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
Books in review; Some thoughts on the story of a speculative ultimate ‘War to End All Wars’ —
the War Between the Sexes.The Holdfast Chronicles, is an epic saga of a post-apocalyptic future told in four sequential novels written by Suzy McKee Charnas:
WALK TO THE END OF THE WORLD (1974)
THE FURIES (1994)
THE CONQUEROR’S CHILD (1999)
THE SLAVE AND THE FREE :
(a 90’s reprint omnibus edition of Books 1 and 2)
Angelwish is a charity whose mission is to provide gifts to children living with HIV/AIDS, asthma, diabetes, kidney disease, and other chronic illnesses.
On Feb 12th, Angelwish gave Hugh Hefner, founder of Playboy magazine and worldwide misogyny promoter, its Humanitarian of the Year award “for all his charitable efforts over the years.”
Angelwish, a charity dedicated to an uncontroversial cause, provides strong approbation and endorsement of Hefner by giving this award. It has not seen his lifelong commitment to hate speech against women as inconsistent with the descriptor “Humanitarian”.
But why exactly are Hefner’s actions and lifestyle inconsistent with the term “humanitarian”?
Not so long ago, I read about the child sex abuse scandal at Penn State, and the ensuing firing and arrests of men heralded as leaders of a community for decades, and a flurry of news articles like this one at Huffpost about the ongoing ‘Crisis of Masculinity’. Poor dudes.
To be honest, I never thought too much about bloke stuff before, not since that day walking home from school, I found my 15 year old baby brother squared off against a bunch of other boys, all reeking that feral pubescent testosterone gymclass odour after footy training.
Strong enough to peel your nail-polish and melt your mascara. Really. A lot of ballet position postures and gestures, but with snarling, drooling, and bared frothy canines between the bum-fluff. When I asked what was going on, my brother told me to bugger off, as it was “guy stuff”, and not to tell mum if I knew what was good for me. Read More
Sasha Grey is an exited pornography victim who was known for participating in nearly all the degrading types of acts available in pornography. Before her retirement, she was the best-known woman in the industry besides Jenna Jameson (source Pornland by Gail Dines, p. 41). At her first shoot shortly after her 18th birthday, she asked her costar/paid rapist to punch her in the stomach. She also claims to have invented licking a toilet seat as part of a scene in pornography.
After only being in the porn industry for about three years, Ms. Grey has retired from the filmed exploitation business. But why, if the industry was so lucrative and she loved sex so much, did she retire?
There is a misconstruction of sexuality in the mainstream. It says the only thing lesbians ever think about is sex. Lesbians are always harping on about our sexual rights. The thing is that as a lesbian: if you talk about sex, you are sex mad – but you are recognized as a lesbian. If you talk about climate change or poetry or violence against (heterosexual) women – you are not recognized as a lesbian. But if you talk about climate change or poetry or violence against (heterosexual) women and make it clear that your analysis is a lesbian analysis – you are sex mad.
How do we, therefore, talk about lesbian human rights and not be pigeon holed as “sex-mad lesbians”? I think probably there is no easy answer. Let’s look at some examples of abuses of lesbian human rights and then come back to these questions. But first, we must look at lesbian sexuality, and how patriarchy specifically oppresses lesbians. Read More
I recently found out about the Real Men Don’t Buy Girls campaign from this Newsweek article about a new study of users of pornography and buyers of prostitutes. The campaign was started by Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher and it involves a number of videos featuring male celebrities promoting the anti-child-trafficking message. As I was watching the videos, it seemed almost every man featured had done something notably anti-woman that I could recall off the top of my head. While they may support anti-trafficking efforts, many of these guys don’t seem on board with my Men Shouldn’t Be Awful Jackasses campaign. Read More
Guest Post by Betty McLellan
I’ve been a feminist for a long time (since the 1970s) and I’m still waiting for politicians, community leaders and social commentators to ask the question: WHAT IS IT ABOUT MEN?
Even in the face of horrendous violence by men against women and children (Darcey Freeman; and Tania Simpson and daughter Kyla Rogers) along with allegations of high profile men raping and abusing women (Dominique Strauss-Kahn; Silvio Berlusconi); even with all the evidence we have that something’s not quite right with the male of the species, there is still impenetrable resistance to focusing on men’s behaviour and asking: what is it about men? It seems that the only people with the courage to ask that question are radical feminists.
The ability of mainstream, including mainstream feminists, to ignore the elephant in the room is mind-boggling. Read More