I didn’t have any thoughts about her sex tape until Alicia sent me a link today that left me upset and deeply depressed. You can read it here. “Evil Beet” describes the action on the tape in painful detail, painful because it reveals that Kendra complained to her partner about being videotaped and about what he wanted her to do. Obviously, she gave in. And she could’ve said No.
But how easy is it to say no in certain circumstances?
Remember the people whose response to the Terry Richardson stories was essentially, “She could’ve said no?” It seems fair to expect a young woman who objects to a man’s behavior to exercise her free will and Just Say No. If a man doesn’t have a gun or knife against her throat, she is free to refuse any sexual advance or sexual suggestion.
How many women have shameful memories of the time she allowed something to happen against her will? Something that happened because she didn’t want to cause a fuss, or scream, or piss someone off. Or because she realized that saying no wasn’t enough and she’d just have to submit and get it over with.
Where is the line between not wanting to have sex and being raped? If you say no but don’t scream for help, is this consensual sex?
When I was a teenager, “no” meant nothing to the men who could impose themselves on me. Crying meant nothing, either. It’s not something most women want to talk about but I’m learning that if you ask your friends, you’ll discover how prevalent this shit it. It’s comforting to know that I wasn’t alone in these experiences but it’s also enraging.
Do teenage girls still find themselves unable to exert their power over their own bodies? Are their refusals respected or taken seriously? Do they feel pressured to give in rather than make a scene? Do they get to decide how far they want to go and with whom? Or do they give out blowjobs to win affection or a date for Saturday night?
I personally never judge a woman who claims she was pressured into sex. I know it happens but I’m not sure why. I’d like to think that the Terry Richardson’s of the world will face a new generation of girls who can back up the word No.
Is Kendra a slut? Of course! But even a slut has the right to refuse sex. Is it men who don’t understand this or is it us?