Wow, thanks for taking the time to explain. Interesting article you linked, too. It seems lesbian feminism, as you've described it here, is somewhat comparable to intersectionalism in that it tries to appreciate the unique challenges faced by those who are both female and lesbian, but is also clearly distinct from intersectionalism. That said, it seems so concerned with lesbian and female issues that it almost sounds like a sort of identity politics in itself, in that it seems to want to promote the concerns of one group to the exclusion or even deliberate expense of others (in this case, men). I like the last three principles of Dr. Jeffreys. I'm not sure what the third one means though. It almost sounds separatist in nature. The second principle definitely sounds separatist. The first I don't understand the necessity of. As for BDSM, I see that kind of sexual play as a potentially healthy way to role-play hierarchy in a safe environment that can create an outlet for fantasy and help to separate it from reality. For example I don't like social hierarchy either, but in the bedroom, as well as in video games, books, and other creative outlets, I'm okay with playing around with the idea of hierarchy in fantasy, but wouldn't bring that to real life (at least not more than reality imposes hierarchy upon me). Sado-masochism in particular though, I do have some concerns about and harbor a great deal of skepticism that it comes from a healthy place psychologically. That bit you mention about "importing culture" though just adds to my perception that all this is an identity politics, as the politics of identity tends to concern itself with the purity of the culture it promotes. Be that the rejection of multiculturalism we see from white nationalists, or the identity politics leftist obsession with "cultural appropriation" and the jealous hording of cultural artifacts they deem belonging to one identity or another, there's always a disdain for cultural mixing, and I find that incredibly distasteful no matter where I see it. As for the idea of people being asexual by nature, that is patently absurd and unscientific, intellectually indefensible. I fear we risk getting too off topic with this, however.
Your response to that bolded bit definitely helps me grasp your point of view better. I try to balance the needs of the individual with the needs of the collective, and I can definitely appreciate what you mean about the impact of those institutions on the women that live near them. My only answer to that would be that I don't know that I actually support any sort of institutionalization of sex work beyond the legal framework to regulate it for the protection of the sex workers. In other words, I don't necessarily support the physical institutions like brothels where the sex industry historically has done its trade, merely the right of any woman (or any person for that matter) involved to negotiate a price for sexual actions performed. I don't think the sex industry needs brothels, nor does it even need to be an industry per se, I just think that if a person's body is truly theirs to do with as they please, then they should be able to sell services involving that body. Be that manual labor, or in a more sexual sense, pregnancy (as with surrogates), or sex itself (as with prostitutes). Does there need to be an actual, physical, institution of business to accomodate the selling of that sex? I don't see why that's necessary. Indeed I really don't care about the rights of pimps to be pimps at all. I don't even like the concept of bosses in general in the everyday workplace; as I said, I'm not a fan of social hierarchy, so I've certainly no love or concern for pimps. My concern in this case is only for the person who wants to attach a price to sexual acts with themselves. I'd rather that person have full autonomy to do so as they please, without concern for the "client" or any sort of employer. In fact, across the scale of a whole society, assuming pimps were not involved and this was something any willing person could do and there was no need for dedicated places of business for it, I'd actually expect that such legalization could empower women more so than men.
You continue to mention the involvement of left-leaning women in beauty industry products in their private lives as evidence for the alliance of the beauty industry with the left, and I see your point and agree with the facts of the situation(indeed it makes sense that this comes from someone who sees the private and political as one as much as you do), however I still don't see an alliance. Yes, urban women will for practical reasons use beauty products more, and they lean left compared to rural women, and the industry knows its audience (the title of the magazine is Cosmopolitan after all). Nonetheless, I do not see any concerted effort on the part of left-wing politicians to advance the interests of the beauty industry. When they speak of it at all, it is almost universally in a negative light, that I've seen. However, perhaps "when they speak of it at all" speaks to your point. The only way I see any sort of political alliance with the left is that in spite of the left's criticisms of the beauty industry, they do very little to solve the problems it creates. But then that doesn't really make them a leftwing industry, does it? When the left does criticize them, the right defends them from a pro-business perspective. If the left were to try to do anything, they'd lose some of their coalition of more moderately minded upple middle class white women in the suburbs that can most afford beauty products. They fought too hard to get those women on their side as it is. I see their negligence in confronting the problems presented by the beauty industry as less an endorsement of the beauty industry and more a concession to keep their coalition together. There are so many cultural struggles the left has already taken on, and so many radical endeavors to restructure economics that they're fighting for right now, that the fundamental overhaul, both culturally and economically, that would be necessary to combat something as fundamental to our lives as the pervasive culture around female beauty that the beauty industry exploits, just doesn't seem worth the cost. So they pick around the edges of that culture, mostly in rhetoric, without much policy to show for it. I don't even know where they'd start policy wise. It's more a task for a social movement than a political one.
I think we're approaching the end of our ability to reach agreement on the particular range of topics we've been discussing here lately, as areas of disagreement appear to be expanding at this point (e.g. surrogacy, etc.), so I think it's time we wrapped up this particular sub-convo and got back to focusing on the actual topic of this thread, which is of course the Democratic Party primary contest. It's clear at this point that you are simply of a more individualistic mindset than I am. I'd like to get back on-topic anyway because, while these are issues that obviously interest me a lot, it's taking up a lot of my time an energy to reply fully and appropriately on these matters and we seem to have reached an impasse.
That said, I will briefly highlight some of Dr. Jeffreys' disagreements with identity politics (which is a concept I'm not sure you have a very academic understanding of, to judge by your wording above). I think it might be best to hear her speak about the matter on her own terms, so I'll leave you with this podcast interview from 2016 where she spoke about exactly that. You might find it interesting! She's a good speaker who communicates complex ideas in plain, understandable language. It's a quality that made her a good educator. (I will add though that her use of the term "socialist feminists" therein refers specifically to Marxist feminists. "Socialist feminist" is a classical, '70s/80s era term for Marxist feminists.)Last edited by Jaicee - on 10 July 2019