NCSF on Twitter   Subscribe to the NCSF RSS Feed   NCSF Blog

"Roiled by Katie Roiphe: Why her BDSM essay is BS"

on Wednesday, 18 April 2012. Posted in Front Page Headline, Media Updates

NY Daily News

Katie Roiphe's Newsweek cover story "The Fantasy Life of Working Women" hit the web yesterday, prompting a collective facepalm from sex-positive feminists everywhere.

If you're not familiar with Roiphe's other work, which includes gems such as "My Newborn Is Like a Narcotic,” then lucky you! Just like many of her previous writings, this spurious screed on BDSM's link to women's economic success is nothing more than anti-woman puritanism parading as feminism – with a healthy dose of privilege.

But there are a lot more problems with Roiphe's essay. Her treatment of women's sexual choices is condescending to the point of being borderline chauvinist.

Let's start, though, with Roiphe's "thesis." She uses BDSM scenes in E.L. James’ novel "50 Shades of Grey" and the new Lena Dunham series "Girls" to advance the argument that a "watered-down, skinny-vanilla-latte version of sadomasochism" is "in."

She makes the claim that the popular portrayals of the kinks so thoroughly described by James and Dunham – along with Psychology Today findings that women indulge "rape fantasies" –are a result of women's economic achievement. We want to be dominated sexually, Roiphe claims, because we dominate in other aspects of life.

This sounds like a load of BS about BDSM – and I'm certainly not the only person who has taken notice. ...

Social Bookmarks

Comments (0)

Leave a comment

You are commenting as guest. Optional login below.

Cancel Submitting comment...

Latest Reader Comments

  • As is true with ANY group of human beings, there will always be individuals who take advantage of a given situation. However,...

    Mistress Black Diamond

    30. April, 2015 |

  • I followed the link to read the full article. As expected in that sort of venue the ideal of BDSM is being promoted, not the reality. I...

    TammyJo Eckhart, PhD

    30. April, 2015 |

  • For many years we have tolerated businesses posing as churches, so why not lifestyle groups? Alternative lifestyle members share a common...

    Bob

    29. April, 2015 |

  • Feminists and christian groups push narratives which become 'fact' (see definition of 'Woozle effect ). These are ideologically driven...

    Elle

    09. April, 2015 |

  • Fetlife works very hard to keep members safe. They also work to protect everyone's freedoms. Criminal accusations should be made to local...

    Daisie

    23. March, 2015 |

  • Simple and brilliant. I will be using this in all of my Human Sexuality classes.

    Callista Lee

    11. March, 2015 |