How to be the “Fun” Girl

After the recent explosion of so-called “sex positive” feminism over on Democratic Underground, I think it’s time to discuss what it really means and why it’s different from other forms of feminism, particularly radical feminism.

Sex-positive feminism is a misnomer really. While the basic concept of sexpos feminism is a good one – women must have sexual freedom in order to truly be free of oppression – it does not play out this way.

Sexual freedom, in this context, follows right on the heels of the sexual revolution itself. Women are now free to have sex with whoever they want, whenever they want, however they want. Sort of.

You see, while true sexual freedom is part of the revolutionary vision of radfems, the sexual freedom espoused by the sexpos crowd still primarily benefits men. This brand of sexual liberation frees women from the most rigid of sexual codes in order to increase our availability to men outside of marriage. Sex without consequences. Sex without responsibility.

Sexpos feminism accepts the male worldview as normal, and seeks to emulate it, rather than create a new paradigm.

Sexpos feminism encourages women to pursue sex work, claiming that it is inherently liberating, rather than trying to break down the patriarchal bonds that limit women’s choices of work worldwide, often forcing them into prostitution, other sex-work, and pornography. In doing so, it ignores the very serious negative effects of such work on individuals and society, while bolstering the sexiness factor and claiming that sex-work empowers women as a class rather than reinforcing the idea of women as the sex class.

Sexpos feminism’s very name implies that non-sexpos feminists are anti-sex, or sex-negative, which is a heavily perpetuated stereotype based on assumptions rather than facts.

Basically, sexpos feminists want to put a friendly face on feminism by assuring men that they are not here to break down male privilege, change the way men behave toward women, or ruin anyone’s fun.

They’ve managed to make men love feminists, by creating a feminist that doesn’t really exist. She wears Playboy t-shirts and loves stripping and likes to sleep around without a care in the world.

She’s every frat boy’s wet dream.

But she isn’t doing anything to advance the cause of feminism, or help real women live better, more full lives.

I can’t blame her really. She’s doing her best to survive and have a life in a culture that views her as little more than holes to be penetrated. Unfortunately, in doing so, the sex-positive feminist has not only given up on feminism itself, she has become part of the patriarchal machine that denigrates and marginalizes her sisters.

While radfems want to destroy the patriarchy and create an egalitarian model, sexpos feminists believe they can work within the current system, slowly chipping away at male privilege while still being the “fun” girls at the cultural cocktail party.

I’ve been the fun girl. Most twenty and thirty-something women probably have been, or have tried to be, as well. It’s a life filled with a insatiable craving for male approval.

Lucky for me, I grew out of it. I think in the long run, the sexpos crowd will too.

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~ by theunrelentingrevolutionaryoptimist on August 24, 2007.

One Response to “How to be the “Fun” Girl”

  1. A [belated] “You’re most welcome!” to you from stargleamer (they locked the thread at Democraticunderground.com). Nice to write to someone who sees the full humanity of women. I’m anti-porn too. If you’d like to have a friend at “DemocraticUnderground, I’m open to it. My journal is at stargleamer.livejournal.com. If you want you can check it out–it has a nice quote from the anti-pornography feminist John Stoltenberg there. I wish i could share your optimism about the sexpos crowd, but I think at least some of them will come to see how shallow their position is. Anyhow, best wishes to you.

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