For example, when a man strips off his clothes in a nightclub act, he doesn’t also take off his dignity, autonomy, and power as a human being, because there’s nothing in patriarchal culture that would interpret his behavior as giving up anything of real value to the women who watch him perform. If anything, he can get the male-centered satisfaction of having his body admired by women who lack the social power to treat his body like admired property. His relation to women in the audience doesn’t reflect a larger social reality in which men’s bodies are routinely regarded as objects to be sought after and controlled by women. But a woman who strips does so in a very different social context that changes entirely the meaning of her behavior and that of the men who watch her. In a patriarchal culture, her body has significance primarily in relation to men who value rights of access and use through various forms of contract, force, or purchase, from the bonds of love or marriage to prostitution to rape. Men who pay women to strip in front of them do far more than pay to watch someone they find beautiful or arousing take off her clothes. They also participate in a much wider social pattern that defines women’s existence in relation to pleasing men, to meeting male standards of attractiveness, and to being available for men’s appropriation and use. To some degree, the price of admission buys men the right to feel, if only in short-lived fantasy, a sense of indirect control over women’s bodies. Women who watch men strip, on the other hand, will find little in mainstream patriarchal culture that supports viewing or treating men in this way.”
-Allan G. Johnson
Posted on Mar 16, 2013 • 8:30 AM
With 10 notes
Tagged under #allan g. johnson #feminism #learn to live #unexpected choreography #quotes
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