feminism and submission

Feminism and submission

I have mixed feelings on the topic of feminism. I believe in equality of opportunity and in a society which is inclusive and non-discriminatory. I realise that our world is far from achieving these goals and am supportive of those who try to effect change in these areas. I grew up in a home where women were respected and valued and might have seen myself as a feminist for a time. My life choices have meant that my views on this have been challenged somewhat and this has forced me to consider how far feminism is something I practice on a personal level, and redefine my own terms.

My contradictions have come from the fact that I am submissive to my husband. Submission causes an issue for a lot of feminists and it has meant that I see where my views do not align with many. For me, feminism is about equality of opportunity. It is about being able to have the right to choose. It is not about someone else making decisions and choices for me based on my gender or on my biological sex, but allowing me to choose those things if I wish. Submission is my choice – I choose it and I stand by that decision.

I feel strongly enough to have that conversation within some forums but not within others and this leads so some internal conflict. I find my position to be complex in that my work role puts me in a position where I can fight to try to get equality and inclusion for others, whereas my right to exercise my own right to choose the lifestyle I want and be open about it, would render me ineffective. It causes a conundrum for me and so I choose the duplicity. It means that I see myself as not really fitting the term feminist any longer, although I support the right to have the choice.

As far as I can see, feminism has become a term which is interpreted in different ways by different people. It is easy to look on the surface and say that things have moved to a level where there are choices about what people want to do. But society is still weighted heavily against some people and you don’t have to go very far to find a teenage girl who has to compromise her education to care for younger siblings, or has experienced some form of sexual assault because things are still inherently different for some than for others.

For the young people at work, I make their battles my own. Whether they are to do with sexuality or race or gender or mental health or social factors it really makes no difference to the fact that life, for them, is not equal. I try to do what I can to support them but at the end of the day, often the difficulties they are having are just the beginning of a long and challenging journey to carve their way through a life which will not treat them fairly and will not allow them the same decisions and choices as others around them have. That is not an easy thing but it means that I get to try to do the little I can, and that is a privilege in itself.

Because of the way that submission is viewed, my decision to live the lifestyle I do allows for people to being their own prejudices in to play; essentially they make assumptions that my lifestyle affects the way that I think and ultimately the support that I provide. In reality I would no more push my own choices about my sexual identity onto others than I would my political views or my thoughts on religion. What I believe works for me, it is a personal choice and I do not assume that is right for others. Each person will find their own path and my role is to try to support them to access to the things that will help them.

Being openly submissive would not just alienate me from those who are feminist who would see me as letting the side down, but also those who think that my choice to do something alternative would mean that I would influence others around me in a negative way. They would see me as weak at best and seedy and corrupt at worst. Submissive women seem to threaten what other women have fought for, as if by choosing to submit to a man you somehow negate everything else.

Of course the issue is not really with submissive women, it is with submission itself and I think that any person who wants to submit to another is often misunderstood. Submissive males probably have an even tougher time trying to get people to understand why they want to make the choice they do. At the end of the day, my submission is what allows me to be strong and to fight for improvements in the circumstances for others. It challenges me but the escape I find through the submission I offer HL actually aids it, and that is why if I had to I would stand by my right to live as I choose and not be judged for that.

I have identified with feminism in the past and worked through in my own mind whether or not that could co-exist with submission and concluded that it could. I don’t think I see myself in that way anymore. I suppose I have resolved the angst I had and settled into living the life I choose to at the same time. I have stopped being anything publicly and just got on with doing as I do. My thoughts on equality of opportunity for all women as a basic right have not changed but they have become part of a bigger awareness and drive for equality of opportunity for so many people who are placed at a disadvantage for all number of reasons.

Wicked Wednesday

Related post:
Female Cross-ing

Posted in Submissive Musings.

29 Comments

  1. I was thinking perhaps you’re going to be like that story about the high court judge who has to be so authoritarian in his work life and so needs to be tied up and dominated to help balance it all out – oh well, that would be exciting to read such a confession! But seriously, perhaps there is an element of that in your life? Its an important and very difficult job to teach youngsters – I had a go at it for a while, hardest job I ever had by a long long way!

    I myself am not really suited to teaching, I spent too long training my mind in a different direction. I’d be teaching kids the “can do” story as sold to me back in the 70s, but in all honesty, it was as naive then as it is now – its a crazy world, I cant begin to tell it like it is, only really handle it in small bite size chunks. If only I were more intelligent.

    If only life were plain sailing – oh well, it probably is for someone out there! 🙂

    • I know that people think it’s about an escape from the responsibility of a difficult job but I think for me and for many it is more about a way to tame us and keep us from doing the same thing at home as we would do at work. It is about defined roles which compliment rather than challenge each other. About a power exchange rather than a power struggle. Not sure if that made sense ?

      • That is very interesting, I often thought teachers were shaped by their work, as we all are in our jobs, I guess there’s no getting away from it. We are what we become, or we become what we are, or whatever we do, rubs off on us, or something like that. I forget how much I changed my personality as a result of this or that work related thing, getting a degree, then thinking I was suddenly so much smarter than I had thought before for example. I dont give it much thought, I just go around being obnoxious, or agreeing with anyone who things I’m as great as I (like to) think I am! 🙂

        • I am sure that people don’t find you obnoxious but I know what you mean about the things that you do defining you. I also think that some jobs are more than just a job for the person and often the ones when you are directly helping people can feel like that. If the job is about the relationship rather than about the product or the outcome then I can feel very different. Always a thoughtful comment from you so thank you ?

  2. I think fighting for equal opportunities for the young people in your charge is a worthy battle, and big task. If at the end of the working day, in your private life, you like to hand the reins over to someone else – I cant see others have the right to criticise.

  3. I’ve spent the last couple of months listening to you through our walls as we work in separate rooms. Providing counsel, guidance and teaching to some very vulnerable young people everyday, week in and week out both inspires and exhausts me at times. Empowering young people with confidence and an acceptance that they can make informed choices regardless of gender or social barriers has feminist ideals for all.

    • I only saw this just now. Thank you so much. This fills my heart with love for you and makes me want to offer a blow job. I think you have just proved in response what I have tried to express so often ❤️

  4. “I have stopped being anything publicly and just got on with doing as I do.”
    I feel this so much! I really love this post. There is so much that rings true for me, and I think my post more or less says the same, with different words.
    ~ Marie xox

    • I still have to go and read the others but I think many of us are struggling to have the confidence to say what we really think and feel. I hope that we feel more empowered soon ❤️

  5. Thank you for sharing your perspective. This is such an interesting question to ponder. I like to think about this question on two scales; one is societal and the other is personal. I believe strongly that feminism lives at the societal level. The ability for women to have equal opportunities as men. The importance of breaking down sexism, in all its forms. For young girls to feel that they can excel any subject in school. For young women to feel safe when walking down the street or at a university party. For women to feel that they have a voice and have the right to be heard. For women all over the world to be able to make choices about their reproductive health. These are fundamental rights – and one that feminist has fought for, for many years. This is feminism in my mind – and I can therefore proudly state that I am a feminist.

    How I chose to shift a power dynamic with my partner is a personal choice. First, it is one that I am making as a consenting adult. This is at the foundation. Like you stated – it is my choice. But I know there is more to it. If I were a woman submitting to another woman, versus submitting to a man, there would be no doubt in my mind of how my lifestyle would fit nicely along with my feminist viewpoints. But I chose to submit, and I am submitting to a man. I guess I think about the fact that I know this man so well. I know how he respects women. I know how much he loves me so deeply. I know that he would never want to take unwittingly take advantage of his position of power.

    It would be interesting to think about how this dynamic would feel different if we lived in a matriarchal society. Thanks for posing the question and for sharing your honest answer.

    • That is a good question. I feel that I do round in circles and I am pretty sure that I have not arrived at a destination in my thinking yet. Thank you for a detailed and though provoking comment ?

  6. I agree with lots of what you say. I think “choice” is the key word not only with feminism but for people in general. Being able to make choices is true freedom.

    I get the conflict between submission and feminism. But I think it is great that women like you show us that one can be almost stereotypical “female” by being submissive and vulnerable but also a strong determined woman who makes her own choices in life. And one choice is being submissive.

    I think that some parts of the feminist spectrum almost try to become male in their behavior. Maybe their side is needed to show that women can be strong too. But the others side is important as well to show that women can also be soft and vulnerable. It would be a shame to loose either part.

    • Thank you so much for such a kind and thoughtful comment. It is interesting to think about and it will also be interesting to see how things change in the future ?

  7. I like how you highlighted those who want to submit to another are misunderstood. I was just telling a friend the other day that I felt like as a submissive, I was misunderstood. Many people think we have mental issues or past traumas that led us to wanting to submit to another, but it is indeed a choice.

    • Yes I think you are right. I suppose it threatens the structure of things and we all know that people fight against that ?

    • I think many of mine would too but I recognize that for a male submissive this is especially hard. And I think it can also be tricky for female Doms. Keep writing your words and changing things slowly ?

  8. Well in my feminism post where I didn’t attempt to educate at all except for saying that I am an individualist 😉 while thinking of you in particular I did include a few quotes from twitter about submissives – this one was my fave

    “Just because u play a submissive role in your relationships doesn’t mean that feminism doesn’t support you. Not every feminist has to be a dominant, sexual person.”

    May xx

    • I think I have just tempered my views. I am undecided and content for the moment just to exist in my own labelless little bubble. It feels safer for me and although I don’t think that is right it will do for now. But I will be back lol. Thank you ❤️

  9. “ Submissive males probably have an even tougher time trying to get people to understand why they want to make the choice they do.”

    I couldn’t agree with you more! People assume a man has to be weak or feminine to be a submissive. But they couldn’t be more wrong. I’m a strong dominant leader who simply desires a break from the pressure of always leading…and is naturally turned on by the D/s dynamic. But of course, few would understand…and so no one knows IRL.

    Thanks for your writing and sharing the complexity we all face.

    • Thank you QH. I think there are so many misunderstandings around our dynamics and what we actually do and what sort of people we are. ?

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.