Can You Maintain Feminist Ideals in the Real World?

In the November Elle UK, London Times columnist Caitlin Moran offers a primer on "how to stay true to your feminist ideals when you long to be Daniel Craig's sex slave." Though it's an admittedly tongue-in-cheek article (it's classified under "Humour" — love the British spellings), Moran touches on real life scenarios that would certainly test the pro-lady principles of any Second Sex-carrying feminist. For instance, what should a woman do when the only way to get ahead at her job is to make use of her feminine wiles? Moran suggests that while "writhing around on top of piano like Michelle Pfeiffer in the Fabulous Baker Boys is definitely could certainly allow yourself to be a little bit extra 'charming' in that rather tight Moschino sweater."


Even more interesting is Moran's exploration of the desire to be submissive in the sack, even if you're in charge of everything else (a fantasy with which Jezebels are well acquainted).

The Theory: sex-positive feminism. Women's sexual fantasies often centre around subjugation and masochism. This is possibly due to the physical actuality of heterosexual sex (the woman abandoning herself to penetration), or because pain (due to menstruation or childbirth) is an irreducible part of being a woman. Often, part of humanity's way of coping with traumatic events is to sexualise them - bondage, spanking, the movie Crash. It might also simply be because you're quite tired and like the idea of lying there having a bit of a rest while someone else does all the hard work.
The Reality: mmmm, being Daniel Craig's sex slave. Totally natural.

What's particularly notable about this article, even though it is meant to be satire, is that the assumption on Moran's part that her readers aspire to feminist ideals in the first place. Not to be an annoying Anglophile about it, but I sincerely doubt that any American women's magazine would build an entire article around the premise that all of its audience is feminist or struggles with maintaining vaunted standards. Yeah, wearing the tight sweater to get ahead at the office is probs not the best idea, but questioning dogma is always encouraged 'round these parts. No wonder she's inspired the Facebook group I Want To Be/Have Sex With Caitlin Moran When I Grow Up.

Elle of a time [Girl with a Satchel]
Elle November [Elle UK]
One Rape Please (to go): I Paid a Male Whore to Rape Me Because I Wanted To [Vice]
I Want To Be/Have Sex With Caitlin Moran When I Grow Up [Facebook]



@onemartiniaway: @OhButOfCourse: Looking/feeling good in that tight sweater is not the enemy. It becomes problematic when we chastize or fail to promote/support other WOMEN based on THEIR looks or fashion sense. Feminism is about choice. Gloria Steinem was hot as hell in her bunny costume and used sex to write an awesome expose about...well SEX. She remains one sexy senior citizen today -even in her comfortable Dana Buchanan wear.

Andrea Dworkin, Bella Abzug and even Ugly Betty (the character, not the actress) have all made contributions to feminists everywhere (whether you agree w/ them or not). They certainly wouldn't wear tight sweaters to get ahead.

Hopefully, we're creating a world where they wouldn't need to but could peacefully co-exist with those that love to.

The sex thing is just silly. You like what you like. You needn't apologize if you like to be tied up, only get off on missionary action or beg to be back-doored. Get it on and keep getting it on!