Saturday, November 1, 2014

Tools and fools

The narrative around consent, rape culture, violence against women and narcissism exploded into the Canadian stratosphere this week. Ricochets of #BeenRapedNeverReported are still being heard around the world.

The absence of one aspect in this dialogue is sitting very uneasily within me. Actually, there are a few aspects but I'll focus on just the one, for now: Sexual objectification.

It's a term that has been suspiciously avoided during this week's dialogue but it's a term that is central to the events that occurred. And it underpins much of the dialogue that is happening...both by the talking heads and the victims.

Sexual objectification: "the act of treating a person as an instrument of sexual pleasure....without regard to their personality or dignity."

This definition helps explain a lot things going on, doesn't it?

Women are merely instruments, tools, of sexual 'pleasure', see?

That is why an executive can ask a young intern if they've been used as a tool.

That is why executives can believe that texts and photo evidence of a man using a tool was 'consensual violence'.

That is why a violent man can be an unchallenged taxpayer funded spokesperson for Canadian culture despite knowing about Jian - for years.

This weeks events have not occurred in a vacuum. Anybody looking clearly around at the world today can see that our society continues to devour women. We are merely tools.

But let's not just examine the term and it's implication in this scenario. Let's also think about the term and what it means for what our notions of sexuality and sexual pleasure are in our culture.

Some feminists claim empowerment via sexual objectification. Slutwalk, anyone? These women proudly proclaim themselves as tools and put themselves in the tool box - happily and willingly. Ergo, status quo achievement: unlocked.

But other feminists are trying to get out of the tool box. They recognize that sexuality is so much more than being a tool. Sexuality is the fluid beautiful essence of what it means to be human (pun intended). It is an act that fully engages your body, heart and mind. It is not a mechanical tool. And it does not involve violence. Ever. There should be nothing 'pleasurable' about using a tool to orgasm. If it is reduced to that then the full experience of sexuality and what it means to be a human being is erased. And if you don't believe me and my sisters on this then maybe this man will help you understand the concept of physically and emotionally safe sex better.

If our society continues to be directed by those that orgasm using tools then we are all fools for continuing to allow it. After all, tools can't report themselves as broken.

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