“People need to feel like they’re not being attacked, like they’re in a safe space where no punches are being pulled.” -Sarah Silverman
I’ve checked out the poll and the debate about the need for sex positivity in e[Lust] and it made me think about what I wanted from e[Lust] and how I felt about sex positivity. I am glad that Lilly wants to make e[Lust] a sex positive space. I think it should be. I don’t want to read Cosmo-like posts on e[Lust] about how to drive my man wild or crazy things to do in bed. I appreciate the varied perspectives that e[Lust] provides, perspectives that I can’t get from most other places on the internet. I want it to be a safe space for sex positivity.
Safe space is certainly something that I support and endorse. I understand the need for people with sensitivities to have places to go where they do not have to worry about fighting the demons they face everyday. I think this is healthy.
However, I wouldn’t consider my blog “safe space.” I don’t put trigger warnings on my posts. I wouldn’t claim that all of my posts (or opinions for that matter) are staunchly feminist, sex positive, inclusive, politically correct, or warm. (Well most of my posts aren’t warm. Or touchy-feely. Or any of that crap.) I’m okay with this.
Although I certainly have my issues with the patriarchy, with discrimination, with harassment, I don’t respond especially well to the embracing environment. I don’t like talking to therapists (even the good ones). I don’t enjoy being coddled. I don’t seek out advice from people who are inclined to tell me that “it’s all going to be okay” or offer hugs. I’m not going to offer that sort of advice (or hugs – I don’t like hugs). I know there are plenty of people like me in the world who are much happier with sarcasm and humor. I certainly am.
I’m glad communities like Shakesville exist for the people who do want a hug. And I respect the space that places like those provide. I’m not going to show up to a thread there and suggest that someone “deal with it because life isn’t fair” which is certainly advice I have offered my friends. There is a time and a place for debating the merits of feminist philosophy or the potential political motivation of the women who accuse Julian Assange of rape or the logic of the fat acceptance movement. You’re welcome to do that here. You’re not welcome to do that in other places and you shouldn’t.
I don’t submit posts to e[Lust] which I don’t consider “sex positive.” (Feel free to disagree with my definition.) I don’t pick fights on feminist blogs which ask me not to. I don’t swear on blogs which frown on that sort of thing (not that I spend a lot of time on them). It’s not hard to respect other people online. If you want to pick a fight, try reddit or your obnoxious friend from high school’s Facebook wall.