The Politics of Servicing a Car in a Gendered World

(This article originally appeared on lipmag.com) 
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Before I moved out of home, we would take my car to a local guy to get it serviced, and whenever we’d pick it up, the mechanic would always address my Dad when reporting on his progress with the car that was in my name – that I drove.  This same guy would not let his daughter, who I went to school with, join the family business and become a mechanic, even though that’s what she really wanted to do. So, I have been going to my new mechanics because, although it is apparently more expensive than some other places, the workers (all men) are more approachable and professional (read: not sexist hacks). I got my car serviced, with the outside doorhandle replaced (it’s a long story), a few months ago and it cost me $527. That’s almost two weeks’ wages. As I live entirely on Mi Goreng, a recent study has emerged that has made me question my automotive repair experiences, past and present.

North-Western University’s Kellogg School of Management in the United States has conducted a studythat found that women are more likely to be overcharged, or quoted a higher price for car repairs. The study involved participants contacting 4,603 auto repair shops, asking for a price quote on a radiator replacement for a 2003 Toyota Camry. Initially researching information irregularities and the reasons customers receive different price quotes from mechanics, the customers either indicated that they were familiar with the going rate of such a service, were completely unfamiliar, or were aware of a price that was wrongfully higher than the market rate.

The study found, perhaps unsurprisingly, that if you have a higher price in mind, you’re gonna have a bad time. But there didn’t seem to be any difference whether you had no clue, or if you knew all the things – either way, you got a reasonable quote. That’s if you’re a man. Alternatively, women were more likely to be charged a higher price if they did not indicate prior knowledge about the going rate of the job. According to researcher Meghan Busse, ‘shops believe, rightly or wrongly, that women know less about cars and car repair. In the absence of information to the contrary, they will be offered a higher quote’.
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So the advice, ladies, is to get familiar with your sump plugs and head gaskets (I don’t know what either of these are) and get your pretty little heads around the going rate of a transmission repair and standard oil change, because if you do, you’ll be charged the rightful amount. Just as long as you throw in some of these words and make out you know your stuff. Because, according to this study, it seems that if women have no idea, then they really have No Idea. Whereas when men appear to have no idea about cars, the mechanics just think they’re being strategic about it. Sneaky.

So maybe when I got my big $527 bill I should have questioned it/haggled/batted my eyelashes, because this study also found that when women negotiate prices with mechanics, they are more likely to receive a discount. Is this a good thing? (We’re all street-wise, fast-talkin’ lady-lawyers who run in heels). Or just special treatment? (We’re all delicate lady-flowers who need to be showered with compliments, affection and kittens). So much for gender equality if, as a woman you can basically pull out your lady-concession card and get cheap stuff because you’re pretty/have a vagina/nice smelling hair. Then again, considering the gender wage gap and all, maybe we should just cash in on these things. Hell, buy me that drink, shout me dinner/movie, and fix my car half price. What’s a young feminist to do?

Busse stated that mechanics aren’t a bunch of misogynist pigs that are out to rip women off because patriarchy: ‘It’s easy to imagine employees in male-dominated work environments like car repair shops succumbing to gender stereotypes.’ This is a fair point. We still live in a society where stereotypes about men and women that are long outdated still have paradoxical cultural currency and can have a tangible impact on our daily lives.  Women can’t drive and don’t know anything about cars. Men know all there is to know about cars, mechanics and engineering. They can also read maps while women ask for directions. One thing that can be taken from this study’s findings is that when we prove stereotypes wrong, everyone acts like reasonable human beings and the world becomes a better place. Now, excuse me while I go and Wikipedia sump plugs and head gaskets…
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Gillard & The Gender Card: Why Menu-Gate Matters

(This article originally appeared on Lipmag.com)
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Looking back at Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s now famous/infamous “Misogyny Speech” from last year, I am still filled with pride. Here was the Prime Minister of our country speaking up about issues that have, until recently, been swept back under the rug of our apparently post-feminist cultural milieu. Feminist issues have sometimes been understood to be fringe issues only held by a minority of angry harpies who probably can’t get a boyfriend and have daddy issues. (Urgh). On making her ‘epic speech on sexism,’Gillard was described by Tracie Egan Morrissey at Jezebel as a ‘badass motherfucker.’ As a young woman in Australia, I felt pretty proud to have a ‘badass motherfucker’ woman for a Prime Minister.
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I stumbled across the news about what is now being referred to as ‘Menu-gate’ on Jezebel and was profoundly embarrassed.  From an international perspective, I’m a citizen of a country full of backward sexist hacks with no class, respect or dignity. If you missed it, Julia Gillard(‘s body) was likened to a ‘Kentucky Fried Quail- Small breasts, huge thighs and a big red box’ in a Liberal party fundraiser menu that surfaced a few days ago.  Was it a real menu? Was it ‘just an in-joke’? You know what? I don’t care. It’s wrong on so many levels. It not only draws on the long standing sexist metaphor in our culture of women as meat, but it also reflects a situation where ‘all women in Australia are fair game, from the PM down,’ as Sex Discrimination Commissioner, Elizabeth Boderick points out.

‘Menu-gate’ came after Gillard was criticised for her strategy of endorsing an Obama-esque “Women For Gillard” campaign in the lead up to the September election. In her now controversial speech at the launch of the campaign, Gillard asked the women in attendance to ‘imagine it: a prime minister – a man in a blue tie – who goes on holidays to be replaced by a man in a blue tie,’ demonstrating how women would not be given a significant voice in an Abbott Government.

Gillard also touched on a sensitive topic, stating that ‘we don’t want to live in an Australia where abortion again becomes the political plaything of men who think they know better.’ In bringing up the issue of abortion, Gillard has faced criticism even from feminists such as Eva Cox and Jane Caro who argued that ‘strategically, this isn’t something that should be shouted loudly from the rooftops and certainly not by our first female PM.’ Um, why not?

Gillard has been criticised for ‘playing the gender card’and starting a ‘gender war’ (read: making a big deal out of nothing/looking for trouble) by speaking on legitimate issues that have an impact on Australian citizens (which I’m pretty sure is her job). Just after speaking out against the impending culture of ‘men in blue ties,’ Gillard is met with a sexist slur about her body and then a confronting and offensive questioning of her partner, Tim Mathieson’s sexuality (and hence, manhood) on live radio. This slew of events, as well as countless other incidents throughout Gillard’s tenure as Prime Minister, indicates that ‘the gender card’should definitely be played.

I take issue with the way the media has framed this sequence of events over the past week, constructing the notion of the “gender war” as an illegitimate battle of the sexes that trivialises the significance of gender issues in contemporary Australia. Just as Jezebel columnist Lindy West was criticised for speaking out against rape jokes and misogyny in comedy with actual expressions of misogyny, Gillard’s discussion of gender issues has been met with responses of sexism. In A Switch in Time: Restoring respect to Australian politics, Mary Crooks argues that ‘Gillard is castigated and vilified, often because of her gender. Typically, this is defended as a justifiable reaction to her individual political performance, personal style and presentation.’ In response to Menu-gate, the NSW Liberal minister for women, Pru Goward, argued that the criticism Gillard has received in the past is ‘no worse than what had been dished out to her male predecessors’.

Though it is true that politicians get their fair share of flack: John Howard was called “Little Johnny,” Tony Abbott gets teased about his big ears and budgie smuggling ways, while Kevin Rudd was likened to the Milky-Bar Kid. What is different is the profoundly gendered nature of comments about Gillard, who has been called ‘deliberately barren,’ ‘a useless cow,’ ‘bitch,’ ‘witch’ and now the ‘Kentucky Fried Quail.’ There has been no gendered equivalent for her male predecessors. No one has questioned the sexuality of Tony Abbott’s wife as a way of depicting him as less of a “real” man. No one made large scale jibes about John Howard’s cock. This is because in terms of the way women are treated and thought of in Australian culture, we still seem to have a long way to go.

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Feminists Fight Back Against Online Gender-Based Hate

(This Article Originally Appeared on Lipmag.com) 

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It’s been a long time coming but Facebook has finally put on some big boy panties and got serious when it comes to gender-based hate speech online. In an official blog post released on Wednesday the social networking page announced that ‘it has become clear that our systems to identify and remove hate speech have failed to work as effectively as we would like, particularly around issues of gender-based hate. In some cases, content is not being removed as quickly as we want.’

This announcement comes after a large campaign by Women, Action, and the Media (WAM) in conjunction with The Everyday Sexism Project , Destroy The Joint, and many other feminist women’s groups for Facebook to provide ‘swift, comprehensive and effective action addressing the representation of rape and domestic violence on Facebook’.

Facebook’s strange and erratic responses to material that is demeaning, damaging and offensive to women have been a problem for feminists on Facebook for some time. It has been common for artistic depictions of women’s bodies and genitalia or images of women breastfeeding to be quickly removed from Facebook like a peanut in a primary school.

Meanwhile, pages and images supporting violence, rape, slut-shaming and objectification of women and girls are allowed to hang around.

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I’ve lost count how many times I have reported the ‘Creepshots’ page, yet it’s still there. These sites are like the zombies; you can kill them but they just keep coming back. They might be mildly sanctioned after pesky feminists like me have a whinge and report them; pages like ‘It’s Not Rape If You Yell Surprise!’ have been prefixed with [Controversial Humour] tags.

What a punishment! Not only are those who create and frequent such pages not being effectively told that these messages are not ok, their views are validated as jokes. Haven’t you heard? Rape is FUNNY, guys!

By remaining silent and inactive on the undeniable issue of the culture of misogyny and sexist trolling online, Facebook unintentionally condones such behaviour. According to WAM’s official open letter to Facebook: ‘Your refusal to address gender-based hate speech marginalizes girls and women, sidelines our experiences and concerns, and contributes to violence against them. Facebook is an enormous social network with more than a billion users around the world, making your site extremely influential in shaping social and cultural norms and behaviours.’

I agree entirely that Facebook has become a major element of a significant portion of the population’s lives. It constitutes a whole new way of socialising. I might never leave the house some weekends, but I don’t feel lonely, disconnected or anti-social because I’m always talking to people, or seeing what they’re doing through Facebook.

Because of this we have got to stop thinking of it in completely different ways to how we think about everyday life offline. The way we construct our identities and perform who we are on Facebook largely mirrors our real life gendered selves. Thus, gender issues, just like those for ethnicity, sexuality and religion, are important and relevant for social media.

Gender-based hate and sexist trolling are issues as real as sexism in the real world, because the internet is increasingly becoming just another part of the real world. Sure, we might act slightly different online. We’re removed. We feel invincible. We can type things that we may not actually say or think in the offline world.

But expressing sexism through supporting or condoning the violent rape of women online is a problem regardless of whether that’s something you would admit to in person. It’s not ok, and hopefully Facebook will now start to convey that message.

Virgin’s Mile-High Club

(This Article Originally Appeared On Lipmag.com)

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As a twenty-something self-proclaimed hipster from Tasmania, it might come as a surprise to hear that I have no interest in travel. I didn’t go on a gap year. I didn’t volunteer in Indonesia, teaching dispossessed orangutans to build sustainable housing. Sorry, guys, but I didn’t. But I have been on enough flights to know that they can either be a bit of a drag, or a bit of an adventure. And Virgin America has come up with a great way to make your aeronautical commute just that little bit more of a drag/adventure.

Richard Branson recently unveiled a new ‘in-flight entertainment feature’ in some Virgin America flights: a sassy ‘seat-to-seat delivery’ system where you can buy a drink/meal/snack for that nice looking lady in the third row from the back with the funny jumper. The problem is that what could sound kind of cute has been marketed blatantly as a way to ‘get lucky at 35,000 feet’. Great. Gotta love oh so thinly veiled sexist bravado. Makes you feel glamorous, like you’re on Mad Men. (Seriously, I will quit with the Mad Menreferences soon, I swear). Let’s pour an Old Fashioned and have a look at this.

Elizabeth Plank on PolicyMic called Virgin’s new feature ‘a creepy bar you can’t leave’, but what’s so bad about it? Is it sexist? Well, although Branson throws in the token and obligatory ‘OR HIM’ when explaining buying a treat for ‘the object of your affection’ that you spotted across the heady, dimly lit room A380, it really is implied that it is a service for men to use to act upon women. This is not necessarily bad for all women in all situations. (Look, I did let that creepy, albeit cashed-up, guy buy me a couple of G&Ts at the pub the other weekend because I was broke, ok? I’m not that proud of it.) But this innovation reinforces and replicates broader discourses in our culture that situate men as active and women as passive.

This in-flight get-lucky-machine where you insert money, booze and airplane food and then sex falls out like a treat, encourages a stalky-rapey-pick-up culture designed to benefit men at the expense of women. This isn’t all that great because such behaviours do not need encouragement in our society – they are already happening everywhere, and planes are no exception. The stereotype of the sexy airhostess permeates popular culture, often to the detriment of the experiences of real, live, thinking, feeling womenwho happen to be airhostesses. Meanwhile, countless women are sexually assaulted and harassed while travelling alone on airlines. This can be a particularly harrowing experience of harassment as, unlike a bar or other public place, you cannot leave to avoid the situation. Often, if the plane is full, you can’t even get relocated, causing women to be trapped. In such a situation, a built-in ‘caaanIbuyyoooahhdrrrinnnk??’ application could only make things more awkward.

But it can’t be all bad, right? After all, like aqua-green mold in a share-house, love/lust blossoms in some of the strangest places. With the future increasingly populated with electronic, technological and Internet-y things, perhaps this is just what’s in store for us; the mechanisation of hooking up. We’ve already seen therise of apps such as Grindr and Blendr that act like a social GPS in the chase for tail. So how is this any different? Creepy in-flight crack-ons aside, I find this whole thing a great example of how we use technology, fabricated asexual constructs, to perform our very gendered and sexual selves. Finally, it’s not as though women can’t use the Virgin seat-to-seat delivery to actively seek out man-meat once the seatbelt sign is off. Richard Branson could be talking to us, ladies, when he wishes us ‘good luck up there’ in his institutionalised mile-high club. So go forth and plus one the shit out of the next flight you’re on. The sky’s the limit.

(Un)necessary Evil: Japanese Politician Justifies Military Sex Slavery

This article originally appeared on Lip Mag
(http://lipmag.com/opinion/unnecessary-evil-japanese-politician-justifies-military-sex-slavery/)

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While researching for my earlier piece on rape during wartime, I kept coming across the Japanese military use of “comfort women” during the mid-20th century through World War II. I had never heard about this before, which prompted me to read further. Comfort women, or “ianfu,” a euphemism for “shofu,” meaning prostitute, were women and girls forced or coerced into organised military sex slavery by the Japanese military from the 1930s-1945.

Women and girls were often kidnapped or employed under false pretences in Japanese occupied areas of China, Korea and other parts of Asia, forced into military “comfort stations” (read: brothels) to serve the soldiers and personnel. Although the practise was initially taken up to reduce rape of civilians in Japanese occupied areas by members of the army, the women in comfort stations were forced to have sex with up to thirty-five men a day, undergoing multiple and continuous rapes and physical assaults. A significant portion of former comfort women have been left infertile as a result of sexually transmitted infections, successive forced abortions and rape. The Japanese government has since apologised and compensated women throughout Asia for this systematic sexual torture.

Recently, Toru Hashimoto, the mayor of Osaka and co-leader of the far-right Nationalist Japan Restoration Party, caused international controversy by stating that the comfort women system, the systematic abduction, coercion, rape and abuse of Asian women, was ‘necessary’ given the circumstances. According to Hashimoto, in wartime when ‘bullets are flying like rain and wind, the soldiers are running around at the risk of losing their lives. If you want them to have a rest in such a situation, a comfort women system is necessary. Anyone can understand that.’

Sorry, Toru, but I don’t understand that. In wartime women have been left alone to raise children without the support of their partners, living in fear as to whether they will return alive, or picking up the pieces when returned soldiers come home severely traumatized, both mentally and physically. Where is their ‘rest’? There is no ‘necessary’ “comfort man” system for lonely housewives or war widows. Women who are unfaithful to their military spouses while they are away on service are vilified the world over, yet men’s wartime infidelity is justified by hegemonic patriarchal thought in this context because women are treated as interchangeable objects for male usage. When Hashimoto claims that the state sanctioned use of military sex slavery was a justifiable and reasonable practice he is reproducing gendered notions that the male sex-drive is an active force, constituting a natural right of men, whereas women’s sexual desires can only ever be articulated in passive reaction to male sexuality.

Hashimoto argued further that Japan has been unfairly criticized for its past use of comfort women in light of the fact that other countries used similar systems.  For example, US troops continued the use of already established comfort stations in Korea after their victory in 1945. The abuse of women within the military by other officers, usually of higher rank, has been a topical issue in Australia recently that could also be compared to the Japanese war crimes committed against women. According to Hashimoto, Japan is being insulted by this exclusive scrutiny from around the world.

In light of this it is interesting to think how the broader motif of the kept woman also resonates through the Western cultural imaginary. In Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s The Yellow Wallpaper, we see a woman sent mad by her forced confinement by her husband, who claims she is unwell. In Jane Eyre, Rochester keeps his crazy first wife locked away in a tower somewhere. Just a few weeks ago, on the most disturbing and horrid episode of Mad Men yet, (SPOILER ALERT) Don Draper gets his Christian Grey on and imprisons his newest mistress, Sylvia, in a hotel room, not allowing her to even read a book while he is gone for days.

A radical feminist perspective of patriarchal culture and institutions such as marriage would attest that all women in direct relationships with men are, to some extent, the emotional, sexual and domestic slaves of those men. We are all kept by someone. We are all potential comfort women. Though I do not believe this is really the case, issues like this prompt us to question how women in our own culture are positioned and what the implications of Hashimoto’s comments may be in a Western context.

Marriage Proposals: Business Negotiation or Disney Movie Denouement?

This article originally appeared on Lip mag 
(http://lipmag.com/culture/marriage-proposals-business-negotiation-or-disney-movie-denouement/)

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So, before I start I’ve got to admit I’m feeling a little bit like a radical feminist troll at the moment because every time I go on mamamia.com.au, “feminist” women’s news blog site, I find something I vehemently disagree with. A few weeks ago I blogged in response to their cute little playlist for women to continue doing the majority of unpaid household labour to, arguing that we should ‘boycott all of that mumsy-“I-enjoy-cleaning-once-I-put-some-cute-indie-pop-rock-on!”-post-feminist-let’s-all-have-it-all-bullshit’. I fully recognise that feminism is diverse and multifaceted, with pockets that resonate with some women more than others and that this difference is legitimate and important; however, for a website that claims to provide coverage of the things that ‘all women’ are interested in and talking about, I find some of their content a bit questionable.

My latest beef with Mamamia is Natalia Jastrzab’s opinion piece on the rise of (gasp) ‘the mutual proposal’. Jastrzab’s opinion (which she is wholly entitled to) is that mutual marriage proposals are nightmarishly unromantic, her personal preference being that a man proposes traditionally to her. By annoyingly referencing a scene from the first Sex & The City movie, in which protagonist Carrie and her love interest Mr Big unceremoniously decide to get married over the domestic banality of chopping vegetables, Jastrzab claims that ‘the mutual proposal is gaining traction in the relationship landscape.’ According to Jastrzab, there is this growing trend of partners discussing their romantic life paths as equals and coming to mutual decisions instead of the traditional feigning surprise and excitement when your long-term beau decides to make you his wife. I fail to see how the traditional view of marriage can make sense in the same way in a time where long-term de facto cohabitation and even not marrying at all are both socially acceptable and widespread. The bride dressed in white to symbolise virginity and purity. The father giving away the bride. It all seems rather anachronistic.
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Jastrzab’s article sports the demanding title ‘I don’t want a mutual proposal. I want the guy to ask me.’ Sounds a bit Varuca Salt, to me. But who can blame her? As women we are still being socialised to aspire to old-school life paths, with a wedding still being seen as “The Most Important Day Of Your Life.” As Jastrzab also points out, the proposal is up there in The Most Important/Romantic Things That Will Ever Happen To You Ever. Forget that time when you woke up hung-over next to your partner with a bag full of cold McMuffins that the guys from the party last night stuffed through the letter slot in the door on their way home at four AM. Or that time when he tried to read you The Iliad as a bedtime story but couldn’t pronounce all the names. All that stuff could never compare to the way he pops the question. It’s every little girl’s dream: ‘ever since I can remember I’ve always held up the proposal as the romantic event to beat all romantic events.’

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Elle didn’t get the proposal she was after In Legally Blonde…

Reading this I almost felt a bit cheated. I’ve never had that fairy tale, Barbie princess, hetero-normative fantasy. My parents weren’t married and they never really made a thing of it. Love is just love. You don’t need a big self-indulgent circus to justify it. But if that’s your thing, that’s fine. I’ll come and help myself to the open bar and make some drunken speech about how I always knew you were right for each other, especially after that time when we were all living together and you used to accidently steal each others socks. And I don’t care how you decided to put it all on. We should be grateful that we can even have this argument, considering that non-heterosexual couples still don’t get much of a choice either way in many places. For couples who have to travel inter-state, or even internationally to get hitched somewhere where it is actually legal, this involves significant negotiation. Jastrzab’s traditional hetero-normative view of the romantic marriage proposal potentially brands these already marginalised relationships as unromantic because they may not involve the ol’ ‘will you be my lawfully wedded wife?’ Q-bomb.

It shouldn’t matter whether you’re sitting around in your kitchen wearing oversized band t-shirts and smelly socks or if you’ve booked a table for two at the swankiest restaurant in town and have a speech prepared. What really matters is the connection between two people who want to spend (pretty much) the rest of their life together. Even if it takes putting up with their facetious jokes and Star Wars references that you don’t understand.

Durex Creates Smart Undies For Cyber Sexy Times

This Article Originally Appeared On Lip Magazine:
(http://lipmag.com/featured/transferring-touch-durex-creates-smart-undies-for-cyber-sexy-times/)
 

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Although pairing technology with sexy times is not new, recent innovations by Durex are being hailed as a ‘world first’ in wearable technology. Durex are currently developing underwear with inbuilt sense actuators that will be connected to a smart phone app, used for long distance transferring of touch. So, the app connects two smart phones through an Amazon server, and then connects to the men’s and women’s underwear. When stroking a picture of lady or man bits on the app, that touch is reproduced through the actuators in the underwear and felt by the wearer, taking cyber sex to a whole new level.

Durex ‘Fundawear’ (yeah, I know, hideous name, right?) is currently an experiment, but may become a reality in the near future. It is important to question whether this technology is entirely positive and what the possible social implications of its development may be. As with any new technology, especially those impacting on human relations, there is a tendency to fear its capabilities of dehumanisation. Will it get to the point where we don’t actually touch each other – we just use the app for that? You can just imagine future married couples in waning and loveless relationships sitting morosely in bed together engaging in ritualistic virtual foreplay instead of the real thing. However, it’s all too easy to lapse into these familiar moral panics around technology, and I like to take a more optimistic approach.

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Clearly the app/undies have obvious benefits for long distance couples and also just look like a lot of fun. Although the marketing is shamelessly heteronormative, with blatant his and hers sections full of pink and blue, not to mention the standard girly lingerie for ladies that just screams Male Gaze/compulsory hyper-femininity, this technology is not limited to heterosexual couples. Unless “his” phone cannot connect to another “his” phone…then there’d be a problem.

There are so many ethical and social questions that rise out of new social media technologies, and Durex Fundawear is no exception. What happens if you loose your phone and someone else uses it to cyber-grope your lover? What about hackers? These issues are not so problematic while the technology is a novelty, but what if the technology is developed to the point where it is normalised and standardised, so every pair of undies you buy are equipped with the Fundawear capability? Will anyone be able to connect with your server, to the point where you could be virtually pinched on the butt by a stranger in the line at K Mart without them physically touching you? It would be like the poke option on Facebook, but you would actually feel it. That could get scary.

I think this potential addition to cyber sex is positive in terms of the use of touch. It seems fairly futuristic to be able to create simulated sensations that are actually being controlled by the person you would like to be physically doing that stuff with, but perhaps can’t for whatever reason. Being able to physically feel even simulated touch could be comforting for those in times of loneliness and isolation. I know there have been times in my life where I would have loved to reach through the computer/phone screen to the person on the other end. There is no denying that simulated touch could never replace real human emotion and sensuality, but it’s better than nothing.

Post-structuralist feminist, Helen Cixious and Iris Marion Young have both argued that touch is an especially empowering and salient sense for women. Sight and visual stimuli have been largely associated with male (hetero)sexuality through the concept of the oppressive Male Gaze, which has been used to objectify women by giving men the power of The Look. A recent example of this at play is that of the scandalous Danish television program which featured naked women being judged by men on the “aesthetics” of their bodies. By introducing virtual touch as a new element of cyber sex, the objectifying power of the Male Gaze will be diluted, resulting in a less oppressive experience for women. Misogynist trolls will be less able to exploit women through things like creep shots and revenge porn if virtual touch becomes a bigger part of online sexual interactions. You can’t save touch and upload it later without someone’s consent. You can’t use virtual touch to slut-shame. When you are touching someone you are also being touched yourself, thus there is less of a power imbalance than being the person who actively looks and the person who is passively looked at.

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In Mad Men Season 1 Peggy tries out the ‘Electrosizer,’ another curious vibrating underwear…

As with any new technology, Durex Fundawear has both positive and negative aspects. Whether or not this technology is for you, it undeniably makes us think about the ways in which technology and the Internet are impacting and shaping the ways in which we create and perform our sexualities.