I made a post on facebook about consent that unexpectedly went viral. I wrote it late at night after watching several episodes of Law & Order SVU. Earlier that day I had been chatting to a client who is a victim of rape. She shared some frustrations she had with our society’s response to rape, allegations of rape and rape victims. If I knew the post would be shared all over Australia I would’ve taken more time to write it more clearly or just not posted it all.
This post is meant to clear a few things up.
Why Am I Posting About Consent
Firstly, the aim of talking about this is to DECREASE abusive instances from ever occurring. I believe that if we can have an honest mature discussion about this then we can stop it, or at least decrease it, from happening. That’s my intention.
I’m not writing this FOR men or FOR women… or FOR rape victims or perpetrators. It’s just written for normal people who honestly want to work through this.
There are always going to be psychos out there. The biggest problem is: you can’t change psychos. The rest of us need to learn how to manage their behaviour and our responses to their behaviour.
If You’ve Been Abused
Secondly, if you’ve experienced any abuse I’d encourage you to get counselling and work through it. Find a great trauma counsellor and work through it. There are some great resources out there like on this site. Also, if you have been abused, go to the police and talk to them about it. Get a support person to go with you. A conversation can’t hurt (much, some police are not easy to talk to. If it’s not a crime, they might talk to you like you’re an idiot which is really demeaning especially after you’ve been through something abusive).
If a crime has been committed they will tell you (at least they should) then ask you, “do you want to make a formal complaint?”. This initiates the legal process of addressing it. At that point, you can decide if you want to proceed with prosecuting. It’s really difficult but definitely worthwhile.
Prosecuting rapists keeps rapists afraid of raping and decreases rape. But, it’s really really tough and psychologically draining and even the legal process can be traumatic in itself. So, I totally understand when people choose not to prosecute.
If a crime has been committed then prosecuting them holds them accountable. There is a large statistical chance that the perpetrator will NOT be convicted of the crime and will likely not receive the consequence you’d expect. Do it anyway. The process of holding people who have committed these acts accountable is what’s important.
Also, if you’ve been abused, and you feel like you’ve been abused by someone and I’ve said something insensitive or say something again that insensitive then I’m really sorry hey. Genuinely, that’s not my intention. Don’t let my words discredit your experience. I’m happy for you to challenge any of the points if you honestly disagree with me.
The Difficulty Of Prosecution
Then you get some crazy cases like Daisy Coleman’s story. You can see her documentary on Netflix called Audrey & Daisy. It’s truly heartbreaking. I think this brings up another really important issue that is often not considered. Just because it’s not technically illegal, or they’re not proven guilty in a court of law, doesn’t make them innocent. In Daisy’s case, after raping her, they drove her back to her mother’s house. Then dumped her body on the front lawn in the snow in sub zero temperature. Looking into this case they were actually technically not guilty according to the law. But in no way were the perpetrators innocent.
I think in these instances it can be addressed directly. I think with Daisy Coleman’s situation the parents of the perpetrators should have addressed it. They should have made their sons write a letter of apology for the horrific way they treated her. I think a lot of victims don’t necessarily want prosecution and punishment… they just want validation and recognition. And an apology.
Here is an article in the Sydney Morning Herald that covers many of the issues surrounding prosecuting sexual assault and rape in various states around Australia.
Equality Vs Gynocentrism
I believe the biggest problem is our society currently primarily and defensively focuses on heteronormative women. We live in a gynocentric culture where the views of extreme feminists dominate most areas of society. Any opposing view whether moderate or extreme is held hostage to the tyranny of hoard assaults. These assaults regularly include:
- character assassination
- vexatious complaints
- false allegations
- coercion through contacting
- family members
- partners and former partners
- bosses, managers, colleagues
- professional associations
- peak bodies
- Innuendo & gossip
- Fabricating or exaggerating damning information
In the same way, rape and assault are considered gendered issues perpetrated by men. It’s equally fair to say that these tactics are a gendered issue used by women. The biggest issue is with our current gynocentric matriarchal culture there are not many laws to combat these assaults.
Equality Of Consent
When looking at any issue, if we honestly value equality, then we need to look at how it affects all parties. At the moment the only person talking about this issue is heterosexual women. It should include heterosexual men & women and homosexual men & women. Once we do this it opens up several concerns.
Clarifying What We’re Talking About
It’s at this point that I think we need to define some additional layers. Despite what some people say consent is complicated for many reasons. This is where a lot of people are going to disagree. This is what I think.
- We really want to define the optimal and ideal interaction for sexual interaction between 2 consenting in adults.
- This is well communicated relationships and continuously requested enthusiastic consent
- Trust in the relationship
- Communication of concerns
- No gossiping
- Sex is NOT always going to be ideal.
- If you’re in a long term relationship every sexual interaction between both partners is not always going to be a 10/10 enthusiastic. This just isn’t realistic.
- Sometimes we make assumptions based on historical patterns. So, by definition, its normal to proceed as you always have. However, if one person wants to change things then that’s okay. But it’s gotta be communicated.
- Poorly Communicated Consent
- Sometimes you might agree to having sex with someone and then regret it after. This is unfortunate. You may need counselling because of the remorse you feel. You also may need support with setting better boundaries in the future.
- Sometimes you might agree to engaging in a particular type of sex and then regret doing that particular act afterward. You may feel remorse, anger, guilt or several other emotions. If you’re in a long term relationship with the person it’s essential to discuss this with them. It is imperative that you state that you do NOT want to do that again.
- No Consent: Sexual Assault & Rape
- You explicitly articulate that you do NOT want to engage in sexual activity. They continue despite your request for them not to.
- This is illegal and immoral.
- Basically, any penetration is rape and any unwanted sexual action is sexual assault. More info defining which acts are which can be found here. I’m in Queensland. Every jurisdiction around the planet has varying definitions of what is and what is NOT rape.
No Means No.
I agree. If someone says no. Don’t do it. Whether it’s for a cup of tea, copulation, or kicking their head in. If they say no. Don’t do it.
We all know it’s more complex than that. In our species, women are the selectors. Men present themselves to women and women say yes or no. Yes, there are exceptions but this is generally how it works.
What Is Important To Men When It Comes To Consent
It’s no surprise that men generally like sex more than women. There are a bunch of reasons for this. When men hit puberty it’s most extreme and men are always talking about sex. Making jokes about sex. Initiating sex. So it stands to reason to most women that “men always want sex”. However, this is not always true, especially as men age.
- No means no: for women too.
- Women can be shocked and, if she is insecure, offended when a man turns a woman down for sex (because women generally initiate sex less and more commonly men are up for it).
- Men sometimes actually don’t want sex. This is sometimes for biological reasons. But generally, it’s psychological. Such as in times of extreme anxiety or perhaps he has an important event on and wants to keep his energy until after that is completed.
- Men can be scared to say no to a woman because they are fearful of how she will punish him.
- Many women think this is ridiculous because ‘men are so powerful’ and are in many cases honestly ignorant of the power they have.
- The way women punish men or coerce men to do what they want is primarily achieved through
- mockery & emasculation through ridicule
- tantrums, crying and screaming
- extreme emotional outbursts
- attrition through argumentation
- (many of these actions aren’t wrong of themselves but when they are used as a weapon to get what you want then it is NOT okay)
- Women manipulate men into having sex through seduction.
- This is perceived as culturally acceptable because “men are powerful” and the gynocentric myth that “women are always innocent”.
- Seduction is NOT rape or sexual assault on it’s own. But if a man says no then it stands to reason that a woman should respect that and discontinue the seducing behaviour.
- There is little no consequences for women who continue to use seductive behaviour.
- Women are aware there is no consequence if she sexually assaults or rapes a grown man. No one will likely believe him. It will be nearly impossible to find a police officer to take the complaint. It will nearly certainly be thrown out of court. He will be laughed at and ridiculed by his family, friends, colleagues and the perpetrator’s contacts for even trying. There is no sympathy or support for male victims of sexual assault by female perpetrators.
Men value trust and are really concerned that they cannot trust a woman. Many men are concerned with their relationships with their female partners and women in general. Why? Because men know that women talk-especially about this stuff.
Men are particularly concerned and fearful that they can do and say everything correctly. E.g. A man can be respectful and request consent and after she has positively verbally expressed enthusiastic consent then continue with the act. Then after doing all that she can recant that consent the next day or a year later and spread a rumour saying whatever she wants. She can go to the police with false accusations and have him arrested. She can strategically spread the rumour to his employer and have his career destroyed. This terrifies men. Men know men who this has happened to. Men don’t talk about it because talking about it makes you look guilty. If we do talk about it we have to say how terrible he is. Any other response will incur at best suspicion from others, unfavourable outcomes and at worst criticism and additional punishment. Just for siding with a man who may very well be innocent.
There is currently an extreme power imbalance because of our gynocentric culture.