Source: Unknown (Initial posting here, maybe?)
With depictions of desire, why is it at best & always a little of the good and a little of the bad?
I want to like this. That’s not fair–dismemberment of her right forearm and both legs by frame edge & #skinnyframebullshit aside, I like it: I swoon over freckles like it’s my job and I prefer giving over receiving. Credit should also be given to the bokehed emphasis of her expression/face as opposed to her body and her lover’s hand shielding her is a delightful gesturing.
Still I am hesitant to embrace; I think because it strikes me as a clumsy half-measure.
Yes, shifting depictions of sexual pleasure away from the usual male-bodied locus and onto female-bodied individuals is out-fucking-standing; but this well-intentioned effort only serves to reinforce the traditional one-dimensional view of female bodies as the singular site of all that is sexual.
The unfathomably talented Sarah Polley–who, duh, I LOVE–implicitly calls bullshit on the double standard with regard to depictions of nudity in her film Take this Waltz. It’s depressing how shocking it is to audience to have female nudity presented in the way male nudity is: i.e. as incidental and unconnected to sexual behaviors. This reprehensibly simple-minded conflation of female bodies with sexuality is fucking everywhere.
And it’s not not that female bodies are not or shouldn’t be sites of sexuality; they are and will be forever and ever amen. The fucked-up thing is they shouldn’t be the only such site.
Again credit to those out in front of this issue. I’m thinking of Beautiful Agony, Clayton Cubitt’s Hysterical Literature and clever work like this; or, any effort really to present sexuality as an extension of an interpersonal totality and not the requirement of a body.