xposted from my Livejournal
Well, I saw the SM bit of The Price of Pleasure.
I should probably be more pissed off than I am at it, but I'm really quite burnt out on other people's SM hate.
For those of you who don't know, the worst part of its depictions of SM: Images of dunking bound women in water, juxtaposed with images of torture from Pinochet's regime.
Time was, I'd be really angry at that.
Now, I'm just sad. If people want to think, and say, and profit on, the idea that I'm an inhuman monster, I can't stop them. The Goddess knows I've tried.
And I'm getting tired of it, and don't feel like engaging with anyone like that any more. If you presume I'm a bad person -- or hasten to tell me that you think I'm a lovely person but the Patriarchy made me get off on something that wasn't very nice, but you give me your holy permission to continue using whips -- I'm just done with you. Done until we meet and talk and you walk away shocked.
But I'm not throwing in any towels, here. I've got something to say. I've always got something to say.
And that is that I envy, with every fiber of my soul, people whose lives are so damn safe that they can actually, with a straight face, have the same terror of consensual sex that they have of actual torture.
Before I go on, I want to note that I do understand that some people have experienced intense violence and are triggered by SM. My beef isn't with them at all, as long as they understand that my triggers and their triggers may not be the same things. And that, hey, even if they are the same things, some people actually deal with things that are serious for them by working them out in controlled environments.
Risky? You bet.
Wrong and bad? Only if you think that you know better than some other individual person how she should deal with her trauma.
My beef? Is with whiny academics like Jensen and Dines and Whisnant and the makers of this film, for whom conflating these things is lucrative. People for whom pearl-clutching and sympathy are a profit machine: Money, attention, tenure when your arguments are shot full of holes.
My problem is them. Because they're as far removed from the reality of Pinochet's regime as they are from the reality of sadomasochists like me. Jensen doesn't know what torture is. Maybe he knows what guilt is. But all he knows is what it's like to feel bad about himself, and get attention as riveted and intense from his fans as a porn star gets from hers. And he profits from not knowing the difference.
My issue is not that he doesn't like SM. I don't give a fuck about that. My issue is that when he says shit like that, he trivializes torture.
He teaches people who have a visceral squick at SM -- and there are many such people, and I'm fine with them -- that that reaction, that revulsion, is just the same as what it means to recoil from the violent tactics of a State committing war crimes.
And young college girls -- who I again have nothing against, I was one myself ten years ago, and it feels like not so long ago at all -- eat it up. Because, with rare exceptions, they're not people with a passion for ending torture. They're nervous kids who don't want pressure from a boy. And they get to feel totally vindicated, because that's just like torture, OMG.
I envy people who know so little about real pain that they can make that parallel without retching. It's got to be nice to have lived such a safe little life that you have no idea what the difference is.