Tampa Bay Times
The economics of consent
In the Atlantic, Brit Marling describes “the way economics complicate the notion of consent.” Read “Harvey Weinstein and the Economics of Consent” in full at http://theatln.tc/2y6sq5n. Here’s an excerpt.
Straight, white men tend to tell stories from their perspective, as one naturally does, which means the women are generally underwritten
(in scripts). They don’t necessarily even need names; “Bikini Babe 2” and “Blonde 4” are parts I auditioned for. If the female characters are lucky enough to have names, they are usually designed only to ask the questions that prompt the lead male monologue, or they are quickly killed in service to advancing the plot.
Once, when I was standing in line for some open-call audition for a horror film, I remember catching my reflection in the mirror and realizing that I was dressed like a sex object. Every woman in line to audition for Nurse was, it seemed. We had all internalized on some level the idea that if we were going to be cast we’d better sell what was desired — not our artistry, not our imaginations — but our bodies.
It was around this time that I remember sitting in a casual gathering where a straight, white male activist said, “Our gender and race has all the power. So when you want to have sex with a woman you have to ask and get her verbal consent.” He continued, “If that woman is a person of color, she is oppressed by both her gender and her race and then you should really ask twice.” The literalism of his ratio was ridiculously reductive, and his declarative tone off-putting, but I appreciated that he was trying to articulate how complicated it is to negotiate the invisible forces of privilege and power inside sexual encounters.