“Why Feminism is the Anti-Viagra”

OMFG, THAT IS A REAL TITLE FROM THIS MONTH’S PSYCHOLOGY TODAY. Here’s the article, and the premise: “Gender equality inhibits arousal.” Among the experts quoted for this piece: a romance novelist.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think the gist of this piece is that if you believe in equal pay for equal work, you are really going against nature’s plan, which is for men to be dominant and women to be submissive in bed. Also: if you are a feminist you will never have an orgasm because of, you know, wiring and science and stuff. Never mind that the actual point of feminism with regard to sexuality is to increase knowledge. That shouldn’t be a turn-off unless what gets you off is total ignorance.

How is it that magazine articles and books still think it’s okay to conflate what we may like sexually with what we like in our upright lives?

At least the comments are fun to read. Here’s part of my favorite one:

Meet the Flintstones, and dinosaurs they rode in on

Submitted by Rob B on April 10, 2011 – 12:12pm….Despite the author’s disclaimer, they all stem from its absurd, retro caricatures of male and female sexuality, and the many “binaries” they generate.

— The myth of the idea of “PC” in our culture & that idea that it’s a consequence of feminism & that our sexual desires try to subvert it. This is just so hackneyed. There are changing social norms around racial and sexual equality and they’re like any other norms. You’re not being censored by the feminist thought police: standards are being changed. If you fall outside the new norms, either change, or deal, to be around people you want.

— Generally taking the “evidence” of representations – romance novels, erotica, porn – at literal face value, and generalizing over it. Linking desire for these with “what we really want to practice” which I think most empirical studies informed by queer theory would demonstrate aren’t necessarily linked. Not questioning whether the representations of “male-dominant” porn really says something about the internal security of men, for example. The upshot is that you can’t really reliably tell what it says about men’s or women’s sexual behaviour by the kind of representations they consume.

Someone give Rob a book deal and Psychology Today column.

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1 Comment

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One response to ““Why Feminism is the Anti-Viagra”

  1. bonsayok

    psychology today is just a mindblowingly shameful publication and needs to be renamed “pop pseudoscience right-this-second” so it’s less misleading

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