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Consent

And here we see yet again an interesting trait of a particular brand of "radical feminism": the insistence that sexual consent is something nefarious and sinister.

roykay , you've told me a few times that my posts on this have been hard to follow, so I'd appreciate it if you or anyone else would let me know if these quotes are unclear.

Context: Yet another discussion of BDSM, in which a couple "radical feminists" reveal that their issue is not even that BDSM is consensual, but that they have problems with the concept of consent, full stop:

I fucking hate the concept of consent. The human mind is a pretty fragile thing, and you can get people to “consent” to most anything. It’s fucking meaningless.

That Glenn Marcus is a sick motherfucker. BDSM is abuse, pure and simple. If a person gets off on giving or getting abused, that person has something wrong with them mentally. Seriously. They need therapy.

It used to be a couple decades ago, people were willing to see themselves as fucked up. Everyone was in therapy. Now everyone thinks they are just fine and dandy as they are. “I eat shit. I’m awesome! I dress up in a teddy bear costume. I’m special! I like watching women in high heels step on mice and kill them. I’m a living miracle!”

Fuck the lot of them.

on January 31, 2009 at 11:54 pm  delphyne

I feel the same way about consent bonobobabe. Consent to me seems like a concept invented by rapists - getting people to agree to be abused or raped and then blamed for what the rapist/abuser did to them.

Either you want something or you don’t. Consent is just another way of saying someone acquiesed to somebody else’s ideas and desires. 

There's also a few gems in the comment thread about how BDSM must be wrong because it's considered "actual bodily harm" in the UK. Because of course, whatever the people who make the laws decided enshrines morality perfectly and exactly.

Except that it, uh, didn't when marital rape was legal. But here it, um, does, because they call it "actual bodily harm," see, and that sounds all proper.

Comments

( 46 comments — Leave a comment )
sushis
Feb. 10th, 2009 08:41 pm (UTC)
!!!
"Consent to me seems like a concept invented by rapists."

There is not enough WTF in the universe for that

fierceawakening
Feb. 10th, 2009 08:45 pm (UTC)
Re: !!!
There is not enough WTF in the universe for that

I know.
Re: !!! - fierceawakening - Feb. 10th, 2009 08:47 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: !!! - belledame222 - Feb. 11th, 2009 08:25 am (UTC) - Expand
doomweasel
Feb. 10th, 2009 08:45 pm (UTC)
Yes, because rapists are totally concerned about consent.
fierceawakening
Feb. 10th, 2009 10:25 pm (UTC)
That is one of the coolest Joker icons I've yet seen.

Just sayin'.

You make it?
(no subject) - doomweasel - Feb. 11th, 2009 06:34 am (UTC) - Expand
ramik
Feb. 10th, 2009 08:50 pm (UTC)
So, okay, let's go with them for a second. Fine. Consent sucks. Fuck consent.

So . . . what's next?

What do you replace consent with? How do you tell if an action is 'okay' or not? How do you tell if someone 'really actually' wants to do something?

Some sort of high council, perhaps? A committee you're supposed to vet your sex life with beforehand? An organization whose job it is to explain which sex acts are unacceptable, even if someone consents to it, or perhaps which sex acts are perfectly acceptable, even if nobody consents to it?

I mean, that's what happens when consent goes out the window, right? It's not just that they get to call consensual stuff bad, it's also that, "HEY! CONSENT DOESN'T MATTER," so nonconsensual stuff is perfectly fine!

Fucking morons. They're not worth the pixels.
fierceawakening
Feb. 10th, 2009 08:54 pm (UTC)
So . . . what's next?

Fuck if I know. Probably pairing people by the power of the state.

Are you ever on AIM or YIM anymore, btw?
(no subject) - ramik - Feb. 11th, 2009 03:59 am (UTC) - Expand
miz_evolution
Feb. 10th, 2009 08:54 pm (UTC)
I want to know if any of these people smoke, smoke weed, do any other drugs, or drink. How about serve booze to their friends? Have tattoos?

If so, they need to STFU, because WOO, they are HURTING THEMSELVES AND OTHER PEOPLE.

People who have this little regard for consent, AT ALL, as concept? I do not want them on the same planet as me. At all. THEY are the fucking scary ones.

fierceawakening
Feb. 10th, 2009 08:55 pm (UTC)
People who have this little regard for consent, AT ALL, as concept? I do not want them on the same planet as me. At all.

Word.

Can we round them up and send them to the moon? Since consent is meaningless and it doesn't matter whether they protest, and all...
(no subject) - miz_evolution - Feb. 10th, 2009 09:05 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - fierceawakening - Feb. 10th, 2009 09:08 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - belledame222 - Feb. 11th, 2009 06:37 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - belledame222 - Feb. 11th, 2009 06:37 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - belledame222 - Feb. 11th, 2009 05:34 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - impgrrl - Feb. 11th, 2009 08:00 pm (UTC) - Expand
morgan_dhu
Feb. 10th, 2009 10:19 pm (UTC)
People who say that sort of thing just plain make me angry.

At some point, people have to just accept that other people (and themselves) are responsible for themselves and their decisions - without that, the concept of consent does evaporate, but unfortunately, so does everything else that a civil society is supposed to be based on.

What I decide to do now may be influenced by my past, by the misogyny of the culture I grew up in, by any number of things - but as an adult, I still have to make those decisions, and take responsibility for them. The Devil did not *make* me do it (does anyone else remember Flip wilson?), even though I may have taken her advice.

It seems to me that over the past three or four decades, there has been a growing tendency to blur the line between understand what may influence people's actions, preferences and decisions, and turning those influences onto causal factors that override a person's agency.

It is possible that aspects of my personal experience, plus elements in the misogynist culture I grew up in, influenced my psychosexual development as a bottom - but it's still me who chooses to be a bottom in my relationships.

This to me looks like medicalising personal agency out of existence. Yes, some people (probably fewer than society assumes, given the tendency to deny personal agency to people who are different) are, to varying degrees, not fully capable of giving consent - to sex, to medical procedures, to an invitation to a hockey game, to all sorts of things, due to age, developmental differences, mental illness or injury to the brain, and so on. But to say that an adult who is perfectly capable of giving consent in other areas is incapable of giving consent to whatever kind of sex she wants to have is ludicrous.

If consent doesn't really exist, then how can any formal or informal contract between people function?

If my consent to sex is meaningless, so is my consent to enter into an employment agreement, or a purchase agreement, or a commitment to a friend or a volunteer organisation or anyone at all. Because a mind is a fragile thing and anyone could have made me think I really consented to any of these things.

Arrgghh.



fierceawakening
Feb. 10th, 2009 10:24 pm (UTC)
If my consent to sex is meaningless, so is my consent to enter into an employment agreement, or a purchase agreement, or a commitment to a friend or a volunteer organisation or anyone at all. Because a mind is a fragile thing and anyone could have made me think I really consented to any of these things.

Exactly.

And what bothers me the most is these people usually ground their rejections of the notion of consent in being anti-rape. How can you be anti-rape and think consent is a silly notion?
(no subject) - belledame222 - Feb. 11th, 2009 06:38 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - miz_evolution - Feb. 11th, 2009 01:16 am (UTC) - Expand
roykay
Feb. 10th, 2009 10:45 pm (UTC)
No ambiguities here.

;-)

>I fucking hate the concept of consent. The human mind is a pretty fragile thing, and you can get people to “consent” to most anything. It’s fucking meaningless.

So much for "consent of the governed" in politics. Fuck the proeletariat! We're the dictatorship and WE know what's good for 'em

fierceawakening
Feb. 10th, 2009 10:52 pm (UTC)
So much for "consent of the governed" in politics. Fuck the proeletariat! We're the dictatorship and WE know what's good for 'em

Exactly.

And even in sex, the issue they claim to be actually on about... the inevitable consequence of ridding ourselves of the concept of consent is

"Oh, but you'll learn to enjoy this. Just relax."
frankiejlh
Feb. 10th, 2009 10:59 pm (UTC)
Thanks, Delphyne.
Egad.

Also,
Either you want something or you don’t. Consent is just another way of saying someone acquiesed to somebody else’s ideas and desires

Oh! well then, you're right, delphyne. I actually *want* to participate in BDSM, so in your world I guess I should be able to even without the concept of consent.
...so anti-bdsm radfem philosophy now recognizes desire as a valid concept instead? Apparently. Since 1/31/09, anyway.
snowdropexplodes.myopenid.com
Feb. 11th, 2009 02:10 am (UTC)
Re: Thanks, Delphyne.
That's what I was thinking.

When I'm being all masochist-y or subby, I'm not "consenting" in their use of that term - I don't just "want" it, I WANT it. And from the evident enjoyment that my subby partners have shown (and from what they've told me afterwards), when I'm being all sadist-y to them, they're having the same "I WANT this" reaction.

Enthusiastic consent like that is what we're about. And when it's not enthusiastic consent at the time, it's not through coercion, but through apprehension: the same fear you might have just before launching off your first bungee jump, or first parachute jump.

But maybe the consent of the bungee jumper doesn't count either?
Re: Thanks, Delphyne. - frankiejlh - Feb. 11th, 2009 04:38 am (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
fierceawakening
Feb. 11th, 2009 12:08 am (UTC)
I don't think confusing the two does anyone any favors.
(no subject) - fall_of_sophia - Feb. 11th, 2009 10:51 am (UTC) - Expand
jkatkina
Feb. 11th, 2009 01:22 am (UTC)
"If a person gets off on giving or getting abused, that person has something wrong with them mentally. Seriously. They need therapy."

AGAIN. AGAIN THEY SOUND LIKE THE RIGHT-WING ANTI-GAY FOLKS. Just substitute "giving or getting abused" with "gay sex" and there you have it. :/
anthonyjk_6319
Feb. 11th, 2009 02:02 am (UTC)
Oh, nice job, Delphyne.
Consent -- just something invented by rapists, right???

Except for the fact that most rapists probably don't give a Hoover's Goddess Damn about asking a woman if she wants to be sexually assaulted...they just go out and do the damn thing anyway.

Oh...and does dear Del and Bonobobabe understand that if you remove the concept of consent, then by rule there is NO SUCH THING AS RAPE, because the "rapist" can say that lack of consent doesn't even matter, therefore, the victim got what she deserved by dressing accordingly to trigger his base desires.

Then again, Del's never been known to be a frackin' rocket scientist.


Anthony
(Deleted comment)
fierceawakening
Feb. 11th, 2009 05:35 am (UTC)
Irritated Pinhead agrees with Annoyed Trent.
(no subject) - impgrrl - Feb. 11th, 2009 08:04 pm (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
fierceawakening
Feb. 11th, 2009 03:33 am (UTC)
You should know me well enough to know I don't disagree with you.

Especially about this:

That said, I don't even see why consent is the relevant issue here. It strikes me as as much a red herring as arguments that homosexuality is the result of events in childhood. I mean - who cares if being gay *is* something created by childhood influences: there's still nothing harmful about it, so why interfere? On the flip side, I might consent in as full-blooded a fashion as you like to drinking myself into liver failure, but we still might think someone ought to stop me because it's harmful. The weakness in the argument, it seems to me, is that there's no compelling evidence I've seen that BDSM is harmful to most participants (except in the question-begging sense that some folks consider it a bad thing in and of itself).

What I am saying is ridiculous -- and hey, if you want to debate, fine, but my position will be that it's fucking ridiculous -- is the idea that the concept of consent is constructed by "rapists" and must be jettisoned full stop.

If that's not what they mean... well, okay, I suppose, but they really should learn to speak in a less sloppy way, as every few months I see "consent is a worthless concept" again.

Yeah, it's obviously wrong and therefore uninteresting if we're writing treatises. But I'm not. I'm saying, "hey, look, not only is this obviously wrong, but it's a durable enough idea that people keep returning to it."
(no subject) - ramik - Feb. 11th, 2009 04:05 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - belledame222 - Feb. 11th, 2009 05:38 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - belledame222 - Feb. 11th, 2009 05:40 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - ext_122364 - Feb. 11th, 2009 01:02 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - belledame222 - Feb. 11th, 2009 05:35 am (UTC) - Expand
fierceawakening
Feb. 11th, 2009 05:42 am (UTC)
a fail so epic, it just might be a win.

and yeah, these people's nonsense?

DO NOT WANT
(no subject) - belledame222 - Feb. 11th, 2009 06:40 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - fierceawakening - Feb. 11th, 2009 03:21 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - fierceawakening - Feb. 11th, 2009 03:26 pm (UTC) - Expand
ext_166106
Feb. 11th, 2009 06:51 am (UTC)
Concent
Well, trust me, I tried to explain how consent works with those with functioning minds, but I unfortunately failed in that... My apologies.


Voice
alexandraerin
Mar. 14th, 2009 10:13 pm (UTC)
Either you want something or you don’t.


I actually agree with this sentiment. I mean, people are complicated and it's possible to want something for one reason while not wanting it for another, but when you get down to it only you can decide what's important, what you really want and what you don't want.

Now, if only there were some way for one partner to tell--or inform, so to speak--the other, of their status with regards to the wanting or not wanting of something. Some neat little package that could encapsulate and embody the concept of "yes, I want this" so there was no ambiguity for either side...

We should invent a concept like that. We can call it... boncent. Or maybe doncent. Something-oncent.
( 46 comments — Leave a comment )

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