Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Uh, No. Dan. When Poor People Do that Shit they Get Locked Up For It

Jeezus christ on a two toast points but Dan Savage's white male privilege is showing. I guess its all Mrs. Spitzer's fault, the humorless bitch, for not wanting to be choked during sex. Ladeez, pleez, don't bother the rich white guy. He *had* to act out a common fantasy of *choking his sexual partner*--everybody wants to choke their sexual partner and if their wives are not amenable (maybe he couldn't tell her! Its the saddest story of all!) then they just "go elsewhere." And everybody does the same thing. It has never happened, in the history of the world, that people who dont' get what they want just sit on their desires and think of England? And when poor people do this shit they don't get any notice at all! Poor Elliot. On top of being publicly humiliated because he was so sexually dull and uninteresting and ungenerous that he had to pay for sex instead of getting it for free from his wife he's publicly humiliated because he's a rich guy!

How stupid is Dan, really? More... When poor people (lets pretend for the sake of argument that lots of women have violent fantasies they want to play out on their husbands. Just for a second. Lets try to do this in a non gendered way) can't get their husband or wife to agree for sex with torture I'm sure they also go "outside" to get what they need. But if they can't afford Spitzer's out--to actually pay a prostitute to *let* them choke them during sex choke their sex partners we call it uh...wait...lemme see...its on the tip of my tongue. Oh yeah. We call it assault with intent to murder. Maybe we add "by a horny guy who was strapped for cash" but we don't think its "just the natural order of things." Because whatever the natural order for animals is, humans live in a social order. Yeah. You heard it here first, apparently. We have a social order that prescribes some behavior and proscribes others. One of the things it proscribes is inflicting harm on another person for mere sexual pleasure. And it double dog proscribes paying a prostitute to consent to physical harm. And one of the people who used to know that, because he made a living prosecuting prostitutes, was Eliot Spitzer himself. Rich guys can buy temporary consent. That may make it inevitable. But it doesn't make it moral. And it certainly doesn't make it anything other than the usual privilige accorded to rich white men. But that doesn't mean that their wives, or other women, or poor men are permitted to enjoy the same luxury. When ordinary, poor people, can't get sexual or other satisfaction in their private lives they have to suppress their desires.

Here's the offending paragraphs:

Spitzer was horny. And like a lot men out there, he had the means to hire someone to act out a "difficult" fantasy—choking, apparently—that either his wife wasn't willing to indulge or that he was too ashamed to ask the wife to indulge. And, like many men who go to pros, when Spitzer weighed the benefits—getting off—against the risks—getting caught—he miscalculated. And lots of men are terrible at monogamy (women aren't much better), and it's possible that Spitzer's wasn't just after choking action, but a little variety as well. And about the choking action: Many men have sexual fantasies that involve ritualized sexual violence, and it's often difficult for these men to incorporate their fantasies into their marital sex lives—their own madonna/whore hangups; their wives' inability to see incorporating kinks as a kind of lovemaking—and many of these men seek the services of pros. And in most cases, the services of pros aren't a threat to these men's marriages, but rather the thing that makes it possible for these men to remain content in their marriages.

In short, Spitzer was horny for something he wasn't getting at home—perhaps he was refused, perhaps he never asked—and he did what most men (and women) do when they're not getting something they desperately need at home. He went elsewhere. Which doesn't excuse his hypocrisy—as NY's attorney general, Spitzer prosecuted people for running the kind of prostitution services he patronized himself—and, yeah, he was taking enormous risks... something the rich and powerful and the poor and penniless have been doing for tens of thousands of years. The big difference: We don't hear about it when the poor and penniless get caught.