SexPosFemme Journal

Friday, July 15, 2005

Review of a Greta Christina's "Are We Having Sex Now or What?"

When I return to school in the fall, I hope to teach a class and Greta Christina's "Are We Having Sex Now or What?" would be at the top of the reading list. Re-evaluating the sexual status quo, challenging the mixed message of Do It/No Save It that stems from the traditional view of sex as THE BIG IT, this coming of age biography is the fruit of sex-positive feminism. Because of the mainstream frame of reference regarding sex as vaginal penetration, people hear the phrase "sex-positive feminism" and conflate it with things that have nothing to do with it, usually, that it forces girls to engage in vaginal sex as soon and as often as possible, without having masturbated. Hence people attribute it to any mainstream pop-culture convention that reads Sex with a capital S, like the self-effacing Cosmo Magazine with it's 100% focus on "boyfriend's dick" or Samantha from Sex and The City, with her pushy "get with the program" sex as an agenda. Just the other day, I was talking with a wave-two Feminist, someone who helped coin the term "feminist" during the 60s mind you, and when I dropped the names Susie Bright and Betty Dodson, she said "they're telling girls to have casual sex with men and I'm sorry, but that just won't make you happy. Women are built differently. They're more emotional than men." Oh please. I said "first of all none of these women are even straight" at which point she jumped to the second most popular conclusion, saying, "now wait a second, what do you mean not straight? This is worse than I thought." "Thought" is right. This other popular misconception is that sex-positive feminism is about forcing girls to cast IT out entirely in favor of some inorganic escapist brand of lesbianism. It's no wonder I hear lesbians complaining about patronizing assumptions that they "just haven't met the right guy yet" (rather than the "off-chance" that they happen to be telling the truth), because the viewpoint makes women reactive vessels rather than proactive vehicles. So whether on one-side or the other of the mythical gay/straight binary, the wave-twoer's whole relationship to sex centered around IT. Had I read this sooner, I would have pointed it out to her. Instead I told her that it's about creating a distinct, decentralized frame of reference, encompassing any and all healthy, safe, consenting forms of sexual expression. For me personally, the big IT is the big CLIT. But that's not the point. What matters is the last phrase of the essay's title, "What...."

15 Comments:

  • At 1:03 PM, Blogger Susie Bright said…

    Wow, could you just follow me around and argue with all the meanies and cranks? Because I want to take a nap, and you're so brilliant!

    I am dying to know teh name of your no-nothing feminist pioneer.... it's just so sad to think that's what comes out of her mouth when the earliest days of women's liberation were so female-sexual-liberationn oriented... and we damn well knew it started with ush, and our clits, and not weeping around after some partner or ultimate fulfillment with another.

    Anyway, Greta's piece is BRILLIANT, seminal (ovulal?) and you will have so much fun with yoru students... make them write anonymous pieces about the first time they felt like they were "having sex" or what the hell that's supposed to mean when it's not what expecations are. THen pass them around and read them outloud!

    I just published a new novella of Greta's, it's called Bending, in a book called Three Kinds of Asking For It. If you send me your address, I'll send you a copy! And I'mgoing to show Greta your blog...

    Susie

     
  • At 7:47 AM, Blogger sexposfemme said…

    Thank you so much Susie! I don't know how you found this, but your words are always keepsakes. I'm in the process of reading Bending now.

     
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