Healthy Submission, Mental Illness, and Feminism

9:29 AM Posted In , , , , Edit This 2 Comments »
Yes, talk about a complicated subject. First, we have an analysis of heterosexual, submissive women. Well worth reading.
The following caught my eye: I've seen women read the psychiatric diagnostic manual (DSM-IV) and then ask, "Do I have borderline personality disorder?" During one of my stints in counseling, they thought I might have BPD. I was never diagnosed one way or the other, but looking back I can understand how they might have come to this conclusion. Before I was on medication to control my chemically imbalanced depression and in conjunction with my submissive nature, anyone without knowledge of the latter would assume it was borderline prsonality disorder.
I can imagine you're saying, "But you're a feminist?! How can you... What?" *Insert sound of mind breaking here.* It's simple, really. Outside of the bedroom, I am equal to anyone, including my partner. I am strong, smart, stubborn, and self-possessed. What I am like behind closed doors is completely separate from my crusade to right the wrongs of the world. Although there are undoubtedly misogynists who would like to play psychiatrist and claim that who I am with my partner at home is the "real" me and the public me is just a facade. Except for the obvious fact that these two personas are both a part of me, just different aspects shown to different people within a certain context.
Part of what changed me from a meek wallflower into who I am now was an Evil Ex who took advantage of my submissive side, effectively raping me. I couldn't report it. They would have seen it as: we were dating, I liked to be tied up, so I must have been ashamed of what had happened and tried to get him in trouble. I could have crawled under a rock and never come out again, or I could go on with my life. That's not to say that living was easy, particularly in combination with the aforementioned manic depression.
I determined that I needed to be far more selective in the relationships I formed, both romantically and platonically. Although at the time I didn't consciously understand, I weeded out people with hard, definite concepts of gender as ingrained in them by society. Especially men whose sense of self was inextricably caught up in their culturally defined masculinity. This left people who care about who I am as opposed to what they assume I should be.


Anonymous said...

Please say you've read Monstrous Regiment by Terry Pratchett?


SLiver of Jade said...

Um, no, I haven't. Should I?