"Enthusiastic consent"

in #fischellast year


Joseph J. Fischel and Shaun Miller, people who are teaching at Yale and King's College respectively, have managed to open my eyes to the woke, regressive, intolerant, intersectional, Left in a matter of a few essays.

(For brevity's sake, I'll just use the word "Left" from here on out. When I do, I'm referring specifically to the description above.)

Basically, they're horrifying people. I can't imagine buying Fichel's book entitled Screw Consent (I'm not making that up) because I feel like I have a grasp about what he's saying and I haven't had to give him any money to preach to me about how consent in regard to sex is a "dangerous distraction."

The thing is, these people are both masters of wrapping heaps of bullshit within thin layers of truth.

In Fichel's response to a Teen Vogue article by Gigi Engle, which was basically a how-to in regard to anal sex, he wrote:

"What draws me to Engle’s article, though, despite its overall awesomeness, is its approach to sexual consent. 'Enthusiastic consent,' Engle writes, 'is necessary for both parties to enjoy' anal sex. This is untrue as a factual matter: enthusiastic consent—or for that matter, any consent—is not necessary for a sexual experience to be enjoyable." (Emphasis mine)

He starts off with a true statement that "enthusiastic consent" isn't necessary for sex to be enjoyable. Anyone who has been in a long term relationship knows that you and your partner don't usually have the same sex drives and your horniness schedules aren't always in sync. But, consent is still necessary.

Then, he jumps to the claim that no consent is necessary. That's where I obviously take some umbrage.

He goes on:

"Teenaged Billy or Becky might only hesitantly consent to sex that turns out to be the best, most mind-blowing experience ever. Becky might even slip a finger in Billy’s butt without Billy consenting in advance and Billy might absolutely, unequivocally love the sensation. Conversely, Billy and Becky might emphatically consent to sex and even derive sexual pleasure from doing so and yet find the ensuing sex thoroughly terrible."

Where's the truth? Well, yes, it's possible that you'll try something that you hadn't thought of before and love it. Yes, bad sex happens when all parties involved enthusiastically consent.

Where are the problems? Well, first of all, he's already walking back his own statement in that Billy and Becky "hesitantly consent" as to not fully advocate for rape (for the moment). Of course, it never occurs to Fichel to examine what should happen if Billy doesn't like Becky's fingers in his butt. I don't think that it's a radical idea that you can consent at the moment and withdraw that consent at any time and that your partner should stop. The fact that bad consensual sex happens isn't an argument that there's anything ethically wrong with it.

He goes on:

"The consent-as-enthusiasm paradigm divides sex into the categories awesome and rape and leaves unaddressed all the immiserating sex too many people, typically women, endure."

How kind of him to single out women in his argument against consent. Also, he did acknowledge that there's a spectrum of consent earlier; yet, he now demands that we few the concept of consent as a binary. I mean, when my girlfriend woke me up wanting sex at 2am, I didn't enthusiastically consent; but, she didn't rape me.

It becomes clear in their writings, which should surprise no one, that both Fichel and Miller view everything through power structures rather than consent. Well, there you go, intersectional politics realized in its purest form.

In Fichel's later essay entitled Keep Pride Nude, he made a thin argument about why Louis CK masturbating in front of women is wrong and why people flashing their bare butts at children at Pride is okay. He doesn't flatly say that it's because Louis CK has power and LGBTQ+ don't right away. He simply eventually draws that conclusion. His acolyte, Miller, tries to revamp the defamation of Aziz Ansari on the basis of Ansari having power over the anonymous woman.

The thing is, without "screwing consent" we can still have ethical debates within the confines of consent. Fichel isn't so vacuous as to dismiss consent as a legal component in regard to sexual assault cases; but, he dismisses it as an ethical barometer.

Especially with the liberal (using that word deliberately) to legalize sex work, there's a push to see sex as an economic exchange. This is going to become immensely important because this permeates the Woke Left's worldview.

Miller particularly tried to play "hide the ball" by claiming that the goal is to just change people's minds about people who have minority preferences and identities in regard to sex. Yes, intersectionality tends to be about Marxism and equity above all else. But, tolerance of what people do in private isn't what they're asking for.

Fichel says in no uncertain words:

"For an antiracist, democratically hedonic, and more just future, we ought to celebrate kink, butts, and boobs at Pride. And we should do so especially for those kids whose opportunities and curiosities are stifled by racist violence, economic inequality, or their heterosexual nuclear family."

Namely, Louis CK is bad but Rainbow Dildo Butt Monkey performing for children is totally cool in their minds. In my mind, both should be criminal.

The difference is that I believe in consent and individual autonomy. They believe in viewing the entire world as groups. In their minds, a white person exposing himself to a grown woman is disgusting and a trans-woman or a non-binary person with a penis should be able to wag it around in front of kids and be celebrated for it.

At the very heart of the matter is that the Woke Left has to reject consent as an ethical value because they don't believe in it. You can't be a socialist and believe in consent as a paramount ethical value without admitting that you're constantly advocating for the violation of that value. You can't place group equity over liberty without believing in social engineering; so, consent doesn't work there. You can't believe that some of us have different values and do like to work and are willing to accept what you regard as "slave wages" unless you view consent as either useless or entirely binary.

You also can't celebrate six year-old boys being forced by their parents to announce that they're really girls if you believe in consent. You can't laud publications like the aptly named Vice for celebrating drag queens who are literally still in strollers if you believe in consent. You can't celebrate drag children being, I quote, "Paid like strippers" if you believe in consent.

These two people are immensely valuable reads because they've shown the Woke Left for what it is. It's a movement against consent. That's the logical conclusion.

Toward a Democratic Hedonism

Keep Pride Nude

Building a Democratic Hedonism