Thinking Kink: The Collision of BDSM, Feminism and Popular Culture by Catherine Scott

  Thinking Kink: The Collision of BDSM, Feminism and Popular Culture   by Catherine Scott ~ Completed May 19, 2015

Thinking Kink: The Collision of BDSM, Feminism and Popular Culture by Catherine Scott ~ Completed May 19, 2015

As a former bookseller, a feminist, and someone who's intensely frustrated at mainstream misunderstandings about BDSM, the 50 Shades of Grey trilogy has basically made me die a little inside. I came across this book both as a response to pop culture depictions of BDSM and as a discussion on the views some feminists hold toward BDSM.

Potentially surprisingly, some brands of feminism are extremely judgmental against women who participate in BDSM, especially when they choose to be submissive to a (cis) man. With friends like these, who needs misogynist enemies? This work is a great dissection of various BDSM identities that are portrayed in pop culture, including the male submissive, the female dominant, vanilla people, the female submissive, the male dominant, abuse in BDSM communities, people of colour who practice kink, and queer kinksters.

It was extremely refreshing to see not only a wide variety of kink identities analyzed but also a critical examination of the (often insidious) ways that they are mainstreamed via pop culture.

Appeal

Character (60%): One of the things that drew me to this book was that Scott discusses many different kink identities, not just the ones that are "hot" right now (in the case of 50 Shades of Grey, submissive women and dominant men). Character was thus a large appeal for me as I was able to see Scott's pop culture analysis of a wide spectrum of BDSM identities (or a discussion as to the lack of representation of some identities, as the case may be).

Story (40%): Though not as argument driven as some works, the pieces of this work are still bound together through being a response to the pop culture behemoth, 50 Shades of Grey. I wanted to continue reading to see all the facets of Scott's analysis, and that meant the story appeal element was a factor in my enjoyment of this work.

There was no particular setting or language style that played a factor in my enjoyment of this work.