“This brings up the word of the week: “consent”. And it’s a tricky one for many. According to much of the comment and behaviour coming to light, if you have consented to sex with one or more footy players then they clearly have a blank cheque. What seems to be missing is the acknowledgement that for a female in an intimate situation with one or more men weighing around 110kg each, who are paid to maximise their physicality and essentially cause pain and difficulty to their colleagues, it is often not possible to un-consent.”—'I'm Glad It Wasn't MY Penis' | newmatilda.com
“You’re in a car with a beautiful boy, and he won’t tell you that he loves you, but he loves you. And you feel like you’ve done something terrible, like robbed a liquor store, or swallowed pills, or shovelled yourself a grave in the dirt, and you’re tired.”—You are Jeff, Richard Siken (via expose) (via adeldelion)
The Sydney Star Observer has an interesting insight into how issues of s-xual consent are discussed with young NRL players:
The material from the NRL seminars include a DVD scenario of an intoxicated woman who goes home with two men and agrees to sex with one of them, but not both. Young players from Newcastle’s under-20s team responded by saying, “She put out first” and that, as she flirted with both men, it was OK for both to have sex with her.
The second version has a drunk man subjected to homos-xual rape. The players have a very different reaction.
This report by Four Corners on a culture of sexual abuse in the Australian National Rugby League has provoked some interesting debate online, but mostly just idiotic statements.
Nothing pisses me off like anonymous statements like this - essentially a big whinge; “waa, waa, waa, we already can’t drink on certain days, we already have to provide positive role models for Australian young men and boys, and all we get in return is popular adulation and status from young and old alike as well as enormous amounts of money, and a party lifestyle that Hollywood heiresses would have trouble keeping up with”.
You can’t expect rugby league players/young men generally to behave appropriately towards women because (insert generic justificatory statment about testerone, aggression, being young, being “hot-blooded”, alcohol, “just wanting to have a good time/celebrate with their mates”, etc. etc.)This obviously stupid sentence is repeated as a commonplace even from the mouths of those you would expect to be more enlightened, and it pisses me off for two reasons:
(1) It offends me as a man. Men are capable of reasoning and judgement, and indeed are expected to exercise it at all times in our society. We’re not primal, ungovernable, raging beasts. Nobody ever says “you can’t expect men to drive competently when they’re so aggressive”; “you can’t expect men not to swear at police officers when drunk”; “you can’t expect men to not rob convenience stores when they don’t have any money”; “you can’t expect men not to engage in unwanted homosexual sexual advances when drunk”, etc. ad nauseam. It’s so obviously selective and self-serving to say this and ignore the fact that we as a society do sanction men for other forms of inappropriate behaviour, even when they’re young, even when they’re drunk, even when they’re “hot-blooded” etc. etc. Men are perfectly capable of adhering to social expectations, especially when, for example, they have the incentive of being feted as model “gentleman” rugby league players. The problem is not some issue inherent to the biology or the psychology of the individual male.
(2) Every time you say “you can’t expect a man to…” it immediately transforms into an expectation that we must expect a young woman to: put up with it. Laugh it off. Be understanding. Say yes. Don’t care when your answer doesn’t matter. It redefines women as some sort of conveniently accesible tool or function rather than a human being who is capable of making choices and making her own will manifest, in the same way that her male counterpart is assumed to be.
(As an aside, I read recently an interesting criticism of some of the “no means no” movement. It made the point that this movement potentially puts the onus on women to behave ‘appropriately’ at all times - to force her will in opposition to the man, who is some sort of passive receptor of a woman’s expressed will, rather than a person forcefully trying to impose their own will.)
I think, honestly, even though the incidents discussed in the Four Corners report can easily and sensibly only be classified as rape in any ordinary person’s understanding, there’s still a problem with with conceptualising it. It’s still a matter of “the woman didn’t make abundantly clear that she didn’t want it”/”she had regrets the next morning”, which to my mind, feeds into something unsaid: it’s not that the man doesn’t stop when a woman says no, it’s that he doesn’t really care when she makes it clear (through any number of actions that any reasonable person could be expected to notice) that she is not enjoying or partaking in this sexual activity happily.
In other words, the problem is not that the woman had a “communication problem” in making her intent clear, or that she “actually liked it”; it’s that the men involved are totally indifferent to what she was feeling, and it doesn’t really matter how she expresses her unhappines or discomfort, they’re going to disregard the signals (which again, any normal person could objectively see as indicating the woman was not participating willingly) because they already think they can can get away with it, and then after the fact lambast the woman for not being “clear” in what she “wanted”.
An almost full moon in the sky, my waters run blood. I am not tired, though I ache from this, the weight of your absence.
The needing of things, uses me up like an empty syringe. Oh, the moon, she whispers death into my bones. In this hot weather the thought of loving you makes me very tired.
It is quite disorienting to live as sane and sleepless as I; to float upon a river that no soul has reached; except by dream; and with you in my dream, and the water tasting like blood, who am I to know the whereabouts of things.