Tag Archives: grey rape

The Soapbox: Let’s Get Real When Discussing Complicated Sexual Experiences

The Soapbox: We Can't Limit Our Vocabulary When Discussing Complicated Sexual Experiences

There’s been a lot of talk lately in the media about sexual violence. Late last month, former CBC Broadcaster Jian Ghomeshi was fired amid allegations of sexual assault. A few weeks ago, Shia LaBeouf came forward with claims that he was raped during an art exhibition. And by now everyone’s heard of the sex abuse allegations first brought against Bill Cosby decades ago, which seem to just keep coming.

Then a little over a week ago, Rolling Stone released an editor’s note that undermined their own investigative account of a brutal gang rape that allegedly took place at a fraternity house at the University of Virginia. It was a move that The Frisky’s Beejoli Shah astutely noted as “just another example of shifting the focus away from the real issue at hand: how we talk about rape, and how hard it is for survivors to come forward.”

As a former sex worker turned sex writer I think it’s good that people are talking about sexual health. It’s unfortunate, however, that we don’t know how to talk about complicated sexual experiences without focusing on two words: consent, and rape. In certain circumstances, I wonder if these aren’t the wrong words. Certainly, they shouldn’t be the only ones. Keep reading »

Mad Men: Joan Holloway’s Date Rape Probably Not That Rare

Last night’s “Mad Men” had an all-too-rare subplot involving Joan and her betrothed, The Handsome Doctor . In a previous episode, Doc’s abusive, douche-tastic tendencies were barely hinted at — “Didn’t you say you were getting me a drink?!” — but this episode confirmed it for any doubters. In one of the most disturbing scenes to have been featured on “Mad Men”, the good doctor forces Joan to have sex with him on the floor of Don Draper’s office despite her repeated protests and attempts to physically dissuade him. Perhaps the saddest and most resonant part of all is when she stops fighting and turns her head to stare fixedly at Don’s coffee table, resigned to her fate. Keep reading »

Modest Proposals: Would You RSVP?

There’s a lecture and book signing on November 13 in Washington, D.C., featuring a few noted authors and journalists discussing how “hook-up” culture on campus has led to rising numbers of sexual assaults, date rapes, and sexually transmitted infections. Included on the panel is Washington Post scribe Laura Sessions Stapp who coined the term “gray rape” to describe sexual encounters that are not quite consensual but not totally denied either. Her theory was discussed in further detail in an article in September’s Cosmopolitan, which garnered loads of debate on sites like Jezebel and Feministing. Suffice it to say, we’re not sure we’d take the thoughts of someone who thinks having sex with someone while they’re passed out drunk is “gray” rape all that seriously. Keep reading »

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