One of the most convoluted, fickle, and hypocritical aspects of feminist dogma is the variety of stated positions on sexual ethics and accepted sexual norms. This is an area where feminism just can't seem to make up its collective mind whether to claim authority or affliction. Instead, advocacy and dissertation on various points within the topic wanders all over the grid, depending on which answer to the subtopic best lends itself to achieving the desired rights to responsibility ratio of all to none.
This is blatantly evidenced by feminism's meandering promulgation of advocated social and legal rules governing consent to sexual contact.
Early on it was argued that women were being held back from experiencing sexual equality by falsely applied moral and social rules. The assertion was that women, as independent adults, are entitled to pursue sexual gratification in the same manner and with the same moral abandon attributed to the behavior of men. The truly liberated woman, it was argued, has every right to casually partake of the smorgasbord of available partners at her leisure, without fear of loss of reputation or status as a result. Society has no right to tie morality to one gender. Therefore, in the name of equal rights, women must be allowed to be equally promiscuous. One tangent to this is condemnation of the allegedly male practice of "slut shaming" (castigation and devaluing of females who engage in casual sex.) The label of slut shaming may be used honestly, as in response to the treatment by either sex of female participation in casual sex as misbehavior, or it may be abused, as in response to the treatment of female cheating on a male partner as mistreatment of the male partner.
Contrasting the sexually liberated woman position is the gatekeeper-to-pursuit position. This depends on the treatment of women as perpetually reluctant and men as perpetually ambitious toward sexual interaction. For this treatment, the hard-won position of female independence and entitlement to obtain pleasure is abandoned in favor of that of "gatekeeper" to the male's role as purser of sexual gratification. Despite claiming privilege and power under the sexual freedom umbrella, the gatekeeper-to-pursuit position designates gratification as a commodity, women as proprietary owners who must always be persuaded, and men as forever seekers who are required to persuade. It leaves no room for the idea that the female might desire gratification and therefore choose to initiate, or that the male may not desire contact with a specific female or at a given time. Males are assumed to be in a constant state of implied consent, based on that assumption of perpetual sexual ambition, combined with a denial that they may have a standard of attraction. This combination is used to excuse women from ever having to obtain male consent, while simultaneously requiring men to always obtain female consent for sexual interaction.
In the dating arena, this has led to an environment of expectation wherein men must ask permission for each and every step along the path between introduction and orgasm, handling their partners' supposedly cripplingly fragile emotional and mental states as if they are courting soap bubbles which might burst and expire upon the slightest deviation from The Rules.
Complicating this environment is the treatment of the female as helpless. It is never to be expected that the woman might voice her feelings in the event that a male's advances are unwanted. The treatment of women as capable of self-assertion would rob the female participant of her freedom from responsibility for her own sexual behavior. Therefore, it must be assumed that the otherwise strong and liberated woman's disabling psychological weakness may prevent her from verbally refusing sex. This leads to the capability among women to use withholding information to transfer the responsibility for their own sexual decisions to their partners. Simply by not speaking up, a woman may imply consent through physical reciprocity, while reserving the right to later claim defilement and injury due to lack of stated consent.
This is taken to the extreme in the choice by mainstream feminists to treat even slight intoxication as an incapacitating condition when determining female ability to consent. While it is accepted that society, and in particular, the legal system, will hold any individual responsible for his or her intoxicated actions in any other area of behavior from drunk dialing to operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated, feminist advocacy expresses the expectation that women who have consumed any alcohol will be exempt from responsibility for choices they make related to sexual interaction.
The gatekeeper-to-pursuit argument also uses the assignment of sexual roles to impose the status of consent upon males without offering them a choice. In fact, domestic abuse victim advocacy returns entitlement to women by treating a man's refusal to consent to sex as an act of abuse against his female partner. This advocacy applies the label "withholding sex" to rob men of consent agency, effectively requiring them to perform upon demand.
The contrast among these assertions appears senseless as it ranges from treating women as proactive and empowered to treating women as withering and powerless. Until one looks at the larger goal which is achieved by doing this dance, it is difficult to understand why a political faction would handicap itself in this manner. After all, the contradicting arguments are easily pointed out and played against each other. Why, then, are they used this way?
The answer is in how this combination may support the use of abuse and rape labeling to control every nuance of male-female relationships. Under feminist doctrine, women have the right of indiscretion with impunity coupled with proprietary ownership of consent agency and an implied entitlement to male consent. Be it "No" or be it "Now," feminism demands immediate obedience by males without question. The combination denies male choice under the guise of female empowerment, while simultaneously placing every responsibility related to interaction squarely upon the shoulders of the man and enabling the woman to criminalize his part in the experience at any time, including after the fact. The ability to retroactively apply the abuse label or the rape label is a powerful weapon, with applications ranging from excusing oneself from relationship rules to vengeance following a break-up to leverage in custody and property disputes.
Feminist activism has made the terms rape and abuse into sacred and untouchable concepts, the wielding of which may be used to constrict the options of an opponent. To varying degrees, it has become socially and even legally unacceptable to question the veracity of any such allegation no matter how wild it is or how sparse the evidence. In this context, having license to apply those terms to circumstances which are devoid of genuine injury, exploitation, or assault provides women with an incredibly destructive legal force; the power to assert, and not be contradicted; to demand, and not be denied. These rules of engagement which feminism applies to sex and relationships are not about protecting women from victimization at the hands of men. They are designed to provide women with a trump card for use in the pursuit of female power over men.
Also see the response post to the "fan" who copied the text of this post in its entirety, (but not the cartoon) then re-posted it in his own blog intertwined with straw man arguments and denial.