Spanish feminism has been celebrating for days for having succeeded in hammering the last nail in the coffin where all possibilities of a normal and balanced relationship between men and women lie. Last Thursday, in fact, the ‘Law on Consent’ concerning sexual relations and the fight against rape was passed. In the new law, feminists, who have been ruling in Spain since the 1990s, manage to impose the quantum leap from a fairly normal concept, ‘no is no’, to a surreal concept: ‘only yes is yes’. The two formulas must be contextualised in a moment of sexual approach: in the first case, where a subject (usually male) makes his advances towards another subject (usually female) pushing for sexual intercourse, the latter must take into account that an explicitly expressed denial must be respected. Failure to do so results in a charge of sexual assault. This is how it has always worked, moreover with fair margins of interpretation, given the peculiar female habit of saying ‘no’ to trigger seductive skirmishes or as a mere and final affirmation, before willingly giving in, of moral purity. Those self-therapeutic ‘no’s’, in other words, to say to themselves: ‘hey, I’m not one to give it easy, I’m not a slut…’, according to the absurd and self-inflicted postulate that making love to a man one is attracted to means ‘being a slut’. In those cases, the man often feels justified in insisting in various ways, and it is there that in the age of ‘no is no’ accusations and complaints of rape have often been made. It is not always easy to tell when a woman’s ‘no’ is mere seductive play, a reaction to a senseless self-inflicted accusation, or outright denial; it takes sensitivity and intelligence to see the boundary, and not everyone is equipped with it, unfortunately.
Everything changes in the Spanish era of ‘only yes is yes’. The classic romantic film sequence where he takes her by the shoulders, she lets go, and, staring at each other full of desire and love, he kisses her passionately (with her responding) will have to be cut, like the priest in ‘Nuovo Cinema Paradiso’ did. The fact thet she voluntarily rolls her tongue over his, clasping him to her, will no longer suffice to signify an implicit ‘yes’: assent must be clearly expressed, otherwise it is sexual violence. And so for any other signal or seductive practice that opens the way to sexual intercourse: without a clearly expressed acceptance, the doors of the court and prison remain wide open for the man who tries. We speak in the masculine because it is a foregone conclusion that the Spanish law, and every other similar law in the world, will only be applied to men and never in reverse. But there is more: that ‘yes’, besides having to be explicit, will have to be constantly valid, before, during and even after intercourse, and this has paradoxical and very dangerous consequences. The paradox lies in the imagery of men who in all the phases leading up to sexual intercourse, and even afterwards, constantly ask their partner if she agrees, if she consented to this or that, in the fear that she might have changed her mind without telling, waiting perhaps to tell some police officer. Already armies of boys and men are looming, stuffed with micro-cameras, microphones, hard disks and various paraphernalia to have evidence of consent recorded. But it will all be in vain: even in the face of overwhelming evidence, she will always be able to say that she felt forced or that she reconsidered, in any case that she did not say ‘yes’, et voila the striped sky.
It is not about gender, but ideology.
Not to mention the effects of alcohol or drugs: at what alcoholic or toxicological level does a woman lose the faculty to say a conscious yes, asks the good Matteo Fais in a fine article in ‘Il Detonatore’? Fais’ conclusion is as explicit as it is reasonable and devastating: the risk for men will be such that ‘better a wank than jail’. Spanish law as preparation for a world of segregated and monstrously frustrated men and women, in short. Fais decries the drift very precisely in the reality of human relationships: ‘It’s a situation that can happen to anyone. You sleep with someone – a consenting one, of course – but you don’t want to take your affair further towards a lasting relationship, as she might wish. At that point, you are screwed! The woman will go to an anti-violence centre and say that you possessed her against her will’. A more than plausible scenario: the false accusation of rape in order to exact personal revenge is one of the most popular. From this, however, Fais draws a conclusion that we feel is wrong. In asking why such a drift occurs, he says: ‘The point is that we men have to surrender to one fact: too many women hate us. Doing a bit of a genealogy of feminist morality, one could say that many, unaware that sexual emancipation is not only to their advantage, have unthinkingly gone and got buttered up by the pretty boy on duty, getting a few dicks and little more. Since then, however, their hatred has spread like wildfire towards the entire male gender, without distinction. In each of us, they see only someone who could potentially reopen the scar of their own narcissistic wound. Instead of accepting their privilege of having easy access to sexuality, far more than 80 per cent of men, they have made a disease of it and are trying to infect us too’.
I disagree with Fais when he says ‘too many women hate us’, which is the crux of his explanation. The concept becomes more plausible in this version, in my opinion: ‘too many feminists who have ended up in positions of power hate us’. What is decisive is not gender, but ideology and power, and proof of this is the fact that the Spanish law was also passed thanks to a large number of male votes. It is then of little use to understand what the origin of the hatred is: it may be the one identified by Fais or the mere fact that feminism itself is based on radical hatred of men. In the end what matters is that those in power today are a minority who convey that sentiment, even in spite of the majority. There is no lack of historical examples: the Nazis were a minority among the Germans, but they took power and gave vent to their hatred of the Jews. The European settlers as well towards the American Indians. Even the Counter-Reformation inquisitors compared to the non-Catholics or the Soviet communists compared to the kulaks. The problem lies in allowing a highly ideologised minority to enter the chambers of power, on the one hand, and on the other in the need to awaken the hypothetical indirect and present beneficiaries of ideological extremism to the potential devastation of the ultimate outcomes of that extremism. A great many Germans, Europeans, Catholics or Russians surely thought at first that those crazy leaderships could achieve results that would reverberate positively in their lives, and that therefore some ‘collateral damage’, even if atrocious, in their present was a fair price to pay. There was no shortage of people at the time who pointed out the anomalies and the dangers, but they did not have the strength or the timing to make themselves heard, and so tragic outcomes were needed to show all the horror inherent in the ideologies that many, too many had passively supported.
Breaking the chain of hate.
Today it is no different. Today, many women instinctively experience the Spanish law as generically positive, and for this reason they passively support it (it must be said, however, that there are also many women who oppose the feminist drift), often without even knowing it in detail, but standing by the sweetened versions that are peddled by the mass media. Therein lies the ideological grip of feminism and there we must act, while we can, to show that a high price is being paid today for a highly damaging outcome in the future. The work to be done, which currently falls on the shoulders of people like us and Fais and those who follow us, is to show now to those who think they can benefit the possible disastrous ultimate outcomes of the realisation in the world of an ideology devoted to the acquisition of power through hatred towards a specific gender. It seems like a very difficult task, but it is not: every woman is a father’s daughter, a son’s mother, a brother’s sister, a husband’s wife, and by nature women do not hate men, even when they are disappointed by them, as they are aware of the complexity intrinsic to human relationships. It is not useful, therefore, to get lost in the generic and unfounded lament that ‘too many women hate us’: those who can, as long as they are allowed to, must instead scramble and make their way among men and women of good will, show them the real consequences of certain wicked political and ideological decisions, and push them so that together they reason, dialogue frankly, recognise and legitimise each other, and build a balanced and just socio-cultural context in gender relations. Once this is done, that unhealthy swamp where feminism finds its passive supporters will spontaneously dry up, and the chain of hatred inoculated into laws and civil society by that insane minority, madly in love with power and imbued with the fiercest gender hatred, will finally be broken.