On Monday, I posted a blog titled Seven words banned by my Christian school. Accompanying this post was a sexualised image of a woman wearing a ball-gag. This was also the default image when the post was shared on Facebook.
I am embarrassed that it was not obvious to me why this was a bad idea, but I am grateful to the person who took the time to send me a message calling me out on it. I don’t know how many other readers felt the same but didn’t say anything, but I’m glad this person gave voice to their thoughts. It’s not anyone else’s job to educate me on this, but it was helpful that they did.
This blog is meant to be a safe space for survivors, and I want it to be a place where more women participate in the discussion. On a blog where I’ve complained about the objectification of women, I included a porny-looking picture with little relevance to the content. Nice work, Scaramanga. I can’t critique a church that treats women as objects and not full participants if I then go and do the same thing myself.
Fundamentalism is a world where sexual expression generally, and women’s sexual expression particularly, is squashed. I don’t want to imply that BDSM is somehow the same as my school stifling our free expression, when for those who practise it, these sexual practices are self-expression (and my school tried to stifle that too). This is another reason it was a badly-chosen image.
This blog has also attempted to expose sexual abuse in fundamentalist schools, and I count survivors of that abuse among my most valued readers. I want this to be a space which can contribute to recovering from that abuse, not stir up memories of it. I got it wrong on Monday. I am sorry.