"the freedom of all is essential to my freedom"

human and animal liberation

Posts Tagged ‘women

Hidden Patriarchy

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It seems that most modern men claim to be supporters of gender equality and women’s rights. Everyone supports equal treatment, equal pay and women’s right to make their own choices. Apparently it may seem that everything is all right. Some people might say patriarchy is a history as we have women in politics, business and in every other area of ​​life. Of course I refer to the Western world as it looks different in other places such as Saudi Arabia. Obviously in Western countries there are also examples of open discrimination as many men (who also happen to be bosses or politicians) aren’t able to accept women’s choices (e.g. I wasn’t born to cook for you and give you a blowjob every morning). However, I don’t want to focus on men (or women) who are openly chauvinist. We all know that there is still much to be done to provide better living conditions for women. Rather, I’d like to raise the issue of women’s sexuality which causes different reactions among people who support women’s rights in general.

Sexuality is a problem
When it comes to sexuality people react differently. We are talking about cases where women use their rights to use their sexuality. For example female animal rights activists. They strip down for the cause as vGirls do and suddenly they become problematic. Their opponents argue that the exposure of their bodies leads to the objectification of women. Well, honestly, yes, some people looking at nude pics (or half-nude) of women are building a belief that a woman is only a sexual object. However, it is worth to ask a question: who’s problematic here? The model who exposed her body or a person who seeing the naked body draws wrong conclusions? A short skirt is not an excuse for rape. And an exposure of female nudity doesn’t justify the objectification. The interesting thing here is that when we deal with vGuys the problem disappears. The same people can look at the naked torsos of handsome men and no one says those men build a bad image of all men. So it’s cool to expose your body if you’re a man but it’s not cool when you’re a woman? Similar accusations are directed towards the Femen activists who raise awareness about women’s issues using bare breasts. They are either ignored by society or accused of promoting sexism. In reality they managed to bring issues such as human trafficking, sex industry and violence towards women to main stream media.

A similar mechanism applies to sex. There’s a dominating view (even in liberal environments) in which a man has the right to sexual freedom. He can have a few sexual partners at same time and that’s okay. But if a woman wants to enjoy her freedom she suddenly turns out to be a whore.

Hidden Patriarchy

It’s actually quite funny that some men try to teach women what patriarchy is. It’s funny when some people say Yes you can but you can’t. I call it a hidden patriarchy as I believe that the term ‘freedom’ includes sexual freedom as well. This may have its source in patriarchal past in which female sexuality was designed to pleasing men, and was reserved for them. Women’s sexual freedom may thus result in anger as it means lack of control over the sphere that was controlled by men. Just as the men had decided about the finances a few decades ago, some men want to decide how women can use their sexuality, what’s appropriate and what’s not. Who’s a whore and who’s not.

Of course, hiding behind the label “I do not want the objectification of women” is very convenient. But at the end of the day it’s not logical. Getting naked doesn’t harm anyone. Having a sex with many partners doesn’t harm anyone either (if it’s consensual sex). There’s no objectification unless someone seeing a sexy female objectify her. In this case, as mentioned above, that someone has a problem with his views. The problem is not a model who used her body to raise some awareness. When you see a photo with a guy watching rugby and holding a bottle of Budweiser you don’t say “Hey, that’s because of you chicks think I’m a primitive alcoholic!!”. But you should if you want to be consistent as it’s also a gender stereotype.

The other thing is the fact that sexism is present everywhere. The market is trying to use women’s bodies to attract consumers to make more money. And if you put a half-naked blonde on the billboard it’s more likely that some guy will pay attention to it. That’s true, that’s sexist. But after all, if the girls want to strip we (as a society) can’t reject the right to decide for themselves because a bunch of capitalists make sexist ads. If no one is hurt and everything is done voluntarily, well it’s called freedom. Freedom doesn’t mean smart decisions, it doesn’t mean being perfect. It means we can decide for ourselves even if others won’t like our decisions. And if a man tells a woman that she can’t expose her sexuality because it’s inappropriate, well whatever you call it, it’s a part of patriarchy. It fits perfectly to a male-oriented world where women take a passive role in terms of sexuality.

Sexual freedom provides an equality that men enjoy from many years. It means women don’t need to satisfy anyone if they don’t want to, but if they do want it won’t make them sluts. Sexual freedom means they don’t need to play a good girl because that’s what a male-oriented society expects from them. It means they stop being a product as they can actually say both YES and NO. As long as they don’t harm anyone it’s their business what they do. Finally, women are not anyone’s property so why they should feel bad because they do what they want to do?


Written by Kruk

April 25, 2012 at 8:16 pm

Activism, animal rights and sexuality

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I came across an interesting note written by a friend who’s an animal rights activist in Los Angeles. I allowed myself to copy this text and post it here. In a nutshell, the article relates to the controversial use of sexuality (especially female sexuality) to promote veganism. Please read it first. I think it can be a prelude to discussion on this topic among several groups as it raises controversy among many social groups, starting from the animal rights activists or feminists, and ending with a right-wing people.

In my opinion, the activists really need to finally deal with this issues because of a number of reasons. First of all, the conflict in this topic leads to divisions among activists (whether feminists or the AR folks) who are wasting energy on disputes. This energy could be used for joint and grassroots actions, and on broad cooperation in achieving our goals. Especially, the AR folks usually share common ideas of freedom, for example equal rights for women and vice versa. In the previous posts I already published my opinions, where I argued that the struggle for animal liberation is part of a wider alterglobalist or anarchist or environmental movement or whatever you call it. That is why we need a critical mass and compromise to come up with a solution that will not divide us, but connect us, while ensuring freedom of women who want to expose their sexuality.


Secondly, in addition to activists, there are ordinary people, to whom we are trying to reach out and offer cruelty-free life style. So while arguing about promoting veganism by sexuality we should also take this into account. We are dealing here with people with complex views, who have their own religions, have their more conservative beliefs, perhaps problems with their own sexuality (relationships), or they may simply believe that this is inappropriate. We also need to reach them as many of them loves animals.

Finally, the key issue. On the one hand we say that women can do what they want, but when they start doing it, some argue that they should not do that because it leads to the objectification of women for example present in the porn industry. So, where is the line? What is acceptable and what is not? Where is the line for women’s freedom in this topic? We must answer these questions, discuss, find a solution. We do not need more anger, attacks or dispute. We need dialogue, otherwise somewhere along the way of the ubiquitous criticism we will forget what exactly we are fighting for.

If you have a Facebook account you can read some comments here or you’re free to leave your comment below this note. Let’s start talking people.

Written by Kruk

April 17, 2011 at 9:21 pm