Why Feminism and BDSM Go Together Well

Oh Noes, Feminisms! Red Alert!

Bra go poof!Say feminism, and 95% of your audience battens down their hatches like you said “hurricane”, or finds something else suddenly very, very interesting. Like the carpet, or their own shoes, or that urgent appointment they just remembered to alphabetically file all the food in their pantry. At least, as a femdom, I can be openly feminist and nobody bats an eye. Of course a significant number of people will confuse this with female supremacy, which is an entirely different thing. The relationship BDSM, as a whole, has with this philosophical approach is a bit more dubious.

Much of this is because BDSM is made up of people, and people have problems with feminism. In my mind part of the problem with feminism, is that it’s a really big tent with a couple of centuries of activism and writing under its belt. There is no central board of feminism, so pretty much anyone can do it, and say whatever they like. And like any big movement, it’s  going to be in a state of constant internal argument. It’s also part of the left, which means that like all forms of left-y ism, it occasionally shades into woo (the Goddess!) or becomes way too self flogging for popular consumption (freegan-vegan!), or the lingo of the current generation of activism  makes it impenetrable to the novice (check your cis-privilege!).

Before I launch into talking about the subject, it’s necessary to address a number of things- first of all Straw Feminists. If you’re not familiar with the philosophical ideas, it’s quite possible that you imagine a feminist to be an angry, ugly woman who seeks to do horrible things to men. This is one of the reasons why as a femdom nobody assumes I shouldn’t be feminist (at least the angry and sadistic part) which is depressing for other reasons. If your idea of feminism is about doing mean things to men, you are doing it wrong. 

Of course, some, if not most of the shit that feminism gets flung its way is the same old tired misogyny that makes women expressing themselves be subject to attacks so vile that they functionally justify feminism.  If you think feminists are all angry scolds, you are part of a proud tradition that dates to before women were permitted to own property or vote. And you don’t know what a feminist is.

Another thing you need to take into consideration is that feminism only exists within the bounds of the same culture that everything else does. Thus there are feminists that are porn hating prudes and feminist porn stars. There are feminists who are sexist, or transphobic, and feminists who love everyone equally. Any idea within feminism can be taken to extremes just like any other idea could.

On the other hand, I’m taking it for granted that if you are this many paragraphs into this blog post you are probably sex positive, probably pretty diversity friendly and you like lots of different kinds of people. If you don’t identify as a feminist you at least think equality is a good thing (unless you are secretly or not so secretly under the impression women should rule). If you’re not, please feel free to get nice and foamy in the comments. Additionally, I’m not going to address the “Not a feminist but…” thing in this post, but save that for another time.

But, onto how feminism gets treated in kink discourse!

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