OMG you guys. You won't even believe what I just found. My eyes have been opened, and I am now enlightened. I've known for a while now that a fringe group of women consider all instances of a penis inside a vagina to be rape, but I laughed it off, thinking the idea was obviously preposterous. I even shamefully went so far as to believe that, unless I was being forced or coerced into sex, that I wasn't being raped. Thankfully, Clarissa linked to a post written by Twisty of I Blame the Patriarchy, who explains thoroughly how and why all PIV sex is rape:
...[I]n a patriarchy, “consensual sex” (between women and dudes) doesn’t even exist. This is because, in a patriarchy, agency is not conferred equally upon women and dudes. This untoward circumstance creates a contingency wherein the notion of consent is, for women, entirely non-substantive, a figment, a desperate fantasy invented to obscure the true nature of women’s status as the sex class. The true nature of our status as the sex class is, by the way, that we are imprisoned in a rape continuum. This continuum ranges from the “voluntary” performance of femininity (which quantifies women’s usefulness to men), to compulsory heterosexuality (which ensures availability to men), to pornography (which eroticizes inequality), to violent sexual assault (which is at the apex of the Global Accords Governing Fair Use of Women).
Almighty Dworkin, consider me saved. Who knew that all along, in the years I've been sexually active, that I wasn't really having sex, but being repeatedly raped?! This whole time, I thought that I wanted to have sex. Who knew that I was really just brainwashed into believing it? Those orgasms were pretty damn convincing, too, but no; I was just being tricked by men's intrinsic desire to use me as a toilet, because men usually ejaculate into toilets when there aren't any non-consenting vaginas around to forcefully enter. Damn patriarchy got me again!
The issue of consent — or, more precisely, the idea that women are considered by both custom and law to abide in a persistent state of always having given consent — is the absolute crux, nub, hub, axis, polestar, and epicenter of women’s oppression. The thing is, women can’t freely give consent because women can’t freely withhold it. “Consent” is a meaningless concept in the context of women’s reality.
Ahh. Got it. And thank goodness, too, because for a while there, I was under the impression that when I said "no" and my partner at the time was gracious enough to not have sex with me in spite of my lack of consent, that that meant he was respecting my lack of desire to have sex. That must have been some weird anomaly, though, because since I can never consent because I can never withhold consent, then every single time I've had sex, it's been non-consensual. It logically follows, then, that all heterosexual men are perpetual and constant rapists every single time they have sex with a woman, without exception.
I'm so thankful for this lesson, but I have one question: when should I start the court proceedings for the men I've had sex with? Rape is obviously a serious crime that should not go unpunished; Twisty and I agree on that, for sure. So, since I apparently never gave consent to any of the men with whom I thought I was enthusiastically consenting to sex, that obviously means they're rapists, and rapists deserve to be in prison. So what do you think? How much time should all these men get? I admit, I'll probably feel a little bad telling my former sexual partners -- not to mention my husband! -- that I'm turning them in for rape, but hey, they were the ones who had the nerve to follow through with sexual intercourse that I (thought I) wanted to have with them! They deserve it. And if they don't get appropriate prison sentences? Well, we can just lock them up and use them as our sex slaves, because real sexual slavery is a great way to combat theoretical sexual slavery!