I started to write a piece on what sends out warning signs for “rapey” behaviour, and before I got too far I decided I wanted current examples from twitter discussions. Scrolling through the conversations happening under the terms rape and consent on twitter I came to a startling realisation.I had never considered why someone would argue in support of someone’s rape behaviour, and I suddenly realised that my firm belief that most people are decent humans and wouldn’t deliberately hurt someone goes completely against what I see every day – assholes gagging to argue with me about what they are “allowed” (see legal definition of rape) to do to someone else’s body.
People on what I would call “My side” of the argument (pro-consent, anti-rape-culture) were making impassioned pleas for people to stop and listen to the idea that they should wait for full consent.-To try to understand that simply not fighting back isn’t consent
-To stop minimising how fucking traumatic date rape is just because the victim knows the rapist.
In one particularly revolting discussion they failed to make a man understand that a wife has the right to refuse sex, and ignoring that refusal IS rape.
In most of these arguments a man (I try REALLY hard not to make this a gender issue because rape affects both men and women, but I’m sorry to say the majority of rapists are cis men.) is working his little heart out to validate his point. Getting really worked up, really distressed and at times incredibly ANGRY trying to make the point that
is not REALLY rape because
And I suddenly thought... why the hell they are fighting SO HARD for their rights to someone else’s body.
I could only come up with 3 possible answers
1) They are so sheltered they genuinely have no idea of how horrific these discussions are for many people, and they are so privileged they genuinely believe it, and so arrogant they won’t consider that they might be wrong.
2) They have acted in a manner that would fit under the heading of rape, but isn’t straightforward violent, stereotypical rape, and they only just realised that, and they are fighting for their reputation, even if it’s just to feel ok about themselves.
3) They genuinely believe they have the right over other people’s bodies at certain times, or with certain people, or under certain circumstances.
Group one and three are easily solved with a better understanding of rape culture from the get-go, better education of men and women about consent, and a society that supports people’s right to choose. I’m going to leave them to one side except to say that if you fit in those categories sit down, shut up, and listen. JUST LISTEN. Maybe you will learn something.I don’t think group 3 are particularly common, until you start to raise the issue of inebriation. And then the line gets really freaking blurry, and there are a scary number of “good people” who will fight a person’s right to bodily autonomy because they WANT them and the target isn’t in their right mind anymore.
And then it struck me like I had run into a wall.All these people fighting alongside me are fighting for the right to never be touched again if that is their choice. This choice hurts no one, and changes no one else’s life. But it means the WORLD to us.
Those fighting against us are fighting for their right to someone else’s body, on their terms when they want it. Just because they WANT IT. They don’t NEED it. It doesn’t change their world or make them a different person. They just WANT it.
You SERIOUSLY think that your right to someone else’s body is more important than anything else.
You will fight tooth and nail for that right.
What do you get if you lose that right? Nothing. You get to go home and have sex with yourself.
What do I lose if you rape me? A sense of bodily autonomy, safety, strength, health. I lose a lot for your “right” to touch me.So you people arguing the ins and outs of ‘date rape’ or ‘is it really rape if you have had sex before’ or ‘is it rape if she is my wife’. Either you are so fucking selfish that your right to pleasure using another body is more important than my bodily autonomy…
Or you aren’t actually arguing about sex at all. The ingrained sense of entitlement to someone else’s body is so strong that you are scared that you won’t just walk away and leave the drunk girl passed out on the couch. You are frightened that your communication is so crap that you won’t see the signs that they don’t want you to keep touching them but they are too scared to speak.And you don’t want to be charged as a criminal.
That’s why you seem creepy.
Either you are arguing THAT passionately for your right to MY body... Or you have already decided that you want it, don’t have enough control to wait until I’m sober/conscious/in a better frame of mind, will take it, and are arguing that you shouldn’t be charged.
Creepy. Super super creepy.
Have some self-control. Yeah, maybe you will have less sex with other people, but who the hell told you that was a right, rather than something you earn IF someone cares enough about you, or finds you appealing enough to suit their tastes.I can tell you right now that if someone left a note in my purse at a party saying “wow, you were toasted, and I really like you, call me when you are sober and we can hook up” I would probably call that person.
Consent, it’s sexy.