A World Without Rape: Bringing the focus away from punishment (1 Viewer) News & Blogs 

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Nina Ray

Dec 5, 2016
A World Without Rape
If we really want to end sexual violence, we need to think more about support and less about punishment.
Two weeks ago I saw the man who raped my best friend. I hadn’t seen his face since right before it happened a year and a half ago, and I looked up and there he was, talking to some friends. My body reacted before my brain had a chance. I dropped the bag I was carrying as my whole body started shaking and my vision blurred. I had spent the past year and a half at Rita’s side while she learned to live again after he raped her- through her loss of identity, the blank look in her eyes, all the moments that she wanted to die, her fear of her own body and sexuality- and now I was looking at the man who caused it all.

As far as I was concerned, he might as well have been the devil. But there he was, talking and laughing as if he were human. I only hesitated for a moment, walked around in a few manic circles, then I went right up to him, tapped him on the shoulder, looked him straight in the eye, and said, ‘Hi, Tacho? You don’t remember me? You raped my best friend.”

GROWING UP IN RAPE CULTURE
I was raised to think that rape wasn’t a big deal. My liberal parents never mentioned it or anything else that they would rather not think about, leaving me to be educated by the media and in school. In high school, my friends and I had drunken hookups all the time. As relatively socially outcast teenage girls, our self esteem was so dependent on male sexual attention that we felt lucky for whatever we got. Usually, we were too intoxicated to give informed consent, had sex we didn’t want, or were outright coerced into it.

All of my high school hookups were so centered around pleasing my male lovers that I actually thought there was something wrong with my body that made me incapable of feeling sexual pleasure.

Only twice did close friends actually use the word ‘rape’ to describe their experiences. The first time was when we were 15, on the same night that I lost my virginity to a complete stranger while blackout drunk (which I was thrilled about). Nick, a popular hockey player, tried to get Alexis to have sex with her and when she said no, he locked her in a room and raped her. When she told us the next morning as we were excitedly gossiping about our various sexual exploits, I remember saying, “well, at least you got laid” before brushing it off. If I hadn’t also had sex that night, I can guarantee I would have felt jealous. Not only did the boys our age, their sex education vacuum being filled by the porn industry, learn to feel completely entitled to women’s bodies, but we as girls learned to desire sexual exploitation. I never knew what happened when my friend Lindsay got raped because I never asked.

We had one day of rape education in health class my senior year of high school. We watched a 60-minutes episode about a popular senior boy in Michigan who was accused by three freshman girls of getting them drunk and raping them on separate occasions. The girls received death threats from their classmates and were forced to change schools. The boy was expelled and locked up for a few months, maybe just weeks. The general reaction of my class was impassive; they probably weren’t paying attention, and we didn’t discuss it at all.

I, however, felt shocked. How could these girls ruin this boy’s entire, promising life just because they got drunk and had sex with him? (Sound familiar?) I remember going to lunch after that period and proclaiming loudly the ridiculousness of it all to my friends- If that was rape, then how many times had I, had we all, been raped? I said it as if that clearly proved that the case in the video was not rape. Both the accusers and the accused were simply performing a routine that we all knew too well, a routine in which girls were assumed to want sex, especially from older and more popular boys. It felt like the girls in the case were exempting themselves from the rules of the game by crying rape when the guy was just playing his part, a part he had probably played countless of times before.

Though I didn’t recognize it at the time, I was describing rape culture.

People throw the term ‘rape culture’ around a lot, but I’m not convinced that most actually stop to think about what it means. What does it mean to say that something is a culture? I think of a culture as being an amalgamation of stories. We are told stories about sex, gender, our bodies, and our sexualities from birth by the media, the porn industry, older kids, our parents, and teachers. Then we, at a very young age, start repeating those stories to one another and ourselves until they become second nature and the original sources of the stories become obscured. They no longer even feel like stories, they just feel like reality, part of the air that we breath.

While I was told that my value as a woman depended on pleasing men, my male friends were told that their value as men depended on conquering women’s bodies. We can think of infinite messages that cultivate and enforce these stories- How young girls are taught to think of their appearance in terms of what guys do and don’t like, how young boys are called gay, or a pussy, or a woman, if they don’t participate in objectifying girls.

I am not sharing my experience because I think that it’s extraordinary, but rather because I think that it’s painfully typical. Rape has defined my life from age 15, and even younger if I’m honest with myself, and by sharing my story of growing up in rape culture, and in particular being honest about the ways that I participated in and perpetuated that culture, I hope to challenge some of the ways that we who proclaim ourselves feminists or anti-rape think about and fight against sexual violence.

CALLING FOR JUSTICE
Going to college was like being dropped into a different world. I chose a small, progressive liberal arts college in Massachusetts because of its professed commitment to social change. Our freshman-year orientation was largely focused on consent. I learned that consent can not be given under the influence of substances and that if there is not an active and enthusiastic ‘yes!’, it’s rape. I pushed the common saying that I had always laughed at in high school- ‘yes means yes, no means anal’- out of my mind. The orientation leaders, second and third-year students who I thought were infinitely cool, seemed to take this consent thing really seriously. I didn’t totally understand, but I went along with it, immediately adopting the new ideology.

All of a sudden, I was vocally anti-rapist. This was at a time when the anger about the impunity of perpetrators on college campuses seemed to explode. People who came forward as survivors of rape or sexual assault were- and still are- put through horrific, retraumatizing processes, forced to prove that they were raped to administrators trying to avoid scandal. Perpetrators were- and still are- let off with a slap on the wrist, forcing survivors to continue attending school alongside their rapists in a state of emotional terrorism leading to isolation and mental illness, often forcing them to drop out of school.

The system denied survivors justice, so we created our own justice.

At my college, it happened the same way a handful of times. Someone would write a blog post entitled, ‘X IS A RAPIST!’ chronicling their assault, the administration’s lax response, and the ensuing compounded trauma. They would post it online, usually Tumblr, where it would make the rounds, being shared hundreds of times by other students, often with notes like ‘watch out for this person!’ or ‘Do not let this person into your scene!’

Then the news that this person, who many of us knew or were friends with, was a rapist travelled around swiftly. There was a social law that no one should talk to or engage with the rapist or anyone who continued to engage with them. And that law was enforced. If you did continue to talk to the rapist, you were considered a rape apologist and similarly socially exiled. Even questioning this informal justice system was not an option; transgression meant risking everything. It meant seeing your own name in bold shared around the internet. It made perfect sense to me- talking to perpetrator= you’re not angry enough= you don’t think rape is a big deal= you are complicit= you need to be taught a lesson.

Things started feeling a little less clear when my close friend, Nahla, was raped while studying abroad. She was living in an apartment with our other close friend, Meredith, and when she told her what happened, Meredith was less than supportive. She got way less male attention than Nahla and she was jealous. Instead of supporting Nahla or even recognizing what happened, she shamed her for making out with the guy in public. Nahla was so traumatized and alone that she had to come back to the States months earlier than she had planned.

She didn’t realize the magnitude of the betrayal until months later when she had a flashback to the rape, after which she cut Meredith off entirely. Though she never said it explicitly, she expected me, the third member of the previously inseparable trio, to do the same. And I did. I was furious with Meredith for how she had dropped Nahla when she needed her most, and I cut off our friendship almost entirely.

But while I tried to convince myself that this was what accountability looked like, I was forced to admit to myself, for the first time since I took up the anti-rapist banner, what I had done to my friends in high school. I was forced to admit to myself that I knew what it was like to be jealous of rape, to be so deeply dependent on male attention that when your best friend gets raped you drop her. I understood that this was another way that rape culture hurt us as women: it drove us to hurt each other. Meredith stopped being a clear villain in my mind, especially because three years earlier I would have done the exact same thing.

NO MEANS NO, YES MEANS…?
And then it happened to me. All of a sudden this thing that I was raised to think was no big deal, and then understood only in theory, happened. It left me knocked over, immobilized, dead in the eyes, the whole nine yards. I hyperventilated while my friends held me and whispered ‘fuck him’ in my ear. I even crashed my car when I saw him walking down the street. I started to go through the motions that I had learned would bring justice and accountability; I told everyone who would listen that he was a rapist, I shunned him, I prepared to make a public denouncement. However, I found that what I really wanted, what I needed, was for him to truly understand what he had done to me and repent. I needed him to change.

When I confronted him about it, he didn’t puff up his chest and deny what he had done, he didn’t walk away, he didn’t tell me that I was overreacting. He broke down. He told me about the sexual abuse that he had experienced as a child, that he struggled with sex and love addiction and that what for me was rape, for him was a relapse, that my body was another casualty of his addiction. He told me about all the people who had hurt him and all the people he had hurt, about all the friends who had left him because of his addiction. He told me about the four different support groups that he went to on a weekly basis and how hard he had to fight every single day to keep going, how hard he was fighting to change.

My empathy for him was so strong that it became my life purpose to prove to him that he deserved to be loved. My own sex trauma had left me feeling so worthless and undeserving that I think I really needed to prove it to myself. This launched me into a two-year relationship sustained by the never-ending cycle of him hurting me and then breaking down and professing his commitment to changing. I depended on the moments after the hurt, after the violation, after the rape, when, after breaking me, he would hold me together, if only for a moment.

I was trapped in this cycle by isolation. Alejandro was so deeply terrified that his friends, his community, his family would dispose of him if they found out about his addiction that he didn’t tell anyone else besides the people in his support groups. We were in the same social justice organization together and called that community our family, but only one person knew Alejandro’s secret besides me, and he held it like it was a liability, a bomb that could go off and bring down the organization at any time, instead of a complex and wounded part of his brother and comrade that required support and compassion.

This meant that I was his sole support. Each time I confronted him about pressuring me into sex, touching me in my sleep, manipulating my emotions, he would spiral into an emotional breakdown, often to the point of suicidal ideations, and I was the only one there to pick up the pieces. He depended on me entirely to convince him that he wasn’t a rapist, that he wasn’t a monster, that he deserved to be loved, that he deserved to live. Needless to say, I spoke up very rarely, and less over time, knowing the cost of doing so was more than I could bear. Mostly, I stayed silent.

I never called what he did to me rape. Even that first time when he tossed my body around like a rag doll, so dissociated that he didn’t even realize what he was doing, I only felt the full weight of rape for a few days and then left that self, the Nina who was raped, behind to take care of him, the Alejandro who raped. Because if I admitted that he raped me that meant that he was a rapist which meant, by the cultural logic, that he deserved to be disposed of, and I loved him too much to do that. He never held me down, I never fought him off, he never threatened me. But there were so many times when we had sex that he didn’t even look in my eyes to notice that I had swallowed my ‘no’, that I wasn’t present, that he was fucking my lifeless body like an object, like a sex toy that he could extract an orgasm out of. Each time that this happened it felt like a part of my soul, my identity, was stolen and this, to me, is sexual violence.

The definitions of rape and consent that I learned in college just don’t cut it for me anymore. It makes perfect sense to me why we fight for ‘yes means yes, no means no’ when this has been and continues to be denied to us by the legal system, the media, and the overwhelming portion of society. In a world where so few even bother to ask, I understand why people fight for verbal consent.

However, our abilities to say ‘yes’ and ‘no’ are constructed and molded our whole lives by a culture that tells women that their only value is in pleasing men, and that tells men that their only value is in exploiting women. Where did this definition of rape leave me all the times that I said ‘yes’ for fear of the consequences? What about all of the myriad ways that people are violated without penetration? And how many people have belittled or shaken off their experiences because they didn’t say no, or maybe they did but not loudly enough, or maybe they screamed it but they could have fought back, or they came so they must have really wanted it, and there’s no way he could have known that they didn’t… and so the cycle continues, and will continue, until we adopt a truly inclusive understanding of rape and sexual violence. This should not diminish the weight of rape, but rather include the weight of sexual coercion, manipulation, and exploitation.

In the face of rape culture, we must construct a culture of consent. By understanding consent as a culture, the responsibility and accountability deepens. It’s not as simple as getting your ‘yes’ and proceeding to do what you like. Rather, true consent means building the trust and confidence to ensure that every ‘yes’ is genuine and in line with the person’s true desires, independent of power dynamics and emotional coercion. In order for a culture of consent to be constructed within a relationship, this process must be supported by friends and the wider community. That means that we must collectively work to subvert and transform the stories that we are told about sex our entire lives.

IT TAKES A VILLAGE
About a year into my cycle with Alejandro, things turned nightmarish. Azula, a former ally of the organization and close friend of mine, got into a petty fight with Alejandro and decided to use my experience of violation, which I had confided in her months earlier, as the basis to get him kicked out of the organization. This organization was our family and our support network. Although no one knew what was going on in our relationship, their love made it all feel tolerable. When the allegations came out, however, no one knew what to do. They got scared and stopped talking to us almost completely in fear of Azula’s threats that she would tell our funders and the larger community that the organization was harboring a rapist. Knowing that this would be a death blow for our tiny non-profit, which hundreds of people depended on, they started treating Alejandro, and me as his partner, as a liability.

No one, it seemed, realized that by turning away they were leaving me completely alone with Alejandro, with whom I lived, and who was in a state of mental crisis. I remember when the allegations first came out, how he hyperventilated and cried in bed, unable to form words, and once again, I was in the position of convincing him that he was not a rapist. The day before the allegations came out, I had been working up the courage to confront him about a particularly bad spell of sexual coercion, but I now had to leave this process behind. I feel that it would be easy for someone on the outside to say that I should have just left, but being stuck in abusive cycles is not something that you just have to be strong enough to escape from. You need support to leave, and I had none.

After about a month of this isolated anguish, I finally broke down and reached out to the members dealing with the allegations. I told them that I needed to be heard, that this process was torture for me, that they couldn’t imagine what it was like to be Alejandro’s sole support through this. I didn’t tell them about the sexual violence, but I wanted to, if only they could prove to me that they wouldn’t use it against him, that they actually cared what I was going through. I asked them if they had any questions for me. One woman, who I considered a close friend, looked me in the eye and said, “the only thing we want to know is if you have ever felt unsafe around Alejandro.” That’s when I knew that they weren’t willing to support me or him, they were just there to extract corroborating information to prove that he was a rapist and dispose him from the community.

What were my options here? If I told them the truth, they would exile him from the organization, which would unleash his trauma on a level that I knew I was incapable of handling, and would lead to more isolation and sexual violence. If I said yes, that meant that he was a villain, making me, by default, the victim. And I was unwilling to be seen as a victim after everything I had been through, everything I survived. They gave me no choice, ‘No. Never,’ I replied. And I walked out of the room. That was one of the most dehumanizing and invalidating moments of my life. The thing that really gets me is that the allegations were that he had violated me, but they were so focused on vilifying and criminalizing him, that they sacrificed me entirely.

Finally, even after I had sacrificed my dignity to save myself, the board gave into the threats and decided to kick Alejandro out anyway. The allegations of sexual violence had been thrown out, but they decided to kick him out ‘because of his sexism’, they said, pointing to a few remarks that Azula had brought up. Really, they just needed the whole situation to go away. If I hadn’t been crying so hard, I would have laughed. They thought they were expelling sexism from the organization, when their actions were directly putting me in a position of more sexual violence. The fact that everyone had just enough idea of what I was going through to choose to close their eyes and walk away was the ultimate betrayal.

Even so, I can understand the difficulty of their position. All of a sudden they were told that their friend, their brother, was a rapist and that they had to expel him, or they were condoning his actions and, more generally, rape. Choosing to reject this cultural logic by supporting and humanizing him would mean, on the personal level, demonization and possibly exile, and on the collective level, a destroyed reputation and loss of resources. Just like I was incapable of leaving him because of lack of community support, they were unable to support us because of the larger community’s definitions of justice and accountability.

This is when it all hit rock bottom. My community, which I cared about with all of my heart, had abandoned me, leaving me more alone with Alejandro than ever. He got a new job as an organizer in LA, so we moved across the country, where neither of us had any friends. At this point, my body stopped working. I had no energy, I couldn’t move from bed, sometimes for days. I couldn’t eat, couldn’t sleep. I dropped from 150 pounds to 115. I would fall asleep multiple times at work and even while driving. I blamed it on an illness, insisting that there was something wrong with me, with my body. I dreaded sex and didn’t know why, I blamed it on the illness and apologized profusely to Alejandro for not meeting his sexual needs. Once I even insisted that he have sex with my body while I slept.

Only months later when I finally left him and my health was restored did I realize that my symptoms reflected the impact of continued sexual exploitation. I now believe that I had trained my body so well to remain passive while its boundaries were being violated, that it stopped responding to me altogether.

I was finally able to leave him only after a long period of physical distance, massive support from my friends and an incredible therapist. I realized, with their help, that asserting that I couldn’t support Alejandro did not mean that I thought he was unworthy of support. I realized that my fundamental obligation was to my own safety and that sacrificing that for him only hurt both of us. I learned that calling what he did to me rape did not have to mean that he deserved to die, that I could prioritize the parts of me that were violated without sacrificing my empathy for his pain and trauma. This was the hardest part.

IT’S THEM, NOT ME
I now firmly believe that vilifying and criminalizing people who perpetuate sexual violence leads to more sexual violence and ends up hurting more women. I know several men who, after being accused of rape and dropped by all their friends, became alcoholics. I know the response to this is supposed to be “boo-hoo, they deserve what they got, we need to stop focusing on perpetrators and focus on survivors.” But I want to flip that question: are these people more likely to rape when supported by their community, or when isolated and drunk? To me, the correlation is direct: the more isolated someone is, the more they rape.

The thing is, when we dispose of people who abuse and rape, they don’t disappear, they just move. That means that we also need to consider the wellbeing and safety of their friends, their families, and their partners. So we need to ask ourselves, what is it that we really want? Do we want vengeance or do we want to stop rape?

If our answer is the latter, a culture wherein people who rape are vilified, criminalized, and disposed of should not be our objective. This does not mean that criminalizing and expelling perpetrators is not a necessary step in many situations. Yes, it was necessary to protest Brock Turner’s appallingly short prison sentence because it sets a legal precedent for the dominant cultural beliefs that rape is not a big deal and that white men are always innocent. However, confusing that necessary step with an end point, and allowing the tactic of punishment to co-opt our vision of a world without rape has dangerous consequences, especially when this tactic is transplanted from the public and legal sphere into intimate family and community spaces, where the context is entirely distinct.

Not only does does the culture of criminalization lead to more sexual violence, but it also scapegoats certain individuals for an entire culture, leaving everyone else in impunity. By this I mean that by singling out and punishing a few individual rapists, we invisibilize all of the infinite ways, both micro and macro, that sexual violence is perpetuated outside of these publicized cases and release everyone else from accountability. And since we are all told the stories of rape culture our whole lives, we are all at risk of perpetuating sexual violence. We all need to be held accountable.

When students at my school, including many cis-men, started wearing ‘Expel the Rapists’ t-shirts, my reaction was, ‘does that mean that you’re not one? Does that mean that you think you don’t perpetuate sexual violence?’ And then I realized, that’s exactly what they mean. In a culture where rapist/not rapist is seen as a dichotomy, the priority is not to be critically aware of and honest about your past and present actions, but rather to signal as ardently as possible your membership to the ‘not rapist’ camp; To prove to yourself and others that it’s THEM, not me.

The culture of criminalization actually discourages honesty and makes transformative accountability impossible. If someone’s options are telling their friends that that think they raped someone and face losing everything or denying their actions, they will almost always choose the latter. Especially for people who care deeply about consent and respect, admitting your actions when this means accepting that you are a rapist (i.e. evil, a monster, unworthy…etc.) is not actually possible. It’s beyond human capacity. This culture, then, pushes people to convince themselves and others that they did nothing wrong. Even for the few, like Alejandro, who do accept their actions and therefore their rapist identity, this does not actually help them transform or be more accountable. Rather, they are pushed into a state of further disembodiment and dissociation from where they are less capable of true respect and consent.

I recently read a shocking article on CNN about a groundbreaking rape-prevention program in Alaska (the state with the highest rate of sexual violence in the country). Instead of exiling rapists and abusers, the program does the exact opposite. It places them in a rehabilitation program and then returns them to their homes where hundreds of community members have volunteered to act as a ‘safety net’ to stop them from offending again. Each perpetrator is surrounded by five direct support people, who are surrounded by a larger community network of at least 300 ‘safety nets’. It’s like concentric circles of support with the perpetrator in the middle.

This model puts a transformative way of thinking about sexual violence into action. It admits that rape is a cultural problem that needs a participatory, community-based solution. As the author says, “All of us have a role to play in perpetuating or ending the violence.”

In the book, The Revolution Starts at Home, communities share their experiences of trying to practice what they call ‘restorative justice’. None of the authors romanticize the process, but rather honestly chronicle the complexities, obstacles, and heartbreak inherent in trying to rebuild what is destroyed through intimate partner violence. By opening up a cultural space to validate, appreciate, and learn from their efforts, we can make this crucial work easier and more fruitful.

TRANSFORMATIVE ACCOUNTABILITY
Five months after ending my relationship with Alejandro, and three days after yet another non-consensual sexual encounter (just to emphasize, once again, how horrifically common rape is), I walked up to the man who raped Rita. I stared fiercely into his shocked eyes, fully expecting him to tell me that he hadn’t raped anybody and to leave him alone. He didn’t. His own eyes filled with tears. His hands started shaking. He looked straight back and told me that he knew that he made a horrible mistake and that he carries that pain around with him every single day; That the experience had completely transformed the way he relates to himself, others, and the world.

What shocked me most were his eyes. I had heard this speech a million times from Alejandro, but his eyes always looked dissociate, like he was a million miles away. When I looked into Tacho’s eyes I saw genuine pain and vulnerability. They were so unmistakably human. I saw those eyes every time I closed my own for days afterward.

But I don’t want to talk about Tacho, I want to talk about his friends, particularly his women friends. After he raped Rita, he told me, he spiraled into a deep depression. He was ready to leave the movement, his community, everything, because he thought he was evil; He thought that he was everything that he had spent his whole life fighting against and that the best thing he could do was disappear. His friends didn’t let him. “If you leave,” they told him, “You’ll never recover from this.” When he told them what he had done they didn’t tell him that it was okay, or that she had overreacted. They really made him understand what he had done. But they never stopped loving and supporting him. Their love alone made him capable of being open to transformation.

Understanding and reconciling his actions will be a lifelong journey, he was the first to admit this, but because of his community’s support, he is able and willing to embark on this journey. He thanked me profusely for confronting him and told me how much he appreciated being able to understand Rita’s experience more deeply. This was a revelation for me: what if being confronted about rape was not seen as a curse because it meant losing everything, but as a gift because it meant being able to transform into a better, more respectful person? How many more people would reach out for support if they knew they would be given this gift?

When I told Rita, she said that it felt like the pain from the past was melting away. A large part of her suffering after the rape was thinking that Tacho was pretending like it had never happened, fearing that he was raping more women. For me, after two years of trying to single-handedly save the man who raped me, it showed me that the type of transformative accountability that I had been denied might actually be possible, but it takes a village. While our community, by vilifying Alejandro, made him more closed off to the harm he was causing, Tacho’s community, by supporting and loving him, allowed him to be honest with himself and embrace change. I want all survivors to have this opportunity to witness the pain, remorse, and empathy of the people who have hurt them and be assured that they will commit themselves to changing. This brought me infinitely deeper healing and peace of mind than punishing all the men who have hurt me ever could.

The idea that vengeance will bring justice is not ours. Somewhere down the line we adopted it from a criminal justice system that does not really serve us. After this system denied us its brand of justice countless times, we made it our mission to obtain it. But when we adopted this vision of justice, we also adopted its limitations. We need to learn to make demands on this system without limiting our objectives to its objectives. Because we deserve more.

Survivors deserve the right to envision a world without rape, a world transformed through the power of community. We deserve the right to fight for that world.




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etpyh

I closed my account
Well I probably should get ready for getting some shit, but I think this rape culture thing is in large parts bullshit, as is the need for verbal consent.
The definitions of rape and consent that I learned in college just don’t cut it for me anymore. It makes perfect sense to me why we fight for ‘yes means yes, no means no’ when this has been and continues to be denied to us by the legal system, the media, and the overwhelming portion of society. In a world where so few even bother to ask, I understand why people fight for verbal consent.

However, our abilities to say ‘yes’ and ‘no’ are constructed and molded our whole lives by a culture that tells women that their only value is in pleasing men, and that tells men that their only value is in exploiting women. Where did this definition of rape leave me all the times that I said ‘yes’ for fear of the consequences?

Who even doubts that yes means yes and no means no? Don't tell me the legal system, the media, and the overwhelming portion of society does. What they probably do is saying yes means yes (in most cases), no means no (again: in most cases), and if there is no verbal expression of yes or no there are cases in which there still is consent and cases in which there is no consent. Actually I have to admit that I don't know how consenst is precisely understood in english (and I guess there is some vaqueness), if it is the case that consent is only used for, let's call it explicit consent, meaning verbal or written consent, as is probably needed for some legal aspects like forming a contract, I will have to rewrite my statement. What the legal system, the media and the overwhelming portion of society (to use the authors words) probably do is saying yes means yes, no means no and no explicitly stated yes or no doesn't necessarily mean no. And if you doubt that and seriously consider every case in which at least one partner didn't actually verbally express their consent to be rape I think you are deattached from this world and what might be called willfully ignorant, to not just say plain stupid. If you would use such a view of rape, than every non virgin member on this board is most likely a rapist, the author of the article above is very likely to be a rapist too. And not only that, but they also probably have been raped if they had sex in their life while they were raping their partner. Crazy. (I actually wrote that to show that such a view of rape would lead too inconsistency, but after rereading the article the author actually hints that she assumes everyone to be a rapist.) I can't see how such an influencial use of the word rape is going to help the ("classic") rape victims.
On a side note: If you want to encourage people to practice a form of verbal consent, there is nothing wrong with it and you can go right ahead with it. But don't make the fault of assuming that every case in which there is no such verbal consent is rape.

But not only that, even if there is explicit verbal consent there is rape? Well obviously if you are having a gun put to your head and for that reason say yes, there is no real consent. That's the reason for the "in most cases" above. But if you say yes, because you are a teenager who is desperate for male attention, there is consent. There is no rape in this case. If you get drunk and then decide that you want to have sex and say yes there is consent (at least on your side). Hell there can even be consent if you are drunk and don't say yes. Of course that doesn't mean that fucking a blacked out drunk, unconscious person is not rape, so please don't start coming throwing shit at me acusing me of positions like that. And if you say yes because you fear being uncool, or not fullfilling your duty of pleasing man as a woman in our society, or because you say yes because you don't want to have to deal with having to explain your boyfriend that he isn't a rapist you are obviously having sex for pretty fucking stupid reasons, but your still having consentual sex and "this defintion of rape" leaves you (in this cases) right where you belong: Outside the set of actual rape victims.

Where does that bullshit of living in a society "that tells women that their only value is in pleasing men, and that tells men that their only value is in exploiting women" even come from? If you have no self esteem or other ("real") psychological problems that drive you to have sex for stupid reasons, that might indeed very well be caused by "society". But that doesn't make the sex unconsentual and it doesn't equal living in a society that tells women their only value is pleasing men.

The question of how to treat rapists is of course a good and valid one. How it is tackled by the author is questionable again, she claims that the current practice only produces more sexual violence. But she only backed this claim with her own experience, which is not necessarily how it actually is in the bigger picture, even though it certainly isn't implausible. Here she should have added more content.
 

Hillbilly Castro

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Who even doubts that yes means yes and no means no?
Anyone that understands the basic problem of linguistics: Does a word have a direct meaning that is universal and can be applied in all contexts? If yes, your entire post makes sense. But most people who've experienced assault do not rattle off their experiences like lawyers describing a crime. Frequently, they do not have words for the experience, because many rapists figure out - sometimes subconsciously - how to manipulate the situation such that all their ducks are in a row, and everything that was said and done was "technically" acceptable. Leaving the victim feeling gaslighted and crazy in addition to raped.

Actually I have to admit that I don't know how consenst is precisely understood in english (and I guess there is some vaqueness), if it is the case that consent is only used for, let's call it explicit consent, meaning verbal or written consent,
It would be nice if we could limit it to verbal or written consent, like lawyers might, but the world doesn't work that way. I've had plenty of incredible, non-rapey sex that involved no words at all. I've also had problematic sex - bordering on assault - where I passed "go" and got a "yes", only to find that I had cut down my partner's agency by being emotionally charged or manipulative. So while the legalistic conception of consent would make things a hell of a lot easier, and maybe give us the gratifying righteousness of telling victims "nope, you didn't make the cut", we have to admit that rape is an insanely complex problem that is SO much bigger than we've ever, as a culture, given it credit for being.

Well obviously if you are having a gun put to your head and for that reason say yes, there is no real consent
A gun is not so much compared to a culture of objectification where women and effeminate men are convinced that they exist for the sexual gratification of men, to the point of mental illness and suicide and feelings of abysmal self-worth. When a man uses this culture, subtly or overtly, to gratify his need to be fucked, he is using a culture whose end is often worse than death - a life of suffering and worthlessness - to get his end in. Why this article is badass is that while this sounds like some evil shit, it's usually because men themselves feel worthless, and crave sex not because it is fun and nice but as a way to get their own self-worth and masculine identity confirmed. Without this confirmation, they sink into an emotionally childlike state. Source: Years of painful experience.
 

VikingAdventurer

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When I read the title of this post, I was originally going to immediately fire right back with a response that was violently angry, because I've had quite a few friends who have gonna through the trauma of being raped.

However, I decided to read the post first. My original intention was to read the post so that I could quote specific fallacies within it, and state my rebuttal to certain individual points.

I'm glad I read it, because it's a point of view that not only had I not been exposed to before, but also made me question my own point of view on this issue, which I admit was very similar to the viewpoints of the anti-rape organization that the author mentioned, only with a great deal more violence.

I feel that, so far, this has been, and (hopefully) will continue to be a thought-provoking thread, so I'm gonna keep tabs on it and see where it goes.

Thanks for making me exercise my brain muscles!
 
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etpyh

I closed my account
Anyone that understands the basic problem of linguistics: Does a word have a direct meaning that is universal and can be applied in all contexts? If yes, your entire post makes sense. But most people who've experienced assault do not rattle off their experiences like lawyers describing a crime. Frequently, they do not have words for the experience, because many rapists figure out - sometimes subconsciously - how to manipulate the situation such that all their ducks are in a row, and everything that was said and done was "technically" acceptable. Leaving the victim feeling gaslighted and crazy in addition to raped.
So the new slogan should be no does not mean no, yes does not mean yes? Well than.. Of course I know that it depends on the context, that's why I said in most cases, and gave the example of the gun to the head later where yes does not really mean yes (with your view given you are also disagreeing with the author, jsut as me).
But I was refering to what I expect the author was intending to say and what is from my point of view what people given this quote want to say: If a woman says no to sex it means no and there is no way to talk around it. And that is exactly what the media, the legal system and most people of our society would say from my expressions but what the author denies.

It would be nice if we could limit it to verbal or written consent, like lawyers might, but the world doesn't work that way. I've had plenty of incredible, non-rapey sex that involved no words at all. I've also had problematic sex - bordering on assault - where I passed "go" and got a "yes", only to find that I had cut down my partner's agency by being emotionally charged or manipulative. So while the legalistic conception of consent would make things a hell of a lot easier, and maybe give us the gratifying righteousness of telling victims "nope, you didn't make the cut", we have to admit that rape is an insanely complex problem that is SO much bigger than we've ever, as a culture, given it credit for being.
Well exactly that is what I am saying. You can't just say rape because there was no explicit consent, because it's not that easy.


A gun is not so much compared to a culture of objectification where women and effeminate men are convinced that they exist for the sexual gratification of men, to the point of mental illness and suicide and feelings of abysmal self-worth. When a man uses this culture, subtly or overtly, to gratify his need to be fucked, he is using a culture whose end is often worse than death - a life of suffering and worthlessness - to get his end in.
I don't agree. First it's way easier to not obey to this culture than to not obeying to a gun to your head, second I don't see this culture in the way the author does. Essentially with a gun to your head you have no choice, while the whole culture thing rarely influences your choices in the actual situation imho, even though it might be responsible for the choices you take in some sense, as stated in my earlier response.
 

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But if you say yes, because you are a teenager who is desperate for male attention, there is consent.
Why is that teenager desperate for male attention if she doesn't believe she exists only to please men? Why on earth would she be "desperate" for male attention? Hint: rape culture. She doesn't actually want to have sex. She's doing it because she thinks that's what she's supposed to do. While that doesn't necessarily mean she was raped, she was CERTAINLY influenced by rape culture in her consent.

If you get drunk and then decide that you want to have sex and say yes there is consent (at least on your side). Hell there can even be consent if you are drunk and don't say yes.
If you decide that you want sex and THEN get drunk, sure, there can be consent. But if you get drunk and then decide you want to have sex, how can you or your partner be sure that your "consent" isn't just because you're intoxicated? You can't. But rape culture makes you believe that it's ok because you're a woman and that's why you exist and your partner feels he's entitled to sex.

And if you say yes because you fear being uncool, or not fullfilling your duty of pleasing man as a woman in our society, or because you say yes because you don't want to have to deal with having to explain your boyfriend that he isn't a rapist you are obviously having sex for pretty fucking stupid reasons
You are literally describing rape culture here. Sure, they may be "stupid" reasons to consent to sex, but that consent was coerced by rape culture. You didn't consent because you actually want to have sex.

this defintion of rape" leaves you (in this cases) right where you belong: Outside the set of actual rape victims.
Please, enlighten us to what criteria an ACTUAL rape victim must meet.


I just don't understand why the idea of enthusiastic consent is so fucking difficult to grasp for some people?
 
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etpyh

I closed my account
First of all with all the talk about rape culture it is probably time to state what rape culture actually is, so let's quote Wikipedia:
"Rape culture is a sociological concept used to describe a setting in which rape is pervasive and normalized due to societal attitudes about gender and sexuality.[1][2] There is disagreement over what defines rape culture and as to whether any societies currently meet the criteria for a rape culture.
Behaviors commonly associated with rape culture include victim blaming, sexual objectification, trivializing rape, denial of widespread rape, refusing to acknowledge the harm caused by some forms of sexual violence, or some combination of these.[3] The notion of rape culture has been used to describe and explain behavior within social groups, including prison rape, and in conflict areas where war rape is used as psychological warfare. Entire societies have been alleged to be rape cultures.[4][5][6][7][8]"
Now it's not necessary to discuss wether either of us is living in a rape culture, it's enough to show something else, which I will do now.

Why is that teenager desperate for male attention if she doesn't believe she exists only to please men? Why on earth would she be "desperate" for male attention? Hint: rape culture. She doesn't actually want to have sex. She's doing it because she thinks that's what she's supposed to do. While that doesn't necessarily mean she was raped, she was CERTAINLY influenced by rape culture in her consent.
Because she has a father complex? Because her family and other girls hate her so she's looking for affirmation in males? The fuck do I know, but you don't seriously want to tell me, that a teenager who is desperate for male attention necessarly does so because she thinks she exists only to please man. Come on. And if a female/or male thinks that she exists only as a sex object, that does in no way mean that we are living in a culture that see's them like that too.
Your rape culture hint doesn't make sense to me either. It's not necessarily rape culture if females look for male attention. Why would living in culture that normalizes rape make you look for male attention.
Yes we are living in a sexualised society and that obviously influences the decisions people make when having sex, no that doesn't turn consentual sex into rape. If you want to have sex because you think that is what society expects from you (say having sex on your wedding day), that is certainly a pretty bad reasoning for having sex, but it is far away from rape. As long as you have the possibility to deny the sex of course. I think we do agree at least in this point.
On a side note I think that women are currently encouraged by society to do whatever they want.

If you decide that you want sex and THEN get drunk, sure, there can be consent. But if you get drunk and then decide you want to have sex, how can you or your partner be sure that your "consent" isn't just because you're intoxicated? You can't. But rape culture makes you believe that it's ok because you're a woman and that's why you exist and your partner feels he's entitled to sex.
There is no case where you can be sure that the seemingly consent is real consent, doesn't mean that there is no consent. The question also arises what real consent is supposed to be. It can't be a necessary condition for real consent that you don't wish you wouldn't have "consented" later on. It can't be a necessary condition that you didn't "consent" because of let's say certain external conditions that influence your "decision making apparatus" either.

You are literally describing rape culture here. Sure, they may be "stupid" reasons to consent to sex, but that consent was coerced by rape culture. You didn't consent because you actually want to have sex.
No I'm not. Except if you have radically different opinions about what the term rape culture means. I am talking about stupid reasons to have sex, not cultures. And you could even have sex for said reasons in cultures that don't normalize sex as well as in cultures who do/rape cultures.

Please, enlighten us to what criteria an ACTUAL rape victim must meet.
It's in the same fucking sentence. Instead of getting all excited because I said "actual rape" and therefore must think that there is something that is not really rape and must therefore be normalizing rape and bring forth the rape culture you could just read the sentence a little more unbiased and you would find an answer.
Hint: Consent.

I just don't understand why the idea of enthusiastic consent is so fucking difficult to grasp for some people?
And I truly believe you when you say that. It's just that people have sex without one getting raped without verbal consent, and it is possible for people to have sex without getting raped without enthusiastic consent. Easy as that.

A quote from the Wikipedia article at the top that I find worth to think about (without wanting to claim that it is 100% true):
"It is important to not lose sight of a simple fact: Rape is caused not by cultural factors but by the conscious decisions, of a small percentage of the community, to commit a violent crime."
 

Hillbilly Castro

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"It is important to not lose sight of a simple fact: Rape is caused not by cultural factors but by the conscious decisions, of a small percentage of the community, to commit a violent crime."
This is an ideological assertion. Wikipedia can be edited by anyone and you've got to use critical thinking skills when reading it. This sentence assumes that every decision made by anyone is made in complete freedom of choice, and that NO circumstances pre-determine what one's decisionmaking will be. Do you really think this is true and there is nothing more to be said on the matter? The thousand-year-old philosophical question of Free Will vs Determinism has been solved, and the question is over? The rape culture argument does not imply - except in its shittiest Tumblr style form or conversely its most flagrantly sexist-apologist form - that the individual man has no agency over his decisions. It simply points out the importance of the world around him in making decisions to be violent. It is an argument that is compatibilist - that is, the viewpoint that free will and determinism and compatible. If you believe in absolutely pure free will in every scenario, what you're saying might make sense - but you'd be willfully ignoring circumstance's role in creating the desires of the individual.
Because she has a father complex? Because her family and other girls hate her so she's looking for affirmation in males? The fuck do I know, but you don't seriously want to tell me, that a teenager who is desperate for male attention necessarly does so because she thinks she exists only to please man. Come on. And if a female/or male thinks that she exists only as a sex object, that does in no way mean that we are living in a culture that see's them like that too.
Okay, personal note: I know leenpocket quite well and can say, based on things she's said IRL, that she knows the entirety of this process better than you, because you are not a woman (and I know you are not a woman because only a non-feminist man would express things so bluntly and so obliviously - and I do not say this to hurt you but to say, dude, come on). Great example - most young men in this generation are enthusiastic and copious porn consumers. I know I am. And in time, what is required to get you off increases in intensity. Nothing is wrong with this if consent is part of the picture, but the objectification of women implied by pornography, inflluencing young men without them also learning good consent is a deadly combination. Many women get off on pleasing men and being treated like an object (because of rape culture), and there's nothing wrong with consensually acting this out. All too often, however, because men are taught to manipulate women into fixing their deficiencies through sex, consent is left out, and a woman is hurt. She may feel raped or assaulted even though things seemed on the surface consensual. This might make her feel crazy and worthless (because of the "actual rape" bullshit implying she is wrong) and it might set her into a cycle where she seeks out traumatizing sexual activity as a self-destructive release. What I know - because I once said the same shit you're saying now, and was called out respectfully by folks who cared and didn't want to see me hurt people - is that, by talking to every one of my exes and a lot of my major sex partners about our interactions, that what they say is true. Everywhere women are sent messages that they are fuckdolls, and it fucks with their heads. Conversely, men are set into a master complex by the same imagery, and this is what makes us rape and assault. We need to work this out without glossing over major underpinnings, like rape culture.

NONE of this is pretty or fun to talk about, but I'll say, all of the moments I was making the "it's all good" argument, I was concealing the largest amount of hurt that I did not work out until later. I highly suggest you ask a woman - especially a woman you've spent a lot of time fucking - about this shit. Maybe ask as many as you still speak with. And I suggest reading some feminist theory, even just for the sake of improving your arguments. Because presently, your argument is stunted and could use a makeover.
 
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etpyh

I closed my account
This is an ideological assertion. Wikipedia can be edited by anyone and you've got to use critical thinking skills when reading it. This sentence assumes that every decision made by anyone is made in complete freedom of choice, and that NO circumstances pre-determine what one's decisionmaking will be. Do you really think this is true and there is nothing more to be said on the matter? The thousand-year-old philosophical question of Free Will vs Determinism has been solved, and the question is over? The rape culture argument does not imply - except in its shittiest Tumblr style form or conversely its most flagrantly sexist-apologist form - that the individual man has no agency over his decisions. It simply points out the importance of the world around him in making decisions to be violent. It is an argument that is compatibilist - that is, the viewpoint that free will and determinism and compatible. If you believe in absolutely pure free will in every scenario, what you're saying might make sense - but you'd be willfully ignoring circumstance's role in creating the desires of the individual.
I know that Wikipedia can be edited by anyone and I don't think that this sentence is true because it is written on wikipedia, are you trying to discredit me by making it look as if I would blindly take wikipedia for granted? If so you should first have looked into the article, than you would have known that the discussed sentence is a direct quote from a report of the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network and therefore obviously not even part of the unfailable wikipedia knowledge that you seem to think I believe in. And do I really think this is true and there is nothing more to be said on the matter? Obviously not, that is why I wrote it is something to think about and even specifically stated that I do not want to claim that it is 100% true. I am well aware of the philosophical problems you mentioned.

Okay, personal note: I know leenpocket quite well and can say, based on things she's said IRL, that she knows the entirety of this process better than you, because you are not a woman (and I know you are not a woman because only a non-feminist man would express things so bluntly and so obliviously - and I do not say this to hurt you but to say, dude, come on). Great example - most young men in this generation are enthusiastic and copious porn consumers. I know I am. And in time, what is required to get you off increases in intensity. Nothing is wrong with this if consent is part of the picture, but the objectification of women implied by pornography, inflluencing young men without them also learning good consent is a deadly combination. Many women get off on pleasing men and being treated like an object (because of rape culture), and there's nothing wrong with consensually acting this out. All too often, however, because men are taught to manipulate women into fixing their deficiencies through sex, consent is left out, and a woman is hurt. She may feel raped or assaulted even though things seemed on the surface consensual. This might make her feel crazy and worthless (because of the "actual rape" bullshit implying she is wrong) and it might set her into a cycle where she seeks out traumatizing sexual activity as a self-destructive release. What I know - because I once said the same shit you're saying now, and was called out respectfully by folks who cared and didn't want to see me hurt people - is that, by talking to every one of my exes and a lot of my major sex partners about our interactions, that what they say is true. Everywhere women are sent messages that they are fuckdolls, and it fucks with their heads. Conversely, men are set into a master complex by the same imagery, and this is what makes us rape and assault. We need to work this out without glossing over major underpinnings, like rape culture.

NONE of this is pretty or fun to talk about, but I'll say, all of the moments I was making the "it's all good" argument, I was concealing the largest amount of hurt that I did not work out until later. I highly suggest you ask a woman - especially a woman you've spent a lot of time fucking - about this shit. Maybe ask as many as you still speak with. And I suggest reading some feminist theory, even just for the sake of improving your arguments. Because presently, your argument is stunted and could use a makeover.
Funny that you say my argument is stunted and could use a makeover while your whole argument in this paragraph consists of the claim that leenpocket knows the entirety of this process better than me because she is a woman, than going on a rant about porn where I can see absolutely no connection to my arguments (except that we are both talking about the same topic obviously) and than continue to rant wihtout any connection to my post and without bringing any new arguments. Well there was some connection to my post: You said I was talking shit. Without any explanation why though, but it's something isn't it?
I will try to lead by example and actually say something to your argument. So your saying leenpocket knows more about this process because she is a woman. The first question is what process? The process of being raped? Or the process of living in this society as a woman? Well in the first case she knows more about it, but not because she is a woman, but because she got raped and in the second case she knows more about it, because she obviously is a woman and I am not as you pointed out (even though I do consider myself to be a feminist men). But I don't see how that makes her arguments any better at all. As a matter of fact I think if the quality of her arguments depend on her being a woman I consider this to be a sign of a bad argument, since what rape is and isn't shouldn't depend on the sex of the victim or the sex of the "counterpart of victim" (can't remember the word atm).
Then you continue to give a great example, you just didn't say what for, with porn and come to the conclusion that the rape culture leads to women being hurt because consent is left out. Well I don't even disagree, but I also can't see how this is in contrast to what I said. I actually pointed out that consent is the important part when it comes to sexual intercourse, I just said that this consens doesn't necessarily has to be expressed verbally. I didn't say anything along the lines of rape culture isn't real. Ok just reread it and called rape culture in huge parts bullshit, but I don't deny that rape gets whitewashed (?) in porn, I just don't like the way the term rape cultur is used in debates like that.
If your ""actual rape" bullshit" remark was referring to my use auf actual rape you have deeply misunderstood me, as I used actual rape for cases where there was no consent, so from my point of view your example would fall into the "actual rape" category. So once again I can't see anything that contradicts what I said, not even something that is in conflict with what I said.
Just because I am critizising certain aspects of the discussed article doesn't mean I am a rape apologizing misogynist. I think you (the people discussing this general topic) should focus more on the arguments people have and less about from who they come from.





Edit: I just noticed that leenpocket is the one I replied to in this thread, I falsely assumed it would be the author of the article. Now it makes more sense what process you are talking about. But my point still holds, if you are desperate for male attention you don't necessarily have to think that you only exist to please man and that seeking for male attention can also rise in non-rape cultures. At least I see no reason why it couldn't.
 
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LeeenPocket

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"It is important to not lose sight of a simple fact: Rape is caused not by cultural factors but by the conscious decisions, of a small percentage of the community, to commit a violent crime

When most people think of rape, they think of gun-to-the-head physical violence. This quote definitely applies to that idea of rape. Because most gun-to-the-head rapists have made the conscious decision to rape. Not to commit a crime, because no one thinks "I'm gonna commit a crime today". No. They decided to put themselves in an extreme position of dominance over someone to remedy their diminishing self-worth. This extreme violence only constitutes a fraction of rapes. Coercing or manipulating someone to say yes IS RAPE. And this is where rape culture comes in and that quote turns to garbage. Because these rapists didn't make the conscious decision to commit a violent crime. They just wouldn't take no, or I don't know, for an answer. They took it as a challenge. And that is absolutely a result of cultural factors.

I'd also like to point out that this quote was used in the article as a criticism because some believe that the idea of rape culture "has the paradoxical effect of making it harder to stop sexual violence, since it removes the focus from the individual at fault, and seemingly mitigates personal responsibility for his or her own actions". Believe that the idea that social change can be achieved through education and awareness and that people are born good and taught evil is just some bourgeois liberal ideology. Failing to prepare young women for the few evil people in the world as opposed to the undereducated victims of rape culture they might meet at a frat party. Sure, it's nicer and more peaceful to believe that the patriarchy is the sole reason that someone rapes and not just because they're an evil rapist. Sometimes that's the case. Sometimes it's not. I've seen true evil, my friend. But I'm not naive or willfully ignorant enough to think that rape culture isn't something I experience on a daily basis.
 
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etpyh

I closed my account
Not to commit a crime, because no one thinks "I'm gonna commit a crime today"
Well now that we already went philosophical I might as well point to Freges distinction between sense and reference. You don't have to think "I'm gonna commit a crime today" when you decide to commit a crime.
I don't disagree that coercing someone to say yes is rape. This impression might come up as I wrote who even doubts that yes means yes and no means no, but I already elaborated what I meant with that. Manipulating is a term that can be applied to many scenarios and I wouldn't call them all rape. Manipulating someone to say yes while they actually don't consent, that would certainly be rape. But I always said that there had to be consent for non rapist sex.

Edit: Also notice that I mistook you for the author of the article in my response before in case this lead to some confusion.
 

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Well I don't even disagree, but I also can't see how this is in contrast to what I said. I actually pointed out that consent is the important part when it comes to sexual intercourse, I just said that this consens doesn't necessarily has to be expressed verbally. I didn't say anything along the lines of rape culture isn't real. Ok just reread it and called rape culture in huge parts bullshit, but I don't deny that rape gets whitewashed (?) in porn, I just don't like the way the term rape cultur is used in debates like that.
If all you're trying to say, in so many words, is that verbal consent isn't necessarily necessary, then just fucking say that. Enthusiastic consent doesn't equal verbal consent. If you can't tell whether someone is enthusiastically trying to fuck you as opposed to just *shrug* agreeing to something they may not actually want to do, verbally OR non-verbally, then you shouldn't be fucking them because that can be considered rape.

But that's NOT all you're saying. You're also denying that real rape experiences of some people aren't actually rapes because there's "some form" of consent regardless to how it was achieved.

On a side note I think that women are currently encouraged by society to do whatever they want.
It's so nice that you think so. I can see your feminist identity is really benefiting you when it comes to women's issues. As a woman, I DO know more about this. You should take his advice and brush up on your feminist theory...in case my sarcasm didn't read through.
 

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Etyph:

My best friend's boyfriend raped me in high school, we had been watching cartoons up until late night and fallen asleep on her bed. I woke up with his fingers in my vaginal canal, I was confused and not sure what was going on. My body was traitorous and enjoying the feeling, and despite me going "no, no, no, no" he didn't stop and eventually tried replacing his fingers with his dick. After ~10 minutes he realized that if he really wanted to get some good in-out-in-out action in there he would have to hold me down and force it in hard, he got up, pulled up his pants, told me he was going out to smoke and offered me a toke.

I lay in bed crying, wondering why I didn't say no louder, why I didn't wake my friend by screaming, and why my body had enjoyed something I knew I didn't want. For two months I rejected that I had been raped because my body responded and because I didn't fight him, because I didn't yell. The fact that I didn't immediately recognize that I had been raped is a testament to how ingrained rape culture is in our society.

When I finally told my friend and her mother I found out a few days later that he had said to them that he liked my ass, and because I'm open-minded thought that I would be cool with it. She broke up with him, and then two months later they were back together as if he had never assaulted me with her sleeping two feet away. Years later he would apologize to me and beg my forgiveness, all the while throwing excuses at me about how it was my fault that he raped me because he found me attractive, and because I broke his assumption that all "open minded hippie girls" were down for sex.

Not all rape is violent. And very often, rape is not straightforward sexual and physical assault. And almost every time, the man sees it as justified and will layer excuses and half-baked reasons that put the blame on the woman. To him, he raped me because I was appealing to him. It was my fault for putting him in a scenario where I was just "irresistible." And to him, this was a compliment.

I've watched many girls younger than me romanticize rape simply because of the value society puts on male attention. I've had friends justify their being raped to me by saying "guess no one can resist me." I've had my own rape dismissed as rape by others simply because my body responded when I admit that I feel guilty because it felt good, or because I didn't assault him in response.

I've had guys stick their hands in me, outside of this experience, without consent, without me physically showing any inclination that I wanted the attention, just because we had gone on a date and were watching a movie together and "the next logical step is sex" as they said. And the times I said no I was summarily ousted from their house, or they left mine, and I likely never heard from them again. Or I got an angry message about how I was "leading them on" by going on a date and not putting out. In a society that tells young women they should be dating a man and looking to prepare for marriage and kids, this could lead to someone similar to me saying "yes" next time even when they want to say "no", or rather, they simply may not say anything and let the man go about it, convinced that this is just how things go.

A photographer I used to shoot with knew I was in a hard spot and looking at eviction, no medical care, no food, and the loss of my college attendance. He then offered me an obscene amount to have sex with him, knowing that for me to refuse would be turning down the opportunity to feed and house myself. Is this rape? I've yet to decide myself, but it is not something I would have consented to had my physical and societal well-being not been hinging on my answer. And I am far from alone in this scenario.

Women are sexualized throughout our culture, at the same time summarily shamed for sexuality. Professing a disbelief that women aren't taught by culture that their worth is based in how men use their bodies is directly against what we all see on a day-to-day basis: naked women with oversexualized poses on magazines sold at the corner store, while women are still shamed for breastfeeding. Rape excused because the victim was drunk and unconscious and "should have dressed more conservatively and not been drinking" at the same time that men put down women for being prudes and not putting out on the first date.

All of this normalizes rape and mitigates the blame off of the perpetrator. To dismiss what victims of rape are directly saying to you, to define it as something that always entails violence, to say that there are no scenarios in which yes can mean anything but, and to proclaim that you think rape culture is bullshit... that is where you are a rape apologist. Your "women are encouraged by society to do whatever they want" is an excuse. Everything you've said here posits that you have the same narrow, black-and-white view that most men do, especially those that excuse, and often perpetrate, rape. You may not see it currently and I'm willing to bet you're frustrated and indignant, but for those of us who have been placed in a position where our rose-tinted glasses have been removed by a society that romanticizes the usage of our bodies by men while excusing the assaultive and zealous behaviors of said men, we see it.
 
E

etpyh

I closed my account
If all you're trying to say, in so many words, is that verbal consent isn't necessarily necessary, then just fucking say that. Enthusiastic consent doesn't equal verbal consent. If you can't tell whether someone is enthusiastically trying to fuck you as opposed to just *shrug* agreeing to something they may not actually want to do, verbally OR non-verbally, then you shouldn't be fucking them because that can be considered rape.

But that's NOT all you're saying. You're also denying that real rape experiences of some people aren't actually rapes because there's "some form" of consent regardless to how it was achieved.
Well I fucking said it but you seem to have some problems to understand it. And the reason that I used so many words is that I am obviously not defending the mainstream point of view here so I thought it would be a nice idea to back my position up a little bit. Now I see that this wasn't necessary at all because noone gives a fuck about arguments here as soon as someone disagrees with their own feminist theories. And with feminist theories I obviously mean your ideas of feminism, I can't be a real feminist because I am not a man and am disagreeing with you.
And why should it be considered rape if one isn't enthusiastic about sex? I've had sex I wasn't enthusiastic about but I wasn't raped. Conclusion: There can be sex without enthusiastic consent that is not raped. There you have a good example of an argument by the way, try to do something with it. I can see two possibilities to attack this argument: I didn't have non enthusiastic sex or I was raped. But both of these possibilities are wrong. At least I didn't feel raped at all, but if you really advocate such a view that the lack of enthusiasm is a sufficient condition for rape I was raped. But what do you want to achieve with that, putting me who doesn't feel raped at all to the rape victims?

And yes I am saying that if there was consent there was no rape. As far as I know that is the very definition of rape: Sex without consent. For the record: I do of course don't consider every case in which there was a yes said at some point as being consentual, I also made that clear above. What I still consider consential and not rape, is sex between partners where one has sex because she wants to feel like a valued part of society or other similar cases that were mentioned above. As long as the partner doesn't coerce her to have sex for that reason. If you take this consent away and don't consider it to be real consent you are the one who should give some reasoning why. Instead you try to make me look like a rape apologist because I would say that there was "some form" of consent. But it's not like I would take some questionable very weak form of consent, like not saying no (which is of course no valid reason to assume consent please don't start quoting that), as you indicate with your use of the quotation marks. I am talking cases where there is !consent!, but for bad reasons. If you look at how the author describes her experiences it becomes clear that she was enthuiastic about sex, or at least I think that is a valid assumption if someone gets jealous about someone getting raped. She really wanted to have sex, there is no question that there was consent to me. Well at least not that much as to justify talking of "some form" of consent. Now of course, as I said before the reasons for her consentual sex could be very bad. And of course if a society produces people that have in large numbers sex for such bad reasons it is a sign that there is something wrong with this society. But does that mean that such a society excuses and normalizes rape? Not necessarly. Does that make having sex for bad reasons rape? I don't think so. And that is because you would take away the agency of the person that is having sex for bad reasons. You take away the ability of the person to choose for herself if you consider every case where people have sex not only for the sake of having sex rape. You replace the sexual expectations of society with your own and do so on cost of the individual. Yes society influences us to do things, no doubt about that. But it also leaves us free will, something you shouldn't take away for a looser use of the term rape. And I don't think it is expedient to turn this into a philosophical free will debate here by saying but what we decide to do is determined by society or something like that. Determinism ist most likely not true anyways, and if it is there is no real point in talking about it anyways. But we couldn't help but do it anyway. As would the rapist have no other choice but to rape.

It's so nice that you think so. I can see your feminist identity is really benefiting you when it comes to women's issues. As a woman, I DO know more about this. You should take his advice and brush up on your feminist theory...in case my sarcasm didn't read through.
Yes keep to your sarcasm because your arguments are nothing to win a discussion.








My best friend's boyfriend raped me in high school, we had been watching cartoons up until late night and fallen asleep on her bed. I woke up with his fingers in my vaginal canal, I was confused and not sure what was going on. My body was traitorous and enjoying the feeling, and despite me going "no, no, no, no" he didn't stop and eventually tried replacing his fingers with his dick. After ~10 minutes he realized that if he really wanted to get some good in-out-in-out action in there he would have to hold me down and force it in hard, he got up, pulled up his pants, told me he was going out to smoke and offered me a toke.

I lay in bed crying, wondering why I didn't say no louder, why I didn't wake my friend by screaming, and why my body had enjoyed something I knew I didn't want. For two months I rejected that I had been raped because my body responded and because I didn't fight him, because I didn't yell. The fact that I didn't immediately recognize that I had been raped is a testament to how ingrained rape culture is in our society.

When I finally told my friend and her mother I found out a few days later that he had said to them that he liked my ass, and because I'm open-minded thought that I would be cool with it. She broke up with him, and then two months later they were back together as if he had never assaulted me with her sleeping two feet away. Years later he would apologize to me and beg my forgiveness, all the while throwing excuses at me about how it was my fault that he raped me because he found me attractive, and because I broke his assumption that all "open minded hippie girls" were down for sex.

Not all rape is violent. And very often, rape is not straightforward sexual and physical assault. And almost every time, the man sees it as justified and will layer excuses and half-baked reasons that put the blame on the woman. To him, he raped me because I was appealing to him. It was my fault for putting him in a scenario where I was just "irresistible." And to him, this was a compliment.

I've watched many girls younger than me romanticize rape simply because of the value society puts on male attention. I've had friends justify their being raped to me by saying "guess no one can resist me." I've had my own rape dismissed as rape by others simply because my body responded when I admit that I feel guilty because it felt good, or because I didn't assault him in response.
I am sorry that this happened to you, and I too would obviously say you were raped. And I do think that the media, the legal system and the majority of the population (to come back to the article) would agree to. And that is what I meant when I said who even doubts that yes means yes and no means no.


In a society that tells young women they should be dating a man and looking to prepare for marriage and kids, this could lead to someone similar to me saying "yes" next time even when they want to say "no", or rather, they simply may not say anything and let the man go about it, convinced that this is just how things go.
If they don't want to have sex for the sake of having sex, but because they want to be a valued part of society or something like this, they have what is called in philosophy a pro-tanto reason for having sex and a pro-tanto reason against having sex. If the subject decides that the pro-tanto reason for having sex is bigger and she therefore decides to have sex, I don't consider this to be rape. If she isn't facing direct punishment or something like that of course. It is a sad reason in my eyes but it is also not my decision to make. If you consider this to be raped you would have to change the way of how we talk about rape pretty drastically, because the question arises who raped her. It can't be the sex partner because every possible criteria that you could think of that a non-rape (non consentual wouldn't cut it then anymore) sexual intercourse has could be fulfilled in a rape' sexual intercourse as well as far as the sexual partner can judge. You would have to be sure that your partner only wants to have sex for the sake of having sex, something that you can't be. And I do think that there are other valid reasons to have sex.

A photographer I used to shoot with knew I was in a hard spot and looking at eviction, no medical care, no food, and the loss of my college attendance. He then offered me an obscene amount to have sex with him, knowing that for me to refuse would be turning down the opportunity to feed and house myself. Is this rape? I've yet to decide myself, but it is not something I would have consented to had my physical and societal well-being not been hinging on my answer. And I am far from alone in this scenario.
Well where I come from I wouldn't consider it to be rape because the basic needs are fulfilled by the government here. If you were starving and the only option to save yourself was accepting the offer and the guy knew that I would consider it rape. I guess in between these cases there are some that are rape, some that are not and some where everyone has troubles to decide. I don't say that what is rape and what not is clear in every case, the lines often blur.

Women are sexualized throughout our culture, at the same time summarily shamed for sexuality. Professing a disbelief that women aren't taught by culture that their worth is based in how men use their bodies is directly against what we all see on a day-to-day basis: naked women with oversexualized poses on magazines sold at the corner store, while women are still shamed for breastfeeding. Rape excused because the victim was drunk and unconscious and "should have dressed more conservatively and not been drinking" at the same time that men put down women for being prudes and not putting out on the first date.
Yes our culture is really sexualized, I even said so myself in this thread I think. I think the shaming of women for their sexuality is while it is of course still there, (slowly?) vanishing. But this is also something that is so culture relativ that I don't know if it is even valid to assume that we both are living in the same culture. But that doesn't even matter, since I don't even disbelief that women are taught by culture that their worth is based in how men use their bodies. Sure that does play a role in our society. But I just can't see that our society values womens worth only because of that. And that is what was claimed earlier on in this thread and what I disagreed with and still do.

All of this normalizes rape and mitigates the blame off of the perpetrator. To dismiss what victims of rape are directly saying to you, to define it as something that always entails violence, to say that there are no scenarios in which yes can mean anything but, and to proclaim that you think rape culture is bullshit... that is where you are a rape apologist. Your "women are encouraged by society to do whatever they want" is an excuse. Everything you've said here posits that you have the same narrow, black-and-white view that most men do, especially those that excuse, and often perpetrate, rape. You may not see it currently and I'm willing to bet you're frustrated and indignant, but for those of us who have been placed in a position where our rose-tinted glasses have been removed by a society that romanticizes the usage of our bodies by men while excusing the assaultive and zealous behaviors of said men, we see it.

I don't think it normalizes rape. Sure it normalizes sex and drives us into a obscenly sexualized environment, but there is still a fine line from that to normalizing unconsentual sex imho. I have to admit I dismissed things that rape victims are directly saying to me, but I still don't see anything wrong with that per se. I am dismissing what they are saying, because of their arguments and because I think mine are better (sounds arrogant, but else we wouldn't be discussing this obviously) and because I think the quality of the arguments brought up don't depend on wether the author was raped or not. Sure, if someone says here look to me happened this and I feel I was raped and I think you have to admit this was rape too, I will think about it and won't just dismiss it because it doesn't fit my views. And if I should choose to dismiss it I will give you reasons for it.
I don't think I defined rape as something that always entail violence either, I entailed it as something that isn't consentual. I also already explained, I think even two times that I don't think that yes always means yes either. I even gave an (pretty extreme) example where it doesn't. I will requote my response from earlier to stress that:

"Of course I know that it depends on the context, that's why I said in most cases, and gave the example of the gun to the head later where yes does not really mean yes.
But I was refering to what I expect the author was intending to say and what is from my point of view what people given this quote want to say: If a woman says no to sex it means no and there is no way to talk around it. And that is exactly what the media, the legal system and most people of our society would say from my expressions but what the author denies."

Okay now you could also say that no doesn't always mean no, because one might be playing a roleplay or whatever, but I think it should be clear what I am talking about and I think that everyone here agrees on that while there is enough that we actually disagree to talk about.

I said that rape culture is in large parts bullshit, yes. I didn't say all of it was bullshit and it was probably not the wisest decision to say large parts of it are bullshit either. But I still think that the rape culture thing is overexegarated and often wrongly used in this debate, by Leenpcoket for example. Yes there is some sort of rape culture with the given example of porn being a good one. But as I said earlier I don't consider it to be valid to equal a culture that normalizes rape with a culture that normalizes sex. See also where LeenPocket gave me her nice hint that rape culture is the source for females looking for male attention. That is exactly the part of use of the term rape culture that I think is bullshit. Leenpocket didn't respond to that unfortunatly but resorted to sarcasm and her superieor knowledge of the topic because she is a woman.

I also don't think of myself having a black and white view (well who does think that of himself). I don't think that there are only those cases that are obviously rape and those cases that are obviously not rape. I do think that if there was consent there was no rape and if there was no consent there was rape, so I am indeed seeing black and white to some degree. But I don't think the question wether there was consent or not is easy to answer. Edit: This should probably be changed to something like "no forced consent". I obviously don't think I apologize rape either, but I admit that if the picture of rape that has been painted here of rape that is possible even though there is consent should turn out to be the appropriate picture, than I am currently apologizing rape. Because I think it is not.


Jesus Christ what a long ass post.
 

Hillbilly Castro

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holy shit
wherein a man threadjacks to argue points that are so ambiguous, no one knows what the fuck he's saying, except that he knows more about rape and what causes it than anyone else - especially women.
Fear of a Female Planet anyone?
Too early for this shit - time for coffee, not this bizzaro hall of smoke and mirrors.
 
E

etpyh

I closed my account
holy shit
another try to discredit me without any arguments towards my points at all, did your last try work out so well that you thought you should give it another go?
I have a better idea: Get your coffee, then think about something worth to write, something that actually has some content. If you find something, good: write it. If not: Shut up.
 

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