When this [women’s] movement criticized rape, it meant rapists and the point of view that saw rape as sex. When it criticized prostitution, it meant pimps and johns and the point of view that women are born to sell sex. When it criticized incest, it meant those who did it to us, and the point of view that made our vulnerability and enforced silence sexy. When it criticized battery, it meant batterers, and the point of view that violence expressed the intensity of love. Nobody thought that in criticizing these practices, the movement was criticizing their victims.
It also criticized sacred concepts from the standpoint of women’s material existence, our reality, concepts like choice. It was a movement that knew when material conditions preclude 99 percent of your options, it is not meaningful to call the remaining 1 percent—what you are doing—your choice. This movement was not taken in by concepts like consent. It knew that when force is a normalized part of sex, when no is taken to mean yes, when fear and despair produce acquiescence and acquiescence is taken to mean consent, consent is not a meaningful concept.