Advanced Consent (2), and some libertarian philosophy

Firstly- a quick apology for not being able to get this up sooner. We’ve had some wiring problems with the electricity that have stopped me from internetting until today.

Last time I covered why sex is risky and complicated, why there are excellent reasons to justify men saying no, and why arousal isn’t the same as enthusiasm/consent. Remembering from my simpler post that consent is about active participation or communication, let’s head forward into discussing the nature of consent in relationships and the gatekeeper model of marriage, incidental consent within relationships and saying no with a small justification or without one altogether, and consent between same-sex partners.

Let’s start with the gatekeeper model of marriage. It starts by being a little sexist against men, and then gets a lot more sexist against women. The core assumption here is that women are gatekeepers of sex- that is, they decide when sex happens and when it doesn’t. The implication here of course is that men want sex all the time and we’re available to be used as such, but such is the result of such a simplistic theory. It then moves on to imply that marriage is an institution that exists to legitimise sex between the husband and wife, and that it entails the idea of implicit consent. This in turn informs attitudes about rape in marriage- people who buy into this gatekeeper model feel it’s impossible, because by being married a woman has somehow consented to sex whenever and wherever. That’s a pretty powerful assumption. Continue reading

Advanced Consent (1)

Seeing as I’m having a bit of writer’s block on the issue of gender essentialism at the moment, I thought I’d depart from my plan and do some advanced work on other types of consent, (ie. male and gay/lesbian consent) as was suggested in an earlier comment, because hey, it couldn’t hurt to sneak in one or two posts with advanced concepts about non-urgent concerns during my “warm-up period”. I have to confess I’m in a bit of a dilemma: I want to do more equal coverage of men’s issues, but they make the news even less than women’s issues, (and I’m not a good researcher) and they rely on an understanding of the basic concepts such as owning opinions, gendered thought, social constructivism, convergence, “overflow”, and a bunch of other pretty words.

So, Moz rightly criticises me for being simplistic and focusing on straight female consent because of this. Seeing I have no doubt you are all intelligent human beings, let’s dive a little deeper. Be warned though: IF complicated words and concepts make your eyes glaze over, this one is going to put you to sleep. 🙂 Continue reading

In which consent is clarified

I mentioned earlier when I covered social attitudes to rape that meaningful consent has to be “explicit and free”. Many a man interested in exploring the murky deeps of gender politics from a male perspective dives into the issue of consent in straight sex, which I find almost painfully simple, and comes out with some sort of slippery slope argument attempting to deconstruct the basis of consent because they don’t really want to understand it, because that would mean serious evaluation of the concept from a female perspective, which like, defeats the whole point of my college newspaper article, man.

What makes consent explicit? Well, essentially it’s saying that she has to be clear in her desire to go ahead. There should be no doubt. If she says “mmmm, okay” and doesn’t start jumping on you, then she hasn’t given explicit consent. She’s probably just engrossed in Scientific American Mind, that glossy magazine she’s reading, and hasn’t heard you. If she says nothing and sits still, not engaging at all in whatever you’re trying to do to initiate sex, then she’s not consented. If she says “no” clearly, but continues to do something that really gets you going, she’s still not consented, and under certain circumstances you may be authorised to complain about teasing. If she does some stupid hollywood stunt where she says “no…” softly and then starts with the passionate kissing, she’s probably a fan of chick flicks and/or romance novels. If that scares you, I recommend you get to know a nice girl-racer instead. Continue reading