Tag Archives: consent

Girl Talk: On Consent & Why It’s Worth It To Keep Saying “No”

Girl Talk: On Consent & Why It's Worth It To Keep Saying "No"

When I noticed photographs in Damon’s apartment with a woman’s head cut out of them and an X drawn atop her body, I regretted not saying “no” earlier that night. I wanted him to like me and didn’t want to seem prudish and uncool. I didn’t want to limit my romantic options or life experiences. Now, I wondered if my efforts to seem easygoing would end up getting me killed.

It was 1999, the height of the swing dance craze. Every night, I went to a different Boston dance venue: Ryles jazz club, Johnny D’s, or St. Mary’s Church to be twirled and escorted to the dance floor on a bent arm. I loved time traveling to an era where gentlemen and ladies dressed up for an evening out and formally asked each other to dance. I grew up watching Fred Astaire and Ginger Roger musicals, and now I was living inside of one. Keep reading »

Male Student Suspended By Columbia For Alleged Sexual Misconduct Sues School For Title IX Discrimination

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In September 2013, a female student at Columbia University filed a complaint against “John Doe,” a sophomore and member of the crew team from Florida, over alleged nonconsensual sex in her dorm room that had occurred  in May 2013. This February, a school tribunal found “John Doe” guilty of sexual misconduct and suspended him for two years from the school, until fall of 2015. Last month, “John” filed a lawsuit against the school for negligence, a violation of Title IX (which forbids discrimination from an educational program on the basis of sex), and other complaints.

According to “John Doe”‘s lawsuit, he and “Jane Doe” knew each other, hung out in the same friend group, and in fact, “John” was roommates with her ex-boyfriend. In May 2013 during finals, the lawsuit explains, “it was at Jane Doe’s suggestion that they engaged in one night of consensual activity.” After chatting in a Columbia dorm lounge where “John” was studying, the two took a late-night walk together. Then they went to her dorm room’s bathroom and she allegedly retrieved a condom from her room. They had sex in the bathroom and afterwards, he left. The lawsuit claims the two “left each other’s company on good terms,” although “Jane” allegedly texted him days later expressing concern that their friends not know about the hookup. Two weeks later, she contacted him again, letting him know she “expressed doubt” about the hookup and was “uncomfortable with how it would appear to everyone else.” Keep reading »

PurrVerse: Getting Lucky With San Francisco’s Hook-Up Truck

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I live in San Francisco, land of art, sexual experimentation, and entrepreneurial spirit. Since I’ve moved here I’ve explored the boundaries between public and private sex in multiple ways – in the back of a pickup truck on Twin Peaks, in the woods by the Sutro Baths, with a bike-powered sex machine in the middle of Folsom Street Fair, in a coffin in SOMA for Arse Elektronika. What can I say? I like to experiment. Novelty is, for me, particularly sexy.

When I started to hear stories about a Hook-Up Truck that would travel to you, provide a secret discreet space to fool around, and even film it for you through a little peephole if you gave consent, I had to know more. I was fascinated by the 30 minute time limit (strictly enforced) and curious about the impetus that led to its creation. When I discovered that I was friends with the artist involved (we met at a life-sized MouseTrap game), I knew I had to interview her.

And so, I sat down with Spy Emerson, creator of the Hook-Up Truck, to ask her about her inspiration, her artistic vision, and why her project is blowing up all over the internet. Keep reading »

George R. R. Martin Distances Himself From That “Game Of Thrones” Rape Scene (But I’m Not Done Ranting)

George R. R. Martin Distances Himself From That "Game Of Thrones" Rape Scene (But I'm Not Done Ranting)

If you still haven’t seen Sunday’s episode of “Game of Thrones,” stop right here, as there are spoilers ahead and besides, you need to get on that shit. 

George R. R. Martin, the author of the “Game of Thrones” series, A Song of Ice and Fire, has weighed in on Sunday’s controversial episode, in which Jaime Lannister raped (yes, raped) his sister Cersei in a scene that was a distinct and obvious departure from the way he had originally written it. As I wrote yesterday, the scene in the book features consensual if icky sex between the blonde siblings, who’d long been lovers, as they mourned the death of their son, King Joffrey. On the show, however, Jaime very clearly rapes Cersei, as she struggles, says “no” and “stop” repeatedly. The assault was seemingly out of character for Jaime, given the way the books/show had worked to humanize him, and not only presents major problems for the character’s trajectory, as far as I’m concerned, but kills the sexual chemistry between him and Cersei (something I quite enjoyed). And all any of us who found the scene horrifying and disappointing have been able to ask is WHY? Seriously, WHYYYYYY?

Martin weighed in on his blog, posting the following thoughtful if distancing point of view on what the show producers/directors might have been thinking: Keep reading »

“Game Of Thrones” Turned A Consensual Sex Scene Into A Rape Scene And Ruined Everything

"Game Of Thrones" Turned A Consensual Sex Scene Into A Rape Scene And Ruined Everything
"Game Of Thrones" FAIL

Fair warning: SPOILERS AHEAD.

Goddammit, I am so pissed off. On last night’s episode of “Game of Thrones,” a climactic and much-anticipated consensual sex scene between incestuous brother-sister duo Jaime and Cersei Lannister was twisted into a violent rape scene for seemingly no reason at all, ruining the sexual tension some of us pervs enjoyed between the two and potentially screwing up the narrative for future episodes. And, to add insult to injury, both the episode’s director and the actor who plays Jaime are defending the scene as if it wasn’t a gross departure from George R. R. Martin’s original text, and are arguing that the rape was actually consensual. For the love of the Lord of Light, WHY? Keep reading »

Frisky Q&A: Speak Author Laurie Halse Anderson On RAINN, Rape Culture & Consent

laurie halse anderson

Every year, April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, when many of us participate in Take Back The Night speak-outs and marches to raise awareness about sexual violence in our communities. This year, the beloved young adult novelist Laurie Halse Anderson has thrown her support behind a fundraiser for the Rape Abuse And Incest National Network (RAINN), one of the main resources in our country for survivors of sexual violence.

Anderson is the author of Speak, a YA novel about 16-year-old Melinda Sordino, who is raped by a classmate at a house party the summer before 9th grade. Melinda calls 911, and the police break up the party, but she runs before she can tell anyone about the assault. When school begins, Melinda is shunned by her former friends for getting kids in trouble. Eventually, she stops talking almost entirely, grows isolated from her parents and tanks her schoolwork.

But Melinda is also mentored by a fellow outcast, an art teacher. She is able to name what happened to her and find her voice again. Published in 1999 and sadly still relevant in post-Steubenville, Speak explores the post-traumatic stress disorder that survivors suffer after an assault, but also the social ostracization of victims of sexual violence instead of perpetrators.

Throughout April, donations for RAINN will be matched dollar-for-dollar by Speak‘s publisher, Macmillan, in honor of the book’s 15th birthday. I called Laurie Halse Anderson this week and we spoke about the success of her best-selling book, teaching consent to teens, and recent controversial statements made by the president of RAINN about how “rape culture” doesn’t exist. Our conversation begins, after the jump!

Keep reading »

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