Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Another type of woman Twisty Faster hates!

Before I even begin, I want to mention something: when I first became interested in BDSM, my boyfriend at the time was very vanilla and barely knew such things existed. He was game enough to slap me around a little on request, but it was definitely not his idea.

Anyway, Twisty Faster says entirely predictable things about BDSM.

It is a myth that self-expression (on radical feminist blogs or elsewhere) is a health-giving antidote to mental and physical diseases precipitated by dangerous levels of pent-up creativity or opinions. Self-expression is merely a pop-psychology franchise that grants captive audiences to the self-absorbed.
Boy don't it take one to know one.

[Also, I have no idea what this has to do with anything but she goes on for four paragraphs about it.]

When stating an opinion in the comments section of a radical feminist blog, it’s stupid to begin with the personal pronoun I. ... The truth is, you are boring. You exude ennui from every pore. Any sane reader would rather have root canal than subject herself to your moldy old first-person secretions. But, by expunging boring old you from the subject of your statement, you might stand half a chance of actually engaging in discourse that people give half a crap about.
I don't see why this is the case. As a child of pop-psych, I was taught to speak in "I" statements, especially when I'm arguing. I believe it doesn't mean that I'm only talking about myself, but that I'm acknowledging my limitations--I only know what I know, so saying "this is my belief" is less hubristic than trying to say "this is the way it is." When I say "I don't see why," I admit that a statement could make sense (on Mars or something), but this reader sure can't make head nor tail.

Only through obedience can you know the freedom that is slavery! Only through discipline can you revel in the love that is hate! Only through appeasement of the oppressor can you experience the unfathomable mysteries of the great submissive gift of unconditional masochism!
Well... yeah.

Also, I don't see how this is worse than conventional heterosexual sex. That also "appeases" the "oppressor," (while appeasing the shit out of me, if anyone cares) it's just more popular. If the goal is to deny men pleasure, you've got a lot more work to do.

For it takes great strength, Grasshopper, to order patent leather spandex French maid outfits off the internet so you can get off sucking up to some asshole who gets off on rape fantasies.
Wait... I'm that asshole! They are my fantasies! MINE! I want these things to bring me joy! I don't know about great strength (although taking a beating takes quite a bit, don't knock it), but I know what I want, and I wanted these things before any man wanted them from me.

That was barely about BDSM. She only touched on it in two sentences. It was much more about "this may look like a blog with a comment section, but it's actually my personal fiefdom in which I decree the form and content of all opinions." Which, hey, it's technically feasible and not illegal, so I guess if she wants to delete everything that isn't virulently antisocial and composed in iambic pentameter, she can go have fun with that.

Oh, but that comment section. That's always the entertaining part. Let's get to that.

I think that when some people are writing blogs they should try to be a little less judgemental about how some people choose to write their personal opinions because certain people ought to know that a lot of people don’t have fancy spell checking computers because they might have spent all their fucking money on super CUTE!!! leather thingies and just because I have black bangs and look a little like Bettie Page doesn’t mean that others really ought to judge me just because I’m into the life style because I am imprinted that way OK?
My spellchecker doesn't stop me from using the word "I," it must be a bug. My spellchecker also doesn't remind me to discount the opinions (and finances???) of people based on their hallucinated fashion choices. What a cheapass spellchecker.

...women like this exist to shit on things. ‘I actively try to be everything you hate!’ A nasty brand of narcissist – they get off on it. People like her are best ignored and were probably an only- child. They’re no different to anyone else and yet think they’re Gods.
Boy don't it take one to know one. Anyway, when you hate so many things, it's hard for me not to be a few of them. And anyway when you go to your average BDSM gathering there isn't anyone present who doesn't approve, but I promise you we don't just play Heads-Up-Seven-Up and say "let's tell the radfems we were beating each other in here, they'll go nuts."

“My kinky former partner was my equal in every way”

Equal in every way except, I am obliged to suggest, insofar as you were a member of the sex class and he wasn’t, the only way that really matters.

This is Twisty herself talking, and getting quite efficiently to the differences between her breed of feminism and mine. I'd rather have the best life I can have here and now, and be equal to my partner even if I can't be equal to all men. She doesn't seem to find anything worthy of hope in the current world order. And in doing so, she always manages to sound a bit sexist herself--saying that women are "sex class" even when no specific man is oppressing them makes it sound like the problem is with women themselves.

I always thought the problem was "a lot of men treat you like you're the sex class," but it's very different to say "you are the sex class."

BDSM is simply an extension, the progress down a continuum, that many of us already engage in everyday. If those Swiffer ads continue, we may all come to understand exactly how people are sexualized to certain abusive concepts, like the “erotic” experience of mopping the floor. Or the orgasmic joy of doing laundry. Ahh, the pleasures of unpaid mandated labor, why, it’s almost like foreplay already.
I actually don't mind mopping the floor. If I didn't, the floor would be gross! I might resent doing it for a partner who doesn't pitch in, but I have no aspiration to never mop the floor.

Anyway, this doesn't fit with my observation that kinky women are rarely the most oppressed. It's not like BDSM clubs are full of migrant laborers and street hookers--it seems like middle and upper-middle class women, who are usually fairly powerful in their "real" lives, make up the majority of female submissives.

The properly empowerful response to external interrogations of one’s stated causes of personal empowerfulment is not justification through extended dialectic, personal anecdote, or terse “but I like it!” statements. Such responses indicate a distinct lack of empowerfulment, in fact.
But I like it. I like it! I really, actually, from here to there with no reason, like it! I don't know what else to say! I'm throwing up my hands! I like what I like and I want it love it enjoy it desire it LIKE IT.

And that's what matters. Why is hitting women wrong in the first place? Because they don't like it.

Blame the fucking shitheads, the rapists, the willfully ignorant. Blame the motherfucking patriarchy and burn down the houses of those who sell it to us as “empowerment.”
You'll be burning down a lot of women's houses.

Oh, for goodness’ sake. I’m just asking for an argument instead of just “BDSM is gross. And your writing sucks.” [...]

I am also asking for an argument against all het sex that amounts to more than “How can the oppressed give consent?” and perhaps takes account of reality. (Here’s where I would use my personal experiences to discuss how het relationships can be non-oppressive, if that were welcome. But it’s not, which means any attempt to make a properly supported and illustrated argument will, presumably, be met with hostility.)

If questions and discussion in a public forum are unsafe and unfriendly, then discourse is impossible. If you’re not looking for discourse, fine. But I’m just sayin’.

This comment is just posted here for preservation before it gets deleted, I think it's awesome.

People should also understand that because BDSM often involves violence, pain, degradation, and/or use of force – in a sexual context – it is very likely to trigger extreme emotional responses from people who acutely feel the constant threat of sexual violence. That’s why a pro-BDSM stance – or even a “neutral” stance – can make a space feel unsafe for discussion, as Jonathan pointed out.
If you're under the constant threat of sexual violence--like, for reals--you shouldn't be wasting time on some goddamn blog, you need to get the fuck out of there! Pack and leave when he's out of the house, don't let him know where you went, and don't be afraid to get the police involved! If you're living with threats of violence, insensitive blog comments are the least of your worries.

I don't know what sort of "discussion" can be had in a truly "safe space," then, but I assume it consists largely of "ooh, you're even more super awesomer than me... now tell me how awesome I am again."

The next post is on femdom, and how dominant women aren't really dominant because submissive men enjoy it, and that's terrible. I'll get to it tonight or tomorrow.


  1. I think Twisty Faster hates women even more than she hates men.

  2. I've never read Twisty's blog, only read excerpts of it from other people's blogs. And I'm not sure I ever want to read it. But I get the impression that she's one of those people who can't put themselves in another person's shoes, and as a result considers anyone who does not think a lot like her to be insane. Rather than to try and understand how other people are different, she spends a lot of her time speculating on the sources and causes of this "insanity".

    Meanwhile if we were suddenly living in a matriarchy where men were highly oppressed, she'd probably be arguing that this only "empowers" men in some way and women would still be foolish dupes for giving them that power. Or something.

  3. My blood sugar is a bit low, so I'm having difficulty distinguishing between Twisty's bullshit and my own underpowered brain. My impression, though, is that her arguments make no sense until she trots out a hackneyed stereotype of BDSM -- at which point they become laughable.

    Twisty believes that women are oppressed, and all of her arguments flow from there. A matriarchy is impossible because women are oppressed. Any indications of female empowerment are illusions perpetuated to pacify women.

  4. She also has a fascinating impression of BDSM as requiring a whole lot of leather purchases. Which is a fascinating, y'know, class thing.

    I own ... a leather jacket. Because I LIKE IT. It has nothing to do with my sex life! At all! It has fringes on the sleeves! (I bought it used.)

    ... I think my wallet is fake leather? I don't know, my mother-in-law gave it to me.

  5. perlhaqr - There's no question she does! Who do you hate more (if you have to pick) - Nazis or collaborators?

    Dw3t-Hthr - I have one really nice piece of leather (a bodice) and that's it. It was $90 and that's basically an entire extra shift for me. Compiling an entire leather wardrobe is way outta my league.

    And irrelevant; I do love the look and feel of it but it's not integral to my sexuality. What I do, naked and for free, is what matters, and there's nothing shallowly trendy about that.

  6. I had a nice leather broad belt I got at a Renaissance Fair when I was eighteen or so, but it hasn't fit me since I got hips. :(

  7. Something tells me she would blow a few blood vessels when confronted by someone like me... >:)

  8. Twisty is remarkably small-minded. It seems to me she's either very new to the BDSM scene and is still coming to terms with the lifestyle, or she relies on bad fanfiction for the BDSM "rules." Either way, it screams Insecure N00b.