A new day, a new horrible thing on the internet: “Stealthing.” Coined by Alexandra Brodsky, “stealthing” describes the “purposefully nonconsensual removal of condoms during sex.”
In an interview with the Huffington Post, Brodsky decided to explore this dangerous sex trend because so many of her friends felt mistreated during intercourse, but couldn’t find a word to explain what happened to them; they “didn’t have the vocabulary to process it.”
Brodsky introduces her study with a story of a woman named Rebecca who worked for a crisis hotline. According to Rebecca, women have called to recount experiences that didn’t fall within the defined lines of sexual assault, often beginning the phone call with, “I’m not sure if this is rape, but…” Women were feeling disrespected and abused, but also confused and ashamed. And they didn’t know why.
Another woman in Brodsky’s study felt violated: “Obviously the part that really freaked me out...was that it was such a blatant violation of what we’d agreed to. I set a boundary. I was very explicit.”
Brodsky asserts, “One can note that proponents of ‘stealthing’ root their support in an ideology of male supremacy in which violence is a man’s natural right.” Unfortunately, there are too many men who defend this “right;” there are actual forums for men who think “stealthing” is not only okay, but also necessary so they can “spread their seed.” They train each other on how to be better at stealthing.
Though a Swiss man was convicted of rape for this act, we all know that the law doesn’t always work in favor of rape victims. Too many people—lawmakers included—don’t believe in a woman’s right to say no once she’s said yes. Hell, some people don’t even think it’s rape if you had non-consensual sex with your boyfriend or husband because, again, it’s “his right.”
If the act of “stealthing” sounds familiar to you and you want to report it, here’s what you can do.
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