Monday, May 15, 2006

Us Argumentative Feminists

The Guardian's ever more fluff-like "gender" section features an interview today with Melinda Gallagher and Emily Kramer, founders of Cake - a movement revolving around women's sexuality and advocating greater freedom of sexual expression for women. There are a few points about the article and what is said in the interview that I wanted to make:

I think in general they have a great point. We do still live in a society that considers women who show an appetite for sex somehow disgusting. That's not doing anybody any good.

They may have a very liberal attitude to sex but actually, though you'd have to read a long way through the article to find this out ... they dislike most pornography. Just like me and most feminists I know. Now you sure wouldn't find me showing up to their striptease-a-thon or lapdancing night but then that's because I think those means of sexual expression have unpleasant associations to degrading women as well as forced labour, human trafficking and coercion of young women into roles they may not be genuinely comfortable with and I would steer clear of getting involved with anything that appeared to legitimise that.

They insist women have a "right" to an orgasm from sexual activity. Which I sort of agree with and sort of don't. I think women have a right to decide for themselves what they want from sex and then demand it.

The trouble with this sort of "raunch feminism" to my mind isn't that their points are wrong, it's that really feminism has much bigger fish to fry than sex. Equal pay, maternity rights, exploitation, FGM, oppression of women in the third world, access to education. These are the REAL issues. While we're waiting for some coverage on them though, why not go check out Cake's website, it's quite cool.


Christina S said...

I just read that Guardian article and also visited the Cake website. I found it all a bit bizarre.

Sex has to finish with a woman's orgasm? Why? How limiting is that?! I personally wouldn't always want that.

I agree that society considers women with an appetite for sex to be disgusting. That needs to change, but lets not go the other way and make women who don't have that appetite feel pressured into thinking that they should.

The whole thing smacks of a grasp at power through emulating male sexuality. Or then again, maybe they've just been reading too many Black Lace books ...

Cruella said...

Yeah - there is one point where they claim "Women are visually stimulated". And I always thought it was rather fantastic that women were turned on by much more than looks - by smells and sense of humour and even political power* too!

*note to anyone in doubt though - john prescott is gross.

lost clown said...

I seriously hate their idea of 'empowerment' though. Women performing for each other (or more accurately: for the men they bring with them).

Blech. It leaves a bad taste in my mouth.