A handful of years ago, a good friend called me up late at night with a crisis of confidence. He just had a long term relationship broken off and was drifting about single, and unexpectedly found himself courting an unattached lady, who was courting him right back.
“Man, what do I do? I’m not ready for another long term thing, I hardly know her, am I just using her? Is that fair to her? I want to but I don’t want to hurt her, help!”
In a sleep deprived haze and right before I hung up, I dispensed one of my simplest and I believe most profound pieces of advice:
“Dude, chicks like to fuck too.”
Enlightened, my friend went on to have a happy but short relationship with the lady, and while it didn’t end up going anywhere, two adults found comfort and pleasure in each other for a while, and parted ways wiser and happier for it.
So imagine my surprise when TLG informed us all that this is wrong, and in fact traditional heterosexual penetrative intercourse is in fact, always rape! Always. Okay? You see, the patriarchy has brainwashed and conditioned women to trick them into believing that they enjoy sex, when in fact it is destructive, harmful violence against their genitals.
Seriously, go read. I’ll wait.
It is tempting to handwave this away as the rantings of an anonymous internet crazy person, or to make jokes at her expense, but I will resist this temptation…
Okay, one joke: This girl must have a stunning collection of cats.
Okay, one more: With writing like this:
PIV is a man mounting on a woman to thrust a large member of himself into her most intimate parts, often forcing her to be entirely naked, banging himself against her with the whole weight of his body and hips, shaking her like he would stuff a corpse, then using her insides as a receptacle for his penile dejection.
If she finds her career paths of either academia or fast food service unfulfilling, she has great promise in certain genres of erotic literature. Rowr.
Okay, one more: She must be a delight at parties.
Okay, I’m done. The problem isn’t that she’s explicitly wrong, which she is, or that by equating consensual sexual activity to violent assault by denying the possibility of consent she is trivializing real rape. I mean, if women have to be conditioned from birth to enjoy sex, why does the church invest so much time in making them feel guilty about it? That seems rather convoluted and suggests a simpler explanation! And when your thesis hangs on the thread of entire swaths of demography being systematically deceived about their bodies response to stimuli, from birth, for generations, it needs a rethink. If your map disagrees with the terrain, the terrain is always right. Always. Okay?
No, what bugs me is isn’t that this argument is last spasms of dying Dworkinite feminism nor the insane gibberish of someone emboldened by an internet pseudonym, but that it represents the logical conclusion of the rape culture theory. If you believe that sexual assault isn’t due to opportunistic actions of individual sociopaths, but rather is enabled en masse by a permissive atmosphere that encourages men to see, take, and use women as property, then what other explanation is there for women who desire male attention? If you assume the culture of maleness is rape all the way down, then it becomes difficult to believe that women choose to be a part of it. So obviously they’ve been hoodwinked.
If I want to cross the street without being hit by a car, I look both ways, wait for traffic and quickly make my way when it’s clear. This isn’t blaming people who have been hit by cars, nor is it enabling a cars hitting people culture. The person most responsible for your continued well being, is you, and you can’t get there by holding pedestrian awareness rallies or speaking up against crosswalker shaming.
Fighting against “rape culture” is a fool’s errand, because it doesn’t exist except in the minds and pages of theorists. (At least in the West. Rape culture is a reality in the Third World where forced underage marriages, family shame murders and acid attacks, and female genital mutilation are daily atrocities. But you’ll never see radfems go after those people, either because a) those brown people just don’t know better, or b) those people will kill you!) Rapists, however, do exist, and you can oppose them by not only denying them targets (staying out of bad parts of town late at night, not partying alone, and watching out for people taking advantage of your fellow partygoers, etc), but if all else fails, drawing your piece and shooting him in his rapey face if he doesn’t comprehend “No.”