This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License.
Wednesday, March 29, 2006
Tuesday, March 28, 2006
Friday, March 24, 2006
Can't afford rent? these guys will let you stay at their place, but only if you fuck them regularly.
Streetwalking in Silicon Valley: Has Prostitution Found its Place on Craigslist?
Well, I'll recap/highlight some parts for you:
Craigslist is unique in that it plays host to both real estate brokers looking for a sale and horny twenty-somethings looking for a date in the same place. Believe it or not, it didn’t take long for these two disparate sectors to find some commonalities on the community site, and unnerving postings like the following (posted on 3/19/06 in the “manhattan rooms & shares” section) began appearing with frequency:
“FEMALE ROOMATE WANTED ONLY WHO IS PRETTY & IN GOOD SHAPE.TO RENT, WITH ADDED SEX INCLUDED. AND SHARE A 1MEDIUM SIZE BEDROOM.2WINDOWS.UTILITIES/CABLE INCLUDED. SHARE KITCHEN.AND BATHROOM. RENT CAN MAYBE BE NEGOTIABLE TO A LOWER PRICE WITH ADDED SEX INCLUDED.”
In several major cities, including New York, Miami, Chicago, San Francisco, and undoubtedly many other places around the country, men are offering free or discounted rent on their shared apartment space to young, attractive women who are willing to negotiate sexual favors as payment. For the past year, stories such as the one that appeared last Sunday, March 19 in the Miami Herald have chronicled the practice as a growing phenomenon. The disturbing trend in this coverage is that very little preventative measures are being taken; the authorities are always seen standing on the sideline of the Internet with a dumb stupor, wondering what laws they should consult, and whether or not they should intervene at all.
Sometimes, posters will mask their sexual solicitations with more vague terms such as “services,” or by requesting other suggestive activity, such as regularly cleaning the apartment in their underwear. Frequently, potential roommates will be asked to send a provocative picture for review. Nearly always, what is being asked for is explicit enough to scare away young women not wishing to prostitute themselves, yet implicit enough to avoid legal prosecution.
In February of this year, the Chicago Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law filed a lawsuit against Craigslist’s operators, claiming that the site is in violation of the Fair Housing Act. In reality, the group was attacking the vile sexual solicitation they found becoming a rampant problem in their city, but legally they took the case against Craigslist to another level. The Fair Housing Act in question outlaws “discriminatory preference based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status or handicap.” This means that the Chicago Lawyers Committee found Craigslist postings making specifications such as “Godly Christian Roommate Wanted” (a surprisingly frequent occurrence) to be on par with “Female Only CHEAP RENT FOR SERVICES.” Their lawsuit is still pending.
This legal strategy conflates the real problem of sexual solicitation with the imagined threat of housing discrimination. People should be allowed to say if they prefer to live with someone who has a similar background as them (provided that they don’t directly attack those people they prefer not to live with). They should not, however, be allowed to sell their ritzy Manhattan penthouse for daily sexual gratification, at least not on Craigslist where their vulgar offers contaminate a shared community space.
Oh yesiree, we have reached the age where men (no women place the ads, how strange) seem to think that it's ok to exploit women's need for shelter and their inherent belief that all women will want to have sex with their socially inept, misogynistic, slimy selves. I mean, does that sound like a fun or even fair trade to you? I mean these guys are so charming that not only will no one date them of their own free will, but they will exploit our basic need for shelter to get laid. Apparently these ads first started pooping up after Hurricane Katrina. See how much men think of us? They were kind enough to offer the hurricane survivors shelter, they just ask for a little poke now and then. I mean really, they're opening up their house for you, right? It's the least you could do. (I prefer cooking for the house or doing random chores when I'm a guest, but that's just me.)
And the poor women don't even get their own bed. They can't just fuck the guy and get away. No they are his sex slave/cuddle buddy/warm body for him to do whatever he wants to with. Can you imagine how easily it could escalate for someone desperate enough. Hmmmmm...I think that twice a week isn't enough. And I think you ca only wear this:..... How easily it devolves into a Travis Frey type situation.
I especially love the part where legally they are saying that looking for a live in prostitute is the same as looking for a gay/Xtian/smoking/drug-free roommate. What a sad sad legal system we have.
Yes ladies, they love us. They love us so much that they see us as fucktoys around only for their pleasure and nothing else. Now that's sexy.
Thursday, March 23, 2006
I plan on partying ALL day long!
(And the after bar party will have WHISKEY not absinthe. More likely bourbon as that is my liquor of choice)
Wednesday, March 22, 2006
Oglala Sioux President on the SD Abortion Law
Giago: Oglala Sioux president on state abortion law
Tuesday, March 21, 2006
"When Governor Mike Rounds signed HB 1215 into law it effectively banned all abortions in the state with the exception that it did allow saving the mother’s life. There were, however, no exceptions for victims of rape or incest. His actions, and the comments of State Senators like Bill Napoli of Rapid City, SD, set of a maelstrom of protests within the state.
Napoli suggested that if it was a case of “simple rape,” there should be no thoughts of ending a pregnancy. Letters by the hundreds appeared in local newspapers, mostly written by women, challenging Napoli’s description of rape as “simple.” He has yet to explain satisfactorily what he meant by “simple rape.”
The President of the Oglala Sioux Tribe on the Pine Ridge Reservation, Cecilia Fire Thunder, was incensed. A former nurse and healthcare giver she was very angry that a state body made up mostly of white males, would make such a stupid law against women.
“To me, it is now a question of sovereignty,” she said to me last week. “I will personally establish a Planned Parenthood clinic on my own land which is within the boundaries of the Pine Ridge Reservation where the State of South Dakota has absolutely no jurisdiction.”
Taken from this.
I have a new hero. KIck ass!
I was at times both overwhelmed and excited about hosting the carnival. I got such great submissions and read so many posts that I may not have normally that I would find myself refreshed by some brilliant writing when the daunting task of organising and coding the post overtook me. Also the idea that I should write some eye-catching, witty introduction to each blogger and post. It's difficult so let's make a deal: I will try my best and when I miss the mark and am not witty we'll just pretend I was, ok?
To all of you wonderful posters: thank you so much. It is truly beautiful to see all these voices out in the blogosphere. Unfortunately I've been so busy I haven't been able to do more the post quick, less in depth things then I usually do, but I have many ideas coming off of this carnival, all I can say is THANK YOU!
On a side note: The themes 'Radical Feminism' and 'International Feminism' are themes that spread across all issues so I did not make a separate section just for each of them, instead I included many of the wonderful entries that have been submitted in other sections where they are most appropriate. I wanted entries that would reflect these two things and hence the call out for them. They are reflected in theis entire Carnival, just they way it should be. SO with that said, ENJOY!!
I can't think of a better way to kick off the rad fem edition of the Carnival, then to start by defining who has Control over Reality and Space brought to us by Joida at Buried Voices.
Questioning our Privilege
New blogger earl becke at Definitionwho believes in the (shouldn't be) radical notion that Trans issues are women's issues. Hell friggin' yeah! The rest of this brand new blog is just as amazing, go check it out!
spotted elephant at The Bipolar View takes an intimate look at how we can easily overlook our own privilege in Feminism, Racism, and Privilege.
What the hell is wrong with you?
Terry at I See Invisible People writes about problems overcoming our conditioning not to speak up and call people out on their sexism in Why is it so hard?
Ann Bartow, at Sivacracy.net, asks why some people think sexist comments are somehow funny when leveled against conservative women in Humorless Feminism.
Dark Daughta, also known as One Tenacious Baby Mama comes with a hard hitting look at the popularity and prevelance of male bloggers in the feminist blogosphere. Are we giving the too much credit for not very much work? (I agree with her.) You can hear her very perceptive view of the situation On Patriarchal Male Feminists.
Veronica, at aldahlia, discusses the difficulties of discussing revolutionary thought with some (ok, most) men in Revolution.
Ann Bartow, at Feminist Law Professors, discusses the case of a female felon who was included at The Smoking Gun for looking "foxy" “Foxy Felons” and the Unexpected Consequences of Crime.
Sheezlebub, at Pinko Feminist Hellcat, presents the increasing insanity that not only is unavailable abortion and birth control, but the men who don't want to be responsible for their offspring in Boys will be boys, and sluts and their bastard children will be pilloried.
The Nut over at The Nut House brings us an update and a break down of what's going on in the abortion/birth control front covering many different states in It's time to cry now.
Another Radical Feminist brings us the story of how porn is put down at eye level with little kids in It's a lifestyle choice
Andrea over at Vociferate brings us a post about searchers true intentions behind looking for porn in Men to Andrea, we want Germaine Porn.
Laurelin in the Rain discusses free speech and porn in Here's my freedom of speech, now I've heard yours
Now I know that trolling is at the back of *most* of your minds, but we ask that you take special care when replying to the following two entries as they are very personal and it took a lot of guts to post these things in such a public arena. Thank you for your care.
Kat at The Geeky Feminist The Geeky Feminist brings us her personal experience with porn in Confessions of a porn user.
From this very blog we have Fear of White Panties which is about my personal experience in the porn industry.
Violence Against Women
From Climacteric Clambake, manxome's powerfully moving story about sexual assault Strength comes from Refusing to Be Shamed
The UK blogger at Feminist Figure discusses the UK government's new anti rape campaign, which *gasp*targets men!
Winter at Mind the Gap also talks about the campaign and deconstructs just what is wrong with the 'sexy' anti-rape posters in Campaign in need of some awareness.
Skylanda at Avast! Feminist Conspiracy! brings us an update about the women of Juarez in Out of sight, out of mind, out in the desert. I really cannot do it justice in a blurb.
Le Lyons from Femivist explores Rape as the Pinnacle of Sexism. Damn good post.
flea at One Good Thing scripts a letter to be read by her children in the future which includes a powerful story about sexual assault in Letter to Alex and Chris, Twelve Years in the Future.
Laura fromI'm not a Feminist, But brings us a very moving call to action in Protest. Now.
RJ from Bark/Bite asks why the same women hating bullshit in Holla Back and Fire Extinguishers.
We all know them, we all deal with them. There insane beauty standards we're supposed to live up to has effected every woman I know, and I'd hazard to guess every woman and some men. Not only in does this category encompass this, but also things which we as women are taught to feel ashamed of.
Megha at A Day in a Punk's Life talks about what it's like being Hindu and menstruating in Blood, Gore, and Edicts
Sue Richards, at My Menopause Blog, talks about how she decided to deal with her fat issues (hint, it involved tossing her scale) in My Menopause Blog: Fat.
Liz, at Granny Gets A Vibrator, a look at who exactly might benefit from the neverending stream of articles about how washed up, undesirable, and worthless older women are. (and older apparently means 40) in Farm Fresh Eggs and High Happy Boobs!.
verbify from Signifying Nothing describes her anger and frustraion at the direction the US is heading in Della Reese is pouring another cup of righteous indignation. (Plus it quotes one of my favourite songs of all time in it.)
Pregnancy and Parenthood
Uma from The Other India discusses the dangers of being pregnant and poor in Pregnancy in India.
Meghan Townsend from Mommy Bloggers talks about her exasperation at trying to be what society calls the perfect mother in The Good Enough Mother.
Miriam Peskowitz at Playground Revolution discusses how she's fighting sexist ideas in schools on International Women's Day
KCB from Redneck Mother gives us an example of how spending cuts hurt women and the hypocrisy of Republicans that turn their backs on victims of family violence. Unfortunately the permalinks are not working, so you'll need to scroll down to the entry titled Keeping Americans safe.
Sometimes you just need a good laugh, or a good theme song:
Franken Girl brings us this glorious change to the *ahem* Oscar winning song It's Hard Out Here for a Feminist. It truly made my day to read it.
Really do we need anymore reasons to hate Colin Farrell? Well, Dr. Violet Socks at The Reclusive Leftist brings us Prostitutes=Pizza an amazing look at how men and especially Farrell and the ilk view women in the sex industry.
Here and There
Now this category is WIDE open. There are so many things to talk about in relation to this, and countless ways to interpret it. Here are some of the ways that it was interpreted. There are also posts that belong here as well as other categories.
The blogger at Irrational Point ponders how we can preserve our individual voices and issues in our own countries and also have a communal voice that speaks internationally in Ain't I a Woman.
The blogger at Blonde But Bright wonders how truly different misogyny is across the globe in Dialouges in the Dark.
Uma at Indian Writing brings us powerful examples of Caste as Woman
Natalie from Philobiblon compares the past with the present and the possible backslide towards the past in Is 'Red' America Ddestroying itself?
Muse from Me-ander brings us a little comic relief inThis is going to make a lot of women happy.
Miliana from What fresh Hell is this? recounts her experience as a white woman abroad in Morocco in American Woman in Morocco
Working 9 to 5
Paul Secunda at Workplace Prof Blog brings up a recent study done on the glass ceiling (or if your in science as my good friend/physics prof calls it the tungsten ceiling) in Worldwide Glass Ceilings at Work.
Bad Feminist questions the claim that women are no longer opting out of careers in The Opt Out Revolution.
Blog Against Sexism (i.e. posts that refuse to be categorised)
I was lucky enough to get the Carnival following the Blog Against Sexism Day and International Women's Day. As you should have noticed by now, a good number of posts came from this day, but as we all know everyday is Blog Against Sexism day on some blogs. Wherever they came from, I was blessed to read all of them.
soopermouse at I Hate People discusses the many ways in which women are oppressed and the many ways in which we are fighting the patriarchy in Blog Against Sexism Day.
Emma at Gendergeek brings home the point that equality cannot happen untill we have autonomy over our bodies in Blogging Against Sexism.
International Women's Day
Afrofeminista from Feminist African Sistercelebrates the achievements of other feminists in a post which helps us see just how important solidarity with other women is in International Women's Day 2006.
Jennifer Kennedy from Life in Cameroon recounts an uplifting IWD in International Women's Day.
In the News
The Happy Feminist answers the question of "Are traditionalists happier then feminists in Oh for Pete's Sake.
History and Literature
at Black Looks blogs about 'Stagecoach Mary', a female 'cowboy' who is an inspiration to all women interested in breaking out of their moulds in I am Mary Fields.
Mysticgypsy at A Ramble in the Park posts her take on Emily Bronte and Wuthering Heights (and more aptly media portrayl of Bronte's novel) in Cold in the Earth and Fifteen Wild Decembers.
Cassiphone at Velvet Threads has dedicated Women's History Month to bringing us 50 Ancient Roman women one such entry is (Roman) Women's History Month - Part VII - Sex, Scandal and Bloodshed. Very interesting entries, since someone submitted this I have been more interested in Ancient Rome then I ever was!
Ian Welsh at The Blogging of the President brings us a little socioanthropological insight into gender and the differences between hunter/gatherer societies and agriculturan socities and applies this to what we see today in Power and Gender.
And finally, on a parting note
The wonderful blogger Clare (formerly of Ink and Incapability) on her shiny new blog The Ninth Wave asks us all to please stop with all the infighting in Sorry ladies, but this isn't working.
Many thanks go out to Joida of Buried Voices and Andrea from Vociferate (however reluctant she was to help *nyah nyah*) for their helping me read and blurb posts. They saved me from going insane.
The next carnival will be hosted at Written World on April 5th. INfo can be found here.
Sunday, March 19, 2006
So I better get this out of the way before I continue. If you troll, you will be deleted, or possibly berated by my commenters. I'm ok with that, so take your trolly ass comments and go somewhere else. This is very personal and I would appreciate it if you went elsewhere. Thank you. Also this may be triggering for anyone who has found themselves in this situation. It sure as hell triggered me.
As I sit here watching the Brier (men's curling tournament: dorky I know) I can't help but think about just how many people out there have seen the evidence of my desperation (hunger). Desperate for money (for food) and sold down the river by women I trusted. Now I'm not saying that I am a moron and do whatever someone tells me to do, what I am saying is that women who I respected, who were older then me, more experienced then me, and in every way I could see amazing feminists sold me on the idea that it was an ok thing to do for money. (Obviously I had not been introduced to what I later have learned is "radical feminism.") Sure a regular job could be better, but I needed money and quick, and they had all done it. It would be over in no time. Easiest $400 I ever made. Yes you read that last figure right. (That price alone is degrading especially given the amont of money that they made off of my humiliation.) I traumatised myself for $400, but then again I had no money and no food and I couldn't find work in Austin (I was living out of my van and didn't have a phone number at the time). I shoved it into a box in the darkest corner of my mind. I almost didn't finish at the time-he offered to give me all the film back because it was so hard, but I was hungry. Looking back I know what I would have done, but desperation makes you do desperate things.
So I got triggered (which thankfully is happening less and less as time passes and I progress in my therapy) in the oddest of circumstances. Even though I recognised immediately why I was getting the panic attack feeling that sometimes accompanies my PTSD I didn't want to believe it. That and I was in the middle of a store which is not exactly the ideal place to have a panic attack. It was the fact that I needed knickers and here I was face to face with white ones for the first time since that day.
Breathe. Just breathe.
It was horribly uncomfortable at the time. As I sit here it all comes rushing back to me, in fragments. When teh photographer asshole with the gorgeously huge house thought that discussing what kind of labia he and his friend liked. He apparently liked mine. At the time I couldn't understand how that would possibly something that it would be to discuss. I must say I've learned since then. Also part of the (one sided) conversation was how his friend likes labia that looks like a little girls. Oh great. I'm nauseous just thinking about it, but I need you to know how horrible it is to actually be there. It's not sexy, it's not fun and I'm not being prudish for saying that. Not only are you selling your body, but you can't (as I tried to do) pretend that it's just like any other work situation. That I was not the one being exploited, that I was somehow weaseling easy money out of them, though I know that they made 20x that at least). The guy doing it and every person thereafter sees you as a thing, and object that is there for their pleasure. I was not a person to him. I am not a person to whoever has seen those pictures. I am a dirty slut/whore/schoolgirl that wants it. Oh yeah, I want to be degraded and used. Even with that distant look in my eye I want it. I am a thing to be used and discarded. Part of selling of a person as an object is selling that I want to be treated that way, that I want them to dehumanise me, because we have to make the woman hating freaks feel special.
The shoot was of course horrific and cliched. I had to dress in white knickers (oh how nice, he let me keep them. I think I threw them out the window in his nice suburban neighbourhood, but I know I got rid of them right away), a plaid skirt and a white button down shirt. It bugged me because of how cliched it was, but also the way in which it was done. For the removal of clothes I was supposed to look elsewhere, be distracted. Act like this is what I do alone in my room, perform for men (who aren't supposed to be there). It was voyeuristic, but in a way that disturbed me more then the others. Not only was I supposed to be pretending to be the innocent schoolgirl gone naughty (*puke*), because obviously deep down we're all sluts who just can't get enough of male attention and approval. Even the ones who glare at you or look completely and utterly unhappy to be there. If *you* got that girl (thing) alone then you could make her want it, after all she's just a slut. We all are. I was supposed to do it in such a way that showed complete detachment, not even what is usually there which is a facade of connection. When the pictures were developed I was to be a totally detached object. Not to mention the whole sexualisation of under age girls which I am not going to get into as I trust my dear readers know about it all ready.
That's where my fear of white knickers comes from. I needed to get that out, and will spend another post theorising and discussing the path which led me there, and which ultimately led me here, to my strict anti-pornstitution stance. But this drained me. I know it's good to talk, I needed this out there so that another young woman who is unsure can get a look at what it's really like, what they really want you to do. You are an object to them, one that they can exploit for money. There's no positive way to spin this, as there is lots of corroborating evidence that supports me, but as I have learned sometimes you have to tell the personal in order for someone to believe your political (and I believe that they are the same thing.) Although I can imagine the porn apologists trying to spin this into something other then it is, but how about for once we call a spade a spade. Because I'm right here and I'll keep screaming until porn goes away. You can't spin me. This is my experience in all it's horribleness. You can't spin it.
(look for Pt II in the next weekish)
Saturday, March 18, 2006
If the truth of what you say is so clear, it shouldn't be difficult to convince me, who is, in many ways, already on your side.
Do you think it's a valid arguement? Or annoying as fuck and patently false?
Oh but why stop at stickers? They have buttons and t-shirts too! Awesome! I have an image of my hands flying frantically towards my parts to keep some creepy asshole who thinks things like that are somehow funny out. Mmmmm...they're listed under 'offensive shirts' but really this one should have it's own category of misogyny. (The other one is not offensive at all)
Friday, March 17, 2006
Stolen from Dr. Brazen Hussy
Instructions: Go to your music player of choice and put it on shuffle. Say the following questions aloud, and press play. Use the song title as the answer to the question. NO CHEATING.
How does the world see you?
"Auf Achse" -Franz Ferdinand (On axle? Hmm? Ok, at least I'm not falling off or anything)
Will I have a happy life?
"Hot Hot Hot" -Bina Mistry (note it's the Punjabi veresion from Bend it like Beckham)
What do my friends really think of me?
"Sexual Healing" -Marvin Gaye (well, um, err. Apparently no one's told my friend's that I am a hairy legged prude (though they should have noticed the hairy legs by now)
Do people secretly lust after me?
"Paris Be Mine" -The Bicycles (Ok, am I supposed to be Paris? I don't even know this song. I should look at what's in my I-tunes every once in awhile, heh.)
How can I make myself happy?
"Don't Bring Me Down" -Selina Martin (well, duh.)
What should I do with my life?
"Spin SPin Sugar" -Sneaker Pimps (OK, so I should be a dancer or a DJ? Or maybe I'm supposed to work for the WHite House? I can spin, baby!)
Will I ever have children?
"No, Not Now" -Hot Hot Heat (Bwahahahhahahaha, exactly)
What is some good advice for me?
"Mr. Sandman" -Oranger (guess I *should* avoid teh St. Paddy's day insanity, or alternately that I should try sleeping on a regular basis.)
How will I be remembered?
"It was Love" -The Elected (Aw, how sweet)
What is my signature dancing song?
"Standing" Giles in Buffy's "Once More With Feeling" (does this thing always kick out musicals for this one? That's not really dancing, now is it. So I should think that spin means DJ or White House and NOT dancer, huh.)
What do I think my current theme song is?
"Fame" -Irene Cara (I SWEAR I did not cheat on this one. This has been a theme song of mine for EVER. Awesome. Oh magic IPod 8 Ball, I will never doubt you again!)
What does everyone else think my current theme song is?
"Under Control" -The Strokes (Well, isn't that interesting)
What song will play at my funeral?
"Meet me in the Bathroom" -The Strokes (uhhhhhhhh.......good to know you'll all use my funeral as a place to hook up at)
What type of men/women do you like?
"Strange Design of Conscience" -The Flaming Lips (well, that would explain a few things)
What is my day going to be like?
"Fire Sign" -The Gossip (well yeah, in a nutshell it was)
Wednesday, March 15, 2006
Is this the new way to deal with "you're calling me on my sexism and I don't want to have to look at it or change anything so I'll just say that you're trying to revoke my cerdentials"?
What the fuck people? Just because you say you're a feminist means you are absolved from looking into any misogynistic/sexist behaviours you might have, because if so I seriously need a new name for what I beleive.
Edit Apparently though I have never recieved these credentials, I am having them challenge by none other then Dr Violet Socks. You're going down reclusive leftist! When I'm done you're going to want to hide under your tinfoil hat til it all goes away.
Tuesday, March 14, 2006
Remember to submit either the submission form which makes a nice little quick link for me to cut and paste into my blog.
Saturday, March 11, 2006
I met a guy at the bar. Surprisingly he agreed that porn was exploitave. Friendship may
All right, too much bourbon, but partially fueled by watching "Walk the Line." I so would have kicked Johnny Cash in the nuts. Several times.
Wednesday, March 08, 2006
I have found a great blog over at Definition, but my favourite post is here: Trans Issues are Women's Issues which I wholeheartedly agree with. Don't be put off by the blog roll as I know how many of my readers feel about Bitch|Lab, but some of my favourite radicals are on there too.
Rape as the Pinnacle of Sexism. Well I can't really say to much about it, except right fucking on.
Again another gem from Blog Against Sexism day (which, really isn't that everyday?) can be found at I hate people.
Also, don't forget about thenext Carnival of Feminists hosted right here! The themes can be found here, but are Radical Feminism or International Feminism (what do you expect from a rad fem blog?)
That's all for now. Enjoy!
napoli (not to be confused with the proper noun, which indicates the Italian city)
Inflected Form(s): napolied
1. To brutalize and rape, sodomize as bad as you can possibly make it, a young, religious virgin woman who was saving herself for marriage.
2. To hella rape somebody.
Etymology: From State Senator Bill Napoli's (R-SD) description of an acceptable rape that would merit an exemption from South Dakota's abortion ban.
Let's spread this wide and far so that our defnition is the first thing that people get in their search results.
Oh, and when you do link here.
Tuesday, March 07, 2006
It came down to two things, either plunge further ahead into BDSM or take a step back and ask all the questions that I didn't want to ask myself. But one thing could not leave my head: why does there need to be power in a relationship, especially one that is intimate?
I'll take a step back and give you a little of my history. Now I don't have "normal" relationships. I am polyamorous, and I am queer. I've dated menfolk, womenfolk, trans folk, and intersex folk. I usually sleep with my close friends because I draw no line between those I love and those I love and am intimate with. Obviously this is a problem in our society and for many people. One of the more accepting communities I found was the BDSM/kink community. I was young, and it was important to me to find people like me. I have very little personal experience with men and BDSM (I have a lot of professional experience, however): all of my experiences with BDSM were with other women or trans folk. The experience that forced me to take a step back was with a woman I had been involved with (open, polyamorous relationship). She really liked knife play. I thought it sounded exciting, but that was also the moment that the alarm bells went off in my head. After years of being turned on by inflicting or recieving pain, and either having power over someone or being powerless something said "there is something not right here." I mean, here was someone I cared about and she wanted to cut me/be cut by me. Why would I do that to someone I loved? Why would someone who loved me want to do that to me? I couldn't reconcile it. I couldn't see it as anything positive, and it sure as hell made me start to rethink what made me get off. I went on an intimate journey to figure out why things like this turned me on. Why I needed to be in control, why I was reinacting patriarchal power dynamics in my relationships with others?
Growing up in a patriarchal society I thought that I needed to take power (which, unfortunately, we have to do in society as a whole, but I am discerning enough that I will choose to be with someone who shares my ideals, at least where feminism and oppression are concerned). While those of us in oppressed groups have to grab power in this society, the problem is that we don't critique the things that turn us on (see title of this post).
I may not practice polyamory anymore, but that doesn't mean I'm not polyamorous. That is not the same as saying I'm not into BDSM anymore. The fundamental problem, as I see it, is that it is an eroticisation of power. What I want, the only way we can live without the shackles of oppression, is that there is no power over others. Anywhere.
There is a powerful idea of having power with someone. Patriarchy doesn't want us to know that power can be shared with others, and that it is just as potent as having power over others, except that in one scenario we are sharing and not oppressing. Power is not a limited resource. Like love it can grow exponentially, it need not be horded. There is more then enough power to go around. We cannot survive, we will not survive in a society where the only power is power over others.
This is something that I fundamentally believe, deep in my core. It is something that I have always believed for as long as I can remember. It intimately hurts me whenever people are oppressed. Yes, I was raised in this society I admit that I am in fact racist and sexist. I have all the same socialisations as you do, I am a product of this culture as much as I fight it. I am a Sicilian: the blood that runs through my veins not only comes from Europe, it also comes from the Middle East and Northern Africa (both of which I would like to point out on a totally unrelated note are classified by the US Government as "caucasian." Riddle me that.) I have never experienced racism as many have in this society though I am deeply angered and hurt by it. It was the first thing that brought me to anti-oppression work. Before (and to a certain point still) I cry over the injustices in this world, I cannot understand why people oppress others for such stupid superficial reasons. I know why people do it, but I'll never understand it.
I attack the power paradigm through feminist work, because it is the oppression that most intimately affects me. I have severe PTSD and am on disability. I have never spent a day in my life above the poverty line, but those fights are ones that I attack through feminism. My definition of feminism is that it is against all types of power dynamics, even those in sexual relations. As I said before, get off on it if it is what makes you feel good, but you need to analyse what you are doing and not attack those of us who fight against it. (This, luckily, has not happened in discussions on BDSM/porn here on this blog to which I am grateful to my dissenting commenters.)
All I ask is that you take what I have to say to heart and not attack me for it. At the core of my being I believe that any sort of power over, even something that seems as small as sexual pleasure, is not a good thing. I will never be satisfied with a society that eroticises and praises power over other people in any way, and I believe wholeheartedly that power over in all circumstances needs to be erased, and that is the only way we will all know true freedom. I do not think I will see equality in my lifetime, but that doesn't mean I'll give up, and similarly I do not believe that most BDSM supporters will listen to me that doesn't mean I'll stop saying this. I need to do this to make the small bubble I live in try and become bigger. Agree with me or not, everything I do is from the heart and I mean the best, for all of us.
No matter what you think, I do what I do out of sheer love for everyone, as much as I claim otherwise.
You can find Carnival number 10 (up now!) at Indian Writing
Sexism is behind "time it takes to climb the ladder" Bullshit. Which also won. grrrrr
Monday, March 06, 2006
Wednesday, March 01, 2006
Not to be a jerk, but 3 times? Wouldn't it be easier to just get some birth control? I understand that it isn't readily accessable in some places, but it isn't impossible, and it's certainly easier to obtain bc than an abortion in the US. There are also permanant sterilization methods other than a tubal ligation. There is an insert called Essure, much like an IUD (i.e. Mirena, which is almost 100% effective for 5 years by the way, and costs up to a few hundred dollars for a one time insertion, but usually less). Unlike the IUD, which will be removed to return your fertilization in a few years, Essure causes the fallopian tubes to close off; you are sterile within a few weeks I believe. Google for more information, these are methods I myself am considering.Really then was the first paragraph necessary? She took the time to point out that she knows NOTHING about me, yet felt the need to (incompletely I might add) lecture me on birth control? Seriously what is wrong with people?
I believe in choice, but I also believe that using abortions as birth control is irresponsible. I'm not saying you are irresposnible, I don't know your circumstances at all, so please just take that statement as my opinion and not an attack. Also, don't take it to mean that I believe you are stupid or uninformed because I described those birth control methods. They are ones I just heard of myself, so I wanted to share.
Be safe...and have a good afternoon!
Here was my response:
A) Then why be a jerk as you were in your comment? You knew you were going to be, saying "not to be a jerk" does not somehow absolve you of your jerktitude. By the way, a "couple 100 dollars" is too much for many women (edit: including me). Watch out, your privilege is showing.
B) Condoms fail, and 3 times in (a whole lot of) years? Not so bad considering that EC was NOT readily available the first time I had to do it, and I was too young to get my tubes tied. I know about birth control. It sometimes fails. Leave your lectures for somewhere else.