I found myself embroiled in a Facebook thread last night. It started with the following image…
This was posted in a parenting group and every single person who’d responded was female.
The first reply was “Really?! Thats just mean”. This was followed by “if it is just as it is written – no I doubt it would be rape. – but , yes, there is some info missing….” along with “I can understand asking him to stop and being upset that he didn’t but unless there was something else strange going on (bondage maybe) or he was being really rough, I can’t see it as rape.” and “The real question is, when does it stop being consensual? In this base scenario, I do not think it is rape”
I posted “It stops being consensual at the words no or stop. It’s rape after that.” and got these two replies:
“Well, the question is, are you entitled to finish, and what measures are you allowed to employ to ensure you do?”
“To me, that broad of a definition is worrisome.”
To recap. Grown adult women think it’s probably not rape if a man continues having sex with a woman (when she says stop) if he hasn’t finished yet and that sex after the words “stop” and “no” is too broad a definition for rape. That crashing sound was my faith in humanity breaking and I didn’t have much left to begin with.
At my last count, the thread was up to 80 comments (several of which were mine). More people than me chimed in on the “yes, this is rape” side and then another person jumped in to claim rape culture doesn’t exist in Canada and that the woman in the image deserved it because men can’t control themselves in a state of arousal. Besides she’d been enjoying it right up to the word “stop”. You know, pretty much proving the existence of rape culture right there.
I’d originally planned on writing a longer post last night; tying the conversation with Jeremy to the Facebook discussion but then I got to my question for Jeremy and ran out of steam. I could not write another word about rape, not if I wanted to sleep that night. Also, I hate 3am. Just saying. I’m not very awake today.
I was chatting on Facebook with a couple of friends of mine (about that thread) when Jeremy wandered into my room and flopped onto my bed.
“Do you know what doctors should invent?” he asked cheerfully.
Well, I can think of all sorts of things. That’s one heck of an open ended question. I just shrugged slightly, hoping he’d accept that as an answer. I don’t like playing guessing games.
“They should build a gender changing machine,” he continued. “You’d walk in and, poof, you’d be the other gender when you walked out the other side.”
He gestured wildly, sending puffs of orchid scented body lotion in my direction. He tends to put it on a tad thick so he can smell prettier. I could smell him from halfway across the room.
“And you could use it as many times as you wanted,” he added. “Would you use it?”
Putting aside the fact I wouldn’t want to be a man, we’ve been through this multiple times with his teleportation device questions. I would not be comfortable going through any machine that entirely rearranged my molecules.
“Michelle. Are you sure you didn’t come in here with an arm protruding from your back?”
While I’ve talked to Jeremy about the difference between sex and gender, it apparently hadn’t stuck. Considering he claims we live in a 20 floorie high rise (because he confuses stories and floors), this wasn’t a big surprise.
“Jeremy? Do you know what the difference is between sex and gender?” I asked, wondering what he’d remembered.
“Yes… mostly… well, kind of,” he said, squirming a little. “I know what it means but it’s complicated to explain.”
“That means no,” I said dryly. “Gender is up here,” I tapped the side of his head, “and sex is between your legs. I think you meant a sex change machine.”
“Yeah,” he agreed. “That’s what I meant.”
He promptly moved on to talking about Doctor Who. I’d like to say I listened intently but the truth is he lost me within the first 30 seconds. I caught something about someone time-traveling into the Tardis but, beyond that, I was completely confused. He often forgets I’ve only seen four episodes.
“Oh! I can hear my airplane. It’s still flying! I didn’t think it would fly so long without me. I have to go check and see how it’s doing.”
With that, he bounded out of the room, snagging a cat on the way. And I went back to my writing.