She described the situation as feminist because it is her choice

This is both hilarious and disgusting – the New York Times solemnly reporting on a male composer who gets extra super-duper creative by dominating his wife. The Times says this is “kink” but it sounds much more like the same old arrangement there always was.

The OkCupid message Mollena Williams received in December 2013 was, in some ways, standard. It was complimentary: “Wow — your profile is great.” It was confident: “I am an artist, very successful (probably member of the top 10 or 20 in my genre in the world).” It was polite, signing off with “warm wishes.”

But something was a bit out of the ordinary, speaking to its author’s interest in domination and submission. The central desire? “I would like to tame you.”

The writer was Georg Friedrich Haas, whose powerfully emotional, politically chargedmusic and explorations of microtonality make him one of the world’s leading composers. His work had brought widespread acclaim, but his personal life was troubled, with three failed marriages in his wake, when he met Ms. Williams, a writer and sex educator who specializes in alternative lifestyles. Shortly after he messaged her, the two began a relationship and were married last fall.

I hate to be the one to break bad news, but a man dominating a woman isn’t an alternative lifestyle. It’s about as conformist as a lifestyle can possibly be.

In a joint appearance with his wife, who now goes by Mollena Williams-Haas, late last year at the Playground sexuality conference in Toronto, then in an interview this month in the online music magazine VAN, he has “come out,” as he put it, as the dominant figure in a dominant-submissive power dynamic. Mr. Haas has chosen to speak up, both because Ms. Williams-Haas’s sexual interests are widely known (her blog, The Perverted Negress, is not shy about kink and bondage) and because he hopes to embolden younger people, particularly composers, not to smother untraditional urges, as he did.

But the urges aren’t untraditional. They’re so.very.traditional.

Their marriage can seem, in this regard, distinctly old-fashioned, and not in a Marquis de Sade way. While the terms they negotiated at the start of their relationship do not prevent her from pursuing her own professional and personal life, Ms. Williams-Haas devotes much of her time to supporting the work of a man — “Herr Meister,” she has nicknamed him — for whom a “good day” is one in which he composes for 14 or 15 hours.

Ah they finally noticed!

“She makes my life as comfortable as possible,” Mr. Haas said.

Ms. Williams-Haas, who described the situation as feminist because it is her choice, said, “I find intense fulfillment in being able to serve in this way.”

And that right there is what’s so fucked up about “choice” feminism, aka libertarian or liberal or third wave feminism. No, not every “choice” is feminist just because it’s a woman making it. Michelle Duggar isn’t a feminist.

She conceded the discomfort many may feel with a black woman willingly submitting to a white man. “It’s a struggle to say, ‘This is genuinely who I am,’” she said. But she added, “To say I can’t play my personal psychodrama out just because I’m black, that’s racist.”

Right. So if she started actually calling herself his slave, and he called her that too, it would be racist to give that the stink-eye? Please.

And that’s especially true when they’re out there proselytizing. If it were just their private games at home then whatever, but here they’re making a case for it – and I say that’s revolting.

Mr. Haas said that he felt liberated after what he described as a lifetime’s and three divorces’ worth of suppressing what he once considered “devilish” desires. The change has altered his music in ways both quantifiable and more ineffable. He said that his productivity had roughly doubled since meeting Ms. Williams-Haas, which will delight his fans.

Well as long as he feels liberated, that’s what counts.

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