Banter in the Garden
|Presenting the 51st… on Guest Post: Women’s Refu…|
|Fuck off, Bob Jones,… on Risky Business|
|Daniel Copeland on Risky Business|
|Emma on Risky Business|
|Deborah on A plea for your voice.|
Tea and Strumpets
Dear sub-editors, and people who talk to the media,
We need to have a conversation. Because you need to start being really, really careful about how you speak, and write, and what you publish. Because if I read another sentence like this, I am going to throw something through a window, and then sit in a corner and drink an entire bottle of bourbon.
DOMINIQUE Strauss-Kahn and the maid who accused him of sexual assault did have what appeared to be non-consensual sex, but the maid’s history of lying means that charges cannot be pressed, prosecutors said today.
DNA testing “established that several stains located on the upper portion of the complainant’s hotel uniform dress contained semen that yielded the defendant’s DNA”, the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office said.
Do you know what’s not sex? Rape. Do you know what rape is? Non-consensual sex. You can’t “have sex” if its non-consensual. That’s assault. It’s like me saying I was consensually mugged.
I don’t want to talk about the “she’s a big fat liar, so we can’t make the charges stick!” aspect, because that has and will be covered by people with sharper legal minds than me. But I want to talk about the language.
I do things, in the privacy of my bedroom (and that one time in an alley near the waterfront) that, to many people, would seem violent and horrible. Believe me, I’ve had the brusies. But always, always, with consent. There’s safewords and limits, and endless conversations about what is and isn’t OK, and how you might feel about something, and how you feel after, and whether that thing was good. I’ve had people try to tell me that what I like is depraved, and believe me, sometimes, the morning after, when I am struggling to sit down, I wonder that myself. But I enter into that willingly, consensually, enthusiastically, and that makes it OK.
And calling what (allegedly) happened in that hotel room “non-consensual sex” suggests that it is something different, lesser, than rape. And why, as legal officials and the media, are we so keen to do that? If I read that sentence above right, he (allegedly) forced himself on her and then forced her to give him a blow job.
Let’s call that what it is, cos it’s not “having sex”. That requires consent, preferably vocally and enthusiastically. And every time we talk about a rapist “having sex” with someone, we make a really good thing bad, and a really bad thing slightly less horrible. Let’s not, OK?
Love and kisses,