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gumdrops
02-09-2011, 10:58 AM
http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2011/aug/19/honey-money-catherine-hakim-review

so there's this new book out about this. ive read a few columns about it. the argument (apart from reminding us, just in case the non-superficial society we live in made us forget, that good looks and charm can do wonders), seems to be 'let women use their physical assets while they have them cos men have deprived them of the chance to use anything else they have to offer and men are scared of women using this as power as they are threatened by it and would rather women believe they should use their other assets even though they are likely less effectual than their looks'.

the other point seemed to be that women should be allowed to sell their bodies which confused me a bit as she also argues that the 'liberation' of womens sexual mores in the 60s ended up just being a ploy for exploitation by men.

i found this interesting just cos it seems i cant get away from women exploiting their erotic capital in the media or pop music these days, the whole concept of empowerment through sexuality seems to have become kind of bastardised and well, a bit boring and part of upholding the status quo than anything radical really. though i do like the sound of 'erotical capital' as a term.

im sure dissensus members better versed in gender/feminist/sexual theory etc have more interesting things to say about this. even though this board seems to be 99% men. are dissensus members good at exploiting their erotic capital?

Sectionfive
02-09-2011, 02:00 PM
She was all over the radio here during the week. Twitter wasn't too impressed my end and that would be a lot of women in media, journalism, politics and the third sector etc.

Someone pointed out she spoke at an event (http://www.ionainstitute.net/index.php?id=1400) for our local burn teh gheys/child abuse apologists/fundamentalist catholic campaigners . And you know, they just love the thought of women staying at home and behaving themselves.


- Social policies that assume all women want to work are unfair and act against the actual wishes of most women

And claiming


Government attempts to micro-manage the private lives of citizens seem doomed to failure.

Because that's the church's job of course :rolleyes:



the 'liberation' of womens sexual mores in the 60s ended up just being a ploy for exploitation by men.

This always seems like a red herring to me as it was happening long before the sixties and just seems like a ploy to write it off and play down some of the progress that was/is being made (all be it slowly.) But I suppose it does hold some weight in so far as the 'empowerment' that celebrity and fashion sells people is completely false.


Nomad needs to come back around now.

Mr. Tea
02-09-2011, 02:42 PM
There's kind of a double-bind in one of the arguments being put forward here, though. Obviously it was bad when traditional patriarchal society assumed that women had little or no sex drive of their own, so women were taught to "lie back and think of England", to have sex (or more accurately, to passively let their husbands fuck them) out of duty to please their husbands and of course to provide children. But apparently it's also bad that feminists since the '60s have insisted that women generally have sex drives just as strong as those of men. So which is it to be? Are women as inherently sex-driven as men, or aren't they? I think a way around this is to assume that women like sex as much as men do (I'd certainly say that's true, anyway) but that they're generally more picky about their choice of partner and find attributes other than straightforward physical attractiveness more important than men do. You know, the old saw about women liking men who can make them laugh, or whatever - it may be a cliche but that doesn't mean there isn't something to it.

Also, is it a disaster that men nowadays assume women generally want to have sex with the expectation of nothing in return other than the pleasure of sex itself? Because the alternative is that they do it for some ulterior motive, either implicitly (e.g. financial and emotional security from a partner, preferential treatment from a boss etc.) or explicitly (and we're back to prostitution). Neither option sounds particularly feministic, does it? In the absence of any decisive argument or evidence to the contrary I think it's fair to assume that most women, like most men, enjoy fucking for the sake of fucking.

There was a thread about 'erotic capital' on here last year some time, have a look through old threads in Thought...

grizzleb
02-09-2011, 03:12 PM
Do we really need to have a proscriptive delineation of the sexual and social differences of the sexes? Saying that women want x but man wants y seems kind of pointless as there will always people who genuinely want what is an outlier to that proscription. We should carve a space out in which men and women can equally have as little or as much sex as they like without being judged. As in, morally it seems kind of irrelevant what the actual differences are when deciding how you should view the sexes in turn.

Like sectionfive was saying, you can dress up any old exploitative tosh as 'empowerment' if you choose the right words. I mean, women are encourage to wear certain kinds of clothing in this society under the guise of 'letting women wear want they want; choose who they are as individuals' etc etc. But if you dress conservatively at all times, or wear no make-up you're a prude.

All this stuff is just Michel Houellebecq isn't it? The idea that everything should have a monetary price and sexual interaction is just another part of the market. I don't see that people shouldn't be able to sell whatever they have to get by I suppose, but I fid it a pretty sad state of affairs that the logic of capitalism pretty much extends to every area of human life.

But aye, nomad was good on this shiz...

I'd just like to add, I really hope I meet a woman who goes to work and I chill in the home...it's pretty much my dream haha.

Mr. Tea
02-09-2011, 03:33 PM
All this stuff is just Michel Houellebecq isn't it? The idea that everything should have a monetary price and sexual interaction is just another part of the market. I don't see that people shouldn't be able to sell whatever they have to get by I suppose, but I fid it a pretty sad state of affairs that the logic of capitalism pretty much extends to every area of human life.

What I got from what Houellebecq is that this is not what life "should" be like, but what it has (tragically) become. He's nihilistic about it, not celebratory of it. Although I've only read his book about HP Lovecraft, but I got a pretty strong impression of his own worldview from that.


I'd just like to add, I really hope I meet a woman who goes to work and I chill in the home...it's pretty much my dream haha.

Ha, yeah, I'm sure that's all great until BABIES come along to rock your cosy little world. :D

grizzleb
02-09-2011, 04:07 PM
Yes, Houellebecq sees it as a deeply sad state of affairs. I wonder why he's so hated by feminists, a lot of whom haven't read his work?

And as for the babies, haha, you're right. Might get a secret vasectomy or something muhahah.

Mr. Tea
02-09-2011, 10:52 PM
I've not read any of his novels but I know he gets called both an Islamophobe and a mysogynist. You'd have thought he could play feminists off against Islamists, or vice versa, or something...

Is it possible he gets flack for hating women when in fact this is just an aspect of his hatred for everyone? Sorry, somewhat off-topic.

john eden
02-09-2011, 11:30 PM
My problem with "erotic capital" is that its evangelists don't seem to be able to make up their minds whether they are simply describing a process which is happening or actively promoting it as something people should do.

If it's the former then it's pretty trite as people here have said - attractive energetic people will do better in most situations than their opposites (if you take everything else out of the equation).

If it's the latter then you are simply back in the snake oil territory of self help books. "How to expand your erotic capital portfolio and win MEGABUCKS". It is a slightly more nuanced version of the Pick Up Artist philosophy that there is a jaw-droppingly amazing thread about on here too.

The difficulty I have is that the most successful women I know don't seem to have erotic capital in common. (And let's be clear, I am talking about people who are far more successful than I will ever be). Certainly some of them exhibit those traits but actually it seems to be more about their interpersonal skills, intelligence and hard work. Which actually is the same as the most successful men I know, if you leave class and many other factors out of it.

I'm not as up on feminist etc theory as I would like to be, but Nina Power's "one dimensional woman" book is very good on sexuality as commodity as liberation stuff and is a straightforward and enjoyable read for thickos like me who can't quote philosophers off the top of our heads.

grizzleb
03-09-2011, 01:02 AM
I've not read any of his novels but I know he gets called both an Islamophobe and a mysogynist. You'd have thought he could play feminists off against Islamists, or vice versa, or something...

Is it possible he gets flack for hating women when in fact this is just an aspect of his hatred for everyone? Sorry, somewhat off-topic.
Well I think so, his characters hate themselves most first of all, and are generally portrayed as pretty loathsome. It seems that there's an obvious difference between an author creating a character to espouse their views as an author in some Ayn Rand way, and creating characters who perform a particular function in their literary work as a whole. I think the fact his characters are so miserable and dislikable points to the latter being true of Houellebecq's fictions.
The role I think they play isto show misogyny as one kind of outcome of the kind of society which does monetize everything, even social relationships.

mistersloane
03-09-2011, 02:06 AM
I loved, loved Zoe Williams total destruction of her here :

http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2011/aug/19/catherine-hakim-interview?intcmp=239

It's one of the great 'when interviews go bad' moments. Though not as good as Ann Scanlon's legendary interview with Dolores Cranberry.

I've done pretty well from erotic capital in my life, but it comes with a downside, as does any form of willed prostitution.

Ory
03-09-2011, 06:34 AM
somewhat relevant i think
http://heartiste.wordpress.com/2010/06/18/study-confirming-my-view-of-the-job-sexual-marketplace-nexus/
http://heartiste.wordpress.com/2009/06/01/sexual-dystopia-a-glimpse-at-the-future/
etc..

and more broadly, as i see some of you mentioning feminism
http://sofiastry.wordpress.com/category/feminism-feminist-hypocrisy

Mr. Tea
03-09-2011, 04:26 PM
and more broadly, as i see some of you mentioning feminism
http://sofiastry.wordpress.com/category/feminism-feminist-hypocrisy

Ha, some great stuff there about the 'politics of oral sex'.

One of those situations where "If you're thinking about it that hard, you probably aren't enjoying it" applies.

Edit: although looking at his other posts he seems to be on a bit of a 'masculinist' tip... :slanted:

Also, that thread about 'The Game' was amazing, with that one guy who kept going on about "the [pick-up artist] community", like the way people talk about the "black community" or the "gay community"...and how his Jedi master had taught him how to make a woman cum for three hours just by looking at her in a certain way...priceless stuff, I might have to go and have another read of it later.

Haha, just read that Zoe W piece. I've seen her write some real fluff before but that is no-two-ways-about-it demolition - nice one, Zoe.

you
03-09-2011, 05:26 PM
and more broadly, as i see some of you mentioning feminism
http://sofiastry.wordpress.com/category/feminism-feminist-hypocrisy

my god that whole post is just horrid, pot calling kettle and all but that is bad - blows

this was mental on wednesday (http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b013q30z) on Radio 4 - some blokes calling in just livid and bored to death whilst stuck at home, imprisoned with lego and rice crispy cakes...

for context
The Game by Neil Strauss thread (http://www.dissensus.com/showthread.php?11199-The-Game-Neil-Strauss)
Books with life changing qualities thread (http://www.dissensus.com/showthread.php?9091-Books-with-life-changing-qualities)

baboon2004
03-09-2011, 06:27 PM
God I hate the term 'erotic capital'.

From the Guardian article:

"wealth of studies that show men want to get laid more within their relationship" - i mean, what? and boys wear blue and girls wear pink. this is fucking retarded for so many reasons. it's possible that SOME vaguely useful generalisations could be made about men's and women's respective sexualities (usually heavily filtered through social norms, upon which this exercise probably sheds more light than sexuality in and of itself, as the interviewer says), but this is not it.

i do think a lot of bullshit is written about sex in general though, and this is just the tip of an awful iceberg. i rarely read anything that reflects any of my experiences/reality, which is mostly that sex, sexuality and lust are 'about' by a huge range of things, and most definitely involves the subconscious (in one sense because sex can be, in my personal experience, somewhere to 'put' feelings/parts of one's character that one isnt' always comfortable with, hence why people's personalities and 'sexual personalities can often jar so much).

that interviewer is brilliant. i wouldnt' have been able to keep my cool in her situation, being patronised by an idiot.

Mr. Tea
03-09-2011, 07:21 PM
Agreed that the term is repellent and dehumanising, whether you look at it from a (nominally) feminist angle, a 'PUA' angle or whatever. And the woman who's written this book is clearly a she-dick of massive proportions.

you
03-09-2011, 07:31 PM
I loved, loved Zoe Williams total destruction of her here :

http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2011/aug/19/catherine-hakim-interview?intcmp=239

It's one of the great 'when interviews go bad' moments. Though not as good as Ann Scanlon's legendary interview with Dolores Cranberry.

I've done pretty well from erotic capital in my life, but it comes with a downside, as does any form of willed prostitution.

wow - just read that, wow, handbags...

baboon2004
03-09-2011, 07:45 PM
Agreed that the term is repellent and dehumanising, whether you look at it from a (nominally) feminist angle, a 'PUA' angle or whatever. And the woman who's written this book is clearly a she-dick of massive proportions.

she doesnt' seem to have any qualifications that might be useful in writing it, either - she's constantly referring to other sources who know way more about x and y than her. i'm not the greatest fan of academia at present anyways, but the fact that this woman calls herself an academic is shameful.

who has recently written a book about the psychology of sex (for want of a better phrase) that isn't seemingly targetted at kindergarten level, anyways? genuinely interested.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2011/aug/05/payoff-sex-workers-clients-stories - recollections of prostitution, and as you might expect, jawdroppingly emotionally hardcore.

Ory
04-09-2011, 09:19 AM
Edit: although looking at his other posts he seems to be on a bit of a 'masculinist' tip... :slanted:

that blog's run by a girl (a young one at that). it's one of the reasons i like linking it... throws people off.

and i have no issues with masculinism (cuz it works, innit).

Mr. Tea
04-09-2011, 01:50 PM
that blog's run by a girl (a young one at that). it's one of the reasons i like linking it... throws people off.


Really? Ah well, takes all sorts I guess! Certainly had me going.

I like the bit where she (or one of the commentators, can't remember) points out a study showing that more young black women in Britain have received oral sex than given it, hence a contributing factor to the riots this summer was dem angry urban yoot frustrated at the lack of, er, 'jobs'...

gumdrops
05-09-2011, 10:00 AM
I like the bit where she (or one of the commentators, can't remember) points out a study showing that more young black women in Britain have received oral sex than given it, hence a contributing factor to the riots this summer was dem angry urban yoot frustrated at the lack of, er, 'jobs'...

a solution for all the worlds ills.

Mr. Tea
05-09-2011, 12:04 PM
a solution for all the worlds ills.

Could bring the kleptocratic capitalist order to its knees!