Internalized Misogyny and BDSM

Why is it, that when everyone talks about BDSM being anti-feminist and upholding patriarchy and sexism, they only ever mention women being submissive? No one ever mentions the sub-cultural norm of a dominatrix, or switches, who can be either dominant or submissive depending on the situation. And I don’t hear about same sex couples doing BDSM.

Yes, there are problems in the community, and BDSM can be used for abuse – but so can everything. Abusers live everywhere, and we need to fight them everywhere. Yes means yes and no means no is even more important in BDSM, where things can more easily be physically harmful, than in areas with less immediate harm. But why does that make BDSM automatically bad?

Those who say that women who are submissive in BDSM are acting out their internalized misogyny don’t think that maybe acting it out can help them to overcome it. That bringing something in the open can make it lose its harmful power over you. That being purposefully submissive can actually give the sub power, not take it away.

Power is something that exists in society. It exists during sex. You can’t make it go away by wishing it wasn’t there. And a large part of BDSM is playing with the dynamics of power – pulling it out into the open and looking at it critically and experiencing how power can change and fluctuate and may not always be what it seems.

It may seem obvious to some people that a dom has all the power and a sub has none – but that’s not actually how it works. Because if a sub refuses to play submissive then the dom does not exist. In real, consensual BDSM* the dom and sub have equal power, balanced by the roles they are acting out. Safewords help keep this balance, by putting an emergency stop button on anything that is happening.

There is a lot more to BDSM than tying up and spanking submissive women. If you’d like a good introduction, I recommend The New Topping Book and The New Bottoming Book by Dossie Easton and Janet W. Hardy. But at the very least don’t try and call something out when you actually know very little about it.

 

*When BDSM ceases to be consensual, it ceases to be BDSM and becomes abuse.

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About mybodymystory

Looking at things differently. I write about my personal experiences with society, especially regarding what messages I, as a woman, have received over time. I write about my body, not the body the media thinks I have or wants me to have. I write about my responses to sex, relationships, and political issues. This is my story of my body. There are a lot of things I write about that I believe overlap with other women. Come check out my story and see if you agree. Feel free to disagree, just be respectful about it.
This entry was posted in BDSM, Feminism, Sex, Sexism, Stereotypes and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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