I’m liable to take it out on my partner, grump at my flatmates, boss my brother and sisters around, be short-tempered with my parents, intolerant of my youth group youths, just generally be unpleasant, when I’m feeling threatened, under-nourished spiritually and emotionally.

So I’m thinking that trauma and insecurity, can play out from past to present, intergenerationally, migrationally, and within a culture. Especially colonial culture. My sketchy understanding of history in the region known as the UK, is like colonial, invasion-y puff pastry. Layer upon layer upon layer of invasion, colonisation and violence from various groups of conquering armies; Angles, Saxons, Romans, Vikings etc etc. The crushing of language, custom and pagan ways of living, internal colonisation, playing off one group against the other, against the Picts and Celts, the Welsh, Irish, Scottish. The royal taking of the commons, serious class violence, inter-religious violence, exiling and splitting up families for mean and flimsy reasons.

If that was my ancestral, cultural hurts and trauma, I know I would have to struggle hard to not perpetuate the violence and wrongs done to my body and my peoples. I have my own stuff, and own ancestral cultural stuff to deal with of course. And while there are no excuses for oppression, observing why dominant culture might do the things it does, could be a useful tool in addressing how to remedy, challenge and call its oppressive behaviour and power tripping tendencies. And failing that, it’s a good exercise in compassion, so we don’t become crushed under the Otherness hating society we live within, and rendered heartless and unfeeling.

This is how I try to find a common place when I do homo/transphobia education stuff in secondary schools with teenage people, and more often than not, the male bodied people do macho silly posturing. We talk quite a bit about what pressures, and what is assumed that Boys should be like, and what Girls should be like. Out of these conversations, amongst many things, it also becomes clear the violence that patriarchy and male stereotypes and aspirations have on young men who aren’t allowed to cry, show emotion, or acknowledge, let alone explore their femininity. (and must police each other)

So this is why I sometimes feel sorry for white people and Straight bio male people. Because, it seems their identities are so fragile and insecure and so scary, they cannot explore themselves to heal and become self-determining. Their identities require constant defining against the scary-uncivilised-dark-soft-vulnerable-expansive-boundary-less-Other, so that they are reactive and other-defined, rather than self-defined. That their identities require so much posturing, heaty blowy words and rhetoric, so much violence to maintain so much fear.

In trying to wound and crush us, they erode, wound and diminish themselves. So it is for these reasons also, that I sometimes feel sorry for White people and the white supremacies they need to create, assimilate into, and maintain to cope with themselves, sorry for the bio men and the patriarchies they create, aspire to and maintain to cope with their collective selves. The Walking Wounded, as my Dad would say. Or as I would say, the Marching Wounded, because it is our bodies they hurt first in this unacknowledged (sometimes acknowledged) war.

I also feel sorry for them, because I need to understand how they can create, perpetuate such oppressive violent structures and mechanisms, yet appear so unaware of how much those dynamics hurt me, us. The constant struggle I have underlying, to accept my yellow skin, my gender expression, my genitals, the shape of my eyes, my ancestors journeys, my height, my desire.

I feel sorry for them because I know that it is also, forgiveness that I seek when some of my multiple identities occupy oppressive spaces such as classism, ableism, colonial benefits and many more I won’t even have thought to feel.

I feel sorry for them because we are lost without compassion. Because when this world becomes a place where everyone’s bodies and gifts are celebrated, they will be there too. Because I don’t want oppression to diminish me, and make me too closed to be weak, vulnerable, open, expansive, and whole.