Midnight blogging: feast of Eden

25Jan07

I’m sure that’s not the first time anyone’s used that title… So I’m doing battle (in a very restrained way – everyone’s generally being very polite and reasonable, apart from the man who referred to “broom stick riders”) with the commenters on the Dawn Patrol about Dawn’s post on Zoe William’s article in the Guardian (still with me?).

To be clear, this is nowhere near Zoe’s finest work – it feels like she was phoning it in and any article that contains a libellous assertion is clearly poorly-researched. Part of me doesn’t think it’s worth defending. But Dawn’s take on it was unfair, and given that she was having a go at Zoe for not having done her research, the least she could do was represent the article properly. She made it All About Dawn and castigated Zoe for not having read her book. However, Zoe was writing about the phenomenon of women writers advocating female chastity generally – not just about Dawn. There’s no reason why she should have read Dawn’s book. And I take issue with any posting having a go at someone for not having read their sources when the author herself doesn’t seem to have read the article in any depth (I’m slightly ashamed by how many times I’ve read Dawn’s post today, but hey, at least I read it thoroughly).

Dawn writes:

Yes, to look at these two women, you would never know that one of them believes that sex has the power to be a transcendent experience, filled with both joy and pleasure, while the other reduces it to a drab transaction of commodities, as soulful as brushing one’s teeth.

Read the article. Nowhere does Zoe reduce sex to a “drab transaction”. Just because you don’t agree that “sex can be an act of equality” doesn’t make it a transaction.

Dawn also says Zoe wants to silence those who advocate chastity. That’s just not true. She says the idea should be “dispatched really fast”, but that is referring to the lack of any evidence to support the idea men and women have different needs when it comes to sex when social conditioning is taken out of the mix.

So, the moral of this story is… if you’re in a glass house, don’t start hefting that stone…

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3 Responses to “Midnight blogging: feast of Eden”

  1. “I don’t want sex that’s an “act of equality.” When I marry, I want sex with that’s an act of polarity, celebrating all the physical, emotional, and spiritual levels on which my husband and I complement one another. It’s a vision that’s in sharp contrast to Williams’ repeated insistence that there is “no evidence” men and women experience sex differently.”

    hmm. What? Am I an idiot, or does this honestly not make much sense?

    And I never got the sense that Zoe Williams was attempting to “silence” chaste women or not give them the choice to be chaste. I just love that Dawn, while berating Williams for silencing women basically browbeats those that choose to get a little “equality act” in the sack. And “a vessel to be filled”? Spare me, please.

    She should have just written a damn memoir. Much less insulting.

  2. I know – I wouldn’t have minded a memoir! Chastity does seem to be working for her (hey, chastity gets you a book deal!) and there’s no denying her story’s an interesting one. But why try to make it about *all* women?

    There always seems to be a lot of projection (and I’m not specifically talking about Dawn here) in those types who claim that the feminists are trying to shut them up. I don’t know many feminists who are pro-censorship (even for porn, though I know a lot who think it’s harmful and don’t like it) but I know a lot of conservative types who would like nothing better than to silence people who disagree with them – and they’re usually the ones claiming that Political Correctness Gone Mad wants to stop them from saying what they think. See, projection?

  3. My god, I’m like queen of the brackets today.


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