The Lady Garden

Tea and Strumpets

Spreading the love

Things we enjoyed, or didn’t, on the internet this week.

Eating weebix for dinner: Che writes about his memories of what it’s like being a child on a benefit.

We were making the right life choices. We were frugal as our station demanded. We made the most of what we had. But still we ate cereal for dinner while our neighbours’ cat ate gravy beef.

A gay bar in Melbourne wins the right to ban women, because they keep attempting to straighten things up.

Ms. Naughty examines a British censorship decision over the film Human Centipede 2, and considers the idea of “a real, as opposed to a fanciful, risk of harm”.

Over at The Hand Mirror, Luddite Journo has a wonderful piece on Queer the Night and the experience of coming out as bisexual, which is very, very familiar to Emma.

The Timaru Herald (hush, I know) notes the alarming year-on-year drop in teenage girls having the HPV vaccination.

Holy frak! This article could be TRIGGERING.
A judgement on consent in Canada, where the Supreme Court finds that an unconscious woman can’t give consent to sex. But THREE JUDGES DISSENTED!!!

10 responses to “Spreading the love

  1. Craig Ranapia June 12, 2011 at 10:12 am

    Holy frak! This article could be TRIGGERING.

    Understatement of the week. FFS, that dissent was a masterclass in complicating shit that really isn’t that complicated. It also seems these gentlemen don’t really get that if your kink includes “playing dead” in some kind of BDSM scenario I don’t even want to think about, you’ve negotiated the shit out of what goes down and how before you even start. I’m not into that myself, but the people I know who are say it’s the bottom who has the power and s/he can ALWAYS withdraw consent and it has to be obeyed immediately and without question.

  2. Hugh June 12, 2011 at 3:51 pm

    If there’s no such thing as advanced consent then I’m both a rapist and a rape victim. Just saying.

  3. Hugh June 12, 2011 at 5:55 pm

    [I have only just found this comment from Hugh at 5.45pm on Monday. Readers please be warned that it may be TRIGGERING. Deborah]]

    I’ve thought about this some more and I have to say I am on the side of the dissenting judges. Without judging the facts of this actual case, it seems it’d be more appropriate to question whether consent occurred than to claim consent is impossible under those circumstances.

    The write of the article seems to understand that a lot of couples enjoy asleep sex where one partner gives the other advanced permission to do sexual stuff with them while they’re sleeping, but doesn’t see this ruling as challenging their right to do that. Firstly I think she underestimates how infantilising and hurtful it is to those couples to say “What you’re doing does not constitute consent even if you do it voluntarily, with full knowledge and acceptance of the consequences”. It seems to me to be devaluing consent.

    Secondly, I have a huge problem with this statement –

    “men and women in their relationships honestly give permission for such conduct, then the criminal courts will never hear about it. Who will report it? Will police set out on their own investigations to find these cases? Will prosecutors drag the women and men to court? Who will bear witness to the crime by testifying? The only cases we can expect to see will be those arising out of exactly the kinds of relationships that the complainant was caught up in: Violent ones -where “consent” is extracted through coercion, control, and abuse”

    I find this a bit flabbergasting. It’s OK to outlaw consensual sex because if it’s consensual nobody will ever report it? That seems to massively gloss over a whole range of issues but rather than indulge in what-if scenarios I just wonder why the author doesn’t advocate outlawing all sex on this basis – safe in the knowledge that consensual sex will not be reported and thus be safe to have, even if technically illegal.

    Her “theft of a dollar” metaphor doesn’t work because stealing a dollar from somebody does hurt them, even if only a little bit, while consensual asleep sex doesn’t hurt anybody.

    • Jackie Clark June 13, 2011 at 5:28 pm

      Oh, oh, oh, oh. You did not just say that. Oh I guess you did. How do you know it’s consensual if someone is asleep, and can’t give their assent, either verbally or nonverbally, Hugh? If you are in a loving relationship with someone, and you start having sex with them when they are asleep, you are acting on the assumption that it’s okay, are you not? What if you’re wrong? What if they don’t say something?

      • Emma June 13, 2011 at 5:45 pm

        Jackie, Hugh (and the actual article) are talking about a situation where a couple have previously agreed that it’s okay to have sex while one of them is asleep. Now, that might not be your thing, but it’s very obviously different from NOT having that previous agreement.

    • Hugh June 13, 2011 at 7:49 pm

      Sorry Deborah, I should have put the trigger warning on this myself.

      Having talked about this with some friends I’d like to walk this post back a bit. This ruling does still have some pretty worrisome implications but on reflection the problem the ruling is attempting to address is very real. As a friend said to me, 99% of the time, when somebody’s having sex with somebody unconscious, they shouldn’t be. I also failed to consider the implications of people who are unconscious due to drug use, not simply being tired.

      It’d be nice if the law was able to recognise the validity of consensual asleep sex, and I think it’s justifiable to be vigilant to make sure this ruling doesn’t criminalise those which are consensual. But this ruling may well make women a lot safer, so on those grounds I should probably reevaluate my objections.

      I do think it is unfair to call the dissenting judges misogynist, though.

  4. Deborah June 13, 2011 at 5:52 pm

    ‘Though the particular case that started the discussion was one where the woman had agreed to be strangled to the point of asphyxiation / passing out, but not to anything else.

    • Moz June 16, 2011 at 3:41 pm

      The report didn’t seem to be clear on whether the assault was something she had agreed to, only that she wasn’t legally allowed to agree to it. The report seems to say that the court explicitly rejected the notion that she could give consent in that circumstance – But the top court was not permitted to consider the full context of this alleged consent. So it may have been an abusive relationship (or not) but the court only ruled on whether she could consent while unconsious. And apparently only “she”, meaning women but that may just be sexism from the reporter.
      One side point is that this means that only men can enjoy erotic dreams. What women have are presumably self-inflicted sexual assaults. But they are definitely not legally permitted to consent to them. At least until someone invokes the “no sexual discrimination” laws and the wheels fall off. I wonder if they’ll start prosecuting teenage boys for sexual abuse… of themselves. Sounds Victorian.

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