Saturday, April 14, 2012

MBS Spanko Brunch #326

Hello again and welcome! For reasons that will soon become evident, our question this week is aimed primary at female spankees, but anyone is welcome to offer their thoughts.

Do you find it necessary to reconcile feminism with your interest in being spanked? Why or why not? If so, how do you accommodate both?

To join our conversation, please enter your response in the form of a comment below. Once everyone has had their turn, I will post an edited summary.

30 comments :

morningstar said...

wow i don't think i have ever thought about that.. so let me try now and here....

my desire to be spanked is only a small part of who i am... the rest of me - the mother - the boss - the teacher is quite dominant and in control and preaches feminism at every turn. I believe what i do behind closed doors ..or who i give control to - is only a small part of the whole.

After all - wasn't the main goal of feminism to make sure women had the right to chose what they did with their lives??

So no - I don't believe I have to reconcile anything... I am who I am... all the bits and pieces - kinks and non kinks - all the quirks and normal day to day things.. it's just me - my freedom of choice !

Poppy said...

I love this topic and, if I may, I addressed it in detail in this post
http://www.poppystvincent.com/2010/07/thank-you-to-my-mother-2/
I think it matters that women consider this and that women think about their relationship with feminism. Feminism is in no way over but it is growing up and part of that is in accepting that just because we are women it does not mean that we need to have one collective approach to life, politics, money, sexuality.
I read about women that don't have the vote, are not allowed to drive (Saudi Arabia), have no protection from rape (either killed for being raped or forced to marry their rapist) and even, more recently, watching what is happening to women's rights in America and I know that feminism has a long way to go. But, like any civil rights movement, it will take time and many diverse paths for progress to be made.

I love this aspect to who I am. I also like owning my own bank account, car, house and so on. I see no clash between the two because I do not have to toe the "feminist party line" because there is not one. Anyone that tells me how to be a woman doesn't understand the first thing about feminism.

I love this question and thank you for asking it,

Poppy
xx

sarah thorne said...

No, not necessarily. While I absolutely believe in equality between the sexes, I also personally have a strong leaning towards traditional gender roles, especially in the home. I have always felt very strongly that I have just as much entitlement to my preference without having someone interfere with it as they do to theirs.

I have felt, tho, irritation at some discussions I have seen in the past basically stating the view that unless you tow a certain 'feminist' line, then you're not really for equality between the sexes. I say poppycock to that! True equality is the ability to CHOOSE whether you want to live in a traditional gender role or not, rather than have it forced on you by means of economic oppression and dependence on a man for livelihood as in times past. If someone, even a 'feminist', tells me I must be a certain way to fit into what they consider 'equal', then we have yet someone else telling others what they MUST do instead of letting them decide what makes them happy as an individual and going for it.

sarah

Dragon's Rose said...

Feminism is about choice and having the freedom to make that choice. I have done just that even if it isn't a very Pc. I am a submissive wife who is obedient and gets punished by her husband. My choice! I asked for this lifestyle. Am I leaving feminism behind because of it? Most probably think so because I am not working and bossing my husband around. I don't care what they think. I enjoy the freedom of the feminist movement my own way.

Rosie said...

Nope. It's simple. This is all my choice. It's not his God-given right, his right as a man, or anything like that. I want this, he wants it, we do it. It doesn't make me lesser or inferior. We both get what we want and our relationship is better for it.

And feminism is not being in charge. Feminism is the RIGHT to choose. When the woman doesn't have the right to choose this lifestyle, it's abuse and anti-feminist. When a woman chooses this for herself, it is simply the lifestyle she wants to lead. That is feminism.

K - The Submissive Wife said...

Necessary? I can't help thinking about it, so necessary might be one way to describe it. In my darker moments, I see me as an old woman being pissed that I "submitted" to a male hierarchal view, but then I remember, that I choose it, so that isn't realy fair.

I have decided that it actually is not possible to reconcile the two views. But is it possible to live with both. And I have a partner that strengthens me through submission, so in the end, I am meeting my views.

I don't think everyone is as fortunate in their partners. Sigh.

abby said...

Great question! I see it as all about choices...all of us being able to make the choices that are right for each of us.

My choices today are vastly different than when I was first starting out on my life's journey. I have growned, I have learned, I have accepted. I am a strong, independent, intelligent woman who chooses to submit to the man who showed me I could have both.
abby

Anonymous said...

To me, it's simple. I am a pilot, strong, smart, an awesome chef and a believer in equality. A man is born a man but that does not make him superior to a woman. That I choose to submit in the home and especially in the bedroom does not write me off as being less a partner in a relationship.

In short, i am a woman that will submit to both another woman or a man in the bedroom but outside that environment, we are all equal.

remember, being submissive and choosing to obey is my preference. it does not mean neither less than nor unintelligent.

I know, I can ramble, lol. Bottom line, I am a woman first, a subbie second.

Kitty said...

Hi Bonnie,

Thanks for such an interesting question!

This may be politically incorrect but I don't identify myself as a feminist. I believe that the feminism movement has been hijacked by left leaning political groups, in order to advance an agenda that isn't ultimately in anybody's best interest.

I agree with the big ideas of feminism, such as equal pay for equal work, the right to vote, and that women shouldn't be second class citizens, but the solution to these problems is not found in government provided childcare, government mandated birth control, and other nanny state programs.

I'm a strong woman and I choose to stay home and raise my children, which I believe is the most important job.

It really angered me when feminist Hilary Rosen had the audacity to insult all stay at home mothers when she said that Ann Romney hadn't worked a day in her life (she stayed home to raise 5 sons).

As a stay at home mom, raising and homeschooling 8 children,I know first hand what a ridiculous assertion that was.

As a strong, independent woman I don't see a conflict with my private act of submission(getting spanked) to "Daddy", the man I love.

Love,
Kitty

Anonymous said...

Feminism is the freedom to choose what we want. I'm educated, established in my career and can support myself. What I choose to do in my bedroom doesn't diminish these accomplishments. In fact it's probably the difference that makes it exciting!

Belle L said...

Feminism brings on such a wide variety of ideas, kind of like "this thing we do". People have their own ideas about what it is. I am glad that we, as women, have the choices that we do now. I do not, however, feel we are equal in all things. I in fact think we are superior in a lot of things. I think men are superior in other things. I'm glad God made it where we needed one another. If all people lived as God wanted them to live, we would all be "happy" even if Dd was put on us, rather than it being a choice. Unfortunately, we are a bunch of fouled-up, baggage-carrying humans, who are all in search of something (that we are not even sure of). I'm so glad that I GOT TO CHOOSE whom I would love, marry, trust, etc. Just think of the most screwed-up guy that you know, and think what it would have been like to be forced to marry him, forced to give him all the control in your life, or even just forced to work for someone like him. In a perfect world, wifes would be submissive to their husbands, they would be submissive to one another, and he would love her as Christ loved the church. The church being all believers or those who will believe and accept. There was no greater love. In a perfect world, there would not have to be feminism. But as we all know THIS IS NOT A PERFECT WORLD. Thank God there are choices. We have choices, and we are to use our wisdom in making them. God Bless, -Belle L.

Daisychain said...

Wow, what a great thought provoking question...

IMHO, Feminism is grossly over rated!!!

I feel that women are as strong and capable as men, but in different ways. I feel we should be equal in every aspect, and our contribution to life on earth should be just as valued and appreciated as men's.
That, however, does NOT mean I want to go be the hunter.
The man's role is important. He brings home the bacon.
The woman's role is just as important - she cooks it!
We were designed to work together as a team, with both parties input different, but equal.

I believe if the woman WANTS to go hunt the food, she should be able to, and if the man wants to cook it, fine.
In other words, people should be valued and accepted and appreciated for their role in society and in a defined relationship, whatever that may be, as long as both are happy with it.

There is a vast difference between being considered unworthy of the same wage as men for doing the same job, and CHOOSING to submit to a partner.

In the days when women were seen as the "weaker sex" they were undervalued, mistreated, pushed around, refused education, refused the right to vote, etc etc.and did not have any choice in how they were treated.

In choosing to submit, you are showing your strength....and showing you have that choice.

No reconciliation needed!!! xxxxxxxxxxx

Anonymous said...

Very interesting topic! I've not thought much about it before. I do know that I am in control in pretty much every aspect of my life~I am college educated, have a full-time job, manage the household finances...blah, blah, blah....So in the bedroom I prefer he take charge & let me give up that roll. We don't do the whole punishment thing so that's a non-issue for us. I appreciate the fact that I have the freedom to choose & that I have a partner who agrees with that!

Make Mine Red

S.N.M. said...

I'll reinterpret the topic as "Do you find it necessary to reconcile feminism with your interest in spanking women? Why or why not? If so, how do you accommodate both?"

Feminism (or, to use a more complete term, sexual egalitarianism) is the belief that men and women are of equal personhood, and should not be judged as people by which pair of chromosomes they have. My desire to spank women has nothing to do with my perceptions of them as people. I don't respect a woman less or feel superior to her just because we play consensual dominance games where I'm on top.

Another reinterpretation: "Do you find it necessary to reconcile humanism with your interest in spanking anyone? Why or why not? If so, how do you accommodate both?"

Put simply, I think accepting our sexual eccentricities and indulging them in a safe manner with those who share them is pretty empowering for all parties. As someone else said, "if a masochist says 'hit me,' a TRUE sadist would say 'no.'"


Rule number one of self-consciousness: if you hold irreconcilable beliefs, it means you're doing something wrong. I do hope that not too many of us would answer "yes" to this week's question.

Indy said...

Bonnie, thanks for raising this interesting and potentially controversial topic.  My response to this question isn’t terribly concise, so I’ve posted my thoughts on my own blog.

Anonymous said...

Very interesting Q

My wife was part of the late '70s & 80s feminist movement. - politics I certainly supported. Consequently my wish to spank her, and her willingness to submit, seemed to be a contradiction, about which I felt guilty and confused.

Fortunately she was clearer headed than I, explaining she wanted politics kept out of her bedroom! If as a mature, educated professional women she recognised and indulged what had taken her sometime to realise was a sexually submissive nature, that was her decision. In the rest of her life she was (just are many male submissives) confident and assertive; in this instance only she chose to submit. (Pandora Blake makes the the same point on her blogs)

There was, my wife explained, no conflict with our mutual believe in equality and I might better feel pleased i was the one she chose to trust.
She was right - and 25+ years on still is...

Hermione said...

I agree with the others who said that feminism is all about choice. As a woman, I have the freedom to vote, to hold down a good job, to play sports, and to enjoy my sexuality. Spanking is a large part of my sexual makeup, and I choose to indulge in it in a way that is satisfying to my partner and me.

It might be interesting to rephrase the question and ask the men how spanking relates to their masculinity at a future brunch.

Florida Dom said...

Bonnie: I probably should blog on this topic but I will give a short version. I think strong independent feminist professional women make the best submissives. I've written a series of stories called Training Lisa on a young woman who is a tiger in the boardroom and a submissive in the bedroom. I think a woman can be a feminist with a career and still yearn to be submissive in the bedroom. They are two different things.

Unfortunately in our society, women still have a long way to go. They make less money for doing the same job and rarely become CEOs of big companies and are often called the B word if they are assertive in their jobs.

And in many relationships, they come home from work and cook and clean and tend to the kids while the husband watches Sportscenter. I think a good Dom does his fair share of the work around the house so the sub is refreshed and ready to serve him when the kids are in bed.

And a desire to be spanked and submit isn't necessarily a female thing. If you read femdom blogs, there are men who want to submit and be spanked by their wives.

FD

Cara Bristol said...

I'd like to propose a theory that as feminism increases, MORE women will find that a part of them desires to be spanked, to submit, to step down, simply because being in control all the time is tiring. It is relaxing to hand over to control to someone else FOR A WHILE. It's like a vacation. And afterwards, you feel refreshed and more capable of taking on the world.

Mary said...

Been absent a while, but woke up wanting to check in. Congrates Bonnie, I was at brunch #1 now you are on 326!!! Cara said it well for me - there is an element of feeling refreshed and relieved for me when I relinquish control. The term sexual egalitarianism would not have us asking if there is a a conflict. I think the confustion is that Feminist is sometimes attached with militant ideas (perhaps for the same reasons assertive women in the board room get label with the B name). Anyway, many said it well, at the heart it isn't about working in the home or elsewhere, or about being spanked or not, we are truly equal when we honor that the choice is ours to make. Each of us in the context of what makes us whole.

Bonnie said...

I identify with the feminist cause because I remember my mother and other women in her generation being denied opportunities to pursue careers and lives they desired. I feel a debt of gratitude to those women who fought to create a better world for the rest of us. It's important to me to honor and respect their legacy.

With that said, I long ago made peace with my feminist side. I am female by birth, but submissive by choice. When I submit to my husband, I do so as an exercise of my freedom to choose, not as an acceptance of any alleged inferiority. I have the ability and the right to select my own path, and that makes all the difference.

My choice may not be popular with some activists, but I no more live my life for them than I do for the chauvinists who would even now hold us back. Does it happen to line up with traditional gender roles? Yes, to some degree, but this is my informed preference. I see no conflict.

Riley said...

Good question! I think they are slightly different, but related. I am happy that feminism exists and that women in the 20s fought for our right to vote, hold a job, own property, etc. If not for that, we probably wouldn't value this lifestyle, but rather, resent it. I like that it's a choice. Personally, I think submission in love is great. There can't be two leaders, they'd butt heads. So, one has to follow. In my every-day life, I'm perfectly happy doing my own work, even taking on some leadership roles. But in my relationship, I innately want to lean on him. I am not insulted when he asks me to hang his coat or to make him a meal; it's how he rolls. I get benefits out of it as well, he takes care of me, he dotes on me, he very much values my opinion...it's old-school, but it works for us. That said, I wouldn't want it to be universal, I think that's half of what makes it so special! Also, if it were universal, too many would use the power in the wrong way, it needs to be consensual, in my opinion.

Celeste Jones said...

Great topic! I agree with Cara's comment about the desire to give up control to someone else, if only occasionally, because it's a relief compared to all the other decisions a woman has to make all day (and all night) long.

Another point I'd like to make is that submission is a choice and it is a gift that the submissive (woman, in this conversation) gives to another. As such, it should not be given lightly and the woman should make sure that the man she chooses is worthy of this role in her life. It's a question of character. A woman who willingly places herself in a spanking position must trust the person giving the spanking not to go too far and if she entrusts this man with the authority to determine punishments for her, then she must be able to trust his judgment to be fair and not vindictive.

Being submissive doesn't mean that a woman is submissive to every man she encounters...thank goodness since there are so many who are unworthy...but that she chooses someone especially for that role.

That's my two cents.

Kaelah said...

I certainly identify with the feminist cause since I am one of those women who don't want to live a life with traditional gender roles. So, I am very thankful to those who fought for my freedom to choose and to live the life that fulfils me.

I always looked for a man who wanted an equal mate and a relationship that doesn't have one leader and one follower but works with shared decisions and responsibilities. I am lucky enough to have found that man in my mate Ludwig, and having in him a fellow kinky spirit as well.

Our spanking play isn't in any way a contradiction to feminism or our life as equal partners since spanking for us is sexual role-play and the roles that we are taking in this role-play don't affect the roles that we have outside the bedroom. With the knowledge that Ludwig sees in me an equal mate, I can indulge even in very rough or submissive play without having to be afraid that my mate wants me to be submissive or obedient in our relationship as well. I know that this is extremely important for Ludwig, too. He wouldn't feel comfortable to dominate a woman whom he wouldn't see as a strong equal mate in real life.

What's more, Ludwig even switches for me from time to time which is a wonderful gift of trust and makes him all the more attractive and strong in my eyes. I am predominantly a bottom and Ludwig is predominantly a top, so most of the time our play is M/F. Which I'm perfectly happy with because this is the combination I fantasise about the most when it comes to sexual spanking play. But I also have a toppy side that comes out from time to time, and it is wonderful to have a mate who is open-minded and flexible enough to let me live out that part of me as well.

I agree with many others here who said that they don't like the kind of feminism that is just as rude and patronizing as many chauvinists. I don't see any reason why engaging in BDSM play (as a bottom or a submissive) should be anti-feminist, as long as it is a free choice. The same goes for me for taking sexy pictures or making (spanking) porn.

That said, I have come across people in the kinky community who believe that there is only one spanking gender constellation (usually M/F) that is right and reflects the natural or God-given gender roles. In my opinion that is a very patronizing and narrow-minded view, and one that scares me.

Especially since I know that many countries still deprive women of equal rights, that even in the Western countries men and women still aren't treated equally in some respects and that there are movements in our Western societies, usually religious ones, that try to bring back the traditional gender roles and abolish the freedom of choice that we have. Indy already mentioned the situation in the US in her post. Here in Germany we also have groups, often Muslim ones, that are against equal choices for genders.

The idea that my children could grow up in a world that doesn't grant them the same freedom of choice that I have today is scaring me. And so are movements that try to (re)establish rigid gender roles, no matter whether within the spanking community or in our society in general.

Blondie said...

I was raised by a paid feminist speaker who rallied hard for equal rights back in the 70's. She wanted everyone to have equal rights. We were not taught to judge others but to be accepting of all. I chose to be a stay at home mom, and my mother supported my choice 100% as she also supported my sisters who chose to work outside of the house. Now don't get me wrong, my mother would never approve of my lifestyle with dd and spankings. She would not understand it at all. We were brought up helping support shelters for abused women and being taught to not let any man tell us what to do - to be in charge of ourselves. My choices are mine and I don't have to reconcile them because to those who don't have any tolerance, there is no explaining and even to those who think they are open minded, the lifestyle wouldn't make sense. How would I explain to someone that I have made a very strong decision to allow my husband to have the final say and to spank in discipline and in erotic sexual play. My choice - what my mother fought for, even though I am not sure she knew that part. The difference is that with feminsim, we have a choice it is not decided by a man for us. Hope this comment isn't too long, it is just something I really feel strong about.

sunnygirl said...

I am a fully liberated women who has lived long enough to see the strides that have been made by and for women. I do not live a dd lifestyle and I may not understand it but different strokes for different folks. I am, however, a spanko and enjoy being spanked for fun and pleasure. I have no trouble reconciling my feminism.

SublimeWifey said...

I really appreciate all the comments here because it took me a while to reconcile my submissive desires with my feminism. I spent years feeling like a traitor to my own cause because of my fantasies and desires. I wouldn't confess them to anyone, barely even to myself. When I finally came around about a year ago and found websites and blogs like this one, I found the courage to tell my husband and it turns out he'd been struggling with his desire for dominance. He thought I'd balk and it would bring an end to our marriage. Since our confessions about spanking and other forms of power exchange we find we are much happier both in and out of the bedroom. I still sometimes have trouble reconciling my desires with my feminism, but it's more about being a mother and role model than about my roles as wife and professional (not that my kid knows what's going on ... it's really all in my head). But at least I no longer feel wrong ... just a tiny bit conflicted.

Jayden said...

I am definitely not a feminist. I am probably more of a radical feminists worst nightmare.

I love the fact That as a woman I can still use my sexuality to get what I want. I refer to it as 'playing the game'.

As far as feminism & consensual DD; D/s relationships, I don't see where there is an issue. I am choosing this, I approached my husband & asked for this. As a matter of fact, A large part of the reason why I feel that I NEED this is to remove some of the excess burden that the radical (bra burning) feminists have placed on me. (I'm not talking about the right to vote, etc. I'm referring to, like I said, the bra burners).

As far as women that are in non-consensual dd relationships, well, that's a different story. But, if it's non-consensual then it's not really dd, @ that point, it's abuse.

As long as I'm in a consensual dd relationship, I'm not being suppressed, oppressed, degraded or anything else of the sort. It's a choice, not a mandate. I actually feel like this type of relationship is making me stronger & better able to deal with the rest of what the world has to throw @ me. It is really helping me to avoid stress @ work where I must remain strong & dominant because it's my job! ;-)
(please excuse any typos, I'm commenting from my phone. Grrrr!)

Jayden

Pandora said...

A very important topic Bonnie, thankyou for raising it! I've described my own point of view in detail in this post, "Submissive while feminist". I stand by everything I say there.

Feminism has absolutely impacted my sexuality and my attitude towards sexual submission. Mostly, in very positive ways: it's taught me the importance of establishing and maintaining boundaries, of explicit communication and negotiation. Feminism has taught me the value of consent, how to ask for what I want, and how to say no when I want to, which gives more meaning to the times when I say yes. I have better sex and am more closely in tune with my desires than I was before I started learning about feminist theory, particularly where those desires deviate from t mainstream and kinky social normals (for instance, in being attracted to fat or trans bodies, or in discovering my switch side and learning that I'm not "purely" submissive after all).

Both feminism and kink prioritise consent, negotiation and communication in sexual practice; there’s no contradiction there, or at least there shouldn't be.

But feminism is still necessary in the kink scene, and political theory has opened my eyes to the inequality which still exists. From the social pressures which discourage young bottoms from safewording and reporting assault, to the normalisation of the M/F orientation and the idea by some people that it's the default, or most sexy, mode of play ... to the image of dommes as latex-wearing sex objects which excludes most/many female tops, to the idea that male submission is somehow pathetic, weak or unattractive.

I get worried when I see spanking blogs that only post pictures of female spankees, as if only women were deserving of corporal punishment, and only female bodies were sexy. I get worried when erotica is made to appeal to straight men and not to the women who want to look at sexy male bodies. I get worried when I see young women, like I did, declaring themselves as purely submissive and getting into discipline relationships with older men because that's the model that has been presented to them as the sexiest and most valuable, in almost all the erotic imagery and writing they've seen, without the tools to look critically at whether that model is really the best one for them. I get worried when I go to play parties and all the men "just happen" to be older straight tops and all the women "just happen" to be younger bottoms/switches, and then the women take their clothes off while the men watch, and no-one stops to question the effect this social positioning has on all the people it excludes. I think we have a social responsibility not only to tolerate non M/F orientations from a distance, but to actively support and include them for the sake of equality.

Sexism is rife in kink spaces, as in all social spaces, and there is work still to be done. I seem feminism as an essential tool in challenging this sort of gender inequality in order to help both men and women freely express their true selves.

Amara said...

'Anyone who tells me how to be a woman doesn't understand the first thing about feminism."
I may be simplifying it, but this quote from you explains it all for me... every woman has a choice to be exactly who she is without discrimination from anyone..
(don't know if you remember me, but my blog Hidden Flames is coming out of hiding again...)

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