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Saturday, April 07, 2007

Bullies Defending the Patriarchy.

Charliegrrl has been getting a lot of abuse online after voicing her opposition to a workshop at the upcoming Ladyfest Leeds, which is to be based around
criticising the recent legislation to criminalise the possession of extreme violent porn, and considering if this contributes towards women’s liberation or women’s repression..?


A thread at a pro-BDSM forum has been set up to 'encourage' people to respond to Charliegrrl's views and actions, and I read most of the posts on this thread. It's nothing new, it's nothing we haven't heard a million times before, and it made my eyes glaze over.

I *know* the pro-BDSM arguments and they are very loaded, and are packaged in a way to make it look really bad to oppose them. If you oppose them you are censoring people, or oppressing valid alternative sexualities, or anti-sex (that good old!), or anti-free will! There is also lots of talk about allowing women to choose to work in the empowering sex industry.

This informed consent message board thread also serves another purpose which is blatantly a personalised attack against Charliegrrl. In fact, in one of Verte's posts, she writes,
I have changed the title of the thread so it's the first item that comes up in google when you type 'charliegrrl'.


Charliegrrl has been widely criticised on these forums for 'censorship', in that she is refusing to allow pro-SM / pro-BDSM / pro-porn / anti-Charliegrrl comments to be published on her blog. Charliegrrl is more than entitled to choose what does and doesn't go on her website!

She is absolutely within her rights to keep her blog as a safe space for radical feminist women, and women survivors. Why should the pro-BDSM peeps be able to hijack her own safe space on the web with their arguments and criticisms of her, personally?

Charliegrrl is being blatantly bullied, singled out and humiliated in a way which is entirely unacceptable. I hate to see women doing this to women, yet I guess it fits the pattern, in some ways. If it's ok to hurt women if it turns them on, then is it ok just to hurt women? If it turns you on perhaps?

There are many arguments and statements on amazing feminist blogs, around this discussion. See my 'GRRRLS' section in my 'Blogs I Like' section to the right for some amazingly good feminist reading. I am not currently up for writing these arguments out myself, because I know what I'd say, I know what pro-porners would say in response, and I'm sick and tired of having the same discussions and rows, which lead nowhere and frustrate me intensely. My energy is needed elsewhere!

However, as a brilliant sum-up of a lot of the issues involved in BDSM sex, 'rape play', pornography, prostitution, lesbian S&M and abusive sex, I must send you on to read, How Orgasm Politics has Hijacked the Women's Movement" by Sheila Jeffreys.

Summary:
Just because it makes you have an orgasm, doesn't make it ok.
Think about *why* you might have an orgasm that way.
Put it in a political and gendered context. Think.

Go read it now.

91 comments:

Arantxa said...

It's difficult not to look at what some of the 'informed consent' members are doing as an attempt to intimidate Charliegrrl. If they simply have something to say, why not just drop her a line, i.e. one e-mail, instead of a relentless stream of insulting and/or abusive messages. I'm not surprised by this behaviour, but disappointed that Ladyfest are happy to invite, as speakers, persons with those attitudes and behaviours.

Graham said...

There is a reply to your above message in the Informed Consent forums at http://www.informedconsent.co.uk/boards/activism/138559/1

If you would prefer, I could post it to this comments page. Would you post it?

With regard to "If they simply have something to say, why not just drop her a line, i.e. one e-mail, instead of a relentless stream of insulting and/or abusive messages." I remind you that Charliegrrl is posting in public and if you say things in public, people have a right to reply in public.

Given that she has refused to post *any* comments that disagree with her in the slightest (even one from a woman who was at the same event, but saw matters slightly differently) what would be the point of e-mailing her since it's evident that they would be ignored.

And to characterise the thread on IC as "a relentless stream of insulting and/or abusive messages" is not impressive or accurate.

sparkleMatrix said...

well said hippie x

sparkleMatrix said...

"I remind you that Charliegrrl is posting in public and if you say things in public, people have a right to reply in public"

NO they do not. since when and says who???

verte said...

Hi arantxa and the rest.

Please do me the courtesy of actually reading the journal you have linked, where it states quite plainly that the workshop is NOT 'based around criticising' the recent legislation at all! I set up the damn thing and I think I know better than you what my intentions with the workshop were, so I would encourage you not to misinform people - except that's all part of your fun, isn't it?

Don't think I haven't read Dworkin, Mackinnon, Jeffries. Of course I have. I have certainly been informed by their opinions, but maintain the right to disagree with them in some respects - as do the vast majority of feminists. I would suggest some reading to you too: how about Lynn S. Chancer's 'Reconciling Differences', which puts forward a more moderate message that I very much advocate.

I do not think the sex industry is empowering for women at the moment, but you cannot continue to consider them 'victims' because of the choices they have made. It is insulting. The reason many people expressed angry reactions to Charliegrrl's blog was because we had been insulted and discriminated against for expressing a sexuality which you Victorian ladies do not approve of. If you will call us 'sick psychos', make totally incorrect generalisations or refer to us as 'you weirdos' you must expect some reaction!

I had no initial intention of attacking Charliegrrl, but you must appreciate that she has made a direct attack on me, on Ladyfest, and on many women. Of course we are going to respond! I changed the thread in the hope that our censored comments might be found by some of her readers to make the 'debate' more equal - simple as that. It the idea of the site owner, and unfortunately it didn't work anyway. I am thankful that Charlie eventually linked to our comments.

If you really expect people to put up with blatant, upsetting lies told about them in public view, you are delusional. Ladyfest organisers have been as upset and disturbed by Charliegrrl's misrepresentation of the workshop, and of Ladyfest, as we are. Please do not think you are only battling BDSMers. There are many, many feminists out there who are looking for a compromise that goes beyond the usual criticism/defence of pornography, and that is what the workshop has always wanted to deliver.

Lucy said...

Hello. I don't intend to change your mind about porn, the law, or anything else, but I want you to know why I feel that my sending of opposing comments to Charliegrrl is not bullying.

I'm not a BDSMer (therefore not a member of InformedConsent), and I'm not a user of visual pornography. Having submitted a couple of non-authorised comments on Charliegrrl's blog, I'm therefore feeling misrepresented by her implication that all the comments she's not been posting are from pro-porn BDSMers. I'm similarly troubled that the way she described events at the Feminist Fightback was quite unlike what I actually saw happen there; that was the subject of my first comment to her, in fact.

I was also narked by the fact that she's been making false comments about Jane Longhurst's death; firstly that Longhurst was murdered, which has yet to be determined by a court of law - her killer's murder conviction has been quashed; and secondly that Longhurst was raped, something which no one has ever alleged. It's not just the falseness of these statements about a dead woman that I find upsetting; it's that they demonstrate that Charliegrrl appears to base her arguments on emotion and on assumptions that may be untrue, rather than giving heed to facts, evidence and reality.

I'm upset that she's described a sexual minority as 'sick psychos', and that she's approved comments on her blog alleging that all women who have submissive fantasies are 'conditioned by [misogynist] culture' - a statement no less discriminatory than the oft-repeated lie that lesbianism is simply a provocative acting-out of a male fantasy. I find it quite saddening that a member of one much-derided minority would choose to use the exact same form of derision against the latter. Sexuality is a very broad and creative thing, perhaps even more so for women than for men, so assuming that a woman's sexuality is entirely imprinted rather than the result of her own creativity and identity...well, it's a pretty nasty thing to say. Besides, as with every other argument on that post, she cited no evidence in support of her claim that female submission is a response to abuse or to male fantasy.

She also cited no evidence that the making of BDSM porn involves real harm or abuse - a rather strange claim, considering that fetish actresses have to be unmarked and unharmed in order to do their jobs day in, day out. She produces no evidence to show that violent porn 'contributes to a 'real culture of violence', even though her opponents had produced evidence directly to the contrary; http://www.law.stanford.edu/display/images/dynamic/events_media/Kendall%20cover%20+%20paper.pdf

She's stated that the fetish porn industry does involve 'real abuse'; she appears to be disregarding the views of many female (and also, in general, feminist) fetish models, women whose livelihoods would be harmed greatly by this law.

Am I 'bullying' her by leaving her blog comments outlining all these concerns?

Is she being 'singled out' for describing an event markedly differently from how it was perceived by others who witnessed it?

Is it a violation of her 'safe space' to introduce a counterargument? And conversely, is it acceptable of her to insist that Ladyfest produce a safe space tailored to her needs rather than those of the workshop organisers (who do indeed want a safe space - a space free from the closet, free from the taboos and the ostracism they are often burdened with)?

Is it unacceptable to speak up and say 'Yes, I can completely disagree with you and still be a feminist?'



As to your final question, one might as well ask why some people reach orgasm only in response to homosexual thoughts, or why some orgasm while thinking about giving oral sex to men, or why some orgasm while thinking about nuns or priests; ultimately, it's not something worth analysing. It's just creativity. There's nothing notably liberated about orgasms, but they certainly aren't part of the harmful consumerist rat-trap of the so-called 'feminine' (make-up and high heels, urgh!). Orgasms are informed by fiction, erotica and pornography, but you can't make a woman submissive using BDSM porn any more than you can make her homosexual using lesbian porn. Preferences are instinctive; it just takes a walk around the gallery to figure out what you're drawn to. Roping off the gallery would be pointless, illiberal, and incredibly cruel towards those women who identify with the dark corners.

I recently read a lovely feminist sci-fi boo - Maul by Tricia Sullivan - in which the main character is concerned about how prospective male partners would view her habit of masturbating with a gun; lately, that's been on my mind whenever people imply that women ought to censor their edgy fantasies. Why should they? Should women worry about the gendered and political context of their feelings if they like horror films, or murder mystery novels, or if they like wearing high-heels? I don't feel it's worth agonising over preferences in that manner.


[For the record, I don't believe the sex industry is empowering, but I don't believe the childcare industry is empowering either and I wouldn't forcibly stop other women from working as nannies. I'd rather do my best to make better options available, and to protect the rights of women who do work in non-empowering industries. You really can't restrict other people's choices on the basis of what you think is good for them - it's impractical, and it really does smack of 'women shouldn't be soldiers/scientists/taxi drivers'-type misogyny.

I don't think it's possible to be pro- or anti-porn any more than it's possible to be pro- or anti-blog, you might say; it's just a medium, and if you don't like the content of a certain blog, you can either ignore blogs entirely, or create your own blog, with content to your liking. So it is with erotica and pornography. Which is why it's porn sneaking into the mainstream that bothers me, not people quietly getting on with unusual fetishes in the privacy of their own bedrooms.)

Eleanor said...

As a co-organiser of the workshop at Ladyfest Leeds I feel I need to clear up a few points. Our workshop fist came under attack from the campaign Object who set up a news story entitled ‘Ladyfest or Pornfest?’ criticising our workshop and getting people to lobby the organisers of Ladyfest. I instantly emailed the lady of Object explaining that she had misrepresented our workshop, that we welcome all opinions, Object were also invited to be on the panel.

When Charliegrrrl posted on her blog I again instantly emailed her (with what I believe to be a perfectly reasonable response). Highlighting how she had distorted the aims of our workshop, and explaining our actual position, and most importantly welcoming her views in response. Charlie was also invited to be on the panel at Ladyfest.

We felt that we were the ones being bullied, there was even talk of having to pull the workshop unless we can find someone from an ‘anti-porn’ position to co-host the workshop. It was frightening to see our views so misrepresented. We are not 'defending the patriarchy'. Our aim of the workshop was to move beyond this futile anti-porn / pro-porn debates that have hindered feminism for several decades. We wanted to discuss the limits of censorship and propose useful alternatives that would actually improve the rights of women.

Below is a copy of the email I sent to Charlie- to which I have received no response.


Dear Charlie,

I am one of the co-organisers for the workshop on pornography at Leeds Ladyfest. Although, yes both organisers are against the extreme pornography laws, this does not mean we condone violence against women. I think that you do raise a valid point about what things can be discussed at an event like Fightback or Ladyfest. However, that's why I think it is crucial for discussion groups to be labelled accordingly- at Fightback I don't think it was clear what some of the talks would cover, so at Ladyfest we wanted to clarify, so women could choose not to attend such a workshop (although admittedly the wording was misguided: though I don't think the original blurb ever went on the site).

I am grateful that you at least acknowledge that women who fantasise about violence are not instantly anti-feminist. But many sadomasochist women (and women in general) are made to feel a great sense of shame towards their desires from the anti-porn side of feminism. Sometimes, they too want a space to discuss these issues and the negative effects your views have upon them. I think we should respect both the rights of women to have a porn free space, and an 'anti-porn' free space. At a recent debate those in the BDSM community (including women) were shouted down as being 'sick psychos'- this is the kind of abuse they have been suffering from wider society their entire life. Likewise, at Fightback if you recall correctly it was not just anti-porn feminists who were upset. I recall one woman shouting and asking how many of the panel had been raped, to an angry response of 'yes', and one of the panel crying till the end of the discussion. Respect works both ways.

In regards to one of your comments>>

"I also object to them using their enjoyment of violent porn and protecting the civil liberties of a minority sub-culture, as arguments to justify not taking action against violent porn for the greater good of women"

I too have a grave concern about the unregulated nature of internet pornography, yet also have equal fear that government and the judicial system have a long history of unfair discrimination against certain sectors of the sadomasochistic community (e.g. the Spanner trial), and sexual minorities in general (e.g. how gay and lesbian bookshops are often unfairly targeted). Therefore although censorship may be put in place with all the best intentions can those in authority be trusted to implement it fairly? Is it wise to grant yet more power to our predominantly patriarchal and heterosexist judicial systems. For me it should never be an either / or dichotomy- women's rights versus the rights of women from sexual subcultures. I believe with open discussion we may be able to achieve both....

If this legislation was actually taking steps to protect women who work in pornography then I would support it.

Likewise, if the legislation was solely about the public broadcasting of these materials (it also covers images that have been made and consumed in the privacy of ones home).... then we would be having a very different debate.

If this legislation was solely about acts of non-consensual violence (it also includes depicted violence where no one is harmed in production) then it should not be dealt with through censorship...

Images containing actual violence are crimes that should be dealt with at the level of producer rather than consumer. This is not a censorship issue- this is abuse. I am hoping that at Leeds we can have an open debate where we can highlight how limited the government proposals are and instead come up with some productive solutions that actually improve the rights of women who work in pornography. I suggest that an international task force to regulate the production of internet pornography would be a far more useful step- this legislation does nothing to punish those who produce non-consensual pornography and I find this deeply worrying. Please note that I believe this regulation of internet pornography stretches much further than debates surrounding 'extreme' pornography... it should actually include all internet pornography. Especially when it comes to paying to view pornography online where people have no idea which country it was produced in and under what conditions...

It therefore seems that the issues we raise do far more to protect the 'greater good of women' than your blinkered assumption that censorship solves all.

Anyway, there's some of the reasons behind by standpoint.... I am happy to listen to anything you have to say in response.”

Oh and to clarify- Lucy- the ‘sick psycho’ quote was from a woman at a conference in Durham- not Charlie (although some of her friends comments could be labelled as such!)

Eleanor said...

blimey, what an apt Freudian slip!

Lucy said...

Eleanor - you're right. I apologise for that slip. The slur Charliegrrl made - in comment #10 of her post about Ladyfest - was to refer to male sadomasochists as 'fuck-heads'. I really ought to check these things before I post ><

Daisy said...

As the third organiser of the Ladyfest workshop I feel the need to leave a comment here. Our workshop has never intended to prevent anyone from voicing their beliefs and opinions, and as previous comments have demonstrated we have made numerous attempts to get into discussion with Charligrrl and her supporters...every attempt, every point that has been made has been ignored and it only now that any pro pornography points have been made visible and acknowledged in any way at all. Our workshop is a positive one, welcoming constructive comments and opinions focused on exploring sexuality and embracing diversity in keeping with the Ladyfest ethos. I personally find the reaction of the anti porn feminists hugely insulting, never once have we deliberately intimidated anyone...indeed the virulent opposition we currently face leaves us as the ones feeling intimidated. I stand by our right to run this workshop as we have always intended it as a space for everyone to express their opinions and to listen and respect those of others. Sex is a wonderful, expressive, liberating thing and ought to be embraced and explored as a valid part of current feminist discussion.

stormy said...

"...about Jane Longhurst's death; firstly that Longhurst was murdered, which has yet to be determined by a court of law - her killer's murder conviction has been quashed; and secondly that Longhurst was raped, something which no one has ever alleged."

Yet to be determined? He already WAS convicted of murder. The retrial is a technicality because the jury were not offered a choice between a manslaughter or murder conviction. You write as if the initial murder conviction never happened, it did.

Whilst there is a lot of evidence HE was into autoerotic asphyxia, there was none to suggest that SHE was into such practise. If HE was 'into it', then why wasn't it HIS airway that was surpressed?

There was also evidence that she bled during strangulation, and he did nothing to get medical aid. The coroner testified that Ms Longhurst may have survived if medical assistance had been given.

Coutts then hid the body for several weeks in a lock-up and had sexual contact with Ms Longhurst's corpse. He visited the lock-up something like eight times. A condom with his semen was found in the lock-up. How exactly did she consent to this post mortem rape?

You are so ready to believe the word of a murderer and rapist. Jane Longhurst is dead, she cannot speak. Has the Almighty Orgasm become so sacred that now that 'anything goes'? If 'kinky sex play' wasn't involved in this case, could you actually see the pre-meditated murder and necrophilia? Put your life where your mouth is – date this creep if he ever gets released. I personally would rather see him behind bars forever.

incurable hippie said...

Thanks arantxa, I totally agree.

Sparklematrix - couldn't agree more! Noone has a *right* to post on anyone else's webspace, and Charliegrrl is well within her rights to choose who posts to hers.

Thanks Stormy for that last comment. I couldn't stomach looking up all the details again to respond to that particularly inappropriate comment, so I appreciate you doing so.

Steve said...

You are quite right that no-one has a *right* to post on someone else's webspace.

However, it can be argued that they have a right to reply - a right to defend oneself against criticism, which is certainly how the organisers of the workshop and the general BDSM community have felt by Charliegrrls comments due to her misrepresentation of Fightback and the workshop and her apparent attitude to the BSDM community (and anyone who does not fit in with her ideal view of what feminism is).

This right to reply has been put into law in some countries (sadly not the UK as far as I know) and will almost certainly eventually work its way into EU law. Despite the current lack of a legal right, there does still exist the moral one. If you are criticised, it is only fair that you have an opportunity to defend yourselves.
I view the responses to Charliegrrl on various forums as the posters exercising this right - I don't see it as singling her out or bullying her for them simply to attempt to defend themselves.

I do think that Charliegrrl is asking for trouble however by absolutely refusing to listen to the views of anyone who disagrees with her. It *appears* that she believes she is absolutely right and anyone with a different view (such as not being a true feminist because they are not her type of feminist) is a 'victim' of society who has had their 'wrong' point of view enforced upon them. This is incredibly insulting to anyone who falls into the very large group of people with different opinions. It is only natural if you insult someone in this way, that they will want to respond. Refusing to listen to their replies will only irritate them further.

The entire subject is a matter of debate, even if Charliegrrl's personal opinion is that it is a black and white matter and not open for debate (hint: nothing in life is black and white and history has often shown viewing matters that way is dangerous). Whether that occurs on her blog or not does not matter, although if she posts part of the debate there it is reasonable. However it should still be allowed to happen. Misrepresenting viewpoints and refusing to listen to the other side is not conducive to a debate and won't

While I appear to be taking the side of the BSDM crew, I'm not a member of them. I am a fan of Voltaire though... I do think both sides should be allowed to express their few. I also believe that the recent legislation that's caused the recent fuss is wrong, and for Voltaire's reason. It won't affect me either way but I see banning images of consensual activity for the participants own private consumption extremely wrong. Any pictured acts covered by the law *are already covered by existing law*, just at the producing not consuming end. If a distinction between nonconsensual and consensual activity was made I would support it... as it stands I do not as it censors activities which are not wrong except from an ethical standpoint which is not shared by the participants. If both partipants are consenting and noone else will see the images, then why on earth should they be banned? But that is exactly what they are doing and should they ever be found by the police the couple are likely to be unfairly prosecuted.

I think I also seem to be taking sides against Charliegrrl due to the insulting attitude towards men on her blog by herself and many of the commentors. It's a very stereotypical feminist one, which doesn't help feminists at all. It's also incredibly insulting to the 99% of men who do not fit into the view of men as misogynistic women hating perverts who think only with their penis and will instantly dominate, maim and kill women if they see even a glimpse of depiction of a naked women or violence towards them. Sadly I am sure there are men out there like that, but they are a tiny majority. I feel very sorry for Charliegrrl if she has been unfortunate enough to meet them. I'm also sorry and retract it if that doesn't reflect your views, but it is what came across after reading your blog (not just your comments both other peoples too). But that's another matter altogether.

Steve said...

"but they are a tiny majority"
That should, of course, be minority. Serves me right for typing at 4am.

*Wonder's who'll be first to claim it as a Freudian slip*

Graham said...

Stormy:

"...about Jane Longhurst's death; firstly that Longhurst was murdered, which has yet to be determined by a court of law - her killer's murder conviction has been quashed;"

You say: "Yet to be determined? He already WAS convicted of murder. The retrial is a technicality because the jury were not offered a choice between a manslaughter or murder conviction. You write as if the initial murder conviction never happened, it did."

The retrial is *NOT* a technicality.

Had the verdict of Manslaughter been open to the Jury, the verdict of Murder may not have happened.

British law operates (mostly, now, despite the efforts of our Government to change it!) under the principle of "Presumed Innocent Until Proven Guilty".

If a conviction is quashed it *does not exist*. The second trial must, to be fair, be carried out under the presumption of innocence and the initial conviction not happened.

This isn't a "technicality", this is justice.

You continue: "Whilst there is a lot of evidence HE was into autoerotic asphyxia, there was none to suggest that SHE was into such practise."

Actually there *was* evidence presented that Jane Longhurst had engaged in this practise with another partner, but this was denied.

However there was no evidence of force or restraint, so it seems a little unlikely that someone would, out of the blue, allow another person to restrict their air supply.

"If HE was 'into it', then why wasn't it HIS airway that was surpressed?"

This is nonsense. It's like saying that if someone is Dominant in a BDSM context *they* should have the whip marks on their bum!

"There was also evidence that she bled during strangulation, and he did nothing to get medical aid. The coroner testified that Ms Longhurst may have survived if medical assistance had been given."

"MAY have survived." But this is supposition. And people panic when things go wrong. (The vast majority of "hit and run" road deaths are not the result of deliberate murderous intent, but someone panicking after an accident and trying to get away without thinking. It then seems easier to try to cover up the mistake than admit to it, just like Coutts tried).

"Coutts then hid the body for several weeks in a lock-up and had sexual contact with Ms Longhurst's corpse. He visited the lock-up something like eight times. A condom with his semen was found in the lock-up. How exactly did she consent to this post mortem rape?"

Again, supposition. There is no proof of any "sexual contact with Ms Longhurst's corpse", nor that the condom was not produced prior to her death.

"You are so ready to believe the word of a murderer and rapist. Jane Longhurst is dead, she cannot speak."

You are so ready to deny someone the right to a fair trial and the right to the presumption of innocence based on your personal opinion of what happened.

This is exactly the same sort of attitude that the Backlash Campaign is fighting against, subjective opinions being used to "Presume Guilt".

slowdown said...

This is an interesting debate, Hippie, thanks for posting all the different comments. I have to say that I disagree with Charliegrrl and her supporters on a lot of this - I think their conviction is getting the better of their argument.

Much of what I would contribute has already been said. However, I do want to question your criticism of Verte for amending the ic thread to make it appear in the google results for 'Charliegrrl'.

After all, you've tried on a number of occasions to affect Google results in order to highlight something you disagree with (your Google Bombing posts).

It seems unfair to call it bullying when someone else does it.

emma said...

One question to the BDSM advocates - if consensual BDSM led to Jane Longhurst's death, as you claim, why are you defending it as a practice?

Can we also clear up the 'you're attacking a minority sexuality' argument. No we are not, we are attacking ABUSE. There is a difference. If a person (male or female) was regularly being beaten or cut with knives assaulted or nearly strangled and it wasn't in the name of sex, we would say s/he was a victim of domestic violence. We wouldn't blame them for the fact that they didn't leave their partner, but would accept that there are complex psychological reasons why someone may stay in an abusive relationship. So there are complex pscyhological reasons why someone may indulge in BDSM, that doesn't justify it morally. The reason is generally accepted to be a history of previous abuse which leads a person to 'act out' the abuse as a coping mechanism. However this is harmful and prevents the person moving on and recovering. I know 2 women who have been involved in BDSM relationships and they both say that for them it was self harm by proxy. Both had previous histories of self harm.

So to summarise

BDSM is NOT a sexuality
BDSM is NOT 'play'
BDSM is NOT harmless.

So if you think that I personally don't like you because you practice BDSM - you're right, well spotted!

Anonymous said...

Dear Emma, thankyou for your enlightened views.

So you claim that BDSM is only practiced by women who have been abused? and therefore your response is to shout them down and tell them how you personally don’t like them? How very understanding of you.

Knowing of ‘2 women’ hardly gives you authority to speak for every submissive female. I know a number of lesbians who have become gay after male abuse. Am I to say this is therefore a coping mechanism? That it’s not a real sexuality? Of course I wouldn’t as it’s fucking rude and unfounded.

Lucy said...

Emma - if BDSM is 'generally accepted' to be a response to abuse, could you please cite evidence (scientific, not anecdotal) to demonstrate this?

Proven or no, though, I think you asked a very important question; if consensual BDSM led to Jane Longhurst's death, as you claim, why are you defending it as a practice?

You're doubtless politically aware enough to know that thousands of deaths are caused every year by passive smoking; that British car-drivers kill roughly 50 people a week, many of whom are pedestrians; that alcohol is a factor in over half of A&E admissions, and up to 80% of incidences of domestic violence. Adventure sports such as mountaineering and sailing also occasionally cause death. I could very easily go on - the world is full of legally permitted risks of fatality. Why are these things, like BDSM, legal, even though their benefit to the user may be questionable at best? It's because we live in a society that is prepared to accept incidences of accidental death. If you think that society should not accept these things, then I advise you to start campaigning to end the big killers, like alcohol, rather than the extremely rare ones, like railway trains, deep-fat fryers, and BDSM.

emma said...

Well I've never met any lesbian in my life who became lesbian after male abuse, and I know a hell of a lot of lesbians - I know a lot of heterosexual woman who've experienced considerable abuse and who wish they could be lesbians, but nobody who has ever made the switch - perhaps your friends are bisexuals who merely switched their preference. However every single woman I've ever met who was into BDSM (and I've met a lot more than 2) says they have a history of abuse. In fact most cite that as the reason why they practice BDSM.

Furthermore being a (non BDSM) lesbian does not require one to deliberately perform acts of physical violence against another person, degrading and humiliating that person, using derogatory or abusive language, and psychologically abusing that person or having such acts done to oneself, whereas BDSM does.

You still have not answered my question. None of us, if we knew someone whose partner was physically violent or psychologically abusive towards them in everyday life, would just say it's Ok, that person consents to that. Lots of people in this situation stay in the abusive relationship, for a variety of reasons, but none of them do it because they really want to. If we knew someone who stayed with a violent partner we would urge them to leave - we wouldn't just stand by and go 'it's your choice'.

So why is this different just because there's sex involved? Don't drag out the tired 'but they consent' argument. 'Consent' is not a cut and dried issue, as you make it out to be. The physical violence in BDSM is illegal. I repeat it is against the law. When Lesley Ash was suspected to be a victim of domestic violence the media were full of articles urging her to leave her husband, although she did not press charges and defended him. So why should we as a society regard violence in the name of sex, as opposed to good old fashioned wife beating any differently?

No I am not tolerant of BDSM, for the same reason I am not tolerant of domestic violence. BDSM is a form of domestic violence, it just involves sex. I am intolerant of human beings abusing each other, full stop.

Anonymous said...

so you 'personally don't like' women who suffer from domesitc abuse either?

BDSM is very different to real abuse. Does domestic violence have a safe word? Does it follow a regulated script?!

Graham said...

Emma:

if consensual BDSM led to Jane Longhurst's death, as you claim, why are you defending it as a practice?

Why should we not? Breath play is risky, yes, but it is a regrettable fact of life that accidents happen. They happen on the roads, they happen in the home and they even happen in bed. (And on average 20 people a year die getting out of bed!)

Providing those who engage in an activity are aware of the risks and consent to them, it's nobody else's business.

As for we are attacking ABUSE. , as I've said several times previously, NOBODY in the BDSM community supports abuse, because that is *non* consensual.

Unfortunately some people make an erroneous link between abuse and consensual play and then *do* use it to "attack a minority sexuality".

You say The reason is generally accepted to be a history of previous abuse which leads a person to 'act out' the abuse as a coping mechanism. but would you care to back that up with some evidence?

I know a lot of people who are into BDSM and the vast majority are stable, well adjusted people who have never been "abused" in their lives, but enjoy BDSM none the less.

if you think that I personally don't like you because you practice BDSM - you're right, well spotted!

I'm sorry you can't approach this with a more open mind. I'm sure you would object to anyone tarring feminists with a big brush of "hairy legged, dungaree wearers" (and I'd agree with that objection) but you seem to want to use an equally big brush to tar BDSMers with.

[I've just seen your next post, so I'll tag the reply on here]

Furthermore being a (non BDSM) lesbian does not require one to deliberately perform acts of physical violence against another person, degrading and humiliating that person, using derogatory or abusive language, and psychologically abusing that person or having such acts done to oneself, whereas BDSM does.

I have to say you have a very incomplete understanding of BDSM if you think that any of the above are "required" by lesbian participants (or anyone else, for that matter!)

Imagine tying your partner down with silk scarves, and then caressing them with more scarves or feathers or fur. Think about blindfolding them and then teasing them by feeding them strawberries and cream or even you eating them off their body. Imagine exiting them almost to the point of orgasm, then stopping and starting again until they're begging you to let them climax.

All of the above are just as much BDSM as all the whips and chains and humiliation you can think of!

If we knew someone who stayed with a violent partner we would urge them to leave - we wouldn't just stand by and go 'it's your choice'.

So why is this different just because there's sex involved?


It is *NOT* "different just because there's sex involved"! You want to deny us the "but they consent" argument, but you miss the point that there is a difference between non-consensual abuse or even a woman (or man, remember female on male domestic violence really does happen too!) being too frightened to leave their partner.

The physical violence in BDSM is illegal. I repeat it is against the law.

R vs Brown [1991] introduced the principle that you could not consent to an assault on yourself and that anything that left marks that were more than "trifling and transitory" was an assault (although that could even include a love bite!)

However R vs Wilson [1996] said that what adults get up to in private "is not a proper matter for criminal investigation or prosecution." and that "we are firmly of the opinion that it is not in the public interest that activities such as the appellant's in this appeal should amount to criminal behaviour."

So at the moment, the law is *not* clearly defined and probably won't be until some other poor buggers are hauled through the courts to have their lives destroyed.

When Lesley Ash was suspected to be a victim of domestic violence the media were full of articles urging her to leave her husband, although she did not press charges and defended him.

So who do we believe, her or the media? Was she a victim of abuse or was it just an accident due to over-enthusiastic sex? There is no evidence of abuse, she didn't press charges and don't you think she has a high enough profile that, were it to be abuse, she would be able to escape from an abusive husband?

(And, BTW, don't you think the media were maybe guilty of exploiting her by making a big story out of this so they could sell more papers?!)

BDSM is a form of domestic violence, it just involves sex. I am intolerant of human beings abusing each other, full stop.

And I am intolerant of people who make ludicrous claims like this based on insufficient understanding of what they are talking about.

I suggest you come to some BDSM events, meet the *real* people who engage in such behaviours and ask them if they are "victims of domestic violence". I hope that, then, you will understand how much you misunderstand.

Nella said...

How is it bullying to criticise someone's ideas? Charlie isn't the one sending her mates over to flood someone else's spam filter. She isn't, as far as i've seen, casting any aspersions on anyone as a person. She's just presenting an argument for why a workshop putting forward x idea isn't appropriate for event y. I've seen a lot of behaviour over this sort of issue that could constitute bullying - that's behaviour from both sides, imo - but i don't see it here. Not from the person being accused and gangpiled, anyway.

verte said...

Yes, after referring to all men involved in BDSM as 'fuckheads' and deliberately lying about a speech and workshop which she knew nothing about - nope, not insulting or upsetting behaviour at all. The BDSM community likes to be made aware when it is being discriminated against, just as women do. I had every right to post the link to Charlie's blog, and besides, she did the same to mine - only didn't bother citing my blog in case anyone read it and disagreed with her. If people wanted to reply to her blog, they did. When I was alerted to the fact that Charlie was censoring all replies that did not agree with her, it became clear that we would have to defend the workshop in our own space, so that is what we did.

The workshop will go ahead. I will post my speech on my livejournal afterwards and I encourage you to respond if you think my views so very evil.

sparkleMatrix said...

Someone up thread mentioned that the radical feminists recent ‘Google bomb’ of pornography was in effect no different from ensuring that Charlie’s site came up first in certain searches. You are seriously comparing a 64 billion dollar global industry primarily ran by powerful corporate men to a blog ran by a feminist from Manchester? - get perspective - it helps

Eleanor said...

The thread on IC was set up as a space for us to tell our side to the story- to clarify what the aims of the workshop really were (surely as it's our event we have every right to do so?). We attempted to get it onto google in hope that people would get to read both sides to the debate instead of the one-sided and unfair portrayal that Charlie put across.
It was also hoped that we could engage in some productive discussion and that people may highlight issues the workshop may have overlooked- unfortunately hardly anyone from the anti-porn 'side' of feminism have been willing to do this, and I feel that's a great shame.
Playground insults and name calling really do nothing to address the issues at hand.

emma said...

If I cut off your leg, and you consent, you are just as much without a leg as you would be if I cut it off without your consent.

I would also, unless I was a surgeon, performing the operation for genuine therapeutic (ie medical) reasons, be guilty of a criminal offence.

This is the law of the land, like it or not.

Now some people have a sexual fetish for having sex with amputees, and some people would quite like to have an amputation for the reasons of their personal sexual fetish. However it is not considered that this is sufficient legal reason to have one's leg amputated because having one's leg amputated, if it is not medically necessary, because it is not in the public interest.

So it is the job of the law to prevent people doing things that deliberately injure themselves and others , even if they want to, and even if they get a sexual thrill out of it.

And unfortunately Graham, as I am a woman with a healthy sense of self esteem, and who knows her own mind, (has anybody ever told you you're incredibly patronising? - if not let me be the first) I will have to decline your kind invitation to a fetish club, not least because my rubber suit's in the wash. And because you don't really seem like a laugh a minute guy if I'm totally honest.

You see I know what I will find there and it will not be people caressing each other with silk scarves or eating strawberries. It will be people humiliating & degrading each other, it will be people physically injuring each other, because they get a sexual thrill out of it. It will be people calling women 'slut' and 'bitch' and much much worse than that. It will also be people role playing rape and child abuse because that goes on too. But you don't like to mention that because you know it's not good marketing.

It may even be people strangling and killing each other, which you also seem to think is perfectly acceptable - hey it's just an accident after all! Here for instance is a quote from a BDSM lesbian I found on a dating website.

'I want you in the gutter face down, that bitch deserves every busted rib and bruise she got'. This is accompanied by a picture of this woman's partner with a flayed back. There is no mention of silk scarves or strawberries.

Charming!

Your marketing exercise may work on woolly liberals but I left my copy of the Guardian at the newsagents. I'm afraid your knowledge of the law is also somewhat incomplete. In actual fact the principle that one could not consent to a sado-masochistic assault where bodily harm is intended or likely was established in 1934 in R v Donovan. And the ratio in Wilson was in fact largely that the act amounted to tattooing, which was one of the established exceptions. The decision in Brown was later followed in Emmett.

So to summarise - BDSM consists of physically injuring people, which I personally - call me crazy, cos I'm that kind of gal - think is wrong! But if you're just caressing someone with silk scarves (as opposed to strangling someone with a silk scarf) no need to worry 'cos it's perfectly legal! And it will be even be legal to have masses of photos and acres of video footage of yourself doing it. Result eh? No need to worry after all......

Graham said...

Emma:

If I cut off your leg, and you consent, you are just as much without a leg as you would be if I cut it off without your consent.

Very true. But nobody is talking about cutting off people's legs. Nobody is even talking about inflicting permanent damage or injury. Except you.

The law, however, simply says "trifling and transient" which is as meaningless as "liable to corrupt or deprave" or "appear to risk serious or life threatening injury".

So it is the job of the law to prevent people doing things that deliberately injure themselves and others , even if they want to, and even if they get a sexual thrill out of it.

May I remind you that the watchwords of BDSM are "Safe, Sane and Consensual". If it's not Sane, nobody in the BDSM community is going to suggest doing it.

And unfortunately Graham, as I am a woman with a healthy sense of self esteem, and who knows her own mind, (has anybody ever told you you're incredibly patronising? - if not let me be the first) I will have to decline your kind invitation to a fetish club, not least because my rubber suit's in the wash.

I'm really not sure what your sense of self esteem or knowing your own mind has to with going to fetish events.

Are you saying that those who *do* go to fetish events *don't* have a good sense of self esteem or know their own minds?

Oddly, that sounds rather patronising to me. Hmm, maybe I should call my solicitors, Messers Pott and Kettle-Black...!

And if you don't want to go to a fetish club, why not come to a Fetish Market like the London Fetish Fair, the London Alternative Market, the South West Alternative Market and Party (SWAMP) or the Birmingham Bizarre Bazaar.

You'll find lots of people there with plenty of self-esteem and who know their own minds there.

(BTW, don't forget to hang the rubber suit up to dry and dust it with talc after :) )

And because you don't really seem like a laugh a minute guy if I'm totally honest.

Whereas I prefer not to jump to such conclusions based solely on written communications, because it's nothing like actually talking to someone in real life.

And talking of jumping to conclusions:

You see I know what I will find there and it will not be people caressing each other with silk scarves or eating strawberries. It will be people humiliating & degrading each other, it will be people physically injuring each other, because they get a sexual thrill out of it. It will be people calling women 'slut' and 'bitch' and much much worse than that. It will also be people role playing rape and child abuse because that goes on too. But you don't like to mention that because you know it's not good marketing.

It is clear that you have absolutely *NO* idea what you are talking about. This is, again, as offensive as if I were to say that you go to clubs full of women with hairy armpits and wearing Doc Martins or that all lesbians are either Butch or femme and they all do it with strap-ons because what they really need is a good hard cock and if they had one they'd stop being a bunch of dykes.

But I don't and won't make ridiculous claims like that because I have a little more respect for other people's lifestyle choices than you seem to do.

What do you think a fetish club is? Some sort of non-stop orgy where unwilling victims are passed around like some sort of party favour? Where any sort of behaviour is tolerated or ignored? I can only assume that you've been watching bad TV or reading poorly written fiction (often disguised as "factual reporting"!).

If anyone is being humiliated or degraded, which does happen, it is *because* they want it to, but it happens within *LIMITS* and if it gets too much, the person on the receiving end gets to say STOP! and it stops. Ditto for any floggings or similar play.

If anyone tried to physically injure another person they'd find themselves being chucked out of the club PDQ because that is *not* acceptable.

Yes, you may find people being called "slut" or "bitch", oddly enough, though, you may find that it is actually *men* who are being referred to in that way by dominant women (who have high self esteem, know their own minds and also know damn well that they're not being subjugated by any man or just pandering to their fetishes!)

As for "rape and child abuse", again you appear to speak without understanding. BDSM is about "Power Exchange", it is allowing someone to do something to you, not them forcing it upon you. And Age Play is *NOT* child abuse and for you to suggest otherwise is deeply insulting and simply shows ignorance on your part.

So, please don't say that I don't mention things like that, I will, but I'll tell the truth, not a one-sided distortion of the facts, based on nothing more than prejudice.

It may even be people strangling and killing each other, which you also seem to think is perfectly acceptable - hey it's just an accident after all!

Now you have gone totally off the edge and I suggest you start looking at the laws regarding libel because I have not and would not ever suggest that killing someone is acceptable.

Here for instance is a quote from a BDSM lesbian I found on a dating website.

So what? It's easy to find a single, mis-representative, quote and then claim that it is, in fact, a general case, but anyone who wants to look a little further will find that it is nothing of the sort.

Your marketing exercise may work on woolly liberals but I left my copy of the Guardian at the newsagents.

Clearly you picked up the Daily Mail instead...!

As regarding Donovan, Brown and Emmett etc, I'd point you to the Appeals Court ruling of R vs Dica [2004] where the defendant was accused of deliberately infecting a partner with HIV.

His defence would have been that they had consented to sex with him knowing he was HIV+, but the Judge decided that ruling in Brown deprived the complainants "of the legal capacity to consent to such serious harm".

The Appeals court ruled that "In view of our conclusion that the trial judge should not have withdrawn the issue of consent from the jury, the appeal is allowed."

So it seems that the principle of being able to consent is, slowly, expanding and as far as I am concerned, that is a good thing.

So to summarise - BDSM consists of physically injuring people, which I personally - call me crazy, cos I'm that kind of gal - think is wrong!

What you are wrong about is the assertion that "BDSM consists of physically injuring people".

But your final comment is interesting:

But if you're just caressing someone with silk scarves (as opposed to strangling someone with a silk scarf) no need to worry 'cos it's perfectly legal! And it will be even be legal to have masses of photos and acres of video footage of yourself doing it. Result eh? No need to worry after all......

Getting back to the Backlash campaign, imagine if, just for a second, someone was holding a scarf, in both hands, and was drawing it across someone's neck because it felt very sensuous.

At that moment CLICK! the camera shutter goes and there's a photograph of one person holding a scarf across the neck of another AS IF THEY'RE ABOUT TO STRANGLE THEM!

Oops! If someone else got to see that, they might think "wow! That could risk death or serious injury!"

In vain the participants plead their innocence, they have no way of proving that it didn't (presumed innocent? Not any more!) and, oh dear, they could end up with three years in jail.

Is that really the sort of "result" you would like to see?

No need to worry? I don't think so!

Anonymous said...

Emma:

"if consensual BDSM led to Jane Longhurst's death, as you claim, why are you defending it as a practice?"

If this was the case - then it's no different to anything else which leads to an accidental death, such as sport. Shall we ban that too?

"No we are not, we are attacking ABUSE."

Cool, in which case, is nothing to do with BDSM, which is not abuse.

"If a person (male or female) was regularly being beaten or cut with knives assaulted or nearly strangled and it wasn't in the name of sex,"

If they consented to that, then that would be seen as okay - for some reason, it's only when sex is added to the mix that it becomes a taboo.

But no one in abusive relationships - even if they do not leave - state that they consent to the abuse!

"I know 2 women who have been involved in BDSM relationships and they both say that for them it was self harm by proxy. Both had previous histories of self harm."

Anecdotes do not make evidence. And I self-harm by the way - what does this have to do with anything? I certainly wouldn't stay in an abusive relationship.

Are you aware of the rates of self-harm in prison? What good does throwing people in prison for consenting to BDSM?

"So if you think that I personally don't like you because you practice BDSM - you're right, well spotted!"

And if you think that I personally don't like you because you're a bigot - you're right, well spotted!

"None of us, if we knew someone whose partner was physically violent or psychologically abusive towards them in everyday life, would just say it's Ok, that person consents to that"

I think you're missing the point. It's not that we look at BDSM relationships and say "but they consent", rather, the people involved state quite clearly that they consent.

If you can't distinguish consensual acts from abuse, then I'm _really_ quite worried, and perhaps it's you that needs help.

You're quite right, it shouldn't be different just because sex is involved. People can consent to harm in any other context (e.g., sport, body modifications), but for some reason, as soon as sex is involved, it becomes a no-no.

m

Anonymous said...

Arantxa:

"It's difficult not to look at what some of the 'informed consent' members are doing as an attempt to intimidate Charliegrrl. If they simply have something to say, why not just drop her a line, i.e. one e-mail, instead of a relentless stream of insulting and/or abusive messages."

I would say it's more intrusive to resort to email, than it is to comment on her blog, or comment on a forum elsewhere. As for insults and abuse, which comments are you referring too? How about where Charliegrrl refers to men as "fuck-heads", or where BDSMers are accused of harming women, or feminists being told they are not feminists, being told we don't care for "the women who are raped, mutilated and killed in porn [alledgedly] and in real life by porn-loving misogynist men.", comments like "Of course they would poor littew diddums" and "Are they thick?", being compared to "rape culture", being told to "fuck themselves", accused that the women posters are actually men in disguise, called "weirdos",

Need I go on?

In fact, in terms of insults and abuse, it's been a long while since I've seen anything as vicious and full of hate as that blog post and its comments. The Informed Consent thread in my opinion was in comparison full of reasoned responses.

sparkleMatrix - you are saying that Charliegrrl can post in public, but other people have no right to respond in public? Even in their own space?

m

Anonymous said...

I think it's clear that Charliegrrl has been doing at least as much bullying here. Linking to a thread doesn't constitute bullying (after all, that's just what you are doing too!)

"and I read most of the posts on this thread. It's nothing new, it's nothing we haven't heard a million times before, and it made my eyes glaze over."

Heard a million times, but it's clear that they haven't listened once judging by what's been written. E.g.:

"If it's ok to hurt women if it turns them on, then is it ok just to hurt women? If it turns you on perhaps?"

If you'd listened to what's been said a million times before, you wouldn't have said this.

How about: If it's okay to fuck women if it turns them on, then is it okay just to fuck women? If it turns you on perhaps?

...I really hope you're not saying that enjoying consensual sex implies rape is okay!

"I *know* the pro-BDSM arguments and they are very loaded, and are packaged in a way to make it look really bad to oppose them."

Come on now, the anti-BDSM comments are at least as much loaded; anyone who defends BDSM is labelled "pro-porn" and seen as supporting abuse, and being anti-woman. I'm not "pro-porn", just pro-choice.

"Charliegrrl is more than entitled to choose what does and doesn't go on her website!"

Of course, yes, just as other people are choose to post what they want in response.

"Just because it makes you have an orgasm, doesn't make it ok."

Of course, I don't see anyone making that argument. But just because you don't like it, doesn't make it not okay.

As for "defending the patriarchy", that's strangely what I see of the anti-porn side here, in that they're supporting the side of organisations like Mediawatch, politicians and police chiefs to control what people - men and women - are allowed to see.

Wanting people put in prison for this is certainly defending the patriarchy, and extending it's control over people's lives.

At least people on the BDSM forum are trying to correct the misinformation and respond to what's been said in their own forum - I don't think making accusations of "bullying", or labelling arguments as being nothing new, or loaded, when that clearly applies to the anti-porn and anti-BDSM side, is very constructive.

Even when points are corrected - for example, that this material is not already illegal to make, or that it would cover private possession, the same false statements are repeated in response.

Anonymous said...

To add further to Emma's "why should it be different if it's sex" argument - the proposed law _only_ covers images which are seen as being produced for sexual arousal.

Violent images which are not seen by the police/jury as sexual will remain perfectly legal.

We agree, sex shouldn't be seen as a special case, but it's those in favour of criminalising both BDSM and "extreme porn" who want it to be a special case.

sparkleMatrix said...

"you are saying that Charliegrrl can post in public, but other people have no right to respond in public? Even in their own space?"

WHERE did I say that?
I said she had every right not to publish your replies.

She *chooses* not to *consent* to your comments on her site.

Phemisaurus Terribilis said...

Now, now, Sparkle. Don't you go switch the meaning of 'consent' on us. Consentation only works in dungeons.

Anonymous said...

sparklematrix said:

>"I remind you that Charliegrrl is posting in public and if you say things in public,
>people have a right to reply in public"

>NO they do not. since when and says who???

I don't think the original poster was implying that people have a right for their messages to appear on her blog, but that they have every right to reply in public - whether that's attempting to comment on her blog, or doing so elsewhere - as opposed to taking it up in email (and as I say, personally I'd say people responding via email _would_ be intrusive and intimidating; responding on the blog's comment option or on your own forum on the other hand is perfectly acceptable).

I don't think the "censorship" comments are meant to say Charliegrrl doesn't have a right to not publish comments - of course, she does. But nonetheless, what she is doing is posting a one-sided account of things, and only wants visible comments from those who agree with her (yeah, she has the "right" to do that, we have the right to say what we think of it) - thankfully she did then post a link to the IC thread for people to see the other posters which helps a lot, though if nothing else it was still a pain trying to engage in debate by posting on two entirely separate forums!

m

Eleanor said...

Fuck debate, fuck discussing the actual laws, lets just carry on with this delightful pantomime....

BDSM is evil
Oh no it isn't!

The limits of censorship anyone? Workers rights? Dangers of the unregulated nature of cyberspace? Positive outcomes of changing media regimes? Worries that it's only sexual violence that is covered by these laws?

Setting up our own threads was not meant as a personal attack on Charlie- but I suppose yes they were an attack on 'anti-porn' views, but they were also an attack on simplistic and individualistic 'pro-porn' views. We're looking for a middle ground from which to make progress- is it really so disgraceful that we're running a workshop at a feminist event?

pervsarefromportsmouth said...

Getting back to the Backlash campaign, imagine if, just for a second, someone was holding a scarf, in both hands, and was drawing it across someone's neck because it felt very sensuous.

At that moment CLICK! the camera shutter goes and there's a photograph of one person holding a scarf across the neck of another AS IF THEY'RE ABOUT TO STRANGLE THEM!


Really - how does that work again? It would only look as if you're about to strangle them if you have the scarf wrapped around their neck and you're pulling it tight surely? But here's an idea. If you're doing that DON'T PHOTOGRAPH YOURSELF

Anonymous said...

an the men are from Marsden...

Lucy said...

No, it would be up to a court to decide if the person shown in the photograph "appeared to risk serious or life threatening injury". It wouldn't matter what you or I thought of the photograph, and a judge could potentially direct a jury to interpret that very broadly.

As for 'DON'T PHOTOGRAPH YOURSELF' - you may as well promote any form of self-censorship in that manner. 'If you disagree with the government, DON'T WRITE ABOUT IT! If you have a radical opinion, DON'T SPEAK OUT!' Freedom of speech has to mean the freedom to voice unpopular ideas as well as mainstream ideas. In any case if you think that it's acceptable to gently touch a scarf to someone's neck, it's a nonsense to suggest that it's not okay to make an image of that act.

scumsuckersarefromsouthsea said...

Law, law, law people. The judge does NOT direct the jury as to obscenity that is for the jury to decide - that's the point of the jury.

Now if pictures of people with scarves being 'gently drawn across their neck' were to become illegal, we'd have to ban rupert the bear wouldn't we!

Of course a picture of someone with a scarf being 'gently drawn across their neck' will not fall within the new law and you're not really doing yourself any credit by posting such ridiculous nonsense.

But if you're going to start strangling someone, consensual or not, don't photograph yourself. It's really simple!

Anonymous said...

pervsarefromportsmouth:

"Really - how does that work again? It would only look as if you're about to strangle them if you have the scarf wrapped around their neck and you're pulling it tight surely?"

I think it's quite easy to depict strangulation without actually restricting airflow - otherwise it would be a problem for any film which features a strangulation! (E.g., consider this image: http://www.septicisle.info/uploaded_images/frenzy_01-756185.jpg - that's from Hitchcock's Frenzy, yet the same image on a BDSM site could be illegal.)

"But here's an idea. If you're doing that DON'T PHOTOGRAPH YOURSELF"

Thanks for the advice, of course there are ways people may try to protect themselves, but that does not mean that a law is justified or ethical.

Also there are risks such as visiting BDSM/adult sites which may have such images on - you may be at risk even if you personally don't care for those images. Yes, there's the advice of "DON'T VISIT BDSM SITES", but again, that doesn't justify the law. Any law could be justified by saying "Well you don't have to do it".

scumsuckersarefromsouthsea:

"Law, law, law people. The judge does NOT direct the jury as to obscenity that is for the jury to decide"

You're confusing the proposed "extreme porn" law with the Obscene Publications Act. The extreme porn law has no requirement of obscenity (i.e., that it would deprave or corrupt). True, whether it satisfies the "extreme porn" requirements would still be up to the jury - but they may still be swayed by expert witnesses detailing the possible risk of injury. The person might get off - but I don't think people should go through the ordeal of arrest, a trial, perhaps being tempted into accepting a caution and being placed on the Sex Offender register rather than risking prison, just because they looked at a simulated picture.

"Now if pictures of people with scarves being 'gently drawn across their neck' were to become illegal, we'd have to ban rupert the bear wouldn't we!"

Well rupert the bear isn't usually intended to arouse people, and the scarf isn't being pulled by someone. Plus, I don't think rupert the bear counts as a realistic depiction. But yes, the fact that these images are being banned because they supposedly cause people to commit murder, yet it would be ludicrous to suggest an image of rupert the bear being strangled does the same thing, shows how silly this law is.

"But if you're going to start strangling someone, consensual or not, don't photograph yourself. It's really simple!"

It's so nice that people think they and the Government can tell us what I can do in private with consenting adults. What was that about defending the patriarchy?

m

Anonymous said...

Isn't that MENZ are from Marsden fellow anon.

For a bad time - phone (023) 9264 2149 said...

Why the hell do you people even NEED to photograph yourselves?

Do you even look at the photographs, you look ridiculous.

Anonymous said...

"Isn't that MENZ are from Marsden fellow anon"


OOPS - sorry!! yes it is.


For a bad time - phone (023) 9264

Happy birthday for last saturday said...

The answer to Life, the Universe and Everything is 42.
But that was so last year.

emmabigot said...

Glad to see that the 'beginners guide to law' is coming along there Graham, (much better than just looking on ill informed consent or Mr Whippy Lash) but you still have to read the whole case, not just a bit of it. At the end of Dica, a retrial was ordered.

And as the defence (the defence mind you) in Dica pointed out R v Brown still stood. The question that Dica was looking at was whether consenting to sex meant consenting to the risk of infection and therefore whether sexual intercourse with an infected person fell within one of the 'lawful' exceptions to the principle that the consent of the victim is not a defence to the deliberate infliction of serious bodily harm.

So Dica, like Wilson, does not affect the decision in Brown one jot, because it was made quite clear in Brown that sado masochistic activity which caused more than trifling injury was not a lawful exception.

The categories of lawful exception, as pointed out in Dica, are not immutable, but the law on Brown has not been changed. Interestingly the John Major government did get close to changing it, but this plan was withdrawn when it was realised that this would make obtaining convictions in cases of domestic violence all but impossible!

Which is kind of where I came in....

(NB why have you suddenly gone all quiet Graham?)

Anonymous said...

Oh yeah - Happy birrrthday for last saturday...

Is 42 the new 24?

Or maybe 14?

From Marsdon whipper boyz

marsdon creeps said...

"(NB why have you suddenly gone all quiet Graham?)"

I want answers! NOW !!

affordable looney said...

So do I - and I'll beat them out of you if I have to.

It's all safe sane and consensual after all!

52 Margate Road said...

I'm confused.

One minute Grah-grah is on about "oops, sorry about the odd death during *breath play*".

The next minute he paints BDSM to be one big fluffy marshmellow Andrex commercial.

Perhaps it is the Andrex puppy in one of those silly levva masks? Strange how it always seems to be a lot of paunchy middle-aged men...

JackGoff said...

So do I - and I'll beat them out of you if I have to.

It's all safe sane and consensual after all!


Not if the person you beat does not consent to it. I know the definitions get pretty tricky when everyone is trying to force their own on everybody else, but that one should be pretty easy. Then again...[rereads thread] maybe not so much.

Just to sort of throw the issue out there, as it is one that is pertinent to my own experience with BDSM, what of male bottoms who do not switch?

[anecdote] I feel extremely comfortable and happy in my masochism. I have had no history of abuse. I do, however, like certain things to happen to me during sex I do not call these things abuse. [/anecdote] None of what I have just said pertains to anybody else other than me. I do not understand how my assertion (about myself) could possibly be taken as condoning real abuse, nor do I see where I am a sick fuck or whatever you want to use to define me.

PO5 1EZ said...

Nah puppy play's another thing 52 Margate Road, there's a big thread about it on ill informed consent.

Anyway to summarise those BDSM activities in full:

Raindrops on roses
Whiskers on kittens
Bright copper kettles
Warm woollen mittens
Wild geese that fly with the moon on their wings.

And erm

Child abuse ( see Pat(rick) Califia)

'Daddy' Role play - role playing child abuse -very therapeutic apparently (also a PC fave). See that PC's classic 'doing it for daddy gets a rave review on ill informed consent.

'Rape play' courtesy of Verte and almost everyone.

'Puppy play' Maltreating someone who is pretending to be a dog (Informed consent)

'Pony play' pretending to be a horse? (I've just seen this on the telly to be fair).

'slaves' - (Tanos)

slave register - (Tanos)

Locking people in dungeons - Tanos

Putting people in stocks - Tanos

Collecting pictures of slave markets - Tanos (isn't that a bit racist T, not to mention inappropriate when we are celebrating the bicentennial of the abolition of the slave trade.

Maltreating genitals with hot wax, sandpaper, needles and by nailing them to a board (operation spanner)

'Breath play' aka auto erotic asphyxiation, carries a high risk of death.

Sewing lacing into flesh with needles. (seen pictures of this)

Whipping and causing extreme physical injury/bleeding.

And so on, probably lots more that I don't know about thank god.

It's all consensual of course, so that makes it all right! Doesn't it?

Graham said...

Dear "Pervesarefromportsmouth" (hmm, good name that...!)

It would only look as if you're about to strangle them if you have the scarf wrapped around their neck and you're pulling it tight surely?

Interesting word that, "surely", since you ask it as a question.

The point is *NOBODY KNOWS*! The proposed laws just say it must "appear" to risk etc, which invites conviction based on supposition and subjective views, not hard evidence.

But here's an idea. If you're doing that DON'T PHOTOGRAPH YOURSELF"

Why not? Why should anyone be prevented from taking a photograph of an entirely *legal* activity "just in case" someone interprets it as "dangerous"?

This is just censorship by the back door.

Graham said...

Dear "scumsuckersarefromsouthsea" (wow, even more inventive!"

Law, law, law people. The judge does NOT direct the jury as to obscenity that is for the jury to decide - that's the point of the jury.

Except that the proposed laws (aka the "Dangerous Pictures Act" *DOES NOT* require a test of obscenity!

In fact it completely *bypasses* the OPA entirely, all that is necessary is for the Prosecution to say "this image is for sexual arousal and appears to risk serious injury or death. If you agree, the person who possesses it is guilty".

This makes a nonsense of the Presumption of Innocence.

Graham said...

For a bad time - phone (023) 9264 2149 said...

Blimey! Someone's found my phone number. I hope I'm not being intimidated...!

Why the hell do you people even NEED to photograph yourselves?

Why the hell *shouldn't* we photograph ourselves?

Do you even look at the photographs, you look ridiculous.

So if you don't like the pictures, don't look at them.

That would solve a lot of problems, wouldn't it?

Graham said...

Emmabigot:

At the end of Dica, a retrial was ordered.

Yes, I know. Why? Oh wasn't it because The Appeals court ruled that "In view of our conclusion that the trial judge should not have withdrawn the issue of consent from the jury, the appeal is allowed."

Which I think was the point I was making.

(NB why have you suddenly gone all quiet Graham?)

Because I have better things to do than to spend all day waiting for people to post comments on here.

I have a business to run, I have a life to enjoy, I have friends to meet at the pub etc etc...

Graham said...

52 Margate Road said...

Oh looky, looky! Somebody's found my address now (gosh, that must have been hard!)

Here's a question for all the women on here: If I was so petty as to post *YOUR* addresses and phone numbers on here, would you feel bullied? Intimidated? Harassed? Would you demand that they be removed?

Don't you think, then, that it's a little hypocritical to allow this sort of behaviour because I'm "just a man"???

One minute Grah-grah is on about "oops, sorry about the odd death during *breath play*".

I am? Sorry, where did I say that? Oh, that's right, I didn't. Still, why bother with the facts...

The next minute he paints BDSM to be one big fluffy marshmellow Andrex commercial.

BDSM is what you do with it, whether it's silk scarves or whips and chains.

Perhaps it is the Andrex puppy in one of those silly levva masks? Strange how it always seems to be a lot of paunchy middle-aged men...

Hmm, I'm 42, I suppose that's "middle aged", but (checks waist measurement) 33". Does that qualify as "paunchy"?

(Makes note to do a few more ab-crunches at the gym tomorrow)

For a bad time - phone (023) 9264 2149 said... said...

Yeah graham - and you like to talk on forums whether men who have sexual offences should be okays with working with children...and everything else that has been posted here - do you not understand Graham ----- we know who you are.

Anonymous said...

Dica does not override R v Brown, but I think the point being made was that the importance of consent when it comes to risking serious harm is being treated more importantly. Before then, it could have been the case that sexual pleasure was never seen as a lawful exception.

"but this plan was withdrawn when it was realised that this would make obtaining convictions in cases of domestic violence all but impossible!"

Certainly BDSMers are aware of this issue, and it is often debated. Things to consider are:

1. An obvious solution is to at least allow a defence of consent, with the burden of proof on the defendant. The current situation means that people are imprisoned even if everyone involved states in court "yes I consented".

2. By this logic, sex should be illegal because otherwise it makes obtaining convictions in cases of rape "all but impossible!" Or at the least, sex could be criminalised in certain cases, such as one night stands, if the participants are drunk, outside of marriage, or when it's not done for procreation, or between same-sex couples. Indeed, some people _do_ suggest these things, and would point out how sex for pleasure is not a "Need", but the Government has not done this, and many people would disapprove of taking away the right to have sex in the name of improving rape convictions.

3. What about other aspects of BDSM, such as bondage, dominance and submission, living as a "slave"? These are not illegal because they don't come under assault, but surely by this logic, it's a problem that someone could keep someone as their sex slave for years, but claim that the person consented? But whilst there have been some tricky situations where the defendant claimed they consented, and the victim said they didn't, that does not mean that people should be prosecuted when they both state they are a happy couple just roleplaying consensually.

Still, although interesting to debate, remember that this is nothing to do with the proposed law since it includes depictions as well.

m

doulos said...

I think the central problem in this discussion is the utter irreconciability of our personal views of sexuality.

I enjoy being 'abused', humiliated and physically tortured (obviously in a consensual context). I find it life-affirming. I go round with a silly grin and I have a glow about me for days afterwards. There is no come-down, no damage to my self-esteem. It gives me energy and fires my imagination.

I have never been abused for real. I grew up in a very stable, very loving family. So I am not re-playing a past abuse.

But I would never want to enforce my sexuality on someone else. It is, of course, an alternative sexuality. A weird sexuality. Perverse, in fact.

And I think people can judge and poor scorn on it if they want (it won't make any difference) but I don't think the state should be allowed to lock me up for what I do or what I look at because of this alternative sexuality. I know that entails a change in the law but I am an idealist - an anarchist and a libertarian.

It just doesn't make sense - whatever people think subjectively, there is no harm taking place between consenting participants in this sexuality. By definition of consent, two people have come together and decided that these acts are what is good for them (as individuals).

I don't condone some sort of contradictory 'coerced consent' which seems to be what some people here are worried about. I just want the real and proper consent to be a defence - to people together deciding to do something for their mutual benefit. And I think women are as much capable of doing that as men.

Anonymous said...

Interesting that a certain group appears to have turned into people making immature comments, not to mention bullying and advocating violence. What was that about "Bullies defending the Patriarchy" or "a relentless stream of insulting and/or abusive messages"?

Now we have a blog with, thankfully, comments from all being shown, I think it's clear where the abuse and bullying is coming from after all.

"Why the hell do you people even NEED to photograph yourselves?"

Who said it was a need? It isn't a need. Nor is Internet access, so perhaps you should stop commenting:)

And just to clarify that "you people" is not those into BDSM, but a wide range of people who have a sex life - let's face it, "filming yourselves having sex", or having a "naughty" picture of your boy/girlfriend is a cliche.

"Do you even look at the photographs, you look ridiculous."

No I don't look at them, clearly I only have them because their mere existence winds up a certain minority of feminists, as well as a few religious prudes like John Beyer of Mediawatch, and people like you...

"It's all safe sane and consensual after all!"

I was starting to worry that people don't even understand what consent means, and this comment proves it.

"It's all consensual of course, so that makes it all right! Doesn't it?"

Er, yes. Are you seriously suggesting that, for example, when someone goes into one of those stocks at medieval-style fairs, it's comparable to when someone is forced into one against their will? That sex is no different to rape? That pretending to be a pony - whether or not you think it weird - is wrong? That consenting to rough sex is the same as rape?

It worries me that people have so little understanding of consent - it's this sort of attitude that leads people to think that date-rape is "okay" because it's not violent, looks just like sex, and hence must be okay because obviously consent doesn't come into it at all.

m

southsea saddo said...

"Here's a question for all the women on here: If I was so petty as to post *YOUR* addresses and phone numbers on here, would you feel bullied?"

All of the above was publicly available information Grah-grah. Mine is NOT.

Besides, let's call this little episode *blog play* because you can make ANYTHING sound good if you just stick the word *play* on the end of it.

Anonymous said...

"Just because it makes you have an orgasm, doesn't make it ok.
Think about *why* you might have an orgasm that way.
Put it in a political and gendered context. Think."

Well, I thought about it, I put it in a political and gendered context, and I'm not even convinced that BDSM is about orgasms.

http://www.greylodge.org/occultreview/glor_010/Deleuze_-_body_without_organs.pdf

Anonymous said...

Besides, let's call this little episode *blog play* because you can make ANYTHING sound good if you just stick the word *play* on the end of it

I have to say, I'm finding the rapist-style arguments coming from the anti-BDSMers here are just disgusting. I'm certain that Graham didn't consent for you to post those things, and yet you did, and try to liken it to consenting BDSM relationships, albeit illogically and idiotically. Bravo on the open hatred!

Lizzie said...

In all honesty, dating within the BDSM scene is very much like dating out in the rest of the world.

We have our 'rules', we should all follow SSC (Safe, Sane, Consensual), we should all follow each other's limits, etc.

Most people in the scene are great people. But like the rest of the world, we're not perfect (that'd be impossible, aye?).
Accidents do happen, some people play with fairly extreme stuff (in here I'd throw needles, knives, breath play, rape play and several other things). Personally I don't do any of those, both because they're just not interesting and because I have security and/or ethical issues with some of these. But that's me, I assume that those who do these kinds of play learn how to do them as safely as possible (and if I found out they didn't I'd tell them just how stupid and careless they are).

I guess you could call me a bit 'soft' in terms of what it seems many of you think about BDSM. And for the record, I'm a Dominant woman, I'm currently celibate by choice, and I'm not sure if I can call myself a feminist since I'm not very preoccupied with gender, but rather the individual, although I am very inspired by the early feminist Margaret Fuller.

Now, BDSM the way the community has defined it is as secure as we can get it. Most of us are not sick at all and most of us don't really do things that are all that different to what a lot of people do in privacy, but who don't speak that loudly about their private kinky sex, nor do they need to. You don't have to do anything very extreme because you define yourself as a BDSMer.

However, there are bad people also among us. There are new people who still have not learned to do things safely. I did a couple of mistakes in my first couple of scenes, and I learned a lot from them, because I have absolutely no wish to treat someone wrongly (and no harm was done, I just used the whip a bit too hard since I was new at it, I'm way careful to find someone's reactions to pain the slow way now). Sometimes people do things a bit wrong, and as long as no harm (bodily or mentally) is done, it is simply human. Not good, but human, we're no better or worse than anyone else. And hopefully we learn from our mistakes and make sure the people involved feel the mistake is amended in some way or another.

Also, not all people in the BDSM community are good by default. We do not like it, but sometimes there comes in someone who is not a good person. Imagine the wolf dressed as a sheep. Yes, there have been cases of abuse also among those who do BDSM, even though we try very hard to keep them out. I know of both women and men who thought they had found a safe partner and then found themselves abused, there are both men and women who use BDSM as a disguise to lure others into unhealthy relationships, discovering too late that the person was not safe at all. I wish these things didn't happen, but they do.

Do not make this sound like BDSM in itself is dangerous, because it's not, as long as it's practiced in a safe environment. BDSM is not abuse, but sadly, yes, abuse can be disguised as BDSM when a psychopath convinces his/her partner that this is the case. The reality is, of course, that these are not BDSM, I agree to the fullest that no one can give consent to mental harm (such as being convinced that the abuse is not abuse).

I also agree that a person cannot give consent to bodily harm that will constrict the person's ability to lead a normal life (such as amputation, unsafe sex with someone who has HIV/AIDS or other STD's, for that matter, etc). Marks after a cane disappear after a few days at most, they hurt when you receive them and possibly for a little while after, but they don't last (unless you do it very often, of course). Needle and knife play *must* be done with safe equipment to avoid infections, and first aid equipment must be within reach, and done safely they should leave no more than scars at the most (some people actually like having scars, there are artists performing professional scarification).

I could preach on and on about safety for an eternity, I'm glad I've had the opportunity to take a very good class in first aid (that had nothing to do with BDSM, though, it's simply a duty as a human being to know how to help people in need).

Like in dating for others, the most important thing is to get to know people very well before doing any kind of play with them. Preferably you should even get references from someone you trust.

And if anyone ever think they're into BDSM because of abuse or think BDSM is therapy, they should get an appointment with a psychologist to talk about their problems. Safe, sane and consensual are as important on the mental level as on the physical level.

Graham said...

For a bad time

Yeah graham - and you like to talk on forums whether men who have sexual offences should be okays with working with children...and everything else that has been posted here - do you not understand Graham ----- we know who you are.

And your point is what, exactly?

Am I supposed to feel intimidated or bullied by that? Am I supposed to be scared into stopping posting? Am I meant to be worried that my neighbours or my family might find out what I do?

And you don't "know who I am", because if you did, you'd know that I couldn't give a toss about this sort of petty BS.

I have the courage to post my opinions under my own name.

Do you?

Graham said...

Southsea saddo:

Oh look, *another* inventive nickname for someone to hide behind. Or perhaps I should say "sock puppet"?

All of the above was publicly available information Grah-grah. Mine is NOT.

What exactly does it have to do with the subject under discussion where I live or what my phone number is?

Besides, let's call this little episode *blog play* because you can make ANYTHING sound good if you just stick the word *play* on the end of it

Providing, of course, it's Safe, Sane and Consensual.

Can you say that these apply to your activities on here?

Anonymous said...

The thing about "rape play" is that it isn't rape by definition. I try to avoid the term altogether due to the negative connotations and that some people mistakenly think we must be talking about actually raping people for fun.

What's the difference between rape and non-rape sex? Is it the violence? Is it if it's done by a stranger? Or is it consent?

Most people are capable of distinguishing between fantasy and reality - it's common to refer to a "rape" in a film, even though it's clear that no actual rape has taken place, and it is all simulated. But according to some here, that is still rape, or just as bad.

It's not clear whether the proposed law would include depictions of rape, but if it does, how is it decided that something counts as a depiction of rape? We should convict people because of a film of their private sexual acts, just because the woman or man was saying "No, no", even though they had previously agreed, and decided upon an alternative word to say to indicate no for real? What about if he or she didn't say "No", but the sex looks rough, or involves bondage or a gag? What about a still image - how do you judge whether that depicts "rape" or not?

running out of ideas for funny IDs said...

"Oh look, *another* inventive nickname for someone to hide behind. Or perhaps I should say "sock puppet"?"

Unlike your handmaidens, most of whom hide behind "anonymous" ???

Pseudonymity = Anonymity said...

Unlike your handmaidens, most of whom hide behind "anonymous" ???

Well, at least we aren't ethically bankrupt. And we don't use three question marks when one suffices just fine.

Graham said...

running out of ideas for funny IDs said...

Ah, it seems someone's finally twigged that I'm not impressed by their attempts to "Out" me.

Unfortunately they're now trying to characterise people as my "handmaidens"...!

ROFL! Yeah, I wish!

(PS NB this is *sarcasm*, in case anyone didn't realise, ok?)

Oh, BTW, you might like to have a a look at http://www.affordable-leather.co.uk/resources.htm which details what Safe Words are and how to use them.

It also has a couple of Negotiation Documents (short and long versiosn) that allow BDSM players to list what they would like to do (and, of course, what they would *NOT* like to do) in order to ensure that everyone has Safe, Sane and Consensual fun.

Finally there's a couple of book recommendations including The Topping Book and The Bottoming Book by Catherine A Liszt and Dossie Eason (yes two *women*, neither of whom have been subjugated by men) which are gides to BDSM focussing more on the "emotional" and "relationship" sides than just techniques.

I suggest people who don't understand BDSM take a look at these, maybe they will help resolve some of the confusion you are experiencing and counter the misinformation you've heard.

Typing Police said...

"And we don't use three question marks when one suffices just fine."

However, using "and" to begin a sentence is just fine?

Call the enthusiasm for question marks - *question mark play* - all the question marks consented during this play, and had the option of using the safe word "comma". If any question marks accidentally died during typing, well, it was just a case of typing-gone-bad.

But all is fair in the *game* of typing eh? Who cares if a few question marks die? As long as the Almighty Typing Orgasm is achieved.

ellen said...

I wish the men commenting on this thread would fuck right off. Like, now.

A woman likes BDSM? Doesn't like BDSM? Fine! But having a bunch of men come in here and tell women that they need to listen to men because men know what's best for women? Fucking patronizing.

Dear Idiots: YOU don't get to define feminism. If a woman wrote a post about how she loved the shit outta BDSM, you wouldn't get to tell her that it's wrong for women to like that because it's "not ladylike", that she's a slut or that she's not a real woman. You don't get to tell her that her BDSM practice invalidates her politics. Feminism ain't for you to define.

Likewise, if a woman writes that she hates BDSM from a feminist perspective, you DO NOT get to call her Victorian, spam her blog, launch a stream of sexist attacks against her, or question her sexuality because "some women don't agree with that!" Well, duh! But are you "some women"? Nope, you're a dude, and as such you don't get to tell women what feminism does and doesn't mean, and really oughtta shut the fuck up on that count.

Oh, and? Sad to be so insecure with your perspective that one young woman questioning it (specifcally, whether discussing rape play at an exhibition might be triggering for abuse survivors) is enough to make you expend so much time and energy trying to censor her (oh, the irony!) and generally being a pain in the ass.

And @ the guy who complained about women saying "hateful" things about men? Wah fucking wah. Men say and do hateful things to other men all the damned time (yo, WAR), and they're the ones who are actually passing the legislation that aims to curtail your bedroom actvities and censor you and suppress your right to free speech more than any bogeyfeminist would ever want to. But, I see it's way easier to eviscerate a random young woman with no power than it is to take it out on your higher-statused asshole male peers.

Fucking tools.

Radzilla said...

The feminist blog comment enforcement unit hereby orders you to moderate this here post.

We recommend the following measures to ensure the health and safety of blog owner and passersby during mop-up:

* Grade-III toxo-gloves
* 200-400 nm face-shields
* Lead aprons

Graham said...

Ellen:

If "feminism is not for us [men] to define" what about women like Charliegrrl who seems to think that she has the "One True Way" of feminism and tells any woman who disagrees with her that they're doing it wrong?

And why is it only the men posting on here you want to "fuck off"? Does being a man mean that I am unable to even comprehend what feminism is? I'd also remind you that not a few of the posters on here are female.

As for I see it's way easier to eviscerate a random young woman with no power than it is to take it out on your higher-statused asshole male peers.

Perhaps you're not aware that I started a petition (signed by over 1,800 people, including women!) on the UK Prime Minister's website calling for him to abandon "the legislation that aims to curtail your bedroom actvities and censor you and suppress your right to free speech"

We've also had a reply from David Cameron, leader of the Opposition saying that his party will have to look at the law which is put before Parliament very carefully to ensure that it will work properly and is fair. We've also approached many other MPs, many of whom are male.

However our campaign to preserve the rights of *all* adults to decide for themselves what they can or cannot see (provided it features consenting adults) when we get people deliberately misrepresenting what we do and saying that we "support rape" (we don't) or we "don't care about violence against women" (we do) or we "support an industry that "kills women for sexual pleasure" (a complete urban myth).

If you think that correcting these sorts of things is "trying to censor" someone, this is clearly a definition of "censorship" that we weren't previously aware of.

As for "eviscerating a random young woman", how about the woman on the panel who was driven to tears by (female) members of the audience shouting her down and demanding she tell everyone whether she had been raped or not? Do you consider that to be acceptable behaviour?

Simpatico said...

Ellen, you are excellent. Thank you. In just a few paragraphs you crystalised all the spanner-headed man-hating that your sorority have managed to obfuscate around. I applaud you for your idiocy, and for making it that much easier to ignore the opinions of you and your kind. Now stop swearing so much. It's not lady-like.

ellen said...

Charliegrrl is a woman. She's allowed to debate other feminists. Men can too, but when they get into that "Slut/Victorian" shit, it's time to put a sock it it.

I applaud you for your idiocy

Given the way you constructed the previous sentence ("obfuscate around"? Just obfuscate would've done nicely, mate), seems like you're the one who deserves the "duh" applause.

Fucking moron :-)

ellen said...

Should be: in it.

Graham said...

Charliegrrl is a woman. She's allowed to debate other feminists.

It's just a pity that she chooses not to.

(Or, indeed, anyone else whose viewpoint differs from hers)

Pseudonymity = Anonymity said...

Graham, ellen means "disagree", not "debate". Charliegrrl can disagree with other feminists.

Men are not allowed to debate anything with "true feminists" (meaning women, apparently) or disagree with them, because it triggers women to have to defend their rhetoric. See how easy it is? Try to make any rhetorical point against radical feminists, and you are a disgusting rapist. Granted, you're a man, so you're a rapist anyway. Hope that helps.

Simpatico said...

You can obfuscate around something, Ellen. So I congratulate you on your entirely redundant, baseless rebuff. Well done.

What was it you said? Ah yes. Fucking moron. Now put a sock it it.

Graham said...

Ok, can we please drop the name calling now?

This was actually turning into a reasonable debate (unlike Charliegrrl's blog which seems now to just be a list of people chorusing "yes, I agree with you") it would be nice to keep things polite so we can avoid claims of "bullying" on either side.

mark said...

I agree, let's drop name calling whichever "side" people are on.

Ellen:

"A woman likes BDSM? Doesn't like BDSM? Fine! But having a bunch of men come in here and tell women that they need to listen to men because men know what's best for women? Fucking patronizing."

Can I ask where has anyone done that?

Agreed, it should be fine that some people like BDSM, and others don't. The problem is those people supporting a law that would put people in prison. It's those people in support of the law who are telling men and women what they should do, because they think they know best for them.

"YOU don't get to define feminism. If a woman wrote a post about how she loved the shit outta BDSM, you wouldn't get to tell her that it's wrong for women to like that because it's "not ladylike", that she's a slut or that she's not a real woman. You don't get to tell her that her BDSM practice invalidates her politics. Feminism ain't for you to define."

Yes, exactly - yet that's just what people have been doing (e.g., see charliegrrl's blog, where she starts "We get told we don’t have the right to say what is and isn’t feminist to other feminists. But I think there has to be a line drawn somewhere in the definition of feminism.")

Did someone say that women against BDSM aren't feminists? (If they did, I'd agree that's wrong too.) Who used the word "slut", I can't see that in this thread?

And, erm, the only person who used "Victorian" was verte, who is a woman... (in fact she's the one organising the workshop, as she states!)

Commenting on a blog does not count as "spam".

"And @ the guy who complained about women saying "hateful" things about men? Wah fucking wah."

1. Just because people A say hateful things to people B, doesn't give the right for people B to say hateful things to people C, unless you believe in discriminating people based on their gender.

2. You don't get to have the moral high ground and complain of hateful comments when the hatred seems to be pointed in the other direction at least as much.

"Men say and do hateful things to other men all the damned time (yo, WAR), and they're the ones who are actually passing the legislation that aims to curtail your bedroom actvities and censor you and suppress your right to free speech more than any bogeyfeminist would ever want to."

Yes, exactly. This is very much men telling what men and women can do, though some women are supporting them in doing so.

And yes, I'm a man, I'm not fucking off from a public blog that has comments allowed. Perhaps we can debate sensibly rather than making such comments. Thanks.

As a man, I have no concern about what should or shouldn't be counted as "feminism". But I am concerned about laws which may affect me, and you are also mistaken if you think that the people in this thread discussing feminism are necessarily men.

Graham said...

Ok, this thread has been going on for a while now, and kudos to Incurable Hippie for letting people from all sides of the discussion post comments in here.

So now I'd like to ask Incurable Hippie if she still feels that her original comments about us being "Bullies defending the patriarchy" or that we're making "personal attacks on Charliegrrl" are accurate.

I would like to hope that we've managed to convince at least a few people that all we want is the right for consenting adults, male or female, to be able to engage in perfectly legal activities *AND* take photographs of them without the full weight of the law descending on us and throwing us in jail for three years.

If someone doesn't like this material, they have the right not to look at it, but they shouldn't tell us that we can't just because it's not acceptable in their subjective opinion.

Jenny said...

Just a thought on the feminists around who scream murder when any man becomes involved in any discussion on feminism?

Where on earth does it say you have to be female to be feminist? I know plenty of men who believe women should have equal rights to men.

Fine, there are men out there who would like to see women have fewer rights: but don't tar them all with the same brush. Many, the majority, don't agree with those men.

radceratops said...

Graham I feel that people need to show some sensitivity towards Hippie now - instead of asking questions.

Anonymous said...

Jenny, your minor rant of “what about the menz” including the notion that feminism Is merely concerned with equal rights and indeed “men believing in equal rights for women” only proves your lack of knowledge on the subject. I suggest you try this site for further guidance. http://finallyfeminism101.blogspot.com/

Remember you can sit in a garage but it dosen't make you into a car.

Kerry

Graham said...

Radceratops:

Thanks for your message. I haven't actually read any recent messages on Hippie's blog, so I wasn't aware of the situation.

My sympathies to her and apologies for any distress caused.

Anonymous said...

You know, I can't help but think that this thread has lost a lot of its monentum.

Pseudonymity = Anonymity said...

Remember you can sit in a garage but it dosen't make you into a car.

I love how simplistic the thought processes are here. Aristotelian, even.

Well, you can also believe in the tenets of Christianity but not respect the Pope. This means you aren't a Catholic, but you're still a Christian.

We may not be radfems, but that doesn't mean we aren't feminists.

Mike Hunter said...

Mutually consenting adults should be able to do whatever they want behind private doors. It's not that hard to understand: If an action doesn't infringe upon someones: Life, Liberty, or Property then it is none of the government's (or anyone else's) business.

God I'm glad I don't live in the U.K. At least I can console myself with the fact that the sun set on the British empire a long time ago.

Now the British are content with simply suppressing their own citizens with totalitarian laws instead of forcing them on people living in other countries.