Tuesday, 16 September 2008

feminism

I have read many subs write critically of feminism. Indeed some of them find that hard to reconcile with other beliefs they may hold.

However I know many other subs who are feminists. I recollect one who once wrote that there was only one way she wanted to be chained to the kitchen sink!

I am a Dom.

I am also a feminist.

How do I reconcile those stances ... ?

13 comments:

Maryann Sloan said...

Pygar,
"Learning to live with ambiguity is the work of enlightenment." I wish I knew for sure who I am quoting, but it is lost in the recesses of my mind. Sorry.

I am a feminist and also have a strong desire to be dominated and spanked by my man. My man, not any man. Not every man. Not my boss or my teacher or a male traffic cop. I love to be called "Little Missy" by my man, but I sure don't want to be turned away from the voting booth by a man using that same phrase to describe me. I bless the women who have gone before me to afford me the right to live, hold property, vote, obtain a legal divorce, fight for custody of my children, hold a job, pursue any career I find myself fit to pursue, and to carry mace or learn judo to protect myself from unwanted attention from people who are intent on violating me. Feminism is about those things. It does not do my thinking for me, but affords me the right to think for myself.
Maryann

bloodsweattears said...

Wow - Maryann summed it up the best and I can't think of anything else to add her comment.

Rose

Pygar said...

Yes Rose - hasn't Maryann summed it up so very articulately? Brilliant.

Thank you Maryann.

But I know there are many subs - perhaps the majority(?) - who feel very differently and can even feel guilt at times that their submissive lifestyle seems to fly in the face of all the work and determination of generations of women who have fought for women's rights.

xPx

Anonymous said...

As one submissive said in a chat forum in a similar discussion... 'It's called Woman Power. That means I get to choose what to do with it.'

The guilt could stem from thinking there is something wrong with submission. That there is something wrong with letting a man be in control. Makes me wonder about the same sex D/s relationships; how they are viewed in all of this...which woman is perceived to be setting back the feminist movement there? Do they both feel guilty about it?

I used to feel guilty about my submission - probably had something to do with other women telling me all my life that to be under a man's rule was wrong and to do so is setting back the woman's movement. I'm letting down all of woman kind if I do! But then I thought about it this way: If no man can tell me what to do, then what woman has that right to do the same? None.

I'm not a feminist, never have been. Nor do I set back the woman movement by being so. I look at it all on an individual basis and personal capabilities; not gender.

~emdie

Alice said...

I am a feminist and a submissive. Maryann does make the point wonderfully. I would like to add something, submissives hold quite a bit of power. They ultimitely choose whether to submit or not. Theirs is the power to relinquish to their Dom. I would like to pose a question to you or any other Dom. Is it more satisfying to dominate a powerful woman or a weak woman? To accept submission from a powerful woman is certainly more of a power exchange. Perhaps that is the key to how you reconcile the two stances.
Alice

Pygar said...

Thank you ellediem. Your analysis in terms of "guilt" is really interesting.

I too have heard of other subs who have found themselves being told they are "letting down" other women and the progress that has been made. I have no time for such judgementalism.

I have not attempted to define feminism - that would be a whole different blog! But I guess that when it came to issues about women's rights and responsibilities there would be a lot of agreement amongst all of us who have commented.

Perhaps it is summed up by the quote you give at the beginning of your comment ...
'It's called Woman Power. That means I get to choose what to do with it.'

xPx

Pygar said...

Thank you Alice for your thoughts.

I am happy to answer your question. I like strong women. I think to be a good sub one has to be strong. As you say the power exchange is then more real and more satisfying - for both in the relationship I think.

I have concerns about the relationship between a powerful Dom and weak sub. Could that almost become domestic violence rather than D/s? But that is a whole new post for later!

xPx

Anonymous said...

I do agree with what feminists say about equal rights for women all over but for me to assume that feminism allows me the right to be a strong woman on my own...that's just seems backwards in thinking too. I would almost be subjugating myself from the patriarch to the matriarch, so to speak. But this isn't what your post is about and I'll keep quiet, lol.

Anyways, the guilt I felt in being submissive and my submission possibly portraying women as "weaker" was short lived. After a grandiose statement from my Master my thinking/feeling on this "guilt" changed. This is not His statement btw - but my way to reconcile the two stances from what He said. My submission means I'm giving up personal rights to just one person, not to everyone else!! It's simplistic, but it works for me.

It takes tremendous strength to surrender fully to another. There is no weakness in that no matter what gender you are.

I'm looking forward to your post on strong Doms vs weak subs and domestic violence in D/s, Pygar.

~emdie

Pygar said...

Please don't keep quiet emdie. I am interested to hear all views.

You write:
"My submission means I'm giving up personal rights to just one person, not to everyone else!!"

I think that is quite key to this - for me anyway. And that person should respect and value the fact you have done so. It is the most precious gift.

When you write,
"It takes tremendous strength to surrender fully to another. There is no weakness in that no matter what gender you are."
you express my own views very clearly.

Thank you.

xPx

The English Courtesan said...

Oh all right Pygar! I know you're only angling, all right, all right, but only this once and then we switch...

This once, just this once, you can spank me while I read The Feminine Mystique to you. Then we'll burn some bras together. Then you'll grown out of this silly feminism and I get to Dom you instead, OK?

Livvy xxx

Pygar said...

Dearest Livvy

How delightful that you chose to visit again - and comment. Thank you. And what a promise! I think though I may prefer to lay with my head nestled between your thighs as my fingers gently stroke your ... (oops, I do believe I am getting carried away) ... as you read to me from The Feminine Mystique. I can always spank you later for any mistakes ... or just because I want to - and I seem to remember I have a list of your previous misdemeanours somewhere! Though I am concerned that you may intend your last sentence as a requirement rather than as an unlikely consequence.

If you are reading to me from The Feminine Mystique then why do you regard my feminism as silly? Though I am quite happy to burn a few bras. (Incidentally the bra-less late sixties and early seventies were a delight when young women thought progress was related to lack of bras rather than to changes in society's attitudes to women.)

The first paragraph from the book sums up what a lot of subs have said to me:
'The problem lay buried, unspoken, for many years in the minds of American women. It was a strange stirring, a sense of dissatisfaction, a yearning that women suffered in the middle of the twentieth century in the United States. Each suburban wife struggled with it alone. As she made the beds, shopped for groceries, matched slipcover material, ate peanut butter sandwiches with her children, chauffeured Cub Scouts and Brownies, lay beside her husband at night--she was afraid to ask even of herself the silent question--"Is this all?"'

xxPxx

selkie said...

I've written many times on what many perceive to be the contradiction in terms - feminisism versus submission - when to me it is all so simple - both are about CHOICE.

I think one reason I have been able to reconcile my submission with my passionate, articulated and ardent feminism is that I don't equate men = dominant and women = submission - rather, there are dominants and there are submissives and all in between - I do NOT see it as gender-based.

I agree too with the comments respecting the strength required to submit - and further, my Dominant has said many times, that there is no joy in dominating someone who submits to anyone - that that is more an issue of self-esteem and lack of self-knowledge - and he worries about those individuals. To dominant a strong, independent, passionate and fierecely capable individual - that is another thing entirely!

But ultimately, when all is said and done - feminism for me means I have the freedom to choose the path I take in life - including that of submission.

Pygar said...

Thank you selkie. I think you are right to emphasise "choice" as being the key issue in feminism and in submission. I like your point too about D/s not being gender based.

And as your Dominant says:
"To dominant a strong, independent, passionate and fierecely capable individual - that is another thing entirely!"
Exactly!!!!

xPx