Thursday, October 21, 2010

And Another Great Marriage Campaign

[TW: Rape]

Via shakesville.

Coinciding nicely with today's earlier post, from the fauxgressive side of the aisle, sex advice columnist Dan Savage offers up a female sexual assault survivor a big serving of rape culture and male sexual entitlement. Long story short, a woman is in an open relationship with her husband. Someone sexually assaulted her. She subsequently finds sex with her husband to be triggering, but she does continue to have sex with another partner whom she feels safe with. Dan's advice:

"Just because you've been victimized doesn't mean you operate in an alternative moral universe where you're not obligated to take other people's feelings into consideration- particularly the feelings of people you profess to love and happen to be married to. Your first priority in the wake of your assault had to be your own physical and emotional safety, of course, but your behavior toward your husband is both cruel and selfish....

You're being a total shit. Do you love your husband? Is your marriage a priority? Then start acting like it: Cut the boyfriend off—for the indefinite future—and get your ass onto a counselor's couch. If you're not willing to do those things, PTSD, then stop emotionally assaulting your husband and put both your marriage and him out of their misery."

What. about. the. husband. and his sexual needs?!?!?! Dear gawd, can we ever think of anything else? It is not emotional assault for a man to demand sex from his sexually assaulted wife, it is emotional assault for her to force him to go without sex!

In all seriousness, I do get that there would be jealousy issues on the part of the husband. Yet, rather than acknowledging that it's a valid reaction for a survivor to feel triggered with some men and safe with others, the article's tone comes off as Dan being Fed Up with survivors having lingering effects of sexual assault because, damn it, sexual partners are entitled to sex even if their partners are unwilling or, god forbid, still traumatized. Dan voices aloud, in his Super Sassy Way, that selfish sentiment some people have that it's somehow more difficult to endure living with someone who has been sexually assaulted then it is to have actually been sexually assaulted but Thank God Dan Is Brave Enough To Tell It Like It Is about whiny victims.

He should be ashamed.

Note to Dan: When you find yourself giving almost the same bit of advice to a woman as this guy, you might want to re-think your advice-giving paradigms.

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