Friday, 13 February 2009

Minute of Perfection: Fight Club and Submission

Another excellent link on the recent SM and feminism debates

Minute of Perfection: Fight Club and Submission

Before I went to college, I considered myself a feminist and I was pretty passionate about it. I thought feminism was about how to fix the wage differential, overcoming the glass ceiling, helping women get out of abusive situations, and raising social consciousness about the way our culture is oppressive to women. In college, I learned that it was really about replacing a patriarchal definition of my body and sexuality with the feminist one. Oh, and that the huge majority of my sexual interests were really just reinforcing the patriarchy. I had to start talking seriously about whether or not all heterosexual sex was rape and whether or not I should be a lesbian as a matter of political/social obligation. Also, I wasn't devoting the majority of my freetime to feminist activism, so I wasn't doing enough and was really complicit with the patriarchy.

It all became too much when I had to start listening to professors and others who obviously had never tried being in a full-time BDSM relationship, or maybe anything beyond looking at a few websites and being horrified, about what my sexual interests really meant in relation to the patriarchy. Well, fuck that.

At the same time, I felt very much like me backing away from feminism and being unable to give up the joy that many aspects of BDSM give me was a symptom of moral and personal weakness. If I just wasn't so selfish, or so sexually oriented, etc. then I wouldn't need this. I still felt like there was something deeply wrong with our society and the way patriarchy limits choices for everyone. It reinforced me feeling like a whore, or a slut, etc. except these terms now became synonymous for "tool of the patriarchy" for me. As much as some might talk about rape, or victimization, or whatever, I wasn't being raped. I enjoyed all these sex acts that were obviously horrible and evil, loved them to the core of my being, so I must be evil, as complicit in the patriarchy as those who would oppress me. I began to feel like learning to accept patriarchy and anti-feminism was the only way to be happy and I felt very confused.

....I thought of all the things I'd done for my Master. How happily I'd done them. Without shame in the moment, so proud I'd overcome all difficulties and obeyed. Still, there's a swelling of pride knowing that he thinks that I've been a very good girl. Those moments of trust, laying open before him, cradled in his arms like a child ... supplicating for his guidance, suffering for him as a sacrifice for my devotion. So happy and full of love and pure, unadultered joy. In those moments, though, it doesn't take long for the self-hatred to follow. What sort of creature am I that nothing would make me more happy than obliterating my will and my desires, my physical comfort and selfishness, completely in another? Is someone who wants to consent to giving up ownership and control of themselves really even human? If so, then I'm totally fine with not being human, don't want to be. But ... My mother's voice, asking "Where did I go wrong? How could you want these things?" A 'friend' saying, "Independent thought is the foundation of what makes you human, the responsibility of being human." A blog going on about the invisibility of "almost rape" ... but I sort of like the feeling of being "almost" raped, of feeling like it's beyond my control completely with someone I love. Not wanting to, and being taken, of feeling my self and my will stretched out and pliant before him. His voice telling me how beautiful I am, the pleasure and steel in his eyes and he pounds into me, over and over. Feeling myself give over to him completely in those moments and loving it. Feeling so affirmed, so happy. But ... what does that mean about me, that my greatest act of happiness and affirmation is submitting completely to another? A male other, no less, as a female. In a patriarchal society.


Anonymous said...

So you do question the motivations of your erotic desires, your body, your mind... *undercoverpunk*

Trinity said...

The person I'm quoting, or me?

She can answer for herself, but as for me...

I'm inclined to say "Yes," but as I've mentioned before over at ND's, I get the very strong sense that "examining" is supposed to result in deciding you are colluding with patriarchy. That if you decide, as I did (again, not speaking for the blogger I quoted), that the whole question of where and how you take pleasure is a red herring and a destructive dead end, you've done something wrong.

Come down on the side of blind foolish hedonism, and deserve the castigation that comes from that. No matter how many years you've wrestled, or what good in the real world you've done.

Yes, I've examined. I've examined until I could hardly function for fear I'd do something wrong.

What I decided was that the whole way the "examination" issue is framed is faulty.

Hearing that, are you inclined to take me seriously, or think I need to do it again?

Ve said...

I'm almost in the midst of this 'examining' and it has driven me nuts. So nuts that I've decided to don't let it bug me, because the thought that cam up in my head the other day was so sickening;
'Is being a switch what saves me?'. Basically, I was trying to justify for myself, and by doing that, leaving and pointing fingers towards other people. And it is not supposed to be like that.

The 'examining' is coming to a grinding halt and I am trying to keep on staying aware and keep on being whom I am without compromising something that cannot be compromised with. Get sad, mad, and one fucking day, I wont get even... Ill just keep on living my life.

Ms. Durden said...

(*quoted blogger appears*) I definitely go through great pains to examine all that goes on inside me to the extent that I'm aware of it. It's been very difficult sorting out what is and isn't me and trying to make up my mind for myself based on who I am and what I think is right.

As you can see from my post, I'm still going through that process but I'm leaning more toward self-acceptance and learning to be okay with my desires at the moment.

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