Hetero Sex, Rape and Lesbian Choice

First of all, I have not forgotten that I owe you a post on motherhood as a follow-up to the ‘Lesbians and Children’ post. This piece here started out as a part of it, but then developed a life on its own. When thinking about motherhood, it was inevitable to think about hetero sex, and while it would be much better for my peace of mind to ignore the topic on grounds of Lesbianism as I usually do, in this case I can’t.

Hetero sex has been a topic of radical analysis from the beginning, since hetero/ex-hetero Radical Feminists have an obvious and fully legitimate interest in the topic. The bulk of analysis is too big to be summarised in a single post, and this is not what I’m intending to do here anyway.

I want to focus on one aspect of recent Radical Feminist analysis I see all over our blogs.
When hetero Radical Feminists talk about hetero sex, they often frame it as rape, regardless the cirumstances it occurs. They invented the term ‘PIV’,which I dislike for its ″inside group speak″ character and the cute-ish sound (also, where is the difference between ″PIV″ and ″PIA″ or ″PIM″?). They also boiled down their analysis to a catching ‘PIV = rape’.

Well.

As a Lesbian Radical Feminist, I have overlaps with this kind of argument. Radical Feminist analysis makes it obvious that each and every interaction between women and men is necessarily inequal, and that a good portion of what we are culturally trained to perceive as hetero sex IS rape.

Feminists have come to understand that marital rape is a thing: for a long time a man couldn’t rape the girl or woman he called his wife, and many people still believe that.
Feminists also have come to understand that raping a drunk or otherwise incapacitated woman is, indeed, rape: again something even today people don’t necessarily agree on.
Feminists have uncovered countless forms of coercion as tools of rape, other than naked violence: Some laws in Europe still claim that it is not enough to just say no, real rape needs to be met with physical resistance to ″count″.

All these examples for rape which mainstream culture didn’t and doesn’t call rape (and there’d be dozens more examples) are so obvious even to the most superficial of feminists that the liberal feminists dreamed up the concept of ‘consent’ for distinction:
Consent, a term taken over from property law (telling), is the thing that magically turns two same acts into two entirely different things: A man sticking his dick into a woman is either rape or – by the miracle of consent! – the ultimately pleasurable human experience. Or worse, a man whipping a woman raw, calling her names, pissing on her and selling her to a gang of strangers who rape her until her pelvic floor is going to pieces can either be rape or – by the miracle of consent! – a great liberating, transgressing ″BDSM session″.

Somewhere along the way liberal feminists must have realised that there is something queasy about the principle of consent. The term morphed into ‘informed/enthusiastic consent’ in no time, when liberal feminists felt the need to clarify that consent can’t be reached by deception and does not equal playing possum (purists sometimes defend the use of mere ‘consent’ by saying uninformed and ″implied″ consent isn’t consent at all).

The point is, no matter in which incarnation, liberal feminists and sex positivists are convinced consent (informed, enthusiastic, whatever) is the ultimate tool of distinction between ″good for women″ and ″bad for women″.

Radical Feminists disagree.
″Consent″ is never given in a vacuum and without context. Every woman lives in patriarchy. Every woman is oppressed in patriarchy. It is ridiculous to claim that our sexual choices of all things somehow are unaffected by this.

BUT:
This doesn’t mean that I consider all women inable to make decisions. Not at all. And this is the problem I have with ″PIV = rape″.

″PIV = rape″ implies that this equation is true in all cases. It implies that each and every woman who acts in a heterosexual way is coerced in one way or the other. In this mindset, the most privileged – while women are always the underclass in patriarchy, it is undeniably true that some women are more privileged than others, rich, educated, white, heterosexual mothers are at the very top – of heterosexual women would be coerced by some invisible force commonly subsumed under ″socialisation under patriarchy″.

Privileged women somehow get to claim that their refusal to make the right choice is the same thing as the lack of choice more oppressed women experience: A privileged woman for example is able to choose or refuse motherhood. If she chooses to become a mother despite being in the position to either not to be with men in the first place or at least have an abortion, she, in the sense of the axiom ″PIV = rape″, is literally in the same position as a girl or a woman held captive and forcibly impregnated. They may not be beaten, locked-in, starved and raped, but they get to claim victimisation by socialisation. The force who made them mothers is maybe a little less visible, not embodied in the person of a rapist, but society as a whole, but it still is there and just as powerful as the poor woman’s rapist and prison guard.

This argument probably would be true in a world where there are no lifelong Lesbians. But we are here. Right here. Many of us have been raped in the strictest sense of the word. And yet, most of us who have been raped and by this experienced the ultimate coercion into heterosexuality did not turn to men afterwards. We remained Lesbians, even if this meant we were vulnerable to more (corrective) rape.
We are living proof that women can make a different choice than submitting to men.

Queer theory disciples, liberal feminists and – more implicitly – some hetero Radical Feminists want to belittle, erase and take away our choice. They say we are ″born this way″, having a ″sexual orientation″. To them, we sometimes even seem privileged: Nature designed us to be able to stay away from men, so when we do stay away from men, we are not doing something worthwile and radical, we are just following our bodies’ and minds’ design and should be dutifully grateful that we were born without the seal of slavery.
(Queer theory and liberal feminism at the same time do their best to force us into worshipping men, flooding us with accusations of ″transphobia″ and ″bi-erasure″, two offenses we commit purely by existing.)

In this mindset, a hetero woman turning away from men is doing something much greater than us boring Lesbians who just got away by a fortunate fate that made us Lesbians.
But it wasn’t a fortunate fate, and it wasn’t an accident of biology that made us resist.

Born this way is nonsense. We are choosing women, day after day after day. We are not even ignoring men. There are no men in our minds. We are choosing women and – those of us who are lifelong Lesbians – never have done anything else.

This is proven by the fact that many of us were raped before we had a Lesbian community, political analysis or even an idea of ourselves being Lesbians. Countless little girls are raped, many of whom grow up to be Lesbians. We didn’t have the plaster cast of political awareness and Lesbian strength to put on our broken bones when we were little. But we knew, deep down, that other girls had to be at the centre of our world, not boys and men. And we stubbornly clung to that knowledge, choosing girls and women over the dazzling promises of privilege within heterosexuality.

We choose girls and women over giving in to patriarchal attempts to coerce us into heterosexuality. We are living proof it is possible. We are living proof other women did not resist. We are living proof that other women deliberately choose heterosexuality, which is one of the main reasons why Lesbians are so very much hated by liberal feminism, sex positivism, the trans cult and even hetero Radical Feminists.

We are proof for an inconvenient truth:
Heterosexuality is doing patriarchy. A heterosexual woman makes herself, her energy, her body, her mind, her talents, her time available to men. Men are the patriarchy.

Liberal feminists coined the term ‘slut-shaming’. They claim heterosexuality as a woman’s right. They think it is possible to fight patriarchy while submitting all their might to male interests before female solidarity. But they forget that a slut is tied together with the virgin: They attack the mindset of the virgin-slut dichotomy, the Madonna-Whore-complex.

But instead of throwing out the whole dichotomy, they just try to make the ″negative″ pole of the dichotomy positive as well. By this, they act as if the Whore meant sexually active, and Madonna meant desexualised (and by this dehumanised). They are forgetting that a virgin (in the patriarchal sense of the word) is a woman not yet fucked, waiting to be fucked, remaining unfucked although she is intended to be fucked: A little girl in patriarchy is an adult woman waiting to happen, not desexualised. An older virgin is a spinster (NOT in the feminist sense of the word), the one who didn’t yet win a man, not desexualised. A nun is renouncing physical heterosexuality in favour of mental heterosexuality, not desexualised. A woman in a hijab is so very sexual she has to cover herself up with fabric all over, not desexualised. Even an ″asexual″ woman in the sense of the modern ″orientation″ isn’t desexualised at all; terms like ‘heteroromantic’ or ‘demi-sexual’ are often associated with her.

Virginity (in the patriarchal sense) is heterosexuality in the making. The Virgin and the Whore are not fundamental opposites. They are the exact same thing: Heterosexual women, doing patriarchy in their respective ways. The fight against ″slut-shaming″ isn’t more but the liberal try to get a better deal inside the system. A slut does not threaten patriarchy any more than does a virgin.

The real opposite of the Virgin-Whore-dichtomy, the only thing that really has no connection to patriarchy whatsoever is Lesbianism. When we are not colonised into assimilation, Lesbians don’t need or serve men in any way.

I don’t know if it can be possible to be hetero by choice and be a Radical Feminist. I don’t think so. I can’t imagine to invite the enemy into my home, my bed. I sometimes desperately wish I could believe that all those smart, intelligent, strong hetero Radical Feminists were driven by some invisible force that makes them invite the enemy against their very wills. I tend to look for the tiniest shred of evidence for coercion because I so very much want to believe that these smart, strong het women are not wasting themselves on men for the silliest of reasons and the most hollow of privileges.

But the ugly truth is, many of them do.

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18 Responses to Hetero Sex, Rape and Lesbian Choice

  1. nuclearnight says:

    Thank you for doing this post. I have the same reaction each time I see/hear that all intercourse is rape. Before I became a lesbian and had no real feminist consciousness I was aware I was making the choice to be with men in order to be “normal”. That normalcy was a privilege I was invested in. I too have been raped and the experiences of consensual intercourse vs rape are quite different.

    The belief that lesbians are privileged for not loving men is the biggest gaslighting mindfucky reversal ever.

    • Thank you for your support and for your honesty, too!

      You are right, “privileged Lesbians” is gaslighting at its finest. Similar to “victim privilege” I have seen tossed around in liberal feminist space (i. e. “It is unfair “survivors” get such a strong say just because they have been victimised. They should check their privilege!”).

      • Lizzy Shaw says:

        “Victim privilege”, what the hell? But it is tumblr so I shouldn’t be surprised. This is the same website that invented concepts like pregnant people/uterus bearers (because it hurts the trans cult’s feelings to point out only women can get pregnant) after all. I once got called “ableist” for pointing out that only women can get pregnant too, and I erase bisexuals just be existing and talking about lesbians. I’m very bad, lol.

        I agree that the notion that lesbians are privileged over het women and bisexuals is the ultimate mind-fuck. Het and bisexual women like to cite the high violence rates they suffer at the hands of men, as if lesbians don’t experience the same thing. They also like to talk over us.

        I like your post. I honestly don’t care for people who claim that all heterosexual sex is rape. Het relationships are inherently unequal, but how can anyone believe that a woman who always brags about how great sex with “her man” is has experienced rape?

  2. Bev Jo says:

    Thank you for this brilliant post. I love your politics and style. You’re so clear, direct and a pleasure to read!

  3. Pingback: Motherhood | IceMountainFire

  4. lib says:

    Don’t despair, there are hetero radical feminists who eventually realise they are actually asexual and have been coerced, and then who choose to be ‘homo-romantic’ or ‘forever alone’ asexuals.
    I’m one of them.

  5. Lifelong lesbian says:

    About that last part, if you can be a radical feminist and hetero at the same time,
    this is something i wonder everytime i log into a private radfem group that im a member of on facebook. Turns out that only a few are ex-het lesbians, it seems like im alone in my experiences and such.
    I also desperatly hope that theyre legit but i dont know.. Lesbian issues are barely discussed there and many of them are partnered with men
    Do you think theyre worth spending time on?

    I love this blog by the way, brilliant writing

  6. Thank you for your comment, Lifelong lesbian!
    I really can’t tell you what to do regarding the group. I’m sure there are more radical groups to find. I’m not on facebook, so I really don’t know how the group thing works in detail, sorry. I hope you find what you are looking for. Good luck!

  7. I wish I could explain it. I never felt coerced to be with a man, I desired them in a way I just never felt towards a woman. Whether I was trained into it, or born this way, it doesn’t matter, the feelings I had towards men existed regardless. It’s not like I saw them as the enemy, and then decided to go ahead with it anyway. When I chose men, I did not feel they were the enemy. I fully believed we could be an equal team. Foolish.

    Now that I have had my consciousness raised and see them for what they are, I cannot imagine choosing to be with a man.

    But I got with a man prior, when I believed they were able to be partners. I fully admit I am unwilling to be homeless and more vulnerable at this point, which is the immediate result of leaving. If that makes me not a real a rad fem, so be it. I know I could be a true revolutionary, and brave, and leave him and my son, take my sweet baby girl, and never look back. I am simply not so courageous, my health issues and poverty make the choice one I am unwilling to make today. Maybe tomorrow? I’m working toward it. I did quit sex entirely, share my room only with my daughter, and put all effort into women, so there have been some real improvements.

    I do think women may just be attracted to men, regardless. It’s what you choose to do with this info, once you know what you’re dealing with, that is something else entirely.

  8. Bev Jo says:

    Lifelong Lesbian, there are troll groups on fb pretending to be “radfem” and there are real Radical Feminist groups. Sometimes you can tell from the group description, but sometimes not.

    I moderate four group, if you’re interested.

    Ex-het Lesbians and het women are the vast majority but there are a few Lifelong Lesbians, though we are under siege, our existence denied, and the usual taunting. I make our groups safe space though.

    Freefromsexpozzies, it absolutely does matter to not believe any women are “born” het. This is a major political difference between Radical Lesbian Feminists and liberals and genderqueer. The propaganda is relentless so many women think being with men is natural. Usually women don’t have to do much to get men. Just stand in public for a few minutes.

    • Lifelong lesbian says:

      My group is for real radfems, its just not specifically for lesbians so there is het talk which is pretty uncomfortable.

      Are the four groups about different topics or are they about the same things?
      Safe space sounds good, i am interested

  9. Bev Jo says:

    There are two that are for Radical Feminists, but we do not allow porny het talk. I’d say that anyone who does isn’t very radical feminist. Another is Lesbian only, and a fourth is to talk about our book. They are on facebook, and if you request to join, then I’ll get your info. Radical Feminist Coffee House, Womyn Born Womyn Radical Feminist Warrors, Lesbians for Lesbians, and then Dykes-Loving-Dykes Discussion Group.

  10. Lifelong lesbian says:

    Should i share info here or will you ask when i ask to join there?

  11. To Lizzy Shaw: Thank you very much for your comments! Hope you can see this, I’m not sure if this works currently.

  12. KgSch says:

    Personally, those groups that claim that all heterosexual sex is rape gross me out. I think that it’s insulting to rape victims. Plus, I don’t like their in-group speak either. Like another commentator said, how can anyone believe that a woman who likes to brag about how great her man is in bed was raped and that those experiences are even remotely the same thing? In my experience most of the women promoting this line of thinking have their own “special” men in their life. They are the same women who claim that all women are victim’s of Stockholm Syndrome and instantly “trauma-bond” with any man they see. I guess lesbians just plain don’t exist, except when we’re lied about and said to have some special lucky privilege for saying no to men, as if these women weren’t also capable of doing the same thing. Even if you believe in born-this-way, the reality is that heterosexuals aren’t discriminated against, but lesbians are and if you truely hate men but aren’t a lesbian you can always be celibate.

    Bev Jo said on her blog that one of the women promoting the Stockholm Syndrome idea was in a relationship with a man, and the man was so great that she was calling him her “unicorn.” I think it’s a farce really. These women want to keep their heterosexual privilege while at the same time playing the victim. It trivializes the real horror of what happened to rape victims and the real horror of what happens to women in even worse places in the world. In western countries, we have a lot more choice to say no to men and not obey their rules.

    • The enticing thing about all this Stockholm syndrome/Trauma bonding/PIV = rape stuff is that the basic assumption isn’t entirely wrong. It is clear to feminists that in a situation of force even seemingly voluntary ex between a person in the position of power and a subjugated person is ethically questionable: A prison guard and a prisoner. A commanding officer in the military and someone he can order into combat. A slaver and an enslaved person. A boss and a worker. A priest and a believer. A professor and a student. The president of the US and an intern. Countless patriarchal and liberal feminist books, films etc of course will try to sell us exactly these relationships as equal or even bring up the dominatrix lie: ″He may hold power in real life, but she holds him in sexual thrall″.

      Ultimately, men and women are like prison guards and prisoners. Fine. But there is a serious leap of logic if the next argument is ″Women still feel drawn to the prison guard because of Stockholm syndrome and must not be blamed″. This conclusions needs not just one further assumption, but two: 1) There is something like Stockholm syndrome on a societal level beyond the individual psychological malady in the very specific situation of a kidnapping and 2) women as a group suffer from it. Would like to see the sources for that.

      The simpler and more elegant analysis is right there: Stay away from the prison guard if at all possible. Rape happens, but sex need not. Collaborators with the authorities of prisons are called snitches. Het women in patriarchy in a way are snitches to us all.

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