14 Junio 2017 14:19
‘Sex positions for when he wants it and you don’t’: that’s how the controversial article begins.
‘Sexual positions for when he wants it and you don’t.’ read the headline of the article from the Mexican publication El diario de la nena, which sparked outrage last week among readers. The article gives detailed descriptions of sexual positions which, according to the writer, are ‘ideal’ for when you don’t feel like having sex, but your partner does. And since you’re clearly not going to say no, you just let him get on with it. Notice anything a little weird?
Ah of course: the total lack of any kind of consent.
The number of times we’ve talked about this concept recently, and there are still people who haven’t worked it out.
‘You get home and just want to go to bed and sleep, but just that day your partner comes home… with an unstoppable urge to possess you. Brilliant!’. And so it twitters on, right from the first line. Ladies, if you want to go to bed and sleep, then go to bed and sleep.
The article feeds off all those stereotyped ideas that we women owe someone something. And that someone is always a man. And that something, in this case, is sex, but it could just as well be affection, attention, care, dinner, a clean and tidy house or the kids in bed.
Your husband is coming home to possess you!, reads the article, with exclamation marks because, of course, you should be delighted at the idea... What shameless glorification of possession and control.
Drop everything and get ready to put those positions into practice. They might seem repulsive to you now, because, frankly, the idea of sex is repulsive, but you’ll soon warm to them. You’ll see.
The article goes over all the standard positions (missionary, face to face, doggy style, spooning) while stressing the fact that you’re not up for it. They suggest doing nothing if you’re dead tired (just ‘let out the odd moan’) or watching a bit of telly while your partner bangs away (‘he’ll never realise you’re doing two things you like’).
Lots of female users picked up on the perverse message behind this article and slammed it publicly on their social networks.
When other women advise you on a website to pretend you're not being raped.
Cuando otras mujeres te aconsejan desde una web (@diariodelanena) que finjas que no te están violando.
— Barbijaputa (@Barbijaputa) 7 de junio de 2017
I didn't know that rape was just another sex position.
No sabía que la violación era ya una postura sexual. pic.twitter.com/5NhjNCYDsG
— URRnoseque tal (@nuvolerrant) 7 de junio de 2017
It's very saddening to see this, a culture of rape. Saying NO is an option, that has to be understood, that's what being a couple is all about. If not he's the one with the problem.
Muy triste ver esto, cultura de la violación.
Decir que NO es una opción, ha de entenderlo, eso es una pareja, si no, el problema es otro. pic.twitter.com/I15M8wddan
— Elena T.R. (@LennyTR97) 7 de junio de 2017
Can you remove the article from your website that condones rape? Or are you just waiting to be reported?
¿Podéis retirar de vuestra web el artículo haciendo apología de la violación? O esperáis a la denuncia directamente? https://t.co/F1soD1hENf
— Eivipop (@Eivipop) 8 de junio de 2017
The article’s message is extremely damaging as it promotes the idea that a lack of consent from one of the two parties - in this case the woman - is not reason enough for a sexual encounter not to take place. It fuels the idea that women must always be at the beck and call of the desires of men.
And it’s overlooking a crucial point: rape can also be committed on your partner. Being emotionally involved does not give you some kind of immunity, a special allowance to abuse without any consequences.
And while we’re on the subject of sexual abuse in couples, a few months ago this short film by Chloé Fontaine was released on the web which clearly illustrates the need to mark and define the limits of consent within a relationship:
'In general people see rape as something that happens in dark alleyways, at night, carried out by a stranger when a woman walks home alone. They also believe it implies physical force. In fact, 80% of sexual violence is committed by people who have a close connection with the victim and does not necessarily imply the use of force,’ says Virginia Gil, from the Fundación ASPACIA, an organisation for victims of sexual violence.
Coming back to the article in question, Gil labels it as completely ‘perverse’ as it feeds the idea that women have no choice but to lie or pretend to end a relationship we don’t want to be in. ‘That or resign ourselves to being raped,’ she says. For her, this form of violence - which is subtler and involves no physical force - has become the most ‘normalised and invisible.’ ‘There is the danger that it isn’t even seen as rape,’ she adds.
‘The very fact that it takes place between partners is cause for concern and if the end aim is not achieved (having sex) it’s the woman’s fault, and she's accused of being frigid or her partner threatens to go elsewhere for sex…,’ says Gil.
‘While the tone of the article is that of "a problem page to help achieve harmony in your relationships", it is actually just another example of the imbalance between what it means to be a woman and what it means to be a man in today’s world.’Luciana Peker, a journalist for Página 12 and feminist activist, believes that this is one of the most serious aspects prevalent in some women’s magazines. ‘These manuals make everything look easy. They teach you how to leave a man, how to hold onto him, how to get him back, how to satisfy him,’ she says. But, in reality, what they really do is ‘legitimise violence and portray sex as a duty, stripping it of any hint of desire or pleasure.’
For Peker this is one of the feminist movement’s biggest grievances. ‘I think this is one of the things we feminists find most irreverent. Respect for our libido is an essential element of what we're fighting for. It is our undeniable right. The media insist on defending the idea that women do certain things to please men. A woman’s desire is undoubtedly what is most feared in politics, economics and society at large. We feminists have to fight to protect our sexual needs.’