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Against Sadomasochism: A Radical Feminist Analysis Paperback Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0960362837
ISBN-10: 0960362835
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 212 pages
  • Publisher: Frog in the Well; Paperback edition (June 1983)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0960362835
  • ISBN-13: 978-0960362837
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,313,093 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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I bought the book only for Butler's super short essay at first. But the book as a whole provides a feminist perspective on the discussion of sadomasochism with a focus on the unequal power structure. The contributors' arguments against sadomasochism are to some extent valid if viewed in a binary patriarchal frame: fighting against the objectification of women, showing the reflection of real world power structure between male and female in sadomasochism, the power dynamic behind the disguise of consent, etc.

Yet, the whole book is still mostly a "second wave" argument, only considering gender as a dichotomous variable and seeing everything as static. The whole dynamic of sadomasochism would fundamentally change if we treat gender as a continuous variable and view sadomasochism beyond the uni-directional power game between male and female.
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Format: Paperback
Women and minorities have made much progress for equal rights, but sexual liberty is still lacking. We have become alienated from our bodies as well as each other. The focus has been on sex and fantasy; we have forgotten the vision of purpose that comes from developing a meaning of love. But we cannot realize this if we do not completely revolutionize our patterns of thought and behavior in society.

The most intimate act between two adults is sex. Since it does not occur in a bubble, in order for us to effect change in the deepest sense of our beings in the present and future, we must look at major views towards sex in the past. This book offers many essays in regards to the pervasiveness as sadomasochism, much more than the new fringe 'lifestyle' known as bdsm - it is about unequal power relationships, in particular that of patriarchy in which men control women to guarantee sex; their orgasms being deemed more important than a woman's dignity. The question is not about consent or denying that sex is a need, but about what one is consenting to. Sexual objectification denies the feelings and humanness, of individuality, of "other." It is a precursor to degradation, and has simply taken other forms - covert, reworded, disguised under pretenses of consent, trust, free choice, and desire (assuming that all desires are good).
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Most people are a little shocked by Sadomasochism. It's hard to understand why anyone would take pleasure in pain or humiliation. Despite that fact, there are a great number of people who think that there is nothing wrong with it. My vocation as a Thealogian, and chief administrator of the Temple of Lylyth, has lead me to question the deeper spiritual, psychological, and political ramifications of Sadomasochism. This text has proved itself invaluable to me, time and time again. The essays are all very easily readable, and are a mixture of humor, political analysis, and deeply insightful psychology. The cap stone of this is the last essay, "Sadomasochism and the Erosion of Self: A Critical Reading of 'Story of O'." After reading this text, it is impossible to look at sadomasochism as just harmless fun.
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