Rape and Sex: Two Sides of the Same Coin
Alicen Grey

The title of the article, as per usual (titles being chosen for reader pulling power instead of actually being an accurate representation of the argument being made), is horrible. Rape and sex are not two sides of the same coin — that metaphor is idiotic. There is no coin; there aren’t two sides. Rape and sex are both, in different ways and in addition to being other things, negotiations of and expressions of power dynamics between two (or more) individuals. So are most interactions between parent and child, employer and employee, master and slave, teacher and pupil, as well as many interactions between social equals. So what? In all human relations, and negotiations of power, there can be a sexual element/expression…. So. What? In particular instances &/or contexts there are more similarities, or affinities, between rape and the husband-wife relation than there are between rape and the master-slave relation; in particular instances &/or contexts there is a closer affinity between rape and the politician-constituent relation than there is between rape and the attacker-victim relation… Sex is one form of expression, and in the case of rape, the tool or weapon with which to wield power. A lot of humans get turned on by wielding power over others, by imposing themselves onto others, and express themselves sexually — either with/onto the person they’re wilding power over in other ways as well, or with/onto a substitute. So what? None of that means ‘two sides of the same coin’ — what meaningless idiocy! The article itself is ok enough — doesn’t say much, but does say that hey, we should talk about the sexual element, the fact that the language/conceptualizations of/rhetoric around rape is both dependent on and skirts around the idea of sex as enjoyable human activity, but actually the fact that rape happens at all highlights and should alert us to the urgent significance and un-ignorability of the fact that sex is inherently and intimately tied up with power, no matter how enjoyable and equal… Equality in sex is actually very rare, and maybe we should consider how our tolerance, our willingness to accept, our positive pleasure in polarizations of power, are on a spectrum, the extreme end of which is rape. No. Coins. Involved.

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