Posts Tagged ‘heteronormative’

Athene responds with an interesting comment to “Role of Slavery”

December 18, 2008
  1. I’m bringing Athene’s comment to the front of the blog because she has some very interesting and important comments to make on this (and other) issue.  There’s a lot in her comment to ponder, and that is the whole purpose of this blog…to educate, inform and shake things up.

Thank you, Athene, for your permission to use your comment and sorry that this damn wordpress.com is so wanky in formatting! I can’t control this stuff.

Lady Nyo

  1. Athene Says:
    Fair warning, this may be a bit of a rant.

    I must say, when I read this article, the one word that kept repeating itself in my mind was: heteronormative. Concepts of femininity, of women’s roles and men’s roles – they are only social constructs.

    Science, for one example, is only a traditionally male role because society has deemed it that way – not because males are better able to think critically.

    “Feminism is not about being the same, but about being able to express whom one is without being judged.”

    Huh?

    Feminism is, quite simply, the belief that women have the legal right to political, social, and economic equality.

    Anyone, regardless of race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, longs to be able to express themselves without being judged. This isn’t just a feminist ideal.

    “The two complementary strengths between male and female are given free scope to shine – the one a high intensity, piercing kind of approach and the other the strength of endurance and patience, rich in verbal communication and intuition.”

    These “strengths” are not biologically based; they are the traditional social constructs that most everyone has bought into. Suggesting that women have more endurance and patience and intuition than men is, IMO, downright silly. Suggesting that men are high intensity with a piercing kind of approach is also silly.

    IMO, it’s a self fulfilling prophecy. When you grow up, you are inundated with these ideas of gender roles, and being of the young impressionable mind, you believe you need to fit into these gender roles. If women cultivate their patience, it’s not because biologically they are hard-wired to have more patience than their male counterparts, it’s because they were led to believe this is how they should be, and adjusted their behavior appropriately.

    “The more that women are placed in a position in society where they are bearing the burdens of traditional male roles and still maintaining the traditional duties of the primary nurturer, the more need there is for a place they can go where they are relieved of some of these burdens.”

    Bearing the burdens of traditional male roles? Who says they are burdens? And why do they need to be relieved?

    Perhaps these so called burdens wouldn’t be burdens if society got out of the heteronormative state it’s stuck in, and started demanding that males begin to be nurturers and take on equal responsibility as females. There are plenty of single fathers out there in this world who do a fine job of raising their children. If they were, as this author suggests, biologically incapable or at a biological disadvantage of doing so, their children would most likely be taken away from them and given to the more biologically inclined females.

    “…parameters that define their existence, and as well, to emphasize the natural proclivities of one gender over another…”

    IMO, this writer seems to have totally bought into the concept of heternormativity (which is societal based, not biologically based), and is using it as justification of dominant/submissive and/or Master/slave play and/or relationships across the board.

    If this writer personally sees justification of Dom/sub “roles” due to an adoption of heteronormative thinking, then that’s fine. But it seems to me that this writer is trying to justify this relationship for other people using the same “logic” which I personally find to be faulty.

    I would willingly embrace heteronormative society as much as I would willingly embrace the variola virus.

    Now, while we’re on the subject of domination and submission…

    IMO, a submissive isn’t really a submissive. A submissive usually has use of safe words and is able to, with a single word, halt an activity if s/he takes issue with it. If you are a submissive and you are allowed to use a safe word, in reality, taking a step away from the immediate play acting scene, you are in control of everything. You say “yellow” and the dominant has to slow down and make sure everything’s okay. You say “red” and the dominant has to stop everything at once. So, even though the dominant may have some control over the steering wheel and gas, the submissive has full control of all the brakes, and can brake anytime, for any reason.

    According to some, slavery is more of a true state of submission to another than just being a submissive. Most BDSM slaves (as opposed to submissives) have no luxuries of safe words, and they must endure whatever is put to them. However, the neglect of safe words is usually considered a very dangerous thing that deviates from the usual rules of SSC (safe, sane, consensual) in the BDSM community. People I’ve talked to point out exactly what I mentioned in the above paragraph – if there is a safe word, there is no “true” submissiveness to another because there is an easy out – hence, diving another level deeper into slavery – “true” submission.

    But this leads to even more points to ponder on.

    If an important hallmark of BDSM play is to be SSC, then “true” submission (slavery) isn’t [safe or mainstream] BDSM, or is it?

    If BDSM SSC rules are obeyed, and submissives are allowed to use safe words, are they still in a submissive role?

    Is there a difference between a submissive and slave? In my experience, it depends who you ask. And, do you care? If your play is restricted between you and your partner, do you care how else everyone else defines slave and submissive?

    Respectfully,
    Athene



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