liv: oil painting of seated nude with her back to the viewer (body)
[personal profile] liv
So when I was composing my post about PDA I intended to include in the discussion my reaction [personal profile] thingswithwings's post on I don't like X but. And the post got a bit out of hand, so I didn't have time to get to that discussion, so I'm adding it here.

This is a very meta sort of post, I'm talking about talking about potentially charged topics. So I'll at least mention violence including sexual violence, and I will also refer to sexually explicit including kinky stuff. I don't expect to go into lots of detail about anything, but those will be the topics. And now I'm being the centipede because the whole post is about how I should phrase this kind of description of what I'm about to write about and of course I've made myself completely self-conscious about doing so.

I sort of agree with [personal profile] highlyeccentric that perhaps what I'm doing here is simply rehashing the trigger warnings debate, but I also reckon I have the beginnings of some ideas that are at new at least to me. Most of what got left out of the PDA post was to do with figuring out the most appropriate way to talk about kink. Certainly, not at all, or only in private spaces, are options, but not really my preferred option from where I'm starting at the moment.

So [personal profile] marina linked to [personal profile] thingswithwings' post from Twitter, and I read it and followed lots of the links to older iterations of the discussion, and I've been turning it over in my mind a bit. There was also some interesting discussion chez [personal profile] rmc28.

And it's true, I absolutely do the thing of saying, it's not my kink but, I'm not usually into this but. I don't think I'm doing that because I want to distance myself from those icky perverted tastes, but I take [personal profile] thingswithwings' point that it doesn't have to be intentional to be part of a pattern. In my post about power stuff, I wasn't so much talking about fiction itself as I was self-disclosing, so talking about what I'm into or not into seemed like relevant information; that's perhaps a slightly different situation from the one discussed in the post, which is mainly to do with recs and comments on kinky fic within the fandom community. I'm pretty sure I am distancing by mentioning more than I really need to that I'm not into Fifty Shades of Grey. I want to say that's more of a snobbery thing than a kink thing, I wouldn't want anyone to think I read serial-numbers-filed-off bad fanfic. But in some ways it's distancing from the kink as well, because I don't think it's meaningfully consensual.

What this brought to mind was the research that suggests politically conservative / authoritarian types are often strongly motivated by questions of purity and disgust, where as more liberal types care about fairness. And I'm a typical liberal in that I really think when it comes to sex, whatever's consensual is ok. But in some ways it feels like I'm just lucky that I'm squicked by non-con, I don't know if I can really claim the moral high ground compared to people who are squicked by body fluids. I can make a case why there really is a bright line between consensual stuff, however gross, however medically unwise, no matter how much it recapitulates oppressive dynamics; and anything that is imposed by one person on another against their will. Even if I convince myself of that, though, I don't want to apply that standard to imagination. I don't think people should be made to feel ashamed of their fantasies, and I don't at all want to argue for censorship of fiction and art, erotic or any other.

So where that leaves me is that, empirically, lots of people are sexually drawn to things that are taboo. And some of those things are taboo because (our society generally finds) they are gross, some because they involve hurting people, and some things because (our society generally finds) they are morally unacceptable. I am strongly committed to the idea that having those desires doesn't make you a bad person, because I don't want a purity-based morality, I want as much room as possible for the broadest diversity of personal choices. I want to be supportive of people who are into stuff I'm offended by, because I would want that same respect myself, and because I don't think my sense of offensiveness is a good moral barometer.

I think one of the key points that [personal profile] thingswithwings makes is that a lot of what pretends to be morality is really respectability policing, it's enforcing normative relationships and contributing to harm towards people who don't fit that norm. I'm somewhat uncomfortable with the analogy between homophobia and kink-shaming / anti-kink prejudice. On one level, yes, the analogy really does hold, and I think the examples of early slash fiction having a lot of no-homo disclaimers is pertinent, as is the concept of homonormativity where it's ok to be "gay" as long as that looks like two gender-normative men who completely recapitulate conventional heterosexual socially approved relationships. And yes, prejudice against kinky people can lead to real-world harm including violence, as [personal profile] thingswithwings argues cogently a comment. Even acknowledging that, I never like trying to claim that any sort of unfair treatment is the same as systematic oppression, it risks being appropriative.

I have occasionally come across the idea, and I need to read more background on this, that there's a difference between oppressed groups and... some other term which is not despised but something along those lines. Trying to decide who's "really" oppressed versus privileged is not a productive line of discussion IMO, but if there were another term for people who are rejected and discriminated against but not part of historically oppressed communities, that might perhaps be useful. I mean, groups like nerds, goths, furries, poly people, and, yes, kinksters. Which is not to minimize how dangerous it can be to be [despised]. There certainly are examples of people who have lost jobs and families and been subjected to violence because of belonging to a subculture not accepted by the mainstream. And the consequences don't have to be that extreme to matter, being bullied and rejected is absolutely serious and absolutely not acceptable just because it's different from homophobia.

My point is, I'm not looking for an excuse to be horrible to kinky people, or rather, people who are differently kinky from me, just because they're not "really" oppressed, far from it! I think [personal profile] thingswithwings has a really good point and I do think it's a good idea for me to at least stop and think before I make declarations of what I'm Not Into. But at the moment I do go with labelling kinky stuff carefully so that people can decide if they want to read it. I don't want to be forcing discussion of topics that people may find uncomfortable or upsetting or traumatic onto anyone. I think I do risk falling into a respectability trap, of putting more negative labels on kinks that either I disapprove of myself, or that I think most of my social group are likely to disapprove of. Like in the text outside the cut in this post, I said I would mention violence, sexual violence, sex and kink. I absolutely do not think those things are equivalent! I tried to make my wording clear and not imply that kinky sex in any way belongs in a category with real-world rape, but maybe in mentioning it at all I contributed to a general negative attitude towards kink.

Of course, there's the compromise of using content notes rather than warnings, especially "trigger" warnings. I do generally try not to make a judgement of what other people will or should find upsetting or triggery. But I'm not sure that really solves the problem; to go back to the somewhat shaky homophobia analogy, it's potentially like the fact that same-sex behaviours get higher film ratings than the equivalent opposite-sex behaviours. Being rated for older viewers isn't in itself a negative comment on same-sex affection, but if that keeps happening as a pattern, it contributes to the idea that same-sex interactions are somehow more weird or more shocking or more dangerous. Likewise if I make a point of saying that I'm discussing or linking to kink, I'm marking kink as non-normative.

Following links outwards from [personal profile] thingswithwings' post I read some really thoughtful comment discussion referencing the fact that some kinks play on things that are taboo not because of arbitrary social prejudices, but because they mimic things that if they happened IRL would be violent or oppressive. I do think it's morally right to give people the choice over whether they want to be exposed to something like that. There's also the issue, which some people in related discussion have raised, that it's a cop-out to just say, oh well, it's my personal sexual taste, so it's above criticism. Kink culture is sexist and racist and full of oppressive hierarchy, just like broader culture, and it's true that it's not fair to put all the blame for these wider problems on kink, it's also not right to hide behind the claim that if it's sexual and therefore part of people's identities (or indeed, if it's art and freedom of expression), it must be morally good.

Sometimes when talking about kink, there is a positive moral value as well as a potential harm in mentioning that the non-consensual or oppressive stuff being simulated or imagined is actually a bad thing. Like, goodness knows there's enough cultural messages telling women that they should give up their autonomy and do whatever men say, or that it's understandable if men are violent towards their partners if the partners are irritating, without making men controlling and beating women into this glamorous and sexy thing. Not only do I want to shield survivors of intimate partner violence or incest from unexpectedly stumbling across depictions of something that looks like what they went through, I want to send a clear message that IRL violence, incest etc are wrong. And I would like to find a way to do that without kink-shaming, if possible.

Right, that ended up being not quite coherent. Let me put it out there anyway and see what people think.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-02-26 06:56 pm (UTC)
ursula: (Default)
From: [personal profile] ursula
My observation has been that if you think liberals aren't motivated by concepts of purity & disgust, you haven't talked to them about the ethics of food lately.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-02-27 11:57 am (UTC)
franzeska: (Default)
From: [personal profile] franzeska
*cackles*

(no subject)

Date: 2015-02-26 08:07 pm (UTC)
highlyeccentric: Sign on Little Queen St - One Way both directions (Default)
From: [personal profile] highlyeccentric
Uuugh. I take twings' point on the "i don't like [thing] but I like your story" comments, but I think she includes far too many expressions of dislike for [thing] under the heading of unacceptable (eg comments in one's own space).

Still, the first time we had this debate (i swear she's written that essay before!) I realised I was using "I don't like x but" as an apology, uncertain of my right to participate in that particular discussion or fannish sub-set. I had the self-awareness to recall the amount of time I spent being vaguely apologetic for not being queer and, given how that turned out, decided *not* to air any more of that particular personal journey in the direction of fandom.

I miss the concept of a squick, though. That seems to have... vanished since 2010 or so. There is stuff that makes me uncomfortable that is not Actually Triggering (and if the moon is in the right phase and the right counterweights are applied, that discomfort might be transmuted to fascination). There doesn't seem to be a vocab for navigating that in fandom anymore.
Edited Date: 2015-02-26 08:08 pm (UTC)
highlyeccentric: Sign on Little Queen St - One Way both directions (Default)
From: [personal profile] highlyeccentric
Update: interesting, I recall implicated2's post from the yuletide letter debacle, but I think I read it before she updated it, because... well, the concerns about not being able to state boundaries are *exactly* what bugged me about that debacle. I specified no smut at all (if that's the only boundary that'll be acceptabe then that's what we go with!) the yuletide immediately after, and have since withdrawn entirely and avoid all pre-yuletide discussions because I just cannot be having with this.

*I* am probably projecting but many of those posts read to me as... prude-shaming? Which is not intended (... usually), but I do not wish to be party to a fandom culture which discourages folks, especially young women, from owning their squicks as confidently as their kinks. Because out there in the real world, people *do* try to undermine and shame you for not wanting to do things, especially if you're lukewarm on them - many men are hard boundaries or nothing people, men and women both will mock the inexperienced or uncomfortable or super vanilla (recall the Sex & the City first series, how often Charlotte was the butt of jokes just for being romantic and unadventurous?).

(no subject)

Date: 2015-02-27 10:48 am (UTC)
highlyeccentric: Sign on Little Queen St - One Way both directions (Default)
From: [personal profile] highlyeccentric
I don't know *why* people are afraid of that, because I don't think it actually happens (but it might, in some canons - consider the problem of Nazis in X-men. If you want all your Nazis off-screen, you'd better mention that), but I think the assertion that you should stop stating your "nos" really aggravated that fear.

I also don't agree that people say "light kink" solely as a respectability thing (yes, it's a bit vague, and more importantly varies by subset of fandom). But then I just feel like apologizing for not being kinky enough, and I've done enough of that in my actual sex life.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-02-27 11:47 am (UTC)
highlyeccentric: Sign on Little Queen St - One Way both directions (Default)
From: [personal profile] highlyeccentric
it's the internet and Yuletide in particular doesn't vet participants.

Yup. And since the Yuletide conditions are only matching on fandom and characters, I can completely understand the desire to give a "this stuff good, this stuff not" list. You could try explaining your caveats and requirements (as I have done when requesting BARE and Saved - 'no religious angst' would not be appropriate for those fandoms, but i really don't want a fic which treats either religious belief *or* apostacy as stupid), but... must you? Really? Every time? Plus you run as much of a risk that the author will not be able to understand or apply your preferences by saying something like that than by saying "no X".

"No X" is also how I negotiate my actual sex life, especially first encounters. I might like X under certain circumstances or with particular people, but I don't feel any need to declare that. If a partner can't roll with "No X, Y or Z" then they don't get to find out about "sometimes x, y only when i feel safe, and never z unless also q".

(no subject)

Date: 2015-02-27 12:47 pm (UTC)
highlyeccentric: Sign on Little Queen St - One Way both directions (Default)
From: [personal profile] highlyeccentric
if someone turns out to be pushy you're definitely not trusting them with any complex and delicate negotiations.

Likewise if they take a statement of "no x" as a judgement on them for x. I've only had that happen once in sex contexts, but it's happened enough in other contexts that I consider it quite plausible.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-02-27 10:44 am (UTC)
highlyeccentric: Slightly modified sign: all unFUCKed items will be cleared by friday afternoon. FUCK you. (All unfucked items will be discarded. Fu)
From: [personal profile] highlyeccentric
I agree it may be too much to ask people to police how they write reviews and commentary in their own space; maybe that should be differentiated from comments directly to authors, I'm not sure.

I think it should, yes. The sticking point seems to be Yuletide letters, which... well. You've seen how that went down.

Do people not talk about squicks any more? I find it a very useful concept, and I hadn't realized that usage had moved on.

I think so, yes. I'm not sure if it's a Tumblr effect, or if it's a product of that Yuletide letter debacle, or something else. But it seems to be either guache or OUTRIGHT OPPRESSIVE to talk about one's squicks. Which is probably fine, eg, akin to 'don't tag your hate', but... it seems to have faded out of fannish usage. It may still be in use in RL bdsm?

I am really squicked by anything to do with knives, and that's totally a personal thing and not in any way a moral judgement. But I also find Nazi stuff really really upsetting, and I don't think that's just a squick with no external moral consequences, though it's clearly not a trigger since I'm 40 years too young to have been persecuted by actual Nazis.

YUP. This is where we hit 'your fantasy is not actually immune from critical commentary'. Plus the doylist/watsonian distinction discussed in the post you linked to - perhaps one where the tendency to regard the characters-consensually-roleplay-thing as less of an Issue than characters-are-actually-living-the-thing might be reversed, actually. Actual Nazis in your X-men fic: canon realism (but not everyone wants to read it). Nazi roleplay in your x-men fic: the potential for either OUTRAGEOUS FAIL exists alongside the possibility of well-written stuff that many people would not touch with a ten-foot pole.

And, I mean... I do not want to read about religious conservatism, except when I do. But i *really* don't want to read about people role-playing fundamentalist housewives (one of my favourite athiest bloggers wrote some erotica along those lines, and I understand *exactly how* that works for her as an atheist because she wrote an essay on it. But I still like to pretend that entire subgenre does not exist). I've often felt like a fraud when asking people to screen their recs for religious angst, because I also have a list of canon and fic - and have WRITTEN, i started in Narnia fandom, geez - which get right into religious angst. I just want to retain control over which subsets I read, and there are many people I do not trust to understand what I'm after.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-02-27 12:08 pm (UTC)
highlyeccentric: Sign on Little Queen St - One Way both directions (Default)
From: [personal profile] highlyeccentric
But if I'm trying to discuss what I want, from a Yuletide gift or a fic rec (let alone negotiating with an actual play partner) it's fair enough to mention the things I don't want. I don't want to be pushed into stating everything in a positive way.

Yup. That's why I ended up deciding to exclude ALL smut from my yuletide request. I ended up just saying "I like smut well enough but don't give it to me for christmas". Which is *also* cramping the author's style (perhaps needlessly, as there are many kinds of smut I would like) but it became obvious that not only could one not trust the now-huge body of participants to have a common set of norms, stating positive preferences could come off as pushy and negative ones as discriminatory, and... I gave up.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-02-27 12:52 pm (UTC)
highlyeccentric: Sign on Little Queen St - One Way both directions (Default)
From: [personal profile] highlyeccentric
That's quite similar, actually.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-02-26 08:21 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
I think the cultural context/history of Your Kink Is Not My Kink But Your Kink Is OK (http://acronyms.thefreedictionary.com/Your+Kink+Is+Not+My+Kink+But+Your+Kink+Is+Ok) has been misunderstood. In every web based (and most books) place I've been reading about kink stuff since 2003 ish, YKINMKBYKIOK has been in use, encouraging(?)/providing a framework for people who come at kink from different places to talk about their respective kink preferences, showing tolerance of other people's preferences. [and I mean 'tolerance', not 'understanding' or anything more friendly than an awareness that these other kinks exist and are OK [ethical] for other people to do]. It's a marginalised community's way of increasing tolerance within that community (and of dealing with people who say "I'm not into x, am I really "kinky enough"?")

The answer as I see it is to encourage people to say the whole thing: "I'm not into x, but x is OK".

I have not read and don't intend to read Fifty Shades of Grey; ongoing power exchange is not my kink, dubious consent is not my kink. And actually, dubious consent isn't just not my kink, it's something that's actually not OK. So, no, I don't want what I do kink wise to be equated with what happens in fiction that misses out something fundamental to me in kink.

Non-consensual fantasies that are written about explicitly as fantasies are sometimes things I'm happy reading; because there's the acknowledgement that sometimes people imagine things they wouldn't actually want to do in reality. The things that read as closer to real world non-consensual/dubious stuff I'm less likely to want to read.

Basic kink-community standard would be that non-consensual play isn't kink, it's ABH/rape etc. It gets othered (and quite rightly so). Non-consensual fantasies don't IME, get treated in the same way, because it's known lots of people have fantasies about non-consensual stuff that they'd never act on. Forms of consensual non-consent get talked about, with there being differing views on whether these sorts of arrangements can be actually consensual.

I think the thing to say that's not kink shaming, is something like "Non-consensual kink in stories isn't really my thing, though it's a perfectly fine kink to have." [I'm not even sure you need to add on to the end a disclaimer that "obviously non-consensual kink in reality isn't actually kink and isn't what I'm talking about here" - it's so obviously outside the category I'm not sure it needs saying - though maybe it does to a mixed kinky/vanilla audience]

(no subject)

Date: 2015-02-27 10:59 am (UTC)
highlyeccentric: Sign on Little Queen St - One Way both directions (Default)
From: [personal profile] highlyeccentric
I mean, I'm not sure I want to say, I'm not into raceplay but YKIOK. And I equally don't want to say, anything to do with sexualized racism is terrible and horrible and nobody should ever fantasize about that or they're bad people.

This goes with the "it's just a preference!" (to only date thin people / white people / etc) argument. People push back really hard against the suggestion that their preference/fantasy is formed by the Dominant Paradigm, but it is, and the least you can do is be aware of it.

And with stuff like race... well, it's sorta similar to exploitation film, isn't it? If you're getting off on someone else's exploitation and then going about your daily life, _that shit aint cool_. But you hardly want to say 'no one should make films about the shitty shit non-white people have to put up with' nor that white people shouldn't enjoy them. So the practical remaining choices are: talk about this stuff; sometimes you do need to call people out on it; remember your intersectionality hat; but at the same time, the folk on the receiving end of that particular axis of privilege should get more talking time. Oh, and no two sufferers of x-oppression are *guaranteed* to have the same response to finding it in their fun-reading space. Some will want to get awaaaay and some will want to engage enthusiastically. So it behooves one to provide content notes.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-02-27 12:22 pm (UTC)
highlyeccentric: Sign on Little Queen St - One Way both directions (Default)
From: [personal profile] highlyeccentric
. I mean, with the Nazi kink thing, I understand it was really big in Israel in the 60s, so it's not like all Jews are going to have the same DNW reaction as me.

Yup. I am aware of at least one jewish Charles/Erik shipper who is in favour of Erik's Issues being worked out by sexy roleplay. I don't think I have anything like a comparable *entry* point to that, so I steer clear. But broadly speaking it's not inconcievable that people might triangulate: thing about *my* group is too close to home, but this one over here with similar dynamics is something I identify with enough to find it hot/helpful/taboo/etc.

I mean, the latter point about triangulation quite possibly explains a number of slash fiction tropes. Fandom *loves* Alexander/Hephastion type pairings, where there's a structural power imbalance sort of countered by or in tension with an intimate relationship. If this doesn't have something to do with the majority female community (including many straight ladies) and, y'know, the intersection of social/structural power with personal relationships I will eat my hat.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-02-28 05:21 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
[same anon as above]

I think consent of the audience to the sort of play you're doing is as important as consent between the participants, so with raceplay and play that looks non consensual and so on and all sorts of other play that I wouldn't want to watch and don't think is appropriate for public play spaces, unless the space is specifically designated for them, I feel comfortable enough describing these sort of kinks as not my kink but OK as kinks.

One of Easton/Hardy's books (can't remember which one) talks about people deliberately playing with concepts like racism/sexism and so on, as part of their play and maybe replaying things that have happened in real life, with different responses; maybe a black person getting to behave in a sterotypically racist fashion towards a white partner, in play, is something they choose to do, for a number of reasons.

Where it's white people doing raceplay together and maybe in a way that reinforces stereotypes of particular races, rather than challenges them, I'd probably think they were doing something unwise, but so long as they're adults, they're consenting to the play and they have the consent of any audience, I don't actually see a problem with it.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-02-26 10:44 pm (UTC)
siderea: (Default)
From: [personal profile] siderea
I have occasionally come across the idea, and I need to read more background on this, that there's a difference between oppressed groups and... some other term which is not despised but something along those lines. Trying to decide who's "really" oppressed versus privileged is not a productive line of discussion IMO, but if there were another term for people who are rejected and discriminated against but not part of historically oppressed communities, that might perhaps be useful. I mean, groups like nerds, goths, furries, poly people, and, yes, kinksters. Which is not to minimize how dangerous it can be to be [despised]. There certainly are examples of people who have lost jobs and families and been subjected to violence because of belonging to a subculture not accepted by the mainstream. And the consequences don't have to be that extreme to matter, being bullied and rejected is absolutely serious and absolutely not acceptable just because it's different from homophobia.

I think the word you're looking for is "stigmatized" and I'm not as convinced that stigmatized is so distinct from "oppressed". For instance, I've heard a lot of people claim that the status of poly people and kinksters isn't anything like that of GLB people and, well, it isn't now. But, boy, is it like the status of GLB people in 1945 USA. People in my state have been arrested and prosecuted for private consensual BDSM within the last 15 years. BDSM is still illegal in my jurisdiction: you can consent to be in a boxing match, but, legally, you can't consent to being punched in a bedroom. Meanwhile Boston has laws about "unrelated" people living together – intended to prevent boarding houses – hanging over the heads of poly families. Both statuses are considered per se reasons to lose children to the state or in custody battles. Both are things it is free to discriminate against people for.

And here's the thing: just like with homosexuality in the US prior to WWII and immediately following, these sorts of criminalization might not be widely enforced, but they were part of a cultural package of "well, we won't hunt you down and kill you for it, but you can get away with it, probably, if you stay in the closet", which makes people blackmailable.

In the US history of the repression of homosexuality, one crucial common justification was "well being a homosexual makes you blackmailable, so no person found to be homosexual can be trusted not to be suborned." it justified, for instance, employment discrimination by government, hospitals and banks. And let me be clear, gay people were blackmailed. It was a real thing.

This self-fulfilling blackmailable setup is still the case for poly and BDSM people, even if, at the moment, it's not being used against them. But what happened in the US after WWII was the Red Scare, and – little known fact – there was a massive uptick in the oppression of GLB people as part of the Red Scare. When you have a society that goes paranoid about infiltrators, of course it turns on people it's designated (forced to be!) subornable. The Federal government conducted purges of suspected gay employees as an attempt to protect itself from Commies.

It's scary to me how easily something like that could happen again.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-02-27 11:50 am (UTC)
highlyeccentric: Sign on Little Queen St - One Way both directions (Default)
From: [personal profile] highlyeccentric
I don't really feel like poly or kink are the same thing as queerness, *but*. A lot of the arguments for WHY that is not so look an awful lot like arguments for why bisexuals aren't subject to homophobia. "You could just stop doing that! You have a choice! Your relationships LOOK normal from the outside! You're in an opposite-sex relationship! etc".

Conversely, i once had a straight male dom tell me he was queer because he liked dominating women. I should've hit him with the patriarchy hammer.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-02-27 09:22 pm (UTC)
siderea: (Default)
From: [personal profile] siderea
"You could just stop doing that! You have a choice!"

Actually, that was historically an argument as to why homosexuality is immoral (US to the 1960s or so)!

There's this whole idea of sexual orientation which we take so for granted, which is not at all a universal or eternal concept. Previous to that paradigm, same-sex sexual behavior was understood as either simply behavior (if you were lucky) or behavioral evidence of psychopathology (which came in in a big way in the mid 1940s and persisted until the events that lead to the deletion of homosexuality from the DSM, a process kicked off in the months following Stonewall and concluding in 1974). Discourse about homosexuality -- even, as I understand it, in the pages of the Mattachine Review! -- was framed in terms of whether the behavior could be changed or at least desisted from. The idea that homosexuality had something to do with how one loves, unless one was offering the widely accepted theory that homosexuals couldn't love, was entirely outside of the cultural and scientific mainstream.

You know how cultural conservatives tongue-cluck over "the homosexual lifestyle"? You know who came up with that expression? Gay rights activists just post Stonewall! They came up with the idea of homosexuality being a lifestyle -- just as valid as any other lifestyle -- in rebuttal to the predominant cultural narratives that homosexuality was a (possibly compulsive) sexual behavior, and just a behavior. It was an attempt to get at the idea that same-sex sexual attraction was a bigger deal to a person than just what one did in the bedroom. If homosexuality was just a behavior, it was legitimate to say, as you note, "You could just stop doing that!"; they introduced the idea of "gay lifestyle" to say, "No, being gay is a whole package, it's more than whom we fuck or how we fuck, it's about whom we love, the relationships we forge, the communities we form! We have a right to live our lives as we please! And that includes loving whom we choose and all the rest!"
Edited (Improved clarity I hope.) Date: 2015-02-27 09:27 pm (UTC)

(no subject)

Date: 2015-02-27 09:24 pm (UTC)
siderea: (Default)
From: [personal profile] siderea
Conversely, i once had a straight male dom tell me he was queer because he liked dominating women. I should've hit him with the patriarchy hammer.

Well, it depends on how he meant it, but I might strongly disagree. When a straight male is willing to walk away from his straight privilege, to forfeit it, when he says, "Actually, I'm going to go sit on the queer people's bench where I belong," I think he's actually fighting patriarchy. Yes, even when his thing is "liking dominating women", which I'm assuming from context in this case means "has a sexual fetish for dominating women".

(no subject)

Date: 2015-02-27 09:33 pm (UTC)
highlyeccentric: Sign on Little Queen St - One Way both directions (Default)
From: [personal profile] highlyeccentric
He was a 24/7 dom and turned out to be unable to figure out that not all women were submissive, so, no. He was not all that interested in fighting the patriarchy (and that is not the same as queerness either, although they are overlapping things. Case in point, a great many gay men are very queer and very invested in hegemonic masculinity).

(no subject)

Date: 2015-02-28 12:18 am (UTC)
siderea: (Default)
From: [personal profile] siderea
He was a 24/7 dom and turned out to be unable to figure out that not all women were submissive, so, no.

It bothers me that you offer those as coequal faults, but yes, re the latter: hammer away.

and that is not the same as queerness either, although they are overlapping things. Case in point, a great many gay men are very queer and very invested in hegemonic masculinity

True that, alas.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-02-27 07:13 am (UTC)
legionseagle: (Default)
From: [personal profile] legionseagle
it's potentially like the fact that same-sex behaviours get higher film ratings than the equivalent opposite-sex behaviours.

Actually, the BBFC Guidelines expressly states:
We will apply these Guidelines in relation to
sex to the same standard regardless of sexual
orientation of the activity portrayed.


Which isn't as grammatical as it could be, but it makes the point clear enough.
Edited Date: 2015-02-27 07:13 am (UTC)

(no subject)

Date: 2015-02-27 11:51 am (UTC)
highlyeccentric: Sign on Little Queen St - One Way both directions (Default)
From: [personal profile] highlyeccentric
You're not wrong, the UK is an aberration. Australian and US ratings boards do not have such a policy. (Not sure about Europe. There could be an EU regulation?)

(no subject)

Date: 2015-03-18 10:44 am (UTC)
legionseagle: (Default)
From: [personal profile] legionseagle
I imagine it's affected by the EctHR's interpretation of the Declaration on Human Rights. But I understood [personal profile] liv to be based in the UK, so for these purposes BBFC is the right rating board.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-02-27 10:30 am (UTC)
naath: (Default)
From: [personal profile] naath
I think if I say "I don't read much X but I like Y-which-is-X" is mostly in a "I don't read much X so I can't comment on how good at X this Y is, compared to other X, but I know I like it" sort of a way.

I mean if I said "I don't usually read X Files fic but I was rec'd this because of the awesome sexy scat play and I really liked it" then I guess that would be taken very differently to "I don't usually read scat but I was rec'd this because of the awesome characterisation of Scully and I really liked it" but I think I'd mean essentially the same thing (but, with the things I knew about reversed). I guess that when actually communicating directly with the author it's important to remember about the cultural context of the work as well as your specific reaction to it; I think when seeking recs *for you to read* then it's important to specify what you liked about something, especially if it wasn't the first thing people think of when they think of the work, to increase the chance of getting recs that work for you. Also if you say "I haven't read much X" then people can say "Oh, Z is the BEST of all the Xs, you should certainly read Z" when otherwise they might not, thinking you must have read Z already (it's a classic of the genre!)

I don't think it's the same thing if you put content notes by things. Like if I say "I read this awesome X-Files scat fic" then I've clearly said what it is, I don't think it needs more notes; but if I say "I really like the fic Title I Made Up" I might add "(XFiles, scat, established relationship)" or something, so people have *some context* for what they're getting. You don't have to be triggered by something to not want to read it - it is true that I don't read X Files fic in general (because I didn't watch the show much, and don't have the canon background to make sense of it), or you might just be on a quest to read only a certain type of thing this month. And even if your reason for Not Reading it is "I find scat gross" well, that's a fine reason for *not reading about it*... it's not a fine reason to say "It should be BANNED" or "No one should write fic like that".

I think Content Notes get problematic if you only ever use them for things *you* find squicky or triggery. They should be included for a much wider set of things.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-02-27 11:54 am (UTC)
highlyeccentric: Sign on Little Queen St - One Way both directions (Default)
From: [personal profile] highlyeccentric
Twings' post *did* include in its examples things like "I don't like x pairing but" (or was that in the comments?). It is apparently very traumatic to be a minority shipper in some fandoms? IDEK. I deliberately pick small ships and like converting tourists, but apparently some people don't want to know.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-02-27 12:05 pm (UTC)
withagreatlove: (Default)
From: [personal profile] withagreatlove
Just a thought: have you read 'Purity and Danger' by Mary Douglas? I think it creates a conceptual framework for you to wrestle with a lot of these questions.

In a way, this problem is similar to theodicy: we have to make a distinction between 'evil' and 'suffering'. Evil are intentional acts of malice and are to be condemned and stopped. Suffering is open to the randomness of the universe - sometimes terrible things happen because they do and that's that.

The problem you've identified is more about 'evil' (or 'depravity') versus 'ickiness'. I think they speak to two entirely different taboos, although our reaction to taboos tend to overlap of course. Power differentials tap into a potentiality for evil. Engaging in non-conformist sexual acts is a different matter altogether. Lord knows there are plenty of 'normative' sexual acts that embrace and exploit a power differential, making them morally reprehensible in my book.

As Mary Douglas' book suggests, there are powerful reasons why we experience taboo and I wouldn't want to underestimate that. But I think a social discourse on why things are 'wrong' and not just that things are 'wrong' is useful. What's 'wrong' about 50 Shades of Grey is not the ick-factor (is there really any?) but the power differential.

Sorry if I'm stating the obvious here :)

(no subject)

Date: 2015-03-01 11:28 pm (UTC)
azurelunatic: A glittery black pin badge with a blue holographic star in the middle. (Default)
From: [personal profile] azurelunatic
I find submission sexy because it's a narrative of "I give myself to you, freely and of my own will."

I find Christian Grey creepy because (from all the bits of it I've heard quoted) when Ana expresses doubts about whether or not she wants to give herself (in whatever capacity) to Christian, instead of him making the space for her to make her own decisions and respecting her various ambivalence, he keeps forcing the issue and doesn't let her choose. He's not going to take "no" for an answer.

Submission is sexy to me because "no" is a possible answer.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-02-28 07:03 am (UTC)
siderea: (Default)
From: [personal profile] siderea
What this brought to mind was the research that suggests politically conservative / authoritarian types are often strongly motivated by questions of purity and disgust, where as more liberal types care about fairness.

Actually, the research in question (Haidt's) shows that conservatives are motivated by all of the (then five) moral domains, where liberals only were motivated by three. The two that liberals left out were purity (aka sanctity) and authority.

(Since the research I saw, there's apparently been added liberty/oppression, and I don't know if that's reflected in the conservatives, too.)

So yes conservatives (actually, most people world-wide) are motivated by a moral concern for purity and disgust, and liberals (in Western democracies) are motivated not at all by those things but by fairness, but conservatives are motivated about as strongly by fairness as purity.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-03-01 04:53 am (UTC)
silveradept: A kodama with a trombone. The trombone is playing music, even though it is held in a rest position (Default)
From: [personal profile] silveradept
I think most of what I could think of saying has anyway been said, so I'm just commenting to say I've read and find it interesting.

Soundbite

Miscellaneous. Eclectic. Random. Perhaps markedly literate, or at least suffering from the compulsion to read any text that presents itself, including cereal boxes.

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