There must be more I can do to advance the cause of healthy feminist kink, but, as Trinity knows, it’s impossible to ignore the incredible vitriol and anti-kink rhetoric coming from radical feminists like Nine Deuce. I never go to those pages on my own, but I’ve gotten back to the blogrolls lately, and there have been more links to that space on Let Them Eat… It becomes impossible to ignore after a while, like a train wreck you can’t look away from. It’s relatively easy for me to ignore the insane right wing – not because I don’t think they have influence: they have a terrible amount of influence in this country. But they’re big and they’re a constant target of their polar opposites on the left as well as of reasonable people throughout the land, and I don’t feel much of a personal responsibility to battle them on a daily basis.
Feminists, though…well, they’re supposed to be on my side, right? I’m a woman, I’m a feminist, I see and experience oppression under the same patriarchal systems of power that they do, yes? Yet it seems to be the job of these particular wingnuts to invalidate kinky women’s experiences, undermine our sense of agency, silence us and rail against any type of education that might give us some other perspective than “BDSM is bad. Reallllly baaaaad.”
We know all this. I know all this. And it may be a sign of my own masochism that I keep feeling the need to dip my toes into these discussions and wait for them to get torn off by crocodiles. It’s probably long since time for me to quit it, since I’m increasingly surrounded by 8- and 9-toed peers who keep braving the waters as well.
But as anyone who knows me well knows, if you want me to shut up and leave you alone, there is one damn thing you don’t do. And that’s attack people I care about.
The short version: Orlando dives into the soup, like he does. (I think his toes are still intact, but his whole body’s poked full of holes.) After getting his left brain chewed on for offering facts and studies by women who’d rather he shut up if he can’t provide personal experience, then getting the other cheek slapped for daring to provide the “anecdotal evidence” that their own arguments so often rest on, and other bits of his head ripped off every time he tries to understand and be civil, he finally responds from a place of hurt and exhaustion having spent most of the previous week in the hospital caretaking his wife, who has aggressive cancer. He pours out his soul and implores these people he still considers intellectual peers and reasonable people to have compassion for the real human beings we’re talking about when we talk about this subject.
And they accuse him of using his wife’s cancer as a manipulative ploy to score points on the Internet.
Now, I don’t know Orlando in real life, though I came close to doing so and hope to meet him and his Murre – may she be whole and healthy and strong again – before long. But his voice is one I respect mightily and am wholly moved by regularly, and I’ve come to have a serious affection for him and for Murre both by extension and by direct contact.
In some ways, I have a purer affection for them both than I might if I knew them, as I still know them only as they present themselves online, and not as who they truly are, warts and all. I daresay many of us have similar online relationships, and are similarly protective of them.
And so I just want to give a shout-out to the blogosphere at large and say this:
Do not. Fuck. With people I care about.
To Polly, Nine Deuce, Joan Kelly (a “passive-aggressive liar with a martyr complex”?? Really??), Laurelin, and the rest of you who jumped in to kick someone already in pain in the guts: how dare you. This is not some troll trying to get you in a twist by jumping in with stupid counter-arguments. This is a thoughtful, careful, real human being who is doing his best to give you the respect he somehow continues to assume you deserve even as he is in disagreement with you. This is someone who consistently, throughout the time I’ve been reading him, has made an honest attempt to engage you in discourse and given you ample opportunity to get to know him. And when in his frustration and exhaustion he finally stops beating his head against the brick walls of your own anger and pain and shows you his throat, you don’t hesitate to step up and slit it.
You cruel, twisted fucks. And you dare to say that what consensual kinksters do is evil.
Fuck you. Fuck you right in the ear, until you learn how to think a bit better about who deserves your compassion.
(Sorry, Orlando. I had to.)
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