Friday, June 20, 2008

WomYn Need Defending From Grumpy Weirdo Feminists And Bad Spelling

Read the last letter in the latest Cherrie. And PLEASE respond! This is what I just sent in reply:

Now, when I signed up for feminism 101 I must have been in a different class to Justine D. For nowhere in my doctrine did it tell me that I had the right to make value judgements on the decisions other women made about their bodies, their right to engage in pleasures of their own choosing and their right to interrogate such fields as 'health care' and make up their own minds as to which avenues of embodied gratification and expression were 'proper' or 'normal' or 'healthy'. My feminism granted women, womyn, wimmin, and anybody else who cared to join the big old struggle the basic assumption that they were intelligent, ir/rational enough and capable of making their own decisions without some, ahem, paternalistic figure dictating to them. Sorry, who made Justine D Lord and Master of WomYn's Bodies and What Pleasures They May Seek? Did I miss another meeting of the Sheila Jeffrey's Fanclub again?

Please excuse me, I am off to sit quietly in a corner with my mind and my legs closed tight lest I lose control completely and make a most unladylike spectacle of myself. Whatever next??? Who can tell, these new-fangled maidens will be demanding penetration and sex toys!

-- Zoo: Bloodslut, Feminist and Founding Member of the Pierce de Resistance

Also, great article about Mayhem in that issue (heehee). Loving the mag!

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Blogger Urban (r)Evolutionary said...

Yup. I saw that letter.
There's always one. Or five.

1:07 pm  
Blogger Tam said...

not sure if it's in time, but just sent a response as well...

Justine D,

You certainly have one thing right - Each to their own. Your letter would have been perfect if you'd just left it at that, unfortunately you used the three little letters that indicate that in your case "each to their own" really means each to YOUR own.

On what are you basing your assessment that consensual kink is self-harming? Your professional status in the health field? I work in health too, in fact I know lots of kinksters who work in health. So at the very least it would seem that working in the health industry is not a determinant in being right or wrong on this issue. And please don't tell me you're basing it on the DSM definition of self-harm... don't forget that that's the same book which didn't completely remove all reference to homosexuality defined as mental illness until 1986.

What message does an article about women enjoying consensual, risk-aware, sadomasochistic activities send out to other women? It seems from your comments that it sends the message that owning our bodies and expressing our desires and sexuality in whichever way makes us happy and feels right TO US is somehow degrading and self-harming. I personally think that it sends the message that our bodies are our own, that they are thing of pleasure and beauty, and that we are free to explore and seek pleasure in our bodies in any way we choose. Radical, I know. Apparently, some of us feminists are STILL fighting for our rights.

Please don't judge what we do as wrong just because you don't understand the appeal. I don't understand how anyone could be satisfied with gentle, vanilla, non-penetrative sex, but that doesn't really matter, because (thankfully) I don't have to do it and if there are girls who get off on that then I'm just glad they're getting off, and as a sex-positive, queer, dyke feminist I will defend their right to express their sexuality however they wish. Each to their own.

Tam H.

2:29 pm  

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