Thursday, February 24, 2011

Yes Means Yes

Trigger warning of the most obnoxious kind.
In the world of 'rape culture' the most often cited line is "No means no", which reminds people that if someone does not consent, when you force yourself on them, you are committing a crime.
This past week, however, a judge has ruled that a victim's clothes and flirtatious manner invited the rape by implying sex was a possibility. The offender has been handed a two year conditional sentence that means he will not go to jail for this crime. He has also been ordered to write a letter of apology to the victim, but there is no mention if he feels genuine remorse, or even considers what he did to be a crime.

So a 'heads up' to all my ladies, apparently wearing a tube top with no bra, high heels, and "lots of make-up" are an open invitation to any man you smile at. Further to that point, the judge addressed that the victim and her friend talked about going swimming in a nearby lake even though they HAD NO SUITS! Obviously this woman wanted sex. Clearly. She was just playing hard to get.

The lack of details in this case are frustratingly vague; there is no mention if she struggled, attacked him at all, or even said no. Apparently they were in the forest when he forced himself on her. That is all the detail we are allowed, but the details of the incident are pretty critical. I will admit, there is the possibility that the woman did consent, but then later felt regret, and so attempted to save herself embarrassment (it has happened) at the expense of the man but we may never know.

What I am advocating, and is steadily  becoming a movement in certain circles, is the "Yes means Yes" phenomenon. It means that for the first couple times of sexual relations, each partner should only take a clear and precise (and sober) YES to mean "Go ahead and do me!". Obviously once a steady relationship has been formed one is clear to take riskier liberties, but the only way to avoid these kinds of disgusting situations is to make one hundred percent sure that your partner is enthusiastic. Simple lack of consent is just not acceptable. It has always bothered me that one partner's desire (often the woman, but not always)  is typically considered "good enough" if they are not unwilling. We need to redefine sex as between two enthusiastic people.


Andy said...

Can we have both? Must say yes to proceed, but at any point someone can say "no, stop". To proceed after someone says no is force.

And I call bullshit to anyone who says "I can't stop once I start". If it hurts and I say "no, get off me", you will get the hell off right bloody now.

imnotabot said...

nice blog! following!

Miss Ernst said...

Totally agree, Andy-pants!

Thank you, imnotabot!