ere is another one of the many fine things which arrive in the Counter-Feminist inbox:
"Reading the last entry about a woman who falsely cried rape.. I was impressed with a post by 'anonymous.' I also went back and reread your IDEAS WHICH GO AGAINST THE GRAIN.Fidelbogen says:
"anonymous said among other things:
According to modern sensibilities a woman's sexual favors are hers to bestow, whenever to whomever she so pleases.The idea of a womans sexuality as "property" is thus retained, only it becomes the EXCLUSIVE property of the female."Bravo anonymous! You put it so well!
Now, female vanity is such that while making great efforts to display their "valuables" thereby increasing their allure and hence their power, they simultaneously would have us know that the attainment of their precious favours is of such an inestimably high value that a mere glance constitutes a violation of their ownership of such an oh so fine commodity.
In effect what they are saying is "we possess a quality that you, dear fellow, desire to such a degree that we can move you to uncontrollable fits of passion while we ourselves are impassive to any quality you may possess".
The goal sought after of course, is to create a psychological atmosphere wherein the female can create such a differential between the value of her sexual favours to the male, and the males sexual favours to the female, that the male must perforce compensate the female for even the slightest consideration.This opens up a gold mine of opportunity for the shrewd and the unscrupulous.
Hence the feminist preoccupation with this theme. Hence the superficial contradiction between girls "letting it all hang out" and girls' volitional participation in any matter sensual as being infinitely fine and therefore infinitely difficult of possession.
"I too have read with appreciation Fidelbogen's IDEAS WHICH GO AGAINST THE GRAIN.. Here are some of mine..
"Let's reexamine the rhetorical arguments in regard to "woman as property."
"In the beginning, the story goes, civilization of the patriarchal sort began with men's appropriation of women and children as property. Then followed the oppression of women along with the repression of female sexuality, i.e. marriage followed and the rest is history.
"The notion of 'women as property' is a powerful rhetorical device for feminism. It serves as the basis of an explanatory paradigm for women's oppression. However, as far as I know, there has never been an analysis of property's rhetoric in feminist literature. Feminists are allowed the power of their rhetoric – a metaphor of balance among similarly named concepts – to speak for itself. Both the significance and the truth of such statements as, 'Men viewed women as mere property,' are simply assumed.
"Rhetoric’s ability to mask what should be obvious makes it a most powerful tool in shaping our understanding of abstract concepts. Analyzing why linguistic devices of this type are inherently so persuasive may ultimately prove fruitful in working out a coherent view of property's rhetoric. For instance, to say 'My wife,' or 'My husband' are both proprietary assertions. However, the feminist charge is that men's proprietary claims are both pejorative and oppressive while women's are not. By way of another example, both men and women view each other as 'sex objects.' Here too, the prejudice against men is the same. Men's sexual desire for women is typically considered degrading or dehumanizing while women's desire for men is not.
As might be expected, most of our society's judgmental attitudes toward male sexuality are not original to feminism though feminists have been more than happy to exploit them. Such moral judgments endure (they are several hundred years old) not owning to their veracity but because they belong to moral tradition. And not surprisingly, they are made all the more easy because they coincide with traditional sexual stereotypes of men and the sexual roles both men and women inherit. .. In short, they are part of 'the game.'
"Let's take for example the sexual double standard. From the legal scholarship in this area, one learns that the sexual double standard was created in a patriarchal society where the nuclear family was the primary social unit. In this traditional social structure, women either were denied legal personhood completely, causing them to be viewed as property of their fathers or husbands, or were granted limited rights as guardians of the family unit. A young girl's worth depended on her ability to secure a marriage that would promise her economic security. Her ability to marry, in turn, depended on her sexual purity. Thus, a girl's virginity was her greatest possession, her bargaining tool in securing a socially acceptable future. An 'unwise' disposition of a girl's sexual 'treasure' was thought to harm both her own value and the entire social structure in which she existed. The restriction of female sexual activity operated to prevent this result.
"Of course, this origin story of the sexual double standard has its limits. After all, many so called 'patriarchal' societies have not been so repressive of female sexuality as we've been led to believe they must. Anthropology has provided numerous examples, even societies that are polyandrous. Also, whether or not women were, once upon a time, viewed as non-persons or 'mere property,' is pertinent in principle only to those who see the sexual double standard in terms of repressive patriarchy. That is to say, this view is only one rather ideologically motivated interpretation of women's previous status vis-a-vis their freedom of action and choice. For instance, it is altogether possible that women 'saved' themselves until marriage of their own accord, not as function of their status as men's 'mere property,' if indeed that has ever been the case. After all, women are not simply preserved for marriage, rather, marriage is preserved for women. Indeed, one might say everything revolves around women --- courtship, weddings, marriage, children. Men are seen as peripheral to the game. This is why women are escorted, cautioned, and defended. This is why women caution, secure, and defend themselves. Withholding sex from men is really an exercise in self-restraint. That women would not otherwise restrain themselves more so that men (possibly facilitating a double standard) were it not for patriarchy is pure conjecture as is the modern belief that men alone determine all sexual praxes. According to Richard Dawkins, (The Selfish Gene: Battle Of The Sexes P 162) the female of the species is generally more fussy about with whom she mates. (I realize that's a shameless appeal to authority but I just couldn't help myself.)
"But why argue anthropologically or biologically? Let's turn to some more tangible examples pertinent to my point....
"If insight and blindness are inevitably linked, then one of the blind spots of feminism is that it tries to blame the sexual double standard on some imagined dominance of men is sexual matters while ignoring the full complicity of women in the traditional moral order of things. (I've point this out elsewhere) Anyone old enough to remember reading Ann Landers and Dear Abby (The Twin Queen Bees Of Virginity) can attest to this complicity. Both syndicated columnists talked about sex as if it were an exclusively female preserve; a kind of female commodity that men wanted and women either gave in to or withheld. They were also fond of comparing sex to the hunt and warning young girls that if they 'gave it away' their boyfriends would lose interest. The game would be over. As might be expected, both women talked about virginity strictly in terms of a feminine ideal. All of this was, of course, a ploy to keep young women chaste by making them wary of young men. . From a morally traditional point of view, this is quite understandable. After all, it is women who have made a practice of withholding sex from men before marriage not the other way around. The ideal of virginity is the sublimation of this practice, along with notions of feminine innocence, purity, virtue, self-respect, reputation, and, of course, the age old idea of a woman's honor. Far from being imposed upon women, these ideals with their attendant beliefs, values, and moral sentiments have been embraced and often fiercely defended by women. Not only have these sexual attitudes been integral to women's vanity and sense of pride, they have nurtured notions of feminine moral superiority and conferred women their sense of control over men and their own bodies. (Feminists still carry the torch when they speak about 'taking ownership' of one's body -- albeit in a supposedly more progressive sense which is, frankly, lost on me.) Both Ann Landers and Dear Abby were bastions of traditional morality. Both were widely read and immensely popular with women.
"Oddly enough, women gave all of this up -- well not quite all of it -- during their revolution in order to be the sexual equals of men. (As if women weren't equal enough when they were above men) And all of this was predicated on a curiously deluded sense of male sexual freedom that men themselves could only dream of.
"Not quite convinced?
"Let's hear from the usual suspects again:
"Let's suppose two undesirable consequences flow from valuing a young girl's chastity. First, when legal practices incorporate and reinforce social norms that treat women as little more than possessions of men, the laws respond perversely to protect the male property interest, rather than to compensate for the harm suffered by the female. In other words, gendered laws identify and punish those who, by taking a daughter's virginity, devalue a father's possession; they largely ignore the feelings of the daughter herself. Moreover, the idea that a girl's value depends on her sexual purity leads to the conclusion that a girl who has engaged in consensual non-marital intercourse has 'devalued' herself. This conclusion, in turn, fosters the belief that unmarried women fall into two separate categories: those who are sexually pure and those who are not. A dichotomy of this sort not only harms the individual woman who seeks the law's assistance but also perpetuates pervasive stereotypes of all women as either 'innocent victims' or 'temptresses.' According to this view, the law must care for and defend 'innocent victims' (chaste females), but 'temptresses' (unchaste females) do not deserve the 'benevolent protection' of the criminal law.
"Sounds pretty good, right?
There's a wee problem.
And that is:
"There is little to no proof that the laws have ever responded perversely to 'protect the male property interest, rather than to compensate for the harm suffered by the female.' This is because the assertion is largely a modern day feminist fiction. It is what is called by philosophers and historians as a 'just so story.' Firstly, it amounts to so much petty moralizing about the past, the presumptions of which are ideologically motivated. Secondly and more importantly, we cannot know the accused's state of mind; we don't know what fathers (past tense) were thinking. In any case, implying that father's had little or no concern for their daughters is imputing too much. We actually just don't know how they felt. Lastly, fathers did not operate in a vacuum. Mothers clamored for revenge for their defiled daughters as well. In societies that arranged marriage, compensation for infractions was generally made by one family group to another. The archetypally dominant father running everything from on high while every other member of society sat around passively waiting for commandments is a religious (and now feminist) myth.
"It is also worth noting that just because legal scholars and feminists label the world 'patriarchal' does not mean that the control of women is first principal in laws concerning sex or life in general. As for the 'innocence' of women, women have been no less responsible than men in promoting the view that women are less responsible agents. After all, it is a fundamental tenet of feminism that women are less responsible agents. Current legal scholarship, influenced by modern feminism, has redoubled the mistake of presuming feminine innocence by making women the 'innocent victims' of patriarchy. Indeed, perhaps nothing has promoted the idea of women as 'innocent victims' more than feminism. That the 'good girl, bad girl' dichotomy is more or less the result of women's having brought their own morality down upon their own heads is ignored. That women have been complicit in viewing sex as a female commodity is ignored. That women have consider themselves 'used and abused' more so than men for having suffered no more than men is ignored. --The list of things ignored is by 'feminist scholarship' is rather long.
"Finally, if it is instructive to consider the double standard in the light of masculine schemas, it is also instructive to consider the double standard in terms of feminine schemas or strategies. The idea that current and past sexual standards exist to advantage men is not something anyone should accept on blind faith. As I have said before, male and female roles are defined by the expectations of both sexes. The claim that 'men define women' and the trend to root the double standard in patriarchy are part and parcel to the same tendentious ideology. Namely feminism.
"A final word about the sexual double standard:
"In feminist lore, the sexual double standard is talked about in terms of some conspiracy on the part of men to privilege themselves with more sexual freedom than women. Again, it's affixed to a largely imagined dominance of men. Seldom does anyone point out that women are conferred a more protected and untouchable status. While I've heard many moralists whine about the double standard, I've yet to hear one complain about this particular aspect of the double standard. That's because they subscribe to this aspect of the double standard as in 'don't fuck my daughter.' You see, far from being regarded as 'mere property,' it is far more likely young girls are viewed as mommy's and daddy's little princesses. In their parents eyes, young girls' bodies are literally likened to sacred temples into which one cannot enter lest they be desecrated. No such sanctity or lofty moral sentiment is ascribled to the young males body. In which case, I should think that we will never see the sexual double standard entirely expunged in spite of the recently celebrated 'liberation of female sexuality.' (I put said liberation in quotes because I believe that women have more or less magically construed a language of male repression and then feigned to liberate themselves from its strictures. Ironic, isn't it? )
"Society presumes the male the aggressor and discriminates against him as such. Females are viewed the passive receptors of male attention and are discriminated as such. In short, the boys get the blame and the girls get the shame. Feminists are naturally quick to resent the resulting discrimination against their own gender but rarely question society's sexual stereotypes of men. In fact, it's more often the case that feminists exacerbate negative stereotypes of men."
One point that I would add by way of summary: the so-called "liberation of female sexuality" has been, in hindsight, little more than a scam of the bait-and-switch variety. The same applies to those vague and vapid declarations that feminism would "liberate men too" (as if that genuinely meant something) by drafting wifey into the workforce!