Radical Feminism Today offers a timely and engaging account of exactly what feminism is, and what it is not. Author Denise Thompson questions much of what has come to be taken for granted as `feminism' and points to the limitations of implicitly defining feminism in terms of `women', `gender', `difference' or `race//gender//class'. She challenges some of the most widely accepted ideas about feminism and in doing so opens up a number of hitheto closed debates, allowing for the possibility of moving those debates further.
Chapter 3: Ideology – ‘Enabling’ and Disguising Domination
Ideology – ‘Enabling’ and Disguising Domination
Pleasure and Desire
Above all, ideology is intended to be made true. One of the chief ways in which consent to oppression is managed is through the cultivation of desire, the constitution of subjects who embrace relations of domination because they want to, because it is pleasurable to do so. Pleasure and desire ‘enable’ the continuation of the social conditions of male supremacy. This cannot be left to chance or nature, but must be constantly reinforced and endlessly reiterated.
The medium which expresses male supremacist desire most clearly, without apology, equivocation or adornment, is pornography. In what follows, I locate the pornographic imagination with men because what I am criticizing is the ideological construction of sex ...