Rape Fantasy February 11, 2006Posted by ascendingnode in sex and sexuality.
I was reading this week’s Carnival of the Feminists and came across the old argument about what “sex-positive” feminism is and whether sex-positive feminists are merely shills for the male gaze. One of the posts linked is arguing for sex-positive feminism and discusses whether the idea that women have “rape fantasies” is a myth or not. She writes,
[The] claim that these fantasies are tantamount to women “getting moist about people raping them” is based on the reality of rape, rather than the idealized power play that the fantasizers wish to interact with. After all, a fantasy is, by definition, something not real… [W]hen people (sex-positive feminists or otherwise) talk about ‘rape fantasies’ they are talking about role playing between consenting adults.
Of course, that’s true. Nobody really wants to be raped; if they wanted it to happen then it would cease to be rape. But when we talk about the myth of rape fantasies, what we’re trying to say is that women are not fantasizing about real, actual rape so we should stop saying that we are. Because every time we say that every woman has a rape fantasy, we reinforce the idea that when women say “no” they don’t necessarily mean it. We are helping to lend credence to the date-rapist’s “but women have rape fantasies so how am I to know what she meant by ‘no'” defense.
We don’t fantasize about rape. We might fantasize about “hot sex with a hot stranger” or “rough role-playing with the partner” or “being held down during sex”. But calling it a “rape fantasy” only serves to romanticize rape and to further the rape culture.