Can Fetish be Feminist? 
Does feminist Fetishism exist? Is Fetish fashion truly empowering? 
In this clip, the dominatrix Mistress Eden and up-and-coming fashion designer Liza Keane are asked about their work and its potential to empower women like themselves.
Click here to watch the clip. 

“Nakedness is the most vulnerable that a person can be. When a woman is naked, she's seen as vulnerable and a ‘thing’ to be consumed by men. When a man is naked, they’re empowered by their flesh and can be seen as a warrior. In our minds, their skin and bodies replicate armour.
I wanted to make a woman that looks like she's entitled and she owns her own space. She didn't ask for your permission to be there. You can shame or praise her but she's this animal with jaguar legs and doesn’t care about your opinion. She thinks: How can I stay in control? By being the one that's performing the action. I'm not here to be consumed, or looked at. But I'm the one who’s looking. I'm the main character.” ~ Liza Keane 
“I think all women should do it (domming). Because it really does something for your self-esteem your self-worth. I feel like women are used to dealing with guys that are no good, but when you come over into this side, you're spoiled and treated like you're supposed to be treated. And honestly, I don't expect any less. I expect all of my boys to treat me like a queen.
I once questioned myself about whether domming is giving into misogyny. But I came into this job saying that I will not compromise my values and that it’s going to be about my experience and not the Sub’s. I personally don't take requests for what I'm going to wear because it’s my choice and I don't care about the Sub’s preferences. At the end of the day, it's about me and whether I’m happy and comfortable to do a type of play.” ~ Mistress Eden

Feminism & Fetish in History
In the 1960s, a sexual revolution and teenage youthquake across the West caused media censorship laws to relax. Throughout the rest of the twentieth century, Fetish fantasies leapt from the pages of Fetish magazines like Bizarre and Exotique, and infiltrated mainstream advertising and fashion magazines. These Fetish-inspired fashion editorials were popularised by iconic fashion photographers like Steven Meisel, Helmut Newton and Nobuyoshi Araki, whose semi-erotic imagery continues to inspire creatives today. However, the increase of fetishized women in mainstream media were contested by feminist groups. 
These conservative feminists spearheaded the lesbian sex wars and rejected S/M for being misogynistic, abusive, and perpetuating the patriarchy's dominance over women. They opposed female Fetish, Punk and S/M contingents like London’s Rebel Dykes, who wore leather and rode motorbikes in the '80s, and the Eulenspiegel Society and the Society of Janus in America. Due to its roots in pathology (which was pioneered by late 19th male neurologists like Richard Von Kraft-Ebbing and Sigmund Freud), Fetish theory is inherently sexist and, until recently, it was largely believed that women were not capable of being Fetishists. But these social groups acknowledged the complexity of female desire and argued that female sexual imagery isn’t always geared towards the male gaze. 

Liza Keane. Fashion Designer
Mistress Eden. Dominatrix

Isabella Josephine Leon. Animator

Freudian Slip Dress 
BEAST CSM MA show 2022
Liza Keane. Fashion Designer

Rick Owens Lookbook, 2014
Dior Homme, Flaunt Magazine, 2002
Rick Owens AnotherMan Magazine, 2019
Keith Hunter, 2023
Tony Ward, AnotherMan Magazine, 2018
Rick Owens, Kaltblut Magazine, 2015
Dior Homme, Flaunt Magazine, 2002
Rick Owens, Kaltblut Magazine, 2015
Rick Owens Lookbook, 2014
Ashton Michael, 2009
Rick Owens AnotherMan Magazine, 2019
Gucci, 2007
Rick Castro. Fetish & subculture photographer 

Olga’s House of Shame 1964
Internet Archive 

Cover image 
BEAST CSM MA show 2022. Liza Keane
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