Tag Archives: Feminism

Consent is Sexy – Consent is Mandatory

Dictionary.com says that consent is: to commit, approve, or agree. So my question is, why is this such a hard concept for some people to grasp, and why are we not teaching this to young people?

Within her chapter Beyond Yes or No Rachel Bussel discusses how youth need to know the importance of consent, not just in the beginning, but all through sexual activities. She gives the example of a Yes, No, Maybe Chart to go through with a sexual partner as a way of recognizing what you or your partner may potentially find erotic. Bussel goes on to discuss enthusiastic consent which states “unless you get an affirmative yes from a sexual partner, you don’t know what they really want” (Yes Means Yes, 2008, p. 46).

The reason that consent is so important is because both partners need to feel comfortable voicing what they are/are not comfortable with. By doing this we may begin to eradicate the idea of the sexual double standard, in which, men are allowed to have all the sex and women are not. A perfect world would be on where everyone was free to do what they wanted with their bodies without scrutiny, particularly women.

In the chapter Hooking-Up with Healthy Sexuality Brad Perry continues the discussion on consent. He describes his first sexual encounter, which did not go well. He was denied by a young girl who he tried to “hook-up” with. Instead of getting angry and blaming the girl, he took his actions and really thought about what he did: was it right to try and get her drunk first? Later in his life he found out that one of his close female friends was raped by her boyfriend and he again looks back at his choice to comply with Janice’s refusal to perform sexual activities with him and questions himself on the idea of: what if he ignored her request?

Perry explains that as a young boy he thought that the only way to “get some” was to have the girl be under the influence. I’m sure he is not the first male to believe this notion and he won’t be the last. This directly links to Perry’s idea that school systems can’t teach young people about sexual health promotion and sexual violence prevention separately, they must be intertwined. Healthy sexuality and knowledge about sexual violence go hand-in-hand. Which means, government funding cannot continue to pump funds into abstinence-only programs because they are proven unsuccessful, and this needs to be recognized.

In closing, I believe in the words said by both Bussel and Perry. We need to create sexual education programs in which students learn to become knowledgeable about their bodies, and potential sexual violence. To continue to build stronger programs we must take into account other important factors in young people lives, such as: sexuality, gender, race, and class, among others. By beginning to recognize these multiple aspects society may begin to see break downs in violence, stereotypes, and discrimination.

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– Racheal

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Sex Works

Selling Sex: Experience, Advocacy, and Research on Sex Work in Canada is one of those many readings for Feminism which has enlightened me on the finer points of feminist perspectives. This time around the illumination comes to the Canadian Sex Worker Industry. Typical of an educational paper a large chunk of the reading establishes the complicated history of Canadian Prostitution Policy.

What begins as a seemingly dry, cumbersome read quickly develops into an insightful nonpartisan breakdown of the events, biases, and cultural machinations which contributed to the creation and evolution of the Canadian Prostitution Policy, from 1860 to 2013. Meulen, Durisin, and Love have an interesting article here. I was fascinated to see how the original laws developed to protect women, themselves a part of the deep seated belief that women were a property and commodity powerless against ‘defilement’, could be twisted into another means of controlling women. From there the article details the major steps towards social awareness in regards to sex work which took place in the last 40 years, as well as the government’s incessant waffling on the issue. This eventually leads to Bill C-49 and soon the 2010 Bedford v. Canada case. Although this section does a good job bringing to light the inherent class and race issues associated with sex work and the pressures which may force such a life on to some, there is a curious lack of homosexual or transsexual sex work.

It is as important to me as it should be to anyone to understand the truly difficult situations Sex Workers face, and the lasting, socially ostracizing effect the societal laws and ignorances can have on them. Perhaps it is a bit of cheating, but reading ahead to Who Are You Calling a Whore from Yes means Yes, sex workers of all forms are constantly fighting a battle with themselves, the world around them, and the sometimes dangerous clientele the work attracts. It is shocking to read just how dangerous that life can be, and just how easy it is to make that job so much safer.
The rest of the article deals with the varying conceptual beliefs between major feminism parties in regards to the subject of sex work. This is where I noticed a particular bias coming through. Although all three viewpoints are established clearly and logically, at least one or two negative criticisms are levied at each type of feminist; special effort is made to mention the Radical feminists, fighting for prohibition of sex work, as being privy to making “broad, sweeping remarks” in the name of shock value; Liberal feminists, fighting for legalization of sex work, are swiftly tied to their tendency to over-regulate and provide very strict punishments for those not following their rules. The only ones who don’t seem to have any real criticism in this situation are the Marxists, fighting for decriminalization.

Now, don’t get me wrong; I agree with the Marxists in this situation. Decriminalization seems like the best way to go. It allows sex workers to have an actual business, it contributes to the end of the slut shaming epidemic, it allows for unions, workers comp, statutory holidays, and other rights afforded to most other workers in Canada. I agree that it’s the right way to go. However, it was interesting to notice that particular bias show through. I suppose it’s not smart to undercut the message you’re trying to sell while selling it though…

It’s a great read. It’s very eye opening, and that is the most important part. Getting the message out about this facet of society which is oh too easily forgotten. I look forward to talking all my friends’ ears off about it.

-Connor

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Click Here: iTunes 4th Wave of Feminism Podcast

Click Here: iTunes 4th Wave of Feminism Podcast

What’s Your Flavour of Porn?  

 

  • Is ethical porn like, “Fair Trade” porn?
  • How do you take your porn? “Like my Coffee, Double Double”
  • Nude What? “I just thought they where NAKED WOMEN

Listen to Sara and Jason discuss porn in Episode 4 of the 4th Wave.

Give a listen it’s free!

Posted by: Greg Bartlett

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