Janet Mock is a transwoman author who has strong opinions on gender and the sex industry shared in this memoir. Mock discusses many topics, but this review will cover five: essentialism, the term “cis”, the term “fish”, hormone blockers for children, and the sex industry.
Many feminists object when I say that the sexualization of dominance is anti-liberation. While I analyze BDSM practices through a feminist lens, they see me as stomping into their bedrooms and wagging my finger.
But none of my writing or conversing on the topic is done with the goal of “shaming” people who practice BDSM, though I am frequently infuriated by men who use BDSM culture to push women beyond their stated limits.
Rather, I am compelled to analyze the sexualization of dominance and submission through a feminist lens because radical analysis is as I see it central to dismantling oppressive systems of power. Read More
This post contains graphic descriptions.
Radical feminists often argue that BDSM practice is about degrading, humiliating, violating and torturing women. It is patriarchal violence against women—whether it occurs in your bedroom, on your computer screen, or is simulated during your lunchtime book reading.
We do not blame women who participate in it, but we will analyze it through a feminist lens.
BDSM is the legitimization of domestic violence against women. Case in point: The Feminist and the Cowboy. Author Alisa Valdes wrote an erotic semi-autobiographical book about a dominant lover who violently f’ked her under the guise of consensual “play”. After her book was released, Vales wrote a blog post detailing the real life abuse that the “cowboy” inflicted on her. Though the abuse was framed as consensual in her book, her real life experience with the cowboy involved being raped, verbally abused, threatened, and abandoned once he discovered her pregnancy.
Similarly, during a recent BDSM
play abuse session, abuser Steven Lock strangled a woman he had recently met on a dating site with a rope, chained her to his bed, lashed her 14 times, f’kd her, and then left her chained. She had to call a friend to help her escape, but Lock was cleared of all abuse charges once he claimed the assault had been “consensual”.
BDSM occurs in the context of patriarchal rape culture, where women always “deserve” the rape, violence, abuse and death that men dish out to them, and women who object to this treatment are called names, and dismissed out-of-hand.
(Note : this post was inspired by a comment I made over on the Ms. Magazine)1
If you’ve been paying attention to latest events and declarations by transwomen and transfeminists, you might be wondering, like I am, why transfeminism contains the word “feminism” at all. Feminism is about the liberation of FEMALES/WOMEN from the system of MALE/MEN’S dominance (patriarchy), so one would expect any term containing the word “feminism” to have at least *some* connection to females (I am using the word female here to mean the majority of women in the world who have been assigned female at birth, including intersex, and raised as girls/women, in contrast to trans women, who were assigned male at birth, have lived and been socialized as men, and remain biologically male even after -or if- they transition). And yet, as transfeminism becomes more mainstream, it seems to be narrowly focused on only a few issues that are specific to trans people only, and not even exclusive to trans WOMEN.
Last week, the Kansas-based organization Operation Rescue posted papers from an abortion clinic on their website. The documents were not official patient records, but included names, ages, phone numbers, photocopies of driver’s licenses, sonograms, and other personal identifying information for 86 women and girls who received care in the month of April. While the group was nice enough to redact the names before publishing the documents for all to see, Operation Rescue is still in possession of that information – stolen information, of course.
Submissiveness is empowering.
The above are just a few of the lies that patriarchal culture has served up for women in the best selling BDSM novel 50 Shades of Grey.
First-time female novelist E L James began the piece as short fan fiction based off of the Twilight series whose main relationship between a 104 year old vampire and a teenage girl meets all the criteria for domestic violence.
Given its source material, it’s not surprising that 50 Shades of Grey and its sequels tells the story of a billionaire who convinces a young woman to agree to be his full time sex slave. E L James’ story is not new.
Part 1 covered Book 1 (Walk to the End of the World) and Book 2 (Motherlines)
Book 3 – The Furies (1994)
For some, this is the least popular book, for others, the most powerful of the series. Charnas has said in interviews, this was the most difficult book of the series to write, and took the longest (over 15 years):
“One reason THE FURIES took so long to write was that I wanted to skip over the harshest part — an actual war, or more properly a slave-revolt, of the “fems” against their male masters — and go right to a better life for all;….. just as so many women with feminist ideals wish desperately to be able to “skip” the harshest part in reality, the part where we seem to have the most to lose, and the most to suffer, the part where we demand full recognition of our humanity, and do whatever it takes to get it.” Read More