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Archive for the ‘Fucked up world’ Category

It seems this blog has only three modes: lusty, whingy, and ranty. Well, it seems I pulled the ranty straw today.

As you know, I’m a tad geeky. I was over at the Leaky Cauldron geeking out on Potter, and found this quote from Stephen King:

Both Rowling and Meyer, they’re speaking directly to young people… The real difference is that Jo Rowling is a terrific writer and Stephenie Meyer can’t write worth a darn. She’s not very good… it’s very clear that she’s writing to a whole generation of girls and opening up kind of a safe joining of love and sex in those books. It’s exciting and it’s thrilling and it’s not particularly threatening because they’re not overtly sexual. A lot of the physical side of it is conveyed in things like the vampire will touch her forearm or run a hand over skin, and she just flushes all hot and cold. And for girls, that’s a shorthand for all the feelings that they’re not ready to deal with yet.

Now, I’ve got no beef with what he said about Meyer. She does suck. And for now we’ll leave aside the question of whether he’s in any position to be criticising the state of other people’s writing.

What’s got me ranting is the second part of that quote, the bit about the young girls and the feelings. ‘Oh, the poor young girls, they have these feeelings, but they’re scared of them, and they’re so confuuuuuused.’ He’s wheeling out that old pernicious idea that adolescent girls are naive and vulnerable and clueless about their bodies, and need to be protected from real boys and real sex.

You patronising cock! It couldn’t be, could it, that young girls like hot guys, and vampires are hot?

When you think about 14 year old boys poring over Playboy, do you think the poor lambs are confused and afraid of their own feelings? No! You think they’re horny and they like looking at hot girls.

‘Oh, but girls are different.’ Fuck off are they. You just want them to be different so you don’t have to think about your daughter as a sexual being.

When I was 13/14 we were all passing round Jilly Cooper and Jackie Collins. Were we going, ‘I’m not ready to be a grow’d up yet, yet somehow I find these books oddly satisfying’? Were we bollocks! We were all, ‘Check this out, it’s hot!’ Partly we were devouring any information we could get about sex because we wanted to know what it was really like. But mostly those books were just plain hot. We were getting our jollies off them just as much as the boys with the Playboy.

But apparently that possibility hasn’t occurred to Mr King. Because god forbid teenage girls have actual sexual feelings. That would just be creepy and unnatural.

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So, I was idly thinking about the unexpected hotness of my friend kneeling in church, and thus about men kneeling in general, and then I suddenly remembered Tenchu.

Tenchu is a game where you play a ninja and sneak around killing people. I looooved it. I’m not a shoot-em-up fan, so creeping round and trying not to get caught was much more up my alley.

Anyway, in the first mission you have to make your way through a town to meet your master, Lord Gohda. Only of course the town is crawling with bad guys, and you have to have to carefully make your way through, picking them off one at a time. If you play the guy ninja, Rikumaru, you get a cut scene at the end of the level where he arrives at the meeting place, falls straight to his knees before his lord, and begs his forgiveness for being late.

He fights his way through crowds of enemies, risking his life every step of the way, then falls to his knees and apologies for being late.

And I was like, ‘Yeah! That’s how it’s done!’

The Japanese feudal paradigm involves total submission – but it’s the least wimpy thing ever. Every samurai owes total loyalty and obedience to his lord, and expects complete perfection of himself. Not only is he prepared to die in battle for his lord at any point, he is also prepared to offer his own sepukku for failing to complete a task satisfactorily, or just to save his lord embarrassment. And we’re not just talking about the big tough killing machines, here – theoretically women and children are also prepared to commit seppuku if their lord requires it.

Total submission. The opposite of wimpy.

The European feudal paradigm isn’t exactly wimpy either, even though it’s not quite as hardcore. Sure, we don’t have seppuku. But the point about knights is that they owe total allegiance to their lord, and every man in the system owes allegiance to someone, right up to the dukes. Like a kind of d/s pyramid scheme. And we really, really don’t think of medieval warriors as wimpy.

So, historical models of submission = practically the definition of brave and admirable.

So why does the world think mansubs are wimpy?

The answer is pretty obvious. Samurai and knights submit to other men. Mansubs submit to women.

Which is levels of sexism that make me want to hand in my humanity membership card.

But it’s true. Any suggestion that a man is governed by a woman is considered emasculating. And yet a man’s submission to another man is the pinnacle of courage and virtue.

You know, there were samurai who wouldn’t even have sex with women because they considered even that contact emasculating – they shagged men instead.

And how about the knights? Well, let’s look at our model for knights serving women – the concept of courtly love. Eleanor of Aquitaine invented the game of courtly love as a means of stopping all those hormone-ridden young knights from harrassing her ladies. She modelled it on the relationship between a knight and his lord, in that the knight was supposed to make himself a servant of the lady, she was supposed to be in total control. But he was supposed to worship her from a distance. There was no sex involved, oh no – in fact that’s practically the point. Instead, he adores her from afar, puts her on a pedestal, sees her not as a human being, but as an icon, a goddess, and his dearest wish is to endeavour to deserve the smallest glance from her.

See, this ‘kiss my boots but don’t fuck me’ bullshit started a really long time ago.

(As I’m sure you’ll have noticed, I’ve used ‘mansub’ throughout to mean ‘straight mansub’ – for which, apologies, but it was snappier. Of course, it would prove my theory quite neatly if we found that gay mansubs suffer less prejudice than straight ones. Anyone know whether this is the case?)

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