Before I begin, I want to apologize that this post may be all over the place. My head is somewhere else at the moment. I had these bright ideas of what I would post, but now my head is consumed by Sir and the ache in my heart wishing I could be with him.
I was going to take this in a whole other direction ranting about why I refuse to label myself as a feminist. I had it all written out. Then I deleted everything because I wanted to write about something else.
Have you ever wanted a Prince Charming? I sure did. I wanted my prince to come riding in to save the day. Am I pathetic for that? I don’t really think so.
We are taught that this is the norm from an early age. Girl meets boy, they fall in love and happily ever after. Except, happily ever after doesn’t always exist. The media creates certain expectations of what the ideal life for a woman or a man looks like.
I still want my Prince Charming. He just doesn’t look like such a ‘pretty boy’ anymore. He’s much more manly. He’s strong, he’ll protect me and he’ll love me. He’s my knight in shining armor and here to save the day. Prince Charming now looks at lot like Sir. Super manly, dominant, and makes me feel safe. And he gives me those googly eyes you’d get when you would see your crush as a kid.
Chrys Ingraham defines heterosexual imaginary as a “way of thinking which conceals the operation of heterosexuality in structuring gender and closes off any critical analysis of heterosexuality as an organizing institution.” If you’ve never heard of Chrys Ingraham…she’s a sociology professor at the State University of New York. Her academic research has a lot to do with sexuality and gender.
Ingraham’s paper titled Heterosexual Imaginary pointed out the gap in feminist sociology. She claimed that heterosexuality was male dominated as seen in the patriarchal authority in marriage laws. Feminist topics such as motherhood had reduced women’s purpose to pretty much baby making.
It was further suggested that the heterosexual imaginary flaunted romance and sexuality, but hid its participation in violence and economic inequality.
GENDER NORMS IN THE MEDIA
The media feeds the heterosexual imaginary. Painting the ideal that girls should want a Prince Charming to come and rescue them is a classic example. It teaches girls that they need to be the damsel in distress and in a way, too weak to save themselves. It teaches kids the idea of heteronormativity, meaning heterosexuality is the normal or preferred orientation.
If the feminist movement is upset about this, maybe another look should be taken at the objectification of men in the media. Around the world, men are indeed objectified. Maybe you’re not so in tune to it because society has only taught the objectification of women. But what do you think is the meaning of masculinity?
The media paints men as these macho figures. They are strong. They can often fight. And they don’t look like ‘pretty boys.’ Hence, so many people will put a face on masculinity that may very well look like Chuck Norris.
We are taught that this is attractive. (You may not find Chuck Norris physically attractive, but think of his character traits). Men who assert dominance. Men who are a bit more rugged. That’s how many might define masculinity. But it puts an unrealistic expectation on men to be a certain way.
BIASES IN SOCIETY
How does this impact us as a society? It’s pretty negative, isn’t it? Women are often taught that they aren’t beautiful because they don’t look like that model on page 6 of the latest Vogue magazine. Men are often taught they aren’t manly enough because they don’t look and act like GI Joe.
We often times will end up giving a girl, the Barbie and a boy, the action figurine. We teach children these gender norms from an early age. This hurts those who may identify as gender fluid, non-binary and even those who identity as transgender.
GENDER, SEXUALITY, AND KINK
I think there may be some judging in the world of kink, but for the most part it is a bit more accepting of non-traditional gender norms than the rest of society. There’s the phrase, “Your kink is not my kink, but your kink is okay.” I think if the rest of society adopted that mindset in terms of gender and sexual orientation, there would be a lot less discrimination.
I do play into the concept of the heterosexual imaginary. I am a female and I am submissive while I have a male Dominant. But I think, it is a bit innate. Many can argue that sexual orientation is something you are born with and how you express it is learned. I think it’s similar with Dominance and submission. Some of us are born more submissive than others and society teaches us how to express it. (This is coming from a discussion I had with Sir months ago). Even men can be born more submissive and women can be more as more dominant.
Some feminists would be absolutely appalled to hear that because they think of BDSM as woman-hating violence. But if feminism is pushing for equality for all, shouldn’t it allow me to do whatever I want? Shouldn’t it be accepting of my submissiveness? Submission is a part of my sexuality.
WHERE I STAND?
I’m not going to let anyone else define my identity. Not the media. Not a group of feminists. I’m going to be who I want to be. I am not a feminist. (Though, I do say let those boobie traps burn and let the girls fly free). I am simply me.
The Sassy Sub Daily
Ingraham, C., Saunders, C. (2016). Heterosexual Imaginary. The Wiley Blackwell Encyclopedia of Gender and Sexuality Studies. Retrieved from https://www.academia.edu/25373557/Heterosexual_Imaginary_Entry_Blackwell_Encyclopedia_of_Gender_and_Sexuality
Ingraham, C. (1994). The Heterosexual Imaginary: Feminist Sociology and Theories of Gender. Sociological Theory. Retrieved from https://www.academia.edu/21548199/The_Heterosexual_Imaginary_Feminist_Sociology_and_Theories_of_Gender_Sociological_Theory_1994?iid=35d167c2-ff9e-4894-901f-0b3547e960ca