Day 39: Sexism
Yesterday, I saw a video in which an Amazon employee stated that "dildos are not essential items." His sentence continued: "Books for kids, yes. But, dildos?"
You can see the video here:
The element that got me was the disbelief in his tone. "Dildos?" he asks, like a mantra. Various questions immediately arose in my mind: Why did he choose dildos as his example? Why not inflatable sex dolls, or nipple clamps, which are gender-neutral? Who is he to determine what is an essential item? Who should determine what are essential items? Should anyone decide what is essential for anyone else?
My initial analysis of his speech is that is heteropatriarchal and sexist. For this man, something like female pleasure (or anal pleasure for anyone, for that matter) is not even worthy of consideration. After all, why would he care if there are women self-isolating by themselves and would like to have sex toys to get a few orgasms and release some tension.
Maybe he has kids, so he understands that children's books can be a help for parents. I would contend that those are not essential, that, if required, we can make up our own stories and would be better off for it. But then again, I am a writer. Making stories up comes naturally to me. I accept that not everyone has this ability so there might be a need for children's books.
This got me thinking about whether anyone should be deciding the "essentiallity" of a particular item. What about golf-clubs, I speculated, are those essential? Not for me, naturally. I don't care about golf. It appears to be a pointless activity. Moreover, you are not even supposed to be outside golfing right now. However, that doesn't prove that these are not fundamental items for someone. It only shows that they don't matter to me. In these stressful times, people might seek comfort on familiar objects, on cherished objects. Right now, as many find that their preexisting mental difficulties worsen or that new conditions arise from the combination of stress and isolation, certain activities, objects, and relationships take on a new function.
I'm sure that, for many couples, the lockdown has offered an opportunity to rekindle their flame, but for those of us who are alone, sex toys offer a satisfying possibility without the inherent risk implied in some potential improvisation.
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