I have had two disastrous relationships with women who swore up and down that they were “submissive”, that they wanted someone else to take control and to set the rules. However, the reality was that they wanted to determine the rules, and any decision that did not agree with what they wanted was summarily rejected. Any attempt to assert authority was met with not only open resistance but surreptitious disobedience, passive-aggressive behavior, “non-arguing”, and even attempted recruitment of “allies” from among friends and family (who, sadly enough, did not have the maturity to say “It’s between you two.”). A constant response was generally to deride and insult any approach that was not one they had already predetermined as the one true way to do anything.
I’m sorry that happened to you. From your description, it does indeed sound pretty disastrous. It’s still a little mind boggling that it happened to you twice. Have you had any positive experiences with submissives in a D/s relationship yet?
But the subs are supposed to be the one in control goes the saying, right? Hahaha. They’re such liars. Fuck those people.
QotD: “they will sit quietly and listen to us, then take our words, our fears, our pain, and use it against us, manipulate us, and break us”
I have completely lost count of how many rapists & abusers have been outed on tumblr who have used social justice or feminism to get access to their victims. I really need people to stop denying the fact that men will do whatever it takes to gain access to women’s spaces, like running blogs calling out rape apology, teaching women’s studies classes, writing books on feminism, ect, in order to abuse women. Men who feel threatened by feminism will often express their anger towards feminists, whether by sending anon hate, threatening messages, calling you slurs, harassment, ect, however some men will take it further. There are men who will spend all their waking hours trying not only to put women “back in their place” but also remind women that we are never safe, we must always live in fear, because these men will find ways to get in to our safe spaces, they will sit quietly and listen to us, then take our words, our fears, our pain, and use it against us, manipulate us, and break us.
The commitment to ending male dominance as the fundamental psychological, political, and cultural reality of earth-lived life is the fundamental revolutionary commitment. It is a commitment to transformation of the self and transformation of the social reality on every level.
Another link to Vice Magazine, as I said previously, click through to any other link a your own risk.
Kimmy was introduced to the sex industry by her biological sister when she lived in a foster home in northern Ontario. She is just one of many young girls in Canada’s native population who are being exploited – or trafficked. But it isn’t just pimps, johns, or gangs who are doing the trafficking. Increasingly, it can be the girls’ own family members and relatives, and it’s taking place in aboriginal communities, or in towns and cities, across the country.
According to the Canadian justice system’s definition, human trafficking usually happens because of force, threats, or coercion. However, a national human-trafficking task force is seeking to change the legal definition: “The traffickers have changed in how they are recruiting, luring, and controlling women,” says Diane Redsky, project director of the Human Trafficking Task Force at the Canadian Women’s Foundation. Redsky is also from Shoal Lake 40 First Nation in western Ontario.
She says these days, indigenous women who are trafficked don’t necessarily fear for their safety, nor are fear tactics always used. “The trafficking of indigenous women and girls is conducted very differently,” says Redsky. “The victims are ‘trauma-bonding’ with their traffickers.”
Redsky says “trauma bonding” is less like fear and more like a strong sense of loyalty: “Traffickers are becoming fathers and husbands to their victims,” explains Redsky.
I’m quoting from and linking to a 2008 article from Vice magazine. As the name would suggest, it’s salacious, sleazy and sarcastic, and elsewhere it reports approvingly on the sex industry (click through to any link at your own risk), but I believe that this article is worth reading, with qualifications.
Incoming traffickees are processed in Vancouver and spat out across the continent’s vast labyrinth of massage parlors, hostess clubs, and underground micro-brothels. Within the industry, there are two broad categories of victims: older, street-smart semi-professionals who know what they’re getting into and younger girls who have no clue that they’re about to have their lives and their futures turned to shit by monsters.
So, what exactly is the difference between the “older, street-smart semi-professionals who know what they’re getting into”, and the “younger girls who have no clue”? My guess is the only difference is time; young abuse victims age into ‘semi-professionals’, in other words, they have been abused for a length of time, so they can no longer be thought of as ‘innocent victims’. After being trafficked into the sex industry, held in it for several years through threats of violence, and finally worked off the illegal ‘debt’, what other options do such women have available to them? They are now ‘semi-professionals’ who have ‘chosen’ to do it!
I recently got to know some of the women suffering under the yoke of sex slavery and they’ve told me their stories. One of the first women I met, who goes by the name of Yo-Yo, shares a dingy ground-floor apartment with her sister where they sleep on couches in the living room and turn tricks in the bedroom. Hailing from a quaint village in rural China, Yo-Yo enjoys spending her extra dough on Hello Kitty paraphernalia. She told me that when she isn’t providing what she refers to as “girlfriend experiences,” she sits around and watches pirated DVDs because she’s not allowed to leave the apartment without her pimp’s permission.
The pimps depersonalize them by assigning them cartoonish names like Cherry, Apple, Bobo, or Gigi. The typical workweek tends to last around 84 hours. Many girls end up working for gangs that run numerous brothels within walking distance of each other. When a trick calls up for his weekly taste of strange, the mama-san will answer the phone, check a master schedule to see which girls are free, and then direct him to the corresponding brothel. When he rings up to begin his 45-minute session, it will be the first time he speaks to the girl. From that point on, she is responsible for delivering $120 to the management, no matter how creepy, abusive, or filthy her client happens to be.
When I met Candy, a 20-year-old girl from Taiwan, she had just come up to Vancouver from San Francisco the month before and was holed up in a brand-new condo downtown. She seemed elated to meet a Canadian who wasn’t planning on getting off, and gleefully agreed to meet me for a coffee at the Starbucks around the corner the next day. When we met, she was wearing a pink velour jumpsuit and looked like she hadn’t slept or showered.
Although she had to make an abrupt exit after receiving a call from her pimp, Candy seemed relatively free to do as she pleased during downtime. Her disorientation and mental fatigue were painful to witness, as were the bruises on her wrists. She was proud of her Gucci watch and showed it off with a smile, and even though she wasn’t able to attend school like she was promised, she still studied English vocabulary in her spare time. We went for coffee once more the next week and chatted a bit about her favorite movie stars, but the next time I called, her phone was dead. I never heard from her again.
Now here is where the article is useful, as it demonstrates that a woman doesn’t have to be chained to the floor in a basement in order to be enslaved. Trafficked women may be able to move around to a certain degree, they may even own luxury designer goods, but they are still, very obviously, enslaved.
One day, after chatting with Yo-Yo for a while, I got up to leave. She panicked, begging me to phone her boss and explain why I didn’t go for full service (45 minutes of “anything goes” sex for $120). After calling up the management and voicing her plea, Yo-Yo passed me the phone:
“What wrong you no get full service?” a woman rattled out at me.
Not wanting to explain to her that I’m actually a journalist investigating her fucked-up slavery empire, I tried to sweet-talk her a little.
“Yeah… didn’t have time today, so I just went for a bit of a back massage. She’s a great girl though, I’ll definitely be back.”
“You call me next time before, OK?” she barked and then hung up.
Year after year after year men told me there is no violence here, there is no violence here, there is no violence here, and I’d look at the picture and I’d say he is hitting her, what do you mean there is no violence? What I basically came to understand is that they were talking about their sexual reaction to the picture. They were never ever talking about what happened to the woman.
QotD: “If men don’t have to do it to be “empowered,” it probably doesn’t actually give you any power”
If men don’t have to do it to be “empowered,” it probably doesn’t actually give you any power.
They also then get ripped to shreds for being too sexy. Enormous pressure is put on very young girls to be sexually active, to give in to boys’ “demands” and to acquiesce to various requests. But the moment they comply, they face a stringent backlash.
One 14-year-old girl tells me, “If you’re talking to a guy or you text with him, he will ask for a picture.” I ask why girls feel they have to comply. “You’d feel like you don’t want to let him down – you think he likes you for who you are and he promises not to show it to anyone, then you send the picture and then he’ll never speak to you again. The guy shows his friends and then the friend puts it up on the internet and then for the girls it’s horrible – her friends will turn against her and call her a slut, and the guys at school will all come up and say they saw the picture and she’ll lose all her friends.” As extreme as it sounds, versions of this story are relayed to me again and again, by girls from all backgrounds.
What makes the cycle of pressure and judgment even more powerful is that, thanks to social media, there is no escape from it, even at home. With this absolute internet focus comes instant, easily accessible porn. In a group interview, one sixth-form girl tells me: “The view of women through porn creates assumptions – it means [boys] just expect women will take it, the man’s in control; and I don’t think they can separate that the woman is acting and that isn’t what relationships are really like… most of the boys will probably have been watching it since about 14 – that’s how they learn about sex.” Another 17-year-old girl agrees: “Boys in my school were watching porn in Year 7, possibly earlier. They started circulating pictures. And they were also making rape jokes – like saying, ‘You’re so hot, I’d rape you.’”
In a heartbreaking Everyday Sexism Project entry, one schoolgirl wrote: “I am 13 and I am so scared to have sex it makes me cry nearly every day. We had sex education in Year 6 and I felt fine about it, but now some of the boys at school keep sending us these videos of sex which are much worse than what we learned about and it looks so horrible and like it hurts, and at night I get really scared that one day I will have to do it.”
Nothing has emerged more clearly from the Everyday Sexism Project than the urgent need for far more comprehensive mandatory sex-and-relationships education in schools, to include issues such as consent and respect, domestic violence and rape. It’s not just girls who need it. For boys, porn provides some very scary, dictatorial lessons about how they are expected to exert their dominance over women. It is unrealistic to expect them, unaided, to work out the difference between online porn and real, caring intimacy.
When we carried out an online poll, asking people whether their school sex-and-relationships education had covered issues such as domestic violence, assault or rape, more than 92% said these issues were never raised at all. These statistics were borne out by numerous entries from girls and young women feeling confused and anxious about sex and consent. Huge numbers simply had no idea they had the right to say no.
QotD: “Pornography reveals that male pleasure is inextricably tied to victimizing, hurting, exploiting”
Pornography reveals that male pleasure is inextricably tied to victimizing, hurting, exploiting; that sexual fun and sexual passion in the privacy of the male imagination are inseparable from the brutality of male history. The private world of sexual dominance that men demand as their right and their freedom is the mirror image of the public world of sadism and atrocity that men consistently and self-righteously deplore. It is in the male experience of pleasure that one finds the meaning of male history.
Andrea Dworkin, Pornography: Men Possessing Women
Found at the Bewilderness