"The greatest feminists have also been the greatest lovers. I'm thinking not only of Mary Wollstonecraft and her daughter Mary Shelley, but of Anais Nin, Edna St. Vincent Millay, and of course Sappho. You cannot divide creative juices from human juices. And as long as juicy women are equated with bad women, we will err on the side of being bad."
What is Feminism?
To start, I would like to offer some definitions of Feminism.
First, from Wikipedia:
"Feminism is a collection of movements and ideologies aimed at defining, establishing, and defending equal political, economic, and social rights for women."
Next, from Merriam-Webster:
: the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes
: organized activity on behalf of women's rights and interests
Now that we are working with a few definitions, we can begin to examine what feminism is. As I was taught in my gender inequality class, feminism is the movement for true equality between the all of the genders.
Feminists want to have a world where pay is equal no matter what gender one is. They want to see a world where there is no longer jobs that are feminine or masculine. They want everyone to be equal in education and to succeed on merit without gender being a factor.
Most of all, feminists want women to have all the same choices and options of men.
What is submission?
Once again, working with some definitions.
Returning to Wikipedia, we get the following:
"Unlike the usual "power neutral" relationships and play styles commonly followed by couples, activities and relationships within a BDSM context are often characterized by the participants' taking on complementary, but unequal roles; thus, the idea of informed consent of both the partners becomes essential. Participants who exert sexual control over their partners are known as dominants or tops while participants who take the passive, receiving, or obedient role are known as submissives or bottoms."
Defining submission is hard. It is very individual. The important thing to take from the Wikipedia quote is the informed consent. Informed consent can not be given with partners that are unequal.
Submissives, male, female, or any other, all are given the opportunity to choose what they will and won't do. Submissives of all kinds are individuals who express their psychology and sexuality in a way that is fulfilling to them.
How I can do both.
I consider myself both. I am an educated feminist. I know the disparities in our culture on the political, social, and economic levels, and I actively participate in our Democratic process to encourage equality. I actively work to educate others about the inequality that still exists. I have always lived my life as a feminist.
I also have been a submissive to three different men. Our dynamics were always different, but the one I am with now would probably be the most intense of the three. When we engage in BDSM play, I am cuffed and beaten often until I am covered in blue bruises. I am called terribly demeaning names like cock slut, cum dumpster, fuck hole, and fuck toy. I beg for things. He gags and chokes me.
The funny thing is, I asked for it all. I am the one always pushing for more. I want to play more. I want to do more when we play.
My dominant is a sadist. He is wired so that causing pain is sexually arousing for him. He is also completely in love with me. He dotes on me. He cooks for me every day and cleans up the house. He buys me stupid Frankenstein things all the time because that is what I collect. He engages with me in conversations about our future with me as an equal partner. Outside of the bedroom, he actually gives me more power in making choices because I am a control freak and he doesn't care.
I own a business that employs five women and two men. It is a manufacturing business. My main manager is a woman. Everyone is paid equally. Everyone who wants to use the power tools is taught. Often, I am the one teaching them. My dominant cooks everyone that works for me dinner.
We don't believe in gender roles. We believe in people doing what makes them happy. Being his submissive sometimes is one of the many things I do that makes me happy.
I would like to leave you with this quotes from an interview Megan Carpenter did with Jessica Wakeman, a feminist writer, that was featured on the blob Jezebel, which is known as a feminist blog.
One common critique of women that engage in consensual BDSM play is that they are acting out patriarchal fantasies, rather than engaging in acts that legitimately bring them pleasure. Another is that women engage in such play because they are coerced, or because they are "taught" that such things are sexy because they or their partners saw it in porn. How would you respond to that?
The argument that women who enjoy BDSM are "taught" they should be submissive in bed is insulting to me as a feminist: I'm not a little girl who needs other people to tell me what's best for me. I choose to trust the men I "play" with." I know what kind of pornography and erotica turns me on. I know what kind of touch turns me on. I know what kind of words and tone of voice turn me on. In fact, there's sort of a joke in BDSM that submissives are actually the dominant ones because they have ultimate control (like with a safe word). As far as spanking play goes, I've always been the ones telling men to do this to me, to do it harder, to do it softer, and when to stop. I guess you could argue that I've been brainwashed into being kinky, but that would be a reach.