#TheMood - #Sexis - Sex Positive Stalemate: Is our activism setting the mood for failure?

Ansley Ansley


Sex Positive Stalemate: Is our activism setting the mood for failure?

The existence of Patriarchy.
Rape culture.
Slut shaming.
Gender as a social construct.

What do those ideas mean to you? Do you consider them established truths? Undeniable reality?

If you do, I’ve got news for you. You’re part of a minority.

Because outside of our close-knit community of sex positivity, ideas like the ones I’ve listed above are considered theories by most, and kooky liberal nonsense by many.


Roland is at it again! Challenging us to really think about the things we're doing in life - this time it's all about how we handle people who challenge our open-mindedness. As much as I am loathe to bring it up, there was one such example of this on this very forum this week. A contributor challenged the idea that gay marriage should be legalized and the community descended upon them like it was the most abhorrent thing to ever have been uttered.

Why are we so intolerant of allowing other people to have opposing view points that all sex is good and it doesn't matter what parts go where so long as it is safe, sane and consensual? Have we taken ourselves to a level of political correctness that stops us from having open and honest dialogue about these topics?

Before you answer, read the entire article for the context of the questions. This just might be the most important topic we could be discussing right now as a community. How do we further our positions without alienating our audience?
Answers (public voting - your screen name will appear in the results):
Do you think this is an important topic?
Explore , tiggle biddies
2
Yes, it's very important and I never really thought of it before.
Ansley , Rayne Millaray , padmeamidala , Geekhyena , Terri69 , BG529 , Kindred , Thomas90 , unfulfilled , BonáeVintage , CherryGryffon , corsetsaurus rex , tiggle biddies , redstars , FabBillie , tA , SweetSouthernGirl
17
It's important, but there are other more important things to be discussing.
KrissyNovacaine , vintagina
2
It doesn't matter if people get it or not, as long as respect is there.
corsetsaurus rex , tiggle biddies
2
It's not important at all, I don't have to change anyone's mind about anything.
.
As a social construct, do you think equality is really ever going to happen?
tiggle biddies
1
No, it's against human nature. Or, something like that.
Ansley , Terri69
2
Yes, and I do my part everyday to treat all things equally even if I don't agree with it.
Geekhyena , BG529 , KrissyNovacaine , Thomas90 , FabBillie , tA
6
Only time will tell.
Rayne Millaray , padmeamidala , Kindred , Explore , unfulfilled , vintagina , CherryGryffon , corsetsaurus rex , tiggle biddies , SweetSouthernGirl
10
..
Do you think we have reached a stalemate, as Roland does?
tiggle biddies
1
He definitely has a point...I'm just not sure if I totally agree.
corsetsaurus rex , tiggle biddies
2
I agree, we're definitely shooting ourselves in the foot here.
Rayne Millaray
1
I think it really depends on the situation. Some people can be reached, some can't.
Ansley , padmeamidala , Geekhyena , Terri69 , BG529 , Kindred , KrissyNovacaine , Thomas90 , Explore , unfulfilled , vintagina , CherryGryffon , tiggle biddies , redstars , FabBillie , tA
16
...
I have additional thoughts on this and I'm going to comment below!
Ansley
1
Total votes: 63 (20 voters)
Poll is closed
05/17/2012
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Ansley Ansley
You see it all the time in every manner of society - in order for one group to be totally free, another has to be enslaved. Now, let's not go with the literal meaning of "enslaved", I'm not talking about the total loss of control when it comes to decision making. I'm talking about the loss of certain classes of freedom.

For people who are incredibly kink-minded and like to pull out the hardcore fetishes, they are relegated to forums like Fet Life and clubs that are set in the middle of nowhere. They aren't free to walk the streets in their gear and not have people stare at them or shield their children's eyes as they pass.

The LGBT community is not free to marry without jumping through enormous sets of hoops set ablaze. This is the doing of people who think they know what's good for the human species - they can't even balance a budget, yet they're in charge of major issues like this? Something is totally wrong with this picture.

Even here on the forums, most of us would say that we don't talk about what we do here, what toys we have, and which ones we're lusting after with our friends and family. Not that we're ashamed, we just don't want to deal with the judgment of it all.

It just seems like if we were all able to be open about our opinions and desires that we could enlighten ourselves to a level just short of Utopia.
Where everyone is respected and opinions can be stated without starting civil wars, riots, beat-downs, and fucked up legislation.

Yeah, I'm a dreamer. It just makes so much more sense to me. If the Muslims think they're right and the Christians think they're right and the Jews think they're right, then let them all think they're right. Is it really hurting anyone? (Aside from the whole Israel/Palestine thing.)

If you're against abortions - don't have one. If you're against gay marriage - don't marry someone of the same sex. But, how on earth does anyone have the right to tell people that they can't have an abortion or they can't marry someone they love? Be against it all you want, but don't impose your beliefs on a life that doesn't personally affect yours.

I don't have any quick fixes or really any idea on how to make things better for anyone in this world, but I am on the lookout for solutions. I just hope that the generation that rises into politics ten years from now is drastically different than the ones we have now. Maybe then things will change. Though, studies have found that people naturally become more conservative with age.
05/18/2012
Beck Beck
"If you're against abortions - don't have one. If you're against gay marriage - don't marry someone of the same sex. But, how on earth does anyone have the right to tell people that they can't have an abortion or they can't marry someone they love? Be against it all you want, but don't impose your beliefs on a life that doesn't personally affect yours.

I totally agree. Your beliefs are just that...YOUR beliefs! They are not everyone's beliefs and they have no place in making rules/laws that everyone has to live by.

Equality is something that everyone should have regardless of how I view it or anyone else. As long as no one is taken advantage of or harmed in the process, it's NO ONES business. We all deserve to be happy.

I guess I am a dreamer too.
05/18/2012
namelesschaos namelesschaos
As I explained in the comments, I find the article is counterproductive because it asks the wrong question. It tries to improve on something which in it of itself is part of the problem. I don't care about changing peoples minds I care about changing peoples actions and behaviors. I don't care about what people think I care I care what people do.

Read the article and the comments there is much talk about beliefs, ideas and facts ,much talk about thought, but none of behaviors. This isn't semantics, the difference between changing ideas and changing behaviors is the practical difference between theory and reality. I'm far more worried about the implication of Roland's disccusion of activism not mentioning a single behavior change then with the implications Roland being called misogynist six months ago (I'm of also the opinion that if six mouth ago is "recent" to you, you might want to work on letting things go.)
05/18/2012
Jaimes Jaimes
But actions and behaviors have to begin somewhere. Actions simply do not happen, behaviors are not formed from a blank ethos.

Actions and behaviors are responses. Responses to what, you might ask? Ideas and beliefs. People form ideas and beliefs and respond to them with actions and behaviors.

Laws and rules can affect or control negative behaviors and actions with the threat of consequence. But people can't find a balance in themselves or with each other if their actions and behaviors aren't not able or allowed to be in sync with their ideas or beliefs. We have a few excellent examples of the results of such negative duality in just about any history book you pick up.

If you want to have an effect on the way people behave, you have to start with how they think. Forcing change for change's sake without allowing people the ability to follow through their actions with reason, logic, or confidence in their beliefs is simply putting a band-aid on a broken bone. The patient feels resentment because the doctor tells them the problem is fixed on the outside, but they still have to deal with the problem on the inside.

Humans are thinking creatures. We are at peace when our hearts, minds, and hands move in one direction. I agree that people's actions and behaviors must change in a more positive and open-minded direction. But true change happens slowly.

If we can affect how people of this generation think, and guide them towards being open and generous with ideas, then they will behave appropriately in response. And then here is where real change happens: they pass on those beliefs, ideas, and behaviors to their children. And then, the cycle continues.

We can make it happen. We can cultivate positive ideas and beliefs, and we can say that it is important enough that we will share those things with our future generations, and thus, make a change.
05/18/2012
Rayne Millaray Rayne Millaray
Quote:
Originally posted by namelesschaos
As I explained in the comments, I find the article is counterproductive because it asks the wrong question. It tries to improve on something which in it of itself is part of the problem. I don't care about changing peoples minds I care about ... More
Well, I mean, if you managed to convince a person that, say, homophobia is wrong and they shouldn't beat people up because the person is gay, logic would follow that the person would stop beating up gay people. And voila! You've got a behavior change.

I'm a very obstinate person. I, like most, enjoy being challenged, but don't much like being told I'm wrong. And I like it even less if the person is being an jerk about it. Calling someone a misogynist because they don't agree with your feminist theory is being an jerk about it.

A better approach would be to refrain from any sort of accusatory language and instead explain why you disagree. And, once again, if you manage to change that person's mind, logic dictates that the person would hold women in a higher regard and be less misogynistic, rather than shutting down entirely and refusing to listen because you were a jerk. Voila! Another behavior change.
05/18/2012
KrissyNovacaine KrissyNovacaine
There are two ways to change culture.

1. Reach the moderates and sway them to your side. The best way to do that is to remove yourself from the radical sides and deal with them one on one so they can see your humanity. For instance, I had two friends who were very homophobic. I am bisexual, but I don't wear it loudly. I am a person first and who I choose to bed is just a small part of that bigger whole. They got to know me before learning of my partner preferences. Slowly over time, we engaged in discussion about it. Eventually, the woman admitted to openly being ok and having bisexual tendencies herself and the man was roommates with me and didn't bat an eyelash when I had a partner of the same sex.

2. Educate the next generation. I'm not saying to take children on field trips to dungeons and orgies to observe, but you can teach sex positivity to the younger generation. I do not have children, but I do plan to, and I want them to grow up in an environment that is accepting in all ways and that the bs our culture places on bodies and sex is silly.
05/18/2012
namelesschaos namelesschaos
Quote:
Originally posted by Rayne Millaray
Well, I mean, if you managed to convince a person that, say, homophobia is wrong and they shouldn't beat people up because the person is gay, logic would follow that the person would stop beating up gay people. And voila! You've got a ... More
If only behavior change was that simple. You keep using that word "logic" as if we humans behave in such simplistic terms. People very often hold beliefs that contradict their practices. More specifically Roland say to stick to the facts however facts don't change behavior nearly as much as we tend to think they do. One example the goal of advertising is to change purchasing behavior and they tend to be very low on facts. Behavior is effected by multiple factors not just the facts. When you realize your goal is changing specific behavior not ideas it changes how you focus and prioritize your efforts.

An analogy: Environmentally activism, I don't need to get you to believe in Global Warming ( idea ) in order to get you to ride a bicycle (behavior that benefits the plant). The eco-club at my university understands this: It can appeal to it being cheaper then gas, easier to a park; good for exercise, social "We have a bike club". You can then further facilitate that behavior change by offering free bike repairs and guess what minds changed or not, behavior is change. If I'm good at it I can get you to do what I want with out-ever mentioning the word Global Warning (an idea).

Same here I don't need to convince you that rape culture exists to get you to stop acting in ways that support rape culture. This is something both side of the debate frequently don't understand. Concepts like peer intervention work not by change ideas regarding rape culture but by using peer dynamic to effect behavior and it works well in part because you don't ever have to say the words rape culture.

The goal of the environmental activism above is to reducer you carbon foot print not get you to agree on global warning (although that may well be a part of it). If I confuse one for the other I'm likely to spend my energies poorly. The goal of feminism in my above explain is to reduce sexual assaults not convince you that rape culture exists (although that may well be a part of it). Confuse the two and your likely to spend your energies poorly. The goal of sex positivity in an activist context is not to convince you of "the facts" Roland stakes his essay on (although that may well be a part of it) but to get you to behave in a more sex positive way. Confuse the two and...well you get the idea.
05/18/2012
Ansley Ansley
Quote:
Originally posted by namelesschaos
If only behavior change was that simple. You keep using that word "logic" as if we humans behave in such simplistic terms. People very often hold beliefs that contradict their practices. More specifically Roland say to stick to the facts ... More
You know that's all very interesting...I think sometimes using terms like 'rape culture' only perpetuates the problem because like you said then you're arguing a construct not the actual behaviors behind them. Though, I kind of think women should embrace being sex symbols and men should be taught better boundaries but I think there is a lot of absentee parenting in this country and the values and messages of generations past were totally lost in our drive to be "free and equal".
05/22/2012
FabBillie FabBillie
Quote:
Originally posted by Ansley
You know that's all very interesting...I think sometimes using terms like 'rape culture' only perpetuates the problem because like you said then you're arguing a construct not the actual behaviors behind them. Though, I kind of think ... More
The statement that "men should be taught better boundaries" implies that the only reason women are beaten, raped, and otherwise assaulted and exploited by men is that men are brutes that can't control themselves without some outside force to teach them how. And that's pretty problematic. Not only is it gender-essentialist in a negative way toward men (I hesitate to say "sexist against men" because by and large men don't experience the kind of society-wide systemic oppression that constitutes sexism), but it also implies that it's not a larger cultural issue perpetuated by men and women of all stripes; it's just a problem with the MEN.

And while I agree with the spirit of the article in that we should all be at least civil in discussions like this, I'm having a hard time not reacting with malice to the idea that I or any other woman should embrace being dehumanized and made into objects.
05/22/2012
Total posts: 10
Unique posters: 7