Where your gag comes from. BDSM is erotization of ancient torture.

 

Where your gag comes from.

http://gynocraticgrrl.tumblr.com/post/38099240634/where-your-gag-comes-from

 (TW: sexualized racism + misogyny, slavery)

Discretion is highly advised.

Apparently, for some people (usually white in my experience**), it’s difficult for them to comprehend the perspective that BDSM kink culture is neck-deep in racism and misogyny, particularly in the sexualization of racist-misogynistic historical practices. It’s become quite clear to me over months of pointing out the eerie similarities between the master/slave dynamic that’s common place in bondage subculture and the master/slave dynamic that was quite vividly practiced through patriarchal gender roles between men and women, as well as slavery…that many people struggle with being able to draw parallels between the techniques of torture slaves were subjected to and the methods of punishment “subs” are subjected to in kink culture. From the whipping to the gags.

It’s been communicated to me, based on the hesitant and confused reception of this argument, that I’m going to need to get visual. This post will include illustrations and imagery that may be potentially disturbing to some viewers, as well as triggering to people who feel mentally disarmed by images of black slavery and female oppression. This will not be my final post on the topic, but it will be an introduction to much larger, much more elaborate posts addressing the racist-patriarchal narratives usually replicated in kink culture (this does not exclude femdom kink practices, which I’ll be writing about in future posts).

 

I’ll first like to point out the gag. A torture device used to stop, “Negro Heads, with punishments for Intoxication and dirt-eating.”

 

 

[Slave Mask: Image Reference, NW0191.

Source: Jacques Arago, Souvenirs d’un aveugle. Voyage autour du monde par M. J. Arago … (Paris, 1839-40), vol. 1, facing p. 119]

 

While the tin collar…

 

[Slave Mask Image Reference, NW0192. Source: Thomas Branagan, The Penitential Tyrant; or, slave trader reformed (New York, 1807), p. 271. (Copy in Library Company of Philadelphia; also Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, LC-USZ62-31864)]

…was used to punish “drunkenness in females,” and the mask on it functions as a “punishment and preventative of….dirt eating.”

In some cases, along with the gags, “…a flat iron goes into the mouth, and so effectually keeps down the tongue, that nothing can be swallowed, not even the saliva, a passage for which is made through holes in the mouth-plate…when long worn, [it] becomes so heated as frequently to bring off the skin along with it.” – US Slave: Slave Tortures: The Mask, Scold’s Bridle or Brank. (NB : toutes les photos de femmes « blanches » reproduites sur cette page sont des photos qui érotisent et déréalisent la torture, car elles sont des photos de films, donc faites pour mentir sur la souffrance des femmes. Ce choix éditorial est pour le moins misogyne).

Here’s another illustration of a tin mask sometimes used by Brazilian slave masters for reasons documented as to stop, “…[slaves] who were prone to eat earth or dirt to wear…”

 

 

[A water color by Jean Baptiste Debret (held by a museum in Rio de Janeiro); published in Ana Maria de Moraes, O Brasil dos viajantes (Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, 1994), image 469, p. 93. Also published in Jean Baptiste Debret, Viagem Pitoresca e Historica ao Brasil (Editora Itatiaia Limitada, Editora da Universidade de Sao Paulo, 1989), p.128, a reprint of the 1954 Paris edition, edited by R. De Castro Maya). (source: University of Virginia)]

 

Torture Devices With A Misogynistic History

 

A scold was defined as: “A troublesome and angry woman who by brawling and wrangling amongst her neighbours breaks the public peace, increases discord and becomes a public nuisance to the neighbourhood.” The device was a locking iron muzzle, metal mask or cage which encased the head. There was an iron curb projecting into the mouth which rested on the top of the tongue. This device prevented the shrew from speaking. In some instances the iron curb was studded with spikes which inflicted pain if the victim spoke. Some branks had a bell built in which drew attention to the scold as she walked through the streets. The woman would be humiliated by the jeering and comments from other people.

 

THE SCOLD’S BRIDLE

 

[Scold’s Bridle: This was a metal frame place over a woman’s head. It had a bit that stuck in her mouth to prevent her talking. The scold’s bridle or branks was used in Scotland by the 16th century and was used in England from the 17th century. It was last used in Britain in 1824].

Made by blacksmiths, the bridle was a cage-like device, made from iron. It was approximately nine inches high and seven inches wide, and was fitted to the woman’s head. The most basic type was made of a band of iron, which was hinged at the side and had a protruding part, or tongue piece, that could be flat or with a spike, which went into the woman’s mouth, to hold her tongue down. Another band of iron went over her head, the front of which was shaped for her nose to go through. Depending on the design, the bridle could be uncomfortable, painful or torturous, and scarring of the tongue was not uncommon. Some had a bell secured to a spring, which was attached to the bridle, so the wearer could be heard as she approached.

 

 

 

Some houses had a hook in the wall at the side of the fireplace where the wife would be chained, until she promised to behave herself and curb her tongue. Although sometimes fitted to a nagging wife by the local gaoler (jailer) at the request of her husband, or by the husband himself, it was more often a punitive sentence ordered by a magistrate. Judicial bridles were more elaborate than the basic type; they always had at least one spike and they could be locked. They also had a chain attached to the side of the bridle, with a ring on the end. This could be used to publicly humiliate the woman by leading her through the town, or staking her at a designated area for a set time period. The amount of time the bridle was worn could be from 30 minutes to several hours, depending on the seriousness of the offense, during which time the miscreant would not be able to eat or drink. It was also said to be used on witches to prevent them from chanting or casting spells.

It’s pretty evident that when some women, especially women of color , argue that BDSM kink culture has an overwhelming amount of racist-misogyny embedded in its practice of reenacting  bondage and inequitable dynamics, they have a reasonable argument worth considering. It’s not difficult to understand the viewpoint that some kinks take things steeped in the actual subordination and oppression of people and turn it into a sexualized drama that’s just “fun and games,” for the (hopefully consensual) participants involved.

_________

** Féministes Radicales ne partage pas cette partition faite ici entre la perspective qu’ont les femmes racisées et celle qu’ont les femmes dites « blanches ». Le SM et le BDSM sont un ensemble de techniques de cruauté mentale et de tortures sexuelles et corporelles issues du patriarcat en tant que tel, en tant que système de pouvoir des hommes (de n’importe quelle groupe social) sur n’importe quelle femme. Ainsi, l’axiome d’analyse pertinent de ces pratiques est le genre, en tant que hiérarchie et violence du groupe de hommes contre le groupe des femmes.

Le fait que les femmes non-racisées critiquent moins les pratiques de torture sexuelle ne signifie pas qu’elles auraient un passé moins lourd d’esclavage ou de tortures. Ceci est totalement faux, et si on l’entend dans certaines thèses prétendues « black-feminists », c’est par pure intériorisation de la misogynie des luttes androcentrés (black panthers et Angela Davis aux EU ou courant de Franz Fanon en France). Par exemple, les femmes blanches aristocrates puis bourgeoises ont elles aussi connu durant des siècles les cages de fer individuelles qui brisent le mouvement et détruisent profondément le corps (toutes les formes de corset par exemple). Il est étonnant (et pas) que cet article n’en fasse pas mention car le corset est l’un des instruments de torture les plus prisés chez les fétichistes et autres pro-BDSM. De même, le MALLEUS MALEFICARUM a été utilisé massivement contre des blanches, et démontre que les « subversifs » pro-SM n’ont rien, vraiment rien, inventé en matière de torture sexuelle et de scénarios de mise aux aveux et de dressage des femmes.

Le manque de conscience du préjudice chez les femmes « blanches » vient d’un phénomène central dans la lutte féministe : les femmes n’ont guère de conscience politique en tant que groupe, car pour exister comme sujet légitime, elles doivent tout inventer en matière de lutte (conscience de classe, perception de la réalité et du préjudice subi, organisation de la lutte), et faire le deuil de l’histoire des mouvements rebelles masculinistes (tous les mouvements non féministes). De fait, l’effort étant trop considérable face à la surdité dominante et à la violence des hommes « camarades », elles capitulent et greffent leur nausée politique et leur rage sur celles du sujet politique légitime socialement, à savoir l’homme. Or les femmes « blanches » ont pour seuls précédents historiques les luttes des hommes racisés ou de gauche (ce qui explique que la majorité des critiques des systèmes de viol (prostitution, pornographie, industries du « jouet ») se focalise sur la « marchandisation » « du corps » des femmes et non sur le sexisme et la torture intrinsèque à ces pratiques.

De fait, les femmes racisées ont une conscience plus aigüe des préjudices que noues, classe persécutée en raison de notre sexe, subissons en tant qu’humain déshumanisé. En effet, elles peuvent s’ancrer psychiquement (sentiment de légitimité, colère irréductible, lucidité sur les contours de l’ennemi principal) et matériellement (crédibilité sociale, moyens de lutte) dans une tradition de lutte androcentrée forte, légitime, voire encensée (les hommes anticolonialistes), qui a déjà imposé le rapport de force sur ces questions de torture et d’esclavage.

read also :

Susan-Hawthorne-Ancient-Hatred-its-Contemporary-Manifestation-the-torture-of-Lesbians

http://www.feministes-radicales.org/are-women-human/sadomasochisation-de-la-culture-plan-de-reajustement-structurel-du-canon-sur-les-cibles/ 

stop porn

 

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