On Feminism and Date Rape

I used to be a rape apologist, as some would call it. I never really bought into the argument that “just because I’m wearing a mini-skirt and grinding with you doesn’t mean I don’t want any from you”. I agreed with this person’s view on date rape. Read the article, but if you don’t, this quote just about sums it up:

Let’s get this straight: any woman who heads to an EI party as an anonymous onlooker, drinks five cups of the jungle juice, and walks back to a boy’s room with him is indicating that she wants sex, OK? To cry “date rape” after you sober up the next morning and regret the incident is the equivalent of pulling a gun to someone’s head and then later claiming that you didn’t ever actually intend to pull the trigger.

I recently went to an event at my college about sexual assault. There was a poster there which said, ” ‘yes, yes, yes, oh God, yes!’ means yes. Prevent rape by waiting for enthusiastic consent”. I’m still not sure whether I agree with that one. I mean, there’s been movies that I wasn’t sure that I wanted to see that my boyfriend convinced me to see. Does that me he coerced me into seeing it? Did he “rape” my movie-choosing? No, he convinced me to see it. Same with sex. Sometimes one partner is unsure of how much they want. Simple, non-forceful convincing is part of the give and take of a relationship.

At the event, a girl spoke about her rape and made me think about it in a totally different way. She said she was raped at a frat party, after going back with a guy whom she’d been dancing with the whole night. She said to the crowd “Maybe I was looking for SOMETHING, but not EVERYTHING. My dress does not excuse his behavior.”

Right. I sometimes forget about limits. The hard part is being able to communicate what the limits are, often because I myself don’t know what I want. Did this girl at the party have limits? Apparently. Did she communicate her limits to the guy she was with? Possibly. Should potential sex partners have to wait until their partner is begging them to have sex? Probably not. Where is the limit. Should one have to sign a consent form for sex? The lawyer in me wants to say yes, but the realist in me says no way.

Additionally, feminists will probably shun me for saying this, but I have certainly fallen privy to the game of saying “I’m fine” when in reality I mean “I’m not fine, but I don’t want to just come right out and say it, because I want you to press me to tell you whats really going on”. I like this. I like the fact that he begs me to open up to him. I like the fact that he reinforces how much he wants to know what I’m thinking and feeling. I don’t WANT to tell him straight away.

If men aren’t allowed to claim yes means no with regards to sex, can women claim that yes means no in regards to emotions? Can we really allow ourselves to force our boyfriends to press us to tell them why we’re upset, if they can’t then press us into having sex with them? Frankly, I’m not ready to give up the cat-and-mouse game of emotional jenga. And if that means playing cat-and-mouse sex, okay.

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