Thursday, 31 July 2008

Well, maybe not ALL heterosex is rape, but... according to this person, apparently most is

xposted from my lj

I'd have a ton to say but I really do need to be doing work, so I'll just quote and briefly remark at the end:
(Can I just say, as a disclaimer - if you've been raped you might find all this slightly annoying.)

You know the sexual freedom and autonomy thing we're always banging on about? Well forget it, because ladies? We are fucked.

Check out this lil charmer from justicewalks - "All Men Are Rapists".
I do not consider the “consent” I gave while under patriarchal delusions to have been legitimate. I believe that the males who took advantage of my training have as much responsibility to ensure that a woman is not submitting out of culturally instilled obligation as they do to ensure that she isn’t drunk or otherwise unable to give meaningful consent. But I understand that males will never behave in a manner that reduces the pool of “willing” women.

See, I don't know how to get into this - sociologically or philosophically. I personally think either route credits this will a little bit more thought than it warrants, but perhaps that's unkind.

So, right, "training", "social ... coercion", conditioning...... Shit, forget about socialisation, we're talking social control here. Seriously - social control is basically artificial socialisation, it's entirely unnatural. "Coercion" - that's force. And here -
By the time I began “consenting” to intercourse, I had been thoroughly brainwashed, by the culture in general and by specific males in particular.
And who is doing this brainwashing? Why, The Patriarchy, of course! Old white dudes in suits deciding your fate. And you, my love, are f.u.c.ked.

Now, like I said, I was tempted to go into this philosophically, and even, dare I say, with a lil theological twist? Uh huh - cos it reminds me a bit of Calvinism (The Patriarchy being God, obv) and soteriology - humans are entirely dependent upon God for salvation. We're predestined, basically. Christ, Calvinism is even more fatalistic than Hard Determinism - at least with hard determinism our choices for our future are dependent on our past and present, but still there is a little room for maneuver. This, though, well - "brainwashing" and all means any thoughts of autonomy can walk right out and not let the door smack it's fallacious fat ass.

Fucked up, yeah? Nah - not half as fucked up as it's about to get. Notice that women are the ones who have been brainwashed? Regardez -
This is what makes men rapists. They will use any pretense as sufficient proof of consent, when the truth is that consent is impossible under patriarchy.
Men weasel their way out of this conditioning. If they didn't, if they were fucked as us lot, well, we'd be raping them too, wouldn't we? But no, there they are knowing full well that they're raping us cos it's not possible to really consent.
As I and others have pointed out before, this is really offensive to people who actually have been raped. People who know the difference between sex they wanted, and sex that someone forced on them or pressured them into.

Views like this erode that difference. That stuff you said yes to? Well, that's JUST LIKE that stuff you said no to. Except maybe a little less distressing. But really, in the end, it's all nonconsensual. Doesn't matter what you thought, or how you felt. This is patriarchy, baby.

I KNOW the difference between things that have happened to me without my consent and things I wanted, or even initiated myself. Saying I'm stuck in the Matrix because I THINK I consented is just totally ridiculous.

To forestall the objection before someone makes it: Yes, I realize that justicewalks is talking about herself here, her consent or lack of it. I realize she could be saying that she personally was deluded and doesn't believe that the "choices" she made were real choices. And that's fine (though a little weird to me -- I tend to think that even when we're in unhealthy periods, we still make choices.) That's her experience.

But the problem is that she's using this experience of hers to say, in the last line of her post, that "All men are rapists."

Which means she's not just saying she wasn't really heterosexual. It means she's claiming that the same dynamic happens with everyone (or almost anyone), because any woman who's with a man is having the same thing happen, except in apparently rare exception cases she mentions at the end (but says nothing about.)

(What about women with women? Is there a meaningful distinction between being raped by a woman and having consensual sex with one?)

And how do you argue with someone who says that, anyway? There's no way you can respond, because they can always ask how you're sure you're not deluded.

Which is funny, because feminists' worst enemies do the same thing. I remember running into an online group of BDSM folks who were male supremacist because they were fundamentalist Christians. When I wandered in, wanting to talk to other BDSMers and feeling too shy to go find another group, I immediately got told I was really seeking my masculine head.

When I said that I was pretty sure I was dominant, thanks, and saw myself in the fantasies the men described and not the women, I got descended on. I seemed unhappy, they said -- and they were right, I was. I was unhappy because I'd always thought being kinky made me broken or weird or bad, so I was fragile, defensive, and aching for community of any kind. Even from people like this who I knew would never fully accept me.

And what did I get told? That that unhappiness, unsureness, fear I'd never find someone to submit to me? That it was all "feminism," and what "feminism" had done to my impressionable mind. If I'd come in as one of them, I would have, apparently, felt secure and happy. The fact that I didn't could only mean that I was right that I was kinky, but wrong about which direction. I'd calm down, feel better, be less angry when I just accepted that I'd been brainwashed by feminism and was afraid to let go and not fight, like an insecure and aggressive dog, for a place in the pack -- and the world -- that would only bring me grief.

And the thing is, I don't see any huge gulf between the fundies saying this and the rads who say "I never consented, ever" (and by extension, if the person is being consistent, "you never did either.") It's all the same thing, with a different agent of brainwashing each time.

Sure, I think sexism does exist and the conception of God these people had doesn't. And sure, that matters. It means it is possible for justicewalks to be right.

But if she is right, why do we care about rape at all? Why do people have such intense emotional trauma from it, if consent doesn't even exist? That doesn't make any sense.

Now if you'll excuse me I'm going to go do some things so I'll be properly ready for my, uh, rape tomorrow night. Weirdly enough, it actually still does sound like fun.


S.L. Bond said...

I think a lot of this crap could be avoided with some "I statements"? I mean, it seems like what she's actually feeling is pretty valid: "I do not consider the 'consent' I gave while under patriarchal delusions to have been legitimate." You know, fair enough: she very well might have been unjustly coerced into sex she superficially consented but really didn't want, specifically by men who were using sexism as a tool for rape. That happens. It becomes bullshit, though, when she's unable to distinguish between her experiences and, you know, every other sexual experience on the planet. It's the fundamental problem with the uniform Class Woman idea: convince someone that there is a universal female experience and she, being female, with logically conclude that all other women's experiences are the same as hers.

S.L. Bond said...

It's the fundamental problem with the uniform Class Woman

I should say, actually, it's one of the big problems with all gender essentialism, which is why you get incredibly similar attitudes from many religious fundamentalists.

Anonymous said...

What about women with women? Is there a meaningful distinction between being raped by a woman and having consensual sex with one?

Yeah. There are a lot of holes in that theory, one of them being that it doesn't leave room for any relationships outside the heterosexual model. Say, if some gay men have heterosexual intercourse because our not only patriarchal, but also heterosexist society pressures them into it, does that mean the women raped them? Or wait, that they brainwashed and raped the women to rape the men? Are men (and lesbians) "unrapeable"?

To be honest, there was a lot in that blog that made me feel uncomfortable - I found posts that were transphobic (a complaint how apparently telling women that implants and make-up don't make them feminine was fine, but telling transwomen the same wasn't), had double-standards in regards to male and female sexuality (male arousal is threatening, but female arousal is okay, besides men want sex all the damn time while women just want to cuddle), and there are sweeping generalizations everywhere.

Last but not least, the thought that women don't have a (sexual) agency of their own is not only depressing, but also offensive to women. Yes, when you feel you were forced or coerced into sex, that's terrible, but it still doesn't give you the right to claim that all women would really feel the same, deep down, if they weren't brainwashed, and how without that brainwashing het sex would hardly ever happen. (WTF?)

Also, that "brainwashing" argument is like saying "prove to me God doesn't influence your actions," and when someone brings up arguments against it, you just exclaim smugly "God made you say that! I win!"

Trinity said...

Yeah, I don't like justicewalks much, usually, either.

I just decided to post it here because, well, I had the sudden epiphany that "the feminists told you you're a domme" is actually very similar to "the patriarchy told you you like getting fucked."

I mean, there are dissimilarities too of course -- "you're dominant" is not something feminists would have "said," even the feminist strain in pop culture, really, and "you like getting fucked" IS something I think the patriarchy DOES say.

But they still seem more alike than different to me at their (snerk) root: The [ENEMY GROUP THAT CONTROLS POPULAR CULTURE] says that you like [THING ENEMY GROUP SUPPOSEDLY WANTS].

Unknown said...

It seems like the thing pushed more often is that you're not going to like getting fucked, but you're going to get fucked anyway and pretend to like it. Women really enjoying sex and wanting sex is certainly pushed by some parts of 'popular culture', but the more classic patriarchal message (in my mind anyway) is that women don't like having sex but need to sexually serve men anyway OR that a man will "teach a woman to like it" or something.

Trinity said...

D: Yes.

Anonymous said...

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D3 Itemsto post that right here simply because, very well, I'd the particular unexpected epiphany of which "the feminists told you you're a domme" is definitely nearly the same as "theRS Gold patriarchy mentioned you prefer getting screwed.Inch