No Means No
But the absence of no does not imply consent.
This blog has never been about politics. It’s not a genre (is that even the right word here?) that I know enough about to pretend to do it any justice with the written word.
But I DO have a few hot button issues. And this article has me up in arms.
Oh Steubenville. What a nightmare. On SO MANY levels. But this post isn’t about that monstrous case and all of its details. It’s about this article. And the woman who wrote it. And the society that thinks it’s ok to negate a rape charge by saying, in parenthesis, that it was only the insertion of some fingers into a drunken girl’s vagina.
Let me make things perfectly clear here. THIS IS NOT OK. Ever. No means no, most definitely. But the story doesn’t end there. Drunkenness means no. Unconsciousness means no. The absence of a coherent yes means no. If I won’t have sex with you when I’m sober, you are NOT allowed to have sex with me when I’m drunk. And if you do, that’s assault. Unless I, being of sound body and mind, say yes, the answer is NO.
I’m not big on sharing any deep dark past secrets here, but I will openly share with you all that this is a story that I am all too familiar with. I was a party girl. I get it. I’ve faded in and out of consciousness in various states of undress, being taken advantage of in various ways with various groups of people. I’ve blinked over a drink and woken up, naked and violated, being used and abused by people who I was supposed to trust. Take it back further than that, and I’ve been made to describe various feelings to people who SOCIETY deems we trust with our health, while they get their jollies by looking at and fondling young girls. It’s not pretty. It’s not fair. But it happens.
I’m not here, in any way, to play the victim. I don’t relate to a victim role. Shitty things have happened to me and I have dealt with them and moved on and become the amazing person that I am. I do NOT let these experiences make me hate men. I do NOT let them turn me into a smaller person. I do NOT let them make me fear life or its varied experiences. I live my life and I am happy with where it has taken me.
I AM here to tell you that I do not agree with this woman. I believe what happened to the girl in Steubenville was wrong. I believe that people who view child pornography, in the privacy of their own homes or otherwise, should be imprisoned. I believe that if pedophilia is considered an illness, so be it. The desire to sexualize a youth may be the disease, but acting on it is criminal and should be treated as such. I think that to reduce the viewing of child pornography to a “minor vice” is despicable and I fear for the future of a society that can accept that.
I don’t know how to fix this. I can guarantee you that this magazine will never see a dime of my money. I can assure you that the woman who wrote this will never see any support from my corner. But what more can we do? How do we make it clear to people that the possession of a vagina doesn’t invite you to partake of its glory? How can we teach people that we need to respect each other, regardless of how many vodka coolers we’ve consumed?
I don’t have the answers, but I’m happy to be a part of the discussion. And for the record, unless you’re Husbandio, consider this my absolute declaration that I DO NOT CONSENT to any part of your anatomy inside any part of mine.
A very wise woman once told me that when you hit someone with a baseball bat, it’s not called baseball. So let’s STOP calling non-consentual sex (or sexual touching) sex. Let’s stop making excuses.