PIV is not really something I want to write about, because I know that even for a radical blog such as this one, it’s not a topic that will win me any friends. But once you starting seeing the connections, there’s really no way to escape it.
* PIV is at the core of natalism, since one cannot have children naturally without it. Therefore any defense of natalism has to be a defense of PIV, and public natalist policies cannot survive a debunking of PIV. And since the family system is set up to preserve the ownership claim over children, PIV is also at the core of the family system. Since the capital-democratic also partially depends on natalism, it is also indirectly dependent on PIV and hiding its deleterious effects (contraception works! really!).
* PIV is at the center of what the abortion debate seeks to obscure. The fact that a third of children in Europe and half of children in the United States are unwanted indicates an unbelievably gigantic PIV problem, but we ignore it by blaming the victims (who are all women) and refusing them abortions or indoctrinating them to believe that abortions are evil.
* The Patriarchy is centered around the man’s ownership claim over his wife and her sexuality. PIV is a necessary function that a wife must provide in order to satisfy her man’s “biological urges,” and is a necessary part of the ownership claim of marriage. And because most religions are patriarchal in nature, belief in PIV is also part and parcel of religion (as the praise or indifference given to male rapists, including uxorial rape, in the Bible and the Quran testify).
* Liberalism and funfem, on the other hand, contend that a woman should not be owned by one man but that she should rather be sexually available to all men, that she should be owned by men as a class. They are very concerned with fulfilling fuckability mandates and how “empowering” they are, as well as supporting the sexual exploitation of women; since to them sex means PIV, a lot of what they do has to do with supporting PIV.
That’s a lot of different hierarchies and ideologies connected to PIV in some fundamental way. It is intricately connected to gender politics, egalitarianism and the very structure of society itself.
There is a paradox here in that PIV is labeled as a private act, but at the same time has such a profound political function. I believe this plays a powerful role in deflecting criticism. One is told that criticizing PIV is unacceptable because it is a private act and therefore entirely personal. This means that all the societal and political pressures imposed on the act can remain unexamined. After all, women “choose” to have PIV.
This is the bog standard voluntaryist argument, which leads us to the bizarre funfem conclusion that to attack every pressure imposed on women without their consent to follow fuckability mandates, perform PIV and have children is exactly the same thing as attacking all women personally. Being against woman-hating is exactly the same as woman-hating, and the only way to not be a woman hater is to agree with the women haters. That’s how they get you.
We observe this in every area where funfems and radfems disagree, including pornography, prostitution, the fuckability mandate, women’s spaces, etc. I described this in my entry “Voluntaryism: it’s not just about capitalism…”. Any criticism of the pressures imposed on women is interpreted as woman-hatred. Under such conditions, it is strictly impossible for any radical analysis of sexuality, no matter how superficial, to flourish.
Pornography, prostitution and the rape culture are the most direct results of the support for PIV. It’s hard to imagine pornography without PIV (or its pseudo-lesbian substitute, SOIV), especially since sex itself is equated to PIV. Prostitution and the rape culture are justified by men’s supposedly innate and uncontrollable desire for PIV.
This desire for PIV is linked to abuse and rape, not just in prostitutes but for women in general. Most women do not experience orgasm from PIV, and women live in fear of the consequences of PIV, including sexually transmitted diseases and pregnancy (which can result in death). The fuckability mandate can also be harmful (high heels, for example, cause foot deformities in a majority of women who wear them, as well as legs and back problems; also, many cosmetics contain cancerogens).
PIV is the nexus between private and public, between self-interest and the perpetuation of society, between egalitarianism and gender domination, between beauty and obscenity (not only sexual obscenity but the obscenity of nature as well). The ways in which we have sex are constructed by pornography and the mass media.
PIV is all-important to the growing teenager who forges eir worth on eir sexual appeal to others. Being a virgin is a mark of shame and having sex is a mark of maturity. This is reflected in adult beliefs about sexuality (see for instance “The 40-Year-Old Virgin”). For it to be said that one does not have a sexual partner (by which is meant, someone with whom one has PIV) is basically an insult and a slight on that person’s intelligence.
No wonder, then, that people take attacks against PIV personally. For women, attacks against PIV are attacks against a sensitive issue: even though most women know they derive no pleasure and some degree of anxiety from PIV, they believe they must accept it as a fact of life and that their love life depends on it. For men, attacks against PIV represents an attack against their most personal privilege, and what they’ve been indoctrinated to believe in: dominating and taking ownership of a woman.
If you ask a man about it, he’s unlikely to give you that answer. Rather, he’ll tell you that it “feels good.” Sure it feels good: the combination of biological pleasure and indoctrination is very hard to resist. No one’s gonna disagree with that, but the point is that what gives us pleasure is not always what’s just. I’m sure slave owners got ego boosts and hard-ons out of whipping their slaves. I’m not making a direct comparison here but I hope my general point that hedonism is not a sound guide to public policy is well taken.
And that’s all I’ll say about that.