纽约时报双语笔记:性行为最重要的不仅仅是“同意”

性行为最重要的不仅仅是“同意”
When We Consent, We Shouldn’t Feel Terrible After, Right?
EMMA CAMP
2022年8月12日
纽约时报双语笔记:性行为最重要的不仅仅是“同意”

笔记导读

clunky 粗笨的;笨重的;If you describe something as clunky, you mean that it is solid, heavy, and rather awkward. ◆ clunky leather shoes 笨重的皮鞋

blurt 脱口而出;说漏嘴;If someone blurts something, they say it suddenly, after trying hard to keep quiet or to keep it secret. ◆ She blurted it out before I could stop her. 我还没来得及制止,她已脱口而出。

whisk 迅速送走;匆匆带走;If you whisk someone or something somewhere, you take them or move them there quickly. ◆ Jamie whisked her off to Paris for the weekend. 杰米匆匆把她带到巴黎去度周末。

precursor 先驱;先锋;前身;A precursor of something is a similar thing that happened or existed before it, often something which led to the existence or development of that thing.

heterosexual 异性恋的;Someone who is heterosexual is sexually attracted to people of the opposite sex.

gory 血淋淋的;令人毛骨悚然的;骇人听闻的;Gory situations involve people being injured or dying in a horrible way. ◆ a gory accident 流血事件

双语全文(官方翻译)

One August afternoon in 2019, I performed in a short play meant to make incoming freshmen at my college aware of the kinds of challenges they might face during their first year of school. After the lights dimmed on a skit about eating disorders, the topic quickly shifted and the stage opened on a party scene. One thing led to another, and a male cast member whisked me away to his “bedroom” — a few chairs hastily stacked together. We traded clunky dialogue and then he leaned over and said: “I’m really enjoying getting to know you. … Can I kiss you?” As directed, I paused, then enthusiastically blurted out, “OK!”

2019年8月的一个下午,我参与了一出短剧的演出,这部剧意在让大学新生意识到他们在第一年可能会面临的各种挑战。一段关于饮食失调的小品结束后,灯光暗下来,主题迅速转移,舞台上出现了一个派对场景。一番周折之后,一个男演员把我带到他的“卧室”——是用几把椅子匆忙堆出来的。我们笨拙地聊了几句,然后他靠过来说:“我真的很高兴能认识你。我可以吻你吗?”按照剧本,我停顿了一下,然后热情地脱口而出:“好的!”

Things soon went terribly wrong. My character’s male partner failed to ask her for further consent, and she was sexually assaulted. Later in the play, a resident adviser helpfully said that “consent includes a free, happy and continuous yes. Nothing less. And if someone is unclear that they have that, then they don’t have consent.”

事情很快变得非常糟糕。我的角色的男伴没有进一步征求她的同意,她遭到了性侵犯。后来在剧中,一位驻校顾问说了很有帮助的话,“同意包括自由、快乐、持续地说出‘好的’。没有比这更重要的了。如果有人不清楚自己是否得到了这个‘好的’,那么他们就没有获得同意。”

Every year, thousands of American college students complete some form of training designed to avert campus sexual assault by educating students on consent: what it is, how to ask for it and under which circumstances it cannot be given. The wisdom goes that if people — particularly young straight men — understood consent, then there would be less sexual violence, and women could finally feel some real sense of sexual equality.

每一年,成千上万的美国大学生都要接受某种形式的培训,旨在教育学生们理解性同意:什么是同意,如何要求同意,以及在什么情况下不能同意,从而避免校园性侵。普遍认可的观点是,如果人们——尤其是年轻的直男——理解了“同意”,那么性暴力就会减少,女性就能最终感受到真正意义上的性别平等。

To be sure, consent is a precursor for ethical sex. But, too often, consent education doesn’t teach us how to understand, and learn from, the sex that comes after we say “yes.” With instruction focused primarily on verbal yeses and nos, young people are stuck with a woefully limited, legal understanding of what sex is and ought to be, instead of gaining the broader ability to articulate our sexual desires in emotionally messy situations. We need a culture that does a better job of encouraging us to go beyond merely legal sex, and to prioritize emotionally satisfying sex, too.

可以肯定的是,同意是合乎道德的性行为的前奏。但是,多数情况下,同意教育并没有教会我们如何理解,如何从我们说“好的”之后的性行为中学习。由于教育的重点主要是口头上的“好的”和“不好”,年轻人对“性”究竟是什么,以及应该是什么的理解非常有限,只限于法律,他们没有获得更广泛的能力来表达我们在情绪混乱时的性欲。我们需要一种更好的文化,鼓励我们不仅是进行合法的性行为,而是在性行为中优先考虑情感上的满足。

In the 2010s, a series of horrific, high-profile campus sexual assault allegations led to a discussion of sex that was suspicious of young men’s sexual desires. Feminist activists argued that preventing sexual assault entailed reversing the expectations of heterosexual sex — not of women saying “no” to stop an advance, but of men asking for a “yes” to start one. By 2015, at least 1,400 colleges had adopted such definitions of consent and a cottage industry of consent trainings had cropped up. A consent-based view of sexual ethics has become common; now, to talk about sex and morality is, for the most part, to talk about consent.

在2010年代,一系列令人发指、备受关注的校园性侵犯指控引发了人们质疑年轻男性性欲望的讨论。女权主义活动家认为,防止性侵犯需要扭转对异性性行为的期望——不是以女性说“不同意”来阻止进一步亲密,而是以男性求得“同意”来开始。到2015年,至少有1400所大学采用了这样的性同意定义,并且出现了性同意须知培训的小型产业。以性同意为基础的性道德观已变得普遍;现在,谈论性和道德在很大程度上是在谈论性同意。

The language we’ve learned in these programs has become part of our everyday conversations. When my friends and I talk about our love lives, we tend to share the same kinds of stories, almost ritualistically. Usually, we’ll be sitting on the floor of a dorm room or cheap apartment, drinking discount hard seltzer or boxed wine. As the night wears on, a little buzzed, we share the gory details of our fledgling romantic encounters. Between tales of bad Bumble dates, dance-floor make-outs and Olivia-Rodrigo-worthy breakups, almost all of us have had the same experience — a time we were asked explicitly for consent, and we wanted to say no, where we could have said no, and just didn’t.

我们在这些培训中学到的语言已经成为我们日常对话的一部分。当我和我的朋友谈论我们的爱情生活时,我们分享的常常是相似的故事,几乎成为一种仪式。通常,我们会坐在宿舍或廉价公寓的地板上,喝打折的含酒精汽水或盒装葡萄酒。随着夜幕降临,微醺的我们分享着那些浪漫交往初期的残酷细节。无论是糟糕的Bumble约会、舞池里的亲热还是像奥利维亚·罗德里戈那样刻骨铭心的分手故事,几乎我们所有人都有过相同的经历——在某个时刻,我们被明确请求性同意,我们想说不同意,我们本来可以说不,但就是没说。

Inevitably, someone will ask, “Well, did you say yes?” The answer is almost always that we did, but despite that, we’re left with an unshakable uneasiness. We said yes, but we don’t know why. These experiences are so confusing to talk about because, on paper, everything went perfectly. If you consent, you shouldn’t feel terrible after, right?

有人肯定会问:“哦,你说了同意吗?”我们的回答几乎总是,我们说了,但尽管如此,我们还是有一种无法摆脱的不自在。我们说同意,但我们不知道为什么。谈论这些经历是如此令人困惑,因为在字面上,一切都很完美。如果你同意,之后你应该不会觉得很糟糕,对吧?

The primary fear articulated by my friends in these situations is impoliteness — they often feel that enduring the awkwardness of turning someone down is ultimately worse than having unwanted sex. Being the source of someone’s disappointment should not be worth more than our dignity, yet it is a calculus that seems nearly ubiquitous among young women I know.

在这些情况下,我的朋友们称自己的主要担忧是怕显得不礼貌——她们经常觉得难以忍受拒绝别人后的尴尬,总之比发生不必要的性行为更糟糕。是否让某人失望不应该比我们的尊严更重要,但在我认识的年轻女性中,似乎这种衡量几乎无处不在。

One friend told me about a first date gone wrong. She remarked to me with a sigh, he made her a three-course meal. He bought really nice wine. It would be too awkward to leave. When she stayed it was incredibly unpleasant — like making out with an octopus. She hated it. They texted briefly in the following days before she finally ended things and blocked his number.

一位朋友跟我讲述了一次失败的首次约会。她叹了口气对我说,他给她做了三道菜的正餐。他买了上好的酒。就这么走掉太尴尬了。她留了下来,接下来发生的事情极其令人不悦——就像和章鱼亲热一样。她讨厌这样。他们在接下来的几天里简短地发了短信,她最终结束了这段关系并拉黑了他的号码。

Experiences like these are common, but they aren’t stories of sexual assault — we freely consented, without fear of violence and often with the coveted verbal “yes.” After all, asking young men to be mind readers seems neither practical nor fair. Everything went according to script. Why then, did we go through with sex we didn’t want? And why didn’t we have a way to talk about why we did?

像这样的经历很常见,但它们不是性侵犯——我们自愿同意,不用担心暴力,而且常常用的是令人期待的口头表达“好的”。毕竟,让年轻男性学会读心术似乎既不现实也不公平。一切都在按剧本进行。那么,为什么我们会忍受不想要的性行为呢?为什么没有办法谈论我们为什么这样做?

College students today often become sexually active with too little to guide them — beyond, perhaps, abundant pornography. There is some evidence that teenagers are waiting longer to start having sex, and when they do start, they’re having less casual sex. Consent education takes already anxious, inexperienced young people, and gives them a simplistic, binary way of understanding sex. It’s no surprise then that many of us have absorbed the message that sex is a straightforward transaction with little room for complicated feelings — and that we’re confused when we experience the inevitable complications that sexual intimacy brings.

如今,大学生在发展到性活跃的过程中,也许除了丰富的色情内容之外,常常没有得到多少指导。有一些证据表明,青少年发生初次性行为的年龄在延后,并且有过性行为的青少年的随意性行为减少了。性同意教育面对的是已经充满焦虑、缺乏经验的年轻人,并给他们一种简单的、二元的方式来理解性。毫不奇怪,我们中的许多人都接受了这样的信息,即性是一种简单的交换,几乎没有处理复杂感受的空间——当我们经历性亲密带来的不可避免的复杂情绪时,我们会感到困惑。

In 2017, Kristen Roupenian wrote about such uncomfortable romantic encounters in her viral short story “Cat Person.” When a professor of mine assigned it as part of a feminist philosophy class, my classmates and I were encouraged — for the first time in college — to evaluate sex outside of consent box checking. Our professor asked us if what happened in the story was right or wrong — and whether the characters themselves were morally blameworthy. When one student began reciting a familiar argument about enthusiastic, verbal consent, our professor stopped her. She wanted us to think beyond legal definitions and Title IX trainings, and to precisely examine for ourselves a question of sexual ethics.

2017年,克里斯汀·鲁佩尼安在她引起热议的短篇小说《猫人》(Cat Person)中写到了这种令人不快的浪漫邂逅。当我的一位教授将它加入女权主义哲学课的阅读材料时,我和我的同学们在大学里第一次被鼓励撇开性同意的选择题来评估性行为。我们的教授问我们,故事中发生的事情是对还是错——以及人物本身在道德上是否应该受到指责。当一个学生开始陈述关于积极的口头同意的熟悉论点时,我们的教授阻止了她。教授希望我们的思考跳出法律定义和教育法修正案第九条的学习,仅仅为我们自己探讨性道德问题。

A new kind of thinking emerged — one that allowed consideration of questions like: What duty do you have to a sexual partner? Can you hurt someone without being blameworthy yourself? Is sex … special? The class was divided on the answers to these questions — that’s the whole point of asking them in the first place.

一种新的思考方式出现了,它让我们考虑以下问题:你对性伴侣有什么责任?你能伤害别人而不感到自己应受责备吗?性……特别吗?课堂上对这些问题的答案存在分歧——这就是首先提出这些问题的全部意义所在。

Even though consent is essential, when it dominates our discussions about sex, we don’t learn enough about our power to do more than refuse or approve advances. We don’t learn what we owe to our partner beyond simply not committing a crime against them. And we don’t learn to navigate the complexities of loving — and making love to — another person.

尽管同意是必不可少的,但当它主导我们关于性的讨论时,除了拒绝或同意进一步亲密外,我们不知道我们有权利做更多的选择。我们很清楚不能做犯罪的事情,却不知道我们对伴侣没有任何亏欠。而且我们没有学会探索爱的复杂性,以及探索与另一个人做爱的复杂性。

The best sex is as rewarding emotionally as it is physically. This requires trust, both in our partner, and in ourselves. When we trust ourselves to know what we want, and have the language to articulate those wants to others, sex becomes more than the transactional experience common under current norms. Instead, it’s exciting, joyful and intimate. Valuing one another as equal people — not just as bodies to extract consent from — forces partners to recognize our moral duty to one another, namely that concern for others’ pleasure also means concern for their dignity.

最好的性爱对情绪和身体一样有益。这需要我们对伴侣和对自己都要信任。当我们相信自己知道自己想要什么,并且能够用言语向他人表达这些需求时,性就不仅仅是当前社会规范下常见的交换体验。相反,它是令人兴奋、快乐和亲密的。将彼此视为平等的人来珍视——而不仅仅是作为征得同意的身体——这迫使伴侣承认我们对彼此的道德责任,即关心他人的快乐也意味着关心他们的尊严。

Sex education should start from the assertion that each person deserves pleasurable, mutually respectful sex — not sex that is merely consensual. In turn, it should teach students how to think for themselves about their desires and talk openly with their partners about them, without shame. When I sit down with my friends, I want to talk about our experiences with a real sense of agency. I want to know that they feel respected by their partners but also that they respect themselves enough to make their desires known.

性教育应该从每个人都应该得到愉快、相互尊重的性行为开始——而不是仅仅自愿的性行为。反过来,应该教学生如何独立思考自己的欲望,并与他们的伴侣开诚布公地谈论,而不感到羞耻。当我和朋友坐下来时,我想以一种真正的主体感来谈论我们的经历。我希望知道她们感到自己受到伴侣的尊重,而同时她们也足够尊重自己,会表达自己的欲望。

Yes, this will be a more difficult message to teach to college freshmen than the message in the skit I performed in. But it would be worth it.

是的,这件事将比我在短剧中所传达的信息更难教给大学新生。但这是值得的。

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