Rape culture and feminist idiocy
I recently encountered a bizarre example of feminist idiocy: http://disruptingdinnerparties.com/2013/09/26/modeling-consent/e.
The author (Rebecca Flin) takes the grossly misleading and abominable term “rape culture”, an evil rhetorical trick used to associate poorly defined, but often harmless, behaviours with rape and/or to suggestion the prevalence of a certain set of rare behaviours—and praises it as something positive.
In my impression, “rape culture” originated as a semi-legitimate term pertaining to actual aspects of rape, claiming a high prevalence of rape, extensive victim blaiming, and similar. While these claims can be disputed and while the term is unnecessarily rhetorical, the term was not absurd in the context.
Later, however, “rape culture” has degenerated to a slogan, used to condemn many aspects of society relating to men, women, and their roles and behaviours in a blanket manner without any further motivation. These aspects can include anything from dating (without anything even resembling rape) to office life or political decisions. In this, it plays a similar role as the fictitious “Patriarchy” and is as hateful and sexist as “mansplaining”—while normally being as unwarranted as both.
How misleading the term is is clear from Flin’s own claim “Rape culture is our culture.”, with actual rapes being a rare occurrence and most men faulting through being too much the gentlemen or nice guys where woman are concerned. (Where I refer to treatment of women in the workplace, in the family, etc.—not the romantic situations below. There, however, a similar phenomenon is applicable and touched upon.) The claim “Gentleman culture is our culture.” would come far closer to the truth among adults.
Flin claims the main purpose of describing an alternative “consent culture” and goes on to at length describe a romantic encounter. A telling part is
Our faces were close together, breath in sync and heavy– it was that perfect moment, the one they capture in all the movies. I knew it was coming. That classic, dreamy, first kiss. And then something truly miraculous happened.
“Rebecca, I’d like to kiss you” “oh my!”
I was taken off-guard. No one had ever verbally asked me to kiss them before unless I was physically keeping my face away from theirs so that they couldn’t. “Oh wow” I thought… “He is actually asking for consent!”
Firstly, by implication from the text, if he had kissed her without asking for permission, this would have been an instance of “rape culture”—not verbally asking for consent. Not only is this absurd in it self, but it has been established that consent even for sex is non-verbal on a roughly 50–50 basise. In the above scenario, for just a kiss, the likelihood of consent from non-verbal queues is very high indeed—and this is one of the situations were many women start yearning for their partner to get it together and kiss her already. The proportion yearning for him to explicitly ask her for a kiss is far smaller. (Indeed, Flin is the first case I have ever heard off.) If there is anything wrong with the above picture, it is the tacit assumption that it is the man who should take the initiative for the actual kiss.
Quite contrary to the above scene, there are women (I will not guess at the proportion, but it is certainly non-trivial) who see a man who has the guts to kiss her without discussion as something positive and can even see the question as a sign of lacking self-confidence or ability to read her, leading to a turn-off. (Assuming an appropriate situation, which was the case above. Grabbing a random girl in the subway could lead to a disaster—as could kissing a dance partner who has not given any signs of being willing.)
And, yes, consent was indeed what was given—and just barely qualifying as verbal at that:
But damn, I did want to kiss him, so I replied with a small, breathless “ok” and leaned in.
The author proceeds to (unintentionally) display how her own obsession with “rape culture” is detrimental to both her and her counter-part:
Still, I shook myself out of it because I didn’t want to mislead him into thinking we would have sex (especially in such an open sexual environment such as this hippy-place). This is how much I have internalized rape culture. I expect men to challenge me when I lay down a sexual boundary. I am good at asserting my boundaries, and trust that they will eventually be respected, yet I often choose to avoid progressing a sexual situation altogether rather than to “put myself in a situation” where I have to fight to lay down a line.
With this in mind, I tore myself away after a bit of some seriously hot making-out and stumbled out of the dream-dance-kiss back into reality.
In addition, I must seriously question her judgment if she has ever managed to put her self in situation where she has “to fight to lay down a line” to prevent sex after knowing in advance that she was not interested in sex: Short of making a joint trip to the bathroom or going back to “his” or “hers”, such situations are extremely rare—and are quite likely to coincide with a real rape scenario where her lack of consent will not alter events. With a high likelihood, an imagined problem alters her behaviour to her own detriment.
In addition, contrary to the belief of many feminists, men will not always be interested in escalating a make-out situation into sex—particularly not on a first date when they have long-term intentions.
As they meet again the next day:
“But I still somehow felt like I maybe wasn’t reading you right. Sometimes you seemed into it, but other times you didn’t…”
Oh my god he was checking in. Rape culture tells me that men always want to just “get the sex”, so naturally, I was shocked that he chose to risk “getting the sex” by verbally checking in.
His hesitation then may have been related to non-verbal queues. Certainly, his statements show how important these are for judging consent.
Flin displays her own prejudices about men and male behaviour.
Shortly after, the one instance of insight Flin displays through-out the text:
Woah! Rape culture misled me in this instance.
Unfortunately, this insight makes no further mark on her post.
A gentleman meets an idiot…
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