I just want to say to the people who submitted about their boyfriends not taking no for an answer. I understand why you would stay, I’ve been there more times than I would ever care to count. I’m 24, and this is the first time since I was 17 I am with someone that hears and respects my words. unfortunately I think more often than not men manipulate others go sex. BUT I promise it doesn’t have to be like that. And there are guys who will listen, respect and not dwell on the 2 letter word no.
My partner cheated on me and then the next day pressured me into sex. I was terrified of losing her, and so despite saying “no” about twenty times eventually gave in when she told me “do it or you don’t love me”. I don’t know why I didn’t just walk away. I have never been able to define what happened to me even though it was over a year ago but I still get panic attacks. Your post on consent and coercion was amazing and it lifted that weight off me, now I know it was rape. Thank you so much xxx
Good catch! She links to this study which says:
“A majority of the undetected rapists in this sample were repeat offenders. Almost two thirds of them raped more than once, and a majority also committed other acts of interpersonal violence, such as battery, child physical abuse, and child sexual abuse. These repeat rapists each committed an average of six rapes and/or attempted rapes and an average of 14 interpersonally violent acts. Within the universe of 3,698 violent acts that the 1,882 men in this sample were responsible for, the 76 repeat rapists by themselves accounted for 1,045 of that total. That is, representing only 4% of the sample, the repeat rapists accounted for 28% of the violence. Their level of violence was nearly ten times that of non-rapists, and nearly three and a half times that of single-act rapists.”
It looks like the statistic she quoted was taken out of context there. I am not sure if there are good figures on how many men attempt or complete a rape, but given the number of men that do not correctly identify when they have raped someone, I would imagine even if they willingly admitted to rape or attempted rape, the percentage would be low unless the questions did not specify “rape” but instead listed the actions without a label.
The key there is harm. I would hope that no one would sit and watch you hurt yourself with alcohol or anything else. There is nothing wrong with questioning the choices that a person makes, but wholesale condemnation denies that person their autonomy. Alcohol is perhaps a bad example in this regard because of the physical aspects of addiction.
The point I was trying to make was more along the lines of this:
Perhaps we see a woman who has chosen to get plastic surgery. We understand that plastic surgery is part of a larger system which holds women to unattainable beauty standards. But we cannot decide for the woman in question whether to get the surgery or what that surgery means to her personally.
If nothing else, we can open a respectful dialogue and perhaps see another point of view.
Sex without consent is no longer sex. It’s rape.
Coerced consent is when physical, psychological or emotional manipulation is used to obtain a “yes” from someone who actually does not consent. If you say “no” 100 times and he still keeps asking, it’s pretty clear he’s not respecting your refusal. He’s demonstrated that no matter how many times you say it, he will not acknowledge or allow you to turn him down.
Pressuring you until you give him the answer he wants, is absolutely rape. You were not able to give or deny consent freely.
I would get far away from him as quickly and safely as you can. He is using manipulation to get what he wants from you with clear disregard for what you want.
Coerced consent doesn’t get discussed very often, but it’s an important topic. The most basic form that comes to mind is when someone says “yes” to sex, but their body language makes it clear that they do not want sex to happen or continue.
Coerced consent can also happen in marriage or in relationships where consensual sex has already happened, when one consensual encounter is believed to mean that all subsequent interactions are OK.
Using power or position as a means of leveraging a “yes” from someone who does not actually consent is another instance of coercion. An example of this would be if a boss pressured an employee for sex and that employee believed their job was at stake. It could even be someone who believes that you “owe” them sex because they bought you an expensive dinner.
You have the right to say “no” to any sex or sexual contact that you want. There is no time limit, price bracket or point of no return from which you cannot stop what is happening. You don’t even need to give a reason. If you are ever uncomfortable a situation, your partner needs to respect that decision and stop immediately. If your partner fails to respect your refusal or withdrawal of consent, it’s rape.
Feminism is not hive mind. Some concepts might not fall into a particular person’s parameters for what is feminist while the same concepts might fit snugly under another person’s definition. The beauty of it as that while we all bring something unique and relevant to the table through our experiences and beliefs, the firm foundation we all share revolves around the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes. Additionally, let’s assume the caveat that we ought to respect the choices that women make for themselves, even if it isn’t one that we would necessarily make.
There are a couple “flavors” of domestic discipline:
* Christian domestic discipline: This holds that women must submit to their husbands and will face punishment (i.e. spanking with various implements) as a consequence of their infractions. This mostly centers around biblical dictations of gender roles and while there is an erotic element that many followers acknowledge, this does not seem to be the main focus. This brand of DD is problematic in that it does not extend the same rules to both men and women. The root of the practice seems to be the assertion that women are inherently in need of being taught how to behave by their husbands, who do not have to adhere to such strict codes of conduct. It’s also driven by a mostly male definition of what Christianity is.
* Domestic discipline as a sexual practice: This focuses more on the sexual aspect of spanking. This form of role play is more about the perception of dominance. One partner spanking the other (regardless of gender or roles outside of the bedroom), can be an enjoyable experience provided certain things are understood by all involved. Generally, participants agree that either of them can end the scene at any time they want, giving them both equal power. DD play of this type should always be safe, sane and consensual. Enjoying this type of interaction with respect and empathy is key.
When considering both of these items seen through a feminist lens, it’s important to keep a few things in mind:
1. Domestic abuse is a very real issue and can often appear to be well-intentioned “discipline”. Knowing the signs of an abusive relationship can help us distinguish what is harmful and what is not.
2. Assuming that we’re talking mainly about women being spanked by men, what thought patterns are at work behind the decisions being made? If a wife engages in a Christian DD arrangement with her husband, is it because she believes that is what is required of her? If this is true, is she really making a decision on her own?
3. Understanding the way that culture and society inform our choices helps us develop a better sense of what is going on in both of the above scenarios.
In reality, it’s an individual decision that each feminist has to make on their own. But only for themselves. Condemning the way that others choose to express their feminism is what is inherently anti-feminist.