Fifty Shades & The “Philadelphia Incident”
I’m not really sure if this is the best place to voice these opinions and concerns. And I’m not really sure if it’s my place to be voicing them at all. This whole topic isn’t easy for me to discuss (it’s very personal) but I’ve never been very good…
This article is three months old, but I saw it last night and I’m pretty much infuriated by this victim-blaming, rape-apologist piece of shit rhetoric that pretty much epitomizes the BDSM community’s inability to confront its own fuckedupness.
If you prefer not read it (I don’t blame you!), it’s about the rape of of a young woman, or, as the writer says, “Some people in the BDSM community are calling this rape. Some people have suggested that the submissive woman consented.” But the larger point is that it’s all 50 Shades of Gray’s fault! And also the victim’s, of course. Behold:
If a young woman with no experience of BDSM was to make her way into the community and play with an older man when she herself was unaware of her own limits, very terrible things can happen, as demonstrated recently in Philadelphia. Comparing Fifty Shades to Harry Potter is simply ludicrous, on many levels. There are many different layers and elements to BDSM, starting at fluffy handcuffs and ending in blood, tears and rape. Someone pretending to be a wizard will not experience these things.
You see, rape is just a natural consequence of reading bad porn and not doing your research. It certainly can’t have anything to do with, y’know, RAPISTS who coerce, manipulate and frighten people into forced sex and then have the gall to say the victim never used a safeword, of course she got raped! Bitch shoulda stuck to Harry Potter.
The writer refers to this as “The Philadelphia Incident”, as though it were some anomalous event. They are far less concerned with the fact that someone was raped than they are with the fact that this makes BDSM look bad.
There’s also gems like this:
Finally, I want to reiterate that a huge majority of people in the BDSM community recognise our vulnerability (BDSM is actually illegal in the United States - yes, illegal - I’m fortunate to live in the UK) and as such, instances such as the “Philadelphia Incident” are rare.
I personally am not aware of any federal laws prohibiting people from dressing up in goofy outfits and spanking each other. Some areas do have laws against possession of certain sex toys, but theses have almost entirely been used to persecute members of the LGBT community, kinky or not. Of course, we do have laws against raping people. But that’s a minor point compared to the incredibly offensive assertion that rape is “rare” in the BDSM community, just a few paragraphs after the OP tells us the victim in this case was harassed to the point that she had to leave her home and, presumably, go into hiding. Certainly the low rate of rapes reported must be completely unrelated to this!
Please, please - if you are a single woman who has read these stories and wants to explore the topics contained therein, do everything you can to not follow in the footsteps of both E L James’ characters and the young girl in Philadelphia. Take your time. Find someone you can trust. Be safe.
This is pure victim-blaming. This is nothing but an assertion that victims are responsible for not being raped. This is nothing but an assertion that naivete makes you rapeable, and the BDSM community will not support you if you are raped. This is blaming a stupid book for the actions of real-life predators. This is making totally unfounded assumptions about a real person who has already been relentlessly harassed, doubted, and demonized. This is rape culture, and being a good little kinkster will not protect you from it.