Because Christianity is bigger than Biblical manhood or Biblical womanhood (Blog of Retha Faurie)

(Note, added 21 March 2015: I said certain things of secular feminism here that applies to the large percentage of secular feminists who are liberal feminists. But radical feminists, another group of secular feminists, speak out against sadism and the sexualisation of inequality.) (Other note: Trigger warning: BDSM)

Two groups, one Orwellian message

On the popular blog Love, Joy, Feminism, there was recently a post quoting the Botkins sisters. These sisters were ranting against feminism, apparently saying that equality of the sexes is found in hierarchal gender roles. George-Orwell-1984-183x300Yes, yes. (See my dismissive hand wave.) And war is peace and freedom is slavery, typical Orwellian doublespeak. Clearly, honest answers to valuing women, with all they are and all their gifts, are not found in “Christian” Patriarchy.*

Libby Anne, the raised-patriarchal-now-atheist blog owner at that blog, then points out  some contradictions of the Botkins’ view. But this story gets worse, not better, for women’s equality. Libby Anne has a blog commenting system that puts comments with the most likes on top, and the least likes at the bottom. Someone among her mostly secular and atheist commenters made a pro-BDSM comment, and that was on top of the commenting thread. Being on top of the comment thread means a lot of people pressed the “like” button on it. This comment claimed that agreeing to a dom/sub relationship is equality, because the partners equally much agreed to it. Another commenter just below it directly mentions that she will use the previous comment – the one that say dom/ sub is equality – next time she wants  to defend BDSM. (BDSM is a sexual fetish with people tying up; dominating; one-sidedly punishing – they call it “discipline” -; or physically causing pain to or insulting their partners; while the bottom partners, even when obviously having negative experiences, are allowing their own debasement. “Sadism” is literally what one of the letters of the acronym stands for.)

The problem with these philosophies

It is not true that bottom partners in such relationships allow only things they enjoy. The simplest example is that punishment beatings (and other punishments) are very much part of most such relationships, and the punished partners will say these are punishments because they do not enjoy it. From punishment beatings, we have clear evidence that BDSM bottom partners will not only allow BDSM actions when they enjoy them, and most top partners will do things the bottom do not enjoy.*

But readers on the site Love, Joy, Feminism, with its mostly secular and feminist readers, enjoyed this “inequality is equality” comment enough to vote it to the top of the thread. More Orwellian doublespeak. Honest answers to valuing women, with all they are and all their gifts, are not found in secular “feminism” either, if they “like” this. And secular feminists, indeed, tend to even get angry when I oppose this form of power imbalance relationships.

All my regular readers know how “Christian” Patriarchy, practiced by for example the Botkins sisters, promotes inequality. But not all of my readers would know that I tend to find references to BDSM mostly from atheists, and the most regular religious view that I hear mentioned by BDSM participants, when they mention anything of the sort, is atheistic in nature. I think I know why that is: When people deny God, they become more as He predicted the results of sin (Gen 3:16) will be. When they try to become as God, almost the same thing happens. How do complementarian men try to become as God? They follow a philosophy whereby the man becomes a mediator between the woman and God. It is obvious how BDSM top partners try to be as God – it even includes someone kneeling before them sometimes.

Somewhere, there will be an atheist / complementarian reading here, and saying: “I am not like that!” I believe you. All complementarians, and all atheists, are not in relationships where one partner lords it over the other. The average patriarchalist and atheist both has the law that say humans should be treated with dignity written on their hearts.

But neither of them has a philosophy that backs up the justice which they know in their hearts is right. When you say nothing is objectively right or wrong, and no authority exist to call anything morally wrong (atheists), then physically hurting/ degrading/ insulting someone on purpose -as sadists are prone to do – cannot be wrong in your eyes. When you say some people should be in charge (complementarians, but the BDSM community that the “sex-positive” feminists approve of often teaches that too), some people’s gifts and voices will be minimized.

The great philosophy – and Power – behind the egalitarian world view

Egalitarianism is different. When you see:

> equality – and significance and value – in the creation of man and woman

> inequality starting with the fall in Genesis 3, because of sin

> Jesus coming for the poor and oppressed

> a kingdom where “male and female, Jew and Greek, slave and free” should not count


The same power that raised Jesus from the death is available to renew us, to change our destructive urges to lord it over others, or be lorded over by another human

> a kingdom where all get the Holy Spirit and all should use their (speaking) gifts at church

> that all should submit to one another

> a whole Bible book – Song of Songs – describing an “egalitarian pleasuring party”

… then how could you – man or women – not treat your fellow Christian partner with equal love, respect and deference?

If you should love your neighbour as yourself, how could you not start by caring as much (not more, not less) about the will and plans of your partner as about your own? Christian egalitarianism not only gives a belief framework for mutuality, it also – as Christianity – connects to Christ. The One who was raised from the death gives us the power to do his mutually loving, mutually respectful, mutually submitting will. Only His power can overcome our desire for sinful oppression. This is why I think that only Christian egalitarians can, as a group, be trusted to bring real mutuality to the world.


Note: *Anybody who thinks I have not heard the standard talking points of BDSM defenders, and wants to tell me it is safe and sane and consensual and your relationship is actually equal in other ways, please first read this link, comment only if you have any argument that I have not answered in that link already, stay on topic, and please do not link to any BDSM blogs in either your comment or the URL you optionally use to fill in the commenting form.

Comments on: "Why I believe that Christian egalitarianism – and not worldly feminism – holds the answer to patriarchy" (21)

  1. Great thoughts here. On your note about Song of Songs, in a recent study I heard an egalitarian focus on Songs for the first time. Truly they were equal sex partners, particularly surprising for those patriarchal times. The way it was taught, it seemed so obvious, yet I had previously overlooked it and never heard it taught that way before.

    I’m reading a book at present called Why Not Women? by the founder of YWAM (Loren Cunnigham) and in it he says “If young women involved in militant feminism were shown how radical Jesus was in the way He treated women, thousands would find Him as Savior and Redeemer, the source of the justice they seek.”

    And as you say: “This is why I think that only Christian egalitarians can, as a group, be trusted to bring real mutuality to the world.” – Amen!


    • Laura, I would like to read Loren Cunningham’s book too. Because of certain practical problems (I won’t give a long boring explanation now) the only egal books I ever read thus far are those that are available for free on the Internet.
      When I was desperately looking for something to show if the very ugly messages of patriarchy is really Christian, God directed me to an egalitarian talk of Loren’s. The talk, and what I discovered after that, led me to dump not only hardcore Christian™ patriarchy, but eventually all the “soft”(ish) complementarian ideas I imbibed growing up.
      Right now, I’d like to read more egal books, but on the other hand, I think I can sometimes appoach egalitarianism from an unusual angle because I have not read the books everyone else read in my formation of my viewpoints, and my angle may just be the one to help a particular person.


      • I agree that you can have a fresh/unique approach not having read much of what is out there! Too often we can just parrot others. We need fresh eyes.

        I do keep reading egal books, and keep thinking there could be nothing new for me to consider. It has all been said! But I keep being disproved and surprised by new observations, new angles, etc.

        Keep on blogging. You are appreciated.


  2. Victorious said:

    Excellent post, Retha! Thanks!


  3. So, I’m clogging up somebody else’s comment section, and was starting to babble, so instead of responding to everything you’ve been saying, I’ll say this, here.

    You mentioned that you won’t accept the answers kinky people construct for vanilla people, because they’re skewed–you read their blogs instead. But remember that blogs are skewed too. They’re skewed in the other direction. People post the huge things and leave out, “And then we had a little spat over the toast, but it was stupid, because really I was just upset about something her mom said, and then we said I’m sorry and left for work.”

    People running BDSM blogs are the people who have their entire lives wrapped up in it–either in one relationship (or a system of poly relationships) or in their ongoing pursuit of finding finding relationships, or casual encounters.

    People brag on them. And bragging to a bunch of people who get a kick out of pain means you’re playing up the exact sorts of things that are going to horrify the people who don’t.
    People play up drama, because it makes their lives seem more dramatic.

    (Retha: I believe the mere fact that someone wants to emphasize certain things to their communities does say something of who they are. And what the communities like say something of how these communities are. I don’t say the picture is not skewed – but the point is that if someone values something and wants to be acknowledged for it, that will be what they discuss with their communities. If these bloggers often brag about, and their readers often love, depravity, it reflects who they are deep inside. I do believe that they don’t act as depraved every day as what they take pride in, the same way I am not as good as the humanitarian actions I love: I may put a link on Malala Yousafzai on Facebook, but that don’t mean I appreciated school. But people tend to move towards the things they love, the things they talk about and are proud of. If someone proudly blogs on how much he bruised his partner, he may want to eventually move in the direction of bruising more. If someone gets a kick out of being called a slave, she may want to be called something even lower, an animal or an object, three months from now. Their blogs do say something of them, and it is not equal and mutually respectful. )
    If you really want to get an idea what the average kinky people’s relationship dynamic is like, here’s what I would recommend. Find some willing volunteers, and hang out with them. Constantly or as often as you can, for a few weeks. Watch them plan a scene (it might be best to watch people who don’t know each other well, for that, since they’ll skip over less), and look at how they treat each other in *that* context.

    Don’t watch them actually play–what happens there is…it’s not exactly “fake,” and it’s not exactly a “game,” but it’s definitely not an accurate reflection of their real feelings for each other. It’s…a performance that they put on for themselves. It’s characters they enjoy playing. Sometimes it’s characters that reflect something that is very real in them, but that they normally keep under wraps. But they’re still characters. I’m guessing you wouldn’t judge most people’s entire relationship by the things they say during sex (is somebody religious because they yell “oh god”?) Judging a kinky couple’s relationship by what they say and do during play is comparable.

    Have somebody else watch them play, and if something goes wrong, have the other person get you. Watch how they resolve the problem. Leave again if they dive back in. Come back when they’re done and watch how they interact with each other afterward. See what they do to go back to their normal dynamic. Ask them later why they did it. Ask them what they get out of play. Ask them how they feel in the next few hours and the next few days.
    (Retha: Your argument seems to be that I should spend a lot of time witnessing the non-BDSM things done by people who practice BDSM, while avoiding the actual BDSM, and untill I do so, I cannot discuss BDSM? If so, you could as well tell me I should spend a lot of time watching non-news on TV, and until I spent weeks watching soap operas and sport and lifestyle programs and dramas, without watching any news, I cannot discuss the news.
    You see, I talk of BDSM, not the non-BDSM parts of relationships that also include BDSM. As such, what you are suggesting is just not my topic.
    Ask why they think they like it (you’ll get 10 answers for every 5 people). Listen to them. Value them. Treat their own interpretations of their feelings with respect.
    (I asked many BDSM couples practitioners that. They just say they enjoy it, (but I have clear evidence that they – by own admission – continue when the bottom partner do not enjoy it), or that they cannot explain it. The most creative answer I heard was yours of putting raw materials that you admit is often ugliness into a mystery box, and magic happens and out comes comfort. By far the most rational, sensible answer, by which I could actually connect the events and outcome, was the one I link to above, in the last sentence of the first header. And that one admitted that a negative self-image drives her. The second most rational response I ever got was also from someone who admitted to being driven by self destruction.)
    Quit responding to “this makes me feel loved,” with “that’s horrible, because it’s actually degrading.” Acknowledge that if a person is doing something that makes their partner feel loved–they are communicating love, no matter what the action is.
    (Retha:I disagree. A molested child may, at the time, experience the molestation as love, but later realize (s)he was just used. You could make an alcoholic feel loved by buying him booze, or an anorexic by telling her she does not need to eat. But this is not good for them in the long run. Many abuse victims thinks – for now, later their perspective will change, they are loved when their partners are jealous. It is an old stereotype that some men would make a woman feel loved so she would give in to sex – but often such a man does not really love her. Current feelings have never been the way to define if someone is really loved or not. )
    Then do it all again with a different couple. Do it with people who’ve been playing together for 20 years, and with people who just met that day. This–more than reading people’s blogs– will give you a decent idea of what their actual relationship dynamics are.

    Do I actually expect you to do all this? Well, if you really want to understand what’s going on, it would be AWESOME, but …it’s a pretty huge time investment.
    But it’s what would actually lead to you understanding people’s experiences and motivations. It sounds like what you’re going on now is reading blogs, and that’s…I mean it’s one side of some people’s experiences, but it’s not an accurate reflection, even of that one person’s experience, let alone anybody else’s.

    If you decide you don’t care enough to do this or anything comparable, then acknowledge that. Acknowledge that, however *much* you’ve been reading or hearing, *what* you’ve been reading and hearing hasn’t been the type of thing that gives you real information about the day to day realities of what you’re talking about. You’ve been misinforming yourself.
    (Retha: I have not been talking of the “day to day realities” of such relationships but of the contents of BDSM activities themselves. Even on that, I do consider that there are biases in what I hear.. I have not been misinforming myself on the topic I discuss, if there is any misinformation it is the fault of the BDSM practitioners whose talking I heard.)


  4. Rebecca, your second comment is temporarily in moderation. I will get back to it after work or during lunch. (GMT+2)


  5. Rebecca, the top right of this blog say: Please keep comments on-topic …
    1)Your comments here are not on the topic of this blog entry, but running over from another blog where we commented. In fact, I worry that newcomers here who need this blog and reads this thread first may want to move on to other blogs, as they get a wrong impression of the blog.
    2) Your moderated comment, even if you could rewrite it to relate to the blog entry, was largely about arguments in the link of which I say “please first read this link, comment only if you have any argument that is not in the link”, namely point 2 (by you claiming such relationships are good in other ways and I should look at those things, not their BDSM bedroom behaviour, to judge BDSM by); point 4; 5 and 6.
    3) Your moderated comment contained a link to a BDSM-defending blog with “perv” in the name, while I asked not to link to BDSM sites. (To be fair to you, you may have found the link OK because it is not solely a BDSM blog. However, I find it unsuitable for this site, despite personally liking that said blog criticize 50 Shades of Grey.)
    Do you want me to publish the parts of that comment I find OK? (For example, it is entirely fair of you to answer that I quoted your mystery box comment on Libby Anne’s outside its context here.) Do you want me to send you the comment, so that you can use it elsewhere?


  6. (This is Rebecca’s third comment on this thread. I edited it to only leave the part that is relevant to the main topic. – Retha)

    Regarding points 4, 5 and 6, I have to say, this is why I don’t like religious approaches to morality. By divorcing an action from the effects it has, the concept of good and evil becomes meaningless. You’ve talked about people being abused, being manipulated until their agreement doesn’t really count as “consent” anymore, and being pressured into things they don’t actually want–and those are all really valid points. But you seem to also be saying that even when none of that is true, even when everybody enjoys what is happening, and wants it, and feels no harm because of it–even then, it’s still bad, just because…just because. And if somebody in that situation–where everybody involved is happy, and only doing things they truly consent to, and not being harmed– if somebody experiences that and feels that what they’re doing is ok, then…their soul is poisoned. They only think it’s not bad because they’re bad too, just because…just because. This approach to morality has no foundation. Anybody could call anything evil, and then point to anybody who doesn’t agree and say, “You only think it’s not bad because the badness has corrupted you.”


    • I agree that calling things harmful without any reason would be pointless, and am sorry that you regard me as doing that. This is why am extremely reluctant to bring up the topic (and was a fool to do so in the comments on someone else’s blog, over at Libby Anne’s): Every time I do, there will be people who think that I, because of personal taste, am bashing something harmless that people do for fun.
      But I do not find BDSM harmless.
      1) Young people nowadays get their opinion of sex mostly from the Internet, and BDSM-like themes are being plastered all over the Internet. Stories of people saying yes to things most people find degrading are more accessible and common than either a) stories of people having sex that cannot be regarded as degrading and contains no insults or force of any kind, or b) warnings from BDSM people that this is not what most sex is like or should be like. BDSM influence today’s teens in what they are supposed to be and what treatment they are supposed to accept, and make girls feel pressured to consent to sex when not ready. I know that this is not the aim of BDSM-affirming feminists, but that is the conclusion teens get from what they see.
      2) Every time I actually had the opportunity to study the claims of a BDSM bottom from another angle (not the angle of what they tell me), it turned out that they also have some BDSM experiences that are negative, but they only tell me of the “I like it” side. Sometimes I don’t even need to study another source, when they use an internally conflicted sentence like “I like to be forced to do things I dislike.”
      In fact, those who most clearly describe the connection between their BDSM activities and their mind set describe self image problems and self destructive urges as their reason for doing BDSM.
      3) “Men who dehumanize women as either animals or objects are more liable to rape and sexually harass women and display more negative attitudes toward female rape victims.” –
      As such, it is not a case of simply hating, by personal taste, harmless things others love, but the bulk of my evidence suggesting these things are not harmless, and therefore not believing those who make untestable claims that their actions are harmless.
      But we totally agree that calling things harmful without any foundation would be ridiculous!


      • About that point on influencing teens – it is not just theoretical to me. I was an impressionable youth when I first discovered BDSM blogs on the Internet.
        From a religious side, I heard I am supposed to submit to a man. From BDSM blogs, I got detailed pictures of what men do that women submit to. I got so petrified that I only had my first boyfriend at age 37, after dropping many ideas I had of submission. My this-far-only boyfriend, by the way, told me that my body language say I don’t really want to be close. But I want to be, it is just so hard…
        I had a nightmare (actually sleeping and dreaming and waking up remembering a fearful dream) filled with concepts introduced to me in BDSM as recently as last week. Many people in BDSM say they like, after a scary scene, to be held and consoled. Now, these blogs and my vivid imagination placed BDSM scary scenes in my head, but with nobody to hold me and console me afterwards. I thought then if I kept reading, I would find a consoling part, but I did not. Just like last week: I woke up alone, with nobody except God knowing I need consolation.
        I regard BDSM bloggers (of course those with paswords that limit access to their blogs only to friends are an exception) as people who lets wolves out in a city, not caring who is devoured. And Rebecca blames me: It is, she says, not the BDSM bloggers that miseducated my ideas about what sex looks like in real life at a time when I was young and impressionable, it is me who miseducated myself. I will not take responsibility for what is not my fault: I was young, I did not know better, some people put hardcore cruelty out where I could see it and, through my vivid imagination, feel it. It hurt me. I’ve learned to cope with the fear, and speaking out is part of that.


  7. I am sorry. I really am. What we experience as teens tends to be what sticks with us and affects us most deeply. I’m incredibly sorry that that was your experience, and that it hurt you the way it did.

    I discovered BDSM as a teen, through the internet, also. I’d known about the basic ideas of sadism and masochism for years, though.

    Those, I discovered by following chains of “see also:” in the dictionary, when I was around 8. I was distracting myself from spelling homework by looking up words like “punish,” and “torture,” and “spank,” just to read the definitions over and over again, as I often did. When I found “sadism” and “masochism,” I thought, “There are words for what I am.”

    I was raised Christian–a liberal, egalitarian sort of Christian, full of beauty and kindness and love and respect. There was no hellfire threat, no order to submit, no indication that anybody was as drawn to darkness as I was, or that a decent person could have those sorts of thoughts. But I couldn’t magic away the things I thought about any more than I could magic away my desire to kiss girls instead of boys.

    What I found in my teens was accessible ethics. There was porn too, but what I really sought out and devoured were the essays on how to tell an abusive relationship from a healthy one. How to tell what is safe to play with and what should stay in your head. How to protect your own and your partner’s physical and emotional safety. How to tell when somebody’s able to consent or not. How to process guilt.

    This was the first moral framework I found that I felt like I could be a part of. This is what calmed my childhood fears that I’d grow up to be a serial killer. This was my first experience of seeing that people like me could participate in basic human decency.

    You describe “I want to be forced into things I don’t like,” as conflicted. I wonder if you’ve considered how similar it is to something like, “I don’t want it to be funny–I want to be truly scared,” which plenty of people say as they walk into horror movies. Or the feeling of “I know I’m not going to enjoy this and I don’t want to. This is disturbing and I don’t want it sugar-coated. I want to be disturbed” that people feel when they seek out information about the Holocaust or some other atrocity–information they have no real need of. They just want to know.
    (Retha: You compare getting sexually off on disturbing things to a visit to the holocaust museum? I was in the Yad Vashem – the holocaust museum, Jerusalem – on the 10th of July last year. I don’t have to look up the date, and I am pretty sure 20 years from now I still won’t have to look up the date. And you compare that to the things which sexually arouse you. That… uhm… says something about you. My readers are welcome to decide for themselves what that says about you.)
    Our society (your time zone suggests you aren’t American, but I think this goes for all of human societies) are packed with opportunities to experience pain and fear in socially acceptable ways: boxing and martial arts, dark artwork, tattooing (how hard would it be to use numbing cream? I’ve never heard of anybody doing it). There are less socially acceptable ways of doing it, too: starting unnecessary fights, taking drugs, committing crimes just for the thrill even though you know you’re likely to get caught.

    For most of human history, people have experienced a *lot* of pain and trauma, and it was a normal part of life. You have twelve kids and bury six, and that’s just how motherhood works. Middle class Western people don’t live like that anymore, and I think it leaves us…itchy. We have coping skills built into our brains, to handle lives of hardship that we don’t experience anymore, and I think that leaves those parts of our brains pacing and craving stimulation. So, we do things to add a little pain to our lives.

    Some people do it more safely than others, and that’s really my point. People destroy important relationships over unnecessary fights that they started just because they were in the mood to have a fight. They slash years off their lives with repeated concussions from playing rough sports unsafely. They get in–and return to– relationships with people who leave them empty and occasionally kill them. (Retha: You think people box, get tattoos, start unnecessary fights, taking drugs, committing crimes just for the thrill, and get into bad relationships because people need pain.
    And you condone this as a normal motive to which you think normal people would nod “yes, I do that too”. This, methinks, says more about you than about normality.)

    People who look for pain can destroy their lives with it, and I don’t see *any* culture or subculture that puts as much thought into physical and emotional safety as the BDSM culture does. I’ve never seen horror movie fans sit down and have a serious conversation about, “Ok, we all like this stuff, but it’s full of a ton of real sexism that we tend to internalize. Let’s figure this out: why do we like it? What needs does it satisfy? How do we separate what’s good in it from what’s harmful? How do we make movies that still serve those needs without being so damaging? Is there a way to do it at all?”

    BDSM people have classes–actual, sit-down-and-take-notes-classes– on how to calm that urge while protecting the physical and emotional safety of everybody involved.

    We do not do it perfectly. Maybe we don’t even do it *well.* But we do it AT ALL, and we acknowledge what we’re doing, and that’s more than any other culture I’ve ever seen can claim.

    Being human is hard. We’re a really weird species, too complicated for our own good, and all of us struggle with it. We’re all hurting, and we’re all trying to figure out what to do about that. We disagree about a lot, but I don’t have any real quarrel with you. I am truly sorry that the things that have been so beneficial to me hurt you the way they did. I hope you can find peace.


    • Right now, I don’t trust myself on saying anything of an emotional nature to you. I am glad you found an outlet that prevented you from possibly becoming a serial killer.
      But there is a sentence I think I need to explain better.
      “I like to be forced to do things I dislike.” is conflicted because the words like and dislike are both in it, in a way that does not make it refer to two different things, but to the same thing. While she does this thing she dislike, is she liking or disliking what she does? (“Forced” also contradicts consent.)


      • She (or he) is temporarily disliking it on one level while liking it on another. They’re disliking the moment while liking the dynamic that moment creates in the overall relationship. I compare it sometimes to visiting a friend in the hospital: it’s painful and hard, but also satisfying in a way that having just the fun stuff is not.

        (And I could never have actually been a serial killer, unless something SERIOUSLY messed me up. I have compassion, and I knew it. But it’s a cruel trick of nature that eight-year-olds are capable of feeling things that they aren’t capable of handling, and I was scared, and reacted with the worst-case-scenario anxieties of a scared child.)


      • Like I said – it is conflicted. It is not an unambigious, whole-hearted pleasure. And in this case she was not giving love to a friend whom it is painful to see in pain – in this scenario she allowed someone to do things she dislikes to her, and the only person this proves kindness to is the one sadistic enough to like forcing her into things she dislike. In fact, she proved unkindness to someone in pain – she let herself into a situation she disliked and felt forced. For all your theoretical talk of consent, the word forced in that sentence do not bother you in the least.
        You are, as I understand, a top partner – not the one enduring the disliked things, and you are defending your “right” to do these things? To someone who was traumatised by Internet BDSM, you come on the Internet to defend BDSM? Will you also come to the house of an adult who was molested as a child, and constantly talk about how you like the molester?


  8. I am a switch. I’ve done both sides. In my current relationship I mostly top, because my partner is completely submissive with no interest in switching. But we aren’t monogamous and I have bottomed (non-sexually) to other people, including in things which I wanted to feel specifically because they scared me and I wanted to be scared. Things I liked because I didn’t like. Because, yes, it’s a conflicting emotion and conflicting emotions are interesting.

    “Forced” doesn’t bother me because I know that when a person says, “I want to be forced” they almost always mean, “I want some roughness that we both pretend is force.”

    As for the rest, right now, I’m not defending anything. I’m just answering the questions you’re asking.

    You only just a few hours revealed that there was personal trauma behind your objections, and I responded by not arguing any more specific points or trying to win you over. I understand now why this is such an important topic for you. So I shared my own history and why it’s an important topic to me, hoping we could just…agree that our experiences have been very different and wrap up.

    I wouldn’t barge into the house an adult victim to defend their abuser, no. But if somebody handed me their address, knowing that I am friends with their abuser, and then once I was there, revealed the abuse and started asking me questions about the abuser, I would answer them. I would assume that they were asking because it was helpful to them in some way, and that they would stop asking when it starts being more painful than helpful.


    • That is enough, Rebecca. You may notice that very little of what you share responds to questions that was asked. Before my last post (the one starting with: “Like I said – it is conflicted.”), I only asked 2 things here:
      1) Your argument seems to be that I should spend a lot of time witnessing the non-BDSM things done by people who practice BDSM, while avoiding the actual BDSM, and until I do so, I cannot discuss BDSM?
      2) How do you want me to treat you moderated comment?
      The former could have been done with a simple Yes or No, the latter was about comments and not about BDSM. The answers to those two questions – 1) Yes 2) Leave it in moderation – fits in with your analogy. As for the rest, you basically pursued me home to talk further after I received as much of an answer as you knew (the “mystery box” answer), and had enough of the conversation.
      So, to bring the discussion back on topic, the topic is if secular feminists have as much of an answer to gender-related violence and injustice as Christian egalitarians.


      • I’m sorry for the misunderstanding. I don’t generally share my personal history unless I feel safe and respected in a conversation, so when you shared yours, I thought that was what you were expressing. I was trying to reciprocate what I saw as a sign of trust and answer questions and comments I thought were sincere attempts to continue picking at the topic (like “While she does this thing she dislike, is she liking or disliking what she does?” and “You are, as I understand, a top partner – not the one enduring the disliked things, and you are defending your “right” to do these things?”)

        I’m sorry I pushed the conversation beyond what you were comfortable with.

        I don’t think I have a very satisfying answer to the on topic question–I can’t begin to imagine how the groups would be compared, between all the different schools of thought that exist under the umbrella of “secular feminism” and what is probably an enormous overlap between people who could be called by both terms.

        So, I’m sorry again, and I’ll leave now. Take care.


      • I shared my personal history to show (not “show you – just show in general) how dangerous this matter is. And secondly to show you how triggering your conversation is, to tell you to stop. The like/dislike “question” was rhetorical, as a part of explaining how the statement is conflicted.
        I am so glad you finally understand my boundaries and have stopped. (The reason I did not stop you is because you actually do give evidence for my main point: If secular feminist will defend those who reacts to life and the pain of others in general, and to my boundaries in particular, in the way you do, it certainly says something of how capable they are of making the world a safer place. It also proved another point: Some BDSM people don’t always understand or care about boundaries.)
        Take care too.


  9. PS: I don’t think anybody has a “right” to dominate. People have the right to look for happiness in their relationships, and to say “no” to anything. But if something requires somebody else’s consent, then it’s not a right.


  10. And, if “forced” really did cross the line into true force, then that’s something different, and yes, I do object to that.


  11. Another thought on the unasked-for defenses Rebecca gave even after I told her of my personal problems with this:
    Rebecca said” “BDSM people have classes… on how to calm that urge while protecting the physical and emotional safety of everybody involved.
    We do not do it perfectly. Maybe we don’t even do it *well.* But we do it AT ALL, and we acknowledge what we’re doing, and that’s more than any other culture I’ve ever seen can claim.”
    Yes. Healthy society do not have classes on how to compromise between an urge for hurting someone (sadism or masochism) and the need to consider people’s (physical and emotional) well-being, because normal people do something even better: They suppress the urge for hurting (if they have one at all) and know that protecting themselves and others physically and emotionally is the higher good, not to be compromised on.
    And I bet those classes (which I never heard of before and am sure the majority of participants never attend) does not include “How to make sure that your behavior does not negatively impact teenagers’ view of sexuality.”


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