Consent and victim-blaming are two sides of the same coin

–image by FCM. Click on image to visit Scum-o-rama.

Please see our “About,” “Why Radfem?” and “The Gears” pages for additional information about this project.

Women’s culture/positive images.  There seems to be a pattern here: where an image isn’t objectifying women on its face, and where the message conveyed is supportive of women’s interests rather than obviously deleterious to women’s interests, female-positive images are often crafted as a political response to male-supremacist political positions and to patriarchy itself. Most of the images we have used here so far as examples of “Women’s culture/positive images” are not positive images in their own right: these images are necessary now, but would not be necessary and would not exist outside a patriarchal context where women are fighting for our very lives, and use various media to illustrate and advance our points.

Here, the graphic illustrates how both “consent” and “victim-blaming” are both manifestations of the same thing, namely, overlapping legal and moral frameworks that deal with the issue of “sex,” rape and the female-specific harms of the penis as a property issue, rather than a political issue, or a women’s health issue, or another framework that would better represent women’s political and interpersonal experience with intercourse and forced-intercourse.  Of course, as both historically and today, around the world, women simply do not own property, the property-framework is male-centric on its face.

See here for more information on property law; note how the language of “consent” in that context mirrors its use in rape-related discourse:

Seeking Consent to Enter Property

You should make sure that you get consent before entering someone else’s property.  This consent must come from the individual, group of individuals, or business entity that is in possession of the property. In many cases this means that you need to get the owner’s consent. […]

In some cases you’ll be able to get express consent (verbal or in writing) from the person in possession of the property.  In other cases you may believe you have the person’s implied consent for your ability to enter her property.  This type of situation occurs when:

–the person is not present, but your prior contact with the person leads you to believe that you can enter her property without express permission; [!!!]

–you don’t ask for permission, and the person keeps silent during your visit to her property. [!!!]

If you rely on implied consent, you may find it difficult to defend yourself if you are charged with trespassing. You will need to show that a reasonable person in the same situation would have believed that there was implied consent based upon the conduct of the person in possession of the property and the overall circumstance.

Scope of Consent

If you have a right to be present on private or public property you will not be trespassing if your use of the property is consistent with your right to be there.  Make sure you understand the scope of the permission you’ve been given and stay within its boundaries.

Misrepresenting yourself in order to gain consent

You may want to engage in investigative reporting tactics in order to inform the public about improper business practices or governmental wrongdoing, and thus may feel the need to misrepresent yourself in order to gain the necessary consent.  If you do so, you may find yourself facing charges of trespass on the basis that your misrepresentation vitiated the consent given to you.

Bolds and [!!!] mine.  See also The Language of Consent (Or, Hey You Kids, Get Off My Lawn!) at femonade.

Obviously, framing the issue as a property-issue does not even begin to identify, address or remedy the problem to female-bodied persons of being raped, by penises.  In reality, rape is the violent enforcement of women’s social role as fuckholes for men and producers of children.  It has nothing to do with property, or of a woman’s property interest in her own body, the very concept of which is absurd and is never applied to men in any situation (is it?).  Of course, while rape is the violent enforcement of women’s social role, normalized or mandatory intercourse is the (relatively) non-violent enforcement of it.  Both need to be addressed if the problem is to be remedied from the perspective of women as a sexual class, around the world.

This is timely, because SlutWalk 2012 is gearing up.  SlutWalk Baltimore, for its part, claims to be attempting to remedy the problems of the original SlutWalk.  Sadly, unless they clearly and correctly identify the real problem, they cannot address or remedy the real problem; and they are still framing the issue as “promoting the end of victim-blaming.”  Notably, they are not advocating “the end of rape,” or the end of men raping women, or the end of politicized, female-specific reproductive harm.

Read more about the “consent” framework, framing the issues, and Slutwalk here and here and here and here and here.

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5 responses to “Consent and victim-blaming are two sides of the same coin”

  1. FCM says :

    jesus people on FB are stupid. and they simply will not admit, ever, that PIV and rape are extremely similar. both are politicized female-specific reproductive harm, and enforcement of womens sex role. this is very obviously the case.

    i mean srsly, how can you look at “SHE WANTED IT” and understand that this is the essence of both consent and victim-blaming, (which it is — isnt it?) and not go “HMMM”? its interesting bro. and they still dont care. “interesting” does not interest them. instead, they are happy being cheerleaders for slutwalk, when slutwalk doesnt make any kind of rational sense, at all. and for what? because its cool? sheesh.

  2. Hecuba says :

    ‘the person is not present, but your prior contact with the person leads you to believe that you can enter her property without express permission; [!!!]’ Males claim this all the time whenever they commit sexual violence against known females, because the male(s) perpetrator(s) assume that once a female has supposedly consented – ergo submitted to male coercion/pressure/blackmail she has given ‘consent’ (sic) 24/7 to these males.

    Slutwalk organisers cannot and will not acknowledge elephant in the room – namely those male sentinent beings who commit/condone/justify pseudo male sex right to all females. Instead focus has to be on female victims because hey – females supposedly have the power to prevent males from subjecting them to sexual violence despite fact male supremacist system created laws to minimalise/justify pseudo male sex right to females.

  3. Herbs&Hags says :

    Blimey am shocked that the wording of consent is so similar to description of property crimes. I’ve always thought that consent is a really bizarre concept, it’s basically the rapist’s view of sex – that it’s something a man does to a woman, which she either consents to or not, rather than something that 2 people do together. I’ve never in my life consented to PIV sex, I’ve either been raped or have actively participated in it. Consent is a term men invented in order to allow them to penetrate the bodies of women who didn’t want them to, without having to call it rape.

  4. docta femina quae cogitat says :

    Yeah, I see that given social/material conditions ‘consent’ does not matter much in a context of collective ownership, it is a throwback to private ownership actually. Rape generally meant to take a female that was another male’s or collectively other males’ property – cf the Rape of the Sabine women as a foundational myth of Roman civilisation. The implication was that they belonged to the Sabine males… not all were married and weren’t legally subject to another man’s sex-right yet. Hence rape in marriage was considered impossible since the wife was the husband’s property, but the sex-right is still the common aspect of it all, laws are just nominal fodder in the scheme of things.

  5. luckynkl says :

    As Dworkin put it, “I am telling you that you cannot separate the so-called abuses of women from the so-called normal uses of women. The history of women in the world as sexual chattel, makes it impossible to do that.”