Daily Femmostroppo Reader – March 21, 2009

Items of feminist, political and scientific interest found recently in my RSS feed

Categories: linkfest

Tags: ,

13 replies

  1. The original post for that first link is gone, its just the comments. What was it all about?

  2. Cara has since put up an explanation of why she removed the original post (at the same URL). Jezebel has treated the woman who posted the original story very badly, IMO. Cara didn’t want to be a part of causing her any more distress.
    A quick summary of the issue: the post was about a man “surprising” his girlfriend with anal sex even though they had previously discussed it and she had clearly said she had no interest. He set it up sneakily via a sexy massage to get her into position, and didn’t use lube (apparently out of ignorance rather than malice, but his penetration caused damage and bleeding). He is now weepily remorseful about causing her to bleed, but doesn’t seem to understand much else about why what he did was wrong.
    Why this is an example of the Rape Culture we swim in is that he felt entitled to put his selfish wants above her clearly stated negative, and that he also felt so entitled to that form of gratification that he didn’t bother to research safe/sane procedures to take care of his partner’s wellbeing during the act.
    There are some threads full of rather nasty rape apologism regarding this incident at both Jezebel and MetaFilter, claiming that it can’t be rape if they were in the middle of consensual sex play, or that the only thing he did wrong was not to use lube, or that she’d be a bitch to dump him for this little misunderstanding when he’s so vewy sowwy now. That’s the rest of the Rape Culture exemplified by this situation.
    Her clearly stated No, let alone the fact that she wasn’t given the opportunity to say Yes and certainly did not say Yes, is all supposed to be swept away by “he didn’t mean any harm”.

  3. Jezebel shows its arrogance and cluelessness yet again. Oy.

  4. Thank you muchly, as always, for the link!

  5. I’m struggling to imagine ways this isn’t rape. I mean, it’s almost textbook. But then, I’ve had that reaction to a lot of stories commenters have tried to apologise for…

  6. Amazing Kim, like the OP, I keep thinking what happened to me wasn’t really attempted rape, because rape is something horrible that happens in dark alleys and I wasn’t hurt that badly, and what difference does it make, and rape is such an awful word anyway and…and…and…
    Only recently did I start to consider what happened to me as a man setting me up for rape. After we’d discussed my wanting to wait on having sex; after he had described how, if he wanted to rape someone and not get caught, he’d get a woman really drunk (but that would be wrong, he was quick to assure me); we went out drinking till I was too drunk to stand, and he tried to rape me when I couldn’t fight back. (And I’ve just edited that sentence twice to make it say what actually happened because I wasn’t hurt, and he didn’t mean anything by it, and I’m just casting suspicion on him and… and… and….)
    I tried to write about this a while ago but the guy in question is reading my blog now, as is one of our mutual friends, and I don’t feel trying to defend myself again “But he didn’t mean anything by it” and “he was sorry afterwards!” (Yeah – sorry I started screaming and crying. Because after I stopped crying, he dumped me for not having sex with him.)
    It’s been over 10 years. But I still can’t call it what it was.

  7. @ Anna:
    That same story is heard over and over again. Ordinary blokes that everybody knows DO premeditate making women helpless so that they can have sex that the woman would not consent to if fully capacitated. It happens all the time. And it’s rape, every time. Even if she isn’t “hurt” and “can’t even remember it”.

  8. Reminds me of a (long) post of mine from 2005, not long after I’d started blogging at the original Hoyden site.
    Nice Guys aren’t called Roota
    (The Nice Guys in this story are genuinely nice guys, not NiceGuysTM

  9. And that’s the really horrible thing about it – it’s just so common. And the women I’ve talked to about this over the past few days who have similar stories all talk a feeling of not wanting to take away from “real” rape victims.
    I wrote once a long time ago about how we’re seriously dis-served, as a culture, by having rape on television always be presented as Dark Alley, At Night, Creeping Stranger, blah, because it does create an image of what rape – and reactions to rape – are supposed to look like. Since the only narrative I see on t.v. is “horrible trama”, the fact that I haven’t felt like the walking wounded for most of my adult life leaves me thinking it wasn’t “real” attempted rape, or I’d be more traumatized.
    Ah, I am speaking to the choir. But I do ❤ this choir some days.

  10. That same story is heard over and over again. Ordinary blokes that everybody knows DO premeditate making women helpless so that they can have sex that the woman would not consent to if fully capacitated.

    And that’s pretty much my story too. Except I’d just had a bad breakup and this guy was my friend. Well, apparently. I’m extra-extremely lucky that it only took a few weeks for me to articulate the r-word. And I’m relatively unaffected, though I can’t go out drinking any more. That’s annoying. Big hugs everyone!
    It would be nice if there was a site where women could post their experiences anonymously, without comments, though I’m not sure what it would achieve. Would be nice, though, to have it out there.

  11. I’ve had an experience like that too, Anna, without the alcohol, but with other pressures. I don’t want to call it ‘rape,’ in part because it was minor, and not traumatic, and I wasn’t physically hurt at all, and I doubt that it was premeditated, but it was very much part of the particular man’s modus operandi, and I very much do not want to undermine other women’s experiences. But it was very much in the category of ‘sex where consent was obtained under duress.’
    To be clear, long time ago, and NOT with the man who is now my husband.

  12. Much hugs to Anna and all if you want them.
    Deborah, I know what you mean by But it was very much in the category of ’sex where consent was obtained under duress.’ It’s an odd, nebulous category and I can never make up my mind about how I feel about it. (Not Mr Bene, btw.)

  13. The maddening thing is that category WOULDN’T EXIST if rape culture weren’t informing how men approach sexual relations with women.

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