Destructuring Sexual Politics

happy couple,By Isha Sharma

This article will explore how women in heterosexual relationships are associated with victimization, but then also how they enjoy it consciously.

Radical feminists argue about the politics of heterosexuality as an exercise of male power which is degrading and humiliating for women.  Many women feel that their own personal experience is negated. But ironically women enjoy this negation or in other words they enjoy their submissive nature.

To throw more light on the above statement, I would like to draw the attention of the readers towards Sheila Jeffrey’s argument.  She says , “heterosexual desire is desire that eroticises power differences. It originates in the power relationships between the sexes and it normally takes the form of eroticising the subordination of women. In heterosexual desire our subordination becomes sexy for us and for men”.

After reading Jeffrey’s argument, one may argue that male power does not simply deny or repress women’s sexuality, it also constructs it. It is seen as productive in nature. To understand it more precisely, one may look at how women fantasize about their sexual relationships – fantasizing about being raped, passivity, looked at, tied up and beaten up.

Heterosexual feminists Ros Gill and Rebecca Walker describe what they call their, ” deeply unsound fantasy” in which “men sweep us off our sweet”, “wrap us in their strong tanned arms” and of course “adore us”. We live these desires, they say, “through the discourse of patriarchal romances, not feminism”. The irony is that WE KNOW IT – but that does not make desire go away.

Apart from this , one may think about, what sort of  ‘men’ women are inclined towards.  In general they are attracted to MACHO MAN or sort of a masculine person. Nice guys , NEW MEN are apparently not attractive to many heterosexual women. As heterosexual feminist , philosopher Sandra lee Bartky also describes her attraction to powerful men as:

* Who are older than I
* Somewhat arrogant and occasionally tyrannical
* Talent and intelligence do not matter in these cases.

So far , this article has explored how women are willingly accepting the package of pleasure added with victimization. How they fantasize about pain and “masochism” . But now the question arises that why do women consciously enjoy their marginalized roles.  One must question that why we women do not want the egalitarian roles in society.

If you are enjoying this SWEET TORMENT , then it would be difficult for you to lead your life as an equal to that of men .


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