Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Why female dominants are really submissive: the doublethink that will not die!

I said I'd get back to Twisty (I know she's Jill now, but it's so much catchier!) and I am. Her next post addresses female dominance, and why it's exactly the same as female submission. Somehow.

What maidden refers to as “the opposite situation” isn’t opposite at all. Any practice that furthers the interests of patriarchal oppression, regardless of the sex, gender, race, diet, type of refrigerator, underwear, or political affiliation of the practitioner, is crappy and antifeminist. This includes sexay domination practiced by women; these behaviors are dictated by male fetish. As are all feminine behaviors.
These are, I'm guessing, the words of someone who doesn't know any female dominants. Read any couple posts in Bitchy Jones' blog; does she come off as a woman who only dominates on a "honey, could you please put on the leather corset tonight?" The woman's not just a dominant but a sadist, in that sorta scary oh-jeez-she's-not kidding way that not all dominants are, and although she certainly satisfies certain male fetishes, I can guarantee you she wasn't created by them.

I wonder, why doesn't this reverse? Why is the situation where a man is pressured into BDSM (in either role) by a woman not considered? If a man's behavior is being dictated by female fetish, is he still somehow secretly in charge?

And that last sentence. I realize she said "feminine" behaviors and not "female," but still, Jesus. Apparently all of women's culture, everything passed down from mother to daughter, from family traditions to fashion secrets, is really men's culture. And since men's culture is obviously men's culture, and shared culture is unthinkable of course, we've got nothing. Women have been part of civilization umpty-thousand years and created no legacy whatsoever. Maybe we are dull and weak-willed after all.

"Is it down to a choice between lesbianism and asexuality?"
Not even lesbians and asexuals are 100% patriarchy-free. Its ubiquity, see, is what makes patriarchy the dominant paradigm.

Okay, so my question is, if everyone is all patriarched up, why pick on heterosexuals/kinksters/homemakers/etc in particular? If patriarchy is the Original Sin in every human soul, why come down on sexuality and femininity like they were the enemies?

Sadly, I fear that many readers are reluctant to fully embrace the horrific truth that patriarchy isn’t just some abstract academic conceit. The don’t wanna face that they themselves, as members of an honest-to-fuck sex class, are well and truly screwed.
Screwed. What does that mean? I'm gonna die? I'm gonna be beat up? I'm gonna lose my job? When I say I'm "screwed" it means a bad thing will happen to me soon. The condition of "this entirely theoretical label which is applied to you by definition, will continue to apply to you" is hardly "screwed."

Anyway, if I'm screwed either way I might as well have awesome sex while I'm at it.

That was a short post, covered no new ground ("people don't really want what they say they want," yawwwwn--still shockingly psychopathic, but you know, same old psychopathy) and I still have ire to burn, so let's do the comments!
Realizing that patriarchy is real, and is the “matrix” in which every single action of every group and individual takes place–in the bedroom or out, is sickening, but also can be freeing.
Not freeing from responsibility to try to make change and to live a life according to one’s moral code, but freeing from that sense of “I’m doing everything “right”, why 1. can’t I reach my goals, 2. do I feel so awful all the time, 3. don’t people’s actions correspond to what they’re saying, 4. etc.”

Actually, you might just be a loser. I have it on excellent authority that there are happy women on Earth, at least inasmuch as there are happy people. I'm twenty-three and I've already lived some goals I thought I'd never reach, and on the balance I don't feel awful most days. Sure, I got harassed at the ambulance company--but I also get to drive an ambulance every day, and whine as I may, I love that. And the patriarchy didn't keep me from it.

maidden, it’s okay if you “prefer” to go blissfully back into the Matrix and “enjoy” your artificial steak. The P tells you that it’s juicy and delicious. Eat up. But please don’t pretend that’s truly “living”.
I always thought Cypher had a point, actually. When you get released from the Matrix you pretty much eat bacteria mush and live in a crappy little cave. Your experiences in the Matrix may not be "authentic" in the sense of physical reality, but they are authentically experiences and your enjoyment of that steak is just as enjoy-y.

I don't know what any of this has to do with having a morally correct sex life. If male-dominant sex isn't "really" sex... I think maybe I wouldn't like real sex.

Count me in for the Feminist Revolt! Maybe the BDSMers can bring weapons.
We can. A lot of them. We know how to use them. Which side do you want us on? Think carefully.

Start where you can: don’t stand in the middle of the grocery store saying “What kind of cheese does he like?” (if you have a Nigel). Get what you like. If other people don’t like your choices they can do the work and make *their* choices.
But the situation would be exactly the same if you were shopping for a woman! That's not feminist, that's self-centered. And it misses the point of what a "Nigel" is supposed to be. A partner, ideally, should be someone you want to make happy, not because they're male but because they're part of your life and you value them. I don't buy him cheese because I'm cowed; I buy it because his cheese-joy is my cheese-joy, and his cheese-sorrow my cheese-sorrow.

Won’t we continue to be “women” even if we remove “men” from the equation? Because no matter how much I am able to intellectually recognize the moral depravity, dangers, and illusion of the gender binary, I still call myself a woman and still self-define as woman, and am a woman. Even if I can imagine myself existing in a world in which “woman” isn’t even a word, because the concept of dividing humans into categories based on silly, not-even-universal traits is incomprehensible (because in this imaginary world, gender does not exist)? Gender, for me, will always exist. So I can never live in a post-patriarchal world.
That's true. But maybe someday you can live in a world of physical safety, of material abundance, of spiritual awareness and intellectual freedom. And even if that world still has dudes and ladies I still think it would be pretty nice.

I was out on my motorbike a while back, and was having trouble getting it started after I stopped for gas. A no-doubt well-meaning man came over and ‘helped’ by which I meant got in the way and offered unsolicited advice. And do you know what I did? I said ‘oh thank you’ and smiled at him gratefully as he ineffectively futzed with the bike, and listened to him pontificate, and talked to him in a nice voice, and reassured him that I’d be fine, etc. Do you know what I wish I’d done? I wish I’d said in a firm curt voice, thank you for offering to help but I understand this bike and you don’t, and I’d like you to go away please. Because I’ve been trained to respond to men in the former way rather than in the latter way, and in the back of my mind I was thinking ‘what if my response to him makes him angry?’ and that made me afraid. [...] If something like that happens again, I may, despite wishing I wouldn’t, respond in exactly the same way, because the penalty for not responding gender-correctly is ‘bitch’ or worse, and I’m very vulnerable on a bike.
No. You, individually, were a weenie, and you need to own up to it, because right now you're still being a weenie by blaming the world. Plenty of women have turned down unwanted help from plenty of men. You can become stronger if you try, and looking down at your vagina and going "no, I can't possibly, everyone's against me" is the action of a coward, not a woman.

But the joke is on the superstrong submissives, because now, whenever you experience sexual pleasure, you get to experience fear and pain. Your body will bypass your conscious mind and someday you’ll jerk away from a soft touch as from a hot stove.
Huh??? This does not actually happen to humans.

The best solution is to keep all fetuses female and then let children choose their own puberties depending on what physical traits they want to develop and when. Then if they want they can get a stem-cell penis attached when they turn 18 and pass a test to get their dicker’s license, subject to revocation by the state if convicted of misuse.
Fascinating. And making maleness an earned privilege, with femaleness as a punishment, would definitely solve all our problems.

I’ve been told I’m sexist, a whinger, bitter, a fruit and nut job – you’ve heard them all before. You can see people’s eyes glaze over as soon as I open my mouth.
Yeah, that's probably because you're such a beautiful rebel hero, the world just isn't ready for you.

Plus, If you participate in submission to patriarchal standards to keep sane and deal with it, then good. better to not burn out before the revolution.
WHAT THE FUCK IS THIS "REVOLUTION" SERIOUSLY. Some of the commenters seem to use it as a shorthand for a gradual turnaround in the culture, and some of them seem to see it as a single catastrophic event. The first group probably aren't so different from me even if they use more dramatic terms; the second group are cuckoo crazypants. And the weirdest part about the crazypants faction is that they seem so uninterested in the pre-revolutionary world. All this noise about hating the patriarchy and this person comes out and says she's going to go along with it for her own convenience, never mind beliefs or progress. It's almost like the worst interpretations of dispensationalist Christianity--nothing before the Rapture matters, and everything afterwards will be perfect, so why bother to put your house in order?

Dang it all! I said “If it’s patriarchy…” I meant “When it’s patriarchy…”

I'm only quoting this comment because figleaf (who I've met, and he's a smart, insightful guy and as feminist as they come) is here correcting a previous comment... which is nowhere to be found. I guess he just wasn't feminist enough.

It's one thing to delete abuse and trolling, but Twisty prunes and cultivates her comment section like a carefully trimmed (not to mention deliberately stunted) bonsai of crazy. The outcome is to create the illusion of a very different discussion than the one her readers would like to actually have. What a safe space.


  1. In the comments, Twisty writes
    It’s kind of an important point that the bogus set-up has it fixed so that blaming must proceed from within a strictly patriarchal matrix. Nobody is 100% patriarchy-free, and I mean nobody.
    And yet, despite her testosterone prison, Twisty clearly diagnoses society's ills, and anyone who disagrees with her is at best delusional.

  2. The best solution is to keep all fetuses female and then let children choose their own puberties depending on what physical traits they want to develop and when....

    Yeah, let us know when you develop the technology to support your totalitarian vision.

    Right now, that's flatly impossible; and even if you did somehow manage to make this work, where would Y chromosomes come from? Because the only way to "keep all fetuses female" is to make sure none of them has a Y chromosome; switching off the development of male sex characteristics during gestation is 'way the hell out there, technology-wise--even farther than growing a fully-functioning "stem-cell penis" in vitro and then attaching it such that it actually works correctly.

    Even if this sort of society were desirable--and as you point out, it's not--it's impossible to implement without a totaltiarian government. Of course, these nutjobs think "Matriarchy good! Patriarchy bad!" and no amount of explanation--even if one uses words of one syllable--will sway them.

  3. Ed Hering - It's a sci-fi thought exercise, so that part I can forgive, but my complaint is that even ignoring practicalities, the results of that system would be ridiculously sexist. How would people see gender relations if "you have abused your male authority, I sentence you to a vagina" was a punishment?

    (Pardon my previous comment if you saw it, I thought you didn't understand the science but on rereading you obviously do.)

  4. Hm. I wickedly coerced my master into conforming to my desires, thereby leading him into ... patriarchy?

    ... I love moon logic, don't you?

  5. Bruno - Actually, I can sort of let that one slip--just because you're part of a system doesn't mean you can't criticize it.

    However, when your criticism of a system of domination comes down to "no, no, we should dominate," then you might have problems.

    Dw3t-Hthr - No, no, you don't possibly have desires, ladies only want to lay about drinking mint juleps and playing pinochle, we would never even think of sex on our own. That's a guy thing.

    If you think you have desires, you've been tragically deceived.

  6. Actually, I can think of a way for something close to that wacky sci-fi scenario to work. The technology's not there yet, but this is at least theoretically possible.

    Abort any XX fetuses. YY Fetuses (which are possible under this scenario, see below) will simply self-abort because the Y doesn't contain enough information to form a functional human. So everyone will be born genetically male.

    Genetically engineer humans so that there will be an epigenetic lock on the entire Y chromosome applied early in fetal development. All humans will effectively be an X0, which usually results in a semi-androgynous, non-fertile female.

    At some point in their life, anyone can apply for a "maleness" license. Once they get it, the epigenic lock is released through some sort of chemical therapy, and they get considerable physical reconstructive surgery. If at any time their maleness license gets revoked, they get "deconstructive" surgery which effectively turns them into a genderless null, not really functional as either sex (as it would probably take more work to make them female again than the original surgery, and this is supposed to be a punishment).

    Then if they and choose to have children with someone, the unaltered female of the pair would need considerable hormone therapy for years to even be able to become fertile, and continue on it until the last child is born.

    If you're gonna do something that extreme, it would be way less hassle to just get rid of men altogether and reproduce by artificial cellular fusion. I believe that's been done in mice already, though it did require some minor genetic alterations first.

  7. I read a Sci-Fi book some years ago (can't remember the title) in which the people lived with bi-annual sex change operations until they reached majority, at which point they picked (or were assigned) a semi-permanent gender (it could be changed later if you wanted to partner with someone who was currently your same gender). Interestingly enough, the author seemed to think we'd still have all the same issues with deciding who was responsible for what needed to be done throughout our lives (ruling/governing, acquiring the necessities of life, etc.), even though most gender roles as we know them now had been done away with because of this process.

    I think Twisty is trying to blame all her troubles on her female-ness instead of recognizing that most of the problems are a result of her general disfunctionality. That removes her responsibility for her situation because gender is out of her control, whereas being disfunctional can be corrected (with hard work, desire to change oneself and a good therapist).

  8. Not Me - I still don't think you'd be able to get viable sperm or eggs out of someone like that. (X0 females are also prone to many physical and mental problems.) And there's still enough "somehows" in there that this is firmly in the realm of science fiction.

    Mithras61 - I'm not sure Twisty herself is in that situation, she strikes me more as someone who simply enjoys running at the mouth (a situation with which I sympathize...), but some of her commenters definitely have replaced "I need to sort my life out" with "I can't sort my life out, the patriarchy won't let me, so nothing's my fault."

  9. No! Mint Juleps and Pinochle are constructs of the Patriarchy! You don't really know what you want, you poor little thing. You don't have any desires of your own, you're nothing but a cipher, reflecting the nature of the Partiarchy and it's utter brainwashing of you.


    And yet somehow I'm the evil sexist gigantic patriarchal tool for thinking you might know what you want and acting accordingly. *eyeroll*

  10. Perlhaqr - I believe we've established that I'm more of a Cypher.

    Yeah, I guess if a woman outright begs you to hit her the only proper response is a brick wall of "sorry, baby, I know you don't really want that." I'm sure she'll appreciate the consideration.

  11. Ew. Mint. ;)

    I guess I'm not a real woman again! ;)

  12. I don't buy him cheese because I'm cowed; I buy it because his cheese-joy is my cheese-joy, and his cheese-sorrow my cheese-sorrow.
    Thanks, this made my day

    Re. the motorbike weenie: geez, talk about being a prisoner in one's own mind.

  13. Yeah, that's probably because you're such a beautiful rebel hero, the world just isn't ready for you.

    I hope someday to have your incisive brevity. :)

  14. Look, you are talking about a woman who a) thinks an orgasm is basically a sneeze, and is, while pleasant, quite inferior to a really good bowl of soup b) more to the point, a total solipsist. There's no point trying to figure her "political" spiel out beyond that.

    You know that scene in "Being John Malkovich" where he enters his own head?

  15. * a strictly patriarchal matrix.*


    "Matrix," Twisty. Just fucking google it already. At least call it a "patrix" or something? I mean, that's just *sloppy.*