imagine saying yes every time someone wanted to fuck just cause you wanted to fit in. gah!! the privilege of owning yourself means you have to make yer own decisions and others might now like them but fuck them. you make yer decisions for you. you are special, and no one can ever come close to knowing what you need except you. they can deal while you heal. fuck em.
Me: So, I did that thing where your words ended up on my blog, but they … went down for me in a way that went to my heart instead of my head — it was a passion wins over rationality thing, and that’s my steeze.
Someone once convinced me, long before i’d read that quote, that my self-awareness was a privilege.
Maybe that was kinda bullshitty of them. Maybe I was oppressed enough by their privileges that I believed it in this weird way of wanting to be able to allow myself to have one high ground. Maybe i was just being manipulated by a man who knows how to use words and disallows rebuttal.
Sometimes I believe that anything can be a privilege, depending on how our fuct up culture chooses to value one thing as more positive than another based on completely arbitrary, ambiguous and unclear concepts.
The privilege debate kind of gets rendered moot when I think of it like that. Oppression is connected to privilege not because oppression is merely the result of a collection of several factors, like whiteness or maleness or class standing or physical stature, but because oppression is the way some one decides to abuse their power/privilege in a way that negatively manipulates someone else.
And that’s a whole other pile of poop, cuz who am I to define what negative manipulation looks like?
It’s been suggested, by the abovesaid human [the one who convinced me my self-awareness was a privilege], that I have been manipulative and acting oppressively (this is where that bullshit mutual abuse myth grows from sometimes i think) because I made my feelings and intentions clear to them. And therefore I altered what they were thinking, thus changing their plans and emotions.
So, yea, I agree. FUCK EM.
If my speaking my truth, expressing my self honestly, making myself clear, stating my boundaries, practicing a well-known and accessible non-violent communication, is oppressive, …? …. then fuck it: we’re all fucking oppressive.
And no one can escape that. There is no fucking puritanical non-oppressive being or state. It’s like that zine title “We are all survivors; We are all perpetrators.”
But it is right bullshit to see this and then live in such ways that — because this may be the case — none of us should bother to work toward learning how to be at least less oppressive.
Perhaps Ignorance is the greatest oppression. Maybe it’s the greatest privilege then, too.
But, if my saying “NO, I do not fucking consent to this shit” is oppressive for someone, because it doesn’t jive with their idea of how to interact with the world, or what ‘rights’ they think they should have, even when it directly dominates over me or any other person, then THAT IS FUCKED. And no amount of ignorance is tolerable.
No is fucking no!
It’d be cool if i wasn’t afraid to express this in real life.
This is interesting… I feel too lazy to make much of a commentary. There are too many things about this, in so many directions:
Gynecology?; dicks and being the ‘sticker of things into other things’ being the center of ‘sex’?; not being able to get emotional comfort or ego reinforcement or social status or physical closeness out of masturbation (i.e. i have certainly had those things (except maybe social status?) from masturbating/others maybe too/tantrisim, etc.), or the even idea those are obvious things people want from sex; …
… i dunno, maybe i come from a perspective where rape is so obviously not getting laid, and where sex has so little to do with so many of the above said concepts, that i merely can not relate.
flaggingopinicusrampant, ‘on rejection and power’
Swiftly and graciously accepting rejection is a cornerstone of radical consent. It hurts, but if you really believe in sexual autonomy, you just have to suck it up — without pleading or wheedling or demanding answers. You need a reason to be with someone, not to reject them.
Of course, rejection can be based on prejudice. It can be cissexist or racist or fatphobic or biphobic or ageist or ableist or anti-virgin or whatever else. And if someone voices those sentiments, you’re right to call them up on it. But nobody owes you an explanation on why they don’t want to fuck you or date you. I’ve been hearing people assume prejudice in situations where no reason was given, and I tend to think it’s likely no reason was given because no one wants to say “I’m just not that into you”.
In an existing relationship, pressing for a reason can be used to get someone to stay with you under the promise that you will change. But though it’s widely acknowledged that rape and sexual assault occur within established relationships, conversations about consent can tend to focus on the beginnings of things. Even when consent education explicitly resists the idea of perpetual consent, or conclusive negotiations (eg in this questionnaire), people can assume that certain ideas or questions aren’t applicable to their situation. The communication style and power dynamic of an established relationship can complicate negotiations, as much as it can facilitate them.
But coercion can come from a place of disempowerment — eg using your body image or mental health issues to manipulate someone into having sex with you — as much as it can come from the abuse of power. When you feel utterly powerless, it can be hard to imagine that you’re exercising coercion, but that’s exactly what’s happening when you try to beg and trade in the face of rejection.
One of our Basic Rules of Flagging is that we need to be open to suggestion and open to rejection. Consent depends on both — if you are too polite to proposition, too precious to be propositioned, too evasive to reject and too insecure to be rejected, how are you negotiating consent?
LC and Gauche from flaggingopinicusrampant will be doing a workshop on flagging & consent at Looking Out for Each Other, a workshop day organised by Stepping Up, especially looking at the art and politics of proposition and rejection.
Workshop day information and timetable here: http://coherevi.wordpress.com/timetable/
Not gonna lie: “flagging” is an entirely new term to me. There’s a chance I’m not understanding that.
This article is somewhat unclear and makes me wonder if i agree or not. Nonetheless, there are definitely some interesting points being made, ones that I want to apply to a definition of consent that is not limited to the realm of sex.
I called a close friend out for making a rape joke a few nights ago. He made it about another friend who was there and who is a woman. It was a stupid damn move, no doubt. And calling him out? It was awkward as fuck. For about 5 fucking seconds. Then we got all grew and got over it. And now, we’re still friends.
Queers, kissing and accountability by Shannon Perez-Darby, from Learning Good Consent
Because screwing up is a part of the deal but that doesn’t mean we get to fuck up in the same way over and over again. We engage so we don’t keep fucking up in the exact same ways.
Learning Good Consent is awesome. Read it. Then do it.
In case you ever find yourself in a situation in which someone needs to talk to you about their experiences (traumatic or otherwise):
- “mmhms” and “yeas”
- lets the person know you are still with them without interrupting their flow
- restating what they said lets the person know you hear what they are saying
- they say “I am so aggravated!”; response “You’re feeling aggravated.” OR they say “I am really angry.”; response “You feel angry.”
- use sparingly (can become mocking/annoying if overused).
- they say “How could this have happened to me?”; response: “You don’t understand why this happened.”
- re-wording what they said; tells them you are listening and another way to check your understanding of what they said
- Your understanding encourages them to continue talking and seeking your support
- they express emotion about a situation; your response is mirrors several things they have said
- they say “I can’t believe this has happened.” Your response: “You seem confused and frustrated by what has happened.”
- similarly to the above, this is a way of checking your understanding and encouraging them to continue to express themselves; it creates an opportunity for them to clarify how they feel
- Likely responses (from them) to your response:
a) “Yea, I do feel confused and frustrated.”
b) “No, I don’t feel confused, … I am more angry.”
- Either way, you are helping them explore and clarify their feelings (The point isn’t always just for you to understand, but to also help them understand themselves, too).
- ask questions that can not be answered with “Yes” or “No”
- examples: “How are you feeling now?” or “What more can you tell me about that?”
- encourages them to explore their feelings and the experiences they have had
- avoid asking “why” questions of any sort — they can often be perceived as judgmental
- questions for which a “yes” or “no” response is required
- can be specific to clarity in consent-seeking
- E.g. “Is it okay for you to talk about this right now?” or “Do you want a glass of water?”
- useful for the supporter when you need specific information, such of discerning if the person you’re supporting wants medical attention, etc.
- Use Sparingly: asking too many closed-ended questions can feel like they’re under interrogation
be open and accommodating
- be available: offer as much time and space as they need.
- Do not offer supportive listening if you can not offer it fully and consistently: offering to listen and then telling them “time’s up”, etc., can make them feel abandoned and despairing.
- Do Not Use “should” or “shouldn’t” — these words imply judgment (e.g. “You shouldn’t feel guilty.”)
- Instead, validate their experiences and feelings: “I understand you are feeling guilty, and that is okay.” (Introducing your personal ideas about how they should feel is not supportive.)
- Avoid telling them what they should or shouldn’t do.
- Support their choices or offer options. Allow choice to be regained (often choice has been taken from them): “If you need to go somewhere else right now, we can do that.” or “Do you want to go somewhere more safe? Would you like going to the park or the library?”
Sometimes, listening and talking is just about having a discussion or conversations. Other times, interacting with friends involves being supportive and caring about their needs. Employing these sorts of tactics when listening to a friend who has begun speaking about something very important and challenging for them is a good way to be supportive.