Well, you know, women say they enjoy a lot of things. I said I enjoyed being a fundamentalist Christian, wearing a head veiling and long dresses, and being a loving and submissive wife. Sometimes women say they ejoy being hurt during sex. Women say, at times — and believe it; for reasons related to our subjugation, we often filter out memories of pain and trauma – that they enjoy addictions of various kinds, like to alcohol, substances and all manner of intentional self-harm. My saying I enjoyed my old world doesn’t change the fact of all the ways it harmed me, my children, and all the ways it continues to harm ALL women. Women in my old world claiming they choose it and find it liberating or empowering doesn’t change the fact of all the ways it harms them and all women and, especially, doesn’t address what is most important: that if my old world and the way it subjugates and harms women ended today, that would be the absolutely best case scenario for all women, including those in my old world. And absolutely, it’s the same thing when it comes to the selling of sex for money.The "sometimes women say they like this AND BELIEVE IT" bit is just... wow.
Uh, there's no way for you to be mistaken about what you like. You can be mistaken about whether it's good for you, or be stuck in a rut and continuing to do something you no longer like, yes. But you can't be mistaken when you claim to like something.
I think I really like dark chocolate. With whom should I double-check this to be sure it's true?
Should I not take my partner seriously when he asks for more erotic pain? If his own reports are untrustworthy, who knows better than he does what he actually likes? If his own reports are untrustworthy, why does he react to more intense stimulation more positively? With whom should I converse to determine what he actually likes, if it's not him?
Or are men magically capable of knowing what they like, and only women are not? I'd assume this would have to be the case, as the whole reason she gives for women being wrong about their masochism is the way women are socialized under patriarchy.
I think that's the thing I find most offensive in all this. The idea that because my partner is a man, he actually does things he wants to do and likes what he does. Where any woman (does that include me? I'm female and a top...) does things she thinks she likes, and she's wrong.
What that says is that men get to live happy lives, good lives, positive lives, and women never can. Because women can't even be trusted to tell what's good for them. And more than that, can't even be trusted to know what they enjoy or don't enjoy.
I keep thinking of the disability rights movement when I look at this. I think of someone saying, of a family member with a developmental disability, "Oh, she's fascinated with [topic], but she doesn't really like it. Let's not do that with her now!"
If anyone said that on her blog, she'd rightfully be called out on it. But because feminism is the topic at hand, and because there's a long tradition of investing what women do with political meaning regardless of their own opinions, people let this kind of thing pass. It's just second-wave thinking! We know it's not quite right, but we owe "radical feminism" because it's our history!
Which chaps my hide so much. We can acknowledge that our foremothers had worthwhile things to say, and even more importantly that they had important things to DO, like set up DV shelters, without accepting a framework of "theories" that implies calling bigoted nonsense some kind of feminist revelation. Theories that lead to conclusions like this like these aren't good for women. You can't help women by not taking seriously what they actually say about their lives.