There’s been an evolution in many communities, and my local scene has not been exempt. People are becoming more aware of consent (and consent violations) over time. All sorts of educational resources have become available to the masses. People are talking about their own experiences more frequently and to a wider audience. I see all this as an exceptionally good thing. If it prevents even one violation of consent, then it’s well worth it.
Some have gone far beyond that though. There are a handful of individuals and small groups who feel that as long as you’re not a cisgendered hetero white man, you’re entitled to be an asshole to anyone. Not long ago, if someone accidentally used the wrong pronoun when referring to someone else, that person would simply correct them and continue the conversation. Not now. Now, that one incident becomes an immediate cause for a screaming rant in addition to lots of passive-aggressive writings online.
Double standards abound with this crowd. For example, if someone brings up ways in which men get screwed over in life, there are mocking cries of, “what about teh menz?” (You’d think these people, more than anyone, would be familiar with the concept of kyriarchy.) And this is coming from a group who fashion themselves champions of equal rights. Using this same logic of theirs, one could easily say, “Oh, rape isn’t a problem because there are far more people all over the world without adequate access to clean food, water, and medicine. It’s a bigger problem, so we should just ignore rape until this other problem gets fixed.” This logic obviously doesn’t make sense, but they don’t see this. They claim their opponents are mindlessly locked into an ideology, without seeing that they themselves suffer from the same issue.
Many of these folks feel determined to play “who’s more oppressed” and look for any opportunity to snap at someone for a real or perceived disrespect. The latter is behavior I’d expect from thugs in the ghetto, not from educated middle-class people.
People like this have, over time, driven themselves out of the BDSM community here. The simple fact is that no one owes anyone else friendship or company, and people tend to pull away from those who make them feel bad. If you make it difficult for me to talk to you because you take offense at everything I say, I’m not likely to engage you often. It’s easier to walk away than it is for an entire community to dance around someone’s preferred way of doing things.
Most people in the BDSM community would consider themselves feminists, allies, egalitarian, or something along those lines. It’s the extremists (with the behavior outlined above) who I have an issue with. I generally don’t get along with extremists of any flavor, conservative or liberal, religious or atheist. I do my best to be respectful of peoples’ gender identities, and I try to stay conscious of any threatening posture or actions on my part. At the same time, I refuse to walk on eggshells to appease a small number of people.