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OK I have ummed and ahhed but DS asked again tonight so "From a Feminist Perspective"

(68 Posts)

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TrillianAstra Thu 15-Sep-11 22:56:41

Can you clarify the question?

What happens if he and his GF are drunk and...?

UsingMainlySpoons Thu 15-Sep-11 22:59:48

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TrillianAstra Thu 15-Sep-11 23:06:40

If they are both equally drunk then they may be both equally "at fault", depends on what happened, if they both thought it was a good idea at the time or if one put pressure on the other.

I suppose there are more different ways in which a woman can be a part of non-consensual sex than a man (in m/f sex at least), but it's still possible for a man to have sex in a situation where he was not mentally capable of giving proper consent.

UsingMainlySpoons Thu 15-Sep-11 23:07:05

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forkful Thu 15-Sep-11 23:12:04

MJ - I'm glad you've posted this - we need some knew threads - I saw on the thread is site stuff that you were debating posting this.

I am a feminist smile and I think that men can be raped - see definition of rape. I am thinking of a male anally raping another male.

I believe that this is fairly rare - especially for heterosexuals - but I am sure it is under-reported etc. Disclaimer - I have little to no knowledge of this. Not sure whether you meant a drunk man being taken advantage of by a woman? That's not rape in law. Obviously if the boy is underage and the woman older it is an offence.

The whole making sure the man is "more responsible" etc. Not sure exactly where I stand/how to express but I will teach my DS about "male privilege" and the fact that until recently men could legally rape their husbands. Due to men being in general physically stronger than women - this gives them the opportunity to be intimidating - either deliberately or (query) accidently.

Perhaps you could find some of the descriptions of rape situations MNers have posted about which illustrate the power imbalance. A non "participating" woman is demonstating non-consent. He needs to expect a willing and enthusiastic participant.

<The "romeo/juliet" thread was challenging - I think that it is useful to remember what sex means for a woman without access to contraception/abortion v what it means for a man - also useful to examine why in these scenarios the majority think "poor man - tricked into underage sex" rather than "poor girl" etc>

forkful Thu 15-Sep-11 23:14:09

new threads

UsingMainlySpoons Thu 15-Sep-11 23:14:58

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MillyR Thu 15-Sep-11 23:15:59

I don't really understand the reasoning here.

You seem to be saying that he should not have drunk sex because some feminists believe he can't be raped and that he is more responsible than women and he should take their view into account.

I think what is important is that he shouldn't have sex while very drunk because he is vulnerable to abuse in such a situation.

He shouldn't have sex with somebody else who is too drunk to give consent because it is illegal.

I don't see why you would advise him to take into account views that you don't agree with yourself. Was it more that it came up as part of the conversation and you weren't sure how to discuss that element of it?


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LRDTheFeministDragon Thu 15-Sep-11 23:23:33

I agree that men can be raped - and it is worth him knowing that as, sadly, it may happen to someone he knows. I'm not trying to scaremonger, but better he knows and can be aware of it.

He's asking normal teenage questions IMO - I had no clue about this stuff when I was 15. Drunk sex is a terrible idea in general - especially if you're a teen. One side point to make is, watch out for anyone who's very drunk and falling asleep. IME a lot of drunk teen sex happens when drunk teen sleeping is meant to be happening - either sneakily getting home after mum and dad have gone to bed or at house parties. And a very sleepy, very drunk person needs watching carefully.

I know that is a side point in some ways, but I think the whole issue of what you do when you're drunk is pretty hard for teens to work out and sex is by far from the only way he or any female friends of his are vulnerable in that state.

(Crikey I sound a puritan! blush grin)


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LRDTheFeministDragon Thu 15-Sep-11 23:31:55

Sorry, that was a shite post, let me have another crack.

What I mean is, there's a whole mindset about alcohol that you learn at some point and most of us learn as teenagers. If someone is so drunk that consent to sex is unclear (she can't give consent, he can't give consent, whichever), that doesn't mean you don't have responsibilities or things to worry about. The consequences still apply, even if you're drunk. And some of those consequences are really scary - scary if you're an adult who knows your limits but even scarier if you're a teenager.

Quodlibet Fri 16-Sep-11 00:17:32

You're making very good sense LRD and don't sound at all like a puritan. "*The consequences still apply, even if you're drunk*" is something I think a lot of adults haven't absorbed properly!

I've linked to 2 blogs here MJ that you might want to read through to check whether your think your teens would be able to absorb the information in them.

You're right to expect the same high standards of behaviour from both your children, MJ. In my opinion, both of them should always absolutely ensure that nothing they do as part of their sexual practice could cause harm to another person, either physically or emotionally. Part of that is making sure learn their limits when it comes to alcohol so that they can stay in control. That is both of their responsibility.

The thing with responsibilities is that there isn't just one responsibility, there are lots of responsibilities that all interlink with each other, but which are slightly different (in my opinion) for men and women, if we start from the point that we have different anatomical structures and different social pressures and conditioning, but the aim should be to keep everyone safe.

Unfortunately because of the way the world is unequally structured, here it differs for them, as I see it, is that anatomically it is easier for a man to hurt a woman in the course of sex - even without meaning to - than it is a woman to hurt a man. Because they are stronger, men can overpower women more easily than the other way round. If a woman, out of poor or impeded judgement or just plain selfishness, makes an unwanted sexual advance to a man, he has more physical resources (and, I would say, is much better mentally conditioned - see this blog for a good explanation why) to reject it or stop it than if the situation is reversed. Obviously there are exceptions to this situation but overall this is the case. Therefore, your son has a responsibility not to exploit this unequal power balance, and I would say, going further, to do everything he can do to ensure that the rights of his female partner are always freely available to her.

This blog post also makes a strong case that your son is more likely to hear male sexual abusers admitting to and bragging about their abuses, and is therefore in a different position to your daughter in terms of being able to challenge and confront that behaviour. That gives him a whole set of associated responsibilities that your daughter doesn't have, or has in a different way.

IrmaMuthafucker Fri 16-Sep-11 00:42:03

I'm a feminist but tbh I don't think it makes any difference. As the mother of a son I have thought about this and I think the best advice any mother could give is not to leave any room for doubt when it comes to sexual consent.

If your partner (male or female) is unable to give clear consent to sex just don't do it. The reason why they can't give consent is irrelevant (could be age/intoxication/unconscious). The consequences for both parties of having sex where consent is not explicit are potentially damaging and it's just not worth the risk.

To spell it out the consequences are finding yourself accused of rape, named publicly, losing your relationship, ruining someone else's life. Just not worth it for one shag.

If s/he really wants to s/he'll still be keen when they've woken/sobered up or turned 16.

And I don't know any feminists who think a man can't be raped. Unwanted and unconsented penetration with a penis or other object is rape.

garlicbutty Fri 16-Sep-11 01:14:47

I really like that Scarleteen page, spoons, good link!

Being drunk doesn't "make" you do things. People sometimes do things, when drunk, that they would stop themselves doing when sober. A good example of that is someone who hits their family when they're drunk. It means they feel entitled to hit them all the time, but only do it when alcohol has damaged their inhibitions.

It's important to realise this when thinking about drunk sex. If you KNOW, all the way through like you know your own address, that you just won't have sex when you're drunk, then you won't. Not having sex while drunk is an excellent policy for reasons of safety, morality, consideration for others and respect for yourself. I know it's possible because I've never had sex, drunk, that I wouldn't have had sober - and I have been very, very drunk on many occasions.

It's actually a better idea to never get so drunk you can't talk or walk properly. It is undoubtedly stupid to have sex with someone who is that drunk. They cannot consent (so it's illegal to have sex with them), they may feel dreadful afterwards and then you'd feel bad too, and it'll be rotten sex anyway. (I realise you're 15 and probably can't imagine rotten sex! You'll just have to trust us on that bit.)

Going back to the hypothetical man who feels entitled to hit his family (but inhibits himself when sober): Entitlement is an issue much discussed by feminists. I'm not talking here about straightforward entitlements - such as your entitlement to an education and to healthcare - but the kind of assumed, imaginary entitlement some people feel on account of their race, class or gender. This kind of entitlement is an attitude of unearned superiority.

Quite a few men believe, in their heart of hearts, that women are inferior beings. They think male superiority gives men rights over women's lives and bodies. It's pretty much like how slave owners used to think about slaves. This sense of entitlement gives rise to rape and other violence against women. The perpetrators don't really see women as people, more as a domestic animal or a slave. I'm sure you can see how idiotic this is, not to mention illegal. But it's fairly commonplace.

You will find, sometimes, that your male friends display this attitude about women. Some will claim it really comes from insecurity or fear about women. Well, maybe it does - but if they're so "insecure" about women they want to rape, hit or harass them, then I don't think the men are the ones feeling afraid! You are much better than this. Please remember it.

Consensual sex is sex that both partners want to have with each other, at the time when they're doing it. Previous consent does not imply any future consent (this is the law) and consent to one part of sex doesn't imply consent to carry on (also the law). If a girl is not enthusiastically joining in, doesn't take the lead at all, pushes you away or makes negative signals, then she's not consenting. Equally, a "yes" is NOT consent if you bullied, sulked or nagged her into it - that is also the law.

Finally: the same does apply both ways. Although the crime of rape applies to penetration, a woman can commit serious sexual assault on a man by having sex without his full consent. It's not a defence to say he had an erection (I'm sure you know they can happen for all sorts of reasons!) Serious sexual assault carries the same maximum penalties as rape.

Sorry, MJ, that was awfully long blush Hope it's some use, anyway.

garlicbutty Fri 16-Sep-11 01:31:17

Long as that was, I missed a bit out. The paragraph beginning "Consensual sex" should have made the crucial point that rape laws are, very simply, about RESPECT for another person's wishes and HONOUR of another person's trust. When you're involved in sexual activity, you make yourself vulnerable. Therefore it's important to have consideration for one another, never feeling "entitled". It's that simple really smile

ComradeJing Fri 16-Sep-11 06:22:51

I'm just going to repost what garlic wrote because this is so, so key:

Consensual sex is sex that both partners want to have with each other, at the time when they're doing it. Previous consent does not imply any future consent (this is the law) and consent to one part of sex doesn't imply consent to carry on (also the law). If a girl is not enthusiastically joining in, doesn't take the lead at all, pushes you away or makes negative signals, then she's not consenting. Equally, a "yes" is NOT consent if you bullied, sulked or nagged her into it - that is also the law.

I agree with every single bit of your post yet again garlic.

lovecat Fri 16-Sep-11 07:40:49

What garlic said. Wonderful post.

I would take slight issue with the OP's sentence "some feminists believe a man can't be raped" - why single out feminists?

Why not say "some people", because I've heard this from men and women (not particularly feminist women) in the past - a sniggering 'lucky so n' so' attitude if an underage boy has sex with an older woman.

I'm not aware of that being any part of a feminist viewpoint. If anything feminists tend (sweeping generalisation alert) to be more aware of the issues around consent.

kat2504 Fri 16-Sep-11 07:49:23

I've had loads of drunken sex in my life. Agree that drunken sex is often not so good but come on, surely we've all had fun times after a few drinks.

To be so drunk as to not be able to give your informed and freely given and obvious consent, you would have to be totally paralytic and virtually passed out. In that case, anyone who wanted to have sex with you in that condition most likely is taking advantage. Why would you want to have sex with someone in that state? I agree that would most likely be rape. I also agree it is a good idea to tell teenagers not to get that drunk. However, I'm sure we've all done it in our time and it is not unreasonable to expect our bodies to be respected no matter what silly state we get ourselves into.

It's not the same at all as having a shag after sharing a bottle or so of wine!

kat2504 Fri 16-Sep-11 07:53:33

I have had sex when drunk that I wouldn't have had sober. However, I was 100% aware that this was simply an error of judgement on my part, rather than being coerced into it. Lots of things seem like a good idea at the time when you are drunk and young. I chalked it up to experience and tried to learn some sense from it.
Just because I wouldn't have done it when I was sober does not mean that I did not freely agree to it at the time.
Really, I think you have to be totally blind drunk to claim that you were unable to give your consent.
If you weren't that drunk and someone has sex with you against your will then of course that is rape.
My point is that when drunk we can often choose to do things that we would not otherwise have done.

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