Hey guess what I’ve been thinking about again also. Did you guess CSA rhetoric? Because the answer is CSA rhetoric.
Tag Archives: consent
[cw: sexual abuse]
Periodically, Dr. T would remark on how much power I had in our relationship. This statement invariably confused me, since I felt like I didn’t have any power and couldn’t imagine what he was talking about. Sometimes he’d remark on how much sexual power I had—that he couldn’t resist me and had no discipline around me. He seemed to think I should find this flattering. (I didn’t. I didn’t want his inability to control himself to somehow be my fault.) Other times he would remind me that I could report him and cause him to lose his license. Horrified, I would protest that I would never do that, how could he even think that I would do that… And once again, he would be reassured of my loyalty. Of course I would never betray his trust.
……three guesses what this reminds me of….
Saw this comic on sex & consent, had things to say, deleted the draft, then several months later, saw it again. So here we go. Take two.
The comic there expresses a nice idea, mostly, good examples and advice etc. etc. but the part that caught my attention was this: the green-haired person in the third panel who says, “Wait a minute! I’ve been with my wife for 15 years. There’s no way we cover all of this [checklist] every time we have sex! We usually don’t even explicitly ask each other! Are you saying that we’re not having consensual sex??” to which the blue-haired narrator says, “Of course not!”
At which point in my mind I hear the sound of screeching brakes.
I’ve seen this kind of objection play out before, sure, in contexts where someone has dared talk explicitly about consent — it’s happened often enough that I can’t even remember specifics of when or where. What gets me is not the confusion over implicit communication, or even how readily someone jumps to assure them, “No, not at all! You’ve merely misunderstood the message. I wouldn’t dare impugn your honor, my 100% ethical friend who has never done anything wrong!”
What gets me is how consistently there’s always someone, even a complete stranger, ready to interject this way in the first place and essentially say, “You trust me, right? You have faith in me, right? You believe I’m not a rapist, right?”
And I’m like… the heck? I don’t even know you. I probably wouldn’t be rock-solid certain of those things even if I did know you. Why are you expecting anyone, let alone strangers on the internet, to assure you how much they’re sure you’ve never raped?
Note that this is different from the anxious uncertainty of “oh man, I’m scared I may have hurt someone.” This is something else. This is “Excuse me, are you suggesting that I, Me, a Good Person, am somehow not flawless? For I, Me, a Good Person, have in fact done the-things-that-I’m-interpreting-you-as-saying-are-unethical, so clearly you ought to be ashamed of yourself, or at least explain in a way that clears my name.”
I shouldn’t even have a dog in this hunt, since I don’t group communication and consent as the same thing anyway. But geez, it bothers me, people thinking they’re entitled to automatic couldn’t-possibly-be-a-rapist trust, or even couldn’t-possibly-need-to-improve-on-the-communication-front trust. I try to mentally give everyone a null value there. And from the consistency with which I see “No I’m sure you’re fiiiiiine”-type answers, it almost sounds like not-automatically-placing-unwarranted-trust-in-people is some kind of taboo, if not simply unconsidered as an option.
I guess I just don’t understand going through life without a little paranoia.
Remember that essay, “Hermeneutical Injustice in Consent and Asexuality,” that was making the rounds a while back? Remember that post I made on concurrent and reflective consent?
Recently I re-found this post called Asexuality and Felt Consent [cw: rape, vomit, kind of a weird discussion of the ethics of celibacy], published over a year ago, that talks about much of the same things. I’m wishing I’d held on to this.
[cw: rape culture, invalidation talk, and abstract talk of rape, CSA, etc. including vague talk of personal experiences]
I’ll be quoting/responding in snippets, so if you want the full context, you can check the links first.
Here’s an idea I heard from someone else and want to pass along. It’s relevant to starchythoughts’ post Hermeneutical Injustice in Consent and Asexuality, and I’m writing about it partially in response to Vesper’s more recent reflection post and the kinds of things they wrote about here.
27 Comments | tags: consent, hermeneutical injustice, in which the blogger chooses not to spare your poor eyes, mapping the gray area convo, sexual violence, violation, violence | posted in Asexuality Talk
Vesper’s been writing Things that make me want to write Things but I’m kinda scared & also my thoughts are disorganized.
One of the Things is a summary/rephrasing/discussion of a consent model post by someone else… which I’m ambivalent about referencing because then I’d be expected to link it, and it’s kind of weird if I don’t — but the original post has… stuff that I’m not even sure how to word the trigger warnings for. ‘Cause I feel like those are less effective when they’re too vague for you to know what kind of stuff you’re in for, if that makes sense. So I dunno how to handle that. When you’re too vague, people just get curious, you know? And I don’t want that to become a distraction.
The other of the Things is a personal story but oh God I don’t know how to prepare for the emotional fallout.
Fun fact, when I was first exposed to consent seminars and deliberate education on that kind of thing, I was a little wary of it at first but also quickly impressed with it as a good idea, because prior to that point in my life (college), people just didn’t talk about this stuff. So I remember having a tentative positive impression of the whole thing. Because I believed “people in my culture just don’t know how to communicate about this, or that it’s okay and good to communicate about it explicitly.” That’s what I believed. And maybe that still is partially true.
But the more I’ve grown and the more I’ve developed my thoughts on the subject, the more I’ve become dissatisfied with their surface approach toward basic communication templates instead of underlying values, because the actual larger problem at hand is that American masculinity is a cult of violation.
5 Comments | tags: American culture in general is a cult of violation but y'know, consent, gender, masculinity, relationships, sex, sexual relationships, sexual violence, sexuality, touch, violation, violence | posted in Asexuality Talk
[cw: medical talk, genitals talk]
This is a post for people who like reading the stories I tell about me and my friends.