This blog contains descriptions of behaviour that is abusive to women. It is described with regret and analysed with what aims to be an anti-sexist ethic but the contents may be upsetting or triggering for some people. Take care before reading any post if you think you may be upset by what is written in it.

Comments are moderated. I will reject any comments that perpetuate the sexism I am trying to grow out of. I intend to accept comments that are genuinely trying to have a useful discussion.

Monday, 17 May 2010

Day 22

Day 22, Tue 30/3/10

Doing this writing is a way for me to put into practice something I've wanted to do for a while, which is to watch my behaviour without stepping in to change it. Of course, I've kind of been doing that for ages but bringing my mind back to what I'm really doing each day makes it more meaningful because I'm watching my behaviour with a critical eye.

I know it may just be training me in how to carry on behaving this way in full awareness of the facts and I will need to address that. In fact, as I think now about it, it seems less useful to be observing this behaviour and not acting to change it.

I'm not sure. I was just thinking about how automatic it is for me to look carefully into my housemate's room as I go past in case there is a woman in his bed and she happens to have a nipple exposed or something. I don't have a pattern at all for walking past that room without looking in. Maybe a more important thing is to develop those patterns and rehearse them until they are my usual ways to behave.

But I think in a longer-term view, to watch myself doing what I really do (but usually I avoid consciously knowing) will make the reality of what I'm working to change away from far more concrete. I mean I will see how sexist and creepy my behaviour is and feel a strong internal drive to change it.

But that drive is not there now because in just about all situation where I see an opportunity to perve on a woman, my sympathy lies not with the woman but with my cock. There is a real danger that I will continue failing to really see my behaviour as unacceptable but just get into it in the moment.

So maybe a new dedication to starting the right habits of behaviour is what is needed. Perhaps then, when my behaviour is different, I will be in the habit of not indulging those urges and the indulgent behaviours will be pushed more and more into the realm of things I no longer do.

Day 17

Day 17, Thu 25/3/10

I have moments where I catch myself perving on a woman and make myself look away. One time recently, I did that and thought: no, I shouldn't be stopping myself now, I should be just observing. But then I thought that there is no benefit in actively deciding not to follow up on a decision not to perve when it occurs to me to make that decision.

And that is one of the main points. I think I don't actually "catch myself" and "make myself" look away. I just do one thing, then reconsider and do another. At the moment, it takes conscious awareness of my behaviour and conscious thought about what the effects and implications are of that behaviour, for me to decide that it's a bad choice. But it's still the same person making both decisions.

And it's true that I am not trying to train my self by sheer strength of will and self-denial. But it is my behaviour that I am training at this stage. Underlying attitudes are being questioned and challenged, and the mental health level that are associated are being addressed but the outcome I'm looking for currently is a change in behaviour.

So it's not effective, as my experience confirms to me, to try to simply stop all my sexist behaviour following a single decision made here tonight. But it is missing the main point if I focus all my attention on looking after myself and nurturing my mental health so as to allow for better decisions. My current tactic is to actively and confrontationally expose the reality of my behaviour and its effects and consequences to my conscious mind and in that way - and perhaps others - to put as many barriers as possible in front of a decision to look at porn or perve on women again.

Day 16

Day 16, Wed 24/3/10
[It's ages later that I'm typing this up - nearly two months - so I'm not sure if there are any days inbetween that are missing. Anyway, this is what I wrote.]

So this is not every day at all. But I have things I am itching to write now, anyway.

I noticed I have more than an ambition to get back to my habits of porn and perving. I actually have fantasies about the situations I'd like to create for myself that will make perving easier for me. They will never happen but that's not really the point.

One is to run a clothes shop or a gym or something where women get changed, and to set up one-way mirrors so I can watch them. Another is to run a night-club and to set up little mirrors and lights on the floor so that men can look up women's dresses. These fantasies will never be realised but they are part of a mindset where I plan my life around having opportunities to perve on women.

I just moved into a new share house recently and one of the first things I did was check out the opportunities for perving on women in the shower. Luckily, there isn't really a way but the thing is that I looked for one.

It's totally indulging my desires and being really inconsiderate of women's rights to privacy and security. After my recent writing, it has also been really obvious to me how my desire to perve on women and look at porn is a reflection of a very real domination and subjugation of women.

Back to what I was writing about last time, I think I have created an image in my mind of a generic sex object that is shaped like a woman's body. I don't see that object as a person. An image actually came up in my imagination just then. It was a cartoon drawing of a woman from neck to thighs, no head, knees or arms. She was lying back against something and naked. I think it is likely that something like that really is one of my mind's generic sex objects.

The caricature has all the characteristics of the female image that is promtoed in the media. It has no hair except pubic hair - and that is hort and contained - and its breasts are round and sit up as though they were held up by a bra. There is a verison of this caricature that has other body parts and clothes too, because the make-up and hair and girly clothes are definitely part of the image I store in my mind.

Thursday, 18 March 2010

Day 10

Day 10, Thu 18/3/10
I'll pick up a thread that occurred to me the other day.

There are some women that I see as available to be perved on and some that I don't.

There are women that I see as available to be perved on? That's disgusting! But I'll just follow where I was going with this first, because it leads back to here anyway.

When I see a woman lookng all dressed up, with fashionable or formal clothes and conventional make-up, I see her as an object - a character in a performance instead of a person in real life. I also see her as someone it is OK for me to get some sexual gratificiation from. I very rarely see her as a fellow human out in the world getting by and facing hard times, having good times, having a personality and so on. Similarly, when a woman is wearing clothes that come close to revelaing her breasts or undies, I se eher as a mere object in my view and as somehere it is OK to look for sexual gratification.

When a woman behaves in a very confident and forthright way and puts her personality out in frint, I see her as a real perosn who is not merely an object I can utlise. And when a woman wears a hijab or dresses like a punk, or in some other way throws off the expectation to be always visually sexually attractive, I stop seeing her as a sexual object.

But when a confident, forthright woman is sitting quietly on the bus and not asserting her personality, I am once again able to see her as an object. And when a dleiberately non-sexually dressed woman is in a situation of undress, such as getting changed or having a shower, my view of her quickly shifts ot objectification and I start to imagine ways of managing to see her body.

This is because, underneath it all, my default view of women is that they are all objects for me to take some sexual pleasure from, even if only visually. Individual women, as I get to know them, may be removed from this generalisation but I still hold onto it for most.

So I really do see women as sex objects eh? At one time, I would have denied that.

(There is another train of thought to explore here about how this view affects my relationship with my partner because now that we are close, she is not someone I objectify anymore and therefore not someone I habitually turn to for sexual gratification.)

Day 9

Day 9, Wed 17/3/10
What I get out of it. It's a confronting thing to delve into and now I see why it's not enough just to describe the effects and challenge my selfishness.

What feelings do I have while I'm looking at porn? I'm not sure that they're empowered feelings, actually. I'm just going from memory here, and analysing it on the fly so further down the page I might say something different.

One I can bring to mind is a desperate feeling of longing to find what I'm looking for. I sit there going "Come on! Get her kinckers off! Touch her breasts!" and stuff like that. Yuck. I've never expposed that part of what I do before. It's horrible. When I find something that really turns me on, though, I have a feeling like I've won an awesome prize. I go "Oh my god! This is fucking unbelieveable! Yes!"

The things that turn me on the most are clips that seem to not play-acted but of women really doing things and where the soman herself si being actively sexual in public. I saw one where a woman was masturbating under a towel at a public beach. She lifted the towel briefly to show that she was nake dunderneath and rubbing her clit. She seemed to reach an orgasm. I found in unbelievably arousing.

This stuff feeds my fantasy that women experience their vulnerability and exposure as sexual, the same as I do, instead of the more common relaity in which they feel nervous, scared, self-conscious or belittled. It could be that the woman who appeared in the clip really does find it arousing. More likely her male partner finds it arousing and talked her into it and she was able to get some sexual pleasure from sharing the experience with him as he filmed it.

Regardless, it is still the case that many women would find that experience completely devoid of sexual pleasure and are frightened (or just exasperated) by the experience of finding unknown men arouse dby the sight of their bodies. For me to expose myself to that clip and take my sexual pleausure from it is to actively reinforce my fantasy view of women's sexuality and ignore the real and varied experiences that women actually have.

A background fantasy behind all of my porn viewing is that everyone is potentially aroused all the time and that to be touched in a sexual way is always and simply arousing. In my fantasy, there is simultaneously a situation where women are empowered to simply say no and be left alone and a fact that no-one ever does want to say no but is always ready to have sex. In this fantasy world, men are very considerate lovers and always make sure that women they have
sex with are as aroused as they are and reach orgasm simultaneously. But it doesn't have any room for things that spoil the mood or are felt as disrespectful.

Day 8

Day 8, 16/3/10
I just yped up my writing from the past six entries so I can add it to my blog, so I re-read them all. That's a good little reiniforcing thing to do. I've got criticisms of what I said in most of them, though.

In particular yesterday's. To say that I control my behaviour successfully after doing this writing is a rosy way to see it. I do have much greater awareness and I do make more good decisions and better ones. But I am also capable of still objectifying women right after doing this writing or even while I'm doing it.

It's a very habitual act. It has gone so unchallneged (or not challenged in any truly confronting way) that it has become something I do in the background while my conscious mind is doing something else. In the past few years, I have had times of calling off that action when I spot myself doing it but the habit is still unmistakably there.

Right now is not the strictest I've been on stopping all those behaviours. I've had times when I was very firm about always avering my eyes every time I check out a woman in a sexualising way. But it didn't last. I don't think there's anyhting OK about that and I don't mean to imply that some of the subtler kinds of perving are not abusive and perpetutating male supermacy. In fact, I don't ant to try to give any justification at all because they would all be fake. But it is what is going on now. I am concentrating my effort on doing this writing and keeping my awareness on my actions and their effects and then noting what I'm no longer able to do because of that awareness.

And it seems that looking at porn is not something that I could do right now. Right then when I wrote that sentence, a conflict went on in my head where I disagreed and totally imagined myself sitting at a computer and digging up some porn, but then I thought of my partner and the reality of the porn industry and what I'm actually doing when I look at porn, and I felt less like I was able to do that again. It's a risky thing to put a lot of certainty in, though.

I also noticed I was planning to write about why I look at porn, what I get out of it. I wrote a bit of that on day 1, but not really since. It's a bit of a grisly topic but it illuminates the issue a lot I think.

Fundamentally, the thing I get from porn is sexual pleaure. That is a basic need and it is eas to see how something can become a strongly-formed habit if it is linked in my mind to that need. This is not any kind of excuse or lessening of what is wrong, it is jsut an investigation of the process behind forming the habit.

It is not necessary for me to use porn to fulfill my need for sexual pleasure. I have sex in real life with my partner, but even without that I am able to imagine sexual situations and mastrubate. From this perspective, using porn is lazy.

If it was just an issue of laziness, it would hardly be worth all this writing. I have already written about the selfishness in it, as well. But I have been challenged by a friend to see the way I prop myself up in my privileged male position by this and I'm beginning to get that too.

Porn is created for men. (Even Playgirl is probably aimed at gay men.) I won't say absolutely that no women could enjoy the fantasies that are implied in any porn but they are structured around the viewer being male.

Consuming porn is not just feeding my sexual desire; it is affirming my position as someone to whom all this sexual gratification is available. It is not out of nothing that all the porn material is made. People have done a lot of work producing it all, to feed desires like mine. There is an industry devoted to it and there is no similar industry devoted to ensuring that women have access to the sexual pleasure they want.

It's quite obvious stuff, really, but this is the first time I've thought it all out. Seen in its context, it's pretty gross.

It goes on, too. Because not only do women miss out on an industry devoted to their pleaure but the industry of porn for men requires the participation of huge numbers of women performing for men's pleasure. There are stories about it having terrible effects on women's relationships with their sexuality but I don't know the detials. But, very starkly, they are quite consciously giving their bodies and sexuality for men's pleasure when they do this work. At its most basic, it is a real life manifestation of male supremacy. Men actually do have access to women's bodies
through this industry. They are real women who have really done what they are seen doing, in most cases, and more or less any man is able to get access to them. It is a very stark example of male supremacy.

Day 7

Day 7, Mon 15/3/10
I've already missed a day. It just slipped quietly by. We both noticed at one point in the day but then forgot again. I can feel the difference from having gone longer without bringing myself back to this headspace.

After I do this writing, I walk around for a while in a very conscious state. I notice my behaviour and can decide to be a decent person. But gradually it fades and I slip into the easy habit of allowing myself to behave in a creepy or even intimidating way just to grab a bit of tenuous sexual pleasure.

When I see a woman in the distance, I straight away start scanning her for chances to see her genitals. (First, in fact, I assess whether someone is a woman or not. I can do that from a great distance, although sometimes I'm wrong.) I check to see whether her top has a low neckline or gaping arm-holes and whether she is wearing anything underneath it. Even if she is I will still look though, because it may be a lacy, see-through bra or it may fall forward and expose her nipple as she leans over.

I know it's pretty gross but I want to put it all down so that it's out there in front of me and I can't just quietly do it without consciously noticing that that's what I'm doing.

I also look for wet or see-through tops. Tops that are not going to expose the woman's breasts but are still quite figure-hugging or revealing, like bikinis or tube tops also cop a long stare from me. I imagine bikini tops coming untied and tube tops being pulled down.

There are actually clips I have found on the net where one perpetrator films while another runs up to a woman in a top like these and pulls it down to expose her breasts. On some days, I find those clips very arousing. It's straight-out sexual assault and I doubt it's strictly legal to publish them. If someone described to me their enjoyment of something similar that held no sexual interest for me, I would be absolutely appalled. But I can somehow prevent that reaction because I focus so completely on my own sexual experience of it.

And I also look up women's skirts. I have actually changed direction on the street to follow a woman in a short skirt, keeping a short distance behind and waiting for the wind to lift up her skirt. I have (not just as a kid but also still these days) done the unsbutle look-under-the-desk at a girl's undies. I have placed myself at the right distance behind a woman on the stairs so I can look up her skirt as she climbs the stairs.

I think the idea that someone is so pathetically obsessed that he will go to those lengths would be the most frightening thing for me if I was a woman. And of course it is directly oppressive to try to make a random act that someone does, like walking up a flight of stairs, into a sexual situation that she hasn't chosen to take part in.

To do that and expect to get away with it with no punishment is a really clear sign of internalised sexism. I certainly don't expect to be able to treat men that way. But I definitely do anticipate that I can treat women like that and that nothing will happen to me.