Category Archives: Feminism

Kickstarter Project Info. Part I: The Novel

Our Own Mistress

I have always been a writer. I won’t bore you with the struggle I’ve had with my mind and imagination, but I have always been drawn to creative storytelling.

A few years ago I experienced some intimate interactions that left me with new discoveries about myself. I became fascinated with the ways in which power exchanges and pain affect not only our sexual lives, but our personal ones. I have also studied sexuality for over a decade, particularly “deviant” sexuality, and so I was able to explore these things in detail, thanks to academia.

My Kickstarter project, my novel Our Own Mistress, is a labor of love for me. Though it is a heavily erotic novel, it is not erotica. I poured a lot of myself and my understanding of certain sexuality and gender related taboos in this puritanical, patriarchal world. It is inspired by real people, real relationships, and a very real, misunderstood, and misrepresented culture.

The story revolves around a young woman who has always struggled with her submissiveness. To put it bluntly, she has always been a doormat. Due to choices she made under duress, she finds herself alone, and a foreigner in London. Then, just when things appear to be at their worst, she is subjected to violence. However, this violent encounter leads her to the people who, through some “unusual” means, help her realize her strength.

In this novel, I attempt to explore many things I have witnessed and experienced:

  • LGBTQA Relationships and Exploration
  • BDSM Relationships
  • Gender Roles and Identity
  • Social and Cultural Misrepresentation
  • Feminism
  • Surviving Abuse/Assault

Due to the nature of this story, the novel contains graphic sex and violence.

I know it is not easy to fund a work of fiction; there are many, many people out there with good ideas and the ability to bring them to life. It is also not easy to fund a novel with sexual content without it being considered erotica, or “fluff.” Ultimately, none of that matters. This story has filled my head for too long now; it needs to be told.

For glimpses of this novel’s content, visit the Fiction Samples page of this site. Or, email me via the Contact page. I also have an audio recording of the book’s introduction available.

Coming Soon: Kickstarter Project Info. Part II: London

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Photo property of Erin Dunbar. Copyright 2016.

I Stopped Watching ‘Game of Thrones’ a Long Time Ago

You don’t have to be a “Game Of Thrones” viewer at this point to be familiar with the show’s history of depicting rape on screen. But a scene that aired last Sunday stirred and upset many fans and casual viewers alike, especially among the feminist community.

The controversial sequence prompted The Mary Sue, a pop culture blog with a feminist point of view, to declare that they’d “no longer be actively promoting the HBO series.”

I stopped watching Game of Thrones several seasons ago. I saw this rape issue coming well before the Cersei/Jaime “incident,” and certainly before Sansa’s wedding night (both of which I did not see, obviously).

I have a hard time watching rape on screen. I acknowledge that, sometimes, it’s genuinely relevant to character development or plot progression. If I really want to see something, I am usually able to fast forward through the rape scenes, or just leave the room until they’re over, and return for the rest of the film. And, I don’t mind doing that under certain circumstances.

However, it became clear to me that the reasons Games of Thrones creators had for adding rape were swiftly falling apart. There comes a point when none of the arguments for their being present hold up.

For example: “It’s revealing the severity of women’s oppression, and just how bad things are for them. Yet, they survive.”

I’ve been reading that argument at lot lately. Here’s the problem: we know. We know how bad things were and are for women, in life and in the show. You’ve established rape is commonplace, and that’s an important thing to understand. However, when you throw in rape over, and over, and over again, increasing the level of violence and taboo each time you do, it becomes pretty clear that you’re counting on that very real horror to draw audiences in by creating controversy. In other words, you’re taking advantage of women’s oppression for the sake of shock value.

Well, it’s working.

Everyone’s talking about it. Hell, here I am and I don’t even watch the show anymore.

None of this surprises me, because it became obvious to me by season two that the show was going to do absolutely anything to be the most “edgy” show on television. The violence, the sex, the language, it was all growing at an incredibly quick rate. It reached gratuitous levels by the end of season two. Thus, I called it quits.

I am concerned about impressionable viewers becoming accustomed to the idea of rape in a problematic way, about people becoming desensitized to the severity of it because they see it all the time. Women experience it, they survive it, and then they move on. All’s normal, right?

Wrong.

What’s to be done? I’m not sure. Game of Thrones is popular enough that, even with the current backlash, I don’t see them making any significant changes anytime soon. But, it’s still a free country (how long that will last, I cannot say). And I have the right to express my opinion, and to choose not to watch the show.

 

Jezebel: Feminist Mad Max

Guess what’s got my large intestine in a septic knot today, MANmerica? The extreme pussification and dude-slicing feminism that has taken Mad Max: Fury Road—a movie that should have been about two greased up male torsos in a UFC fight on the back of on a loud motorcycle—into a crotch-kicking misandrist fantasy starring some dyke named Furiosa who doesn’t even show us her tits. THE BETAFICATION OF AMERICA CONTINUES. MAD MAX HAS BEEN RUINED.

This article is so awesome I’m not going to add to it.

 

Mother’s Day: “Mother” Doesn’t Equal “Better”

Sorry about Mother’s Day, my childfree girlfriends: Moms aren’t any more special (or unselfish) than you

It’s hard for people who’ve lost their moms. It’s hard for those who had crummy moms — and believe me, it hasn’t escaped my notice that in our cultural glorification of motherhood, the fact that a lot of women who’ve had children have done a piss poor of raising them seems to get conveniently left out a lot. And it can also be hard for women who don’t have children, in this season of constant reminders that the best and most important “job” a woman could ever aspire to is motherhood. So to all my female friends who aren’t moms, I just want you to know that I call BS on this garbage too.

Let me be clear; I don’t want to eliminate Mother’s Day. Go on, celebrate mothers!

Well, celebrate good mothers.

I suppose it’s because I’m at “that” age. I’m nearly 30, and most people I know are married, or getting married, having babies, etc. And, that’s great. It’s just not what I’ve chosen to do.

Instead, I, and others like me, have pursued a career, experiences, and dreams. I assume I’ll get married one day, or at least have a permanent, devoted partner. But, it’s not a goal for me. I will contribute to the world in other ways. And, as for children…let’s just say it will have to be by accident or other unforeseen circumstances.

Despite this lifestyle being more common than it once was, society still glorifies motherhood. In fact, it over-glorifies it.

Not all mothers are good mothers.

Mother doesn’t always know best.

Mothers don’t always deserve respect.

Not all women need to be mothers to be fulfilled.

Not all women need to be mothers to be worthy of recognition.

Don’t get me wrong; I don’t need a “holiday” to feel like I’ve accomplished something. I just don’t like feeling alienated by this holiday and the culture surrounding it.

Some people don’t have mothers.

Some people had terrible mothers.

Some people will never be mothers.

Some mothers lost their children.

Some mothers have awful children.

Some mothers wish they hadn’t given birth at all.

The list is endless. Can we please celebrate mothers without excluding others? And can we please stop acting like motherhood is the “end all, be all”?

Everyday Feminism

Do you like, as a woman, being able to own property? Do you like having a job, and the possibility of being in a lead position, or holding a position of major power? Do you like having the choice to marry and bear children, or not?

Everyday feminism allows these things. If you say you’re not a feminist, but you like all these things, you need to go back and take a good, long look at feminism again.

My Life Would Not Be Possible Without Feminism

So when Nicki Minaj, Shailene Woodley and Carrie Underwood are not sure if they are so “extreme” as to be feminists, I would suggest that they have another look at the string of diamonds, the mansion or the record contract that drives their privileged lifestyle and ask themselves if they would like to have all that freedom and independence transferred to their father or their brother, because women shouldn’t own property, they should be property. Your choice. And that alone, having the choice, is feminism.

When Women Dare Speak on Social Media

Identities.Mic: Actress Ashley Judd, who has been active in Hollywood for more than two decades, is also a die-hard University of Kentucky Wildcats fan. While watching her team play the University of Arkansas Razorbacks on Sunday, Judd posted a since-deleted tweet that suggested the Razorbacks were playing dirty — an act that apparently triggeredan avalanche of online abuse, much of which was sexual in nature.

It’s not new; we’ve seen this over and over, more and more light has been shed on this issue, and yet it still remains an issue.

Then again, I suppose that should be of no surprise. Feminism, off and on social media, is still up for debate, women are raped and abused daily (as are men who dare show any sign of femininity). So, if we haven’t fixed those problems over the centuries, why should we expect any less from social media?

We’re worried about when protecting people becomes pure policing, and restrictions on freedom of speech. I understand that. But, it becomes a cycle of pure hypocrisy; men want to feel free to say what they please about women and to women, and then complain about their freedom when someone objects. But, what they say about and to women is, in turn, doing to women what men don’t want done to them. These men are out to shut women up, but can’t handle it in return.

There has to be a way to define social media use, so that the difference between freedom of speech and useless, and potentially harmful, harassment become clear.

Some online forums have tried to do this by eliminating particular words. That never works. One possibility would be to observe how words are used; are they directed at someone, or used in general?

But, even then, you risk policing, and it’s hard to be objective.

You’ll always have people (mostly men) crying that women are too sensitive, and who will refuse to see that the greater amount of harassment, bullying, threats, and violence happens to women, no matter how much proof you show. Unfortunately, some of these people are in positions of power that allow them to crush any potential change.

So, what is to be done?

A dear friend of mine engaged in a debate recently about a transgender woman being removed from a gym bathroom after another woman complained, and her membership being revoked as a result. Just for expressing her opinion on the issue (and yes, she was being very reasonable in her debate), she was doxed. They even went so far as to anonymously e-mail her employer. I hated myself a little for telling her that, though I agree it was wrong of them to do that, she needed to be more careful about debating people on the internet. When she does that, she becomes a target (an undeserving one, obviously).

Unfortunately, there’s not much to be done at this point. Like the unfair way in which we’re expected to deal with rape culture, we must deal with online harassment. We have to be cautious. Until other, more broad and related things change, wave to tread carefully, lest we become the next tragic headline that arouses another short-lived, quickly-smothered cry for justice.

Jezebel: Who Does the Office Housework?

Question: Who brings the cupcakes at your office, is more likely to toss the moldy leftovers from the communal fridge, or gets stuck organizing the office b-day shindig? Answer: Hey guys, I can make reservations at the bar for today’s post-work drinks. It’s no problem, really!

I have so much to say on this topic. I mean, really. I could go on for ages.

But, I do work in an office, so I’m just going to leave this here for you.

I’m bubbling with things to say.

But I won’t.