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How No More Page 3 harms feminism

Yeah, NoMorePage3 hurts feminism and feminist goals, and here’s why:

Firstly, the campaign founder’s statement that sex is something “beautiful”, “blissful” and “loving” between “two people”. Now that’s a huge no-no right there. It excludes poly people, swingers, kinky people, etc. The word “loving” could exclude ALL sex outside of a committed relationship. In fact, there is nothing I can recognise in her description that would apply to my own few experiences and especially to my own desires, which are rarely limited to two people. As for “loving”, education and career often delay middle-class womens’ search for love. And of course I have found no use for love in my adventures.

This is just positing a static right way of doing sex. Which is what the patriarchy, the Catholic Church and certain UK and US politicians have done and are doing. This is not feminism. It is nothing but the repression and sexual restriction of these institutions masquerading under the name of “feminism”. The campaign and this statement is aimed at women, so it is telling women that there is a right way of doing sex which society and page 3 have “debased”. Telling women that there is a right way of excercising sexual expression is a very old patriarchal device used to control women. Along with it come strict gender roles, the virgin/whore dichotomy and the double standard.

And the implicit assumption is that women, like me, whose idea of sex doesn’t fit in the Christian-esque box, are debasing this beautiful thing called sex that was “given” to humankind (another little flashback to the Bible).

 

Secondly, the campaign and its discourse ultimately takes away the models’ agency and stigmatises them as victims or gender traitors. By stigmatising these womens’ jobs and choices, the campaign impinges on womens’ freedoms and creates an anti-modelling, anti-sex industry, anti-sexwork ethos that is just patriarchal sexual repression and Victorian prudery in a new guise. Women should feel free to model and work in pornography (whether as actors, scriptwriters, models or directors) without fear of shaming and judgement. This campaign is the antithesis of the fight against slutshaming, the fight for women to be equal to men and the fight for sexworkers’ rights.

Thirdly, the campaign assumes that only men objectify women and only men consume pornography. This view degrades female sexuality by assuming that women are inherently less sexual than men, or that they shouldn’t consume porn. Again, these are patriarchal ideals of the ‘good’ asexual woman.

If women consumed and created porn, this campaign would be hypocritical, right? So to support it, it is necessary to believe that women don’t create or consume porn, or at least that women shouldn’t do so.

Spreading this idea that women don’t like, consume or create porn is very damaging to attitudes towards womens’ sexual expression. This view only makes society feel that women naturally aren’t sexual – great fodder for slutshaming attitudes. And perhaps even increased objectification, because women will be seen as sexually passive, something to therefore be chased or approached, something to get sex from. Instead of the reality that women aren’t passive objects, they too pursue desired mates and are sexual; they are also out to get sex from men.

Fourthly, the campaign makes a very dubious connection between hardcore porn and softcore porn, and also between page 3 and violence against women. There is absolutely no evidence for this and no study has ever been done on the effects of softcore porn on behaviour or on rape. (For more details read The Sex Myth by Dr Brooke Magnanti).

Just because a man views porn doesn’t mean he will then rape. This is just making excuses for rapists and abusers. It’s their fault, no one else’s – not the director, producer, actors, models or scriptwriters. It’s just porn – a film or a photo. It’s not a gun to your head and a person saying “Rape or I will kill you.”

Let me illustrate this with examples from my real life and this blog. In the Fiction section of this blog, you will find a story that depicts a 15 year old boy being raped by a same-age girl and an adult man. Yet, writing this story doesn’t mean I want to rape underage boys, and I can prove it: under the Feminism section, you’ll find a post about a woman who had sex with a 15 year old boy. In that post, I do nothing but express anger and disgust that her sentence was far too lenient and that the article and comments were insensitive and victim-blaming. I also have a story on here about the government torturing and spanking everybody for protesting and a rapid descent into a dictatorship. Yet surely you don’t all think that I want to live in a dictatorship, or be tortured by David Cameron? I have several notebooks filled with stories, some of them about myself being raped. But being raped is actually my biggest fear – or one of them – and surely it is clear to anyone who reads this blog that I am against rape.

Fifthly, given the fact that women do watch and make porn, this campaign makes no sense. It’s unfair and hypocritical to not want men to look at porn when women are free to do it. Also, if models lose work then how do those models benefit from the campaign (which has goals beyond just page 3)? It is just taking their income and careers.

Sixthly, the campaign is sex-negative, and sex-negativity usually does far more harm than good.

Seventhly, without challenging the attitudes of misogyny, sexism and objectification, even if page 3 was stopped forever, nothing would change because the attitudes would still be there. Just like criminalising drug use or sex work doesn’t stop it happening. The cause, not the effect, should be targeted. The campaign is trying to target what it sees as an effect of sexism – page 3. It fails to target the attitudes which caused page 3 and allow it to flourish. Also, the fact that other, much more hardcore porn would still exist would make the eradication of page 3 quite pointless.

 

In conclusion, the NoMorePage3 campaign takes away womens’ rights to choose their careers, ultimately shames women for their choices, prescribes a narrow Biblical model of sex, is not evidence-based and makes no logical sense. It is against feminist goals of women being allowed to express their sexuality as equals.

 
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Posted by on November 4, 2012 in Feminism

 

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The Piano Teacher: Stigmatising BDSM

Michele Haneke’s Piano Teacher (2001) is a French erotic drama about – to paraphrase the blurb on the DVD cover – “a repressed woman in her late thirties”, Erika Kohut (Isabelle Huppert) who lives with her tyrannical mother. The plot follows her relationship with her handsome student, Walter Klemmer (Benoit Magimel) and how her “claustrophobic” world shatters as she gives free reign to previously inhibited desires.

This film has nothing positive to say about BDSM, which is surprising since its protagonist is into BDSM. Judging by the blurb, you could be forgiven for thinking that the film was a statement about the acceptability of BDSM, since it has an educated, successful protagonist contrasting a vanilla and domineering mother, and the entire plot centres on the unleashing of BDSM desires.

Nothing could be further than the truth. The movie actually manages to stigmatise BDSM even more than E. L. James has done (by linking BDSM to childhood abuse and having an abusive, possessive hero and an idiotic passive heroine).

Here is a list of why this movie sucks, because it is so bad that I can’t write it out properly:

Childhood abuse/current emotional abuse raises its ugly head as the possible cause of BDSM desires, as Erika’s mother is abusive

BDSM is conflated with self-harm as Erika cuts her genitals deeply for no apparent reason and derives no sexual satisfaction. There is a lot of blood. Even I, who wants my labia pierced in a BDSM context and has attempted to drink Roland’s blood, was disturbed by this scene, as it smacks of self-harm and not play.

Walter is the pursuer and is sexually aggressive, even jumping up and leaning over a stall door in a public toilet to watch Erika (his professor) using the toilet. Erika is passive to his advances – reminiscent of stereotyped gender roles and the double standard.

Erika has incestuous desires towards her mother and attacks her sexually; this is untypical of the BDSM community.

Erika is not independent; she still lives with her mother in a small rented flat. Again this is untypical of BDSM-ers and, considering a professor’s salary, is unrealistic.

Walter is disgusted upon knowing his girlfriend is kinky. This isn’t realistic and is hurtful, yet Erika just takes his disgust and does not call him on it. Hardly the behaviour of a professional.

Erika deliberately injures her pupil’s hand permanently by putting smashed glass in her coat pocket, then pretends to commiserate with the pupil’s mother. BDSM is confused with psychopathic tendencies and criminal behaviour.

Erika displays hypocrisy by blaming her pupils for looking at porn, as it is degrading to women, but then she watches porn herself.

Erika self-harms with a knife in public.

When Erika finally gets what she wants – a rape fantasy which initially angered and disgusted Walter – it doesn’t turn out to be as good as she thought it would be, and she is upset by it. This is the end of the film. This is a very negative portrayal of BDSM, and an explicit suggestion that BDSM is dangerous and emotionally damaging. It could also be taken as a dim view of female sexual expressiveness, as realised desire turns out to be traumatic for the woman but satisfying for the man.

In sum, the protagonists are a psychotic criminal with a history of abuse and repressed desires (Erika) and a sexually aggressive person (Walter), both of them in need of treatment to ensure they do not cause any risks to those around them. This is not representative of BDSM. The entire film portrays both BDSM and female sexuality as perverted, dangerous, criminal and destructive – or perhaps the implicit message is that only a disturbed, traumatised individual would like BDSM, or assert her sexuality?

 
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Posted by on October 5, 2012 in Film

 

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Kristen Stewart: the double standard in the media

I’m glad to see that Kristen Stewart has finally emerged from hiding and is facing the world. Hopefully the media will wander off to find some other non-story of pointless celeb gossip to spin into international headlines, and we can all stop tutting and pretending we are saints, criticizing some 22 year old cheating on her boyfriend like it doesn’t happen every day in our towns – even to our friends. Actually, how many people criticizing Kristen have slept with someone they shouldn’t have? (assuming Rupert and Kristen even did go all the way, which they may have since both their partners left them, but there isn’t any evidence of this).

It is very odd that Kristen, who is not married and young, is being blamed more than Rupert who is a married 41-year-old with two kids. This is obviously just the double standard rearing its ugly head again.

Before we go into that, there are of course other possible reasons than the double standard:

Kristen is more famous than Sanders, therefore the stories will revolve around her more. This point is supported by the fact that the stories seem to revolve around her (ex?soon to be ex?) Robert Pattinson more than Rupert Sanders.

Kristen being dumped from the sequel to Snow White and the Huntsman could be explained by necessity; obviously, having her, Rupert and Rupert’s (now ex?) wife Liberty Ross working together on set wouldn’t be good for the film; actors must have good chemistry and work together well. However, Kristen is playing Snow White, so it would make more sense to drop Sanders or Ross.

These two points aren’t enough to convince anyone or to explain away all of the hatred directed towards Kristen – being called a ‘trampire’ by the New York City Times, Will Ferrell, and now people wearing t-shirts saying it. ‘Tramp’ – an American shame-word equivalent to our “slut” or “whore” is not being used against Rupert Sanders – even though he’s the one who is married! So, it is obvious that once again, it’s one rule for men – even if they’re married – and another for women – even if they’re young and single.

…And since when does having two men make you a whore? I know girls younger than Kristen who have slept with over 20 guys, they are not called whores. Or is everyone who cheats a whore? That would make Sanders (and a lot of the general public) a whore.

Twihards

As for the Twilight fans (“Twihards”), how can they hate their heroine – the woman who’s played Bella for four years and given her adolescence to the films they love – because of something she did in private, in the bedroom? Whatever she – or anyone – does behind that bedroom door is nobody’s business but her and Rupert’s own. This whole “scandal” thing is just a family problem between four – that’s right, FOUR – people: Rupert, Liberty, Kristen and Robert. Not everyone in the entire world.

And if Kristen hadn’t done Twilight she wouldn’t have met Rupert and kissed/slept with him (?) anyway. If she’d had a normal entry into adulthood she might even be a totally different person – for better or for worse.

And I’m betting some of her haters cheated on their boyfriends…probably with a lot more than kissing!

I haven’t read or seen any of the Twilight franchise, I don’t even know what character Rob Pattinson plays. Actually, before the so-called “scandal” I had heard of Kristen, but I didn’t know she played Bella; I just knew she was a famous young up-and-coming actress. So, I don’t understand at all how Twilight fans can be “shocked” or “heartbroken” that she kissed Rupert; I mean, so what? Maybe Rob played Edward and they were imagining Bella and Edward existed in real life? They need to grow up. How many of them cheated? That being said, a lot of Twilight fans support Kristen, too.

Why this sucks more than the Twilight franchise

This has been an everlasting, hyped-up bullying of one young actress that has gone on for exactly a month today and forced a talented girl to go into hiding for having a kiss. In this day and age, this is ridiculous. Especially in Hollywood, where marriages never last, cheating happens all the time and even the older people are jumping into each others’ beds – or cheating on their wives with much younger actresses. Even in America and the west more generally, this stuff happens all the time. But god forbid it happens when you played the lead in a major franchise, because obviously that makes you the spawn of Satan. If I’d done this, I wouldn’t be on the news, would I? The media only hounds you when you’re famous.

I’m sick of seeing public apologies for what two people do in bed. Both Kristen and Rupert apologised publically, and though their apologies were aimed at their respective partners, they were phrased as if apologising to the nation, and were posted online instead of told to the people that they hurt. Come on, seriously? Year 2012, we all have the right to have sex, everybody (especially in Hollywood) is fucking everybody else, and they’re apologising to the public? For the “embarrassment” she caused? To who? Who would possibly have the right to be embarrassed over what anyone else does?

Perhaps the saddest thing of all was that this wasn’t done deliberately; the media corporations didn’t sit down between 17 August and 24 August to decide how big they were going to make this thing on a scale of 1 to 10. They didn’t script in Will Ferrell or plot to make T-shirts, or decide to leave Sanders in peace. This month-long shaming of a talented girl was done – not accidentally, but in a non-planned way. And it couldn’t have been pulled off with more success, vitriol and emotional damage to Kristen (and her friends and family) if it had been a planned operation by her worst enemy. This shows just how much the double standard still rules us and how constrained female sexual behaviour still is – even in Hollywood.

Hopefully, the media will get bored now that she’s come out of hiding. It has been confirmed that in a week she’ll be promoting her film On the Road, so things will probably go back to normal soon. Reportedly, she and Rob have been speaking again. But things aren’t all rosy; while Liberty isn’t speaking to Rupert, Kristen’s name has been smeared a lot more than his has (if at all). According to TMZ, she “fears that her career has been irreparably damaged” (source below) and doesn’t think she deserves that for a one-off mistake. She also knows that she is being blamed much more than Rupert, instead of taking a half share of the blame like what normally would happen – actually, in a case like this, usually Rupert, the older married man, would’ve been given more of the blame.) Kristen is reportedly very angry and upset about this.

Kristen is being punished (several promotional appearances and a role in the SWATH sequel cancelled) while Rupert is not. She’s being punished for kissing a man. And here I was thinking these were “freer times” compared with the old Victorian double standard and restrictive morality…

:Links:

Articles defending her:

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/kristen-stewart-cheating-robert-pattinson-rupert-sanders-364538

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-2181116/Kristen-Stewart-did-type-sex-Rupert-Sanders.html

The emotional damage caused to Kristen by the media’s hounding and invasion of her private life:

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/08/20/kristen-stewart-refusing-to-eat-robert-pattinson_n_1809763.html

Kristen knows that she is being unfairly targeted by the public and media while Rupert isn’t criticized much:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/22/kristen-stewart-emotional-break-down-depressed-angry_n_1822451.html

The “trampire” shirts that Kristen’s “fans” are wearing:

http://www.stylelist.com/2012/08/19/kristen-stewart-trampire-shirt-skreened-robert-pattinson_n_1808339.html

 
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Posted by on August 25, 2012 in Feminism, Media

 

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Read 3 pages of 50 Shades…it was AWFUL.

In Sainsbury’s they were flogging (heh) the trilogy for £3.99. I thoiught, why not buy the first book so I can review it/slag it off on my blog? I did a post on why 50 shades is antifeminist, anti-kink and anti-sex here: https://diaryofavirginwhore.wordpress.com/2012/07/21/why-50-shades-of-grey-is-anti-kink-anti-sex-and-anti-feminist/

Yes, it seems ludicrous to call a BDSM porn novel with a female protagonist all of the above, but I have my reasons.

So, I stroll over and read three pages, wondering whether I should throw away £4 on such a stupid, worthless thing when I could spend the £4 on ice cream or a hair clip or something. I couldn’t carry on reading after 3 pages. Here’s why:

Ana wakes up in the hotel room after Christian has ‘rescued’ her there after she got drunk. Her first thoughts are ‘oh no, the drinking, oh no, the vomiting, oh no the phone call’ – LITERALLY. Read the book (don’t waste your change on it, just read it at a bookstore/friend’s house/Sainsbury’s) it literally says that. Like getting drunk is a HUGE DEAL when you’re a 21 year old student. Who are you, E. L. James, a pornographic author writing to help me get my rocks/ovaries/prostate off, or my mum? No, wait, even my conservative mum wouldn’t think it was a big deal.

Then, Ana thinks – ‘did we..? It’s too terrible to think of!’ – that’s probably not a quote, but it’s close. So, 21 year old virgin graduate Ana, sex is too terrible to even think of? Sex with a hot billionaire is a terrible fate? What kind of freakin’ snob are you, do you want a billionaire Olympic Sex Champion? A trillionaire? E.L. James, don’t you realise that a sexually repressed female main character in a porn book is pretty weird? It’s not like most women can identify with Ana; although most of us are repressed, most of us realise it to some degree and we’re not that repressed.

Seriously, I’m betting that this book doesn’t get banned in Iran. That’s not a good distinction for a BDSM porn novel.

Christian then tells her that they didn’t have sex – sorry, he didn’t have sex, because it’s obvious Ana is asexual anyway and the only reason she’d want it or not would be to please Christian or just lie still out of apathetic passivity. Anyway, he didn’t have sex because she was unconscious and he “isn’t into necrophilia” and has a sexual preference for the woman being awake. That’s fine. I’m OK with that; it’s lighthearted, it’s a fairly amusing response from Christian.  However, the characters seem to interact after that as if it wasn’t a joke, as if it wouldn’t have been rape if Christian had attacked her while she slept. Later, Ana wonders why Christian didn’t have sex with her as she slept and worries she’s not pretty enough, meaning that she’d be OK with that.

Christian then says that if she were his, he would spank her for endangering herself. He is totally serious. Ana doesn’t mind him saying this much despite the fact that it’s insulting, offensive and threatening – especially since he barely knows her and she isn’t into spanking so won’t be amused by the comment or find it acceptable. Even I, a woman with a domme preference, wouldn’t. say (seriously) to a man I barely knew, “If you were my boyfriend you wouldn’t be able to sit cos I’d spank you for having a few drinks with the lads.” Likewise, if a man I barely knew said this to me, I wouldn’t be particularly impressed.  And what was so risky again? She had a few drinks with her pals and got drunk? Has nobody ever done this before?

That was three pages. I put the book back, realising that there was no way I could buy it just to blog about it; I’d be doing about four posts for every page.

 
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Posted by on August 8, 2012 in Literature

 

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Adult cartoons: conservative agenda?

South Park. Family Guy. The Simpsons. They’re ultra-liberal, filled with swear-words, innuendos and sometimes sexually explicit comments. A show like Family Guy, which has the word “penis” in half its episodes and utilises phrases like “your penis would shoot right off your body”, “my daughter’s womb is not a wildfire for you to douse with your adolescent seed” and show scenes of rape, sex addiction, kinky sex, and puppy-babies concieved by bestiality is not usually thought of as furthering the agenda of the religious right. But it does. Don’t get me wrong, Family Guy is my favourite thing on TV, IloveitIloveitIloveitIloveitIloveit. All these cartoons work against the right-wing agenda and mock it in many ways. But here is how it, and other adult cartoons, do further that agenda:

In The Simpsons, Family Guy and American Dad, the mothers are all housewives with no friends.

In all the above shows as well as the Cleveland Show, the focus is on a male character

The father is irresponsible, lazy and doesn’t do housework – especially Homer Simpson and Peter Griffin. The boys – especially Bart Simpson, Eric Cartman and Rallo Tubbs- cause chaos (which is not seen as deviant), while the girls are quiet (especially Lisa Simpson and Meg Griffin) or only cause ‘trouble’ to their parents by parental fear of their sexuality (Roberta Tubbs and Meg Griffin) or political views (Hayley Smith). In contrast, the mothers care for the kids and do not pull crazy stunts of their own – an exception is Family Guy’s Lois, but her stunts (kleptomania, revealing that she was in a porn film) pale in comparison to Peter’s.

In the first episode of The Cleveland Show, the mother is depicted as unable to control her children after becoming a lone mother. Only Cleveland, acting as a father figure, can restore discipline.

This ‘discipline’ includes controlling 15 year old Roberta’s sexuality by physically intimidating her boyfriend. This patriarchal control is juxtaposed with Cleveland’s freedom to have sex with Roberta’s mother at the very moment that Roberta’s sexuality is subject to his control

In contrast, Roberta’s 5 year old brother is encouraged by Cleveland to be sexual. Cleveland teaches him to invent a reason for having to peek up girls’ skirts, a behaviour which resulted in him being expelled in the first place.

Cleveland’s assertion that the kids “need some fathering” – mothering being inadequate

Robert’s absence supposedly caused the kids to misbehave; however, as a drunk who is disinterested in his children, how could he have disciplined them when he lacks discipline himself? The message is that even a drunk dad can parent better than a working, caring, sober mom.

Roberta is portrayed as accepting her boyfriend’s decision to take her home early/not have sex. Cleveland is controlling her through her boyfriend, and likewise her boyfriend is able to control her sexuality.

In one episode, Roberta is almost forced by peer pressure and a TV camera to flash her breasts, along with many other girls, but her stepbrother saves her by pretending to be a girl and flashing his chest. This implies that it is not good to flash your breasts for a TV show and that women are exploited in the adult entertainment industry. Roberta was portrayed as a victim with no agency who had to be saved by a younger male relative. The fate of flashing was portrayed as dire.

 

In Family Guy, Peter is pathologically possessive of his daughter Meg when she dates a trainee doctor – even stalking them in disguise- and attempts to shoot him when Meg is pregnant.

In the current season, both Peter and Lois stop Meg having sex with Glenn Quagmire even though she’s already 18. Meg is portrayed as accepting this.

While Glenn and Herbert are sex predators and Peter frequently uses very sexual language, the female characters are not permitted such expression. Even when Lois is revealed to have starred in a porn film, the revelation leads to her becoming a social pariah which is the main content of the episode. However, when male characters commit rape, cheat, repeatedly attempt child molestation, commit bestiality, abduct people for sex, etc, they suffer no consequences and their actions remain secret. These actions constitute very small portions of the episodes, in contrast to Lois’ porn movie, Lois’ sexy photo, Loretta’s affair, Meg’s boyfriend/subsequent pregnancy, Bonnie’s affair or Peter’s boss Angela sexually harassing him. The mens’ actions are not portrayed as problematic or deviant. They seem to happen as a result of the mens’ libido. However, the womens’ actions are problematized by the community and the family. Their actions seem to come from problems: lack of money (Lois making the porno), unhappy marriage (Loretta and Bonnie having affairs, Lois kissing Meg’s boyfriend) being naive and/or used (Jillian-Brian, Meg-Quagmire and Cheryl Teags-Brian) and being suicidal (Angela). The men suffer no consequences for their actions except Quagmire’s friends being annoyed with him when he is caught spying on Lois, and Lois being annoyed with him for trying to sleep with Meg. By contrast the women get publically shamed on TV (Lois’ porn film), lose public office (Lois’ photo), are discovered cheating (Loretta and Bonnie), have a pregnancy scare, a forced marriage, then lose their boyfriend (Meg) go to prison for harbouring a fugitive (Meg) accidentally make out with their brother (Meg) get dumped, get obssessed, perform a kidnap and get told to wait for the right man by Quagmire, a pervert – double standard much?(Meg), attempt suicide when attraction is unreciprocated (Angela).

When Lois briefly becomes a lone mother in the episode ‘Big man on the hippocampus’, the family’s income drops ridiculously low.

In South Park, being a slut is linked to being stupid and spoiled, and in a slut contest the male slut (Mr Slave) wins over the female slut (Paris Hilton). It is not suggested that Mr Slave is stupid or spoiled. The girls of South Park then immediately stop being sluts.

The only lone mother portrayed is Eric Cartman’s mother, and her son is completely out of control. She is also portrayed as promiscuos and as not knowing who Eric’s father is.

 

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on July 30, 2012 in Feminism, Film, Media

 

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Granted wishes: happiness?

In Book 4 or 5 of Christopher Pike’s Last Vampire series, vampire Alisa/Sita reflects on Krishna granting our deepest desires and the pain caused by our maya (illusions) when we discover that our greatest longings bring us the most suffering. For her, the longing/maya of having her daughter Lalita reborn meant that she was given the apparently demonic Kalika as a daughter.

For me, three of my greatest longings (apart from going to university, being successful, earning a lot of money, having a private plane and a Ferrari and having orgies in a mansion) were 1) peace/the cessation of criticism, 2) hair that is more straight and 3) to sell my virginity.

I have been granted all of these things (though not, I believe, by a higher power, but by chance, genetics, and fate respectively). However, they have turned out differently from what I thought and they have not provided me with closure, happiness or answers.

I have peace, but although I am very grateful for it, it brings me little relief. This is because I’m left with the memories and more questions than answers, as well as being unsure about what really happened and why. At least while I had no peace I knew what was going on even though I was confused. Now I think that distance from the events mean I’ll never figure out what happened or what went wrong – if anything; I might be making a big deal out of nothing. I can’t even figure out if it’s a real issue or if I’m just exaggerating it.

Since I was very young I wanted straight or wavy hair, but a couple of years ago I learned more about my hair texture and type and realized I actually have very straight hair for my ethnicity. I came to love my hair. Then it straightened, and it’s now wavy and not curly. So though finally my wish has been granted, I kind of miss my curls. I never even got to know them properly and spent my whole life fighting my texture with gels, serums and anti-frizz products, even chopping the crown and sides, leaving the back and bottom of the sides long so it would look more straight. I like having straighter hair, but I know I’ll never get my curls back; my hair has reverted almost to the straight hair I had as a baby. The same thing happened with my skin: I spent my entire life wanting to be lighter and daydreaming about skin bleach, hoping it’d be invented soon and a couple of times Googling for it. Then I saw a documentary at 19 that showed where to get skin lighteners and that they cost as little as under £5 – I’d have spent well over £100 gladly. But the documentary showed how harmful the lighteners were and how sad/pointless/self-harming the cult of being pale was, and I realized that I liked being the colour I was and that actually I was unusually light-skinned so didn’t need to be any lighter. A few months later, I got paler, the palest I’ve ever been (though I had been slowly paling since I was 16 anyway). But I didn’t enjoy it, I just thought, ‘ok’ because I no longer linked colour and beauty.

As for selling my virginity, I imagined it would be to a stunning man whom I didn’t like or connect with at all. But Roland is exactly the opposite. I also thought that it would be over in a few minutes, not long drawn out over a few days – well, weeks, as we can’t see each other that often. I also didn’t think this much art and stuff would come out of it or that I’d learn so much about myself from it. I didn’t think I’d enjoy it so much either, or that the guy would be nice like Roland is.

So, I’m not saying “be careful what you wish for”, instead I’m saying that wishes might not turn out like you expect and that can be a good thing because it shows how much you’ve matured and transcended the petty motives of your wishes (which like #2 might have been influenced by childhood experiences of prejudice, bullying, media ideals of beauty or cultural expectations). And when you realize that your wish has been granted and it means nothing to you, there is a certain feeling of power in it. And when your wish is granted differently to how you percieved it (like #3) and you feel that this is actually even better and more fun and amazing than you’d hoped for, it’s freakin’ awesome.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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