At 85, Betty Dodson has the energy of a teenager. His name has been the most pronounced in all the interviews, both as a pioneer and as a revolutionary. The interview is at home, with Carlin Ross.
You lived the sexual revolution, how do you see the scene now?
(Betty Dodson) Well, the sexual revolution in the 60´s and 70´s was real – there isn´t one now, other than us, the women. Feminism failed totally, we’ve accomplished very little. I mean, what have we accomplished?
(Carlin Ross) Access to contraception, abortion, things like that, getting into schools, into programs. The worst thing about it, there’s nothing about pleasure.
(Betty) A blank! It’s still monogamy, serial monogamy. Women have to get married, and blahblah… Which is a choice, but we don´t really have a choice. So, I was a commited single.
They are trying to end the abortion in Spain…
(Betty) Ah, this fucking Catholic Church!
(Carlin) Of course, they hate the idea of women having sex for pleasure, it just kills them. They don’t want you to have sex, and if you have it before your marriage and you get pregnant, you have your kid and then live in poverty, and that’s it!
(Betty) Ok, here’s the deal: you can get the pill, the RU-46, the abortion pill. It is very easy, it is not a stressfull thing.
You can use it only up to 9 weeks, so you need to be a woman very connected with your body, and if you miss your period, don´t ignore it.
You don´t need to dilate the uterus, there is no risk to your fertility or threat for future pregnancies.
Which is your relation between art and sexuallity?
(Betty) Sex is an art. Art is sexual energy, it’s very similar. I try to look, I have trained eyes, I am an eye person. Some people are verbal, some have good memory, I have eyes.
So could you describe what is Art for you?
(Betty) For me, it’s the human body, I didn’t ever wanna do abstract, expressionism… it’s bullshit. (she laughs)Sorry!
Why did you decide to start this workshop, and for how long have you been doing it?
(Betty) I started doing it in the early 70´s
In the feminist movement at the end of the 60´s and early 70´s, we had Consciousness Raising groups (*C.R. groups). Women would get together and they sit in a circle, and they talked about their lives, and that is when we learnt that we were not alone. You would think “it’s only my problem”, but we found out we all we had the same problems, so that’s when we understood that personal is political.
-“what the fuck is going on? You feel that way, you…? Oh! This is like me!”
They were controlling us, we started to get it. So I thought, this is important, and I did this for a year or two years.
Then I thought, because I had sex parties in this beautiful apartment, and I would look around the room, and the guys were all ejaculating, and the women were pretending (orgasms), and I couldn´t stand it! Women not having orgasms, this is not fair. They can´t cum from this, we need clitoral stimulation.
Which difficulties have the people in your workshops?
(Betty) From Consciousness Raising came about in anything I’ve narrowed down. I wanna know how you feel about your body, and how you feel about your orgasm, and then we share it in the circle. And we say, “listen, you are not different, you are not unique, you’re not alone”. We all have the same problems. Lack of information, lack of sex education, the repression of masturbation when you are a little girl.
You are very focused on women, what about men? Have you ever had men in your workshop?
I did a few, and it is exhausting. Men are much more difficult to teach, they think they know everything. They have that attitude. It took me two weeks to recover from that group of men. I loved, it was fun! But exhausting.
You can tell them they will learn from the woman. Now, if they ask a woman: “what do you like, show me how the clítoris is stimulated”, she’ll say like:
-“oh, everything you do is wonderful”, because she hasn’t been educated… So, if you educate the woman, she can teach the man.
Which is the most common myth you find working in sexuality?
The prohibition of childhood masturbation is number one. Do that to a child, and they are damaged to some degree. You can get over it, but that’s the first block. Then as we get older, through the media, books and fairy tales, then we get this whole thing of the romantic image…
The Disney princesses…
(Betty) “Someday, my prince will come…” Right, we get brain washed. All the little girls are looking for the Special Prince. And all the little boys are out, playing in the… You know, in the alley or the street. They’re busy. And girls painting their nails, and braiding their hair… I was putting make-up when I was eleven. I should have been in the street, doing kickball!
It’s the sex roles – little girls do this, little boys do that, and there’s much more lassitude for boys, and the little girl has to keep herself dressed down and, you know, “be modest”. And she thinks that, when she falls in love, sex will fall into place.
I wrote about that, there’s all this series of blocks for women. Men have their own set of problems, but there’s much more flexibility for guys. You know, “boys will be boys”. But little girls, they can get pregnant, and that’s always the parent’s concern. That they don’t want their little girl to get an unwanted pregnancy. That’s no good.
So, the blocks are there.
You have a very good Youtube cannel, it’s very funny!
We don´t plan anything! We say, what do we talk about? A topic. It’s just a dialogue between us.
You can find a lot of information in dodsonandross.com