More Nightmares Dressed As Fantasy

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So I went with a bunch of friends to protest at the UK premier of 50 Shades of Grey. This book/film glamorises the abuse, rape and torture of women, dressing it up as “kink” and calling itself a “love story”. Those of you reading this who have intimate experience of men who fantasise themselves to be women may be well aware of the practice of BDSM within these relationships*. The female “heroine” of 50 Shades is portrayed as naive and “submissive”, her sexuality being “awakened” by a powerful, rich, sadistic man who stalks, isolates, tortures and ignores her personal and sexual boundaries to the point of rape. The author of the book and director of the film claim that the heroine’s journey is one of “empowerment”, as she submits to Mr Grey’s sadism and finally “heals” him from his inner “torture” that drives his sadistic impulses. It is said that since she “consents” to such abuse, then there is no harm being done. Except that the glamorisation and eroticising of dominance and submission normalises the power imbalance of male/female relationships (and all inequalities). It portrays women as “naturally” submissive or “secretly” wishing to be dominated – even when they don’t realise it (!) – and contributes to rape culture and the gender-role stereotyping at the heart of female oppression.

So what do men who fantasise themselves to be women make of these pervasive tropes about female submissiveness and otherness? In my experience, and that of many of the women I speak to, the sexual fantasies of such men revolve around them not just “playing the part” of a woman, but specifically a woman who is “submissive”, “eager to please”, willing to be dominated, moulded, created for pleasure. A fuck toy. A thing. An object. The sexual preferences and comfort of their female partners are by-the-by – irrelevant to the workings of their inner fantasy. Intimate connection on an emotional level with these men is impossible. How can anyone emotionally connect with someone who is merely playing a role? Someone so dissociated from reality, from authentic intimacy.
These men talk about finding “a dominant woman” to play the domme to their sub. Their personal ads are full of “seeks woman to sissify and control me”, and other such lurid fantasies. Fantasies that include being bound, gagged, made to perform sex acts, forcibly injected with hormones, humiliated, kidnapped and even raped. All things that I presume they think are “natural” for a woman to endure.

The fact is, that an actual “dominant” woman is the last thing they actually want outside of their all-encompassing paraphilia. A woman who would actually say NO to them is not an attractive proposition to these vampiric men, with their offensive and misogynistic ideas of what a woman *is*. Their ideas about women are shaped by their reading of pornography, their observation of sexist and woman-hating media portrayals of women, and the stench of their own male privilege. Women, initially lured in by these men’s pledges to cater to their every whim as their “sub”, quickly find out the nature and reality of being “topped from the bottom” (to borrow some BDSM speak). Their ideas about what a woman “is” would be ludicrous if they weren’t actually horrific.
So standing waiting for an opportunity to raise our banner and make some noise at the 50 Shades premier, we were subjected to scenes from the film being shown on a large outdoor screen. As I watched scenes of “Mr Grey” preparing his torture equipment, or “Anastasia” simpering or crying, doe-eyed and vulnerable, I began to shake and fat tears rolled down my cheeks at the memories I hold inside, at the cheering crowds of women believing the lie that this represents “love”.

*Please don’t bother trying to defend BDSM, or accuse me of “shaming” or “phobia” of one sort or another. I won’t publish such comments so you will be wasting your time.

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Houston, We Have A Problem

Satellite_450x350It has been a while since I wrote anything for this blog. I went through a period of needing to step away. I hadn’t realised when I started this that doing this would have quite the emotional impact on me that it has. I started and abandoned several posts, but needed to take that space to concentrate on other things – to avoid being consumed again.
For years my life revolved around someone else’s emotional comfort. Someone else’s want’s, wishes and desires. I became a tiny satellite in orbit around planet Gender. Unable to pull away from it’s gravity, spinning around and around, sending the occasional signal out into the universe, never really being heard. Believing that nothing or no one was hearing my distress signal. Sometimes the signal would be picked up, only to be reflected back at me with a message saying that my message was faulty, that I should return to base for adjustment.
In oh so many ways, it was this that damaged me most. That gave me nightmares. That almost literally killed me with self-neglect. I stopped taking medication I need to function daily. I ignored clear warning signs of serious physical problems. I ate, and ate, and ate, till I could hardly move my body. I self-medicated with alcohol. There are years that are just a blur of self-loathing and numbness. The feeling that the world had gone mad and I was the only sane person left. The self-doubt – maybe it’s *me*.
I have seen a few of my critics say that I have based my “TERF” “bigotry” on my experience with just one bad apple in the trans barrel. I have been accused of lying, of exaggerating. They have said that I was unlucky to find myself with an abusive man. That I shouldn’t extend my “hatred” to a community as a whole based on a bad experience with one individual. As if saying “The Emperor has no clothes” is an act of “hate”. I have been added to their ever expanding list of “TERFs” and “hate groups” (hellooooo, Dave (Dana) Lane Taylor).
To them, I say this:
You have no fucking idea of how I got here. And your opinion means less than nothing to me.
I knew I was in an abusive relationship. I felt paralysed to do anything about it. I just wanted to get my life over as quickly as possible. I actually *felt nothing* any more. No hurt, no joy. Just existence. How many other women live like that? Countless numbers I suspect. It wasn’t till I came to realise that it’s all connected that I saw a window to escape from. It’s all Patriarchy, it’s all gender. From FGM, to “domestic” abuse, to pornography, to prostitution, to men who say they are really women – it’s all connected. It’s all men getting what men want in a man-made world. It is men determining what women are, what women are for, who we can associate with, where we can draw boundaries, whether or not we are fully human. It is men who benefit from erasing our female experience, and instituting a kind of mass amnesia, enforced by threats – of suicide or physical, emotional, or social harm. It is male dominance. It is male violence.
So maybe this blog hurts the feelings of a few men who wish they were women. Quite frankly, I don’t care. It’s not for you – fancy that! I will continue to speak out. I will continue to tell others about the underbelly of transgenderism. I will continue to speak about how GENDER HURTS. `
I know this post hasn’t been a new revelation about my life with a man who thinks he is a woman (I notice that the “confessional” posts get more clicks), and I promise to post something in the next few days. I just needed this off my chest. Thanks for reading.