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Millennial Girls Are Easy: Sex, Power, & Porn

A biblical feminist confronts the Girls goddesses, Part 4.

by
Susan L.M. Goldberg

Bio

June 30, 2013 - 5:00 pm

girlssex1

Check out the first three installments of Susan L.M. Goldberg’s series:

June 6: A Biblical Feminist Confronts The Girls Goddesses, Part 1

June 16: Sex Mitzvah’d: Virginity Isn’t Easy for Girls

June 23: Money: Is That What Girls Goddesses Really Want?

*****

 ”I once told a guy to punch me in the chest and then come on that spot so I’d know what that felt like.”

To Hannah Horvath, that was an experience worth asking for, living through, and writing about. To the critics, disturbing sex scenes featuring a range of pornographic behaviors, including role-play lingo with a pedophile twist, are “realistic” depictions of Millennial relationships. These discomforting sex scenes aren’t just the show’s trademark. They’re reflective of a larger trend in pop culture, one that favors the kind of dominant male/submissive female dynamic railed against by previous feminist generations. Lena Dunham has become a hero for portraying sex like it is: unenjoyable, humiliating, and at times enslaving. By disenfranchising women in the bedroom, she has become a goddess feminist icon.

Dunham and the critics who praise her are not alone in viewing pornography and pornographic imagery as tools for female empowerment. According to feminist pornographer Tristan Taormino:

Images of dominance and submission are not anti-feminist in and of themselves. … Feminist pornographers don’t want to do away with sexual power dynamics; many of us want to explore them in an explicitly consensual and more diverse, nuanced, non-stereotypical way.

Girls, with its raw, unromantic view of sexual relationships and power games, is anything but stereotypical and invites one to take a closer look at the intersection between pornography and pop culture in terms of power and art. In terms of power, how has the proliferation of porn culture transformed the sexual dynamics of modern dating? How do secular goddess values differ from biblical values in balancing the masculine and feminine in monogamy and marriage?

AmazonWarrior

Goddess mentality bears an ancient habit of intertwining the concepts of sex and power.  Take, for instance, the description of Greek goddess Aphrodite:

Aphrodite does not suffer, however, as did the “vulnerable” goddesses. Although she is known for her numerous sexual liaisons, she is not bound by any man. …Unlike the “vulnerable” goddesses–Demeter, Persephone and Hera–Aphrodite was never a victim of a man’s unwanted passion for her; the desires were mutual. …Although an independent figure in her own right, this independence does not preclude emotional involvement with others. On the other hand, she is not attracted to permanent relational bonds like her “vulnerable” sisters.

Often depicted nude, Aphrodite was “born as a nubile, infinitely desirable adult” and held power over love, beauty, and sexual rapture. Adherents would sleep with Aphrodite’s priestesses as an act of worship. Her power lay in her ability to have sex without emotional attachment.

Unlike Aphrodite, the Amazon Women emasculated themselves physically, through the removal of their right breast, as well as mentally and emotionally taking on the traditionally male role of warrior. However, like the Greek goddess, sex remained their primary power:

In some versions of the myth, no men were permitted to have sexual encounters or reside in Amazon country; but once a year, in order to prevent their race from dying out, they visited the Gargareans, a neighboring tribe. The male children who were the result of these visits were either killed, sent back to their fathers or exposed in the wilderness to fend for themselves; the girls were kept and brought up by their mothers, and trained in agricultural pursuits, hunting, and the art of war. In other versions when the Amazons went to war they would not kill all the men. Some they would take as slaves, and once or twice a year they would have sex with their slaves.

It should come as no surprise then that a building block of goddess feminism is the idea that power derives from sex through gender, physical form, and intercourse, as expressed in a number of modern feminist venues. Contemporary pagan goddess ritual revolves around the intertwining of power and sex, often tying the two together in ceremony through nudity as well as actual intercourse:

In the Wiccan ritual of the Great Rite, a priest-ess would embody the energy of the receptive, nurturing lunar Goddess while a priest would take on the role of the active, vital solar God. By inserting a blade into a cup, or by engaging in heterosexual intercourse (usually in private), celebrants would enact a pri-mal, erotic union of active and receptive forces that mirrored and participated in the ongoing creation of the universe. This sexual polarity was seen as essential for worship and for performing ‘‘magic,’’ a ritual practice intended to create positive changes in consciousness and in the physical world. As an expression of both freedom and sensuality, most Wiccan rituals were performed skyclad, or ritually nude.

While even the most radical of feminist political subcultures clings to a worldview grounded in sex-based authority with claims including, “Radical feminists believe gender roles are harmful to women. We seek freedom from ‘femininity’ and ‘masculinity.’ Gender only exists for the benefit of men, as a class, at the expense of women, as a class.” Ironically, these “RadFems” echo the Amazons, seeking to escape these perceived gender boundaries by embracing the physicality of the opposite sex, an act that only serves to reaffirm the idea that power is defined through sexual terms.

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The key difference between goddess and biblical feminism ties directly into the intertwining of sex and power.  Compare the following two definitions of marriage:

The word matrimonium, the root for the English word ‘matrimony,’ defines the institution’s main function. Involving the mater(mother), it carries with it the implication of the man taking to woman in marriage to have children. It is the idea conventionally shared by Romans as to the purpose of marriage, which would be to produce legitimate children; citizens producing new citizens.”

[Biblical] Marriage is not solely, or even primarily, for the purpose of procreation. Traditional sources recognize that companionship, love and intimacy are the primary purposes of marriage, noting that woman was created in Gen. 2:18 because ‘it is not good for man to be alone,’ rather than because she was necessary for procreation.”

While goddess feminism demands “what can you do for me?” biblical feminism asks “what can I do for you?” As I recently detailed, biblical feminism is a servant, not a slave, mentality. It is also a perspective devoid of graven images. Authority is not related to sex, but comes from God, who transcends artistic depiction. Instead of focusing on physicality, attention is drawn inward, to the intertwining of heart, soul and strength where the two most important commandments reside. It is a worldview based upon positive relationship-building for the purpose of physical, mental and spiritual growth, as opposed to a physical dominant/submissive relationship to meet the purely physical demands of the cult or state.

Moreover, sex itself is recognized as an act shared between two people, as is the responsibility for the outcome: “The potential power of male-female relationships is like atomic energy. When used in a positive and holy way, there is nothing more powerful and valuable in the world. But when used recklessly, and not in a sacred context, it can be the most destructive force in existence.” There can be no better illustration of this than the fact that critics can approach the most brutal, graphic sex scene on Girls with the comment: “So it’s a little mini-porn-ish, but who cares? We don’t care about that.”

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In an article titled “Today’s Young Women Have Betrayed Feminism,” Yasmin Alibhai Brown chided the S&M pop-culture trend as an insult to women’s empowerment:

Catharine MacKinnon, radical feminist campaigner and theorist in the 1980s, wrote compellingly of how “the eroticisation of dominance and submission” creates social norms for male/female relationships way beyond the bedroom. So what do we get now? The bestselling Fifty Shades of Grey, a God-awful S&M trilogy, mainstreaming the idea of male domination and “knowing” female submission. The almost total pornification of Britain is now used without any embarrassment by males, aided and abetted by females. Internet porn sewage swills around and is defended in the name of “freedom”. In one Sunday tabloid I found a full page advert for porn DVDs. You too could have Black and White Babes, Uni Girls in Sex Heaven, Gang Babes, Teen Group Sex costing a pound each. Meanwhile most modern girls suffer from body image problems; many find it hard to say no to sex; too many boys associate sex with porn images where females are roughly taken and look like Barbie dolls.

“Total pornification” is a problem that transcends Britain. According to Sifat Azad at PolicyMic, “the relatable display of sex in Girls normalizes the experience.” This experience includes physical, mental and possibly even emotional abuse in the bedroom, based in a goddess-driven mentality that intertwines sex and power. Forget critical acclaim. If Girls is meant to be a vehicle that truly empowers women, Dunham would do well to critique the goddess feminist sex/power dynamic, rather than continually holding herself and her characters to the “total pornification” of self-defined “sexual slavery.”

Susan L.M. Goldberg is a writer with a Master's in Radio, Television & Film and a PhD in Life who would be happy roaming the fields of Prince Edward Island with Anne of Green Gables, were it not for her strong belief in the axiom "all that is required for evil to prevail is for good women to do nothing." She prefers the career title "Renaissance Woman" and would happily be bar mates with Ann Coulter, Camille Paglia and Dorothy Parker. Her writing tends towards the intersection of culture, politics and faith with the interest in starting, not stopping the discussion. Follow her on Twitter @SLMGoldberg and @winegirlblog.

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All Comments   (14)
All Comments   (14)
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Verboten Thoughts is close to the mark. Being a far predates Marxism. Marxism's objective was a total overthrow of the previous society. That includes complete destruction of old moral codes and traditions, most especially sexual ones.

On the one hand Marx hated the family (perhaps because his was so toxic) but he also knew that the family was the bedrock of society and so was competition for loyalty to the state which must be stamped out.

On the other hand, Marx considered the proles (essentially everyone not in the Communist Party and even then many of the lower members) as farm animals. He considered them that stupid and that controlled by base impulses. This is why he essentially wrote that people were state property just like a tractor or factory and therefore had no right to say "no" to another's sexual advances. Simply: everyone had to be available for any kind of sex at any time regardless of gender, orientation or age.

The modern left in the West is merely fulfilling Marx's ravings. This is nothing new of course, but has happened many times and is one of the signs of a nation at the end of its run.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Yeah, and even Marx himself was fulfilling what Rousseau, Voltaire, and Sade managed to push that resulted in the French Revolution. Don't forget, most of his Communist manifesto was derived from the results of the French Revolution, itself the result of the teachings on Rousseau, Voltaire, and Sade. Even Pol Pot and his Khmer Rouge regime, the man who actually perfected Communism in its nightmarish exact definitions, largely derived it from a combination of both Marx and Rousseau, especially the latter (since Strassbourg University apparently taught him Rousseau). Philosophy effectively means death to Western Civilization. Want a good damage control? Stop teaching Philosophy, period. Teaching philosophy is only going to cause more damage.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
You'd better teach philosophy because if it isn't taught it will be 'adopted.'

We yearn for meaning whether we find it or create it. So, no, pick a 'good' philosophy and teach it. Otherwise the bad stuff bites you.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I agree with you "Verboten Thoughts". I was just being coy and, as it pleases me, hoping to provoke a female reply. However, femnists can be nasty at times. One ruined my career in the US, so I migrated to Germany. Dr. Helen has written "Why Men Streik" (or something like that). Feminists have all too often, knowlingly or not, insulted my manhood. I am not sure I would seek marriage today. Some of the reasons mentioned by Dr. Helen are valid for me. But in profundity, its is the affrontery to my male-ness that pushes me away. In other words, I, if I were still young, would not only streik, but keep my distance.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The "pornification" of women is the natural and probably consequence of marxist-inspired feminism. Women of marxist-femist culture refuse to offer a man anything other than access to her body. Women then compete against each other for the men they want by offering quicker, easier, more salacious access to her body than the other women in the mix. It eventually degenerates the male-female relationship into something that is little more than glorified prostitution. Pro-female government policies simply increase the asking price and the length of the "rental agreement."

I've felt for some time that the greatest true feminist was Queen Victoria. Victorian women had more power than any women (just because there were consequences, i.e. sexual repression, for having this power doesn't mean they didn't have power). The first wave or two of feminists profited mightily from their Victorian inhereritance by pulling the rug out from under men who still practiced Victorian standards towards the treatment of women. Modern men have abandoned the Victorian standards, leaving the feminists' daughters to reap their mothers' foul harvest.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Personally, I've always liked easy girls.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I get what you mean. I always liked easy girls because they were the most honest and forthright of the bunch without being a Carrie Nation personality. They were fun to be around. It wasn't to sleep with them as such even though it happened once, it was just easier to be friends and pals with them.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Trouble is, if they're easy for you, they're usually easy for lots of guys. I've known a few over the years whose husbands had to either be saints or the biggest damned fools in the World for staying with them. How can you be the only one who doesn't know that your wife is banging every guy in town? Wife v.1.0 of many years ago did a little slipping around, but at least she slipped around discretely. These days discretion is definitely optional.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
And your point?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Don't be silly. All that ho-ing around is what creates diseases.

Our ancestors weren't prudes - they already knew the consequences of promiscuity.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
You ought to marry one.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
To be honest, I used to believe in biblical feminism, and despite my being a heterosexual Christian male, I also believed in women being equal to men except for biological parts, and I even fought to end sexism and pornography by trying to bring Misty back onto Pokemon, believing that was the key solution, especially when education and even religion didn't seem to do a dent in those respects. Unfortunately, that changed when I went to College, specifically my Spring 2011 course under Heather Lucas. She basically claimed that women didn't even get an education until the 1960s, and before that, history was written by "Rich White Males." That caused me to go against Feminism, at least for the most part. The fact that I learned that several feminist groups not only failed to prevent pornography and the exploiting of females, but in several cases during the 1960s-1970s actually encouraged it and supported it, doesn't help matters, either, which I think you mentioned in the article series (the part about the second wave feminist movement basically encouraging porno and female exploitation, I mean). Heck, thanks to both Lucas and similar statements from Richard Palmer in Fall 2012, I don't even trust literature in itself. Maybe Gaston from Beauty and the Beast was right, reading and thinking truly are dangerous, for anyone. I don't even like Gaston or how he acts, so you can tell how their teachings negatively effected me.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I hesitate to go where no sane man should go, i.e., get caught in "girl-"talk. But, what the heck, I am a foolish male, one that has found your inter-girl-talk article to be informative and profound that illicits reflection by me. One point, however, has confused me. You state that "companionshp, love and intimacy are the primary purpose of marriage" and oppose this view of procreational primacy in the Roman (a very manily culture) view of marriage. This seeming exclusional opposition disturbs me. Any advocate of homosexual marriage could quote your words about the "primary purpose of marriage" and then demand legitimately your support for the legalization of homosexual marriage. Right? If the "primary purpose", viz., the defining essence of marriage is intimacy, then procreation (simply put, children with the ensuant family life) is non-primary, viz., an accidental feature of marriage, permissible though definitionally not necessary. I would like to know if my reasoning here is false, percipitious or, simply, the errant logic of a man mixing into girl-talk?

I would in all my manily foolishness contend that marriage has as its PRIMARY telos simply "family life" and that includes intimacy AND children, which presuposes procreation as part of the essential (opposed to accidental) definition of marriage.

You suggest a question derived from intimacy: "What can I do for you?" Were I looking for a mate for life with all the intimacy entailed, i.e., if I were seeking a companion for marriage, I would, indeed, ask the essential question, namely does the woman wish in all intimacy to bring forth with me children for a family. If the answer is "no", I would not enter into a martial relation with said woman. How could I, being that marriage is a family relationship by definition.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"I hesitate to go where no sane man should go, i.e., get caught in "girl-"talk"

But we must go there as our culture punishes those who resist the whim du jour of the feminist movement, no matter how inconsistent that whim is with yesterday's whim. Each whim must be treated with solemn seriousness until it is superceded by the next whim.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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