Inspired by the conversation that ensued after the class that inspired this post.
- Do NOT take up class time in a class about sexual violence by requiring everyone in the class to explain to your addled, privileged brain exactly why mistreatment of sexual assault victims is a gendered problem.
- Do NOT think that pointing out that male sexual assault victims get treated poorly by law enforcement negates the fact that it is still a gendered problem, or think you are SOOO clever for thinking of that. The overwhelming amount of sexual assaults are perpetrated by men against women. Saying that a male victim, treated badly by the system, disproves gender bias and sexism would be like saying that white victims of police brutality disprove racial profiling and police brutality against non-whites. It is still, overwhelmingly, a problem faced by one group of people.
- Do NOT compare a law that would redefine rape as ’sexual contact without explicit consent’ to sodomy laws. The former attempts to give agency to a group of people (women) that have long been denied such agency, in an area where they have long been mistreated, mistrusted, and blamed as victims. The latter is blatant homophobia, and an attempt to police people’s consensual sexual decisions under the guise of ‘the greater good.’
- Do NOT say that criminalizing rape where there was no consent expressed ‘trivializes’ rape, thereby doing a disservice to women who are victims of sexual violence. The underlying subtext of this argument is that violent stranger rape is ‘real’ rape, and the people who are victims of violent assault are the only ‘real’ victims. It also presupposes that women are lying whores who will cry rape to get back at someone, rather than seeing that the proposed standard seeks to give a remedy to people who feel violated.
- Do NOT waste my time by talking about all the what-if’s - ‘What if you’re not sure if the person really wants to have sex?’ or ‘What if the consent is not enthusiastic?’ The answer to these questions is DON’T HAVE SEX. I am also unconcerned with the fact that, if rape is defined as sex that lacks active consent, it means that some people won’t have sex when they could have. So what? It’s sex. It’s not oxygen - and this is coming from someone with a high sex drive. You can live without it. You have no right to sex - especially compared with other’s right to bodily integrity.
Stay tuned for the ‘DO’ installment of ‘How to not be an Asshole’.