(Also, I said “humor”, but this is not a funny article, so don’t get your hopes up.)
I was scrolling through the Book of Face (like ya do), and I ran across this advert for panties that say, “I have the pussy, so I make the rules.” (I don’t want to link to the shop necessarily, but it was Inked.)
I quite nearly rage-quit the internet for the day. Everything that could possibly be wrong in a decent society is summed up in that one messed-up bit of underwear. It seems like it should be sort of feminist-ish and “bad girl chic”, but it’s not. NOT BY A LONG SHOT.
First, fuck you in thinking that you can make the rules for anyone. If you think that having a specific piece of biological anatomy makes you superior to anyone else, you are not just part of the problem, you ARE the problem.
Feminism is not about women being better than men, it’s about recognizing the equal value of all genders. Shit-heel assholery like this undermines everything that we’re trying to accomplish. Suggesting that “pussy=power” is in the opposite direction of equality.
Second, if you’re idiot enough to flaunt this kind of bullshit, you’re practically waving a red flag to the Cromag slope-heads who would challenge that statement, and probably won’t mind getting a little aggressive and anti-consent to drive the point home. (And by “point”, I mean “cock”, in case you missed that.) Remember that rape is still mostly supported in modern culture, implicitly and subtly, because look at just how goddamned many people get away with it constantly. I say “people” because, surprise, women can rape, too.
That brings us to our third point, and that is, ABSOLUTELY NO ONE PERSON SHOULD BE MAKING THE RULES OF SEXUAL INTERACTION. Sex should be a mutually consensual act that requires verbal (or at least unmistakably explicit) input from both parties. Yeah, it’s okay and sometimes downright sexy for one party or the other to “lead the dance”, so to speak, but neither one is “making the rules”. Even in BDSM and dom/sub scenarios, the consent is established, the rules of engagement are defined, and then they can get down to having the happy-fun-times.
The other side of this (and I can’t believe that I actually have to spell it out, but I do) is that if you don’t want to do something that your partner DOES want to do, you have to respect that, but accusing that partner of impending rape because you don’t agree is wrong, bad, incorrect, fucked-up, erroneous, false, inaccurate, atrocious, and unacceptable. If you try to trot out that attitude as leverage, you’re also contributing to the problem by confusing the definition of rape with your own personal insecurities and control issues. You are not the boss of your partner, and them having to defend their own boundary doesn’t make THEM a potential rapist, it makes YOU a potential rapist.
(As an aside, this is not the same thing as negotiating. Not everyone is into the same things, and part of having sexual experiences is to expand your horizons. If you know that you absolutely do not like to have your nipples touched, then that’s fine, state that boundary. However, if you’ve never actually tried armpit sex [and it doesn’t immediately gross you out], don’t call that a hard boundary. The ultimate goal is to find a partner that has common sexual ground but also to be able to bring new things to the relationship.)
I’ve run into this a few times throughout the years, where male friends and partners do not believe that their actual desires can be addressed and satisfied because this “pussy=power” perspective has been leveraged to keep only one person’s preferences on the menu – and it’s not the guy. They were told this so many times (implicitly and explicitly) that they got the idea that maybe their desires were wrong, that maybe they weren’t supposed to actually get to express themselves sexually (in a positive and healthy way). Honestly, that contributes even more to the cultural problem because a person who is not allowed to embrace their natural state and desires has a greater likelihood of turning that state/desire into a pathology.
Which is to say, that which is denied can become an aggressive obsession.
Rape is what happens when a person desires a specific sexual encounter, does not believe that they could accomplish that sexual encounter consensually, and so acquires that sexual encounter by hook or by crook (aggression, drugs, alcohol, coercion, etc.). (I’m not counting people whose actual fetish is rape, which is a whole other psychological issue.)
If men, as a whole, are taught that their desires are not likely to be fulfilled because they “don’t make the rules”, then those who have maybe a looser grasp on things like “respect” and “legality” and “consent” see no other course than to take what they want, to hell with the consequences.
And, shock of shocks, this ties into the pervasive foundation of how we’ve fucked men up for generations now by systematically silencing them with a shame-culture that views emotional desire and need as weakness, less-than, dangerously vulnerable.
Imagine a world where sexual desire was a common topic, where people were not immediately judged poorly for admitting to having feels below the belly button. Things like paedophilia and somnophilia could be addressed with a therapist and maybe even resolved instead of being forced underground where the demonization turns to indignation with people coming up with elaborate and stubborn means of justifying their non-consensual behaviors.
So, seriously, just fucking stop this false power-play bullshit in media. We have a huge fucking mess to clean up, and if you’re not helping, you’re hindering – and if you’re hindering, we’re going to have to stop you by other means.