Because What’s the Point of a Woman You Can’t Fuck?

by Cara on March 3, 2009

in misogyny, objectification, sex and sexuality, sex work, sexism

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From contributing editor Mark Binelli’s otherwise decent Rolling Stone article Motor City Breakdown, about the dying automobile industry in Detroit:

At the show, the traditional rituals are still taking place. If you’ve never been to an auto show, the main ritual involves adults climbing in and out of vehicles they will not be allowed to drive, which always seems deeply unsatisfying. (For related reasons, I’ve never liked strip clubs.)

Well then.

What is with those women being so rude and short-sighted as to not allow Mark Binelli to fuck them?  I mean, they’re on display — like cars, so . . .

Just about every two issues, I find myself writing a letter, which always goes unpublished, castigating Rolling Stone for claiming to be so incredibly progressive while failing to reflect said values when it comes to many marginalized and oppressed groups.  Usually these letters are about the magazine’s regular unabashed sexism — though I’ve also written in letters about Matt Taibbi’s favorite insult “cocksucker,” and most recently I wrote in with regards to the decision to use the slur “tranny” to refer to transgender Real World cast member Katelynn.

This time, I’m not even sure what to say.  But considering the fact that in the same issue, the entirety of what they had to print on Chris Brown assaulting Rihanna was 200 words about how Brown can revive his career (seriously), it’s pretty damn much “fuck you guys, you can take that $11 40 year subscription I’ve been going off of forever and shove it up your asses, because I can surely find less insulting ways than this to read the latest tiny piece of Beatles-related news and see random photographs of Sir Paul.”

If you’ve got something better, send it to letters@rollingstone.com.

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{ 9 comments }

1 AL March 3, 2009 at 11:14 am

I find myself writing letters to my school newspaper quite often.

remember the tabloid story about the 13-year-old dad? the editorial board called his 15-year-old girlfriend a “cougar.”

my letter wasn’t published, of course.

2 AshKW March 3, 2009 at 5:20 pm

Gawd. Disgusting. Thanks for the address Cara, I intend to follow through with a bitchy letter of my own. Damn Rolling Stone…

3 booga March 3, 2009 at 7:55 pm

suggestions on how chris brown can revive his career?! Wow, entirely too much, and dispicable!

4 Cecelia March 3, 2009 at 8:03 pm

This article is lame anyways. There is no mention of underground movements in Detroit or the fact that we have the most amount of urban farms/gardens in the nation.

The auto industry is patriarchal enough. I know as I have lived in Metro Detroit mostly my whole life. Detroit needs to start being more creative and thinking outside the box. Its time to get out of the dark ages. I listened to a speech today about organic farming and the local food movement in west Michigan. The guy who was speaking said, “the auto industry is like a sick Grandfather.” It really is.

This is an article you may enjoy that speaks positively about Detroit… http://www.wiretapmag.org/race/44000

5 Hershele Ostropoler March 5, 2009 at 3:46 pm

An alternate reading: he doesn’t want to seek out women who perform sexuality but won’t sleep with him. He’s didn’t write “for related reasons, I’ve never liked short skirts” or “for related reasons, I’ve never liked tank tops.” The “rude and short-sighted” interpretation would be if he were talking about women in public going about their business—or, to reverse the analogy, if he complained about people driving new sports cars on the street.

6 Cara March 5, 2009 at 3:54 pm

Yeah, but notice how that interpretation still says that any woman who “performs sexually” must/should be sexually available to all men?

Why should a woman who dances at a strip club get any less respect for her decision to not let some random reporter fuck her than I do walking down the street? Really, I’m curious. Why?

7 Jenee March 6, 2009 at 11:03 am

I have a different interpretation of this. I don’t think he’s saying that strippers are rude for not sleeping with him. Just like he’s not saying that cars (or their makers) are jerks for not allowing him to own them. I don’t think the “related reasons” are that they SHOULD be available to him. He just seems to be uninterested in the idea of working oneself up with desire over something that one knows will never happen. Why spend a lot of time getting interested in owning a car that it would be unreasonable to expect to own? Why spend time getting sexually aroused by a woman that it would be unreasonable to expect to have a sexual encounter with? He doesn’t seem to be slighting the people who work in, own, or go to strip clubs; he’s just saying that it’s not something that he personally isn’t interested in. I hope I conveyed my point clearly, I sort of feel like it comes across a little muddled.

8 Cara March 6, 2009 at 11:09 am

Jenee, he’s not comparing women at strip clubs to cars you can’t own. He’s comparing them to cars you can’t drive. The difference being that he’s not talking about getting oneself worked up over a car you can’t afford to buy, it’s why bother even looking at or acknowleding the car if you can’t even do with the car (drive it) what it was intended for. Cars were made for driving. And that is precisely the point he’s making: if the car is made for driving, why climb in and out when you can’t do what it’s intended for? That comparison heavily insinuates that women were made for fucking. Oh, and it also compares women to objects that you can buy, trade, etc., like cars.

Though, actually, comparing them to cars you can’t own would likely be a whole lot worse.

9 Hershele Ostropoler March 7, 2009 at 12:27 am

I think that you are reading the metaphor as “cars are inanimate objects, so women are also being considered as inanimate objects,” while I (and, I think, Jenee) are seeing “women have agency, so cars, then, metaphorically have agency as well.” That is, perhaps because he’s invoking the metaphor to make a point about the cars, not the women, I’m reading it as assigning the attributes of the women (e.g., agency) to the cars rather than the other way around.

Obviously dancers are entitled to the same sexual agency as anyone else, but people who want to fuck them can stay out of the clubs, while people who want to fuck random passers-by need to simply not.

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