“Sex negative” and “sex positive” are relatively useless terms in terms of discussing feminist approaches to issues of sex and sexuality. The terms convey the message that “sex positivity” equals support for a vision of sex and sexuality that is defined by patriarchy and one that is primarily libertarian. What’s defined as “sex positive feminism” tends to translate to: non-critical of the sex industry, BDSM, burlesque, and generally, anything that can be related to “sex.” “Non-judgment” is the mantra espoused by so-called “sex-positive feminists,” which is troubling because it ends up framing critical thought and discourse as “judgment” and therefore negative. Since I tend to see critical thinking as a good thing, the “don’t judge me”/”don’t say anything critical about sex because it’s sex and therefore anything goes” thing doesn’t sit well with me.
“Sex negative,” on the other hand, tends to be ascribed to feminists who are critical of prostitution, pornography, strip clubs, burlesque, BDSM and, really, sex and sexuality as defined by patriarchy and men. The reason that feminists are critical of these things is because they want to work towards a real, liberated, feminist understanding of sex and sexuality, rather than one that sexualizes inequality, domination and subordination, is male-centered, and is harmful and exploitative of women. To me, that sounds far more “sex positive” (from a feminist perspective, anyway), than blind support for anything sex-related, because sex."
DCB: I was watching her interview when she addressed her Elle cover. And she says that she felt good that they wanted to focus on her face. I feel like women of color are forced to be their own spin doctors, but to appease the world. Like WOC are forced to focus on one good thing. Or what’s easy for others to swallow. Am I making sense?
HN: Yaasss, absolutely.
DCB: Like, as a kid it was about owning my good skin, or, like, thick hair! Or some bullshit like that. Now it’s, like, “eyebrows.”
HN: Lmaooo, yo you right — eyebrows are in.
DCB: When white girls tell me not to pluck, it’s like, I’m too lazy to pluck. My bushy eyebrows are the ones I was born with and I get a little sick when white women, unprompted, suggest I leave them the way they naturally are.
AS: Shout-out to every sperm-browed Becky who asked if I had caterpillars on my face in middle school but now spend their nights googling eyebrow implants/tints.
DCB: Exactly. Something about Mindy waxing about feeling good that they chose her face for the cover really set me off. Because I’ve done that too, my whole life.
HN: Yes, please speak on it!
DCB: Like, I had to own the compliments that were given to me rather than just feel everything I was as a whole woman. The amount of moms at soccer practice who loved my thick hair or people always tell me I should wear more color because colors look good on me.
AS: Wow, really heavy thinking about how much of that was part of my life that I just took for granted. For a long time I just assumed adults commenting on your body and touching it without your permission was just part of American culture. Only recently have I learned it’s not something I should/ever should have put up with.
DCB: Another one: dark rings under my eyes. The amount of people that ask me if I’m tired all the time. I’ve never once covered the dark rings under my eyes, and worse is when white girls are like, “No that’s in”
HN: (You can’t hear me right now but I keep just saying “Mmmm” to myself and feeling all emotional.) OMG the deep-set eyes thing!
DCB: I never get my makeup done. I also barely wear any makeup, but when someone else does it, the first thing they do is put some white stuff under my eyes and smudge.
AS: White people don’t have a frame of reference for our beauty; they wile out. Here we’re talking about growing up having white people rationalize our looks to themselves, framing their unsolicited commentary as a compliment we’re supposed to be grateful for. To be constantly put in a position to thank them for the white gaze applied to us. To be the source of their confusion is so grating; it’s dehumanization to be treated like a novelty rather than an equal.
HN: And all that time you spend being a source for their confusion really warps your mind. I remember the first time I ignored my mom and insisted that I get my hair done at a “regular” hair cuttery and feeling just so not human after I left. The fashion and beauty world in general just makes me feel so fundamentally not human.
DCB: My mom is Anglo-Indian so she’s got all kinds of bomb roots, but we look sorta nothing alike. And when people see her, they’re like, “She’s so white!” It always makes me mad. Like my roots surprise other people, like I’m just supposed to be Bollywood brown or something.
AS: A lot of the compliments I get from white people have been like when Regina George does a suspicious once-over and says, “You’re like, really pretty” and the implied “Howw whyyy?” hangs in the air. Honestly that there’s no frame of reference for WOC beauty that isn’t highly warped is so damaging because that’s why there are so many young South Asians who date white people and consider themselves lucky for being able to “get one.” Because they don’t consider themselves attractive, and learned not to find each other attractive, they so often don’t even know how to. It’s the oppression of invisibility. And the visibility is a fun-house mirror. Hollywood regularly asexualizes South Asian men, treating them as dickless jokes, while hypersexualizing South Asian women, preserving their availability for white men.
Nikolaj Coster-Waldau by Claus Bjørn Larsen
first rule of fight club…dont look at my fucking boner when we fight, rule two..dont talk about my baggy camo army pants they hide the boner