Michael’s reply (in our conversations) to this article is a very nuanced evaluation of the phenomenon. However, my conjecture is this; if we are to accept sexuality as a strong feature of our identities, then we are to accept a socially constructed aspect of our identity; if we are to accept the latter in principle genera, then other things may be made permissible; in particular, masculinity and feminity.
Like sexuality, masculinity and femininity are predicates imbued within social identity; as say, the notion of monogamy or romantic relations are. I stop here and ask the question; in virtue of what are these aspects of identity?
If we are to embrace these aspects of our identity, then we must endorse the objects sui generis; to endorse one’s own sexuality or femininity minor premise is to judge that femininity and sexuality are approved of major premise. So, to embrace one’s own sexual desires is to say that sexual desire may be pursued principally. Please tell me if I am making Mill’s fallacy in Utilitarianism Bk1-3. (Perhaps I am saying something in the form of : “To accept that may legitimately endorse their own sexuality is to endorse that sexuality is desirably endorsed.” Which may be too much to say).
Lets run a parrallel argument; two people, lets call them, Jeremy and Claire.
Jeremy is a misogynist; he considers women to be sexual objects to be dominated; his notion of selfhood and ‘manliness’ is to be physically oriented, both in the public and private spheres of life. Jeremy’s notion of candidness is characterised by orgasm and violence; that is his most ‘essential’ feature. To endorse this is to endorse a similar model of masculinity.
Claire, like Jeremy, is a slave to culture; cultural objects are accepted through a criterion judged by the hegemonic masses; she desires what is socially desirable to desire, she wears and fucks who the hegemony define worth having sex with. She, like Jeremy, are slaves to the herd and lack any sense of autonomy. If these two are to embrace their ‘manhood’ and ‘womanhood’ respectively, then they embrace their model of masculinity and femininity. A criterion is made which delineates the permissable from the impermissable. If we are to consider the man with polio; he wants to find a way to deal with his yearning for appreciation, for another human being to love him and see him as a desirable object, which in turn creates a positive self image and boosts self-esteem; if he is to accept that, then he accepts that is a norm to be followed. It is, to allude to a certain Austrian-British philosopher, a rule-following practice; and it must be so insofar as it is a meaningful human practice.
To follow a rule is to endorse it; Q.E.D
The issue now is; which rules shall we follow? I have reservations about nature and being taken in by the passions; furthermore, this type of sexual practice tht was elicited in the article seems to be very much self-indulgent and focused primarily on happiness; which, is alsop something to be concerned about, for happiness is an indeterminate object; an indeterminate object cannot be achieved determinately. From a more human perspective; it doesn’t seem to be an era where we can take pleasyure anymore, there is too much suffering and transgress going on; no pleasure can come from the world which is characterised by sentiment and failure of reason. People like us should be despised and eliminated, insofar as our sentiment eliminates our true sense of autonomy.