September 25th, 2008
I've lj-friends only'ed several of my recent posts on porn, because I've been linked to on pro-porn blogs lately. The will remain such for a while, but probably not permanently. Just waiting for the storm to end. The main reason for this is they are not only focusing on me, but on my friends and other supportive comments. And they are saying complete anthro poop about us. If you want to read those entries, and aren't on my flist, and you're an awesome feminist, I'll friend ya back. Or I can email it to you.
I'm sure others have things to say about the way our words have been misheard and twisted, so either comment on this open entry, or on the newly friends-only recent entries.
I won't be able to respond to comments, or unscreen future ones until Monday. I'm going to a Journalists for Human Rights Conference in Toronto this weekend, and I need to leave this evening for it. But I'll be getting the 10pm bus from K-Town--the last one of the night--because I've a Medical Ethics night class. So if you're near the Toronto Greyhound station/around Spadina/around U of T/at the conference, maybe I'll see ya around ;)
But, I will be missing tomorrow's Critical Mass in KW, which is gonna be freakin' massive and awesome. I hope to live this one vicariously through videos, photos, and stories about it. This will be the only one I've missed since the first one of this year (in April, I believe). It's always awesome tho, even when for August's one, we only had about thirty people. This one will have over 200, easily. And I heard it'll be pirates vs ninjas! hahaha...come hell or high water, I definitely want to go to the Hallowe'en CM. Shit--it'll be ace.
Oh, also, my essay "I'd slice her: Feminism, Pornography, and Sex" was published at the other university in Waterloo's Women's Centre publication, Voices. Yays! It was slightly edited, revised and shortened before I sent it in.
So for a little bragging to help brighten my day :P, this is what the editor said in response to my submission:
"Wow! That is brilliant. Thank you so much for writing this. I was really hoping that someone would submit something on the ejaculation industry (much better term) and this is perfect. I've only read over it for content. Everything flows really well, the arguments are set up naturally, and it made me very angry/frustrated with the ejaculation industry all over again as I read it. Fantastic.
"No worries about taking your time. It is a very well-written and edited article. I appreciate you taking the time and effort to put this together and doing it with such care.
"Thank you again for this submission. I really do appreciate it."
Here are some more fantastic songs:
Sarah Slean - Sweet Ones
Public Enemy - Fight the Power
PJ Harvey - Sheela Na Gig
Ani DiFranco - Letter to a John
Manic Street Preachers w/Traci Lords - Little Baby Nothing
Blue October - Angel
* I have audio of the Slean and Manics songs, and can make upload them if requested.
Current Music: Sarah Slean/Blue October/PJ/etc
|Date:||October 1st, 2008 09:25 pm (UTC)|| |
Re: part 2
And can I ask- does this mean that you believe that biologically, you are like, predestined to be a "top?" That it's somewhere in your genetic makeup that you like whipping men? (Or whatever you like in BDSM). Just clarifying here. I disagree with that about 1000%, but I just want to be clear that that is your belief/opinion. You believe that social influences, culture, patriarchy, etc, doesn't have anything to do with what we get off on?
I do believe that there are inborn tendencies to eroticizing power or pain, yes. I believe this because I've known LOTS of people (a few of whom comment in the thread I linked there) who have had these feelings all their lives despite having been discouraged from having them. Like in my own life -- my parents were very big on egalitarianism, on ambition being dark, sinister, and bad. T
I do believe that there are inborn tendencies to eroticizing power or pain, yes. I believe this because I've known LOTS of people (a few of whom comment in the thread I linked there) who have had these feelings all their lives despite having been discouraged from having them. Like in my own life -- my parents were very big on egalitarianism, on ambition being dark, sinister, and bad. To want any kind of control over anything was to be insufficiently peaceful, a "bad Christian," etc. I honestly thought I was sick and a freak for my feelings... so the idea in the theory that girls are rewarded for them... well, while I do understand the theory I really don't think my life looked that way.
I don't know how radical a social constructionist you are or aren't, but let me ask you one thing: Do you believe that there is such a thing as inborn homosexuality? People who just know they're gay or lesbian despite society doing all it can to stop them from desiring and loving members of the same gender? I do, and one thing you notice about these people if you look at history is that for some of them, no matter how much social pressure was put onto them, they couldn't change their sexuality. To me, that indicates that it's somehow fixed. Whether there is a gene or set of them, or whether early socialization fixes orientation by an early age, or whether early hormones are part of it, I neither know nor care... but I do think there have throughout history been people with fixed sexualities.
I think that a sexual fetish for, or interest in, or fixation on, or whatever you want to call it, for BDSM is similar in some people but not all. I say this because I've known countless people who've spent the lion's share of their lives resisting BDSM sexual interests because they feel these interests are bad, sick, wrong, shameful, insufficiently feminist (I'm not just throwing that in as a dig; I know a lot of submissive women who really do worry about whether they can reconcile what excites them sexually with what they believe politically), whatever. A lot of these people have spent decades buying into the idea that they've just gotten these interests from someplace outside themselves and can change if they try hard enough.
And the thing is, I've watched that *wreck lives*. I know scads of people who left sham marriages in middle age because they just couldn't not be themselves any more.
I do think that radical feminism has done good. Dworkin and MacKinnon were pioneers, and I've never denied it. But I really don't think that they or other radical feminists were right about pornography or social pressure to eroticize domination and submission. I just don't think they're talking about things in a way that actually matches up with real people's experiences. I've been in the SM scene for many years now, and I honestly do think I know enough to believe those theories just don't a[pply in the ways they're supposed to.
As far as society having "nothing to do" with what we get off on... no, I don't believe that. What I do believe is that our sexuality is in part personal to us, a part of us, like basic features of our personality are part of us. Just like I can be calm or energetic as a matter of temperament, I can be prone to eroticizing power or not.
Now exactly what I'll DO with that capacity, I think is mediated through culture. In the current culture, I'll probably go looking for people like me and find the BDSM scene, in which certain social roles exist that map how to "do" erotic power exchange (I hate that term, but it'll do for now.) So I discover myself as "a top" where there are a lot of specific things tops are said to do -- ways they often dress, talk, ways scenes are often structured, etc. I still have a lot of latitude -- I can reject or embrace particular activities and signifiers within that. But because that's what I find when I look, I'm likely to adopt the mannerisms I'm told are "the right way" to do it -- some of them unreflectively.
And there's plenty of room THERE for me to adopt behaviors and attitudes that are sexist and creepy, particularly if I'm (say) a heterosexual male with an inclination toward dominance. And I believe THAT can and should be critiqued by feminists. Where I part ways with anti-SM radical feminist analysis is that I don't think that the interest itself is purely socially constructed.
|Date:||October 3rd, 2008 07:46 pm (UTC)|| |
Re: response pt 2
Ya know trinity, I actually considered responding to all of your many, many questions here. But then I went over to your blog, and saw that you are already posting about this thread, mocking it and insulting radical feminists. So, no thanks.
I have to say that I was very glad to see that you were willing to engage with me, and I'm sorry you've changed your mind. If you're talking about the post I made to SM-F about your original comment, I posted that before I saw your lengthier comments here. I interpreted the one-line "I think you are misunderstanding what feminists are saying about BDSM, that's all." above as snarky, whether you meant it so or not -- very often people who are opposed to BDSM will assume that those of us who defend it must never have read the theory, when many of us have. (You bring up the possibility that we've missed something important to understanding it, which is different. So I made a mistake about what you said.)
I understand why you'd change your mind, though.
|Date:||October 3rd, 2008 07:51 pm (UTC)|| |
Re: response pt 2
And I also really wonder why you feel you need to spend so much time and energy convincing feminists that you REALLY REALLY TRULY CHOSE BDSM ALL BY YOURSELF AND THERE WERE NO SOCIAL PRESSURES NO WAY NO HOW!!!!!!!
I mean, you say you disagree with us, so fine. Why are you spending all this time getting all upset over us disagreeing with you? Why do you need to convince us? Why do you care what some random feminists think of you and your choices?
I'm not entirely sure why you're suddenly angry here. Possibly the tone of my SM-F posts, possibly something else. But I will say that I think you've misunderstood my comments to you if you think I said there are "no social pressures, no way no how." I think there are A LOT of social pressures that exist and matter, and many of those impact people who do go into BDSM. I just don't think that basic sexual interests are socially constructed. You disagree with that, which we've already established. So yeah, while I'm totally fine with having a conversation with you about that, it's not likely minds will change.
As far as why I post on SM-F at all, I do so because there are still arguments going on within feminism about this stuff, and some of the ways people make those arguments strike me as very bad (case in point, the recent post I made on Amananta's post to me. I think, as I said there, that she's omitting specifics and then asking people to deny their own experiences because hers were bad. I can't say "yes, this is a widespread problem" or "no, this isn't" until I know *where it's supposed to have been occuring.*) When I see those bad arguments, I challenge them.
I don't think that's all that different from many radical feminists, actually. If radical feminists are justified in posting angry posts about how sex-positive feminists, pro-BDSM feminists, or "pro-porn" feminists misunderstand their views and dismiss their experiences, why am I not justified in posting why I feel that some anti-BDSM or anti-porn feminists have misunderstood my views or my friends' views, or dismissed my or my friends' experiences?