• Bridget Eagles
    6
    Heterosexual relationships, even in the modern-day, illustrate vast disparities in the gender roles between man and the woman. For example, in terms of housework, women are left with the most work to do in the relationship whereas men, even in more egalitarian households, continually tend to do less work than their wives. Women also bear the weight in the public sphere of taking time off of work to bear children, something interviewers do not take into consideration when interviewing men. In this post, I will argue that political lesbianism, or heterosexual women willingly choosing to end their sexual relations with men, is a viable option for feminism. The lack of sexual relations is used as a defiance to the patriarchy by making a choice that does not put men in positions of male superiority. Essentially, this view allows women to choose their sexual orientation based off of the political results they want as feminists. The argument is outlined below:

    1. If feminist, heterosexual women should not make choices that put men in positions of power, then political lesbianism is a viable option for feminism.
    2. Feminist, heterosexual women should not make choices that put men in positions of power.
    3. Political lesbianism is a viable option for feminism.

    In terms of the second premise, heterosexual women who consider themselves feminists should be wary of any actions they engage in that places men above women in the social order. I use the word ‘wary’ as some of these patriarchal actions may not be overtly clear to all feminists. This results in a sort of ‘choosing’ of one’s sexual orientation because even if you choose not to undergo sexual orientation with either gender you would still be choosing asexuality. This can be a viable form of feminism because it allows for the action of sex, which typically demonstrates men as aggressive and dominant and women to be subordinate and passive, to be removed from the sphere of heterosexual interactions. This, as a result, removes the disparity in the treatment of genders through sexual interaction. Also, my argument is not suggesting all women engage in political lesbianism, rather it is suggesting that if heterosexual women find this to be a relevant option towards achieving equality, then it is a viable course for feminism.
  • T Clark
    9.8k


    There is not much feminist discussion here on the forum. I hope you find enough positive reaction to make it worth your while to hang around.

    Just so you'll know where I'm coming from, I'm a straight male. I have a couple of thoughts:

    • The idea that homosexuality is a choice is strongly resisted by many gay people. You seem to be arguing the opposite, that it is a choice. I don't understand that.

    • Most women aren't sexually attracted to other women. Being a heterosexual woman is no more a choice than being a homosexual one is.
  • frank
    11.1k
    Feminist, heterosexual women should not make choices that put men in positions of power.Bridget Eagles

    Is this a call for reverse discrimination?

    terms of the second premise, heterosexual women who consider themselves feminists should be wary of any actions they engage in that places men above women in the social order. IBridget Eagles

    This is a call for self awareness. Good advice for all.
  • NOS4A2
    6.2k


    I suppose it is a relevant option, however I’m skeptical that one can easily choose their sexual orientation. How is this achieved, through some form of conversion therapy?
  • ZhouBoTong
    837
    Interesting idea, but I am not convinced of its purpose.

    Wouldn't it be easier to just find a guy that does his share of the housework? Maybe one that doesn't want children to solve the pregnancy imbalance?

    By the way, for the birthers, picking guys that do their share of the housework will likely result in a higher percent of babies born that grow up to be guys willing to do their share of the work.

    3. Political lesbianism is a viable option for feminism.Bridget Eagles

    Surely any individual has the right to make this choice, but will it affect the "patriarchy" in any way if 8% (18%? 48%?) of women become political lesbians? Surely the biggest offending males (picture the current US president) will still attract most of the remaining females, right? So the system remains, just with a few more disgruntled beta males...some percent of which will unquestionably blame the current (hypothetical) trend of political lesbianism for their problems (even though they are wrong, it shows that your plan may actually increase the number of males that view females as inferior).

    1. If feminist, heterosexual women should not make choices that put men in positions of power, then political lesbianism is a viable option for feminism.
    2. Feminist, heterosexual women should not make choices that put men in positions of power.
    3. Political lesbianism is a viable option for feminism.
    Bridget Eagles

    I think this approach is too much virtue ethics and not enough consequentialism. "Giving power to the patriarchy is wrong so one should never do that" seems to be your position, where I would be more concerned with "which actions lead to a more equal distribution of power?" and I don't see how your argument would help with that...but I am a novice around here so I could be missing something :smile:
  • Streetlight
    9.1k
    This is like a modern twist on the Lysistrata. I love it. As with the plot of the great play, no doubt it will drive men mad.
  • ZhouBoTong
    837
    This is like a modern twist on the Lysistrata.StreetlightX

    Hahaha, too bad the women caved once an initial peace occurred. A bit of determination in that direction could have changed the world.
  • Streetlight
    9.1k
    Ah, but the OP marks an advance on the play - now you can get it from other women, so no need to cave.
  • alcontali
    1.3k
    Heterosexual relationships, even in the modern-day, illustrate vast disparities in the gender roles between man and the woman.Bridget Eagles

    In the animal kingdom, male and female animals always have different roles. If that were not the case, there would be no point in having two sexes. It does indeed not make sense to participate in sexual reproduction, if you object to its very nature.

    Participation is not mandatory.

    Everywhere across the animal kingdom, males are made to overcome serious hurdles in order to gain the privilege of sexual reproduction. Females can just walk away from sexual reproduction, and they often do. In human society, females are not required to participate either, if they do not need any financial contribution from a male for themselves or any offspring.

    On the other hand, men are not required to make any financial contribution to women who do not need them; also not through government funding. Otherwise, society becomes based on contradictory principles.

    Women who say that they do not need a man, often mean that they will still get money from the government anyway. And where does the government get the money from? Mostly from the men, of course.

    In a society where women claim that they do not need men, for reasons of consistency, there is a compelling requirement to prevent the government from appropriating resources, as to strictly prevent government-controlled redistribution of male resources to female recipients who do not need males.
  • Hanover
    8.8k
    . Political lesbianism is a viable option for feminism.Bridget Eagles

    The generosity of the posters in this thread to your solution that women should eat pussy in order to alleviate societal male dominance is either (1) heartingly progressive, or (2) evidence of lack of critical thinking. I choose (2), not at all because I'm challenging your thesis that men have certain societal advantages, but because sexual activity is simply not Rosa Parkesque civil rights activity.
  • Judaka
    1.3k

    Anti-individualist, prejudicial and delusional but worst of all, your argument doesn't make sense even within the framework of tribal thinking and belief in the patriarchy. "Political lesbianism" is toothless, it amounts to nothing more than a hateful and unpragmatic temper tantrum. Whatever authority the group of "man" has won't dissipate just because women refuse to engage in relationships. Whatever authority the group of "man" has could be utilised by women through sexual partnerships with men. And something like women within partnerships withholding sex as others have compared your plan to, which has merit is out the window with your suggestion.

    Feminism actually needs to take a step far back from your approach and focus on equality of opportunity, point to instances where women are not free to do what they want to do and doing something about it. Feminists don't diagnose problems correctly, their solutions are pathological and tribal and they're disinterested in complexity. If women are doing X more then men or anything like that, it must be because men are tyrannical and society is prejudiced against women and we need to reform society. That's the feminist diagnosis and solution to nearly every problem they're faced with now.
  • Streetlight
    9.1k
    The temerity of women withholding sex from men. Impetulant feminists! The gall of it.
  • Tzeentch
    1.9k
    I agree! Let these "modern" feminists withhold all sex, so they may die alone and childless, lest men will be free to pursue sexual relations with those women who willingly subjugate themselves to their authority.
  • S
    11.8k
    I think that that's a totally ridiculous and unnecessary way to tackle problems to do with the stereotypes of gender roles, problems in the bedroom, unfair aspects in relationships, and so on, but people are in control of their own lives, I'm from a liberal democracy, and if they really want to take such needless and farcical extreme measures, then it's not like I can stop them, even if wanted to.

    And yes, as others have said, you can't choose your sexual orientation. That's mistaken and offensive.
  • S
    11.8k
    The generosity of the posters in this thread to your solution that women should eat pussy in order to alleviate societal male dominance is either (1) heartingly progressive, or (2) evidence of lack of critical thinking. I choose (2), not at all because I'm challenging your thesis that men have certain societal advantages, but because sexual activity is simply not Rosa Parkesque civil rights activity.Hanover

    Damn. You win this one. I wish I'd have thought of putting it that way. :lol:
  • fdrake
    5.2k
    I don't think behaving like a lesbian is that easy? I mean, it seems more feasible to replace men with good sex toys than for women to suddenly become attracted to each other when they weren't before. Strategic lesbianism?

    I mean, it would be pretty cool symbolically. At best I think it's a reactive strategy rather than a proactive one though; 'stop this specific thing which is bad' rather than 'reshape the world thusly'.

    This can be a viable form of feminism because it allows for the action of sex, which typically demonstrates men as aggressive and dominant and women to be subordinate and passive, to be removed from the sphere of heterosexual interactions. This, as a result, removes the disparity in the treatment of genders through sexual interaction

    This is really reductive though, all gender disparity in everything will be removed by turning select heterosexual women in committed relationships into sexual gatekeepers? Doubt it.
  • alcontali
    1.3k
    And yes, as others have said, you can't choose your sexual orientation.S

    There is still a difference between sexual orientation and engaging in hate speech on the other gender. I have never heard gay men saying hateful things about women, irrespective of the fact that they don't fancy them sexually. There seems to be a real need to rein in the lesbian hate speech on men.
  • S
    11.8k
    There is not much feminist discussion here on the forum. I hope you find enough positive reaction to make it worth your while to hang around.T Clark

    This isn't exactly helping. I would welcome sensible discussion on feminism.
  • unenlightened
    7k
    This all turns on the misconception that sex is something that men want and women tolerate. The truth of course is the opposite. Women spend billions and billions and hours and years trying to arouse the sexual interest of men, with clothes, makeup, surgery, and so on, because the male appetite is so very weak and limited in comparison to that of the female. Men would rather be down the pub.
  • S
    11.8k
    Men would rather be down the pub.unenlightened

    Philosophers would rather be in their study on their own writing a lengthy treatise on something that doesn't matter. Conclusion: philosophers aren't men. Conclusion: philosophers must be women. Or cats. No, cats would rather be curled up asleep. Gerbils?
  • Jamal
    5k
    women withholding sex from menStreetlightX

    This all turns on the misconception that sex is something that men want and women tolerate.unenlightened

    Precisely. A rather Victorian attitude.

    I have two problems with the OP's argument.

    Heterosexual relationships, even in the modern-day, illustrate vast disparities in the gender roles between man and the woman. For example, in terms of housework, women are left with the most work to do in the relationship whereas men, even in more egalitarian households, continually tend to do less work than their wives. Women also bear the weight in the public sphere of taking time off of work to bear children, something interviewers do not take into consideration when interviewing men. In this post, I will argue that political lesbianism, or heterosexual women willingly choosing to end their sexual relations with men, is a viable option for feminism. The lack of sexual relations is used as a defiance to the patriarchy by making a choice that does not put men in positions of male superiority. Essentially, this view allows women to choose their sexual orientation based off of the political results they want as feminists.Bridget Eagles

    Considering that most women want to continue having heterosexual relationships, how does it help them for feminists to disavow such relationships? How can it achieve the desired political results? Is it a symbolic protest? It seems to me it would make feminism look utopian at best, ridiculous at worst, thus damaging the progress towards equality. Less obviously, for feminists to abandon heterosexual relationships weakens their claim to be fighting for equality within those relationships, because it looks like an admission that those relationships are inherently unequal.

    Generally speaking it looks like a political attack on women, rather than on men. Of course, for feminists this is far from unprecedented.

    This can be a viable form of feminism because it allows for the action of sex, which typically demonstrates men as aggressive and dominant and women to be subordinate and passive, to be removed from the sphere of heterosexual interactions. This, as a result, removes the disparity in the treatment of genders through sexual interaction.Bridget Eagles

    Not all sex between men and women is like that, but granting that a lot of it is, this still doesn't look like a good move. A feminist should if she wants, without rejecting feminism, desire to be dominated in the bedroom while at the same time fighting for a fair distribution of duties like housework and childcare. To take all differences between men and women as examples of patriarchy is to turn feminism into a caricature. Does equality really depend on a lack of disparity during sex? Do you really want to make feminism depend on that? If male dominance in sex is ineradicable (not to mention desired by and fulfilling and enriching for women), is feminism thereby rendered wrong?
  • Echarmion
    2.2k
    As an aside, I wonder what's up with the OP, posting three topics on feminism in quick succession, all with a very similar structure, and then apparently immediately abandoning them. Is this actually an attempt at creating a discussion or merely to highlight extreme positions purportedly taken by contemporary feminists?
  • Jamal
    5k
    Homework perhaps. But she might be back to discuss things and is just waiting to see the responses. In any case the topics are quite interesting.
  • TheWillowOfDarkness
    2.1k


    I'm not sure I'd be inclined to stick around to talk much given the level of engagement in most of the responses. Even amongst some of the people who are normally sensible. Look at how many people seemed to have missed the following line in the OP:

    Also, my argument is not suggesting all women engage in political lesbianism, rather it is suggesting that if heterosexual women find this to be a relevant option towards achieving equality, then it is a viable course for feminism. — Bridget Eagles

    Yet here we are, with half the thread acting like someone is proposing every woman desperate to have sex with men is meant to be a political lesbian.
  • Terrapin Station
    13.8k
    Heterosexual relationships, even in the modern-day, illustrate vast disparities in the gender roles between man and the woman. For example, in terms of housework, women are left with the most work to do in the relationship whereas men, even in more egalitarian households, continually tend to do less work than their wives.Bridget Eagles

    Well now we know the person behind the video cameras in everyone's home, I suppose.
  • Jamal
    5k
    Yet here we are, with half the thread acting like someone is proposing every woman desperate to have sex with men is meant to be a political lesbian.TheWillowOfDarkness

    None or very few of the responses assume that she's proposing that, as far as I can tell. I for one did notice that bit, and it doesn't make any difference.
  • TheWillowOfDarkness
    2.1k

    ...yet she wasn't proposing it at all, as stated in her last paragraph.

    Several responses are working under the idea OP is suggesting every woman be a political lesbian, hence the handwringing over the question of when and if women will have sex with someone they find attractive.

    They've entirely missed that the political lesbian is being considered from the point of individual here. It's not being posed as a grand goal all woman partake in to achieve the grand society.

    The question is focused on something far more localised: whether women avoided sexual relationships/sexuality with men is a viable individual response to avoiding certain patriarchal relationships in their lives (which it is, since a man cannot dominate one in a patriarchal relationship order if he is not there).
  • Artemis
    2k
    None or very few of the responses assume that she's proposing that, as far as I can tell. I for one did notice that bit, and it doesn't make any differencejamalrob

    There are some responses that seem quite hysterical here over the suggestion that women can exercise their right to withhold sex, calling it a "tantrum," "hate speech," and derogatory descriptions of lesbian sexual acts.
    Has the suggestion touched a nerve for some? Is the idea of women being sexually independent from men so scary for some?

    But yes, most here are hearteningly unthreatened and rather open to curious discussion.

    I think the suggestion is impractical, because the women open enough to feminist ideas to consider it are probably already with progressive, egalitarian men. It's people like Trump and Pence who need a dose of this, but somehow I don't see the likes of Melania and Karen considering this.

    Seems to me BE's posts are getting more "out there" like she's (?) testing to see how far we're willing to go down the feminist rabbit hole.
  • TheWillowOfDarkness
    2.1k


    It's more than just a notion of women withholding sex. To think that supposes women were there to have sex with men in the first place, hence the withholding part, rather than just not partaking.

    The very idea of political lesbianism is drawn up against this notion. Political lesbians aren't heterosexuals in relationships with men in which they withhold sex. They are (sometimes) heterosexuals who make the choice not be with or for men at all. Rather than withholding sex from men who would otherwise get it, the political lesbian is holding a position she is not for the desire of men at all.
  • Jamal
    5k
    yet she wasn't proposing it at allTheWillowOfDarkness

    I know. :confused:

    Several responses are working under the idea OP is suggesting every woman be a political lesbianTheWillowOfDarkness

    You already said that, and I can't see much evidence of it, as I've already said.
  • frank
    11.1k
    But yes, most here are hearteningly unthreatened and rather open to curious discussion.Artemis

    I assumed the OP was just being sensational.

    Although, the greatest advocates of Christian sexual suppression were women. It freed women from the chains of childbirth and allowed them to simply be human within convent walls. We have birth control now, though.
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