The problem of male privilege in the scene
There is a lot of talk going around how men are trash because of the behaviors that they display. And there has been a lot of push back against the terminology from men who feel like they are good people. I really don't like this idea much. Saying that all men are trash feels very black and white to me. What I do think is that all men could do better at recognizing their actions and how they affect others. An action that is fine among a group of dudes holds a different significance when done to women. Actions, when they come from places of power, can hold significance, even if the person doing them did not intend them that way. To this end, I have compiled a list of things that men in general could do better on. I doubt that all men have done all of these things but I also doubt that any man has never done any of these things. Pay attention to your actions and how they can be perceived and/or felt by others.
- Telling a woman that their scene was "hot" when what you really meant that you were impressed with their skill reduces them to a sex object rather than a skillful person that you admire.
- Interrupting a woman when she is teaching removes authority from her immediately in the eyes of everyone else in the room (it's also just plain rude)
- Imposing your beliefs during a woman's class suggests that your ideas are more important than hers. Having beliefs is fine but someone else's class is the the appropriate place to air them.
- Looking to a man in a woman's class to confirm what she is saying removes her teaching authority and agency.
- Refuting a bottom's experience during a class removes their agency and belittles their experience.
- Leering at a woman in a scene reduces her to an object for your fantasies, which she certainly isn't interested in unless she has told you she is.
- Telling a woman after a scene what she should do better (or that she should use different equipment) uses the masculine position of power to belittle her experience and impose your viewpoints. Most of the time, she doesn't want to hear it.
- Touching a woman's scene in any way when not explicitly invited removes the agency of the people in the scene and suggests that your fantasies are more important than their safety and enjoyment.
- Shouting your suggestions/ideas/fantasies while a woman is in a scene reduces them to an object there for your pleasure.
- Arguing a point during a class with a woman removes her authority as an instructor. If you want to teach, get your own class.
- Taking over a woman's class to show your own material removes her authority as an instructor. If you want to teach, get your own class.
- Using the phrase "well, actually". I don't think anything more needs to be said.
- Restating a woman's idea and taking the credit for it removes a woman's voice and authority.
- Getting mad when a woman doesn't respond to your emails implies that you think you are owed a response. You aren't. This removes a woman's agency and autonomy. You don't have a magical cock. I promise.
- Continuing to email when a woman doesn't respond to your email. See above.
- Believing that a woman should top you just because there aren't many female tops in [name your kink]. You're removing her agency and reducing her to a sexual object for your pleasure.
- Holding women to a different level of expectation when it comes to a skill. Most people don't do it consciously but many still do it.
- Stepping in front of a woman while she is talking removes her voice quite literally.
- Seeking out a male teacher specifically
- Taking up large amounts of space (physically or emotionally, to the detriment of others in the room.
- Following a woman around an event. This is creepy and downright scary. Stop it.
- Butting into a conversation between a group of women implies that you think your thoughts are more important than theirs.
- Sending women unrequested emails of your fantasies is gross and reduces them to an object for your pleasure.
- Using 'but meant get hurt too' as a way to make a conversation about you is selfish and removes the focus from an important topic.
- Telling a woman to smile makes them into an object for your desire.
- Expecting women to look sexy while they teach or tie or play turns them into a sex object for you. Women can dress up or down for themselves without a dude imposing his thoughts
- Telling a woman that she just hasn't been in the right XYZ and that you can change their mind removes their agency and ignores their experience.
All of the things listed here are rude no matter what gender they come from or are directed at but they take on a stronger and deeper meaning when they come from men who already hold places of power and are directed a women who are still struggling for equality in many spaces, kink included. Take some time, reflect on your actions. Think about how they might feel to a person who is not in a position of relative power. All of these examples are things that I have experienced personally or that my friends have experienced. These are not rare things. They are every day occurrences that women experience all of the time. Reflect, learn, grow. We all do these things but we can also all try to be better.