Hello, Kitty – Stryker responds to my ‘female gaze’ critique

Posted: June 29, 2011 in cock, Feminism, Porn


This is Kitty’s comment in full from the previous post below. I have added some notes in response in bold. Anyone else got anything to say on it?

‘Theory does turn me on. And it turns on a lot of my friends.

QRG, I’ve seen that you’e had this argument with other people doing similar projects for at least a year now. As those projects have also moved on and become more successful, my guess is that there’s a market for it. So regardless of whether or not the theory fits that, people *are* buying it more and more, which would suggest there is a niche there that people don’t feel is being met elsewhere. How do you account for that?

First I’d like to see the evidence of the ‘success’ of these projects as people measure success in different ways. If you mean bottom line profits then I’d like to see people’s annual reports.  Or at least numbers of copies of magazines/films sold, by gender of the consumer. Also I would say that just because women buy more porn, that you and people you know market ‘to women’ does not mean there is a ‘female gaze’. Men buy porn and I do not think there is a ‘male gaze’. So the theory is not relational to porn consumption but to how we interpret how people look at each other (and themselves).

The world I live in, especially now, in Oakland, California, is definitely dominated by half-naked women. It’s on our TV screens (Jersey Shore, Real Housewives, Kardashians, America’s Next Top Model, Project Runway, Sopranos reruns, Mad Men- I think True Blood is really the one equal opportunity objectifier). It’s in our magazines and newspapers- looking in the back pages there’s maybe 1 ad with a male for every 20 with females. It’s on book covers at the publisher I work for. It’s in the popup ads my computer blocks. I’d be happy to do a photojournal for a week to show what I mean, if you need that. There’s the occasional sexualized Black male body, say, for an album release, where they look tough and angry- female album covers show them being available and seductive. Sure, there’s Bieber, and for every Bieber there’s a Miley, Jasmine, Taylor, Brittney, Christina, Jessica, etc.

Yes please do a photo journal Kitty. All evidence is good in my book.

I disagree about Jersey Shore and Mad Men which I think are all about Mikey Sorrentino and John Hamm. I don’t even watch them and I know all about those to men and what they look like.  They are the ‘stars’ of those shows. Mikey S has launched a whole brand of his male objectification based on his GTL mantra. It is all in Metrosexy! If you look at e.g. sports pages and sports advertisements you will see men’s bodies objectified more than women’s. In The Times newspaper I counted about 14 images of men to 6 of women in objectified situations recently. It depends how you categorise ‘objectification’. Look at the pic on this post – yes it is on a gay magazine, but the boyband, Blue, are not gay. They are happily showing their bodies for a mainly male audience. I don’t see how you can ignore that!

I watch a lot of porn. A lot. I do a lot of reviews. I do notice that almost all of the time, the camera is on the woman’s body, leaving a disembodied dick plowing into her. Male attractiveness in “heterosexual” porn isn’t seen as that important (starting to among some producers, mostly female ones, like Anna Span) but female attractiveness is compulsory. If, as a woman, you are not stereotypically attractive (slender, white, blonde, mildly or not tattooed, femme), you are far more likely to be humiliated, insulted, and treated roughly. Why is that, do you think?

If you see disembodied dicks, doesn’t that suggest the man is being more objectified than the woman? Reduced to a dick? And who watches the most straight porn? Men. So they are watching those dicks intently. This suggests to me their gaze is pretty queer.

Another interesting area is fancy dress, where women get multiple versions of “slutty fill in the blank”, and men get costumes that are scary or silly. If they wear something sexualized, fancy dress or underwear-wise, it will either be from a gay male shop or it’ll be a humorous novelty item. Men being sexy or seen naked (particularly if they’re heterosexual-identified) is often seen in media as hilarious. It’s a punch line.

men being sexy or naked is hilarious? 

I’m more interested in gathering data and asking questions than I am in declaring “this is what a female gaze is”. I’m more into “this is what a female gaze can be”. I’m interested to read more about the male gaze, too, to compare- if you are male-identified, is your gaze male no matter what?

I’m guessing you equally argue that the male gaze doesn’t exist, right? Maybe I’m wrong but I haven’t seen you mention the male gaze at all really, except in passing. Almost all this debate and discussion seems to center around the female gaze. I’m all for a queer gaze, but no, I disagree that *all* people have it. Perhaps there’s ways in which a homoerotic gaze is more common, but it’s certainly still stigmatized.

Yes I don’t believe there is a male gaze. But your project is about the ‘female gaze’ so that is what I was arguing with. I do not know any projects focussing on the ‘male gaze’. Obviously you think all porn is focussed on the ‘male gaze’. But if it is I’d say that gaze likes to gaze at cock as much as if not more than anything else.

I do believe that people who identify as male tend to (not all, but many if not most) look at different things for pleasure (and with different intentions) than people who identify as female. I went to the presentation of http://pornresearch.org/ first findings and it did support my understanding that, at least culturally, there tends to be a different response and intention around the consumption of pornography between those two genders. I don’t believe in a gender binary, I believe in a spectrum (maybe even more complicated than that, but spectrum works for now) or a bell curve. I’ve said that a lot, but you do tend to ignore it’

You say you don’t believe in a gender binary, but you think people who identify as male like looking at different things to people who identify as female? That is a binary. You said ‘two genders’. Two = bi= binary.

  1. Matt Volatile says:

    Lots to say, not enough time to say it right now. Consider this a place-holder.

    In summary, though: you’re both right. Kinda.

    • whoever is right or wrong, I notice it is the readers of QRG blog who are contributing the most interesting points to the ‘diiscussion’. On Kitty’s Aperture blog there is no discussion.

      • Just to point out Andro-Aperture started *last week*- it takes some time to a) get a large-ish readership and b) get people to discuss things in the comments. I think it’s a bit premature to consider a lack of lively, academic commentary on such a new blog an example of disinterest or unwillingness to debate.

        • Matt Volatile says:

          That’s a fair point.

          I have a question: Don’t you worry that you’re just reinforcing a very narrow view of “sexual looking”? I mean, it seems like your model is either one thing, or the other. it’s very black and white; it reinforces several very profound binaries.

          It may not be your intention (I’m sure it isn’t) – but if you work too rigidly within the paradigm your opponents have established for you, you’re never going to have any real success. If we’re really interested in pluralistic, plural, heterogeneous and queer sexualities, we’re not going to make any headway within a heteronormative box. If we really want a liberalisation of the use, consumption, production and enjoyment of sexual media, sexuality, identity and, fundamentally, humanity, then it strikes me as fundamentally quixotic to keep playing the same old games.

          • Hi Matt!

            Well, I am a huge fan of places and people who are doing work in dissolving those boundaries- places like No Fauxxx, CrashPad, and Reel Queer Productions, along with things like Fluid which works to redefine sexual preferences and people like Jiz Lee, who insists on gender-neutral pronouns while doing mainstream porn work.

            Therefore, I highly encourage people to check out and support what those people are doing!

            However, I’m also aware that there are people who do feed into gender. I’d like to get those people to explore that, and I do think that one methodology is to encourage the market of pornography made with people who identify and have been gendered/have chosen to gender as “women” in mind. While I haven’t been perfect at addressing it each and every time, I feel that by saying things like “female-identified” and “male-identified” I’m gently opening up a conversation of “what is male, what is female, isn’t this all cultural anyway”. But I would probably refer people looking to explore those things more to other people who have spent more time on it. Consider what I’m hoping to do as a gateway drug into navel-gazing.

            I’m a psych/anthro dual major. Part of my approach is to be aware of my cultural bias, and the cultural bias of the people around me, and rather than just say “no, no, no, you’re all wrong” to try to work with the culture while also asking questions to encourage consideration of said bias. Does that make sense? I’m typing this up in a rush on my lunch break so may not be getting what I mean quite right!

        • well you really are not exactly encouraging it (debate) Kitty. But good luck.

  2. Rubacasa says:

    “Sure, there’s Bieber, and for every Bieber there’s a Miley, Jasmine, Taylor, Brittney, Christina, Jessica, etc.”

    …and for every one of them there’s a Justin Timberlake, Bruno Mars, Chris Brown, Zac Effron, Omarion, Usher, etc. (wait, they’re not all white and blonde? Well, here’s a few more for the female list…Rihanna, Beyonce, Ciara, etc. but what are we doing here exactly? If we’re just naming musicians who are sexually objectified we’ll be here forever!)

    “I notice that [in porn], the camera is on the woman’s body, leaving a disembodied dick plowing into her. Male attractiveness in “heterosexual” porn isn’t seen as that important…but female attractiveness is compulsory. If, as a woman, you are not stereotypically attractive (slender, white, blonde, mildly or not tattooed, femme), you are far more likely to be humiliated, insulted, and treated roughly. “

    It’s problematic to talk of the importance of attractiveness when talking about pornography as opposed to other mediums (the news, for example). Regardless of how rough a scene is the person getting their cookies is attracted (in the true sense of the word) to what they’re seeing on screen (disembodied penis and all).

    The description of the stereotypically attractive female – slender, white, blonde, non-tatooed, femme – seems, to me at least, to actually be an attempt at defining attractiveness as beauty. There’s also an implication here that rough scenes are somehow ‘worse’ than other scenes or at least that appearing in them is the result of an actress not having other options open to her. Annette Schwartz fits the stereotype perfectly and she has done a lot of, what I would define as, incredibly rough scenes. She is by no means an exception to the rule.

    Infact, porn is the form of media in which female stereotypes appear at their relativelty most infrequent. I will never think otherwise until I am presented with examples of women in other media (the news, for example) who are, heavily pregnant, ably challenged, or of every size, weight and ethnic origin imaginable in such an abundance that it makes porn look like it’s comparitively narrow-casting.

    It’s interesting to point out stereotypes of female and male beauty and to discuss from where they might have come (especially as they vary so wildly from country to country) but such observations and discussions are somewhat irrelevant when talking about how often those stereotypes appear around us.

  3. billsnshits says:

    Quality is not measured by audience. They are two separate factors. Even an insightful product can be a difficult sell if the customer base isn’t already built up or accessible.

    Also, whether binarism is incorrect, incomplete or correct, one mustn’t forget that it can always be interesting in its own way, just as universal unity and ambiguity can be interesting.
    I mean, you could say that kitty’s desire for a more intense “female on male” gaze is, at the very least, more open minded and imaginative than a guardian or WaPo liberal sense that “serious people aren’t really interested in sex, only in the POLITICS of sex”.
    What’s unmentioned so far, is that the desire for a “female on male” gaze is in fact exactly what the metrosexual male wants and is probably what every man wants, at heart. Or at least pretends to want, not be “gay”. So, Kitty is playing right into our moisturized man-hands! Bwaahaahaa.

    • sure bill but you are wrong about the metrosexual. Men such as David Beckham have fought with other sportsmen harder over their ‘gay’ fans than any other group.

      The WHOLE point about metrosexuality is men no longer care about being seen to be seen by other men.

      • Jim says:

        “The WHOLE point about metrosexuality is men no longer care about being seen to be seen by other men.”

        I think Beckham cares very much about being seen (and admired and idolized and fantasized about as an alter ego) by other men. That is the whole psychological basis of organized professional sports. It’s vicarious masculinity by way of arranged drama. And it a multi-billion dolar indistry. That’s Beckham’s and others’ interest in being seen by other men and he has no reason to be shy about it. He has to look “women want him, men want to be him” for it to pay off.

        • Jim says:

          And it doesn’t have very much to do with metrosexuality.

          • Matt Volatile says:

            I agree entirely, apart from your codicil. Up until that point, I agreed with you and Ellie – your position and hers don’t seem to be mutually exclusive. In fact, they’re complementary – it strikes me that metrosexuality is about being looked at, by everyone. It disables normative, narrow theories of the gaze; it’s what Deleuze would call “deterritorialisation”, perhaps.

            I though I wouldn’t necessarily subscribe to the label, I’m certain Mark Simpson would call me a metrosexual. I hope he would. I caught myself admiring a guy’s boots and looking for the label on his shoulder-bag on the tube last week! He wasn’t dressed flamboyantly – metrosexuality isn’t about exhibitionism – but he was dressed well, and confident with it.

            I mean, there’s nothing new about metrosexuality either. Take a walk round the National Portrait Gallery and see all those grand paintings of powerful, preening, polished men. Theories of The Gaze which can’t account for Velasquez’ Pope Innocent, or something like a van Mierevelt portrait (http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/01/Frederik_Hendrik_by_Michiel_Jansz_van_Mierevelt.jpg) aren’t any use, as far as I’m concerned.

          • Jim says:

            I stand by my codicil. I mean, I think metrosexuality should probably have some connection to sexuality, right?

            There’s first order sexuality – “Oh, look at Beckham; I want him!” That is probably not what is going on with his (most) of male fans, the target of his marketing of himself. Then there is “Beckham – he’s hot, chicks want him; I want to be him!” Obviously that is sexual too, but one step removed.

            And the paintings you mention – dressing well in that era was about projecting an image of power, the same as any other aspect of being a cultured gentleman. Knowing which fork to use, demanding the most outre delicacies, staying current with the latest musical trends, or sneering at them as vulgar novelty – all that was about posturing as a cultured, refined, high-status person. Even sexuality, or a reputation for it, was a means of projecting power.

          • billsnshits says:

            Although, Jim, I accept the idea that class and economic power were once or intermittently at various times more central to the act of self presentation than pure identity crisis narcissistic sexual satisfaction or what have you,
            you can’t seriously be saying that the basic animal need to try and relate to others sexually, by how you present rather than direct contact, was ever, at any time in history, completely absent?

            I assume you exaggerate your point to make your point clearer. But if not, it seems a little too constructionist to me. Not that I think anyone should care about how things seem to me.

            Frederik Hendrik and Henry 8th in their portraits, although projecting wealth as symbol of imposing, bullying, threatening, menacing, show-me-respect-all-you-damned-court-intrigue-scoundrels-trying-to-steal-my-lands, those portraits still ooze a stinky, unmistakable sensual/sexual indulgence.

          • Jim says:

            Of course I am not saying the rut is ever far away.

            But you choose an example that makes my point:
            “Frederik Hendrik and Henry 8th in their portraits, although projecting wealth as symbol of imposing, bullying, threatening, menacing, show-me-respect-all-you-damned-court-intrigue-scoundrels-trying-to-steal-my-lands, those portraits still ooze a stinky, unmistakable sensual/sexual indulgence.”

            Do you really mean that these men had to pad their cod to get laid? Henry VIII in particular had women scheming on that dick every day of his life. Do you think women were the real target of that display?

          • billsnshits says:

            Well, Henry the 8th did have to woo the wives to an extent and the act is always part of the act.
            Secondly, I’m sure Henry “discreetly”, but brutally, raped “the help” and any lesser court figures as well as their daughters with impunity so brazen it wasn’t even worth noting and so went undocumented (although the few accounts I’ve known suggest he was more of a indulgent softie who left the hard and brutal realpolitik of the court to his ministers who more than had the heart for it) but I don’t believe he only raped. One does have to present a face in every encounter, even at the highest level of privilege.

            Then again, maybe it WAS all for himself, no? The original metrosexual.

            If you want to claim power makes sexual seduction unnecessary, it becomes problematic to suggest that such power must be made clear by displays that are aesthetic. If it was REAL power, he’d “remind” the court of his power by much simpler acts and much less tasteful extravagance. Why dress well when you can just walk around with a single diamond in your hand or have yourself painted surrounded by piles of gold coins? The fact that taste comes into the equation at all, instead of leaving displays of power to exemplary head choppings alone, suggests that the “sex bomb” look had its staying power, even in the most unnecessary of cases.

            I never thought I’d be thinking about whether henry 8 had trouble getting dressed in the morning, to suit his mood.

          • billsnshits says:

            And what if a king’s displays of “stylishness” are just a way to relate sexually to everyone, especially men with whom he isn’t going to suknfuk?
            If he isn’t going to seduce or just rape those who are one power level below him, but he’s surrounded by these men and relates to them sexually, it may all get sublimated in displays of stylish.
            “what a fine silk brocade you wear to-day, your majesty! I wish that I might know of a tailor who could work it so.”
            “well, my royal tailor will be more than happy to accommodate a minister at court…no fee at all, just do me this policy favor”.

            easy to imagine. and like all bribes it sounds like sublimated intercourse to me!

        • jim when i said they no longer care, I meant they no longer object to it.

  4. Elise says:

    This is all making me start to wonder: if it’s true that the male body is now more objectified in the media than the female body, what are the implications of that? E.g., has it occurred (in part) because p.c. feminism made it taboo to objectify women, and the “world gaze,” so to speak, needs to objectify *something*. So one source of metrosexuality would be that men were trained to stop looking at women. (Although increase in porn consumption happened in the same era, so that would have to be taken into account.)

    • I think consumer capitalism may have become more wary of blatantly objectifying women for profit, due to 70s feminism. But I don’t think men ever stopped looking at women!

      Men are like a previously untapped market that is now providing a flood of opportunities.

      Feminism itself is totally torn between saying objectification of women is wrong, and that women’s sexuality should be celebrated. By objectifying men!

      • Elise says:

        Missed your reply, which is good (the untapped market answer). And yes, celebration of female sexuality by the objectification of men has always struck me as a counter-productive “answer” to objectification of women. Still, though, would you agree: we all gotta objectify something?

        • I am a fan of objectification. I have never presented it as negative. There are times it is negative but that is like anything. It is feminists who present it as negative.

      • Elise says:

        Oh and let’s bring a bit of Paglia into this too (with which I come supplied as usual): a) what about “the gaze” in the history of art (does that differ from consumerism) and b) what about the fact that historically the male body could be featured in Western art, but was then made “taboo” for centuries (and if the male body comes back, so does a homoerotic gaze).

        And by “what about” I just mean, things that would have to be thrown into a comprehensive theory.

        • I think the gaze in art has been dealt with by many people other than Paglia!

          Yes art critics/historians can be a bit rubbish about dealing with gender and the gaze, as feminism took hold and meant it was all about teh wimmin.

          But has the male body been taboo in art? I can’t think of a period when it wasn’t there at all. Maybe not so many nudes but we all look, even at non-nude bodies in art.

    • Jim says:

      “because p.c. feminism made it taboo to objectify women, and the “world gaze,” so to speak, needs to objectify *something*. ‘

      Couple of things. For one thing, feminism has battled mightily to make it taboo, with only marginal success. It has not had much luck preaching to the unsaved. Secondly, women are objectifed hugely in the media in ways that are only indirectly sexual. The fashion industry is not sexually oriented, it objectifies its models at least into glamor objects and its customers by extension.

      And feminists rightly decry its objectives and its influence. I find their comments crude and wide of the mark because they can’t seem to make themselves say that women are in effect exploiting and objectifying other women, but at least they have their tubes pointing in the general direction.

      • Jim says:

        Reply fail. That was supposed to be responding to Elise. Pardon if it’s not be all that responsive.

        • billsnshits says:

          I don’t know how much the fashion industry is staffed by women, but it’s certainly “staffed” by male designers (mostly gay or most prominently gay).
          I don’t think you can say that forcing a model of glamor for consumption is exploitation, except in the most drab communist back-to-the-forest circles.
          I can see why you might describe overpriced products as “exploitation” of the consumer, in this case women. And that model has now been successfully applied to men.
          What’s striking though, is that one tends to intuit that fashion is controlled by a female class of marketers while it’s uncertain who is controlling the marketing of men’s fashion these days.
          The feel of women’s fashion is either serious or wispy, never hard sex. In that sense, it definitely IS a limit on women’s behavior. While men’s fashion does everything, including the porny sex.
          Maybe it’s from such a desexualized female, an illibidinous woman, that kitty stryker wants to escape. But that would suggest an increase of horny images of women as a solution, not for women, since the men are currently humping your eyes now far more blatantly than women, so images “for women” would be kind of redundant.
          It’s sort of like kitty’s desire for more sexual images of men, and its concomitant lack of interest in sexy images of women, is what quiet riot girl has already discovered, and quite happily.

          • Jim says:

            “I don’t think you can say that forcing a model of glamor for consumption is exploitation, except in the most drab communist back-to-the-forest circles.
            I can see why you might describe overpriced products as “exploitation” of the consumer, in this case women. And that model has now been successfully applied to men.”

            Oh that model was applied to men a long time ago. It’s the whole business model professional sports – vicarious participation in a wonder world, and they extract billions on that. And I do consider that exploitive. So now they are extending that to clothing. Yippee for equality.

            As far as clothing goes, full disclosure. I am West Coast, and I think anything beyond leans and zorries and t-shirt is an extravagant vanity. Here in Seattlle all the power people dress like they’re ready to go hiking. Only lawyers and other service personnel wear suits. So that may be coloring some of my reaction.

            “The feel of women’s fashion is either serious or wispy, never hard sex.”

            The matron or the damsel. That’s the Anglo-Saxon version of the Whore/Madonna dyad.

            “In that sense, it definitely IS a limit on women’s behavior. While men’s fashion does everything, including the porny sex.”

            Everything that a twink in NY wants to wear, and not much more. Try finding a long- sleeved shirt that isn’t stripped. That’s pretty damned narrow, as far as what is actually available. Andrew Sullivan recently had a couple of short posts on this. One was of some over the top foof that you literally cannot wear anywhere other than a runway. Then he had one of some young, solid-looking bearish guys in normal clothing – WOOOOOF!!!. The contrast was huge, and also the surprise at seeing bears in fashion. They looked really, really out of place.

          • billsnshits says:

            There are MANY kinds of twink. We’re don’t all look the same and I’m starting to understand the reflexive anti-racism of some groups b/c I’m devloping my own anti-twinkism.
            Just b/c you’re not 6″5′ wearing a lumber jack outfit doesn’t make you a hairless, wishbone-thin, 5’4″, mascara wearing man in a pink shirt, slippers and silk short shorts.
            Many of those lumberjacks look far more effeminate and you’d be surprised, pay more for those clothes than the official twinks pay for theirs.

            Need I mention, a long sleeved white shirt, without stripes, is ubiquitous in both buttoned and solid pullover style? And black isn’t hard to find either. The buttoned ones are bit pricier.
            If what you want is the manly old simplicity of earthy non-coastal america, the solemn drab look is quite achievable. It’s only the marketing today that has tried to push that look aside. But it dominates quite happily in most milieus.
            Despite QRG and Mark Simpson’s insistence that we’re all metrosexy now, I think you should feel the majority of wistless liberals, and the totality of angry conservatives, in terms of fashion if nothing else, have reassuringly got your back, jack!

  5. Matt Volatile says:

    Still pushed for time, so still only a brief point: The observation that porn features “disembodied dick[s]” is basically the opposite of the traditional second-wave feminist Wolfian and Mulveyan critique of pornography and scopophilic filmmaking in general, which has it that the “male gaze” chops up women with the frame! So filmmakers can’t win, can they? If you come with an agenda, you’ll find what you’re looking for.

    BdJ made a similar point in her recent article on feminist porn, as it happens (and I know you think she’s too heteronormative, QRG; and I am inclined to agree).

  6. Matt Volatile says:

    And… you’re right about the “queer” gaze of straight porn – especially with gangbangs and double-penetration, and doubly-especially with double anal and double-vaginal penetration. Cocks everywhere.

    I heard an interview with a porn girl once who described her firt experience of a gangbang scene as being “the gayest thing ever”, actually.

    • Haha. Yes there is an argument that the girl in the gang bang is just an attempt to make it ‘less gay’ than it is.

      • billsnshits says:

        As a reductio ad absurdum, if gender is non binary and ambiguous, that argument becomes impossible.
        The objectified “men” are no longer banging a desirable “woman”, even as dissimulation for their homoerotic interaction, even as false mediation. They are merely “banging” and the object/subject is absent. Oh, derrideanisms/deleuzeions, I knew you’d save me!

        • Jim says:

          The Dalai Lama walks into a pizza joint and says “Make me one with everything.”

          The forms remain even after ego extinction.

          • billsnshits says:

            That anecdote was amazing! That tv reporter, I’m assuming you’ve got it from there, not some crazy coincidence, should’ve been praised for his subtle good humor. I don’t even know his name and we’re stuck with the reporters who are “stars”.
            I felt so bad that the Dalai lama didn’t even know what a pizza was. But had he laughed, it wouldn’t have been a story.

          • Jim says:

            I heard it somewhere else. I knew someone had actually told him the joke, and that eh didn’t get it.

            I think in that case the problem was not only that the man didn’t know what pizza was, but also there was a translation problem. The joke works on a syntax ambiguity in English that doesn’t obtain in Tibetan. The DL is not all that much at home in English – notice how he always has a terp off his shoulder? He can express himself pretty competently, but he does not trust his grasp of English to get him the full sense of what others are saying.

  7. P.s. I am glad you are all such experts on metrosexuality. I am sure this means you have read Metrosexy?

    Because if not, there is a chance you have made some ERRORS in your analysis, boys!

    I think we all agree on the basics re: metro but some finer details are being argued over. I am a bit tired will return to this though (of course!)

    • billsnshits says:

      Oh, man, that instantly recalls uni class pressure that you’ll be called on to participate. You have to just sit for a couple hours, pretending to know what the professor is talking about. Nobody ever does the chapter readings until the night before the exams.

      I can’t read it until I get my portable ereader. I have to read it in the proper consumerist, fashion victim, metrosexy way!

      Problem is, I think I’m flunking my exams while I wait.

  8. Jim:’There’s first order sexuality – “Oh, look at Beckham; I want him!” That is probably not what is going on with his (most) of male fans, the target of his marketing of himself. Then there is “Beckham – he’s hot, chicks want him; I want to be him!” Obviously that is sexual too, but one step removed.’

    I am saying this once more before I call in metro Daddy. David Beckham enjoys being looked at by men, not who want to be him (though they might) but who want to *do* him. That is not one step removed. Male fans of beckham and Beckham himself are coming to terms with the desire they feel for the male body.

    • Jim says:

      “David Beckham enjoys being looked at by men,….”

      Yummmmmy. Very happy to hear that. Very happy inDEED.

  9. @Kitty: what you said to Matt makes sense to me, anyway. Thanks for coming over and keeping dialogue open.

    Remember though, that on QRG turf I am not a ‘troll’ and I am not ‘derailing’ discussions and I am not producing ‘stop energy’ and I do not have a reputation for being a pain in the ass.

    Round here, I am quite well liked and respected.

  10. I will add though too, that some women have a ‘hetero’ set of desires, and do not engage in ‘queer porn’ but still have a more open and fluid approach to looking at men than many self-identified ‘queer’ people of whatever gender identity. I think slashfic demonstrates this as just one example.

    I am a woman who likes to look at men who celebrates how men are changing how they present themselves to be looked at!

    • Oh, definitely! What was that study that measured the arousal/bloodflow to genitalia while looking at porn? It showed that “women” (as the study did work within a binary, and I wonder what they would find with a big sample of trans and genderqueer people) can get turned on by all sorts of things (including, if I recall correctly, bonobo sex), whether or not they psychologically acknowledge it.

  11. elissa says:

    As the resident scientist, Fine’s book attacks some of the weaker scientific studies and conclusions, but what it does not do, is refute the hard rock cock solids that exist. The use of the word binary is misleading, as no reputable scientist in the field draws such distinct lines. But, statistical propensities do exist, and they are not solely due to societal persuasions and coercions. If theorists want to stay relevant in the discussion then they best wrap their heads around the complexity of nature and nurture. None of which supports determinism or corrupts notions of free will and agency.

    Simone De Beauvoir ( & Fausto) was incorrect: woman is not just made. Paglia is one of the few theorists that actually gets this – she is a true sciences crossover. She admonishes the use of the meme “violence and rape culture” for exactly this reason. Humans are not born sweet only to corrupt if not properly socially engineered. That’s a stolen idea from the ill fitted Noble Savage bucket of understanding.

    Yes, straight men can suck cock, but why expend so much effort when both nature and nurture magnets pull them towards pussy. To what end? Ha! Nurture usually exaggerates nature, it does not counter it (Paglia nugget again), and when it does, its additional cost must be supportable and accounted for in the human ledger. There is a litany of social experiments gone off the rails for their poor accounting practices.

    • I disagree with your first part elissa. Lots of science, particularly neuroscience, is all about confirming an an innate gender binary. In my opinion. If you know studies which focus on gender which show it to be more fluid I’d be interested to see them.

      Sure gender differences exist. But how far they constitute significant differences to do with aptitudes and sexualities and sexual responses I do not know.

  12. elissa says:

    You’re lucky I adore you….though I’m way more with you than not, you should know – but am also quite anal about details.

    There certainly is a human bias for noticing/exploring/exploiting “differences”. Your visual abilities key in on movements. I once proposed a flickering automobile brake light, instead of the standard hard-on red color, when brakes are applied, for exactly this reason – as you may have noted on highways when drivers don’t brake in time when cars ahead of them have applied the brakes – noticing differences provides advantageous predictive powers. All sentient organisms are keyed on this universal. Why does this dude looking at me have a bulge in his crotch while the one next to him does not? The latter is obviously an inferior dude of lower calibre and awareness!

    Monkeys share 99% of our stuff (it’s a false equivalence, but just to make a point), and that remaining 1% difference, describes my walking about in Italian leather shoes, while them monkeys are still walking about the forest floors barefoot!!

    The rest is statistics that aids prediction. Best cognitive reading material on the subject, in my opinion, is by Daniel Dennett.

  13. elissa says:

    Provided by the brilliant Ramachandran – on synaesthesia, artists and poets, Freud and his mother, phantom limbs and martians from space.

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