PIV is always rape, ok?

Just to recall a basic fact: Intercourse/PIV is always rape, plain and simple.

This is a developed recap from what I’ve been saying in various comments here and there in the last two years or so. as a radfem I’ve always said PIV is rape and I remember being disappointed to discover that so few radical feminists stated it clearly. How can you possibly see it otherwise? Intercourse is the very means through which men oppress us, from which we are not allowed to escape, yet some instances of or PIV and intercourse may be chosen and free? That makes no sense at all.

First, well intercourse is NEVER sex for women. Only men experience rape as sexual and define it as such. Sex for men is the unilateral penetration of their penis into a woman (or anything else replacing and symbolising the female orifice) whether she thinks she wants it or not – which is the definition of rape: that he will to do it anyway and that he uses her and treats her as a receptacle, in all circumstances – it makes no difference to him experiencing it as sexual. That is, at the very least, men use women as useful objects and instruments for penetration, and women are dehumanised by this act. It is an act of violence.

As FCM pointed out some time ago, intercourse is inherently harmful to women and intentionally so, because it causes pregnancy in women. The purpose of men enforcing intercourse regularly (as in, more than once a month) onto women is because it’s the surest way to cause pregnancy and force childbearing against our will, and thereby gain control over our reproductive powers. There is no way to eliminate the pregnancy risk entirely off PIV and the mitigating and harm-reduction practices such as contraception and abortion are inherently harmful, too. Reproductive harms of PIV range from pregnancy to abortion, having to take invasive, or toxic contraception, giving birth, forced child bearing and rearing and all the complications that go with them which may lead up to severe physical and emotional damage, disability, destitution, illness, or death (See factcheckme.wordpress.com for her work on the reproductive harms of PIV, click on the “intercourse series” page or “PIV” in the search bar). If we compare this to even the crappiest online definition of violence: “behaviour involving physical force intended to hurt, damage, or kill someone or something”. Bingo. It fits: Pregnancy = may hurt, damage or kill. Intercourse = a man using his physical force to penetrate a woman. Intention / purpose of the act of intercourse = to cause pregnancy.  PIV is therefore intentional harm / violence. Intentional sexual harm of a man against a woman through penile penetration = RAPE.

If we look at the act in more detail (skip this parag if you can’t take it), PIV is a man mounting on a woman to thrust a large member of himself into her most intimate parts, often forcing her to be entirely naked, banging himself against her with the whole weight of his body and hips, shaking her like he would stuff a corpse, then using her insides as a receptacle for his penile dejection. How is this a normal civilised, respectful way to treat anyone? Sorry for the explicit picture, but this is what it is and it’s absolutely revolting and violating.

The term “fuck you” is not an insult for nothing, men know why – it’s the worst thing you can do to a human being. It is in itself an extremely physically invasive act, very often painful, generally at the beginning before the pain may be cut off by the genital arousal; causes all sorts of tears, bruises, swelling, discomfort, STDs, vaginal infections, urinary infections, genital warts, HIV and death. Not to forget the additional sado-gynecological interventions/ costs of PIV-maintenance, and all the secondary physical mutiliation and financial costs that go with our duty to make ourselves look decorative for male sexual consumption – such as hair removal, make-up, starvation or forced feeding, torturous limb deforming or cutting up, etc.

The fact intercourse causes so many infections and tears and warts attests to the unnaturalness of intercourse, that it’s not meant to be. The vagina’s primary function isn’t to be penetrated by a penis but to eject a baby for birth. They are two muscle tissues / sphincters pressed against each other to help the baby be pushed out. Penetration of the penis into the vagina is completely unnecessary for conception.

There’s a reason men need to groom us into it, and why this grooming takes so long- because it’s so grossly violating and traumatising that we would otherwise never submit to intercourse. The only reason we may now not feel raped or have the impression we desired or initiated PIV, is because men broke down our barriers very skillfully and progressively from birth, breaking down our natural defences to pain and invasion, our confidence in our own perceptions and sensations of fear and disgust that tell us male sexual invasion is painful, harmful and traumatic.

Through an all-pervasive and powerful male propaganda, they stuff our minds from infancy with the idea that PIV is normal, desirable and erotic, before we can even conceive of it as something horrifying, and make sure we never see any alternative to their lie – or that if we do, we can no longer take in the information, are punished for thinking and saying otherwise. The fact we may not immediately feel raped doesn’t mean it’s not rape, objectively speaking. To give a classic example, many women in prostitution may not identify the act of prostitution as rape, except if the act wasn’t paid for. It doesn’t stop us from saying that all prostitution is rape. We know that our subjective feelings or thoughts may be colonised by men’s perspectives and as radical feminists we don’t let that override and erase the objective reality of violence. (PS -The reason why ONLY the lack of payment is defined as rape is because the offence here isn’t against the prostituted woman but the pimp who was deprived of his income. Rape comes from rapt, which is an old word for theft of woman-as-property.)

Lastly, from a structural point of view, as a class oppressed by men, we are not in any position of freedom to negotiate what men do to us collectively and individually within the heterocage. Men, by whom we are possessed, colonised and held captive, are the sole agents and organisers of PIV. Men dominate us precisely so we can’t opt out of sexual abuse by them; intercourse is the very means through which men subordinate us, the very purpose of their domination, to control human reproduction.

22 Responses to “PIV is always rape, ok?”

  1. 1 talkingtomyself16 December 15, 2013 at 12:41 pm

    Everything you said was worded brilliantly. I had a piv post of my own, but I don’t think it came out the way I originally intended.

    I’m done with the notion that piv should be used for reproduction alone, if practiced at all on a female. There’s just no need for it. Our bodies weren’t made for that. A big clue is that every hetero female’s “first time” is painful. No other form of stimulation is painful, never (i.e. our clitoris, the main female source of pleasure) . A woman has to make her body not feel pain via piv over time.

  2. 2 witchwind December 15, 2013 at 3:58 pm

    absolutely, we have to train ourselves to work around the pain in order to kick it off, dissociate from it. Instead of seeing the very first pain as evidence that it’s not good, we are made to think that the pain isn’t normal and that we should get rid of the pain so we can continue PIV. It’s just that we’re doing it wrong, we haven’t put enough lubricant, or there’s something wrong with US (vaginismus, frigidity, hysteria, whatever disorder they invent) for not experiencing it as pleasurable.

    If you tasted something and it tasted disgusting, why on earth would you force yourself to eat or drink it again and again until your taste buds are so numbed you no longer feel the disgust, and come to believe you enjoy it? This is pure torture. So is PIV.

  3. 3 wwomenwwarriors December 15, 2013 at 4:02 pm

    My ex, who is a sociopath, told me years ago that if women understood what men are REALLY doing to women when they put their penises into us, all women would be virgins and never let a man do it. He said that men assume we must be stupid for falling for this trick, and that the sexual revolution was the mockery of the century, because now women were giving to men for free what they used to have to marry us for.

    Obviously there are some major errors in his misogynist analysis of the situation, but the essence of the sentiments do not contradict your analysis at all. Despite sociopaths being pathological liars, I think in this, he was telling the truth about men.

    They. Know. Exactly what they are doing. This is another reason for the livid response to radfems who have figured it out.

  4. 4 witchwind December 15, 2013 at 4:11 pm

    Get rid of the PAIN, not the PIV that causes the pain! Is the male motto.

    This is how they force us to react in the face of any kind of violence or torture they inflict on us. High heels are painful and cause the tendon to shorten, to calcify, deforms the limbs and makes walking impossible? DON’T get rid of high heels, but try your best to erase all your physical reactions to these torture instruments. And feel horrible and worthless that your body prevents you from wearing high heels because it’s too painful.

    A pair of trousers or a top is too tight, stifling, short and uncomfortable? Instead of getting rid of it and choosing something wearable (and saying “this thing is shit”), we’re supposed to hate ourselves for not being able to fit into it and we either try to forget the pain it causes or starve ourselves and try to forget we’re hungry.

    It’s like that for EVERYTHING, everything. What’s perceived as wrong and aberrent isn’t what men inflict on us but the fact we feel pain from it. Why should it feel painful if it’s love, pleasure, affection, beauty?

  5. 5 witchwind December 15, 2013 at 4:39 pm

    Men always make fun of women and despise women for submitting to the debasing practices that they force on us. It’s a constant joke for them.

    Of course it’s a reversal because they blame us for it and for not seeing their violence when they constantly prevent us from identifying the harm and naming it. Saying that we “fall for their tricks” is a lie, the reality is that they use violence and make it impossible to escape them.

  6. 6 Rididill December 15, 2013 at 7:33 pm

    Ok seriously long comment coming so sorry….

    I admit that this is one of the radfem ideas I have most trouble with.

    On the one hand, I have no problem with the idea that PIV is extremely risky, that this is totally one-sided and therefore detrimental to women, and that in the context of the level of grooming and violence we all experience the choice to engage in it can in no way be considered free.

    On the other hand, I had always understood the PIV=rape equation in terms of, ‘if there’s no such thing as no, then yes is meaningless’. But the fact that women can renounce relationships with men at all means that ‘no’, while extremely difficult, is not impossible. This does not imply that it (PIV) can ever be ‘freely chosen’ but I would still hesitate to call it rape under these circumstances. The harmfulness of PIV, in my mind, is not necessarily relevant to whether you call it rape or not. Maybe you disagree on that?

    On top of this, even if I do agree that all PIV is rape, I still would not say ‘when I was raped’ to refer to occasions where I willingly had PIV. Nor would I call myself a rape victim. Being brainwashed into doing something is not the same thing as being physically coerced, drugged, or even just nagged and pressured into doing something. I am not about to equate those two things because I think those on the harsher end of the scale are much more traumatic, there’s much more violence there. I know it’s generally not seen as feminist to say that there are degrees of rape, but I don’t think you can say these things are the same. Just as there are degrees of any kind of violence, any kind of slavery. I might talk generally about the enslavement of women but I am not going to refer to my own middle class life as slavery, because that would be a total insult to a trafficking victim. To say there are degrees does not negate the overall fact of oppression. And, there’s just the simple fact of being able to linguistically distinguish between two different situations, regardless of what kind of statement you might want to make about it. It’s useful to have different words for different things.

    re: third paragraph

    This is an argument for why PIV-as-recreation is harmful, but what if a woman wants to get pregnant? You frame pregnancy entirely in terms of risks and of violence, and say that because pregancy is violence, this means PIV is sexual violence, i.e. rape. But pregnancy is not only violence, in fact the power to give life is one of the most amazing things about the female body. Pregnancy is risky sure but it isn’t just an injury pure and simple. So what does this mean if PIV is done for these purposes?

    re: naturalness

    I don’t see how you can say that PIV is unnatural compared to childbirth on the basis of pain, damage and infections. With the exception of warts, the pain and damage of childbirth is clearly astronomical compared to PIV, but you say this is what we are designed for and not PIV? I don’t dispute that PIV is harmful etc but I don’t see how you can call it unnatural. Almost every mammal species reproduces this way, how can it be unnatural? Natural =/= good, I don’t even see why it’s necessary to argue it’s unnatural. In my mind there is a huge distinction between regular, ‘recreational’ PIV and that done for reproduction. It’s quite obvious to see how ‘recreational’ PIV is unnatural and oppressive to women, but even for reproduction? I just don’t see it.

    And, lots of things hurt at first and then get better – such as exercise, for example. I just don’t see how that can be argument for something being unnatural. Same there are various foods I didn’t like when I was younger and then did later… I don’t think this means it’s unnatural for me to eat them. Obviously these examples are nothing like PIV I just don’t see how this argument works.

  7. 7 witchwind December 15, 2013 at 11:22 pm

    But the fact that women can renounce relationships with men at all means that ‘no’, while extremely difficult, is not impossible. This does not imply that it (PIV) can ever be ‘freely chosen’ but I would still hesitate to call it rape under these circumstances. The harmfulness of PIV, in my mind, is not necessarily relevant to whether you call it rape or not. Maybe you disagree on that?

    I don’t think I said it’s impossible to get away from PIV, but men make it very difficult for us to escape it and that’s the whole point of keeping us in captivity. Whether or not we can get away from it though changes nothing to the definition of rape.

    The harmfulness is very relevant. What defines violence is the reality of the harm someone’s action incurs on a victim, and its voluntary nature. Which means that the purpose of the act is to cause harm. For instance, the purpose of punching someone is to cause harm, therefore it’s violent. The purpose of insulting someone is to cause harm, therefore it’s violent. The purpose of PIV is to cause harm, therefore it’s violent. There is no such thing as harmless violence. If a harmful action is inflicted by a man (oppressor) against a woman (oppressed) and this action is the means through which the oppressor class subordinates the oppressed classed, and men know what it does to women but they continue, well that’s violence, there’s no questioning that. And if that violence is sexual, you call it rape. This is a fact.

    I’m very surprised you use the notion of willingness (which is similar to consent) in PIV. Violence is objective and its definition doesn’t depend on a person’s feelings, even if she is the victim. Victims may not be aware of the violence, and this is often the case for women. Also all oppressed classes “willingly” submit to what their oppressors demand from them, because the constraints are such that there is no other option and their lives are made to depend on it – such as being exploited by corporations in order to survive: so in effect, we actively seek it, but we are persuaded that this is free choice and the real constraints are erased from our consciousness. This is a very, very basic understanding of oppression.

    I did not say women are designed for pregnancy. The reason we have a vagina is because if we are pregnant, the baby can come out. It’s the physical function of the vagina. There is no other way for the baby to come out than through the vagina, that’s the way it is, it’s natural. Biology ordered it that way. On the other hand, PIV isn’t natural, it’s an action done by men to us. They can choose not to do it, it isn’t necessary. There are many other ways of becoming pregnant than through penetration of the penis into the vagina. For instance, putting sperm on the vulva is enough to become pregnant. Women, if they wanted to become pregnant, could just ask a man for some sperm and apply it herself. PIV isn’t natural but externally imposed, cultural. As opposed to pregnancy which is a process that’s internal to our body, it’s not something that men are doing to our body 24/7 so that the pregnancy happens. Pregnancy, once it happens, IS. It’s not caused externally. It’s there. In the case of PIV, because it’s something DONE by SOMEONE ELSE to ourselves, not something internal, looking at the physical damage it causes is a way of arguing that it’s unnatural (violent) because if it were either natural or good, it wouldn’t cause that.

    And pregnancy IS inherently harmful, at least today. If the harm is caused by nature and not human intervention, then it’s not violence, but natural harm. Although it’s very possible that men’s selective breeding of shorter and thinner women meant that childbirth became more and more painful for women because our hips weren’t as big as they used to be. The risks inherent to pregnancy do not disappear whether you want the child or not. But that’s different from saying pregnancy is inherently violent, that’s not what I said. What I said is that *PIV*, an external action done to ourselves by MEN, is inherently violent BECAUSE of its intended harm which is to cause pregnancy. Pregnancy is violent if it was forced, although today the distinction between forced and non-forced pregnancy in patriarchy probably doesn’t exist. As opposed to PIV though, i do believe free-chosen pregnancy would be possible in post-patriarchy, whereas free-chosen PIV will never happen, since it’s rape.

    exercise shouldn’t hurt. And things shouldn’t taste bad either. If you realise you like it when you taste it at a different age, that’s different from forcing yourself to eat it even if you don’t like it. Taste buds change over time and age.

  8. 8 witchwind December 15, 2013 at 11:44 pm

    I talk of the PIV I was inflicted as rapes, because that’s what they are.

    If you take the example of underage girls, whether she “sought” the PIV or not doesn’t change the fact it counts legally as rape, because it is understood that the girl has been manipulated and groomed and she is not acting under her own volition, she is doing that because of fear of retaliation or consequences if she doesn’t comply or please him. If you can understand that, why can’t you understand that the dynamics are EXACTLY the same for adult women? Why would the constraints on PIV, once women turn 18, suddenly disappear, and women are suddenly free and full of agency to want PIV of their own volition? This makes no sense whatsoever.

    In the same way that prostituted and trafficked women don’t become happy free sex workers once they turn 18 or 19, women don’t suddenly become free to want PIV once they turn 18 or 19.

    Middle class women are the slaves of middle class men. They are still slaves. All women are slaves to men. It is a big, serious mistake to believe that because some women have been raised in the family of a middle class man, that they have escaped our fate as a woman. middle class women are not less oppressed than other women because all women are oppressed as WOMEN. No woman escapes sexual oppression. There are no privileged women in patriarchy in terms of sexual oppression, only some women who have escaped the worst forms of male genocide, but those women may be from any class, and that is not privilege but luck. Money has never protected women from men’s violence, only staying away from men has. You would not call the survivors of the concentration camp “privileged”, you would call them survivors. Well that’s what women are.

    yes there may be degrees in violence and atrocity between rapes, but it doesn’t mean they’re still rapes. Like murder may range from giving sleeping pills and dying in your sleep without pain and gruesome slaughter. Does the former make it less of a murder?

    Also, if you say some PIV wasn’t traumatising, well we have no idea of the extent of trauma we suffer, or how far our behaviour and thoughts are conditioned by male invasion, and really we should never underestimate the power men and men’s system has on our psyche, how deeply controlled we are. Every day I make new discoveries as to how colonised I was on a certain thing, by seeing that I can be or think otherwise. And it may take a long time before seeing how deep or far-reaching the trauma goes. Sometimes we may live with it for a long time thinking it’s normal. I’m sorry but I don’t believe you weren’t traumatised by PIV.

  9. 9 nereidafilomena December 16, 2013 at 2:21 am

    I need to put this on a t-shirt. The proof we have of PIV existing in so called matriarchies tells me they were not female friendly at all, maybe just a bit more reasonable like most non-US developed countries of today as opposed to the ‘overt’ misogyny in countries like India though with a female centred viewpoint you can see misogyny everywhere that would not be obvious to women groomed a certain way.

  10. 10 nereidafilomena December 16, 2013 at 4:37 am

    Rididill you must believe that we all live patriarchy, yes? Well all women are raped in patriarchy. That is the truth of it. I see there is more need for 101 and my next request would be a critique of 3rd wave ‘intersectionality’ politics.

  11. 11 witchwind December 16, 2013 at 12:07 pm

    To believe we may be an exception to men’s violence or men’s system simply because of access to money and education, is to fail to understand completely how men’s violence against women operates. Money and education, in and of itself, does not protect a woman from being raped by a man, owned by a man, impregnated, beaten or killed. Fame and popularity does not protect women from being raped or killed either. Only men collectively, as a class, benefit directly from wealth, education, high economic status and fame. It directly increases their power over women, it increases the power of all men over women. They are the owners of the status. Women are never middle class, but the slaves and offspring of the slaves of middle class men.

    Besides, all women are disadvantaged by this system because it divides all women. The whole point of men creating different classes of women is to create an illusion of difference in status between us so we turn against ourselves instead of men; and foster the belief of exception to patriarchy through tokenism – that it’s possible to get out of it by being in the middle of its power (or something). Only the opposite is true: the closer you go to men and men’s power system, the more colonised, possessed and violated you will be, both psychically and sexually. It is one of the most efficient way of killing feminism off women: to persuade that some of us aren’t affected, that some of us aren’t so concerned by the effects of men’s violence, it’s more about other women over there who have it all bad, what should we complain about it wasn’t that bad for us. We’re educated. We’re not poor. Our parents took us for holidays. And this is a mindfuck because it gives an illusion of good treatment and prevents from identifying the violence and abuse. when behind you may have been raped by your uncle or father and psychically tortured by your family for decades.

  12. 12 witchwind December 16, 2013 at 12:17 pm

    this bears repeating: No woman escapes sexual oppression because the oppression of women is based on SEX, not class, race and other. Women are the only class divided by other categories such as race, class, type of rape system (etc.) because men are not divided by race and class from a sex class perspective. On the contrary, their class system reinforces the strength and power of their sex caste system. It’s the reason why they created it, they need this hierarchy and division of male labour in order to maintain the male totalitarian system – so that each man can always access a woman to rape, always, even the lowliest of the lowest men.

  13. 13 witchwind December 16, 2013 at 12:44 pm

    comments are still going in the “more science and essentialism” post by the way.

    Oh and another thing, again wrt to intersectionality: what varies isn’t the nature of violence from one woman to another, but the degree, quantity scale and scope. That is, the way men rape us and the number of men who rapes us varies from one woman to another according to her condition, but the fact women are raped and that all of it is a version of rape does not change.

  14. 14 witchwind December 16, 2013 at 12:45 pm

    there was a discussion of this at FCM’s at some point, let me find the thread

  15. 16 witchwind December 16, 2013 at 4:46 pm

    I thought I wouldn’t need to take down the notion of consent in order to get my message through, but it seems that it was necessary. Because what you are saying is that if you consent to rape, it’s not rape. Or if you consent to PIV, it’s not rape, it’s just sex. So I’ll say here what I would have said if I had written an intro on consent:

    First of all, consent is meaningless wrt violence. The very purpose of violence is to inflict something on you that you don’t want and that’s against your interest: because the point is to destroy you or use you in ways that are destructive. So it excludes, BY DEFINITION, wanting it. And you can’t want your own destruction, that’s impossible, you only always want what’s good for you – and what men do with violence, is that they twist our brains into believing that what’s bad for us is good for us.

    If consent means wanting to be destroyed, then consent doesn’t exist, it’s a myth that men invented to revert the truth, which is that MEN WANTED us to submit to their PIV.

    The other option is that consent is just a synonym for submission, but that again makes the term meaningless since it can’t include the notion of choice, which goes against the term consent.

    the second thing is that violence is NEVER measured or qualified according to what the victim did or thought, but according to what the perpetrator DID. Violence is objective. What defines violence is the presence / reality of violence, not how the victim reacted to it, or how she behaved before the perpetrator did it.

  16. 17 witchwind December 16, 2013 at 4:57 pm

    because violence EXCLUDES choice of the victim BY DEFINITION, there are only two possible options in the presence of violence:
    – to refuse / to escape
    – to submit

    But what liberals and other kinds want us to believe, is that the options are only split between:
    – to refuse / to escape
    – to CHOOSE

    I have seen many women claim that “if X woman refuses, it means the other women choose it”. Or the alternative version is that “if all PIV is rape, then it negates the fact that lesbians choose to refuse PIV”.

    But this makes no sense at all. The opposite of refusal of violence isn’t choice of violence, but SUBMISSION to violence. To say that choice is a possibility in violence erases the reality of violence. It’s a failure to see the violence, or that violence is violent against women.

  17. 18 witchwind December 16, 2013 at 4:58 pm

    For both refusal and acceptance of an action to be a choice, there would have to be a complete absence of violence. For instance: “would you like some tea? No thanks”. “would you like some tea? yes please” (assuming that the one who accepts isn’t pressured into it implicitly).

  18. 19 nereidafilomena December 17, 2013 at 3:53 am

    Choice is the liberal code word for submission. The best choice we can ever make for our own well being is to reject male ideas and men’s physical presence as much as possible.

  19. 20 witchwind December 18, 2013 at 8:00 pm

    to whom it may concern, I’m doing you a massive favour and being super nice in saying that i’m not publishing any comments which include the following:
    “PIV as rape trivialises real rape victims”
    and “but, but, I like sex and you’re insulting women or men who like sex”;
    and “you’re just doing sex the wrong way”

    naming violence doesn’t trivialise violence or victims of violence, it names violence. To be a rape victim isn’t a competitive elite oppressed status reserved to a special few women, which loses in specialness as the number of rape victims increases. All women are raped in patriarchy, even by non-radfem standards.

    As to the last two points, this shows reading comprehension problems and I would ask you to re-read the post and comments with more attention as a reply has been provided. Please build on that.

  20. 21 Sandy Grey December 19, 2013 at 2:56 pm

    PIV is most certainly always rape.
    It is the very definition of violation, the very act itself is invasive by nature.
    In many cultures, women are seen as nothing than a vessel for semen.
    There will, sadly, always be women who go along with this subjugation.
    But thankfully one person is brave enough to speak the truth!

  21. 22 witchwind December 19, 2013 at 7:30 pm

    Thanks. women don’t “go along” with submission, they are subjugated. Which means that all meaningful choice has been retrieved

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