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Author Topic: Double Standards with Consent
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

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Can we talk about this: http://www.scarleteen.com/article/advice/he_doesnt_want_to_have_sex_anymore_how_can_i_change_his_mind

I don't mean to single any one user out: the user that asked that question is not anything CLOSE to the only young woman we've had ask about similar, or otherwise seem to suggest or outright state that when it comes to a guy, sexual pressuring is okay.

But this really is a very pervasive double-standard, one I feel very strongly not only undermines consent for people of any gender, but also enables some really crap sexual double-standards for men.

Obviously, this can be or get a bit chicken-and-eggy. In a word, maybe this person's BF pressured her, so she doesn't see the issue. And we've certainly had young women who came talking about doing pressuring of guys that then did say the guys they were exerting pressure on had done so with them. To boot, it's not like we're at a point where everyone acknowledges that women's consent or lack of it absolutely gets respected. We're so not.

But I do think it's fair to say that message is a lot stronger than the same message for/about guys and how equally important their consent is.

Thoughts?

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Djuna
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I feel like this thread is assuming the relationships we're talking about are male/female, but I might be imagining that. Too, it's not as if consent is only an issue that applies to men or women. I obviously know that wasn't the intention, but after rereading it a couple times I still feel a little uneasy about it. Anyway, here's my two shekels:

(Possible trigger warning for emotional abuse and sexual assualt)

I'm not sure how into this I want to wade - I don't now identify as a man, although I did at the time that my abusive boyfriend, while not assaulting me, pressured me, belittled me and destroyed my self-confidence to have sex with me I had minutes earlier said I didn't want to be having.

A couple weeks later, I was in my friend's bed trying to get over my ex-boyfriend, but when I said things were going faster than I wanted them to, and his hands were where I didn't want them to be - after I said that a second or third time, and quit with my playful voice and said as sternly as I was able that he needed to stop, my friend decided to hold me down on the bed. I was bigger than him, and when I threw him off me he calmed down. Although I had known I'd be able to fight this guy off, there was a moment when I wasn't sure if I'd be able to get out without getting hurt physically.

I don't know if I'm capable of getting into what happens if all the genders involved there get changed around. I know that the idea that I was someone that pressuring might happen to was new to me almost the second it happened with that first boyfriend of mine, and I hear a lot of comments to the effect that men "always want" sex and so on. And I know that when I got away and went to my female friends' apartment next door to mine to talk about what had just happened, because I was still in quite a bit of shock, I got a pretty unsympathetic response of "Welcome to a woman's world." I think at the time I had expected that there was some sort of universal sisterhoodish sympathy about sexual assaults happening, and now I'm a little older I know that really isn't always the case at all. That wasn't the last time a man has gotten angry after me refusing to have sex with him, but I have more agency now to get out of those situations. I'm not sure what that means in terms of gender.

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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

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(No, totally not assuming that, just addressing how this double standard often exists between men and women, and that's the context of this particular post. But so don't have to confine the conversation to that!)

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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WesLuck
Activist
Member # 56822

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My dad thinks I should hop into bed with the first woman who offers. However I have politely told him that I have a very reliable source (ie. this web-site and community) that not having sex with a woman now does not mean that I will not ever be able to have sex with a woman later. It would probably just be a different woman. And I don't think I'd want to have sex just because it's expected that I, as a male who identifies as a male, would. I think I would much rather get to know a woman first before I decide to accept an offer to sleep with her. And I don't think there's a hidden sisterhood that says "if you meet a man who won't sleep with you the minute you offer, whisper to all the other cisgender women that you know that they should never offer to sleep with him ever". I think this just plays to a certain insecurity, that I think society tries to perpetuate.

[ 12-02-2011, 10:14 AM: Message edited by: WesLuck ]

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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

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Wes: you rock.

Seriously, that is all. [Smile]

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 67055 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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