My vagina hates me: adventures at the sex clinic part 2
AKA the Chronicles of Poonarnia: part 2
And so continues the section of my increasingly large body of writing on vulval pain etc. in which i discuss my treatment. Elsewhere, if you’re interested, you can find discussions of how this condition (provoked localised vulvodynia, AKA vestibulodynia, previously known as vulvar vestibulitis) has impacted my personal and sexual life and how i still have great sex.
You can also read Adventures at the sex clinic: part 1 here.
So, on with the show!
I am increasingly losing faith in my colleagues
NB: (Edit, Nov 2011): I misspoke here. Or miswrote. I wrote this post whilst angry and frustrated at my class and colleagues for ignoring the larger issue of Foucault’s slut-shaming and Rubin’s bullshit child-abuse apologism.
What i wrote last October does not accurately reflect my beliefs on the topic. This discussing ought to have read “offending paedophiles” or “child sex offenders” or somesuch. It was wrong of me to conflate the two—but, in some explanation as to why i did, Rubin’s argument begins by doing the same and mine is a response to hers.
You will find that my genuine opinion is better reflected in other (far more recent) posts on the topic. You should be able to find them quite easily, or i can provide links if not.
I thought i’d added an explanation to this post back in March. Turns out i had only done it to a repost of it—so i’m adding this now.
This morning we were reviewing Foucault’s History of Sexuality: Volume I and Gayle Rubin’s “Thinking Sex: Notes for a Radical Theory of the Politics of Sexuality”.
Yeah, the same History of Sexuality in which “Saint” Foucault engages in child sexual abuse victim-blaming, slut shaming and sexual abuse apologism.
One day in 1867, a farm hand from the village of Lapcourt, who was somewhat simple-minded, employed here then there, depending on the season, living hand-to-mouth from a little charity or in exchange for the worst sort of labor, sleeping in barns and stables, was turned in to the authorities. At the border of a field, he had obtained a few caresses from a little girl, just as he had done before and seen done by the village urchins round about him; for, at the edge of the wood, or in the ditch by the road leading to Saint-Nicolas, they would play the familiar game called ‘curdled milk.’ So he was pointed out by the girl’s parents to the mayor of the village, reported by the mayor to the gendarmes, led by the gendarmes to the judge, who indicted him and turned him over first to a doctor, then to two other experts who not only wrote their report but also had it published. What is the significant thing about this story? The pettiness of it all; the fact that this everyday occurrence in the life of a village sexuality, their inconsequential bulcolic pleasures, could become, from a certain time, the object not only of a collective intolerance but of a judicial action, a medical intervention, a careful clinical examination, and an entire theoretical elaboration (“The Repressive Hypothesis” in The History of Sexuality. London: Penguin, 1998, 31).
(Foucault goes on to reiterate that the man was “simple-minded” and a “village halfwit” and the little girls ”alert” and who would take “a few pennies… for favours the older ones refused”.)
Yes, the same Rubin who thinks paedophiles are victims of a “savage and undeserved witch hunt” and who fudges around the issue by applying to them the misnomer of “those whose eroticism transgresses generational boundaries”. she suggests that paedophilia should not be thought of as “a horror incapable of involving affection, love, free choice, kindness and transcendence”. She suggests, also, that paedophilia should no longer be “firmly entrenched as [a] psychological malfunction”, and refers to it as a “pathology” only in scare quotes.
So, why my loss of faith?
Because during our review of these works/authors—and we even discussed that Foucault passage in details—it wasn’t covered.
[I should add here that i’m currently battling a throat infection and have more or less lost my voice; it is most painful to talk.]
What was touched upon is Rubin’s idea that paedophilia is to contemporary (1980s) sexual perversion what homosexuality was in the 1950s, and that 20 years on we will no longer consider paedophilia to be a perversion. Well, it’s been over twenty years, so she’s clearly wrong. And that was pointed out. But it was THEN said that in another 20 years, or 50, this change would happen and something else would take the place of paedophilia—zoophilia was suggested—as the ultimate in sexual depravity/pathology.
It seems to have escaped my colleagues that in the 1950s, when homosexuality was considered almost universally to be a pathological and depraved sexual trait, so too was paedophilia. Paedophilia has always been considered as WORSE than homosexuality—because it obviously fucking is! Whereas views changed towards homosexuality because it made perfect sense for that to happen, because the misconceptions about homosexuality were just that—misconceptions—conceptions of paedophilia are based entirely in truth and cannot—should not—ever change.
Whilst i can understand the study Rubin (to address the egregiousness of her beliefs in this respect), i cannot understand why we would study Rubin (or Foucault) and NOT ADDRESS IT.
I almost walked out of that room today. On what fucking planet is it okay to ignore abuse apologism? On what planet is it okay to ignore victim-blaming and slut-shaming?