Tumblr source: amazonpoodle
The premise of the film project is simple: a woman is asked to read an excerpt from a personally elected body of literature. (x)
It’s called “Hysterical Literature,” and I have never seen a better example of questioning why it is that educated women (whether self or otherwise) always seem to be showcased as having no interest in sex. They all choose interesting books, and they all get off, and it’s fabulous.
It’s also brought forth a lot of comments (on youtube and otherwise) and WHY WOULD SOMEONE DO THIS. IT’S SO DIRTY, and I feel that’s part of the point: Why is this considered so scandalous? It’s just sex. In fact, we don’t even SEE the sex, so the only thing that could be making people uncomfortable while watching it seems to be watching a woman enjoying getting sexual pleasure.
And maybe some of those people just aren’t into voyeurism and that’s cool. But I’m betting a lot of them just don’t like to consider that maybe they think women having sexual pleasure is weird and that they think that you can’t have sexual pleasure as a woman and also have other facets and appreciation for “finer things.”
What I’m saying is, this whole series gives me a lot of thoughts.
Always reblog because Hysterical Literature is the sexiest thing I’ve seen in a long while.
Pretty sure I’ll wanna watch this later soooo
I think some reasons for why the people who probably do watch porn are made so uncomfortable by Hysterical Literature are a little more involved, since there’s definitely a decent market for porn in which women masturbate solo. It’s not JUST that each woman is experiencing sexual pleasure, it’s the combination of a bunch of aspects that are specific to this series:
- each woman is without a partner, so she’s not servicing anyone;
- she’s without a partner, so her attention is focused inward — this is completely about her enjoyment only;
- she’s without a partner, but she does have a vibrator and her own body, so she isn’t dependent on any other human for her orgasm;
- she’s reading a selection of her own aloud with some serious dedication, demonstrating that there are things she finds just as interesting as sex;
- we don’t get any of the visuals or the melodrama or the POV that are usually considered to be the point of porn, so we can’t be titillated by her body (or her partner’s body/actions, or her reactions to her partner’s body/actions) — we don’t get to see what’s causing her pleasure, we only see how it makes her feel.
The whole production is actually super-dismissive of mainstream (straight) porn and its primary audience (dudes), in that it’s not particularly staged for the viewer’s pleasure (there’s no pretense that there isn’t a viewer — it’s just not about them) unless the viewer happens to be a person who gets off on the idea of women having some fantastic selfish orgasms, even when the viewer is in no way invited to imagine themselves participating. :D
yesssss this commentary omg
bless you amazonpoodle
But the point, the point, is that whenever I hear someone talking about how it’s wrong to have sex and sexiness in YA novels, what I actually hear is this:
I’m terrified that the first fictional sex a teenage girl encounters might leave her feeling good about herself. I’m terrified that fictional sex might actually make teenage girls think sex can be fun and good, that reading about girls who say no and boys who listen when they say it might give them the confidence to say no, too – or worse still, to realise that boys who don’t listen to ‘no’ aren’t worth it. I’m terrified that YA novels might teach teenage girls the distinction between assault and consensual sex, and give them the courage to speak out about the former while actively seeking the latter. I’m terrified that teenage girls might think seriously about the circumstances under which they might say yes to sex; that they might think about contraception before they need it, and touch themselves in bed at night while fantasising about generous, interesting, beautiful lovers who treat them with consideration and respect. I’m terrified of a generation of teenage girls who aren’t shy or squeamish about asking for cunnilingus when they want it, or about loving more than one person at once, and who don’t feel shame about their arousal. I’m terrified that teenage girls might take control of their sexuality and, in so doing, take that control of them and their bodies away from me."
— via queerandpresentdanger
Funny (read: fucking infuriating) thing about this: where female pleasure is generally a no-no, female pain is often viewed as less extreme. This skewed perception of female sexuality results in “Blue Valentine” being rated NC-17 because a woman is shown enjoying receiving oral sex, while “The Last House on the Left” and “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” come away with R-ratings, despite both having explicit rape scenes.
So not only does our film culture limit female sexuality, but it limits it to the exact opposite of what anyone would hope sexuality to be: dark, shameful, violent, and only ever remotely pleasurable if orchestrated by a man - but never at the expense of the man’s own pleasure.
In “Blue Valentine”, Ryan Gosling gets Michelle Williams off, after all. We don’t see his character orgasm.
And, evidently, that’s far too threatening to the virility of men everywhere."
— via ellielamothe
Rant 1: Girls are like goddamn human beings, not fucking apples, you assholes
So this evening I went to my weekly knitting class. I’m the youngest person there by a long shot, so I always feel a bit like the odd one out, but it’s always a pretty good time anyway.
Except today one of the knitters started talking about the poetry unit she’s teaching in her 6th grade English class and the “shape poem” she found that she just loves and shows to her students every year.
And the problem is, this is the poem she was talking about:
Oh. My. God.
The worst part was that all the other knitters backed her up. They just couldn’t stop talking about how sweet it was and what a nice sentiment it was and I was just sitting there silently at the table with my hands shaking and my heart rate through the roof trying to decide whether to let it go or give them a lecture or just fucking walk out.
Where do I even start?
Let me try to list out a couple of the things that are astonishingly offensive about this poem.
- Um, total erasure of queer identities, much? Boys want girls, and vice versa. What are the gays???
- Hooray, slut shaming! The apples at the bottom of the tree are easy and rotten. Holy sweet jesus what the fuck.
Yeah, because female sexuality is rotten and gross, and filthy sluts who have the temerity to make themselves available to boys are just consolation prizes for those who are too lazy to go for the Good Girls (tm), or practice rounds who deserve to be dumped immediately the moment something better comes along. Girls aren’t allowed to seek sexual agency or experience sexual pleasure on their own terms, because that means they’re easy.
- Also, your ~*~..::*Purity*::..~*~ is a magical and special flower just waiting to be plucked by The Right Guy. But watch out! You don’t want to lose it! Because it’s the only measure of your worth as a human being, and if you’re not careful with it you’ll turn in to a whore. That’s okay, thought, because as long as you have it, you’re the best apple on the tree!
- My favorite is that this poem frames female sexuality and the entire female experience in terms of male desire and achievement.
Girls are passive objects who have no agency and no choice. They just wait for the “right guy” to come and “pick” them. If they wait long enough, they might be lucky enough to be awarded to the strongest and bravest boys who climb to the top of the tree and deign to select them.
In essence, girls aren’t individual human beings with goals and desires and motives beyond the need to be attached to a boy. They exist only in the context of male personal development.
- She’s teaching this to her sixth graders who are all probably right at the beginning of puberty and just starting to deal with all this freaky stuff about sexuality and establishing identity and she’s emailing it to a youth group leader who wants to share it with all her kids and this horrible heteronormative misogynist garbage is what these kids are being exposed to a crucial stage of development and I can just feel the weight of all our society’s hateful, destructive patriarchal baggage dropping onto the backs of the next generation and oh god nothing ever, ever changes and why do we even try
SO BASICALLY THIS POEM IS GROSS
AND I HATE IT