Writes Roxanne Jones of ESPN. She's getting some attention for this, notably from Melissa McEwan, who's the type of blogger who, approaching this topic, begins with "[Content Note: Rape culture.]," which is — if I understand the culture of people who say "rape culture" —an enactment of the belief that encountering the topic of rape triggers a post-traumatic experience. Why doesn't the warning itself cause alarm? Isn't that the nature of warning? I suspect that the message isn't so much to the individuals who experience post-traumatic stress but to everyone: Never forget how deeply rape hurts.
After the warning, McEwan writes:
This is an actual fucking article authored by former EPSN [sic] vice president Roxanne Jones and printed at CNN in the year of our lord Jesus Jones two thousand and thirteen: "Young men, get a 'yes' text before sex."Hey, why didn't we get a warning that you were going to use vulgar language and mock Jesus? Because McEwan is selective about which sensitivities to pet and which to kick in the ribs. It's a way to be funny, and fuck you if you don't laugh. Plus, some people like Jesus Jones. I kinda do. Saying "Jesus Jones" is like saying "Jiminy Christmas" or whatever cornball/hip substitution for "Jesus Christ" amuses you.
[Roxanne Jones] actually posits that a text message can verify consent, as though it's not possible to ask "Do you want to have sex with me?" followed by a series of any other conceivable questions that might elicit a yes, and then delete the interceding messages to make the "yes" look like a direct reply, irrespective of what the actual reply was.But what Jones — Roxanne, not Jesus — wrote was: "Never have sex with a girl unless she's sent you a text that proves the sexual relationship is consensual beforehand." All McEwan is saying is that some efforts at concocting text evidence could be fake. But Jones said "a text that proves," without elaborating what text would be adequate proof. And McEwan doesn't seem to realize that deleted interceding messages would be recoverable, and the deletions themselves would be evidence against the accused. If Jones's idea is any good, it's because she's encouraging building relationships — however minimal — around sexual encounters and doing so in writing so you can defend yourself if you are falsely accused.
Give Jones some credit for saying "relationship." She also recommends "follow[ing] up any sexual encounter with a tasteful text message saying how you both enjoyed being with one another — even if you never plan on hooking up again." That's also about maintaining relationships. If your concern is avoiding accusations — false, true, or true-ishly false — don't do things that provoke the person who might go on the attack. Telling males to send some nice texts is interestingly similar to telling females not to go traipsing about in short skirts. It's don't-be-a-victim advice that some people find aggravatingly close to letting the victimizer off the hook.
But, of course, McEwan doesn't want to talk about the potential for false or false-ish accusations. She rails at Jones for talking about "stupid girls" who get drunk, throw themselves at young men, and then accuse them of rape:
Ms. Jones, I was not raped because I am stupid. I was raped because I had the misfortune of being in the presence of a rapist who was determined to rape me. Fuck off.McEwan is an enforcer of the doctrinaire position that the issue of false accusations is such a distraction from the real problem that anyone who mentions it should be slammed down hard. Isn't it odd that extreme sensitivity about rape is expressed by telling another woman to "fuck off"? Why is fucking used as the metaphor for the expression of extreme hate? It sounds as though, in the mind of the person deploying the metaphor, fucking equals rape. It's a violent hateful action directed at the woman's body.
What is the true scope of this "rape culture" we are being warned about?