There’s an unpleasant wind blowing through the air. It’s a wind that seems hell bent on undoing the past decade or more of progress in bringing together diverse sexualities and starting the process of building respect. It’s taken the dream of Martin Luther King, that a person should be judged by the quality of their character, and driven a horse and carriage through it.
The problems are stemming from a rise of religious fundamentalism that’s a reaction against a perception of Islam fuelled by their radical elements. We’ve seen it here in the UK with attempts to limit access to porn and dragging legitimate and enjoyable BDSM practices under the banner of obscenity laws without asking whether they’d kept up with 21st Century, post 50 Shades sexuality.
Elsewhere it appears credit card companies are now starting to run scared. The news that Fetlife had two of its merchant accounts closed, effectively shutting off access to money flows, is disturbing. This appears to be a preemptive strike against the BDSM community ahead of whatever morality the new US President attempts to impose on commerce and wider society. Correctly the operators have responded by de-risking the community to protect it for the future. That they’ve had to worries me.
We have been through this before. I remember in the early days of the web, when we were young, dumb and full of cum, a similar action happened. Credit card companies canned plenty of accounts, killing small businesses overnight. After a while things settled down and people relaxed and we all got back to being kinksters. Even PayPal turned a blind eye here and there.
I hope this is what’s happening now. I’m hoping the resurgence in rightwing, religious based morality is a phase we’re going through and it will pass in a couple of years. But I am concerned that what starts as delegitimizing sexuality evolves into persecution.
Let’s hope we can ride out the coming storm and appear on the other side stronger and more united for it.
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