It is frustrating to live in a society where sexual violence is commonplace, and feel helpless to stop it. Many people are so disgusted and frightened for themselves and those they care about, that they do not have the patience to wait for our culture to right itself. It is from this frustration, impatience, and usually from a sincere worry for women’s safety, that people often will try to pass along rape prevention measures that may or may not be useful. [...]
Much of the safety advice that is given out is aimed at potential victims (quite often young women), that seems solid and constructive, but that largely ignores the social and societal context in which the violence happens, and also fails to take into consideration the practical realities of women’s lives.
It’s a question a lot of men have – they see themselves as feminist allies, they don’t want to be objectifying or creepy, but they still want to be able to express their sexual attraction to women whom they find appealing. And so they should – men and women enjoying sex together is a good thing! But I can understand why some of the things one learns as a feminist ally could make one reticent because of the possibility of putting one’s foot in it and being perceived as one of the bad guys, or even worse: appearing to be one of those predatory faux-feminist men who’s only parroting glib sound-bites in order to get laid.
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Let’s put this shit to bed right now: Women don’t lose their minds when they have period-related irritability. It doesn’t lower their ability to reason; it lowers their patience and, hence, tolerance for bullshit. If an issue comes up a lot during “that time of the month,” that doesn’t mean she only cares about it once a month; it means she’s bothered by it all the time and lacks the capacity, once a month, to shove it down and bury it beneath six gulps of wilful silence.
Amanda Hess has a great interview with Jaclyn Friedman about sex and the single feminist…Jill at Feministe responded to the idea of a conversation where other feminists are weighing in, and a great discussion is going on there.