Jessica Valenti and Jaclyn Friedman are doing a virtual tour for their new compilation, Yes Means Yes: Visions of Female Sexual Power and A World Without Rape, which argues for "a paradigm shift from the 'No Means No' model."
There is a live chat at Feministing today, which I meant to link earlier and then forgot because I've got a brain like a steel sieve, and here's the schedule for the rest of the tour, which, as you can see, will stop by Shakesville next Monday:
The F-Word - 2/3
Q&A with Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha
RH Reality Check - 2/4
Live chat with Julia Serano & Latoya Peterson
Our Bodies Our Blog - 2/5
Q&A with Brad Perry & Lisa Jervis
Shakesville - 2/9
Live chat with Jaclyn Friedman
Scarleteen - 2/10
Angry Black Bitch - 2/11
Q&A with Tiloma Jayasinghe
Shapely Prose - 2/12
Q&A with Kimberly Springer
Bitch Ph.D. - 2/16
Guest blogging with Jaclyn Friedman & Jessica Valenti
Shameless - 2/17
Q&A with Jill Filipovic
IMPACT - 2/18
Q&A with Anastasia Higginbotham
Radical Doula - 2/19
Q&A with Hazel/Cedar Troost
Feministe - 2/20
Grand finale conversation: Rachel Kramer Bussel, Toni Amato, Javacia Harris, Kate Harding, Stacey May Fowles, Hanne Blank & Heather Corinna
I have mixed feelings about the Yes Means Yes concept—not that I don't totally and unequivocally endorse the principle of enthusiastic consent (in which women's sexual autonomy is implicit), but its application is, in my estimation, more limited than Yes Means Yes suggests in its title.*
As I've noted previously, there are two types of rapists: Opportunistic rapists, who are primarily sex-seeking rapists that take advantage of a lack of clear consent via coercion or by virtue of their victims having borderline or overtly impaired states of consciousness; and sadistic rapists, for whom using rape as a deliberate weapon is central to the act, for whom the lack of a woman's pleasure isn't a bug, but a feature.
It is opportunistic rapists at whom ideas about enthusiastic consent are directed. Sadistic rapists are a whole different kettle of fuckneckery, and so I have a problem with the suggestion that there could be a "world without rape" as the direct result of empowered female sexuality. A world without opportunistic rape, yes. But sadistic rape calls for an additional set of solutions.
For the record, Jaclyn and Jessica are aware of my concern with the premise (as it's why I declined to contribute to the anthology), and I imagine Jaclyn will speak to that concern when she's here.
Also for the record, I'm still working my way through the book, and, despite my objection, I don't at all want to communicate that I regard it as anything less than an important contribution in a much-needed conversation.
Or that my quibble with a premise is an indictment of Jessica and Jaclyn, who I regard quite certainly as allies doing good work.
* It is noted in the introduction: "Clearly, this is just one part of a much larger struggle—we don't believe that empowering female sexuality is the answer to dismantling rape culture, or that it will stop all rape, nor it sexual freedom the only cost of rape." But then on the back cover: "Friedman, Valenti, and the outstanding writers they've brought together propose a new path to finally viewing women differently, and putting an end to rape." So, ugh. Mixed messages.