Saturday, 17 May 2008

Let's do the time warp again

I was just doing research and rediscovering a particularly icky anti-SM article from way back in 1993, "Sadomasochism and Exclusion" by Lorena Leigh Saxe.

Its topic: How best to go about, if possible, excluding leatherdykes from a festival whose identity she hides by abbreviating it, uh, what was that now?

MWMF.

I'm not sure, knowing now what I didn't know back in 2001 or so when I first read Saxe's article (that MWMF now allows leatherdykes but excludes transwomen), whether to laugh, cry, hit things, or just marvel at the fact that certain sorts of feminist never change.

One part of the article that sticks out at me is the way she describes subspace (at least, I think what she's doing is misreading people's reports of what subspace is like):
Masochists in these stories use the violence directed at them to escape their feelings of powerlessness in the world by being pushed so far by pain that they become disoriented, unable to think and unable to feel. This temporary inability to feel is often mentioned in these stories as the goal of sexual activity and is considered in many stories to be a positive way of escaping from the dreariness and pain of one's everyday life. (63)

1. Unable... to... feel?

*blink* *blink*

HAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

*ahem*

2. Emo dyke is emo. "Escaping from the dreariness and pain of one's everyday life?" Why is it that radical feminists are so excited about the idea that they understand how best to respect women and really hope for their flourishing (both mentioned in the article), yet always sound like they're writing gothic novels or long-lost, womon-centered NIN lyrics? Are you SURE your last name is "Hoagland" and not "Reznor"? :)

Oh wait, no, he was all about that ICKY SM STUFF. Nah, yer just emo. Cheer up, emo dyke!

Another fun quote from funland:
[F]eminism is considered by sadomasochists to be so tiring and complicated that feminism itself is one of the things that masochists used pain and humiliation to escape. One story, for example, involves a woman who is just returning from a National Women's Association conference, where she had to act respectfully and thoughtfully, and who now needs the numbing pain of sadistic abuse against her to free her from feminism's constraints. (65)
Okay, I no longer ID with the label, myself, so maybe I'm one of those irresponsible fun-loving harlots who would rather have fun than be serious OMG OMG. But really? Bullshit like this is why.

She "had to act respectfully and thoughtfully" and then ran away from it? How much more disrespect could you pack into one sentence, O Expert On Respecting Lesbians Properly? If you really think you've got the key to proper feminist respect, you might start by assuming that the women you're discussing (okay, so that one is a character in a work of fiction, but still) are adults.

And then you want us out of MWMF? (It gets weirder; she suggests stations to "help" masochists "physically separate themselves from sadists and the s/m community" (72) so that they can "escape" from SM if they want to.)

Gee, I wonder why I've never had anything remotely resembling a desire to go to MWMF ever even though there's a Zone for us evil troublemakers who must be cordoned off from the sensitive loving wimmin.

Yeah. Uh, no. Old article is old, but... well, wow.

And why does it not surprise me to now know that MWMF is still "dealing" with issues of who to exclude, rather than seeing the kind of thinking that leads to excluding some women as the problem?

Anyway, I've got work to do now, and I should allow you all to e-separate from me now in case you need safe space to convene without a top. ;)

9 comments:

Myca said...

I sort of vaguely recall reading something about MWMF going through with their, "We must save the poooor submissives from their big bad dominants," plan, and getting sort of vaguely confused and befuddled when it turned out that the submissives, on the whole, didn't really want to be saved.

I mean: What if we threw an intervention and nobody came?

---Myca

ellefromtheeast said...

I found the article on GoogleBooks.

She thinks leather dykes wear swastikas?!?!? (Unsurprisingly, that claim is not cited.)

I loooove how she decides to abbreviate MWMF for anonymity, as if *anyone* reading that article would be fooled.

In the bizarre footnote 7, where she basically crams her entire argument, she says that festival/conference organizers have to make decisions for people, because trying to operate by consensus means that people who are too *charismatic* or *too good at arguing* might otherwise win the day.

Is that not a sign that you're throwing a boring festival defended by crummy arguments?

I mean, I know that consensus is really, really hard, but *that* is not the reason to do something else.

Trinity said...

"She thinks leather dykes wear swastikas?!?!?"

So far as I can figure, a lot of people back then wildly overestimated* the popularity of Nazi play and Nazi chic. You'll see it over and over if you research the original sex wars.


*At least I assume so; I'm working on the assumption that it was a niche interest then, just as IMX it is one now. It is, however, possible it was more faddy then. I doubt it, but have no data.

Trinity said...

oh, and my only response to "our 100 person conference had no sadomasochists": Really? How'd you know? Unless it was, like, "everyone show us your published anti-SM papers at the door."

Most of us don't radiate Leather-ness everywhere.

And I'm the leather-y equivalent of a flamer, in some people's opinion.

Oy.

Trinity said...

Also, can anyone explain to me exactly how the joke

Q. How many SM dykes does it take to screw in a light bulb?
A. Two. One bottom to do it, and one top to tell her what to do.

is antifeminist?

Uh, it's poking fun at OURSELVES...

jackpot said...

To the owner of this blog, how far youve come?

belledame222 said...

2. Emo dyke is emo. "Escaping from the dreariness and pain of one's everyday life?" Why is it that radical feminists are so excited about the idea that they understand how best to respect women and really hope for their flourishing (both mentioned in the article), yet always sound like they're writing gothic novels or long-lost, womon-centered NIN lyrics? Are you SURE your last name is "Hoagland" and not "Reznor"? :)

win.

Trinity said...

Belle: *mwah!*

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