Wednesday 8 October 2008

Wondering about... Brynn Paulin's post

The post that got me wondering is here.

Now, since I've read the post I've thought about it quite a bit.

My first reaction was - what's feminism got to do with anything?

And, after a great deal of thought, that's pretty much what I still think.

As a writer who has a lot of stories featureing dominant men and submissive women, I've come across the idea quite a few times before, and this post reminds me what confuses me about the idea a feminist can't be a submissive.

You see, I don't write about characters, male or female, who do what they do because they want to go back to traditional gender roles.

The women who offer a man their submission during the course of one of my stories don't do so because they are women, they do so because they are submissive. Just as in my m/m stories - one character usually ends up playing the submissive to the other man's dominant. I like writing about kinky people - dominance and submission is usually involved.

Sometimes the submission is purely sexual. One person enjoys wear handcuffs - another person enjoys handcuffing their lover - a good time was had by all. Outside the bedroom (althought perhaps I should say outside their sex life because my characters have never liked to limit themselves to specific locations when the urge strikes them) outside that they are as equal as any two people could be.

At other times the submission becomes a lifestyle choice and last 24/7. But again, it's about sex and psychology, it's not about women should be one way or men should be another.

I write female characters who were constructed to do a great many different things. Some have careers outside the home, some don't - just the same as the male characters. Some like to completly give up control, some just like a side order of power play with their orgasms. It's all about what works for an individual characters, not what I think should or does work for all women. I don't find my female characters are not inclind towards certain things because they are female.

I don't think of myself as a feminist, but I do think of myself who thinks gender is largely irrelevant. I like to look at each person as an individual and consider them that way.

I seem to have strayed quite a way from Brynn's original topic, which was all about Alphas after all.

So, are the men in my books Alpha males?

Some are. Sometimes that's a good thing, and sometimes it's one of the problems the characters in the book have to solve.

Some aren't alphas, they are just the men who are a perfect match to their lover. Because being perfect for someone isn't always about the same thing. Some of the men are strong, capable providers. Other characters are better served by having the strength of mind not to care who earns more.

Most of the dominant men are protective and possessive of their lover - but there again so are many of the submissive men and women in my books.


I suppose for me it can all be explained by the labels I write at the top of a spreadsheet. I don't write male or female, I write dominant or submissive - their gender doesn't really mean a lot to me.

Maybe I'm weird.

Anyway, I'm thining myself around in circles, so I'll leave it there and go on to other news.

No, wait a second. I forgot the classic example. The door. Who should open it?

Well, for me, that's simple - whoever gets to the door first opens it for the other person. Gender aside - it's just good manners not to let the door slam in someone else's face :)


Other news.

Today I had several things on my to do list:

Send Whispers edits back to my editor - Done.
Send You First back to my editor - Done.
Submit Imperial Topaz to my editor - Done.
Attend rather pointless meeting - Done.

All in all a very productive day :)

Although, that said, I haven't actually done any real writing yet - better go and do that now.

Sleep well everyone.

Nos Da.


Brynn Paulin said...

Kim, I'm glad that my blog post provoked thought. Unfortunately feminism has become firmly entrenched with whether or not a woman can submit to or even like an alpha male. I can't tell you the number of times I've heard a woman say something to the effect of "I would never do that. It would demean me as a woman." Feminist beliefs are about being equal. Submitting is not equal--not on the surface. That makes it very difficult for an alpha male to exert his dominance without being lambasted and it makes it difficult for a woman to submit without being told she’d betraying women everywhere.

Congrats on the extraordinary amount of work you've accomplished.

Kim Dare said...

Hi Brynn :)

I'm sure you're right about the way a lot of people see submission, and female submission in particular - I've come across the same ideas myself.

I suppose it comes down to it just being another stereotype a lot of people like. It's almost as if one particular brach of feminism sees submissive women the same way misogynists have traditionally viewed all women.

*Goes off to think about that some more* :)

Liana Brooks said...

Okay... I was going to post a comment but I think I may have to twist this to my own ends on my blog.

My take on submissive women isn't based on sexual relations, I write science fiction with very little romance but I still have characters who are submissive, but who I consider some of the strongest female characters I write.

I'll write more later and link back to you :o)

Kim Dare said...

* Finally finds time to go and look at Liana's post*