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Saturday, February 16, 2013

ABC News Brings the Dinosaur Stupidity On BDSM


Tasty fun bondage! Image source: Device Bondage.com.

The flying monkeys brought me a dinosaur of sorts today. Spending my time on the Web I have grown accustomed to a changed tone in news stories covering BDSM topics, ever since Fifty Shades of Grey. After an initial outburst of stupid, a totally predictable response, the various bloggers and writers leveled up and started writing smarter, more knowledgeable articles that didn't have the Eeeeew bookend that was once damn near mandatory on every mainstream media treatment of BDSM topics. (Still plenty of subtle, hidden slut-shaming around, sad to say.)

ABC News ran a piece called Exploring the World of BDSM which was FULL of that whole "Eeeeew" subtext, as the wholesome, decent folks of ABC News examined the strange, bizarre, unnatural world of BDSM that fifty million readers had enjoyed the heck out of reading about via Fifty Shades of Grey. Aaaand they led with a story about a professional dominatrix and her submissive male customers, which to be fair is a part of BDSM, but a very tiny minority and a reverse of the usual genders, because let's face it, women are much more prone to want to be submissives than dominatrixes.

To be even fairer, the story went on to cover a suburban couple, both switches, who took turns submitting and dominating one another, except the woman was having trouble submitting, so they went to a BDSM workshop.

But the whole article was so heavily overlaid with that "Eeeeew!" subtext, that "what are these strange creatures doing that is so unnatural and disturbing?" feeling, that it was hard to get anything out of it other than "Eeeeew!" Very much a dinosaur piece, the sort of thing you would expect from the most hidebound and backward of the mainstream media, which is a fair description of network TV news.

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