A blogess passes this on from 29-year-old NYT writer Miss Courtney Sender:
[O]ur age gap somehow seemed a lot larger than five years. Not because he acted especially young. It was more that when it came to sex and foreplay, he acted so differently from guys my age, asking for my consent about nearly everything.
“Is it O.K. if we go to the bedroom?” he said.
I smiled and led him there.
He tugged at the hem of my sweater and said, “Is it O.K. if I take this off?”
I nodded. Underneath I was wearing a thin tank top.
“Can I take this off, too?” he said.
The second time he was in my bedroom, he paused with his hand at the zipper of my dress. “Is this O.K.?” he said….
Wasn’t that the beautiful thing he was teaching me, that we could be fully human to each other, checking in, honoring yes and respecting no?…
While he was waiting for his Uber to arrive, he said he would cook me dinner next time: steak with sautéed mushrooms and a fig-balsamic reduction.
I texted him a few times in the days that followed, playfully at first, then more pressing. He ignored me.
Asking about my feelings during sex didn’t extend to caring about them after sex. Consent is not a contract of continuation.
But in the days and weeks after, I was left thinking that our culture’s current approach to consent is too narrow. A culture of consent should be a culture of care for the other person, of seeing and honoring another’s humanity and finding ways to engage in sex while keeping our humanity intact. It should be a culture of making each other feel good, not bad.
And if that’s the goal, then consent doesn’t work if we relegate it exclusively to the sexual realm. Our bodies are only one part of the complex constellation of who we are. To base our culture of consent on the body alone is to expect that caretaking involves only the physical.
So meaningless sex, even with all appropriate “consent by stages” leaves a young woman feeling cheap and betrayed. Quell surprise. She wants flowers and candy afterwards and if not forthcoming, it wasn’t truly consensual. Sorry, honey, but it was your type, and your generation, that insisted on this freedom to fuck around; you want a genuine, mutually-respectful relationship, try to refrain from casual hook-ups.
We’re seeing an increasing demand for “female-oriented” math and science programs, all-girl schools, and even segregated dormitories, which all suggests that the latest crop of females is whining for the good old days with paternal, protective father figures, chaperones, and a restoration of an age where women are sheltered and protected from men. I have two daughters who are Cortney Sender’s age and they, and their mother, would utterly reject this regression, but the more I read of modern campus life, the more I believe that a new generation of women is self-condemning itself to permanent victimhood.
Still More: Comedian’s appearance on Jimmy Fallon show cancelled after show’s senior producers burst into tears. Seriously: there’s a group of women out there holding jobs and taking up space in universities when they should be behind convent walls instead.