Posts Tagged ‘the c-word’

Maybe She’s Born with it…Maybe it’s Awakened During Puberty!: The Sexual Impulse in Women

Tuesday, February 12th, 2013

So, now for a total change of topic from my last pre-break post…

I was especially intrigued by the section of this reading that ranged from pp. 198-203. First, there is Montaigne’s idea that women are “incomparably more apt and ardent in love than men are” because “it [sexual impulse] is a discipline that runs in their veins” (198). This is in direct contrast to the mode of thinking where women are considered sexually frigid. Even the greatest rock n’ rollers were familiar with this school of thought, as is evidenced by the following classics:

She’s So Cold by the Rolling Stones

Cold As Ice by Foreigner

But seriously, there seems to be a great divide when considering women’s sexuality, and I hate that it comes down to this, but if one tried to wrap it up neatly, women’s sexuality seems to fall into the paradigm of the virgin and the whore. Either women are considered “salacious, ”“lascivious,” and “seductive,” or they are regarded as the opposite: unable to be sexually excited at all, and averse to the advances of the opposite sex. It should also be said that the discussion of women becoming “hysterical” as a result of coitus, though ridiculous and old-fashioned to our 21st-century ears, gained a lot of popularity back in the day, and seems to go hand-in-hand with both the virgin who is “deflowered/awakened” by a man’s sexual advances, or the promiscuous woman who is prone to be put into hysterics often and without shame, which in itself would be considered shameful. Altogether, the idea of women’s sexuality and sexual pleasure seems coated in shame…

[Side note: I was frustrated by the fact that the author did not go into same-sex relations, but I can understand why it would confound his/her train of thought. I also have some issues with the final paragraph on page 200 about Baltic women and their seductive patterns, but I feel those would best be raised in class, where the discussion can be more fully fleshed out than simply on the blog.]

But enough complaining! Page 202 brings about an idea that is less offensive and (probably) much more palatable to modern-day women than the view that we are “frigid” or, on the other end of the spectrum, “slutty” or “easy.” I will end with this paragraph, which seems to attempt to make peace with both women and men harboring sexual impulses:

“…in most cases the sexual coldness of women is only apparent, either due to the concealment of glowing sexuality beneath the veil of outward reticence prescribed by conventional morality, or else the husband who has not succeeded in arousing erotic sensations which are complicated and with difficulty awakened… The sexual sensibility of women is certainly different from that of men, but in strength it is at least as great.” (Bloch, 202).

This postulation is not without its own set of assumptions/problems, but it at least seems to award women with their due “natural” feelings and persuasions instead of knocking them for having them in the first place.

“I am the Mouthpiece. You are the Belly….

Tuesday, February 12th, 2013

…Get into the harness, or get out of the way!”

Oh, what to make of this complex character, Brigham Young?!

https://www.google.com/search?hl=en&site=&tbm=isch&source=hp&biw=1366&bih=623&q=whip+and+carriage&oq=whip+and+carriage&gs_l=img.3...225731.244846.1.245006.27.15.5.7.7.1.244.1375.12j2j1.15.0...0.0...1ac.1.4.img.Z6bLEv2CREs#hl=en&tbm=isch&sa=1&q=cracking+the+whip&oq=cracking+the+whip&gs_l=img.3..0i10i24.473.2870.7.2983.4.4.0.0.0.0.538.699.2j5-1.3.0...0.0...1c.1.4.img.EGi9O_VaVf0&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_qf.&bvm=bv.42965579,d.dmQ&fp=5d09ed3ab16fb5d7&biw=1047&bih=478&imgrc=VvPlf0lONXXOtM%3A%3B7dqcWZ5_raNDXM%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fwww.christart.com%252FIMAGES-art9ab%252Fclipart%252F1769%252Frg-cartoon-1c.png%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fwww.christart.com%252Fclipart%252Fimage%252Fwhip%3B300%3B210

https://www.google.com/search?hl=en&site=&tb

(Brigham Young cracks the whip on the LDS followers.)

Here’s just a smattering of what I picked up about this great Mormon leader:

  1. He was a redhead. (I don’t know why this surprised me; probably because I’ve never met a redheaded Mormon, and I know a lot of Mormons!)
  2. He claimed that he “only swore in the pulpit,” which I thought was kind of hilarious, since usually one would associate churchgoing with using LESS profanity, out of respect for God.
  3. He didn’t grow up Mormon. In fact, he was a Methodist for a while…
  4. He didn’t know how to read.
  5. At first, he was very averse to plural marriage.

As many others have said already, if we didn’t know these aspects about him were true, Brigham Young seems akin to Paul Bunyan– that is, he sounds like the protagonist of a tall tale centered around the American west. Considering he was such a fascinating guy just in and of himself, it’s easy to ignore the spiritual “repercussions” his leadership style had on so many people. But once we do, that’s when this American western drama becomes a horror story.

The Mighty Brigham Young, folk hero?

The Mighty Brigham Young, folk hero?

How can a man so devoted to his Heavenly Father preach against one of the Ten Commandments (“Thou shalt not kill”) by justifying mob-ocracy? In fact, I believe his direct words were that if anyone else dared bother the Mormons, they [the Mormons] would be justified in “cutting their damned throats.” That’s pretty heavy stuff, though I suppose he did feel they had been boxed into a corner of some kind (that corner being Utah), and had to lash out with whatever they had against “American meddlers.” As Mr. Turner pointed out, Mormons and politics never did have a harmonious relationship, which will make Mitt Romney an interesting candidate for study in the future of LDS.

https://www.google.com/search?hl=en&site=&tbm=isch&source=hp&biw=1366&bih=623&q=whip+and+carriage&oq=whip+and+carriage&gs_l=img.3...225731.244846.1.245006.27.15.5.7.7.1.244.1375.12j2j1.15.0...0.0...1ac.1.4.img.Z6bLEv2CREs#hl=en&tbm=isch&sa=1&q=Mitt+Romney+quotes+&oq=Mitt+Romney+quotes+&gs_l=img.3..0i24l10.8858.9921.4.11057.7.5.0.2.2.0.196.758.0j5.5.0...0.0...1c.1.4.img.aCXY9Pg73mg&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_qf.&fp=5d09ed3ab16fb5d7&biw=1047&bih=478&imgrc=xbpf43UJCY7n3M%3A%3BElcVe4VfD6aM1M%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fa.abcnews.com%252Fimages%252FPolitics%252Fht_dirty_dancing_binder_ss_thg_121016_ssh.jpg%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fabcnews.go.com%252FPolitics%252FOTUS%252Fslideshow%252Fbinders-full-women-debate-quotes-17496665%3B541%3B411

https://www.google.com/search?hl=en&site=&tbm=isch&source

Then we have Blood-Atonement: let’s not forget about that little instance of “spiritual charity.” This scared me less than other things I have learned about the Church of LDS, but I can understand why it would horrify some people. As John Turner put it, Blood-Atonement represented a “chilling perversion of the Golden Rule” by advocating harm to others and feelings of guilt associated with the crucifixion. Now, as we all know, guilt and religion are no strangers to each other; in fact, they seem downright married in some cases. But when it is put in the following terms, one must really begin reckoning how he/she regards Jesus’ absolute sacrifice in a modern age:

“Will you love that man or woman/brother or sister enough to shed their blood? That’s what Jesus did.”

This example of fear-mongering within the Mormon community is definitely a troubling aspect in the Mormon community of Young’s time.

Not to geek out about ol’ Brigham, but I’m really fascinated by him still. He seems like (pardon my language, here) an asshole and a bully, but also a brilliant, dynamic, fervent leader who believed ardently in God and his own actions. I am doing a little bit of research on him on my own, and getting my Mormon cousins to give me their views about him as a central historical figure who shaped their faith. Therefore, I will probably be posting about him again later this semester!

I’ve Just Met a Girl Named Mariaaaaa…

Thursday, January 31st, 2013

…and BOY, is she an awful liar!

Okay, I am basically going to repeat the sentiments everyone else’s posts have already expressed:

  1. Sex sells. Whether it be rape (*cringing, can’t believe I wrote that*), incest, or any other negative/questionable sexual content, it grabs the reader’s attention.
  2. Babies. Gotta have infant death if it’s a worthwhile story. (For the record, I HATE “dead baby” jokes. Can’t stand them.)
  3. Priests make good scapegoats. They’re the guys people love to hate. Who would come to the door of a convent, make hissing noises, and expect to be let in around midnight for some wayward sexual pleasure? A priest, of course!

But seriously. I know that in 19th-century America– and indeed, since then– there has been a strong anti-Catholic rhetoric going around. Sometimes, the faith itself was used as a basis of racial oppression, as well. Indeed, two of the most discriminated-against European immigrant groups– the Irish and the Italians– were primarily Catholic, and in the early 1900s, they were “hated on” quite a bit for this reason.

HOWEVER, I would like to believe that if I were alive when the Awful Disclosures of Maria Monk came out that I would have been at least a little bit skeptical. No matter how terrible you may think a particular religious sect is, would you really ascribe to them infanticide, rape, murder, and whatever else, all in the name of God? This seems to be a stretch, even for your average illiterate American Protestant who “didn’t know any better.”

Therefore, I must say that Maria (a.k.a., the shady Protestant males with a knack for tall tales…hey, that rhymed) may have put forth an interesting horror story through this volume, but no wonder it was disproved within months of its publication. It was simply “too bad to be true,” and the writing style itself left a lot to be desired– I think I yawned twice for each page.