The implication is that "not having the ability to make your own choices" is somehow a tremendous disadvantage or drawback and should not be tolerated under any circumstances. But is that really a sound assumption based on fact or is it our emotional response based on our own biases?
Sheena Iyengar a professor at Columbia Business School, is known for her research on the topic of choice and has even written a book on it called "The Art of Choosing". In the TED talk clip I have included here, she specifically explores this very question and other important "myths" about "our love affair with choice"
Her conclusions may seem startling and uncomfortable to many, but for a Daasi like me, it came as no surprise at all, because I have always intuitively believed what Iyengar found through her experiments.
If I had a dollar for every time I heard a "feminist" say "It's all about a woman's right to choose, only she should have the right to make her own choices", I could buy myself a nice present. Iyengar demolishes this argument completely.
I respect my Swami and trust him completely, so I have handed over the power to make choices on my behalf over to him. Instead of focusing on what "I want" or what "I am entitled to" or what "I deserve or desire", I find total bliss is letting Swami decide what "I should have", what "I am entitled to" and what "I deserve or should desire". In her studies, Iyengar found that this is not just a "dim witted" alternative to the popular mantra of making the "individual woman the primary locus of choice " and advocating for "stick to your guns no matter what the effect, if a choice affects you, only you have the right to make it; the only way to protect your interests is to take care of it yourself"
Iyengar found that Letting others make choices for you, provided they had earned your trust and respect actually helps build healthy communities and promotes harmony in relationships!!
Giggle: Submissive:1, Feminist:0 :-)
The second myth about "choice" is that "it is THE marker for liberation and freedom", i.e. where it is absent, there is no freedom, only oppression and suffering. Iyengar found that often what we mistake as choice is actually meaningless minutia. Her experiment with "choice of soda" here is very instructive. Just like the Russians in her experiment concluded that "Pepsi" "Coke" and "Mountain Dew" is not really a choice of drinks but just a single choice of "Soda", I have finally recognized that often what I considered "my choices" were just "different manifestations of my own ego and selfishness". When before becoming a Daasi, I made my own choices, I was not really choosing between different alternatives, I was always picking the same thing, namely: "What my ego demanded of me" I only had an illusion of making choices. As a Daasi, my Swami makes choices for me, as a free woman, my ego made choices for me. I really did not have "extra choices" or freedom as a free woman, I just thought I did. In other words, we are all slaves, some of us choose our Master, some don't even recognize we are slaves and think we are actually free and are making choices!!
Submissive:2, Feminist: 0 :-)
Finally, the one myth that is religion to most feminists. "No woman should ever say no to choice". Iyengar found out in her experiments that parents struggling with making end of life decision for their children felt trapped, guilty, angry even clinically depressed while making tough choices but could not get themselves to let the doctors make these choices for them. Some felt they were being tortured and felt like executioners, but nonetheless insisted on making those decisions.
In my case, I say "no to making choices" daily but I have never felt trapped, angry or depressed. Instead I am filled with pure transcendental bliss when I submit to my Swami. Walking away from "Choosing" and "becoming a Daasi" was perhaps the best decision I made from a happiness standpoint. I am so lucky that I was not trapped into believing that "only exercising my own choices" would make me happy.
Submissive:3, Feminist: 0 :-)
To conclude, being a Slave affords me a different vantage point, like being blind offers Iyengar a different vantage point. Listen to her story about the nail polish experiment at the end. It is so precious!! I giggled when I heard how the women reacted when Iyengar presented them with two bottles of nail polish without any labels.
When you strip away "labels" from how we lead our lives, and objectively evaluate Consensual Slavery, can you really tell the difference? Or is the label "Consensual Slavery" coloring your perception on what it is?
May I respectfully suggest that all of us think about this deeply and come to our own conclusions
For me the final score is
Submissive:4, Feminist: 0 :-) but your score may be very different and that is ok