Rape culture strips women of access to their own desire. Through slut shaming, through intimidation, through forcing pain upon us to punish us for our arousal, rape culture teaches women to not feel when they get turned on.
What our mouths say turns us on, and what our vaginas say turns us on, is different. Because this knowledge of who we are was taken from us. Women are forbidden from knowing themselves fully. Women are forbidden from experiencing what turns them on, and instead where arousal should be, there is nothing. There is just empty space. Not all women, of course. But enough. Enough to make a difference on a large, cultural scale.
Once stripped of our desire, we are then filled with capitalist values. Because we can no longer enjoy the pleasures of sex, we can only enjoy the pleasures of materialism. Why do women tend to like rich men? Because if you’re not going to enjoy fucking him, you may as well enjoy the shit he buys you. Who does this benefit? Decrepit old white guys who young women would not naturally desire.
It doesn’t read as materialism in our bodies though. It reads as affirmation. We are taught to value male attention, so it feels good when men think we’re pretty. But it doesn’t feel sexy, it feels like… getting a good grade. It feels like achievement. It feels like cultural acceptance. But, since we’re not going to feel the good feelings that come with desire, that’s all we can get.
It splits women’s desire in their heads, so women are forbidden from taking pleasure in their partners bodies. Women can receive pleasure from passively receiving a partner’s technique, or they can vicariously receive pleasure by disembodying and receiving pleasure from completely pleasuring someone else. But, we are not allowed to find innate desire in the body of another.
We are not allowed to know who we find beautiful. This is a dangerous knowledge. If women were allowed access to our own belief in innate beauty, we could no longer be sold as a commodity. Rich old men may not have the power to make us desire them, but they can stop us from desiring anyone else. They cannot buy our affection, but they can buy our attention.
For a woman, finding the innate characteristics of another — their appearance, their smell, anything that cannot be worked on — is deeply taboo. Because, we act like men should be able to earn female affection. It is the ultimate payout for capitalist success.
Genuine female desire breaks that.