For all the talk about conservatives allegedly infantilizing women, third-wave (AKA fainting couch) feminists are apparently hell-bent on presenting women as such helpless creatures that they cannot even be expected to give accurate verbal consent.
According to The New York Times' "gender editor" Jessica Bennett, even when a woman says "yes" to sex, allegedly because of indoctrinated cultural norms, she might actually mean "no," which, one can only assume, would make such intercourse technically rape.
To recap: we went from "no means no," to "yes means yes," to "yes can also mean no" — and that last change happened in about 12 seconds.
In the piece published over the weekend, titled "When Saying 'Yes' Is Easier Than 'No,'" Bennett argues that women are often pressured into saying "yes" when they really mean "no" during sexual interactions because of gender norms, which she says includes males being persistent when females say "no" to romantic advances (back in the day we called this romance; now it's "the perpetuation of rape culture") and females being made to believe they must put out for a man in order to have worth (for all the mocking the Left does of the religious Right, they actively combat such a harmful message).
With that said, the feminist poses an insane question: Can women indoctrinated by so-called "cultural expectations" actually give consent?
First, Bennett describes the when-yes-means-no scenario thusly:
For years, my female friends and I have spoken, with knowing nods, about a sexual interaction we call “the place of no return.” It is a kind of sexual nuance that most women instinctively understand: the situation you thought you wanted, or maybe you actually never wanted, but somehow here you are and it’s happening and you desperately want out, but you know that at this point exiting the situation would be more difficult than simply lying there and waiting for it to be over. In other words: saying yes when we really mean no.
The gender editor continues, explaining that "consent isn’t always black and white" and "sometimes 'yes' means 'no,' simply because it is easier to go through with it than explain our way out of the situation."
"But what about when 'yes' isn’t really an enthusiastic affirmative — or an affirmative at all?" asks Bennett.
Bennett goes on to blame "outdated gender norms" for women giving verbal consent during sex and later, or perhaps in the moment, regretting it: "Our idea of what we want — of our own desire — is linked to what we think we’re supposed to want, with what society tells us we should want. And most of what society tells us — when it comes to women and sex, anyway — is wrapped in dangerously outdated gender norms," she writes.
Then things become downright terrifying (emphasis added):
Consider the drinking analogy: Most of us understand, or at least we should, that a blackout drunk person cannot consent to sex. On some campuses, that inability to consent applies even if someone has had just a sip or two. But what about a woman who doesn’t feel that she can speak up because of cultural expectations? Should that woman be considered unable to consent, too?
How exactly would this get enforced on campus? Are men supposed to read the minds of women saying "yes" only to be "polite," allegedly driven by "culture expectations," and thus not take their verbal consent as consent at all? That's hysterical nonsense and another irrational reaction to the #MeToo movement.
But the reality is, there are certainly women, likely with low self-esteem, who have indeed said "yes" when they really wanted to say "no" to sex, but the solution is not more sexual consent hysteria; we do not need college campuses turning into a real-life episode of South Park. The solution is to reevaluate how to project sex in our society, because clearly encouraging young women to proudly call themselves "sluts" and classifying sex as some strictly carnal act with no emotional consequences has not worked out so hot.
Of course, most of this can be solved by teaching both girls and boys that sex is meant for marriage, between man and wife.
But that's crazy talk.