I genuinely believe that most men do not rape women. Despite generally agreeing with Andrea Dworkin’s overall theory about the way that dominance and oppression taint all of our relationships, I really do assume that almost all men who have sex with women are looking for a sexual relationship…
this idea plays straight into the cloying, coercive model of consent espoused by these people (who decided it was a good idea to instate a verbal request at each individual step of the way? more opportunities for puppy dog eyes and repeated pressure, just what everyone needed)
love this analysis, everyone should read this esp. dudes and people into dudes
from gales’s later reblog:
I do not believe that there is a middle ground between rapey sociopaths and decent, respectful men. I don’t believe that there is a wide swath of men who only need to taught not to rape, that those men assault out of ignorance and social conditioning, and can be taught otherwise. I don’t believe we can prevent sexual violence with consent workshops and safewords.
All right, so what would your ideal model of consent look like? Have people here read the collection _Yes Means Yes_, by the way?
You’ve got a pro-domme, a hooker with a lot of domme experience and together a combined 15+ years experience in recreational kink shaking our damn heads at you over here.
Yes, but did you read the book?
I should really be writing about something besides Hugo Schwyzer, unless I really do want to write a thesis on the guy, but this.
There is no absolute value for sexy! There is no normative shared definition of sexy between men and women fucking each other in patriarchal rape culture! Just like there’s no single definition of scary. If one half of that equation is “potential rape victim” and the other half is “potential rapist,” then their definitions of reassurance, comfort and pleasure—their levels of insight—are going to conflict, even for men who genuinely want their partners to feel safe and happy. That’s what the prevalence of rape means. That’s the climate that creates sexual violence and the climate sexual violence creates. It’s not about permission: a mutual model of sex depends on a whole lot more than straightforward negotiation between two people who can talk about what they each want.
And you need to deal with that, or else you’re going to attach some extremely counterproductive meanings to consent as well. I understand that it’s the title of an anthology, not a bumper sticker, and that the writers explore the issue in depth, but you can’t just say “Consent is sexy! Yay consent!” without considering everything you’ve said, especially if your goal is to reinvent rape prevention. You have to unpack all of it.
And because I just can’t not talk about Hugo Schwyzer, he is a perfect example of why bad feminism kills. His definition of sexy is abusive. That means that his definition of consent is abusive: it is built to accommodate harmful behavior towards women. That holds true no matter how verbal or formal it is, no matter how focused on obtaining permission. And when you just go “consent is sexy!” “yes means yes!” as though you haven’t just found yourself sharing those soundbites with an abusive, manipulative, creepy, and generally untrustworthy man, then your activism is supporting his behavior. Dude latches on to everything sticky, but why would he gravitate towards this?
No model of consent should ever be pragmatic towards the prevalence of rape, either, or dismissive of women who do not feel safe with its terms.
Earlier in this pregnancy, I filled out my “Initial Health History” form for prenatal and birth care. You know: check the box if you’ve experienced severe headaches, diabetes, all sorts of things. After the usual “Emotional abuse,” “Physical abuse,” “Sexual abuse,” I got to this very interesting item: ”ANY unwanted/undesired physical or sexual contact.”
read the link. so spot on.
[trigger warning LIKE WHOA at the link for rape culture, coercion, molestation, and general unwanted attention]
Because I can hardly stand the thought of these constant erosions of personhood seeming normal to our daughters and sons.
Everyone needs to read this.
I know that the concept of “rape culture” can be really hard to understand if you’re new to it or just not quite sure what it entails. It took me a painfully long time to recognize that a lot of my behaviors — jokes, apologia, defending perpetrators, victim-blaming, &c — were contributing in ways I didn’t have the ability to recognize but did have the ability to change. It’s a constant struggle, too, tbh, because the learned habits of a lifetime are still reinforced by society even as I try to unlearn them.
If you’ve ever rolled your eyes at someone being ~hysterical~ or ~humorless~ or ~uptight~ about feminism or rape culture or victim blaming or misogyny or safe spaces or bodily autonomy, or if you’re looking for a way to explain those things to someone else, this essay might help.
man, that made my heart race but it’s so true. i also never check yes on that box because i am afraid what will ensue if i do and also, the “normal” events versus the extreme kind of fade to the back and the extreme has been awhile. wow.
I always think that if we did the stats for unwanted/undesired physical contact it would come out to 100%. I know I’ve learned to ignore so much as “normal” that really is incredibly inappropriate.
Yes. This. All of this.
Your body is not for you.
in which my friend Izzy perfectly explains what the issue is
I agree with all of this - I also just want to add that:
- the ONLY character of color with a name, José, is essentially a HORRIBLE caricature of Latino men — and there’s literally a scene in which the white male love interest swoops in to “save” the narrator from José when he tries to kiss her
- which, I mean, obviously — kissing someone without their consent is completely fucked up and inexcusable
- but then José continues to be portrayed as this terrible brown man who wanted to take advantage of the main character
- while the FUCKING WHITE GUY SPENDS THE ENTIRE BOOK TRYING TO PERSUADE HER INTO BEING HIS SUBMISSIVE
- which again, clearly I am a huge proponent of kinky sex
- but you should never try to PERSUADE SOMEONE
- if you have to PERSUADE THEM then it’s not consent
- it’s coercive and not cool
- seriously, just take people at their word
- actually though the ENTIRE BOOK is him trying to convince her
so those are my feelings.
SOUNDS EXACTLY LIKE TWILIGHT
which incidentally it was originally fan fiction of
also, as a kinky person I am INCREDIBLY offended by the idea that what we want to do is coerce non-kinky people into participating in kink, especially in a submissive role
like, I get that in the book she ends up being into it, but she doesn’t start out that way!
and there are so few depictions in media of healthy, consent-focused kinky relationships with queer boundaries
that Fifty Shades of Grey is only going to perpetuate that image of dominant kinksters as people obsessed with recruiting people into submitting to them
Reblogged for commentary.
I kind of feel like instead of sex tips written by 12 year olds who apparently only know about sex from daytime soaps, those magazines should like, have legit stuff about consent.
Goes for the lad mags too. Just imagine if those guys buying Maxim because they’re too ashamed to buy Playboy found an article about yes meaning yes and stuff and like, it could potentially make a big difference.
It burns me up when some people imply kink is purely exploitative of women. With a sane partner, a submissive is asked what are her “limits” and those boundaries are always respected; she chooses a word she can say at any time and no matter what play stops. How many vanilla women have to put their foot down for that kind of respect? When you’re submissive, it’s automatic and unwavering. Everything you experience is by your own choice.
A hallmark of BDSM is that things be “safe, sane, and consensual.” How many sexual situations do you walk into where that’s an unspoken rule?
This is spot on. I don’t even bother talking about BDSM anymore because no one seems to understand the fact that no one’s forcing anyone to be submissive - it’s a choice. If it’s not something you’d choose to do then simply don’t do it. It’s that simple.
Tangent, but I don’t know if I like the “safe, sane, and consensual” thing that I always hear. Some kink practices are inherently unsafe to a degree (e.g. breath play) but as long as it’s all consensual and all parties involved know what they’re getting into and are ideally being as safe as they possibly can be, okay. And as for “sane”, well… I feel like it’s stigmatizing and marginalizes people with mental illnesses.
But anyway totally agree other than that. I hate when people view kink and BDSM as anti-feminist and as inherently disrespectful to submissives. Consent, respect, and trust are key.
The problems you point out with “safe, sane, and consensual” has resulted in some adopting RACK: Risk-Aware Consensual Kink. Because the point is that life is risky and the point is to be aware of the risks and consent is the other important factor. There are criticisms of RACK as well, but it does seem to be an improvement, speaking as someone who has mental illnesses.
After an incident last night, and how often this happens in my life I feel the need to remind people:
Consent is not limited to the sexual realm. It is also not limited to adults. Children should ALWAYS be given the same amount of respect for personal space as you as an adult would demand.
NEVER, and I mean NEVER EVER EVER EVER, touch another person’s child without asking permission. If the child in question is not old enough to speak for themself (and really, they start being able to do this at around 1.5 - 2 years old, give them some credit) ask the parent/guardian if it is okay if you touch the child before doing so. And DO NOT be offended if the parent/guardian tells you “no”. Dont demand an explanation. Dont get huffy.
If you ask a child if you can tickle them, hug them, hold their hand, etc and the child says “no”, no matter how young they are, RESPECT THAT. Dont get condescending. Dont do it anyways. Dont get offended at the “precociousness” or “attitude” of the child. The kid knows what they do and do not want. Respect that.
Why am I saying this?
Because every day when I take my son to the store or the library, at least one person will feel they have the right to touch him in some way without asking me. They tickle his feet, pinch his cheeks, stroke his hair, etc.
this is not about possessiveness, or even a fear that everyone is a molester.
This is about the fact that my son is an intelligent HUMAN BEING, not a petting zoo goat, and he deserves to have his personal space respected regardless of the fact that he is less than a year old.
I was finally pushed over the line last night when a man (that I already have problems with personally about space) reached over and not only put his hand on the top of Cain’s head, but then reached across me, after I gave the social cue that he was out of line (I turned my body so that it was a wall between him and my son) and KISSED the top of Cain’s head. Yes, KISSED. He didnt ask. He didnt pause. He felt he had every right to touch my son in an affectionate way without first asking me if I was comfortable with this.
I’m asking all of you, please keep in mind, that children, even babies, are intelligent humans. They are not puppies, or petting zoo goats. They deserve respect. Please always ask the child or parent/guardian before EVER touching a child, even if you know them. It shows respect for the child’s space and after a certain age, when they are being TOLD every second of every day what to do and not do, I imagine it can be empowering to a child to have someone consider them and their wants for once.
I realize this was completely disjointed, even incoherent, but I think that the concept of consent has been hyper-sexualized and that consent in everyday interactions has fallen to the wayside, in discussion and practice.
(Sorry for the rant, but I went red with rage at this man for touching Cain the way he did without permission and it took everything I had not to hand Cain to a friend so I could drop that mutherfucker’s ass right there on the porch. And I’m tired of the way people treat Cain: absolutely no respect for his intelligence or his personal space.)
And one last note, in regards to the intelligence of children, even infants. NEVER “baby talk” a baby. It’s insulting and annoying and when done excessively, can actually lead to speech impediments. Talk to them like the intelligent beings they are and will be.
I cant believe I’m even having to say this….
I am disgusted at how children are treated like property and often public property at that. How the hell are we supposed to have adults who understand consent if we teach children that their voices and choices don’t matter, that they have no right to consent?