Wrongheadedly, I visited Anne Summers the other day. Hidden at the back of the store next to the ‘Dominatrix’ range (exclusively advertised with pictures of submissive women – I don’t think they get it) was the section marked ‘Porn for Women’.
A less interesting porn section could scarcely be conceived of. Whoever is designing this porn seems to think that women will descend in droves to purchase any porn which replaces the ‘for men’ signifiers ‘slutty/anal/hungry/cock/bitch/fest’ with the more delicate, pleasant, feminine word ‘couples’. As if ‘couples’ is any draw in a film that conforms in every other respect to the male subject/female object binary.
Snow spat against the window. It
Refused to let it in;
Though water was covering the inside pane.
Delving out mucus I threw it out
Opening the window
A wasp and snow flew in.
Of seminal importance to my present interest in gender was my first piece of non scientific vaginal literature: Eve Ensler’s The Vagina Monologues, discovered while rummaging through my sister’s room. I was 13 then and it was seven years later when I saw the monologues live on stage. I saw that performance with a whole new knowledge, both carnal and intellectual. I was shellshocked by the the visceral portrayal of gender based sexism and began to doubt the legitimacy of calling myself a feminist. This is one of the many questions that my status as a male supporter of feminism brings up. I never come to meaningful conclusions on them. It’s these endlessly circular issues that characterize a man and his feminism.