I still never talk about rape or rape culture with my dad. I don’t know how to—it feels so hard to even start. In our culture, talking about sex is taboo. Really taboo. We don’t even really have sex education here. When a friend of mine was 20, her mom give her a copy of Cosmo so she could learn about sex from there. It goes that far. I think my dad’s parents never talked to him about this either, so I can understand why a conversation about sex might never happen between me and my dad. Besides, almost all Indonesians are Muslim and we’re taught that sex before marriage is a sin in Islam. Parents here tend to believe that their children are “good” children; they just believe that their kids would never do anything bad, so they don’t talk about it. Parents don’t believe that their child could ever rape–but they could be wrong. We’ll never address these issues if we never talk about them. But at the same time, I feel like if I did try talk to my dad about rape culture, he would worry about me too much. He’d prohibit me from going out late or at all and make me stay home instead. He’d limit my freedom.
“Enthusiastic consent” is about asking and listening. And it’s a powerful feminist concept that could change our entire world. The consent-positive movement is about more than “no.” It’s about “yes.” It’s about waiting for someone to verbally, enthusiastically, consent to having sex with you before you start having sex with them. No still means no. Violating that no is still wrong. But in addition, only “yes” can mean yes: not silence, or a short skirt, or the fact that we met you at Jello Wrestling and fucked you last week. Consent is about being able to say “I want this / I don’t want this” and being respected. It’s about expecting to hear some variation of one of those phrases when you begin to engage in sex. It’s about a completely safe, comfortable, and pleasurable kind of sex. Consent makes it possible for every single person in the world to have completely different boundaries and desires and still feel fulfilled and respected in bed. I liked that.
Many women who get pregnant are blasted out of their minds when they have sex. They’re not going to use birth control
Bill O’Reilly (Fox News, 7/21/11)
How would he know? No one is ever blasted out of their minds enough to have sex with him.
I know, Bill. WOMEN ARE EVERYTHING THAT IS WRONG WITH THE WORLD, and PREGNANCY IS THEIR FAULT.
Raising bigoted babies, GOD BLESS AMERYKAH
maybe most of the sexual experiences he has had involved women “blasted out of their minds”
…heads up O’Reilly - if women are incapacitated and can’t consent that isn’t sex. that’s rape. And that just supports the notion about birth control being needed even more.
There’s so much wrong with this quote I don’t even know what to do with myself.
The best contraceptive in the world is a good education.
With girls entering puberty earlier than their generation of mothers did, and our pornified culture, we need to start talking about body image and sex much earlier than we might remember learning. This is best done with a bunch of little talks, not one big “birds and bees talk” that looms over our heads sometime around puberty. Same goes for body image – it is hundreds of little conversations or statements made over the course of childhood, laying a foundation for how your children will think and react to information that comes later. And you know? You just can’t hide from it.
Bristol clarified on Good Morning America that she wasn’t accusing Levi of rape or calling him a rapist, but instead that she was looking at the situation “with adult eyes” and realizing that it was “foolish.” She went on to say that she “shouldn’t have been drinking and I shouldn’t have let myself get into a situation like that.” Some people are taking this to mean that what happened wasn’t rape, but that’s not what it means at all…Bristol has been raised in a culture that constantly and consistently blames women for their own assaults and is internalizing the blame, just like countless other victims of assault.
This isn’t surprising and it isn’t new. My heart broke when I saw this interview because I’ve been there. I’ve said to myself, “Well if I hadn’t done x y and z…” I would still believe that if I didn’t have the open, heartfelt, necessary support that I did. Bristol is obviously not going to get this support from her conservative family or from a culture that constantly seeks to minimize rape. And now at a time when prominent feminists have a chance to reach out and extend that support to her, they’re either remaining silent or playing directly into sexist, misogynist cultural narratives that insist women lie about assault to get ahead.
If you talk with teens and ask them where they learn about sex and gender, and how they come for form their own thoughts and feelings on the subject (news flash #2: they actually form their own beliefs, which may be related but different from those of family, friends, and media) you will find out right away that they pay attention to their parents, guardians, or caregivers. They may or may not believe what they’re told, and the learning might not be didactic, but teens are humans, and like all humans, they learn by experience and relationship.
And yet it will be news (and important news, at that) for many that according to a recent national online survey conducted by Dr. Jean-Yves Frappier, a researcher at the Université de Montréal’s Sainte-Justine University Hospital Center Research Center, 45% of youth aged 14-17 consider their parents to be their “sexuality role models” while only 32% considered friends, and 15% considered celebrities to be role models.
I question whether she was using intentionally murky language because she is a very prominent, extremely well-paid abstinence speaker and not having willingly had sex could bolster her position and reduce criticisms from those who consider her a hypocrite…. But it could also be that a young woman from a very conservative family that traffics in circles that regularly deny that date rape exists would have a hard time naming it. We don’t know. It could be that she doesn’t even know.
Tricky, tricky issue, but strikes us as too important to ignore.
Those sexy ads that seem to portray women as sexually empowered actually make girls think about their own bodies in more sexually objectifying ways than more passively sexualized ads do. The authors think this may be because ads that put women in positions of “power” while simultaneously sexually objectifying their bodies make women feel that they must take control not just of their relationships with men, but of the way their bodies look as well. Of course, the irony of all this, according to Helen Malson, is that these “empowering” images pressure women to conform to a very narrow and sexualized “beauty ideal,” while at the same time the women in the images are presented as if they chose to be looked at in this way. This aspect of choice is part of what makes the images seem “empowering,” but it’s also what makes them so damaging – Women think to themselves, If that’s what real empowerment looks like, then I better make sure I look like that too.