I’m especially enamoured of the title Silliness, which basically encapsulates the juvenile-flounce-post feel of the whole [2,872-word] thing.
But just a few points which are so, so Feminism 101 and yet seem to have escaped Mr Fry.
1. It’s not satire if plenty of people actually feel that way.
And plenty of people think women don’t have “real” sexual drives and only use sex to trap Innocent Menfolk into relationships/marriage/babies.
2. No one cares that some of your best friends are women.
I’m no anti-feminist. I love women. Some of my best friends are women. My wife, indeed.
– Sir Humphrey Appleby
3. No oppressed group gets to shit on another one for giggles.
I mean seriously.
4. Everything you, or anyone, says or does is reflective of societal attitudes.
Apparently, Stephen Fry just wanted to make gay men* feel better about the oppression they face by making fun of how tough hetero men’s lives are.
Which automatically led his brain to [hetero] women’s frigidity and hetero men’s lack of access to anonymous pussy.
I think feminists can just stop blogging at this point, all our points have just been definitely made for us.
*And I note that it’s always gay men, because apparently Stephen Fry doesn’t feel any empathy for lesbians. I’m sure we’re all very surprised.
Just a tiny, weeny, last point on the Stephen-Fry-being-a-wanker debacle.
A heck of a lot of people who frankly should know better have been pseudo-defending Fry along the following lines:
Stephen Fry’s gay. Of course he doesn’t know anything about women’s sexuality!
Stephen Fry’s wrong about women because he isn’t a woman, he’s not attracted to women, he’s [many would presume but who knows?] never interacted sexually with a woman, of course he says ignorant shit about women and sex.
Now obviously it was very naughty of him to presume to comment on matters of which he is profoundly ignorant.* And of course we can’t expect him to know any better, the dear over-excited puppy.
Hang on one fucking minute.
We’re women, not tablets of Linear fucking B. Our vaginas [for those of us who have vaginas] aren’t Rubik’s Cubes and our boobs [for those of us who have boobs] aren’t the Grand Unified Theory.
And when we fuck, if we fuck, we fuck just like normal human beings.
I am, really, just a bit fucking disappointed that the defenders, and even the people not defending Fry’s comments, have happily seized on his own sexuality as being the cause, or at least a mitigating factor, in his comments.
As though “women’s sexuality” were some mystic unknown whose secrets were revealed only to The Enlightened, who by virtue of not being A Gay Man must be, or presumably have fucked, a woman. As though women’s minds were that idea feminism has fought and raged and yearned to destroy: strange, alien, different things, things that cannot really be understood or acknowledged or Gods forbid treated on a par with the minds of men.
And simultaneously, as though gay men are by default this detached, unaware, unthinking, unempathising group who couldn’t, even if they tried, ever really understand the thoughts and feelings and lives of a group of people they are wholly uninteresting in fucking.
At this point my brain is stuck on a bit of a “what the fucking fuck?” loop.
So just to be clear, here’s some things that even gay men like Stephen Fry can understand about we bizarro women and our sexuality.
1. There are three billion women in this world.
Odds are, some of us do actually enjoy fucking.
2. The sex women have is policed and punished by society.
Those in a state of disbelief may wish to turn on the television for five minutes, or perhaps read a quaint hard-copy newspaper.
3. To be open about sexual interest is to be vulnerable to attack.
Or you could crawl out from under that rock you’ve been calling home forever. Hoyden About Town’s tragically ongoing it’s not sex it’s rape series may be illuminating.
4. Women trading sex for a stable relationship is the bedrock of patriarchal capitalism.
If women had to be paid for their labour in terms of childrearing and homemaking the economies of the West would die screaming. [Old sauce, new sauce.] Entire industries are dedicated to convincing women that they must marry, that they must have babies. Disbelievers can go read any single issue of Cosmo picked at random, then get back to me. It is of course necessary for this transaction to occur that women be taught to think of sex in terms of its value as a commodity, and not as something that’s actually fun.
5. Being a gay man doesn’t make you inherently a fan of anonymous sex in parks.
Shockingly, I as a hetero woman feel entirely secure making that call. I also feel certain there’s probably some other reason why the practice of cruising has sprung up in societies which massively stigmatise and oppress homosexual behaviour, but darned if I can think what it might be.
6. Four plus five = REVELATION
[Straight] Women probably haven’t ever had to seek out anonymous sex in parks because they already had an acceptable outlet for sex, vis-a-vis monogamous heterosexual
slavery marriage, and weren’t told they were meant to actually enjoy themselves in the process – because if they did, see three! They were sluts who deserved to get raped.
Hope that answers all your difficult little questions, Mr Fry.
*Henry Wright of 103 Mein Street, Wellington represent!
So, Stephen Fry has happily joined the list of People I Have Formerly Idolized Who Commit Massive Fucking Fail.
There’s just a tiny thing I need to get off my chest.
Of course a lot of women will deny this and say, ‘Oh, no, but I love sex, I love it!’ But do they go around having it the way that gay men do?
Short answer: FUCK YOU, STEPHEN FRY, AND FUCK YOUR POLICING OF [HETERO] WOMEN’S SEXUALITY.*
I enjoy sex. I think sex is really fun. I have had one-night stands and pre-arranged rendezvous and experimental fooling around and naughty little encounters in semi-public places.
Sex is, frankly, fucking awesome to me.
And now that I have said that, Mr Fry? Now I am vulnerable to accusations from my political and personal opponents – I have particularly high hopes of the prolifers screaming about my desire to sleep around with no consequences, but there’s plenty of other types who will seize on the paragraph above as a symbol of my immorality, my lack of ethics, my terribly casual attitude about The Sacred Gift of My Vaginal Canal.
Now, Mr Fry, the pseudonymity of my blog is paramount; because it is simply not socially safe for me as a young woman to say the things in the above paragraph. Not just because my family would be shocked, or my coworkers would give each other meaningful glances across the breakroom.
Because, Mr Fry, do you know what happens to women who openly state they enjoy sex, who act in an overtly sexual manner, who admit to casual sex?
If they get raped, their rapist walks free.
Because a woman saying she enjoys sex is obviously always up for it. And a woman who’s had casual sex in the past must not be fussy about who she fucks. And a woman who flirts is just “sending the wrong signals” and completely gives up her right to say “no”.
Now, I’m the kind of cranky, defiant angry-feminist-blogger who is willing to take that risk in order to change the world teaspoon by teaspoon. But it should not come as a surprise, especially to anyone who is a member of a marginalized group whose sexuality has so often been used to oppress them, that others feel too threatened to do the same – or may not even realise it’s an option.
On a side note, the other Massive Fucking Fail of the above quote? Besides the wonderful generalisation that all gay men are running about having casual sex with multiple partners left right and centre? Is the immediate equating of “likes sex” with “has it with everyone”. Guess what? Much as it’s none of your fucking business, my “number”? Is hilariously low.
Gee, I guess I must not really like sex at all and just be putting out for the security of a relationship.** Thanks for dictating my own mind and experience to me, Almighty Man!
*As others have pointed out, apparently Stephen Fry has never encountered that most elusive of creatures, The Lesbian.
**Fry’s further obliviousness to why women may feel they have to be in monogamous heterosexual relationships in a patriarchal society? I am disappoint.