Hmmm. I'm a radical feminist. Just to get that out there. What me and others were saying, the majority of us, was that to act as if your sexual desires are not susceptible to influence is...well, it's a bit odd to think that things just shut down once sex is involved. Most of us aren't saying (I speak for me, oh hey, I'm 'danielle' btw, SarahMC and RachelWY) "this is a bad desire, you're not a feminist for it" but "looking at where a desire MAY HAVE come from is not harmful, it's not "intruding into your bedroom" etc. If you say "no, I don't feel like that's something I want to examine about myself right now or ever" alright, nothing wrong there. Or even "no, I don't think it is" is cool. But "it is definitely not, and you even trying to have a discussion about it is not good" is where it gets ridiculous. If you don't want to participate in the discussion, don't. If you don't agree, say so, but do it in a reasonable way (I'm thinking of the "you're an idiot!" comment). The only thing I take issue with is "sexual desires are NEVER EVER even slightly influenced by the patriarchy."I've been trying to be patient; I've seen a lot of good come of it recently, and I do think it's better when we can to engage rather than go off.
But this evening I just wasn't in the mood:
On the Feministing post and in this thread currently, and in countless threads over at SM-F and elsewhere in the past, we have explained why we feel that this line of thinking is inherently intrusive. If you don't feel up to a thorough study, at least please thoroughly read this post and its comment thread.
I'm not asking you to agree with us that it is intrusive; I'm just asking you to give serious thought to why we might feel this way. Far too often, radical feminists see us get angry with the "examination" demands and conclude that we are just thin-skinned, or selfish, or particularly absorbed in pleasure.
This ignores that these discussions have a history, and very often it is a history of directly telling BDSM people we are sick, wrong, confused, and brainwashed, if not a history of directly telling us that we behave inappropriately. Or even that we're so corrupted we ought to end our own lives.
Please do so not with the idea in your head that we just don't understand what you're really saying and that if we could only see how you intended it, we wouldn't be bothered. I've written academic papers on the sex wars; I know "BDSM is patriarchy writ in women's braaaaaainz!" like the backs of my hands.
I still believe that the idea that we have never examined our desires -- or that if we have, we must simply not have done so in a feminist enough manner -- infantilizing and a tactic some women use to shame others.
I still believe that in some circumstances, not asking why is dignity-preserving, and/or an appropriate response to the presumption that you must justify yourself in a way not required of others.
While I know that radical feminists often claim to interrogate non-kinky sex, lesbian sex, and other sex they often hold up as less damaged than BDSM, the fact remains that I very rarely see posts or essays devoted to such.
Which is of course not to say that I never see them. Often when I do, they're quite interesting. But it seems there's a much greater proportion of "Hey BDSMers, have ya thought about this? I know I asked six months ago, but I can't seem to remember your answer!" than there is "I've often wondered where my desire comes from *interesting personal blog post ensues*..."
Think of what these demands mean to us, when we've heard them come with language like that I've linked.
Then ask yourself why we might be unreasonable about acknowledging that we might maybe kinda be sorta influenced by patriarchy maybe.
Which is actually not anything I saw anyone over at that thread deny. It's the way it's phrased not as "are some BDSM fantasies shaped by patriarchy?" but rather as "is BDSM itself the end result of some distorting patriarchy-thing that takes good sexuality and warps it utterly?" that gets my goat.
And "don't tell fairy tales."
Fuck that: my life is mine, and my life is real, and I've never asked anyone to like it.
From previous abuse I am sure as shit accustomed to being told that what I think's going on is make-believe, and I'm not twelve any more and sure as shit not going to stand for being erased like that now.