— A. Potts. The Science/fiction of sex: Feminist deconstruction and the vocabulary of heterosex, 2002
But why did I think of vulgarity when the focal point at issue - I could no longer deny the obvious - was my very own crotch? And why did I believe that if I switched to trousers, the problem would be magically solves?
Spreading the legs is a biologically crucial, characteristically female act. Not only does the female have the anatomical capacity to stretch her let’s farther apart than the average male because of the shape of her pelvis, but a generous amount of leg spread is necessary to the act of sexual intercourse, to assertive demand for pleasure, and to the act of giving birth. …[I]n civilization as we know it, female leg spread is identified with loose, wanton behavior, pornographic imagery, promiscuity, moral laxity, immodest demeanor and a lack of refinement. In other words, with qualities that the feminine woman must avoid, even as she must try to hint that somewhere within her repertoire such possibilities exist."
— Susan Brownmiller, Femininity (via seebster)
— Why Does He DO That- Lundy Bancroft (via say-it-well)
The assumed divide between mothers who work inside and outside the home is presented as a war of priorities. But in an economy of high debt and sinking wages, nearly all mothers live on the edge. Choices made out of fear are not really choices. The illusion of choice is a way to blame mothers for an economic system rigged against them. There are no “mommy wars”, only money wars - and almost everyone is losing."
But it doesn’t, and here’s why: Most of my clients are not usually repressed. In fact, many of them express their feelings more than some nonabusive men. Rather than trapping everything inside, they actually tend to do the opposite: They have an exaggerated idea of how important their feelings are, and they talk about their feelings—and act them out—all the time, until their partners and children are exhausted from hearing about it all. An abuser’s emotions are as likely to be too big as too small. They can fill up the whole house. When he feels bad, he thinks that life should stop for everyone else in the family until someone fixes his discomfort. His partner’s life crises, the children’s sicknesses, meals, birthdays—nothing else matters as much as his feelings.
It is not his feelings the abuser is too distant from; it is his partner’s feelings and his children’s feelings. Those are the emotions that he knows so little about and that he needs to ‘get in touch with.’ My job as an abuse counselor often involves steering the discussion away from how my clients feel and toward how they think (including their attitudes toward their partner’s feelings). My clients keep trying to drive the ball back into the court that is familiar and comfortable to them, where their inner world is the only thing that matters."
— Lundy Bancroft in Why Does He Do That? Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men (2002), pp. 30–31 (via mikroblogolas)
We often experience our bodies as a fragile encumbrance, rather than the media for the enactment of our aims. We feel as though we must have our attention directed upon our bodies to make sure they are doing what we wish them to do, rather than paying attention to what we want to do through our bodies
Typically, the feminine body underuses its real capacity, both as the potentiality of its physical size and strength and as the real skills and coordination that are available to it
An essential part of the situation of being a woman is that of living the ever-present possibility that one will be gazed upon as a mere body, as shape and flesh that presents itself as the potential object of another subject’s intentions and manipulations, rather than as a living manifestation of action and intention. The source of this objectified bodily existence is in the attitude of others regarding her, but the woman herself often actively takes up her body as a mere thing. She gazes at it in the mirror, worries about how it looks to others, prunes it, shapes it, molds and decorates it.
This objectified bodily existence accounts for the self-consciousness of the feminine relation to her body and resulting distance she takes from her body"
— Iris Marion Young, Throwing Like a Girl and Other Essays in Feminist Philosophy and Social Theory, 1990.
An active/passive heterosexual division of labor has similarly controlled narrative structure. According to the principles of the ruling ideology and the physical structures that back it up, the male figure cannot bear the burden of sexual objectification. Man is reluctant to gaze at his exhibitionist like. Hence the split between spectacle and narrative supports the man’s role as the active one of forwarding the story, making things happen. The man controls the film phantasy and also emerges as the representative of power in a further sense: as the bearer of the look of the spectator, transferring it behind the screen to neutralize the extra-diegetic tendencies represented by woman as spectacle."
— Laura Mulvey, ‘Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema’ (1989)
The opposite of depression is not happiness, but vitality, and it was vitality that seemed to seep away from me in that moment. Everything there was to do seemed like too much work. I would come home and I would see the red light flashing on my answering machine, and instead of being thrilled to hear from my friends, I would think, “What a lot of people that is to have to call back.” Or I would decide I should have lunch, and then I would think, but I’d have to get the food out and put it on a plate and cut it up and chew it and swallow it, and it felt to me like the Stations of the Cross.
And one of the things that often gets lost in discussions of depression is that you know it’s ridiculous. You know it’s ridiculous while you’re experiencing it. You know that most people manage to listen to their messages and eat lunch and organize themselves to take a shower and go out the front door and that it’s not a big deal, and yet you are nonetheless in its grip and you are unable to figure out any way around it."
— Andrew Solomon, Depression - The Secret We Share, TED talks