I read something today which annoyed me. It’s not a new thing to annoy me, but its re-sparked annoyance in me. An online newspaper article which was in regards to the increasing number of men using rough sex as an excuse, defence and get out of jail free card for murdering women. I won’t go into my thoughts around the comment section of the article, because frankly, my mental health really doesn’t like it when I delve into the comment sections on these things, and I need to stop reading them for my own sanity.
However, whilst I think the article was meant to relay the horrors of such cases, it missed the mark and then some. One thing it mentions is how ‘the normalisation of BDSM’ has enabled abusers to ‘justify’ their violence against women. Some representations of, actually scrap that, many representations of BDSM online, in entertainment and in media are, to be frank, incredibly fucked up. (50 Shades of Grey, I am looking point blank at you.) They cast a stigma across the BDSM subculture that it is, and those who engage in it, should be shamed, are abusers or abused. This is not the case. BDSM actually involves a strong emphasis on consent, respect, empowerment, safe words, care and doesn’t always involve sex. Normalisation of BDSM would be a good thing, because two (or three, or four.. you get the jist..) consenting partners should be able to get their kicks however the hell they like, but referring to the normalisation in regards to the kink-shaming media representation of it is a far cry from a good thing.
The misrepresentation of BDSM was merely the tip of the iceburg when it came to my annoyance about this article. Next came my rage about the shaming of women who may or may not have even been into “rough sex”. In the cases cited in the article there was never any evidence to suggest the women did or did not enjoy sex of this nature, not that this should matter. What a woman likes or dislikes has nothing to do with the fact that men using these types of excuses is victim blaming, pure and simple. By stating a “defence” of sex games gone wrong, this puts a level of accountability onto the victim that should not be there. Quite often in the cases, the men who claim this (and you’ll note that the articles will always say “She was into rough sex” but never stipulates what the man was into) have then proceeded to hide and cover up the murder, one even headed out on another date only hours later. These are not the actions of someone who has accidentally gone too far with the old slap and tickle. These are the actions of cold-blooded misogynistic murderers.
As long as we have the media reporting in a way that supports these kind of ludicrous defences, we won’t see an end to this. As long as the media are portraying women murder victims as to blame for their own murders, rather than holding the men accountable, we won’t see an end to this. I would love to see the normalisation of BDSM in the media, in entertainment and online. The true version of it. I would love to see the normalisation of sexual women enjoying sex how they like, with whomever they like, whenever they like. I would love to see the media fairly portray these cases, rather than shaming women for having sex, because news flash, we enjoy it and we damn well should not be getting murdered for it, or it used as a justification for our murders.
There is more I could go into on this subject but for now I’ll go get a cup of tea and stop reading things online…!