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I initially picked this book up because it was in the feminist section, it talked about an end to rape, and mentioned ďsexual power.Ē In my head, I was like, ďYeah! Iím a feminist, Iíd love to see an end to rape, and I want to see what they have to say about empowering women to make their own sexual choices.Ē Choices being the operative word here.
However, itís hard for me to get through even one essay in this book without wanting to throw up or throw the book across the room.
I was raped in high school. Iím going to go through the gory details here because I donít want anyone to question it. I was dating a boy. I am Catholic, he was not. He abused me physically and verbally and manipulated me until I didnít believe in anything I had before I met him. Once I got to this point and I was so dependent on him for my identity and worth, we had sex. The next morning I immediately knew Iíd made a mistake and spent the entire day alternating between crying and throwing up. I explained that I didnít want to have sex with him again - at least until I figured out what I believed and what my emotions were doing. He was entirely understanding. Then the next time we saw each other, he pulled the car into a parking lot and asked me to have sex with him. I said no several times. He used lines like, ďIf you really loved me, youíd do this for me,Ē and basically begged and pleaded until I couldnít say no anymore. What could I do? He was in the driverís seat and made it pretty clear I wasnít leaving until he got what he wanted. From that day on, every time I saw him, we had sex. I would usually try my luck for the day by starting out with something like, ďIíve been in rehearsal all dayÖ Iím really tired. Is it ok with we donít do anything today?Ē And he would also act like it was so silly that I had asked! Of course we didnít have to have sex that day! But it would inevitably end up with his hand up my shirt and no matter how angrily I told him to stop, he wouldnít. Sex was something I owed him. No matter how many times I said no, he wasnít hearing it. If you want to try to tell me that wasnít rape then you can shove it up your butt because Iíd like to hear what you would call rape - other than being held at gunpoint.
Now, this book is sitting on its high horse and lecturing on how the only way to heal from sexual abuse is to have lots and lots of sex. Well, Iíve done that sweetheart, and guess what? It didnít work! And do you know why I did it? Because I believed those lines that feminist literature had fed to me about sexual freedom and sexual healingÖ
My second serious boyfriend I met in college. I had just finished reading The Purity Myth. I was convinced virginity is some social construct meant to oppress women and I was one of those angry feminists. I decided I was going to ďtake backĒ my sexuality and we ended up having sex very shortly after we met. To put it bluntly it was awful. I was having flashbacks and I was so uncomfortable I couldnít stand it. When I told HIM I didnít want to have sex any more, we broke up several months later. A lot of other stuff went into it, but my discomfort with sex was a major factor in our relationship ending.
So here I am. Nearly 20 years old. Iíve slept with two people. Both experiences were terrible.
The ONLY good things Iíve gotten out of this book are words that resonated with me from the foreward by Wendy Cho: ďI said yes because I felt it was too much trouble to say no. I said yes because I didnít want to have to defend my ďno,Ē qualify it, justify it - deserve it.Ē
My solution to not having to justify my no? Iím not having sex until I am completely and totally joined to another human being - my husband - and he completely and totally understand me, knows where Iím coming from, and respects my ďno.Ē
Iíll say it - I donít trust men. I donít trust them to listen to me; I donít trust them to respect me; and I certainly donít trust them not to
Review: Yes Means Yes!: Visions of Female Sexual Power and A World Without RapeUser Review - Aaron - Goodreads
Well written, not really interesting though. Read full review