Truth To (Feminist) Power

“Feminism has fought no wars. It has killed no opponents. It has set up no concentration camps, starved no enemies, practiced no cruelties. Its battles have been for education, for the vote, for better working conditions.. for safety on the streets… for child care, for social welfare… for rape crisis centers, women’s refuges, reforms in the law. If someone says ‘Oh, I’m not a feminist,’ I ask ‘Why? What’s your problem?’”

– Dale Spender

What’s my problem? (And this is a self-identified feminist talking) Oh, I don’t know, the constant restructuring of history and currency to forget those feminism has trampled on in the name of anti-oppression work (I’m a woman of color, in feminism- at least that presented in the above context- this is still a disadvantage).

While I acknowledge what feminism is and why it is, let’s not forget the full breath of the history.

To Be Quite Vanilla, Oh Dear.

There’s a “Vanilla Privilege Checklist” floating around. To the list, this kinky rambling feminist woman of color says, the dangers of appropriation are staggering, also erasure of marginalized identities from vanilla is not the way to go about this:

A vanilla person will have an easy time finding media that portrays people with their sexual preferences sympathetically and accurately.

Queer sex isn’t necessarily kinky. Sympathetic and accurate portrayals of queer people in the media however? Nearly non-existent.

A vanilla person will not have their being vanilla brought up during a rape investigation (either as accuser or accused)

I’m pretty sure that I don’t have to remind everyone that not all women are kinky. When they are victims in rape investigations, their being women is enough to work against them. Rape culture, anyone?

Symbols of vanilla affection/romance will not be appropriated as “edgy” fashion statements.

Someone please look up Lady Gaga’s commercializing of the gay community.

A vanilla person will not be assumed to be sexually experienced because of their vanilla-ness.

Vanilla is not taken to mean sexually available.

POC (peoples/person of color) sexuality is automatically offered to some people. It means that when I walk down the street, my sexuality is not my own, it is others’ to delegate and make use of as they see fit.

There’s another post similar to this on vanilla privilege and while it makes a good point on privilege reactions and why people shouldn’t react violently to accusations of privilege, I’m still not sure privilege is the right name to assign to “not being kinky”.

Listen.

Being kinky is not a cakewalk, I get it; I know this- but there’s a line and it is crossed at appropriating queer, POC, and other marginalized movements. You know the roots of kinkophobia?

Gender norms. Racism. Heterosexism.

POC sexuality has been corroded to the point of erasure of anything that didn’t mesh with the “pure white sexuality” within POC communities.

Homophobia is so prevalent, the queer community bends to heteronormative norms in an effort find sameness which ends up being just another oppression.

Women aren’t supposed to be vocal, dominant, or agents of their own sexuality- and kinks? No way.

This is a conversation we need to have in the anti-oppression community- of kinks and kinkophobia, and why kink has been erased from our intersecting marginalized identities- but I believe that this list does more harm than any good.

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