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

24 March, 2009

The Eternal Subject Again

Here we go round the prickly pear
Prickly pear prickly pear
Here we go round the prickly pear
At five o'clock in the morning.

laughingrat:

"domination and submission--the brutalization of one person or group of persons".

So we start out by equating power to brutalisation, and this doesn't even get noticed or questioned -- it's just taken as a given, a default. And I think of Trin's regular comments about parents, about teachers, and I think of coming off my spectacular training weekend where we talked explicitly about the heirarchy between master and pupil. No, this is 'brutalisation'.

"fetishizing torture of the body or spirit in the bedroom".

This post is tagged 'BDSM', by the way. I don't expect you to get it. I don't expect you to understand it. If you don't find it comprehensible, that's okay, it's not for you.

If you don't fucking admit that it exists, if you don't acknowledge me, if you don't give a damn about my power, you have no business trying to talk about what I do.

I don't consider an argument predicated on erasing me 'feminist'; hell, I don't consider an argument predicated on erasing me anything other than my enemy. If you are hostile to my existence, you don't get me playing nice.

"do not tell fairy tales about it".

Ah yes, the ever popular Appeal To Delusion.

My reality is just a fantasy, you know. Not anything that has anything to do with the world that I actually live in; I'm delusional. In fact, I'm posting this from the psych ward in a straitjacket! I'm typing with my nose!

Just ... get real, okay? When you're willing to actually listen to my life rather than your pretty little fantasies about my life - because that's all they are, fantasies - and stop vanishing me away into theoryland, I'll still be here, writing away.

"Without patriarchy, the so-called "submissive side" of our personality, taken for granted as being natural because we can't currently imagine the possibility of life without domination and submission, would simply go away."

What's this one, Appeal To Utopia?

I love it following the 'fairy tale' snark. "In my fantasy world where everything conforms to what I want, people like you just won't happen! Because my imaginator makes it true! Take that, fictional people!"

becstar:

"Given the influence of the patriarchy it is not all surprising that the majority of submissives of female because we are brought up to believe that that is our proper role."

As I have written about more than once, I was brought up to believe that my proper role was to be one of the movers and shakers of the world, challenging the glass ceiling, curing cancer, running for President, and so on, and anything less than that was a betrayal of women in general.

What you mean, we?

danielle:

"Yet no one is saying that-we're try to have a discussion, not tell people what they're doing is wrong and shameful."

Well, that'd be a first.

Given some of the other comments, I'm back to 'What you mean, we?', though.

becstar:

"It amazes me that people who consider themselves feminists don't question where these submissive fantasies are coming from."

Setting aside the whole 'question' thing ("challenge the accuracy, probity, or propriety of", but that's not meant to indicate wrongness or shame, remember that, calling into doubt one's truthfulness, integrity, or correctness doesn't mean anything negative), it amazes me that people keep saying this.

danielle:

"When people respond emotionally and defensively and cut off arguments? That's when I can't stand feminists."

Oh, you women, you're so emotional. Come back when you can have a rational conversation. Not that you can, of course, that's what's wrong with women.

Nerdisms:

"(I capitalized the S to make it more empowering, you guyz!!!)"

I think capitalisation games are childish. When I talk about d/s, I talk about d/s. Well, sometimes I talk about D/S, but that's more effort to type, so mostly I don't. I do say "D/s" at the beginning of sentences, because I was oppressed by a culture that capitalises the initial letters of sentences and have not thrown off my conditioning yet.

EGhead:

"laughingrat's original dissenting post was in no was disrespectful".

... the post that called people brutal, torturing, suggested that people were delusional, and in magic feminist utopia they wouldn't exist was in no way disrespectful?

... or did I miss one?

EGhead:

"I think it would be beneficial for people to stop their BDSM practices; not necessarily beneficial for them, but beneficial for society as a whole. I think refusing to engage in any kind of abusive interactions-- even if they're consensual or 'role-play'-- can positively affect society."

"Equating BDSM categorically with abuse ... BINGO! I have BINGO!"

Oh look, and I should stop doing things that are good for me for the sake of society. I guess that's because that's women's job, to sacrifice their selfhood for the ungrateful.

SarahMC:

"Yeah, yeah, go on with your bad selves, choosing your choices and telling other feminists to STFU. You're all very empowerful and stuff."

Oooooh, empowerful. I loves the empowerblizing!

(Actually, I thought that it was a common response to the overprivileged to say, "Just shut up and listen for once, okay?")

"This thread is just a bunch of defensive rationalizations."

Hm. People who have been called brutal, torturing, delusional, that they should stop being themselves for the good of others, overemotional, and so on and so forth should ... just let themselves be hit rather than responding with refutations.

They like to be hit, after all, don't they? Why are they objecting?

Nerdisms:

"In fact, the majority of the world thinks you should submit, so it's not like that person questioning you has some ridiculous amount of social power over you. It's just someone thinking."

This one just exhausts me. I mean, setting aside the fact that the majority of the world that I have encountered thinks that submission is utterly contemptible, and demonstrates this (among other things) by paying support roles a fraction of what they're worth and figuring people who take them are just not as good as Type-A people and deserve the shit they get, I ...

... live in an environment full of "just people thinking" out loud about things. And a lot of those people are thinking that I'm scum, and want to make sure I know it. It's hard to climb out of the slime, and making one person stop thinking these things won't make that much of a difference, but maybe if enough one people stop thinking these things dealing with society will start stinking less.

danielle:

"Yea, that radical feminist viewpoint damages so much. That would be the viewpoint that demanded equal pay for equal work, women's right to be able to even work, and birth control."

"I think we who work full-time in the movement tend to become very narrow. What is happening now is that when non-movement women disagree with us, we assume it's because they are "apolitical," not because there might be something wrong with our thinking."
- Carol Hanisch, "The Personal is Political"

Nerdisms:

"You see, this kind of reflection is personal. While we'd maybe have different opinions on, on a larger scale of where these things get influenced from, I really can't tell you about yourself or whether or not this examination on your own childhood/experiences/arousal patterns is accurate."

And what else am I supposed to talk about? I'm only qualified to examine my own shit, I don't even have access to anyone else's.

joyfuldinosaur:

"I'm going to put BDSM into the "ethically bad" category along with pornography and always trying to be ethically good."

Okay, so this one figures that I'm doing The Wrong Thing, but eh, everyone does Bad Things anyway, so who cares? I'm just supposed to accept that I'm bad and let go of the judgementalism of it because it doesn't matter.

It matters. And what I do is not ethically bad.

I'm pretty sure someone in there was on about egalitarian and inegalitarian relationships, but I didn't find the quote. I'll just link this anyway, because I find the whole 'egalitarianism' thing a red herring.

Not with a bang, but a whimper.

6 comments:

garbo in paint said...

You know what I find most offensive? Is this repeated idea that my own reality is false. My own sense of myself, who I am, what my desires are, is a pretence. That I go through life with a "false consciousness".

I mean, how fucking silencing and infantilising is that shit?

Who are these people to tell me what my reality is? And how can they equate that domineering behaviour with the political ideals they supposedly hold so dear?

Zeborah said...

I was going to make a laudatory comment on your capitalisation paragraph, but then I read

that the majority of the world that I have encountered thinks that submission is utterly contemptible, and demonstrates this (among other things) by paying support roles a fraction of what they're worth

and ooh, yeah. I knew there's a difference between being good at being support staff and being bad at it, and it's just as important as being a good manager, but had never thought about that wrt money and status. Money as measure of status=power=progression-towards-management rather than money as measure of how well you do your actual job. It's easier, cruder, one-dimensional. And what would a society look like in a world which didn't feel the need to link those things?

You know how when people read something really dumb they say they've lost IQ points? (Not that I believe in IQ as much of anything useful, but using it as a handy metaphor) I think I just gained a couple.

Cube said...

Remember to breathe.

Hope said...

Thank you, that's really all I can say. Thank you.

The thing that's the most frustrating to me is that I tried to address most of those statements over there and was primarily ignored. The only one who actually responded meaningfully was Nerdisms, and even that was confrontational.

impgrrl said...

Right on with this post.

Dw3t-Hthr said...

garbo in paint -

Yeah. The whole "Let me erase you so that you can be what I want you to be" attitude is ... if I wanted to deal with that sort of shit, I could call my mother.

Zeborah -

Secretaries. Janitors. Housewives. Teachers. Mothers. Cleaning up a home isn't work unless it's being done by a usually-poor brown woman in someone else's house ....

Hope -

I've been talking with Nerdisms elsewhere, and I think it's been a reasonably good conversation. We're not seesawing between 'hearing each other' and 'making snarky condescending comments' anymore, at least. :}