The first post I read Sunday morning was by the excellent blogger Charlie Glickman. With great pleasure I state publicly that he is a far better writer than I and has covered this issue well, so there is little I can add, but the subject is an important one, so I quote a bit of it here and highly recommend you follow his links to the other posts mentioned.
“Yesterday, Jezebel posted an article about a woman whose post on Fetlife (a social networking site for the BDSM world) about an experience of sexual assault resulted in the usual slut-shaming and victim-blaming. It’s worth checking out, and if you’re on Fetlife, take a look at the original post. The Jez piece ends:
Dayna’s experience with FetLife reminds us of Rebecca Watson’s horrific account of rampant misogyny in the skeptic community. You’d expect a certain amount of enlightenment from a social network that celebrates alternative sexuality, right? Well, looks like you’d be sorely disappointed.
As someone who has moved through different facets of the BDSM world for a while, as well as many other communities of erotic affiliation, I’ve seen this pattern play out before. A lot of these crowds present themselves as non-judgmental and welcoming, but sooner or later, they don’t manage to live up to the expectations that message creates and people become disillusioned. In my experience, that’s at least partly because those expectations are unrealistic, and I think it’s worth unpacking them to see if there’s anything we can do about them.”
While I accept Charlie’s conclusion (yea, you will have to read it yourself), and understand that any community is built from a wide variety of people who have come from their own backgrounds of “racism, sexism, homophobia, ageism, classism, cisgender privilege, transphobia, ableism, and every other kind of privilege/oppression you can name”, I think it is important to recognize those attitudes and do what we can to change them. I am sure Charlie would agree.
I am ashamed to find that at age 65, I am still surprised at what women must endure, and have endured daily at the hands of men who, for the most part, truly believe that their behavior is acceptable. I am bothered to see the number of people who can not, to even the slightest degree, stand up and say this is wrong, and I am deeply bothered that in many or most cases of such behavior, the first response from the woman and most respondents to her story is, “What did she do wrong?”.