There’s not much in this big fat world that gets my blood pressure rising.
Save for blatant bigotry, handling warm, freshly-worn clothes, and someone not believing me, I normally don’t get pissed off. Lately, there’s been one more thing that I’ve realized has made me less than my pleasant self: women making decisions for other women.
With the recent popularity of women choosing to read abut BDSM in books, I’ve read many a comment and blog post from the point-of-view of women who are making decisions and passing judgment on other women. I don’t like it, and it pisses me off.
I’ll admit: Until reading Fifty Shades of Grey, I didn’t know much about the whole BDSM lifestyle and didn’t have interest in it at all. I’ll also admit that after reading the trilogy and some other books like it, I still don’t have a hands-on interest in the practice that goes beyond a few smacks on my bare ass.
You’re welcome for that little nugget of information about my sex life.
In reading the series and other erotica books like it, I never, ever once thought of the women in the books as being subjected to abuse. The characters were making adult choices about their adult lives and their adult bodies.
Granted, what I know about the BDSM lifestyle is limited to a few Real Sex shows and several erotica novels, so the real-life implications of what these women and men do is unknown to me.
My understanding is that women and men who participate in sexual or asexual Dominant/Submissive roles are not being abused; they are making choices that make them feel good. Being the un-psychologist that I am, I can’t diagnose any person, real or fiction, with issues that may or may not subject him or her to abuse or abusing.
Passing judgment or making passive comments about the characters being abused is frustrating to me. What frustrates me even more is making these statements and passing this judgment without reading the books, 50 Shades or the others.
Just like reading classics isn’t really for me, reading erotica is not for everyone. I don’t blame you, nor do I pass judgment on anyone else’s choice of reading material.
It’s not sexist or sexism to want to participate in a BDSM partnership.
In my opinion, it’s the epitome of a feminist to feel so comfortable with one’s feminism and one’s own body to recognize what make her “get off.” Until very recently, women have been told to hide, shelter, protect and yet flaunt our femininity and sexuality. It still being done, and now it’s done with public judgment passed onto women who recognize their own needs in wanting to be dominated or be submitted to.
I don’t pass judgment or think any less of the women who feel that I and others like me are less of a feminist for reading erotica or others who participate in the BDSM lifestyle.
Ladies, let’s all support one another without judgment. Not everything everyone else does is for every other woman. You may like making the perfect paper mache piñata, and that makes you feel more of a woman. Others may want to wear nipple clamps to the PTA meeting to feel more feminine. I may like sneaking away to my bedroom to read graphic erotica novels to make me feel more womanly.
It’s pretty much the general rule of feminism: choice.