Since in patriarchal society man is considered to be the hunter/doer/seducer/instigator, the one-that-goes-out-and… it is considered quite OK and normal for a man to try to persuade a woman to have sexual intercourse. He asks her to dance, she accepts. (She wants to, or she doesn’t want to, but she’s afraid of hurting his feelings, she’s afraid of making him angry, and wants a man to dance with). He asks her out, she accepts. (She wants to, or she doesn’t want to, but all her friends have got blokes, she’s afraid of making him angry, he might feel hurt and she can’t go out if she’s on her own.) He kisses her. He puts his hand on her leg, her breast, her cunt. He wants to see how far he can go. She lets him. (She wants to, or she doesn’t want to, but he’s taken her out after all, and spent money on her, she needs a lift home, she doesn’t want to seem a prude, and he might be angry.) He asks her to sleep with him. She accepts. (She wants to, or she doesn’t want to but she thinks she might as well, she can’t back off now, it might be OK, she’s flattered that he wants her, and he might be angry.)
Or she refuses. He tries to persuade her. He tells her he loves her. He says she doesn’t love him. He calls her a prude, immature, frigid. He says he ‘needs’ sex, so if she doesn’t come across, he’ll have to find a girl who will. Each time they meet he carries on a bit further, a bit further. (‘Why not go all the way?’) He buys Durex to demonstrate his sense of personal responsibility. Each time she finally tells him to stop and breaks away, he gets angry, he rages, he sulks; he tells her how bad it is for men to be left ‘excited’. (Prick-teaser!) He teaches her to suck him off. He works towards his goal, which is her vagina. He means to have, to possess this woman.
This is not rape, this is normal everyday stuff. The magazines call it young love.
So if this is normal and acceptable, no wonder the rape law in this country is ambiguous. If a man believes, however erroneously, that the woman he is fucking has consented to being fucked, he is not guilty of rape. So if a woman shows any sign of reluctance, that is not to say she does not really want to. She needs talking around, she is playing hard to get, she needs turning on, she likes a rough time.
In heterosexual relationships it is the man’s desires which come first and which are necessary. Then it is up to him to make the woman want sex as well. But if she does not, he can go ahead anyway. He has his penis. He has his erection. There is the woman, there is the vagina. So what is rape? And what, exactly, is ‘consent’?
London Rape Action Group in “Towards a Revolutionary Feminist Analysis of Rape” in On the Problem of Men, edited by Scarlet Friedman and Elizabeth Sarah (London: The Women’s Press, 1982), pp. 41–42