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A great show on "This American Life" on the whole difficult process of how the American Psychiatric Association decided in 1973 that homosexuality was no longer a mental illness.


A reminder, many aspects of consensual sex acts, including kink, is still considered a mental disorder and pathology.

If your sex style includes aspects that other people consider 'sick' it's worth hearing this. For all the talk about community outreach and activism it's worth really considering concrete ways to change politics and medical standards.

In many ways, individuals and organization of the kink world approaches it's survival in still very closeted and is fear-based. Many are operating from a place of internalized prejudice and failure to look at real social change. If one is closeted because they fear social/legal repercussions, then why not change the society/legal/medial world? The secret society attitude and bake-sale mentality to fundraising, while romantic, doesn't change the world for the better. The poverty mentality of clubs will never get us mobilized towards justice and equality.
Personal sexual freedom is a political matter. Maybe we need to look at a better business model for organizations and events as well as consider actual political strategies.

I didn't go into this much after LLC, but I did sense a lot of "Let's hide in our safe closet and decorate the inside better" attitude.

Laura Antoniou's speech at LLC really hit the nail on the head about this. I'll get the link for this speech from her and post it here soon.


May. 20th, 2007 05:39 pm (UTC)
only one possible good reason for SM to be a "disorder"
i wish i could be out at work, but i cannot. my family and friends all know about my submissive tendancies and how SM plays a large role in my life. But if people at work knew, i would be out of a job. That's not right, it's not fair, it should be fixed. We should do everything we can to get this fixed.

However, one very good reason for keeping SM and other fetishes in the DSM "for now" has been pointed out to me. Because we're not yet protected under diversity laws, we need to use other laws to protect our jobs. my understanding is that, because SM is in the DSM, an arguement can be made to an employer that an employee cannot be fired due to their "illness" of SM. i'm not sure that this has been tested, and i hope there is no need to test it, but perhaps it is a small safeguard to us?

Well wishes everyone, and thank you for bringing up this topic!

May. 21st, 2007 10:52 am (UTC)
Re: only one possible good reason for SM to be a "disorder"
As far as a 'safeguard' it's a really lousy one. It's the same as keeping homosexuality as a disorder - as mentioned in the show. Did you listen to it? By keeping it a disorder it allows for many workplaces to legally bar them from being employed. It allows the courts to bar the 'patients' to have custody of their children. It gives legitimacy for the legal world to openly discriminte. They'd also never enter into politics. In the worst cases it could allow family members to force medical treatments upon the 'patient' much in the way that gays and lesbians were made to go through forced hospitalization and electro shock therapy.

Also by keeping it a disorder it increases the shame and increases the likelihood of suicide. Today large number of teenage suicide is among gay/lesbian youth.

But as long as the kinkster in question doesn't want to run for office, have a child, choose their own job, cause no legal problems, doesn't engage in their fantasies and generally stays meek and well behaved keeping it a disorder will protect them.


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