So Tell Me ... What's The Weather Like on YOUR Planet?

30 July, 2007

Delusions of Inadequacy

E for Eclectic writes about Why Female Gender Supremacy is Ignorant Crap, and is linked from SM-Feminists with commentary and also responded to at A Place To Draw Blood Laughing, which I found by chasing links around.

And I'm not going to get into the weirdness of parsing sex- or gender-based supremacy stuff to me, as I'm sure folks can figure out how baffling that is to someone genderqueer. I mean, it needs to be noted as one of those, "Wow, your universe has no space for certain types of deviants to exist, let alone have anything to do" things, but ....

The weird thing about this stuff for me is how oddly restrictive it gets. Not just in the gender-assumption bits, or in the obvious 'men are like this, women are like that' stuff (whether it's male-superior or female-superior, it still has something of that sort), but in the whole rest of it.

Like one of the comments E got was from someone who claimed to agree with the female gender supremacy thing (I think; it's not entirely clear in context) and was full of supercilious contempt and dismissal of a woman. Which probably indicates that a woman who doesn't fit someone's model of Correct Womanhood doesn't count as a woman, and is thus beneath contempt according to The System.

And not only does one have to fit into a gender and do it the right way, one has to fit into a model of what it means to be dominant or submissive or whatever else. Which reminds me of all the posts I've seen recently about female doms/tops being expected to fulfil certain fantasies -- look a certain way, behave a certain way, be into certain things. Not be in to certain other things. (And I'm sitting here watching this one guy who comes across as obsessed with not-being-into-pain, and my thought process goes something like, "I'm not into pain, and I'm doing research about floggers on the side ...." Though that's sort of a complicated side tangent into different ways I'm a freak.)

I've run into a couple of Gorean types who think their fantasy is a model of reality -- both the masters and the kajira. (Which I want to pluralise 'kajirae'; clearly I've been reading too many Greek plays lately.) And they're very clear on what sort of behaviour a "real" woman/sub should have -- the whole demure, compliant, master-this master-that thing. It reminds me of the "How can you call yourself a sub when you're not into humiliation?" person I ran into a long time ago, the whole slender, tenuous thread one must walk in something dealing with power.

Power, for godssakes.

The whole men coming up to dominant women and casting their 'female superiority' stuff there is just ... why should those women give up their power of self-assertion about the nature of their desire for some random dude? Why should I, a switchy sub, give up my power of identity for someone whose sole reason for expecting me to have a certain set of interests and proclivities is the shape of my genitalia? (Even my master doesn't get that; if he wanted me to be something other than complete as myself, we wouldn't be terribly compatible.)

And one of the reasons I value my relationship with my liege is he doesn't play the superior/inferior game at all. We have a relationship in which certain broad forms of authority are his to claim; we also have a relationship in which each of us is good at distinctly different things, and put in a position where we can bring those strengths to our dynamic freely. (I commented, frequently, a while back that I suspect most people's expectations of a d/s relationship included less woodworking -- but I'm good at keeping track of patterns of things that need done, and thus a position in which I'm running the sequencing of repetetive tasks in his service is damn useful to him. I mean, yeah, there were times I'd have liked more kinky sex and less sanding, but that didn't change what mattered to him.) It's specialisation, not inadequacy or inferiority.

I like dealing with situations in which my power is respected enough that I'm not put in charge of things, myself. (And so does everyone else around me; I'm a holy terror when I don't have an authority I respect to defer to.)

I like models that let people find what works for them without having to wodge themselves sideways into someone else's fantasy. There are enough weirdos out there for there to be some people who have compatible stuff, and even if one never comes across one (I, personally, never expected to) other people will remain real and have their own sexualities, and will almost certainly find implementing them more important to them than implementing that of J. Random Perv.

9 comments:

Elizabeth said...

What a thoughtful piece. Thank you for writing.

And how *exhuasting* to have to do all of this *fitting*, yes?

(I took the same interpretation of my condescending commenter as you did, btw.)

Anyway, I'm not planning on trying to fit to somebody else's expectations. You and the people you love are all that matter, I think.

Thanks for writing.

hugs, E

Dw3t-Hthr said...

Thank you for dropping by.

I think one of the flaws of 'The world is like this' philosopies is that they don't take into account how exhausting it is for someone who doesn't think in that mode to get there, and how little payoff there is for doing so.

I find myself reminded of Trinity's comment somewhere deep in one of the SM-Feminists threads that she doesn't want someone submitting to her because she's female, but rather because they're responding to her dominance. It's a personal thing, back to the 'you and the people you love', something with intent and thoughtfulness to it.

maymay said...

Well stated, and well authored.

As a side note, there's nothing incongruous about researching flogging and not being into pain, in my book. That's partially because I have yet to find a flogger that actually hurts me but mostly because who cares what you're calling it as long as you're doing what you want to.

Eileen said...

I think May and Elizabeth have already said it better, but yes. Great post.

The relationship you describe with your partner sounds so fun, and yet so humanly workable.

Trinity said...

"I find myself reminded of Trinity's comment somewhere deep in one of the SM-Feminists threads that she doesn't want someone submitting to her because she's female, but rather because they're responding to her dominance. It's a personal thing, back to the 'you and the people you love', something with intent and thoughtfulness to it."

Thanks for this. I was honestly flummoxed (though not surprised) when he didn't understand. Wouldn't it be better for someone to accept your service because you're you than because you're a boy?

I mean, I get the whole "I'm just one of many, depersonalized, a number in a harem" as sexual fantasy. But the guy in question is so obsessed with asserting he's not talking about fantasy when he is... that befuddles me.

Fantasy is fine and great, when clearly marked.

Dw3t-Hthr said...

The 'I'm interested in this with you just because you're female' thing always reminds me of ... right after I noted that I was female on a sports-related newsgroup, someone sent me a photoshopped penis. (As in, naked picture with a completely implausible organ.)

Which is, y'know, a bit much for an interaction solely rooted in "This person is female" and "This person cares about the Boston Red Sox."

Richard said...

It is just another way of objectifying the female. In this case by converting her into a nonexistent sort of being.

Some men do this as a way of justifying desires that otherwise would seem unacceptably demeaning. But it the woman is superior then it is OK.

For other men it is just another sort of hot sex fantasy. But they don't know how to distinguish the source of the thrill from actuality.

A couple of women have based lucrative careers on promoting this: Sutton, Abernathy.

And there is a legion of telephone prodommes who invoke the rhetoric as a means of attracting clients.

Trinity said...

"It is just another way of objectifying the female. In this case by converting her into a nonexistent sort of being."

YES!

Thank you.

Trinity said...

"Some men do this as a way of justifying desires that otherwise would seem unacceptably demeaning."

Yes, and I prefer men who are secure in their desires for pain and/or desires to serve. Which is what I was trying to say to kramnik (arrrrrgh!) over on sm-f, but he doesn't get it at all.

What I get for feeding trolls, I guess.