Sunday, September 1, 2013

Feminism and Submission

In my online dealings with the kink community (mostly through Fetlife), I have discovered a recurring question asked by women; "Can I still be a feminist and a submissive?" You may have encountered this question yourself, or the non-kink equivallent of "I guess I can't be a feminist because I want to be a homemaker."

For the vast majority of people, this seems to be an obvious and clear contradiction. Feminism, after all, is about getting women out of the kitchen, house, or submissive status in relationships. Wanting to go back into the chains Feminism has been fighting to break seems like it would be regressive and undo all of that hard work that's been in play since the Suffragettes, right?

Well, no. Not at all.

Feminism is there to break the chains, and social framework, which obliges women to remain in the house, or be submissive. The operative word being oblige. The movement is there to open up the options, and to show women (and, indirectly (though this isn't the right topic to go into details for it) men) that they can go, and be, and do what it is they wish. That includes, by definition, being a submissive.

The idea that Feminism would frown on that kind of choice is not a reflection of the movement itself, but of how it is perceived by society at large. For decades now, there has been a cultural meme of straw feminists and how they just want to turn the tables on men; become the ones in power and put all of men down into the gutter. This idea is not new; it was around during the Civil Rights movement, where the fear was that the end goal was to put all white people into the chains of slavery as revenge. It is no more true now than it was then.

What Feminism wishes is to demonstrate women's agency in how to live their life in the way they chose. If that choice is to be a submissive, the most it will ask is to examine why you wish to be a submissive and to be sure that it is your choice, and not one imposed on you by society. If it is, then the message is to go hogwild, embrace it, and live your chosen life to the fullest. There is always the option of changing your mind after you've lived the choice, after all.

It is your body, your life, and your choice.

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