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Member since: Wed Oct 22, 2003, 10:58 AM
Number of posts: 111,417

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"Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people." Eleanor Roosevelt

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Why the "My bad sex wasn't rape" editorial is so utterly, utterly vile.

So, this was posted: http://www.salon.com/2013/03/22/my_bad_sex_wasnt_rape/

I'm going to try to break down why this was so disgustingly, sickeningly wrong.

I say "try", because to do so properly would take a lot more time, because there is a shit ton of crap to sift through here.

First of all, let's take the verbiage she uses. Stuff like this:
sleeping with any girl who would spread her legs

Does that sound neutral to you? Sure doesn't sound that way to me. I've heard that terminology used many times, and never by anyone who respected women.

Let's move on.

Two weeks after we had sex for the first time, he and I and his best friend got drunk ó me for the first time in my life ó and I ended up having sex in a park with both of them. It was somewhat miserable...

This short passage gives us a lot to analyze. She lost her virginity at 15, and two weeks later is in a threesome. While drunk for the first time. But hey, it was only somewhat miserable, so she's lucky, I guess.

So yeah, that's not worthy of analysis at all, I'm sure. Surely not, in a culture in which young women are conditioned from birth to see their worth and value in their looks and sexual desirability. Messages which this particular woman started learning way too early, earlier than other girls who aren't introduced to that world... way too early. No, let's just pretend that she's perfectly reasonable to dismiss her desire to have sex when she didn't really want to in order to please males with a handwave. Cause really, how is that meaningful, right?

And let's just skip over fact that so many people here have been focusing like a laser on the idea that since it's not illegal everywhere for 15 year olds to have sex with 19 year olds, none of this is questionable at all. Let's assume that she was in one of those places where it was legal, and let's pretend that it is also meaningless that she was drunk for the first time, or that she had lost her virginity 14 days earlier and was now involved in her first threesome.

And let's also skip the part where she was sexually abused from 4 to 9. And let's also skip the part about her acting out with an old man in her neighborhood at age 12, engaging him in phone sex. For all we know, she considers this acting out part of her "agency" and exploring her own sexuality, so let's just leave that aside.

Let's just skip to the part about her not thinking it was rape. You know what? Good for her. I'm really happy for her that she doesn't feel victimized, and wasn't traumatized. That's nice for her.

But she isn't the only woman in the world, and for her to be pushing the idea that drunk 15 year olds are fair game is, frankly, beyond fucked up. We all know that teens will have sex when they want to. But the fact is that rapists use alcohol to rape. Her muddying the waters on this issue by pretending her experience is somehow noteworthy is bullshit.

So she didn't feel like she was raped, big fucking deal! A whole hell of a lot of women who first had sex at 15 don't feel like they were raped. A whole hell lot of a women who first had sex at 12 don't feel like they were raped either. No one is out there telling women that they have to feel that they were raped if they don't feel that way. Because if they don't, that's their prerogative.

No, what's important is reaching the tens of thousands of women each year who do feel that they were raped. What is important is reaching the women who do feel that they were raped but who still aren't reporting it. And what this person is doing is not fucking helping.

No, what she is doing is playing into the hands of MRAs and victim blamers who want to silence women. More on that later.

whether the coverage on CNN after the conviction was too sympathetic to the rapists (perhaps CNN went too far,...

"Whether" it was too sympathetic? Really? "Whether"?

"Perhaps" they went too far?

Telling, yes? Yes. Let's move on.

So much of victim blaming relies on these outmoded views of womenís sexuality.

No, no it doesn't. Victim-blaming relies on bullshit ideas. For example, the one where some people like to trumpet the idea that women claim they were raped just because they didn't enjoy the sex, or they regretted it later. (Sound familiar? It should. Because Anna trumpeted that shit herself, in this piece of shit editorial. Good work, Anna!)

At the same time, it is not helpful to label every murky sexual encounter as rape or to say that anything any woman states is rape is, in fact, rape.

Yeah, that's a huge problem, taking women at their word. She's so brave to stick her neck out on this. Rapists and MRAs everywhere are so grateful a woman has finally had the courage to come out in a (supposedly) progressive publication and say that since women VERY RARELY lie about being raped, that makes it "not helpful" to label rape as rape, just because a woman says she was raped.

So great to see this being praised here on DU, really.

If they donít take control of their own erotic development early, they may never take control ó like the women I knew in college who blamed alcohol or drugs for their own sexual adventures or misadventures,

Yet another attempt to give credence to the victim-blaming lies that rape culture finds so comforting. I imagine, given what she said about the coverage of the Steubenville rapists, that the writer probably has all kinds of empathy for rapists in college.

Seeing a pattern here?

For most of us, we donít come into our own about articulating our specific wants and desires until late in life, if ever. Let us encourage a culture where everyone Ė regardless of gender, orientation, etc. Ė does so openly, honestly, respectfully. Let us all learn to say, ďI donít know how Iím going to like that, but letís try it out.Ē (We could take some lessons from the BDSM communities where boundaries and limits are strictly negotiated in advance.)

Yes, the BDSM community, where rape is even more common than in the so-called "vanilla" community. What stinking, stupid bullshit.

I guess that's gonna have to be enough. I'm not willing to spend the time that would be necessary to really expose every ounce of steaming shit in this thing.

Your right to free speech can be curtailed in many situations.

I don't know why this concept is so hard for so many to understand. The civil right to free speech guarantees that the government cannot infringe on what you can say.

Private organizations? They most certainly can. Examples of places which can set rules about what types of speech are not allowed: workplaces, stores, restaurants, amusement parks, online forums, etc. Your employer can further restrict your speech at any location where you are there as a representative of that company.

Places where you can say whatever off-color or sexual jokes you want, make whatever racist or sexist comments you want, etc. include personal blogs, books, websites you own, your own property and out in public spaces, your comedy routines, songs you write, your own Twitter feed, etc.

It's really not that complicated. It can get blurry in that if your job involves your public image, such as a celebrity who is an official spokesperson, some contracts can be terminated based on egregious comments regardless of where they're made. Other than that it's pretty simple, right?

Many organizations frown on off-color or sexual comments and jokes. This isn't really a shock to that many people, I hope.

The reason they have those rules indicates that anyone who is offended by such comments absolutely does have 'the right' to not hear them in those locations where they're not allowed. That is why such rules exist.
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