Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Live girl-on-girl action!

The other day I was messing around when I found an article titled “Live girl-on-girl action!” on the Salon web site (don’t ask). I found the over-all tone of the article to be disturbing because it gave me the impression that:

  1. This was something that girls were doing only to attract boys
  2. Girls are being exploited

(BTW, every time I try to use a numbered list or a "dotted" list, I get flower icons. Anyone know of a way to get the numbers or dots instead of the flowers?)

There were a number of other themes, like how this is caused by online pornography and that it trivializes authentic female homo and bisexuality, but I want to focus on the above issues for this blather/rant.

Girls only do this to attract boys

Fairly early in the article, the author asks this question:

But is this staged bisexuality really a testament to a type of hypersexualized girl power -- or a statement on how far gals will go to please a generation of guys weaned on online porn?

This question implies that there are only two possibilities: that this behavior is either “hypersexualized girl power” or that it must be “a statement on how far gals will go to please a generation of guys weaned on online porn?” Aren’t there other possibilities?

The author quotes Pamela Paul, whose work I am unfamiliar with:

Girls aren't kissing other girls because they want to. They're doing it because they want to appeal to boys their age.

The author quotes some of the people she interviewed, and then proceeds to focus almost exclusively on the concept of women who only do this to attract men. For example:

Females who perform for males say they're not at all turned on by the hookup…

If straight girls who make out with each other really aren't doing it for their own pleasure, but to please guys...

But for girls who get it on with other girls as a performance for guys...

But if these young women are not actually into kissing their girlfriends, why do they feel they need to do it …

But it’s not at all clear that girls do this exclusively to attract guys. One of the women interviewed has this to say:

It was like, look, I'm the center of attention! Everyone's looking at me and cheering me on. It felt good being in the spotlight…

Another reason might be to impress boys and girls that they are cool or whatever. For example:

I was like, Hey, why don't you make out? And then they started to! I was like, oh, damn, they're awesome. I don't know why I thought it would be OK to ask them. We were just testing them -- but then they did it. I told them that made them 10 times cooler.

Girls are being exploited

This aspect is much more of an inference than something stated outright in the article. Thankfully, rants and blatherings do not have to be based on reality, and at any rate, nobody reads this blog anyways :-)

The author quotes one of the people that she interviewed:

"I've heard from some straight girls that they do it because it's fun," says Rachel Popkin, a 19-year-old lesbian in Seattle. "But if women feel pressured to do anything they wouldn't normally do just to please guys -- that's exploitative."

A person who feigns an emotion for the entertainment of others is also called an actor. If these people are doing the same thing, then how is it exploitation?

The primary difference I see between acting and what is described in this article is that these women are experimenting with their sexual power: how much of an effect does this have on the people around them? What are the limits? etc.

I see this as vastly different from exploitation.

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