Beverley O’Connor has talked some drivel in her time. But one effort she made last year is Feminist Sacred Babble at its finest. She decried that “Porn obscures our view of women.”
Now you know, before you read any further, that “our” doesn’t include O’Connor. Her view of women is in perfect focus.
I remember when, as a young girl and woman, you’d hear men in a group laughing uproariously as one declared that a woman’s place was barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen.
Do you remember this time? I don’t. O’Connor claims that this caricature of boorish masculinity not only existed, but was the norm. However, in these enlightened times, those invented days are now behind us.
It may be the company I keep, but it seems to me that any debate about the right of women to work was over.
Let’s ignore, for the moment, that there have always been women who worked, and therefore they have always had that right. There have always been “latch key” kids. There have always been women who, either by circumstances, ambition or both, managed to earn a wage.
Let’s pretend that this Patriarchal world existed. If she is barefoot and pregnant, he has yet another mouth to feed and more clothes to buy. There might even be a need for a bigger house with an even bigger mortgage or higher rent. And the burden to provide would fall squarely on his shoulders.
It would mean, for him, working harder, competing for more promotions, and working even longer hours. He might have to get a second job. And, the bigger the burden, the more precarious the balancing act of staying in front, the greater the pressure.
So why is he laughing?
Those of us who grew up post-feminism, well, we expected to be valued contributors in the workforce and have careers if we chose to.
There are a two things to note here. First, if she grew up “post-feminism,” where did the laughing patriarchs and the pregnant women chained to the sink come from? Secondly, “we expected… [to work]… if we chose to” is an astonishing arrogance for someone claiming underclass status. Would O’Connor allow any man such a choice?
If only this was the low-point of O’Connor’s babble. It gets worse.
But it seems we might be hearing that corny old joke from a new generation, with new research showing there’s been a 40 per cent rise in men believing a woman’s place is in the home.
The rise is a massive leap from around 8.5% to a gigantic 12% of young men. The panic button is being hammered by a Ross Honeywill of the Centre for Gender Equity.
Honeywill, of course, has a theory about it all:
His theory is it’s the manifestation of the “porn generation,” the group of young men now in their 20s and early 30s who have grown up with unfettered access to live-streaming, graphic pornography.
Here things start to get really twisted.
“From an early age those young men have been fed a diet of women who are seen as available, accessible and, importantly, compliant,” says Honeywill.
Let’s look at what’s missing from this Feminist stereotype of pornography. Let us begin by classifying the sex in a pornographic manner. Honeywill and O’Connor are discussing straight sex. And by straight, I don’t just mean heterosexual, but “ordinary” sex.
They are not discussing, for example, sadomasochism or people urinating on each other. My guess is that the females are often in the “dominatrix” role, and so it doesn’t conform to the Feminist dogma on oppression. If she has the whip in her hand and he is manacled to the bed, then its hard to call him the oppressor.
Best for the Feminists to pretend that it doesn’t exist, or at least doesn’t count.
Permit me a digression for a moment. I am not an expert on porn, and so I don’t know if there are any studies, other than the typical Feminist drivel, on the matter. Would people who are not “that way inclined” be anything other than turned off by particular types of porn? Is being turned off otherwise harmful? Are those who are “that way inclined” harmed by watching their “inclination” on a screen?
I have no idea on the answers to those questions. But, what I am saying is I don’t believe either O’Connor or Honeywill do either. More importantly, I am questioning the particular harm they claim is inherent.
Note they do not discuss gay men as forming a negative view of men by watching gay porn. The same goes for lesbians watching other women being “available, accessible and, importantly, compliant.”
And, of course, heterosexual women never watch porn. Ever. The Fifty Shades of Grey phenomena was just a flight of Patriarchal imagination. And, if they did, it would never obscure their view of men.
No, it is only straight men watching straight sex who get the wrong idea.
It is also worth pointing out a word that is missing from Honeywill’s description of the women in porn. He doesn’t call them “willing.” Instead, they are “compliant.” There is no enthusiastic consent as far as he is concerned. It is just one small step from there to all sex being rape.
From what Honeywill is saying, by the time they get into the workforce or in a position of management and senior decision making, these young men have an image of women that’s in no way equal to them in any meaningful way, or capable of making decisions like they would.
Now “straight” sex, regardless of your view on any other kind of sex, is natural. So why would men watching women having straight sex form the opinion that women are sub-human?
But if a whole generation is seeing women as sexual beings who are compliant, demeaned and in no way equal to them, that’s bad news.
Again, it is this Feminist view of sex, where women are “compliant” rather than “willing” and therefore somehow “demeaned” by participating in it, which is problematic. Neither Honeywill nor O’Connor show us any logical link between “women having sex” and “women being demeaned,” but they clearly assume that the connection is very real. So real, and so obvious, that they don’t have to spell it out.
As Honeywill points out, women are not the problem. Women recognise the problem, they live with the problem.
So, is “the problem” men, young men, or sex? Honeywill is quoted:
There are many young men for whom sex is a very solitary thing …
Again, this peculiar view of sex. Women never masturbate, because clearly, sex is not a pleasurable thing for them. This is why they are “compliant” rather than “willing.” If they do masturbate, we should just pretend that they don’t, so they can retain their modesty (how Patriarchal).
Men, however, masturbate because they can’t get women to have sex with them. This, it seems, should not be taken as a sign that women don’t like sex, but that the men in question are inferior. There is nothing wrong, it seems, with mocking them.
For O’Connor, however, the problem is more than just the young men.
It would seem to me that not only do the women in young men’s live have a role to play, but so too do the fathers, uncles and brothers. It’s about attitudes and values, and they are formed from those around us who teach and guide us.
So, like all Feminist rantings, we began nowhere with nothing, make some stuff up to create a scenario to accuse men of bad things, and still end up nowhere.
Should the fathers, uncles and brothers be somehow banning straight porn for straight men? Or, should they be starring in a better, more respectful kind of porn? And quite what would be the role of the women in their lives? More sex? No sex?
Or, should we all, now that we have been given the good oil from O’Connor, be hiring Honeywill to root out this curse in the workplace?
“It’s about structured gender equity training that addresses this as a sub-theme, that has so far been hidden.”
“With the right role-playing and experts who begin peer-level conversations between men and women in the workforce, this can be easily exposed,” says Honeywill.
What do you think would happen to the men whose faulty thinking is exposed? Even if this problem actually existed in anything like the manner in which they say it does, would public humiliation in the workplace help?
Maybe, if the young man gets a certificate from Honeywill, he might get granted some enthusiastic compliance from the women in his life. Is that the point?
It seems to me that the whole thing is a fabricated piece of nonsense so that O’Connor can make sanctimonious declarations of ideological purity whilst Honeywill angles for a Feminist Funding Frenzy for his “training.”
Both should be rejected outright.