it's just sex.
August 17, 2004 11:52 AM
I'm late to the game of musing over Jessica Cutler aka "The Washintonienne" (on the embarassing guilty pleasure that is Wonkette, at least). Because, honestly, who cares? [For those of you in my bubble of not caring to the point of not being aware of it, she netted a few moments of blog infamy and is oddly becoming a cultural icon because she blogged for a few weeks about sleeping with Washingtonians who had more money and governmental power than her. Feministe, also of the "so, who cares?" opinion, blogged it yesterday.]
Many people have read volumes of cultural symbolism into the whole thing in really absurd ways, but I have to say the Post article from last week is fabulous. It's like a chick-lit book with commentary from all your favorite pundits. Can you imagine a copy of Bridget Jones's Diary with footnotes?
Ironically, the girl-gets-famous-by-blogging thing is now such a cliche that it in fact does appear in chick lit not infrequently now. The blogger is always an object of disdain for our heroines. So it should come as no surprise, I suppose, that various commentary on the Post article includes people calling her a slut, a whore, every trite stand-in for the belief that a woman who uses sexual power is a Very Bad Thing.
Another reason we still need feminists, I guess.
But back to the Post article, which was entertaining enough to move me to comment. It has Naomi Wolf commenting on the internet's responsibility for the dissolution of sexual mores (which is a shame, as her salient points about the porn culture just sound frumpy when the word "mores" enters the picture). And commentators in some bar or something talking about Cutler's misguided use of sex to gain power. What?
While I have issues with the predominance of sex as currency, this isn't about women and power in my mind (maybe it was in Cutler's, but only she knows that). It's just sex, people. And I don't think the degradation of social morality to the point where things can be just sex is a problem. If anything, it's one of the few positive contributions of porn culture in conjunction with second wave feminism - women are no longer the keepers of sexual morality. And guess what? Left to their own devices, young women can think of a sex as just an urge, a way to have some fun - not a treasure to be guarded and carefully dispersed in exchange for power borrowed from some guy. Not even something circumscribed by partnership, even?
If people behave in ways that seem immoral or in poor taste, maybe it's the taste and morals that are behind the curve.
It's something to think about.
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