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Is BDSM a belief system? Should it be protected in the workplace?

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
The Guardian

I agree with the judge in this case, no one can comment on or deny your lifestyle but wearing a collar as a nurse is a complicated issue because of the sexual aspect.

Would I say the same if I gay woman wanted to wear a 'lesbian' symbol around her neck? I don't know. I'm conflicted.
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Comments

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I could get shot down for saying this, but is wearing a religious symbol a little more of a commitment than wearing something that you would generally use in your own home?

    I'd be interested to find out if this nurse wears the collar all the time? Or do they put it on just for work?

    I'm all for protecting rights at work, but the nurse removing the collar to go to work does in no way affect the nurses life at home.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    G-Raffe wrote: »
    I could get shot down for saying this, but is wearing a religious symbol a little more of a commitment than wearing something that you would generally use in your own home?

    I'd be interested to find out if this nurse wears the collar all the time? Or do they put it on just for work?

    I'm all for protecting rights at work, but the nurse removing the collar to go to work does in no way affect the nurses life at home.

    The nurse will wear the collar all the time. It's a symbol of ownership, and absolutely is a belief system. The point is: would they ask someone of whatever religion to remove a symbol of their religion? If the answer is no then it is totally discriminatory.

    Obviously in this instance there's a health and safety issue, so I'm not sure where I sit on it, but in general people who complain about collars and other symbols of D/s ownership can go to hell. It's not hurting anyone else and, for the most part, people are just judgemental fuckers.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I've been told I can't have my pentacle on display at college for health and safety reasons. If someone wearing a cross was allowed to go a ahead regardless, I'd be pretty pissed. But H&S is there for a reason.

    Otherwise, she has every right to, as long as it doesn't bring H&S issues in her work, or distracts from her work. If she was a nursery nurse, it would be highly inappropriate, the same if she worked with vunerable adults. Its more about the context than what it denotes. I wouldn't wear my pentacle in those situations, I think it would be inappropriate to wear a cross in those situations too, because those groups can be easily led, even when you don't mean to. A conversation started by a child asking "whats that?, what does it mean?" can lead to them copying and not understand the full meaning of their actions.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    piccolo wrote: »
    Is BDSM a belief system?

    Isn't BDSM an umbrella term for a bunch of sexual practices and mindsets? I think you'd have to drill into the specific practices before you got any sort of agreement and coherence, and even then I think you'd struggle to call any of it a belief system; I can't imagine there are any central tenets, doctrines, edicts, etc.

    But I don't think anyone should worry about having it labelled as a belief system, that just smells of trying to establish the same special dispensation that religion asks for and often enjoys.
    Should it be protected in the workplace?

    As much as anything else is protected: if it's been decided that wearing a necklace with a cross on it for cabin crew doesn't interfere with reasonable expectations of job performance, then Manchester United, Socialist Worker, and Wu-Tang Clan necklaces should all also be allowed.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Miss_Riot wrote: »
    A conversation started by a child asking "whats that?, what does it mean?" can lead to them copying and not understand the full meaning of their actions.

    I used to wear a pink ribbon on my jacket. When I spent a week in a nursery all the little girls started coming in with pink ribbons. That's relatively innocuous (I hope) but illustrates your point.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Isn't BDSM an umbrella term for a bunch of sexual practices and mindsets? I think you'd have to drill into the specific practices before you got any sort of agreement and coherence, and even then I think you'd struggle to call any of it a belief system; I can't imagine there are any central tenets, doctrines, edicts, etc.

    But I don't think anyone should worry about having it labelled as a belief system, that just smells of trying to establish the same special dispensation that religion asks for and often enjoys.

    Under that idea, that means that paganism isn't a belief set... and I'm sure there are many other faiths that would apply to as well.

    In a way, BDSM is a faith, its something people follow, but isn't a religion...
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Miss_Riot wrote: »
    Under that idea, that means that paganism isn't a belief set... and I'm sure there are many other faiths that would apply to as well.

    Perhaps I'm being a little too constrictive with my definitions. I guess consensus isn't necessary to be in possession of a belief system.
    In a way, BDSM is a faith, its something people follow, but isn't a religion...

    Isn't BDSM something you do? There might be a host of paraphernalia and a scene, but to say one would 'follow' it doesn't really seem to sit right.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Isn't BDSM something you do? There might be a host of paraphernalia and a scene, but to say one would 'follow' it doesn't really seem to sit right.

    Yes, but there are rules and whatnot, it comes with the territory, really. Maybe "follow" is the wrong word, but I would definitely say that the ideology (also probably the wrong word, my head won't work today) is like a belief system. Not the same as a religion, but I still think it is.

    My head really won't work, I have a point somewhere sitting in there but I can't write it out in a coherent way.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I'm not really sure what you're saying.

    I get that there's etiquette - broadly speaking - and that there are subgroups, flavours, paraphernalia, in and out groups, etc. But I think to call it an ideology or a belief system is to stretch the definitions of those words as to make them almost meaningless.

    Using those loose definitions almost any collective could be referred to as ideological. I've met Games Workshop guys who you could easily say had an ideology and a belief system using those definitions. And they didn't, they were just really into it.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I know a lot of people who would class BDSM as a sexuality.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Regardless of the whole belief issue, some people just need to lose the chip from their shoulders. Whatever happened to being professional in your work first?

    You want to enjoy your belief system (whether religion or not) then you are free to do so in your own time. Your priority at work should be the job in hand - for me that is especially true when talking about health professionals. The money that has gone into this case, just as we are having to cut services, really makes my blood boil.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I might start taking my whip with me when I go to my voluntary work. Wonder what they'd say...
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Randomgirl wrote: »
    I might start taking my whip with me when I go to my voluntary work. Wonder what they'd say...

    Make sure you do next time I see you in the office.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    she can be a slave without a collar, its only symbolic. It shouldnt interfere with work, and i think with a good chance that its not sterilisable and has probably got jizz on it, she should take it off for work.
    Most people into BDSM dont let it affect their work
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    she can be a slave without a collar, its only symbolic. It shouldnt interfere with work, and i think with a good chance that its not sterilisable and has probably got jizz on it, she should take it off for work.
    Most people into BDSM dont let it affect their work

    That's more or less where my thinking was. As I understand it, jewellery is generally not ok in hospitals because it's not sterile.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    piccolo wrote: »
    That's more or less where my thinking was. As I understand it, jewellery is generally not ok in hospitals because it's not sterile.

    That's correct, these days it's no watches, ties and sleeves rolled up when you are clinical area (such as wards), but that isn't really the point here IMHO, it's just an good excuse to ban it.

    The point, for me, is that she's there to work not express her individuality or her belief system. At least not one where there is an option *not* to wear the symbol - I do have sympathy with sikh community for example. Then to rub salt in the wound (no pun intended) she forced a legal challenge and bill will diverts resources from patient care.

    So, first she puts her "beliefs" before her patients care, then she takes money away from them. Seriously, what a screwy set of priorities she must have.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Personally, I would not categorise BDSM as a 'faith'. It's merely sexual expression.

    And in that context, I believe it's right that the collar has to be removed (sterility issue aside). Most workplaces are inappropriate for sexual expression to such a degree.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    It's sexual expression, it's not a belief system, and there are other ways of expressing your BDSM sexual 'ownership' without wearing a collar when you're meant to be delivering babies. There's no reason at all why her master couldn't put her in a chastity belt or similar for when she's at work, it would have exactly the same meaning and nobody else need know it's there.

    Talk about getting your priorities wrong. The employment tribunal can make an award for costs against vexatious or frivolous claimants and I don't see why they shouldn't in this case.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I don't have much time for people who feel the need to advertise their beliefs at work. Just do your fucking job.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    There's no reason at all why her master couldn't put her in a chastity belt or similar for when she's at work, it would have exactly the same meaning and nobody else need know it's there.

    That didn't occur to me, but it's a very good point.

    And if people are taking off wedding rings, is there really a difference?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    This is childish. In the sense of, a you're doing a job wearing a uniform, whatever you think. It's innapropriate for a nurse/midwife to be wearing sexual items of clothing. I'm pretty sure woman giving birth, don't want to think "christ, she's probably getting wet to the fact i'm in pain", that maybe a bit judgemental/stereotypical, but that's what people are like.

    It's a job, you're being paid to do something. It just makes sense not too wear stuff like that >.<
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I don't think a woman giving birth is thinking much more than, "OHGOD OH GOD OHHHHHHHHHHH GOD".
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I don't think a woman giving birth is thinking much more than, "OHGOD OH GOD OHHHHHHHHHHH GOD".

    You say that, but didn't I learn on THESE VERY BOARDS that sometimes you women have orgasms while breastfeeding?! Lord know what giving birth does to you crazy fuckers.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    You say that, but didn't I learn on THESE VERY BOARDS that sometimes you women have orgasms while breastfeeding?! Lord know what giving birth does to you crazy fuckers.

    It makes us shit ourselves.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Nurses wear a uniform. It's pretty simple - if you're a nurse then you wear that uniform.

    IF you want to wear what you like to work, then get a suitable job, one that lets you work from home.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I don't think a woman giving birth is thinking much more than, "OHGOD OH GOD OHHHHHHHHHHH GOD".

    have you never had the joy (or not), of listening to a woman complain about how bad their birth was? Seriously i would've thought the same thing, but no after listening to a friend point out everything, she shouldn't really of been noticiing.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Shikari wrote: »
    It's innapropriate for a nurse/midwife to be wearing sexual items of clothing.

    There's nothing more sexual than a nurse's uniform, in my experience.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    If religion can be given special rights, I see no idea why BDSM can't.

    Can't the woman wear something else symbolic?

    If this isn't a genuine health and safety issue, then what's the real problem?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Namaste wrote: »
    If religion can be given special rights, I see no idea why BDSM can't.

    Can't the woman wear something else symbolic?

    If this isn't a genuine health and safety issue, then what's the real problem?

    I think someone mentioned earlier in the thread that she could easily wear a chastity belt which would have the same effect but wouldnt be that obvious.

    I think a collar such as described is a health and safety issue, and not only that; I echo the sentiment that has been made in this thread about when did it happen that people become more expressive about showing off their desires than actually remaining professional and getting on with the job.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Namaste wrote: »
    If religion can be given special rights, I see no idea why BDSM can't.

    Can't the woman wear something else symbolic?

    If this isn't a genuine health and safety issue, then what's the real problem?

    I think employers risk getting into a dodgy situation with this sort of thing. They can generally justify allowing things like head scarves and turbans are religious requirements, which dismissing things that are simply there to symbolize belief. It's on slightly dodgy territory imo, but it's quite difficult to argue that stopping a Christian wearing a pendant with a cross on it is preventing them from actually following the teachings they believe in.

    But if an employer bans jewellery, I think they're on very dodgy ground if they then start to make exceptions for some people based on their judgement of what is a valid belief. It should be banned for everyone or allowed for everyone. I assume it's banned for a reason.

    And it goes without saying that whether it's a religious requirement or simply a symbol of belief, there should be no exceptions whatsoever in situations where it affects your ability to do your job properly. We wouldn't allow a conservative Muslim to refuse the alcohol gel in a hospital, for example, or a vegetarian chef to refuse to prepare any of the meat items on the menu.
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