Friday, July 24, 2009


So. We've got this comic, which I'm guessing (from the language used) was made by an anti-BDSM radfem. Hm. Two reactions:

1) That third panel makes me cringe. If there's one thing that I've learned from intersectionalist analysis, it's that comparing one form of oppression to another (as in, "X oppression is just like Y!") is almost always problematic. And this particular example strikes me as less satirical and more... straight-up racist. I dunno - there's something about the use of a blackface character (in front of a black background, no less) with a "U.S.S. Kinky" hat talking in a stereotypical "darkie" accent that... it seems as though the creator of this comic doesn't really care about fighting racism and instead is just using provocative imagery to vilify BDSM. Because comparing kink to blackface? Really? Really?!

2) In the very next panel, the first sailor points out he can't help that he's turned on by women in bondage, while the second sailor (i.e. the mouthpiece for the creator) pontificates at length about how "this stuff" (I'm assuming he/the author means bondage porn) promotes violence against women at the expense of love and intimacy ("though there's nothing wrong with erotica," of course*). Meanwhile, Wonder Woman, who's hog-tied, says, "Hey guys! I think my feet are falling asleep!" But, of course, she's ignored.

I think this particular panel neatly encapsulates a lot of debate over BDSM (and porn, and basically any type of sex work, too). On the one hand, you've got the average consumer, who says, "I like what I like! Besides, I love women!" On the other hand, you've got the mostly radfem types who pontificate at length about how BDSM/porn/sex work/all of the above degrades all women, full stop. And the women actually involved in BDSM/porn/sex work/all of the above, who have the most to contribute to the conversation, are ignored by both sides.

But I don't think that's the point the author wanted to make.


*How does that old saying, go again? Something along the lines of, "What I like is erotica and is beautiful; what you like is pornography and is disgusting."

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