Sunday, 13 April 2008

Heh.

Women tops are really men.

Y'know, Captain? If your worldview presumes "anyone powerful is a man"... well, anyone who looks powerful is going to look like a man to you.

EDIT McEdit: Just to be absolutely clear, my vehement disagreement here is in no way intended to minimize this person's terrible experiences, or anyone else's.

10 comments:

emarkienna said...

The post seems like a whole load of straw men and weasel words (who exactly makes those claims?) At least it ends with the disclaimer of not liking it but not going to tell anyone not to do it.

It makes the classic mistake of conflating consensual adult relationships with non-consensual power and hierarchy in society. What planet are these people living on? As if the world is controlled by male dominants, and everyone lives in D/S relationships? I wish!

She might as well pick on people having sex ("OMG it's so Patriarchal when the man is on top, but if the woman is on top, even if it's less Patriarchal, it's still fucking Patriarchal!")

There is a valid point I think about the way that with femdom, it's still the woman who is expected to dress up, but it ignores that this is a stereotype, and not something that everyone does. It is also simply a symptom of social gender roles as a whole - I don't see why people always pick on minorities like those into BDSM. And lastly, I'd say that the BDSM community is far more accepting of those who don't fit into social gender roles (e.g., I'm a male sub, and I'm the one who dresses up - I don't see why the domme should have to, unless he or she wants to), so why attack us?

I don't know if anyone claims that women being dominatrices is a way to change the power men have in politics; or if people complain about mainstream gender roles whilst supporting the stereotypical image of a dominatrix - as I say, it looks to me a case of building a straw man to attack all dominatrices.

Trinity said...

"
I don't know if anyone claims that women being dominatrices is a way to change the power men have in politics; or if people complain about mainstream gender roles whilst supporting the stereotypical image of a dominatrix - as I say, it looks to me a case of building a straw man to attack all dominatrices."

Yup. I think what she's trying to counter is something like what I say here:

http://sm-feminist.blogspot.com/2008/04/okay-i-guess-i-really-am-back.html

But it misses the point. Because when I say:

"But I really resent feminists -- feminists! -- telling me the power I claim consensually in the bedroom is a lie and a farce, when those same people would tell me that if Monkey and I switched, his power would suddenly become terrifyingly real.

Which is it, dammit?"

I'm not claiming anything about social roles in general, but rather pointing out that either the power in BDSM affects daily life or it does not. That I don't think it's possible for my power not to affect him, but his to shape my very life, at the same time. It doesn't work that way.

lalouve said...

If my sexuality is geared towards domination, being a dominatrix is empowering for me. Reclaiming one's sexuality, regardless of what it looks like, is empowering. Rejecting or subverting society's expectations of female sexuality is empowering. And why is it assumed that every single dominant woman is a secret wish-fulfilment for a man, and thus just a tool of the patriarchy? I get off on this too.

Trinity said...

"And why is it assumed that every single dominant woman is a secret wish-fulfilment for a man, and thus just a tool of the patriarchy?"

I could be wrong here, and I hope if the person I'm responding to finds this and I'm wrong, that she'll stop by and say so, but...

It seems to me to be based on a notion that sexual desire is somehow a man thing... not something women tend to just have, unless it's cultivated as some sort of piece of one's "woman-loving" politics.

I think of this (bad, IMO) theory as like the sun and moon: The sun makes light and the moon reflects it. So a "moon" (woman) who is too invested in a "sun" (man) can "reflect his light" (sometimes get sexually excited about what he does, because of his influence), but lacks a light of her own.

That's why I find the whole thing so bloody, dare I say it, antifeminist. Because it's based on rejecting what many actual women have to say.

Linden Tea said...

I agree with emarkienna about the strawmen and weasel words.

Also, I do think it's rather sad that captainvanille is basing her view of BDSM in general on one abusive relationship she had when she was a teenager. I feel for her experience, I do- I was in a similar situation with the boy I dated in high school- but despite that, I would not want to make such hurtful generalizations about consensual activities between adults. I find it really patronizing when she says, "I'm not going to tell anyone not to do something but I will call them tools of the Patriarchy and insult their intelligence and free will."

Trinity said...

Yeah, I agree with you Linden Tea. Not only is an abusive relationship not something one can generalize from (we don't say there's something bad about het relationships because sadly impressively large minorities of them are abusive), but also...

things we do when we are teenagers involve a lot of mistakes. I don't say this to minimize the horror of rape, but only to say: trying to do something as complex as a D/s relationship in your teens is a recipe for disaster, even if you have the best of intentions.

Most teenagers just aren't at all ready for the kind of communication and level of upkeep a relationship like that requires, even if no warning bells are going off.

Dw3t-Hthr said...

And why is it assumed that every single dominant woman is a secret wish-fulfilment for a man, and thus just a tool of the patriarchy?

Back to Figleaf's "no-sex class" again.

Madonnas don't have sex; their children, when they have them, are mystical gifts. Whores aren't real women. Thus, as there is no option for 'woman' other than 'madonna' or 'whore', no women are sexual. Magic!

Myca said...

Yeah, I think, just to echo what everyone else is saying, that the real crux of what's wrong with captainvanille's argument has to do with the assumption that in Mdom/Fsub BDSM, it's all about male pleasure and in Fdom/Msub BDSM, it's STILL all about male pleasure.

I have no doubt that examples could be found in which this were true, just as I have no doubt examples could be found in which the reverse were true, but to elevate either of these to "what BDSM is" seems foolish and myopic.

---Myca

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