Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Irritating crap! ;-)

I was just poking around the blogosphere and completely by accident came across a post from today that mentioned this blog. I'll be going about this a tad backwards, but here's the mention:
Anyways, I’ve been trying to read more anti-sexist kinky blogs over the last few weeks. As I find them, I’ll link to them in the LoGI posts, since there are some really awesome writers doing some really awesome theorizing about race, class, and gender. There are some others, though, who are incredibly toxic. It’s a dangerous world out there — really, all I’m trying to do is live.
It amuses me actually, because I'd just been posting in my own space how refreshed I felt taking a break! I suppose I am just glad to see that my and the others' words here have been useful to someone.

That said, I'm a little... concerned... about the post, even when I find myself and my compatriots lauded there. Here's why.

The post is called Crap that irritates me about kinky bloggers. Reading it, it seems to be about rather clueless kinky people who blog, all of whom are apparently heterosexual, white, M/f-dynamic-oriented, and bad writers. Problem being, it just says "kinky bloggers," as if those are the kinky people who blog:
I guess it’s a lot easier to be mad at the cuddly feminists asking you to think about consent and heteronormativity than to critique a legal and social system that mandates relationships all follow a particular pattern with a particular life cycle. That makes LOADS of sense. Here’s a secret: most feminists are too busy thinking about attacking patriarchy, questioning their own privilege, and advocating for women’s reproductive rights to worry about how much you love it when your partner flogs you.
It's made clear later that this person is kinky herself (and may or may not be heterosexual), but it sure reads in the beginning like the sort of flaky "feminism" that assumes kink just is heterosexual, M/f D/s. That assumption is, as you all know by now, the big thing that makes it so "easy" for me personally "to be mad" at the "cuddly" (lovely substitute for a swear, I'll have to use that) "feminists" who never stop prattling about nonsense that has nothing to do with me.

I've said many, many times that I find it disturbingly odd that self-styled feminists find the concept of a female top foreign, strange, or derailing. It's bizarre beyond bizarrity to me that anyone, lunatic fringe or not, in a movement that is fundamentally about shining a big flashlight on the way women have traditionally been denied power be so invested in not talking about the women who claim to have it. Even saying we don't, however much it angers or even just bores me, is a step up from total erasure.

I don't like the "cuddly" (love it!) feminists, because they erase me.

And as someone who is bisexual and currently not dating a dude and smitten with someone who's not a dude, I feel the same way about the absolutely endless, endless, endless grating focus not only on heterosexuality but on a particular kind of heterosexuality I'm not going anywhere near when I'm sticking things up submissive men.

Frankly, right now I just don't care if the straight people are linking hands and merrily skipping off cliffs together. They own the damn world; they can figure out their own damn messes.

Critiquing heteronormativity? How about the way that, yet again, gay and lesbian BDSM is handwaved away because it's absolutely imperative that we talk about straight people.

Forgive me if I suspect that's because bitching about straight people's blogs is easier than researching and honoring leather history, which is inherently. And. Unavoidably. Queer.

Then there's, uh, some stuff about badly written erotica that I don't even get because I don't know the context. And some stuff about how people stop writing dark-themed stories once they're out of their teens.

While I realize this is probably about crappy writing and being sick about it, and there's nothing worse than a crappy dark story that has to remind you how seriously it takes itself... my first reaction remains something to the extent of:

Yawn. There are plenty of people who don't read the erotica I write. Add yourself to that number, and be glad you're not hangin' around an (apparently) overgrown teen who's having fun.

Then there's uh, something about "mansplaining," which again is probably about the blog(s?) of some whiny hetero Domly Dom of Doom:
I… don’t care about you quoting your female partner’s experience in a gangbang. I ALSO don’t care about how you understand the female orgasm (like there’s only one kind!) and want to explain to me that clitoral masturbation is immature, achieving vaginal orgasm’s a sign of emotional success, and lube is for sissies. I PARTICULARLY don’t care that you fuck a lot of strippers, and because you’re a paying customer you don’t want to see those dirty skanks eat and beeee teeeee dubbss your stripper BFF agrees with you because eating in front of clients is un-fucking-professional. I mean, how NOT feminist is it to name someone else’s experience using particular politicized adjectives when you’re trying to make a point that one of the major political, philosophical movements acknowledging her citizenship rights and existence as a person is like totally wrong in thinking about her sexuality and her political ideologies?
But again, it's presented totally without context, as though "kinky blogs" were all by "mansplainers." Once again, here's the assumption that everyone talking is male, heterosexual, and dominant. Somehow, again, I sniff patriarchy. Perhaps I wouldn't if it were made clear that the lion's share of the blogs she knows of are written by people who are male, heterosexual. and dominant. But she doesn't say that, nor does she explain why she isn't self-selecting.

And I'm kind of put off by the idea that a dude can't quote his woman partner's experience in a gangbang and not be skeevy, anyway. (And considering the very specific mention of "strippers eating," this is probably a response to one gross post on one obnoxious blog, again presented as if it were an example of a common problem.)

Trust me, I understand that many dudes who waltz in to do battle with "the radfems" complete with TMI about their intense kink and off-point explanations of what makes it all okay are creepy as hell. I've seen it myself. More times than I've ever wanted to.

But I've also seen this odd thing whereby some dominant man who doesn't know the ins and outs of gender theory comments on an angry "radical feminist"'s post, and it's assumed that the mere fact that he says "But Rosie talks about how it felt this way to her, and why she wanted it, and I don't see why listening to her is wrong" is proof that he and Rosie were totally unenlightened, skipping-off-together-to-hell heteros in the first place. Ah-wha?

And then there's a "stop fetishizing pale-skinned women." Which is probably again about the crappy erotica. And yeah, if the writer has no clue why the endless focus on how sexy white femininity is is sketchy, then I agree. But you know? I don't think it's going to make pale skin any less sexy to anybody who thinks it's hot, even if their reasons are soul-rendingly disgusting.

Any sentence that starts with "stop fetishizing..." is pretty much one I'd vote off the planet.

"Be aware that this is complicated," we can keep. And should use more often. "Don't buy into racist bullshit about what beauty is?" Doubly so. "Write about more, and more varied, kinds of beauty?" Sure, though some people's erotica is just about what they find hot, however problematic. I'm not sure it betters the world to enlist people who are just having fun in some crusade to be didactic. Not everyone's a role model.

And it's said in a way that implies it also means "Don't permit yourself to think of associations that are in tons of literature and media you like when you're staring at a sexy femme who happens to be white and pale and submissive."

I'd say I'd try, but I'd be lying.