Date: Wed Jul 11, 1996 3:04:06 PM
Not to beat a dead horse into dog food, Landry, but I am nevertheless still interested in digging deeper into this resistance topic, in exploring what you as a female writer deem appropriate sexual language and conduct, specifically at the social or public level. As a (willing/unwilling) member of the freelance pseudo-liberated Generation X think tank, how can we expect to defy this irrational political correctness now dominating the landscape, without bloodying the field, without ignoring the differences whereby how men and women perceive the sexual arena, and their respective roles within that arena, even as it appears that the gender roles continue to evolve? For despite my own mental gymnastics, I am somewhat of a prude in this matter, myself, and actually seek liberty from the constraints of my own background.
First a few definitions: pseudo-liberated. You touched on this concept by admitting your awareness of blatant contradictions in what your own spirit in liberty tells you versus what your reality-checking brain dutifully informs you is necessary to remain in control of what can soon degenerate into a chaotic and unrewarding sensual killing field if unchecked because of the very nature of individuality. The plain fact is that every person of every generation is genetically (both physically & psychologically) predisposed to a certain level of what passes in the popular mind as freedom and the lessening buffers to loose-lipped vulgarity.
This freedom is then tested in the sexual marketplace. Gains and losses accumulate. Winners, losers, predators, victims, survivors, casualties. That's the real dirt in the sex game. The sexual elite? Without too much rehashing of old literature we both know that one person's freedom is often another person's enslavement. Each camp seeks its own reflection in the mirror of its ideological yearnings. We each, male & female, across the entire corpus of human identities use different tools to plow the field, sow the seed, and harvest the fruit of our lusts and loves, fetishes and fixes. Individual tastes are formed by a complex matrix of genetics and environmental influences working within us at every turn.
Classes who arguably at that point of sexual liberty live to pursue this sexual freedom to their own accumulative advantage while the many are still left to fend for themselves in the heat of the old torturous battles between moral agency and libertinism. Freedom or liberty in this case can only mean freedom of opportunity to succeed or fail at getting what we desire...
Great thinkers of antiquity, realizing this imbalance and opening for societal failure suggested suppression of the urges rather than chasing a false rainbow corrupting the loins with the tricks of envy and abuse, forced by success and especially, persistent failure. Failure is disease, disease is failure. I observe women with their hypertextual sense of liberal guilt for the masses rarely take pity on hordes of men delegated by natural order to mere pawns of the sexual princes and princesses ruling the sexual arena. But consistent with their incumbent sexual and business tools, battle plans, and gains to be made, they are often cold taskmasters, subtle manipulators, starving their opponents and thwarting their competition by any means necessary in order to control the field. The point is, they are strong sexual warriors with no pity for the serfs and only seek upward mobility, just as men do, and women always have, albeit in different mutations of the basic idea throughout generations and cultures.
But finally after 32 or 33 years of apotheosizing the feminine component of humanity, and weaned from this generalized self-loathing by the redemptive notions of writer Camille Paglia, I am equally stricken with a loathing that spreads out beyond that primitive misogyny men are often accused of, often rightfully so, to encompass my own effeminate strains the radical feminists carp so much about when lacking a fair shade of the same themselves. We all need to face a few facts. Few of us are ever given a fair shake. Male or female. Games are played with romantically inclined lies in the name of spectacular truth. Only once this false game of shadows and overwrought sentimentality has been diminished and replaced with a more intrinsic set of values will equality even find its true voice in the war between the sexes.
Most will finally settle for a truce and whatever accommodations their current market value will warrant. I am fortunate my own loved one still finds a measure of grace in my own strengths, raw intelligence and wit. And I in her, her own steady delivery of basic goods and compassion for my weaknesses in return for the strengths I bring which have nothing to do with sexual etiquette. Ours has nearly ceased as a sexual bond, but we freely and frequently commit to hugging often, an act Ann Landers would have us believe is the best love has to offer, and we suffer in each other's absence, so attached are we to each other. Because we have willingly accepted this bartered state as a necessary compromise to what we collectively can manage to squeeze from life, having failed at any number of dry nuances over the years, a truce has settled upon us. The presence and care of children should, but sadly do not often enough, deepen those mutually accommodating bonds of any union.
Too many people possessing usually fine minds find this sort of language an insult to their self-images, despite even more failure these self-images often play out to be.
But you seem to recognize yourself at this juncture of life quite clearly, as I did ten years ago. A lot of superstition and subsequent poor choices can change a person in a decade. It was only a few weeks ago I last threatened another Tolstoyto leave the manor in hopes of reasserting myself as I used to be, as I want to be, but I am not the same flesh and bones I once was, and the chances my new independence would prove futile and an idiot's folly are astronomically high. My marriage while generally sexless (a decade of frustration leads to great changes in the heart, the mind, and the body) is certainly not loveless, and in our case, love and social stability won out over sex. Those who neither possess but over or under emphasize love, social stability, OR SEX, are given to great tragedy, and dangerous lives, although nothing I have written on this topic can resolve a damned thing in the world beyond my own need to articulate my innermost thoughts on the topic.
I don't think this letter is very well written but breaking into the breeze, my friends, go the three fickle fingers of low resistance, least resistance and no resistance at all.