Today another person sent me a picture which showed the similarities between the song “Blurred Lines” and things that rapists siad to their victims on “Project Unbreakable.”
I think that the song has some serious problems, so let me be very clear about that first.
But I also have a real problem with the logic of this picture and of the rhetoric that inspired it. I have said it before and I will say it again: Just because certain things were said by a rapist does not make those things “something a rapist says.” Rapists say lots of things that are not, in and of themselves, rapey. The things that rapists say are often hurtful and destructive only because of their context.
So I did an experiment. I wrote down everything that I could remember Pete saying the last time that we made love and I looked them up on the “what my rapist said” website.
More than half of the things that I remembered Pete saying were also things that a rapist had said to one of the women on the website. In fact, one of the things that he said was very similar to one of the cards in this picture.
But I assure you that there was absolutely no coercion of anyone. In fact, that particular time it was tender, sweet and and deeply loving, although hot as hell. In fact, it was some of the best sex that I can remember. Sorry for the digression and for the TMI. But it isn’t entirely gratuitous.
I think it illustrates my point that “things a rapist has said” cannot be the standard by which we judge if something is rapey or not. If it were, my husband would be a rapist, and for that matter I would be one as well.
Words once said by a rapist do not have to be discarded or banned. We can reclaim them if we want. Many times we can make them ours again during hot consensual sex.
Rapists don’t get to decide for us what is sexy talk and what is verboten. We decide
Having said all of that, I still think Blurred Lines is problematic. And I am not by any means saying that everything in the video is something that should be reclaimed.
I am talking about our methodology for deciding, not necessarily asking us to withdraw the condemnation of the video. We must exercise our good reasoning skills if we are to ask that sound logic be used in things like our governance.