Sunday, March 30, 2014

#BDSM and Feminism- Can They Coexist?


In a recent interview, I was asked whether I thought the BDSM lifestyle and feminism conflicted. I thought it would be an interesting topic for discussion. I think there are a lot of misconceptions about the BDSM, Discipline and Submissive lifestyle that people might jump to a conclusion that those two—BDSM and Feminism—can’t coexist. But I completely disagree.

The BDSM relationship is about CHOICE. When a woman can choose what they want for themselves whether for work, family, life or sexually they are empowered, they take control. So yes, I see BDSM and feminism does work both ways. Even if the woman is a submissive and choses to give her power to her Dom/master, she has the control to stop the situation at any time. The relationship in this lifestyle has a deep connection due to the intimate element of sex, commitment and emotion involved. And it’s all about making the other person happy, not hurting. There must be complete trust and complete open communication for this to work.

I’ve been asked, if I’m a feminist how can I write this? 

That seems like an odd question to me. I never really considered myself a feminist, equality was always understood. So my definition of feminism is equality. Simple. Thanks to my mom, I’ve always been an independent and self-sufficient woman. During my first job after I graduated college, I was working in a research and development laboratory. I was training a new guy and found out he had a two year degree and I had a four year degree. I was also in the middle of a Master’s program for Chemical Engineering. Not that I thought I was smarter, or thought he didn’t deserved to get paid well. But I found out he was making thousands of dollars more than I was in his annual salary. So I brought that up to the boss—in a professional way. I got a big increase in pay.

I was married young, divorced young (my decision), lived on my own for seventeen years, bought my own house and was very happy. I had plenty of friends and boyfriends so I wasn’t lonely and didn’t think I would marry again. But I did. J Sometimes when you aren’t looking…the right guy shows up. Does that make me a feminist, or an independent woman?


So what’s your take on BDSM and feminism? Do they conflict? 

5 comments:

Cris Anson said...

Very cogent argument, Kathy. I too am a take-charge person who sometimes likes to give my power over to another. To me being a feminist is having the ability to choose to do whatever I want. I don't see any conflict.

Kathy Kulig said...

Well said Cris. Thanks for your comment.

zak said...

There's no inherent conflict, but it's always as well to be aware of what you're doing and why, and especially to steer clear of people who suggest that all women are sexually submissive To The Right Man.

Crissy said...

I believe they can coexist, though I don't think it always does.

I think you need a strong woman who knows what she wants and is able to articulate it. That's not always the case in BDSM, but it's a good starting point for feminists when examining a Dom/sub relationship. Just because you give over control of a part of your life does not mean you've given over control.

Kathy Kulig said...

Great points Zak and Crissy. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. :)