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Thursday, October 19, 2006

Two Unrelated Questions

posted by on October 19 at 11:22 AM

One mine, one appropriated.

1. Why do we excoriate child molesters when they’re run-of-the-mill monsters, but give Catholic priests the benefit of the doubt? (cf. “We had a relationship,” “We loved each other like brothers,” “Great memories of our trips,” etc.)

2. What the hell is “post-post-post-feminism,” and how is it illustrated by this NYT photo of a “sexy witch”)?

Thank you.

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I'll take my life in my hands and try to answer your second question.

"Feminism" is the idea that women are inherently equal to men and deserve equal rights and opportunities. It's also the name of the political movement that mobilized to put this idea into practice.

"Post-feminism" is the position which argues that the condition of women improved as a result of the feminist political struggle in the 60's and 70's, a certain amount of respect for women is now taken for granted, and women are now safe to express a more traditional ‘femininity’.

"Post-post-feminism" states that traditional femininity is actually a source of power for women. Old school tasks like cooking, cleaning and watching the children are essential societal tasks and should command as much respect as any other task. Staying out of the workforce is something to be proud of.

Therefore, I'll argue that "Post-post-post-feminism is the belief that a strong sexual expression is another valid and vital source of a woman's strength and should be emphasized in all of its colorful, playful, slutty glory. This obviously extends to girls and young women as well, who are thus encouraged to be flagrantly sexual in order to demonstrate their confidence. (People like Suzie Bright and the Stranger's Mistress Matisse would be post-post-post-fems in this definition.)

That's my off-the-cuff definition. Am I close?

Posted by Gurldoggie | October 19, 2006 11:47 AM


That was amazing, thank you. The very question made my mind spin : )


The answer to question one is depressingly simple: Denial.

From Wikipedia:

Denial is a defense mechanism in which a person is faced with a fact that is painful to accept rejects it instead, insisting that it is not true despite what may be overwhelming evidence. The subject may deny the reality of the unpleasant fact altogether (simple denial), admit the fact but deny its seriousness (minimization) or admit both the fact and seriousness but deny responsibility (transference).

Anna Freud classified denial as a mechanism of the immature mind, because it conflicts with the ability to learn from and cope with reality.

Posted by Andrew | October 19, 2006 11:58 AM

I'm with Gurldoggie. I thought the post-post-post was a reference to this quote in the article:

“It’s a night when even a nice girl can dress like a dominatrix and still hold her head up the next morning,” said Linda M. Scott, the author of “Fresh Lipstick: Redressing Fashion and Feminism”

empowerment = proudly dressing slutty

Posted by s.mirk | October 19, 2006 12:01 PM

Well that certainly describes Foley's parents. It's hard to see why the Church was able to protect pederast priests for so long. The parents of abused kids refused to believe it or acknowledge it. Sometimes it seems like that kind of betrayal (from the parents) is worse than being molested. At the very least it rubs salt into the wound.

Posted by keshmeshi | October 19, 2006 12:02 PM

"It’s a night when even a nice girl can dress like a dominatrix and still hold her head up the next morning,” said Linda M. Scott, the author of “Fresh Lipstick: Redressing Fashion and Feminism."

So, by that statement, a dominatrix, one of the many overt expressions of female sexual power allegedly celebrated by this article, should ordinarily be considered something "shameful" by "nice" girls.

Goooooooooo post-post-post-feminism!

Posted by Gloria | October 19, 2006 12:12 PM

1. Vilifying priests destroys a lot more (religious) realities than vilifying common criminals.
2. Pedantry.

Posted by Gomez | October 19, 2006 12:21 PM

I want that costume. The boots, at least.

Posted by Amy Kate | October 19, 2006 12:41 PM

..And does any of this have anything to do with the significant uptick in "burlesque" troupes these days?

...And does THAT have anything to do with the historical connection between societal oppression and an explosion of sexual expression/fetishism?
(cf. Victorian England, Weimer Germany.)

Posted by treacle | October 19, 2006 1:21 PM

How come all the witches I know are overweight cloak-wearing incense-burning hippie chicks with moustaches? Where do we find the hot wiccans in tight vinyl?

Posted by shwan | October 19, 2006 1:22 PM

1 - What is wrong with a benefit of the doubt? All pedophiles are not rapists, and all non-age appropriate relationships are pedophilic in nature. And it is important to look at the year(s) the relationship took place in

Also, forget that these men are priests for a minute, set aside any anti-catholic church bias one has (transubstantiation, virgin mary, icons, incense, the prevalent sort of biases (not to mention the slurs priests face simply for serving) and try to understand that priests are men first and last. They are not supernatural beings. OK?

Now some hypothetical’s… do teenage homosexuals have it difficult to enter into a relationship? Do some teenagers feel sexual confusion? Do some teenagers just want to be with someone older, but who are not their parents or grandparents age? Sometimes, are not the post-sex, straight or gay, moments filled with a regret which is never really gotten over? Were teenagers 40 or 50 years ago all that different from teenagers of today?

Is it too hard to think (just to think about it, you do not have to agree with it) that a teenager, who is gay, or gay curious, might reach out to someone they find attractive and sexy? Maybe attractive and sexy and who is in a position of authority to be of help with the confusion or curiosity. Maybe there is penetrative sex, maybe mutual masturbation, maybe kissing, maybe it never gets beyond just talking and hanging-out. Is it wrong for the kid to reach out? And don’t a lot of people feel that age is a small difference? The movie Harold and Maude explored that very subject back in the 70’s, so it isn’t just a turn of the millennia subject. Now then…

What about that very same kid 10, 15, 20 years in the future? Could it be possible that kid, now an adult, has the exact same confusion, but is in a position of authority? And what would happen if a different teenager, same circumstances, reached out in the exact same manner to that same adult?

This is the 2006 basis some psychologist attribute for consensual non-age appropriate relationships.

(Don’t forget, society was very different 40 or 50 years ago. In the 70’s and 60’s and 50’s not everyone was a sexually open and liberated hippy, beat-nik, swinger. In today’s world, there are lots of queer curious avenues open to teenagers, the least of which is reading about and looking at homosexuals on the internet. There are now mechanisms in place which will let that teenager mature so they are no longer confused 10,15, 20 years later. There is consulting community groups, etc, willing and able to help. 40 years ago, none that were positive could be accessed on the same scale like they can be today.)

Yes, yes, if you are still reading, I will agree that it should or would not happen today. Yes, in the year 2006, the adult would be to blame for the non-age appropriate relationship. In 2006, under law, an adult does not have such a relationship with a teenager. In 2006 it is expected that adults will understand that… just like they understand that vandalism, shoplifting, hacking a computer and other sort of kids-will-be-kids crimes are wrong. We have strong laws in place now to deter non-age appropriate relationships, but those laws were not around then or if they were, were not as strongly enforced, or as openly used as a deterrent back then.

Abuse is abuse: forced penetrative sex, forced masturbation, forced kissing, etc, is abuse, whether it happened in 2006 or 1946. But what if it was a consensual non-age appropriate relationship which happened in 1966?

The benefit of the doubt is given in cases like Foley and his priest, because they took place in a different time and place. It does matter if it was consensual in the 70’s, because the laws, the playing field of society, was a lot different back then.

Posted by Thanks for the bomb shell question. | October 19, 2006 3:35 PM

Gurldoggie is right. P-P-P-feminism is ultra k00l.

Posted by Will in Seattle | October 19, 2006 4:58 PM

Wow, thanks for the comment GurlDoggie, very enlightening.

As far as I'm concerned, post-post-post-feminism is the best wave of feminism yet!

Posted by Sean | October 19, 2006 5:41 PM

So basically, if we women want to be truly empowered, we should be pushing to dress as dominatrices 24/7 and make people like it....doesn't sound too bad to me. Post-post-post-feminism, here I come!

Posted by Megan | October 19, 2006 8:59 PM

every "post" prefix seems to add another layer of consumerism and self-expression to the mix, and get further and further away from ever talking about power.

Posted by wf | October 19, 2006 10:33 PM

Tftbq... tl;dr

America overuses the benefit of the doubt. Punish your criminals.

Posted by Gomez | October 20, 2006 9:49 AM

Regarding Post, post, post,…

What is in a label? A label by any other name would still smell as …
Beyond the labels, the Judeo-Christian culture has worked very hard and been very successful at controlling women’s sexuality. It is empowering for anyone to know themselves and to celebrate this whether male or female. It can be especially empowering for women who have such a long history of sexual suppression. A woman’s sexual energy can be very strong and a healthy source of strength. It can also make a lot of men feel uncomfortable. Our culture encourages this as it helps to keep us pressuring each other in ways that continue the cultural myth. This is true of any sexual “deviation” or any deviation from the “norm”.
(The word “normal” comes from the word Norman, and entered English after the Norman invasion of England…)
Who cares if a woman who enjoys her sexuality is called a post, post, post, feminist or a communist or a witch or a humanist or a home-wrecker or an angel in disguise. It’s just another label. So far we certainly haven’t found a good name for a woman who wants to change herself (however she may choose) and thereby affect her life instead of trying to change the world to affect her life.

Posted by Dat Bathani | October 24, 2006 5:07 PM

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