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May 03 2008

Junior English major pooh-poohs anti-violence campaign

When I finally slogged to the end of this essay (on how “average” men are deeply injured by activists who enjoin them to stop raping people), a cold, mirthless laugh erupted from the Twisty obstreperal lobe. The essay was signed “A.J. Cooke, junior English major.” Now it made sense.

I was a junior English major myself once. Which is how I know that junior English majors are not, perhaps, a species from which one might reasonably expect the most sophisticated arguments. They have not yet grasped that theirs is not the defining human experience. They cannot imagine a worldview more enlightened than their own. And they use phrases like “semantically speaking” and “the crux revolves,” often with “syntax so horrifically flawed in so many ways.”

But the callowosity of the author will not deter me from using him as an example of the lengths to which the college-educated young blots of today will go to defend rape culture.

The gist of the situation that led A.J. Cooke to emote in his student newspaper is this: U of Maryland’s campus health service spearheads Men’s Anti-Violence Project. Flyers appear. They say “Man up. Get consent.” The idea, see, is to get rapists to cut it the fuck out, already.

On the subject of the slogan itself I will say this: its patriarchonormativity makes my lip curl. A member of an oppressed class is not at liberty to consent to anything. “Consent” in the context of bumpin’ uglies is nothing but a binding contract the terms and conditions of which exclusively describe male use of women as receptacles. As we have seen, the tactics that may be used to obtain this contract do not exclude coercion, drugs, or fraud, and, once obtained, it is non-revocable. “Getting consent” doesn’t prevent rape, it just lets rapists sleep at night, and lets’em off the hook if the victim has the temerity to press charges.

However, it will surprise no one when I reveal that the power differential inherent in patriarchy which precludes true “consent” is not what’s got A.J. Cooke’s eggs in a scramble. No, A.J. Cooke is sorely discomfited by the flyers’ unflattering innuendo. The “get consent” slogan, he says, rudely implies that all men are potential rapists, and that’s not fair. It is “staggeringly insensitive” to treat all men as “monsters.” As a junior English major, A.J. Cooke knows, even if the campus health service doesn’t, that only sociopaths rape women.

A.J. Cooke’s thesis is this: “to question whether a person is acting ethically is to insult their integrity.”

Apparently, insulting someone’s integrity is just about the worst thing ever. A.J. Cooke might be surprised to know that this is precisely what cops, journalists, judges, and defense lawyers do to rape victims all day long.

But a man’s character should be understood as unassailable, and to cast a suspicious eye upon it is an outrage. Thus, as the morally spotless A.J. Cooke saunters through the quad, assaulted by messages telling him to “man up,” he feels his own humanity called into question merely by dint of his being a dude. The health center has failed “to acknowledge men as thinking, feeling human beings.”

The horror!

If you think the junior English major doth protest too much, you’re exactly right. It turns out that young A.J.’s crux revolves around a dude’s right to porn. If, he reasons, the man-hating U of M health service thinks it can reprogram the campus studs with an ad campaign, it must also believe the reverse: that media images can cause violent male behavior. And that’s just wack.

A.J. Cooke, like so many dudely patriarchy-deniers before him, asserts that pornography — the name Dude Nation gives to photographic evidence of rapes reproduced for the purpose of relieving male incontinence — is “free speech.”

If rape is free speech, it is also a right, and rights are things that entitled cowards are always willing to sacrifice other people for. This explains A.J. Cooke’s eagerness to make rape the responsibility of women, and his insistence on placing more importance on the preservation of his purported dudely “integrity” than on preventing violent crime.

So instead of trying to get men to change their rapin’ ways — an idea that, according to A.J., is “fundamentally flawed” — we should stick to what works: women’s self defense classes, admonitions to carry pepper spray and never walk alone at night, and other such tried-and-true rape deterrents. Oh, and women should carry roofie-testing kits on their person at all times, so they can perform chemical analyses on every drink they raise to their lips. Seriously.

Whatever it takes, so long as nobody’s impugning A.J. Cooke’s porn-lovin’, rape-enablin’ character.

[Thanks, Jeanette]

34 comments

2 pings

  1. Rachel

    I woke up this morning to read this lovely news story (http://www.mercurynews.com/ci_9141295?nclick_check=1) about how our justice system has failed another young woman again. Not only has it failed this young woman but it also failed the three that were brave enough to a)stand up to the patriarchy and b)physically fight it to c)save one of our own. Quoting one of the commentators from the article “apparently if you get a girl drunk enough you can rape her and get away with it.”

  2. Chai Latte

    So instead of trying to get men to change their rapin’ ways — an idea that, according to A.J., is “fundamentally flawed” — we should stick to what works: women’s self defense classes, admonitions to carry pepper spray and never walk alone at night, and other such tried-and-true rape deterrents.

    But…rape still happens, so the logical conclusion would be that it DOESN’T work. I feel the need to bang my head into a wall repeatedly.

    Oh, and women should carry roofie-testing kits on their person at all times, so they can perform chemical analyses on every drink they raise to their lips. Seriously.

    I still say it’d be simpler to carry a katana around and just slice open any guy who buys you a drink. It would save time. I think I’ll start with Mr. A.J. Cooke.

  3. TP

    I can’t read or discuss rape without thinking of Twisty’s consent law – that consent to intercourse is automatically yes under our laws, and that it should be the reverse. Taking things from stores is automatically wrong unless they are paid for – why can sex be automatically approved? I read the link to the De Anza case, which depressingly, reaffirms the legality of the gang rape of an underaged girl because nobody saw the face of the one rapist who was seen raping a passed-out underaged girl, and because the rapists couldn’t be proved to have known the girl was underaged. The lack of consent couldn’t be proved because the bar to prove consent has become impossibly high!

    So you can rape underaged girls at will if no one can prove you didn’t know that they were underaged? What is this – a thought crime or an actual crime? Why isn’t it enough to prove the girl was underage? Why isn’t it the responsibility of the rapist to determine the age of the drunk, passed out vomit-splattered girl he decides to rape?

    It shows how clearly criminal law defends and protects rapists.

  4. Susan

    Re: De Anza, it’s not over yet. She has filed a civil lawsuit and I really hope she ruins those rapists financially. Also, perhaps enough pressure will be generated through the trial that charges eventually do get filed. (They have ten years.)

  5. slade

    Do you think it is scientifically possible to turn sperm into a biofuel like they do with corn? This could keep boys busy all day…attach them to some sucking device and pay by the piecemeal.

    I’m sure this idea has some downside, but I can’t think of it.
    It’s renewable…could lower the crime rate, and lots of jobs would be created. Maybe even control the increase in our population a bit.

    Let’s try with A.J. Cooke first, OK? We’ll open a ‘sperm farm.’

  6. thebewilderness

    I’m a little shakey on why anyone would take A.J’s word that he and his fellowmenz really only just like to watch women being raped. Really, they just like to watch. Really, truly, just watching rape, not doing rape. Really, they do have integrity, yes indeedy, they really do.

  7. Sean

    I’m a member of one of those anti-rape “lecture” programs that Cookie is so angry about, and it’s 100% obvious that he has never attended a single one.

    Of course, we’re an all-male group doing it, which is where my heart sinks. The whole thing is all about “men talking to men” in this weird “good” masculinity way, and our t-shirt slogan on campus is “Consent is sexy!” Ugh. I always want to yell out, “No, consent is decent!” But it’s at least a small positive step that I can be involved in. I hate how “reaching out” always has to be and feel like a compromise.

  8. chingona

    It’s funny that he compared telling men to get consent to asking a doctor if a syringe was contaminated. Just yesterday, I read, in some radical publication like cnn.com or some such, an article about protecting yourself from medical error. Number 2 or 3 on the list was to ask your doctor if he or she reuses syringes. If that’s just too insulting, I suppose we should be relieved that Mr. Cookie is just an English major.

  9. WendyAnn

    Unfucking believable. Well, not really.

    I hate them all. I wonder how that makes the poor dear boy feel? Since he’s so sensitive and all.

  10. Red Robin

    I can’t read or discuss rape without thinking of Twisty’s consent law – that consent to intercourse is automatically yes under our laws, and that it should be the reverse. Taking things from stores is automatically wrong unless they are paid for – why can sex be automatically approved?

    That’s not exactly right, at least in the United States.

    For instance, here’s an excerpt from the Texas penal code (I choose Texas because it’s where our hostess hails from):

    § 22.011. SEXUAL ASSAULT. (a) A person commits an
    offense if the person:
    (1) intentionally or knowingly:
    (A) causes the penetration of the anus or sexual organ of another person by any means, without that person’s
    consent

    On the provision dealing with definitions, we learned that:

    “(11) “Consent” means assent in fact, whether express
    or apparent. ”

    So, if there’s not “assent in fact”, it’s rape, even in Texas.

    The trick, though, is that a lack of consent is an element of crime, and therefore the state has to prove it beyond a reasonable doubt or else the perp walks. That’s obviously difficult, which is one reason why rape conviction rates are so low. [I've been meaning to do a lawyer-y critique of Twisty's Law on the forums, but never quite got around to it. Maybe I'll use this post as a jumping off point, if there'd be interest].

  11. Twisty

    It isn’t “Twisty’s Law,” if yall don’t mind; I dislike laws. However, if you are a criminal lawyer you can no doubt explain why existing in a legal state of perpetual non-consent (i.e. “full human agency”) is not possible within our justice system; I think several people have already done that, but I’d have to trudge through the archives to find them.

    What I’ve maintained is that any justice system that does otherwise affirms that it is the essence of women to be used as fuck objects.

  12. Lisa

    I’m no lawyer, but where it looks like to me the Texas Law seems to always break down back into “consent” being the default position is where it says:

    “intentionally or knowingly” (because, Christ, how does one cause penetration of the anus or sexual organs of another person without knowing it? I mean, really? And they would of course have knowing consent because of the word “apparent” in “Consent” means assent in fact, whether express
    or apparent. ” Apparent works for men to assume consent because isn’t it apparent that all women would want to sleep with them? Men always think consent is apparent.

    That is where the whole Kobe Bryan defense comes in. Oh, gee golly. I thought she was so into me that I didn’t notice her protests and her “noes”. It was apparent to me that this was just what she was into.

  13. Lara

    Woman sits at cafe with purse hanging on rail of chair. Man walks by and grabs it and walks away with it. Woman presses charges against man for theft. Man argues that “well, she didn’t say ‘no’ first!”
    Do you think this man’s argument would be convincing enough for the judge? I think not.
    You do the math.
    Oh, and I stopped reading Cooke’s article after the first three sentences, lest I would spontaneously combust.
    He’s probably a rapist.

    “Dead Men Don’t Rape

    You ain’t got the right tellin’ me I’m uptight
    And I’m not obligated to give in ‘cuz you’re frustrated
    No, my revenge is death, ‘cuz you deserve the best
    And I’m not turned on by your masculinity
    Dead men don’t rape
    I don’t have pity not a single tear
    For those who get joy from a woman’s fear
    I’d rather get a gun and just blow you away
    Then you’ll learn first hand
    Dead men don’t rape

    You’re getting sucked into society’s sickest
    Don’t go out alone you might get raped
    But not by a dead man ‘cuz
    Dead men don’t rape

    You ain’t got the right tellin’ me I’m uptight
    Dead men don’t rape”

    -7 Year Bitch

  14. mearl

    I tried posting a comment in response to AJ Cooke’s enlightened and VERY IMPORTANT article, but I have to get an account and log in and then send them my email and then identify a series of letters in a wavy box. What I wanted to say was that I was ever so impressed with AJ’s response to Anne Marie’s comment: it clearly outlines how sensitive he is to women’s opinion of rape and its perpetrators. He CARES about the cause and it warms my radical heart that women have such a dedicated patriarch on our side.

  15. panoptical

    This is just social contract theory coming back to bite women in the ass. “Here’s a contract that you automatically sign just by being born. We can change the terms whenever we want, without even telling you. If you break the contract you will be jailed or killed. You may not complain about this arrangement because you have signed a contract simply by choosing to continue to live your life.” That is, literally, the doctrine upon which our country’s laws are based. It was created by Jean-Jacques Rousseau, who had this to say about women:

    “The education of women should always be relative to that of men. To please, to be useful to us, to make us love and esteem them, to educate us when young, to take care of us when grown up, to advise, to console us, to render our lives easy and agreeable; these are the duties of women at all times, and what they should be taught in their infancy.”

    So just in case anyone was wondering if the connection between the American justice system and the patriarchy was somehow subtle or even tacit – it’s not. It is explicit and well-documented. The only way women can ever be treated as human beings in America is if we Americans completely redesign our justice system based on an underlying philosophy that does not automatically assume consent on the part of the oppressed.

  16. Loneoak

    Sean, I founded/was in one of those groups and then went to work for the parent group for a year before grad school. Fortunately, it was before the phrase “consent is sexy” was coined, so I never had to wear that t-shirt. We founded the group after one of our friends was murdered in her dorm room by her ex-boyfriend. He had a better than expected number of men participate at first. But it turned out that one member was a thorough-going chode and he got arrested expelled the next summer for gang-raping a friend in her dorm room. So, watch out: the patriarchy is so fucked up that it is possible to be an anti-rapist rapist.

  17. Jen

    What a joke. What really sticks out as the most ignorant is A.J.’s steadfast adherence to the myth that rapists are sociopaths.

    Well, my ex-boyfriend wasn’t a sociopath. He’s probably out there somewhere right now with a girlfriend who feigns a headache to get him to go away while he fingers her.

    According to Mr. Hall and his lovely band of rape apologists in the following comments, I wasn’t raped. After all, I did not kick and scream and the man was not Hannibal Lecter. I also eventually gave in a couple of times, meaning that classifying it as rape makes me a lying whore.

    Christ, what a waste of space these idiots are. The only thing insensitive about the slogan is that we have to fucking ask men to get consent in the first place. If the law convicted murderers the way they convict rapists, which is not at all, you can bet that my ex would be at the bottom of our local lake tied to a cement block.

    Poor men, having to be responsible for their actions. Well, me and the rest of the Y-chromosome-less population of the world are proof of what happens when you give the penis toting members of society a free pass for them to stick their dick wherever they please sans disapproval unless they are really violent and obvious about it.

  18. slythwolf

    I still say it’d be simpler to carry a katana around and just slice open any guy who buys you a drink. It would save time. I think I’ll start with Mr. A.J. Cooke.

    Sadly, katana are imperfectly portable. I vote for a stiletto–the cool kind, not the shoes.

  19. Twisty

    You guys wouldn’t believe the number of neanderthal comments on this post that I’ve had to trash. Higher than usual, but then again they’re always higher than usual when I suggest that men ought to stop raping women; some chucklehead always links these to some dewd-blog, urging its caveman constituents to go and troll and mock and wish an early death from cancer to the braying feminists who “think all men are sexist.” Almost all of these comments are really long, running unto 10 paragraphs. A popular theme is to warn ominously that by not sucking up to antifeminist trolls I am dooming all women to eternal male rage. My favorites are the ones who try to out-intellectual me. Like the dude who accuses me of “quite falsely academic hubris.” Oy.

    Anyway, my point is that, for a bunch of dudes who think I’m wrong about their violent misogyny, they sure have proved me right.

  20. Cass

    “A popular theme is to warn ominously that by not sucking up to antifeminist trolls I am dooming all women to eternal male rage.”

    Don’t any of these f**kers ever pick up a newspaper?

  21. Suzz

    I’d just like to mention that when I accessed Cooke’s article, an ad for Hooters showed up on the right side of the page. “Do you have what it takes? Apply at your nearest Hooters today!” Knobs.

  22. Lara

    “A popular theme is to warn ominously that by not sucking up to antifeminist trolls I am dooming all women to eternal male rage.”

    Translation of their argument:
    “How dare you call us ‘sexists’ and ‘rapists’! If you keep accusing us of raping you..we’ll….rape you!!”
    Threatening women with violent punishment is a great way to prove you are not sexist. :/

    IBTP.

  23. SHAKES

    Someone with a sociopathic personality can easily rape, and male sexuality is inherently sociopathic.So based on that assessment all men are capable of rape.

    Below is a list of the major personality traits used by psychiatrists to diagnose sociopathy.You can see the strong correlation between male sexuality and the profile of a sociopath.

    1.GLIB AND SUPERFICIAL CHARM
    On a date the male is smooth,charming,engaging and slick he will tell the woman anything she wants to hear if it means he can get her pussy.

    2.GRANDIOSE SELF-WORTH AND SENSE OF ENTITLEMENT
    He feels entitled for sex even if he’s only known her for an hour,after all he paid for her dinner and gave her that little 99 cent rose. He told her that she is sooooo HAWT! He showed her that picture of his cute little puppy and talked about how much he loves his mother,and how he coaches little league because he just loves kids! He’s thinking why won’t she put out for me? She isn’t buying my game!Come on bitch let me shove my cock up your cunt I didnt do all that shit for nothing!

    3.NEED FOR STIMULATION or PRONENESS TO BOREDOM
    He has intense cravings for sex,he thinks about it constantly and inappropriatly sexualizes every interaction in his life. A woman just walking down the street wearing a low cut skirt…. (ohhhh I want to fuck that!) A woman eating a banana…(ohh baby suck that cock!). He gets bored rapidly and needs increasingly more stimulation to satisfy him. First its plain vanilla sex and BJ’s then he wants to cum on her face,now he wants anal,then he wants her to suck his dick after its been in her asshole,then he wants a threesome,then he wants to make a porno movie with her,then he gets bored with her and needs new pussy he wants to fuck a blonde now then a redhead then an asian woman it just goes on and on and on……

    4.PATHOLOGICAL LYING
    All men have lied to get sex.You know all that lovey dovey bullshit….I love you! You are the one I want to spend the rest of my life with! They will lie about thier childhood,education,income,age,marital status,legal problems and history of drug and alcohol abuse, whatever it takes to get sex.

    5.CONNING AND MANIPULATIVENESS
    They con women emotionally with guilt trips,false promises,even with intimidation and threats of violence. They frequently use alcohol and drugs to inebriate and rape women.

    6.LACK OF REMORSE,SHAME OR GUILT
    The male sociopathic sexuality is completety devoid of any emotional empathy,its all a power trip to him. He will lie,coerce,take advantage of,humilate,force,intoxicate and prostitute women for his sexual needs.He can watch hours of vicious pornography showing drugged up teenage girls getting sodomized and ejaculated on by groups of men and gleefully masturbate to orgasm with out a second thought like the true sexual sociopath he is.

    7.SHALLOW AFFECT -When a male views porn he just sees body parts tits,asses and cunts,due to his sociopathic sexuality he is unable to see the women as human beings. When a woman views porn she is repulsed at the sight of the emotionless,degrading and exploitative sex. Porn is made for people with sociopathic sexualities (MEN).

    8.CALLOUSNESS and LACK OF EMPATHY –(a lack of feelings toward women in general)
    Men will brag with other males about how many woman they have used sexually “played” “fucked and chucked” etc. and who was able to get women to do the most degrading sex acts.
    “Dude! I got her to let me fuck her in the ass last night! That girl is such a stupid bitch!”
    “Oh yeah I got you beat! I fucked my bitches ass last night and I made her suck her ass juice off my cock and busted a nut all over the filthy sluts face!”
    “WHHHHOOOOOOAAAAAA DUDE! YOU THE MAN!!! HIGH FIVE!!

    9.PARASITIC LIFESTYLE
    Mens interest in woman is primarily sexual if it wasn’t for sex,men wouldn’t associate with women.Men hate that they need women sexually and they project that hate and sexual frustration onto women.Refering to them as sluts,whores,bitches,ho’s,cunts and other sexually demeaning terminology to scapegoat women for thier pathetic male sexual needs.When in reality it is the male not female sexuality that is cheap,vulgar,and promiscious.

    10.Poor Behavioral Controls/Impulsive Nature
    Mens greatest weakness is thier lust for sex,men think with thier dicks and a hard penis has no conscious.Statistically 1 out of 4 girls and 1 out 6 boys are raped before the age of 18
    due to the sociopathic nature of male sexuality.Millions of men are addicted to pornography. Porn is a multi billion dollar industry and its not the softcore playboy type of porn either, its mostly the brutal vicious hardcore porn that men are consuming.

    ALL WOMEN SHOULD HAVE A HEALTHY FEAR AND DISTRUST OF MEN! IF MEN ARE OFFENDED BY THAT THEY CAN GO TO HELL!

  24. Edith

    Here’s a question:

    As I am a perpetual undergraduate/transfer student/mentally ill fuck up, who is currently 24 years old and has at least three more semesters to go before I complete my BA in English (which sort of makes me a “junior” of sorts, even though I have around 150 college credits which is about thirty credits over the minimum needed to graduate), and takes college classes with approximately 100 Cookes every fucking week, how do I not kill myself?

    Really, this is why I changed my major to English from sociology. Sociology dudes are, like, a thousand times worse. That’s not me being a hyperbolic English major, by the way. That is a fact that I learned in Sociological Statistics 225, thanks.

  25. Karen

    I read this entry with my 4-year-old son sitting on my lap. When I laughed in delight at this:

    They have not yet grasped that theirs is not the defining human experience. They cannot imagine a worldview more enlightened than their own.

    he, of course, wanted to know what was so funny. I read it to him. After that, he just laughed whenever I laughed, without asking any questions.

    [Apologies if this kind of anecdote is unwanted. I know it's not strictly patriarchy-blaming. But I do hope to mold the little guy into a blamer; that's my excuse.]

  26. draconismoi

    I just finished up a Gender and the Law course – where we learned, among other things, that rape laws are just soooo hard to write and enforce – especially when those damnable female behaviors make it so hard to tell the difference between a ‘real’ no and a ‘fake’ no. I did suggest that perhaps rape laws should be rewritten so the default assumption is no until a yes is provided (rather than the current way that assumes all women exist in a perpetually sex-crazed state)…and here is what I learned from my peers and professors:

    1) It is ridiculous to request a ‘yes’ all the time – what are we supposed to get a contract signed with witnesses? (because the only time women can give real actual unequivocal consent is with a witness to ascertain they were of sound mind)

    2) That kind of thing makes it really hard to be a Male Feminist – how can I have sex with women if I always have to assume I am raping them? How can I truly tell when they really want to? (Apparently the White Male Feminist is not willing to consider that he should NOT be having sex with anyone until he is capable of determining when his partners are consenting. He would greatly love AJ Cooke.)

    3) That’s ridiculous! Talk about killing the mood! (Right. It is SUCH a turn off when your partner verifies your interest. It’s like a bucket of cold water to realize that he or she truly cares about you and your comfort.)

    4) What about when you are married? Is my husband supposed to ask every time? There are certain expectation when you live with someone – sometimes you just go along with it when you aren’t interested. That would make my husband a serial rapist! (Yes, it would. And it does. I admit he’s in a bit of a pickle since you’ve theoretically never indicated lack of interest. But then, who told the two of you about these goddamn “marital expectations”? I’m willing to be it wasn’t your idea).

    5) (After reading a case where a teen girl was raped by her boyfriend and he got off because of the “mixed signals” she sent out with her willingness to go to second base). Teenagers like that just shouldn’t be having sex. What did she THINK was going to happen?! (Ah yes, of course. It was the woman’s fault! Why didn’t I see that? Not perhaps the fault of her boyfriend who expected sex since he bought her a beer? No no, he paid for her body in alcohol. Making out = consent. You must be a virgin or a whore. I’m sure the abstinence-only education she got at school really helped prepare her for how to deal with this situation).

    What was really depressing about all these little tidbits I ‘learned’ in class was that these were the ‘progressive’ students and the ‘feminist’ professor. The people who intended to change the law for the better. And not one of them could see the fundamental flaw in rape laws. They debated the nature of refusal and different types of force – but no one accepted changing the law as a whole. My professor pointed out that our criminal justice system couldn’t handle it. Which is a logical reason to not attempt change – too many people would be guilty. Therefore it can’t really be considered a crime.

  27. mearl

    Shakes: I love it!

  28. Lara

    draconismoi, what you point out is so true. And these students and professors do this because women are automatically suspect of lying or “asking for it.” Women are the ones who are the accused, who are put under the spotlight, who are interrogated.

    Shakes, I think I have fallen in love with you…only thing I’ll say, is that if you argue men are raping “out of impulse” then wouldn’t that be saying that it is a natural instinct for men to rape? I am not sure if you intended this…

  29. Kali

    Shakes, you hit the nail on the head.

    I also agree with Lisa. Those words “intentionally or knowingly” and “apparent” are there as a back door exit for rapists. All the rapist needs to say is that he didn’t know there was no consent (as Kobe Bryant did so successfully), the burden of proof is on the prosecuter to show that the rapist knew that there was no consent, and in most rape cases that is impossible to prove. Even if the woman was shouting no and fighting tooth and nail, the rapist can claim he thought she was consenting because some women really like “rough”, “edgy” sex. Don’t we see it in porn all the time? Those sluts really like being beaten, punched, choked etc.

    This is one reason I like Twisty’s proposal so much. Now the burden of proof is on the rapist and his defense team to show that he received affirmative consent.

  30. Mary

    As a student on the University of Maryland campus, I see these signs everywhere. In my dorm, where my wing is femyle-only, there is a huge “got consent?” sign. I agree entirely that this is a ridiculous message and is also highly ineffective. The flyers, presumably targeting men, direct them to “man up” and “get consent.” The message that I hear is that consent is not an open dialogue, not a true question of the wishes of those involved, but rather another hoop to jump through. Consent is to be “gotten” through whatever means necessary, it seems. The message is not “ask about consent” but rather “get consent”… which assumes that the victim will automatically consent anyway.

  31. Jennifer

    It’s probably a bit late to comment on this, but I wanted to say that I work on an infectious diseases journal, and that made his doctor-needle analogy particularly poor. Article after article is about “What can we do to get these people to follow standard precautions?” Most hospitals are _full_ of posters and inservices that “question whether a person is acting ethically.” The point of these things, and the interventions he indicts, is more like “Hey! Try to remember the right thing to do.” Of course, in these studies, the largely male physician group is invariably the least compliant, despite the fact that they have dramatically less patient contact. Hmm. I think these reminders aren’t working. Perhaps overt accusations of shite behaviour would work better.

  32. Thomcat

    Your view on consent is eye-opening. The idea that consent is legal permission to rape, not prevention, really requires more thought.

    I’m very glad I followed a link here through a friend’s blog. I spend so much time on political sites I neglect feminist sites.

    Now that I’ve checked out some of your articles and your writing style I understand why I’ve heard raves about your blog. I’m sorry it took me so long to stop in.

    I’m quiet, so I’ll go back to lurking now. Be well.

  33. Sue

    Just found your blog – great that someone is putting this out there.

    The part that callow college dudes concerned with their GOD GIVEN right to watch porn (which I have no problem with in theory, but which is hardly ever sexy – just gross and demeaning and oddly anally obsessed….for purportedly “straight” guys)always seem to overlook is that rape destroys a part of that person forever. It isn’t just a one-night stand that went badly.

    Just had jury duty last week and one of the magazines in the waiting area (Vanity Fair, Kate Hudson on the cover – no idea what month) had an article written by a woman whose sister was destroyed by an eating disorder, and took her own life. The sister, a former athlete was gang raped in college during spring training, never was able to deal with it…developed the eating disorder and depression…and you know how it ended.

    Even with counseling – how to repair one’s world view, trust…after being a victim. They really need to come up with a womens studies course that college age men are forced to take. They can stop taking it when rape stats go down.

  34. Sue

    Oops – it was Vogue not VF. I don’t like either mag, they seem the same to me – sorry.

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