Whips and chains

1 Jun

So, it’s definitely kinda weird to be at a baseball game with all your coworkers and hear the song “S&M” by Rihanna come on (by which I mean, “na na na come on, come on, come on“) over the loudspeaker. I wanted to turn to my work BFF and be all “can you believe they’re playing this?” but of course, to him it’s just another cheesy pop song. And it is a cheesy pop song. But I like it. I don’t necessarily feel like it speaks to me, but I love that the video portrays BDSM as fun and sexy and sort of silly, not mean and scary and dark.

Ah, well, I giggled to myself at least.

5 Responses to “Whips and chains”

  1. K June 1, 2011 at 5:31 PM #

    I like that song for the very same reason. Not exactly a deep and accurate portrayal of D/s, but at least a positive fun portrayal..K

  2. Susan June 1, 2011 at 9:49 PM #

    Okay, I have a lot of feelings about this song. I mean, not about the song, really. I feel similar to you about it: the more mainstream we can make our sexual perversions, the better for everyone. I thought it was just goofy and somewhat dance-able, until I started hearing that the song is proof that Rihanna totally wanted to get punched in the face by Chris Brown, or had the abuse coming, or liked it, or just that now you *can’t prove anything* about what happened, because, well, slut. Those things. And those things are bad enough, but I sort of expect to hear them because a) women lie about being abused all the time, I mean, since it benefits them so much and b) sluts, amirite? The common wisdom about women and our ways.

    Then I talked to my mother about it. My mom doesn’t know anything about my sexual practices, which is fine with both of us, but I figured that she, having raised me as a crazy feminist, could get behind my outrage at Woman Writes about Stuff She Likes in Bed; Totally Deserved Abuse. This was that conversation:

    Me: [relates above story with much vitriol]
    Mom: Well… what self-respecting woman would write about that?
    Me: (snaps) Lots of them!

    This turned into a whole different conversation about how she doesn’t understand how some women have so little self-esteem that they end up in abusive relationships, and I think I made some good arguments, but I couldn’t really tell, because my mind was exploding.

    So, that was a rant. In conclusion, the world is terrible, but that song is pretty adorable.

    • feministsub June 2, 2011 at 8:00 AM #

      I was planning to write a post on this very topic a while back, and then The Cultural Moment passed – although maybe it hasn’t. Anyway, I definitely saw some people saying things that basically boiled down to “I wish she weren’t the one speaking for us, since she was abused.” Which just makes me super angry. Like because she was abused, she’s only allowed to have super vanilla, gentle sex with the lights out. And if she wants to do anything else, she *certainly* shouldn’t talk about it.

      >>>Well… what self-respecting woman would write about that?<<<

      I know. There's definitely a strain of second-wave feminism that assumes that any woman talking about sex is doing so purely to titillate men or win approval from The Patriarchy.

  3. discerning dom June 2, 2011 at 1:31 AM #

    Yes, but read the discussion of this video on Remittance Girl.

    • feministsub June 2, 2011 at 8:02 AM #

      That was an interesting post, and seems to be the majority opinion of BDSMers on this video. My take is that most sex is portrayed in pop culture – especially in music videos – in this commercialized, fluffy way, and I don’t know why people expect this to be any different.

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