Saturday, March 9, 2013

Slate's Saletan: Dinosaur Stupidity Or Hatchet Job?

It is totally unacceptable that a woman should receive such pleasure from techniques that Willian Saletan does not approve of!" Image source:

Well I brought you a bit of dinosaur-stupid reporting on BDSM from ABC News online a few weeks ago, and now Slate has decided to follow suit with a truly boneheaded blog post from William Saletan stating that BDSM will NEVER gain popular acceptance.

But I wonder if the post was simple boneheadedness. Sure, he spoke from dire ignorance that got his ass thoroughly kicked in the comments section and also provoked a pretty good ass kicking in this detailed response to his post on buzzfeed.

But there was some sneaky, subtle use of language in the post that made me think it was more of a hatchet job than a simple case of stupid meets sexy. Particularly Saletan's use of the phrase "consensual domestic abuse" to describe consensual kink. What a wonderfully sleazy bit of misdirection! This disgusting phrase links consensual kink and domestic abuse as if one were not the opposite of the other. Abuse is by its very nature nonconsensual. It's like saying "cold hot" or "good bad."

But if you don't like BDSM in the first place, or are butt-ignorant about it, you might just let the phrase slide. After all, women's shelters in England have recycled Fifty Shade of Grey as toilet paper, their leadership also having problems with detecting the difference between consensual and nonconsensual.

Saletan also makes the dubious claim that Americans find it easier to accept homosexuality than to accept BDSM. A moment's thought will convince you of the silliness of that claim. Which is Joe Average gonna find scarier, Mark tying Patricia to the bed, or Mark kissing Patrick? Mr. Saletan apparently thinks they will be more alarmed at Mark tying Patricia to the bed. Mr. Saletan is nuts. Or dissemblig.

Early on in his post Saletan makes the point that "mild bondage is no big deal" and my tastes are very mild. A lot of the stuff I see on promos make me wince, not to mention what I've found on other BDSM sites. is supposed to be the very pinnacle of safe and sane and consensual, but I don't care for pain at all. I understand that others like pain, but it squicks me past a certain point. But I'm not going to oppose individuals' right to enjoy what they like because it squicks me. And I sort of have the impression that that is exactly what Saletan is doing.

I don't know if Saletan's post is from sheer ignorance ignorant, so I have to consider that this may be a hatchet job. If it is, I doubt it will work. With 65 million copies of Fifty Shades of Grey sold, Saletan is whistling past the graveyard. The mommies like their kinky sex. Saletan is welcome not to like it, but he's an idiot if he thinks he can make a blanket statement about what the mainstream will or will not accept, when the mainstream has ALREADY spoken loudly and definitively on the topic.

No comments: