Tuesday, October 09, 2007

A Tuesday Night Rant

When I began MBS, I vowed that this blog would be a positive place and not a soapbox for whining and complaining. For the most part, I’ve kept that promise. Today, however, is the day I drive off into the weeds. What follows is a bit of a rant. If you’d rather skip all that, well, I suppose I can’t blame you. There’s plenty of good stuff to read elsewhere on the blog.

One of the parts of being a blogger I most enjoy is discovering new spanko bloggers and introducing them to the larger community. There are many great blogs that need and deserve our support and I’m delighted to be able to help them get started.

In my quest to sniff out interesting new blogs, I occasionally come across one whose approach and sensibilities are so different from my own that I choose not to recommend it. That’s fine. I don’t expect that everyone’s kink will be exactly like mine. They have every right to live their lives and promote their lifestyles in any way they choose. I make no judgments beyond, “I don’t think that’s for me.”

A couple of weeks ago, I encountered a web site that really upset me (if you’re reading this and you think I’m talking about you, I’m not, OK?). The premise was that women, all women, are fundamentally inferior and require a man to guide them through life. This guidance, we are told, should take the form of severe physical punishments. Without the active and ongoing intervention of a smarter, more aware male leader, these poor hormonally-afflicted women would undoubtedly find ruin and probably drag most of civilization down with them.

This site offended me at several levels. First, these assumptions are not true and not fair. While I’m sure you can point to individual women who shirk their responsibilities, lots of men are just as guilty. Yet, there’s no talk of punishing them. On the flip side, millions of women carry heavy burdens in life and distinguish themselves by overcoming obstacles and supporting their families. If that’s inferiority, we’re going to have to redefine the word.

In my view, men and women are not identical (hallelujah for that), but our complementary differences make us equivalent. Each gender has skills, insights, and qualities that are of benefit to the other. We are each stronger when we strive together.

Secondly, I see precious little discussion of consent. When one partner feels entitled to strike the other, especially when she is made to feel inferior and deserving of violence, we’ve crossed the line into abuse. This, for me, is the ultimate squick.

Finally, this sort of presentation reflects poorly upon all decent, caring people who happen to enjoy a little kink. An outsider reading this particular site might well assume it speaks for all of us. That is clearly not the case.

My concept of submission requires that I stand on the same level as my husband. This allows me the freedom and the control necessary to submit voluntarily. If I felt that I was below him to begin, lowering myself further would have no real significance. Free choice and the power to exercise it make all the difference. Nothing is taken from me. I yield my control willingly and therein lies the very core of my desire.

I acknowledge that other people make different choices, and I absolutely respect those choices so long as they are informed and in no way coerced. I also acknowledge that people should be free to speak as their hearts direct them. Yet, at the same time, I feel an obligation to raise my own voice when issues such as safety and consent arise.

Let me say to you, dear reader, as simply and as plainly as I can: We women are not helpless, hopeless, nor clueless. Please look around you and see the obvious truth of my words. We deserve far better than abuse, humiliation, and mistreatment. We may be smaller, but we are not less. We can and do survive on our own when life demands it. We partner with men, not because we must, but because we want to do so. In that free choice rests the wonderful transforming power of love.

I'm female by birth, but submissive by choice.


Anonymous said...

Well said Bonnie, Well said!
You have eloquently explained the difference between men and women being equal yet different and our ability to compliment one another and enjoy those differences!

Hugs, Sally

Scout said...

Hi, Bonnie -

I've enjoyed your blog primarily for its exploration of submission in a healthy, committed relationship. In that context, the kink serves to strengthen the bond between the partners. Consensual spanking demands unbreakable trust and genuine respect from one partner to the other.

And, being submissive to the man you've loved for (decades?) of course doesn't correspond to feeling submissive toward, or inferior to, men in general or any man other than your husband. Most of us (women) hold our own out there in the world, and are conscious of relaying the right information to the next generation, with whom we spend so much time!

In the end, of course, we live longer, too.

Beautifully ranted, Bonnie.


mary said...

I am guessing I am familiar with the site you describe. I absolutely agree about consent being key. The best part of your rant was pointing out that submission is a gift freely given. Excellent rant and well worth reading.

A Nawty Mouz said...


Blog! (Word!)

Preach on preacher. The choir is listening, and the chorus is just starting.

Submissive does not equal inferior. Dominant does not equal superior. Especially when love is involved.

Well said and hardly a rant.


Anonymous said...

Rant away, dear Bonnie. Although I would hardly call your intelligent rhetoric ranting.

Blech. People like this give us a bad name. -- Erica

Sara said...

Bonnie this is well said and very important to address. You are of course right on, any healthy relationship requires mutual respect, but especially one that involves spanking. Spanking in my marriage is ALWAYS consciously and actively connected to love and caring, even disciplinary spanking. My husband accepts my submission like the gift that it is. That part is important and makes the whole dynamic work. Submission that is aggressively taken is violence not dominance. It violates the spirit; it is abuse. Comparing the kind of twisted philosophy you describe to a good spanking relationship is like comparing rape to sex. There are HUGE differences! Thank you for addressing this! Sara

Paul said...

Bonnie, not a rant, but unfortunately, something that needs to be said, now and again.
Submission given and accepted with love and fully with trust is one thing, anything less is abuse.
You don't say it often, but when needed you say it with eloquence and elegance. Thank you dear girl, I haven't found this blog and don't really want to.
Warm hugs.

hermione said...

I can only echo what the others in the choir have already expressed.

I did happen across a blog yesterday that made me feel queasy, and it sounds a lot like the one you describe. Thank you for speaking out!


Anonymous said...

Any man who advances the idea that he is superior to women is very seriously deluded or actively compensating for a profound internal insecurity about his own worth. He dominates her because he fears her. This man is to be pitied and until he recognizes his error deserves the love and companionship of no woman.

dwcmike said...

Well ranted Bonnie: The exact words you say are equally applicable for any man who willing is submissive to his wife. Without consent, spanking or anything more serious is simply abuse and violence, that should be punished by the courts.
I chose simply to move on to read another blog.

Anonymous said...

You go girl! We are equal, different, complementary. You can't take unless I give, and vice versa, but in this dance we call love we can care for each other in so many varied ways...

Purple Angel said...

I have to agree. I am 56 and though I have made mistakes in my life, I was a single mother, worked full time as a teacher and was very successful in my career. I managed all this without a man guiding my life. Although I certainly prefer the way I live now I still know I could live my life on my own if that was necessary. And lets not forget how many supposedly superior men have screwed up their own lives.
Purple Angel

(I always enjoy a good rant)

Anon VII said...

Bonnie, that was a wonderful essay. In my humble opinion, things like what you said need to be reiterated from time to time even when no particularly disturbing blog has been encountered. I, too, resent those who give the rest of us, males and females, tops and bottoms (and switches), a collective bad name.

I also liked a number of the replies, especially the allusion to "submission that is aggressively taken." I don't think any of us can over-emphasize the importance of couples working together. That phrase that I quoted certainly describes one partner's share of the task. The complementary one could be described as dominance pursued for the purpose of the other's pleasure equalling, if not surpassing, one's own.

As a parting note, I'll go on record as stating that I'm a top male who derives no excitement at all from either shrinking violets or those who act that way - or worse, are or act plain, old dumb. They leave me cold and dead in the water, I don't care how cute their backsides are! A bright, strong lady who could do just fine on her own, thank you very much, but who with looks, words, or both says to me, "Take me over your lap NOW!" leaves me breathless. Of course, I'd rather she not add, "... or off with your head!"


Lee said...

I whole-heartedly agree. I am unfortunate (or fortunate because I got to set him straight) to encounter a man who believed this. While he was not inherently violent, and I don't believe he would strike his wife/girlfriend necessarily, he thought strongly that men were in charge and that women, while smart, and capable were simply subserviant to men based on the fact that men were "chosen by God". Let's just say, that didn't sit well with me. What a loser. Rant on Bonnie (as I have done, and for that I apologize)

Annie said...

Bravo, Bonnie!!!

You're today's (at least) Best Person in the World!


New Beginnings said...

Bonnie thank you for saying it so well for all of us!


Robin said...

Having come across sites and blogs that express that inferior opinion, I really appreciate your comments. I do not understand why some people feel that humilation and denigration are a necessary component in the D/s equation. No matter the level of D/s a couple lives, I strongly believe that love, respect, and trust have to be at the core or it is not a healthy relationship.
And while I do like having DH take care of me, he knows that if I have to I can certainly take care of myself.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Bonnie,

I had sort of assumed that what you have so eloquently expressed was so self-evident as to not to require statement but alas, the world is not completely populated with fair minded people like you.

I have also encountered blogs (some from your list of links which I normally use with gratitude to navigate the spanko community) which make me feel queasy and annoyed, mostly because I completely fail to understand the mindset of the people involved. I just don't go there any more, I've got better things to do.



Serpent's Embrace said...

I responded on my blog The Switching Hour about this post. Here is what I wrote:

People of the world need to unite for the cause of life. Men and women of all races and nationalities have feelings, culture, breathe, bleed, grow, and die. It is not a time for separation of race or gender. Rather, it is a time for unity. It is a time for love, a time for caring, and a time for sharing. Who are you? Are you male or female? What is your race or nationality? Whoever you are, you are special with a special purpose. You have the power to be who you want to be. Don't forget that we share the same journey. The only thing that may be different is the path we choose to complete that journey.

Anonymous said...

Bonnie!!! Rant and rant some more! I have been waiting for someone to say what I have been thinking... errr, only more civilized than I ever could! Thank you for this post. We all choose our paths in the spanking world but "that blog" has always disturbed me on many levels that it makes my head spin! Love respect and trust, all key ingredients for a healthy relationship, sadly missing from "that blog." Thank you for your thoughts on such an important issue.

Bonnie said...

Sally - Thank you. I really believe we are stronger when we work together.

Scout - Thank you! We must never forget the generations to come (even as we hope they don't forget us).

Mary - I sometimes think about submission in terms of a loan. I allow Randy to take possession of my control and keep it for me for a while. But it is still mine. Should the dynamic change in a major way, I retain the right to recall my control. But until then, it remains safely in his possession.

Nawty - Thanks!

Erica - Well, it felt like a rant when I wrote it. I was in that mode where I was typing 100 mph and gritting my teeth the whole while.

Sara - I like your explanation of the differences between healthy relationships and toxic ones. Thank you.

Paul - Thank you. I can assure you that you won't find the site in question by following links on MBS.

Hermione - You're most welcome.

Self - That's an interesting theory. I hadn't considered that angle.

Mike - 99 times out of a hundred, I do move on. This particular site just struck a nerve and made me feel compelled to write.

Anon #1 - Well said. Thank you!

Purple - You are the living proof! Thanks for all you do and all you have done.

Anon VII - I don't know that I'm quite that independent, but the example illustrates your point well.

Lee - When someone invokes religion, I am inclined to remind them that the Bible is filled with stories of strong, virtuous women.

Annie - Thank you! I'm so happy that you're back. We really missed you.

PK - You're welcome.

Robin - You are so right!

OPB - When I read a spanko blog for the first time, one thought that enters my mind is "what impression might a neophyte gain from this writing?" I recognize that most bloggers don't aim for that audience. However, with a topic such as ours, I believe we all must take care to covey accurate, fair information. I would never want someone to be injured (in any fashion) because of something I wrote. In my view, the site in question is well over that line.

As for my blogroll, I try to be inclusive. I doubt that anyone absolutes loves every site I link. However, I think all of these bloggers have a message that some MBS readers will find worthy.

SE - Thank you for sharing those beautiful thoughts!

Anon #2 - Thank you, although I may not be referring to the blog you have in mind.

Anonymous said...

I'm a bit late in commenting on this one, but I'd like to say a big "Well done!" for fighting the corner of the mainstream spanking community ;) We've each got to fight for what we believe in, whether we're dom, sub or anything else.

This is certainly not the first time - and won't be the last - that an extremist has misrepresented a wider community of more moderate people.

These extemists are hard to deal with. They're entitled to their own opinion, but not to misrepresent the rest of us.

Keep up the good work!

jammin33333 said...

bonnie, i am woman. hear me roar. well done.

Southern Angel said...

Hi Bonnie,
Very nicely written and of course I agree completely. I try to ignore blogs and websites that are narrow-minded like the one you mentioned, but sometimes the urge to say something about them is just to great. Thanks for speaking for us all!

Dove said...

Hi Bonnie
I completely agree with what you have said here and think such things need to be aired from time to time. It is hard enough for newcomers to get the facts without getting caught up reading something that does not represent the community.
Well said.

Janice said...

Dear Bonnie,

I am standing here...right here...just turn around...right behind you...close behind you and there are many of us...very many.


Sally Spanko said...

Hi Bonnie, just wanted to say that I totally agree with you. It is sad to see that the attitude expressed in that blog still exists at all. Thanks for a great rant!
Sally Spanko

Anonymous said...

great blog

first time leaveing a message

would like to see pictures

of Bonnie once in a while

Rose said...

Amen and hallelujah, Bonnie!

This is the first time I've commented here... There are so many great spanko blogs out there, and I'm so glad that I've discovered yours! I'm working on a new one myself, but it is brand new (only 3 posts so far), so I'm not sure I'm brave enough to introduce it to the community.

Thanks for your great blog! I'm going to enjoy catching up on all your posts!


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