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Sunshine Mary: “The result of feminism is that women have been reduced to being nothing but sex objects.”

The good old days?
The good old days?

In a recent post, dotty reactionary antifeminist Sunshine Mary offers her thoughts on an idea that has become something of a cliche in the Manosphere, and which she agrees with roughly one thousand percent: that “[r]egardless of what feminism may purport to be about, the result of feminism is that women have been reduced to being nothing but sex objects.”

What on earth is she talking about? She quotes one of her readers, someone called Just Saying, explaining the peculiar logic behind this assertion in a little more detail:

Feminists lost long ago. Men are in control – at least the ones that understand. We get to call the shots – now instead of being able to keep house, have children, and cook (very, very few women can cook these days) women are ONLY sex-objects. It is the only thing they have to offer to a man, that will get a man’s attention and to hold it for a while. And we don’t have to marry them to get it …

Feminism has brought about all of the things they say they hate – women today only bring sex to the equation. So I have to thank Feminism – I doubt that young women would be as skilled, or as open to oral sex, anal sex, and every other type of sex, without it. And for that, I say, “Thank you Feminism.” If there were a patriarchy, I doubt they could have ever come up with something as beneficial to men. No one would have believed women were that dumb.

The Sunshiny One uses this as a starting point for a bizarre post purporting to show that “feminism has also reduced many women to being childless careerists who must purchase other women’s reproductive capabilities.”

But let’s forget about Mary for now and take a somewhat deeper look at this whole “feminism reduces women to sex objects” argument — which only makes sense if, like Just Saying, you define the worth of women as consisting only of 1) sex and 2) “housewifely duties” like cooking, cleaning, and bearing children.

If you simply ignore all of a woman’s other abilities and accomplishments, and basically her humanity, well, I suppose you could say that the worth of a woman with no interest in cooking, cleaning, or children was “reduced” to sex.

But what a strange way to look at the world, to base your judgement of a person’s worth on a small subset of human interests and abilities and to condemn them if they aren’t enthusiastic experts in these pursuits. You might as well go around dismissing everyone who’s not a proficient accordion player.

The other strange thing about Just Saying’s argument is that it doesn’t even make sense on its own terms; it requires a willful blindness as to how the world works these days. Women make up roughly half the workforce today. Yet babies are still being born and raised. Meals are still getting cooked. Homes are still getting cleaned. It may not always be a wife in a traditional marriage doing all the cooking and cleaning and baby-raising, but couples — and single parents — are making the arrangements they need to in order to get all these things done.

So is the “feminism reduces women to nothing more than sex objects” simply an indication that certain kinds of men — and women — have a hard time recognizing women as full human beings?

Well, to some degree. But I’m pretty sure that even the most backwards thinking misogynists of the manosphere recognize that there’s more to women than cooking, cleaning, baby-making, and sex.

No, I think their attempts to reduce women to these things stem from their own defensiveness over the gains of women — and not just in the workforce, and in politics, and the wider culture.

Consider how Just Saying describes the sex-having women of today. They’re no shrinking violets. They’re not passive receptacles. They’re “skilled … open to oral sex, anal sex, and every other type of sex.”

In other words, they’re women with sexual agency. They’re women who are engaging in sex for their own pleasure, for their own reasons — not simply as a lure to capture a man to marry.

And I think this makes a lot of men deeply uneasy — especially the sorts of men who inhabit the manosphere. That’s why so many of them are so quick to shout “slut” at the very same women they’re so obsessed with pursuing.

That’s why, when they’re lucky enough to find a woman who’s enthusiastically in charge of her own sexuality, they have to pretend to themselves that sex is all she has.

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Katherine
Katherine
6 years ago

Great points, but I also think pop culture is to blame. A lot of people pay more attention to male-dominated Hollywood pop culture than the world around them, so even though they know female educators, doctors, scientists, business owners, etc, those women (at least if they aren’t hot) are overrode by excessive exposure to Hollywood and the roles men choose to put women in, which tend to be sex objects, more often than not. So people who live in a bubble (often, youth) are sent the message that yeah, a woman can be badass, but first and foremost she has to look good. A woman can be smart, but she also has to be sexy, or else her intelligence is no big deal. Because if a woman isn’t nice to look at, she isn’t worth much notice, regardless of her accomplishments. And it’s this sort of isolated worldview that lets people get away with the “women are either domestics or sex objects” trope. Underlying is this feeling that if she doesn’t want to cook or clean for men, she has to look good. If she can’t look good, she better be willing to cook, clean, and make babies to make up for her shortcomings.

cloudiah
6 years ago

Still catching up… katz, I love your sad story in the Atlantic. I am so behind I don’t remember anything else I read tonight.

grumpycatisagirl
6 years ago

Awww, I love Katz’s sad feminist fish..

grumpycatisagirl
6 years ago

I mean sad-about-feminism fish. I’m not sure if she’s a feminist or not, but she’s clearly sad.

codebuster
codebuster
6 years ago

David, my comment to 100% Cotton on AVFM is self-explanatory:

Cotton, you referenced probably the Wikipedia site that I was going to include in my last post, including the same reference, but which I decided was no longer relevant because I made my point without it. So now my question to you is… what’s your point? Allow me to elaborate on mine…

There was an evolving context and the contraceptive pill was an integral part of that evolution tied in with feminism, porn and debauchery. And this supports my thesis that feminism is directly related to the trashing of women. In his roundabout way, David Futrelle’s critique makes my point for me – if you factor in affirmative action (which Futrelle has not), then you dispense with women’s accomplishments and thus, the basis for Futrelle’s argument. And if you conclude that women have never accomplished anything on their own merits because they’ve always had to rely on men to make their possibilities happen, then this leaves you with… women as sex objects. Heck, the contraceptive pill itself was developed by men and not by women.

ostara321
ostara321
6 years ago

What a nasty, cynical way of framing adoption, surrogacy, and egg donation. But then again, she seems to reduce all human relationships to simplistic transactions. In her world, aren’t all reproductive capabilities purchased?

Right. Then she advocates for babies to be ripped from their mothers if they are unwed – or to use her wordage, taken from sluts who’d go on welfare anyway and given to willing parents. So she’s advocating for adoption, but it’s still somehow a moral failing for women to adopt. There is no winning for anyone in Mary World, unless you’re Mary.

Kittehserf – you’re right, that should be every woman, not everyone. Dudes who don’t marry just can’t find a “good woman” because feminism “ruined” them all. /eyeroll

Confession: I immediately thought about fish with the “sad stories in the Atlantic” too. And then I was like “no, we’re not talking about fish are we? So… does she mean people on the Atlantic Coast? Was that a typo? Wait, is she STILL on that single fucking article that ran two years ago?” Good grief, find some new material already. The fact that she’s still harping on about it while it’s been largely forgotten by most everyone else to me only reinforces my opinion that she obsesses over it in an attempt to convince herself that she’s happy. Or at least, not as miserable as THOSE OTHER horrible women.

Dvärghundspossen
6 years ago

All over the world (not just in the middle of the ocean) I bet there are many women who are sad because they haven’t found a husband, and they’ve dreamed for a long time of finding a real soulmate to share their life with (just like there are many men who are sad because they didn’t find a wife, and many people who are said because they didn’t find someone of the same gender to live with etc etc). I’m not even gonna say it’s a stupid dream or anything – heck, I used to dream about finding true love before I was lucky enough to do so, and having done so is great.
And maybe, in a less feminist society, these women would have been married. But there’s really no grounds for claiming that they’d have been happily married or had found their soulmates in a less feminist society. That lots of people were married back in the good old days isn’t the same thing as there being lots of people who had found true love.

If you really just wanna get married, I think that’s fairly easy today as well, right? Most people could probably find someone who was feeling as lonely and desperate as themselves and was willing to overlook the fact that their relationship might be pretty crappy…

Dvärghundspossen
6 years ago

Came to think of J S Mill again and how he wrote that because society is so terribly sexist it’s really difficult to find true love, because men and women are raised differently and taught to think differently so it’s hard to really connect with someone of the opposite gender (obviously, since this was the nineteenth century, he writes from a purely hetero perspective).

He did manage to find true love himself with Harriet Taylor, but since she was married and it was almost impossible to get divorced back then they couldn’t get married to each other until decades later when her husband died, and then they got a few years together until they died of tuberculosis. The good old days!

ostara321
ostara321
6 years ago

@Dvärghundspossen, right, I don’t doubt that there are plenty of people who are lonely – even feminist leaning women people who want a monogamous relationship with a man. I used to be one of them. But I knew feminism wasn’t the reason I was lonely – it was just a lot of compounding factors in life had not lead me to meet someone right for me yet.

If anything, I was damn glad for feminism, because you’re right, maybe in a less feminist world I’d have been married, but I know without a doubt, I would not have been happily married. Course, the thing is, they don’t care about people being happy, they care about people conforming to their narrow worldviews.

If you look at the way they talk about divorce over unhappiness or the the sneering way they talk about trying to have a happy marriage, it’s obvious they aren’t at all concerned with people finding someone right for them (I get squicky over the word soulmate). They just want people to be married because sex is bad, but people are gross and they’re going to want to have sex so they should at least be married in order to keep them from being sluts. Also, breeding. And if that’s not your cup of tea or the other person in the marriage isn’t your cup of tea, that’s YOUR problem, not a problem with the system. You just need to pray harder, have sex with your partner whenever they ask even if you don’t want to, and conform to those gender roles.

It’s honestly a really dim view of marriage IMHO.

Dvärghundspossen
6 years ago

@Ostara: I guess they sort of pretend to care about happiness sometimes when they write about poor unmarried womenz but in reality they don’t.

Personally, I kind of like “soulmate”. It’s cheezy, but I like it. I sometimes say that husband is my soulmate just because we like all the same stuff, think the same and so totally understand each other.

ceebarks
ceebarks
6 years ago

If you really just wanna get married, I think that’s fairly easy today as well, right? Most people could probably find someone who was feeling as lonely and desperate as themselves and was willing to overlook the fact that their relationship might be pretty crappy…

yep. Well, maybe not even “crappy” exactly but, well, that represents a lot less than most people’s ideal. (And hey, there is not necessarily anything wrong with humdrum, if that’s what someone’s into.)

I don’t really believe in “soul mates” or “true love” ’cause I think most people could have a great relationship with any of several people they might meet over the course of their lives. People need better relationship skills so they can grow authentically within their partnerships, but they do not need ignorant browbeating from people who clearly haven’t gotten their own shit together yet.

(I mean, you can only pretend to be someone you aren’t for so long. Resentments pile up. You start an unhinged blog to project your putrid psychological infections onto people you know nothing about.

You cherish ancient clickbait on The Atlantic to shore up your defenses. 😀 )

…Personally, I like Al Turtle’s relationship framework stuff. He thinks relationships begin largely in ignorance/infatuation, which is super fun and sexy but can’t be sustained indefinitely because relationships necessitate LEARNING about the other person, instead of just enjoying your illusions about them. So invariably you hit that point where you are looking at a flawed human being, not a savior/muse/genius/alphastud/whatever, and your partner is looking right back at you the same way! A power struggle ensues at some point, with varying outcomes: “I just want it to be like it used to be!” Except that is impossible. Ultimately, some people give up and move on to start the cycle again. Others give up, but remain in place.

Mr. Turtle argues that relatively few figure out how to move past the need for passive ego-stroking into a real relationship, with real differences, real appreciation, and real intimacy. I guess I think Sunshine’s trying, ugly as she is acting right now. She’s desperate, and desperate people say really, REALLY stupid things.

At least she has approximately zero influence outside her lil echo chamber.

Howard Bannister
6 years ago

The end is neigh!

Wait a minute… Argenti, are you anti-horse?!?!?!

kittehserf
6 years ago

Dvarg – soulmate’s my favourite word too, for obvious reasons. 🙂

Even living in a society that’s the antithesis of feminst doesn’t guarantee marriage. In Victorian England there was constant talk about “surplus females” and encouragement for single women to emigrate. It was partly population numbers – there were more women than men – and partly because marriage was prohibitively expensive if you were middle-class (or trying to be) but didn’t have the income to support it. There was a hell of a lot of social pressure on a couple to live and present in a certain way, and that took money.

None of this applies the same way to the working class, though they had their own pressures; but in London at least, marriage was pretty much something they shrugged off as irrelevant to them. They hadn’t picked up the very tight, conservative attitude from the middle class at that stage.

Argenti Aertheri
6 years ago

Well, biblically speaking the end will involve horses…

I blame the typo spite!

ostara321
ostara321
6 years ago

I think it’s perfectly fine for other folks to call their partners their soul mates if that’s how they really feel. It was just a concept for me that I think did more harm than good for a while because I when I was feeling especially lonely, I stressed myself out wondering if I’d somehow missed “the one”. That coupled with the insidious notion that women are somehow defective if not sufficiently hetero partnered (which is ever present in just about every aspect of media) made me feel like shit about myself.

That’s also why I get really pissed off at the Marys of the world, insisting that we need MORE of that kind of pressure. Their whole point is “seeeeeee? Look at how unhaaaapy that feminist woman is without a man” but I can’t help thinking “um, might part of that unhappiness come from assholes like you, pontificating how horrible and useless she is for not being married?”

Dvärghundspossen
6 years ago

…Personally, I like Al Turtle’s relationship framework stuff. He thinks relationships begin largely in ignorance/infatuation, which is super fun and sexy but can’t be sustained indefinitely because relationships necessitate LEARNING about the other person, instead of just enjoying your illusions about them. So invariably you hit that point where you are looking at a flawed human being, not a savior/muse/genius/alphastud/whatever, and your partner is looking right back at you the same way! A power struggle ensues at some point, with varying outcomes: “I just want it to be like it used to be!” Except that is impossible. Ultimately, some people give up and move on to start the cycle again. Others give up, but remain in place.

This is what, like, everyone has always told me about love and relationships. Husband and I don’t really fit that pattern, because
1. State one: Being sort of friends but not knowing each other that well.
2. Had sex.
3. For some reason began to have a really deep talk, and discovered that “OH WOW WE TOTALLY THINK ALIKE WE’RE SOULMATES!”.
4. Moved in together, got engaged and got married in fairly quick succession.
…. and never really left that “OH WOW IT’S SO COOL HOW WE TOTALLY UNDERSTAND EACH OTHER” stage at all, I guess? Maybe we’re just incredibly awkward with other people and that’s what creates the contrast, IDK, but we’ve been married for twelve years now, so I think it’s probably gonna last.

So you can see why I like the cheezy term “soulmate”, but I can also see why others don’t like it – each to their own!

(Or, as we say in Sweden, (throwing proverbs around me in this thread TOO) “smaken är som baken – delad”: Taste is like the butt – divided.)

katz
6 years ago

I’m digging the lesson on Swedish proverbs.

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
6 years ago

For me that “we’re on the same wavelength” thing tends to be instant, but there’s still stuff you learn about the other person that can make you like them more or less, depending. The on the same wavelength thing definitely creates a sense of instant comfort and makes people really easy to be around, though.

bodycrimes
6 years ago

I adore Sunshine Mary’s blog. Apart from the fact it’s so damn kitsch, she and her commenters lay out every old trope and stereotype about women ever devised. When you see it laid out like that, you see how laughable – belly laughable – misogyny is.

They’re having a discussion today on whether some loser should marry a girl who’s had more sex than him. People are chiming in to say she should be ditched. Others – the kinder ones – are suggesting testing her by trial, including making her clean up after old people and watch her reaction to it, to see if her heart is truly repentant (if so, she’ll embrace the task). It’s sort of one step away from throwing a woman into the water to see if she’ll float or not, and then deciding her fate on that basis.

Honestly, you can’t make this stuff up. And they talk about sex all the time! The women will admit they’re not having sex as often as they should and suddenly everyone’s telling them they’re satanic non-submitters. Then the men brag – brag! about being sad sack virgins! On a public blog! And spin it as them being ‘careful’ with their seed so the wimmenz can’t take their non-existent money and assets away from them.

Honestly, I’ve been emailing bits to friends all over the world. Just too funny.

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
6 years ago

I, as a good man of the kind that Mary approves of, refuse to give my seed to just any woman, even if she’s making a disgusted face and saying “get your hand off my ass or I’ll call security”.

bodycrimes
6 years ago

That’s very decent of you. I think most of SSM’s menz aren’t giving their seed away because they don’t want to lose their seats at Starbucks, where the wifi that lets them comment on the net is free!

Butterfly Wings
Butterfly Wings
6 years ago

I can’t snark on Sunshine Mary. I’ve lurked on her site for a while and I just feel sad for her. Unlike the male MRAs whom I despise, I see her as a victim.

Her husband cheated on her many times, according to what she’s written. Instead of kicking him to the curb she turned her anger toward the women he had affairs with and, I think, toward herself and women in general.

Now that she’s getting old (I think she’s in her 40s) she must be terrified that he’s going to cheat again. I can’t imagine living under that duress. I think that’s why she’s so hateful. I also think that’s why she’s such a proponent of submission. She sees it as a way to hold onto your man. After all, if you’re cooking and cleaning and giving him sex on demand, what reason would he have to stray or cheat?

She would probably advise another woman in a similar situation to forgive her husband’s mistresses. Perhaps if she did the same (I’m not saying it would be easy or that I could do it) she would find some peace. The poor woman needs it.

Hope this wasn’t too long. I’ve been lurking a while, but this is my first post.

Argenti Aertheri
6 years ago

“I’ve been lurking a while, but this is my first post.”

Well you know what that means then! Welcome Package!

As for Sunshine Mary, frankly, I don’t care. That is, sure, her husband is an asshole, and yeah, it sucks for her, but she’s choosing to deal with that in a way that hurts other people and reinforces really shitty views of women. Having horrible things happen to you is no excuse for being a horrible person. You’re likely right as to why she’s a horrible person, but my ability to feel bad for you wanes when you start hurting other people, ymmv.

Argenti Aertheri
6 years ago

Oh and that was nothing like too long of a comment!

kittehserf
6 years ago

Butterfly Wings, welcome!

Howard Bannister
6 years ago

(Or, as we say in Sweden, (throwing proverbs around me in this thread TOO) “smaken är som baken – delad”: Taste is like the butt – divided.)

This is soooooo something I’m going to say at some point today.

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
6 years ago

I’m with Argenti here. If Mary wasn’t hurting other people I’d feel sorry for her, but unfortunately she is. In fact, she keeps trying to damage other people’s perfectly happy and functional relationships as a way to justify her own not-so-functional one, and while that probably is a coping mechanism it’s not an ethically acceptable one.

kittehserf
6 years ago

Makes you wonder if there’s a bit of old-fashioned envy in Mary, doesn’t it? Trying to tear down what others have and she wants but can’t have with Douchey McDouchebag.

Someone should remind her envy’s one of the seven deadly sins.

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
6 years ago

I think JudgyBitch may be the only person on the internet more ragey than Elam. Damn, that is one seriously unhappy woman.

(Comments on Marcotte article.)

sparky
sparky
6 years ago

Sunshine Mary seems to be confusing two concepts: 1. one individual person not caring what others think of zir and 2. one person getting angry about misogynist prejudicial bullshit.

Those two things are different.

La Strega
6 years ago

I note one of SSM’s commentators posted:

“There are studies showing that when you carry a baby, you absorb some of its DNA into your body where it remains forever. The child will be a part of you always.”

Is this even remotely true? I don’t even know how to google this.

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
6 years ago

Um, so? Unless the absorbed DNA is hurting me in some way I’m not sure why I should care. Does it cause cancer? If not, don’t care.

Argenti Aertheri
6 years ago

It might be? Given how rhesus incompatiblity works, it wouldn’t surprise me. Other than the risk to an Rh- pregnant person and the fetus, I don’t see how it matters though.

hellkell
hellkell
6 years ago

That DNA thing has the distinct whiff of assfax.

gingerbread
gingerbread
6 years ago

Ooops, looks like I strayed into the ManHate site.

hellkell
hellkell
6 years ago

Which site is that?

katz
6 years ago

Yes, gingerbread. Now shoo, you’re interrupting our demanding schedule of man-hating.

kittehserf
6 years ago

Aww, gingerbread doesn’t know the difference between “men” and “misogynists”. Isn’t that cute?

emilygoddess
emilygoddess
6 years ago

Gingerbread, if you’re trying to get a rise out of us, you’ll have to do better than that. “You hate men” is so old you’d have to carbon date it to pinpoint its origins.

katz
6 years ago

Let’s not get off-topic, ladies. Which man shall we hate next?

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
6 years ago

I saw “gingerbread” and was expecting an adorable house. I is disappoint.

kittehserf
6 years ago

I’d wouldn’t have thought gingerbread would be too fond of men. Or at least, very short ones in red tunics.

http://youtu.be/FpBJih02aYU

kittehserf
6 years ago

*I wouldn’t

Argenti Aertheri
6 years ago

And here I thought that was mocking the manosphere as being men full of hate.

I vote we hate pecunium next, because he hates mangos. (Note, don’t hate pecunium, he’s awesome, despite hating mangos)

SittieKitty
6 years ago

La Straga,

“There are studies showing that when you carry a baby, you absorb some of its DNA into your body where it remains forever. The child will be a part of you always.”

Is this even remotely true? I don’t even know how to google this.

Not quite? When you carry a child some of its tissue gets into your blood stream. If you aren’t incompatible with it it’ll likely just float around. If you are, then you produce antibodies that could affect what happens with your next pregnancy (See: Rh incompatibility and hemolytic disease of the newborn). But your DNA doesn’t like, absorb the baby’s DNA or anything, just your body will have some pieces of tissue floating around in it for a while.

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