When I heard that the next Spanking Romance Roundtable was going to be on feminism and spanking, I knew I had to participate. For many years during my late adolescence and college years when I was first beginning to realize my interest in spanking and DD, I struggled with ideas of feminism and just how I could reconcile my feminist beliefs in equality with my own desire to have someone else be in charge, up to and including having the right to spank me if necessary. I recognized the conflict of the two beliefs. I believed completely that women were just as capable as men and were entitled to equal rights and equal respect. At the same time, I longed for relationship that embodied a lot of the patriarchal, males in charge, ideas that feminism railed against.
To make matters worse, I’m not only a woman. I’m a woman with a significant physical disability. To say I had cut my teeth on the idea of being independent would probably be an understatement. I’ve been actively fighting to what most people do without thought for most of my life, and without question the hardest part of that fight has been dealing with people’s attitudes. Legal equality is important, but it pales in comparison to that day to day ongoing battle for people to see me as an equal and as an adult independent woman. How could I even consider abdicating that hard-fought equality to a man? Wasn’t even considering doing so a betrayal of all that I had fought for all my life? How could I possibly be both independent and submissive?
At the same time, it very quickly became clear that trying to suppress my desire, in fact, I would even say my need, to be spanked was a losing battle. I tried for months on end. I told myself not to think about it, to stay away from the Internet sites, to put it out of my mind. Yeah right, that worked about as well as trying not to think about a pink rhinoceros. The harder you try not to think about it, the more you do, and the more desperate those thoughts become. Clearly, trying to bury it and forget about it wasn’t working, and if I couldn’t ignore it, then I had to find some way to reconcile this need with my other beliefs.
Bizarrely enough, I found my answer in a Women’s Studies class. The class was debating the idea that a sort of reverse bias was developing against stay-at-home moms. Were these women, by choosing to pursue a traditional role, somehow inferior to the working woman who embodies the feminist ideal? Somewhere in the midst of that discussion, someone made the point that feminism was really about choice. If women were to truly have equal freedoms and rights, then they also had to have the freedom to make the choice that suited them and their families without fear of recrimination. To do so was no different than the bias that had originally existed against women working. There it was. That was my answer. I wish I could say it hit me like a sudden epiphany and I no longer struggled, but the truth is it took me a while to connect the dots between that and my own struggle. Feminism guaranteed me the choice. If I then chose to consent to a DD relationship, that was my right and my choice, and that choice was just as valid as any other choice.
Sadly, society hasn’t yet caught up to my revelation, there continues to be a strong bias against DD, particularly in its male/female incarnation with a male head of household. BDSM is slowly emerging from the shadows. Little by little, the paradigm seems to be shifting to make spanking in a sexual context okay. Spanking for discipline, however, is another matter entirely. If you really want to make people’s heads spin, throw in disability on top of that. The vast majority of the population assumes that people with disabilities are innocent and asexual. Convincing them that people with disabilities want relationships just like anybody else is hard enough, throwing in wanting a relationship outside the norm, is beyond comprehension. I have faith though. It took me years before I sorted out just how it could work. Eventually, other people are bound to catch on too.