Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Damn Trinity, making me think all the time…
(WARNING - NSFW pics below the text)
Trinity posted an interesting comment a couple of posts down that I though was worthy of it’s own post. All week we’ve been celebrating female desire, and this is a good thing, but most of us have stuck to desires of a fairly uncontroversial nature. Nothing wrong with that, of course, but…what about those other desires? The ones we don’t mention in polite company. The ones we only mention to our nearest and dearest. The ones we sometimes don’t mention at all, the ones we keep locked inside, safe from public scrutiny? What about those ones?
I’m fairly open about mine, actually, here in the safety of my internet anonymity. There’s not much there that my dear readers can’t already guess at. I’m a little kinky, I like tying people up and dominating them, I like a little blood (other people’s blood, not mine) and a little pain (again, mostly other people’s, although I do have this thing for being bitten…). No biggies, as far as I’m concerned, but then I’m a pretty open-minded person.
But what about the other stuff? The really freaky stuff, the stuff that treads on real taboos, the stuff that can freak out even the freakiest of us? Want to talk about that stuff? Trin does, and since she wasn’t getting any responses over at her place I thought I’d throw it out to the peanut gallery here.
For what it’s worth, my take is this. Whatever happens in the privacy of your own mind? I don’t care. How ever weird it may be, your mind is your own, to do with as you will. It’s none of my business what anyone else fantasizes about, as long as they don’t insist on telling me about it after I politely ask them to shut up. What does everyone else think? Are some ideas so awful that we shouldn’t even be thinking about them? Most religions would say yes. I say no, but then I’m an atheist and I’m weird.
What about when we take those ideas and act them out in the real world? In other words, what happens when it’s not just something happening in the privacy of one’s own imagination? What about when other people are involved? Is that OK as long as the other people are consenting adults, or are some things so vile that they should never be acted out, even in a highly controlled environment?
To provide some context…I used to spend a lot of time in BSDM clubs and at parties. In some of those places I saw a few things that I, personally, cannot tolerate. I can’t stand any of the myriad fetishy things usually referred to as “watersports”. Not at all, not in any way. If I see such a thing I will exit the scene immediately.
That doesn’t mean I think it’s not OK for other people to do those things, though. I just don’t want to watch or participate.
Then there’s the Nazi stuff. Anyone who’s ever spent any time around the BSDM scene has seen this at some point. Me? I fucking hate it. Not only do I not want to watch it, I don’t want to play with anyone who does it even if they don’t do it when I’m involved. It tweaks something in me that cannot be suppressed. Every time I see it I want to beat the crap out of people.
But then again, that’s me. Does that mean that other people don’t have a right to do it? No. Although one some level I really, really wish they didn’t. And it bothers me.

The thing is, the idea of categorically forbidding the acting out of certain fantasies worries me. It seems like a slippery slope. I’m reluctant to forbid ANYTHING between consenting adults, because you know the old saying…if you’re silent when they come for this group, and then that one, what about when they come for you?

As an example and to give an idea of where I fit on the old kink meter…this should give a general idea of my preferred kind of play, although I have a REALLY strong preference for leather straps. These particular pics are from the music video I was talking about a couple of posts down, since I know that the people depicted are OK with being thus depicted and I have no intention of posting pics of myself (and also so that if anyone comes and complains about my supporting porn I can say “hey, it’s a fucking music video, people - I KNOW all the people involved in this one were OK with it”). Now here’s the thing – think about the stuff that squicks me out, like the watersports stuff. If one were to make my personal “icky” reflex the standard by which things are allowed or not allowed, what about all the people who like that stuff and happily participate in it together with no harm done to anyone involved? What about all the people who find the stuff I like horrifying and would love to be able to ban it? People’s standards vary…they vary a lot. If we’re not going to say “everything consensual is OK”, who gets to set the standards? Who would YOU trust to make that call?
(Note – pics NSFW because of blood, boobs and general kinkiness)

Discuss at will.


Zan said...

Like you don't know what I'm going to say? :) Ahem. Get out of my brain? Okay, with that out of the way. ..
I agree with you. (Shocking, isn't it? I'm sure one day we're gonna find something we disagree about) If two or more adults are consenting and no one ends up dead? Well, go for it. It doesn't affect me and I'm not really into censorship or control. Well, I /am/ into control, but not in those situations.

I don't know that my kinks are very far out there either. I cannot abide watersports either, but I'm not going to tell anyone not to do it. Just not with me. Most of the stuff I'm not into, I don't object to, I just don't get the appeal. Now, chains and leather and men in bondage? Oh, so sign me up.

Renegade Evolution said...

Got no problem with ANY of it so long as the parties are consenting adults. I like things that utterly squick people out, but I'm not forced THEM to do it.

Anonymous said...

See, this is an area where the walls between scene and life are really important. You mentioned Nazi symbols, which really bother me. If people want to roleplay using the greatest crimes in human history as scene elements, that's one thing. A top wearing an SS uniform in a scene is not IMO very different from an actor playing a role in a film or play. If someone tries to infuse BDSM scene dynamics into their life 24/7 and adopts the same symbols as part of that persona, they are not playing a role anymore. They are then IMO a Nazi sympathizer.


Trinity said...

thanks for this post, Cassandra. This is the exact sort of thing one to discuss. One reason of been thinking about it lately (other than that I find myself responding to some of the Nazi imagery and don't know what to think) is a guy a at one of my local groups. This guy is a black master and prefers white partners. From what some of my friends think, this guy would seem to be a self hating or at least black people hating person. It gets more complicated, though, when you find out that he ran personal ad service for other black tops seeking white bottoms. does that mean he was the epicenter of all whole self hating group? Or doesn't just mean he had a particular kink that wasn't politically correct?

Personally, I'm not sure that's all that weird, but of course I am white so I wouldn't know the exact dynamics. I just keep thinking about the special little thrill I get when I play with men. There's something very fun about flicking off the system, about having the oppressor under you. It doesn't solve anything, but it's hot. I have no idea whether that's part of this guy's kink, but it wouldn't surprise me.

I guess I'm just leery of deciding whether someone has the good version were the bad version of a certain fantasy. I don't know that until I know the person in question.

Trinity said...

Oh my. Please excuse this dictation program. That was pretty bad.

sallysunshine_26 said...

Cassandra Say’s: Who would YOU trust to make that call?

Definitely not society, which is repressed, puritanical, and pretty damn vanilla.

I too dislike censorship, and think the theory of “if they start regulating this, then what’s next?” is a valid concern. Also, even if standards were set, it wouldn’t make a difference, yes, it would drive it further underground, but it wouldn’t stop.

Watersports? Nazi stuff? All the sudden I feel like a blushing school girl. I’ve never been to BDSM club, but how fascinating would that be? I’m into the BDSM lite version, the general biting, spanking, slapping, tying up, ect… but there’s a whole fetish world out there I’ve never encountered, who knew?

There is persistent fantasy that seems to pollute my mind from time to time.. It’s somewhere along the lines of the book, “The Sexual Life of Catherine M.”, if you get my drift.

I’ve often considered myself to be fairly kinky individual, but have had little opportunity to explore it. And have had even less of an opportunity lately, as I’ve been practicing celibacy. Weird, I know. This little experiment started as a joke with friends, but has now turned into an exploration of desire within myself, others not included, of course. Can I get what I need sexually from myself without incorporating others? It’s an interesting question, we shall see.

This just inspired a new idea for a post on my blog! Thanks Cassandra! ~SS

Trinity said...

I also think that part of the reason the Nazi fetish doesn't bother me is because I usually see things more inspired by it than directly playing on it it. Sexy women in latex with armbands and swastikas, or even other logos obviously inspired by Nazi armbands. To me, that so far removed from the actual horrors that it doesn't make me think of the Holocaust, more of some generic but especially frightening interrogator. So it doesn't really freak me out. How many S.S. officers were shapely young dominatrices dressed in latex?

I mean, I'm not Jewish, so it's a bit easier for me to see the symbol as less connected. That's relevant. But I think the sheer amount of distance is also relevant.

By the way, do you have a link to that video? I'd love to watch the whole thing. Those pictures are hot.

Cassandra Says said...

Zan - But it's so comfy! (Stretches, lies on couch to take a nap)
Nope, not moving.
That's pretty much where I'm at. Just because I don't like something doesn't mean other people shouldn't do it, it just means I don't want to be involved.

Cassandra Says said...

Thomas - Agreed that if people want to play with imagery I find distasteful they should be allowed to, in theory. My caveat is that people who are Jewish often feel differently, and that's a valid concern - my ex is Jewish and he would get spitting mad every time he saw it. I had to physically restrain him from throwing punches a few times.
You're right that this is exactly the reason why playtime is strictly separated from real life, though.

Cassandra Says said...

Trin - "I guess I'm just leery of deciding whether someone has the good version were the bad version of a certain fantasy. I don't know that until I know the person in question. "
Precisely. And even if they do have the bad version...what to do about that? Can we command them not to think that we? We can refuse to play with them or even to associate with them in general, but as far as saying "you may not think/feel that way"...well, that just doesn't work for me.
Also, in the case of the guy you descibe, I'm not sure that I'm bothered at all by what he's doing. It seems like just another version of a fairly common flipping-the-script fantasy that a lot of people have, me included. That's why I prefer topping men, especially men who're a lot taller than me.

Cassandra Says said...

Also for Trin - I'm not sure if you want a YouTube version of the video or a downloadable one, so...


Downloadable version

I feel the need to add a disclaimer here...from a musical point of view this song is a very poor representation of my favourite band. Honestly, it's one of the least impressive things they've ever recorded. It's a great video, but the song itself...meh. They can do so much better.

Cassandra Says said...

sallysunshine - Indeed, in my late teens/early twenties I was...rather extreme in my proclivities. And pretty much fearless.
I really do think that having the government and/or society set standards for what fantasies people can act out is dangerous. You start there and you end up with gay sex banned too, or the laws still on the books in some parts of the US banning oral of all the ridiculous things. Society in general is not to be trusted with such decisions. Not to mention that we'd have to revamp the laws all the damn time as social mores change, which they often do.
Celibacy, huh? How's it working out?Is it going how you thought it would, or are the results unexpected?

Sage said...

Freedom is an important right. Nothing that doesn't harm another should be banned, or our freedom is being trampled on. If all involved are positive that no harm is being done - harm refering to that which is painful in a bad way - then it's, by definition, pleasurable, and therefore good. Why people question this type of basic morality is beyond me. Just because it doesn't turn your crank doesn't mean you can stop others from their enjoyment. I think too many have too little joy in life and hate to think they're missing out.

Sage said...

Also - Trin, I'm a luddite and can't figure out how to leave a comment at your place!

Trinity said...

Sage, I have it set up so that only live Journal users can comment. You have to sign up for an account. If you want, I can allow anonymous comments for that post, but I don't want to change it in general because then spammers will come.

Trinity said...

Thank you for that video, cassandra. I like it very much. I actually also like the song, though I know you said it's not their best. What songs of theirs would you recommend I look for instead?

Cassandra Says said...

Trin - You do realise you're asking me to pick songs from a band I've followed for 10 years and have 8 albums by? It's kind of an impossible task, plus they've changed a lot and experimented with so many different styles...
What kind of music do you usually like? That might help me steer you in the right direction.
Pretty much the entire back catalogue is avaliable for download if you have a decent connection speed.
Glad you liked the video, BTW.

Octogalore said...

Cassandra -- I'm also in the "consenting adults means it's OK camp." But I would distinguish the watersports and the Nazi stuff. (Full disclosure: I'm Jewish).

I don't think watersports hurts anyone on any kind of deep level even if they're around it and don't want to be. They can leave, and forget about it. In a public area, I think Nazi "play" could hurt people who might come in contact with it, and some kind of physical "trigger warning" or closed door would be warranted if any of that is going on in a public area.

That would avoid censorship (which, I agree, is a slippery slope) while at the same time preventing passersby from being dosed with something akin to hate speech.

Cassandra Says said...

Octagalore - Honestly, I'd prefer people not play with the Nazi stuff at all. It bugs me, and I don't grok why people find it sexy. I will leave environments in which it's taking place, and I'm not even Jewish, so I can only imagine how much worse it would feel for someone who was.
I'm kind of leaning towards your position on this. If people are doing it at home, in private...OK. It still squicks me out, but none of my business. But at a play party or in a club...the potential of someone seeing it and begin hurt is pretty high. I'm not sure that sequestering it in a special room would help much, since people would still know that it was there.
Like I said, that's the one and only fetishy thing that for many reasons I'm just not OK with.

Cassandra Says said...

PS, Trin - What I mean by the entire back catalogue is avaliable for download is that I can tell you where to get it on LiveJournal if you're not opposed to illegal file sharing. I'm just not sure what to point you at since I don't know if you like pretty stuff, heavy stuff, punk stuff etc.

Trinity said...

Cassandra, i'm not sure what I think of that. I understand why you say it, but as a person with PTSD, I'm starting to become leery of everyone running around like mad trying to protect us. If it's just the idea that someone somewhere would do something that can hurt you by your merely knowing it's happening, I start to wonder about you. There are, or at least they're used to be, many fantasies that bother and unnerve me and I wouldn't want to watch. Sometimes it would bother me to even think about them. But that has to do with me.

To meet, I can't imagine that a sign on the door wouldn't be enough.

Heck, even the massive profusion of trigger warnings I see in all kinds of situations is starting to unnerve me. I definitely think trigger warnings are useful, but I think they get ridiculously overused. I mean, the things that trigger me tend to be body memories, the way things physically feel. I can't just be protected knowing I can avoid people saying X or saying Y. I think people have a weird idea about when triggering really is, and about how they can protect people. And I think a lot of people with PTSD don't realize that although the world around this owes us courtesy, it doesn't owe us protection from everything.

Cassandra Says said...

But Trin, here's the problem - the reaction that (most, as far as I know) Jewish people have to Nazi symbolism isn't PTSD. PTSD is an individual thing. The reactions provoked by something like a swastika aren't.
Let me try for something that would be a more direct correlation.
The guy in your group who you're a little concerned about? Reverse the races. Imagine that was a white guy/dom who was advertising for black subs only. How would you feel about it then? My reaction in that case would be more like "oh hell no, you asshole".
Honestly, I think that's a better comparison to how Jewish people react to people "playing" with Nazi imagery. I'm still not sure it should be categorically forbidden for the reasons I stated before, but it definately makes me uncomfortable. Again, though, I'm not Jewish, so it would be more useful to hear from someone who is. Basically given that I'm not in the group most affected I don't think it's my call to make.

Also, on a lighter note, let me know if you want links/recommendations music-wise

Octogalore said...

Cassandra and Trin-- I think there can be a number of reactions to Nazi "play," but I wasn't referring to PTSD in particular. As Cassandra said, I wouldn't think PTSD would be the main factor in reactions to this kind of "play" in anyone but a survivor, and I would doubt that demographic would encouter this kind of thing. I would think the most adverse reactions would be from Jewish people. Just as the most adverse reactions to the white top seeking black bottoms example would presumably be from black people.

I am sadly too vanilla to be in a public sex setting, but if I were to venture into something like that, I would NEVER be in the same area, doors closed or not, where Nazi "play" was going on. Or pretty much any other kind of "play" involving racial or ethnic or religious hatred. I don't think anything should be categorically prevented among consenting adults, but my ideal scenario would be these kinds of "play" being restricted to certain venues that weren't frequented by the general public, only people who specifically were into that kind of thing.

Tobias said...

Got no problem with ANY of it so long as the parties are consenting adults.

A couple of years ago two guys in Germany hooked up over the internet. One was a self-described "cannibal", the other "wanted" to commit sexual suicide by being eaten. So the two men met, cut of the one guy's penis, grilled it, ate it together, then the "cannibal" sedated the "victim" (I'm really not sure about the speechmarks here"), killed him, cut him apart, and froze the parts for later consumption.

I think the story made the international news.

My point is - I think zan's mentioned the appropriate qualifier to the adult consent rule: Whatever happens in a bedroom between consenting adults is OK as long as noone ends up dead (or seriously wounded).

By the way, Cassandra, you're really unlike any feminist I've talked to to date...

Cassandra Says said...

Octo - I tend to leave clubs etc when I see Nazi symbolism too - and like I said, I'm not sure that sequestering it would make much difference. A sign saying "this is the Nazi room" on a closed door wouldn't make me feel any better about the whole thing, even if it meant I didn't actually have to watch it.
Then again, I think the specific way in which I eroticise power may be different to most BSDM people. I tend not to be interested in scenarios that duplicate anything in real life at all - I kept my high school hockey uniform for play purposes, but that's about it. The scenarios I respond to most pretty much just say "BSDM" - there's not a lot of subtext. As I said over at Trin's place, this may have something to do with how I was raised - if anyone knows anything about astrology, my Mum was Aquarius/Monkey. Not the most conventional person on any level. There are very few things that I was raised to think of as taboo, so I don't have any of the usual kinks in terms of religious symbolism etc, because all that stuff has no emotional implication for me. It just seems irrelevant. Mr Cassandra says it's a shame I wasn't raised Catholic like him, it would give us so much more play material...

Cassandra Says said...

Tobias - I remember reading about that case. It provoked all kinds of hand-wringing over here and a lot of "straight" (ie not kinky) people reacted as if that was what most BSDM looks like...which makes no sense, as if that was the norm one would expect there to be a lot less of us kinksters around given that we would be killing each other off on a regular basis.
I'd agree that within a truly private environent anything goes as long as all parties consent to it, with the "it's not OK to kill people, folks" caveat. What we seems to be arguing here is what's OK in semi-public environments like clubs and fetish parties.

PS That's the second time you've said I'm not like other feminists you've talked to, and I still don't know what you mean. Explain? Just as an FYI, pretty much everyone who comments here except Rootie is a self-identified feminist, or feminist friendly in the case of Thomas who I believe doesn't believe that men should use the word to describe themselves (it's been a while since we talked about it so I don't remember his exact position, but he's most definately feminist-friendly).

Cassandra Says said...

Also, define "seriously wounded". There was a controversy about that when I was in college about a group of guys in London who were into somewhat heavy BSDM when one of them was admitted to the hospital with wounds to his penis because one of his partners had hit it with a spanner. Thus, this was known as the "Spanner Case". There was much debate then about at what level of physical harm it's no longer a private matter, and I don't think there was every and kind of consensus reached, although the public discussion of that case was much complicated by homophobia.

Trinity said...

I wasn't raised a very conventionally either, but I have a lot of those kinks. So I'm not sure it's that simple.

I tend to find myself intrigued by anything with a strong power dynamic in it. So even if something doesn't and the my interest i'll still probably think about it at least once. And even if I don't fantasize about it, I'll probably want to know what other people who are interested do with it.

Honestly, the first time I heard about race play and Nazi play, it was from a woman of color (mistress Midori, if you want to know, who is of Japanese and German ancestry if I remember right) giving a presentation talking about how she did both with a black partner who thoroughly enjoyed it. That discussion having been my first exposure has something to do, I think, with why it doesn't seriously bother me.

The second time ran across it, I was web surfing and found this essay by Viola Johnson defending such play: "I can't help the fact that nice black Jewish girls shouldn't have Nazi fantasies. I DO! Not only do I have politically incorrect fantasies, I've acted many of them out. Even worse, I've enjoyed them. They have tripped my trigger, gotten my rocks off, made me cum. Isn't that what sex is all about?"

I sent hearing about that from these people, rather than from the oblivious white guy who has no connection to either history, is what makes it not freak me out so thoroughly.

Cassandra Says said...

I already said this over at Trin's place, but...
I think my issue RE watersports is that I don't get off on humiliation. Not even as a top. I don't like inflicting humiliation, I won't do it, even if a sub wants me to. That part of the power dynamic does not appeal to me. This is an interesting new line of thought for me - I hadn't actually made the connection before.
RE The Nazi thing...my first exposure to it was with my Jewish boyfriend by my side, which may well be why I see the whole thing differently. I still think that it's partly that I don't like play centered around power dynamics that were at one point real, though - I prefer my play very specifically artificial.
Play centered around fascism is huge in Japan, by the way, so I'm not surprised Midori's doing it. In fact, I haven't posted any pictures because I don't want to trigger anyone, but that band I love? The guy with the red hair used to wear some of the regalia. I think in his case it was intended entirely to shock and provoke rather than in a kinky/sexy way. I know another band that used to dress us in vintage Japanese military uniforms for much the same reasons. I'm not particularly happy with either, but then again, it's really not for me to decide.

And note - I'm still not saying "people shouldn't do it, period". I'm just saying that I question the wisdom of doing so in non-private environments where someone who might be triggered might unwittingly run across it.

sallysunshine_26 said...

Cassandra Says: “The scenarios I respond to most pretty much just say "BSDM" - there's not a lot of subtext. As I said over at Trin's place, this may have something to do with how I was raised - if anyone knows anything about astrology, my Mum was Aquarius/Monkey. Not the most conventional person on any level. There are very few things that I was raised to think of as taboo, so I don't have any of the usual kinks in terms of religious symbolism etc, because all that stuff has no emotional implication for me. It just seems irrelevant.”

Astrology has been a hobby of mine for about 10 years now, it’s fascinating to see how it plays out individually. The “no emotional implication for me” hits on many different levels. First of all, on your mom, Aquarius is not the most emotional of signs, or given to big displays of emotion, Aquarius is an air sign-rational, fixed, and yes, unconventional, even rebellious in its temperament. My step sis is an Aquarian, she works for Campus Crusade for Christ. Pretty fundi. But she does it within the context of rebellion because the rest of family doesn’t approve and wishes she would abandon the whole “Jesus as Savior” thing. The secondary ruler of Aquarius is Saturn, not to emotional either.

I think astrology in families is interesting. I have studied the charts of each member of my family (aunts, uncles, parents, cousins, siblings) and have seen the synchronicity play out. Aspects repeat, patterns are formed and a family history is born. Some members of the family are “circuit breakers”, the odd balls who stick out, shaking up the family dynamic, and sometime this person is brought in through marriage. The point is, the family system evolves just as each person evolves within it.

Cassandra, I think you make a good point, the psychology/consciousness of our parents often bleeds over into our own, especially as young children, we are more susceptible, for better or worse, to this permeability. So, yes, it makes sense, astrologically, how your experience of being your mother’s daughter has affected you, even through something as off topic (to the mother/daughter relationship) as BDSM is. My mom, who just recently had her birthday, is a fiery Aries, and so was my dad. Even though I’m an Earth sign, you better believe I’ve got some fire in me. So it applies.

Then, there’s the whole subject of you being Virgo and all. Virgo’s realm is relevance, facts, analysis, experimenting, hypothesizing, proof, statistics, reality, usefulness, service, and science. It’s Earthiness with a purpose. So I can see how “it’s not relevant, or no emotional implication” becomes a good measure of validity/importance for you. That’s pure Virgoan stuff.

I, being Scorpio-ish in nature (Sun in the 8th, Ascendant in Scorp) tend to put people under the microscope pretty quickly. If you have any interest in astrology, and want me to take a look at your chart, let me know. Keeping in mind, of course, I’m a total novice, and just do it on the side for friends/family as a way for them to understand/know themselves and others better.

Sorry I went off on a completely irrelevant tangent, but since you mentioned it, I figured…..


Cassandra Says said...

Sally - But it's an interesting tangent! I am actually very interested in astrology, especially in how it plays out in relationships of all kinds, not just romantic ones.
My mother definately influenced me in all kinds of ways, and a great deal of her Aquarius/Monkey-ness rubbed off on me. In Chinese astrology Monkey is the sign of the trickster - they're kind of like Loki. Intelligent, playful, unpredictable, manipulative, and very very lucky. Normally Monkeys and Oxes (which I am) are supposed to hate each other, but my Mum and I got along great. I'm a lot more tolerant of flighty, unpredictable people than most Oxen (and most Virgoes) are, probably because I was raised by one.
The parental influence plays out in my life in that I'm a lot less fixed than I'm "supposed" to be, and a whole lot more flighty. I lack the commitment that most Virgoes are supposed to have - emotionally, I always have one foot out the door no matter what I'm doing. It's not a trust thing, I'm just always thinking "but what cool things are going on over there that I might be missing out on?". Definately my Mum's influence.
I've had my chart done and I know that my Moon sign in Scorpio and my Rising sign is Libra. Which makes total sense - obsessed with sex, beauty and the occult.
But then as you pointed out, the virgo/Ox side kicks in and I get all analytical about things. I think on some level I simply avoid things that strike on too deep an emotional level, hence my preference for play scenes that are pretty detached from reality.
I find that astrology is actually a pretty accurate predictor of people I'll find interesting, too. Look at the lust objects I've posted. The one I'm most obsessive about? Ox/Aquarius. Which is exactly what you would expect, given my history.
Also backing up that theory...Mr Cassandra and I are apparently a perfect match according to both Western and Chinese astrology. He's Gemini/Rooster. Both of our initial reactions to each other were "wow, this person is so fascinating!". Which is exactly what you'd expect.
If you want to play around with my chart feel free, I haven't had it done in a while. I forgot what time of day I was born, though, which makes it hard.
BTW, when you say you're Scorpio-ish...what's the rest of the breakdown?

Tobias said...


PS That's the second time you've said I'm not like other feminists you've talked to, and I still don't know what you mean. Explain?

OK, a little story might explain. A few years ago I went to a headscarf discussion that was organised by an organisation run by female Iranian exilees. The main speaker was Germany's best known feminist, Alice Schwarzer. There were a lot of veiled women present, a couple of journalists, almost no men - which is understandable, given that the initial reaction I got from the woman seated on my left was "you're guy, what are you doing here?"

The woman on my right wasn't wearing a hijab, but she was of Iranian descent. During the discussion about a women's right to wear a hijab, she adamantly defended a woman's right to wear whatever she wants. Germany's best known feminist said that the veil wasn't just any clothing and demeaned women "as a group". And then she went on to call the Iranian women "mountains of clothing, not humans".

Later, one of the organizers showed a film about a performance she gave at what was one of the very few recent meeting of Iranian (semi-)officials and Iranian exilees. It took place in Berlin, a couple of years ago, and was organised by a left-wing German foreign policy association.

The artist in question was supposed to be a panelist, but she chose to stand up, undress slowly, down to her underwear and then leave the conference in protest. I'm not saying that was a clever diplomatic move, but she certainly made her point in a most effective (and explosive) way.

You know what Germany's most prominent feminist said after the film was over? She said - "I don't like it when women undress, there are way too many undressed women out there".

So, I hope that explains it a little better why seeing BDSM pictures on a self-declared feminist blog was surprising to me. I've really only met the Andrea Dworkin/Alice Schwarzer kind of feminist...

Also, define "seriously wounded".

Well, I would say - something that cannot be fixed without lengthy therapy and/or will in all likelyhood have lasting/lifelong debilitating effects (accidents, of course, are something different).

The ex-prostitute/author I talked to last year worked as a high class dominatrix and told me that she always had medical personnel on "stand by" when she was with a client.

Anonymous said...

In point of fact, in the big "men and the term" debate, Hugo, Chris Clarke and Mark Faletti were in the "no" camp. I am not a radical feminist and I view feminism as a politics of opposition to the patriarchal gender system, so I'm in the "yes, I am a feminist" camp.

About Nazi symbols, certainly there are issues with using oppressor symbols around the people they are/were directed at. If people should play with that symbolism is IMO a different question from if they should do so in public. The interesting part is that folks so easily see at least that the question is raised by racist symbols, while some folks are just fine with playing around the idea of male domination of women in public without a thought that this raises an issue for women.


Cassandra Says said...

Thomas - Thanks for clarifying, since I didn't remember who said what in that debate. Do you remember who else came down on the "I am a feminist" side?
Also. glad that someone else got my point that what is done in private and what is done in public are very different issues.

Cassandra Says said...

About the hijab issue...I grew up mostly in the Middle East. I am inclined to believe that most Westerners do not understand the issues around wearing of head coverings and would really benefit from shutting up for a while and actually listening to what Muslim women have to say about how THEY feel about the issue. Not that the issue isn't up for debate, just that it's not going to be a very productive conversation if the non-Muslim Western women keep dismissing the opinions of those who are Muslim and essentially telling them to STFU, which IMO is what was happening in Tobias's example. That whole "mountains of clothing, not people" comment...that was uncalled for. It's dismissive and condescending and overall not an appropriate way for a feminist to be addressing other women. A perfect example of cultural imperialism in action. Many Westerners do this when adressing Muslims without even realising how patronising they're being, and it needs to stop.
And just so that we're clear - I am in a personal sense very much not in favor of patriarchal clothing restrictions requiring women to cover up, nor am I in favour of social pressure on them to show more skin than they want to. What I would like if for women to be able to make their own decisions on the matter. As far as religious dress codes are concerned, some of them could definately use some re-examining, but in order for that to work the re-examining is best done by insiders rather than outsiders.

sallysunshine_26 said...

Hi Cassandra,

I’m glad you didn’t mind my tangent, my mind often wanders..

Yes, the Monkey is represented by the trickster archetype. My mom is a monkey, and so am I, so it’s a familiar energy. The trickster is also connected with Mercury (ruler of both Gemini and Virgo.) No wonder you and Mr. Cassandra found such a cohesiveness together. Although the Mercurial characteristics of Gemini and Virgo play out differently, I’ve often noticed the similarity between the signs through observation. Both signs have particularly sharp minds, when focused. Focus can be hard for Gemini’s, they have a short attention span. Focus comes in short quick spurts for Gemini’s, but when it does, it’s on point. I used to work with another CPA who was Gemini. She’d smoke cigarettes, drink her coffee, and then do work at a million miles a minute, afterwards, she’d disappear for days until she was ready to work herself into a frenzy again. But, she sure as hell wasn’t going to sit at a desk all day, that’s for sure. Focus, as I’ve observed it in Virgos, is more easily attained than with Gemini’s, but the frantic/nervousness/anxiety is still there too.

It sounds like it’s been a pretty airy affair in your family (Mom, Aquarius, and Husband, Gemini, all air signs, plus your Rising Sign, Libra is Air). This rational, non-emotional approach is pretty normal with an Air-dominated family. Is there one person in the family who stands out as over-emotional? When your dad’s b-day?

Also, another interesting thing to note… your Moon in Scorpio. Hello kinky! Scorpio gets a bad rep (or good rep, depending on your view!) for doing all the naughty things that the other signs wouldn’t dare to even think about. And rightfully so. But, it’s also important to remember, Billy Graham is a Scorpio too, and I doubt he’s lighting Mrs. Graham’s world on fire. However, he seems icy, and downright diabolical at times. That’s Scorp. for ya, never a dull moment.

To go deeper for a moment, the Scorpio Moon, or Hades Moon, is a tough one. I’ve read a great deal on the subject as all Moon-Pluto contacts (since Scorpio is ruled by Pluto, your Moon would qualify as this) because any contact between the emotional sensitivity of the Moon and the search n’ destroy n’ kill aspect of Pluto/Scorpio is highly charged intense stuff. This is the stuff family histories (i.e. skeletons) are made of. Many astrologers have explained Moon/Pluto contacts as “killing the emotions”, or pushing the emotional drives below the surface. This moon has a very primitive feel to it, it’s hardcore angst, with the willpower to survive all wrapped into one. I understand, as I have Moon/Pluto contact in my chart too.
The Moon/Pluto or Scorpio Moon goes pretty far back into my family history, so I find I tend to gravitate towards those with similar contacts- friends, lovers, ect.. we go for what we know.

And the break down on my chart: Sun in Taurus, Moon in Cancer, Scorpio Rising
Moon in Cancer is highly maternal, which makes sense, as I’ve always thought of my sisters as “my babies.” My sisters, to this day, still refer to me as mom, as they did when they were little. And I suppose, I very often take the role of a parental figure with them and others without even thinking about it.

And yes, it would be fun to look at your chart, send me your birthday, year born, and the place you were born. Since you know you are Libra Rising, I could do it without your birth time, but it’s better to have an exact time. If you can’t get one, then I can make do too. My email addy is natalie.goddessoftravel@yahoo.com Also, send Mr. Cassandra’s or your Mom’s data if you’d like too.

Again, it’s a long tangent! Sorry about that! ~SS

Zan said...

Scorpios rock. Seriously. And I'm not at all surprised that you've got a seriously placed Scorpio, Cassandra. Not at all.

I, of course, am a Scorpio. But it gets better ;) Not only is my sun in Scorpio, but so are Mars and Venus. That's a fun little combo, let me tell ya. But I'm a totally water baby. Pisces is rising and my moon is in Cancer. Oy. (Although, my rising sign is on the cusp of Ares/Pisces.) I have ZERO planets in Earth signs. Almost my entire chart is weighted in the Water signs. It's very....interesting :)

But you were talking about how your family and early upbringing can affect you....and now that I think about it, I agree. I really think a lot of my 'kinks' come from the fact that I was raised in such a sexually repressive home/church. My parents (both Ares, btw) were not really demonstrative in front of us, because well, that's not godly, is it? And my church drilled into my head that sex was Not Good. Ha. Try telling that to my little Scorpio self. Hmp. I was having really explicit fantasies when I was about 7. It was totally natural to me and it was also actively repressed by my upbringing. So, I turn into a baby dominatrix. The control is about claiming my right to sexual pleasure. Hmmmm...

And now I have to go think. Damn you Cassandra!

belledame222 said...

hm. Leo sun, Taurus moon, Libra rising. what does that say wrt sexuality? inquiring minds n all...