Reaction to ‘Incest Within the Context of Feminist Morality’

Of all arguments intended to corrode the feminist movement, “sex positivity is a slippery slope leading to incestual marriage” has to be one of the most ridiculous.

You’ve posed a question asking whether a feminist would support the legalization of incestual marriage.

First, how did we get from sex positivity to marriage? Like many controversial issues, I can’t speak for all feminists, but consensual incest is such a rare phenomenon that in most cases of incest, only one person is consenting and therefore is considered rape or molestation.

Because of this, incest is not usually a friendly term in the feminist community, or in general; however, in those rare cases where it is two consenting and of age individuals, yes, most feminists would encourage that they have safe sex rather than unprotected sex.

People, like you, often miss the point of sex positivity. Many have learned over time, from an evolutionary and logical standpoint, that if two people want to have sex, they will most likely find a way to make it happen.

When they are forbidden to do so, impulse decisions and mistakes are more likely to occur. Why not educate people on all of the risks and advantages, the pros and cons, of sex and then put the decision in their hands?

The sex positive movement might be broad and a little extreme, but it is one solution to the sex education deficit in this country, particularly in North Dakota, This state still teaches abstinence-only, biased sex education as the most common approach in high school health courses.

You also mention “feminists ‘promote practices’ like homosexuality, promiscuity, abortion, etc.” It should be noted that sexuality and gender are not “practices.”

You would never say that a woman “practices” being a woman, just as a transgender woman is not “practicing” their given gender.

Sure, BDSM is a practice, but do feminists “promote” BDSM? No. Again, sex positivity is the concept that sex should be safe and consensual. Period.

You make the final “groundbreaking” comparison between the opposition of incestuous marriage by feminists and the opposition of gay marriage by most conservatives, which isn’t valid considering the lack of collective stance by feminists on the subject of incestual marriage.

3 Replies to “Reaction to ‘Incest Within the Context of Feminist Morality’”

  1. BDSM is a fetish like any other. Any feminist who tries to get involved with other people’s consensual sex lives is a hypocrite; this is especially true for sex positive feminists.
    Incest has always been a non-issue in this movement. If you want a controversy, look at that article posted a couple months by Salon (a progressive news site) that unironically defended pedophilia.


  2. I am the author of the original article Driscoll is referring to, you can find it here: http://ndsuspectrum.com/incest-within-the-context-of-feminist-morality/
    In my article I posed a question for sex-positive feminists: should we legalize incestuous marriage?
    Driscoll, you failed to answer this question. The best answer I can infer from your article is that you have at least some moral opposition to incest. Your opposition is based on the reasoning that incest is so rare that only one party is consenting, therefore it is rape. Am I correct in this inference?
    Do you have any proof that incest is this rare? What if you are wrong? Remember, incestuous sex is illegal in many states, so it is incriminating to admit to it. It may be more common than you realize. If this is the case, then you are discriminating against a sexual minority based on faulty pretenses. Is this something feminists stand for?
    Even when you entertained the possibility that two consenting adults would engage in incestuous relations, you still avoided the question. You admit that, yes, they should practice safe sex. But are you morally opposed to this kind of activity? Yes or no? If not, then on what grounds do you base this moral opposition?
    Your definition of sex-positive feminism is wrong. Sex-positive feminists see sexual norms and mores as social constructs created by patriarchal systems as a way of oppressing women. Therefore, they posit that all sexual norms and mores (including gender roles) need to be eliminated as a way of liberating women. This means that all forms of sexual expression need to be celebrated, provided it is safe and consensual. In order to make this kind of world manageable, everyone needs to be practicing safe sex. Safe sex is merely a means towards a much more radical end. Again, this is the predominant viewpoint in American third-wave feminism.

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