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在性关系中,说出“同意”远远不够

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2018年07月31日

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When adults talk to young people about sex, the standard speech includes the warning that they must obtain consent before stepping up intimacy to the next level. Here’s the problem: guidance that centers on the term “consent” suggests that a legal standard for permissible sexual interactions is also a decent or desirable one.

当成年人向年轻人谈论性时,常规的说辞包括警告他们必须在进入下一步亲密关系之前获得“同意”。问题就在这里:将重点放在“同意”上的指导意味着,可以被允许的性互动的法律标准,同样也是一个得体的,或者令人满意的标准。

Which it isn’t.

但并非如此。

So long as discussions of consent crowd out discussions of basic interpersonal sensitivity, we should not be surprised by reports of young men who (more often than the other way round) badger young women for sexual favors. It may be legal to wear someone down, but doing so is not the basis for healthy relationships between any two people, be they of the opposite or same sex.

只要对“同意”的讨论过多,导致对基本的人际感性的讨论没有容身之地,我们就不应该对年轻男子为了获得性好处而纠缠年轻女性的报道感到惊讶(这类事通常是男对女,而不是反过来)。锲而不舍征服某人可能是合法的,但这么做并非两个人健康关系的基础,无论是同性还是异性之间。

According to Emily Lauster, a 22-year-old recent graduate of George Washington University who now works in adolescent mental health, “You hear stories all the time of the girl not really being into it, or telling the guy she’s tired and the guy not giving her space. Maybe he’ll keep trying to initiate something physically, or take a few minutes to talk about something else before bringing it up again.”

根据22岁的艾米丽·劳斯特(Emily Lauster)所说,“你总是能听到女孩不是很感兴趣,或者告诉男生她累了,而男生却不给她空间的故事。可能他会继续尝试开始肢体上的接触,或者花几分钟说点别的,然后又提起这件事”。劳斯特近期从乔治·华盛顿大学(George Washington University)毕业,目前从事青少年心理健康方面的工作。

And so long as we normalize mere consent as an acceptable standard for sexual engagement, it will remain commonplace for young women (and sometimes, young men) to harbor feelings of confusion and regret after participating in sexual activity for which they technically gave consent, but only when pressured.

而且,只要我们将仅仅是“同意”这一点作为性接触方面可以接受的标准,将其正常化,那么对年轻女人(有时也包括男人)来说,就免不了会在进行了理论上有“同意”却往往是迫于压力的性活动后,心里怀着困惑和遗憾的感受了。

Joe Berusch, a 19-year-old from Shaker Heights, Ohio, and a rising sophomore at the University of Chicago, said that in talking with friends about a recent New York Times article regarding sex and consent on campus, he was surprised to learn that several of his female friends “had repeated experiences of being asked over and over again.” He added that he didn’t want to think that women would sometimes “cave because it just made things easier. But I know it does happen.”

19岁的乔·伯奇(Joe Berusch)来自俄亥俄州莎克汉斯,是芝加哥大学(University of Chicago)即将升入大二的学生,他说自己在与朋友探讨《纽约时报》近期一篇关于校园性行为和“同意”的文章时,他得知自己的几位女性朋友“曾有过多次遭到反复要求的经历”,这让他感到很惊讶。他还说他不愿去想女性有时候“会屈服,因为这会让事情变得简单点儿。但我知道这种事确实会发生。”

Sexual encounters ought to be pleasurable, mutual endeavors. They should advance as partners earnestly and happily agree, not because one party merely grants permission to the other. Too often, our advice to young people trains their attention on consent, the lowest possible bar for lawful sexual activity. We routinely spell out precisely what does, and doesn’t, constitute acquiescence but say little or nothing about tuning in to the desires of one’s partner. To put a very fine point on it, we essentially communicate, “When it comes to your sex life, don’t assault or rape anyone.”

性关系应该是令人愉悦、经过双方许可的行为,应该随着双方热切、开心地同意后向前推进,而不是仅仅因为其中一方给了另一方许可。我们太常建议年轻人训练自己关注“同意”,而这只是合法发生性行为的最低标准。我们定期会明确说明什么构成、什么不构成默许,却不怎么讲、或者根本不讲关于顺从伴侣欲望的情况。要反复讨论这一点的话,基本上我们沟通的内容是,“在性生活方面,不要侵犯或强奸任何人。”

Donnovan Somera Yisrael, an emotional and sexual health educator at Stanford University, suggests that we should expand the discussions of consent to include conversations about “how you detect desire in your partner and verify that desire with consent.”

斯坦福大学(Stanford University)情感、性健康教育工作者唐诺文·索梅拉·以瑟列(Donnovan Somera Yisrael)建议,我们应当扩大对“同意”的讨论,将“如何感知你的伴侣的欲望,用同意证实它”这一问题纳入其中。

What if we reserved the term consent for its more appropriate uses, such as in the courtroom or when submitting to a medical procedure? And what if, in the place of consent, we advised young people to check for nothing less than enthusiastic agreementfrom their sexual partners? We could add, “I get it that healthy sex can include some uncertainty. Feeling apprehensive yet eager is all right. But if you or your partner feels apprehensive and merely willing, that’s a no go.”

如果我们把“同意”这个词留在更合适的场合使用,例如在法庭或在走医疗程序的时候?而且,如果在同意的情况下,我们建议年轻人看看他们的性伴侣有没有给出完全热情的同意?我们还可以补充说,“我明白健康的性会包括一些不确定性。感到不安的同时却很急切是可以的。但如果你,或者你的伴侣感到不安却不怎么愿意,那就是不可以。”

When drinking is involved, even enthusiastic agreement might be too low a bar for consent, but it’s still an improvement upon the standard we hold now.

当其中涉及饮酒,即使是热情的同意对“同意”来说也标准也可能太低,但对于我们现在的标准来说,仍是一个进步。

We can continue to raise consent as an issue, but let’s not suggest that healthy romantic activity typically involves situations when consent might be unclear. Instead, we could say, “If you’re unsure about whether you have a green light in the bedroom, you may or may not have a legal concern. But you definitely have a relational one. You should not feel comfortable proceeding if your partner says no more than ‘O.K. … fine,’ to something you suggest.”

我们可以继续把“同意”作为一个问题提出来,但我们可别暗示,正常的浪漫行为往往会涉及“同意”不见得很明确的情形。相反,我们可以说,“如果你无法确定自己在卧室里是否得到了许可,你可能有、可能没有法律上的顾虑。你一定会有相关的顾虑。如果你的伴侣只是说‘OK ……好吧’,你就不应该坦然地继续做你所建议的事情。”

“An effective lesson on consent,” said Nicole Cushman, executive director of Answer, an organization in the United States that promotes sex education for youth, “is not just about providing a legal definition and a script that young people need to follow.” In Ms. Cushman’s experience, teaching about consent should address “communication skills, decision making and respect for personal boundaries.”

“一个关于同意的有效教训,”美国推广青少年性教育的机构“回答”(Answer)的总干事妮可·库什曼(Nicole Cushman)说,“不只是向年轻人提供法律定义和剧本。”根据库什曼的经验,教授“同意”应该涉及“沟通技巧、决策和尊重个人边界”。

Our surprising comfort with the term consent grows out of a reluctance to acknowledge that women have libidos, too. Only if we ignore female desire can we go along with the troublesome premise that, in heterosexual interactions, men will play offense and women will play defense.

我们对“同意”这个术语出奇地放心,源于我们不愿意承认女性也有性欲。只有忽视了女性的欲望,我们才能赞同这样一个棘手前提,即在异性间的交往中,男性是进攻角色,女性是防御角色。

“You can consent to having sex, but is that all we should expect from our sexual experiences?” asked Anna Rosenfeld, 23, a recent graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and a former peer educator for Planned Parenthood. “As women, we should be taught to expect pleasure and reciprocation — that is a higher bar than what we are necessarily taught to think about.”

“你可以同意发生性行为,但这就是我们从性经验中应该期待的全部吗?”23岁的安娜·罗森菲尔德(Anna Rosenfeld)问道;她最近刚从宾夕法尼亚大学毕业,之前曾在计划生育联合会(Planned Parenthood)任同伴教育者。“作为女性,我们应该被教导去期待快乐和回报——这高于目前必定教给我们去思考的那些东西。”

To remind young people that sex is about shared enjoyment, we might say to both our daughters and our sons, “Know what you want and learn what your partner wants. Good sex happens where those two agendas meet.”

为了提醒年轻人性是双方共有的一种享受,我们对自己的儿女都可以说这样的话:“知道你自己想要什么,并且了解你的伴侣想要什么。当两个议程有了交集,才会有美好的性。”

Of course as parents, we often feel reluctant to communicate with our children about their emerging sexual lives. Or we may be so busy warning kids about the potential downsides of sex that we forget to let them know that it also has the potential for intimacy and joy.

当然,作为父母,我们往往不愿意和子女谈论他们即将到来的性生活。或者,我们只顾提醒他们性行为可能存在的负面影响,而忘了让他们知道,性也有可能带来亲密和快乐。

“The hookup culture has reinforced the lack of respect,” Ms. Lauster said. “It suggests that you’re not supposed to think of the person in terms of a relationship — you don’t necessarily have to respect the person you’re hooking up with. And I think that goes both ways — that girls don’t necessarily respect the guys they’re hooking up with.”

“勾搭文化强化了尊重的缺乏,”劳斯特说。“它意味着,你不用从一段感情关系的角度来考虑对方——你不一定要尊重那个你勾搭的对象。而且我认为这是双向的——女孩也不一定尊重勾搭她们的男性。”

Given that most young people are considerate of their friends, adults giving advice could say, “What goes for your friendships goes the same for your romances: You should be kind and caring toward anyone you’re with and expect the same in return.”

考虑到绝大多数年轻人都很看重朋友间的友谊,给予建议的成年人可以这样说:“爱情跟友情一样,你应该善待、关心跟你在一起的人,并且期待得到同样的回报。”
 


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