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May 12 2007

She said I know what it’s like to be dead

Because I am the most brilliant legal mind of our generation, I give you this, my latest idea on the eradication of rape through enforcement of male responsibility:

The problem with rape, other than the fact that 95% of it is perpetrated by men, always seems to boil down to this asinine controversy over consent. The issue is grossly encumbered with a futile focus on meaningless, temporary instances of the withdrawal of consent, to wit: “she said yes” or “she said yes and then she said no” or “she said yes and waited until two days later to say no” or “she said yes and has been lying about it ever since.” She said, she said, she said.

Well, what if lack of consent were the default? What if all prospective objects of dudely predation — by whom I mean all women — are a priori considered to have said “no”? What if women, in other words, were seen by the courts to abide in a persistent legal condition of keep-the-fuck-off-me?

A straight girl could still have as much sex as she wants with men, if for some reason she thinks it’s a good idea (naturally I would most vigorously urge self-identified heterosexual women to contemplate the horrific personal and political implications of submitting to male domination in this way. But that’s another post). All she’d have to do is not call the cops. No harm no foul.

But if, at any time during the course of the proceedings, up to and including the storied infinitesimal microsecond preceding the sacred spilling of dudely seed, the woman elects to biff off to the nearest taco stand; and if her egress from the sweaty tableau is in any way impeded by the pronger (such an impediment would include everything from “traditional” brute force, to that insistently whispered declamation “just a couple more minutes, I’m almost there” the dread seriousness of which the fervid oaf dramatizes by that ever-so-slight tightening of his grip on her wrist); or if, in three hours or three days or, perhaps in the case of childhood abuse, in 13 years it begins to dawn on her that she has been badly used by an opportunistic predator, she has simply to make a call.

Presto! The dude is already a rapist, because, legally, consent never existed.

[The kind reader will intellectively supply the Law & Order 'chung-chung!' audio here]

This contingency would have the immediate and pleasant result that the engorged dude would be forced to ruminate a bit, prior to gettin’ busy, on the subject of his own integrity. Should he examine the scheme from all sides and ultimately determine that his motives perhaps emanate from baser impulses to dominate or whip off a piece or put a notch on his bedpost or satisfy some other subhuman urge, he would, would he not — knowing that the woman could drop a dime on him at any time should his deportment should fail to live up to her standards of civility — decline the opportunity to become a rapist and go to jail?

I grasp that, technically, the plan criminalizes all male participants in heterosexual sex.

Well, what of it? The set-up now, with the emphasis — in a misogynist world with a misogynist judiciary — on whether or not women “give” consent, is that female participants are all infinitely rapeable, because all some perv has to do is say, “she said yes.”

398 comments

4 pings

  1. Mamasquab

    An excellent idea. I’ve already suggested in in a textbook I wrote for McGraw-Hill, called An Invitation to Feminist Ethics (where I am known as Hilde Lindemann). But I like how you go into sweaty, graphic detail.

  2. Twisty

    Mamasquab, alas it was inevitable that I should unknowingly bite some published author’s steez, but I swear this idea came to me eureka-style this morning in a blinding flash of light.

    Naturally I await the onslaught of burly legal dude-minds, poking holes in its flimsy women-are-human argument, until it looks like Swiss cheese. How did you fare?

  3. Zonk

    Well there goes all of your credibility. That was the most ridiculous thing that I’ve read in a long, long time.

  4. Fellow[sic]-Traveler

    That the default position is not already an assumption of “no way, dude” speaks to women’s lack of power.

  5. Ms Kate

    Zonk, can I be your doctor? I’ve got some interesting human response experiments I’ve always wanted to try, but these damn consent forms and the Belmont Commission and such really get in the way of my baser curiosities.

    When I can no longer stand not knowing the acute failure mode for human lung response to sulphuric acid mist, I’ll know who to call? After all, you didn’t have to say yes.

  6. LMYC

    I grasp that, technically, the plan criminalizes all male participants in heterosexual sex.

    Hm, so what’s the down side?

  7. tinfoil hattie

    Haw, haw, LMYC!

    Also: doesn’t the current plan criminalize all female participants in heterosexual sex? Because the woman is assumed guilty from the get-go, right? Don’t wanna fuck? You’re a frigid, lesbian, cock-teasing bitch. Wanna fuck? You’re a slut and a whore. Change your mind midway through for ANY reason? Well, according to the State of Maryland, tfb — once penetration has occurred, you’re his, baby. Report a rape? You’re lying, bitch.

    I guess now would be the proper time to acknowledge that Twisty has ruined my life. I no longer care about shaving. I take from my husband the kind of sex I want. I threw out all my high heels. I hate everything.

    Good job, Twisty! Count me as one of your successes!

  8. Kelda

    “I grasp that, technically, the plan criminalizes all male participants in heterosexual sex.”

    I’m sure that there’s a technological way round this. You know, the Consent-O-Meter-40000, that has some spiffy technological way of letting you draw up a quick contract for sex between you and the dude in question (no loss of spontaneity), some way of verifying that it’s not forced (say you set codewords every morning, so ‘cytoplasm’ would mean that it was all ok, but ‘wombat’ would mean that you were being forced). Consent-O-Meter-40000 would remain switched on throughout intercourse, responding to and recording changes in the consent situation (him: “just a couple more minutes, I’m almost there” her:”WOMBAT!”). Any disablement or tampering with the Consent-O-Meter-40000 would result in an automatic rape charge. Consent-O-Meter-40000 would also be entirely voluntary for women to use, being simply for their convenience (for example, if in possession of a paranoid boyfriend). There are indeed numerous problems with this, and it lacks the beautiful simplicity of the original Twisty-plan.

  9. LMYC

    I hate everything.

    Good job, Twisty! Count me as one of your successes!

    There, see? Twisty, don’t ever let the patriarchy tell you you can’t be fulfilled in your mission to ruin everything for everybody.

    Hattie, please go get a taco.

  10. Twisty

    No no, the woman is never the criminal. Her status remains static and her soveriegnty unquestioned. It is only the dudes who, when infringing on a woman’s personal soveriegnty, take the risk that she will not view the act as assault and invoke the tacitly understood “no” to commend the perp to the rapist pile.

  11. Ms Kate

    I grasp that, technically, the plan criminalizes all male participants in heterosexual sex.

    This statement sounds like something that would come from traditional mysogyny: it embodies both the spurious concepts that women are not capable of consent and/or the “you women always change your minds all the time” mantra.

    I think it would be fairer to say that it potentially criminalizes all male participants in hetsex. Other than that, it shifts the burden of proof of consent to be far more in line with our commercial transactions and medical treatment.

  12. Errihu

    In theory it would be a very quick way to dismantle the rape culture. Afterall, if women can no longer be treated as passive sperm recepticles to be taken at will, and rape actually HAS consequences, then it’s definitely not in a man’s best interest to stick it in her.

    Yeah, there’d be legal implications and huge holes and problems and issues and stuff, but if we had this for even just a year or two, maybe it would finally knock away that sense of sexual entitlement so many men seem to run around with.

  13. kcb

    Hilde Lindemann

    OMG! The Hilde Lindemann who put forth the awesome argument that forced pregancy is tantamount to specific performance a while back at the blog formerly known as Shakespeare’s Sister? You rock, mama.

    Twisty, it hit me while I was reading your legal theory that a claim of consent is not a defense against, say, murder or battery. It shouldn’t be any different for rape. Of course it is, though, because of the historical view of women as property with a freshness seal (reflected in the gross Maryland ruling) and because the patriarchy conflates rape and sex. If they can’t tell the difference, why should they believe that we can?

    Apart from rape, is there any crime on the books that’s cancelled out by a claim of consent? I can’t think of one, but I’m no lawyer.

  14. edith

    I insert the Law & Order “dun dun” in a lot of things. Glad I’m not the only one. Oh yeah, and the fact that women are generally in a state of NOT wanting sex is really, you know, against dude-centric culture. Don’t we all want it, all the time?

  15. Random Lurker

    I grasp that, technically, the plan criminalizes all male participants in heterosexual sex.

    Not necessarily. Burglary laws don’t criminalize everyone I let into my house, just the ones who enter without my express say-so. Even if you visit every day, if you enter my home without my say-so you’re committing a crime.

  16. M

    Apart from rape, is there any crime on the books that’s cancelled out by a claim of consent?
    Of course there are. Consent is what makes the difference between flirtation and harassment, a bear-hug and assault, a seventh-grade chorus recital and torture. Also landscaping and vandalism, watering my houseplants while I’m away and breaking and entering…

  17. LMYC

    I think the better way to put it is “Are there any crimes that, when the perpetrator claims that the victim agreed to it, anyone in their right mind believes them?”

    Robbery — “Hey man, he was giving away money left and right, then suddenly he says no to me?”

    Breaking and entering — “He left the door open, then he complains because someone stole his TV!”

    Car theft — “He TOLD me I could drive it. So what if I took it to Baja and sold it?”

    Mugging — “He wanted it, man! He was gagging for it!”

    Embezzlement — “The company gave me money every two weeks, then suddenly when I want a little on my own time, they get to refuse? Come on!”

  18. dude who HAS read the FAQ

    Rape is not the same as “at any time should his deportment should fail to live up to her standards of civility.” Equating them would trivialize rape, among other problems.

    Have you heard of being on bad terms with an ex? It happens. And not just because of the patriarchy.

    Imagine if this applied to lesbian sex too. Do you think that would be a good idea?

  19. edith

    Dude, lesbian sex? What are you talking about?

  20. Medusa

    Absolutely! As a woman, I exist to be used and defiled. If I am foolish enough to protest, and demand justice, it is MY history, name, and choices that are scrutinized, twisted, and dragged through the gutter. The defendent rapist is “innocent until proven guilty.” The prosecution (notice that the victim is transformed into an aggressor) is therefore guilty until proven innocent.

    So when I am raped by some sick asshole, I am guilty until proven innocent. The only way to prove this innocence is by closely examining every idealistic, mistaken decision I have ever made under the false assumption of personal sovereignty. My name is ruined, my life exposed, and rapist-turned-victim is issued a public apology by the prosecuting attorney.

    Women who believe the lies and come forth are ruined. Women who don’t are silenced because they’re too “smart” to talk.

    Did you know that Medusa wasn’t always the Medusa that we think of today? Apparently, she had gorgeous hair (that existed for the pleasure of ancient greek mysogenists). One fuckbag raped her in the temple of some goddess. This governing figure was so enraged at the slut who defiled her temple that she turned her hair into snakes, and
    decreed that any man she looked at would be turned to stone.

    That story is over 2000 years old, and it still goes on today.

    Fuck the asshole who raped me. Fuck the patriarchy.

  21. tinfoil hattie

    Hell, is the sarcasm meter broken? If so, go back and read my other post through sarcasm-colored X-Ray Specs. (“Is that really your friend’s body you ‘see’ under his clothes?”)

    Take the sarcasm specs off now: I am glad, nay, thrilled, that Twisty has ruined my life.

  22. RadFemHedonist

    “I think the better way to put it is “Are there any crimes that, when the perpetrator claims that the victim agreed to it, anyone in their right mind believes them?”

    Robbery — “Hey man, he was giving away money left and right, then suddenly he says no to me?”

    Breaking and entering — “He left the door open, then he complains because someone stole his TV!”

    Car theft — “He TOLD me I could drive it. So what if I took it to Baja and sold it?”

    Mugging — “He wanted it, man! He was gagging for it!”

    Embezzlement — “The company gave me money every two weeks, then suddenly when I want a little on my own time, they get to refuse? Come on!””

    This is an excellent summary.

    “Fuck the asshole who raped me. Fuck the patriarchy.”

    I seriously don’t want to be insensitive but were you raped or are you still talking about the story? I am confused. Also the story is appalling.

  23. tinfoil hattie

    BTW, I didn’t mean the “current plan” as in the “Twisty alternative current plan.” I meant the written-in-stone current patriarchal plan, wherein the woman is always the criminal.

  24. kay

    Dude, thank Jebus you’re here! You certainly have taken me down a notch. And boy, you sure learned us all a good lesson about trivializing rape, yessiree.

    But seriously, a woman “being on bad terms with an ex” is such a tired excuse for slut-shaming.

  25. RadFemHedonist

    I read it again and I apologise, it’s quite clear from the post.

  26. Cunning Allusionment?

    As a dude, I think this is a brilliant idea. Though I still don’t know how to italicize text, this part:

    “I grasp that, technically, the plan criminalizes all male participants in heterosexual sex.”

    Is exactly why I think it’s brilliant. If you aren’t sure enough that what you’re doing *isn’t* rape, and you don’t trust your sex partner enough to retroactively *charge* you with rape, then you shouldn’t be having sex with them in the first place. I think conservatives and “liberals” could all get behind this because it would cut down on casual sex, STD’s, unplanned pregnancies, and… oh yeah… rape.

  27. Cunning Allusionment?

    Dude: RE: Ex-girlfriends “getting back” at their ex-bf’s by charging them with rape:

    A) I think that only we men can trivialize rape sufficiently to throw it about so carelessly. I think by-and-large women know that rape charges aren’t something you throw around to get back at someone.

    B) Even if we assume that there are in fact cases where diabolical bitches are maniacally plotting their ex’s downfalls with totally fabricated rape charges, we still have to ask the question, who is responsible for the patriarchal social structure and totally fucked up relationship that got that couple into that situation. At the least, why the hell did you date, let alone have sex with this person? Did you not see the potential for her manipulative plotting?

    C) If this law were the case, it would encourage men to *think* about who they have sex with, why they’re doing it, and how women feel about it.

    D) That raging injustice you feel about this hypothetical situation? That’s how women feel about the real situation. And given the fact that we’re the one’s with massive institutions of oppression behind us, maybe we can afford to give up a little of that privileged security they don’t have.

  28. LMYC

    If you aren’t sure enough that what you’re doing *isn’t* rape, and you don’t trust your sex partner enough to retroactively *charge* you with rape, then you shouldn’t be having sex with them in the first place.

    *throws rose petals at CA?*

  29. Twisty

    Zonk: ‘Well there goes all of your credibility.”

    NOOO! Not my credibility! It was all I had goin’ for me, too.

  30. Iskandar

    This is sensible, it just takes the “no actual statement of ‘yes’ =’no’” to its logical conclusion. Hell, we as a society basically assume that all men are pretty much almost always willing, right? (E.g. “you can’t rape the willing”)
    I saw one commenter object with the hypothetical of “well, what if we break up and she gets mad at me and then accuses me of rape when I didn’t actually commit rape.” I’m pretty confident that would not end up going as far as one might fear. And even if it did, so be it. Machiavelli, another old, dead, white guy, said that even if someone is wrongly punished under the laws of a state, such things are inevitable and acceptable for the proper functioning of a legal system. This is an adjustment our system could use that would create a lot more justice with very little more(if any) innocent hurt.

  31. Twisty

    See, this idea give dudes ants in their pants, because they’re all like “what about the vindictive ex-girlfriend seeking revenge?”

    Well, asshole, if you didn’t treat her like a piece of crap during the breakup, maybe she’ll let you alone. And if you think a woman is so “crazy” that she might drop a dime on your ass just to be mean, here’s an idea: don’t do her!

    All this does is propose that there ought to be consequences for being a rapist perv, and that the arbiters of your assholiness are now your former fucksleeves instead of your fellow good ole boys. It’s exactly the situation we have now, except the potential victims have the power instead of the perpetrators. It’s been that way for millennia. Isn’t it our turn yet?

  32. dude who HAS read the FAQ

    I don’t really feel raging injustice about the hypothetical situation. The original post was just a terrible idea, and I think it’s worth pointing that out, rather than cheering for it.

    Let’s take the analogy with theft. Let’s say that my credit card is billed for something I bought and I later change my mind, I should not be able to bring criminal charges against the store. Letting me do so would mean that stores would stop selling things, and we’d all lose. Even in response to customers sometimes being cheated, such a law would be insane.

    Similarly for tarring all heterosexual sex as criminal if one party later says so.

    And kay, I understand in the real world rape charges *aren’t* brought by bitter ex’s, and on the contrary rapes by lovers and ex-lovers are underreported. And that justice would dictate it be easier for them to bring rape charges and to obtain convictions. But it’s still naive to think that—if they could—people wouldn’t abuse the power to freely jail anyone they’ve ever slept with in the past. The point of my argument has nothing to do with gender. If consent wasn’t a defense when men charged other men with raping them, it would be a similarly terrible idea. No person, male or female, should have to depend on their exs’ good will to stay out of jail, unless some real crime was committed. “Failing to live up to [an ex-lover's] standard of civility at any time” is not a real crime, and unfortunate as it is, does not warrant jail time.

    There are possibilities other than status quo injustice and absurd revenge fantasies.

  33. Feminist Avatar

    Dude: So, it doesn’t happen in the real world, but because it might happen in a hypothetical situation the law wouldn’t work?

  34. Repenting

    Twisty, you know I love you and read you every day. I agree with everything you say. I agree with the theoretical idea behind this post, and I think LMYC summed it up nicely in comparing consent for rape with consent for mugging, or any other violent crime. It would be ridiculous to believe that anyone could agree to it.

    However, as self-identified radical feminist, I have a tiny problem with your argument that women cannot give consent. This equates women with children, which is something patriarchy espouses and which YOU most certainly do not. Young children can never give consent to having sex with much older adults, because it is assumed that they do not have the mental capacity or understanding of what they are doing. Therefore, any situation in which a child has sex with an adult is rape, whenever it happens to be reported.

    I believe an adult woman can give consent to sex for her own pleasure, so I cannot stand behind the idea that every woman who engages in heterosexual sex is unable to consent, even if she wanted to. As a lesbian, criminalizing hetero-sex the way gay sex has been criminalized amuses me to no end. However, as a feminist, I cannot condone grouping “women and children” together in the typical fashion, as it merely furthers the argument that women cannot make up their own minds, and that only men can be responsible for choosing their own sex partners.

    Yes, something needs to be done about rape, but removing women’s right to say no or yes, and forcing them to take a default no on the basis that they do not have the power to choose heterosexual sex on their own, for their own pleasure, without it being rape, reminds me a lot of certain Middle Eastern countries where women’s legal status is identically equivalent to that of children.

    Did I misunderstand something you said, Twisty? I have full faith in you, and do not believe you would argue anything without the betterment of all women in mind. :)

  35. BubbasNightmare

    Well, what if lack of consent were the default? What if all prospective objects of dudely predation — by whom I mean all women — are a priori considered to have said “no”? What if women, in other words, were seen by the courts to abide in a persistent legal condition of keep-the-fuck-off-me?

    Let’s think about this.

    The idea that ‘negative permission’ is the default pretty much follows the tenets of common law as it is practiced. If someone takes some property of mine, the law assumes that the burgler didn’t have my permission to take said burgled property, unless I speak up and say otherwise. This is a basic assumption in virutally all corners of criminal and civil law.

    In the case of sexual assault/rape cases, however, there always seems to be some questioning of permission–who said ‘yes’? who said ‘no’? when was it all said?

    WTF?

  36. Zonk

    A) I think it’s irresponsible to think that all *almost all* women are so pure of heart that they are incapable of abusing easily abusable laws. If you give people easily abusable power, they will abuse it.

    B) “who is responsible for the patriarchal social structure and totally fucked up relationship that got that couple into that situation. At the least, why the hell did you date, let alone have sex with this person? Did you not see the potential for her manipulative plotting?”

    Who is responsible for the patriarchy? It’s certainly not the sole responsibility of the poor schmuck who is spending 15 years in jail for false charges.

    And the second half of that paragraph sounds exactly like victim blaming, which seems to be the first thing that some people start to say when the victims are the males (people around here, I mean.)

    C)Sure, the same way I would think about putting my head in a lions mouth and how the lion felt about it.

    D)”maybe we can afford to give up a little of that privileged security they don’t have.”

    A little? By a little you mean “having sex with a woman is license for her to send you to jail at any point she chooses for the rest of her life?”

    I’m sorry. That’s really not something that anyone, much less and entire gender should have to do in the name of equality.

  37. Shira

    Let’s take the analogy with theft. Let’s say that my credit card is billed for something I bought and I later change my mind, I should not be able to bring criminal charges against the store.

    If your credit card is charged, and you say you didn’t buy anything, should the store be able to say in its defense, “yea, but you asked us to bill your credit card?” Shouldn’t the default assumption be that you *didn’t* want your credit card billed, not that you’re just a lying ex-customer out for revenge?

  38. Shira

    Nevermind. BubbasNightmare said it better than I did.

  39. Twisty

    See, dudewhohasread(butclearlynotgraspedthegistof)thefaq demonstrates the extent to which a paradigm of male entitlement has permeated his worldview through his paternalistic attempt to stop the naive little feminists from “cheering” an “absurd” thought experiment that casts women as legally entitled to their own bodily sovereignty.

    Man, these lectures from realistic dudes! What would we do without’em?

  40. CuriouserAndCuriouser

    Well, at the risk of getting bonked on the head by someone smarter than me, ‘conflating rape with sex’ happens because sex is the only one of these (which one of these is not like the others) in which the ‘victim’ sometimes appears to willingly participate.

    I mean correct me if I’m missing something here, but is mugging a mutually chosen recreational activity?? Or murder?? “Oh, murder me now, sweetie, I just love it when you strangle me that way!” (Ach, shades of twisted BDSM perversion – yes, that’s what I said, perversion, slam me if you like, it’s what I feel.)

    And that paragraph right there explains it, in that I can’t even talk about the violent stuff without it getting weird. I mean, even in this here radical blogspace there are women who claim BDSM is ok. So if there are women, possibility a majority of us, who don’t say “no” loudly and clearly every single time some yay-hoo (how the heck d’you spell that?) crosses our own personal boundaries, how are they supposed to know?

    Really, truly, how are they supposed to know the difference? I’m asking a genuine, honest question here, as a woman who’s actually pretty damn good at ‘no’, but still struggles with being single and het and who (gasp)likes sex (though I admit I’m beginning to consider the notion of celibacy for a while). And sometimes I let my guard down because it’s just so friggin’ exhausting to constantly patrol the perimeter.

    Ducking head and putting on flak jacket.

  41. Twisty

    Repenting, the idea is not that a woman can’t give consent, it’s that the whole concept of consent doesn’t apply to her in the first place. She exists as an inviolable entity, a human being with full agency, on set-it-and-forget-it mode — you know, the way men are now. All this does is put the onus on the dude to not be a barbarian. He can certainly avoid jail by not having sex at all, and significantly reduce his risk by ceasing to rape, prod, cajole, shame, or nag.

  42. thebewilderness

    I think that zonk and dude are wearing straw colored glasses.

    Kidnapping is perhaps similar, in that there is often a question of consent, unless the victim is dead or severly battered. When I was a young sprout, rape was not considered possible(by dudes) unless the victim was beaten into unconsciousness or killed. I don’t think the dudely attitude has changed much since then. If you are not kicking, screaming, and biting, you’re practically consenting.
    The presumption of no as the default position would be one tiny step toward teaching young men how to behave like decent human beings.

  43. dude who HAS read the FAQ

    Shira, the correct analogy would be say that I did buy something, but later decided the store had done something else I didn’t like.

    Well, asshole, if you didn’t treat her like a piece of crap during the breakup, maybe she’ll let you alone. And if you think a woman is so “crazy” that she might drop a dime on your ass just to be mean, here’s an idea: don’t do her!

    Ex’s of both genders can be bitter even when no one treats anyone like a piece of crap. And people can treat each other like pieces of crap without deserving jail time.

    Here’s another feminist idea. How about all women get guns for free and can legally shoot any man they’ve ever had sex with at any point in the past? Sure, most wouldn’t abuse the privilege. And it would redress injustice. And if you don’t want her to later shoot you, you can just keep it in your pants, right?

    What upsets me about these ideas is not the “ants in my pants” (I personally haven’t burned too many bridges), but the way our common humanity gets forgotten. Prison is horrible, and even when people like murderers and rapists get sent there it should be at least a little bit tragic. What upsets me is the way people here talk with glee about the threat of prison falling on the heads of all hetero men. My point isn’t that your idea is unrealistic, it’s that your idea is hateful in its broad accusations of rape. It’s an ugly thing to watch, even if it’s in response to genuine injustice, and even if I don’t feel personally threatened.

    Also, Repenting is right. Your idea would hurt heterosexual women, just like my credit card analogue would hurt buyers.

  44. Panic

    It’s certainly not the sole responsibility of the poor schmuck who is spending 15 years in jail for false charges.
    Pffft when does anyone do 15 years for sexual assault?

  45. Zonk

    “If your credit card is charged, and you say you didn’t buy anything, should the store be able to say in its defense, “yea, but you asked us to bill your credit card?” Shouldn’t the default assumption be that you *didn’t* want your credit card billed, not that you’re just a lying ex-customer out for revenge? ”

    Sure, that’s why stores require credit card receipts, signed by the holder.

    “oh no baby, we can’t have sex tonight, i’m out of requisition forms and we dont even have a pen so that you can sign a pre-sex consent form, a statement of intent and then a post sex declaration of enjoyment.

  46. Lisa

    See, now I always thought that this is kinda how it should be. As I’ve said on other posts, I was “I knew the guy” raped umpteen years ago. I walked into his room. I was forceably prevented from walking out by his body and namely his penis. It seems like this is so damned simple. A woman should be able to get up and leave at any moment.

    Anyway, here is what I am getting at, though. A few years back my apartment was robbed. My roommate accidentally left our patio door wide open one night and someone just walked right in and took our stuff. Now, certainly it was unwise that my roommate left the door wide open. And she felt like she really made a blunder there. But no one said, “You weren’t really robbed! You were asking for some stranger to come in and take your stuff without permission. You left your door wide open!” No one said that.

    Compare that to the reactions I get from my little typical “I knew the guy” rape story. Well, you went home with him, you went into his house, you kissed him, etc. He probably didn’t understand that you didn’t want sex. You were sending mixed signals. But I never said in any manner, Yes, you can have sex with me. In fact, I said, no you cannot have sex with me but that was overruled by the fact that I opted to stay in his room rather than walk my sorry ass home in the dark at night.

    So, it is assummed that even if you make it easy for someone, they are not allowed to come into your home and take your stuff without permission. But it is not assummed, even if you make it easy for someone, that they can enter your body without permission. What if it were?

    Gee, how the hell hard could that be to figure out?

    Don’t answer that.

  47. Twisty

    Dude: so I shouldn’t wish men who rape to accept responsibility for rape because “prisons are horrible”? Come on. Is that the best you got?

  48. Zonk

    “Pffft when does anyone do 15 years for sexual assault?”
    Sorry, is 10 an acceptable amount of time to send someone to jail who did nothing wrong?

  49. norbizness

    There’s really no difference between the hypothetical and the legal system as currently constructed: if someone brings a rape complaint, it’s assumed that there was a lack of consent, which is usually enough, barring absolutely dispostive DNA evidence, to secure an indictment, which doesn’t require proof beyond a reasonable doubt.

    Of course, I’ve seen a whole lot of unreasonable doubts in jury verdicts that acquit rapists, informed by a whole range of fucked-up ideas that most of the commenters are listing.

  50. brklyngrl

    I like it! As far as fairness to men goes – I think I have the perfect solution. We’ll try it the new Twisty way for the next 5000 years, (just to even things out) and then, if it turns out there are a lot of problems with women abusing their power, we’ll try to come up with a compromise position that makes sense.

  51. CuriouserAndCuriouser

    dude who HAS, what the hell? Is sex merely a commercial ‘transaction’ to you, like buying and selling a car??? Are you capable of getting that sex is much more than that, a level of physical and emotional intimacy that is not your godbag-given birthright?

    Feelings. Emotions. These are not things we can buy and sell, and are things that always happen in intimate phyical encounters. It’s how humans are made, because we’re wired for intimate social connection. The fact that you’ve been socialized/brainwashed into splitting off from all that is most human about you doesn’t give you license to treat the rest of us like unwanted merchandise.

    The thing that will do the most to prevent the bitterness of an ex is to, as somebody upthread said, never ever sleep with anybody if you are in any doubt whatsoever as to your own personal motives, her motives, and the fact that she is an actual human, with feelings, needs, wants, desires, etc. that are just as real and valid as your own.

  52. Virago

    An idea that effectively criminalizes rape, puts an end to the “he said/she said” rape defense, neatly bysteps blaming the victim, and places responsibility on the rapist to not be a rapist makes Dude and Zonk quake in their boots?

    Makes me love it even more.

    Thank you, Twisty.

  53. dude who HAS read the FAQ

    You’re talking about more than rape. You said that if a man and woman have sex then the woman can at any point in the future, and for whatever reason, get the man convicted of rape. That would encompass situations that shouldn’t be called rape. I’m sure you can easily imagine them.

    Maybe there should be some additional negative consequences for dudes whose ex-gf’s dislike them. If so, prison shouldn’t be one of them (unless of course they really have done something like rape).

    The best I’ve got is that non-rapists shouldn’t go to prison.

  54. Twisty

    Looky at how the scaredy dudes imagine that the Twisty Sovereign Vagina Law is vengeful, rather than just, in spirit. It’s the same old thing whenever anyone proposes that raping women should be made a bit more inconvenient. The hairy lesbians want to imprison all the innocent men! In those horrible prisons! And their horrible hairy ideas are hurting women!

    One more time: this law would change nothing for dudes who don’t go around raping women. Their lives would remain exactly the same. Get it?

  55. LMYC

    “what about the vindictive ex-girlfriend seeking revenge?”

    Ah, the old fears of a slave revolt.

  56. tinfoil hattie

    Boy, the dudes are out in full force today, protecting the rapedom.

    Sorry, guys, to tell you something you haven’t heard approximately one billion times already, but “You don’t get it.”

    Our entire legal system is set up so that people who might not have committed the crime get punished anyway. Does this fill me with glee? Hell, no. Is it a fact? Hell, yes.

    Your misogyny is showing like a half-slip under a silk dress. (Like that one, fellow blamers?) Twisty is positing that we change the idea of rape to mean “Unless the woman specifically says, ‘Oh please, let’s fuck,’ it’s rape” instead of the current “Well, she wasn’t strong enough in her denial of my advances, so I went ahead.” You are immediately assuming that this will give all vindictive women everywhere license to accuse men they went out with three years ago with rape. Guess what? Vindicitive women everywhere are CURRENTLY free to so accuse their exes.

    I guess you’re right, though. Better avoid the remote possibility of crazy, vindictive women accusing exes of rape than the current reality of women getting raped, not being believed, and being assaulted all over again by our “justice” system.

    Furthermore, may I be so bold as to suggest that being part of the gender that does 95% of the raping, you may not know that rape is not always so cut-and-dried as you decent men may think it is. I once had a guy shove my head down onto his raging hard cock, choking the shit out of me until he came in my mouth. Up to that point, I liked him and we were “fooling around,” as they say. I enjoyed the sexual feelings I was having. I (thought) I liked him and was even thinking maybe we’d start a relationship.

    So was that rape, or not?

    Need I tell you that at 19, I was too ashamed and embarrassed to even tell someone what had happened, because the answer would be: what did I expect? I was making out with him and we were behaving sexually, right?

    When in that scenario did I get to say, “No”?

    And that, my dear men afraid of being falsely accused of rape by an ex with full agency and the weight of the law behind her, was MILD compared to 99% of the stories you could read from other blamers here.

    And it’s just ONE of the examples in my “sexual” quiver.

  57. Jokerine

    They way dude tries to squirm around the idea that nothing said means no even if it hasn’t been explicitly stated would be cute to watch if I it didn’t make me want to run my head into the wall, repeatedly.

    No one here really wants inocent people to go to jail. We just have a different definition of inocent.In the sex/rape scenario currently being discussed: An inocent person is someone that made love WITH someone while considering the emotional well-being of all concerned. Like: Do I feel good? Does my partner like this? hey I’ll just ask! Do you feel good? What do you want? What do I want? Hmm this is good.

    It’s not really all that hard, women do it all the time (not just sex). It is part of what it means to treat other people with respect. And if you give other people respect, then you get it back.

    anyway there would still be courts that would have to rule.

    But maybe with solely women as judges *maniaclaugh*

  58. Shira

    Shira, the correct analogy would be say that I did buy something, but later decided the store had done something else I didn’t like.

    No, because we’re talking about the act of the company charging your credit card, and whether we should assume that you didn’t want your credit card charged if you say you didn’t. Your analogy is only “the correct analogy” if you want to privilege the company’s version of events over the customer’s.

    I had a company do this very thing to me just last year – somehow got my credit card information and started charging me $30/month. They swore up and down that I had signed up for their service, that I had received their membership card and everything! I’ll give you one guess as to who won that debate.

    I mean correct me if I’m missing something here, but is mugging a mutually chosen recreational activity??

    People willingly give money to each other all the time, and yet people do not conflate mugging and gift-giving. The person who decides whether it was a mugging is the muggee, not the mugger.

  59. Frumious B

    Robbery — “Hey man, he was giving away money left and right, then suddenly he says no to me?”

    Breaking and entering — “He left the door open, then he complains because someone stole his TV!”

    Actually, when someone broke into my brother’s apartment and ripped off his stuff, the onus to prove a robbery had taken place was on him.

  60. tinfoil hattie

    Well hell, Frumious, then let’s just shitcan the whole concept of “not saying yes means no” Damn. Your poor brother. That changes everything for me.

  61. CuriouserAndCuriouser

    The person who decides whether it was a mugging is the muggee, not the mugger.

    Yeah, but what about that panhandling bum of a brother who’s borrowed money from you for the last time, dammit, but when he whines pathetically, you give in?

    These analogies are only so useful if we leave out the difference between material transactions and exchanges of emotional intimacy.

    Can anybody tell me why discussing emotions (and all such softer, weaker, illogical things) seems to be verboten on this blog? Can I blame the P?

  62. dude who HAS read the FAQ

    tinfoil hattie’s example sure sounds like rape. Or if not, then sexual assault. Either way, I really want to emphasize that what her ex did to her should be unacceptable and he should have to answer for what he did. I in no way want to excuse or protect behavior like that, and even something as horrible as prison might be justified for him, although tinfoil hattie would know better than me on this point.

    I know a woman who was raped by an ex-b/f, and didn’t bring charges. It was a horrible situation and, despite my gender, I was not totally oblivious to what she went through. Obviously it would have been better if the law made it easier for her to get justice.

    But this isn’t what Twisty said.

    Twisty is positing that we change the idea of rape to mean “Unless the woman specifically says, ‘Oh please, let’s fuck,’ it’s rape” instead of the current “Well, she wasn’t strong enough in her denial of my advances, so I went ahead.”

    In fact, she emphasized that women could not legally give consent, and that sex is automatically rape, with men protected only by women not choosing to press charges.

    Look, it might be reasonable to require signed consent forms before sex, and even then to have strong protection against fraud, or coerced signatures, and the like.

    But that isn’t what Twisty said!

    Had she said something sane, I wouldn’t be here complaining.

  63. Inverarity

    Well, as another dude whose opinion no one asked for, I have to admit, my first reaction to Twisty’s proposal was, if not outrage, deep skepticism and dubiousness. All the same arguments these other guys are making went through my head, including the vindictive ex-GF scenario (even though I’m pretty sure none of my exes dislike me so much they’d pull something like that even if they had the power) and the fact that on the face of it, it seems to violate the “presumption of innocence” that is supposedly embedded in the American legal system.

    Then I thought about it a little more. A lot of Twisty’s posts require considerable mental mastication, at least for me.

    I’m still not entirely convinced this would be a good idea (yes, I realize it’s wildly hypothetical anyway), but what struck me was that the current state of affairs is horribly unbalanced in the other direction. The default is that lots and lots of women get raped, very few rapists are punished, and anything that isn’t blatantly and obviously Rape with a capital-R, like hold-her-down-and-beat-her-and-rip-her-clothes-off, is not even regarded as rape by most men.

    So adopting Twisty’s proposal would mean a lot less of that, and yeah, probably a few instances of innocent guys being jailed by vindictive ex-girlfriends.

    That’s what has most guys going “OMGThat’stotallyunfair!!!!!” ‘Cause they see the potential injustice to them, and not the overwhelming injustice in the current situation, which affects women.

    So I have to ask myself, would I be willing to take the risk that someday I’ll have consensual sex with a woman who turns out to be a nutcase and charges me with rape, if taking on that risk means massively fewer women will be raped? Especially given that once the new system kicks in (in Twisty’s hypothetical post-patriarchal fantasy world), all men would start being a helluva lot more careful about who they have sex with in the first place?

    Yeah, I think the logic is starting to wear down my natural dudely defensiveness.

  64. CuriouserAndCuriouser

    Oops, left off italics (quote) on

    The person who decides whether it was a mugging is the muggee, not the mugger.

  65. brklyngrl

    Frumious B, that was quite the laugh you just gave me!!!

    When I was much younger, someone broke into my apartment building and stole my clothes out the dryer. Despite zero evidence that it had happened and no possible way of finding out who had committed the crime, the police never suggested that perhaps I had never really had those missing pants in the first place, or that maybe I had willingly given them away.

    They took a report (which only happens 75% of the time when women report a rape) and assured me that they would keep the description of my clothes on file in case they turned up, and asked if they could contact me to provide additional evidence if laundry room robbery became a pattern in our area and they eventually caught someone.

    Apparently you cannot even begin to imagine the contrast.

  66. Repenting

    Thanks for addressing my concerns, Twisty. Throwing in my two cents against dude, The Man, and all their ilk:

    Going with the premise that consent can’t exist and that men and women are both responsible for their own bodies is a brilliant redefinition of the law. Therefore, if one person violates another’s body, it is impossible for the victim to be persecuted for the crime, as is so often the case. It is the idea that someone could consent to a crime that is ridiculous. If a person were to bring a case to court regarding the possible theft or violation of their property, no court would bother to excessively question whether that person were trying to frame the accused.

    The idiotic idea that every rape victim must go through some sort of screening process because of the theoretical idea that they could “consent” to the crime and might possibly be using the accused for money is callous and insensitive. Every person in court should be held up to the same scrutiny, and it seems completely innefective to justice (as statistics prove in the sadly small amount of rape cases that end in conviction of the rapist) to force victims of sexual violence to go through some sort of special screening process to ensure that they did not WANT the crime to occur.

    Thank you again for inspiring me to think about this matter harder, Twisty. This discussion has inspired me to write the final paper for my college course on sexual violence about how the idea of “consent to rape” needs to be abolished.

  67. CuriouserAndCuriouser

    So I have to ask myself, would I be willing to take the risk that someday I’ll have consensual sex with a woman who turns out to be a nutcase and charges me with rape,

    What are you doing sleeping with somebody you don’t know well enough to know if she’s a ‘nutcase’? Hint: If she goes from ‘rational’ to being a ‘nutcase’, she probably, being brainwashed by patriarchy like the rest of us, unknowingly allowed you to violate her emotional boundaries by having sex too soon, hoping that you might turn out to love her and stick around.

    Argh, round and round in circles. I also sense that women on this blog don’t want to talk about the fact that sex really is different for women than for men. There are even studies lately that support a physiological reason for that, something called oxytocin, a ‘bonding’ hormone released during sex, produced in copious quantities in women and significantly damped in men by testosterone. Better find a link to back this up, off to google I go.

  68. thebewilderness

    What the dudes don’t seem to appreciate, is that women could make rape accusation now, today, the way things currently are. The new rules would not in any way affect the number of men who are falsely charged. It would affect the number of rapists who are not charged.
    There is a myth, deeply ingrained in our culture, about false rape charges. The facts are that many women are raped, few men are charged, and even fewer are incarcerated for their crime.
    It just might happen that if women were believed when they reported a rape, there would be fewer rapists on the street.
    The dudely fear seems to be that if women were believed when they reported a rape, the dudes would have to stop pretending that they are just playing around when they hold their gf down and penetrate her against her will.

  69. kcb

    I think the better way to put it is “Are there any crimes that, when the perpetrator claims that the victim agreed to it, anyone in their right mind believes them?”

    Thanks, LMYC, for running my less-than-coherent question through your filter. That is what I meant, and your illustrations are perfect.

  70. Twisty

    “sex really is different for women than for men”

    Well, you’ll certainly get no argument from me on this point. Although whether this is due to culture-of-domination indoctrination or “oxytocin” remains a mystery. All I can tell you is, the day I figured this out was the day I waved a final sayonara to the het life.

  71. brklyngrl

    Curiouser, you are almost right in my area of professional expertise with that last paragraph!! First off, I want to say I’ve agreed with almost every thing you’ve said today right up to that last paragraph. I think I may see where you’re going with your oxytocin study, so I’ll offer a preemptive debunk about causality and brain chemistry. My apologies in advance if I’m off on a tangent about something you already agree with.

    Brain chemistry research is an emerging area of study. At this moment in time it is correlational rather than causal. Right now, assuming that we take those studies at face value – which I will for the purposes of this discussion, we see a correlation between sex and this bonding hormone for women but not for men. What we don’t know, although some people (not you necessarily, or the researchers – usually the media and other armchair neuroscientists) like to pretend we do, is whether this correlation is somehow innate, or whether its socially determined.

    When neuroscience was in its infancy, most people assumed that anything in the brain was innate. More and more it looks like there is an elaborate system of reciprocal causation between brain chemistry and environment. So far, reciprocal causation is almost always a better model than straight environment or straight brain chemistry.

    In this case, what I’m suggesting is that no one really knows the extent to which that observed gender difference in brain chemistry is a result of innate biological differences, or of differential socialization, or most likely both.

    I hope this was vaguely interesting and informative for someone besides me.

  72. Inverarity

    What are you doing sleeping with somebody you don’t know well enough to know if she’s a ‘nutcase’?

    As much as we’d like to believe that everyone should have sex only with someone they know and trust deeply and intimately, the reality is that men and women both tend to make foolish and irresponsible decisions when it comes to sex. Currently, the price for that (no matter which party was the foolish/irresponsible one) is largely borne by women. In Twisty’s paradigm, it would be shifted more to the male side. Even with the dreaded threat of “She could decide she’s mad at me years later and charge me with rape!” hanging over every man, I doubt it would completely eliminate sexual irresponsibility on the part of males, but it would sure reduce it.

  73. Cunning Allusionment?

    Dude and Zonk bring up an interesting point, but not the way I think they tihnk. Under this law a bunch of guys who are otherwise privileged enough to never see the inside of a prison would have the “opportunity” to do so. How long do you think before radical prison reform exploded into *the* major political debate of the day? I mean, I bet we’d see a total overthrow of the prison-industrial complex in a single election cycle, what with rich white guys scrambling to get their sons out of the clink.

  74. tinfoil hattie

    Well, Twisty may be trying to convert all us hets to her lesbian “lifestyle,” but I’m sure she won’t be personally offended to hear a bunch of polite “no thank yous.” And if she is, c’est la vie.

    I don’t agree that women can never consent to sex with men, but that’s because I like having sex with men. Or I used to. Now I like having sex with “man,” my husband. If I didn’t like it with him, or with men in general, I’d opt for the Twisty way.

    To me, if I come repeatedly and hard, and on my timetable, that works. Sorry for the TMI.

  75. tinfoil hattie

    Also, maybe my oxytocin goes through the roof whenver I have sex, but I figure after centuries with the same man, I’ve had plenty of time to bond emotionally with him, so now I just want the physical parts of sex. Emotions, closeness, yeah-yeah. We’ll do that over breakfast, or on the interminable drive to my in-laws’.

  76. Natalia

    I’m noticing a trend in the rape-apologist arguments. The dudes in question don’t want to allow women sovereignty over their own bodies because more rapists (who rape women) might go to prison. Prison is horrible, don’t you know. A man could get raped.Much better to let men rape women with impunity, Q.E.D.

    IBTP.

  77. Twisty

    “Twisty may be trying to convert all us hets to her lesbian “lifestyle,”

    Ha! I can see it now: “Domineering radical Twisty Faster forces straight girls to adopt hairy lesbian ways.”

    The way I see it there’s no actual “conversion” because heterosexuality is a construct of patriarchy. I think of it more as “liberation.”

    Chacun à son goût, of course. For which gout there is no accounting!

  78. CuriouserAndCuriouser

    the day I figured this out was the day I waved a final sayonara to the het life

    Guessing I’m still looking for an escape hatch. Maybe after I’ve been blaming for a few more years (under Twisty tutelage) I might finally really ‘get’ it at a level that leads me to making life/relationship choices that work for me. Right now it’s still a hair-shirty (meaning constantly uncomfortable, not self-flagellating) sort of struggle.

    brklyngrl, thanks for the comments – jury’s still out for me on oxytocin. I think I understand about the chicken/egg causal/correlational thing. I guess finding those articles simultaneously made me hopeful that, yay, here’s ‘proof’ that something I feel to be true in my bones is TWUE! Yay me! But on the other hand it chaps my fanny that my (and many other women’s) anecdotal evidence does not in fact = data. We have to ‘prove’ our truth in male/patriarchal/scientific/logical terms (forgive me, that was a broad sweeping unfair thing to say to a scientist, but it seems that if we made two lists comparing ‘female’ and ‘male’ and free-associated word pairs to their corresponding columns, that’s how things’d split out in our patriarchal universe. And that was a muddly thought.)

    Still looking for something online to support where I was going with the oxytocin thing. Something maybe more credible than Wiki or a ‘lifestyle’ site with cherry-picked ‘data’.

  79. LMYC

    She’s just treating consent to sex like a deadman’s switch, to use a mechanical metaphor. A deadman’s switch, for the groundlings, is a switch that you must squeeze in order to STOP something from happening. The default is for you to press it, and when you stop pressing, Event A takes place.

    Basically, a hand grenade with the pin pulled is an explosive with a deadman’s switch. You must exert effort on the thing to keep it TURNED OFF.

    In the same way, the default state for female consent would be legally defined as OFF. Consent, unless explicitly and enthusiastically given, would be assumed to NOT EXIST. In absolutely all cases.

    In other words — and I take great glee in saying this — ALL MEN ARE RAPISTS UNLESS OTHERWISE DEFINED AS SUCH BY THEIR FEMALE SEX PARTNERS. (Applying this to gay or lesbian sex is a whole ‘nother ball of wax of a different colored kettle o’fish, and quite an interesting one.)

    Essentially, if the woman doesn’t say, “Yes! By jim, I’d LOVE to have sex with you! I feel fabulous about this decision!” then IT’S RAPE. No “Well, she didn’t claw my eyes out,” none of this “She was drunk and didn’t/wasn’t able to say NO clearly enough,” and especially none of the, “She gave a grudging and unenthusiastic assent after relentless pestering that will allow me to git some offa her in the fine print.”

    Right now, consent in the eyes of men and the law is signalled by a woman’s ceasing to say no. Under Twisty Law, consent is signalled one way only: by the enthusiastic hollering of the word YES! in neon purple lights with fireworks.

    Apparently, this is threatening to grotesque womanhating males who can’t possible imagine a woman wanting sex with them so happily and joyously. So threatening in fact that, if required to measure up to that standard, they would find themselves condemned to a life of unrelenting celibacy. (Now, where’d I leave that teeny-weeny violin of mine?) They can’t possibly imagine a woman doing anything but mumbling assent to get him the hell off her back, or mumbling and drooling after he slipped a roofie on her, or any other variety of “consent” currently accepted in the eyes of Man, God,[tm], and The Law.

    Let’s face it. When nature makes a surplus, that means that 90% of what’s there is worthless shit. 90% of men have no BUSINESS reproducing. And it’s female choice that’s the gatekeeper. If you, buddy, can’t get a single woman to literally hop up and down in joy, clap her hands, and do the endzone dance at the prospect of fucking you, you shouldn’t be fucking.

  80. CuriouserAndCuriouser

    Argh, need to use the preview feature more. Left off quotes again on “the day I figured this out” etc., also “Guessing I’m still looking” should read, “Guess I’m still looking”.

  81. beansa

    Um, I’m a “nutcase” and I’d like to think that I’d never unjustly accuse anyone, even an assholish ex-boyfriend, of rape. Vindictive mean-spiritedness doesn’t mean a person is mentally ill. Thanks.

  82. LMYC

    Please note that I’m not saying ALL SEX IS RAPE. What I am saying is all sex where you can’t get that woman to clap her hands to her mouth in delight and salivate at the prospect of fucking you IS RAPE.

    Are you, Mr. I’m A Feminist But, the kind of man who can get a woman that happy at the idea of fucking you?

    If not, then why are you trying to fuck her at all?

    Are you so pathetic and stinky and so much of a loser that you can’t get her to want you?

    If she “has hangups” and “has psycholgical problems, man” then why the fuck don’t you leave her hung-up ass the hell alone?

    The ONLY thing that this little Twistified Code of Law would mean is, if you can’t get or find a woman who would be completely thrilled at the idea of fucking you, you ain’t gonna get laid.

    AND WHAT MAY I ASK IS GODDAMNED WRONG WITH THIS YOU SHITSUCKING ASSHOLE?

  83. mg_65

    While my heart eternally belongs to Twisty, because I love her, with credibility and tacos, from afar and forever, I’m feeling big love for the commenters here right now. Tiny brie lasagnas for everyone!

  84. dude who HAS read the FAQ

    Under Twisty Law, consent is signalled one way only: by the enthusiastic hollering of the word YES! in neon purple lights with fireworks.

    False.

    Read her original post.

  85. CuriouserAndCuriouser

    so now I just want the physical parts of sex. Emotions, closeness, yeah-yeah. We’ll do that over breakfast, or on the interminable drive to my in-laws’.

    That’s great, Tinfoil, but I’m not in a committed relationship. But I’d like to be, and what I’m trying (maybe not very clearly or well) to say is that I think having sex as a way to bond with somebody we’re not already emotionally bonded with and committed to may well backfire for those of us seeking a long-term, het, committed relationship with a man. And the oxytocin thing is an attempt to add ‘scientific’ support to my argument.

    Guess I’ll be happier when I trust my gut enough to not question my own sense of what’s true for me and feel no need for external arguments to support my own feelings. IBtP.

  86. LMYC

    True. Read her fucking post AGAIN.

  87. MonkWren

    Then, by your statement, consent should not exist for men either. After all, if someone sticks a finger up my ass or forces me to choke on their cock, I can still prosecute them for rape, or at least sexual assault. I have no problem with the premise – the system is broken, and it does need fixing. But I think you’re looking at the issue too simplistically. Without a formalized version of consent (which is, quite frankly, ridiculous), it will always remain so. When I ask my girlfriend if she really wants to have sex for the first time in our relationship, and she responds by grabbing me and throwing me onto her bed, is that consent? She never spoke aloud the word “yes.” If, 15 minutes later, she says that she’s changed her mind, has what we’ve done suddenly become rape, even if I do immediately pull out? What about even less-ambiguous situations, where the woman isn’t sure? Does the onus lie on her to actively say no? Yes, it does. But at the same time, she’s giving the same signals as someone who does want to have sex and simply isn’t explicitly saying it. As a guy, it’s not easy to tell the difference between the two. I tend to err on the side of caution; I won’t have sex with a girl unless I’m sure she’s ready to have sex. This isn’t always true.

    While this sounds like a giant justification for the current system, it is not. It’s simply there to point out that if you’re going to deny consent to women, you should deny it to everyone. Equal rights, and all that (I know, I know, men benefit from the patriarchy, consciously or otherwise). Hell, ALL sex is rape, on both (or more) parties’ counts, so if someone wants to prosecute, feel free!

    Beyond this, it makes sex even scarier for heterosexual women (as if it weren’t scary enough), since even a hint of her so much as not enjoying it much can lead to rape charges. Since most women don’t really want the men they sleep with to go to jail, they may be *more* afraid to report rape, rather than less, because if they haven’t made up their mind yet, well, according to the law it was rape. It doesn’t erase the issue of consent, it just makes it easier to prosecute men who may not have even gotten the signals to stop (we are pretty stupid). Do men have to be more considerate in choosing when and who they have sex with? Yes. But that doesn’t completely absolve them of responsibility if the woman isn’t willing to say no.

  88. kate

    “That’s what has most guys going “OMGThat’stotallyunfair!!!!!” ‘Cause they see the potential injustice to them, and not the overwhelming injustice in the current situation, which affects women.”

    Exactly.

    Actually, I remember attempting to report a bike theft from my garage when the kids were little and I had bikes for all of us. The first question of the dispatcher, “Was the garage door unlocked?” I said it was, “Well there’s really no point in us coming to take a report as it will be hard to prove.”

    What? I didn’t though, reconfigure my deep sense of injustice to fit into the lazy cop’s refusal to take the time to report the incident. Instead, I chalked it up to another instance where without a man to legitimize my claim (or who claimed to experience loss), my loss was not considered worthy of consideration.

    At that point I decided to hunt down potential bike thieves as my house seemed a popular point of destination and I was in no way going to give up my passion for riding because of them. Might I add that my vigilantism won success 7 out of 10 times my bikes were stolen. Lest any dudes here get the temptation to prove how irrational angry women are, no I didn’t kill the little bastard thieves, I just got my bikes back.

    I took the same approach to men who pissed me off long ago, when I often reacted with force to men who would attempt unsolicited advances. I earned quite the reputation.

  89. mg_65

    Hey, I-Just-Don’t-Get-It crowd? Here’s a quarter, get a sense of humor.

    Oh gosh, I do hope I didn’t just lose my credibility? Because that would be bad.

  90. Mandos

    What the dudes don’t seem to appreciate, is that women could make rape accusation now, today, the way things currently are. The new rules would not in any way affect the number of men who are falsely charged. It would affect the number of rapists who are not charged.

    It is widely bruited about that false rape accusations are rarely at least in part because the consequences for accusing someone of rape are often greater than the redress available, under patriarchy.

    If you change the presumption in the way that Twisty’s modest proposal suggests, you’d expect the consequences for false rape accusations to significantly down, because the consequences for rape accusation (true or otherwise) in general would go down.

    Consequently, I don’t understand why people assume that the number of false rape accusations wouldn’t change. By all accounts, Twisty’s proposed system voids the major reason why false accusations are rare.

  91. Zonk

    “Essentially, if the woman doesn’t say, “Yes! By jim, I’d LOVE to have sex with you! I feel fabulous about this decision!” then IT’S RAPE.”

    Well I’m on board with this. The “i can retract my consent whenever i want after the fact” part is bullshit though.

  92. CuriouserAndCuriouser

    How often are wrongs righted without a single drop of blood being spilled by ‘innocents’?

    I personally don’t feel a need to see all men in jail, but if one or two (or a hundred) accidentally land their asses there for a brief visit, I just see it as incentive for y’all to get your shit together and remove all cause for us to EVER think we need to remedy your collective behavior in such harsh fashion.

    We want to see the shoe on the other foot. We want men, all men, to understand the role they each play, whether passive or active, in supporting the current male-dominated regime that oppresses women daily – even as we speak there’s almost certainly a woman being raped somewhere.

    It shocks and appalls me that even I can say that so casually, so blithely, as if it’s not real. Even I, making a daily study of Twisty’s teachings, am still not able to escape the FACT that women’s oppression is universal, ubiquitious, and so common as to be taken completely for granted even by it’s most egregiously hassled victims (need to find an alternative for ‘victims’, the word has become almost meaningless/useless in this context.)

  93. Mandos

    True. Read her fucking post AGAIN.

    Sorry LMYC, but fiery rhetoric, popular as it may be, does not in fact make your interpretation available given Twisty’s text.

    Right now, consent in the eyes of men and the law is signalled by a woman’s ceasing to say no. Under Twisty Law, consent is signalled one way only: by the enthusiastic hollering of the word YES! in neon purple lights with fireworks.

    That’s what you THINK the modest proposal said. In fact, it never clarified how consent would be recorded or signalled, and was probably left as an exercise to the reader. I can easily see ways in which a recorded videotaped statement of consent (complete with noisemakers) before and after, could be taken as insufficient proof that the presumption of rape had been defeated, on a future accusation.

    It’s hypothetical and probably unlikely, but you are talking about principle here.

  94. CannibalFemme

    Goodness me. Twisty and Blamer Regulars: you are all in *damn* fine form today. Thank you for the wheeeee!

    As for the fellows preferring not to get it: it’s easy to decry the necessity of smashing a window if you refuse to notice that the house is on fire.

  95. CannibalFemme

    Oh, and: Twisty, what is this post’s title from? It’s very familiar, but I can’t place it.

  96. Mandos

    Dude: so I shouldn’t wish men who rape to accept responsibility for rape because “prisons are horrible”? Come on. Is that the best you got?

    It is not merely that prisons are horrible but more that prisons are usually the breeding ground of future criminal behaviour and the likely place where The System would act to subvert your proposal and/or reassert itself.

    Because of the nature of prisons and their relationship to a patriarchal state, it is only moderately possible that your proposal would act as a long-term deterrent to rape and a way to end rape culture. Instead, there are a number of at-least-as-likely backfire scenarios.

    For instance, you might create a large class of misogynists for whom women are not even useful as rape objects. Just one way in which it might go wrong.

  97. delphyne

    Is Mandos threatening us? That’s kind of creepy.

  98. Natalia

    For instance, you might create a large class of misogynists for whom women are not even useful as rape objects.

    As opposed to the even larger class of misogynists for whom women are only useful (lovely term) as rape objects, which we currently have in our streets, homes, and workplaces. Awesome.

  99. CuriouserAndCuriouser

    Why do you dudes keep arguing about what Twisty specifically, exactly said? Why not think for yourselves and offer up a proposal of your own that you think we on the distaff side might find fair?

    And if you’re not interested in learning our point of view or supporting a level playing field, why are you here? This site is (in one voice) not about the menz.

    I challenge you dudely types to honestly consider the intent of Twisty’s post and see if you can word it in terms that fit both women’s desire for justice and your sense of fairness.

  100. Mandos

    As for the fellows preferring not to get it: it’s easy to decry the necessity of smashing a window if you refuse to notice that the house is on fire.

    This presupposes that the modest proposal is the equivalent of smashing a window in this analogy. That’s not clear at all.

    I suspect that the false accusation thing is probably going to be rare even if the proposal were implemented. But it does reveal some interesting things about those who defend it. (Those who oppose it, well, the interesting things about them were already presumed, no?)

    What are you doing sleeping with somebody you don’t know well enough to know if she’s a ‘nutcase’? Hint: If she goes from ‘rational’ to being a ‘nutcase’, she probably, being brainwashed by patriarchy like the rest of us, unknowingly allowed you to violate her emotional boundaries by having sex too soon, hoping that you might turn out to love her and stick around.

    Well, *I* certainly would not object to a world in which people spent a long time getting to know each other before having sex. But I still get a little surprised when people around here propose that there be a standard (for men or for women) of how Emotionally-Meaningful-Gazes-Into-Each-Others-Eyes-Connected people must be in order to establish sexaul relationships. No ships passing in the night for you! That’s really very interesting.

  101. Carpenter

    “A straight girl could still have as much sex as she wants with men, if for some reason she thinks it’s a good idea (naturally I would most vigorously urge self-identified heterosexual women to contemplate the horrific personal and political implications of submitting to male domination in this way. But that’s another post).”

    C’mon Twisty lets have it.

  102. CuriouserAndCuriouser

    So, Mandos, are you saying we should just start countering the currently popular Chinese practice of aborting/abandoning girl babies by administering a wee dose of arsenic to all newly hatched, penis-bearing Americans?

    Because clearly that’s our only alternative, given that any more sane, rational, even-handed approach to such irrational and unpredictable creatures as men might ‘backfire’.

    What you’re saying is that men are so pathetically deranged, so terminally clue-free and power-entitled that we’re better off not rocking the boat for fear of unleashing even more venomous behavior from what are basically monsters.

    Gee, you must feel really good about being a member of such an upright, stellar class of beings.

  103. thebewilderness

    MandosX3,
    You seem to be making the argument that people behave decently out of fear of retribution rather that because they are decent human beings.
    I presumed that the instance of false rape allegations would not change because the number of people willing to make such allegations would not change.
    We have been discussing the fact that men frequently behave in a disgusting manner because they have been trained from infancy to believe that the behavior is reasonable and acceptable. Were they to be trained from infancy to behave as though women were people, rape would be an abberation, rather than the norm in their relations with women.

  104. CuriouserAndCuriouser

    I think I meant to say ‘upstanding’, not ‘upright’ – little flecks of red rage keep muddying the otherwise limpid pool of pristine blaming thought. Maybe I just haven’t gotten mad enough yet to really burn off the last of the patriarchal blinders, so that I can spew forth freely in laser-focused, pure blamespeak in the esteemed Twisty fashion.

  105. B. Dagger Lee

    I’ve always wanted to read the text of the Antioch Rules. Anyone have it? I mean, that’s what we’re talking here. Also, when I purchase shit with my credit card, I sign my name. What’s the problem with requiring that before you have sex with someone? Oh, right, it’s not “natural”.

    And we live in a helluva natural world.

    -BDL

  106. Mandos

    As opposed to the even larger class of misogynists for whom women are only useful (lovely term) as rape objects, which we currently have in our streets, homes, and workplaces. Awesome.

    As many feminists have regularly pointed out: one of the ways that patriarchy apparently perpetuates itself is by suggesting—no, demonstrating!—that it could be worse. That’s not a threat, that’s merely a statement of what many feminists have said.

    Why do you dudes keep arguing about what Twisty specifically, exactly said? Why not think for yourselves and offer up a proposal of your own that you think we on the distaff side might find fair?

    The point is, it is likely that there aren’t long-term sustainable fair legal solutions to the social problem of rape, or for that matter burglary, but perhaps rape in particular.

    I challenge you dudely types to honestly consider the intent of Twisty’s post and see if you can word it in terms that fit both women’s desire for justice and your sense of fairness.

    The intent of her post is nothing that isn’t the intent of most of her posts. There’s far more to talk about in the way that she (and others here) chose to say it.

  107. Mandos

    You seem to be making the argument that people behave decently out of fear of retribution rather that because they are decent human beings.

    Acutally, I think I’ve been pretty consistent in holding that I think that people behave decently or badly for a variety of reasons, some involving fear, some involving good training, some involving (insert favorite reason here).

    I presumed that the instance of false rape allegations would not change because the number of people willing to make such allegations would not change.

    This actually has no effect on the situation. Given that there are some number N women now willing to make a false rape accusation, the system as it stands uses the fear of accusation consequences to reduce that to much less than N. Without that fear/consequences, there would be presumably N women making false rape accusations.

    Are there in the real world women willing to make false rape accusations (much larger than the number who actually do)? Who knows? WOULD there be in a world where they are free to do so? Why not? People change for all kinds of reasons, and are not the same one day after another, and are not equally decent at all hours.

    Why should we think otherwise?

    We have been discussing the fact that men frequently behave in a disgusting manner because they have been trained from infancy to believe that the behavior is reasonable and acceptable. Were they to be trained from infancy to behave as though women were people, rape would be an abberation, rather than the norm in their relations with women.

    Sure. But there’s no reason to think that you will be able to bring up all men equally decently, or that upbringing will control all negative behaviours, and probably quite a lot of reasons to actually FEAR such a thing coming true. And in a world where women were liberated, there’s no reason to think that their upbringing would make them all equally decent either, and that they wouldn’t use their liberty to hurt more than when they are prevented from doing so by oppression.

    (Which, of course, does not make said oppression a moral benefit to women, needless to say but delphyne might think that I am implying something that doesn’t REALLY follow from my words, and that interesting but sometimes annoying.)

  108. hipparchia

    oxytocin [google]
    oxytocin [google scholar]

    not that google in any of its incarnations is necessarily the be-all and end-all of information, but it’s a place to start.

  109. norbizness

    On re-reading the proposal for the third time, I still don’t see how the hypothetical system differs materially from today’s system, assuming today’s system worked and unreasonable doubts did not magically transform into reasonable doubts during the jury deliberation process.

    In other words, the only way that the system could be different is if it became incumbent upon the accused to prove consent. Now, that could be a recorded message or a signed piece of paper; the problem is that since consent can be verbally revoked (even under the present system), you’re right back where you started if that’s claimed.

    The procedural problem you’re trying to overcome, then, is an unreasonable jury verdict. So far, the state doesn’t have the right to appeal if an acquittal based on some lunatic theory (the victim wore provocative clothing, had a few drinks, is of the wrong class or color); such effective jury nullification in favor of rapists defeats even the hypothetical system.

  110. thebewilderness

    MonkWren,
    You say you’re stupid. I say it is to your advantage to be so. Therefore you maintain your stupid in the face of repeated opportunities to learn. Unless you mean stupidity as the inability to learn. In which case you better hope women never really get to the point where they believe that.

  111. Coathangrrr

    Two problems with this. First, it would criminalize lesbian sexual contact and lesbians because neither would be able to give consent. Second, no one would get convicted of rape. The second one might seem counterintuitive, but look at the reaction of the men on this board to the idea. Do you think randomly chosen men on a jury are going to be better disposed to it? Pretty much the same exact cases would succeed, there by changing nothing.

    Stopping rape requires social changes far more than legal changes.

  112. Gansumina

    I am appalled by the dudeliness take-over on this post. It is clear that neither Monk, nor dude-who-read-but-didn’t-get-it or some of the others can leave their positions of privilege.

    What’s with the credit card analogy? Are we forgetting that we’re talking about the patriarchy? As pointed by Twisty a few days ago, just walking down the street cannot be a neutral act. How far is the head-up-our-butts syndrome when you cannot recognize that consent-giving is already a politically charged action? When a woman gives(or doesn’t give) consent, it is her responsibility to determine a whole bunch of things that dudes don’t have to, just because we are females living in a patriarchal society. I have to worry about things like whether I’ll be called a slut the next day, or what will happen if birth control does not work, or what if this guy turns out to be a clod and I want to stop but he doesn’t, or what if he is a total nut and turns whacko on me, or what if he is lying about what he wants in this relationship? It is not only about ‘do I want to have sex with this guy’. The fact that most men are unable to see this, doesn’t mean that it doesn’t exist. It is just a reminder that the patriarchy is alive and well, even when we are talking about consensual sex. The reason why the credit card analogy goes down the tubes is that any crimes perpetrated by or through the credit card scam that you’re describing do not involve members of a class of citizens that are in all other aspects of their lives considered second-class and sub-human. Trivializing rape in that way is insulting and indicates the huge amount of privilege that you are clearly not willing to give up.

    So what’s wrong about asking the dudes to take some responsibility for what they do? It doesn’t affect those who already do, is asks everyone to take responsibility for their own actions. I’ll tell you what’s wrong, it will actually ask of men that they take responsibility for their appendages and their actions. And as we all know, the patriarchy is not so hot on that.

    As for the evil ex scenario, it goes to show how little idea men have of what it means to be sexually assaulted. Like saying ‘I’ve been raped’ is a trip in the park in this society. Like you can say something like that and lieu of, say, calling him a fucking moron.

    The fact that so many of us here have had experiences with dude’s sexual privilege and lost our human status thanks to those assholes, who I’m sure are still doing it to other women now, just goes to show that the Twisty Law is not only a great idea, but also a great need. And I am up for trying it for a few thousand years and see how it goes.

  113. Gwen

    I think the fact that people are conceptualising consent as a defence to rape is a problem. It isn’t. Rather, ‘absence of consent’ is an element of the crime itself. That’s why the burden of proof rests on the woman to prove that she didn’t consent. If it were a defence, Twisty’s solution would already be the law – the fact of sex having taken place would make out the elements of crime, and the defendant would have to affirmatively prove presence of consent in order to be found not guilty.

    Anyway, the point I’m making is that Twisty’s solution isn’t as shocking as some people are suggesting. Nobody’s eliminating consent – it’s only the burden of proof that’s being shifted. Instead of the victim having to discharge the burden of proving that she didn’t say yes/said no loud enough, the defendant would have to prove that she in fact said yes. The same evidence, even, could be put before the jury. I don’t see why that would bring about the fall of civilization.

  114. Repenting

    “As many feminists have regularly pointed out: one of the ways that patriarchy apparently perpetuates itself is by suggesting—no, demonstrating!—that it could be worse. That’s not a threat, that’s merely a statement of what many feminists have said.”

    I am in complete agreement with this argument, Mandos. What I take issue with is the line you draw connecting it with this:

    “The point is, it is likely that there aren’t long-term sustainable fair legal solutions to the social problem of rape, or for that matter burglary, but perhaps rape in particular.”

    So help me understand exactly what you are trying to say. Society cannot improve the socially unjust legal situation surrounding rape, and the bleak fate of women who attempt to assert themselves as unrapeable is that of objects of hatred not even worthy of rape?

    Mandos, I would actually prefer it if men thought of me as something so awful as to not be worth raping, instead of wanting to rape me without getting in trouble for it.

  115. CuriouserAndCuriouser

    The intent of her post is nothing that isn’t the intent of most of her posts.

    Well, humor me then. For my own personal enlightenment, will you please paraphrase for me, in words of your own, what the intent of “most of her posts” is? In case I missed it. Because right now all that seems clear is that you are repeatedly, intentionally, wilfully missing said intent.

    That’s not a threat, that’s merely a statement of what many feminists have said.

    Mandos, how about making a concrete, defensible statement of your very own that isn’t merely in response to another poster’s comment?

    Neener neener, he said, but she said. What do you say? Why are you here on this blog? Are you here to learn, to contribute? Or merely to endlessly argue and obfuscate, belaboring trivial points to derail threads?

    I imagine Twisty allows you stay for entertainment value and as an object lesson, and because you manage to just barely comply with the blog etiquette rules most of the time. Or maybe she sees you as her ‘straight man’. Dunno.

  116. Repenting

    LoL, Mandos as Twisty’s ‘straight man.’ A more perfect coincidence could not have occured.

  117. Sean

    I’m guessing everyone thinks that MonkWren is a troll, since everyone’s ignoring him, but still, his rhetoric is, as LMYC might put it, pretty fucking scary.

    “As a guy, it’s not easy to tell the difference between the two. I tend to err on the side of caution; I won’t have sex with a girl unless I’m sure she’s ready to have sex. This isn’t always true.”

    THAT’S THE FUCKING PROBLEM! That men won’t take the simple responsibility to find out whether their partner actually, really, for sure wants sex is men’s problem, not women’s. They should be prosecuted if they simply think that they can have sex with someone because her “eyes looked right” or her “head was tilted just so.” People look at me like I’m an idiot when I mention that a prerequisite to having sex should be the question “Lover, do you want to have sex with me? While we’re having sex, shall we do this, this, or that? What would you prefer?” That’s not revolutionary. That’s just common sense. Get someone’s permission before sticking a cock in her/him.

    “It doesn’t erase the issue of consent, it just makes it easier to prosecute men who may not have even gotten the signals to stop (we are pretty stupid).”

    What the hell are these “signals”? How ’bout this for a signal: “yes, I want to have sex”? If a woman throws you down on the bed after you ask, and she doesn’t answer, you keep on a-asking. It’s not that hard. And as a non-woman, I take incredible offense to you calling me “pretty stupid,” in fact, stupid enough not to ask for consent, stupid enough not to be able to control my “urges” and rape someone! Maybe if YOU are stupid enough not to do these things, then you should be locked up, and not allowed to have sex. Damn!

    LMYC, you’re style is so infectious.

  118. Sean

    To Coathanger:

    Rapists don’t get convicted of rape as it is. Most men have the same reaction to even traditional concepts of rape. Anyways, who’s to say that this isn’t a critique of the jury system? The orange country cop case proves that dudely juries are always around. Juries are nearly always biased as they are.

  119. CuriouserAndCuriouser

    Mandos, I really don’t mean to get personal here, so forgive me if that last comment felt like an attack.

    But it’s infuriating that you talk about all this as if the things that happen to women only exist in some rarefied, abstract theoretical realm that has no basis in reality.

    We are talking about REAL people here, real events. Have you ever, personally, experienced any of the kinds of harrassment that this blog talks about? We aren’t talking about all this stuff as an abstract philosophical exercise – it actually means something to the women writing here, in a personal way, on a daily basis, in our real, actual lives. It’s incredibly insulting for you to dismiss the views of people who’ve lived through this stuff, insulated as you are from such treatment by your institutionalized male privilege.

    It’s like rich people who lecture poor people on the sins of excess or laziness. Really, truly, inappropriate, out of line, and unhelpful.

    Ok, stopping the feeding of Mx3.

  120. Virago

    I’m (not really) surprised at the extent to which The MENZ!! will go to defend their and their brothers’ right to rape. I mean, just the very idea that something should or could be done about rape sents out the advance guard for the sputtering butbutbut brigade. Imagine if the idea actually came to fruition? My god, ER waiting rooms would be filled to bursting with arterial embolism cases.

    As for the threat that we’d create more hateful and violent woman-hating criminals by putting rapists in prison? Okay, you’re right. It could happen. My solution to keeping rapists out of prison, docile, and sweet-voiced is to castrate them instead. See? Problem solved.

  121. LMYC

    As for the evil ex scenario, it goes to show how little idea men have of what it means to be sexually assaulted.

    They do, however, seem to have a pretty strong feeling that most women they’ve interacted with have good reason to feel vengeful. For what, they never seem to say.

  122. tinfoil hattie

    Oooh, Twisty! I GET IT NOW! See why I’m so happy you ruined my life? There IS no such thing as “consent,” because it shouldn’t be a matter of “consent”! DUH! Hit me over the head with a mallet!

    “Consent” implies “May I have permission to do this thing to you?”

    Woo-hoo! Maybe I WILL become a lesbian after all, out of sheer loyalty to your brilliance.

  123. MonkWren

    “So what’s wrong about asking the dudes to take some responsibility for what they do? It doesn’t affect those who already do, is asks everyone to take responsibility for their own actions. I’ll tell you what’s wrong, it will actually ask of men that they take responsibility for their appendages and their actions. And as we all know, the patriarchy is not so hot on that.”

    I have no problem with such. I do so fairly regularly, and I agree that most men don’t do so nearly enough. But I’m not responsible for determining whether a woman has made up her mind or not. If she hasn’t, than she needs to say no. If she does, and the man still presses for sex, then it becomes sexual assault (and rape, if they do actually have sex).

    “I have to worry about things like whether I’ll be called a slut the next day, or what will happen if birth control does not work, or what if this guy turns out to be a clod and I want to stop but he doesn’t, or what if he is a total nut and turns whacko on me, or what if he is lying about what he wants in this relationship? It is not only about ‘do I want to have sex with this guy’.”

    You’d be surprised at how many of those things run through a guy’s head before he has sex. Perhaps not to the same degree as a woman, and certainly without the same consequences, but sex is not as casual for men as you’d like to paint it (at least not for most men). Society portrays both men and women inaccurately. If any of my previous girlfriends were to have gotten pregnant, do you really think I would have been totally absolvent of blame? As a college student (yes, I’m the epitomy of what you hate: white, 20-something, and not as smart as I think I am), I can barely afford housing and food; if I were to get my girlfriend pregnant, my future is gone, every bit as much as hers. The point being that consent (or lack thereof) lies with both partners.

    “MonkWren,
    You say you’re stupid. I say it is to your advantage to be so. Therefore you maintain your stupid in the face of repeated opportunities to learn. Unless you mean stupidity as the inability to learn. In which case you better hope women never really get to the point where they believe that.”

    I do mean it more in the “inability to learn” sense, although phrasing it as “difficulty to learn” would be more accurate. And I honestly hope that women do get to the point where they finally believe that, so they can help men learn instead of keeping quiet when they should speak up. Ignorance is not easily solved by letting someone figure it out; there’s a reason it took hundreds of years to develop the science of, say, physics, while a student can learn it in the course of a few semesters. I consider myself lucky to have had a number of female friends help teach me about female communication. I still don’t understand it, and I doubt I ever will, just like women tend not to understand how guys communicate. Punishment is one of the least effect motivators for behavioral change; I’d rather see a system where education and positive reinforcement lead to greater understanding and communication, where women feel comfortable enough to say no and men know enough to leave it at that. I don’t think holding men to blame for fucking sex is going to solve the problem.

  124. CuriouserAndCuriouser

    “Consent” implies “May I have permission to do this thing to you?”

    The lightbulb finally just went off over my head too. Eek. Eww.

  125. tinfoil hattie

    Curioser, I didn’t mean to be flip about your experiences. I was being tongue-in-cheek about my own relationship, which, OF COURSE, is based partly on the emotional bonds we HAVE built over 22 years together. Lots of those bonds were forged in conjunction with our sexual relationship, of course. And that is one of the reasons I DO feel so comfortable and cavalier about taking what I want from sex with my husband. I really meant no snark about you or anyone — sorry; I often get carried away by my delight in my own sarcasm.

    MonkWren: You sound like my six-year-old: “What if I did my homework? And I really did it, but on the way to school? A big DOG grabbed it and took it, and chewed it up, and ALMOST BIT MY ARM, and the teacher didn’t believe me even though there were dog tooth marks all over the paper?” C’mon. How far did you have to stretch to come up with your scenario?

    And LMYC, if you will marry me I WILL turn into a lesbian! A hairy one, even.

  126. jodie a.c

    You’ve hit a nerve Twisty!

    Just look at all the defensive dick waving going on in this post at the mere SUGGESTION of men losing their godbag given priviledge to assume that having a vagina = consent.

  127. thebewilderness

    I do mean it more in the “inability to learn” sense, although phrasing it as “difficulty to learn” would be more accurate. And I honestly hope that women do get to the point where they finally believe that, so they can help men learn instead of keeping quiet when they should speak up.
    MonkWren

    If women as a group ever came to the absolute knowlege that you could not be educated to behave like a decent human being, the death penalty would be the appropriate response. I consider it less heinous than incarceration.

    If you are not ineducable, stop clinging to stupid and stop doing to women what you in no way would tolerate being done to you.

    I think that most of these dudes need to hie themselves to the feminist101 blog and stop cluttering up Twisty’s place with their inane bs.

  128. tinfoil hattie

    By the way, whoever asked upthread, the quote is from the Beatles’ “She Said She Said” (from the album “Revolver”).

  129. Gansumina

    Monk: But I’m not responsible for determining whether a woman has made up her mind or not.

    Monk- in fact, you are. That’s what you’re not getting.

    And please don’t lecture us on what goes through men’s minds before/during sex. Ironically, some of us here, being het and all, have had somewhat varied experience in that arena, while you, I’m afraid, only speak for little ol’ self.

  130. kiki

    (naturally I would most vigorously urge self-identified heterosexual women to contemplate the horrific personal and political implications of submitting to male domination in this way.

    You know, this statement stuck with me today, especially after the unbelievable battles I’ve faced this week. I wonder if we hets are just to be grunts in the army of the revolution following a strict, “don’t ask don’t tell” policy that ignores our numbers and our natures. We can work in male dominated fields, battle daily with prejudice, persevere to mentor younger women and help them to gain internships and scholarships just as long as we keep our dirty little secret just that. Doesn’t a dick sucker like Drew Faust realize the horrific political implications of her heterosexuality? Perhaps we are just to be excluded from the priestesshood of the new religion unless we agree to a lot of self loathing over our clearly disordered sexuality and must promise to remain celibate and not act on our horrific desires. Maybe there can set be a camp to help “cure” us of our affliction. Taking a page from the fundy play book radfems can intervene and help us see that although we may “think” we love and want to have sex with men we are really quite ill and just need curing. Give me a rubber band to wear around my wrist and I’ll give it a good snap whenever I feel those disgusting feelings.

    I do not wish to live a celibate life alone and I am not sexually attracted to women. Sadly, all I can hope for is to be re-incarnated a lesbian.

  131. MonkWren

    Assuming that having a vagina means consent? Where are you getting this? Where did I say that having a vagina equals consent? Where did I claim that men had no responsibility? If you read my posts, you’d find that I want a similar system to the one Twisty proposes – one where both parties are held accountable for their actions.

    thebewilderness – So if I have difficulty learning to read, I should just drop out of school, instead of seeking extra help from Special Education because I have a “disability”? If I have difficulty speaking, because my mouth is shaped differently from normal, I should not see a speech pathologist? If I don’t know how to communicate with women, I should be shot? Is that really your solution? I shouldn’t try to get to the source of the problem (ignorance) and get of it (education); instead I should just die? This only applies to some rape cases, but those are the ones where it will make the most difference, as well as the ones that are hardest to prosecute. If they can be eliminated, or at least reduced, wouldn’t you say we’d be doing a pretty fucking good job? If the solution to ignorance is death, than I’d say we all deserve to die.

    You claim it’s about being a decent human being, but with no-one to tell others what a decent human being is, how can one be that human being? With no-one to educate, none learn, or learn only slowly. Instead of shooting us for being ignorant and slow-to-learn, why don’t you try to help speed up the learning process, and perhaps spare yourself or someone else a whole lot of pain down the road?

  132. Coathangrrr

    Rapists don’t get convicted of rape as it is. Most men have the same reaction to even traditional concepts of rape. Anyways, who’s to say that this isn’t a critique of the jury system? The orange country cop case proves that dudely juries are always around. Juries are nearly always biased as they are.

    I do know that there is a huge problem with men not getting convicted of rape as it is, and no doubt the jury system is easy to critique, but other than enlightened panels of judges, what alternative is there really? And for the record, I would trust a panel of judges almost as much as juries.

    I’ll reiterate my point, we can’t change the situation through law, because law, generally speaking, is a reflection of societal beliefs. Therefore the only way things will change is when large numbers of individuals change their views on the world.

  133. Shakes

    Why is it that so many men – many of them self-proclaimed “decent” men – are so afraid of being (wrongly) accused of rape? Guilt? Paranoia?
    A truly decent guy wouldn’t have any problem with what Twisty proposes.

  134. thebewilderness

    MonkWren,
    You’re right, you are stupid.
    By the time we hit kindergarten, most of us have figured out that if we don’t like being hit with a stick, in all probability the other children are not going to like being hit with a stick.
    You obviously haven’t grasped this yet.

  135. B. Dagger Lee

    Big dyke chin nods to all the blamers above.

    And now, ifIf I may interrupt this moment of sterling dudely literal-minded chop-logic with a small scene from a playlet; I nicked the title from a recent science section of the NY Times:

    “In Ducks, War of the Sexes Plays Out in the Evolution of Genitalia,” a play by B. Dagger Lee.

    ENTER FROM STAGE RIGHT, DUCKTHATHASREADTHEFAQ, A MELLER’S DUCK, FROM MADAGASCAR.

    ENTER STAGE LEFT, DAISY DUCK, A FEMALE DUCK, ALSO FROM MADAGASCAR.

    DuckthatHASreadtheFAQ: Why did you evolve your vagina so as to reject my sperm? What if no one will mate with you? What if Peking no longer serves duck?

    Daisy Duck: This elaborate vagina is the evolutionary result of forced mating. It is a necessary defense against unwanted duck sperm.

    DuckthatHASreadtheFAQ: But I will simply evolve my phallus to be longer. Please answer my first set of questions. Also, another question—what about duck à l’orange? Aren’t you concerned that there is no rhyme in English for “orange”? How will anyone be able to write a heterosexual love song about this?

    Daisy Duck: My vagina is getting longer and more labyrinthine by the moment. And by moment, I mean eons.

    DuckthatHASreadtheFAQ: I will make my phallus like a long corkscrew, so as to put my sperm inside you.

    Daisy Duck: That’s fine, because my vagina actually spirals and turns in the opposite way to your corkscrew phallus. Here, please sign this release; I don’t want to get sued by a bitter, vengeful duck.

  136. tinfoil hattie

    But MonkWren, you keep saying you want to learn, and we magnaimous radfems keep trying to teach you, and you keep explaining to us how we cannot possibly be right about, among other things, RAPE.

  137. Mandos

    We are talking about REAL people here, real events. Have you ever, personally, experienced any of the kinds of harrassment that this blog talks about? We aren’t talking about all this stuff as an abstract philosophical exercise – it actually means something to the women writing here, in a personal way, on a daily basis, in our real, actual lives. It’s incredibly insulting for you to dismiss the views of people who’ve lived through this stuff, insulated as you are from such treatment by your institutionalized male privilege.

    It’s like rich people who lecture poor people on the sins of excess or laziness. Really, truly, inappropriate, out of line, and unhelpful.

    So, I’ve come to the conclusion that the victimness of an interlocutor on a blog/forum desighed by its owner for serious and advanced discussion of a social phenomenon (in this case, patriarchy) is not an argument against the examination of the content of their ideas.

    If this blog were clearly defined as some kind of mutual support forum, I wouldn’t touch it with a barge pole. Otherwise, are you telling me that I should patronize contributors—including contributors who’ve suffered from the phenomenon—by treating their ideas with delicacy and indulgent agreement?

    I’m willing to do that, just as I’m willing to bow of the blog completely on request from its owner, and have said so before.

    As for why *I* post here, well, it is interesting and fundamental to the human condition if what Twisty says is true. It’s inherently interesting to discuss the nontrivial implications.

  138. Mandos

    They do, however, seem to have a pretty strong feeling that most women they’ve interacted with have good reason to feel vengeful. For what, they never seem to say.

    This is not necessarily the case. After all, people spend huge amounts more ink agonizing about other abstract legal situations that might only apply to a small minority of people.

  139. MonkWren

    Yet how many of you have figured out that you don’t like being peer-pressured by college? Not many, if my experiences are to be any judge (and they very well may not be). What about relationship pressure? What about societal pressure? How many of you have said, on this very site, that you had sex because you felt you should, and that, at the time, you believed that you should want it? How are guys to know you don’t want it if you don’t say so, or if you consistently change you mind, or if you say no with your mouth but say yes in other ways? Having talked with a large number of women about this, it’s fair to say that a number of you have no idea what you want (not that men are any different), yet you hold us to blame for that? I have no fear of being accused of rape; I’ve never committed it, and I trust all the women I’ve slept with to not suddenly turn into back-stabbing bitches. But I don’t feel that I should be held responsible for something beyond my control that I have no part in. Or would you like to be held responsible for allowing the patriarchy to continue its rule over our society?

  140. MonkWren

    tinfoil hattie – I never said I wasn’t learning. Nor that I haven’t learned. Simply that most men don’t. Merely that I have difficulty doing so. Nor have I claimed that you are wrong (please, I encourage you, read my posts), simply arguing that perhaps a different implementation might be more useful to achieve the same goal.

  141. Shira

    But I don’t feel that I should be held responsible for something beyond my control that I have no part in. Or would you like to be held responsible for allowing the patriarchy to continue its rule over our society?

    He doesn’t want to be, therefore he shouldn’t be. I think the six-year-old analogy has gained a dimension.

    You have a part in it. We all do. And the idea that someone who nervously had sex because she thought she was supposed to probably isn’t going to be the most enthusiastic, active partner. I’m willing to be that your mental image of “woman acting like she wants to have sex = woman who has stopped resisting and is now staring blankly at the ceiling.”

    And here’s a good rule of thumb: if your partner is “consistently changing [her] mind” about whether she wants to have sex, assume the answer is NO and act accordingly. Her need to not feel sexually violated trumps your “need” to have sex at that instant with that woman.

  142. MonkWren

    I completely agree with that, Shira. At significant portion of the male population, however, does not, and the answer to the problem is not to shoot them all, it’s to educate them so they don’t repeat their admittedly reprehensible behavior.

    As for the responsibility part, if you believe we’re all responsible, than is not the woman responsible for her own rape? Your logic is self-defeating – everyone is responsible for the actions of society as a whole, and society is responsible for the actions of individuals, than the woman being raped is responsible for the man raping her. Therefor, responsibility is individual, meaning that I am not responsible for actions and decisions that are not my own.

  143. LMYC

    … it’s to educate them …

    Nice way to make it our fucking job. I ain’t your goddamned Mommy.

  144. slythwolf

    So, wait, you’re saying that women should be legally assumed not to want to be raped, the same way all human beings are legally assumed not to, for example, have their televisions stolen? You know who I blame for this not already being the case.

  145. slythwolf

    Durr. Should be “not to, for example, [b]want[/b] their television stolen”. Not “have”. I’m smart. S-M-R-T smart.

  146. MonkWren

    Nice way to make it our fucking job. I ain’t your goddamned Mommy.

    Perhaps the problem was that Mommy never did it in the first place. Who’s going educate little Johnny then?

  147. slythwolf

    So smart I use the wrong kind of tags. *facepalm* I need more sleep.

  148. slythwolf

    Perhaps the problem was that Mommy never did it in the first place. Who’s going educate little Johnny then?

    Maybe for once in his life Daddy could do something useful. Just a thought.

  149. MonkWren

    And if Daddy was never taught? And his Daddy was never taught? If only a fraction of the men who have ever lived have figured it out (which seems to be pretty apparent)? If the education never occurred, how could it have been continued, especially with the patriarchy frowning on such information dissemination? And even if Daddy did know, who cares? Is it the son’s fault for not learning what was never taught? Even if it is, isn’t the point to be better people and teach it to him anyways? Or would that require being a decent human being?

  150. thebewilderness

    MonkWren:Or would you like to be held responsible for allowing the patriarchy to continue its rule over our society?

    Your asshattery is showing again.
    Our culture currently holds women responsible for every single thing wrong and gives credit to men for every single thing that goes half assed right. Twisty’s post suggested that one way for men to learn not to rape women would be for them to understand that without two people agreeing to have sex together, the default assumption would be no. Violations to be prosecuted.
    If she isn’t sure she wants to, don’t fuck her.
    If she doesn’t know what she wants, dont fuck her.
    If you don’t know what you want, don’t fuck her.
    If she enjoys kissing you, it doesn’t mean she wants you to fuck her.
    If you are so caught up in how much you want to fuck her that you don’t have a clue what she wants, you have dehumanized her to the point where it doesn’t matter what she wants. Stop it, now!

  151. Shira

    As for the responsibility part, if you believe we’re all responsible, than is not the woman responsible for her own rape? Your logic is self-defeating – everyone is responsible for the actions of society as a whole, and society is responsible for the actions of individuals, than the woman being raped is responsible for the man raping her. Therefor, responsibility is individual, meaning that I am not responsible for actions and decisions that are not my own.

    All have a part in the perpetuation of patriarchy =/= all have an equal part and certainly =/= absolution for your behavior. Jesus Christ. The point is that none of us exist outside of patriarchy, and so you must, through educating yourself, figure out how you perpetuate this system and how you benefit from/exploit your privileged position within the system.

  152. LMYC

    Who’s going educate little Johnny then?

    Heaven forfuckingFEND Johnny should grow the fuck up and educate him damned self, like most adult human beings.

    And did it ever occur to you that DADDY SHOULD DO SOME EDUMACATIN’?

    Naah, just go find something with tits and make it do the job. After allo, where Mommy falls short, then all other women must pick up the slack!

    Fuck off.

  153. MonkWren

    “Our culture currently holds women responsible for every single thing wrong and gives credit to men for every single thing that goes half assed right. Twisty’s post suggested that one way for men to learn not to rape women would be for them to understand that without two people agreeing to have sex together, the default assumption would be no. Violations to be prosecuted.”

    I don’t disagree with this in any way. What I’m trying to say is that there is likely a better way of teaching men that lesson, one that doesn’t involve significant jail time for men who are (or would be) decent people, if they weren’t so screwed up by society.

    “If she isn’t sure she wants to, don’t fuck her.
    If she doesn’t know what she wants, dont fuck her.
    If you don’t know what you want, don’t fuck her.
    If she enjoys kissing you, it doesn’t mean she wants you to fuck her.
    If you are so caught up in how much you want to fuck her that you don’t have a clue what she wants, you have dehumanized her to the point where it doesn’t matter what she wants. Stop it, now!”

    Good guidelines, ones I follow every time I have sex. I hope you do too.

  154. Shira

    And if Daddy was never taught? And his Daddy was never taught? If only a fraction of the men who have ever lived have figured it out (which seems to be pretty apparent)? If the education never occurred, how could it have been continued, especially with the patriarchy frowning on such information dissemination? And even if Daddy did know, who cares? Is it the son’s fault for not learning what was never taught? Even if it is, isn’t the point to be better people and teach it to him anyways? Or would that require being a decent human being?

    Men can demand that women be “decent human beings” (defined as catering to his demands on behalf of men!), but if women are to demand that men be decent human beings, we are then obligated to take them by the hand and explain how to be a decent human being slowly and patiently, without getting too upset when they don’t quite grasp the concept.

    I love blame it.

  155. slythwolf

    Is it the son’s fault for not learning what was never taught?

    Absolutely. It’s time for him to build a bridge and get over himself, observe the world, figure some shit out and be an adult. If the rest of us can do it he can too.

    Have you never heard of the concept that ignorance of the law is no excuse?

  156. tinfoil hattie

    MonkWren. You don’t want to change. You don’t want to help other men change. You want to keep arguing that we women are to blame for our situation.

    And yeah, I HAVE read your posts.

    If you were at all interested in “getting it,” you’d say: “Dang. It DOES suck to be a woman. Hmm. Next time my friends suggest going to a titty bar, or start hooting and hollering at women who commit the crime of walking past them on a public street, or whine about how women are so demanding these days, I’m going to tell them they’re all assholes who need to fuck off.”

    But, I know (wait for it) — you don’t HAVE any friends who behave this way. Am I right?

  157. CuriouserAndCuriouser

    MonkWren, being a white agnostic female, I know nothing about being black or buddhist. But say, just for argument’s sake, you spend a day trying to ‘learn’ about what it’s like for a black person to live in a white world. Say you take the ‘beginner’s mind’ approach of Zen, and assume you know nothing, or better yet, that everything you think you ‘know’ about black people is wrong.

    You would not, in this scenario, presume to lecture a black person about their own personal experiences.

    You would instead be quite humble, and would do most of your ‘learning’ by quietly observing.

    You would also ask many questions, in that simple and open-minded way a child does when it truly doesn’t know the answer and has no preconceived notion as to what you might say. And you would always acknowledge that the black person’s expression of their own experience trumped any opinions you might hold about same, well-reasoned or otherwise.

    Because we each own our own experience; it is unique. No one can tell us what we hear, see or feel, or how we interpret what we experience into words. We might discuss our impressions after the fact, compare notes, and possibly influence each other’s thinking; but the only person who is right about what they FEEL in a given situation is the person doing the telling.

  158. thebewilderness

    Good guidelines, ones I follow every time I have sex. I hope you do too. MonkWren

    Given your previous comments, you will understand why I don’t believe you.

  159. RadFemHedonist

    Let’s face it. When nature makes a surplus, that means that 90% of what’s there is worthless shit. 90% of men have no BUSINESS reproducing. And it’s female choice that’s the gatekeeper. If you, buddy, can’t get a single woman to literally hop up and down in joy, clap her hands, and do the endzone dance at the prospect of fucking you, you shouldn’t be fucking.

    I completely agree with you about the second part, but while generally I hate “what about the menz”, could we please not start with the social darwinism. First of all as someone with no intention of reproducing I fail to see the automatic connection between sex and TEH BAYBEEZ, second I don’t not want to sleep with X person because I think they are a evolutionary mishap, I don’t want to sleep with a person because as is so often noted on this blog, no is the default, I don’t have to justify not wanting to sleep with someone anymore than I have to justify my dislike of non-mild curry. I don’t regard anyone as an evolutionary mistake, I merely think they may be quite the delusional dumbass. Plus, as noted, I am not obliged to sleep with anyone, so I want people to understand that they respect my no, and my absence of yes because it’s my body, I am not letting them touch it so they can’t.

  160. V.

    Each time the MonkTroll posts, I have an urge to press the Blame button, as if that could erase his whiny entitlement. However,
    see below? The troll reveals his true colors:

    As for the responsibility part, if you believe we’re all responsible, than is not the woman responsible for her own rape? Your logic is self-defeating – everyone is responsible for the actions of society as a whole, and society is responsible for the actions of individuals, than the woman being raped is responsible for the man raping her. Therefor, responsibility is individual, meaning that I am not responsible for actions and decisions that are not my own.

    All right, we get it already! You’re a troll.

    GO AWAY.

    I’ll resist any further urge to respond, and humbly suggest we all do likewise.

    Enjoying the hell out of this discussion, otherwise.

    Go Team Us!

  161. Eek

    Well, regarding this comment:

    Well I’m on board with this. The “i can retract my consent whenever i want after the fact” part is bullshit though.

    I’d like to expand on the earlier response, re: how “she turned into a nutcase,” is from the wrong perspective. I mean, this is pretty basic — there’s all sorts of subtle pressures going on naturally from two people interacting whose desires are not utterly parallel, which is always going to be the case unless you’ve somehow duplicated yourself for some Narcissus lovin’.
    So even if ex thought it was okay at the time, ex might look back at that some time later and it would squick her out. Or even if you thought it was okay at the time, you might see in retrospect that having sex with that person was a really bad idea (for instance, she had issues from abuse in her family or a previous relationship that made her easier to pressure.)

    Is anyone really so completely self-aware and so fully cognizant of all the factors (in the heat of the moment, and particularly with the emotional attachment to the lover that is often involved) that they catch all of the undercurrents and pressures at the time? I mean, astoundingly enough, it is possible to take advantage of someone who doesn’t realize you are taking advantage of them. Heck, it’s even possible not to realize that you are taking advantage.
    Do you really believe we should consign all these situations to “morning after regret?” Or would you be willing to admit that some of them are nasty enough that charges should be brought? Especially in a culture that tells everyone it’s only rape if a stranger jumps you and you scream and fight him, etc., etc.

    This isn’t a matter of “whenever I want.” The issue — the reason Twisty’s saying put ‘em on trial, even years and years later, is because sometimes we don’t understand what happened to us until years and years later. You’ve seen one such story in this very thread. And I don’t believe you understand how common it is. This is precisely one of the problems with consent as it’s currently constructed.

  162. LMYC

    RFH, speaking as someone who has a definite distate for the het nasty, I also do not consider myself a mistake — I in fact feel that there are about a zillion and one ways that any person can demonstrate themselves valued and worthy in a societal sense. I didn’t give my entire rather complex opinion on human evolution and what it has to do with the price of tea in China, but just because it’s not written into the comment, please don’t assume it doesn’t exist.

    That said, I still think that any man who can’t get a woman to get happy at the idea of screwing him has no business trying to get into a vagina in the first place.

  163. CuriouserAndCuriouser

    the answer to the problem is not to shoot them all, it’s to educate them so they don’t repeat their admittedly reprehensible behavior.

    And just how, pray tell, do we ‘educate’ thieves and murderers? Do we take them gently off into a quiet corner and say, dear, I know life must have been difficult for you to become so very, very angry that you act out in the ways you do, but really, it’s very unbecoming and it just won’t do and I simply must insist that you cease and desist immediately. Or I shall have to take away your milk and cookies privileges.

    Remember eye for an eye, or cutting off the hands as punishment for stealing? What if the ‘teaching’ of un-clued males involved ‘showing’ them what it’s like by hiring big, powerful gay men to harass and intimidate da straight fellas?

    Gah.

    And to suggest that rape is any less ‘reprehensible’ than robbery is to fail utterly to recognize women’s equal value as humans. Just imagine some big guy taking you aside and whispering to you, nice ass sweetie, god what I’d love to do to you. Does it give you a little frisson of fear? That dark-alley, not-so-far-removed-from-the-jungle-after-all kind of feeling? We’re not talking about rape here after all, we’re just positing a little not-so-subtle propositioning (along the lines of what women experience every day).

    Now going off to write on the chalkboard I will not feed the troll, I will not feed the troll.

  164. edith

    B. Dagger Lee, one night, I got drunk with some of my more literary-minded friends and we figured out a phrase that rhymes with “orange”: “door hinge.” See? See? Or-inge, door-hinge? It totally works.

  165. LMYC

    … the answer to the problem is not to shoot them all, it’s to educate them so they don’t repeat their admittedly reprehensible behavior.

    And just how, pray tell, do we ‘educate’ thieves and murderers?

    C&C, the best part is that these little right-wingers are so quick to scream and bitch about the stupidity of the “self-esteem movement” and how the left coddles criminals and what about victim’s rights when the topic of any other group of criminals is raised. Talk about how racism impacts and creates criminality, and they flat-out freak and start pissing and moaning over how Nobody Takes Responsibility For Themselves Anymore It All Started To Go Downhill When Women Began Working Outside The Home This Country Is Going To Hell In A Handbasket, yadda yadda.

    Unless the topic of their own responsibility for their own actions comes up. Then suddenly they whine and bleat about how nobody gently took them by the hand and taught them to be good and decent human beings with endless tolerance and feminine patience.

    Listen you little puke, fine. Society fucked you over and fed you a bill of goods about masculinity. Here is where you start unlearning it. If you’re going to struggle against it and instead start defending the bullshit you were mistaught, then go away. Slythwolf got it right — bind your own wounds, get up on your own fucking feet, and teach your goddamned self.

    You can lead a dipshit to water but you can’t make him think.

  166. B. Dagger Lee

    Actually, “porange” rhymes too. I learned that from Witchypoo, on HR Puffenstuff, as a wee B. Dagger. But door hinge is much much better.

  167. RadFemHedonist

    [quote]Who’s going educate little Johnny then?

    Heaven forfuckingFEND Johnny should grow the fuck up and educate him damned self, like most adult human beings.

    And did it ever occur to you that DADDY SHOULD DO SOME EDUMACATIN’?

    Naah, just go find something with tits and make it do the job. After allo, where Mommy falls short, then all other women must pick up the slack![/quote]

    Monk, you can teach yourself stuff, for crap’s sake.

    “And just how, pray tell, do we ‘educate’ thieves and murderers? Do we take them gently off into a quiet corner and say, dear, I know life must have been difficult for you to become so very, very angry that you act out in the ways you do, but really, it’s very unbecoming and it just won’t do and I simply must insist that you cease and desist immediately. Or I shall have to take away your milk and cookies privileges.”

    I’d say empathy training is a good idea, seriously, I do not have any interest in shooting people, life in prison I’m fine with, but frankly I do think that rehabilitation is the only other option, feminist theory classes and that kind of thing may actually work. However, this should be something you are paid to do, not something you spend all your time explaining for free.

  168. Lara

    So, Monk, it’s women’s fault if they’re raped because a few “moms” didn’t explicitely teach their sons “hey, women are not a bunch of fucking meat envelopes, it’s best not to do something to them that they don’t want!” You mean to tell me, Monk, that if my mom did not explicitely take ALL the damned responsibility in trying to fight off any infiltration of the rape culture that pervades us in her son that it is my fault if I get raped? Boy, where else have I heard the argument that moms are responsible for every freaking societal ail in the damned world? How about holding men who actually rape responsible?

  169. lawbitch

    I’m late to the party but my sisters in blame got it all under control. Love ya LMYC–you’re in fine blaming form, as always.

    All that Twisty has suggested is that men be required to prove consent. The man could have the burden of *going forward* with evidence of consent. The man could testify “this is how I knew that she agreed to have sex…” It would be a rebuttable presumption. No one person has articulated a logical reason against this.

    Merely suggest that women have power over their own bodies, and the menz begin to whine. Not give women power! The menz want education, and it’s our job to educate them. We might have to go to a horrible prison the men whine. Like having the funk-filled brautwarst (TM Twisty) poked in you when you feel like puking is a walk in the park. Point this out, and you’re turning this blaming community into an alleged support group, like we’re sitting around singing kumbya.

    The most disturbing revelation of this thread is that these self-professed nice guys (blamers, red flag here!) cannot fathom how they will tell when a woman consents. The menz cannot prove consent because they don’t know what it is. That’s just pathetic.

  170. LMYC

    The menz cannot prove consent because they don’t know what it is.

    ZOMFG.

    We really do live in a culture that doesn’t know the difference between sex and rape. This proves it.

  171. lawbitch

    That should be “funk-filled brautwurst.” Love that expression. LOL!

  172. lawbitch

    Yea, LMYC, this is a light bulb moment for me. I knew that Twisty was right, but this hits it home.

  173. Sarah

    Mmmm, interesting point. The whole issue of proving consent thing has been in the forum for a while; I remember researching gender roles and their effect on children and coming across it.

    But I like hetero sex. I like homo sex, too. I am of the opinion that as long as both parties are consenting and of the ability to give consent with a real knowedge of the consequences of sex, all sex is pretty nice.

    Vive la revolucion.

  174. Bruce/Crablaw

    lawbitch, I just typed out and then erased a long response along the lines of rebuttable and irrebuttable presumptions; yours is far more eloquent so all the better. But I think that Twisty is calling for an IRrebuttable presumption, and relying on the ethics of the accuser and the jury pool to prevent convictions for consensual sex regardless of proof or consent. I have no problem with the defendant having to prove consent as an affirmative defense including presumably taking the stand. Whether one characterizes it as a “presumption” or as simply an ordinary affirmative defense on the defendant’s burden like waiver or self-defense is a matter more of interest to academics. But I think tha Twisty wants something a lot more radical; maybe I misread her completely.

  175. BubbasNightmare

    LMYC (trimmed for brevity):

    Please note that I’m not saying ALL SEX IS RAPE. What I am saying is all sex where you can’t get that woman to clap her hands to her mouth in delight and salivate at the prospect of fucking you IS RAPE.

    The ONLY thing that this little Twistified Code of Law would mean is, if you can’t get or find a woman who would be completely thrilled at the idea of fucking you, you ain’t gonna get laid.

    And that runs us full-circle back to points made by the Twisty Commentariat in posts past–something to the effect of:

    In a just world, men would have to be work their bodies and their minds into “attractive” shape, like so many women misguidedly do now, in order to make themselves feel like they are decently attractive to women. There’d be a lot more men asking questions like “Do these pants make my butt look big?”

  176. David Parsons

    «Why is it that so many men – many of them self-proclaimed “decent” men – are so afraid of being (wrongly) accused of rape? Guilt? Paranoia?
    A truly decent guy wouldn’t have any problem with what Twisty proposes.»

    I strongly suspect that there’s no such thing as a truly decent guy, and most men wander around trying to ignore the tiny internal voice that’s pointing out their failings. But, even if a truly decent(tm) man existing, he’d be improved by not having the law by default on his side all the time. And a statute of limitations might be a wonderful amendment to the law, but why not change the law first, then tweak it to fit if the hypothetical (I’ve done it with women, *and* had relationships disintegrate in a spectacularly horrible fashion. As far as I know, none of my exes have retconned our relationship into a rape accusation after the whole thing blew apart into a million pieces) plague of false accusations develops?

  177. BubbasNightmare

    MonkWren:

    If only a fraction of the men who have ever lived have figured it out (which seems to be pretty apparent)?

    Theeeeennnn I guess there’d be a lot fewer men having decent relationship with women? And those relationships would be what? healthier?

    Just shots in the dark, you understand.

  178. BubbasNightmare

    Grrr.

    “decent relationships with women?”

  179. Coathangrrr

    All that Twisty has suggested is that men be required to prove consent.

    No, she said something much more radical, that consent is never given, or that every case should be treated as if consent had never been given, with no exceptions at all, ever.

    As she said “consent never existed.”

    It merely be a matter of which women decided to press charges.

  180. ramou

    Wow, tracking this thread took me all day.

    dude who HAS read the FAQ
    One wonders why you’re here. Do you somehow feel a devil’s advocate is warranted? I think you’re mistaken.

    Inverarity
    Well put, but did you need the at first I agreed blah-blah that essentially feels like trying to cover your ass so that the men don’t think you’re a total wuss because you sided with them first, but then after taking a moment to carefully consider the nice femargument you came to your senses. Pick a side.

    brklyngrl
    good call

    MonkWren
    What world do you live in?” “I’m not sure I properly understand the distinction between trolling and trying to learn, as applies to you. I also think you miss the point that you acting as devil’s advocate is unwanted. Doesn’t take a genius to figure that out.

    Mandos
    Using ‘N’ to make your explanation sound mathy and scientific doesn’t make it any more valid

    Coathangrrr
    You totally miss the point. The happy lesbian couple just wouldn’t take each other to court. If one of them did, well, same system, same logic, don’t have sex with a nutbar… so what was your point? Do you not think changing laws is a good avenue to promote social change? Not the only avenue, doesn’t always work, but many history books I’ve read have shown rule of law to have a huge social impact.

    B. Dagger Lee
    Nice, I swear I was thinking of the ducks article I read a few days back just a few posts before. Your ducky dialogue played out entertainingly and much better than what my mind had fumbled together.

    Most importantly:
    CuriouserAndCuriouser
    brilliant and different perspective, nice to hear something I’ve been thinking about, but worded so well. So many well said things in this thread that I must really voice my appreciation. More thought provoking than most of the blog-prattle. I’d even say inspirational. I learnt from you today. I will quite seriously look for your posts carefully now (no mockery, I really will)

    I think Twisty’s idea is grand. I thought it was good the second I read it. I’d be willing to sign a contract to that effect with any of my friends, and should we ever have sex and they decide it was rape, then good on them and I’ll be in jail (Well, not really. I fear that even if I went to court and was agreeable to the idea, the big ol’ patriarchy wouldn’t let it happen to me, being a privileged, white, young, educated male. It would set too bad a precedent :P).

    There are a fair number of women I want to have sex with. As it happens, they don’t appear to want to have sex with me. It’s not taken all of my brain power to figure out this means I’m not going to have sex with them. It doesn’t change that I want to, but who gives a flying flip about that. And nobody should, it’s a moot point.

    I’ve even discussed the matter in some detail with one of my friends. She’s gone so far as to express that she doesn’t even feel comfortable with me overtly wanting to have sex with her, even if that constitutes looking longingly into her eyes and hoping she’ll decide she wants to bed me (or even just kiss me (and my heart flutters and stomach does weird things now just thinking about holding her hand, and you all have to puke and read this)).

    She doesn’t want to keep her guard up. So, the right thing for me is to either suck it up and hide how I feel as best I can (or change it, if I could ever figure out how) or to fuck right off and not have anything to do with her (we’ll miss each other, but we’ll get over it). It’s essentially a matter of me choosing between the two, whichever seems less intolerable to exist with (life’s not fair, boo hoo for privileged me).

    So for the guys posting above who are curious, there’s a hint (or perhaps some perspective to help you realize how lame you are). If you’ve convinced a woman to have sex because she likes you and doesn’t want you to leave her alone or because she wants to feel accepted, why shouldn’t that be rape? It appears to suck because you’ve been taught that you have privileges regarding this.

    I was taught that too, and I have the distinct feeling that it sucks, but I also try to be self aware and find the source of that feeling. I can’t not feel it, but I can realize that feeling stems from the patriarchy, and I can choose not to act on it. And little by little, I’m gonna sort out where my thinking comes from, and hopefully be able to choose who I am in an educated manner, or at least making a passingly good go at it.

    So grow up and stop making me want to puke while reading you whine about your male privilege.

  181. Coathangrrr

    In a just world, men would have to be work their bodies and their minds into “attractive” shape, like so many women misguidedly do now, in order to make themselves feel like they are decently attractive to women. There’d be a lot more men asking questions like “Do these pants make my butt look big?”

    I’d prefer to have no one worry about stupid things like appearance and have them focus on becoming better people in other ways. But if the idea of a world where men have just as many body issues as women appeals to you, then OK.

  182. redhead

    I’m late to the blaming game, but y’all are on fire.

    If anyone is interested, here is my legal understanding of consent in non-rape situations. The area that I know the most about would be trespass on property. Trespass is an entry on one’s property without consent. From what I learned about this concept, consent is defined incredibly rigidly. If I tell you that you can come by on Tuesday, and you come over Monday, you are trespassing. If you come over and I let you in for a cup of coffee, and then I decide I don’t want you there, you have to leave, for I have withdrawn consent. If I say you can stay until 10, you no longer have my consent to be there at 10:05 and you are trespassing unless I tell you that you can stay later. If I tell you that you can come by anytime you are bringing me cupcakes and you show up and come in the front door with muffins, that also oversteps the boundaries of the consent I have given, and you are trespassing. If I consent to you entering my home to build a porch, and I give you that consent because you have represented yourself as a licensed carpenter, you are trespassing if that representation was false. Of course, in cases of trespass, you also have to prove some sort of harm, but that’s pretty easy to do in cases of rape, because SHE WAS RAPED.

    Contrast the view of consent in the area of trespass with the Model Penal Code definition of rape. The Model Penal Code is the American Law Institute (rich honky law dudes and a few token non-honkey non-dudes who get together and decide what the law should be, distribute it, it is studied in law schools) attempting to come up with their ideal of what the criminal code should ideally be. Then, various states adapt it and add or subtract various provisions, but it is a pretty good summary of what the ‘average’ law is across all states.

    Anyway, here it is:
    “(1) Rape. A male who has sexual intercourse with a female not his wife is guilty of rape if:
    (a) he compels her to submit by force or by threat of imminent death, serious bodily injury, extreme pain or kidnapping, to be inflicted on anyone; or
    (b) he has substantially impaired her power to appraise or control her conduct by administering or employing without her knowledge drugs, intoxicants or other means for the purpose of preventing resistance; or
    (c) the female is unconscious; or
    (d) the female is less than 10 years old.

    Rape is a felony of the second degree unless (i) in the course thereof the actor inflicts serious bodily injury upon anyone, or (ii) the victim was not a voluntary social companion of the actor upon the occasion of the crime and had not previously permitted him sexual liberties, in which cases the offense is a felony of the first degree.

    (2) Gross Sexual Imposition. A male who has sexual intercourse with a female not his wife commits a felony of the third degree if:
    (a) he compels her to submit by any threat that would prevent resistance by a woman of ordinary resolution; or
    (b) he knows that she suffers from a mental disease or defect which renders her incapable of appraising the nature of her conduct; or
    (c) he knows that she is unaware that a sexual act is being committed upon her or that she submits because she mistakenly supposes that he is her husband.”

    Please note the following: 1. consent is not mentioned; 2. there are different definitions for rape if the victim was your wife; 3. there are different levels of punishment if the victim has previously ‘permitted sexual liberties,’ which means that if you done anything sexual with them (i.e. you belong to the slut class), apparently your rape is not as important as that of one in the virgin/madonna class; 4. the idea suggested upthread that ‘consent is not an affirmative defense, lack of consent has to be proven to convict’ is not true. Advanced blamers could quickly come up with dozens – probably hundreds – of scenarios which do not meet this legal definition of rape, but in which there was not consent. This is the law (modified for some states, but a quick spot check reveals they are mostly the same). Sex that is not consented to is not necessarily rape – the perpetrator has to do something fucking awful, like drug the victim, or use force, for it to be legally recognized as rape.

    I’m writing this, and my roommate is watching ‘Jesus Camp.’ This world is so scary.

  183. redhead

    Just another quick comment – I’m having trouble imagining a situation in which a rape would not be one in which “in the course thereof the actor inflicts serious bodily injury upon anyone.”

  184. Trout

    Any man who doesn’t assume that the default setting for consent is “no” deserves his encounter with the police. It’s that simple.

    Unfortunately, there’s some very ugly cultural baggage around consent. For example, Allen Sherman, writing in a time when any woman who actually gave clear consent by saying “yes” was immediately written off as a slut, saw the moment when a woman lifted her pelvis (so a man could remove her panties) as the signifier of consent.

    I read Sherman’s book before I lost my virginity. How scary is that? Nobody ever talked to me about consent. I remember a conversation about rape with a high-school girlfriend where my father said, “A real man loves his rape.” I hope that he was joking, but that was also before I lost my virginity. I was a “nice” guy, so I always stopped when asked, but the potential for disaster was huge.

    There are still cultures on the planet where no woman ever actually says “yes,” no matter how she feels, because using the word “yes” in a sexual context would have immediate psychological and social consequences. There are cultures like this right here in the US.

    This is totally fucked up. For both genders.

    I don’t say this to apologize for males who claim “misunderstanding.” Men are generally the larger, stronger, more priveleged partner in any transaction about sex, and IMHO it’s up to us be fully sure we have made no mistakes about consent.

    But it’s still fucked up.

  185. ramou

    Hi redhead, I’m sure that most courts would decide that, a woman who, not wanting to be hurt (or being sufficiently impaired) behaved in such a manner that, or the “actor” was gentle enough that no bodily damage (such as bruising, lacerations, or even physical discomfort), she wouldn’t really have been raped.

    Sorry for the lengthy sentence, I hope you follow. I’m tired.

    The above is an abysmal state of the world, and I often drearily wonder how the world continues to work, and why I should bother continuing with it, save that the alternative also doesn’t look any fun.

  186. redhead

    ramou – true. When I say ‘serious bodily injury,’ I mean the blamer’s conception, not the law’s conception – which would not include what you described above. IBtP.

  187. karen

    I think the central point that the dudes “don’t get” is that the majority of blamers genuinely don’t care if Twisty’s proposal is ‘not fair’ to the hypothetical falsely accused rapist of the post-revolution future.

    As someone above said, its the old fear of a slave revolt. The worst fear of a ruling class is to have the pendulum swing in the opposite direction.

    When dudes stumble upon Twisty’s brilliant posts, its like the planter strolling through the slave quarters and hearing whispered plans to burn down the big house. When I read Twisty’s posts, its like BEING in that cabin, and sharpening up a pitchfork while I listen to the plan.

  188. thebewilderness

    trout,
    It is amazing after all this time how many people do not get that there is no possibility of consent.
    Either you are doing a physical sex act together or you are not.
    Consent is all about she let you do something to her, it has nothing to do with sex. It is all about rape, in all its shades and permutations.

  189. Cecily

    ramou – true. When I say ’serious bodily injury,’ I mean the blamer’s conception, not the law’s conception – which would not include what you described above. IBtP.

    No kidding. It makes my blood boil every time I see something in the news or on TV that describes a rape victim as ‘unhurt’. The sheer, willful ignorance in that one word….

  190. Trout

    Thebewilderness,

    I understand what you mean about consent. I just don’t know another word to use. Frankly, parsing that stuff gets too far into highfalutin-type sematics for me.

    I’ve never been happy with merely getting “consent” from a woman, and I’ve always backed off when I thought that was happening. I’m not sure that makes me a great guy; it’s as much a a matter of disliking the ambiguity as anything else.

    But there does have to be a bottom level standard for whatever constitutes not-rape. When I use the word “consent” I mean some response that’s at least microscopically above that level.

  191. Inverarity

    Well put, but did you need the at first I agreed blah-blah that essentially feels like trying to cover your ass so that the men don’t think you’re a total wuss because you sided with them first, but then after taking a moment to carefully consider the nice femargument you came to your senses. Pick a side.

    Can the armchair psychoanalysis, Ramou. I was giving an honest response, not trying to triangulate myself between the bros and the radfems.

  192. Sometimes a fan, not today

    And you wonder why people mistake your site for a parody.

  193. wtf

    Forgive me if I’m missing something, but if this system was in place, wouldn’t a rape trial basically be the same as it is now? Even if the law recognized the default position for consent as being “no,” wouldn’t it still come down to her word against his? The man’s defense would still be “she consented to sex,” and the typical bullshit legal process of trying to determine who is correct would ensue. It would, however, eliminated the defense of “she did not say no loud enough,” as has already been stated, but it’s not all that difficult to shift the defense to “she said yes.” If it comes down to “she said yes” versus “I didn’t say anything,” where does a trial go from there?

  194. Nia

    I take your point, Twisty, which is a very good one. But I think that for the time being, and patriarchy being what it is, probably a good step in the right direction is the generalitation and strict application of the Spanish law on what we call “crimes against sexual freedom”.

    There are two different crimes: rape and abuse. Rape is enforced sex or sex with someone under 12 (15??). Abuse is sex without consent, as there are plenty of occasions in which there is no consent, and we assume the victim tells the truth about her lack of consent, but there is no violence or it can’t be proved. Of course, the penalties against abuse are severe but ont as severe as the ones for rape.

    The advantage of this system is that courts are reluctant to consider men guilty of sexual crimes if they find the penalties are too severe. A graded system gives the court the illusion of “ha, ha, we are going to be soft on the poor boy because this is a question of degree and we’re not applying the highest one to him”. The guy is going to prison anyway, and you are (beginning) to get the message accross.

  195. Moira

    (yes, I’m the epitomy of what you hate: white, 20-something, and not as smart as I think I am)

    You may as well tattoo “I LIVE UNDER A BRIDGE AND EAT GOATS” on your forehead when you say bullshit like this. Does it help you sleep at night knowing that the strong sexy women* crazy fuckin’ bitches hate you because of what you are, not because of the rape-apologizin’ craplitude that flows from your fingers. Take your self-pity and go home, cookie. (*Oh, wait, that’s my perspective, sorry.)

  196. D'Attournee-Lawson

    Hi Twisty. My comments never make it out alive; they must get sent off somewhere: they’re full of love and appreciation.

    Rape is forced entry; all penetrative sex is rape.

  197. D'Attournee-Lawson

    Hi Twisty. My comments never make it out alive; they must get sent somewhere: they’re full of love and appreciation.

    Rape is forced entry; all penetrative sex is rape.

  198. Feminist Avatar

    Redhead: I think what has you confused on the bodily harm issue is that vaginas are *meant* to have penises in them. That couldn’t possibly be harmful!!

    I think I have a solution to the consent issue. Before sex when a man puts a condom on, the woman could sign the packet to show consent. (Cause you’re all using condoms RIGHT!) Men are showing their consent by putting on the condom. If you are in a relationship for long enough that you no longer use condoms, you should have plenty of time to have made up consent forms. It wouldn’t solve every problem including coerced signatures or changing your mind later, but it would be a start.

    On another note, I think the men who fear false rape accusations really don’t get the signigicance of being raped in our culture. Most women don’t report rapes because to do so is to acknowledge your loss of personal sovereignty. It is utterly humiliating and it tarnishes you in the eyes of the world- now this shouldn’t be the case- but for many women it is true. False rape accusations wouldn’t rise because being a known rape victim is a lot more than a physical violation, it is to mark yourself as damaged to everyone you know, and we all know how popular being seen as a victim is.

  199. B. Dagger Lee

    I can’t believe I’m about to write this: all penetrative sex is NOT rape. What’s the matter with you, D’Attournee-Lawson?

  200. ramou

    Um, isn’t the whole point that:

    Rape is forced entry; all penetrative sex is rape

    if she says it is, or until she says it’s not, whichever most effectively protects her.

  201. ramou

    When I say ’serious bodily injury,’ I mean the blamer’s conception, not the law’s conception – which would not include what you described above. IBtP.

    Sorry redhead, I read all the law stuff you’d writ and then your question, but my brain didn’t jump contexts, so I blithely went along trying to identify the disparity, which was shocking news to me when I first figured it out, but is not news here.

  202. ramou

    Can the armchair psychoanalysis, Ramou.

    Oh, shall I leave that to the proper patrons here?

    I’m suggesting that the warm and cuddly “I didn’t agree, but then I saw the light” approach belittles the enormity of the concepts at hand. Sure, it’ll happen like that, but I can only see saying it like that as self serving and having no other benefit save to make other dudes feel more comfortable with the idea that they might be wrong. Comfortable such that “it’s okay that I’m doing wrong now, because I can always see the light later.”

  203. Bruce/Crablaw

    wtf – Not what Twisty is advocating. I thought that’s what she might have been advocating, but no. She’s not shifting the burden of proving consent; she’s eliminating it entirely as a defense and making straight sex a felony for males, period.

    The classic male defense – “She consented/wanted it to happen” – would be self-incrimination. His only defenses would be “no sexual intercourse happpened” or “wrong guy” or the like.

  204. tinfoil hattie

    Straight sex would not be a felony for males, unless of course you define straight sex as “the man puts his penis in the woman’s vagina,” as most straight sex is framed, and unless said penis-putting was done without the woman’s specifically asking/commanding/telling that it be done so.

    What if we defined straight sex (as a prior Blamer, I believe, once suggested) as “The woman’s vagina engulfs the man’s penis” or “The woman’s vagina surrounds the man’s penis” or “The woman declines to munch on the funk-filled bratwurst”?

    How would that change your view of sex, and how would it change the idea of “consent”?

  205. tinfoil hattie

    Dang. I’m in moderation.

  206. norbizness

    Wow, I’ve been in moderation for 16 hours. Whatever happened to that no-account personal assistant… Paul, was it? Phil? Stop huffing HEB generic Windex and watching the Weather Channel!

  207. V.

    What Bruce doesn’t get is that the current system also “relies on the ethics of the accuser”–It’s just that the assumption of ethics goes in the wrong direction.

    In other words, current law and culture assumes that the accuser is unethical and lying, unless she can prove severe injury, being drugged, or being unconscious.

  208. B. Dagger Lee

    D’oh! Thanks for the clarification, ramou. Sorry, D’Attornee-Lawson, I apologize. And I know some of what I see as extreme literal-mindedness is just specificity.

    But the big abstract is that the default is a big ‘NO’, everything—rubbing, exhibiting, touching, penetrating, licking, holding, etc. is unethical, immoral and probably criminal in the absence of “yes I said yes I will Yes.”

  209. V.

    I notice that most of the menz complaints are along the line of:

    “It’s not fair! You can’t really be saying that we might have to prove that the women wanted to have sex with us!”

    Why, yes. Yes we are. Exactly.

    I’m not seeing the problem, here.

  210. Bruce/Crablaw

    V, unless you mean another Bruce, I do in fact get that shifting the burden of proving consent from the government to the defendant will, in the overwhelming number of cases, turn on the ethics of the accuser. Norbizness got it right above in an early comment to that effect, as I noted above. In a technical sense, the law does not actually “presume” either innocence of the defendant or fraud on the part of the witness/accuser, but that is a narrow law-school technical point defining the difference between a burden of proof and a presumption. The so-called “presumption of innocence” is a slight misnomer for a proof burden; “presumption” has a slightly differently meaning in the law from proof burden, but I digress on a fairly pedantic point and in practice it comes out about the same anyway.

    I do agree with you about the culture, however; most of the culture assumes that sex is consensual in the absence of hard-core non-testimonial evidence of coercion. That’s why I don’t have any problem with burden shifting of consent to the defendant for rape any more than I do for assault/battery: you touch another human being sexually (or non-sexually), you better be damn prepared to explain why and how the person you touched was happy for it to happen. Twisty could have proposed this idea that has met with a lot of support in these comments, but instead proposed a different one. The government should not have to prove non-consent beyond a reasonable doubt; the defendant should have to prove consent by a preponderance of the evidence, same as in self-defense.

    Twisty’s more radical proposal does not shift the burden of the defense, but bars it entirely as a matter of law. Twisty’s proposal turns all straight sex into statutory rape, including that enjoyed by enthusiastic octogenarian couples. It criminalizes all straight sex, rather than shifting the burden of consent/approval for sex. Ethics becomes more of an issue when positive paternity test is proof beyond a reasonable doubt of a felony. To quote Twisty, “I grasp that, technically, the plan criminalizes all male participants in heterosexual sex.” I do criticize this idea but merely to describe it accurately is not to criticize it.

  211. V.

    It’s obvious, Bruce, that you are reading a different post than nearly everyone else on this thread.

    Given the rather daunting brilliance of the many minds gathered here, I would strongly suggest that you re-read, and then ponder exactly why you are so prone to this error.

  212. Twisty

    “Moderation!”

    “Dang. I’m in moderation.”

    “Wow, I’ve been in moderation for 16 hours. Whatever happened to that no-account personal assistant… Paul, was it? Phil? Stop huffing HEB generic Windex and watching the Weather Channel!”

    If only the 3,892 daily spammers hadn’t spoiled the internet for the rest of us. Like a world without patriarchy, I cannot conceive of an inbox without emails for Korean ciali$.

    I regret that I was moved to go capering around last night, and Phil has bailed out on me again. He’s the guitar tech for Whitesnake now. I’m replacing him ASAP. Anyone want a crack at the job before I post it on Craigslist?

  213. Tigs

    To use reified language (yo Mandos!) what I’ve got about this whole thing is that consent inherently implies a subject-object relationship.
    (yeah, serious lightbulb time)
    The objectification of the sexual act makes it impossible for women to engage in it willingly at all.
    The ‘radical’ transformation required here, is that sex not be something that is ‘done to a woman,’ but rather that sex be an act engaged in by two subjects.
    Each subject, fully able to will her/his own destiny engages in an act that is self-determined and is able to change that self-determination at any time (that of course being the nature of self-determination).

    The difficulty of this is that under patriarchy, it is almost impossible for men to conceive of women as anything other than objects. Therefore, any sexual act a man engages in is most likely rape. Which is why you need a radical redefinition of the legal terms of rape if you ever want to approximate justice.

    I actually think this is liberating. It gives a sort of map to the ways in which heterosexual sex can not be rape. When my partner and I try as hard as we can, we minimize the deleterious effects of the patriarchy through recognizing the ‘other’ as a subject, and not just immediately assigning ‘other’ to object category.

    I know this is just rephrasing what a lot of wonderful people have already said on this thread, it is just really useful for me to put it into this sort of language as it allows me to think about it in a certain way. I post to make sure that the translation into theory-speak is actually an accurate translation and not some “Ich ein Berliner’ crap, and also hopefully to help others with lightbulb moments the way so many of you have helped me.

    I love you people.

  214. Bruce/Crablaw

    V – you might well be right. Definitely are right re: the brilliance of this crowd; that’s why I link to this blog on my site under the category “Cerebral.”

  215. tinfoil hattie

    Well, my comment in moderation has pen!$ and v@gin@ in it. Should have used the Korean C1al!s spelling methods, huh.

  216. Coathangrrr

    You totally miss the point. The happy lesbian couple just wouldn’t take each other to court. If one of them did, well, same system, same logic, don’t have sex with a nutbar… so what was your point? Do you not think changing laws is a good avenue to promote social change? Not the only avenue, doesn’t always work, but many history books I’ve read have shown rule of law to have a huge social impact.

    I am rather skeptical of using the law for social change in this case. Mainly because the legal system does not consist of laws alone, it consist of people and laws and complex structures. In a perfect world, sure, it would work pretty well. But we clearly don’t live in a perfect world, as the necessity for laws against rape testify to. Moreover, given our current society I think lesbian couple would definitely be negatively effected by a law of this sort. Maybe not in most of the country, but in areas where there are already problems said problems would be magnified.

    I’d also worry that that would be racial overtones and problems in parts of the country as well. Given the history white people have of lynching black men for “raping” white women, I’d expect some problems.

  217. Sniper

    Note to Mandos, who seems terribly concerned that feminists will damage their own cause by being all strident and shit:

    Are you not worried that your patriarchy-defending posts will cause “reasonable” and “moderate” feminists to go postal on the nearest male ass? I know that after reading one or two of your posts I’m about ready to firebomb the local Elks’ Club.

    I suggest that you keep your eyes averted when you’re talking to women, finish every thought with “don’t you think?” and for god’s sake, smile more! Remember, it’s more important to be liked than right.

  218. ramou

    I’d also worry that that would be racial overtones and problems in parts of the country as well. Given the history white people have of lynching black men for “raping” white women, I’d expect some problems.

    Ahhh, the racism card. Let’s point out another social injustice to lessen focus on the social injustice at hand. Hey, even if it has no bearing on the point, save a semi-imagined one, everyone likes talking about racism more than <sarcasm>silly things like the rights of women<sarcasm>.

  219. CannibalFemme

    Kiki: when heterosexuals start complaining about how oppressed they are and how much the world is not built to accommodate them, I start doing that teeth-gnashing thing that’s just not good for me. So:

    Personally, I didn’t interpret Twisty’s comment as anything other than a suggestion that when sexual activity between humans happens to, for whatever reason, follow established patterns of patriarchal power inequities, it behooves all parties involved to do so with an added layer of consciousness and deliberate choice. Clarity. To pay attention to what’s going on. IMHO, very sound advice.

    This is actually one of the factors that contributed to my own choice for celibacy: even in queer sex between women, I found it just about impossible to get away from a butch-femme dynamic, and way way way too often the way that this dynamic played out was by patterning itself after ‘stereotypical’ masculinized and feminized roles. I want no truck with this, and the women who did want to engage with this would eternally be frustrated by the nonconformity of me. I love women and their bodies with a deep and abiding and passionate and prurient and lustful love, but until people stop trying to jam me into a femmebox and nail me there, I’m not playing.

    I don’t think it’s harshing anyone’s squee to suggest that paying attention to the world around you and the inequities therein might be a responsible thing to do. My .02.

  220. coathangrrr

    Ahhh, the racism card. Let’s point out another social injustice to lessen focus on the social injustice at hand. Hey, even if it has no bearing on the point, save a semi-imagined one, everyone likes talking about racism more than silly things like the rights of women.

    Or we could dismiss a whole class of oppression because it suited our needs to do so. The fact that I bring up a possible pitfall of this idea of twisty’s doesn’t mean I’m pulling the “racism card” and to say that it does is a simple way of shutting down conversation on a topic that would certainly be, and is, a problem. Oppressions are not monolithic, standing seperate from each other, they are intertwined.

  221. Mandos

    In a just world, men would have to be work their bodies and their minds into “attractive” shape, like so many women misguidedly do now, in order to make themselves feel like they are decently attractive to women. There’d be a lot more men asking questions like “Do these pants make my butt look big?”

    I actually think that this is a way more likely outcome than anyone at all getting liberated from anything, under any conditions, but still: do you really want a world where men, too, have bizarre body issues?

    (As opposed to a world where no one does?)

  222. John Doe

    Whoever said that feminism cannot be fun clearly never read your blog! Keep up the good work ;)…

  223. Mandos

    Note to Mandos, who seems terribly concerned that feminists will damage their own cause by being all strident and shit:

    Note that I never said any such thing, though my humour-impaired self is detecting a soupçon of irony in the remainder of the post.

    It’s obvious, Bruce, that you are reading a different post than nearly everyone else on this thread.

    It’s not obvious at all that Bruce is misreading Twisty’s text, when the words are definitely there for all to see:

    Presto! The dude is already a rapist, because, legally, consent never existed.

    [The kind reader will intellectively supply the Law & Order ‘chung-chung!’ audio here]

    This contingency would have the immediate and pleasant result that the engorged dude would be forced to ruminate a bit, prior to gettin’ busy, on the subject of his own integrity. Should he examine the scheme from all sides and ultimately determine that his motives perhaps emanate from baser impulses to dominate or whip off a piece or put a notch on his bedpost or satisfy some other subhuman urge, he would, would he not — knowing that the woman could drop a dime on him at any time should his deportment should fail to live up to her standards of civility — decline the opportunity to become a rapist and go to jail?

    I grasp that, technically, the plan criminalizes all male participants in heterosexual sex.

    If you take the proposal at face value (which is probably a mistake knowing Twisty), that is exactly what Twisty is proposing: a consent defence can’t work. “Legally, consent never existed.”

    Otherwise, it’s no different from the present system.

  224. Inverarity

    I’m suggesting that the warm and cuddly “I didn’t agree, but then I saw the light” approach belittles the enormity of the concepts at hand. Sure, it’ll happen like that, but I can only see saying it like that as self serving and having no other benefit save to make other dudes feel more comfortable with the idea that they might be wrong. Comfortable such that “it’s okay that I’m doing wrong now, because I can always see the light later.”

    Well, the way you see it is incorrect. If you insist on playing Less Dudely Than Thou, though, then go ahead and consider yourself the victor. Irony abounds.

  225. Mandos

    So for the guys posting above who are curious, there’s a hint (or perhaps some perspective to help you realize how lame you are). If you’ve convinced a woman to have sex because she likes you and doesn’t want you to leave her alone or because she wants to feel accepted, why shouldn’t that be rape? It appears to suck because you’ve been taught that you have privileges regarding this.

    Sure, but why are those not perfectly good reasons for any action in life, just as such? I again find it interesting how many people are not willing to acknowledge the variations and combinations in motives that people have, and how they change over time.

    The point is, the law is not a great tool for judging all these minute details of individual motives, beyond very broad categories. It’s not a good tool for distinguishing between enthusiasm and acquiesence, particularly not after the fact.

    I think the central point that the dudes “don’t get” is that the majority of blamers genuinely don’t care if Twisty’s proposal is ‘not fair’ to the hypothetical falsely accused rapist of the post-revolution future.

    Really? You are proposing that, rather than these discussions being seroius discussions on how best to liberate humanity, instead the commenters on this blog are discussing some kind of legalistic revenge fantasy, whereby all the members of the oppressor class are subject to destruction in order to…heal the psychic wounds of members of the slave class?

    Slave revolts based on this premise don’t have a great history.

    Why is it that so many men – many of them self-proclaimed “decent” men – are so afraid of being (wrongly) accused of rape? Guilt? Paranoia?
    A truly decent guy wouldn’t have any problem with what Twisty proposes.

    If you are seriously defining a legal system for criminal convictions with consequences, then it should be obvious that you want to track down and justify the “corner/boundary cases” where the system could break down.

    And frankly, the whole analogy to trespassing or other property crimes is kind of odd. I frequently walk to work (hah!) and other things, and sometimes I take shortcuts through private properties—church yards, office tower grounds, private parking lots and the like. I even cut across front yards of private homes on occasion, bad bad me! I’m relatively certain that it would be unjust to charge me with trespassing.

    However, I’m reasonably certain that I shouldn’t feel the same about my body or another body.

  226. LMYC

    It merely be a matter of which women decided to press charges.

    I’m betting on the ones who were raped.

  227. Mandos

    So help me understand exactly what you are trying to say. Society cannot improve the socially unjust legal situation surrounding rape, and the bleak fate of women who attempt to assert themselves as unrapeable is that of objects of hatred not even worthy of rape?

    From almost all the cases that get discussed on feminist sites, it doesn’t appear to me that the text of the law made much difference in the way that the cases were handled. That suggests to me that the text of the law is not the place where fighting rape would have a lot of effect. My point is that The System will easily adjust to a change in the premises of law the surrounding rape in order to continue to abuse of women, and in fact such changes are likely to make the situation worse.

    Take, as a case in point, the fight of the recording industry against “piracy.” Now, in no way am I comparing the plight of the RIAA, etc, to the plight of women. What I am saying, however, is that the piracy issue illustrates the point about the effectiveness of the law on things that are not directly enabled by the law. All of the laws passed against a private violation—so-called piracy—have been defeated by other technological and social measures. It is probably harder than it was before to regulate copying.

    And prison is like a giant Fight Club.

    Mandos, I would actually prefer it if men thought of me as something so awful as to not be worth raping, instead of wanting to rape me without getting in trouble for it.

    Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way. Things/people/objects that are judged to have no value at all often face worse consequences than those who are judged to have abusable value. Isn’t that something else that feminists and others have pointed out?

  228. villiers

    Golly, I’m so glad Mandos is here to tell us We’re Going About This All Wrong.

    Clearly he knows best.

    Whatever would we do without him, girls?

  229. Mandos

    Whatever would we do without him, girls?

    It makes me happy that you appreciate me.

  230. delphyne

    “Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way. Things/people/objects that are judged to have no value at all often face worse consequences than those who are judged to have abusable value. Isn’t that something else that feminists and others have pointed out?”

    You mean we should thank our lucky stars that some chaps think we are at least worthy of raping? Good grief. You really haven’t paid any attention to feminists if that’s what you are getting from our arguments.

    You know everybody here is very polite for some reason, but I wish you’d bog off, Mandos. You really are the most appalling sexist.

  231. Sam

    The excuses against Twisty’s proposal are suspiciously similar to the woman-distrusting ones made against the Swedish model which similarly believes women and puts the burden of proving the absence of coercion on accused men.

    It’s oppressors projecting what they know damn well is their current misuse of power onto the people they’ve given legitimate reasons to seek revenge, and the possibilities scare them as much as their sadism thrilled them.

  232. Coathangrrr

    It merely be a matter of which women decided to press charges.

    I’m betting on the ones who were raped.

    I agree, I was just clarifying that the idea was *not* that women could somehow revoke consent, it was that they never could really give it.

  233. thebewilderness

    coathangrrr,
    I take your point about laws being used, in ways they were not originally intended, as tools of oppression. We have an excellent example right now of the civil rights division of the justice department, specifically created to protect the rights of blacks to vote, being used to prevent blacks from voting.
    In the courts, if a man is found not guilty of rape, prosecutors are charging the victim, even though the evidence shows she was indeed raped.
    Still, I would not wish away the civil rights laws, nor the laws against rape. I would not want to return to the time when a lesbian was assumed to be insane and placed in an asylum.

  234. LMYC

    You know everybody here is very polite for some reason, but I wish you’d bog off, Mandos. You really are the most appalling sexist.

    People are polite to him because blamers have still been raised in a patriarchy, and we feel that blaming is something we need to apologize for and prove that we’re bending over backwards to be FAIR even in the midst of our blaming.

    So we accept and tolerate one token asshole. To assuage our feminine guilt at actually daring to blame.

    If we weren’t still all guilty and looking to prove to someone how totally not scary and dispassionate we were about all this, he would have been shitcanned by now.

  235. tinfoil hattie

    Mandos, explain to me why it would be “unjust” for me to have you prosecuted for trespassing on my private property. Because you didn’t mean any harm by cutting across my lawn? Because you walk to work? Because you think I shouldn’t care about strangers coming into my yard?

    Just how deep is your sense of entitlement, anyway?

  236. delphyne

    You’re lucky Mandos values your land enough to trespass on it, tinfoil hattie. If he didn’t, he might nuke it or something. That’s what FEMINISTS say would happen.

  237. thebewilderness

    delphyne, delphyne, you are the adorable one today.

  238. delphyne

    Well it’s not an abstract discussion for me Bewilderness. I was raped, although it took me years to call it that, because I wouldn’t have been able to prove it in court even though the little fucker was quite aware that I wasn’t consenting and waited until I was at my most helpless, knowing that I’d be unable to fend him off. So Mandos isn’t helping coming in with all his entitled crap and underhand threats – “you have to let men rape you and get away with it, because if you don’t things could be *much* worse”.

    Twisty’s proposal somewhat mirrors Robin Morgan’s statement who says – “that rape exists any time sexual intercourse occurs when it has not been initiated by the woman, out of her own genuine affection and desire.”

    It’s certainly a novel idea and perhaps a revolutionary one that heterosexual women could have sex on our terms rather than those of the guy who is “prodding” us.

  239. Catherine Martell

    Honestly, you look away for the duration of one Eurovision Song Contest and a bit of a hangover and the Modest Proposal du jour on IBTP is suddenly heading for 250 posts. Which are, with obvious trollic exceptions, a brilliant and thrilling read.

    I’m partially repeating someone here, and I apologise to whomever I’m not hat-tipping to, but I’ve just been through all the comments and have lost it entirely. This whole word “consent”. Ugh. Tinfoil hattie (I think) was the first to say this:

    “Consent” implies “May I have permission to do this thing to you?”

    Yes. Exactly. The word “consent” needs to go. It has created a disastrous snarl-up over what is acceptable in terms of seduction, persuasion or coercion, especially in a rubbish culture like ours in which men are supposed to pursue and seduce women, and women are supposed to resist sexual advances in a feisty, coquettish manner.

    Thus we have both men and women thoroughly confused about what “consent” even means. It really would be much simpler if we could simply ask: Did the woman want to have sex?

    I suspect it is the very notion of female agency that has put the wind up the trolls. I note that discussions on male-male rape very rarely deterioriate into speculation about whether these ditzy male victims might go around changing their minds and trying to ruin other men’s lives by making false accusations. Indeed, I have very rarely noticed the motives or the integrity of male victims being questioned at all.

  240. Coathangrrr

    Still, I would not wish away the civil rights laws, nor the laws against rape. I would not want to return to the time when a lesbian was assumed to be insane and placed in an asylum.

    For sure. And despite my most anarchist, anti-government leanings I do have to admit that making something illegal does make it wrong in the minds in many people, despite what the may think before it is illegal. So I guess that this change in law would in fact change peoples minds on what is rape, and that rape is wrong.

    On the other hand, I’d say that if we had progressed as a society to where we could make a legal change such as this then we would already be on the right track. Because really all of this “what about the menz” rhetoric is absurd on the face of it when we realize that this idea of Twisty’s isn’t really a threat to them, it’s a hypothetical threat. Though when there are more realistic threats to women (see the recent attack on a female tech blogger) then men ask why the woman can’t just tough it out, I mean, it’s not like a man ever broke into the house of a woman he never met and raped and killed her. Where as women have a long history of using the political and legal system to throw men in jail.

  241. Mandos

    You mean we should thank our lucky stars that some chaps think we are at least worthy of raping? Good grief. You really haven’t paid any attention to feminists if that’s what you are getting from our arguments.

    That is not, in fact, what I said, or even implied by it. I never said you should thank anything for anything. I am merely restating the relatively banal claims that under patriarchy, if one refuses ones assigned value, one faces consequences.

    Mandos, explain to me why it would be “unjust” for me to have you prosecuted for trespassing on my private property. Because you didn’t mean any harm by cutting across my lawn? Because you walk to work? Because you think I shouldn’t care about strangers coming into my yard?

    Just how deep is your sense of entitlement, anyway?

    In the case of someone taking a shortcut through certain kinds of private property, the level of harm caused by the momentary crossing of it is trivial compared to the harm that might be caused by the invocation of a legal process to criminally prosecute people for doing so.

    That you think that the integrity of property is more important than the potential consequences of the prosecution of it is interesting. I’m really just not as willing to give our criminal justice system a lot of credit for solving problems, and it really surprises me how the extent to which people are willing to defend it here.

    If we weren’t still all guilty and looking to prove to someone how totally not scary and dispassionate we were about all this, he would have been shitcanned by now.

    That’s always been up to Twisty.

    You’re lucky Mandos values your land enough to trespass on it, tinfoil hattie. If he didn’t, he might nuke it or something. That’s what FEMINISTS say would happen.

    This interpretation is in fact the logical consequence of a certain form of thinking common to some participants of this blog (not me). That form of thinking holds that our choices are so circumscribed by the patriarchy that any

  242. Mandos

    Ooops, hit the submit-relabelled-as-blame button too early.

    This interpretation is in fact the logical consequence of a certain form of thinking common to some participants of this blog (not me). That form of thinking holds that our choices are so circumscribed by the patriarchy that even acts of apparent resistance to it are accomodated and permitted by it. If this is so, then what happens to acts that are not accomodated and permitted by it? I presume that some are neutralized by it (hence the popular “empowerful” epithet). The remainder presumably don’t/cannot occur because…?

  243. thebewilderness

    In the case of someone taking a shortcut through certain kinds of private property, the level of harm caused by the momentary crossing of it is trivial compared to the harm that might be caused by the invocation of a legal process to criminally prosecute people for doing so.
    Sez Mandos

    That is precisely the argument the trolls are making in this thread regarding rape.

  244. TinaH

    LMYC: Please do not. Ever. STFU.

    Pleas? Please, please, please!

    ~A Junior Blamer in Training

    Tina

  245. Mandos

    That is precisely the argument the trolls are making in this thread regarding rape.

    And that argument is only viable if you commit to thinking of rape as a property crime. Perhaps it is the result of conceiving of bodily autonomy in terms of a concept of property that is surely no less patriarchal than anything else.

  246. PhysioProf

    “In this case, what I’m suggesting is that no one really knows the extent to which that observed gender difference in brain chemistry is a result of innate biological differences, or of differential socialization, or most likely both.

    I hope this was vaguely interesting and informative for someone besides me.”

    It was. My own inclination is to take your point even further, and assert that there is, in fact, no meaningful biological distinction captured by the semantic distinction between “innate” and “environmental” influences.

  247. B. Dagger Lee

    Catherine Martell: Exactly! What about agreement, instead of consent. Frame it that way. –BDL

  248. delphyne

    “This interpretation is in fact the logical consequence of a certain form of thinking common to some participants of this blog (not me).”

    So why not give us your own views of what Twisty is proposing then, Mandos, rather than (mis)interpreting it through other people’s thinking and logic. I mean as you seem to be here to stay, you might as well tell us what you actually think.

  249. PhysioProf

    “Still looking for something online to support where I was going with the oxytocin thing.”

    In order to access the primary scientific literature on this topic, you can search Pubmed here:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?db=PubMed

    and type in the search terms “oxytocin bonding”.

    Unfortunately, many of the complete articles require journal subscriptions. However, if you contact the corresponding author of a particular article listed in the Pubmed entry, they are very likely to be happy to e-mail you the complete article.

  250. Mandos

    So why not give us your own views of what Twisty is proposing then, Mandos, rather than (mis)interpreting it through other people’s thinking and logic. I mean as you seem to be here to stay, you might as well tell us what you actually think.

    It would be way more presumptuous to have an opinion as to how to proceed than it is already presumptuous for me to have a critique of other people’s opinions, don’t you think?

    In any case, if you really want to know, I don’t believe anyone has an easy handle on the One True Cause of any sort of oppression or violence or anything like that. Consequently, it’s even more difficult to talk about solutions to these frustrating problems. I can only say that I suspect that the solutions mainly lie in women having access to public life—it becomes harder to think of women as rape objects when they are among your leaders and respected figures.

    Or maybe it doesn’t. It’s just a speculation.

  251. Virago

    At the risk of being hoisted by my own petard:

    Feeding the trolls not only makes the trolls happy and healthy, but it also effectively maims discussion between the women who have something useful and important to say.

    I, for one, am more interested in reading and/or contributing to a discussion about rape that is more than merely jousting with trolls who are tiresome no matter how much they believe themselves to be beloved.

  252. Twisty

    Oh god, please dont ask Mandos any questions. He only comes here to be entertained.

  253. Sean

    “yes I said yes I will Yes.”

    BDL, I just finished Ulysses last night! I was saving that last chapter for when I had a spare three hours. It’s too bad that Molly says it in response to getting married, though, and that one of her reasons is that Leopold’s as good as any guy anyhow. But damn, reading that chapter is at least twice as good as sex and about on par–well, slightly more euphoric–with eating a King Taco burrito.

  254. lawbitch

    Actually, I have no problem with men having strict liability for having sex. Men should consider having sex a ultra-hazardous activity. I’m envisioning a tort here. How about the “leave me the fuck alone” tort? Kind of catchy, don’t you think?

  255. lawbitch

    We do consider ourselves leaders and respectable people. The problem is that most men don’t consider us people at all.

  256. PhysioProf

    “I challenge you dudely types to honestly consider the intent of Twisty’s post and see if you can word it in terms that fit both women’s desire for justice and your sense of fairness.”

    As I understand it, her point is the following:

    As things currently stand–with a presumption of consent unless affirmative evidence suggests absence of consent–women bear nearly the full burden of the consequences of a man’s failure to obtain genuine consent. Shifting the presumption to one of lack-of-consent shifts a substantial share of that burden back to men. This is only fair.

  257. lawbitch

    “The point is, the law is not a great tool for judging all these minute details of individual motives, beyond very broad categories. It’s not a good tool for distinguishing between enthusiasm and acquiesence, particularly not after the fact.”

    Gee, what a legal scholar! This is exactly what the court systems do everyday–judge details and motives. Sometimes a judge makes these decisions–like in a family law or probate case. Sometimes, a jury makes these decisions. The function of the court system is to resolve disputes by sorting out the competing factual and legal issues.

    Run along now, and watch Judge Judy.

  258. B. Dagger Lee

    Mandos, mandos, mandos, mmmm. Why are you doing all of this heavy lifting?

    “…at face value” nothing! Underneath its face, I think Twisty’s post is ‘seriously defining a mental system for human convictions (as in the kind you hold) with consequences…’

    Why don’t you wear bright colors and make big brown Kohl eyes at the heterosisterwomynspirits here? And do dances and whatnot? What’s with all of this Blue Meanie shit? I mean, I’m a big old pedant, but really. Dude! Shake it loose!

    Aha! Revolver! (Who caught that?) Revolver is a great album, although as a child the cover always bugged the shit out of me. I went to a hippie-groovy elementary school and we sang a lot of Beatles songs.

    In fact, I think it’s time for a musical interlude right this very moment, and it’s dedicated to Virago in the hope that she’ll accept my abject apologies for carrying on just a little more despite her plea:

    In the town where I was born
    Lived a girl who sailed to sea
    And she told us of her life
    In the land of blame machines

    So we sailed up to the sun
    Till we found the sea of green
    And we lived beneath the waves
    In our blaming dudes machine

    We all live in our blaming dudes machine
    Blaming dudes machine, blaming dudes machine
    We all live in our blaming dudes machine
    blaming dudes machine, blaming dudes machine
    etc.

    I blame my onerous deskbound chores, now made easier by listening to Revolver. I always totally forget how happy the Beatles make me!

    BDL

  259. B. Dagger Lee

    I’m bummed, I don’t seem to get held up in moderation. I must not be cursing enough. Fuck.

  260. kate

    The most disturbing revelation of this thread is that these self-professed nice guys (blamers, red flag here!) cannot fathom how they will tell when a woman consents. The menz cannot prove consent because they don’t know what it is. That’s just pathetic.

    Exactly, thank you lawbitch, for putting it so well.

    Also, I am always saddened as well by how the word ‘rape’ seems to bring them out in force. Apparently while men can’t seem to get their mind around the concept of consent, they certainly seem to congregate around the concept/discussion of rape like bees around a hive.

    Like the good worker drones they are, tend the hive they must, lest we break it from the branch.

    There’s really nothing else to say, since I think everyone else said it so well. I think us wimens is pretty much in agreement. No wonder the boyz get all jumpy about this!

  261. MedeaOnCrack

    I just moved a wee bit closer to bumping Miss Patty off.

  262. Catherine Martell

    I want a blaming dude machine. Superficially, the laptop fulfils the criteria; but, so far, my attempts to live in it beneath the waves in the sea of green have come to naught.

    BDL is a delight.

    Also, everybody pay attention to Virago. She is correct. Thank you.

  263. thebewilderness

    delphyne,
    This was the comment that prompted me to give you the adorable award of the day.
    You’re lucky Mandos values your land enough to trespass on it, tinfoil hattie. If he didn’t, he might nuke it or something. That’s what FEMINISTS say would happen.

    I’m sorry if it seemed dismissive.
    It is not an abstract discussion for me either, no matter how hard I try to stay in computer mode, for similar reasons to yours.

  264. MedeaOnCrack

    PhysioProf or here, and in Helen Fischer’s book Why We Love

    http://www.oxytocin.org/oxytoc/love-science.html

  265. CuriouserAndCuriouser

    Either you are doing a physical sex act together or you are not. Consent is all about she let you do something to her, it has nothing to do with sex. It is all about rape, in all its shades and permutations.

    So there are two ideas here that seem to be battling for supremacy, and instead are getting inextricably mixed in a way that confuses us all. I’m not much good at tautologies or things like that, but for my own personal clarity (thinking out loud here), maybe I’ll try a simple statement of the two competing premises:

    1. Twisty’s Rule addresses all sex where ‘consent’ is an issue – meaning, the sex is not mutually desired by both parties, but is rather the product of the imposition of the desire of one party (usually male) on the body of another (usually female).

    2. Mutually desired and agreed-upon sex. This would include ‘penetrative sex’, and would not be considered rape. The basic premise is that the involved parties would be intellectually and emotionally developed enough to enter into such a mutual agreement willingly, and would thereby assume responsibility for said decision/choice.

    The notion of ‘how do we know’ I think/fear comes from an underlying culture that has the average mental/emotional development of a (stunted) adolescent male.

    And it would take a whole ‘nother thread (or blog, even!) to disassemble and examine the component elements of how such a miserable social situation came to be.

  266. CuriouserAndCuriouser

    Tinfoil, thanks, I suspected you were being, as they say, facetious, but I appreciate the clarification.

    LMYC, I nearly died with your line, “you can lead a dipshit to water but you can’t make him think” – gawd. I’ll be lookin’ fer opportunities to trot that one out, you can be sure! And also your comments about how up in arms the wingnuts get about ‘personal responsibility’ and all – when you get inflamed to blame, you are magnificent in your fierceness.

    Ramou, thanks for the kind words.

    And to those who have followed up on the oxytocin notion with links/comments, thanks! I’m still looking for the one that best supported my earlier ‘point’ (if I can still remember what it was trying to be).

    Back to reading the comments I missed since yesterday.

  267. CuriouserAndCuriouser

    Sorry for blog-hogging, just trying to catch up – I notice a trend here, where many of the women’s comments are pithy, astute, and to the point, e.g.:

    I notice that most of the menz complaints are along the line of:

    “It’s not fair! You can’t really be saying that we might have to prove that the women wanted to have sex with us!”

    Why, yes. Yes we are. Exactly.

    I’m not seeing the problem, here.

    Followed by dudely retorts – no, you can’t call them retorts, because a retort (when it’s not some gizmo used by a chemist) is a “short, sharp response”. Let’s call them, diatribes? What word to use for lengthy, blithering, ninnified, unwieldy, incomprehensible, meandering, and generally obfuscatory pronouncements?

    In other words, shall we say, smoke screen? Such as what the octopus uses to shield his retreat from something bigger and scarier than him.

  268. lawbitch

    BDL, you rock!

  269. Repenting

    B. Dagger Lee, your songs should get awards. They are that brilliant. :)

    Mandos, I like reading your posts because you are thoughtful. Yes, you have your own bias, just like I do and every other reader of this blog. I’m glad you keep keep the discussion moving along, though, it is good to be able to hear the opposing discourse from a polite source.

    Mandos:
    “And that argument is only viable if you commit to thinking of rape as a property crime. Perhaps it is the result of conceiving of bodily autonomy in terms of a concept of property that is surely no less patriarchal than anything else.”

    True, and I think we’ve all made and had enough of the property metaphors. However, when we speak directly about the type of law we’d like to change, you make the argument that the legal system is unjust and inefficient, which (as you’ve pointed out) is another fact feminists also agree with.

    So, if a change of laws must come gradually with social change to do any long-term good, your only suggestion of a solution to the problem is this:
    “I can only say that I suspect that the solutions mainly lie in women having access to public life—it becomes harder to think of women as rape objects when they are among your leaders and respected figures.”

    Yes. Agree again! We have so much in common it frightens me. So how can women get access to public life? We supposedly live in a democracy here in the USA, but the majority of public figures are only a select portion of our population. Specifically, male, white, and christian. Under a corrupt legal system that forces women to have very little representation, and working with the premise that changing the laws will not change the social outlook towards women, how can we women make our way into public view without saying and doing things that will upset the dominant group?

    Unless you can make your argument for women joining the public sphere in a way that does not neccessarily mean that men will be displaced or offended by a change in their lifestyle, then please suggest it to me. I think we’d all love to know.

    But it looks like female public figures taking their rightful place alongside male figures will mean that certain men will lose their chance at the positions those women will take. Naturally, someone must lose for someone else to gain. People of a certain race lose representation when people of another race gain it, as our electoral legal system plays out. Does this mean that someone of a certain gender or race cannot represent all their constituents? No, obviously.

    So to all the people bitching and moaning about how giving women full control over their own bodies would be bad for men, because it would mean men losing control over women’s bodies, this is my answer. Lick it, boys and (traitorous) girls. Take this loss for the betterment of the human team.

    If you’re a decent man or woman or anything in between, you’ll agree that what Twisty is saying is nothing more shocking than suggesting that everyone be responsible for their own bodies, and that maybe we should respect other people’s bodies as well.

  270. Repenting

    Ps. Please do not tell me that, through my argument, an all-male(white/christian/etc) government could represent the rest of the US and everyone else can just deal with it. We’ve already seen how well that has worked out.

  271. tinfoil hattie

    Mandos, please cut across my lawn. So I can show you how much more important I think it is that you NOT trespass on my property than it is that you have to pay the price for doing so.

    The comment I have in moderation among the 3k spams Twisty lamented goes somethig like this, and I stole it from a veteran blamer on another thread somewhere: what if “intercourse” were defined by the woman’s v@gin@ engulfing, or swallowing, or wrapping around the pen!s, instead of “the man sticks his pen!s in the woman’s v@gin@.”

  272. B. Dagger Lee

    Well, you gotta laugh or you’d cry, right? Thanks, all, for the love, but they’re not really my songs, since they’re parodies. MedeaOnCrack, I think Miss Patsy has occasionally wanted to bump me off. She’s away for the day, so I’m running amok in our apartment. And there’s something strangely familiar about your prose style.

    On the serious side, of the gazillions of women I’ve gone out with (okay, the rather small handful), Miss Patsy is the only one who wasn’t raped, but her younger sister was raped by one of their father’s mentally ill patients. Their alcoholic abusive philandering therapist father refused to press charges.

    The short list:

    ‘B’ was raped at the age of twelve in junior high school by her favorite teacher on his desk in his office during school hours.

    ‘E’ was raped repeatedly by her father.

    ‘C’ was, along with her sisters, felt up and spied on by her father.

    I have had many hetero friends who were raped. ‘K’ was raped by a Frenchman in Gay Paree, whee! Some of them had never told their boyfriends or husbands, because they didn’t want said life-partner to act “weird” about it. I do think it’s important that het women tell their partners, if at all possible.

    I trust lawbitch and redhead and others to parse and write the laws. You all rock.

    Sean, I forgot and of course Joyce was a sexist patriarch. But The Dead, I like that story. In my head, I made the scene about joy and sensuality and agreement.

    You all got that the Blaming Dude Machine is to the tune of Yellow Submarine, right?

  273. lawbitch

    Repenting, quit fawning all over Mandos. Maybe you two should get a room!

  274. B. Dagger Lee

    Let’s get this baby up over 400 comments, shall we?

  275. thebewilderness

    BDL,
    Now that the trolls and orcs have slunk away, I suspect we could settle down to a discussion.

  276. M

    lawbitch, this thread is full of fawning. Do a “search this page” for the word “brilliant” and see where it takes you.

    No reason to hold the people who agree with you to lower standards of rational discourse than the people who don’t.

  277. CuriouserAndCuriouser

    Ah, so we get down to it, eh ‘M’? You’re not here to actually contribute meaningfully to the conversation, you’re here to strut your ‘mental muscle’ and show us wimmins how real thinkin’ is done.

    Which is why you never answer a direct question with a straight answer, not because it might be ‘presumptuous’.

    You are being presumptuous by refusing to engage directly with any of the other posters with an open, clear statement of your own personal opinions. You’re hiding behind your bluster, evading personal responsibility, avoiding risk.

    What you presume with your weasely approach is that we don’t deserve the honesty, candor and respect of a direct answer to a direct question.

    In short, you’re a coward.

  278. D'Attournee-Lawson

    BDL, in all honesty, I believe that most penetrative sex occurs by rape(‘by default,’ and by my own personal assumption).

  279. M

    Curioser,

    I’m not here to “show you wimmins” anything; I’m here to read Twisty’s blog. It was probably a mistake to wade into the comments.

    As for my not answering direct questions, I really have no idea what under the sun you’re talking about. I don’t believe anyone here has ever asked me a question, direct or otherwise. If you want to, I’ll be happy to give you a straight answer.

    Oh, and if you put ‘M’ in quotes because you feel it’s too anonymous (unlike your own moniker), it’s short for Melissa.

  280. coathangrrr

    Let’s get this baby up over 400 comments, shall we?

    I could play the concern troll if you wanted.

    This legal propasal will only hurt the feminist cause and will turn off men who would otherwise not rape , in the legal sense, if we did not implement said legal standard.

  281. Blamerella

    Mandos:

    Really? You are proposing that, rather than these discussions being seroius discussions on how best to liberate humanity, instead the commenters on this blog are discussing some kind of legalistic revenge fantasy, whereby all the members of the oppressor class are subject to destruction in order to…heal the psychic wounds of members of the slave class?

    You say that like it’s a bad thing.

  282. Mandos

    Gee, what a legal scholar! This is exactly what the court systems do everyday–judge details and motives. Sometimes a judge makes these decisions–like in a family law or probate case. Sometimes, a jury makes these decisions. The function of the court system is to resolve disputes by sorting out the competing factual and legal issues.

    Yes they do. But in most instances, I’m not convinced that it has much to do with overcoming oppression. The legal system has done a lot of good in some instances, but it uses concepts like “consent” also because it very narrowly defines (perhaps too narrowly) who can be convicted. Does it really do a good job with other emotive states?

    You say that like it’s a bad thing.

    Heh, I mean, it’s like, up to you.

  283. kate

    Repenting: “Mandos…blah blah blah…Unless you can make your argument for women joining the public sphere in a way that does not neccessarily mean that men will be displaced or offended by a change in their lifestyle, then please suggest it to me. I think we’d all love to know.”

    Mandos has had plenty of opportunity to elucidate on his vision of a just world and all the time I’ve ever visited this blog, he has exposed that he has nothing to expound. Why bother to construct an alternative when the present state of affairs works just fine? Also, might I add that exercising the concept posted would necessitate him recognizing his generally unwanted presence, followed by the consideration to shut the fuck up.

    That the irritation of most women here by his petulance is willfully ignored speaks volumes. Mandos has no interest in making any change, otherwise he’d be where he belongs, with the menz, doing just that.

    Frankly, I could give a rat’s ass what Mandos thinks, nor do I care about whether men like him or worse are offended by, or fear possibly displacement by women.

  284. CuriouserAndCuriouser

    M, I leapt rabidly to the conclusion that you were Mandos in (not-so-subtle) disguise – Lawbitch’s ‘stop fawning’ comment seemed so clearly tongue-in-cheek I was surprised that you responded to it seriously and somewhat defensively. Your comment sounded, in fact, somewhat trollish. My bad.

  285. Cunning Allusionment?

    Trying to catch up with this thread after having fallen behind is like trying to catch a moving train, so sorry if these points were already addressed, but it’s already past my bed-time.

    First I want to clarify my current understanding (or lack thereof) of Twisty’s proposal, then I’d like to point out how many far-reaching benefits it has. I think I can be hella pedantic sometimes, though to be honest, I’m not super-clear about what that means – even after looking it up – I just like being clear. But anyway I digress.

    The idea of “consent” as a legal concept pertaining to sex is intrinsically patriarchal for a variety of reasons that we can (and probably will) argue about later. As I understand (or misunderstand) Twisty’s proposal, it is that, given the above assertion, just rape laws cannot by based on “consent.” Instead, what Twisty proposes can be extrapolated by considering the fact that rape *cannot occur* without systematized power imbalances between two or more people. Since consent-model rape laws are literally incapable of accounting for those imbalances, they cannot effectively punish or prevent rape from occurring. Again, we can argue over the details when it’s not my bed-time.

    Some people are concerned that innocent guys will be convicted of rape and sent to Horrible Places for it. I think there are a few very strong responses to this concern:

    I’m not too solid on the literature, but I think it’s safe to say that there’s good evidence that virtually all sexually active heterosexual men have committed some form of sexual assault or rape at least once in their lives. The point here isn’t that it’s okay to convict people of crimes they didn’t commit just because they got away with a similar crime before (the ethics of that are another thing). My point here is just to call into question the existence of “innocent men.”

    But I don’t think we should have to strain ourselves *too* hard to imagine that there *are* in fact innocent men. Which brings me to the whole “being an asshole in a breakup isn’t rape” issue. Can innocent men also be assholes? I don’t think so. I think if we were to create a functional definition for asshole, we would find that for any such definition, *all* of them who are also sexually active heterosexuals have committed some form of sexual assault or rape* at least* once. I think *innocent* guys will tend to avoid sexual relationships with partners who would use the threat of rape charges cynically. I expect it’s likely for a few women to abuse the system by having sex with rich men and then using rape charges to get money, but I think having more rich men in prison is ultimately a good thing….

    Why? Well, how long do you think it would take for seriously radical prison reform to be implemented? I can easily imagine the effects of this spreading beyond “just” sexual justice to racism, law enforcement, poverty draft, education, etc.

    Okay, it’s way too late. I hope this made some sense.

  286. M

    Curiouser,

    I apologize if my comment was trollish. I took lawbitch’s comment to Repenting as an imperative to stop being polite to Mandos, albeit a humorous one. It struck me as a silencing remark, and that sort of thing never sits well with me when it’s directed at someone arguing seriously and in good faith (no matter from how misguided a viewpoint!).

  287. Catherine Martell

    Cunning Allusionment? says:

    I expect it’s likely for a few women to abuse the system by having sex with rich men and then using rape charges to get money, but I think having more rich men in prison is ultimately a good thing…

    How does one use rape charges to get money? Principally blackmail, I suppose, but there’s a danger of that with any crime.

    There’s the canard of punitive damages, too – but I’d expect that punitive damages would be abandoned in a feminist utopia, because they are insulting to the victim. How much should a man have to pay you if he rapes you? Just what is your mental health worth, anyway? How about your personal sovereignty? Care to put a value on that?

    I hate the idea that a sum of money can atone for a crime. Punitive damages for rape always remind me of 1920s Orientalist-fantasy desert romance novels. Classic subplot: a desert tribesman rapes a woman, and is punished by having to pay her father 30 camels. Yuck. Any link of rape with money – whether the rapist has to pay the victim’s father or husband, or the victim herself – essentially reinforces the idea of women’s bodies, and women, as property.

    Some people may argue that the victim of a rape needs financial help to get her life back on track. However, any decent and humane society, and certainly any feminist one, would offer her this without her having to accept the humiliation of taking blood money from her rapist.

    If there is nothing to gain financially from making a rape accusation, we can dispense with the idea that the accuser may be a gold-digging slut. If the accused is being blackmailed, he can always draw that to the attention of the legal system. On the basis that such blackmail would, under Twisty’s law, involve the woman saying “Give me $1 million or I’ll say you raped me,” the man would generally be able to contact the police before any formal accusation is made, and long before he finds himself in chokey.

    There was a prime example of this a couple of years ago in an alleged case of male-male rape. Ex-royal aide George Smith accused Prince Charles’s valet, Michael Fawcett, of raping him. When the police investigated, it quickly emerged that Smith had a history of mental illness and had made several identical allegations against other men in the past, all of which he had quickly dropped when the police had begun to investigate them. It seemed to be the case that Smith had, in fact, been obsessed with and stalking those men. The police decided he was a serial fibber; Fawcett was exonerated well before the case came to court.

    But what struck me at the time was the way that the media immediately assumed that Smith was telling the truth, and had to back down fast when it became apparent that he was not. Also, the fact that the revelation that he had seriously slandered several men did not lead to any tut-tutting editorials about how the laws had to be tightened up to prevent twisted and mercenary men from crying rape. In other words, the case was treated just as we hope male-female rape might be treated: the accuser was taken seriously, and, when he was found to be a disturbed fantasist, that news was received with surprise and he quietly dropped off the media radar. He was neither hounded by the tabloids as a vicious slut, nor decried as a universal example of male irresponsibility. Had he been telling the truth, I am completely confident that he would have been held up as a brave victim nobly standing up to the man who had raped him.

    The assumption with rape at the moment – to judge by conviction rates – is that false allegations made by malicious victims are the norm. This is not the case with other violent crime. Blackmail may occur with regard to any violent or indeed nonviolent crime, but such cases are assumed – rightly, I think – to be exceptional.

  288. Nia

    This is a message to redhead. Twisty, excuse me for using the comment section for this.

    I’m working on a PhD on gender violence in the works of Charles Dickens. I’m Spanish, so I have no idea about the legal systems of other countries. Your mention of the Model Penal Code is perfect for my work because at some point I will want to say “the view that a man cannot rape his own wife still persists in parts of the Western world, for example……”. Thank you! And thanks Twisty for giving us a blog with discussions that help my dissertation!

  289. Deep Thought

    Let’s do a thought experiment – of Twisty gets her little law within months there will be dozens of rape convictions, some of which are unjust. The result will not be a lot of people saying “Hmmmm. Perhaps I should think about how difficult a rape victim can have it”

    The result would be a massive backlash against feminism, the lawmakers who passed such a bill, and women in general.

    See, responding to injustice with more injustice is not a solution, it is an escalation. If someone mistakes your intentions and slaps you, a returned punch will not make the first person realize they made an error. If Twisty truly believes “The Patriarchy” is some powerful group that dominates society, she should realize that her little law would only result in more suffering for women. And if that isn’t true, then there is no need for this law.

  290. Moira

    Did you read the FAQ, Mr. Thought? We’re all perfectly well aware that The Patriarchy isn’t controlled from a smoke-filled room by a group of old, balding misogynists. It’s not a conspiracy. It is the society we live in where straight white Christian men have power and wealth and authority far in excess of their proportion of the actual human population.

    You are not interested in moving towards a non-patriarchal society, going by your blog:

    I oppose abortion and birth control, no-fault divorce, public education as a concept for units larger than a municipality, and laissez-faire capitalism as a moral agent. I support caring for the poor, the fatherless, the widowed, and the sick – but as a community, not as a function of government. I think the Patriarchy, when controlled by Judeo-Christian morality, is a protector of and advocate for women.

    Thank you for your concern, but you’ll understand, I’m sure, that we won’t be taking your advice on this. The idea here is to get over ourselves and move to a non-patriarchal society.

    So you’re a fan of Judeo-Christian morality? Have you given all your property to the poor yet?

  291. Mandos

    Mandos has had plenty of opportunity to elucidate on his vision of a just world and all the time I’ve ever visited this blog, he has exposed that he has nothing to expound. Why bother to construct an alternative when the present state of affairs works just fine?

    Because I apply the same standard to every alternative I can construct, and have come to the conclusion that they’re subject to the same criticism as [insert anyone else]‘s alternative. For me to propose anything would be an exertion of power way beyond any criticism I can raise for other people’s proposals. Consequently, I prefer to do the latter.

    Also, might I add that exercising the concept posted would necessitate him recognizing his generally unwanted presence, followed by the consideration to shut the fuck up.

    This is really funny considering that this blog is regularly trolled by its very owner.

    That the irritation of most women here by his petulance is willfully ignored speaks volumes. Mandos has no interest in making any change, otherwise he’d be where he belongs, with the menz, doing just that.

    The lurkers support me in email.

    Frankly, I could give a rat’s ass what Mandos thinks, nor do I care about whether men like him or worse are offended by, or fear possibly displacement by women.

    I’m not sure how this had to do with anything.

    P.S. You clearly do care.

  292. Twisty

    Deep Thought hasn’t read the FAQ, doesn’t know what ‘patriarchy’ means, and uses a sniveling tone. Banned!

  293. Catherine Martell

    Bye bye, Thoughtie. Amazing how few words it can take to flag oneself up as a king-sized doofus. Viz:

    Let’s do a thought experiment –

    Let’s not! Thought experiments are what silly philosophy boys make you listen to when they’re trying to prove that they’re right, only they don’t really want to relate their ideas to reality.

    The proposal of a thought experiment effectively means: “I will dismiss any objections you have to my argument, because they are outside the special boundaries I have defined for my special thought experiment.”

    Twonk.

    On he goes, via a quick typo, to:

    of Twisty gets her little law

    Little law! A little law for a little lady!

    And then the punchline:

    within months there will be dozens of rape convictions, some of which are unjust.

    That’s the idea. Though we may have different notions of “unjust”. Also, I’m thinking “thousands” rather than “dozens”.

    I’m not feeding the troll – he has already been excised. Anyway. Back to the blaming.

  294. Cunning Allusionment?

    Cathrine – I don’t really know how the system would be abusable, I was just guessing that it probably would be and that some women would take advantage of it. I guess assuming that and the arguing that it’s *still* a good idea despite that was an attempt to preempt that whole argument from taking place.

  295. CannibalFemme

    As things appear to have taken a musical turn hither and yon over the blog, I hereby offer this .mp3 of ‘A Girl Needs A Knife’ for a soupcon of folky blaming. This would not be my personal theme song–that would be more along the lines of ‘A Woman Needs A Personal Force Field She Can Turn On At Will, Plus Maybe a Bazooka’, but that just doesn’t have the same pithiness. At any rate, for those of you who like that sort of thing, here ’tis:

    http://members.cox.net/cannibal_femme/AGNAK.mp3

  296. lawbitch

    Can I stir up a little trouble here? We’re oh sooo close to 300.

    Turns out that “Deep Thought” wasn’t so deep, eh? LOL!

  297. Catherine Martell

    Cunning Allusionment? – I hear you. Wasn’t having a go at you: it’s obvious what side you’re on. I was just extrapolating off the point about women making rape accusations for financial gain, which is a wildly popular myth around these debates. Felt like it needed some busting.

  298. OlderWiserFuckAlltoShowForIt

    So I go away for the weekend and get back to the office on Monday, first check the e-mail and I’ll just stop for a minute by IBTP, see what’s going on…3 HOURS LATER…

    Nothing to add, it’s just a real hoot to read this entire thread all at once (though I may not have committed every word to memory, buh-bye Deep!).

  299. ramou

    Turns out that “Deep Thought” wasn’t so deep, eh?

    And not so thought, either?

    A common thread I’ve seen is that an immediate goal of feminism (and I make no claim to expertise) is not to achieve balance, but to protect and promote, in as absolute a fashion as possible, women.

    I’d consider that achieving balance from an advanced state of that goal would be far easier than it is now, and something to consider once in a feasible position (i.e. when women are in a stronger position than men).

    I’m for it.

    To the argument that it would just lead to a role reversal, I say that there’s no evidence to that, as the patriarchy has been in place (with very few exceptions) for all of recorded history, so one can’t really examine the alternative and say what would happen. Moreover, the patriarchy clearly isn’t an intermediate solution, as it exists to perpetuate itself and oppress women. Oh, and it is the belief held here, which I also ascribe to, that the patriarchy is bad.

    At the very worst, what is lost? We get a Matriarchy? Statistically speaking, if we consider only population size, wouldn’t that constitute a net gain anyway? I can’t see it getting worse. I can’t see it staying the same, I can only see it getting slightly to very much better.

    The suggested law furthers the goal stated above. The arguments against it thus far have amounted to “I don’t like it” (dumb argument 1) and “The patriarchy won’t allow it” (dumb argument 2). The arguments appear mostly to have been made by dudes who troll a rad-fem blog.

    So, open question, given the above goal, and in terms of promoting said goal, can anyone come up with a better argument against Twisty’s law, i.e. one that doesn’t break down into DA1 and DA2 above? Can said law be shown to not, in an absolute fashion, protect and promote women (meaning that being able to think of a single, improbable bad case isn’t an argument against, it’s statistics, and not relevant)?

  300. therealUK

    For me to propose anything would be an exertion of power way beyond any criticism I can raise for other people’s proposals.

    So actually managing to form and present an honest opinion rather than this endless verbal masturbation you indulge in, to show us just how far above our silly little discussions you are, would be an act of massive power ? Where do you get such delusions of grandeur ?

    Oh wait

    The lurkers support me in email.

    Your very own little MRA fan club egging you on behind the scenes for your acts of debating greatness !!

    Mandos mate, you have disappeared so far up your own arse that you have actually come right out the other end, and can no longer even smell your own shite.

  301. delphyne

    Hey, don’t forget Mandos also feels he’s justified because:

    “this blog is regularly trolled by its very owner”

    I wonder if Mandos will ever take responsiblity for his own behaviour as an apologist for the patriarchy on a patriarchy blaming blog, or whether he will just continue to hide behind anybody else who happens to be handy, whether it’s using feminist opinions to justify his own brand of creepy threatening sexism, blaming his annoying posts on pleasing his lurking fanclub, or even being happy to carry on because Twisty hasn’t shitcanned him so whatever he does must necessarily be acceptable. It’s as if he has no self control.

  302. MedeaOnCrack

    Mandos do you still do your IBTP de-briefing on the yay-porn blogs, where I’ve read you trashing your host and the blamers?

  303. Kali

    Twisty, what you say here really needed to be said. I wish more people get behind your idea.

    The current situation is even worse that what you described. The rapist simply has to say that his victim consented and not only does the prosecution have to prove that the victim did not consent but also that the rapist knew that the victim did not consent (i.e. the mens rea defense, increasingly popular with rapists). This is virtually impossible to prove and gives the rapist a fool-proof method of avoiding conviction. Which is why we have such dismal conviction rates and judgements that sound ridiculous even in this patriarchy-addled world.

    If the defense claims that there was consent, they should have the burden of proof to show consent. This would bring rape law more in line with how other crimes are treated.

    Catherine Mackninnon has written about this. I strongly recommend reading her arguments about this.

  304. MedeaOnCrack

    Can you give a source Kali?

  305. Mandos

    Mandos do you still do your IBTP de-briefing on the yay-porn blogs, where I’ve read you trashing your host and the blamers?

    1. I am usually careful not to trash as such, but I do provoke them in order to see what kind of an entertaining flamewar I can start. They know this and have started ignoring my attempts, so I don’t do it as often.

    2. I think you’re trying to catch me on being two-faced or something, but there’s nothing to catch. I long ago pointed out that I do that.

    Your very own little MRA fan club egging you on behind the scenes for your acts of debating greatness !!

    I don’t think you got my reference. It’s a song.

    http://barb.velvet.com/humor/lurkers.html

    Anyway, the reason why I brought up Twisty’s periodic self-trolling, is that, well, some people are missing the point. Twisty has already told us that the human race will die out before patriarchy does. All the rest is for her amusement. Self-indulgent performance art.

    I wonder if Mandos will ever take responsiblity for his own behaviour as an apologist for the patriarchy on a patriarchy blaming blog

    I don’t apologize for anybody. I merely point out argument flaws, because I am a chronic nitpicker and it amuses me, and sometimes it’s even important. I used to do this, believe it or not, to Cypriot forums (now defunct), but they aren’t half as entertaining.

    Look, I suspect I would be less annoying to you if you didn’t go to so much effort to make things all about me.

  306. ACS

    Why is it that so many men – many of them self-proclaimed “decent” men – are so afraid of being (wrongly) accused of rape? Guilt? Paranoia?

    A truly decent guy wouldn’t have any problem with what Twisty proposes.

    This is reasoning in the same form as “Why won’t you let the police search your house? You clearly have something to hide!” The problem is not that these men have committed rape. The problem is that they don’t want a life sentence hanging over their head, suspended only by their former partners’ unwillingness to report them. While I recognize that this is not likely — in fact, it is vanishingly unlikely — a system of law that depends on the utter infallibility of complaining witnesses is virtually certain to convict people who have not done the particular things of which they’re accused. (Except, in this case, the extent of the accusation needs be no more than “I had sex of a man of such-and-such description”; no declaration regarding consent is necessary.)

    And from Cunning Allusion:

    I’m not too solid on the literature, but I think it’s safe to say that there’s good evidence that virtually all sexually active heterosexual men have committed some form of sexual assault or rape at least once in their lives. The point here isn’t that it’s okay to convict people of crimes they didn’t commit just because they got away with a similar crime before (the ethics of that are another thing). My point here is just to call into question the existence of “innocent men.”

    If you want to escape from the concept that particular people have to be convicted of particular things, then, frankly, a less circuitous method to the same end would simply be to charge all men with rape, execute them, and have done with it. But so long as we are talking about a system of law, and not a policy entirely divorced from it, then there needs to be some particular thing that someone is proven guilty of.

    Also, your numbers are wrong. The stats are closer to one in six men, with the average number of rapes being close to two.

    –ACS

  307. Inverarity

    While I recognize that this is not likely — in fact, it is vanishingly unlikely — a system of law that depends on the utter infallibility of complaining witnesses is virtually certain to convict people who have not done the particular things of which they’re accused.

    Innocent people occasionally being convicted of crimes they are not guilty of is an unfortunate reality now. But is the number of innocent men who would be jailed as rapists greater than the number of women who would not be raped? Or are you arguing that women should assume a greater risk of being raped rather than you assuming a greater risk of being charged with rape?

    Also, as a practial matter, I doubt that even under Twisty’s proposal, a mere pointed finger and “He raped me!” would immediately send a man to prison with no questions, no trial, and no appeal.

  308. delphyne

    “I don’t apologize for anybody. I merely point out argument flaws, because I am a chronic nitpicker and it amuses me, and sometimes it’s even important. I used to do this, believe it or not, to Cypriot forums (now defunct), but they aren’t half as entertaining.

    Look, I suspect I would be less annoying to you if you didn’t go to so much effort to make things all about me.”

    I’ve ignored you all over the internet, Mandos. It’s almost never about you. This is the first time I’ve bothered to read any of your posts for months and indeed it was a mistake. But you’ve admitted you only do this to get your amusement at other people’s expense and cause them annoyance, so I’ll ask you again, why don’t you exercise some self-control?

    You keep trying to use Twisty as some kind of justification for your behaviour. I’m saying step up, own what you do and stop trying to point the finger elsewhere. And then bog off.

  309. Repenting

    I think we topped 300.

    Also, I wasn’t pandering to Mandos, but merely attempting to carry on a polite discussion with him. Obviously he doesn’t understand traditional feminist language and theory, so I was trying to be a little different. And what’s the point of a debate if only one side is represented?

    Also, has anyone else ever wondered is Mandos is secretly a self-hating woman? I can’t be the only one.

  310. ramou

    Also, your numbers are wrong. The stats are closer to one in six men, with the average number of rapes being close to two.

    Of course, your stats are based on the patriarchal definition of rape, right? In highschool, I put my hand down my girlfriend’s pants. She didn’t want me to, but I was stronger. I’m not the one in six you cite, but I daresay there’s a legion here who’d call it rape and burn me alive for it. I daresay I wouldn’t argue, although I might not bring the marshmallows.

  311. Mandos

    You keep trying to use Twisty as some kind of justification for your behaviour.

    Because it’s relevant. This blog is first and foremost a vehicle for someone’s very convoluted meta-amusement—a purpose your participation also serves. I’d feel bad about it and “own what [I] do” if it were anything else. But, I don’t feel bad for providing entertainment*, and I’m sure I’d have been kicked off long ago if I didn’t.

    *which is not the only thing I do, of course.

  312. ramou

    I don’t find mandos entertaining. I wish they would not post.

  313. ACS

    Innocent people occasionally being convicted of crimes they are not guilty of is an unfortunate reality now. But is the number of innocent men who would be jailed as rapists greater than the number of women who would not be raped? Or are you arguing that women should assume a greater risk of being raped rather than you assuming a greater risk of being charged with rape?

    The problem with unjust laws in a democracy is that it spreads the culpability to everyone involved in the process — not just the courts, not just the police, not just the legislators. So long as we have influence over an unjust policy, we are responsible for the actions taken on our behalf. So I suppose that I would prefer to be raped than to be a kidnapper, or a millikidnapper, or whatever the moral calculus determines is my responsibility for an unjust imprisonment. Of course, I have a vanishingly unlikely chance of being raped, so you probably ought to take that into account when examining how my calculation comes out.

    The major problem is that, technically, no one convicted under the proposed law would be “innocent”, at least not in the sense that they did not do the thing they were accused of, which was have sex with a woman. The only form of appeal possible would be to claim that the sex never occurred; any sort of examination of the actual sexual act, or whether consent existed (or could reasonably have existed*) at the time is outside the scope of the propsed law.

    I happen to believe that penetrative heterosexual sex isn’t, itself, morally wrong. YMMV.

    – ACS

    * An ex post facto law would be reasonable if the court could examine whether coercion existed at the time which would have nullified the possibility of consent, but the Twisty Law can’t even examine that.

  314. ginmar

    Shorter ACS: I didn’t read the post or the comments and I won’t think about it and you can’t make me!

  315. Babs

    Just goes to show that most men don’t get what it’s like to be raped. It’s like their projection of their own sexual desires onto all females keeps them thinking that rape is not that bad for women. I have never understood how there can be rape jokes, etc. And the whole status of the woman’s virginity as an issue- i.e., “the victim was a virgin, so it must have been that much worse for her” or “at least she wasn’t a virgin” as if once a woman has has a penis in her vagina then they are all pretty much the same.

    I’ve been raped, and I would rather be murdered than be raped again. That is how bad it is. Interestingly enough, after being raped, I began to become aware that “consensual” sex sometimes felt strikingly similar- it’s the feeling that someone is using your body to masturbate, completely oblivious to your own (lack of) pleasure.

    I don’t know why every single American doesn’t wake up every single day with the single minded thought of eradicating the sexual terrorism that is plagueing the majority of this country’s population. Oh wait, I do know. The minority sex in this country are just naturally sexual terrorists, and that’s just the way life is.

    IBTP

  316. ACS

    I’ve been raped, and I would rather be murdered than be raped again. That is how bad it is. Interestingly enough, after being raped, I began to become aware that “consensual” sex sometimes felt strikingly similar- it’s the feeling that someone is using your body to masturbate, completely oblivious to your own (lack of) pleasure.

    The question isn’t whether you’d rather be raped or murdered, which are both things that happen to you. The question is more akin, in a world where rape can potentially bring the death penalty, whether you would rather be raped or potentially murder an innocent, or at least deprive that person of their rights in perpetuity*. That shouldn’t be an easy question to answer.

    And remember: we’re not talking about false reports here. Assuming that sex did, in fact, occur, the accusation is presumptively true under this law. Getting just results out of it relies on maintaining two separate, incompatible definitions of rape: one involving consent, the other eliding it.

    (And for supporters: should this law apply to your preferred sexual activity? If not, why?)

    – ACS

    * Really, actually, the question is “would you rather suffer a somewhat increased chance of rape if it meant that people who did not rape were punished for rape.”

  317. Silence

    The way the law is right now it says, in essence, that all women always and naturaly agree to have sex with any given man and if they want to claim rape, the onus is on them to prove that they didn’t. And there are different rules if a woman is already owned, i.e. married, because you know, the rapist may have damged the husband’s goods or reputation.

    The way Twisty wants the law to go would say, in essence, that all women do not automatically and as a matter of course agree to sex with any given male who crosses their path and it’s up to the man to prove she did agree if she says she didn’t.

    So, okay guys, which sounds more plausible. Has every woman you’ve ever met agreed to have sex with you as a matter of course? No? Thought not. Have you ever felt the need to wheedle a woman for sex, or perhaps get a trifle physical with her? Thought so. Doesn’t that imply that Twisty’s view of the matter may be just a little closer to reality than the law currently in favor?

    And let’s forget about the actual legal battles for a moment. Since they all generally boil down to a case of he said/she said, there’s no possible way for them ever to get down to the absolute truth of what happened. Surely some people have seen Rashomon here, right?

    Let’s consider instead the social implications. If you fellows knew that your ass could be hauled into court if your wife or girlfriend could cry rape so easily, wouldn’t you think very, very long and hard before you got into a sexual relationship? Wouldn’t you think long and hard about whether you actually liked this woman and could trust her not to have you tried as a rapist? Wouldn’t you pay attention to her moods and the things she said to make certain she was mentally stable and not, as some have so charmingly put it, ‘a nutcase’? Wouldn’t you learn whether she was vindictive or forgiving by nature? Wouldn’t you, in short, treat her as a person whose ideas and opnions mattered?

    And would all this be a bad thing?

    Oh, wait, I just re-read that last sentence. Treating women as people, what an idea! Ha ha ha ha ha!

    No wonder so many owners of scrotums have shown up to protest. They’re afraid their enslaved fuckbots might develop autonomy. Damn, like that would be like worse than the fucking Matrix, you know, when all those machines rebelled and enslaved all the humans.

  318. Adrienne

    Shorter ACS: If 30 or so women and children need to be raped in order to spare one innocent man from being sent to prison, so be it.

  319. Moira

    Silence, don’t forget the part about how a woman’s husband can fuck her whenever he wants and it’s not rape. And how if a woman has had sex with the man before, it’s less of a rape.

    Also in the Model Penal Code: men cannot be raped. Period. Yes, goddamnit, the patriarchy hurts y’all too. So get with it and make with the blaming already.

  320. MedeaOnCrack

    * Really, actually, the question is “would you rather suffer a somewhat increased chance of rape if it meant that people who did not rape were punished for rape.”

    No. Too brutal for you? Turn your question around and see yourself.

  321. LMYC

    Really, actually, the question is “would you rather suffer a
    somewhat increased chance of rape if it meant that people who did
    not rape were punished for rape.”

    No, the question is would YOU rather suffer a microscopically increased chance of being accused of rape which you cuold place almost entirely under your control in order to put real rapists where they belong, which is behind bars?

    That’s the question that’s being levelled AT YOU, dear. We’re not the ones being told to adjust or who have to adjust. YOU are on the hot seat here, honey. Not us.

  322. LMYC

    I will anticipate our little darling’s answer: “Why no! and how could you possibly expect me to say anything else?” Trans: How can you possibly expect me to think of anything but my own welfare and not yours? I’m a MAN! I don’t have to give a shit for anyone else. I care about myself, that’s only natural. And not you — that’s natural, too. Despite the fact that I want to use your pussy to get off in, I still can’t be expected to care about any of you.

    We, however, ARE supposed to accept near-100% chances of watching our rapists go free in order to graciously and lovingly stay the hell out of not-a-rapist-in-the-fine-print’s way. So apparently, we ARE expected to think of them before ourselves.

    Problem: I’m not doing that. In fact, I couldn’t give a rat’s asshole for your welfare, sweets.

    In other words, I’m acting just like you. I Can’t Possibly Be Expected To Care About You More Than My Own Self!

    And let’s just keep in mind that WOMEN’S having to tolerate this shit is real, whereas your problems are theoretical at this point.

  323. ACS

    The way Twisty wants the law to go would say, in essence, that all women do not automatically and as a matter of course agree to sex with any given male who crosses their path and it’s up to the man to prove she did agree if she says she didn’t.

    That’s actually reasonable. But it’s a proxy for what was actually said, which was that consent should be perpetually revokable (or should be removed entirely from the concept of rape).

    Shorter ACS: If 30 or so women and children need to be raped in order to spare one innocent man from being sent to prison, so be it.

    I don’t know why you think that’s an easy choice to make. It shouldn’t be.

    –ACS

  324. ACS

    Let me go back and revise what I’m saying. I’m not saying that there do not need to be radical revisions in the way our culture treats consent and the way our laws treat rape. There are just ways to do so that do not allow for the arbitrary and irrevocable punishment of people that have, in fact, done the thing they’re accused of, but have not, in fact, done anything that anyone here believes should be punishable.

    In particular, I think that consent should be treated more like an affirmative defense to rape and less like an element of the crime; I think that an ex post facto revocation of consent should be prosecuted while looking at “would a reasonable person have consented under these circumstances of coercion (wheedling, threats)”; I think that in a system involving trial by jury, that cultural change is necessary to have juries that can deal with a charge of rape in a way that doesn’t reward defense attorneys for attempting to pin it on the victim.

    And let’s just keep in mind that WOMEN’S having to tolerate this shit is real, whereas your problems are theoretical at this point.

    I realize that. However, we’re not in a situation where my objection or agreement matters a whit. If I disagree, you walk back out the door into a world where the threat of rape is real. If I agree, you walk back out the door into a world where the threat of rape is real. Twisty’s idea on how to to deal with rape? That doesn’t affect your chances, either.

    – ACS

  325. Mandos

    ACS: It’s important to note that the notion of justice held by many participants here is a class-based notion of justice, and rape is held to be a class crime. A crime committed by Class Man (whose non-raping individual members are generally indirect accomplices) against Class Woman (whose non-raped members are generally collaterally damaged).

    In this framework, the risk of injustice to a member of the oppressor class is morally equivalent to the risk of victimization of a member of the oppressed/slave class. Consequently, it is acceptable to subject members of the oppressor class to injustice if it reduces suffering among the oppressed class. Sort of French-revolutionary.

    In other words, if you were told, “This may risk conviction of the innocent,” you might probably ask, “OK, how do we minimize that?” But other on this blog might ask first “But does it reduce the oppression of my people?”

  326. Virago

    Read it again. Twisty suggests that that retro-revoke applies in cases like the rape of children. Of course, many children who are raped may not fully realize that rape has occured until many years later when dealing with the inevitable fallout, the damage done to body and psyche.

    In my own case, it wasn’t until I was years out from under the control of my father that I realized the extent of the damage done by his actions. It seems to me that, in that situation, I should also have recourse to justice.

    Under our current “justice” system, my father is free and clear because enough years have gone by that–what?–everyone and everything has been washed clean? I get my childhood back? I can trust him with my daughters now?

  327. ACS

    In other words, if you were told, “This may risk conviction of the innocent,” you might probably ask, “OK, how do we minimize that?” But other on this blog might ask first “But does it reduce the oppression of my people?

    I think that’s an unfair characterization. I think there’s a fair argument to be made that there’s a false dichotomy between “officially” sanctioned injustice — that which the state causes (like false imprisonment) and “officially” unsanctioned injustice — that which the state “merely” ignores (like rape). When figuring out how the injustice in the world is spread, the first is paid attention to (because it is the agreement of elites that these are things that the state should be responsible for) and the second is ignored (because it is agreed that these things are none of the state’s business.) This is self-evidently bullshit.

    I just think that there are ways to define and punish rape that don’t punish people who haven’t done anything wrong. This isn’t one of them.

    – ACS

  328. S-kat

    Wow! How do you all keep up with these comments?
    Wish I could do that. If only there were a way to know beforehand which are trolls messages and responses to such so I could save my time skipping over them.

  329. Spit The Dummy

    Adrienne said: Shorter ACS: If 30 or so women and children need to be raped in order to spare one innocent man from being sent to prison, so be it.

    ACS replied: I don’t know why you think that’s an easy choice to make. It shouldn’t be.

    There you have it, folks. 30 of us = one of them, at least in ACS’s mindset. Nice, eh?

  330. Twisty

    All the dudes trying to explain these nice points of law: jesus fucking christ. All I’m sayin is, if you think your fucksleeve might point the flying fickle finger of fate at you, just don’t fuck her. What the fuck is so incomprehensible about this? You fucking apes.

  331. lawbitch

    Repenting wrote:

    “Also, has anyone else ever wondered is Mandos is secretly a self-hating woman? I can’t be the only one.”

    WTF? Why are you so down on yourself? It can’t be just because of my one snarky comment because I was annoyed with Mandos, the self-professed annoying entertainment. Snarky comments between dealing with my petulant five-year-old are what I do, dammit.

  332. lawbitch

    Oooooh! I just posted *333.* Woo-woo!

  333. ACS

    All the dudes trying to explain these nice points of law: jesus fucking christ. All I’m sayin is, if you think your fucksleeve might point the flying fickle finger of fate at you, just don’t fuck her. What the fuck is so incomprehensible about this? You fucking apes.

    Nothing is incomprehensible about this, Twisty, and you know it. If this was what you actually said, I’d've yawned and moved on to the next post, because it is a statement so unremarkable as to warrant absolutely no comment whatsoever. And then you step back into the midst of the conversation as though you’d forgotten that you’d been talking about what society should do to hold men responsible for rape, rather than what men should do to not rape

    The answer to the first question actually involves some thought. The answer to the second is “don’t rape.” The two aren’t equivalent.

    – ACS

  334. j

    Twisty, nice alliteration!

    Spit The Dummy, I think ACS is referring to the famous quote about it being better to let one hundred guilty people go free than to convict one innocent person. I don’t think a reluctance to convict innocents is the same as weighing people’s lives unfairly.

  335. thebewilderness

    It has been explained up thread repeatedly, that we are talking about a rape victim being treated the same as other crime victims. It has been explained that consent is not the same as agreement.
    In spite of this, the mens simply cannot seem to grasp the idea that women should be entitled to the same body autonomy that men enjoy and, I might add, take for granted.

  336. Adrienne

    Please explain to me why we should come up with a solution that is fair to men? Men have had several thousands of years of raping without even attempting to step back and think about how unfair it is to women or to come up with a ‘fair’ solution to stop raping. This so pisses me off. “But think of the men!” No, we have done nothing but think of the men for eons and eons. Right now I’m going to think about the women. You don’t like it, too fucking bad, you’ve had a long fucking time to do something about it and you haven’t. Don’t like the injustice of it. Too bad, you’ve had several fucking thousands of years of sticking your dicks in anything you pleased without consequences. You don’t think it’s fair that some poor innocent man might be convicted of rape, too bad, you had your fucking chance to fix it and you didn’t. Here are the consequences. Boo fucking hoo.

  337. lawbitch

    Yea, Twisty, fucking apes! These guys are the Latin club nerds that couldn’t get a date. Unfortunately, this type is over-represented in my chosen profession. IBTP.

  338. LMYC

    Here
    are the consequences. Boo fucking hoo.

    It’s especially disgusting that the “consequences” that they apparently think are simply beyond the pale and too much for their delicate constitutions to support consist of a fucking blog post. Where’d I put that teeny-weeny violin?

  339. lawbitch

    This one’s for Adrienne!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cHcifKwmxFg

    Cheers!

  340. Spit The Dummy

    j said: Spit The Dummy, I think ACS is referring to the famous quote about it being better to let one hundred guilty people go free than to convict one innocent person. I don’t think a reluctance to convict innocents is the same as weighing people’s lives unfairly.

    Unfortunately, I think all the ramifications of meaning behind the terms “innocents” and “peoples’s lives” are the central issues of all the arguments we’ve been having on this thread. Rape victims seem to automatically lose their right to the term “innocent” by virtue of the crime that has been committed against their person, while males accused of rape are automatically assumed to be innocent until an overwhelming accumulation of evidence has been brought against them. Simultaneously, our current patriarchal system recognises a limited definition of “people”: men qualify unreservably but women only do when it suits the patriarchal purpose and it doesn’t conflict with the rights of a male.

    So, to answer your criticism, I’m aware of the dictum “it’s better for x number of guilty persons to go free than for 1 innocent person to to go to prison/suffer/ die/whatever” but I would ask: are all “people” in this hypothetical scenario of equal value? Or is it like the real world where children and women are less valued than men?

  341. ACS

    So, to answer your criticism, I’m aware of the dictum “it’s better for x number of guilty persons to go free than for 1 innocent person to to go to prison/suffer/ die/whatever” but I would ask: are all “people” in this hypothetical scenario of equal value? Or is it like the real world where children and women are less valued than men?

    My suggestion that gendercide might tie up our courts less didn’t get any takers, so clearly there’s some line between “perfect certainty” and “scorched earth” where the problem of how to hold men accountable for rape actually punishes too many men who didn’t rape. I’ve already copped to being a man, and not being a survivor of rape; I realize that, because of personal factors, I may be too cautious. I just think that — unless you’re a nihilist about getting a sane rape policy enacted, ever — the prospect of setting a standard for rape that can punish things that even you agree shouldn’t be punishable should give you pause.

    – ACS

  342. Virago

    Translation: But what about the menz?!? (Which is suddenly applicable because it sounds so sophisticated when I use big words!!)

    When weighing the lives of hundreds of thousands of ACTUAL American women who are raped every year against the hypothetical single man who might be falsely accused of rape, did you ever once stop to consider the STFU option?

  343. thebewilderness

    Interesting comparison there. Mandos thinks he is welcome because he hasn’t been banned. Rapists think it’s consent because she didn’t shoot him dead.
    They’re both wrong, but they just don’t see it. Because they simply do not want to see it.

  344. j

    Ooh, thebewilderness, that was a low blow!

    Spit The Dummy, I’m not criticizing, just thinking out loud. Or in type.

    I am reluctant to judge people by the groups society says they belong to, even though I know I can’t make arbitrary groupings of race and gender and sexual orientation just go away. I also dislike judging people based on the sins of their ancestors. Men today aren’t responsible for the actions of men 5000 years ago, but they are responsible for not doing enough to change the status quo today.

    I think there must be a way to ensure the effective prosecution and conviction of rapists without convicting non-rapists. No, the non-rapists aren’t innocent, and they’re extremely privileged, but they aren’t rapists.

    For the record, I oppose the death penalty and I oppose affirmative action. I think exceptions are worth considering, and people shouldn’t be judged in groups.

    So I have a lot of mixed feelings. Feel free to ignore.

  345. Adrienne

    lawbitch! That song takes me back. I love it.

    As we go back and forth about the poor mythical innocent man in this thread, Shark-Fu (via Pandagon) has just posted about her 14 year old friend who was just raped. No one mentioned emergency contraception to this young woman and now she has to worry if she is pregnant or not. Every direction I turn I come face-to-face with women who have been raped so please, spare me the ‘poor innocent man’ cry. As others have already said we are talking about real women who AT THIS FUCKING MOMENT are being raped and you (teh menz) are arguing for some mythical ‘innocent man’ who might be accused of rape, possibly one day in the future. Please spare me.

    And LMYC, I totally know what you mean. The mere mention on an obscure (sorry Twisty) rad-fem blog that suggests that they might actually have to prove consent, rather than just assume they have consent since they are male, gets them running like mad. They act as if the twistylaw is going to be enacted tomorrow! So they run around pulling their hair out sobbing, ‘but what about all the poor innocent men? Woe is me, the men! The men!’ Gag.

  346. Spit The Dummy

    ACS said: My suggestion that gendercide might tie up our courts less didn’t get any takers, so clearly there’s some line between “perfect certainty” and “scorched earth” where the problem of how to hold men accountable for rape actually punishes too many men who didn’t rape.

    I’m not so sure about that. I think there are some here on this list who right now would hit the button on that “genocide” option. I’m personally surprised no one stuck up their hand for that one!

    I’ve already copped to being a man, and not being a survivor of rape; I realize that, because of personal factors, I may be too cautious.

    Yes, I think that is colouring your reactions. It’s colouring all our reactions: those of us who have been victims, those of us who know victims, those of us who know we can always be vicitms at any time. That alters your perspective. It’s similar to the way we can all take an intellectaul stand on killing but if we were to find ourselves or our children threatened, what would we be prepared to do to save them? Sometimes we find the personal alters the theoretical considerably! And often the only way to really know is to be faced with the actual situation and to act, one way or another.

    I just think that — unless you’re a nihilist about getting a sane rape policy enacted, ever — the prospect of setting a standard for rape that can punish things that even you agree shouldn’t be punishable should give you pause.

    Like all these things, its a matter of degree. In some perfect world we could all agree to a fairness model that would treat all of us as if we were equal but agreeing to that in our current society means that women get shafted because the reality is that we aren’t equal and even so-called “fair” laws get interpreted unfairly because of this inherent bias. And when you’re consistently getting beaten with thatstick, you kinda get a little tired of being asked to be “fair” to the ones NOT getting the beating.

    I’m not saying that in the greater morality maybe you’re not right, but I wish you luck on being the better person after your gender has been fucked over for thousands of years with no end in sight.

  347. ACS

    As others have already said we are talking about real women who AT THIS FUCKING MOMENT are being raped and you (teh menz) are arguing for some mythical ‘innocent man’ who might be accused of rape, possibly one day in the future. Please spare me.

    Except we’re not.

    We’re talking about hypothetical women being saved from rape by a hypothetical law that doesn’t stand a chance of being ripped from the front page of a radfem blog and enacted right this moment; we’re talking about the hypothetical law that currently saves or damns only figments of our imagination. I also realize, however, that we’re talking about it in front of (and with) people for whom it could have mitigated the most traumatic event of their lives.

    I’m not concerned about the MRA-hobgoblin Crazy Accuser Lady, who sends men to prison willy-nilly based on the merest suggestion of sexual impropriety. I am concerned that the law itself criminalizes heterosexual intercourse, which no one here will cop to thinking should be illegal, while maintaining a separate definition of rape that governs who should accuse whom. The fact that people are projecting all sorts of things both more and less radical (mostly less) on this post doesn’t mean that that wasn’t actually what was said.

    – ACS

  348. kate

    Bewilderness: They’re both wrong, but they just don’t see it. Because they simply do not want to see it.

    Absolutely, as I pointed out before and all Mandos could do was pull out his mea culpa of having token support here, which I guess trumps having to recognize the true intention of those comments directed to his attitude.

    Mandos sez: Because it’s relevant. This blog is first and foremost a vehicle for someone’s very convoluted meta-amusement—a purpose your participation also serves. I’d feel bad about it and “own what [I] do” if it were anything else. But, I don’t feel bad for providing entertainment*,

    So, in other words, the writer of this blog is nothing more than some whack-job cackling in mad glee whilst churning out deranged diatribe meant merely to amuse her perverted self and of course, you?

    Does Twisty consult with you prior to developing her posts or do you and she simply clandestinely cavort over the intertubes after the ensuing comments start rolling in?

    Mandos sez again: “Look, I suspect I would be less annoying to you if you didn’t go to so much effort to make things all about me.”

    No, I find you entertaining and irritating both at once, your commentary, which is always reactionary, when examined, serves well as an illustration of male privilege in action. You serve as the perfect token, seething misogynist and your source of entertainment, like all others like you, stems from your perception that you are able to get woman writhing in hysteria over your infinite profundities.

    I may be wrong, but I highly doubt that Twisty’s purpose for this blog is to satiate the never ending thirst of women haters. I believe she leaves you on here so as to prove her point. You are a sort of nihilistic game of pin the tail on the (live) donkey. You don’t bite, you just simply continue to hang there and beg to be left alone when you get pricked.

  349. kate

    Mandos: Leader of the Lurkers, the true Army of One.

  350. M

    Yea, Twisty, fucking apes! These guys are the Latin club nerds that couldn’t get a date.
    Mmm… Latin nerds… I should shelve grad school and become a lawyer.

  351. Mandos

    Interesting comparison there. Mandos thinks he is welcome because he hasn’t been banned. Rapists think it’s consent because she didn’t shoot him dead.

    Actually, where did I say I thought that?

    So, in other words, the writer of this blog is nothing more than some whack-job cackling in mad glee whilst churning out deranged diatribe meant merely to amuse her perverted self and of course, you?

    Hey, don’t shoot the messenger. BTW, I assume it is intended to amuse all the participants.

    Actually, this is just the logical consequence of saying that there is no action at all that isn’t fully entangled in patriarchy (an idea that is frequently bruited about here). Also the use of the word “blame”. Because if that is the case, any discussion of patriarchy has no value other than amusement, or to be charitable, some variety of venting.

    No, I find you entertaining and irritating both at once, your commentary, which is always reactionary, when examined, serves well as an illustration of male privilege in action. You serve as the perfect token, seething misogynist and your source of entertainment, like all others like you, stems from your perception that you are able to get woman writhing in hysteria over your infinite profundities.

    It is notable that the reactionary content of my “reactionary commentary” as well as its “misogyny” is rarely ever pointed out.

    I may be wrong, but I highly doubt that Twisty’s purpose for this blog is to satiate the never ending thirst of women haters. I believe she leaves you on here so as to prove her point. You are a sort of nihilistic game of pin the tail on the (live) donkey. You don’t bite, you just simply continue to hang there and beg to be left alone when you get pricked.

    Ah, you want me to bite, do you? I’m not really good at biting, being extremely mild (even in real-life). But fine, a very mild bite: it seems to me that the reason why some segment of the blog population is annoyed at me is that they aren’t really interested in the *full* ramifications of what they say, but merely the satisfied feeling (ie, entertainment) they get from making proposals that only superficially and trivially relate to the problem that they are solving. This behaviour is called “radical,”—which is minimally true because it does generally affect the some part of the root, but without paying any attention whatsoever to all branches.

    Take, for instance, Delphyne’s calling of my suggestions about the consequences of Twisty’s ideas to be “creepily theatening” or something, and to be deliberate misinterpretations of what some feminists have pointed out. Not so: it follows entirely, I contend, from the *intended point* of what these particular feminists have said. If every act that we perform is entangled in patriarchy, then the resistance to patriarchy is necessarily fully coopted (isnt it? The fact that you post here betrays your privilege…). Then if any feminist legal proposal is to succeed, it can only do so in a way that bolsters the dominance hierarchies in the patriarchy.

    But, of course, to argue this condemns me as a “misogynist”. No more so than anyone else, concluding from a certain line of radical feminist thought that seems to be popular here. But feel free to blame.

  352. CuriouserAndCuriouser

    Mandos, what’s scariest about you is that you appear to have been lobotomized in such a fashion as to remove all that might resemble a human being.

    You respond to us as if you were a machine that was fed all the available descriptors of emotion, but have no actual flesh-and-blood experience of same.

    You are frightening in your detachment, your utter lack of empathy; machinelike in your absolute obeisance to all that seems to you ‘logical’ and ‘rational’.

    You are ‘creepily threatening’ because you seem to have been manufactured without any semblance of an emotional governor – that is, something that would function as a conscience, would provide any slightest evidence of actual empathy for other humans.

    There is a word for this condition: Sociopath. And at the less harsh end of the spectrum is a word called ‘alexithymic’, which means that one is emotionally impaired to a degree that he fails to interact in any recognizably responsive fashion with other humans.

    You’re scary, dude, for reasons that are entirely beyond your comprehension – where most people have a heart, you have a silicon chip.

  353. wtf

    “I am reluctant to judge people by the groups society says they belong to, even though I know I can’t make arbitrary groupings of race and gender and sexual orientation just go away. I also dislike judging people based on the sins of their ancestors. Men today aren’t responsible for the actions of men 5000 years ago, but they are responsible for not doing enough to change the status quo today.

    I think there must be a way to ensure the effective prosecution and conviction of rapists without convicting non-rapists. No, the non-rapists aren’t innocent, and they’re extremely privileged, but they aren’t rapists.”

    And the award for most sensible thing said on this thread goes to J. Congradulations.

  354. Luckynkl

    But I think that Twisty wants something a lot more radical; maybe I misread her completely.

    I’ve seen Twisty and a couple of others hint at it, but unless I’ve missed it, I haven’t seen anyone come right out and say it yet. So I guess I’ll do the honors and say it right out loud.

    Intercourse under patriarchy *is* rape. There isn’t anything natural or consenting about intercourse. Because intercourse is a political institution under the patriarchy.

    To quote Dworkin:

    “If we’re not willing to look at intercourse as a political institution, that is directly related to the ways in which we are socialized to accept our inferior status, and one of the ways in which we are controlled, we are not ever going to get to the roots of the ways in which male dominance works, in our lives. The fact of the matter is that the basic premise about women is that we are born to be fucked. That is it.”

    Now that means a lot of things. For a lot of years it meant that marriage was outright ownership of a woman’s body and intercourse was a right of marriage. That meant that intercourse was, per se, an act of force. Because the power of the state mandated that the woman accept intercourse. She belonged to the man. The cultural remnants of this is that in our society, men experience intercourse as possession of women. The culture talks about intercourse as conquering women. Women surrendering. Women being taken. We are looking at a paradigm for rape. Not at a paradigm for reciprocity, for equality, for mutuality or for freedom. When the premise is that women exist on earth, in order to be sexually available to men for intercourse, it means that our very bodies are seen as having boundaries that have less integrity than male bodies. Men have orifices. Men can be penetrated. The point of homophobia is to direct men towards women. To punish men for not using women. And that’s an acknowledgment of how aggressive and how dangerous men know male sexuality can be for women. When a woman goes into court and she says I’ve been raped, the judge, the defense lawyer, the press, and many, many, many other people say: no, you had intercourse. And she says no I was raped. And they say a little bit of force is fine. You know that, you know it’s still true. It hasn’t changed. When you look at male domination as a social system, what you see is that it is organized to make certain that women are sexually available for men. That is its basic premise. And we have a choice. And the choice is not in the political science books. The universities are not trying to work out this level of choice for us. The question is what comes first, men’s need to get laid or women’s dignity. And I am telling you that you cannot separate the so-called abuses of women from the so-called normal uses of women. The history of women in the world as sexual chattel, makes it impossible to do that.”

  355. Luckynkl

    To continue (because no one drives it home like Dworkin):

    “These are women who thought that they had a right to dignity, to individuality, to freedom, to creativity, and in fact, they couldn’t even walk down a city block in freedom. Many of them were raped as children in their own homes, by relatives. By their fathers, by their uncles, by their brothers, before they were, quote, women. Many of them were beaten by the men who loved them. Their husbands, by lovers. Many of them were tortured by those men and when you look at what happened to these women, you say Amnesty International where are you? Where are you? Because the prisons for women are our homes. We live under martial law. We live in places in which a rape culture exists. That is a women’s home, where she lives. Men have to be sent to prison, to live in a culture that is as rapist as the normal home in North America. We live under what amounts to a military curfew. Enforced by rapists. And we say usually that we’re free citizens in a free society. We lie. We lie, we lie everyday about it.

    We survive through amnesia. By not remembering what happened to us. By being unable to remember the name of the woman who was in the newspaper yesterday.”

    I want us to stop lying. I think that we tell a lot of lies to get through everyday and I want us to stop lying. And one of the lies that we tell is that this kind of woman hating is not as pernicious, as lethal, as sadistic, as vicious as other kinds of hatred that are directed against people because of a condition of birth.”

    We have had a brilliant movement that has saved many lives. And I, especially, thank you and honor you, those of you who work in rape crisis centres and in battered women shelters. I wished to hell you had been there during some parts of my life. And anyone my age, anyone in their forties, would not have encountered any kind of help. Like the kind of help we provide. But we have to change our focus now. We have to stop it from happening. Because, otherwise, we accept that our condition is one in which the rape of women is normal. Brutality towards women is normal.

    In the United States, violence against women is a major pastime. It is a sport. It is an amusement. It is a mainstream cultural entertainment. And it is real. It is pervasive. It is epidemic. It saturates the society. It’s very hard to make anyone notice it, because there is so much of it. But the fact of the matter is, that if you live in a society that is saturated with this kind of woman hating, you live in a society that has marked you as a target for rape, for battery, for prostitution or for death.”

  356. kate

    CuriouserAndCuriouser: He also may well be an Asberger’s sufferer.

    wtf sez: “And the award for most sensible thing said on this thread goes to J. Congradulations.

    Was that tongue in cheek, or do you really mean repeating what others have said repeatedly, although the notion has been challenged repeatedly is some kinda smart?

  357. delphyne

    “He also may well be an Asberger’s sufferer.”

    Nuh-uh. He’s an all out apologist for the patriarchy, disguising it in “rationality” which in fact is just a defense of the status quo and his own privileged position.

    Mandos’s nit-picking doesn’t manifest itself across all topics as it would if his motivation really was to uphold logic. He appears when male domination of women is threatened. Then all of a sudden these logical holes appear before him which he simply has to point out.

    He’s feeling it. However it suits him to pretend it doesn’t.

  358. Silence

    Innocent man are in prison now. Innocent men have suffered the death penalty. And you know what? Although a few people have cried “This is terrible!” mostly the world has essentially shrugged, belched, and gone on with its business. Partially because most of the men who are/have suffered in such a way were poor, often a minority.

    We all know this, don’t we? This isn’t new information. And yet I don’t see any of these sterling dudely posters who are so concerned with the (entirely hypothetical) thought of innocent males going to jail for rape saying anything along the lines of: “We really need to reform our legal system now.”

    Because it doesn’t concern them, does it? They do not need to care, whereas the thought that a mere woman, an angry ex-girllfriend could come after their sorry asses puts them into a panic.

    To those guys: This is not about justice. This is about power. Women want the power to say what does or does not happen with their own bodies and you do not want to give that to them. You want the power to use our bodies however and whenever you see fit despite what we want — and then you want the ability to walk away whistling afterwards. And then you’re all surprised when we tell you to fuck off and have to use fancy language to explain why we’re wrong.

    You know what? I think you know we’re not wrong. I’m smelling the evil stenches of guilt and entitlement myself.

  359. delphyne

    I have to disagree, this is about justice and fairness. At the moment women aren’t getting either.

    If something like this law had been in place when I was raped, maybe the little shit who did it would have thought twice before going ahead. Of course if he had done it anyway and then I’d charged him with rape, he’d have probably tried to pretend that I was some kind of angry, vengeful, bitter woman – anything to avoid acknowledging that what he did was wrong and that he *should* be punished for it. That’s where these fantasies about vengeful, vindictive women are coming from – these men know that there are plenty of women out there who would like justice against the men who raped them.

    At the moment the legal system believes that it is the rapist who knows best whether the woman is consenting or not. All this suggestion does is say that that is an absurd notion and that women are the best judges of what is going on in our own minds at any given point. A radical notion of course.

  360. Mar Iguana

    Mandos who?

  361. lawbitch

    Thanks, Luckymkl, for those quotes, and for bringing the discussion back to the topic at hand.

    Thanks, Mar Iguana, for that gentle reminder, too.

  362. Twisty

    WTF, alas, is not authorized to bestow awards on this blog. To quote the sage anthropologist who walks among so enchanted by our strange lady-ways, wherever did he get so peculiar an idea?

  363. Mandos

    There is a word for this condition: Sociopath. And at the less harsh end of the spectrum is a word called ‘alexithymic’, which means that one is emotionally impaired to a degree that he fails to interact in any recognizably responsive fashion with other humans.

    So, experience has shown that there is a certain segment of the blog population who are, at best, careless readers. These few participants regularly draw inferences and implications from the writings of others that are not actually there, but are, for some reason, satisifying (?) to make.

    Consequently, a certain amount of detachment is necessary to lead to the detail and clarity required to say with certainty that my own writing did not imply some of the strange things that are sometimes said about it. I find it hard to ensure that my writing is maximally “airtight” without clearing away any obfuscating detritus, and that generally requires a tone of maximum detachment.

    Apparently, some people object to this too. Should i be surprised? Probably not, considering what is popular around here (among certain vocal parties). It’s still better for me to retain the detached tone.

    For example,

    Mandos’s nit-picking doesn’t manifest itself across all topics as it would if his motivation really was to uphold logic. He appears when male domination of women is threatened. Then all of a sudden these logical holes appear before him which he simply has to point out.

    This, for instance, is an example of delphyne usual behaviour, which is to make inferences from things whose premises are not given, but are instead convenient for her to have so that she can reach the already-desired conclusion.

    It happens that I tend to object when proposals about the future are made. Naturally, these proposals around here are intended to “threaten male domination.” (Whether they actually do so is another matter.) Any proposal about the future, or any interpretation of a controversial portion, is likely to contain flaws.

    So it is perfectly natural that, as a recognized nitpicker, that is where I would find it most interesting to nitpick. Elsewhere, people are merely describing the uncontroversial or less interesting aspects of reality, so it is not interesting to nitpick.

    But this is not satisfactory to Delphyne, who typically reaches for what she thinks is the most stinging calumny she can find.

  364. Cunning Allusionment?

    RE: Mandos: It seems like the vast majority of your posts are defending yourself as opposed to picking nits in the argument itself. Infinitely regressive arguments about whether you are or aren’t a pedantic misogynist aren’t really the point of this thread. Neither is the whole “Twisty is just out for fun” angle since that was just a means of defending yourself. Also, you claim to maintain logical detachment but then you use language like “delphyne behavior” which is obviously inflammatory. If you were logically detached, you wouldn’t be bothered by the buckets of personal attacks and would coolly articulate your points, nor would you resort to transparent goading. Conclusion: You’re a troll wrapping himself in reason, the age old defense against “delphynic behavior.” Translation: You’re a pedantic asshole, breaking the rules of this forum.

  365. Blamerella

    So it is perfectly natural that, as a recognized nitpicker, that is where I would find it most interesting to nitpick. Elsewhere, people are merely describing the uncontroversial or less interesting aspects of reality, so it is not interesting to nitpick.

    Which is the whole point Delphyne was making. You have not invalidated it in any way. Why are potential logical holes in arguments against, and proposals to redress, male dominance over women so terribly interesting to you?

  366. Tigs

    I don’t think the problem is the searching for holes and solutions to theoretical issues that is so frustrating about Mandos.

    I too am extremely interested in de-/constructing the theoretical trails and structures of these issues/arguments. I think others here are regularly interrogating what these issues mean and what they might implicate.
    What I find frustrating about Mandos is his regular insistence that this is just a matter of intellectual interest. He’s right in that this is one of the most exciting theory/praxis/practice websites around, but for most of us here it’s not just exciting because there are a bunch of great people commenting on the brilliant output of our dear host. For most of us this is a matter of figuring out how to survive in a f-ed up world.

    So, on with critical engagement in theory, down with nitpicking!

  367. Bird

    He also may well be an Asberger’s sufferer.

    As someone who has two very amazing younger brothers with Asperger’s, I’d like to ask that we not attribute being an asshole to the condition. Being a dickhead is frequently a neurotypical problem.

  368. L.B.

    WHy not cut out the middle man and simply take to the street with a shotgun and kill any boys and men you can find?

    (I do realise that this won’t seem an outrageous thought to you sociopaths btw)

  369. Kali

    “WHy not cut out the middle man and simply take to the street with a shotgun and kill any boys and men you can find?”

    It’s interesting to see how the idea of treating rape like any other crime has brought out the paranoia and guilty fear of men. Do we not have the default position of non-consent for robbery, assault, embezzlement, etc.? The only difference between a robbery and a gift is the word of the victim. How many men are tying themselves up in knots about ex-friends using this default position to falsely accuse them of robbery, assault, etc.? But when it comes to applying the same idea to rape, the hyper-ventilating morons start spewing nonsense about “take to the street with a shotgun and kill any boys and men you can find”.

  370. thebewilderness

    j,
    I do not think it was a low blow at all. It is a simple illustration of how far down the road to asshattery a sense of entitlement will take you. The ‘what about the mens’ argument in this thread is a further illustration of how unwilling the privileged are to pull their head out of their ass and take a look around.

    One of things that happens to us constantly as children is being dismissed. It is not surprising that we learn it early, and do it often. When they attempt to practice what they have learned on adults they are often yelled at or punished. So, they learn the fine points of who they have to attend to and who it is acceptable to dismiss. It is an ugly, hurtful thing to do to a child, because it teaches them to accept being dismissed, and to dismiss others. One of the ways we teach entitlement to little boys is by not dismissing them as much as they grow older. Who gets the privilege of the adults attention, what it takes to get it, and who can be safely dismissed, are on display in every classrom and family unit in this country.
    I think that this early childhood conditioning is part of the reason men are so surprised, nay shocked, when they get a tiny tap with a clue stick.
    When they derail the thread with their own concerns, they are in effect dismissing womens concerns.
    There is no greater clue stick available to us than Twisty’s blog, and the light it shines into their squinty little eyes, so blissfully accustomed to the dark, burns them.

  371. Coathangrrr

    It’s interesting to see how the idea of treating rape like any other crime has brought out the paranoia and guilty fear of men. Do we not have the default position of non-consent for robbery, assault, embezzlement, etc.?

    I think part of the problem, as previously stated, is that rape is not a property crime, in that a rapist doesn’t violate property as does a thief. But I wouldn’t say that we necessarily have a non-consent position for exchange of money, because robbery is the forced exchange of money. Again, I don’t know that comparing rape to property crime is not such a great idea. I think if we compare it to assault it would be better. No one assumes that someone who got hit in the face consented to it.

  372. wtf

    “WTF, alas, is not authorized to bestow awards on this blog. To quote the sage anthropologist who walks among so enchanted by our strange lady-ways, wherever did [s]he get so peculiar an idea?”

    I was simply giving a tip of the hat to a great comment. I would go so far as to say it is an important comment because it identifies the difference between something that will finally bring justice to those who need it and a law that deliberately flaunts itself as unfair to men to seek some sort of “retribution” for how fucked up things have been for the last 5,000 years. People here have actually expressed what could only be called excitement at the thought that men will finally face a system that could be potentially unfair to them. Recognizing the absurdity in this line of thinking amongst a sea of people who refuse to see it deserves a tip o’ the hat in my book.

    But that’s all a side note. As it’s been stated here time and time again, whether or not it is fair to men is not the issue at hand. If it were ever to actually be considered as a legal option, the question of fairness would undoubtedly come up, but right now I’m more concerned with whether or not something like this could possibly work to achieve its desired effect. As it has been stated, the general result sought out by this law is to cut down on rape and to put more rapists away. Would it work? I say no. At least not to any socially significant extent. As I said much earlier in the thread, I think this will just change the line of defense from “she didn’t express ‘no’ clearly enough” to “she said yes.” It will still be his word against hers in a situation where evidence one way or another is scarce. You could say that in such a situation the law should lean on the side of the accusor and I would say yes, but to what extent? Do we put people away simply for being accused? As much as it may excite some people to be able to simply point a finger and have a person go away forever, if we really want to talk about this, we have to take into account SOME sort of legal process other than “He raped me,” “Okay ma’am, we’ll kill him.” And thus, we find ourselves back in the age-old argument of “is it fair to men,” which everyone here loves so much.

    I’m positive that a more just and more effective system than the one we have is out there, but I don’t think this is it. If the answer somehow comes to me, I’ll let ya know.

  373. Dawn Coyote

    Late, late——but did anyone happen to observe that such a change in the laws governing the prosecution of rapists would make a rapist more amenable to murdering his victim?

    Not that I’m arguing with Twisty, whose thought experiment clarifies the enormity of the current injustice by inverting it.

  374. LL

    “I think part of the problem, as previously stated, is that rape is not a property crime, in that a rapist doesn’t violate property as does a thief.”

    How is rape not a property crime?? My body is not my property? I don’t have the right to dictate what goes on/in my own body, but I do have the right to dictate what happens to my car or my house? Those are some seriously screwed up priorities.

  375. Feminist Avatar

    LL you raise an interesting point. I think the reason why people have had a problem with classifying rape as a property crime was that orginally rape was a property crime, but the person who had been violated was the woman’s owner, i.e. her father or husband. He had to testify to being hurt by said rape and he could get financial compensation for it from the rapist. (For that matter husbands could also sue their wives’ lovers for compensation and there is a joke in some seventeenth century literature about husbands who could earn a living in that way). Understanding rape as a crime against the person was considered to be a step forward.

  376. Mandos

    I’m not banned yet, I don’t think but I fairly shortly will be, so thought I’d make a couple of more points.

    RE: Mandos: It seems like the vast majority of your posts are defending yourself as opposed to picking nits in the argument itself. Infinitely regressive arguments about whether you are or aren’t a pedantic misogynist aren’t really the point of this thread. Neither is the whole “Twisty is just out for fun” angle since that was just a means of defending yourself. Also, you claim to maintain logical detachment but then you use language like “delphyne behavior” which is obviously inflammatory.

    I said “delphyne’s behaviour,” and if I didn’t, it’s a typo. It is merely a statement about delphyne.

    But yes, I usually avoid engaging people about me, when the issue comes up. However, a large enough number of people wanted to engage me about me, so I decided to respond to them, but it probably was a mistake. So: they will get what they want. Which is fine.

    Which is the whole point Delphyne was making. You have not invalidated it in any way. Why are potential logical holes in arguments against, and proposals to redress, male dominance over women so terribly interesting to you?

    Because they purport to reach far far down into the human condition, more than anyone else claims, really. Consequently, it’s actually important to examine the content of the ideas.

  377. ramou

    How is rape not a property crime?? My body is not my property?

    Property can be taken, sold, whatever. I’d consider that a body is inherently not like that (or shouldn’t be). So a body is not property.

    The statement of “My body is my property” sounds right, but it’s not. Most of the sentiment that goes with it is correct, but you can’t give your body away, which makes it distinctly not property-like.

    Can you claim ownership over something that’s not property? How about only if such a thing is inherently and non-transferably yours. That makes such statements a bit redundant, but rhetoric can be pleasing and validating.

  378. finnsmotel

    Realizing that I’m coming in very late to the discussion:

    I like the idea of lack of consent being the default. And, it might be a bit of turnabout-is-fair-play to criminalize the het sex for boys, and let us sweat it out as to whether she’ll report it. I mean, it works as a way of expressly illustrating how invasive Twisty considers het sex to be. That, alone, is worth consideration.

    But, then everyone gets hung up on all the innocent men who would go to prison or lose leverage in divorces or whatever and the discussion loses focus, IMO.

    The question that I haven’t seen discussed (and I did try to read all the comments, believe it or not), is what, exactly, would constitute consent? And, how can the two (or three or four) people involved make that determination positively? I would add that we need a method that achieves the consent in a socially graceful and sensual way?

    I mean, isn’t that what’s missing from the conversation, here, is a fair, yet tender way to request, consent, then give and take from each other in a physical relationship? When folks are trying to get their love on, we’re not exactly in the habit of whipping out a pre-coital contract and a couple three pens. But, who knows, maybe we should be. That could get tedious for us married types, but, I’m game for the experiment.

    Another layer to the problem is that sex is not an instantaneous act (at least hopefully not). It is possible to give consent, then, get squicked out by something the other person does, and want to retract it. So, even if you had a signed contract, it might have to have some stipulation as to the boundaries necessary to maintain consent. Maybe even an outline of mutual goals (hee).

    So, maybe we coin a new phrase, right here in the commentariat of IBTP; some new catchy phrase that says, “I want to get down with you, and so long as you don’t do anything stupid, it’s on.”

    Suggestions?

    -finn

  379. Coathangrrr

    How is rape not a property crime?? My body is not my property? I don’t have the right to dictate what goes on/in my own body, but I do have the right to dictate what happens to my car or my house? Those are some seriously screwed up priorities.

    My point is that your body is more important than mere property, not that you don’t have the right to control what happens to it.

  380. Tyler D

    I think the reason why people have had a problem with classifying rape as a property crime was that orginally rape was a property crime, but the person who had been violated was the woman’s owner, i.e. her father or husband.

    From this also logically follows the terrible and blameworthy concept – but he couldn’t have raped you, he’s your husband.

  381. ramou

    Tyler D, wouldn’t that actually be you’re his wife :P

  382. Mar Iguana

    “Men today aren’t responsible for the actions of men 5000 years ago, but they are responsible for not doing enough to change the status quo today.” j

    Oh please, not doing enough to change things?! When their world shifted in the 60s, they stubbornly dug in their heels and have busily spent the decades since turning the world into a sexual gauntlet of terror for women. Good grief. I can’t be bothered to explain how cocked-up the rest of that sentence (alone) is because you bore me.

  383. j

    “I can’t be bothered to explain how cocked-up the rest of that sentence (alone) is because you bore me.”

    I’m sorry for boring you. You didn’t have to read it. And you don’t have to explain to me how you disagree with me. As I see it, there is a newborn male infant somewhere in the world today who is not yet a part of the “they” that is screwing things up for women. When does this infant become one of “them”? And are “they” the males of all nations since the beginning of time?

    I swear to god I’m not a troll, and I’m just trying to figure out what I think. Please don’t shoot me!

  384. thebewilderness

    Finns,
    I don’t know, but I’ve been told, that when gays get to the sexual stage of their relationship, a discussion ensues. What one likes and does not like, what they will and will not do. Makes perfect sense to me.
    Unfortunately het couples seem to have been taught that all they need to do is let nature take its course. No wonder het sex is a train wreck.

  385. SusanM

    Twisty, you are brilliant– and even if someone else brilliant thought of this first, I was exposed to it here, as I have been to many other great patriarchy disassembling strategies– so I will give the credit to you, when I spread this idea amongst the young future radical feminists I know and love. Thanks!

  386. Shiny

    Y’know, Mendos is such an asshat, he may very well be my father. Wouldn’t that be a peach. If he’s not, then he’s a goddamn doppleganger.

    (I find it amusing to think of the two of them arguing.)

    As for ACS & all the other wary considerers, the point of Twisty’s is interesting because it would merely make hetero-sex as risky for men as it is for women.

    I neither want women raped nor innocent men in jail, and I doubt many other blamers here do either.

    However, I absolutely *do* want sex to be as deadly serious for both parties, since making it less serious for women seems like it’s not an option. All of us raped women out there prove that.

    It’s not Mandos’ terrible French Peasants and their terrible class identification (which, of course, the more enlightened white male philosopher would NEVER stoop to, that being a horrific category error, and He being Above All That Lower Class, Ethnic, or Gender Based Hysteria.)

    Although it is very true that I probably privilege my gender’s suffering more than that of the falsely accused – since I am awash in that suffering and know the taste of it, whereas I have less, but not NO, experience with the other – the point is not to make the bourgies pay.

    The point is that I want Menfolk to have equal stress as us Womenfolk regarding intercourse. You need to have an equivelant moral and ethical burden, or shit will continue to pile at our feet.

    “She” has to cope with Ted Bundies, pregnancy/babies and the possible economics/emotion around that, scorn and shaming, and most continuously, the threat of being raped and being held responsible for that rape. She must consider every choice from underpants to walking route, she must consider every signal from sluttish to prudish, and she must be aware that the line is easily crossed.

    This may be a trick of biology: we’re smaller, it doesn’t need to be hard, and you can fuck us up economically and emotionally for the rest of our lives if we get pregnant and can’t terminate. That biology has nothing to do with the law as it stands, and the law perhaps doesn’t provide rectification for biology. But in her brilliance, Twisty has used the law to rectify that balance, and show for us all how easy the penis enabled have it, really.

    I think it is fair to say fear of false imprisonment can stand in for my fear of being raped, left pregnant and STD laden, and then having my rep and career ruined in a messy court case. Yep: those are equivelant threats. Call it equal risk for equal acts. Every time I pull my pants off, I court those threats, and the guy was only courting a less than entertaining evening or two and then learning I wasn’t going to suck his nob.

    There’s a hell of a lot of making a federal case ’bout THAT, I’ll tell ya. Watch a beer commercial: It’s so hard LISTENING to us, in order to get laid, that you might as well have a Bud.

    We can’t have a Bud, however, because if you then behead us for fun, we was bein’ Risky.

    Now my risks are slightly more minimized with a loving partner ™, but of course, so are HIS. He has not yet raped me, and I have not yet falsely accused him of raping me. The truth is, he *could*, though. (So could I, but would it stick?) He can instantly rape me, any time he wants to. The man is big, compared to me. I could not instantly send him innocently to jail.

    You may argue that it’s not a government’s or justice’s job to balance the biological scales. Goody for you. I get that point, too, in other contexts.

    Fine.

    Propose another solution that equally burdens men who are approaching the sex act.

    Really.

    No bullshit scorched earth kill them alls, because that isn’t equivalent. Be brilliant. It’ll be hard; I doubt many of us are quite as sharp as our spinster hostess.

  387. Mar Iguana

    j, the newborn male infant is not aborted because of his gender. He is celebrated. “It’s a BOY!!” Hallelujah! He is born one of “them.”

    No, “they” are not the males of all nations since the beginning of time, just since the beginning of patriarchal father-worship. Yeah, patriarchy had a beginning, therefore, it will end.

    That’s it, the last answers to your elementary questions you’ll get from me. Now, get up off your lazy ass, read a book or two of the thousands written by wonderful women in the last forty years and STFU until you’ve learned a thing or two (I know you won’t). As said many, many times here, this ain’t Feminism 101, not the place to figure out what you think. Do that on your own time, not here. Otherwise, you’re just one more tedious, boring troll, and I’m pretty sure that token position has just been eliminated.

  388. Kali

    “I think if we compare it to assault it would be better. No one assumes that someone who got hit in the face consented to it.”

    Comparing it to assault works too. I am simply recognizing the analogies between various situations, not saying that they are the same in all respects.

    I remember one case where the defense argued that the assault victim’s wounds were self-inflicted. The jury did not simply buy that as a plausibility and let the perpetrator go free. The defense had to meet rigorous standards of proof, which they failed to do, and the perpetrator was convicted.

    I don’t know how explicit the law makes it, but they need to define some standards of proof for the “consent” defense. The way it is now, the standard of proof for consent required in rape cases is practically non-existent, but seems to be higher when men/boys are victims of any crime.

    Is the jury instructed about standards of proof in the consent defense? My suspicion is that the jury in that underground-bunker rape case wouldn’t have given the verdict they gave if they had been instructed about what does and does not constitute proof of consent. Seems like no such standard even exists and the jury can simply apply their porn-addled brains to what is plausible in their porn-saturated mental world and buy any stupid consent defense.

    How about making it explicit that simple plausibility in the minds of the jury is not a sufficient proof of consent? Non-consent is the default presumption. If you make a consent defense, you have to prove it – the same way as in that assault case where the defense claimed the wounds were self-inflicted.

  389. LL

    “My point is that your body is more important than mere property, not that you don’t have the right to control what happens to it.”

    Ok – for whatever reason (possibly poor reading comprehension and/or skimming, I will totally cop to that in the case of gargantuan comment threads like this one) I didn’t get that impression. I apologize.

    And I suppose starting up the whole body as property/self dialog is another big squirmy can of worms, isn’t it? Sorry, Twisty.

  390. coathangrrr

    I don’t know, but I’ve been told, that when gays get to the sexual stage of their relationship, a discussion ensues. What one likes and does not like, what they will and will not do.

    Well, I doubt you can really make blanket statements about “Gays,” but for all the gay men I know, I’ve not heard of this as some sort of common occurence. There are plenty of promblems with sexual assault in the gay community, I unfortunately assure you.

  391. Feminist Avatar

    Tyler D: Yip, which is why rape within marriage wasn’t made illegal in the UK until 1990.

  392. bigbalagan

    Surely this will remain the most amazing IBTP thread of all time, which is saying something. I know that putting up with dudely “feminist-friendly” legalism becomes intolerable to the natives here, and there often has to be an end to it, but it certainly also generates some very interesting patriarchal texts, the more so as they usually purport to be pro-blaming.

    As a dude, they make me ashamed of my own legalistic hairsplitting, which I recognize is ipso facto pro-patria. Because all the tools of causistry bear the maker’s mark of the dominant power structure, and must therefore be used with a lot of irony and self-reflection.

    “What if all prospective objects of dudely predation — by whom I mean all women — are a priori considered to have said “no”?”—how can this not be the basic assumption? Dudes need to accept a world where no sexual intercourse (and I don’t mean only penetration) will occur unless a prospective partner clearly asks. And can say no at any time and be instantly recognized. All the dudes, repeat after me: “I may be a dude, but I’m more than a penis.”

    We have a glorious patriarchy, and a heterosexual model of human anatomy in which full intercourse means penetration of a member of the sex class. This is not a neutral scenario, guys, but one were there cannot be enough protection to compensate for the fact that we are *not* the sex class. Seems to me Twisty’s modest proposal is a minimum.

  393. TP

    What a fucking trollfest! as for the usual commentariat – very deep stuff.

    Legal restrictions are one undeniable sign of society’s moral limits. They are not like the laws of physics or something, inviolable simply by existing, but are rather a shared definition of who we are. That’s what I think about all the worries about whether a law works or not. Having laws that define the agreement to sex as not existing unless given would work for me.

    I believe very strongly that I’ve always had sex with total agreement. And I remember clearly many of the times when consent was withdrawn in mid act one way or another, and the act stopped cold. So the law doesn’t scare me at all, even if this were the case.

    finnsmotel should consider the difficulty of proving agreement as a natural inhibiter to false accusations of lack of agreement in past sexual encounters. I don’t think that any reasonable, emotionally aware man should fear sex without forms and permissions chartered by lawyers, experts, juries, and the local police force; signed in triplicate and filed at the local government office as part of the permanent record of sex agreements on behalf of every individual.

    It seems as natural as sex itself to me that agreement is understood as mutual desire, and that without this desire being mutual, the only desire left is that of one party for an object of desire.

    If a man only wants to have sex with women who desire to have sex with him, then he will know the very second that desire starts to flicker and wane, because he only desires to be desired, not to simply void his loins into an attractive object.

  394. finnsmotel

    Maybe I didn’t understand your comment, TP, but, I’m not concerning my arguments with any talk of false accusation risks. I believe that risk is currently very, very low and would be even lower under the Twisty plan.

    I’m merely calling for discussion on how to best secure consent without necessarily abandoning the intrigue of romantic interlude and its concomitant communication ambiguities.

    Recognizing that this sometimes means non-verbal communication, maybe it’s a special set of hand signals.

    Think about baseball, think about baseball, think about baseball.

  395. S-kat

    Somewhere up there in this extremely long comment thread somebody mentioned that truly the term “consent” to have sex is wrongheaded in and of itself. So true! Why did I not see this before?

    I noticed long ago that this talk of “tolerance” for the gay community is a far cry from actual “acceptance” of one’s gay friends and relatives.

    Would you rather be “tolerated” or “accepted”?
    Is it the same thing to “consent” to have sex as it is to actually *want* to have it?

    Rhetorical questions both. I think we can all see that in these cases the opposition is trying to get us to settle for their own viewpoint, framing the conversation as it were. Gays can be tolerated, but we don’t have to actually accept them and their homosexuality (love the sinner, not the sin, right?). And women can consent even if they don’t actually want to have sex with said person. In this context, having sex with somebody who doesn’t want it is no crime. Where else would prostitutes come from?

    Also, it allows for a smudged line between consenting and submitting. Did somebody say that already? I have trouble keeping up with these long threads. I may have to get a computer at home simply to keep abreast of this blog!

  396. justicewalks

    I’m merely calling for discussion on how to best secure consent without necessarily abandoning the intrigue of romantic interlude and its concomitant communication ambiguities.

    It occurs to me that the “intrique of romantic interlude and its concomitant communication ambiguities” are patriarchal constructs and NOT necessary for sex. They do serve the rape culture rather nicely, though. I think the hand-wringing over “romance” well illustrates that it’s the power inherent in (selectively and self-servingly) interpreting non-verbal gestures that turns people on, not the idea of sex itself.

    Without patriarchy, people will say, “I’d like you to put your penis in my vagina” as easily as they’d say, “I’d like to go out for ice cream with you.” Just as an ice cream date is not rendered less enjoyable by the explicit invitation, neither will sexual intercourse be so damaged. If mystery and intrigue are what you’re after, read a book.

  397. labyrus

    Okay, before I type this here comment I should mention – I’m a dude, I’m aware this blog ain’t about me and all that. I read this blog occasionally, but tend to refrain from commenting largely because of the whole “not about me” thing.

    I just want to say though, I found this discussion bewildering. Twisty’s original post seemed to be written in a fairly tongue-in-cheek tone, and then you have a bunch of commenters arguing about it really seriously as a legal proposal.

    I think Twisty’s post has a tremendous amount of value as a way of looking at consent. The idea that men should, if there’s the slightest bit of ambiguity as to whether a woman wants to, refrain from having sex with women is something I think most people who aren’t awful can get behind. I wouldn’t support it as a legal system because I’m an anarchist and as such I recognise that the state is inherantly patriarchal, but as a way of understanding consent there’s nothing wrong with it. Default, no. Seems pretty straightforward.

  398. Twisty

    This thread resumes here

  1. Snowed In » Blog Archive » Criminalizing heterosexual sex

    [...] Today on I Blame The Patriarchy, Twisty asks provocatively: what if all heterosexual sex were deemed a criminal act perpetrated by the male? What if “consent” was irrelevant, and all it took to get a man thrown in jail for rape was proof that he had had sex with a woman and testimony from her that it was rape? [...]

  2. The K-log

    [...] yesterday, though, there was a post that i took as a progression of the discussion, and it put forth the thesis that all heterosexual sex should be considered a criminal act by default, and therefore any time any woman felt inclined to bring charges against any man for sexual misconduct, the default conviction would be guilty. [...]

  3. The old suicide-pact gambit: “depression hurts” at I Blame The Patriarchy

    [...] “Remember,” Redneck Mother wrote in her email, “when I commented that consent wouldn’t mitigate murder charges?” [...]

  4. The Mandos Referendum at I Blame The Patriarchy

    [...] Most recently the aforementioned scenario transpired here. So many of your comments began focusing on the negative philosophic value of Mandos’ remarks that the time has come, alas, for action. I mean, it was cute the first 187 times it happened, but a jest’s prosperity lies in the ear, no? And I wonder if perhaps we aren’t all going a bit deaf. [...]

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