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Uh, lost someone with that last post.

What the hell, let's lose some more with some good ol' rape-related linkspam, in honour of the brown underwear stain of a movie that actually includes a "funny" date rape scene, Observe and Report.

Some people may look at the title of my post and say (as has been said in many discussions, IRL and on line, "but asking permission constantly? That's no fun!". This post is dedicated to them, and their ilk worldwide.

To start with, I honestly don't see what's funny or edgy about a date rape scene. (Tiger Beatdown)

"So, then, Observe & Report: a movie with a scene of rape in which the joke is that it's not really rape, in which the joke is that you can fuck a heavily drugged, unconscious woman and the only problem will happen when you stop - she will urge you to keep going, in the one second that she is verbal or capable of response, before she slips back into unconsciousness - and in which the joke, the hilarious gutsy edgy laugh line that sets audiences roaring, is that you should have just raped her without hesitation, because look how upset she is when you stop the rape!

And all the girls who've been there go: huh."

Anonymous comments: "I fail to see what's "edgy" about humor based on resurrecting an attitude prevalent in hundreds of cultures over thousands of years, that women's bodies are the property of the men who want them. Not really new, not exactly cutting-edge. The addition of the idea that women's very desire is also subject to the whim of men who want them, that a daughter or sister or friend or wife who desires a man deserves one perjorative term while an object of lust who won't return desire deserves another, the "joke" that a woman wants whatever sex she's having regardless of consent or capacity to enjoy it, is the oldest justification on record for ignoring the wrong in the first idea. Even the desire to justify or gloss the egregious dehumanization of both concepts by dressing them up as humor is as ancient as humanity itself.

Just not finding anything groundbreaking there."


Again, why isn't stuff like this funny to us?  Here's I Am Not A Cake to explain it in remarkable simplicity

"If I should be assaulted whilst intoxicated, mildly or otherwise, I will be asked to explain why I chose to become intoxicated. My assailant’s actions will be judged less harshly if I am intoxicated. My assailant will not be asked to justify his intoxication, and his actions will be judged still less harshly should he be so."

And for the men that think (or defend the men that think) that having sex with a woman who is passed out is not rape, a simple analysis of the concept of rape (from 'Lectric Law Library). Please take particular note of the section that states:

"A consent obtained from a woman by actual violence, by duress or threats of murder, or by the administration of stupefying drugs, is not such a consent as will shield the offender, nor turn his crime into adultery or fornication". [emphasis mine]

For those with the strength to endure the stories, Shakesville has a post where women are telling their stories of being assaulted and raped (warning: Extremely triggery. so no quotes).

Wisewebwoman is willing to take you with her on her journey of other people's denials about the seriousness of rape and assault. (Warning: Triggery like a mo'fo, ditto.)

- in these posts, a single thing comes to the forefront over and over again, like a river of poison. The constant denial that rape happens, and that any woman who speaks up about it is a whore, dirty, a liar, or that she brought it on herself. That it wasn't really rape, that it's consent if you don't scream, or struggle, or get beaten within an inch of your life, or get killed. It's not rape if you're drunk, or drugged, even if you didn't know you were being drugged or dosed with alcohol. It's not rape if you went out to a bar, it's not rape if you invite a guy in for coffee, it's not rape if you were dressed up, or in a short skirt, or not wearing a bra. It's not rape if it's someone they know and like, it's not rape when it's their friend doing the raping, it's not rape when it's them doing the raping.

Silence is not consent.
Unconsciousness is not consent.
Incapacity is not consent.
Drugged is not consent.
Consent is not the default.

Consent is not the default.
Consent is not the default.
Consent is not the default.
Consent is not the default.
Consent is not the default.
Consent is not the default.
Consent is not the default.
Consent is not the default.
Consent is not the default.
Consent is not the default.
Consent is not the default.
Consent is not the default.
Consent is not the default.
Consent is not the default.
Consent is not the default.
Consent is not the default.
Consent is not the default.
Consent is not the default.

Think I'm being boring? Think I'm making too much of this? Read the stories.



( 42 brains — Leave a chunk of brain! )
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May. 1st, 2009 01:39 am (UTC)
There was a terrific post on Bitch Ph.D. a few weeks back where one of the bloggers told the story of how her former boyfriend used to have sex with her while she was asleep and completely unprepared...and then cut her off cold when she was conscious and asking for sex. A shocking number of readers (me included) had had similar things happen to them, whether in marriage or an allegedly committed relationship, and most of us still weren't sure whether what happened was rape, dubious consent, or what.

Very, very troubling all around.
May. 1st, 2009 01:42 am (UTC)
(no subject) - ellid - May. 1st, 2009 01:46 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - attack_laurel - May. 1st, 2009 02:41 am (UTC) - Expand
May. 1st, 2009 01:52 am (UTC)
A slight quibble from a man's point of view.
Any person with an XY chromosome pair that takes advantage of a woman who isn't in full control of their faculties or keeps pushing when there is a "no" or even any hesitation with "yes" is not a man but merely male.

A man behaves with honor and thinks of the lady first, last and always.
May. 1st, 2009 12:33 pm (UTC)
Re: A slight quibble from a man's point of view.
Honor isn't the answer, it's part of the problem. When a man has his honor questioned as the result of something he did, it is _his_ honor that is important, not the other's. Think of the phrase, often used by pundits, "What you've got to understand is..." It means, "You don't know what you're talking about, and only if you listen to me will you ever know what you're talking about."
Really, if guys thought of sex as something done with a partner (which implies constant consent) rather than an object, there'd be less of this. Of course, some guys want their partner (lover, business partner, frat brother, anyone) to be an object.

- Johannes
May. 1st, 2009 01:54 am (UTC)
Consent is not the default.

This. Again and again and again!

It's a fucked up world when people think everything short of actively kicking a guy in the balls while screaming "no" is "yes".
May. 1st, 2009 12:59 pm (UTC)
So, completely agree.
Consent is not the default.
Consent is not the default.
Consent is not the default.
May. 1st, 2009 02:38 am (UTC)
Lived some of those stories. You are not boring.
May. 1st, 2009 03:02 am (UTC)
(no subject) - hsifeng - May. 1st, 2009 07:17 pm (UTC) - Expand
May. 1st, 2009 03:15 am (UTC)
I am reminded of this excerpt/outtake from the Smart Bitches, Trashy Books recently published book, Beyond Heaving Bosoms: The Smart Bitches Guide to Romance Novels.

Consent Is Sexy, Even When You're a Vampire

Rape is everywhere in entertainment, and I don't mean metaphorically.
(Deleted comment)
May. 1st, 2009 01:37 pm (UTC)
*big, non-scary or physically invasive hug*
May. 1st, 2009 04:34 am (UTC)
Amen. I've been lucky so far, in that my one non-con encounter ended quickly and with me still dressed and capable, but it's still a nauseating feeling to get to your car, lock the doors, and realize what COULD have happened.
May. 1st, 2009 04:35 am (UTC)
Huh. I went to read the linked articles and didn't feel anything... yeah, I know what that means.

Thank you for posting this. I printed out Tiger Beatdown's essay to give to my therapist - I think she could use it well in her work.
May. 1st, 2009 01:40 pm (UTC)
It's okay; it's not required to have any particular feeling. Saying that emotional response should be one size fits all is part of the issue.

There's actually been cases where juries and judges decided a rapist wasn't guilty, even in the face of evidence, because the victim didn't react the way they thought victims should act. Horrifying.

Only you get to say what reaction is right for you.
(no subject) - stitchwhich - May. 1st, 2009 02:46 pm (UTC) - Expand
May. 1st, 2009 04:57 am (UTC)
Thank you for speaking out about this. Many of those stories are mine, as they are for most women in this fucked-up world. It's only by talking about these things, giving them our own voices and disseminating a different paradigm that we can give other women the power to say, 'it may be normal, but it isn't *right*' and then to move from that to a world where it is no longer normal, or prevalent.

May. 1st, 2009 05:24 am (UTC)
Thank you, the articles you've linked to are some of the clearest writing on the subject I've seen. I'll be sharing this, especially with my friends with sons to educate. The difference between no-means-no and yes-means-yes is not something I've thought about before, and it can be applied to so many other wrongs we do to each other as well.
May. 1st, 2009 06:12 am (UTC)
No matter how many times you say it, no matter the variety or homogeneity of the words you use to say it, thank you.

Thank you also for the warnings on the links... it's been a long time, but not long enough.

We can only hope that with sufficient repetition, these stories can be rare, horrifying exceptions, instead of tales of an all-too-commonly shared experience.
(Deleted comment)
May. 1st, 2009 11:12 am (UTC)
Oh, oh, oh, and it isn't assault if someone grabs the back of your shirt and PULLS, just to 'make sure' when you tell them you're a boy. /sarcasm

Yeah I've had people do this to me. WTF.
May. 1st, 2009 07:13 am (UTC)
Thank you for this. I'm going to give the links a pass (it's been 20 years, but some memories remain visceral no matter how long they've been out of the light of day, and I like to leave them buried in their box at the back of my mental closet right where they are), but I will certainly be passing this on.

I am far from being a pacifist, but it takes a great deal to stir me to genuine anger, let alone impulses to violence. This is one of those issues. There won't be a next time. I am no one's property.
May. 1st, 2009 11:10 am (UTC)
As always, I feel I should mention that informed consent is also required. A fifteen year old cannot knowingly consent to sex.

Also, may I add to the mantra?

Just because it wasn't violent, doesn't mean it wasn't rape. Just because it happened repeatedly doesn't mean it wasn't rape. Just because a kid said yes, doesn't mean it isn't rape.

All the rape hooplah never seems to mention that rape doesn't always involve violence, alcohol OR drugs.

Which is why I basically didn't realise I'd been raped until a year later, and it took me the next five years to really deal with it. Alone.
May. 1st, 2009 06:56 pm (UTC)
I had the same problem; The morning after I wasn't sure. I'd said no, but hadn't screamed or kicked or made a huge scene... and calling the date rape help lines didn't help - they gave me no definitions to appy *sigh* It was months later when I had the courage to tell some friends that I really realized it. And yes, years to recover :-(
May. 1st, 2009 01:25 pm (UTC)
So very much agreed.

and thanks for the trigger warnings - it's always nice to have a heads up.
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( 42 brains — Leave a chunk of brain! )

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