These are two “glamorous” things that are so visible in Western culture that people are made to think are so central.
“Oh my g-d,” he said. “I haven’t seen porn in ten days.”
That is what one of my guy friends said to me the other day. I am not making this up.
When I met up with him I told him that he should probably lay off that everyday. I didn’t say addiction but I wanted to. I did say though that the industry is sort of slanted. I don’t know what he watches and he is a nice guy so I am sure it’s harmless, but despite that, there is no way to access anything without having to see an array of ads filled with underage type girls. It’s right there in the open and feeds aggression towards young girls in the streets here and in America.
I remember my whole adolescent years in LA from age 11 to 14. I was daily verbally aggressed and cat-called and given sexual invitations or evaluations or threats of violence. I was shocked by men and young boys. I didn’t really date a boy until I was 23.
The area where I lived in LA was depressed like most areas in the real world. What was specific to where I was were the murders and gun shoots almost every night and every single night police helicopters circling overhead and shining spotlights on or around our house looking for drug dealers in the hills in Los Angeles.
The sexual violence and exploitation built into the sex industries with its misogynistic philosophy, introduced into a world of injustice with a lack of work and education, plus a macho world culture that defines itself on heterosexuality requiring the presence of women whether loved or respected or resented and it’s a recipe of a disaster for women.
Where it was always difficult has become more difficult thanks to in many ways porn.
For example, men started getting access to the internet and to satellite at home in Morocco in the last decade or so and one can actually remember the time before porn was readily available here. It’s gotten worse every girl says.
You can read the articles that say they did a study in a lab and found that porn and life interactions has no connections but I live here on earth with men and not in a vacuum. I was cat-called and sexually harassed by droves of men in Morocco (wait for it) when I was pregnant. Visibly pregnant. I was stunned.
Nowhere in the world have I ever heard of a pregnant woman being hit on by adolescent boys and cars full of men. When I was pregnant I visited America and I noticed that men didn’t look at me directly. I was pregnant and young and they weren’t looking because they were respectful.
I asked every Moroccan friend about this and was told that a few years before I arrived that the French porn channel was only broadcasting pregnant porn at night.
There are countless other stories about men wanting to date and marry Western girls because they believed they would fuck like a porn star because they looked similar. There isn’t much of anything other then Western porn. And it has one narrative and the same tricks every time. Men here see blond hair or brunettes and they are treasures here but not it the way you would think: “Women who look like you also must do the same and like the same and react the same as in my porn.” Expat communities can fill you in.
I hope to not degrade avid fans of porn or the fashion industry. I like porn when I find it relates to reality and involves me as a member of the species with a sexual organ too. But I have seen this only once in my life. I love fashion but I am not a fan of the racist sexist industry that it is today built on exclusive body selective disregard for real women. Both industries are guilty of bringing in money on the backs of women’s body bits and parts, while also just ignoring their real and lived and diverse existence.
I have more compassion and respect for all these women in these industries but it isn’t what I want for myself or dream about for my girl. We need less female commodities and more male feminists.
It’s so important that to be a great friend they have to be other crazy womanists at heart. Love of women, real love of women, is attractive. Respect is attractive.
I read a blog the other day saying men aren’t equal to women and the writer (a man) isn’t a feminist because we aren’t the same and defined feminism on the pursuit of sameness in physicality (or some such confusion). He resented women trying to get him on board with being a feminist ally and he wrote a very long entry about how much he deplored feminism. I had to write him because he was too smart to write such a one-sided arrogant diatribe down on women.
As a mother raising my girl abroad, I define feminism as the human right to be human and with that, flawed and complicated and messy and not always strong and certainly not at all the same. It’s being allowed to make mistakes and explore without being shamed for it and being entitled to justice despite institutional racism and sexism.
So I think each person especially each woman defines feminism differently and are not just thinking it’s literally “sameness” of body and characteristics as you stated. Millions of girls in places where I live are struggling to just go and stay in school and learn to read. We can call it nothing or call it womanism or feminism but we don’t have the luxury to deny that we need more justice and love and respect for our women and girls all over the world who aren’t just Christian.
I liked very much the part where you discuss knowing about equality through Christian teachings versus feminism, and rightfully bemoaning how many borrow as you say “a little slice of Christian philosophy, uproot it from its foundation, and then claim to be the source of the teaching…you’ve severed it from its roots.”
This is exactly how I feel all the time because the basic teachings of Jesus about love are rabbinical philosophies. The one thing in Christianity unique to it is Jesus’ philosophies of equality and love, and these are in fact rabbinical teachings. So I have the same moment of thinking, [paraphrased] “I can’t stand…movements that come along, borrow a little slice of
Christian [Jewish] philosophy, uproot it from its foundation, and then claim to be the source of the teaching.”
I think you can understand why women would want to label you a feminist because we need more male allies if there is going to ever be a change.
You wrote: “You are not equal to me. Men and women are not equal. They are not the same.”
I fundamentally believe we ARE equal even if we are not the same. He might be bigger and stronger and she might be smaller and smarter and we can compliment this world which is how I see it daily here. And one day it might be nice to talk in terms of individuals despite being a woman or a man which is also an aim of feminism.