This is a discussion. Between an individual and an idea, one looking for answers, the other, looking for an author. I want to proceed with caution because of the sensitive nature of the inquiry. The boundaries and the social constructions need to be questioned and provocatively rebuilt.
Is it possible to find a suitable definition of ‘attraction’ as it is defined generally? Can the attractiveness of someone be decomposed into elements better understood?
Introduce Helmut Newton, a boisterous nostalgic who captured female vulnerability as it intersected with time-sensitive definitions of power. He did not only revolutionize fashion photography. Helmut inspired.
With that, an additional element is entered into the equation of attractiveness, one that describes the interaction between the two categories, power and vulnerability. This is an empty void, a complete nothingness, an abstraction, specifically, the ‘point of intersection.’
Where power and vulnerability meet, the effect is ‘attractiveness,’ or the extent to which something is attractive. This definition cannot be touched, fondled or undressed. Fee free to masticate on it and to marinate your own ideas.
A female’s attractiveness can be abstractly measured or quantified by the extent to which she both allows herself to capture and be captured. To be the hunter and the hunted, to will and to be willed on. A perfect duality.
However, a caveat. The female SEX does not have a monopoly over sexuality or ‘femininity,’ as it is generally understood. This can in turn also be applied to the opposite sex. Masculinity and Femininity cannot and should not be understood as existing in a static and fixed bond or relationship with gender. These two abstractions exist in both sexes, to varying degrees. Their dynamic manifestations transcend gender.
Some men see the men in other men. But they can also see the woman in other man. This also applies to women. If evidence is the proof you are after, recall homosexual relationships and attractions.
(Aside) The fixation on the self may produce unintended consequences. Obsessing over the reflection of yourself, as you observe it in others, may distract you to the extent that you forget to pay attention to the person you are interacting with. Vanity and narcissism. Further proof that ‘modern’ service economies would be unsustainable if not for the constant pursuit of self-aggrandization, self-patronization and self-promotion.
Returning to my previous discussion of attraction and the genderless state that it exists in, I wish to further add by asking whether or not the ‘modern’ feminist description of a liberal state has, instead of ‘rectifying deficiencies,’ created a state of affairs in which the tables, having turned one hundred and eighty degrees, have retained the vehicles by which oppression is institutionalized but have modified the message to exclusively benefit women. It has not – see MacKinnon.
Female opportunism exists. And it has been empowered by feminist emancipators who have done nothing to provide coherent solutions to a perceived state of oppression by male-centrists. In much the same way as women do not have a monopoly over femininity of femaleness, men equally fail to absolutely defend the bastion of male-isms.
A definition of attractiveness is important because it reproduces a genderless state in which traditional definitions of male- (power) and female-dominant (vulnerability) features are scrutinized, debunked and subsequently recreated to provide a starting point for a coherent critique of liberal feminist theory.