Saturday, July 28, 2007

Legal And Enthusiastic Or Busted

I can't remember where I saw a man asking how to tell if a drunk woman was conscious enough to consent to sex, but the implications of that question have stuck with me.

We see the implications of this question when there is a videotape of an alleged rape where the alleged victim is inert but who makes undistinguishable noises. These noises are often seen by the jury as signs of consent or signs of reasonable doubt.

Maybe the alleged victim is only playing possum.

At it's most extreme some people seem to refuse to believe what they see unless there were signs of rigormortis. The problem is that they are looking for proof that the alleged victim explicitly said don't have sex with me when I am suffering from acute alcohol poisoning.

What this man's question told me is that there is a serious need for sex education that gets into topics that make people squirm. Sex education that says only "wait until you are married" leaves those who don't want to wait to be educated by whoever seems successful at sex.

But understanding how to respect others when they are vulnerable goes far beyond sex education. Learning how to navigate a relationship so nobody is harmed goes far beyond sex education.

Learning how to get what we want legally and so all those involved are just as enthusiastic is vitally important. So too is learning that sometimes we don't have the right to get what we want. There is a great power in being able to walk away when we'd rather grab what we want and what we believe we can get away with.

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posted by Marcella Chester @ 1:00 PM   1 comments links to this post


At July 28, 2007 1:22 PM, Blogger Roswila said...

An important discussion you raise here. I'm a survivor of childhood and adult sexual abuse, so know whereof I speak. Thank you so much for your work here in support of exposing these uncomfortable and difficult layers to our human relationships. Only in doing so, flinching all the way if we must, can we turn around some basic very wrong headed and mistaken assumptions and beliefs in our society about these subjects.


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