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On "being the body, while men are left free"
This morning, came across a line which perhaps only a community can make sense of, make use of -- so I bring this to all of you:

"women can no longer take on the function of being the body for men while men are left free to soar to the heights of theoretical reflection and cultural production"
--E. Grosz 'Volatile Bodies' quoted in Bradshaw, "Classical Enfleshments of Love"

So what do we do? All of us.
I'm asking for simple advice -- concrete advice -- experiments, experiences...
Books Discussed
Volatile Bodies: Toward a Corporeal Feminism (Theories of Representation and Difference)
by Elizabeth Grosz

Hi Mia,
  I love this question. Every day I think about the body. I was walking down the street near the college where I work and noticed several young women (although perhaps the discussion doesn't include the young). Some were obviously and clearly dressed to drive men crazy, meaning a specific set of men they find acceptable, and everyone else better keep their eyes to themselves. Others were clearly just vaguely aware that their casual dress would be considered cute but not overly suggestive. Others it didn't matter a bit since the majority of men would not be attracted to them. But a few were designed and created (apparently by God) for one thing: sex. Unbelievably smooth skin, slender and fit, with devastating proportions and eyes and lips that could only have evolved from sexual selection. I don't think it could happen by accident, though it's certainly possible. And other male friends agree with me on this, that some women appear to have been created for sex, for pleasure. I suppose the corollary is also true, that some men are created for sex. But I guess we would leave the extremes aside in this discussion, because to include them would obliterate the point. Those women know what they have, they want it, and they use it to get what they want, and they do get what they want. And there's no point at all in arguing about it, because that's the way it is, and it's not going to change--for them I mean.


  But the question also appears to be directed to Baby Boomer men. I don't think very many men fifty or younger have a problem with women soaring to the heights of theoretical reflection and cultural production. I think we welcome it when they do. I admire immensely female artists and thinkers (I dearly love Margaret Atwood, among others). I like much less female business leaders, but then I also despise male business leaders, in general. In my own creative work (writing programs for university administration) I get the input of several women. I take it seriously, and consider it fundamentally important to my success. I must say that philosophical discussions with my women friends are nearly non-existent. But I eagerly engage with the one woman friend I have who likes this kind of talk. But to be fair, I have only a few male friends, academics, who are willing to engage on philosophical matters.


  But I love that, "being the body" for men. Yes they are. There's no possible way to extract that from the relationship. But they are not always the body. Even the ones created for sex. I imagine if they wanted to soar most of us (younger than baby boomers) would gladly let them. But there's also a political element. We're still animals. I hate to say it, but unfortunately it is true. As such we have roles to play. Males dominate, and that's just the way it is. Probably this is necessary at some sociological level. Maybe only "on the field" as it were. But somewhere, whether "in game" or out, males probably need to feel superior, whether they are or not. And women who let them feel that way, or even inspire them to feel that way, are probably going to have better relationships overall. I don't know where "on the field" is for me. But I think when it comes to dinner time, in particular, I need to be served. I don't think it's that much to ask. I realize it's purely role play, but it's important. It has to happen somewhere. Probably also in bed.



  

In response to Dixon Berry
Hey Dixon,

when you say

 ...other male friends agree with me on this, that some women appear to have been created for sex, for pleasure.

whose pleasure do you mean?

In response to Mia Vialti
Mia, pleasure for the man, of course! Although I'm guessing many of these women end up enjoying it also. Not all of them. If I were an incredibly beautiful woman, I suppose I would deny my power. That's just me. I might even be tortured by it. And I've known beautiful women who in fact were tortured by it. And even as a average man, when I am objectified, which isn't common but has happened, then I really wonder what it would be like to be a woman. It's uncomfortable to be wanted for "the body." But I suppose I would be aware of my assets, if I were a beautiful woman, and with powerful men all around charming and performing magic, opening doors both physical and metaphysical for me, the cream of the crop, the best dressed best smelling men, those with the best toys, I suppose I would be happy to trade my body, grateful even. But the one who would win me would also know who I am, know what I think, know what I want. Probably the winner would be able to make me believe my body had nothing to do with it. It's called seduction. I mean these women were clearly not made for bearing and carrying children, or physical labor, or any adaptation in symbiosis with anything on earth except a man. God's gift I guess.

And as I said, there must be male counterparts as well. Guys with great bodies and a giant proboscis, if you will, whose temperament is more feminine than masculine. Perfect for a woman's pleasure.
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