Monday, November 28, 2011

Sexy from the Start by Jennifer Scanlon


Sexy from the Start has connections to multiple articles we have gone over in class.  There is definitely a connection with Frye's "Oppression".  Scanlon says, "One of the most significant areas of difference, real and/or imagined, between the second and third waves of feminism is that of sexuality. Second wave feminists certainly claimed the pleasures of sex for women. They also explored the dangers of sex, and in the end they have become remembered at least as much for their warnings as for their celebrations. Paradoxically, as Astrid Henry explains, “the very issue that made second wave feminism seem most new, daring, and radical evolved into that which made it seem most old-fashioned, moralistic, and conservative to many in the next generation of women to encounter feminism” (Not 87). One of the reasons for the discomfort third wave feminists feel with the second wave is that they live in the aftermath not only of the second wave generally but also of the sex wars in particular. In the late 1970s and 1980s, the sex wars cast a light on feminism that made it appear the powerful, organized, sexunfriendly, politically correct enemy of pornography. Feminists in the forefront of much of the anti-porn sex wars activity did want to regulate sex, define appropriate sexual activity, censor and censure heterosexual and queer sexualities. The fact that larger groups of feminists simultaneously and profitably argued about myriad forms of sexuality, including pornography, bisexuality, sex work, and sadomasochism, got lost in both media-generated and feminist-generated discussions of “good” and “bad” sex. Even though, as Linda Garber argues, “the Sex Wars happened, and sex clearly had won,” the legacy for feminism includes a negative sensibility about sex."  Frye felt that woman are being oppressed by having sex essentially, among many other things.  Scanlon believes the opposite.  Frye also has issues with men holding doors open for women.  I feel very strongly that Scanlon would not have a problem with that at all. 

Scanlon's article also has connections with "Fear of Feminism" by Lisa Marie Hogeland.  Hogeland says, "Fear of feminism, then, is not a fear of gender, but rather a fear of politics.  Fear of politics can be understood as a fear of living in consequences, a fear of reprisals." I feel that this agrees strongly with what Scanlon has to say.  Scanlon is talking about the similarities between the second and third wave feminists.  I feel that what Hogeland said is true for both the second and third waves of feminism.  All other differences between the second and third waves put aside,  fear of feminism is always going the translate into the fear of politics.  This can be broken down further, into the fear of living in consequence and the fear of getting hurt.  I think that many things involve this, and most certainly feminism.  No matter what happens you could end up living in consequence or getting hurt.  That's just the negative side of putting yourself out there and getting involved with anything.

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