I am a woman and I enjoy sex

So, Stephen Fry has happily joined the list of People I Have Formerly Idolized Who Commit Massive Fucking Fail.

The brilliant trio of Boganette, Pickled Think and Not Emily have already directly address his comments, so I’m not going to repeat what they’ve said very well!

There’s just a tiny thing I need to get off my chest.

Of course a lot of women will deny this and say, ‘Oh, no, but I love sex, I love it!’ But do they go around having it the way that gay men do?

Short answer:  FUCK YOU, STEPHEN FRY, AND FUCK YOUR POLICING OF [HETERO] WOMEN’S SEXUALITY.*

Long answer?

I enjoy sex.  I think sex is really fun.  I have had one-night stands and pre-arranged rendezvous and experimental fooling around and naughty little encounters in semi-public places.

Sex is, frankly, fucking awesome to me.

And now that I have said that, Mr Fry?  Now I am vulnerable to accusations from my political and personal opponents – I have particularly high hopes of the prolifers screaming about my desire to sleep around with no consequences, but there’s plenty of other types who will seize on the paragraph above as a symbol of my immorality, my lack of ethics, my terribly casual attitude about The Sacred Gift of My Vaginal Canal.

Now, Mr Fry, the pseudonymity of my blog is paramount; because it is simply not socially safe for me as a young woman to say the things in the above paragraph.  Not just because my family would be shocked, or my coworkers would give each other meaningful glances across the breakroom.

Because, Mr Fry, do you know what happens to women who openly state they enjoy sex, who act in an overtly sexual manner, who admit to casual sex?

If they get raped, their rapist walks free.

Because a woman saying she enjoys sex is obviously always up for it.  And a woman who’s had casual sex in the past must not be fussy about who she fucks.  And a woman who flirts is just “sending the wrong signals” and completely gives up her right to say “no”.

Now, I’m the kind of cranky, defiant angry-feminist-blogger who is willing to take that risk in order to change the world teaspoon by teaspoon.  But it should not come as a surprise, especially to anyone who is a member of a marginalized group whose sexuality has so often been used to oppress them, that others feel too threatened to do the same – or may not even realise it’s an option.

On a side note, the other Massive Fucking Fail of the above quote?  Besides the wonderful generalisation that all gay men are running about having casual sex with multiple partners left right and centre?  Is the immediate equating of “likes sex” with “has it with everyone”.  Guess what?  Much as it’s none of your fucking business, my “number”?  Is hilariously low.

Gee, I guess I must not really like sex at all and just be putting out for the security of a relationship.**  Thanks for dictating my own mind and experience to me, Almighty Man!

~

*As others have pointed out, apparently Stephen Fry has never encountered that most elusive of creatures, The Lesbian.

**Fry’s further obliviousness to why women may feel they have to be in monogamous heterosexual relationships in a patriarchal society?  I am disappoint.

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37 comments

  1. steph

    How ridiculous is it that the way to prove you love sex is apparently to go and do it frequently and anonymously? (Just picking out one element of everything wrong with his comments…) Like being in a (long term, monogamous) relationship and loving sex are mutually exclusive or incompatible? Ridiculous.

    • QoT

      Let’s see … I *say* I love chocolate, but I really only eat three varieties … so maybe I don’t love chocolate, I’m just putting up with eating it in order to get what I really want, which is … a sugar headache? Truly this is Logic For The Ages.

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  3. Man

    If you weren’t so emotionally charged with everything you write you might be taken more seriously, because it hammers in the idea that women are not rational creatures but emotional ones. Such could be said of many feminist writers.

    • QoT

      Well I’m sure we’re all very concerned with what you think, Man. And certainly no one has ever made this argument before, and it is fresh and interesting and definitely going to cause me to reconsider my tone!

      Except not, because when “women are emotional creatures” has been one of the weapons used against us for fucking centuries, the answer probably isn’t to go along with our oppressors in the hopes they’ll take us seriously.

    • Cameron

      What utter fucking bullshit. As a man I can stomp all over the place, I can play violent sports and then describe myself as a warrior (ahahha.. most pro athletes would wet their pants if shot at) and I get to be about as aggressive as I want in almost any situation.

      But god help you if you express emotion about an important issue and happen to be female all at once.

      Your attitude is why I wind up not having many male friends, because it just gets boring telling them over and over to not be complete asshats.

    • Man

      I never said women are emotional creatures and not rational ones I said when feminists rage hysterically it hammers in that idea. Of course you must respond with more emotionally charged sarcasm about centuries of oppression you didn’t live through. In the middle-east where they have traditional values like the west did centuries ago most women are happy, hence why they generally continue to wear hijab and respect Islamic tradition even when in western countries.

      • stargazer

        In the middle-east where they have traditional values like the west did centuries ago most women are happy, hence why they generally continue to wear hijab and respect Islamic tradition even when in western countries.

        um WTF??? dude, unless you happen to be a half-billion muslim women living in one body, i’d kindly ask you to STFU about the happiness or otherwise of women, the vast majority of whom you can’t possibly know nor have heard from.

        oh, and QoT, so glad you’re writing regularly again! just caught up with that fact…

    • QoT

      “Man”, your comments while hilarious are not particularly constructive and I’m not a huge fan of wilfully ignorant racism either. Get some perspective, provide some evidence, or fuck off, because I’m certainly not going to modify my tone because some jackass thinks I make the side look bad – not that you’re on our “side” at all.

      • Man

        [QoT: Your comments are racist because you are making massive generalisations about people based on their geographic area of origin. Your “admiration” for “Arabs” likewise. You don’t get to speak for Muslim women “as a whole” ever in this space.]

  4. Matt

    It was a joke that was taken out of context and misquoted. The ranters and ravers are but owning themselves.

    • QoT

      You are welcome to (a) provide evidence of this being a “joke”, and (b) attempt to not mansplain why this kind of comment and attitude about women’s sexuality isn’t prevalent in our culture.

      I’m really not sure how one “misquotes” a passage like that in its entirety …

  5. Frances

    Wow – I find the leap of stating that u like sex to rape quite an offensive one. Do you have anything to back up your claim that rapist walk free because their victims have claimed they like sex?? Ive been raped – it was demoralizing heartbreaking and many other things. Oh and by the way, I like sex too. Alot. I’m just not comfortable with a discussion linking Stephen Fry to rape – because that’s how it has come across.

    • QoT

      Frances, I am sorry. However it’s pretty much Feminism 101 to look at the kind of myths that are used to defend and acquit rapists – she was flirting with me? She was wearing a short skirt? These all boil down to “a woman who looks sexual/appears interested in sex cannot say no because she’s a slut”.

      Stephen Fry’s comments (“joke” or otherwise) reflected an incredibly common set of attitudes about women’s sexuality which is damaging and yes, contributes to a culture in which rape is diminished or ignored. If he doesn’t want his name linked with rape he can stop justifying rape culture.

  6. Frances

    Rape is terrible, but do you know who I don’t blame for it – me. And I don blame how I was dressed. And I don’t blame the way I acted, and I most definitely, and I can’t make this any clearer, DO NOT blame Stephen Fry!!! There is one person who i blame and he knows who he is.
    Im not an expert but I can imagine you are on some really dangerous ground one would imagine with your last paragraph that states

    If he doesn’t want his name linked with rape he can stop justifying rape culture.

    You seem hell bent on blaming Stephen for a lot of things – the only thing he is guilty of is being misquoted. It must be tiring carrying around all this anger & hatred – good luck with it all.

    • QoT

      I’m glad you focus the blame for your rape where it belongs, Frances. A lot of women don’t, and that has a hell of a lot to do with exactly what I’m angry about – societal messages about women’s sexuality and when where and how it is permissible to exhibit it.

      With all due respect to what you have been through, a hearty “sod off” to your final paragraph. I am not ashamed of being pissed off by misogyny, and the only thing I find tiring is dealing with wilful ignorance of it on a constant basis.

  7. Boganette

    Great post QOT. What’s interesting about this whole mess is that if anybody else – honestly, ANYBODY ELSE – said the same thing Stephen Fry said, they would be totally destroyed online.

    But because it’s Stephen Fry he gets the benefit of the doubt. And STILL, STILL that’s not enough for his fans.

    I’ve been called everything under the sun and copped more abuse than I ever have before when I treated him with kid gloves.

    What he said was repulsive. Utterly repulsive. It was offensive on so many levels that it’s taken countless blogs picking apart what he said to even get close to covering all of it.

    And since he’s said he was ‘misquoted’ everyone seems to automatically believe that.

    Nobody should be left unchallenged when they say sexist, ignorant shit about women. It doesn’t matter who they are. Even Stephen Fry has to face up to it when he says something stupid and offensive.

    And Frances – nobody is saying Stephen Fry is to blame for rape. This is just the same kind of the kind of crap I was getting – “You hate Stephen Fry! You hate people with mental illnesses! You hate men. You hate comedy. You blame Stephen Fry for The Holocaust etc”. Read through what is being said – this is about rape culture.

    I don’t know why it’s so hard to just say – you know what: He fucked up. And he has to own it. Even if I’m a fan of his – he’s still wrong.

    • Book Girl

      “He fucked up. And he has to own it. Even if I’m a fan of his – he’s still wrong.”

      Agree totally and am very disappointed and disgusted with what he said – when I saw a quote from this post at HaT (first mention I’d seen of his remarks), I thought, must be some other Mr Fry, not STEPHEN Fry, surely.

      He doesn’t get a pass for this.

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  9. Zen

    Uhm, don’t jump all over me for this, but I don’t get it. Why is the quote offensive? Your argument doesn’t seem to follow from, or address the quote, like it’s a Non Sequitur. The quote seems to be making an argument that the amount of sex one has, is proportional to the amount that they like sex.

    I don’t see any mention about anonymous, casual sex, random partners, low standards etc.

    I don’t see any mention of rape.

    Not that there wasn’t, in context, I don’t know, the quote’s been taken out of context. Maybe there’s something else you should have quoted instead?

    Furthermore, you don’t address the argument. You address some other unrelated argument that wasn’t made in the quote, as if he had said instead, something like:

    “Of course a lot of women will deny this and say, ‘Oh, no, but I love sex, I love it!’ But do they go around *talking about*, and dressing in sexy clothes, the way that gay men do?”

    So… There’s a kind of disconnect. I want to understand your argument, but it doesn’t quite make sense.

    • QoT

      Really, Zen? You’re going to plead “I just want to understand” after starting off your comment with “don’t get uppity at me, crazed feminist!!!”?

      You might want to rethink that strategy.

      As for context, three links are provided addressing the rest of Fry’s commentary (and the multiple “contexts” in which he has said basically identical things).

      As for “no mention of …” um, when the context is cruising in parks “the way gay men do” that’s about all the mention necessary.

      And of course Stephen Fry doesn’t bring up rape. He’s busy talking about how women aren’t going around having casual anonymous sex, to which my response is that women can’t even go around saying they like casual anonymous sex – unless they’re okay with those statements later being used against them by a wankstain defence lawyer to say “Well, your Honour, the victim is obviously a slut so my client can’t have raped her.”

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  12. steve

    As wildly wrong and as obviously unhinged by his own experience of being raped at school by an older boy, and never yet being able to accept he was a victim of that, I feel a bit of sympathy for him actually.

    At the end of the day, neither his bankers nor staff care that much WHY he generates twitter traffic and bouncing around in the public eye, only that he does.

    It’s not surprising he holds the views he does and he does hold them because he’s said so before ( this isn’t a first instance by any means ). Many gay men do and part of that is generally believed to be a desire not to offend ‘father’ aka the straight male. Many gay men try to gain the approval of straight men by disparaging or dismissing women.

    Aim off of why Fry’ himself may be so infuriating for a moment and rather to the issue of: why do women, who have been oppressed and abused by patriarchal societies for thousands and thousands of years:

    1) continue to let them persist
    and
    2) aid in their persistence?

    Women need to stop giving control over to men for the final say in their sense of self-worth. IMHO, the reaction to Stephen’s absurd comments say more about this painful truth than the initial reflex of insult. IOW, why would a fairly removed from reality celebrity, and a gay man at that, engender so much reaction to his statements? It’s because women have not moved past being aware of victimhood, much like Fry, into doing the work of reshaping societies into more egalitarian ideals. It’s not enough to stop with saying all straight men in power have it out for women. However true that may be, at the end of the day how will you change that so your own daughters do not suffer its slings and arrows and endure it? Why are so many young women so abjectly horrified by the idea of calling themselves feminists? Why is that a bad thing?

    These are more important questions, than ‘why did a gay man get it so wrong’? But I have yet to read many women in all these reaction articles even mention it.

    • QoT

      Steve, I can’t say I’m particularly interested in any “discussion” that’s premised on “but forget this actual harmful thing that happened! Let’s talk about why women let it happen!”

      Women don’t actually get to just say, “Oh, I’m going to ignore an entire lifetime of being told to find value in men’s attraction and attention!!” that easily. Women are subject daily to messages about listening to men, being guided by men, seeking men’s attention, relying on men for safety and security, physical, emotional or financial.

      Frankly, fuck you and your idea that we need to “move past victimhood”. Women ARE FUCKING VICTIMS. Women ARE HURT AND VICTIMISED when a privileged, influential, intellectual man talks shit about our sexuality.

      It is fucking insulting to call on unoriginal derailing bullshit like “focus on more important things”. It’s all fucking important. And it’s not fucking easy to change.

      I do not want my daughters growing up in a world where (a) they will very likely be victims of sexual violence and (b) people will say that’s okay because women don’t enjoy sex anyway and just use it to get marriage and babies. I am fucking challenging that. That’s how I’m helping to change the world.

      I have no fucking problem calling myself a feminist, so I guess that’s just some bullshit off-topic distraction on your part.

      If you have any kind of problem with The Feminist Cabal not covering your Very Important Issues, go start your own fucking blog. Do not pretend to be doing us a favour by telling us to shut up and focus on your pet topics.

  13. mike

    Women will never be able to sleep around like men and not have the negative stigma. It may not be fair, but life isn’t fair. And it has nothing to do with fair and unfair and everything to do with gender roles. It’s called power of the pussy. A girl can be half way decent looking, go to a bar and decide she wants to sleep with a man with relative ease compared to the average man. Bottom line, the decision to have sex comes down to the women. That’s why you don’t hear cases of men being raped by women. Sorry ladies, it may not be fair, but it’s the way it is.

    • QoT

      I’d like to thank mike for his valuable, coherent, and completely internally consistent contribution.

      For truly, it is a crime that women who are only “half way decent looking” can pick up men in bars for consensual sex. And truly, men get raped less than women because men are always up for it (as long as the woman is half decent looking, I assume!). This is not a statement that actively works against male rape victims at all.

      And somehow women choosing who they want to have sex with is such a terrible thing that it’s just natural there would be a universal stigma applied against us, even by the men we ARE choosing to have sex with and not just the insecure MRAs who can’t accept that their own shitty personalities and self-absorption is probably the reason women aren’t flinging themselves at them.

      • mike

        Wow, you totally missed my point. [QoT: mike went on to explain that his point was completely not what he’d said the first time around and I was clearly stupid for taking him at his word.]

        [Trigger warning: the following involves body policing, pretending that society is not geared to make men desirable due to controlling power and resources, and a mild conspiracy theory about how rape only happens because women don’t say “yes” to enough men. mike would also like us to know that he refuses to indulge in “childish personal shots” while saying things he never said previously “went over my head. This is mike’s final night with us; a big round of applause to a truly wordy chauvinist!]
        Why do most cases involve the man forcing himself on the woman? Because the woman makes the final decision to have sex, that was my whole point of bringing rape into the equation, because it demonstrates who’s in control of the final decision to have sex. But it went way over your head. And what I meant by decent looking, was average, not 400 lbs or necessarily a super model. Sure, women can date who they want. All I said is they will never be able to sleep around and escape the “slut” stigma because the woman ultimately makes the final decision to have sex, and it is the men that do the perusing, not the other way around. It takes skill for a guy to sleep with a lot of women, and that’s why they are called studs(a guy has to be more than good looking to do this). It doesn’t take a lot of skill for a women to sleep with a lot of men, sorry but it doesn’t. Don’t be mad at me, that’s just the way it is. A female walking into a bar will command more attention from the opposite sex than a male regardless of looks because it is up to the male to pursue the female. I’m not saying don’t discriminate in choosing a partner, way to spin everything. And I’m not going to come back with childish personal shots because it’s a waste of time. You don’t know me and I don’t know you.

        • QoT

          mike subsequently left four more comments, again reinforcing rape myths about male rape victims and wanting to let y’all know that I’m an evil comment-censoring bitch. Guilty as charged!

        • QoT

          Dear historians of the future, know ye that “mike” then kept trying to post copypasta spam, largely consisting of whining that women won’t suck his dick just ’cause he’s awesome, and definitely breaking his promise not to engage in personal childish attacks.

          /trollbait

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