« Apple vs. The Bloggers | Main | Designer Goods Bad? »

August 28, 2007

What Is Rape?

This is an important point by Ann. "Rape" is often used to denote what the victim went through, rather than what the assailant did. So if the (let's just say) woman doesn't feel terrifically traumatized, or it wasn't violent, then it's not rape, but rather some sort of more complicated plane between regrettable sex and violent assault. But, in fact, "the definition of rape doesn't change depending on how you feel afterward. Rape is a nonconsensual sexual act." If you steal a TV, but the bookish type you took it from doesn't really miss it, it doesn't mean you're not a thief. And if you rape someone, but there are no repercussions, doesn't mean you're not a rapist.

August 28, 2007 | Permalink

Comments

Oh bullshit, stop raping me with your idiocy.

First you are conflating two arguments:

A) You claim that rape is what the victim went through, just like you actually literally raped me just then by writing such stupid words that I felt literally violated

B) Then you claim rape is a non-consensual sexual act.

Well frankly, from Ann's story, we don't know if the act was consensual or not. We know a woman went to someone's home that she didn't know, we know she drank 80 oz of beer of her own volition, and we know that at times she objected to the sex. What we don't know is what she consented to at the other times when she claims basically to have blacked out. We don't even know if she is telling the truth about that or just regrets the evening and is now lying.

People lie all the time, Ezra.

If this women had drunk 80oz had gotten behind the wheel of a car and hit someone, would she bear any responsibility for her actions?

If this women had drunk 80oz and gotten into the passenger seat while another drunk drove and crashed their car, would she bear any responsibility for her actions?

If the guy had woken up the next day, and he said that she raped him while he was drunk, would she suddenly be a rapist?

Rape is a legal conclusion and it is up to judge and jury to determine if rape has occurred.

Why do you let drunk women off?

Why do you patronize and condescend to women? Don't you think it is demeaning to them? Don't you think they are capable of standing up to the heat every bit as much as you are?

Here's the Biting Beaver Rape Checklist. It's pretty close to what Ann and you are saying:

http://www.encyclopediadramatica.com/BitingBeaver/RapeChecklist

Some things to remember...

1. You are a rapist if you get a girl drunk and have sex with her.

2. You are a rapist if you find a drunk girl and have sex with her.

3. You are a rapist if you get yourself drunk and have sex with her. Your drunkeness is no excuse.

4. If you are BOTH drunk you may still be a rapist.

5. If she's alternating between puking her guts out and passing out in the bed then you're a rapist.

6. If she's sleeping and you have sex with her you're a rapist.

7. If she's unconscious and you have sex with her then you're a rapist.

8. If she's taking sleeping pills and doesn’t wake up when you have sex with her then you’re a rapist.

9. If she is incapacitated in any way and unable to say 'Yes' then you're a rapist.

10. If you drug her then you're a rapist.

11. If you find a drugged girl and have sex with her then you're a rapist.

12. If you don't bother to ask her permission and she says neither 'Yes' or 'No' then you could be a rapist.

13. You are a rapist if you 'nag' her for sex. Because you manage to ply an eventual 'yes' from a weary victim doesn't mean it's not rape. You are a rapist.

14. You are a rapist if you try to circumvent her "No" by talking her into it. She's not playing hard to get, and, even if she IS it's not YOUR responsibility to 'get' her. You're still a rapist.

15. You are a rapist if you manipulate her into sex when she doesn't otherwise want it. If you say, "If you loved me you’d do X" then you're a rapist. If you say, "All the other kids are doing it!" then you're a rapist.

16. If you threaten her, or act in a way that SHE thinks you're threatening her then you're a rapist. If you puff up and get loud and frustrated while trying to 'talk' her into sex then you're a rapist.

17. You are a rapist if you don't immediately get your hands off of her when she says 'no'. You are a rapist if you take your hands off of her and then put them back ON her after 10 minutes and she eventually 'gives in' to this tactic.

18. You are a rapist if you won't let her sleep peacefully without waking her every 15 minutes asking her for sex. Sleep depravation is a form of torture and YOU are a rapist.

19. If you're necking with her and you're naked and you've already gone down on her and she says 'No' to sex with you and you have sex with her anyway then you're a rapist.

20. If you're engaged in intercourse and she says 'No' at ANY point and you don't immediately stop then you're a rapist.

21. If she said "Yes" to sex with a condom and that condom breaks and you proceed anyway then you're a rapist.

22. If she picked you up at a bar looking for sex and then decides that she doesn't WANT sex and you continue then you're a rapist.

23. If she changes her mind at ANY point for ANY reason and you don't immediately back off or you try to talk her into it and get sex anyway then you're a rapist.

24. If you don't hit her and she says 'No' you're still a rapist.

25. If you don't have a knife or a gun or a garrote and she says 'No' then you're still a rapist.

26. If you're a friend of hers you can still be a rapist.

27. If you had sex with her the night before but she doesn't want morning sex and you pressure her for it anyway then you're a rapist.

28. If you're her husband you can still be a rapist.

29. If it's your wedding night and she doesn't WANT to have sex with you and you force or coerce her anyway then you're a rapist.

30. If she's had sex with you hundreds of times before but doesn't want to on the 101st time then you're a rapist.

31. If you penetrate her anally, orally or digitally against her will then YOU my friend, are ALSO a rapist.

32. Women do not owe you sex.

33. Buying her dinner does not entitle you to sex.

34. Paying her mortgage does not entitle you to sex.

35. Buying her clothing does not entitle you to sex.

36. Buying her lingerie does not entitle you to sex. It also doesn't mean that she has any obligation to wear that lingerie around you.

37. Spending any amount of money on her does not, ever, entitle you to sex.

38. Seeing her legs or cleavage does not entitle you to sex.

39. If she 'turns you on' you're not entitled to sex.

40. If she has fucked every man in a 10 square mile radius and she doesn't want to fuck you and you have sex with her anyway, then you're a rapist.

41. Her clothing is not a reason for you to rape her. Her LACK of clothing is no reason to rape her. If she's wearing a thong and pasties you STILL have no right to rape her.

42. If she's a prostitute and she says "No" then you're a rapist.

43. If she's a stripper and she says "No" then you're a rapist. Likewise, if she's a stripper and she's been rubbing against your dick all night long and you follow her to her car and have sex with her against her will then you are ALSO a rapist.

44. If you watch a woman being raped without calling the authorities then you're as bad as a rapist and you may also be a rapist yourself.

45. If you don't fight rape then you accept rape.

46. If you don't believe a woman when she says she was raped then you're encouraging rape.

47. If you choose to remain friends with a man who raped a woman you are encouraging rape.

48. If you confess to the authorities that you raped a woman it does not exonerate you. You are not suddenly a model of good behavior.

49. If you ‘only’ raped one woman, you’re STILL a rapist.

50. You cannot tell who is a rapist by the way they look. Rapists are your friends, your brothers, your fathers and you won't know it.

51. Do not get frustrated with a woman if she doesn't trust you. SHE already knows that rapists don't wear signs on their foreheads. Something you think is innocuous SHE may find terrifying.

Posted by: anon | Aug 28, 2007 3:42:07 PM

Can there be accidental rape? I.e., what do you define what happens when a man legitimately, but incorrectly, believes he has a woman's consent?

As a crime, that's not rape - there's no mens rea. But just like an accidental homicide still leaves a dead body, what do you call what happened to the woman?

Posted by: Justin | Aug 28, 2007 3:43:10 PM

You claim that rape is what the victim went through...

Ezra said no such thing, though I suppose you wish that he had said that, so you'd have reason to argue. Ezra specifically says that, though rape is (incorrectly) used to denote what the victim "went through," he's saying that rape is a specific act committed by the perpetrator.

Posted by: Tyro | Aug 28, 2007 3:50:47 PM

If this women had drunk 80oz and gotten into the passenger seat while another drunk drove and crashed their car, would she bear any responsibility for her actions?

I nominate this as the stupidest of "anon's" stupid, stupid comments. Let's have some more nominations, and then we can vote.

I am glad that the idiot posted that rape checklist; it's a good one. People should definitely read it and pass it along.

Posted by: Stephen | Aug 28, 2007 3:55:29 PM

Wow anon -- if that list is supposed to demonstrate that rape is too elastic a term, I think it did the exact opposite.

Posted by: Ezra | Aug 28, 2007 3:58:44 PM

Rape is such a loaded and generally serious word nowadays that it's not surprising that people are having trouble matching up the theoretical definition--and perhaps more importantly all the baggage and connotations that comes with that definition---with a substantially more complex and gray reality.

Yeah, if you had sex with a woman who was drunk and who was in no position to consent, though at the time she may or many not have consented, and you were drunk too, then you're still a rapist. But you're not a rapist rapist. See? You didn't kidnap random women off the street and rape them joyfully. And it's difficult to equivalate the two in either a moral or a legal sense. If you were raped, "rape" is such an impossibly bad word with such awful implications that maybe you don't want to admit that you were raped, and doesn't it depend how you were raped or the circumstances of that rape? Those are dangerous distinctions to draw, maybe, but nevertheless those distinctions exist and you can hardly wave them away with a magic wand. If half of all women are raped, what does that mean for the moral, legal, and emotional gravity of rape as it is understood in the public consciousness? If half of all men are rapists, what does that mean for the moral, legal, and emotional condemnation of rapists?

Posted by: Korha | Aug 28, 2007 4:09:14 PM

That's fine Ezra.

Remember, if in the middle of the night, you wake up next to your partner and begin foreplay -- you're a rapist Ezra.

And if you're engaged in heavy petting and place a finger where it's not wanted -- you're a rapist Ezra!

Remember Ezra, if you and she are both drunk -- you're a rapist Ezra!

I didn't say that BB's checklist was completely whacked, but the list in total is whacked because of the extremes it lists and the denial that there is any sort of grey zone.

You should read about Nick Kiddle, a woman that quite consciously raped a man according to the Biting Beaver by getting him drunk and initiating sex with him, and then a month later insisted that he had raped her, even though she agreed that "he was so drunk as to be deaf to reason."

But that's fine Ezra -- apparently you feel women fragile and need protection and cannot deal with laws or rules that are gender symmetrical or gender neutral.

How is it you can call yourself a feminist?

Posted by: anon | Aug 28, 2007 4:19:24 PM

Because I don't place parts of myself where they're not wanted.

The bar sure is low these days.

Posted by: Ezra | Aug 28, 2007 4:21:28 PM

Following up on Ezra's comment, which of those things do you think aren't rape, Anon? I mean, Christ. Do you think it is okay to fuck a woman who you find asleep? To keep having sex with her if she says no? Would you have sex with a woman if she was not clearly conscious and gave you no indication that she wanted to?

Or, to put it more succinctly, you're a fucking piece of shit. Your definition of rape is vile. I can only assume you don't have a sister or a daughter, because if you could imagine the 51 things on that list, or what happened to Moe, happening to her you probably wouldn't be such a goddamned asshole about it.

Posted by: Sam L | Aug 28, 2007 4:27:42 PM

Yeah, if you had sex with a woman who was drunk and who was in no position to consent, though at the time she may or many not have consented, and you were drunk too, then you're still a rapist.

Why isn't the woman equally guilty of rape, if both were drunk? What if the woman were 5'11" and 205lbs and the man 5'3" and 128 lbs, and they were both drunk? Serious question here, I honestly don't understand why the "both of them were drunk scenario" only makes the male a criminal.

Posted by: nancy | Aug 28, 2007 4:31:58 PM

Well, I'm not anon--but I would certainly argue that 14 (talking someone into sex is rape) is pretty much nonsense. Both my wife and I have let the other know that we are very much in the mood when they weren't necessarily in the mood before we started talking.

Posted by: SamChevre | Aug 28, 2007 4:32:08 PM

If this women had drunk 80oz and gotten into the passenger seat while another drunk drove and crashed their car, would she bear any responsibility for her actions?

I nominate this as the stupidest of "anon's" stupid, stupid comments. Let's have some more nominations, and then we can vote.

Apart from your being unable to argue and only make ad hominem attacks Stephen, why is that a stupid argument?

Maybe one of you rich white kids can buy this article and tell us what it says.

http://www.questia.com/googleScholar.qst?docId=5000465634

Just say no excuse: the rise and fall of the intoxication defense

by Mitchell Keiter

I. Introduction

On perhaps no other legal issue have courts so widely differed, or so often changed their views, as that of the legal responsibility of intoxicated offenders.(1) The question contrasts the individual's right to avoid punishment for the unintended consequences of his acts with what then-new Hampshire Supreme Court justice David Souter described as the individual's "responsibility ... to stay sober if his intoxication will jeopardize the lives and safety of others.(2) The issue presents the choice of whether the magnitude of an offense should be measured from the objective perspective of the community or the subjective perspective of the offender.(3)

Posted by: anon | Aug 28, 2007 4:33:04 PM

You know, I was gonna quibble about the distinction between technical and practical definitions, but anon vomiting all over the comments section killed that urge right quick.

Posted by: Glenn | Aug 28, 2007 4:36:44 PM

And neither do I Ezra, but while you are making out, if you place a hand on a breast before its time, or a finger in a vagina before you asked for permission, are you a rapist Ezra?

Are you a rapist? A sexual molester? Which of these are you Ezra? Because BB says that you are in fact, a rapist.

And please affirm that when you are making out, you do get affirmative permission before any of your actions.

"May I place my ... here ..." Is that what you are doing, because if not, how can you say with 100% certainly that you have not placed part of your body where it is not wanted?

And because that sort of affirmative and consent is what BB and Ann require, how are you prepared as a member of our society to deal with the women who have said otherwise? Not that they wish to be raped, but the many women that have flat out stated they do not like it when a man asks permission for everything?

Posted by: anon | Aug 28, 2007 4:38:07 PM

I have in fact woken up to find I was having sex. Now, this was with my signifigant other, and therefore quite appreciated and I do not think it is at all like rape. Now, if the same thing would have happened with a stranger (or anyone that I didn't want it to happen with) it would have been quite a different thing. From that perspective, I do think how you 'feel' about what happened matters a whole lot.

I also think being too drunk to give consent (presuming consent was actually given) is about as valid as being too drunk to realize you shouldn't drive. Sure, it may happen, but it doesn't absolve you of responsibility in either case.

Posted by: Dave Justus | Aug 28, 2007 4:57:01 PM

"Why isn't the woman equally guilty of rape, if both were drunk? What if the woman were 5'11" and 205lbs and the man 5'3" and 128 lbs, and they were both drunk? Serious question here, I honestly don't understand why the "both of them were drunk scenario" only makes the male a criminal."

It could work the other way around, too. The important point here is that we're going by the given definition above where rape is "a nonconsensual sexual act." But the term "nonconsensual sexual act" is not specific and can occupy a very large space indeed. Hypotheticals like the one you pointed are a good example. Frankly my opinion is that there are all sorts of different types of rapes/sexual assaults which range in severity from fairly benign to extremely horrifying. I don't think blanket statements which declare that most of the human race have either been raped, or are rapists, are very helpful in terms of clarity or the law.

Posted by: Korha | Aug 28, 2007 4:57:30 PM

From that perspective, I do think how you 'feel' about what happened matters a whole lot.

Well, presumably you had worked out an agreement with your S.O. that this was acceptable-- in effect, giving consent ahead of time.

Posted by: Tyro | Aug 28, 2007 5:05:53 PM

Hey, Ez, what are the specs of your comment spam filter? It would be nice to be able to post legit comments without having them tagged for unknown reasons as spam.

Posted by: anon | Aug 28, 2007 5:06:36 PM

Apart from your being unable to argue and only make ad hominem attacks Stephen, why is that a stupid argument?

That wasn't ad hominem*, it was an assessment of the quality - well, the lack of quality - of your comments. Your analogy was completely irrelevant, totally disconnected.

The better analogy is the one Ezra already gave, or one like this: if you, "anon," pass out drunk in your house and don't notice it when someone breaks in and steals all your possessions, should you still be able to press charges, or should the fact that you were drunk and didn't tell the burglar to stop mean that no crime was committed?

And when Ezra says he doesn't put his body parts where they aren't wanted, I'm pretty sure he means what he says. It isn't that hard. There's actually quite a few of us guys that manage to not put our body parts where they aren't wanted. If you find such elementary self-control difficult, for Pete's sake get some help.

*When will people stop relying on Wiki pages to make their arguments for them? I said the comments were stupid. I then called "anon" - pick a nickname, jeez - an idiot based upon the available evidence. An ad hominem argument is the other way around. At least read the Wiki page enough to understand it.

Posted by: Stephen | Aug 28, 2007 5:15:57 PM

"if you, "anon," pass out drunk in your house and don't notice it when someone breaks in and steals all your possessions, should you still be able to press charges, or should the fact that you were drunk and didn't tell the burglar to stop mean that no crime was committed?"

Not to disagree with the rest of your comment, but this is a horrifically inapt analogy. Unlike sex, there is no context in which breaking in and taking all of someones stuff is acceptable. What turns an ordinary, acceptable act of intercourse into rape is the lack of consent, an issue which gets rather, ahem, hazy, when alcohol is involved.

Posted by: Glenn | Aug 28, 2007 5:26:26 PM

Oh bullshit Stephen. You declared the arguments stupid without giving any criteria as to why. You then declared that I have apparently according to you made many stupid arguments. You then called me stupid.

Don't give me any bullshit that you weren't making an ad hominem attack. Your argument contained no facts and only smears against me.

But as Glenn who thinks I vomited points out, when it came actually tried to make an argument, you failed miserably.

"And when Ezra says he doesn't put his body parts where they aren't wanted, I'm pretty sure he means what he says. It isn't that hard. There's actually quite a few of us guys that manage to not put our body parts where they aren't wanted. If you find such elementary self-control difficult, for Pete's sake get some help."

That's classic too. When someone tries to have a discussion of what makes rape and what isn't, and they make an argument you don't like, you call them a rapist. Classic Amanda Marcotte. Congrats.

Posted by: anon | Aug 28, 2007 5:31:57 PM

It's really not that fucking hazy. If she can take off her own clothes, and does so, and indicates that she wants to have sex, you're good to go. If she is so drunk that she is unable to do that, or so drunk that she can't give consent, then it is fucking rape. If she gives any active indication that she doesn't want sex, as in Moe's case, IT IS GODDAMNED RAPE. Anon's answer to that is that she's a lying slut.

But you know, there's a gray area, so whatever.

Posted by: Sam L | Aug 28, 2007 5:31:58 PM

That wasn't ad hominem*, it was an assessment of the quality - well, the lack of quality - of your comments. Your analogy was completely irrelevant, totally disconnected.

Exactly. Commenters here are responding to anon's points with other arguments, and then perhaps throwing in a "you're an idiot" aside. That's not ad hominem. It's only ad hominem if they called anon an idiot and then didn't list any reasons why, which as far as I can tell hasn't happened.

Stephen, what is with the "you're argument is from Wikipedia" mode of attack? That's actually an ad hominem, as you never show any evidence of anyone doing so. Also, an argument's source has little to do with it's validity, so this seems nothing more than a gussied up way of saying "you're a dummy". It's apparent no one reads Wikipedia as much as you, as you seem to be familiar with everything written there.

Posted by: Cain | Aug 28, 2007 5:33:24 PM

For the vote on Anon's stupidest comment, I vote for Stephen's nomination.

Posted by: Neil | Aug 28, 2007 5:37:35 PM

Can there be accidental rape? I.e., what do you define what happens when a man legitimately, but incorrectly, believes he has a woman's consent?

It's still rape if a reasonable person would have known.

If this women had drunk 80oz and gotten into the passenger seat while another drunk drove and crashed their car, would she bear any responsibility for her actions?

I nominate this as the stupidest of "anon's" stupid, stupid comments.

Explain your reasoning, Stephen, or Neil.

Yeah, if you had sex with a woman who was drunk and who was in no position to consent, though at the time she may or many not have consented, and you were drunk too, then you're still a rapist.

As nancy asks, if you were both equally drunk, are you both rapists?

Or, to put it more succinctly, you're a fucking piece of shit. Your definition of rape is vile.

What definition, Sam?

Anon, how would you define rape? Why did Ezra's post upset you so?

If she can take off her own clothes, and does so, and indicates that she wants to have sex, you're good to go.

I'm not sure that's a good line, Sam. Judgment is very much impaired before one can't remove clothes.

Anon's answer to that is that she's a lying slut.

No it isn't. Be rational.

Posted by: Sanpete | Aug 28, 2007 5:40:12 PM

The comments to this entry are closed.