I won’t deny it; I’m not trying to hide it.
Sure Britney. We understand.
I was watching Secretary (one of my absolute favorite films) and I started making some connections (as usual) that I thought would be relevant to my commentaries on life, art, and my own practice. Afterall, if I enjoyed it so much, it must have meant something to me or it would have changed my perception of the world in some way etc.
Lee Holloway is a smart, quirky woman in her twenties who returns to her hometown in Florida after a brief stay in a mental hospital. In search of relief from herself and her oppressive childhood environment, she starts to date a nerdy friend from high school and takes a job as a secretary in a local law firm, soon developing an obsessive crush on her older boss, Mr. Grey. Through their increasingly bizarre relationship, Lee follows her deepest longings to the heights of masochism and finally to a place of self-affirmation.
-The Storyline of Secretary (2002) from IMDB (The Internet Movie Database)
Since I have had sex and religion thrown into my face for some time now, I figured this would be a good time to find new ways to approach my interests. Sadism and Masochism are very interesting ideas:
Sadomasochism broadly refers to the receiving of pleasure— often sexual— from acts involving the infliction or receiving of pain or humiliation. The name originates from two authors on the subject, the Marquis de Sade and Leopold von Sacher-Masoch. A subset of BDSM, practitioners of sadomasochism usually seek out sexual gratification from these acts, but often seek out other forms of pleasure as well. While the terms sadist and masochist specifically refer to one who either enjoys giving pain(sadist), or one who enjoys receiving pain(masochist), many practitioners of sadomasochism describe themselves as at least somewhat of a switch, or someone who can receive pleasure from either inflicting or receiving pain.
…sexual sadism within the context of mutual consent should not be mistaken for acts of sexual violence or aggression.
From Wikipedia (my good friend)
Dr. Twardon: You know, Lee. There’s a long history of this in Catholicism.
Burt Holloway: You are the child of god’s holy gift of life. You come from me. But you are not me. Your soul and your body are your own, and yours to do with as you wish.
Very, very interesting. Especially within the context that I have been tethered to in the last five weeks. Every classroom discussion. Every conviction. Every single sweeping statement. I just had to watch this film again to find new meaning within the context. I just couldn’t help myself (Britney Spears would agree – ah, that great sage of our world today).
There has been some talk of objectifying the woman. There has been talk of ethics and morality. I’m a big fan of morality. I don’t think I’m unethical. I work for a living and I try my best. I have my own view of the world that I am comfortable in. I question all preconceived notions and try to find my own way. And yet, they come to preach to me what being a human being SHOULD be. I have commented on abuse and I have commented on questioning reality. And here I am, talking about romance.
Perhaps I should return to the classroom discussion today and stress on the importance of altering perception. I live to please myself and I think so do most self-respecting people. We all draw lines around ourselves but sometimes we like to question our own limitations (another boring word which needs dissection). So where does sadomasochism enter the “bigger picture”? Is it the indie (or alternative) value of this construct that interests me? Or am I just a freak on the edge of reality?
I was talking to a friend today about the value of pleasure. We make art to please ourselves and others. We take great pains (interesting word within the context) to express ourselves. We even hurt ourselves in the process (again within context). And all for the pleasure of it. To please ourselves. To please others. Pain is real. Maybe, these ideas led me back to this film I saw many years ago and adored. I am not a sadomasochist in my practice – or am I?
These are interesting questions for me. I used to believe I was programmed to be a masochist – given ideas that self-sacrifice is what makes you a good human being, a better person, a good woman etc. These ideals are widely accepted and thrown at you without much consideration innocently by every second person (be it a parent, a friend or just about anyone). I am not playing the blame game but merely making an observation. And then within that context comes subservience and obedience within religion. So interesting.
So we are to deny our human-ness for a set of beliefs? But we are also to deny perversion of a perversion? Denial is what, exactly if not perversion? Or if denial is within the religious context, is it not perversion? Can the words religion and perversion not co-exist within the same context? Is that not allowed? I feel these are valid questions. Why isn’t anyone asking these questions in my classroom? Yes, I am impatient and I do live in my own world. I also know (sadly) that my questions will be viewed as perversion. Or maybe I am underestimating humanity. Whatever the case, it will be worthwhile to atleast find out. If we are to redefine the world, we need to redefine everything in existence. That gives me some hope. That also helps me stay awake.
Disclaimer (I LOVE disclaimers): This is in no way a conclusive survey – and I do not mean to offend anybody’s religious (or sexual) sentiment whatsoever.