Ok, Marco. Let’s talk sex. Or the lack of it. Or the fear of it. Your approach is very enviable. You celebrate sex – conceptually as well as actively. You seem to find its complexity, if not always easy than mostly satisfyingly challengeable. So you are, apparently, rather resilient. And that’s great. I wish I was too, but I’m not. And while I believe we both agree there shouldn’t be any limitations on consenting adults to pursue sexual gratification, I think you think we don’t agree on any of the definitions of each of the words I just used. Any, limitations, consenting, adults, pursue, sexual, gratification. And, at times, be, on and to as well. But whatever the difference in our actual willingness to deal with other people bodily fluids is, I insist we do share some kind of theoretical liberal view on this issue. But yes, our take on how it should be implemented into the real world is at times vastly different and it has everything to do with who we are and whatever inhibitions we have or not. Because people do have them. Inhibitions, that is. And fears, and religious/social/cultural prohibitions people willingly or unwillingly adapt, and personal fucked-up histories – familial dynamics, relationships, variety of neurosis, pathologies - you name it. And we all share the same public domain and we all expect, or at least wish, to be respected in it and have our very personal concept of it to be the one ruling it. Which is, of course, impossible. Yet, a society has to come up with a certain code, or benchmark which appeals, or serve as wide array of individuals as possible. And in doing so, in my very personal view, the norms should be set not to accommodate the standards of the mighty members of society but to defend the more meeker ones. It’s should be true with tax laws, and it should be true when it comes to personal (yes, sexual) conduct.
Marco, your take on the politics (as in power dynamics) of sex is a male one. Straight or gay. When two (let’s limit the discussion) people have sex, it’s hardly ever a case of two perfectly equal individuals. There’re all kinds of hierarchies relevant. Age is a factor (an encounter between a 17 yo and a 24 yo is not the same as one between a 24 yo and a 60 yo). Beauty. Social background. Wealth. Beauty. Body size. Intellect. Mental state. Endowment. Race. Beauty. All these factors, or rather the lack of balance in them, effect the sexual arena. It’s true to both men and women. But when it comes to sexual interaction (or any other interaction) between a man and a woman, there’s an added factor, one which is usually more prominent than any of the other factors mentioned above, and that it is the gender hierarchy. And since men are the beneficiaries of this particular hierarchy, they are more often than not oblivious of it. Women hardly ever are. So yes, women take on sex is “different” (assuming, naturally, that the male one is the norm), since they are far more inclined to project on it a wider array of non-sexual gender issues. So, what a man sees as particular, individual incident – bad sex per se, that is - his female counterpart might see it as misuse of male domination. Fundamentally, #MeToo is about bringing into the forefront this exclusively female take. And it’s totally subjective and unfortunately there is no “objective” forum or method, such as any existing law enforcement system, which can address this decade, if not centuries, long accumulated sensation. Does this lack of known tools means this sensation should be repressed? I don’t think so.
(And yes, there are women who don’t feel comfortable with #MeToo. I guess the majority of them are conservative, or traditionalist women. But their voice is hardly ever heard, and anyway, they are not really part of this rather privileged debate of ours. Far more accentuated is the voice of liberal, strong and famous women who question this movement. Again, these are women known for their social status, talent, intellect (Margaret Atwood), beauty (Katherine Deneuve) or sharp tongue (Neri Liveneh – an Israeli columnist, whose involvement with #MeToo is fascinating, google her), which make them either stronger and in a much better position the “average” women and or having more to lose by not conforming to what male dominated society perceives as strong.)
So, Marco – was this enough? I know you’ll find it too analytic, too impersonal. Sorry, this is what I’m capable of. Sometime the absence is more present that the present, I’d say.