The question of sexualization is central to gender relations in secular modern society, yet what is sexualization and why is it problematic? We need therefore re-understand the performativity of sexualization whether and irrespectively of sexualization is mutually desired or not in particular social situations.
Sexualization is typically conceived of in terms of whether it is mutual or not, but what is really the meaning of “mutual”? Are not all interpersonal relations asymmetric to some degree or another in different ways and is it not the very asymmetric nature of interpersonality that is attractive, arousing, interesting, tantalizing, tempting and compelling indeed?
Sexualization is in fact about the attractivization of the inevitable asymmetry between individual persons in so many respects, if not in one respect so in yet other respects as we are attracted to alterity in the unique other. Hence is not the demand for mutuality and egalitarianism simply a futile exercise in the art of the absolutely impossible? This performative rather than teleological art needs recognize that reciprocity is about appreciating interpersonal difference between interacting sentient agencies of cognition.
The problem rather lies in non-recognition of personhood, this is usually referred to as objectification, racialization, commodification and in a negative sense sexualization, namely that a person feels unrecognized in her personhood and only judged/appreciated for her exterior appearance.
Yet there are competing epistemological privileges at stake here as cis-females are socially permitted to engage in considerable sexualization, including at the workplace while at the same time is this socially far less allowed for cis-males. Cis-females in modern secular society are free free to flirt including sexually so as at places of work while cis-males tend to socially become rather restricted in this regard. Cis-females are furthermore socially permitted to self-sexualize themselves to a significant extent in public that is socially disallowed for cis-males.
Feminism has gained a negative reputation among many due to the tendency in feminism to merely complain as opposed to also engage in transformative social innovation. Contemporary gender roles at the business office include females self-sexualizing themselves as a sort of interactive semi-pornographic theatre. Why do so many females engage in self-sexualization with many males subsequently objectifying these very self-sexualizing females?
It is very common for defense lawyers to defend xeno-rapists by claiming that the victim has herself to blame for having been xeno-raped. While this is obviously a most despicable masculinist argument needs it nevertheless become closely examined indeed. Does a primping female statistically speaking run a significantly greater risk of becoming xeno-raped at night in public space? The answer is unequivocally very much so.
The purpose of primping is to gain the approval of others by means of turning them on and even sexually arousing them. The primping person may derive significant pleasure from this scopophilic appreciation from others. Freud described it as females deriving sexual pleasure from appreciative observation by males while males according to Freud derive sexual pleasure from appreciatively observing females. There is however obviously nothing in male bodies that make them less suitable for primping and as targets of scopophilia than indeed female bodies and so this is a sheer social construction indeed.
Then there is the distinctly sexist argument in radical feminism that primping females (including lipstick feminists) are somehow partly to blame for sexual objectification, social norms of compulsory primping and significantly raised salutogenic awareness, including understanding the importance of beauty for psychological health. Blaming primping females is of course discursively parallel to the argument of the defense lawyer in blaming the rape victim for having been xeno-raped.
Such female critics within radical feminism tend for some reason to adopt male misbehaviors as if these deplorable misbehaviors of men somehow mystically become laudable and even implausibly “feminist” if performed by female bodies rather than by male bodies (sic). This of course is an example of masculinism in feminism; in masculinism being the derogation of semiotic markers of the domain of the feminine and almost implausibly so in the name of feminism.
Heterocultural men in Western society are easy punching bags due to their typically extreme social incompetence. Single females in secular modern culture are however socially expected to act like honey traps as in James Bond movies. The traditional lady/gentleman agent roles in James Bond movies are actually highly feminist in James Bond being polite and sexual in a positive sense while the females whom he interacts with are strong females who engage in performative restoration of the glory and splendor of the domain of the feminine. The domain of the feminine is indeed that which is irrationally suppressed under the social terror of ideological hegemony.
James Bond movies are thus instructive of how we ought perform sexualization, namely in a feminist manner which appreciates unique personhood and does not engage in derogation of the domain of the feminine such as performatively disengaging semiotic markers of the domain of the feminine from personal expression of intrinsic personhood.
Yet as it happens is this a two-way street. A primping female who uses enhanced beauty to mask her personhood rather than deploying her self-designed exterior as expression of her interior should not realistically expect to become appreciated and loved as a person as opposed to merely appreciated for her external appearance. Conversely, why would a male who does not invest in both primping and becoming a more profound and better person complain about feeling sexually deprived, being lonely etc?
Interpersonal attraction is about appreciating difference in personhood and hence the eroticization of stereotypical gender asymmetries such as man/woman, Dom/Domme, butch/femme, older/younger, muscular/thin, husband/wife, teacher/student, boss/subordinate etc. Yet this certainly needs not be stereotypical if we learn to understand that it is the very alterity in interpersonality that creates erotic tensions between persons.
The feminist challenge is hence to make visible the extremely individual nature of alterity in personhood. There is of course nothing wrong with performing roles as long as one expresses oneself ethico-aesthetically as any social role performance should be expressive of intrinsic personhood. The thing that is typically so creepy with males expressing their intimate desires in non-private space is aside from structurql sexual objectification the fact that they have been structurally socially conditioned to disguise their intimate desires. This is so as females are socially expected to eroticize themselves in public and private space alike while males are expected to eroticize themselves only in bed and hence is primping typically considered the abode of females only which is obviously a sheer social construction.
This is what makes overtly transgender people who self-sexualize ourselves into such a perceptual menace for the patriarchal police as the police sees itself as tasked with policing man/woman asymmetric social privileges and stereotypical gender binary gender roles. Overtly self-sexualized transgender people by our very existence and presence in public space thus deconstructs the very asymmetric social privileges of compulsory normative genders.
Of course this means that the patriarchal police feels compelled to take every measure to put us back into the closet. LGBTQI self-sexualization in public space must in the perception of the police become prevented by any and all means and usually illegal ones and hence the reality of police sexual and other harassment against overtly sexually attractive LGBTQI people in every country.
There is of course no legal basis in LGBTQI-emancipated countries for doing so, yet the police will do so anyway (including in progressive Sweden) by means of beating up LGBTQI people (e.g. instructing security guards to violently intervene without reason or instructing criminal gangs to physically abuse, rape and coercively prostitute LGBTQI people), fabricating evidence, intentionally misunderstanding LGBTQI people, subjecting LGBTQI persons to mock legal procedures, continuing to operate on the assumption that homosexuality and transsexualism are mental disorders, trying to discredit LGBTQI people as sex criminals and mentally ill, coercing/extorting others into providing false testimony against LGBTQI people, withholding evidence in order to incriminate and discredit LGBTQI persons, sexually exploiting LGBTQI people by means of mock interrogation as well as coercively recruiting LGBTQI persons as intelligence prostitutes (agents of seduction) to police intelligence by means of police sexual extortion etc.
The question of sexualization needs become re-politicized and reconceptualized by means of reconsidering the entire question of sexualization and freeing it from its underpinning premises of stereotypically compulsory binary genders.
Persons of all genders therefore need to learn ethico-aesthetic self-expression in developing feminist agency of interpersonal empowerment. There is absolutely nothing wrong with making oneself sexually attractive to others as long as this is done nicely and politely and so there is literally nothing wrong with primping as long as one does not engage in self-objectification by means of hiding behind a facade that is not expressive of oneself as this socially reinforces structural objectification.
In becoming subjected to offensive objectification is complaining rather insufficient as we need all learn how to ethico-aesthetically express ourselves by means of sociofluidity in therefore creating a sexualized public space that is comfortable, inclusive and safe for all. This is not about being in favor or against sexualization but the real question is rather what sexualization? This means that humans generally of all ages, ethnicities and genders need be offered free SBT (Social Behavioral Training) in learning to individually ethico-aesthetically sexualize themselves so as to make themselves desirable and pleasant to fellow human beings.
In restoring the denigrated domain of the feminine to glory and splendor need we perform a certain feminist reappropriation of courtly etiquette as exquisite, sophisticated, delicate behavior was the only social possibility at historical princely, royal and imperial courts. Humans generally need learn to everywhere and always perform updated feminist versions of historical forms of etiquette of princely, royal and imperial courts. In developing individual and interpersonal agency in self-expressive self-sexualization of individualizing ethico-aesthetic sociofluidity need we restore the domain of the feminine to glory and splendor by means of artistically adopting and individually adapting feminist court etiquette indeed.
The Intelligence Entrapment Methods documentation project.