On Rolequeerness - “sharpening the blade”

I originally wrote the following as a reblog/comment on rolequeer's post, "On Rolequeerness - "blunting the tip", but since apparently beyondthevalleyofthefemdoms is still using the #rolequeer tag despite saying they were not going to anymore, and since reblogs do not show up in Tumblr’s tracked tags, I thought I’d chuck this into a post of its own.

Also, I refer to the author of beyondthevalleyofthefemdoms as “Crosswords” in the post below, but given that this person insists on comparing me to pedophiles and racists and shoehorning their way into conversations I’m having about my own traumatic experiences, in the future I’ll be using Crosswords’ legal name to refer to them in all such conversations, which is Sara D. Luterman. Now, without further ado:

Crosswords’ words are just that: crossed words. Doublespeak. Even if there is intention to dismantle BDSM in those words, they are not actually doing that, and Intent Is Not Fucking Magic. At best, they are an intellectual wanna-be using for themself the ideas coming from work unquietpirate & I are still doing to heal together. I think that would be great if they weren’t also comparing me to pedophiles and racists, for starters, while they did it.

At worst, and this I personally believe likely, Crosswords is a competent embodiment of everything BDSM actually is: sneaky rape apologist victim-blaming pieces of shit who have mastered familiar contractual-consent legalism and are experts at projecting their own fears of being vulnerable onto others in abusive, and personally and systemically harmful ways. Since that kind of manipulative gaslighting is so common, and since BDSM turns it into something of a sport where that skill is intentionally honed and refined, it can be hard to spot. After all, “a fish will never discover water.”

So, yeah. I don’t know where you got the idea that Crosswords “made it pretty clear that they do oppose bdsm culture” because, from where I’m standing, that’s a lie so big it’s visible from space. Just look at the recent posts on Crosswords’ blog. Just look at how often the abusive/consensual binary is invoked and never even questioned.

Crosswords isn’t a competent theorist. They have never had anything substantive to say about Consent as a Felt Sense, or rolequeerness (except a bunch of victim-blaming shit, of course) and they probably never will. But they sometimes provide a useful foil, as they did [here], for showcasing sneaky rape apologist appropriative victim-blaming piece of shit gaslighting tactics.

Instead, Crosswords is a competent thief. A thief I’d even be happy to have “steal” from us (because ideas are free), if only they were even remotely capable of questioning the abuser/survivor binary they have been clinging to for years. If only they were successfully doing whatever personal work they need to do to start recognizing and treating “abusers” (*boo scary ghost hands*) like the survivors they often are, instead of only being able to treat those-they-themself-judge-to-be-abusers as abusers and those-they-themself-judge-to-be-survivors as survivors without nary a shred of critical self-reflection about what they are actually doing or why.

Rolequeerness is fundamentally about the recognition that “abuser/survivor,” “abusive/consensual,” “powerful/vulnerable,” and a number of other related binaries are, in fact, false dichotomies. These binaries are lies. There is no such thing as “consensual and not abusive” or “abusive and not consensual” in a pervasively coercive society. There is no such thing as power without vulnerability or vulnerability without power. And this also means that people who are abusers can also be survivors. It means that survivors can also be abusers. And, in fact, it means they often actually are abusers, too.

If that doesn’t scare you, if you think being “afraid of engaging with really important ideas,” to use Crossword’s words, is, as they put it, “the problem,” then you’re not really interested in engaging with this really important idea. That’s why no matter what Crosswords says they’re doing, what they’re actually doing is binarist, and it is dangerous to rolequeers, and it is appropriative, and it reinforces BDSM culture by directly supporting rape culture: BDSM relies on the binary of the powerful exclusive from the vulnerable, on the violent exclusive from the sexual, on the abusive exclusive from the consensual. And so does rape culture.

Also, as unquietpirate mentioned [here], there is a well-documented history of Crosswords’ victim-blaming, rape apologizing, survivor-auditing word-vomit. For as long as they cling to those beliefs, they have no hope of effectively opposing the BDSM culture, no solid understanding of rolequeerness, and pose a huge threat of exactly the kind idlnmclean outlined [here], whether they intend malice or not.

rolequeer, I think you might consider re-editing your edit.