“It was OK for her to say ‘no’ after saying ‘yes’? Saying ‘yes’ doesn’t mean a blanket sanction to any sexual activity.”

A Guest Post by Freebird.

I came across this other post: I Got Raped With My Consent. That Will Always Be The Most Horrible Memory Of My Life

I don’t think consensual sex which doesn’t involve any coercion should be treated as rape at any cost. So I find the statement ‘I said ‘yes’ but it was ’emotional rape” very contradictory.

But what I didn’t understand, and do find disturbing, is this:

In this story, why didn’t this girl ever realize that it was OK for her to say ‘no’after saying ‘yes’? Saying ‘yes’ doesn’t mean a blanket sanction to any sexual activity. It is perfectly right to set boundaries, or ask the other person to stop when she was getting uncomfortable. If he was hurting her and she was in pain, why isn’t it clear that she had every right to tell him to stop hurting her and not engage in things which were painful to her? And the moment this message is conveyed clearly and if he still carries on, it does becomes ‘rape’ (not an esoteric ’emotional rape’). Whether it can be proved or not is a different issue. That doesn’t change the fact that it is rape when the other person is violating your boundaries.

Related Posts:

“Even if the sexual intercourse was forceful it was not forcible and contrary to the wishes and consent of the deceased.”

Rapist said that coming from Afghanistan meant he didn’t understand what ‘consent’ was.

‘Madam so many rapes don’t happen in Germany coz girls don’t refuse to have sex.’

Making Marital Rape a legal offence is the fastest way to make it clear that Rape means forced sex, not lost Virginity or Honor.

Forced intercourse in marriage not rape: Delhi court

Forcible sex with wife doesn’t amount to marital rape: Court

“Girls should be married at 16, so that they don’t need to go elsewhere for their sexual needs. This way rapes will not occur.”

What makes Men Rape? – Do read.

The rapists often don’t see their actions as crimes, the police said, and don’t expect the victims to report them.

A tag: But when a woman sees a hot man, nothing happens in her brain?

Triya charitram, Purushasya bhagyam, Devo Na Janati, Kuto Manushya…

Making Marital Rape a legal offence is the fastest way to make it clear that Rape means forced sex.

‘The woman said she was inebriated when a co-worker took her to a room and raped her.’

So how does Delhi – NCR Police define Rape?

How Victim Blaming confuses rapists, police and the society.

When they don’t even understand crime… 

30 thoughts on ““It was OK for her to say ‘no’ after saying ‘yes’? Saying ‘yes’ doesn’t mean a blanket sanction to any sexual activity.”

  1. It was surprising to find out many of the male friends of mine do not think that saying ‘no’ is enough .. They do not know what a rape is. According to them unless it is not violent and bruises the girl, it is not rape.. If saying no is not taken in to account den wat is? She dint push me away she dint leave she must be enjoying it..

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  2. She narrates that he was so drunk “beyond his senses” that she had to carry him to his room. In that situation, she probably felt too apprehensive to reject his advances after she initially consented and moments later, developed a cold feet.

    Saying no, moments after you have consented to a drunken person is not THAT easy.

    For one, alcohol lowers inhibitions and one’s capacity for rationally weighing our choices and decisions (including the decision of vocalising one’s withdrawal of consent to the other person). Second, some people (men AND women) can get quite violent and/or hostile after being sexually rejected, especially when 1) they were tipsy and horny, 2) their initial advances were accepted, 3) they were at the throes of doing it.

    She probably felt as traumatised as a rape victim and even more so when others were unwilling to acknowledge it (welcome to the parallell world of male victims of sexual abuse).

    The ”emotional rape” bit is dodgy though. It is not just ‘our country’, but no system of law based on rational principles of criminal jurisprudence would punish someone for not being able to read the other person’s thoughts or emotions. That is an unreasonable burden on ordinary human prudence. At the very best, we can have laws that unilaterally outlaw sex under the influence of alcohol (like DUI laws) but again, I wouldn’t imagine it would be popular with anyone but the religious and cultural conservatives.

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    • I completely agree with you, such situations are not exclusive to India. Here in my country there was a case recently where a drunk guy assaulted a girl in her late teens. The judge, prosecutor and lawyer were all very empathic and understanding, but the problem was that the girl had not said no or tried to resist. They all agreed it was a violation of her body but our law says that sex only classifies as rape when one participant explicitly refused it and then was forced into it nevertheless. So since the girl did neither speak up nor resist, the judge ruled – despite her deep sympathy for the girl’s ordeal – that the guy could not be convicted for rape as he could not read her thoughts. Of course morally that’s quite a grey area since I think guys are capable to see if a woman enjoys herself or not. But as you said, nobody is really in full control when drunk. A really nasty situation.😦

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      • I thought the laws state that you cannot give consent if your blood alcohol limit is above a certain number? Just like children cannot “consent” even if they say yes?

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        • I suppose that depends on the laws of the respective countries. Here in Germany alcohol can be a reason for a milder decision in court due to diminished criminal responsibility, meaning the guy could have gotten off easily any way. Besides, the problem with the claim that a drunk person can’t give consent is very obvious: if my boyfriend is drunk and initiates sex, does it qualify as rape if I respond because I take advantage of him? It always depends on the situation and human interaction is so full of nuances that sometimes laws and rules just don’t fit them, no matter how hard we try.

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  3. Wait a minute – the girl consented, then decided she didn’t like it but didn’t/couldn’t say no, and then went so far as to say that the guy raped her? What was he supposed to do, read her mind?
    Sorry, but I find this bordering on ridiculous. You don’t want it, you say so.

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      • Should the guy have been more sensitive? Absolutely. I know for a fact that some men are just really inconsiderate in bed, and couldn’t care less what the girl is feeling, or if she’s having fun at all. The guy definitely came across as harsh and uncaring.

        But the thing is, this girl wanted to have sex, even if it was out of peer pressure. In my head, if you have no problem with that what but the how, you speak up. You ask your partner to either (a) stop, (b) slow down, or (c) go about it differently. You CANNOT (forgive the all caps – just can’t emphasize this enough) call it rape if you consented to sex.

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        • I agree. I think this girl had a very romanticized idea of having sex the first time, “kiss on the forehead” etc.,which I don’t blame her for, most people do.
          I cannot agree with you more that you cannot call it rape if you consented to sex and did not withdraw consent at any time.

          Liked by 1 person

  4. Sorry – but I find it a little hard to sympathize. The girl consented but because she did not like the way the act was done, she thinks she was raped? So if the guy had planted kisses on her head and fulfilled her other dreams of how it should have been, then it was not rape? It does not seem like she let the guy know that his advances were no longer wanted at any point – how was he supposed to know that she was no longer into it? It is not okay to say “he should have realized and stopped” – expecting people, especially drunk people, to be mind readers is not fair.

    Unfortunately, when women decide to call it “rape” after having consensual sex, initiated by both involved parties, because they did not like it or were embarrassed/ashamed after the fact, they are doing a real disservice to rape victims who did indicate their lack of consent. Crying “rape” seems like a convenient way to transfer blame for poor personal choices and that dilutes the seriousness of the word.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. For all of you who are still confused —-

    > “I was in pain, I told him but he didn’t care.”

    This is how we know this man committed rape. Unequivocal, 100%, no doubts whatsoever, RAPE.

    Rape is sex without consent. Consent is given or withdrawn in any number of ways, verbally and nonverbally.

    Ways to give consent: Someone asks you if you want sex, and you can say “yes, I want to have sex with you right now”; or you can nod; or you can start kissing and touching the person who asked; or you can smile and climb on top of that person; or you can run out of the room and fetch a condom or a vibrator; or you can say “ohhhh that would feel amazing!”; etc etc etc. All these verbal and nonverbal signs are signs of consent.

    Ways to withdraw consent: Once you are already in the middle of sex, you can say “No, stop that, I don’t want to have sex anymore”; or you can start screaming’ or you can whimper or cry; or you can push your partner away without words; or you can go limp or stiff without participating at all anymore; or you can say “OUCH THAT HURTS!”; etc etc etc. All of these are verbal and nonverbal signs of withdrawal of consent.

    If you are unable to recognize these signs of consent or nonconsent, or if you get too focused on your own pleasure during sex to notice these signs of consent or nonconsent, THEN YOU ARE A POTENTIAL RAPIST AND YOU NEED TO STOP HAVING SEX IMMEDIATELY UNTIL YOU LEARN HOW TO HAVE SAFE SEX.

    Safe sex is not just about using a condom. Safe sex is about making sure you do not rape your partner. This means you look for continuous signs of consent every minute, every second, every step of the way. It means you stop and say “is everything okay?” if your partner screams, or says they are in pain, or

    If you are not confident in your ability to not rape your partner, stop having sex, and ask for help.

    One final note. Studies show that men very often PRETEND not to undertand when women withdraw consent, using excuses like “she needs to be more direct” or “I don’t understand anything other than a straightforward no”, but in fact they demonstrate knowledge of the nonverbal or indirect “no” in every other context apart from sex/rape. Here’s a link to the study: http://www.brown.uk.com/brownlibrary/obyrne.pdf

    Here is an excerpt, a transcript of the conversation between researchers {M} and some young men before and after the word rape is brought up, and you can see the stark difference for yourself:

    Extract 1 FG 0705
    122 M: Cool. So um, the next scenario is (.) you’re back at your house with a girl
    123 (.) it’s looking like sex is on the cards for whatever reason you really don’t
    124 want to have sex with her tonight (.) how do you let her know
    125 John: You could come up with one of ya (.) your cliche´s like ‘I don’t think this is a
    126 good idea’, or ah, you know, ‘I’m not ready for this’ or you know one of the
    127 cliche´’s (.) as soon as you come out with that cliche´ they know (.) they know what you’re
    128 trying to say because it’s used all the time, whereas if you sort of (.)
    129 try and dance around the cliche´s they might not get the point straight
    130 away
    131 M: Mm hmm (.) okay (.) anyone
    132 James: I’ve got no idea
    133 George: I know people that will do anything for a root
    134 ((laughter))
    135 If it got to that stage (.) obviously you’re interested (.) well I’d assume that’d be
    136 the case so then why would you say no (.) you always it’s easier to make an
    137 excuse the next day than at the time
    138 M: Hehe (.) how do you say no
    139 James: If it’s a disgusting woman (.) I mean just a platonic kind of friend but a
    140 disgusting woman (.) you gotta make a face if they’re sort of implying something
    141 then they’ll probably get the picture
    142 M: Yeah
    143 James: I don’t think I’d (.) don’t think I’d ever say ‘no’
    144 John: You just say
    145 James: If they were at my house then it’d be for a reason so
    146 John: Oh yeah (.) ‘this isn’t quite what I expected tonight’ and then they’d say ‘what
    147 did you expect’ (.) ‘not this I just thought we’d have a drink and then you’d
    148 go home’
    149 John: Hehehe
    150 James: And then they’d start to get the (.) get the idea (.)
    151 Andrew:I’d call a cab (inaudible) rather sensitive excuse (.) I guess
    152 John: Yeah you don’t wanna say
    153 You couldn’t say ‘no’, could you

    …..

    Having shown — in brief — that young men can and do display a clear awareness of the
    fine-tuned nuances of the normative interactional management of sexual refusal — here, via
    cliche´ (l. 125–129), indirection (l. 139–141) or the offering of palliatives (l. 146, 147) and
    excuses (l. 151) — let us now turn to examine their displayed understandings of
    the manner in which young women may proffer sexual refusals. In Extract 2 it becomes
    apparent that, in the same way that men may offer cliche´d excuses, or conduct themselves
    in ways that are culturally understood as indicating a lack of interest in sex, they too ‘hear’
    these forms of conduct from women as having precisely the same upshot.

    Extract 2: FG1203
    261 M: Mhmm great okay so are there ways of knowing when it’s not on the cards (.)
    262 how would a guy pick up that sex is not on the cards that way
    263 John: Body language
    264 James: Yeah (inaudible) body language
    265 M: What’s that sorry
    266 James: It’s all put down as body language
    267 M: Oh yeah
    268 James: Women are pretty good (.) fakers (.) teasers no but it’s body language all
    269 the time
    270 George: The conversation gets shorter
    271 James: Mhmm
    272 George: Very abrupt
    273 John: Start looking at their watch and you know (inaudible) ‘It’s getting late’ (.)
    274 Andrew: ‘How long does the taxi take to get here’ that type of thing
    275 M: Hehehe
    276 John: ‘I just remembered I’m working early in the morning’ you know there’s always
    277 little hints like letting you know that ‘I’ve just uh changed my mind’ (.)
    278 yeah there’s always little hints

    It seems clear then that young men, in these focus groups at least, are capable of
    displaying not only that they are competent at the offering of refusals, but also of hearing
    forms of female conduct (e.g. ‘body language’, l. 263, 268; the ‘shortness’, l. 270 or
    ‘abruptness’ of conversation, l. 272) as ways in which women may clearly communicate
    their disinterest in sex. It is also clear that the men can hear both ‘little hints’ (l. 278) and
    ‘softened’ refusals as refusals …. *******Of note here is that in none of the examples given do the
    men indicate that the explicit use of the word ‘no’ is necessary for a woman’s refusal of a
    sexual invitation to be understood as such.********

    Invoking the miscommunication model
    The next extract marks the beginning of a discussion that centres on the issue of rape. The
    topic has been raised by Kyle, one of the participants, not by the moderator, and it is
    important to note that this discussion follows from the previous extracts in which the men
    have demonstrated their sophisticated ability both to issue and to ‘hear’ subtle, but still
    clear and direct, refusals of unwanted sex. Of note here is the commencement of the work
    done in the rest of the focus group discussion to undo the displays of shared knowledge that
    we have just seen (see O’Byrne et al., 2006 for a fuller account of young men’s
    understandings). That is to say, here, in stark contrast to their previously displayed
    understanding of the pragmatics of sexual refusal, the young men collaboratively work up
    claims ‘not to know’ what constitutes sexual refusal when performed by women.

    Extract 3: FG1203
    374 Kyle: Um I just (.) I just had a thought when does no mean no when does yes mean
    375 yes I’m just wondering how this type of (.) information ties into rape and stuff
    376 like that (.) um (.) with um common defences of (inaudible) stuff like that
    377 M: Yeah
    378 Kyle: I’m wondering in those situations (.) what is the thinking (.) of the perpetrator
    379 in terms of (.) these signals they’re interpreting that are coming their way
    380 you know
    381 M: Yep
    382 Jason: If you don’t give a verbal ‘no’ then you’re up shit creek

    537 Jason: If a girl doesn’t say ‘no’ look you in the eye and say ‘no’ (.) anything else
    538 can be sort of miscommunicated so if she looks you in the eye and goes ‘no’
    539 M: Yeah
    ….
    566 Cam: Verbal
    567 Mike: Verbal definitely yeah
    568 M: Yep
    569 Mike: If she says ‘no’ I’ll stop you know
    570 M: Yep
    571 Cam: Yep but they really need to make it clear in both (.) physical and verbal (.)
    572 there’s no point them saying ‘oh no I don’t want it’ and then for you know
    573 they’re basically they’re (.) guiding you in so to speak (.) well gee do
    574 they really not want it
    575 M: Mmm
    576 Jason: There’s plenty of opportunities for all women to stop it ….

    597 Kyle: Um sorry to interrupt but I just realized that um that statement is kind
    598 of putting the blame on women almost (.) she fails (.) something she did
    599 Jason: He misinterprets her
    600 Kyle: She fails to say ‘no’ clearly (.) well what about the guy
    601 Cam: Yeah he’s also he’s failed to actually interpret what she means so it’s actually
    602 both parties
    603 Mike: So both parties are (.) a problem there
    604 M: Yep
    605 Jason: Women often seem to forget that men don’t deal with subtleties (.) if we
    606 want something we tell you
    607 M: Yep
    608 Jason: Women want sort of
    609 Mike: Men deal in yes and no whereas women deal in a vast array of options so yeah
    610 Jason: That’s just in general life I find

    Liked by 3 people

    • This is so interesting. The men demonstrate an ability to understand subtlety, nuances, cultural non-verbal body language and norms and yet when the word ‘rape’ comes up in the discussion, they’ve suddenly and conveniently reverted to “men only understand black and white language/behavior”. Why is it so hard to take responsibility for the well being of one’s partner, a fellow human being? How hard is it to say/think/decide, “No matter what, I will not hurt you, and do everything I need to in order to respect you, your body, your space, your choices, and your well being.”

      Thank you for sharing this Nandini. Very eye opening.

      Like

    • ” “I was in pain, I told him but he didn’t care.”

      This is how we know this man committed rape. Unequivocal, 100%, no doubts whatsoever, RAPE.”

      Huh? She told him she was in pain. She didn’t tell him to STOP! Pain when having sex for the first time is hardly surprising. Getting an injection can hurt too and a patient might scream in pain. That is definitely not considered withdrawal of consent for treatment.

      If you want to withdraw consent, you must SAY it out aloud. Don’t say: “I am in pain”, say “STOP”! Feminists are very obsessed with demanding that consent should be explicit. Well, in this case, the girl gave consent very explicitly. So when she is withdrawing consent, she should do it explicitly too. You want consent to be given explicitly, while on the other hand, the guy is supposed to use his telepathic abilities to guess when she is withdrawing consent. Too convenient, no?

      Liked by 1 person

      • What kind of an animal are you that you won’t stop having sex with your partner even when they tell you they are in pain?! You should be ashamed of yourself. Men like you give your whole gender a bad name.

        Like

      • Oh, and not only are you a (potential) rapist but your reading comprehension is also terrible. You seem to have not understood this part of my comment:

        “Rape is sex without consent. Consent is given or withdrawn in any number of ways, verbally and nonverbally.

        Ways to give consent: Someone asks you if you want sex, and you can say “yes, I want to have sex with you right now”; or you can nod; or you can start kissing and touching the person who asked; or you can smile and climb on top of that person; or you can run out of the room and fetch a condom or a vibrator; or you can say “ohhhh that would feel amazing!”; etc etc etc. All these verbal and nonverbal signs are signs of consent.

        Ways to withdraw consent: Once you are already in the middle of sex, you can say “No, stop that, I don’t want to have sex anymore”; or you can start screaming’ or you can whimper or cry; or you can push your partner away without words; or you can go limp or stiff without participating at all anymore; or you can say “OUCH THAT HURTS!”; etc etc etc. All of these are verbal and nonverbal signs of withdrawal of consent. “

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  6. I feel bad for the girl. I can imagine how she must have felt when Shravan ridiculed her after they had sex. I also gather that the very friends who encouraged her to go ahead later gave her grief. She did well by ceasing contact with them. I won’t blame her for anything, she was under a lot of peer pressure, and there was some alcohol, but neither will I blame Shravan because if she hadn’t said no or resisted, how was he supposed to know? However I do find him contemptible for treating her with disrespect after he got what he wanted.

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  7. I think while the intention in posting it here is not that but the original story is actually a thinly veiled pro-virginity until marriage post. The “good sister” who waited until marriage had a positive first time experience while the other one didn’t. Also yes, what was described would have been rape if she had said no at any point and she should have said it and that’s what the post should have emphasized instead of the weird family angle the author’s note takes.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. Crap, I wish I’d seen this and replied earlier. Anyway. I’m bullet-pointing my comments as it’s late now and I’m tired.

    – Man, we really need an education on what constitutes consent.
    – One proposed piece of legislation in California defined it as: ‘(an) “affirmative, conscious, and voluntary agreement to engage in sexual activity” every step of the way’.

    – While this is being debated to death, the concept of ‘YES MEANS YES!!’ seems to be a much better one than ‘no means no’. Oh but wait: we’d have to admit then that the girl wanted it, and everyone “knows” that Indian girls want nothing to do with sex, right? (sarcasm alert)

    – The film ‘The 40 Year Old Virgin’ comes to mind – for both the man and the girl in this case. If you haven’t seen it, it’s worth a watch. Just because you’re a virgin, doesn’t mean you’re a loser, and just because you’ve had sex, doesn’t make you a mature person.

    All of this leads to the prickly topic of sex ed. Why sex ed? Because consent is increasingly being thought of (in some places) as something to be included in basic sex ed.

    For example, here’s an excerpt from a parent’s guide to the Province of Ontario’s (in Canada) updated sex ed curriculum:
    http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/curriculum/elementary/HPEgrades1to6.pdf

    There’s a focus on respectful, appropriate behaviours, that will help ensure the physical and mental health of all the participants in an exchange or a relationship. The teachers are prompted to make students think (what an idea! Making students think up the answer for themselves! No rote answers!) of what respect looks like, and what appropriate behaviours would be.

    The goal appears to be that “Students should have the knowledge and skills needed to make sound decisions about matters affecting their health and well-being ***before they experience real-life situations in which decisions have to be made***.” (emphasis mine)

    Even if kids aren’t being taught this, college-age kids definitely ought to be.

    Oh, if you have time to kill, or are bored, here’s the whole updated sex-ed program for Ontario:
    http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/curriculum/elementary/health1to8.pdf

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Gah, I don’t think this is a factual account. I see several horrible, regressive attitudes towards the concept of sex, gender and intimacy.

    1. “I got raped with my consent” . Yes, we know you need an attention grabbing headline for your piece. However, the definition of rape is forced sex, minus consent. Consent is not some bloody legal document that has to be delivered in one long line. And it certainly isn’t some magical commandment which can’t be revoked once given. Half the country doesn’t seem to understand the concept of consent and rape, and idiotic captions like this only serve to enforce this. Is this thing even written by a woman?

    2.”I was dating Rishabh back then, but he was either too lazy or scared to get laid.”
    So a boy who doesn’t want sex is either too lazy or scared? And is it only a boy’s job to initiate sex? Heavy judgement.

    3.”It was not physical but I wish we could go back to law and define ’emotional rape’.”
    How is it not physical? How on earth is sex not physical? It’s idiotic terms like “emotional rape” that make most people in India define rape as some melodramatic event that is purely mental. Rape is gut wrenchingly physical. There are heavy mental casualties as well, but to reduce it to a purely mental “feeling” is to downplay the acute physical distress that one goes through.
    When someone is physically beaten up and is unable to lodge a verbal protest, would you draw attention only to their mental state?

    4. “The regular was not as regular you see, his laziness often came in the way.”
    Again, heavy judgement and passive aggressive behaviour. Would you say that a girl who does not want sex regularly is lazy? Or that a girl who does not consent to sex because a partner wants it is lazy?

    5.” Family seems to be hostile but then they are the only ones who don’t judge, don’t discard and don’t discriminate.”
    Please tell that to the scores of people who die in honour killings because their families didn’t approve of intercaste marriages.

    Liked by 3 people

    • I love this comment. Thank you for it.

      Personally, I feel that this clickbait article is just meant to reinforce the pre-marital sex=bad/immoral trope.

      As far as your comment about the “emotional” rape, I couldn’t agree more. People focus so much on the mental state of the victim, what she was thinking, she must have enjoyed it, she didn’t scream etc. and the mental state of the rapist but why does that even matter? A rapist forces parts of his body into his/her victim’s body. How does anything else matter.It’s a brutal crime.

      Like

  10. I was thinking something along the lines of this.
    First, yes, she should’ve said no, even after she said yes. So she told him she was in pain but he didn’t care. Does that constitute as no? If it does then it IS rape and she denied consent. And she has marks, scars n bloody lips to show.

    The confusion as to what constitutes consent clearly shows lack of education. Sex ed is not just knowing how to do it but nuances like these.

    In the end moral of the story seems to be to wait till wedding night. And that family is above all even if they are judgemental and would probably disown her if they get to know this secret if hers.

    This is the second story from that site that has been linked here, which i find controversial and I don’t think I’ll be taking them seriously henceforth. They seem to be more about sensational titles and misogynistic views masked in open minded sounding sentences.

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  11. Pingback: The right to deny or to give consent takes the power away from Patriarchy, and gives it to the individual. | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  12. Pingback: “To victims of sexual assault or any trauma, tell your story. Only then will you find someone who had similar experiences, with whom you can connect and move forward…” | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

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