- Justin Bieber, who took timeout from his recent hijinks to visit the storm-ravaged city of Tacloban, is about $300,000 away from raising a million bucks for Typhoon Haiyan relief. We’ll forgive him his trespasses.
Not being a rapist should not be a symbol of being a hero; it should be the bare minimum for decent behavior. Refusing to sleep with someone who is too intoxicated to consent or who is being forced into sex because someone is threatening her does not make you a “good guy;” it just means that you pass one of the lowest bars for basic humane treatment.
That these movies are using that act as some sort of shorthand for “hero” is troubling. It implies that these men are doing something extraordinary by resisting the urge (and often it is an urge that they have to resist, especially in the films where they end up having consensual sex with the women later) to rape or take advantage of these women. Ultimately, that narrative helps support the idea that avoiding rape is a difficult thing, something worthy of praise.
The truth is that avoiding rape isn’t hard. If you don’t have consent, you don’t have sex. If you’re not sure that you have consent, you don’t have sex. If you are unable to get consent because of the person’s condition, you don’t have sex. If you get consent and you don’t want to have sex, you don’t have sex.
Consent isn’t sexy, it’s necessary