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Whoooooooooa doggies.

One of them actually said it:
This was rape because it was not sex. Sex is beautiful, messy, lusty, loud, funny, mutual, consensual, interactive, intimate, unselfish, caring and conscientious. Sex is not some guy acting his sexual fantasy upon a prone, female body.

I was uncomfortable with this paragraph even as I wrote it. Simply because it isn’t true. Or rather it is true but it isn’t. After reading Intercourse I have a fuller understanding of how to say what it is that I was trying to say. Although Andrea says it much better than I do.

Under patriarchy, rape and sex are not discrete either as concepts or as acts. Simply put, male dominance means that sex is some guy acting his sexual fantasy upon the prone body of a woman. That is exactly what fucking is. That is exactly what sex is. What I was trying to describe as sex is not sex simply because sex is male dominance is intercourse is rapist.

Whereas radical feminist lesbian physical/emotional/erotic/loving intimacy is radically Other than sex/rape/intercourse. What I found in the arms of a woman that I loved has nothing to do with what the patriarchy holds up as its model for sexuality. It cannot really call it sex because it isn’t. Physical intimacy of a radically feminist nature cannot be divorced from love, trust, emotional intimacy, care, touch, sensuality, beauty, honesty, mutuality and interaction. Objectification can have no place in, and is completely alien to, Women-Loving, Women-Touching women.

The idea of consent even, has no place in the concept of physical intimacy as a loving, emotional interaction. Yesterday, I was tickling the child that I am nannying. She was giggling and laughing her head off. Then she stopped laughing and turned away. I stopped tickling her. While I am tickling her and she enjoys the interaction, I too experience pleasure. She is giving me clear signals of her enjoyment and I laugh with her. When she turns away and no longer wants the interaction it is pointless to continue to tickle her, I get no pleasure from doing so.
Apparently some folks aren't so much for the "Andrea never said THAT, THAT would be nonsense" bit as others... :)

And "consent has no place" gives me the jibblies. I'm all for people realizing that sex should be about far more than simple consent, "okay you can do that if you really wanna I guess whatever" etc.

But "have no place?"

That removes a pretty seriously important Bare Minimum Required marker, to my mind.

"Oh, she didn't give consent, but I'm a Woman-Loving Woman-Touching Woman-Identified Woman being with! What does 'Yes' or 'No' matter? I stop when I see that continuing is 'pointless'!"

Comments

( 14 comments — Leave a comment )
cheshire_bitten
Aug. 1st, 2007 12:33 am (UTC)
Yep, is there a gray area, particularly where emotional abuse/ manipulation occurs? Sure, I don't think rape only occurs under physical force.... read some child rape cases for the kind of attack I'm talking about, but my rough sex which I love with my partner who loves it too, rape, that is an insult to every single person who has been raped in there lives, to tell them what I enjoy is the same as what the survived, that is horrifying.
belledame222
Aug. 1st, 2007 12:35 am (UTC)
:eyestab:

That said, the bit about not tickling a kid when she's clearly done with it is a good point. Boundaries are about more than sex. doesn't jibe real well with the whole "consent doesn't matter" bit, though...
belledame222
Aug. 1st, 2007 12:38 am (UTC)
...oh, i think i see what she means: that in that instance she was paying attention to nonverbal signals, and stopped without waiting for the kid to verbalize "cut it out."

Which, yes, that is a good thing; but that's not what i think of by "consent has no place."

also, when it comes to sex, we're generally talking about adults, and i do think that while it's good to be attuned to each others' body language, it's not unreasonable to expect an adult to say, in so many words, "please stop." I mean, yes, when in doubt, absolutely, better to stop or at least ask, but...
fierceawakening
Aug. 1st, 2007 02:33 am (UTC)
Yeah, I get that that's what she MEANT, but what she SAID is downright creepy.

A way to word what she's trying to say would be something like "Consent is a very thin standard for mutuality, and cueing should matter a lot more."

But if you want to consider consent irrelevant you need to be DAMN clear what you're replacing it with, why, and how.

Muzzy-headed "this should be better" -- well, okay, but not with such strong assertions attached, IMO.
fierceawakening
Aug. 1st, 2007 02:43 am (UTC)
I mean hell, I wrote a paper critiquing "consent"

but well, my profs rightly pointed out to me right! away! that saying that real mutual pleasure ought to be the aim of sex, not legalistic "I agree to allow you to X even if I hate it" (which "I consent" could mean)

doesn't mean that "yes" or "no" isn't a bare minimum standard for acceptability.

so ultimately I said:

* Line 1: Consent. Thou shalt not do the nonconsensual PERIOD end of story kaboom shabing.

* Line 2: Serious mutuality of experience. Ideally happens all the time, every time.

But you still need line 1 no matter WHAT because, well, some woo-woo, "Oh, I knew to stop because we weren't moving together as one!"

well... no, that's not so much how humans work. and I'd love to say in feminist utopia we'd all GET IT to that degree

but am I holding my breath? shit no.

and also: making mutuality the only thing that matters at all, depending on how it's interpreted, could mean all bad sex is rape. which well no.

what does it mean when we can't allow people to decide for themselves: yeah, that was BAD, so and so misread me, but I consented and I made my own decision to do so?
(Deleted comment)
(Deleted comment)
ruth_lawrence
Aug. 1st, 2007 07:59 am (UTC)
I give them no credence.

Seriously.

They feed what they 'intend' to oppose, in my view.

Of course, I'm done with them, having been exposed to their stuff about twenty years ago.
fierceawakening
Aug. 1st, 2007 02:44 am (UTC)
I hate to sound like a liberal feminist or something but I thought rape was rape because the victim did not consent.

They had that bit right. SOunding like them is no crime there :)
(Deleted comment)
fierceawakening
Aug. 1st, 2007 03:00 am (UTC)
YES.

And there's this:

"After reading Intercourse I just cannot see how any woman could disagree with Andrea’s contention. Everything she says is so lucid and honest. It’s like she has the only mirror in the world that is able to reflect the world perfectly and then she has found a way to verbalise that truth even in a language that is not women’s native language. We still speak in our father’s tongue."

Y'know, I am not especially into getting penetrated. But I didn't experience this radiant truthiness when I read that book.

In fact, I utterly hated it. The chapters had almost nothing to do with one another. It was like a meandering personal ramble sprinkled with lots of "all" and "every"s to cover for its personal-ness.

I won't say it's totally totally horrid, as I actually agree with some of the points she makes about the social construction of PIV fucking and what it by default "means".

But she did a much sloppier job of proving her points than I expected, and I wasn't expecting much at all.
fierceawakening
Aug. 1st, 2007 03:01 am (UTC)
I cite a small part of it in my dissertation but after quoting... well

WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGH GET IT OFF ME WAAAAAGH
belledame222
Aug. 2nd, 2007 02:45 am (UTC)
>It’s like she has the only mirror in the world that is able to reflect the world perfectly>

I just wanted to see that again.
libbydabomb
Aug. 1st, 2007 01:11 am (UTC)
Rough sex may (visually) resemble rape, but it is NOT rape.

but A could be easily taken to be B if they resemble each other.

However rape is a crime of hate and mysogyny towards the victim (women) however I remind myself that men can be raped as well...

It's confusing. A High Priestess friend of mine that practices sacred sexuality talks about when a child is sexually molested by a loved one, the physically touching can still feel good. Then the child is tramatized years later because they connect the same touching with other consenting adults as the same as the molestation...

it's confusing..
kerrickadrian
Aug. 1st, 2007 05:55 am (UTC)
OMG. Memories of my creepy uncle who would always tickle me and tell me that obviously I liked it, since I was laughing. IT'S A FUCKING REFLEX. IF I'M LAUGHING AND SCREAMING STOP AND TRYING TO KICK YOU IN THE FACE, I'M NOT HAVING FUN. *pantpantpant* sorry.
fierceawakening
Aug. 1st, 2007 02:08 pm (UTC)
Right on Kereth. My brother did the same to me as a kid: "you're laughing so you like it."

In fact I remember some workshops on tickling in BDSM wherein the instructor said that part of what some tops find fun is that even if the scene is edgy play for the ticklee, ze's laughing from reflexes, which sounds like enthusiastic consent.

So the idea that someone who wants to replace consent with a new model chooses *tickling* as an example of reading people well... unnerves me considerably.
britgirlsf
Aug. 1st, 2007 10:39 pm (UTC)
I suspect that this was a case of a person getting so carried away with her argument that she didn't stop to think what she was actually SAYING. Or at least I hope so, because the idea of a bunch of feminists who think consent is irrelevant scares the crap out of me. Most of us here have slept with women, yes? We are aware that the fact that they don't have a penis doesn't mean that they can't potentially hurt us, yes?

Also, add me to the chorus of people who hate being tickled and don't care for the comparison here. Everyone laughs when they're being tickled, it doesn't mean they're enjoying it. Like someone said, it's a reflex, the same way people sometimes laugh when they're startled.

The rest of the article is just the standard "I read Dworkin and missed the point completely" stuff.
( 14 comments — Leave a comment )

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