Sunday, March 18, 2007

Reaction To So-Called Gray Rape

Over at TPM Cafe Dataguy wrote the following comment:

I really wonder about all this. Sexual relationships always involve one person pushing the envelope a little bit. Rather than calling it being pushy, this whole thing about "gray rape" takes an INHERENTLY subjective area and criminalizes it. Thus, a guy who might be just a little too pushy gets a label of "sexual criminal" for life.

That's really extreme, and it bothers me, as the father of an adolescent boy. He's not real sociable, but will be some day, and I worry that a slight difference of opinion might end up with a label of "sexual predator" period.
If one person is always pushing the envelope for sex, that pattern of action justifiably earns that person the label of sexual predator or at the least a sexual bully. That isn't healthy or truly fulfilling for anyone.

Since this man is opposed to subjective views such as mine, I checked the dictionary.

Predatory (from Webster's):
1) Of, relating to, or marked by plunder.
2) Selfishly exploiting others.
3) Predacious. (meaning: preying on other animals)

I see nothing even the tiniest bit selfless in this man's description of sexual relationships so it is by definition predatory. Which makes the person who acts according to that description a sexual predator whether that person is ever charged with a crime or not.

This man's comment is a perfect example of the normalization of sexual coercion and possibly even bodily force. Notice the total absence of viewing this behavior from the perspective of the person being pushed. The only person who shouldn't be hurt, or who even has the potential to be hurt, is the pushy one.

In fact, the person being pushed is never referenced directly.

The details of how the pushiness is accomplished are obscured intentionally. We are told the risk is simply, "a guy who might be just a little too pushy" rather than being "a guy who might force himself on a girl." He says, "a slight difference of opinion," rather than, "He took what he wanted from her because he could."

He acknowledges that this behavior could lead to a sex-crimes conviction, but refuses to acknowledge why that label would be justified.

I'll explain the justification in case he or anyone who thinks like him reads this. If you have to push the envelope to get sex there is NO sexual relationship. None. Zip. Nada. Getting a little too pushy when it comes to getting sex is either rape or attempted rape.

If you have to push, you need to stop immediately. By stop, I mean full stop, not stop and strategize about how to get around the resistence. Certainly, not stop only until she's fallen asleep or doesn't know what else to do to fend you off.

Full stop.

Respect yourself and your humanity if you have no respect for how your actions impact others. If you don't want to be labeled a predator and treated like one, don't act the part.

From what this man wrote about appropriate sexual behavior, he is setting his son up to possibly become a rapist who may have to register as a sex offender. That will hurt his son and anyone hurt by the "pushiness" his father views as acceptable.

The solution to this problem isn't to bitch about what has been criminalized, but to respect the law and the harm that the law is intended to either prevent or punish.

If pushing the envelope is no big deal then ceasing the pushing should also be no big deal.

Technorati tags:
Bookmark and Share
posted by Marcella Chester @ 1:04 AM   2 comments links to this post


At March 18, 2007 11:21 AM, Blogger Jenny said...

Well said.

Being "a little too pushy" to me equals saying "my desires are more important than your needs".

At August 28, 2007 3:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So, in my head, pushing the envelope means challenging your partner in new and exciting ways. I fail to see how this could get you labelled a sex offender. If the relationship you are involves listening/paying attention/routinely asking your partner questions, the difference between this kind of pushing the envelope and pushing for sex that isn't wanted should be pretty effing clear. The fact that this man expects the latter behavior from his son (and doesn't see the difference in general) is supremely creepy.


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home