Saturday, 28 February 2009

A reluctance to write

For much of yesterday I spent my time here at the computer. I had, when I sat down, every intention of writing. My head was buzzing with things I wanted to say. I did not write a word. I surfed and frittered away the time with games and stuff. This morning, I put my Facebook status as "wondering why I am reluctant to write".

My head is still buzzing today but I have remained reluctant. I now think, however, that this reluctance may be due to the fact that my head is buzzing and that I have not been able to determine which among the many ideas are the ones I want to focus on. It has been as if I was fearful that if I selected one topic then all the others would evaporate and I would never retrieve them.

This is, of course, nonsense. If the ideas are of any value they will not vanish. In fact, the very act of writing may help me to realise which are the really valuable ones. Prominent in my thoughts, and alluded to in previous posts, is InannaTantra. There is a real need to begin to give this idea some form and structure - to develop it and allow it to grow and take root in the world. This is, however, probably not a subject for a blog. It needs more time and space than is really available here. So I can put it to one side for now. For one thing, I need to get a website up. The domain has already been obtained but I have not found a hosting service. Part of the problem here being that I do not have any way of paying for stuff online - my own personal credit crunch having occurred several years ago. This, however, can easily be remedied. And must be very soon. Then I can upload the several articles I have written and InannaTantra will continue towards full manifestation. There are now actions I must take.

One of my displacement activities over the last couple of days has been reading all the posts in an ongoing flame war concerning the status of BDSM. If interested go here and move back. I do not want to join in on that forum as much that I would want to say has been said very eloquently by others. It is clear that passions are being stirred. Many people find the whole idea of submission/domination to be deeply offensive and a product of patriarchy> They are angered by descriptions of sado-masochistic practices and do not see them as anything other than abusive and therefore contrary to feminist principles.

On the other hand there are the thoughts of those who are active practitioners of BDSM. They claim that by so doing they are being true to their own nature and are involved in consensual activities in which both parties are expressing love and truly honouring their partners. (this could be a vast over-simplification - if it is, I apologise - but that is how I read it). It is therefore not intrinsically contrary to either the letter or the spirit of feminism.

I can see where both sides are coming from. But this is a question where I have to take a stand. To me it is axiomatic that the grotesque value systems within patriarchy have distorted human relationships. There are few, if any, who have been undamaged by it - be they of whatever gender or orientation. I do not see that any can claim that there way of being human and real within this admittedly warped system can claim the moral authority to judge the strategies of others. What I find difficult to accept is that no matter how much somebody may claim to have consented she can be told that she has not truly done so. She is told that she has been tortured and abused for the pleasure of another despite her eloquence in describing the pleasure and satisfaction that she gained. She is not, in fact, heard. Theory taking precedence over practice.

There are certainly many men who desire to dominate women. Perhaps it is a universal male trait - I have no idea. I know that it can be strong within me. There are also times when I want to be dominated. There are times - for either or both parties - when what would normally be perceived as pain becomes exquisite pleasure. I know that my desire can never fully fit into any ideological mould - it can never be politically correct. Which is why I can respect - although not agree with - those who decide to opt out of the whole desire firestorm into some sort of notion of purity- be they monks or nuns or separatist feminists. That is their choice and it is a choice they have the right to make.

I cannot know what has informed such choices. Often, reading what some of them have written, there seems to have been a history of abuse. Given such histories, their subsequent choice can appear totally reasonable. What I cannot accept, however, is when they castigate other women who had undergone similar abuse when their later choices differed. Millions of people, of all genders, have been abused. This is part of patriarchy. We are all warped by it. Many do not survive - drug addiction and despair being just two of the consequences. Many however, do survive in patriarchy and in order to so have adopted varying strategies. As long as these strategies are fully and mutually consensual they are, frankly, no business of anyone else. Psychoanalalytic and other theories can attempt to explain away such manifestations as BDSM as a result of trauma but so, equally, can be explained the desire to mould the world to accord to one's own vision. To make it all safe. This desire for control and safety, is ultimately, at the root of patriarchy. The female submissive who is consciously choosing to explore that aspect of herself is, to my mind, more in accordance with the primary impulse of feminism than the neo-moralists who tell her that it is sinful - although they would avoid that word.

Life is not safe and never be. It is messy. Some choose to explore that messiness and danger consciously. Some choose to opt out and look for purity and certainty. Both are choices. Neither is necessarily wrong. Or better. But in the argument on the blog I have linked to, I stand with those who are into BDSM. And, now that I am finishing this post, I realise that my reluctance to write has its roots in my fear of taking a stand. But I can no longer avoid doing so.

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