An MRA Speaks on Rape


A few weeks ago, I wrote about a Title IX requirement that the civil rights of accusers and accused be balanced in educational situations involving allegations of sexual violence. Unsurprisingly, this attracted the Google alert attention of a men’s rights advocate. Eventually, I got him off the topic of cherry-picking feminist quotes (or made up feminist quotes) and onto the topic at hand.

This is when we discovered what he actually thinks counts as rape and whose fault it is. First off, you have to know that–despite me presenting him with scientific evidence on the topic–rape is mostly made up.

Considering false rape claims hover somewhere in the range of 40-60% & considering the many incentives women already have to make false allegations of rape, it doesn’t take a feminist to see how this ludicrous mandate will definitely translate into extreme hardship for the accused whom will be men 99.999% of the time.

It is also completely avoidable. Duh.

I’ll pre-empt a probable question-answer right now by saying women can avoid being raped by drinking responsibly, avoiding high risk situations & by not dressing like a slut & putting the message out there that they’re “hot to trot”. I think its odd they even need to be told this…

And it’s not what you think it is–simply nonconsensual sex.

I think most normal people’s perception of rape includes; tearing clothes, biting, kicking, screaming, & violence.

The “researchers” in your “studies” say that if a man has sex with a woman who is intoxicated, then he has committed rape. The problem with this is, no, he hasn’t. You & you alone are responsible for how much you drink. If you drink excessively & end up sleeping with somebody you later regret, learn from that mistake & move on.

But do remember that this is a movement that is all about the rights of men…to do things like rape passed out college women without risking their education by it.

Comments

  1. blotzphoto says

    Ewww… Yuck… I’m going to just go and turn my genitals in for donation so I don’t have to share a gender with such foul scum.

  2. says

    I’m really very sad that he didn’t get the “precious bodily fluids” reference. Someone else did, at least. They even added a Youtube link and he still didn’t get it. Sigh. Too hip for the room I guess.

  3. Didaktylos says

    One thing I have never understood: why would anybody ever want to have sex with someone who wasn’t enthusiastically cooperative?

  4. Roweenie says

    It is soooo hard not to feed your troll Stephanie. I’m afraid he’d get his slime all over me if I did, though. Then he’d be upset that I would falsely accuse him of spreading his hate into the world. And it’s also nice to know that your blog is so small and insignificant (big word there), so we don’t have to worry our pretty little feminine heads about all his indisputable “facts”. Hope he likes his hand and own bodily fluids. I can guarantee that I would never want to take his “essence”.

  5. says

    One thing I have never understood: why would anybody ever want to have sex with someone who wasn’t enthusiastically cooperative?

    Well, there is such a thing as fetishes and preferences. Just like some are turned on by being dominated, I can imagine some are turned on by dominating, turned on by their partner’s resistance.
    Which I suppose is not wrong in and of itself. I can imagine how you can have consensual sex that way. Though trying to arrange it properly with someone you don’t know very well seems to me both difficult and dangerous.
    And I am certainly not going to defend anyone who crosses the line and gets that particular kick through going non-consensual.

    On the blog post itself: Eurgh. I think I was happier back when I didn’t know there was such a thing as the MRA.
    Still, it doesn’t do any good to ignore that such people exist. I’ll just have to grow up and face reality, I suppose.

  6. Ophelia Benson says

    Oy. Everything including the “mangina” thing. People like that make me think this whole intertubes idea has been a mistake.

  7. Cuttlefish says

    When MRA’s give you lemons…

    So a possible lesson here for rape prevention policy is that defining rape as a crime of power (which it is, in two ways–the obvious, and what our MRA is demonstrating, that the power imbalance and privilege allows rapists an environment where they do not have to see that a power imbalance and difference in privilege exists) may be getting in the way of preventing rape. It allows men to say “this does not apply to me; I’m not exercising power, I’m horny” or “I’m not taking advantage, I’m in love.” If we define by motivation, and our culture allows us to see ourselves favorably, very few men will see themselves as rapists.

    An explicit and positive definition based on behavior, not motive, may help in some cases. That is, “if you do not have explicit permission, it is rape” does not allow an exception for “unless you are really in love, or really horny.” It also does not allow for your MRA’s exception due to alcohol; the responsibility for his actions is his alone, and without a clear, sound-minded (and as an earlier commenter said, an enthusiastic) “yes”, it’s rape. The state of mind of the perpetrator is utterly irrelevant; the excuses that come out of privilege (and it is entirely possible for a privileged individual to honestly see himself as the victim when he is by law a rapist, because he does not see and cannot feel the power differential) do not change the fact that either there was an explicit “yes” or there was not.

    The MRA gives us a valuable look into his reasoning. He’s wrong, but we can use his information. Explicitly defining rape without reference to intent, power, etc., but purely in terms of absence of consent, gives weasels like this no place to hide.

  8. says

    Cuttlefish, I would like to take something that positive away from this, but I’ve seen MRAs be completely weaselly about the consent definition too. They’re very determined to carve out those exceptions for themselves no matter how you define rape. It’s one of those things that tells me that they know exactly what they’re doing. No definition is unassailable, and their arguments are highly contradictory in every aspect except “You can’t tell me what to do, you bitch.”

  9. says

    Alfarr, be careful arguing from fetish unless you’re part of the community. You miss nuances that help hide rapists, both inside and outside of BDSM in your comment, like the fact that unless there is enthusiastic consent at some point in the process, it is still very much rape, whatever the standards for roleplaying. Also, my understanding from listening to ethical fetishists is that the consent involved (you will let me do that?) is a great deal of the appeal.

  10. says

    We need to make the official Freethought Blogs t-shirt “I feed trolls.” We could have a checklist for types below. Definitely need to include MRAs on the list. As Ophelia points out, they’re everywhere.

  11. Aliasalpha says

    Well at least he didn’t suggest the victims (err I mean non-consenting participants) should lie back and enjoy it…

    I’m beginning to think my shut in lifestyle is probably for the best, if I was exposed to too much of the world these people inhabit my fists would end up with nose shaped dents in them

  12. Robert B. says

    From the “things that don’t happen” file:

    “A local man was assailed yesterday by a stranger in a deserted subway station, who dragged him into a corner and force-fed him anchovies, pickled jalapeno peppers, and shrimp-fried rice. The attacker was later arrested, but released when he explained that the victim had been wearing an ‘I Love Food’ t-shirt with a small ketchup stain on the front. Police agreed that he was ‘totally asking for it’ and ‘was probably going out to eat anyway.'”

  13. says

    Alfarr, be careful arguing from fetish unless you’re part of the community. You miss nuances that help hide rapists, both inside and outside of BDSM in your comment, like the fact that unless there is enthusiastic consent at some point in the process, it is still very much rape, whatever the standards for roleplaying. Also, my understanding from listening to ethical fetishists is that the consent involved (you will let me do that?) is a great deal of the appeal.

    I’m not, so thank you for pointing it out. I’ll be more careful.
    Because you’re right of course. “Enthusiastic consent” or “enthusiastic cooperation” must still apply at some level, even when you’re roleplaying something else.
    I’m actually warming up to “enthusiastic consent” as a better description of the prerequisite than just “consent”. It does seem a bit clearer and harder to twist.
    Though as you imply, I’m sure the MRA would do it anyway. They might even relish any such challenge, considering the glimpses freethought-bloggers have given me of their reasoning.

  14. Axxyaan says

    Wel I have some reservations against calling “having sex with an intoxicated person” rape. Does that mean that if both persons were intoxicated they raped each other?

  15. says

    The funny thing about that, Axxyaan, is that is not the legal definition of rape and, thus, not the definition used in the studies. The legal definition (against which our MRA is arguing) still involves consent. Intoxication comes into play when it affects the ability to consent–it is not consent in itself. The difference isn’t hard to sort out for anyone who isn’t trying to play games with it.

  16. Axxyaan says

    I don’t think that answers my concerns. Let me first check whether I understand correctly now. Suppose someone drinks to such a level so that later in court it is decided (s)he was not in a condition to give consent.
    Someone had sex with this person with his/her approval during the period of intoxication. Did this latter person rape the first?

  17. says

    I think it does answer your concerns fully, vanishingly unlikely hypotheticals notwithstanding. If you’re still concerned about it, you might want to stick to having sex with people who aren’t blacking out.

  18. Axxyaan says

    It is very well possible that it answers my concerns, but couldn’t you have answered my question? Do I understand correctly that people are only considered unable to give consent when they are so intoxicated they are blacking out?

    Concerning having sex myself. I’ll stick to those occasions me and my wife are in the mood. That implies having drunk very little.

  19. Chrisj says

    I’m actually warming up to “enthusiastic consent” as a better description of the prerequisite than just “consent”. It does seem a bit clearer and harder to twist.

    I’ve given up on short forms; I now use “freely given and fully informed prior consent”, which is a bit of a mouthful but also relatively hard for MRAs and others to find a way around without giving obviously bogus definitions of one or more words.

  20. says

    I could have answered your questions, Axxyaan. I prefer to spend what little time I have for discussing hypothetical court cases on cases that might actually make it into a court. We’re not anywhere near that sort of case on rape. If we ever do get there, I’ll read up on precedents on intoxication and agency, because it’s not as though we don’t already deal with these issues with other crimes. Feel free to research it on your own, however, if you have a concern.

  21. Pteryxx says

    or to make it even simpler for ‘yaan, who I resent sharing xxy’s with… only have sex with people who know what’s going on and are happy about it. This is not complicated.

    EVERYBODY KNOWS WHAT A CONSENSUAL SEX PARTNER LOOKS LIKE. Even if you’ve never sat down and really thought it out, you know, because you don’t want to have sex with anybody who isn’t. This isn’t just a “no rape” moral button, but normal human beings don’t want to have sex with people who hate having sex with them. It feels bad. The only people who like that are rapists.

    Fugitivus – You know what consent looks like

  22. Martin says

    @Didaktylos:

    One thing I have never understood: why would anybody ever want to have sex with someone who wasn’t enthusiastically cooperative?

    When your previous “partner” was warm liver in a jam jar, an unconscious person is “enthusiastically cooperative”.

  23. starstuff91 says

    This guy is disgusting. I want to punch him in his stupid face. This kind of person just makes me so full of rage that I can’t even present a logical argument to why he’s horribly wrong. I just want to yell at him for being such a slimy piece of human filth.

  24. says

    The fundamental thing MRAs never seem to understand when engaging in rape apologetics is this: even if she is asking for it, she isn’t necessarily asking for it from you. Therefore, the “she asked for it” argument is not merely offensive and self-serving, but completely irrelevant.

  25. lexaequitas says

    Suppose someone drinks to such a level so that later in court it is decided (s)he was not in a condition to give consent.
    Someone had sex with this person with his/her approval during the period of intoxication. Did this latter person rape the first?

    Your hypo is that one person is intoxicated beyond ability to give consent, and another person had sex with them. I assume, in your confused use of pronouns, that the “with his/her approval” refers to the intoxicated person, but we’ve already determined that consent isn’t present.

    So the answer is yes, there was a rape.

    The subsequent answers are yes, you are running the risk of your partner being more intoxicated than you realize, and that the court will be using some kind of reasonable person standard to determine whether the rapist should have known the victim was that intoxicated. The court will still be using the “innocent beyond reasonable doubt” standard, and frankly this makes it hard enough for victims to see their rapists punished in most cases.

    The legal system isn’t perfect, but inventing hypos where someone suffers a potential injustice is only helpful if it leads to a better system. The better system certainly isn’t “assume drunk people give consent” — but that’s effectively what it would become if the typical MRA had their way with the world.

  26. says

    @29: said typical MRA can’t get any in any other way, so said typical MRA needs to lawyer himself out of whatever rape charges he’s going to end up getting hit with by engaging in his normal pickup method.

    Seriously, I hate all this rule-lawyering about what “counts” and what doesn’t. Informed, uncoerced consent is paramount. I and I’d assume most reasonable people would consider getting some random chick liquored up to be a form of coercion.

  27. Damnage says

    @29

    And if both parties really did want to have sex, and if they both wake up happy for having had sex and neither thinks a bad thought of it? If you’d still call that rape, you’d be saying that a rape can occur without there being a victim. At the very least you need to assume, in this hypothetical, that one person is hurt. I’m not sure if that was an assumption too obvious to be spelled out, but the point is that it’s not always the case (I have not idea how many people regret the sex they have while drunk), and it’s certainly not easy for both parties to predict.

    Lexaequitas’ response was perfectly kind, but some of the earlier ones really seemed written to cut off the discussion.

    Given the numbers of people who go home together after meeting at bars or clubs or parties or other places serving alcohol–given the number of people who go out to such places in order to meet someone–and the countless stages of intoxication, and of comparative intoxication, of visible intoxication, questions of who’s buying the drinks, what each person’s goals are–of all the conversations to cut short with simplistic and sometimes unkind responses, this is not one.

    I’ve always just tried to be as safe as possible, and if I think a woman might have drunk too much I just stop before sex. It’s certainly not an obvious decision to make at the moment, so again, I would not discourage people from talking about it.

  28. says

    Actually, the issue has been addressed, at length, in the discussion. See all the comments about enthusiastic consent.

    What was cut off was the “Oh, but maybe” that suggests that somehow, somewhere, there should be situations where the lack of consent is unclear and maybe people might find themselves in trouble because of that. While that might sound like an important set of circumstances to talk about, it’s already covered by the basic responsibility to have clear consent. Not sure s/he really wants to have sex? Don’t. Not sure s/he really understands what you’re proposing? Don’t.

    It isn’t hard to figure out how to make sure you’re having consensual sex. Because of that, and because that kind of rules-lawyering is actually used by rapists (who, like anyone else, tend not to want to think of themselves as the villains), I don’t have any problem with cutting off the endless hypotheticals with a simple, “Make sure.”

  29. Damnage says

    The difference is in the type of question which had been asked, which struck people as disagreeable. Your answer to me here would have been an excellent answer in the first place–#19 really wasn’t, together with a couple others.

    But I also think that for this answer to really stick, and to have the kind of power that “No means no” has, it has to be burned in. It has to be repeated. Passionate desire for sex after drinking will never be as easy a situation to read as one in which consent is expressly denied.

    (I understand, too, that this wasn’t the focus of your article, which must make it less enjoyable to respond to. And I did find both these pieces excellent, by the way, especially the second.)

  30. says

    Damnage, have you read the original question we were all responding to? After doing so, do you really want to lecture those of us who answered about how we could be more helpful?

    And no, it really isn’t that easy to mistake enthusiastic consent for anything else.

  31. Damnage says

    You’re talking about # 16, right?

    >Axxyaan says:
    September 18, 2011 at 5:42 am
    Wel I have some reservations against calling “having sex with an intoxicated person” rape. Does that mean that if both persons were intoxicated they raped each other?

    Yes, I think that there are questions in there to be fleshed out. Because that’s the kind of statement that sounds good and solid, and can block a further conversation if it’s not deconstructed. I’d have looked into it.

    As far as

    >And no, it really isn’t that easy to mistake enthusiastic consent for anything else.

    You know that’s not exactly the questions: the worry is, can anything else be mistaken for enthusiastic consent. Or, more directly, is it still enthusiastic consent when a person is drunk. Because yes, I can recall one particular time when I was in close quarters with a woman who was undressing me with some flair; tattooing it on her forehead wouldn’t have made it any clearer–she was having a great time and wanted sex. That to me looked very much like enthusiastic consent, and I’m pretty sure the next day we would have had no regrets. Her enthusiastic consent while drunk, to put it a different way, looked to me just like anyone else’s most enthusiastic consent.

  32. says

    No, actually, that statement doesn’t look good and solid. It looks like someone who wants to focus on something other than consent.

    Also, you’ve just told me that enthusiastic consent is hard to mistake for anything else, even when the person is drunk. I fail to see how that is you disagreeing with what I just said. You do understand the part the alcohol and other intoxicants actually play in rape, yes? I ask, because we’re no longer discussing rape, which is the topic of this post.

    No, I’m not just being difficult. You are engaging, whether on purpose or not, in a tactic that is used to blur the lines between consent and rape. And now that it’s been pointed out to you, twice, I expect you to stop it.

  33. Damnage says

    Declaring an area crystal clear does not in fact, get rid of that obnoxious blurriness.

    But sure thing, I’m done here.

  34. says

    No, it’s still really not hard to figure out whether you have enthusiastic consent, unless, of course, you consider not having sex on an individual occasion to be some kind of terrible burden. As I said above, and as you agreed, if you’re not sure, don’t do it.

  35. says

    Well, it wasn’t theft. It’s only theft if you say no. It’s not my fault you were horribly drunk when I took your car keyes, you shuldn’t have goteen drunk

    @BDSM
    To my knowledge, the community is very keen on having safe words and boundaries established, since “no, don’t do that” will mostly not mean “no, don’t do that”.
    Which doesn’t mean that there aren’t assholes within that community that do abuse their power, but it is probably less of a problem than an ordinary club night in that respect.

    Well I have some reservations against calling “having sex with an intoxicated person” rape. Does that mean that if both persons were intoxicated they raped each other?

    Poor old hypotheticus.
    It’s not as if “intoxication” is an on/off switch where there aren’t different levels.
    So, no, if you fuck somebody who can barely move while you’re lightheaded from a few drinks, you’re not excused.

    So, what if they’re both happy in the morning?
    Yep, you’re running the risk that the other one might not be happy in the morning, probably because s/he doesn’t have a clue who you are.
    As multiple people have said: It’s the risk you run, especially if we’re talking about casual sex.
    What about taking the stance of “I’m less drunk than you are, therefore I have a greater responsibility. I’m not going to take advantage of you in your state of vulnerability but take care that you get to a safe place.”?

  36. TempAnon says

    @Stephanie Zvan:

    “Also, my understanding from listening to ethical fetishists is that the consent involved (you will let me do that?) is a great deal of the appeal.”

    Yep. “Enthusiastic” consent, even. We probably spend more time, in aggregate, talking about consent, getting consent, arguing about what constitutes consent, than we do playing and having sex. One might even say that we as a community fetishize consent.

    Some of us also play with the boundaries of consent. Some people like (for certain definitions of “like”) being pushed into doing things that they don’t want, don’t like, didn’t “consent” to. Some of us like pushing people there. But, at some time previous, we exchanged ‘enthusiastic consent’ for playing with that difficult edge-of-consent stuff. If we don’t have that enthusiastic consent, then it becomes assault or rape, period.

    This is one of the reasons why we spend so much time talking about consent – playing at the edges of consent, even consensually and intentionally, is risky stuff. You want to make sure you know what you’re doing and agreeing to, both partners, and both have your big kids pants on and be willing to deal with the fallout if it goes wrong. And, IMO, if it goes so bad that s/he really feels violated and brings consequences to bear on me for that – well, then I get to deal with it. It’s edge play – I don’t get to make big mistakes when playing with the edge of consent, not without consequences.

    All of which makes that mutual informed ‘enthusiastic consent” crucially important.

    BTW, those conversations about consent in the ‘fethish’ community sometimes sound an awful lot like this one. On the one hand, people pointing out that even at the edges, consent is pretty simple – someone says clearly and without coercion “Yes, you can do this to/with me.” It’s not mysterious. On the other hand, there are people trying to ‘fuzzy up’ what consent is, because they want to be able to do what they want. There really isn’t anything mysterious about that, either. If you have to finesse the definition of consent to be able to say you had it – you didn’t.

  37. leftwingfox says

    A roommate of mine one got drunk at home, then attempted to drive an hour to his mother’s house at 4:00am. He fell alseep at the wheel and hit a police call post, destroying his new truck (He survived with very minor injuries). None of us could figure out why, and even he had no real reason or recollection of it when he woke up in jail the next day. Could we have prevented it?

    Here’s the thing, he was used to drinking and driving. Never to excess, but it was accepted by himself and his friends that a couple beers still meant they were ok to drive.

    Responsibility is not mitigated by intoxication, and attitudes while sober shape attitudes while drunk. There are the abusers who will take advantage of drunk women, and even try to help the state along by adulterating drinks with more alcohol or tranquilizers. It’s an awfully easy defense to claim that you were both crazy drunk, even if the offender was in control of their actions.

    Personally, I never want to be in a situation where the person wakes up regretting the night before, even if it was an “innocent misunderstanding”.

    That’s why I think it’s better to always consider sex with an obviously intoxicated person as a potential rape, and to promote that attitude. That way even those who are blasted are more likely to be in the frame of mind that “This could be a mistake” instead of “Go for it!”

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