Tuesday, 19 May 2009


I posted this to my LJ, but hadn't posted it here, so:

From [info]tgstonebutch on LJ:
Mollena is teaching a class on race play this Tuesday night. And has received threats of violence regarding it. She is refusing to censor herself, and has gone public regarding the threats
I understand people really not liking this, but threatening a Black woman for doing race play, simply because you disagree that it's acceptable? What is wrong with people?

I think people just don't realize, when they get into their Lists Of Reasons Why People Can Engage In Generic Kink, but Not In Scary Kink X, just how inhospitable they make the environment for people who engage in Kink X. Suzy Essaywriter may be saying "And thus I impeccably argue that Whatever cannot be reclaimed as shown by the previous twenty pages of careful argumentation," but what happens down the line is "You're so appalling we will get violent."

And what's always really bothered me about this is the whole "Oh, but I only mean it if you're a member of the oppressor group." Not because I don't think that in some places, the standards are a little different. But because it becomes very stark for some people, "you're OK and you're not." And I don't think that's a wise way to be.

I don't like it when I see, for example, "women can fantasize about being ravished, but if their partners get off on playing the opposite role, they're evil." It just makes no sense.

Similarly, there's been a bit of "Oh, I'm OK with you women discussing whatever, but when a man says the same things it scares me" in discussions at places I often mention here, and I even see it (though fortunately rarely) from commenters here.

That's something I can't get on board with. It's just never made sense to me that an oppressed person can say something and maybe even be right, but the minute it comes out of someone else's mouth, it's suddenly Wrong-O-Wrong and even Scary and Threatening.

I'm probably peeing into the wind even saying it, because it's a favorite trope of all kinds of anti-"liberal", anti-"colorblind," etc. people. I get the concept of privilege and I do think it exists, but I think there's something going wrong somewhere when one person saying X can be brave and true and someone else saying the same thing is threatening and violent.


electronic doll said...

I also think there is something particularly off-putting about threats of violence against someone who is teaching a class on the subject - where presumably (potentially) any kind of difficulty or issue with the topic could be explored in a sensitive and reasonable space, and where attendees are specifically interested in the subject.

Trinity said...

@ed: I think that's what upsets the threatener, though. The idea that people are interested in the subject at all.

SunflowerP said...

I'll admit that raceplay when both/all players are of the oppressor group makes me uncomforable, but I think it's because of the risk of doing it appropriatively.

As a "RACK" kinkster (not because my tastes are particularly edgy, but because I believe a certain amount of risk is inevitably part of kink - or for that matter a lot of ostensible "vanilla"), I can't see that as any sort of justification for barring those folks from raceplay; like any other aspect of risk, awareness is first and foremost the responsibility of those involved in the scene or relationship. The community as a whole only polices if/when they observe a specific problem.

And classes on raceplay are exactly how to make sure those interested in raceplay are aware of the risks particular to that sort of play, including the risk of appropriation. Those who object to such classes, even when they do so completely civilly, aren't policing actual risks, they're just saying, "That's icky!" - too often echoing the same language the anti-BDSM crowd uses against kink as a whole.


Quill said...

I do feel more intimidated or uncomfortable with discussing fantasies that involve abusing others than with fantasies that involve receiving abuse. I have had fantasies of being ravished, but am really bothered by discussions of other people fantasizing about ravishing men or women. The fact that I am intimidated is a reason I might avoid or not attend a discussion of sadistic acts, while actively participating in a discussion of masochism that revolves around the same acts.

This being said, I recognize this is an unequal standard and a good reason for ME to stay away from certain blog posts or environments. It is most emphatically NOT a reason for those environments, posts, or discussions to cease existing.

electronic doll said...

@Trinity: Ah yes, fair point. I suppose that some part just naturally rebels against any sort of threats of violence against learning. Smacks a bit of "this first mistake we made was teaching them how to read"

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