Sunday, July 5, 2009

Patriarchy or Matriarchy? Either Way Someone Gets Screwed

When people do what they are convinced is good for everybody (read that as being self righteous, self centered, stupid, destructive, etc.) there are others who (1) will not go along with the movement because it is not their theory, (2) will be hurt as a result of the movement’s fallout, or (3) will support it but will be punished by backlash. See a number of religions, suffrage, civil rights, feminism and lately immigrants’ rights. I am not saying that any of these are necessarily wrong. What I am saying is that the promoters are initially well intentioned, even if ill-informed. Then the movement becomes corrupted by the over-zealous. If it is not already one, they tend to turn it into a concept similar to religion: only the righteous support it, others are against it, therefore, they are the enemy. The zealous promoters overlook the original intent and steer the movement toward their own goals at the expense of the original recipients. Ultimately they will anger even those who were for the idea at the beginning. Meanwhile the believers who are still true to the concept need to go underground to avoid reprisal from both sides.

I am skipping over the Eastern and Moslem views of male-female roles in order to simplify an already complex point. In “gender specific roles” as defined mostly in a Western patriarchal society, females have been expected to cook, clean, raise children, shut up before the “provider” of the household. Males have been expected to be stoic in face of adversity, bring home the carcass after the hunt, and keep the neighbor tribe’s members from copulating with his women. The children take whatever is available.

In the last thirty or so years the feminist movement has done some good. It also has done some damage that will take some decades to repair. What we see today is the gender confusion of most males (see metrosexual male, for example), and the disappointment of many females. Neither gender is sure of what is expected of them, so they mill about without true purpose. I find this worse than the original gender specific roles. At least back then every body knew what was expected of them, and could take a course in life to support it or to fight it. Now it is impossible to take a position without angering people on all sides of the issue.

What is not covered by patriarchal or feminist rules is to allow people to do what comes natural to them. It is not necessary to promote patriarchy or matriarchy for all. It could be that a child does not know his or her preferences, and needs to just go with the flow or general education until some sign of purpose is achieved. Surely you can groom a child or young adult to be able to satisfy your beliefs, but your beliefs don’t necessarily work for them on the long run. Some women and men are destined to be leaders. Others are destined to be followers. You can try to change that, but you would be messing with people’s lives against their nature.

Some people will never figure out what they want, and I don’t want to talk about that now. What I find intriguing is the total reversal of patriarchy by some promoters. You could take any patriarchal rule, custom, expectation, behavior, etc., and switch genders. What you get is female supremacy. The potential for a bad outcome is about the same.

There may still be a good fallout from this reversal of roles. It has shown that women can do things that were assumed to be strictly men’s jobs, and that there are things that you cannot or should not do if you are the wrong gender. If we can sort out all of this, we will have improved our society.

Feminization and Sissyfication

I read about certain aspects of D/S and keep running into the terms, “feminization” and “sissyfication”, usually with respect to a female doing it to a male to satisfy a male’s fantasy. The two terms don’t convey the same idea. Feminization is a straightforward tendency for a male to appear or to cultivate feminine characteristics. Whether it is forced, desired, or done in role-playing, it tends to emphasize the coveted attributes of a female. Sissyfication is a little more convoluted. It is trying to do the same, but nobody is kidding anybody about the outcome. The subject is not trying to be, even if forced, to be feminine. Rather, he is emulating the timid, subservient, soft, lack of force characteristics that were expected of the female in a patriarchal society.

I am not castigating anyone who is into this sort of play or life style. I think that it can be fun, it can work for people who buy into it, and it is generally harmless. It’s great when a couple can make it part of their everyday life, or even occasional D/S or role-playing. My only objection is the assumptions implied by the term, “sissyfication”. If one is into FLR, then by definition, the female partner is not a “sissy”. Yet this word, as defined by Merriam-Webster, is “an effeminate man or boy; also : a timid or cowardly person”. It seems almost a double-negative in this context. A supreme woman cannot be a timid or cowardly person, but a man, if one tries hard enough, can be turned into a sissy, which was an effeminate attribute in the first place. So the man is being turned into a woman who is not being herself, rather, she is being a wimp. Only, the man is doing that, not the woman. Or if the woman is doing it, she is doing it to the man. Is anybody following this reasoning?

Then there is the submissive male who is a “wife” to his dominant female. We need some new terminology here. The problem is that the old meaning of some words don’t suffice. A wife, according to Merriam-Webster, is the female partner in marriage. It does not really say anything about being dominant or submissive, unless one is fixated on a patriarchal or matriarchal view. So, “being a wife to a wife” is confusing in either context. Even more, it is derogatory in this sense, because “being just a wife” is demeaning to a woman regardless of her position. Oh my! Where do we go from here?

If you dig deep enough, you come out on the other side.

Some Other Feminine Words that We Dislike

Many of us know derogatory words when referring to females or certain parts of females. It is interesting that in FLR blogs, one very seldom sees these words. For example, I have never seen the words, cunt or whore, pardon the demonstrational usage. Although they are used in other segments of society, especially in pornography, they are considered impolite and irreverent in this context. On the other hand, I have seen, and even used, the word, bitch. It is less crude, and can be very appropriate, but again, it is seldom used. Other than these, I would be hard pressed to find any derogatory word toward a female. In role-playing anything agreed upon goes. In real life it should be different. Here is where valid education comes in. We in the FLR movement have been educated in the proper way to talk to, talk with, and to address women. Sometimes in play we will use these words with our women, and that is OK, as in, “You may call me a son of a bitch (implying that I am an illegitimate son of a woman of loose morals), but better smile while you are saying it.” At other times it is not proper.

Is Being Polite The Same As Being Submissive?

Why should our education in FLR be different in this respect from our peers’ education or those of our children? Sometimes one will say a crude word for shock value, in anger, in deliberate insult, or to provoke anger in others. Even then an educated and reasonable person can accomplish the same without being crude. It is not necessary to be crude in order to be dominant. Neither is it necessary to be submissive to be polite. FLR takes a cross section of society. There are all kinds of social, economic, religious and ethnic background among us. Yet we come together on these without being forced. Is not that amazing?

Do you ever lose your temper and utter derogatory words? Do you later feel embarrassed and wish that you had not said them? Do you employ impolite or even rude behavior when dealing with people assumed beneath your status?

This approaches an issue I related in an earlier post Screaming Dominance. In it I referred to the action of a so-called Domina in a stylized relationship. She does not have a good handle on the situation, so she resorts to screaming, name calling, repeated vulgarity. Yes, I know, this is not real life. Yet, I can easily visualize a dominant woman with self-control and assurance getting the job done without these unattractive modes of behavior.

I have learned a few things since I dipped my toes into the waters of FLR. I don’t lose my temper. I am polite. I don’t demand things to be done for me. This attitude has carried over to my dealing with other people under varied circumstances. If you observed my behavior, you would see that I am neither a “bully” nor a “sissy”. I can get the job done most of the time by using what I have learned in FLR. If I had to describe this behavior, I would call it “being self-confident and politely assertive”. Of course, this may not be proper when I am under the direct physical control of a trusted female. Then I would follow her rules.

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