By Margaret Dols-Corr
I am a California native and advocate for social justice. I am in the process of pushing a bill through the Massachusetts state committee that will enable students to have access to information about sexual violence on college campuses.
As our intimacy escalated, I started to withdraw. At that moment I didn’t want to have sex nor perform any type of sexual activity. Of course, he was distraught by this, and immediately became annoyed with my abrupt decision.
“But I’m horny, can’t you relieve me?”
“What am I supposed to do with THIS?”
“What about a little hand job?”
As I continued refusing his requests, he began to “inform” me about the types of romantic interactions between partners.
Sometimes we do things we may not necessarily want to do in order to please our significant other. To me, this suggestion sounded more like an ill-conceived way of rewording the term “sexual coercion.”
This shared conversation with an anonymous friend is one that has been spoken amongst women across the world and it’s time we bring light to its name.
Sexual coercion is when one partner tries to shame, humiliate, guilt-trip, or convince the other partner into sex after consent is refused.
Most of the time the other person may feel fearful or confused about sex and become vulnerable to their partner. In a romantic relationship, sexual coercion can take an oppressive route towards subjecting women into non-consensual activity in order to overpower or gaslight them.
Although one or both parties may seem unaware of the problem with convincing someone into providing gratification, there is a much bigger systemic issue with sexual coercion.
Over time, women may think they are under obligation to provide stimulation even when they don’t want to, and men may think it’s within their capacity to assume they are deserving of it; whatever the reason.
A woman’s right to choose therefore becomes compromised, and arousal turns into assault. Manipulation of any kind derives off of the idea that someone has power over an individual because of their own narcissistic tendencies.
Narcissism is the epitome of female objectification and male prowess. The majority of cis men have not yet recognized their opinion could be of a lower importance (in certain scenarios) and continue to give excuses for behavior that if a woman conducted, would be ridiculed and labeled as inconclusive.
Even in the eyes of Hollywood an artist’s talent and lifestyle are not aligned. Their art can be appreciated without their personal attributes affecting their reputation as long as this artist is a man.
We shame Taylor Swift but put Kanye on a pedestal.
The masculine grasp on multiple institutions allow for sexism to continue and muffles the voices of women trying to speak out against discrimination.
With regards to arousal, the need for gratification for men and women couldn’t be more secular.
Women are trained to keep their arousal coherent with a man’s, yet men have created this sense of sexual entitlement which women must cater towards. Calling out these simple acts of sexual aggression will lead to more individuals aware of sexual coercion and conscious acts of manipulation.
The entrenched prejudice against women is a battle which is far from over and continuing to educate others on matters of intimacy will help unravel the notion of a superior sex and speak volumes towards a woman’s freedom of choice.