Friday, February 17, 2012

Submissive shaming

Is there any woman more scorned than a submissive woman in this day and age? I think a woman could be two faced, promiscuous, poor, irresponsible, shallow, and still come out ahead of a submissive woman on the public-judgment scale. I think it's pretty sad.

I've been thinking about this the past week because of a review someone posted about one of my books. I won't link to the review, since it's generally kink-shaming, but what really disturbed me is that the reviewer referred to the submissive heroine as being a "hole" from the first to the last page, despite the fact that the heroine was independent, goal-oriented, strong, and ultimately successful in reaching her dreams. With that being the case, I can only surmise the character was labeled as a "hole" by the reviewer because she chose to live her life in subservience to a man.

Is choosing to live in subservience to a man a "wrong" choice? I say no, but public opinion, of course, says yes. It's difficult for those of us who do crave to submit, because now we feel as if we're being "bad" or wrong or misguided. That we're "setting back the women's movement", disgusting our stronger, worthier sisters. Or that we're just holes, for God's sake.

Male submissives deal with their own set of judgments of course, but for female submissives, the judgment is perhaps most harsh because it comes from our own sex, who fought for self expression and choice all these years. In my book Odalisque, there is a character, Satya, who is a feminist, but accepts Constance's desire to live in submission to the male sex. To me, this is the way it should be. Feminism means women have the CHOICE to either submit or not. Women have the right to fulfill their own sexuality, and that sexuality should not be pre-determined for women in any way. The sexuality of being a man's servant or slave should be an option, a respected choice, just like every other choice a woman in today's feminist world can make to fulfill her needs.

All of the submissive women I know are the way they are because it makes them happy. Because life is not as pleasant when they aren't on their knees. It's hard to explain to someone who doesn't get it--the pleasure in being at a man's whim, being made to serve, being hurt or humiliated or degraded even, if masochism is in the mix. (Masochist shaming is a post for another day, but it's rampant too.)

I fully understand why most modern women don't get female submission, I really do. But to condemn and belittle those who crave and desire this type of life is nothing more than slut-shaming's sidekick...kink-shaming. It's petty and pointless, and deeply frowned upon in lifestyle communities. There is a saying in the fetish world: Your kink is not my kink, but your kink is okay. (AKA YKINMKBYKIOK) Let's not shame and disparage. It upsets people and makes you look small. Submissive women will still choose to be submissive. If only they could be respected in that choice.


  1. Thank you so much for this blog posting. I just read a review of a book that had some light spanking, but wasn't graphic in nature enough to be labeled erotic or even erotica.

    One reviewer claimed that the men were all abusive in the book because they took joy in spanking their women. Well--duh, its the kink in the book, and those women enjoyed being spanked not 'abused'. I find it a tireless issue that people totally uneducated about the lifestyle choose to read books about anything borders on kink and then rip it apart. It is totally offensive to me, as a submissive.

    I am a wife, mother, and submissive and I feel stronger for it and will fight anyone that says other wise.

    Thank you for this post I will be sharing it out!

    - Bonnie

  2. I think some people just need to put down others to make them feel better about themselves. And for some reason it seems that women are the worse for putting down other women. I hope that no one allows other people's negativity to affect the way you see yourself. As long as you are happy with the choices you make for your life, it is no one else's business.

  3. Here's my theory about this - submission is devalued in our society because it's seen as a feminine trait, and thus less valuable or worthy than "masculine" traits, like dominance. Because of this, I think submissive men get shamed even more. :-/

    >>>It's difficult for those of us who do crave to submit, because now we feel as if we're being "bad" or wrong or misguided. That we're "setting back the women's movement", disgusting our stronger, worthier sisters.

    Ugh, this annoys the hell out me. It used to really shame me, but now it just seems so narrow-minded and ignorant.

    I love that you write submissive female characters who are smart and interesting. :)

  4. I have to admit that I get a chuckle out of outraged reviews of erotica. They hate it!

    And they read every page!

    In great detail!

    It just reminds me of homophobic men who turn out to be gay.