Daily Archives: January 26th, 2013

Another example of how meaningless ‘consent culture’ is

I got a lot of visits today to this page from Facebook and Mumsnet, I can never actually see who’s linked to me from Facebook, but I can see the Mumsnet thread. It links to this news article from the Metro; which is another clear demonstration of how meaningless ‘consent culture’ ‘safe words’ and ‘safe sane and consensual’ actually are, and how the ‘mainstream’ doesn’t actually discriminate against BDSMers, but in fact gives men free reign to abuse women, because, under patriarchy, a woman is considered to be in a constant state of ‘consent’ and women feel that if they have ‘consented’ once, they are no longer free to say no.

A bondage devotee inspired by Fifty Shades Of Grey has been cleared of assault after tying up his lover and lashing her repeatedly with a rope.

Steven Lock and the woman had signed a contract entitling him to whip her – and chosen a code word she could use if she wanted him to stop.

But she never used it – and he found himself in the dock after leaving her bruised and in tears by hitting her 14 times.

The jury found him not guilty of assault causing actual bodily harm, after hearing the pain he inflicted in August was similar to a ‘mistimed football tackle’.

The woman, who had ‘property of Steven Lock’ tattooed on her genitals, told the court she did not say the code word – red – as ‘I knew I wasn’t going to like it but I’d agreed to it and had to follow it through’.

But prosecutor Duncan O’Donnell said: ‘She went there expecting a fantasy when Mr Lock wanted reality.

‘She may have expected some playful spanking, to be hit lightly perhaps, but she received a lashing.’

Lock, of Ipswich, said he and the woman in her 40s ‘got the idea’ for their sessions from the hit erotic novel, after meeting through a dating website.

‘It was supposed to be kinky fun. I didn’t want her to cry,’ he told Ipswich crown court.

His lawyer, Roger Thomson, asked the jury: ‘Is this an assault any more than a mistimed tackle?

‘Fifty Shades Of Grey is not a manual: it’s a work of fiction and this is a case which demonstrates things can go wrong.’

A few thoughts about ‘gender’

Lots of people have a huge investment in the concept of ‘gender’, while at the same time claiming to be destroying or ‘transgressing’ ‘gender’.

I think the biggest source of confusion over what ‘gender’ actually is [I can’t be bothered putting inverted commas around ‘gender’ every time, please imagine them there!], is that a lot of people confuse gender with personality traits, and when you say you are against gender, or a gender agnostic, or genderless, or say that gender is harmful, people think you are against people having personalities.

There is a huge range of personality traits, some positive, some negative, some neutral; due to sex hierarchies, misogyny, and male supremacism, (roughly) half of these are labelled ‘masculine’, and (roughly) half of these are labelled ‘feminine’, and within those ‘masculine’ and ‘feminine’ traits, there will be positive, negative and neutral traits: being ‘assertive’ is a positive ‘masculine’ trait, while being ‘nurturing’ is a positive ‘feminine’ trait. Of course, even these are still sexist and hierarchical, with positive ‘masculine’ traits still held in higher regard than positive ‘feminine’ traits, and ‘feminine’ traits being restrictive: for example, confined to the ‘private’ sphere of child-rearing.

In a post-gender world, we would not lose any of the positive human traits; we should lose the most negative human traits: the aggression, sadism and selfishness of masculinity, the triviality, passivity and masochism of femininity.

Some people seem to be addicted to gender, with a constant running tally of their ‘masculine’ and ‘feminine’ traits (although this will often be superficial and overly about appearance), and an extra-special unique designator for their own unique combination of traits, often with the added bonus of their own personal set of pronouns.

They are also addicted to the idea of ‘transgressing’ ‘gender boundaries’, seemingly without realising that you can’t ‘transgress’ with out a status quo to transgress against; you can’t be ‘gender queer’ without there being a ‘straight’ to shock – ‘transgression’ is ultimately conservative, and uninterested in real change, this is ‘identity politics’ rather than real political action.

Well guess what? You are not that special, everyone has a range of personality traits, and almost no one fits perfectly into ‘masculine’ or ‘feminine’ definitions (although many many people will make themselves and others miserable through trying), and most of us gender-non-conforming people just get on with it, we don’t need special labels, or our own personal set of pronouns, we can just get on with being human.