"All PIV is rape" - why I don't think this is helpful in giving women control over their sexual destiny

(97 Posts)

Ok.
Bear with me.
I am writing this down to get it right in my own head.
I would love it if somebody who knows more about RadFem theory could explain it to me.

I don't disagree with 'All PIV is rage' statement as an almost philosophical argument - I think I do get it.
But - it is such a radical statement for most 'normal' people who will see PIV as part of their every day sex lives and therefore as a statement is quite alienating and potentially off-putting rather than inviting debate or encouraging self-reflection.

I feel very strongly that women, particularly today's young girls/women (say, younger than 30 or so), are under terrible pressure to be sexually active very young and do things as a matter of course that would have been considered quite hard-core in my adolescence. I'd much rather somebody's first sexual experiences included nice gentle PIV rather than deep-throat oral or anal sex. If all PIV is rape, what on earth is some of the other stuff that goes on?
And I appreciate that there is no such thing as a 'better' or 'worse' rape, but it seems to minimise what women who survive abusive relationships or sexual assault go through.

I'd rather see young people to be encouraged to be respectful to each other, to fully expect to enjoy sex (I know - there's a radical concept! wink) and to not be made uncomfortable with whatever their choices are (whether that is to say 'No' or to swing from the chandeliers).

Be gentle with me, I don't post here v often and I am not well read on feminist theory. I suppose I am actually asking more about the 'practical' side of how this statement is helpful to the cause.

itsbetterthanabox Sun 01-Jun-14 11:48:12

I don't agree with statement but I understand it.
Piv sex is an act which puts women at great risk. Pregnancy can mean death and it always means physical trauma and a huge change in their life. Also women catch STIs much easier. It is also less sexually satisfying for women too. It is an act which men enjoy but is one that very few women can climax from. So basically it is putting women at risk for men's heightened sexual satisfaction. Society sees piv sex as the only 'real' sex so it is completely accepted that women must do this, it's an unavoidable part of heterosexual relationships. So with all these factors as they are it is difficult to say that anyone can truly consent, it is as though all women are coerced.

Hm, yes.
Society sees piv sex as the only 'real' sex
an unavoidable part of heterosexual relationships
That is certainly true.

calmet Sun 01-Jun-14 11:55:58

Pacific - Nobody would argue that the only issue in respectful sexual relationships is PIV. I suspect PIV was written about specifically, as it applies to so many cultures under patriarchy. But radical feminists have also written about the influence of porn on sex lives and how it is distorting young peoples ideas of what is a respectful and fun sex life.

Also an analysis of PIV is not about saying, to be a radical feminist, you should never have PIV. Do what you want. But be aware that PIV shouldn't be an expected part of sex. It should be just another sex act that you might choose or not choose to do.

And there are some Het radical feminists in relationships with men, who have never had PIV, as well as those that do.

calmet Sun 01-Jun-14 11:57:17

itsbetterthanabox - You have got the theory in one. Although I would add, under patriarchy.

Ok, I understand it a lot better now, thanks all.

I need to go out now - back later smile

keepyourchinupdear Sun 01-Jun-14 12:00:54

I can't agree that all PIV sex is rape. There are many instances when it's completely consensual -eg. when ttc, when both partners are 'in the mood', etc

Unfortunately the vast majority of males feel entitled due to perpetual patriarchy that is dealt out and blindly accepted from generation to generation. Therefore men are conditioned to not believe/realise, when a women says no she means no.

CrotchMaven Sun 01-Jun-14 12:01:22

You can download Intercourse (and other Dworkin works) here - radfem.org/dworkin/

keepyourchinupdear Sun 01-Jun-14 12:02:48

Oh, thanks to the poster who enlightened me on PIV.

calmet Sun 01-Jun-14 12:06:17

OP sorry I didn't really answer your question. How is thsi theory helpful to the "cause". I personally see radical feminism theory as being about describing the world as it is, rather than how we are taught to see it. So the radical feminist theory of PIV describes the real situation in terms of PIV under patriarchy.

But it is then up to feminists what we do with this theory. For example, I went to a day where Gail Dines spoke about talking to others about porn. She is a radical feminist with a radical feminist analysis of porn. But that doesn't mean when she talks to a mixed audience of people about porn, that she will go into a full radical feminist analysis. She talks about the things that are a problem with porn that she thinks her audience will listen to.

So I wouldn't talk to a group of young people about PIV and meaningful consent. I would talk about how sex is supposed to be fun, that you dont have to do anything you dont want to including penetrative sex, blow jobs etc. I would talk about couples I know who don't have any PIV but have a sex life.

GoshAnneGorilla Sun 01-Jun-14 12:10:16

I think the issue of consent and PIV is very interesting.

It's bad form to bring up one thread on another, but I read this:
www.mumsnet.com/Talk/am_i_being_unreasonable/2091543-A-theoretical-argument-Im-having-with-DH-about-if-a-woman-gets-pregnant-and-the-man-doesnt-want-it

And I find it frightening that there are women out there who believe a man is absolutely entitled to PIV on his own terms and that this lack of consequences for him is actually "equality.

BillnTedsMostFeministAdventure Sun 01-Jun-14 12:36:47

Gosh I'm glad you did link that thread.

Keep, I think when TTC is an exception even in the most extreme analysis, but my guesstimate would be that 5% tops of the PIV had in the UK last night was TTC sex.

grimbletart Sun 01-Jun-14 12:38:52

I think the PIV is rape is a misreading and a misunderstand of Dworkin's context in a similar way to the statement "there is no such thing as society" was a misreading and misunderstanding of context.

itsbetterthanabox Sun 01-Jun-14 13:25:16

I've often on threads on mn suggested people don't have piv when they have posted about intolerance to contraception or pain during piv etc. It gets laughed at and scorned. People feel 'sorry' for men that don't get to do it. It literally doesn't cross peoples minds that maybe it's a risk not worth taking. Women who are terrified of pregnancy or for whom pregnancy would be catastrophic health wise still feel they have to perform piv sex hmm

BillnTedsMostFeministAdventure Sun 01-Jun-14 13:32:46

(I'm extra glad you linked it, Gosh, as I've just hit my limit with it and am going to try not to post again!)

AICM Sun 01-Jun-14 13:33:47

I agree with you completely Itsbetter. But what about those women in good relationships who enjoy PIV? I really like PIV, not because the 'Patriarchy' tells me I should; I just like it. I feel physically better, I feel less stressed the exact opposite to what the PIV is rape idea says I should feel.

If ALL PIV is rape then it only takes one woman to stand up and say they like PIV to prove the argument wrong.

I like PIV therefore all PIV is not rape. QED.

MostlyMama Sun 01-Jun-14 13:36:30

Wait a minute, so normal sex is not putting a penis in a vagina?

So thats wrong and all now is it?

ReallyFuckingFedUp Sun 01-Jun-14 13:40:04

Says who mostly confused

AICM Sun 01-Jun-14 13:40:04

Keep up to date Mostly!!!

You're letter the side down if you have PIV. It's just totally abnormal (apparently)!

ReallyFuckingFedUp Sun 01-Jun-14 13:41:35

Also what constitutes normal sex?

AICM Sun 01-Jun-14 13:45:47

Consensual PIV,among many other thing, constitutes normal sex.

RhondaJean Sun 01-Jun-14 13:47:22

Marking place, have lots to say but on phone on m6 with dodgy Internet connection.

BillnTedsMostFeministAdventure Sun 01-Jun-14 13:48:09

You're letter the side down if you have PIV. It's just totally abnormal (apparently)!

^^no one on this thread has said this.

AICM Sun 01-Jun-14 13:52:32

That was a bit sarcastic I admit but if some feminists think PIV is rape (and some clearly do) then it follows that those feminists will view PIV as abnormal as it is surely abnormal to want to be raped.

Of course PIV is normal.
My question is not what any of us get up to in the bedroom - I implore you to keep it to yourselves wink!!

It is about stopping and thinking about what we all accept as normal.

AICM Sun 01-Jun-14 13:57:50

Sorry Pacific but the principle of "All PIV is rape" is not about what we all want as normal but about a few people, probably a very few, deciding on everybody else's behalf what is normal.

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