I’ve commented before (most notably in the comments to this post about the production of spanking porn) that I don’t have much time for so-called feminists who can’t respect a woman’s sexual decisions. When feminists stop standing up for the choices women make, I stop recognizing them as feminists, it’s that simple.

Thus there’s some interest to be found in this Spanking and Feminism thread over at Spanking Blog. The post itself chides kinky men who won’t take ownership of their kinkiness, who can’t admit they want to spank and dominate for the fun of it, so they instead pretend (to themselves and to the world) that the women they are spanking are weak inferior creatures who would be lost without the “guidance and discipline” these ever-so-benevolent dudes are offering.

As discussion simmered in the comments, ranging wider and wider as discussions of BDSM and feminism tend to do, along came someone claiming to “respect individual choices” while simultaneously arguing that “it’s really hard to seperate out cultural expectations and personal choices.” Which, translated, means something like “You say you chose to do that, but I don’t believe you, and thus I’m free to condemn your choice.” I enjoyed the response:

No, it’s really not hard to separate out personal choices from cultural expectations. When someone says “This is my choice” you respect that, absolutely, or you just became part of the problem. If you retain niggling reservations, if you’re willing to question the individual’s self report of her choice, then you are failing to respect her personal choice and you are claiming, in effect, that you know better than the individual. Viewed charitably, the claim is still a version of “Your society has made it impossible for you to act as as a self-actualized individual adult human; you’re so messed up that you can’t even correctly determine or report what you want.” That’s an infantilizing, disempowering, patronizing claim and although it’s often made by folks who claim the badge of feminism, it’s no part of a true feminism that I could respect.

Just so.