Saturday, April 7, 2012

Vox Populi

This past week I was happy to discover that a new dev blog had popped up adding another perspective on the dev phenomenon. Normalsane, authored by 'letskeepshitreal' seeks, as practically every devotee writing about devotees has, to correct and clarify the many misconceptions about us. The core message can be succinctly summarized in this quote, “...we're fucking normal.”

With frustrated enthusiasm and brash wit 'letskeepshitreal' sums up what we, and literally every other marginalized group everywhere, have been saying since time immemorial. We deviate yes, but in a harmless way. Everyone says it, and still no one seems to care.

See, the interesting thing about devotees, is that we're indistinguishable from everyone else. We walk among you. You might already know us and have no idea at all. We're your friends, family, co-workers, retail clerks, doctors and lawyers. You can't identify us if you're a Psychiatrist or a Judge, or a cop, or even a person with a disability. There is nothing special about how we look, or walk, or don't walk even (I know of at least one dev with MS). We love and fuck like everyone else, that's why so many marriages last until we decide to do something few people ever truly do, we are honest about ourselves.

However, this doesn't just apply to devotees, it applies to thousands of other marginalized groups. The crux of it is this: If we are to accept that this argument we make on our own behalf is valid, then we must extend that to other groups as well. We're talking about something bigger than just ourselves.

It is not enough that we as devotees argue merely on our own behalf, surely that will never get us anywhere, there simply aren't enough of us to do anything substantial, and more importantly, it represents poor reasoning. You can argue on behalf until you're blue in the face, but it won't matter until you take a step to something larger, and more important.

Devotees are just one subset of a larger oppressed and maligned group. Perverts. We don't hurt other people, we act in line with consent, we love our families, and pay our taxes. It is for this reason that I speak of “coercive devotees”, in order to clarify the weakened or more often absent distinction between devotees who are merely perverts, and those who act like creeps. Those of us who are merely perverted, kinky, exotic, or whatever word you like, all face varying levels of discrimination. Much of what I've written here on the past months can be easily applied to other groups.

We do have our own unique social issues, for instance I have never seen quite as much fuss raised over casters as I have over devs, but the uniting principle among us is one of ostracism, and an imposition to silence. We are told, without explicit instruction, to be quiet or be shunned. The world would prefer to imagine we do not exist, unless it wants to laugh at us, a phenomena I've written about before.

If we as devotees, seek to one day move beyond this, we must work for a more sex and kink positive culture. There is no other option. Working alone as devs is both ignorant and inefficient. As devs we ought to see the common bond we have in other pervs and work to build alliances. This involves encountering our own prejudices and surely is not an easy task, but a necessary one if we desire not only our own liberation, but fair and equal treatment for all.

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