Thanks for this. I wrote a take-down of that tweet-series yesterday you might find of interest:
“If you can understand alllll of that, how can you not understand the concept of rape?”
Because despite those all being crystal-clear to anyone who isn’t insane, mentally defective, morally bankrupt, etc., it hardly covers all the circumstances that arise in sexual encounters (leaving off the issue of whether women ever rape men or other women, as the headline here conveniently and pointedly ignores) between humans.
I’m 66 years old. I’ve had more than a few sexual relationships. I’m reasonably sure that not once did I ask, “Would you like to have sexual intercourse now?” Nor have I ever been asked that question. And yet I’m confident that I’ve never raped anyone nor been raped. And I venture that the majority of adults are in that same boat. Further, the notion that it is incumbent upon people to get explicit consent as defined by some legislature before having sexual intercourse is so ludicrous that it has been skewered satirically more than once when such proposals are raised on university campuses. As well they should be.
Trying to “solve” a problem as complex as rape by legislating a series of “verbal contracts” is, frankly, insane. For the sorts of rapists who knowingly commit rape, none of the above matters in the least. They are criminals who willfully commit sexual crimes for reasons that have nothing to do with being confused about what is or is not rape.
The real questions pertain to circumstances between people who know each other and get into (potentially) sexual encounters. These are far too varied to capture in a manageable, finite list. And so as neatly as the above questions make clear a specific set of behaviors that are unacceptable, the door has hardly been slammed shut once and for all on ambiguous and/or ambivalent situations. Things will happen between people that are not covered by that set of tweets and there will be resulting strife and grief.