Now I think it’s fair to agree that everyone with a head on their shoulders can agree that Rape is WRONG. No means no and that is just that. It’s just the way things are, and we can all agree. Right?
I had the pleasure of speaking to a male friend on the topic of rape from the male perspective, and I must say I came away with a little food for thought. We were talking about the matter against the back drop of the carnival season, not so much the dress which we both had to admit had become more and more risque over the past few decades but the attitude of us as women.
“If you have a purse full of cash are you going to leave it in an open car?” he asked. “No, you wouldn’t, you would lock that mother up, arm your alarm system and make sure you aren’t parked that far from where you are going.” I must say I had to agree. We protect or possessions to the gills, because they are precious. Of course, the thief has no right to go into your car if not invited, but that doesn’t mean we don’t protect ourselves. But that wasn’t all he had to say.
“Women flirt and play coy, they sell their company for the price of a top up, or a few drinks, all the while promising more when the night is done. They intentionally play with the emotions of others, and at the end of the day it works even better when you have a full and interactive view of all the things you are supposed to be able to play with.” he lamented.
My response was the right one. I said “No means no. No matter what she is wearing. Like the car, open or not,one has no right to enter without being invited”
He agreed. But he asked me to think of carnival the way it happens on the road.
He asked me to think of the grinding of flesh on flesh, the flirting, and the overt carnality that has come to define Jouvet and Mass. He asked me to envision Idris Elba, giving me a good slow wine, whispering in my ear all the things he was gonna do to me in the aftermath, he asked me to envision furnishing this man with libations and transportation that and any other thing I was asked for in that smooth low sexy English accented voice. Giving him all that with the promise that later would be greater.
Then he asked me to envision brotha man sending me home at the end of the night unfulfilled. Needless to say after my fantasy I was considering giving Mr. Elba a piece of my mind.
“You see,” he said. “Now put intoxication or a bit of mental instability into the mix and BAM, you’re sitting in jail worrying about a rape of your own.” I was applaud, I made the argument that it really wasn’t the same thing. We flirt, it’s what we do. We imply sex, we put on the show, it’s all part of the male/female dynamic. It’s not prostitution it’s a ride and a few drinks, and it does not give anyone the right to touch me. Or for me to tough Mr. Elba.
But I was beginning to see his logic and it scared me to no end. I began thinking of my clubbing days, and the strangers in the dark who had bought me drinks. With whom I had smiled suggestively and given a good slow wine in a dark corner. What if they had followed me and my miniskirt out of the club, what if they hadn’t taken no for an answer. It’s not like I had informed them off the bat that I was involved so they really were only investing in my company on the dance floor.
I hadn’t even been toting around my pepper spray in those days. I had been playing a dangerous game and didn’t even bother to see the risk I was putting myself in.
“You see, if you implied that it was for sale at the cost of a drink or two and a ride home then you are placing yourself in a terrible position. Yeah, most men will sulk or throw a few hostile words your way. But you gotta admit there are some sickos out there who won’t stop there. If you can protect your car, why not your body? And it’s not that hard either, the buddy system, some car keys in your fist, some jeans, hell even a clear declaration that you are not looking for a hook up and a change in demeanor.” He said. “No body should ever rape anyone else, but there is no harm in knowing your danger and being willing to protect yourself.”
With that he made me promise to be safe if I did go to Jouvet this year, he asked if my pepper spray was expired which it wasn’t and told me that sex doesn’t follow the same logic as car, or property theft, or even other services in trade. He told me not to play with something so precious, then he left me with my thoughts.