Sunday, November 27, 2016

The Inevitability of Nude Selfies

I'd like to share this article with you because it demonstrates the propagation of a perspective I've held for years now, and I've been hoping for a long time that people's beliefs would eventually shift in this direction. The horrors of sexting are not typically generated by those involved in the more or less private sharing of harmless "sexy" pics (including relative internet anonymity), but by those who would pass judgment on those who engage in this very common, human behavior - the bullies and the demagogues, always ready to sling insults, and looking to make an example of some poor soul who dares to transgress the moral code of God and society. Never the perverts - the voyeurs and the exhibitionists who delight in taking and sharing these photos with each other, although they bear the brunt of the stigma because they are the engine that drives this "despicable" activity. When, in reality, sexting is merely the inevitable analog of an ages-old practice between young (and old, too) people, who are programmed to flirt and frolic, and are now doing so on a digital landscape. It's not going away. And I don't see why it should. That people take and send and share nude and sexy pics of each other is a wonderful thing. They should do more of it. And they should be commended for it, as I have always said. Those that would shame and bully and stigmatize them - sometimes to the heartbreaking extent of suicide - they are the real poison of our society.

“What seems more difficult for youth, as for adults, is to imagine the possibility that girls are legitimately entitled to digitally mediate sexuality or express sexual desire, for example, through taking, sending or posting images of their bodies via phones privately, or on social network sites more publicly,” she said.

I was pleased to find this quote in a related article, since I had recently been milling about the topic of moral conservatism - the kind rampant in under-progressed countries where women are treated like chattel. And I came to the conclusion that the foundation for this kind of patriarchal worldview is the oppression and subjugation of female sexuality. It ties in to the troubling Madonna-whore complex, whereby a man wants his woman to be a sexual object, but only for him. Thus, any public expression of sexuality, or any expression of sexuality outside of accepted bounds is shamed and shut down. (Usually, in this context, the father owns his daughter's virginity until the day it is sold at a premium to her husband-to-be - with severe penalties in place for so-called "damaged goods"; which is an exceptional way to police women's sexuality).

As I see it, female empowerment can only come through owning and expressing (not repressing) women's sexuality - on women's terms. Ironically, a significant subset of feminists are in bed with the very same religious conservatives they should be at odds with. They slut-shame as much as the patriarchal men do - maybe even more so, since they (mostly) don't harbor a secret, un-politically correct sexual desire for women that they can't quite reconcile with their wish to own the woman's sex, at the behest of the rest of the population. These self-styled "feminists" have nothing to gain from women's sexual empowerment, and potentially everything to lose from an increase in competition on a rubric they might very well not be able to compete on. Yeah, that's a low blow. I admit it. If you don't like it, prove me wrong.

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