Thursday, April 17, 2008
A Tribute to Lady ‘M’
In my book I celebrate the rise of FLRs, female-led relationships, and LFA, loving female authority:
“…a new type of female empowerment—not to be confused with female domination or female supremacy. In fact, the proponents of this new empowerment generally dismiss the world of ‘femdom,’ with its bizarre rituals and iconography, as a kind of male-oriented fantasy-land, in which women are ultimately devalued.” (Worshipping Your Wife, p. 84)
I don’t know who coined FLR and LFA, but the acronyms seem to have caught on, especially FLR, helping to destigmatize and advance the cause of women as loving leaders in marriages and romantic relationships.
They’ve accomplished this largely by replacing all the mondo bizarro imagery associated with femdom—B&D, S&M, et al. Instead of a whip-wielding, vinyl-sheathed dominatrix lording it over a groveling lump of naked male flesh, we may now envision something akin to the radiant image that graces Lady Misato’s website, Real Women Don’t Do Housework—and also the cover of my book.
“The Accolade” (1901) by Edmund Leighton depicts a lovely queen or princess, standing statuesque in a shaft of light as she confers knighthood with a longsword on a kneeling, unhelmeted warrior, head bent. Googling will yield many similar images from Leighton, along with those by his fellow historical painters in the English Pre-Raphaelite school, John William Waterhouse and Sir Edward Burne-Jones.
Yes, submissive men can be viewed as heroic knights, and their dominant damsels may be transfigured as radiant and fully empowered queens. This is not just the storybook romance model, but the courtship model, which Lady Misato converted into a working blueprint for contemporary wife-worship (or “wifedom,” as she also calls it), and which I subsequently made the cornerstone of my book.
I acknowledge my considerable debt to Fumika Misato, not just for inspiring my book, but also for helping to save my marriage—and many other marriages, I’m sure. Perhaps she did not originate the terms “Loving Female Authority” (that may have been Elise Sutton, softening her own website a bit) and “Female Led Relationship,” but “Wife Worship” is almost certainly Lady Misato’s inspired coinage. And I regard her as the prime creatrix of the new FLR movement, which is rapidly gaining mainstream acceptance.
For me, and many other men I have discussed these matters with, it was Real Women Don’t Do Housework that showed us that our longings to serve a woman are not necessarily twisted or perverse, but are at the very pulsing heart of romantic longing, even of heroic courtship. They can be proclaimed proudly, not hidden away or denied. Instead of leading us into masturbatory fantasies over kinky images, these longings can lead us right back into our marriages and back to our wonderful wives. We have only to embrace our wives as loving leaders, to treat them as the queens and goddesses they truly are.
Or, to cite my favorite motto: “If you want your wife to be a goddess, worship her.” — Clairette de Longvilliers