Wednesday, 16 July 2008

Link: The Fetish Industry and Feminism

There is currently a discussion going on over in LiveJournal's community "feminist" about BDSM and feminism, particularly focusing on women working in the fetish industry. I thought you all might want the heads up.

If any of you are part of that community (I left ages ago, myself), you might want to point some of the people who are clueless that there ever have been feminist criticisms of BDSM over here... *hint hint*


ETA: I particularly like this comment:
Marginalizing anything having to do with desire and with sexual relations is unfortunately, very common. Desire and arousal are complicated and very, very unconscious. It can all be deconstructed until the cows come home, but I think the people who need to deconstruct it are those who engage in it. It is dangerous for someone who desires one thing to tell someone who desires another that they are >>wrong<< and that it excludes them from a group as varied as feminists. The ONLY time this is at all o.k. is when it somehow trespasses on another's life without consent.

I actually disagree that "the only time this is OK" is trespassing. I do think that sometimes we can tell when close friends or lovers are getting into something that isn't good for them. If I noticed a good pal falling head over heels for a pushy, abusive ass of a "dom", you'd better believe I'd tell her I think she's making a mistake. But that's not because her desires make her unfeminist, that's because sometimes NRE makes smitten people do stupid shit. Or because some people really do have unrealistic outlooks about which of their fantasies they can really fulfill (Absolute, never-waning-ever, negotiated-once-and-that's-it TPE? Come ON.) that land them, as individual people with specific, individual lives, in unhappy messes. And I do think we can tell friends they're wrong, if they don't see it themselves.

But, well, that's got to do with friendship. It's not got shit to do with feminism, or gender, or social norms, or cultural expectations. Tell your friends they're making mistakes when you're in a situation to know this. Don't say anything in the name of feminist "theory" to anyone else.


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