Did you see the photos of the so-called comedian Remi Gallard having simulated “air sex” with unaware women? Ha ha ha.
I hate to be nitpicky, but: Since the point of the joke is that the women are nonconsenting, then it’s not really simulated sex so much as simulated rape. Funny!
And all this time, I thought women were the ones who weren’t funny.
This morning I went for a walk. It’s a beautiful, sunny day. My body felt powerful, fast, and strong, and I was getting all of these great ideas about the next chapter of my book. Then, I stopped to tie my shoe, and this picture popped into my head. All of a sudden, my experience of my body totally changed. I felt frightened, humiliated, and exposed. I tried to shake off the image. I kept walking, and the feeling faded, but I never got back the high I had before I bent to tie my shoe. It makes me so mad that women have see ourselves, experience ourselves, how men see us and experience us. As the great art critic John Berger wrote: Men watch. Women watch themselves being watched. This state of being is not because “men are visual” (total bullshit– humans are visual) but because men have created the culture and reality that dominates our lives. I’m sick of it.
Here’s the Berger quote:
“To be born a woman has to be born, within an allotted and confined space, into the keeping of men. The social presence of women is developed as a result of their ingenuity in living under such tutelage within such a limited space. But this has been at the cost of a woman’s self being split into two. A woman must continually watch herself. She is almost continually accompanied by her own image of herself. Whilst she is walking across a room or whilst she is weeping at the death of her father, she can scarcely avoid envisaging herself walking or weeping. From earliest childhood she has been taught and persuaded to survey herself continually. And so she comes to consider the surveyor and the surveyed within her as the two constituent yet always distinct elements of her identity as a woman. She has to survey everything she is and everything she does because how she appears to men, is of crucial importance for what is normally thought of as the success of her life. Her own sense of being in herself is supplanted by a sense of being appreciated as herself by another….One might simplify this by saying: men act and women appear. Men look at women. Women watch themselves being looked at. This determines not only most relations between men and women but also the relation of women to themselves. The surveyor of woman in herself is male: the surveyed female. Thus she turns herself into an object — and most particularly an object of vision: a sight.”
Back to writing that chapter now…