Twisty at I Blame The Patriarchy has proposed a radical revision of the legal concept of rape. As a het guy who believes that the more I can internalize the Twisty creed, the better my life as a man will be, I sometimes hold forth over there along with the able resident commentariate. I’m always (even in agreement) in some discomfort that it ain’t my living room but a women’s space. (Let’s just stipulate to all the role definitions that are anti-hetero-normative in using these terms.)
So in recent strong agreement with her proposal that women be considered in a default state of “no”, where any entry of personal space sans explicit invitation constitutes a legal form of rape, I also felt like inviting other non-female (in non-hetero-normative terms) feminist men to have at this point over here, so as to declutter the Twisty virtual mansion of any male detritus.
Not sure about the blog-etiquette here, but given IBTP’s recent banning of some male logic-chopping commentary, I didn’t want to attract any more trolls, while still feeling impelled to explore what the Twisty Law might mean for men’s behavior and their standard-issue patriarchal set of conceptual norms.
Here’s a copy of a recent comment that invites “men” to participate in this exercise (trying reading Twisty’s original blog entry first):
I think the discussion of consent is useful only to remove it from the new situation being proposed—after all, Twisty’s Law is designed to vaporize the whole consent issue. What interests me at the moment is how the new situation might look in action.
First, forget about “romance” and “love”. The human spirit can soar, but not in those particular patriarchal coffins. What man can think about these concepts without an immediate context of hunt and chase? They are rooted in power-over and its uses, however witty and debonair.
Next, men have to deal with the fact that in a universe that continuously oppresses women in every manner available, only explicit agreement can be a basis for entering a woman’s space in any manner, let alone an intimate manner. (I’m not shying away from saying “sex” here, I’m just not sure what it means in the context of the Twisty Law.) The notion that the default situation is “no” makes this totally transparent and concrete as a personal interaction. The fundamental counterproposition to any male whining here is ask who would want to enter another’s space, no matter how previously intimate, when in any doubt of one’s welcome? To me the only answer here is simple—a rapist. Sure, its a strong term in the more subtle cases, but (a) lets own it because we do it, and (b) the intrinsic issue doesn’t change with the level of “subtlety”.
Furthermore, men who want to graduate to humanhood have to let go of our supposed right to “have sex”. This is just a removal of our object’s agency. (I mean, in terms of a “right” to “sex”, one can’t even speak of a “partner”.)
Rather than scare up any more male logic-shpielers here, don’t trash this tread with more mens’ rumination but join the comment thread on my blog (click my name).