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2005 – VIOLA JOHNSON

MsC 2005 Speech July 25, 2005

I want to begin by saying thank you to Master Taino and the committee who has invited me to speak to you all for a few minutes this evening. I am honored and privileged to be allowed to share a few of my thoughts with this very special group who lives, loves, and understands the Master slave lifestyle. Next, I want to apologize in advance for the soapbox I’m about to climb on, but I think the issues that I want to bring to your attention are important to this esteemed Master slave gathering.

On April 2nd of this year there was a post on S/M act. I glanced at the post briefly. It began “Please write to your representative about this pending legislation …” I only skimmed the adjacent lines and was about to pass it over for the next post on the list. Then I noticed the sender. Seeing the email address of Spencer Bergstedt made me go back for a closer review. Spence was asking those who perused his post, to write their representatives regarding legislation that would allow the state of Texas to nullify partnership agreements, civil unions, and contracts between legal strangers. These contracts could conceivably include wills, powers of attorney and health care proxies. I would have assumed that this was just another soon to be overturned Texas Gay Bashing Bill had it not been for the part about “legal strangers” whom the law defines as two or more people not bound by familial ties. I actually had to mull the email over for a few minutes before writing back to the list asking if I had interpreted the email correctly. After all, the government *could not possibly* legislate who I leave my estate to??? Could they???

Spencer’s answer surprised me because it included the phrase “much like similar legislation passed in Virginia…” Passed?!?!?! The hair on the back of my neck went up, and righteous anger sent me on a research quest. I found the website that contained the bills. As I was reading House Joint Resolutions #6 and 19, all I could think was, “who were this self righteous, self centered, self involved, SOBs who were attacking not just my wedding band but my collar, and all that is stands for?”

Well, one was Robert Talton, whose hate mongering and gay bashing is so known in the state of Texas that his bill, Resolution 6, died in committee. However … House Joint Resolution 19, penned by Warren Chisum and 74 of his colleagues, actually passed the 79th session of the legislature and that bill is now awaiting a vote by the citizens of the state of Texas. Chisum defended his love and marriage bill ” calling it a biblical issue”.

I don ‘t know about you all, but I’m sick of right winged, ultra conservative (probably flaccid or impotent) men using the Bible as a justification for anything they see as a threat to their point of view. They babble about homosexuality being a sin but choose to ignore the fact that the sin of adultery carries the same penalty, so does mixing fabrics for that matter, Mr. Silk tie with your taxpayer funded linen shirt and designer suit. Oops, that was my inside voice, sorry.

Well, I’ve got a few things to say to you Mr. Chisum, and to your colleagues; “I, we, have the right to love the way we choose.” You wanna shake the Bible at me … get this.

Exodus chapt. 21 V. 5 and 6 say “But if a slave declares, “I love my master, my wife and my children, I do not wish to go free”. His master shall take him unto G-d, he shall take him to the door or to the doorpost , and his master shall pierce his ear with an awl: and he shall serve him forever.” Deuteronomy chapt. 15 v. 16 and 17 repeat basically the same thing, ” … you will take the awl and put it in his ear into the door, and he will be your slave forever. Also with your female slave you shall do this.”

Now Mr. Chisum and all 74 of your buddies: “take him unto G-d … “. Sounds like G-d holds my relationship in high moral regard. If my Owner chooses to honor and acknowledge to the world our relationship, our special marriage if you will, by an earring in my ear or a collar around my neck, it represents our love. And it is our love, our lives, and our relationship, Mr. Chisum, NOT YOURS!!!. How dare you try to manipulate the law because we don’t fit your standards of what love and marriage should be.

Let me take a breath before I go on. Only half of this tirade is aimed at the right wing. I still have a few questions that need to be answered, and by many of us right here. You don’t have to be at a tribal gathering to hear stories of events that have been plagued by the CWFA or of master slave couples who have had problems with ____________. You fill in the blank. So my next question is directed to my community. What are we doing to protect what we love? G-d may not be able to save us from these legislative lunatics puppeteered by right winged might and money, but that doesn’t make us helpless …unless we want to be.

It begins by taking a stand, by putting pen to paper, stepping around our anonymity and doing what Spencer said we should do, write our representatives. Better yet, galvanize our numbers and our finances to get these idiots out of office. But until then … what?

Mistresses and Masters, what are you doing to guard the slave that stands by your side? What steps have you taken to provide for the property that you valued enough to collar? If that slave lives with you and work outside of the home, have you put aside a small portion or their earnings, built them a little nest egg in case something happens to them, or to you? If you want to know how, talk to Glenda Rider. What provisions are in place to protect the collar, and all that it stands for, from infringing family members who don’t have a clue or a care about how important that slave / submissive / boy is in your life or what the two of you have built together? Is your slave in your will? If not, why not? And if you haven’t done the paperwork yet … what are you waiting for?

If you trust that slave to serve when you’re healthy, why not sign a power of attorney so that they can also serve you when you are not. And while your at it, both parties need to sign living wills. If Mistress and slave have built a life and acquired property together protect those things with a trust. If the rich can shelter their assets, why shouldn’t we use the same tools to shield our most valued asset, our very way of life.

Each of us who love the Master / slave lifestyle must Kevlar coat the collar in his or her own way, or we may soon find out that House Joint Resolutions 6 and 19 in Texas and similar resolutions in Virginia have spread to other parts of the country, and all we love has been legislated out of existence. Larry Kramer, the founder of Act Up, says “We know who the enemy is and we just stand there letting them shoot us over and over again.” For Owner and slave, it is time to use the law, the NCSF, and the legal minds of our community for protection. Not after the fact, but before. The proactive responsibility is ours as individuals and as a community. We must take time from the playroom and sit down for an hour or two with the paperwork. Filling out the forms doesn’t take a lot of time really. We as a community may soon find that the power of the will, not the whip is the most powerful toy in our toy bag.

I am not a lawyer, I don’t know the nuances and subtleties of law that Master Roy Hendricks, Spencer Bergstedt or Slave Marsha do. I do know however, that if any of us go to them, or any of the fine lawyers in this community (And by the way where are you? Lawyers. and paralegals please hold up your hands.) whoever we sit down with will help put legal protections around our way of life. In this day and age of Bush and a slanted Supreme Court the symbol of my lifestyle will never be respected, no matter what G-d says. But there is a very full portfolio of paperwork sitting in my lawyers office that so far, no state or federal court can destroy.

So … you know when these so and so’s get my collar? If, and only if my Owner, Mistress Victoria or my husband Jill Carter lets them take it off of my cold dead neck!!!!!

All of us here need to be able to say the same. Thank you, and have a great weekend.

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