Chus Martinez On The Catfight

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Catfight (also known as girl fight) is a term for an altercation between two women, often characterized as involving scratching, slapping, hair-pulling, and shirt-shredding. It can also be used to describe women insulting each other verbally. The catfight has been a staple of American news media and popular culture since the 1940s, and use of the term is often considered derogatory or belittling. Some observers argue that in its purest form, the word refers to two women, one blonde and the other a brunette, fighting each other. However, the term is not exclusively used to indicate a fight between women, and many formal definitions do not invoke gender.

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The term catfight was recorded by the Oxford English Dictionary as the title and subject of a 1824 mock heroic poem by Ebenezer Mack. It is first recorded as being used to describe a fight between women in 1854. The word cat itself was originally a contemptuous term for either sex, but eventually came to refer to a woman considered loose or sexually promiscuous, or one regarded as spiteful, backbiting and malicious.

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Catfights first began appearing in American popular culture in the 1950s when post war pioneers of pornography such as Irving Klaw produced films clips of women engaged in catfighting and wrestling. Klaw used many models and actresses in his works including Bettie Page. The popularity of watching women fight increased in the post war years and eventually moved into the mainstream of society. In the 1960s, catfights became popular in B movies such as Russ Meyer’s Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! and the 1969 animated Boris Karloff movie Mad Monster Party. In the 1970s and 1980s, catfights began to make appearances in women in prison films, in roller derby and in night time soap operas such as Dallas and Dynasty.

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The television series Dynasty became famous for the on-screen catfights that would take place during episodes. Dynasty starred John Forsythe as an oil tycoon and patriarch of a wealthy family that lived in Denver. The show co-starred blonde Linda Evans and brunette Joan Collins. The two women had a number of fights, both verbal and physical, during the show’s 10-year run on ABC. Designed to compete with Dallas, a highly popular evening drama on CBS, Dynasty’s first year’s ratings were unremarkable. For the second season, the producers introduced the dark haired Collins as a foil to the blonde Evans and hoped that her “bitchy persona” would enhance the show’s ratings, which it did.

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According to Evans, the Dynasty director’s blueprint for the first fight was an “outrageous catfight” that she had almost a decade earlier with Stefanie Powers in the detective series McCloud, starring Dennis Weaver. The fight occurred during an argument they were having in Evans’ apartment when Powers, on her way out, grabbed a bottle of seltzer water and sprayed down Evans. Before she reached the door, Evans grabbed Powers and the two women engaged in spirited catfight, wrecking the apartment in the process. During the fight, Powers’ blouse was partially torn off exposing her black bra, a surprising level of undress for network television in that era. Evans eventually overpowered her brunette opponent and was holding her head down in a water filled aquarium when Weaver walked in and ended the fight.

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Catfights, both real and staged, are a staple of daytime television talk shows and reality television shows such as The Jerry Springer Show, The Bachelor, For Love or Money, and The Real Housewives series, where women are frequently presented as being in continual competition with each other for love and professional success. In 2009, ABC-TV promoted The Bachelor with the voiceover narration “Let the catfights begin”, and reality television shows have frequently overlaid sound effects of hissing cats onto scenes featuring women arguing or competing with each other.

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In 2002, an SABMiller television commercial called Catfight featured two young scantily clad actresses drinking a beer in an outside cafe. Their polite conversation quickly turned into an argument about whether Miller Lite beer’s best aspect was its taste or the fact that it was less filling than other beers. The argument led to a fight where one of the girls knocked the other into an adjacent pool. The women quickly lost most of their clothes and continued the fight clad in only in their underwear. Before the fight came to a conclusion the scene faded out and the viewers saw that it was a fantasy dreamed up by two men in a bar discussing what would make a great commercial. The scene would later cut to the girls, stripped down to their underwear, wrestling in a mud pit. An uncensored version was also filmed that included an alternate ending where the mud covered girls fall in love and kiss. Predictably, one critic noted, the fight was blonde vs. brunette. The campaign generated considerable controversy, but sales of Miller Lite subsequently declined by three percent.

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Rachel Reinke, in her essay ‘Catfight: A Feminist Analysis’ states: “More than any other aspect of the catfight in today’s culture, the catfight’s sexually arousing potential is exploited for numerous purposes. The phenomenon of catfighting as erotic entertainment for straight men is widely documented throughout the Internet, television, film, and even pornography. On numerous websites … web users are overwhelmingly presented with catfighting as highly sexual, even pornographic. So many websites act as sources of catfights as pornography that it would be hard to believe the catfight can be interpreted in any other way. Venturing onto … these pages (and many others) will lead a viewer to an abundance of videos and images of objectified women fighting with each other by pulling hair, scratching, and even biting each other. The interpretation of the catfight as sexy and gratifying for men is hardly uncommon on the Internet… “

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Catfights are often described as titillating for heterosexual men. Portrayals of catfights in cartoons, movies and advertising often display participants as attractive, with supermodel physiques, dishevelled and missing articles of clothing, and catfights are often featured in media aimed primarily at boys or men with an interest in sex . Comedian Jerry Seinfeld once described the appeal of the catfight as “men think if women are grabbing and clawing at each other, there’s a chance they might somehow, you know… kiss.”

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Women have often been critical of the term “catfight”, particularly when it’s used in ways that may seem to inappropriately sexualize, neutralize or trivialize disagreements among women on serious topics. American newspapers characterized a dispute between Clare Boothe Luce and journalist Dorothy Thompson over which candidate to support in the 1940 Presidential campaign as a catfight. One newspaper called it “a confrontation between two blonde Valkryies”, and journalist Walter Winchell, upon running into Luce and Thompson at a nightclub, reportedly urged them to refrain from fighting, saying “Ladies, ladies, remember there are gentlemen present.” Luce later said she learned from this that although it was acceptable for men to disagree violently, women’s disagreements would immediately be called a catfight, fingernail-scratching or hair-pulling contest.

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In the 1970s, the American news media began to use the term catfight to describe women’s disagreements about issues related to women’s rights, such as the Equal Rights Amendment. Historian Susan J. Douglas says this served two important ideological purposes: it promoted division rather than unity among women from different ethnic, class, generational and regional lines, and it replaced the notion of “sisterhood” with competitive individualism.

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Chus Martinez On Erotic Humiliation

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Erotic humiliation is the consensual use of psychological humiliation in a sexual context, whereby one person gains arousal or erotic excitement from the powerful emotions of being humiliated and demeaned, or of humiliating another; it is often, but not always, accompanied by sexual stimulation of one or both partners in the activity. The humiliation need not be sexual in itself; as with many other sexual activities, it is the feelings derived from it that are sought, regardless of the nature of the actual activity. It can be verbal or physical, and can be relatively private or public. Often it can become ritualized, and unlike some sexual variations it can also be easily carried out over a long distance (online or via the telephone etc.). The distinction between humiliation and dominance in an activity such as erotic spanking is that the sought effect is primarily the humiliation; the activity is just a means to that end.

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While fantasy and fascination with erotic humiliation is a prevalent part of BDSM and other sexual role play, relatively little has been written on it. Humiliation play can, however, be taken to a point where it becomes emotionally or psychologically distressing to one or the other partner, especially if it is public humiliation. Erotic humiliation can become extreme enough to be considered a form of edgeplay, which some consider may best be approached with advance negotiation and use of a safeword. This is a highly subjective issue, and depends greatly on context.

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The person being humiliated is often called a bottom, and the person who humiliates the bottom is often called the top, though these are standard terms used in general dominant/submissive role play and are not specific to humiliation interests. The top, if female, sometimes is called the humiliatrix. Other common names are slave and sub/submissive, for the bottom, and Master/Mistress and Dom/Domme, for the top.

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Humiliation is not the same as dominance: the devotee does not necessarily seek to be ordered about. However, elements of erotic humiliation may be desirable to a number of dominance based activities. Humiliation comes into its own as a sexual force when the devotee seeks the humiliation over and above the means: when being spanked is primarily valued because of the belittlement involved, for example. Humiliation therefore encompasses a range of paraphilia, including foot fetish, shoe fetish, body worship, spanking, bondage, and most BDSM styles. It can be as basic as the desire to kiss and massage feet as a precursor to sex; and it can be complex, involving role play and public displays of subservience. It can also be for a set period of time (a “scene”) or an ongoing facet of a relationship. The humiliation is not intrinsic to the act or the object. Rather, it is semiotically charged by the shared attitude of the partners engaged in the act. They invest specific acts, objects, or body parts with a humiliating aspect.

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Many scenarios may give rise to sexual humiliation. Some scenarios may be based on verbal abuse and others on physical aspects. Some possible examples are as follows:

Animal play—describing the submissive as a pet, dog, girl, or bitch; making the submissive eat and drink from pet food and water bowls.

Various verbal belittlement, with such words as slave, boy, girl, missy, and pet. Also other forms of verbal humiliation including insults and verbal abuse, such as fat, ugly, stupid, worthless, slut, shit, bitch, and whore. Verbal slighting of body parts and behaviours, such as disparaging or cruel references to breasts, facial appearance, genitalia (including size), buttocks, and slighting of such mannerisms as walking, responsiveness, and standard of self-care. Forced verbal repetition, such as the submissive’s being obliged to repeat commands that he or she has been given and to confirm them. Likewise, forced flattery, such as agreeing that every decision that the dominant makes is wise, correct, and justifiable, while additionally praising the dominant’s physical and personality traits. Mockery, derision, and ridicule. Scolding of the type commonly reserved for children.

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Requirement to ask permission for everyday activities: such as going to the toilet, spending money, and eating.

Physical humiliation. Ejaculating, spitting, and urinating on the submissive’s body, especially the face. Servitude. Forced sexual degradation, including such acts as erotic massage, cunnilingus, analingus, and fellatio.

Detailed accountability and control (micro-management) as to time spent and activities done, including lists of jobs to do, precise directions as to how the job is to be performed, and exactly how to act and behave.

Specific rituals and affectations to be adopted. This includes displays of subservience, such as lighting cigarettes, walking a pace behind the dominant, speaking only when spoken to, kneeling or prostrating oneself in front of the dominant when expecting orders, eating only after others or on the floor, and low-status place to sleep.

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Body worship, including such activities as kissing or licking the dominant’s feet, boots, buttocks, anus, vulva, etc. to express acknowledgment, subservience, shame, and even positive emotions (such as happiness and excitement).

Deprivation of privacy, which may include the submissive’s never being able to leave the room in which the dominant is present without permission.

The dominant watches while the submissive uses the toilet.

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The submissive’s being forbidden to leave the house or ‘dungeon’ in general for the duration of slavery or servitude, etc.

Discipline (BDSM), including erotic spanking, slapping, whipping, restraint, and other BDSM activities (such as cock-and-ball torture (CBT)).

Dresscode (BDSM): prescriptions and proscriptions of clothing, even in public. For women, a common example is being mandated to wear only bikinis or lingerie. For men, forced feminizing and cross-dressing. Both sexes may be expected to go completely naked, with decorative objects such as collars, diapers, bands, tiaras, and cuffs as the only exceptions.

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Erotic sexual denial including the use of a chastity belt. The submissive being forced to wear a gag or restraints on the body.

Public humiliation, in which the submissive’s friends or family, or strangers, are aware of or even witness the treatment.

Erotic objectification, in which the submissive is used as human furniture, such as a footstool.

Forced anal penetration, with dildos, anal plugs, and similar objects.

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Cuckolding, a mostly heterosexual fetish in which the dominant woman has sex with a man outside of the relationship while the submissive man may or may not be present. If the man is not present, he might help her choose what clothes to wear when she meets the other man, or they might get together afterward so she can tell him about it, either while having sex or in addition to withholding sex. If the man is present during the cuckolding, he may or may not be allowed to pleasure himself while watching. The cuckolding may or may not be followed by sex between the couple. Another variant of the cuckolding fetish is that a heterosexual couple fantasizes that another man has already impregnated the woman.

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The submissive having to ask permission to orgasm during sex or masturbation.

Forced masturbation in a humiliating manner.

Feelings of humiliation are key to many of those engaged in klismaphilia.

Some sexual humiliation involves physical inflicting pain, but much of it is far more concerned with ridicule, mocking, degradation, and embarrassment.

Sexual role playing can involve humiliation. For example, one person might play the part of a dog because he or she enjoys being mock-forced into it, and the top might emphasize the lowness of the bottom’s status as an animal, whereas another person might play the role of the dog without any element of humiliation, simply as an expression of an inner animal or playful spirit.

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Humiliation in general stimulates the same brain regions that are associated with physical pain, the inference being that humans evolved to remember social rewards and punishments as strongly as they recall physical reward or pain in response to their environment. As with any form of pain experimentation in a sexual context, consent and (paradoxically) a high degree of awareness and communication are needed to ensure that the result is desirable, rather than abusive. For example, a submissive may enjoy being insulted in some ways but be genuinely crushed and devastated if humiliated or insulted in other ways.

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Humiliation play is also connected to sexual fetishism, in that non-sexual activities may become sexualised by association with arousal, and also may be associated with exhibitionism in the sense of wanting others to witness (or being aroused by others witnessing) one’s sexual degradation.

For some people, activities such as name-calling are a way of achieving ego reduction or getting over sexual inhibitions. For example, between gay people, terms usually associated with homophobia may be used, such as faggot and dyke.

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As with all sexual activities, some people have sexual fantasies about humiliation, and others actually undertake it as a lifestyle or in a scene. Sexual fantasies relating to mild humiliation are common. Some humiliation role play (pup-play and age play in particular) is combined with loyalty and care-giving to the extent that these fetishes can be seen as exercises in trust rather than primarily a humiliation fetish. The desire to be beneath the other partner during intercourse, the idea of “getting caught” (as in having sex in the garden or woods), and mild rape fantasies (in which the people imagine themselves to be forced in ways they would like, and which must be seen as completely different from any real form of rape) are mild emotional games that emphasise status, vulnerability, and control. For most people such ideas remain fantasies.

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Many people worry about being ridiculed for their fetishes, and such ridicule from their partners could be psychologically catastrophic. Therefore, many people use online humiliation (in which the humiliator and others are involved via the Internet, using chat, email, websites, etc.) as a compromise between exhibitionism and reality on the one hand, and safety and anonymity on the other. Online humiliation is the desire to be seen in a sexually embarrassing context on the Internet. This practice allows the submissive to seek fetish partners from across the world.

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Common methods of online humiliation include public pillory. Embarrassing photographic or video assignments for submissives, who must humiliate themselves on camera, etc.

The requirement for submissives to keep online journals detailing personal information, such as masturbation frequency and details.

Verbal abuse

Publicly bidding for items that reveal their fetishes.

Money slavery, in which the submissive must buy the dominant gifts and pay the dominant’s bills and taxes

Homework slavery, in which the submissive must do the dominant’s homework or occupational work

Repetitive assignments, such as copying the phone book, etc.

Forcing the submissive to post pictures of himself or herself online

Humiliating the submissive by changing his or her stats on social sites.

These practices can be conducted through chat, webcam, e-mail, BDSM contact websites, and proprietary virtual spaces such as Second Life.

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