Breasts vs Bombs

Big banks haven’t always been arbiters of ethical behaviour. Quite the contrary, especially in recent years. However, it seems that HSBC have now decided to take a stand  on something – breasts. In the eyes of HSBC, profiting from cluster bombs and depleted uranium is apparently fine, but bare norks are a sin. Here’s what a friend, an artists’ model, wrote on her Facebook wall this morning:

“The bank [HSBC] wont let me have any kind of account with them because I get naked for a living… how very odd. I find it very sad that people have to lie about their careers to be able to do it legitimately. All I want to be able to do is pay tax on what I earn. Very odd system. It was quite amusing seeing the bank man’s reaction as he asked to look at my website. He spent rather a long time looking through the albums whilst trying to figure out what I do for a living… [the problem is] definitely the nakedness. If it was mainstream it wouldn’t be a problem, he explained to me… I was really shocked and surprised, as it is legal what I do. I don’t actually understand the problem. I don’t want him to bend the rules for me anyway. I am just surprised those rules exist, which they clearly do. After that I asked if I could have a normal account for my vanilla job. They wouldn’t let me do that either because I may use my normal account to put my modelling money into. It was a shock, it made me realise perhaps I live in a bubble world of perverts? Is this really the narrow mindedness of the real world…?”

Her work isn’t porn. Far from it. On her portfolio website, the booking section explicitly (yes, I know) states that: “art nude, fetish and bondage work does not include open leg shots under any condition” What, then was HSBC’s objection? Is this a blanket policy across HSBC, or just a branch manager who insists on taking a detailed look at a woman’s bare boob photos before deciding whether or not to allow them an account? Is corporate morality so skewed that breasts are now more offensive than bombs?

I haven’t followed this up or contacted HSBC for a comment, and the model concerned would prefer to remain anonymous for now. However, if you’re a journalist or similar, and would like to investigate further, contact me and I can put you in touch with her.

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Cabaret Suspension

Here’s a snippet of beautiful bloggery from Sir Claire Black on being suspended by hooks and ropes at the Sacred Pleasures Cabaret:

“…As the bass dropped so did my light pagan spirituality. I was dark, dirty, sexual, and wanting to play. The fuzzy golden lights that had bathed the room changed to spotlights focussing on me. I was the seductress who could do anything, have anyone, euphoric and earthy, base energy swinging freely. I was the goddess that everybody worshipped and I wanted to push this body’s limits. I asked P to push me, swing me around, I was flying. The small performer corner of my brain reminded me that the frame was creaking and I should not go any higher, but the seductress wanted blood and sensation…”

For more, including photos of the performance, click here.

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Teh Menz

The common misconception about Dominatrices is that we hate men. We don’t. Nobody would share an experience as intimate as consensual BDSM with someone they hated. That would be daft. Then again, most of the people who make the assumption that Dommes are just man-haters are the same people who assume that BDSM is just hitting.

Yet the trend for men to feel victimised by women outside of BDSM fantasy appears to be growing. When I was in a long-term relationship with a woman, I was repeatedly asked why I hated men. I explained, every time, that I didn’t hate men, but loved a woman. Yet somehow, many still assumed that a lesbian coupling must be about men in some way, and many seemed to take it as a personal insult that I chose to have sex with her and not with them.

Recently, I’ve noticed a sizeable lump of the internet dedicate itself to white, heterosexual, middle-class men who consider themselves the most persecuted minority on earth. (I could list such blogs from the Manosphere here, but Manboobz has done a better and more comprehensive job, so go there instead.) It seems that Beyonce may have been right after all, and that we women, with our towering, international gynocracy, rule over our feeble menfolk with a (humiliatingly phallic) rod of iron.

Except we don’t. Obviously. Inequality between genders is rife in almost every aspect of every society today, and women – as has been the case for millennia – invariably lose. The thought of a magical Queendom full of all-powerful Overladies and downtrodden gentlemen is lovely as a BDSM fantasy, but it just doesn’t exist. Sadly, the enraged bloggers of the Manosphere don’t realise this.

Here’s a wonderful blog on the Manosphere by Graham Murkett, and I’ve posted the accompanying YouTube video below:

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Super

Fictional female superheroes and supervillains: in theory, wonderful fantasy figures, much like Dominatrices. After all, a strong, uninhibited, ultra-empowered protagonist in a story of her own making should be a positive role model for women everywhere, shouldn’t she? Yet the lines sometimes get a little blurred about whose fantasy these fantasy figures exist to represent. If a woman is only strong for the sake of a man’s erection, something is wrong.

Here are some succulent chunks of an article by Laura Hudson at Comics Alliance:

“…Let’s start with Catwoman. The writer and artist have decided that out of all possible introductions to the character of Selina Kyle, the moment we’re going to meet her is going to be the one where she happens to be half-dressed and sporting bright red lingerie. That is in fact all we see of her for two pages: shots of her breasts. Most problematically, we are shown her breasts and her body over and over for two pages, but NOT her face. No joke, we get a very clear and detailed shot of her butt in black latex before we ever see her face looks like. Can’t you show us the playful or confident look in her eye as she puts on her sexy costume? Because without that it’s impossible to connect with the character on any other level than a boner, and I’m afraid I don’t have one of those…

…And that is the whole problem with this false notion of “sexually liberated” female characters: These aren’t those women. They’re how dudes want to imagine those women would be — what Wire creator David Simon called writing “men with t*ts.” They read like men’s voices coming out of women’s faces. Or worse, they read like the straight girls who make out with each other at clubs, not because they enjoy making out with women but because they desperately want guys to pay attention to them.

This is not about these women wanting things; it’s about men wanting to see them do things, and that takes something that really should be empowering — the idea that women can own their sexuality — and transforms it into yet another male fantasy. It takes away the actual power of the women and turns their “sexual liberation” into just another way for dudes to get off…”

And this seems to be the problem, both with fictional superheroes and villains and with Dommes. Powerful women are often perceived (and depicted) as existing only to fulfil the fantasy of a man. Which, to me, doesn’t seem all that powerful.

Can you imagine what male superheroes would look like if they were drawn in the way that their female counterparts are? You don’t have to. Bleeding Cool have done it for us, demonstrating just how ridiculous Superman and his pals seem when posed like Wonder Woman on the Justice League cover.

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Daily Fail

Just in case you ever had any faith in tabloid accuracy, here’s the Mail’s instant misinterpretation of breaking news. Further down, they fleshed the story out with some entirely made up quotes and reactions about the imaginary verdict from fictional people in the courtroom. Bear this in mind when reading anything else, about absolutely anything else, ever, in any low-brow tabloid newspaper. More details, including a lovely run-down of creative journalistic fabrications from the Mail’s article, at MalcolmColes.co.uk.

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