April 11, 2021

On the Law of only “yes is yes” and sexual freedoms

Submerged in the pandemic that has lasted for a year, which has generated a situation of extreme poverty in many layers of the population, of pain, fear, pessimism and uncertainty, a new 8M is approaching marked by the controversy between different conceptions of the feminism, the judiciary and different social sectors in relation to the Government’s intention to present a law to regularize gender self-determination, which is already known as the Trans Law, as well as around the Draft Organic Law of Comprehensive Guarantee of the Sexual Freedom, also known as the Law of only yes is yes. I am going to dwell on some aspects of the latter.

In feminist controversies, the issue of sexual assault has always been present. Much time and ink has been devoted to debating and polemicizing them. These debates have undoubtedly contributed to many advances in the legal, social and political fields.

I start from the evidence that the draft in question arises in a context where the problem of sexual violence against women has acquired great relevance, to which cases such as “the herd” and the feminist response of “sister I do believe you”. In its articles, the draft is based on consent to establish whether or not the conduct that is judged violates the sexual freedom of women.

Patriarchy has always considered women as dependent beings without the possibility or ability to decide about our bodies, as desirable but not desiring subjects. Of the feminist ideas that have contributed the most to breaking with the conservative and archaic mentality that conceived us as heteronomous beings, it has been those that insist on the autonomy of women that have fostered a new collective imaginary from which to value ourselves as determined subjects. own in relation to our bodies and also in what has to do with desire, which, by the way, remember, is not adjustable. Neither rationality nor morality intervenes in desire.

It is precisely in this aspect that I want to emphasize when detecting in the preliminary draft a series of questions on which it is imperative to reflect. I am referring first of all to the moralizing and protectionist charge that permeates it. Whenever it is moralized, the objective is to prohibit something, in this case it is a matter of prohibiting and penalizing sexist behaviors that are to be considered from now on as new crimes. But experience shows that the recourse and abuse of the penal code, so characteristic of conservative policies, in the treatment of gender violence has not been useful. It has not served to diminish them and that, in the face of the dangerous conservative advance and the increasing consolidation of neoliberal policies, from the institutions, especially when progressive governments are at the forefront of them, public policies must be developed aimed at guaranteeing rights, ensuring for those of people who are in a situation of greater vulnerability and for the autonomy of women, moving away from an excessive burden of protectionism that infantilizes them instead of empowering them.

Second, a victimizing bet is present, which denies the agency of sex workers. It is necessary to bear in mind that the fact of being in a situation of vulnerability does not, in this case, make sex workers people incapable of deciding, incapable of deciding what they want and what they don’t. Institutions must move away from that dangerous identity posture that some feminisms maintain, turning every man into a suspect, if not an enemy, and every woman always a victim.

It is necessary to strengthen feminist ideas that support an emancipatory project, for the transformation of behaviors instead of for punishment. Of a feminism that defends the freedom and autonomy of women, that integrates masculinities, that works for diversity and for the recognition of rights for all.


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