BDSM and Feminism

5 01 2009

BDSM often gets a bad rap from feminists, particularly male dominants and female submissives.  Browsing WordPress today, I found an interesting article (through Feminist Philosophers) on Feminism and BDSM (link here).

It’s taken me many years of unlearning mainstream power dynamics to understand and accept my own desire for fictional, fetishized ones. Despite this deliberate journey of self-discovery and the accompanying (and perhaps contradictory) feelings of being in total control, it’s pretty evident that the feminist movement at large is not really ready to admit that women who like to be hit, choked, tied up and humiliated are empowered. Personally, the more I submitted sexually, the more I was able to be autonomous in my external life, the more I was able to achieve equality in my sexual and romantic partnerships, and the more genuine I felt as a human being. Regardless, I always felt that by claiming submissive status I was being highlighted as part of a social dynamic that sought to violate all women. Sadly, claims of sexual emancipation do not translate into acceptance for submissives — the best a submissive can hope for is to be labeled and condescended to as a damaged victim choosing submission as a way of healing from or processing past trauma and abuse.

Let me know what you think of it, in the comments.

MV

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3 responses

8 01 2009
Khepera

It’s very interesting to read another woman speaking about feeling empowered through her lifestyle choice. I can relate to that. I don’t identify as a submissive, however I do identify as a bottom. When I am able to endure the physical pain of an intense session, I feel an incredible sense of accomplishment. I feel incredibly strong for having endured it. Each time my limits are pushed and I make it through unscathed (or with a nice trophy) it is evidence of the warrior princess that I am. I don’t think that people who are looking in from the outside are able to see the real dynamic. When lifestylers process a session the synopsis transcends the physical. When a sub bottoms and endures, it is a testiment to their strength.

11 01 2009
beyondaboxofchocolates

I can relate to feeling a sense of accomplishment as a submissive, but I also feel quite accomplished as a domme. In many respects, a dominatrix that owns her pet is a feminist. I love it when my boy gets on his knees for me, begs for release, orgasm, etc. Both scenarios make me feel extremely empowered. I feel empowered as a sub because I get to do what I naturally do well.. nurture. I get to cook for him, clean, pamper him, please him, etc. I have the best of both worlds as a switch.

30 12 2009
More on BDSM and Feminism « The House of Void

[…] on BDSM and Feminism 30 12 2009 Very early this year (way back in January), I did a quick post on BDSM and Feminism, linking to an interesting article on Feminist Philosophers. Today, I will […]

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