*cue the frothing rage*
Below, I have linked (using a ‘do not link’ format)to a horrible piece entitled “Feminists want us to define these ugly sexual encounters as rape. Don’t let them” Penned by libertarian Cathy Young, a supporter of Women Against Feminism and frequent critic of campus anti-rape programs, this article is….the most egregiously dismissive and patronizing pieces of garbage I have ever read, though not surprising given the source.
The author says with contempt that “Today, [feminism] not only embraces an absolutist version of ‘no means no,’ in which any hint of reluctance must halt further attempts at sexual intimacy; the movement also insists that only a clear (and sober) ‘yes’ means yes.” That’s right, that is exactly what is demanded, and it’s long overdue. But she thinks this is the problem????
Hell, no lady, the fact that you don’t think consent has to be explicit is the problem. The fact that you dismiss psychological coercion as ‘bad behavior’ is a problem (‘boys will be boys’ much?). The fact that you are OK with ‘no means try harder’ is the problem. But, oh, no, the author moans, “This isn’t just feminist theory; it’s having an impact in the real world. Consent-education programs on college campuses…are increasingly adopting the ‘yes means yes’ approach.” See? she says, the demand for positive consent is *gasp* becoming the norm! What will all those poor men do if they aren’t allowed to override a woman’s denial by coercion, guilt-tripping, and psychological force!!!
She also, disturbingly, describes instances where she used the same coercion, and laughingly dismisses the notion that she herself perpetrated sexual violence on a male partner. Behold:
“There was the man who told me it was too soon for us to get involved and said, more than once, ‘We shouldn’t be doing this’ the evening we first went to bed. If I were to claim victimhood, I would either have to admit to being a perpetrator as well or fall back on a blatantly sexist double standard.”
News flash, Ms. Young, you ARE a perpetrator. What you describe IS an act of sexual violence. Perhaps it need not be punished in the same degree as an overtly violent rape, but it is NOT OK. It should NOT be enshrined by our culture as OK. The author here relies upon a false sense of extremes – it’s rape, or it’s OK. It’s specifically violent rape, or it’s just bad judgment. No. There is a world of sexual violence that lies between outright assault and consensual sex. Our laws, happily, are just barely beginning to recognize this, a fact which the author laments. (Perhaps she wonders what *she* will do if no longer allowed to override a man’s denial by coercion, guilt-tripping, and psychological force?)
This is a woman who has no idea what consent means, who has allowed (and defends) the violation of her own consent, and who has doubled down on her own violation of another’s consent. Her argument then, seems little more than a justification of her own callousness, with a heavy dollop of ‘boys will be boys-‘style kowtowing to the patriarchy. We have along way to go…..
Perhaps the only thing more disturbing than this editorial is (unsurprisingly) the comments….men weighing in on the flaws and deception of women, the failure of women to uphold the family unit, the unfairness of women having ALL the control over sex…. THIS friends, is why we need feminism, and the more ground feminism gains, the more outrageous it’s critics look. Case in point.