Two words that modern feminists try to control like kings over land are easily "consent" and, along with that, "rape". And to many feminists, it seems, anything less than the following conversation between Alice and Bob makes any sex between them rape and Bob the rapist:
Bob: Do you want to have sex with me?
Sound absurd? If you look at feminist discussions of rape and consent, the tendency exists to boil consent down to an absolute situation. And where consent is not explicitly declared, consent does not exist, and the sex is rape. Sara Alcid said this in an article called "Navigating consent: Debunking the ‘grey area’ myth":
Silence, "ouch," or "maybe…" are interpreted by some as expressions of consent because a defined and clear "no" wasn’t uttered.
A lack of "no" is not a "yes." Assumed or inferred consent is not consent.
An "Okay, I guess" is not a yes. It’s important to not use or base your actions off of vague language when communicating about sex and intimacy.
Let’s put something into perspective here. In how many consensual encounters would you guess a woman has actually explicitly said "Yes"? In how many of the sexual encounters I’ve had with my wife would you guess my wife has actually explicitly said "Yes"? And women, how many times have you had sex without first being asked if you want to have sex or if you’re willing to have sex? How many times have you had consensual sex without actually saying "Yes" to it?
Yet according to many feminists, and the fairly absolutist definition of consent they appear to take, this would mean most sexual encounters are sexual assaults, and most women who have had sex at least once in their lives is a rape victim.
Ladies, how many of you were a little hesitant before your first time? How many of you were hesitant in trying something new? According to the idea of "enthusiastic consent", as explained by "Elfity" of Persephone Magazine, you may not have consented, and may have been raped (emphasis added):
I was giving a presentation to a rather small audience, which I was grateful for as it allowed for discussion. Most of the experiece (sic) was quite positive, and I got a lot of great feedback. And then we hit the enthusiastic consent barrier. Now, in a room full of feminists and feminist-allies, I was not expecting to get any argument on this. I was, to be honest, a little shocked, because I had not planned for debate on this topic. "But it kills the mood!" and "I think that’s unnecessary" comments filled the room. The thing is, I never said it was easy; I said it was necessary and important if we are going to move forward. I know I may get some disagreement on that, but I think it is very true. 93% of victims (and I say victims because I don’t know who survived and who didn’t) are assaulted by someone they know. This means that there is a clear consent issue in this culture, and enthusiastic consent is one way to help fix some of that problem. And yes, I realize that stopping the sexytimes to ask if something is OK isn’t exactly hot to most people. I get that. Make it hot. Make it sexy. you don’t have to stop, walk twenty paces, and ask for permission. Whisper it gently into your partner’s ear, seductively say, "Hey, I think XXX would be sexy. Want to try it?" If your partner is even hesitant, back off.
Sure consent can be an issue, but the fact she brought up the 93% statistic in her discussion is rather interesting, and I feel the only reason to do so is to assert a point that anything less than "enthusiastic consent" is not consent:
The idea of enthusiastic consent is quite simple. In a nutshell, it advocates for enthusiastic agreement to sexual activity, rather than passive agreement… The concept also requires that consent be given to each piece of sexual activity, meaning that a yes to one thing (such as vaginal penetration) does not mean consent to another (like anal penetration)… It’s just common courtesy, really.
Of course it’s common courtesy, so why not just call it "common courtesy" instead of "enthusiastic consent"? Just say, "Hey guys, before you stick your dick in her ass, have the decency to ask her if she’d like to go in that direction." But then, does this require "enthusiastic consent"? No. A woman who is curious may be willing but hesitant, meaning her consent may be genuine and present, but not "enthusiastic".
Can you think of something you’ve tried for which you were initially hesitant but tried it anyway, such as a new kind of "exotic" cuisine? Hesitation in the face of something unknown or unfamiliar is not only common, but natural.
But hesitation is not duress, and persuasion is not coercion. Attempting to persuade her into trying something new, even if in the middle of sex, is not coercing her into doing it, nor does it introduce a state of duress into the situation. Hesitation does not mean "yes", but it also does not mean "no". A person who is hesitant to try something new is not saying "No" to it and the option to persuade them still exists until they say "No" or give some other kind of clearly negative indication.
Now I’ve advocated in other venues for introducing new sexual ideas outside the realm of sexual activity and inebriation. In other words, if you want to give, say, anal sex a try, in the middle of sex is not where the idea should be introduced, and when the idea is discussed, you should not do it while consuming alcohol or drugs. It is possible to do or agree to something while under the influence of drugs or hormones that you otherwise would not do or agree to while sober.
Speaking of sobriety, in August 2013, Dr Phil McGraw asked via Twitter (since deleted): "If a girl is drunk, is it OK to have sex with her?" It’s a pretty simple question, one that actually should be discussed, yet the backlash against even asking the question shows much of what is wrong today. On Huffington Post, Angelina Chapin observed, "People immediately labelled (sic) Phil a rape apologist. It was like watching a minnow dropped into a piranha tank." Later in her article, she said:
Aside from the innocuous snark that characterizes Twitter — "Aren’t you married?" — the criticisms were an ugly distortion of the original message.
Unless you truly believe Dr. Phil, a man who has built his career on espousing family values, decided to crowdsource how far he could go with extramarital kicks, I think we can agree the tweet was strictly business. And unless you’re plain delusional, you know the issue of alcohol and consent needs more discussion.
In response to the backlash, Karen Straughan, known colloquially as "Girl Writes What", said this for Honey Badger Radio, a men’s rights advocacy podcast (from the description of the video):
Especially since in [feminists’] minds, Dr Phil is guilty of the gravest of sins. He is a man, and he dared to talk about something that might possibly have something to do with rape. What he didn’t realize is that Feminists own that word and that issue, and for a non-feminist, let alone a non-female, to speak about, or even have an opinion about, rape is blasphemy.
In a Change.org petition in response to the tweet, the petition’s author, Carmen Rios of Washington, DC, said this: "Lesson 101 in my courses was that sexual contact without verbal, sober, conscious consent is rape." Another assertion that a woman must explicitly say "Yes" for consent to exist, adding to it the unfounded assertion that deteriorated sobriety also eliminates a woman’s legal ability to consent to sex, even if she is the initiator – but, somehow, the same is not applied to men.
If she is not asked or does not verbally and explicitly indicate consent, it’s rape, even if consent can be reasonably determined to have been implied. Again, in how many consensual sexual encounters is consent not verbal?
In 2004 a short film was released called "Consent" (YouTube). In the film the guy and gal negotiate terms of the sex they are about to have, with lawyers assisting in the negotiating to draw up formal terms of the sexual encounter. When I first saw it, I thought it was comically absurd to the highest degree, but when you look at the claims about consent made by feminists and how they seem to keep narrowing the definition, I cannot help but wonder if that is the course being maneuvered.
But let’s take it even further (as if I haven’t gone far enough).
Ladies, how many of you would say "he can’t keep his hands off me"? Well if your husband, boyfriend or fiancé is like that, then he’s actually sexually assaulting you, especially if in not being able to keep his hands off you his hands travel across your chest, your backside, or your crotch, since sexual contact with anything less than "verbal, sober, conscious consent" is sexual assault, apparently.
Which would mean I sexually assault my wife.
Except my wife also likes that I "can’t keep my hands off her". Sure it can be a little inconvenient at times, like when I’m getting playful with her while she’s on the phone with her mother, but then that’s part of the fun, and it’s all in fun and typically does not lead to sex, nor is sex my goal in doing that… most of the time. To borrow my wife’s words, I’m just being a brat at that point.
And I think if I actually verbally asked my wife "can I put my hands on your ass?" or "can I grope your tits?", she’d just give me a blank stare and wonder what I’d been drinking or smoking. And why I wasn’t sharing. The same if I were to explicitly ask for sex as opposed to just taking my brattiness in that direction.
It’s clear that feminists are trying to control the definition of consent, and with it the definition of rape. I feel this has little to do with actually preventing rape and more to do with controlling men, kind of how gun control is more about control than guns. And when you control what defines rape, and by extension what defines a rapist, you get women who talk to and about men as if we are all rapists in waiting.
And then as the definition of consent is still narrowed further, eventually you reach the point where feminists are saying, or heavily implying that most, if not virtually all men who have had sex are rapists and most, if not virtually every woman who has had sex is a rape victim.
And, so, here we are, or at least that seems to be where we are going.