Archive for March, 2010|Monthly archive page

The childish sexuality of Alex Knepper

I’d like to associate myself with everything Jill Filipovic writes here at Feministe about American University Eagle columnist Alex Knepper.  I’d especially like to comment on this section:

Right-wing rape apologists are pretty good at encouraging men to put themselves in the shoes of those accused of rape — “Can you imagine going home with a girl and then the next morning she regrets it and you’re going to jail?” I find it really helpful to actually think through, fully, an acquaintance-rape scenario as they more typically happen (and here I’ll switch to more gender-neutral terms, since acquaintance-rape is not only men raping women, as it’s often imaged — and again, these descriptions may be triggering). It’s easy to remember that time you had a few beers and also had consensual sex — something that rape apologists try to exploit. But it should be just as easy to remember that time you were hooking up with someone and they said to stop or slow down and of course you did! Or the time you were hooking up with someone and you said to stop or slow down or you just pulled back or moved their hand away and of course they stopped wherever you drew that line, and you didn’t really give it a second thought, because what kind of person hears “stop” or “no” and keeps going anyway?

As an American male who attended college, I can confirm that this sort of sexual paranoia gets pushed on college males quite frequently, leading some to believe that rape is a charge rife with ambiguity. Jill is right, though, in saying this sort of gray area does not exist, and is instead an extremely easy call.  For instance, I am absolutely sure every sexual encounter I’ve ever had was consensual.  Do I know this because I required my partners to fill out a lengthy questionnaire, or because I paused every thirty seconds to reaffirm consent?  Not at all; it’s because every woman I’ve slept with was, at the time, actively trying to fuck me.

Women have used many methods over the course of my life to indicate they are trying to fuck me.  They have taken off my clothes.  They have taken off their clothes.  They have given me oral sex.  They have asked for oral sex themselves.  They have taken their hand to physically guide my penis into them.  After said insertion, they have moved their hips to produce the necessary motion inherent in coitus.  They have suggested different positions.  They have uttered variations of the phrases “Fuck me!”, “Fuck me there!”, or “Keep fucking me”, all of them awesome.  I share this all not to be boastful or salacious (hi, Mom!), but to simply note that it is extremely easy to determine whether a woman is trying to fuck you or not, and that if it’s not blindingly obvious, you’re likely committing rape.

That Knepper sees this as difficult at all makes me question whether he’s ever had a consensual sexual encounter in his entire life.  He claims to have a positive view of female sexuality, but thinks that women are so unwilling to ever have sex that they have to be tricked into it.  In his view, sex is something men have and women give, an outlook that leads him to concoct a series of playground-like rules to overcome this dynamic:

  • Get her back to your room, and you’re home free!
  • If she goes to a certain party, she’s already consented by being part of the culture.
  • Women are automatically submissive, and thus you can dominate them at any time.

If anyone’s creating rigid rules around sexual encounters here, it’s Alex Knepper, not feminists.  The feminist rule is “if both people want to fuck, go for it” while he prefers “If she’s at place A at intoxication level X wearing C and at a flirting level of Y, and if you can get her back to place B, go for it”.  He has such little understanding of basic human sexuality that I pity him as much as I despise him.

In any case, Jill’s response is really great, so go ahead and read the whole thing.