Did you know rape is the same as seduction? Here's what Ms. Hays originally wrote under the headline "Rape can take different forms":
- seduction: when a man persuades a woman to have sex with him, often subtly, through being kind, polite, chivalrous, etc.In response to comments - and after she'd apparently had a chance to think it over again, which is maybe scariest of all - Ms. Hays added:
- rape of our souls: when we, women, are not allowed to be ourselves because of having to conform to patriarchal feminine gender 'norms'. Whether we do it to "be liked" or not to be criticized, most of the time, we conform.
Seduction is a form of male sexual exploitation of women. And I certainly do not condone when men screw women over, whether in an individual case or culturally. I will need to get back to this somehow, sometime: seduction does not feel like rape at all when a woman has fully accepted to submit to the patriarchy; that does not change the fact that patriarchal masochism is a destroyer of inner female energy. I think I should have called seduction 'a form of male sexual exploitation that intends to destroy female energy', but I will surely go back to that in a future post. ...That's only adding nuance if you distinguish "rape" from "male sexual exploitation," which both the original post and her update gleefully fail to do. By the way, she does not use "seduction" as shorthand for "getting a woman shitty drunk so she can no longer consent to sex or say no." She includes kindness and politeness under its banner, for fuck's sake.
Seduction may not be exactly called rape, but it still generally does involve a man fucking a woman over and deceiving her. Damn! I've seen this happen to me and women friends so many times, I'm not crazy: I have heard them complaining about what assholes often men can be... Any form of sexual exploitation (even a subtler one) you don't really want to happen to you or that you feel shitty or depressed about the fact it has happened to you is a form of rape or male sexual exploitation of women somehow.
Now, if like me you think conflating all these things trivializes rape almost beyond recognition, you should go read Maggie Hays' original post (so you can see I'm not taking things out of context) and then check out Natalia's wonderful dissection of it. Here are a few of Natalia's juiciest bits:
I especially appreciate that last point because it reminds me of Elaine Scarry's argument (in The Body in Pain: The Making and Unmaking of the World) that using the word "torture" figuratively minimizes the horror of actual torture. Since I read that book, I've been pretty scrupulous about reserving "torture" for the kind of shit that's gone down in Guantanamo Bay.
The thing about seduction is - of course it can end up with you making choices that you may later regret. This goes for men and women. How many of us haven’t been charmed by a person who turned out to be a scumbag or asshole in one way or another? But the key word here is “choice.” I’m sorry, but the very definition of rape implies the absence of choice, one way or another.
Seduction is not coercion. A man who makes you feel like wringing out your panties is not a rapist by definition. Why the hell do I even need to point this out to anyone? ...
It’s true that women are supposed to regret their bad choices much more than men. What Maggie Hays is doing is essentially perpetuating this idiotic double standard, and turning around and calling it feminist.
The other ridiculous assumption being made here is that a woman couldn’t possibly go out of her way to seduce a man.
That’s right. The many times that you and I have done this, girls, we were:
a) Blinded by the Patriarchy’s shiny penis and unable to understand what it was we were doing, b) We were, in fact, raping ourselves, or c) Unknowingly replicating the evil behaviour of evil, dirty males, forever compromising our precious purity. Well, I’m glad all of that has been cleared up!This is disgusting, because it’s a huge trivialization of rape. It’s like those people you sometimes meet, the people who can’t handle anyone disagreeing with them ever, so they say things like: “Stop talking to me! Stop assaulting me with your disagreeable rhetoric! You’re no better than a rapist!”
(But really, go read the whole thing here.)
If you don't want to follow me on that tangent, though, consider this item from today's Columbus Dispatch, which is just logically impossible in Maggie Hays' parallel universe:
The Scioto County sheriff's office is investigating two separate cases of young boys being sexually assaulted by older boys.This is just horrifying. I have two young sons. One is five, the other nine. At the risk of sounding like someone who's watched too much Faux News: the law would have to protect the perp from me if anyone harmed my boys.
Three juveniles have been charged with rape in the first case, in which a 7-year-old boy was sexually assaulted in a West Portsmouth neighborhood. Detective Jodi Conkel said the assault occurred on Dec. 15 in a vacant building that is being renovated into a church.
Conkel said the boy often hung around with the juveniles, and detectives think the boy could have been assaulted more than once. Two of the suspects are 12 years old and the third is 14.
In a second case reported Wednesday, a 16-year-old Wheelersburg resident is accused of raping three young boys, ages 3, 5 and 10, while they were visiting his home.
The teen has a juvenile record and is being held in a detention center pending a court appearance, Conkel said.
Conkel and Scioto County Prosecutor Mark Kuhn refused to release the names of the juvenile defendants in each case.
Maggie Hays would have me believe that only women are victims of The Patriarchy. The victimization of boys is simply impossible and incoherent in the framework she presents: All men are assholes, assholes = rapists, and all women are victims. She has no way to even recognize the existence of boys as victims. In comments, she makes clear that she'd been a victim of rape (and I am deeply, sincerely sorry to hear that). Her experience does not, however, give her the right to nullify the equally valid experiences of others.
I'm hoping someone will plug the wormhole between Maggie Hays' universe and mine. Of course, if hers is a female universe, she might call that rape, too. (And yes, I realize that's a juvenile remark, but I'm gonna make it anyway.)