"All PIV is rape" - why I don't think this is helpful in giving women control over their sexual destiny

(97 Posts)

Ok.
Bear with me.
I am writing this down to get it right in my own head.
I would love it if somebody who knows more about RadFem theory could explain it to me.

I don't disagree with 'All PIV is rage' statement as an almost philosophical argument - I think I do get it.
But - it is such a radical statement for most 'normal' people who will see PIV as part of their every day sex lives and therefore as a statement is quite alienating and potentially off-putting rather than inviting debate or encouraging self-reflection.

I feel very strongly that women, particularly today's young girls/women (say, younger than 30 or so), are under terrible pressure to be sexually active very young and do things as a matter of course that would have been considered quite hard-core in my adolescence. I'd much rather somebody's first sexual experiences included nice gentle PIV rather than deep-throat oral or anal sex. If all PIV is rape, what on earth is some of the other stuff that goes on?
And I appreciate that there is no such thing as a 'better' or 'worse' rape, but it seems to minimise what women who survive abusive relationships or sexual assault go through.

I'd rather see young people to be encouraged to be respectful to each other, to fully expect to enjoy sex (I know - there's a radical concept! wink) and to not be made uncomfortable with whatever their choices are (whether that is to say 'No' or to swing from the chandeliers).

Be gentle with me, I don't post here v often and I am not well read on feminist theory. I suppose I am actually asking more about the 'practical' side of how this statement is helpful to the cause.

lougle Sun 01-Jun-14 11:11:03

Who says all PIV is rape?

ReallyFuckingFedUp Sun 01-Jun-14 11:12:02

I always wonder about this too, but just stepping out. Look forward to reading other's replies. Personally I think PIV sex is an instinct and maybe a bit fetishised by people, but basically one of the few things all heterosexuals would "figure out" if left to their own devices and no outside influence. But how can I prove that?

this is what I think happens when we encourage teens out of PIV NSFW!

JustGrrrrrreat Sun 01-Jun-14 11:12:30

I agree. I find the statement distasteful, false and it also minimalises actual rape.

i realise I am hugely lucky that I have never been in a position where I felt that if I said NO or STOP I wouldn't be listened to. I have never felt that if I said NO it would affect a relationship in any way. I have never felt that I had to have sex for any reason. I have never been hurt by sex, I have never had an std or an unplanned pregnancy. How can anyone reconcile equating my experience of PIV with someone who has been forced or coerced?

YellowStripe Sun 01-Jun-14 11:13:07

It was a theory mentioned on a different FWR thread yday.

scuttles back to lurking

lougle Sun 01-Jun-14 11:13:19

Within any group of people who share a general philosophy, you'll meet people who have an extreme view of that philosophy and people whose view of it is so loose that other people may question their claim to sharing that philosophy. Surely any extreme statements should be viewed in that context?

AICM Sun 01-Jun-14 11:15:59

I have nothing of any real substance to add to this other than to say all PIV is not rape and to say so makes us sound like a bunch of idiots who deserve to be ignored.

After hearing the comment "All PIV is rape" I can image the next time a man hears a plea form a feminist they might walk before they listen thinking "those loony feminist are at it again"

If all PIV is rape that must mean that feminists seek the extinction of the human race. There is a reason why men and woman want PIV!

GoshAnneGorilla Sun 01-Jun-14 11:18:42

I'm not familiar with "All PIV is rape".

I am familiar with the argument that PIV has extremely negative consequences for women and that it is only due to living in a patriarchy that means it is seen as both an essential and in fact, most important part of having sex.

I would agree with the negative consequences part, but think that stating women only have it/enjoy PIV, due to patriarchal conditioning is a much bigger stretch and very difficult to prove conclusively.

OMG that song grin - is the brunette Rajesh's girl friend from a season to two ago (BBT)?

Oh, I am not saying the PIV is the be all and end all of all sexual relationships, but it is what primates do. Mainly.

BillnTedsMostFeministAdventure Sun 01-Jun-14 11:21:05

Hi pacific

Stating it the way you have is too simplistic. From wiki:

Intercourse (1987) is a radical feminist analysis of sexual intercourse in literature and society, written by Andrea Dworkin. Intercourse is often said to argue that "all heterosexual sex is rape", based on the line from the book that says "violation is a synonym for intercourse." However, Dworkin has denied this interpretation, stating, "What I think is that sex must not put women in a subordinate position. It must be reciprocal and not an act of aggression from a man looking only to satisfy himself. That's my point."[1]

It is flagging that PIV is inherently more dangerous for women than men (pregnancy, higher rate of STD transmission) and that decisions about PIV should be made in that context.

It was not just mentioned on a thread yesterday, it is part of RadFem theory.

A bit more here

I agree it makes feminists sound 'nuts' and therefore dismissible.

Ah, thanks, Bill - I did wonder whether it was some kind of simplification of a more complex statement.
I had no idea it originated from something AD wrote.

BillnTedsMostFeministAdventure Sun 01-Jun-14 11:23:45

Thanks for the link. I disagree with pretty much all of that!

Yeah, I struggled too!

BillnTedsMostFeministAdventure Sun 01-Jun-14 11:24:54

(The blog post, not you pacific!)

grin I got that.

keepyourchinupdear Sun 01-Jun-14 11:34:34

What does PIV stand for?

<apologies for being a bit thick>

Penis in Vagina - penetrative vaginal sex

Don't worry, I only learnt the acronym on MN wink

calmet Sun 01-Jun-14 11:38:17

Saying all PIV is rape, oversimplifies the theory. I understand why some think this is the theory, as some women on the net new to radical feminism theory, also say that all PIV is rape. The theory is more nuanced.

First off all, the theory only refers to PIV under patriarchy. It is not inherently about PIV itself, but about PIV under patriarchy.

PIV is problematic under patrirachy because:

1. Few women really give meaningful consent to PIV. PIV is an expected part of the sex act in a relationship. So if you are in a long term relationship, the expectation is you have PIV.

2. PIV is more dangerous for women than men. Unwanted pregnancy, abortion, the side effects of birth control pills and STD's all make it risky.

3. Women's bodies are not built to enjoy PIV as much as men. Indeed survey after survey shows that most women enjoy other sex acts more than PIV.

So women are brought up to expect to do a sex act in a long term relationship that is risky to them, and that they don't enjoy as much as other sex acts.

If you give consent by default i.e. you have PIV because that is what expected when you have sex, then your consent is not real. You could describe that as rape, but we all know that being raped is a different experience to this. Personally I don't think we really have the words to describe it accurately.

Greythorne Sun 01-Jun-14 11:40:19

Penis in vagina.

Greythorne Sun 01-Jun-14 11:40:33

Sorry
X pist

calmet Sun 01-Jun-14 11:40:42

Witchwind IMO doesn't really understand radical feminist theory, and way over simplifies it.

Greythorne Sun 01-Jun-14 11:41:21

Ignore me.

MatildaWhispers Sun 01-Jun-14 11:45:35

I have been wondering about this same issue pacific. It's interesting to read others responses.

Thanks, calmet, that makes sense.
Her blogpost was the first thing that came up when I googled 'PIV' <hardcore researcher, me>

I found your discussion about meaningful consent v interesting, and by that definition no doubt many of us don't give meaningful consent every time we have PIV.
My issue is though that in a loving, respectful, mutually pleasurable sexual encounter that would not matter (as in I agree to PIV which does not bother me but gives him pleasure and he'll go whatever it is I want that might not pleasure him that much), so the emphasis should be on demanding loving, respectful and mutually pleasurable sexual encounters and relationships.

It's about status in the relationship rather than whatever sexual act - I think I find PIV being 'picked out' as almost the cause of what's rotten in the state of Denmark misleading.

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