on women and sexuality and repression


The Village Voice posted an article a few years ago (via mouthorgan) that raises the issue of overt sexuality in films, and how the MPAA determines the ratings for those films. There are some striking differences between the way that male-related sexuality (or any sexuality through the eyes of men) is treated, and how female-related sexuality is treated.In other words, it’s OK to show a boy masturbating on top of a pie (and if you haven’t seen American Pie… don’t ask) but not to show a young girl masturbating in pretty much any way, shape, or form.
Apparently, even the word “cocksucker” is far more preferable to stating that you “ate some girl out”. God knows what their reaction would be to stronger words such as “pussy-licker”!
It got me thinking about shows I watch, and the differences between how men and women are portrayed sexually. Even one of my favourite TV shows, Queer as Folk, shows gay male sexuality in all its splendour (remind me to tell you some time about my favourite and most erotic scene where two boys in a private boys school end up in the sports storage room and a very hot handjob ensues) but rarely shows any interaction between the women in the lesbian couple on the show.
Do you want to know why I think this sexual divide – between what’s acceptable for men onscreen and what’s acceptable for women – still exists? It’s the same old drum I’ve been beating for a while. Many aspects of this world we live in are still dominated by male sexuality, and some men are just not comfortable with (perhaps they feel threatened by) female sexuality. They don’t understand it. Do they fear it will overrun them? Do they fear that for all the stereotypes about male prowess that women actually have greater drives, achieve greater satisfaction? Whatever the reason, the repression still exists. It’s why women in Afghanistan are forced to wear tablecloths to cover their entire bodies, including their faces.
It’s why, even on a gay show, that lesbian activity is limited to some kissing and flirting.
And it’s why you won’t see an R-rating (or less) for a film that discusses female sexuality, a girl learning the power of her body, mastrubation, or lesbianism (the real stuff, not the crap they load into every male-oriented porno).
Makes sex education even more important for girls, hm?

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Vikki McKay
By Vikki McKay

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