We need to stop pretending ALL kinky people are great and that the automatic assumption should be, “Trust us.”
We need to stop saying ALL parents know what’s best for their kids. Let them do whatever they want, it’s none of your business.
We need to pretend that ALL those in D/s relationships know what they are doing.
If only I, like so many others, could say,
“Oh, most parents are good. Why judge kinky parents?” “If someone says they’re fine with something, they’re fine.” Except that person who says, “I’m fine with how he’s touching me. It’s no big deal” in public, comes crying to you after softly sobbing in your arms, “Please make it stop. Please make it stop. Nobody cares. Nobody really listens anymore. I don’t want to cause trouble, but I’m so tired.”
I don’t believe anyone ought to simply shrug off judgment and prejudice. I’m just as tired of people assuming since I’m in a poly relationship it’s not serious. But if someone came to me and said, “I can’t believe you are in an M/s relationship. It sounds just like my abusive ex-husband,” I would not shut them down.
Instead, I respond,
“I am sorry that you were abused. That’s never right. I’m sorry for a world that allows abuse to casually happen. I’ve had friends that were abused. My partner suffered abuse. Nobody cared about him. My munchkins were abused daily by their bio mother and stepfather. Everyone told the kids to ‘try to get along with their mom better.’ I know that probably very few cared about your abuse, either. Probably said you’re overly sensitive, making it up to get attention.
But, please understand that I am not one of these people. Feel sorry for the people that ARE being hurt. Go help them. I don’t need it, nor does my family. We are happy. Being commanded isn’t always abuse; being commanded against your will, with threats, THAT is abuse. And I’m sure you might even have personally seen or experienced that abuse– but it’s different in our case, because everything is CONSENSUAL and follows R.A.C.K. I’m really okay. We’re all aware of each other’s needs and wants, and we mostly balance them to make everyone happy most of the time. And I can show you others that are also just fine.”
Because these people need to be heard, too.
They’re not used to it. If you simply scream that them what awful people they are for interfering, well, they’ve heard that before. They’ll just use that as evidence that they were right, or why else would confrontation upset you? Clearly they hit a nerve.
Some of them are terrible, horrible, no good people. You won’t reach them all. But some of them genuinely do care. If we want them to accept the good ones in our community, we need to be willing to stand up against the bad.
We need to acknowledge that we might be one of the bad ones, too, and that we are willing to be transparent in order to differentiate ourselves from the abusers in the community.
Frankly, this should be done in every community. But why not set a precedent within the kinky & poly communities? As a unicorn rancher and part of a polyamorous primary partnership, is it not somewhat on me to show that we are not predators? Many couples do prey on the vulnerable. Should our feelings be more important than their safety? Of course not. So why not let them see that you are different than the abusers?
That doesn’t mean I will accept judgment laid down without bothering to talk to me. It does mean that I will try to make my own practices visible. And I won’t act shocked that someone might think what I do is wrong, as if it’s ludicrous to accuse me of practicing unethical behavior. In a world that is not majority monogamous, but majority unethical non monogamous, I am perfectly happy to showcase ethical non monogamy.
Don’t shame someone, ever, for trying to help the neglected and unseen.
You needn’t accept hateful words and a deliberate unwillingness to even try to understand what’s really happening. You know, the kind of person who hopes you are abusing someone, because they want to see you as an awful, terrible, no good human being. But you also don’t want to intimidate a person from trying to help the downtrodden and abused. Do you have any idea how many persons (children included!) are abused today, because nobody paid any attention?
If we choose to respond only in anger and defensiveness (which is precisely how the abusers will react), it is on us when people continue to press and judge and try to protect the ones under our care.
Because too often if they don’t speak up, nobody will. I’d rather they speak in error, though with an open mind to hearing truth, then nobody speak up at all.