Monday, December 29, 2008

Males Penetrating Women, a Form of Possession

Franny & Zoe Cruise the Feminine World
thegrowlingwolf--he peacockily vows Lesbians love him and don't fear him--has recently been in his C. Wright Mills/Thorstein Veblen mode--his Sociologist context, as he likes to put the very aspects of his abstract human-wolf-hybrid life--animal thinking at its highest level--Einstein was a monkey, wasn't he?

First off, I found Andrea Dworkin online. Remember her? Hidebound feminist bitch par excellence. Here's a review of her book Intercourse by Giney Villar:

Intercourse, Dworkin's monumental book on the complexities of sex, now on its tenth anniversary edition, remains as forceful today as when it first appeared in 1987. In her new preface (1997) Dworkin describes her book as "…a book that moves through the sexed world of dominance and submission…" and rightly so.

In this book, the author questions and challenges the value and meaning that men and women attach to Intercourse. While it is "easy" to read having been written in a lucid, scholarly manner without being highbrow, the book is difficult to comprehend. Intercourse compels its readers to rip open their bodies and minds and examine them under the stark illumination Dworkin beams. It is disturbing light, and she makes no excuse for casting it. Dworkin stops being female in this book and suggests that all women must begin to stop being women as constructed by men, for their integrity and survival.

Intercourse opens possibilities. It can be interpreted in many ways. This is what the book exactly aims to do. To pose questions, spur action and in the author's own words, "Intercourse is search and assertion, passion and fury; and its form—no less that its content—deserves critical scrutiny and respect."

The book is divided into three parts. The first part, "Intercourse in a Man-made World" illustrates the way men perceive women and themselves, as they sexually relate to women. In the section "Repulsion," Dworkin tells of the repulsion men have against women's bodies, sexual intercourse and their unbridled desires, as exemplified by Tolstoy's life and works. In Tolstoy's The Kreutzer Sonata, a man kills his wife to end his own torment and pain about the possibility of losing control over her. The man reasons that with her death, his wife could no longer be capable of defying him, and he did not have to bear the responsibility of subjugating her and desiring her.

Dworkin asserts that men are obsessed with protecting their own vulnerability and they use women to draw attention away from this "nakedness." Men resort to violence against women for it is a way of getting what they want without exposing their own vulnerability. Sexual intercourse is likened to being "Skinless" where men and women merge and lose boundaries to become one flesh- male flesh.

Intercourse has also been understood as a form of possession. Women are being penetrated and thus conquered and dominated as objects. In so doing, men possess women but both experience the man being male. In the process, women essentially lose themselves when they are taken over by men. This is necessary for intercourse to be successful. Amazingly, men are not possessed even if they are literally enveloped by women during the sexual act. Women have been constructed by this type of sexuality. As the author puts it, "This being marked by sexuality requires a cold capacity to use and a pitiful vulnerability that comes from having been used." And because of the social context, women have learned to equate sex with love and desire. Thus, male possession has become an affirmation of desirability, womanhood and existence.

For a full read:
I don't think I agree with Andrea that women have learned to equate sex with love and desire. I don't feel it when I'm having sex with a man. Sex is sex not love. In fact, what is love anyway? A second-hand emotion, like Tina Turner sang? Men think women fuck for love, but that's silly--women fuck for the same reasons basically men fuck, to procreate, whether they realize it or not--a woman can't fulfill her "mother" desires without getting some male seed planted in her ovum.
How about Christianity and its explanation of a female being a male HELPER! Here's a great little study of Christianity and its role in the oppression of women:

Oppression In Christianity

Traditional Roles

In Genesis 1:26-27, Adam and Eve were portrayed to be equal, for both were created out of God's image. Despite this, the many allusions to the word "man" in the Bible were, in earlier times, said to be because women were unimportant. Yet in Gen. 5:1-2, God calls both genders "man" – and hence it is understood that such disparity in treatment was actually not what he had intended. There are other references in the Old Testament regarding the status of women - namely in Genesis 2. God looked at a sleeping Adam, and decided that he needed a helper. This helper was created from Adam's rib, and was named "woman" by Adam. These references that women are helpers and were named by Adam however, contradict the earlier presented views that both had equal status. This was especially so in older times, where one was believed to have authority over any item/individual by naming it. Adam’s downfall is also credited to the creation of Eve - for Eve was the one who persuaded Adam to eat the forbidden fruit. This was another excuse for the discrimination against females. For example, Tertullian (known as "Father of the Latin Church") said to his female followers: "You are the devil's gateway". In fact, other than the earlier references that God intended both genders to be equal, and a minimal scattering of passages that seemed to suggest this (eg. Exodus 21:15-17), the Bible's stance can be seen to fiercely biased towards male dominance over females.

Thus, females were considered possessions of males (usually their fathers or husbands) - like any house or oxen - as seen in Exodus 20:17. Rape was also considered a less severe crime than homosexuality, and there are multiple passages in the Bible describing man who offer their virgin daughters to others for rape. (eg. Genesis 19:7-8 and Judges 19:23-26) Even Aristotle (a renowned Greek philosopher who was the student to Plato and the teacher to Alexander the Great) thought that women were inferior beings. He famously commented that women were defective because they could not reproduce semen which was the seed of life. He also believed that men were naturally superior by virtue of their greater intellect. Such misogynistic views and remarks depict that society was biased against the favour of women.

The rights of women were severely limited as a result of such subordinating views of women. Some of the limitations placed on them include:

  • Unmarried women could not leave their fathers.
  • Married women could not their husbands.
  • Married women were subject to any punishment her husband inflicted.
  • They could not hold any public offices.
  • They were often considered in the same class as minors, slaves, criminals, the dumb and the mute etc., or in other words, incapable of sounds judgement or worthy of consideration.
  • They could not testify in court.
  • They could not speak to strangers.
  • They needed to wear a veil when not at home.
  • They could not inherit or hold any property.
  • They could not even write or receive letters in their name.
I look at Barack Obama being such a sweet family man with such a loving wife and two lovely daughters and I think, yeah, sure, but Obama's marriage is portrayed as a "perfect" marriage--and Michelle Obama is Barack's possession--I can tell how possessed she is by Barack by the way she talks back to him, with snippets of tease--it's not an independence. Let Barack get caught cheating on her, however, and I believe she will then become her independent self and strike back same as Hillary struck back at her philandering husband. You can still possess me but you owe me a big favor now! I can see Michelle Obama as a future New York State Senator.
Out of nowhere came the following--read this--I was amazed by it--I'd never thought of ventriloquism like this Italian dude has gotten into it--the writer as a ventriloquist! The oracle at Delphi's oracles coming up from the slit (her clit her tongue) in the ground through her sex organs--"the voice from the belly"--which this guys says is a euphemism!

An interview with Massimo Gezzi, conducted for the publication of the La voce come medium. La storia culturale del ventriloquio, trans. Massimo Gezzi (Rome: Luca Sossella, 2007), Italian translation of Dumbstruck: A Cultural History of Ventriloquism.

Before writing Dumbstruck, you wrote about Beckett, Joyce, Dickens and contemporary English novel: literature, above all. Dumbstruck, instead, is a book which uses theoretical instruments from different branches of learning: history of literature, anthropology, history of technologies and so on. How did you have the idea of writing such a book, and why?

The idea for the book arose when I was writing an essay about the many ‘voices’, both of human subjects and of inanimate objects that abound in James Joyce’s Ulysses. The metaphor of ‘ventriloquism’ was, and remains, a very common one in literary criticism, to describe such things as the ways in which authors ‘speak through’ characters, or the ways in which characters are made to ‘speak’ with the voice of others. At the same time, I knew that ‘ventriloquism’ meant literally ‘speaking from the belly’, but I couldn’t put these two things together. So I decided to do what I tell all my research students to do at the beginning of an enquiry, namely to look closely at the history of the word ‘ventriloquism’ as it is recorded in the Oxford English Dictionary. Though accustomed by then to the multitude of miracles which that extraordinary work has hidden within it, I was staggered to find uses of the word, and its Greek equivalent, ‘engastrimism’ going back into the sixteenth century, and references to Latin and Greek versions of the word. I suddenly saw that the page or so of citations provided by the OED provided me with an encapsulated narrative of this bizarre word and concept. All I had to do was to write it out (though it took me six years of work, partly because I was having so much fun that I couldn’t bring myself to stop)

The main topic of the book is voice, in all its historical appearances. To study the powers and symptoms of voice in history means to study our anthropological foundations and imagination as well. In order to write a history of voice, you say, we need before to write a history of these kinds of different and strange voices. Could you explain why?

The voice has two distinct and contradictory aspects. On the one hand, I feel my voice to be not just something about me, but as essentially me, as carrying or instancing my essence. In a number of European languages, the word for a voice is the same as the word for a vote, for it signifies my will. At the same time, the voice is something separate from me. It is in its nature to be detached or apart from me, and to be able to go beyond me. Indeed, at the beginning (the beginning of human society and the beginning of an individual life, the voice is the principal power of affecting things in my vicinity which I cannot touch. So the voice is both intensely embodied, and also a kind of disembodiment. In exploring the nature of the disembodied voice, the voice apart from its source, such as it is found in the instances of ventriloquism I discuss, I was attempting to put something of the strangeness back into the notion of voice, familiar as it is. For this counterfactual strangeness, this capacity of the voice to be where it is not, turns out to be one of its most essential features.

One of the most surprising things is that the idea of ventriloquism, i.e. the idea of someone speaking from his or her belly, mostly comes from a translation mistake. Is this correct?

‘Ventriloquism’ means, literally, speaking from the belly. In fact it turns out that there were a number of prophetic or ecstatic speaking practices that involved the seeming\production of voice from different parts of the body – including the belly, the thigh, the chest (‘sternomancy’), and even the armpit. But during the early Christian era an obscene rumour began to circulate among the early Church Fathers about the allegedly appalling manner in which the pythian priestess at Delphi delivered her oracles. The story, as whispered in tones both hushed and excited by writers such as Origen and St. John Chrysostomos, was that the priestess squatted over a gash in the rock, and was entered through her genital organs by a demon (for the early Christians, Apollo, who was supposed to inspire the priestess with the spirit of prophecy was nothing but a demon). Having thus taken up residence inside her, the demon trumpeted his oracles through her genitals. Details of this belief survive in many accounts of alleged spirit possession through the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. So ‘speaking from the belly’ is not exactly a mistake in translation, but it is certainly a euphemism.

How about a radio station that only plays music by women?

Fuck me good, but, please, whatever you do, my male friend, don't fall in love with me.

for The Daily Growler

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