Men and boys need positive consent policies too


My pals at InsideMan magazine asked me for my views on the recent guidelines sent to police investigators for rape trials. The piece I gave them is here, with some interesting comments and discussion underneath, but I thought I’d repost here for luck

 

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This week Alison Saunders, Director of Public Prosecutions, announced that a new toolkit of rape investigation procedures is to be sent to police officers. The reaction from men around my digital neighbourhood on social media, comment threads and forums was pretty fierce – abusively angry at worst, concerned or worried at best.

The negative reactions were understandable, given the headlines. They were also misplaced. The proposals announced are I believe modest and necessary, they are also genuinely helpful not only to women and girls, but to men and boys.

First, the facts. Despite what you might have (reasonably) taken from some of the headlines, it is not true that those accused of rape must now produce proof that they had consent in order to defend themselves. Read through to the actual words of the DPP and what she said was:

“We want police and prosecutors to make sure they ask in every case where consent is the issue – how did the suspect know the complainant was saying yes and doing so freely and knowingly?”

If there is a scandal here, it is not that police investigators will be expected to ask such questions from now on – the scandal is that they might ever not have asked such a question in the past.

Similarly, it is not true that every drunken hookup will from now on involve a male rapist and a female victim. Again, in Saunders’ words: “it is a crime for a rapist to target someone who is no longer capable of consenting to sex though drink.”

Most importantly of all, it is most definitely not the case that the burden of proof in rape cases has now been reversed, that an accused man is now legally guilty until proven innocent. The guidance under discussion could not be more clear:

“In investigating the suspect, it must be established what steps, if any, the suspect took to obtain the complainant’s consent and the prosecution must prove that the suspect did not have a reasonable belief that the complainant was consenting.”

In other words the law is exactly as it stands. In order to obtain a conviction, the prosecution must prove that the suspect did not have a reasonable belief that the complainant was consenting. How could the prosecution prove such a case? That will continue to be very difficult.

Many or most cases will continue to pivot on a case of he said/ she said, and someone will still need to be found guilty beyond all reasonable doubt. The truly guilty will continue to lie through their teeth, the brave victim will continue to be put through an ordeal, as will the accused innocent. Police will still have to consider the possibility that an allegation is mistaken, misguided or malicious, and as ever, some will be so. Not much has changed.

The new guidelines do not change to law, but they do clarify it, to everyone’s benefit. I hold it as an article of faith that most men are not rapists and do not want to be rapists. The law says that there is only one way to be sure you are not a rapist and that is to make absolutely sure you have your partner’s consent to penetrative sex. The question that the police are now being told to put to rape suspects is no more or less than the question every one of us should ask ourselves at any time sexual consent is in doubt. If I cannot answer that question there and then, forget the police, I might be about to rape someone, and that is a far, far more important consideration.

So the new guidelines will probably have a material influence on a tiny handful of the tens of thousands of rape reports filed each year, if that. Nonetheless they mark a significant milestone in how British society considers sexual consent. In the jargon, it has pushed us closer to a definition of consent which stands at yes means yes, rather than no means no.

One of the less-observed elements to a yes-means-yes model, is how valuable it could be for male victims of sexual violence. One of the myths of male-on-male rape is that it is primarily committed by gay men against straight men. In truth the male victims of rape are disproportionately gay or bisexual, and often their attackers identify as straight. One feature that emerges commonly from case studies is victims saying “he told me I must want it because I’m gay.”

Underpinning that (homophobic) prejudice is a related myth, that men are – if you’ll pardon the expression – up for it at any time. Recent years have seen a slight but growing recognition of the extent and harmful consequences of the sexual abuse of underage boys by women and even sexual assaults upon adult men – an issue which leapt into mainstream debate with the recent case involving actor Shia Laboeuf. It seems likely that many of the women committing such serious assaults do not think of themselves as sexual abusers or even rapists. They have been raised with the belief that men are insatiable animals who will never say no to anyone, allied to the pernicious though pervasive lie that an erection equals consent.

it might well be the case that male victims are far from the thoughts of Alison Saunders or most campaigners for affirmative consent. As so often in these respects, male victims tend to he thrown in as an afterthought, if at all. However the laws and the policies are gender neutral, and if there is a problem with the authorities disregarding male victims, that is not helped by the rest of us doing the same. .

Will a more affirmative model of sexual consent prevent the rape at abuse of men and boys, of women and girls? Not alone, not overnight, no it won’t. However some small but profound shifts in our sexual mores, our expectations, our habits, our rituals could perhaps make a significant difference in the long term.

Even if that is ambitious, as the father of two boys I am happy to help teach them how sexual consent should be both offered and understood, explaining you should never do anything intimate with anyone unless you are absolutely sure it is what you both want. I will tell them that, not because it is what the law demands, but because it is the right thing to do.

 

Comments

  1. bruce bartup says

    Thank you Ally, another well written and level headed piece.

    But I don’t somehow feel better informed for having read it. I’m sure the new toolkit will improve matters for polce procedure since that is its job. The furore does seem to indicate the need for a much cllearer ‘pub-man’s’ guide to rape and consent, It is somewhat striking that rarer forms of abuse (women to boys for example) get attention whereas ‘Mr. Joe Average man about town’ is left with little more than a pat on the head and ‘be nice’.

    To be frank I am not surprised that people have difficulty applying the definition of the idea of rape. I think it is a misconceived idea. Was harm caused? That is the nub of the issue. I don’t mind my neighbour borrowing my lawnmower even without my consent. But if the bugger leaves it dirty and busted, whether he/she said please first won’t cool my temper much.

  2. D506 says

    I find I’m constantly disappointed in the feminists on Facebook and in various comment sections. Then I read comments like the ones on your piece at inside-man and realize while I’m still a feminist. To see so many people argue so self righteously that they should be able to have sex with other people unless they are actively stopped is, frankly, disturbing.

  3. says

    Someone needs to write “the bro’s guide to drunkfuks”
    You know, with useful advice like:
    If your partner is face down in vomit, unconscious, make sure they are breathing. Oh, and they aren’t ready for sex. Save that for the next date.

  4. SomePerson says

    I wonder if anyone has ever looked into how men with OCD deal with all the yes-means-yes constant checking in thing. I know that I’m more and more worried, accepting women’s consent is getting harder and harder, I constantly feel the need to check, because now it’s not her who has to tell me “no” it’s me who has to ascertain the “yes”. So this feeds right into ruminating, worrying and constant checking. And *that* is definitely also ruining the mood, mine and my partners’.

  5. bruce bartup says

    Marcus Ranum @3

    What would ‘bro’s guide’ have as a 50:50 case? or a 90:10? Y’kmow – the ones we’re meant to say no to, just.

  6. ron says

    Absolute rubbish..how did you know she was consenting? she didn’t object! Man I had to really work my ex-girlfriend to “get her in the mood” don’t need to sound blunt — But this is micro-management,and an intrusion into private affairs!

  7. D506 says

    You guys do realize that all this requires you to have is a reason to reasonably believe she is consenting, right? It’s not exactly a high bar to pass. I’m far more sympathetic to consent confusion than the average feminist, but I’m quite comfortable calling someone who has sex with someone else – with absolutely no indication that the other party wants to – a rapist.

  8. StillGjenanger says

    @D506 7

    You guys do realize that all this requires you to have is a reason to reasonably believe she is consenting, right?

    Absolutely right. And (never mind the criminal law) the idea that you need an actual positive reason to believe in consent, rather than just an absence of protest, does seem to be a useful reminder. It is when this starts to get into more detailed requirements (active enthusiasm, up to you to be certain of consent,…) that you can get a little worried.

  9. xyz says

    Thank you Ally for this thoughtful column. I agree that it’s a good standard to add to police work, and like you I really hope it’s enforced gender-neutrally in order to aid male rape victims too.

  10. Anne Fenwick says

    @1- you can borrow my blow-up plastic doll without asking me, so long as it’s perfectly clean when you return it.

  11. Bugmaster says

    Similarly, it is not true that every drunken hookup will from now on involve a male rapist and a female victim. Again, in Saunders’ words: “it is a crime for a rapist to target someone who is no longer capable of consenting to sex though drink.”

    From the legal point of view, how do we know whether a drunken individual is “capable of consenting to sex” ? I understand that, in real life, you can answer that question in a variety of ways; I’m not asking, “how do I know if I should have sex with this girl who’s had a few drinks”, but rather, “according to the law, what value of blood alcohol level is sufficient to land me in jail for rape ?”

    If the answer to the second question is, “I don’t know, it’s a judgement call”, then effectively the law states, “having sex with anyone who’s consumed any amount of alcohol is illegal”. Which is fine, I could be persuaded to accept that as a valid law (especially since I personally don’t enjoy getting drunk anyway), but then, that’s what the law needs to explicitly state.

    This is also the problem with affirmative consent policies in general. If there are no rules for what constitutes “affirmative consent”, then the law essentially states, “you can go to jail for having sex with anyone in any situation”. Which, again, would be fine if we restricted the law to only operate in certain areas, such as college campuses; but again, the law needs to be explicit about this.

    The problem with laws that are overly vague is that, inevitably, they will be selectively enforced against anyone whom the current leadership finds objectionable for other reasons. For example, consider the current blasphemy laws in Russia. You can blaspheme all you want with no repercussions, but if you combine your blasphemy with negative comments about Putin… well, then you go to jail.

  12. says

    Bugmaster @ 12: It doesn’t seem all that hard. Wondering where the line is, exactly, where the law is going to say it’s rape or not is, actually, rather creepy. It implies you’re trying to edge right up to that line to try to get away with something.

    Seems to me fairly easy. If in doubt about their consent, don’t have sex with them. Then you don’t come anywhere near to having to worry about the legal situation.
    Even if they are seeming to be agreeable, but appear impaired, it shouldn’t be too hard to imagine whether you could convince them to do something else they normally wouldn’t. Could you talk them in to anything dangerous or illegal or harmful? Then they’re not up to consent to sex either.

    That selective enforcement thing might seem like a concern, but it’s already like that. Where far too often victims are blown off for bad reasons, for instance. Clarifying rules for the police so they’ll hopefully investigate better seems a win for everyone.

  13. Bugmaster says

    If in doubt about their consent, don’t have sex with them. Then you don’t come anywhere near to having to worry about the legal situation.

    In essence, what you are saying is, “since the presumption of innocence no longer applies to sexual intercourse, and assuming you want to avoid jail, don’t have sex with anyone unless you are absolutely certain they will never desire to put you in jail”. This is a somewhat more verbose version of what I said above: “you can go to jail for having sex with anyone in any situation”. And, as I said above, maybe I could be persuaded that this law is a good idea, but so far I’m not convinced. Note that I am in full agreement with your main point; of course you shouldn’t have sex with anyone if you doubt their consent, duh. I am not disagreeing with this principle, but with the specific implementation of the principle into law.

    You say: “Wondering where the line is, exactly, where the law is going to say it’s rape or not is, actually, rather creepy. It implies you’re trying to edge right up to that line to try to get away with something”. This is a variation of the more common saying, “the innocent have nothing to hide”. You then go on to suggest that the answer to selective enforcement of laws is more selective enforcement (just skewed in the direction you prefer). To explain why I have a problem with this idea, let me use the example of books.

    Is it legal to read books ? Today, we’d obviously say “yes”; perhaps with qualifiers such as, “unless the book contains the list of American troop movements, and you are not working for the Army”, but generally the answer is “yes”. Ok, so should we make a law that requires everyone to disclose the name of every book they’ve ever read ? If the innocent have nothing to hide, then the answer is again “yes” — what’s the harm ? Well, as it turns out, the harm is that if certain books become outlawed in the future, and someone doesn’t like you personally, they can apply selective enforcement against you and put you in jail for being a Communist spy, on the pretext that you happened to check out “The Collected Works of Karl Marx” from a library back when you were in college, or something.

    This is the problem with vague laws that do not explicitly define what is and is not criminal: even if you are pretty sure that they will only ever be applied against bad guys, there’s no guarantee that they’ll never be applied against you, personally, when the political climate changes.

    Note, once again, that I am talking about laws, specifically, not merely standards of behavior. To use another analogy, everyone can agree that driving while drunk is incredibly dangerous and irresponsible. If you are not sure whether you are sober enough to drive, the correct answer is not to drive. However, I would oppose any law that states, “if your blood alcohol content is greater than 0, and you are driving, then you go to jail”. Do you think that my opposition to such a (hypothetical) law implies that I am trying to “get away with” driving while drunk ?

  14. xyz says

    Bugmaster, I have to conclude that you didn’t actually read the article.

    “In investigating the suspect, it must be established what steps, if any, the suspect took to obtain the complainant’s consent and the prosecution must prove that the suspect did not have a reasonable belief that the complainant was consenting.”

    That’s all the new guidance says. That silence is not consent, and that rape investigations need to take this into account. So how exactly do you imagine people would be able to “put someone in jail” by claiming a lack of affirmative consent? It seems to me that a more thorough style of investigation into the question of consent in a rape case, could just as easily lead to exoneration for innocent people who CAN explain how they knew they had consent. Your scenario is frankly very bizarre.

  15. Ally Fogg says

    Bugmaster

    In essence, what you are saying is, “since the presumption of innocence no longer applies to sexual intercourse”

    As has been said many times, this is just flat out wrong, not true, imagined, fictional. I don’t know how else to clarify it. You cannot be convicted of rape unless the prosecution can convince a court that you had no reasonable belief that you had consent to sex.

    This is the problem with vague laws that do not explicitly define what is and is not criminal:

    Serious question: How would you formulate a law to criminalise rape that is any better? Bear in mind the strong evidence that many victims of sexual assault go into shock or panic and literally cannot fight back or resist or eloquently express their lack of consent, and that even the word “No” in a sexual context can be ambiguous.

  16. bruce bartup says

    Ally Fogg @ 16
    as predicted. everyone attempting to apply consent as a concept is getting completely bogged down.

    “How would you formulate a law to criminalise rape that is any better?”

    Repeal it. And put the law back where it should always have been. On the same scale of punishments and the same basis of law as any other assault. That is ‘what harm was done?’. Consent being irrelevant. Irrelevant. If we get into a ring for a boxing match and I volunteer and you hide a horseshoe in your glove and bust my jaw – my consent meant nothing. That consent was a deception, or in other cases of ‘consenting’ rape a matter of ‘asymmetric information leading to an adverse selection’.

    The evidence for emotional trauma is far easier to gather for a court if neccessary than a purely subjective mind state that in the heat of action no man can ever possibly read the signs for – because his mind is supposed to be focused on making her happy. A sceptical scientific mindset is just isn’t on. I mean, c’mon Ally – men of the world here, yes?

    The raising of rape to some sublime mystical level ends in no more nor less than empowering the rapist. And everyone else who owns a dick (flesh or rubber). The law as it stands is also shaming victims (because having consented makes them complicit in this ‘spirit-guide wibbly wobbly rapey wapey’ Wiccan wombyn bullshsit . Also the excercise of the law is effectively congratulating the rapist and approving of him (he chose the smart way to hurt women). Rapist get claen away wth rape what 90% of the time? More so if he leaves no physical damage. So he’s a clever guy, I mean why bother with domestic violence which you get imprisoned for, instead of just making her lie still and sliding your ‘woman destroyer – Satan’s finger’ in?

    Sex is just a walk in the park hand iin hand, or should be. All feminism has done is add a nasrty twist to a law-as -rape-culture that we’ve put up with sice 1175 or so. And I’m saying that as a Feminist.

  17. Ally Fogg says

    Sorry Bruce, I am really struggling to understand a word of that.

    First of all, the law in other crimes, such as assault, is not about harm done, but about the act. The sentencing might reflect the amount of harm done (as does sentencing in rape), but it has nothing to do with whether an act is a crime or not.

    Your boxing glove analogy appears to suggest the exact opposite of what I think you meant. If I agree to some kissing and cuddling with someone and they take advantage of that and force sex upon me when I don’t want sex, that is roughly equivalent to the horseshoe in the boxing glove. Yes, I agreed to a boxing match under strict conditions, which you then violated thereby making any consent I gave null and void.

    If we are only criminalising harm experienced rather than the act, are you suggesting it should be legal to rape someone in a coma? If not, why not?

    As for “emotional trauma” being easier for a court to measure, are you tripping? An alleged victim says “I am deeply traumatised by this” and the defence barrister says “I don’t believe you, you are lying.” Then what?

    As for your last two paragraphs, I honestly have no idea what you are talking about, not even enough to disagree.

    Can you clarify, write the law as you think it should be? What should the statute say?

  18. bruce bartup says

    Ally, apologes for being unclear

    The rape law originally defined rape as violent penetrative AND non-consensual which by direct Logical xtension means that violent penetrative consensual sex is legal, nnormal, allowed, part of the culture. It also inroduced into law implicitly the concept of consented harm. A hurt such as a surgical operation may be consented. But a consent to being harmed is not. Because it is not truly conceivable.

    Since then the concept of consent has been retained the violence lause dropped and minimum sentence of 5 years applied for mere contact of penis on vulva (non-consenting). The equivalent in injury terms is a broken jaw.

    So now women consent to the equivaent having their jaws broken in normal sex. Which sounds stupid because it is based on the same inconceivable basis. Women essentially in this regard are still treated as chattel.

    The act is bodily contact. i believe that the law already contains ample provision for aggravated assaault including emotional upset. Such upset being demonstrated by psychologists reports, testimony of friends, disrdeed behaviour at work or at home etc.

    Does that make it clearer?

  19. WhineyM says

    For me this is a shining example of an idea which may sound incredibly cool and right-on
    when shared amongst the metropolitan media elite on Twitter, but which in real life may have some really dangerous and pernicious effects.
    By putting people under pressure to explain themselves in this way, you’re effectively putting themselves in the position of acting almost as if they were their own lawyers, even before the case has come to trial, and in an incredibly complicated area of law.
    I mean for a professional middle-class wordsmith such as yourself, Ally, I doubt there would be any problem at all in constructing a very eloquent narrative for a police officer, identifying all those factors which made consent valid, and elucidating all those non-verbal cues which gave the green light. For someone who is poorly educated and not particularly articulate, this could be a very great demand, especially when they wouldn’t be sure of all the ramifications their statements might have at that stage.

    And surely it’s all very well to say that

    ‘It is not true that those accused of rape must now produce proof that they had consent in order to defend themselves’ but while this may remain valid on a technical level with regards to the verdict, we should perhaps remember that the right to silence is qualified these days in the UK. Whereas it used to be the case that ‘you have the right to remain silent,’ since 1994 this has been altered to “You do not have to say anything. But it may harm your defence if you do not mention when questioned something which you later rely on in court.” If you put these factors together, it may indeed appear to an accused person that they are being required to make these statemenst in their defense – indeed, as part of their defense – even before the trial.
    I think it’s dangerous, also, the idea put forward by the CPS that it is normal and common for a woman to freeze in such a way she would be incapable of making any signal of non-consent (even when not faced with a threat of violence). This takes away agency from women, which ultimately does no-one any favours at all in terms of autonomy and respect.
    It reminds me a bit of an exchange in the film ‘Due Date’ when the Robert Downey Jnr character says to his co-traveller, ‘you know what, if you’re highly allergic to waffles then don’t eat any waffles’, to which his travelling companion replies (with great anger and indignation) ‘Well don’t take me to a waffle house then!’
    So, in sum. this is surely all about agency: these CPS guidelines appear to take agency away from women, whilst implying that all the responsibility for intercourse should be shouldered soley by men.

  20. StillGjenganger says

    @Bruce Bartup 19
    Making it a criminal offense to cause emotional harm is totally impracticable, for two reasons:

    First you can harm someone very badly indeed without doing anything that anybody could object to. Imagine somebody falls madly in love with you, you think this might be a good thing and play along for a bit, then decide you do not want her after all and dump her. People can be terribly hurt by this kind of rejection. On your logic, since you caused the harm by dumping her, you are guilty. If she kills herself, you might be guilty of manslaughter. Not a sensible place to go, surely?

    Second, the amount of harm you cause is not predictable. People can get badly hurt by activities that they not only consent to but beg and wheedle to try. Maybe shagging those three virile strangers at once makes you feel soiled and suicidal once you wake up, instead of delightfully wicked as you had thought. Maybe being tied up and blindfolded throws you into a claustrophobic breakdown instead of feeling powerless, submissive and cared for, as you had expected, Even a wild night with a single footballer can leave you quite badly off, without anybody being able to predict beforehand what the result will be. You cannot make people absolutely responsible for the effects of their tryst on their bedmates, when they have no realistic way of either predicting the outcome beforehand or of limiting the damage.

    The only way this might work is to say that sex with stranger / sex out of wedlock / sex without following the 22-point enthusiastic consent checklist / wherever you set the bar, is in itself wrong and illegal. Then, OK, if it all goes well you are lucky and nothing happens, and if it goes wrong, well you should not have had the sex in the first place. But surely you will agree that condemning extramarital sex as such is going too far.

  21. Reginald Foster says

    I wonder if anyone has ever looked into how men with OCD deal with all the yes-means-yes constant checking in thing. I know that I’m more and more worried, accepting women’s consent is getting harder and harder, I constantly feel the need to check, because now it’s not her who has to tell me “no” it’s me who has to ascertain the “yes”. So this feeds right into ruminating, worrying and constant checking. And *that* is definitely also ruining the mood, mine and my partners’.

    This is something I’d like to hear more about, too, as I’ve had similar problems. (It’s fairly classic for people with OCD to fear that they will harm someone or commit some inexcusable wrong. In my experience, these fears are difficult to let go of, precisely because a part of your mind believes that the fear is necessary precisely to keep you from doing harm. But I digress.)

    I don’t find my OCD so much of an issue when it comes to penetrative intercourse, as my attitude has always been to carry on with (non-penetrative) foreplay unless and until my partner suggests some form of penetration, anyway.

    But recently I do find myself getting very stressed and anxious about foreplay. My partner, who I’ve been with for years, has gotten pretty annoyed with me recently for constantly asking “May I kiss you here” etc. Her attitude seems to be “We’re having foreplay, you already know I like x, so why are you asking? I’ll tell you if I want you to stop”. Obviously, this is in the context of a long-term relationship where we’ve always talked about openly about sexual preferences, and she’s very clear that she feels perfectly free to ask me to stop at any time.

    I’m terrified that the way my OCD brain interacts with this issue is damaging the most important relationship in my life, by making sex really tense and awkward. At times I’ve just wanted to avoid sex altogether, but I know that if I do so I’ll probably lose my partner, and certainly hurt her emotionally even if she doesn’t leave me.

    I don’t know if this has any implications beyond “living with OCD is really tough” though…

  22. StillGjenganger says

    @John Henry 13
    If rape is a vile crime punishable by many years in jail, it is fairly reasonable to want to know what the limits are. That does not mean that I want to creep right up to the edge – that was a smear on your part. As a responsible person I would want to keep a fairly wide margin between me and behaviour that earns me a jail sentence, but I still need to know where the fence is if I want to avoid it.

    For my peace of mind you would want three kinds of situations:
    – Safe unproblematic situations where I can trust my immediate reactions and proceed in the pursuit of shagging without having to worry all the time.
    – Unacceptable or dangerous situations, that I should simply avoid.
    – Problematic situations, where I can proceed, but would have to be real careful.

    The enthusiastic consent’ crowd seems to be saying that all situations are problematic, any sex is very risky, and you should always be very much on your guard. This is what some people are reluctant to accept.

  23. bruce bartup says

    Reginald Foster @ 22
    Reg, mate. Sorry to hear of your troubles. Maybe time for a sex therapist? Those people are qualified to handle your problems.

    All my stupid unqualified self can say is that if the logic I’m advancing to Ally above is right , and that’s a bloody big IF, IF that’s right then the thing to think about/obsess about is not is she consenting, but is she having fun? If she’s having fun, consent doesn’t matter. If she isn’t consent doesn’t matter.

    You are dealing with an emotional/physical communication channel older than time. Backing it up with some bullshit analytical like ‘can I touch you there?’ is an insult because you should know already, if she’s doing her part. My sympathy goes especially to you but also to yur partner. She must feel so lonely.

    So – is she having fun, how deeply, what kind, how can I make it feel better… Tune in, Turn on.

    In the end – it’s not How we love ’em but THAT we love ’em that gets the job done.

    All that is coming from a lonelly batchelor – but – good luck mate.

  24. StillGjenganger says

    @Reginald Forster 22
    I do not have OCD, but I recognise the problem. If the message is that your partner might freeze up at any moment, if it happens it is your fault, you can never be quite sure she really consents, etc., the result is to make you uptight, to hold back on your feelings and reactions (you cannot risk letting yourself go if it means missing a crucial cue) and generally to make it hard for you to open up and participate fully in what is happening. This does not make your sex life any easier.

  25. Ally Fogg says

    Bruce

    The rape law originally defined rape as violent penetrative AND non-consensual which by direct Logical xtension means that violent penetrative consensual sex is legal, nnormal, allowed, part of the culture. It also inroduced into law implicitly the concept of consented harm. A hurt such as a surgical operation may be consented. But a consent to being harmed is not. Because it is not truly conceivable.
    Since then the concept of consent has been retained the violence lause dropped and minimum sentence of 5 years applied for mere contact of penis on vulva (non-consenting). The equivalent in injury terms is a broken jaw.

    Almost none of this is accurate or true.

    If you go back far enough, rape was originally a property crime committed against a man – defiling his wife or daughter, literally damaging his property. (the word “rape” and “theft” were once interchangeable, eg “The Rape of the Lock” is about the theft of a lock of hair.

    After the emergence of common law, the statute used the phrase “carnal knowledge of a woman, forcibly and against her will” (note, the word “violently” was never used.

    I’m not sure what you mean by violently in this context. I would argue that the sexual penetration of another person without their consent is, by definition, violent.

    If you mean without inflicting additional violence beyond the act of penetration, I’d ask again, are you suggesting it should be legal to have sex with someone who is unconscious or in a coma?

  26. StillGjenganger says

    @Bruce Bartup 24
    Not sure that is enough.

    Personally I have no objection to making my partner enjoy herself, even if I am not in the mood myself right then. If you think riding is nice, you should enjoy it even when it is your turn to be the horse. That does not mean that my partner is wrong. Why, then, is it wrong if sometimes I am the only one having the fun?

    Besides, by some accounts Ched Evans victim was actually having fun on the night. That does not make him any less a rapist.

  27. Chaos Engineer says

    In essence, what you are saying is, “since the presumption of innocence no longer applies to sexual intercourse, and assuming you want to avoid jail, don’t have sex with anyone unless you are absolutely certain they will never desire to put you in jail”

    It goes deeper than that. Even under the old guidelines, any kind of social interaction can result in you going to jail.

    I mean, suppose we’re at a bar and I suddenly develop a grudge against you. I can just slip my wallet into your pocket while you’re distracted, and then loudly accuse you of stealing it. It’ll be difficult for you to defend yourself against the charge of theft.

    So the best advice I can give you is not to socialize, at all, with the sort of people who are likely to falsely accuse you of a crime. If you’re not able to identify those people, then maybe it’s safest not to socialize with anybody.

  28. bruce bartup says

    Ally @ 26
    (Deep breath)
    Ally, you are notlistening to me. The critical word is not forcible or violent. But AND. I did highlight it.

    To a woman in this case because of the emotions, anatomy and physiology, force IS violence. I may have been wrong or inaccurate, but I was poetic.

    Harm and hurt may also hav been innacurate. I do not pretend to be a lawyer. Remember you insisted that I be logical, clear. But a pig that wants to be eaten is like a woman who consents to be violated. Neither exists. Neither can exist.

    You described ‘chatte’l well – but cultures don’t change quickly. Not as quick as laws. And the same concept – of a woman who chooses to be forced/violently/violated in sex is in the common law and with us today Because of AND. Not OR.

    Try to imagine yourself, alone, consenting to have someone kill you. If you truly conceive your emotional state it is not possible. People might sign a paper to that effect. But they cannot truly desire it. Nither can a woman desire to be raped. By the definition that should apply rape is undesired sex.

    If a woman were in deeply in love she might allow a man who wanted to rape her to have sex. She may ‘consent’ but that consent would not be to rape. The act of consent (not the state or cognition, the ACT) in that case means her overall interests (in both his happiness and hers) are served. She has not, in my terms, been harmed. Equally if she witholds consent (physically, mentally, emotionally in any way, in any component of the act of consent – the act of the man is rape). You have to rethink this problem from scratch. Includiing the words we use.

    Rape is undesired sex – so necrophilia, comatose, drunk, delirious, drugged, deceived, boyfriend lied about his skills…. All the same thay are rape
    Normal sex is desired. And anything goes.

    in law currently
    Rape is unconsenting sex – so any way to obtain it is in by default ok; trickery, flattery, lies, PUA etc and normal sex – all the same – non rape
    Normal sex is consenting – and absolutely no one can ever touch anyone ever again without being in imminent peril of breaking the law.

    That picture may not suit men easily but it should please women. Rape is undesired sex in the same way that harrassment is unwated attention. And consent is an act.

    Perhaps I can really simplify it: : “yes, yes, yes, yes, yes “(or physical/audible/emotional/spiritual equivalent) – means yes
    Anything else means something else. Including a default ‘no’
    Yes is special, Yes is particular. Yes is an act.

  29. Anne Fenwick says

    It’s really scary that a certain number of people are apparently having sex with no clear idea of whether they have consent or not. Seriously, nearly all my ex-partners are better placed. At some point, they have all said something resembling ‘I would really like to have sex with you, are you interested and if so, when?’

    Incidentally, nearly all of them, and all who got a yes, had also taken steps to establish to themselves that the answer was likely to be yes, by, you know, being obviously interested, then offering me opportunities to get away from them without looking rude, and seeing whether I took them. Not one man that I’ve slept with is likely to come off in the least embarrassed if questioned.

    If you aren’t doing these things, you probably should be worried. So, what’s your problem?

    (Aunty Anne’s dating advice of the day, free of charge)

  30. bruce bartup says

    StilGengjaner@21,27

    Appealing for emotional damage, trauma is done. So your two objections fail (1 people have feelings and should be gently treated, 2 a suitable level of very high regard solves those problems)

    As for the rest if you are going to take on a mistress you should have too much love for just one woman.

    You are allowed to be the one one having fun, if she has made it that way,

    Ced Evans: delium cannot be recalled accurately so that is not a desiring state, cannot desire to have been had sex with, cannot project what fun she should expect to have when recalling the case tomorrow morning. If her body cannot project, cannot desire, a guy, in toto – she cannot ‘say yes’ – it’s rape.

  31. Ally Fogg says

    Bruce

    “you are notlistening to me. The critical word is not forcible or violent. But AND. I did highlight it.”

    Oh I’m listening, but still not really understanding.

    You seem to be emphasising the AND part in this sentence:

    The rape law originally defined rape as violent penetrative AND non-consensual which by direct Logical xtension means that violent penetrative consensual sex is legal

    As I say, I still do not understand what you are getting at with the word “violent” here. Are you alluding to consenting rough sex, or BDSM? If so, then yes, of course violent penetrative consensual sex is legal, and I don’t see the problem. No sensible person thinks those should be crimes and nobody outside some freaky corners of planet Radfem really thinks they are ethically wrong. Each to their own and all that.

    So the crucial part in your sentence, it seems to me, is not the AND but what comes after the AND. It is the “non-consensual” part that everything hinges on.

    Which brings us back to the start of the conversation.

  32. Ally Fogg says

    Just to add… I think this is the specific point you are trying to explain and I am entirely not getting it, because it seems to me to be a total contradiction in terms

    If a woman were in deeply in love she might allow a man who wanted to rape her to have sex. She may ‘consent’ but that consent would not be to rape.

  33. opposablethumbs says

    Anne Fenwick #30

    … taken steps to establish to themselves that the answer was likely to be yes, by, you know, being obviously interested, then offering me opportunities to get away from them without looking rude, and seeing whether I took them.

    Exactly. An excellent example of why it isn’t complicated in reality; it just takes expressing an honest question (in the way described, or in other ways) and being prepared to listen to the answer.

  34. bruce bartup says

    Ally,

    This is clearly a very difficult point to make or very difficult to understand. I apologise for my apparent inability to find ways to express the thought so that you can accept it.

    primary common law as I understand it from your clarification says rape is
    penetrative, forceful AND non-consensual
    vs
    (penetrative AND forceful) OR non-consensual

    Which implies direcly, logically, that non-rape (normal sex) is
    (Penetrative AND forceful) OR (consensual)
    as opposed to non-rape, normal sex, being
    Not (penetrative AND forceful) AND (consensual)

    Subsequently that has boiled down to todays law
    x And non-consensual
    making non-rape
    x or consensual

    as opposed to
    x or consensual
    making non rape
    x and consensual

    take x to be desire/desirable/desired and the rest of the picture should pan out

    That is as far as I can take the point using english words, if I go any further I would have to use symbolic Boolean logic. It has been a while since i used Boolean and the old brain box ain’t what it used to be, but i think that works.

    If a woman were in deeply in love she might allow a man who wanted to rape her to have sex. She may ‘consent’ but that consent would not be to rape.
    this point is emotionally complex and you may need to ask a woman.
    in bloke language, the act of eating a dick that your partner has poisoned and saying yum yum even though you know it is poisoned but you want to be polite – turns his act of poisoning into an act of food preparation
    the interpretation that the woman places on sex is definitive. if she decides that it is rape it is. if she decides that it is not it is not. it is her act, of consent in its fullest sense, that defines him. he is what she makes of him. he may enter her bed as a rapist/clueless/PUA/liar and emerge as a lover.

    i really can’t think what I will try next if that doesn’t get through. But I am willing to keep trying as long as you are willing to keep trying.

  35. Ally Fogg says

    primary common law as I understand it from your clarification says rape is
    penetrative, forceful AND non-consensual

    Well we’ve already gone awry…. I quoted the phrasing of common law earlier, as an example of what the law was centuries ago (because you were talking about reverting to the law as it used to be), and that is not what the law is now. The law on rape now is The Sexual Offences Act and is [scuttles off to cut and paste]:

    A person (A) commits an offence if—

    a) he intentionally penetrates the vagina, anus or mouth of another person (B) with his penis,

    b) Person B does not consent to the penetration, and

    c) Person A does not reasonably believe that B consents

    So the law now does not include the word “forcible.”

    sorry to not engage in your exercise in logic, but I am still unclear what the premises of the equation might be.

    Please can you just tell me exactly what you think the law should be? If I understood that, I’m sure everything else would fall into place.

  36. bruce bartup says

    Oh dear, try again

    Naturally, in human nature, the woman defines the man and the act. “Yes, Yes, I will. Yes” to borrow from James Joyce’s Ulysses should transform any thing (up to and including a’rapey’ mentality in her partner. It is a matter of that physical/emotional communication channel. If the man denies a woman her natural capacity to communicate that way by drugs or lies or just not listening when she ‘says’ ‘no’ – it’s rape. In nature.

    Modellng that natural cconversation in hard, cold symbolic logic is difiicult. The rape law has always been problematic forthe judiciary for just that reason, I beleive.

    So the rape law today refers to an act , it should refer to an extensive process ideally, but that ideal is unreachable, possibly.

    Thus I say that today’s rape law should be repealed and replaced by Common Assault to GBH as far as phsical harm goes. With the terminology of emotional damage as an aggravating factor taken from those parts of the law that deal with torture. Thus rape would be defined as ‘common assault with aggravating factor of emtional disturbance’. Where the emotional disturbance can go up to ‘Moors Murder’ victim levels.

    That would still not be correct but it’s the nearest practical alternative to today’s law. I think, I am not an expert.

    The ideal approach is to say ‘sex’ is a volmtary caring physical/emotional exchange between partners. Any physical exchange which leaves or takes one participant as agent or subject and the other as object and victim, as revealed by their emotional/physical disturbance to the effect that they cannot participate in sex, either before and/or during and/or after the exchange, – is rape or a lower oder of assault’ Scale of penalties accordingly.

    But I can’t see that or anyhing like it reaching the statute books.

  37. Ally Fogg says

    The ideal approach is to say ‘sex’ is a volmtary caring physical/emotional exchange between partners. Any physical exchange which leaves or takes one participant as agent or subject and the other as object and victim, as revealed by their emotional/physical disturbance to the effect that they cannot participate in sex, either before and/or during and/or after the exchange, – is rape or a lower oder of assault’ Scale of penalties accordingly.

    Define “voluntary”?

    “Agent” of what?

    “Subject” of what?

    “Object”? Literally, grammatically or metaphorically?

    “Victim” of what?

    this is just abstracted rubbish, I’m sorry to be blunt.

    You might as well write a law to say “it is a crime to be naughty and it is not a crime to be nice” which doesn’t really work in a courtroom.

  38. Ally Fogg says

    Thil

    so is having sex with a drunk person always rape or not?

    No. Absolutely unequivocally not.

    In British law (cannot speak for anywhere else) drunken consent is still consent.

    There are two very notable case precedents here.

    The first is the case of Peter Bacon, who was acquitted of rape even though there was no dispute that both him and the woman had drunk several bottles of wine together. From here

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/law-and-order/5055909/Chef-accused-of-rape-of-drunken-lawyer-acquitted-in-45-minutes.html0

    Summing up, Judge Patrick Hooton told the jury that to convict they had to be absolutely sure that the woman had been incapable of giving consent.
    Describing the legal issue of drunken consent as a “vexed question”, he said: “If the complainant thought that the change in the law meant that the law no longer recognises that a drunken woman can give consent, she was completely wrong.”
    Sober, drunk or very drunk, he said, “if a choice is exercised freely, then it is consent.”
    He continued: “The fact that she doesn’t remember what happened, doesn’t prove that she didn’t give consent, however bitterly she may have regretted it the next day.”

    the other case, even more famous are those of Clayton McDonald and Ched Evans

    McDonald met a drunk woman in a kebab shop, persuaded her to come back to his hotel room, which she did voluntarily and they had sex. McDonald also texted his mate, Evans, who turned up later. Evans got two of his mates to stand outside the window secretly trying to film what happened next on their mobile phones. He blagged his way into the hotel past a night porter, then proceeded to have sex with a very drunk woman whom he had never met, never spoken to, who didn’t know what was happening. Afterwards he then sneaked out through a fire exit to escape leaving the woman alone in bed where she would wake up several hours later in a urine-soiled bed.

    The court found McDonald not guilty, on the basis that the woman was known to have had conversations with him, and even though she was drunk she had voluntarily walked to the hotel room with him and the court accepted that McDonald could have had reasonable presumption of consent.

    Evans was found guilty primarily because there was no evidence he had ever so much as talked to her before she reached a stage of insentience (if not unconsciousness) at which point he proceeded to rape her. The court found Evans guilty, deciding it was beyond the realm of reasonable doubt that she could have given meaningful consent to a man she had never even met before while at that level of intoxication.

    So there you have two defendants. One of whom obtained the meaningful consent of a drunken woman to have sex and therefore did not commit rape, the other of whom did not obtain the meaningful consent of a drunken woman to have sex and therefore did commit rape – even though it was the same woman on the same night.

    I actually think that is quite a helpful and meaningful illustration.

  39. StillGjenganger says

    @Bruce Bartup

    (1 people have feelings and should be gently treated, 2 a suitable level of very high regard solves those problems).

    As I understand you, you are saying: “It is your absolute responsibility to make sure that your partner is not hurt, and you should be sent to prison if you fail.” That means that it is my responsibility on the night to guarantee that she will not feel bad in the morning. Now I am all for being a good person and looking after other people’s feelings (particularly people who are nice enough to offer to have sex with me). But making this a criminal responsibility, with years in prison if you fail, really is demanding the impossible. Because no ‘high level of regard’ can solve these problems. I have been married for years,I do care about my wife’s well-being, and I do try my best. But I can still make what I think is a normal (or slightly irritated) retort, which then causes her to retire into hurt anger for a week. f that was illegal, I would be doing life (or prudently divorced) long ago. For people who know each other less well, and who are on the much more explosive terrain of intimacy and sex, there are too many ways of getting hurt to avoid. Certainly you would have to be infinitely risk-adverse – blood alcohol zero, for a start, no stressed or unusual mental states, … For another thing, people (including women) are allowed to set their own risk tolerances. Some desirable results can only be achieved if you are willing to face some risks. To stay out of prison I would have to override her choices, decide on her behalf that some action she wants is too risky and I will not allow it. Would it not make more sense that I can go along with her choices, if I think this is reasonable, and that she, in return, cannot make me criminally responsible if it goes wrong?

    For the rest of you: These arguments are a bit extreme, because I am arguing against Bruce’s (IMHO) extreme position. I am all for being nice and morally responsible for my actions. I just think ‘nor being nice’ is insufficient reason for sending people to prison.

  40. StillGjenganger says

    @Brce Bartup 30
    You are aware, are you not, that every single sexual act would constitute some kind of assault if it was not that sex is treated as an exceptional case?. Even a kiss is an assault if you do it to an unconsenting tube passenger. S putting sex under the assault laws would be same as making it illegal per se. You’d be all right as long as the ‘victim’ of your sex felt happy, and you would go to jail without passing ‘go’ the moment she felt like reporting you.

  41. StillGjenganger says

    @opposblethumbs, AnneFenwick.
    Yes, we all know those rules, and they are not hard to follow. It is what I did to borrow dad’s car without causing friction. Never assume you will get it, never push or put any obligation on him, make it as easy as possible for dad to say no, and plan your life on the assumption that you will always have to cycle. It makes for a peaceful life, but you might have to do a fair bit of cycling in the rain.

    Coming back to sex, your advice is good, and it is easy to follow – as long as you have the happy confidence that ‘if not this time it will be next time, if not this woman , another woman, one way or the other you will get all you could reasonably want’. It is when this happy confidence fails (and your very way of asking communicates the fact that you expect a ‘no’), that the opportunities you lose by being so reticent start becoming precious.

  42. 123454321 says

    Just lovin’ the way the subject of consent – despite the policies and communications being gender neutral – always amount to a plethora of comments discussing specifically how MEN ought to be seeking consent from women but rarely delve into discourse suggesting how WOMEN ought to be challenging the way THEY should be readjusting their behaviours with regard to respectful consent. Of course, the entire subject of consent is pretty much driven from a feminist perspective and the social perception outcomes are always entirely predictable i.e. it gets men talking about how they should adjust their behaviour in order to suit women whilst most women sit and watch as they go along with the ride. Yep, that’s what always happens and feminists love it because it gives them that sense of social control that they crave. Rape and consent is a hot topic for them and they know it’s hard for people to think of the subjects without relating to an image of: man = perpetrator who needs educating, woman = victim who needs protection measures. Nobody ever appears particularly open to looking at the other side of the coin, probably due to feminist indoctrination and fear of the social stigma.

    I have many stories of a similar ilk but one in particular sticks in my mind. Around my late teens when I was frequenting pubs and clubs a group of us got talking to a group of girls (who were a fair bit older, by the way) in a local pub. To cut a long story short, a mate of a mate of mine (who admittedly had had a bit to drink) was lured by one of the women to the back seat of her car at closing time (she wasn’t drinking). It later transpired that she had been the one who, following some amount of kissing, had shoved her hand down his trousers and gabbed his penis, exposing it without his consent (although he confessed that he was ok with that at the time). The problem part was when she mounted him on the back seat and sat down on him such that he penetrated her. Apparently, she was wearing nothing under her skirt and took him completely by surprise without a hint of consensual agreement prior to the act. To me, that’s bad enough as it is but, as a stroke of bad luck for our mate, she gave him a little present which he had to take to the doctors for the next few weeks!

    Was that rape? I wonder how many times this happens and how many times these types of events go unreported by males? I wonder how the woman felt about this afterwards? Would she feel that her position was justifiable? Would she feel like a rapist? How about we start discussing the other side of the coin? Be careful though because the feminists won’t like it!

  43. mildlymagnificent says

    How about we start discussing the other side of the coin? Be careful though because the feminists won’t like it!

    Whyever not? This sort of thing is what you get when your community/ society/ social group runs the fiction that all men are up for it all day every day in every way. (And if they’re not then they’re not real men.) Girls absorb these messages as much as boys do, and they grow up to be women and men who believe this sort of rubbish.

    The sooner we get better sex ed into schools – and thereby into homes – the sooner we’ll be having more sensible conversations about anyone being able to say, at any time, to anyone, not today thanks.

  44. piratecharly says

    @ 123454321

    How about we start discussing the other side of the coin? Be careful though because the feminists won’t like it!

    I would certainly classify what the woman did as rape. She did not give him time to give consent or withhold it. And taking advantage of someone drunk is wrong regardless of gender.
    Does she feel like a rapist? Probalby as much as a guy who thinks making someone drunk to “get them into bed” is a legimate form of seduction.
    And being a man who was raped is one of the times where it is even harder to be believed or taken seriously than being a woman in the same circumstances.

    I have never met a feminist (male, female, other) in RL or Online who would say otherwise.

    @ mildlymagnificent

    This sort of thing is what you get when your community/ society/ social group runs the fiction that all men are up for it all day every day in every way. (And if they’re not then they’re not real men.) Girls absorb these messages as much as boys do, and they grow up to be women and men who believe this sort of rubbish.

    QFT

  45. Carnation says

    The case that sprung to mind when reading this article was, once again, Jonathon King.

    That initial sexual contact, after sexualising a situation, made without enthusiastic or even, it seems, vaguely passive consent started a chain of events that left a man in jail and many others suffering trauma.

    Why this clarity is so vital, to men and women, is to make clear that all participants in sexual activity are active and willing participants. The fight or flight reflex isn’t anywhere near as strong when the person you are kissing/cuddling/talking about sex/spending time with is known to you, trusted by you or you are in awe of them.

    Like many sexual offenders, King is convinced of his own innocence. If honest, asking themselves did their victims enthusiastically/active consent might that make reappraise themselves.

  46. Some Person says

    Ally,

    I actually think that is quite a helpful and meaningful illustration.

    I would agree with that with respect to an ex-post analysis. However, being the one who brought up the OCD thing before, I’m wondering if you have anything to say to that, because it is really getting harder to not constantly worry about having consent and it does make interacting with women harder, because I constantly feel like I’m questioning anything she says or does.

  47. mildlymagnificent says

    … it is really getting harder to not constantly worry about having consent and it does make interacting with women harder, because I constantly feel like I’m questioning anything she says or does.

    Is it women? or is it she? There’s a fair bit of difference when you’re talking about successive relationships, short or otherwise, with several women and what works in an ongoing relationship with one person.

    One of the easiest and most happy-making ways to think about this is to do a bit of erotic remembering. How both of you felt as and when you did certain things that were more or less pleasing. If you feel ready and willing to do something-or-other, your nicely reinforced memories of how nice something (maybe everything) was on previous occasions should make it more relaxed or natural, if not taken for granted, to take that path again. You’re not starting anew each time as you would be with a new partner or one nighter, you have a sexual and sensual and emotional history that you’re building on.

  48. Some Person says

    @mildlymagnificient

    atm it’s women, but even in a relationship it was a problem.

    “You’re not starting anew each time as you would be with a new partner or one nighter, you have a sexual and sensual and emotional history that you’re building on.”

    Yes, there was history, but the problem still persisted. Less intense, yes, because there was more trust, but still wasn’t easy.

  49. Bugmaster says

    @Ally #16:

    Serious question: How would you formulate a law to criminalise rape that is any better?

    Good question. One thing I’d do is create two categories for rape: one that says “we can prove that you deliberately raped this person”, and another one that says, “we can’t prove that, but we can still prove that you had sex with this person without obtaining sufficient consent”. The distinction here is similar to that between “murder” and “manslaughter” in the US (I’m not sure if they have them in the UK). The next thing I’d do is determine what kind of evidence is sufficient to prove that the defendant engaged in either of these acts (though obviously I personally don’t need to do any of that, since we have an existing body of law to draw on). Every piece of evidence we collect — be it physical evidence such as bruising, or things like eyewitness testimony, or softer evidence from “character witnesses” that borders on hearsay, etc. — will increase our certainty that the crime has taken place. As usual with crime, we convict the defendant when we can prove his guilt beyound reasonable doubt.

    To use a specific example, I would be perfectly fine with saying, “if you had sex with a person whose blood alcohol level was above X, then you have committed type B rape”, as long as the number X made sense medically. I would oppose a law that set X to 0, or a law that just said “have sex while drunk is type B rape, always”, because it’s not clear what “drunk” means. Note again that I’m specifically trying to answer the very specific question, “when should we put a person in jail”, and not the general moral question, “when is it ok to have sex with someone”.

    I am willing to bite the bullet and say that, if there is not enough tangible evidence to convict a man of rape, then he should go free — even if the woman seems sincere in her accusation. This is because I care about the principle of due process (which affects all people, of all genders) more than I care about women specifically (or men specifically, for that matter).

  50. StillGjenganger says

    @Bugmaster 51
    Interesting idea. but it raises some problems – specifically how bad type B should be considered, relative to type A. I think Denmark had something similar at some time. There was a feeling that a court would sometimes settle for type B because it was easier to convict, even when it really ought to be type A, and women’s groups were upset that the verdict did not say rape, when it ought to. The way people complain that only 6% of rape accusations end up with a conviction – ignoring that as many again end up with a conviction for something else – suggests that this problem might reoccur.

    More speculatively, men’s groups might push for the idea that type B rape should carry little stigma and no more than a slap on the wrist (“Hell, it was unintentional, could happen to anybody”), infuriating women’s groups. While women’s groups might push the idea that both types were equally bad, which men’s groups would then see as a de facto way to get the full punishment with a reduced burden of proof.

    Lots of room for fighting in this one.

  51. says

    Bugmaster @ 51 – As StillGjenganger says, there’s still a whole lot of room for interpretation and fighting over definitions and punishments. So I don’t think that helps much.

    Besides which, if you “…can still prove that you had sex with this person without obtaining sufficient consent”.” then, uh, you’ve proven rape. The problems in these situations are more along the lines that so many people, from police to prosecutors to judges to juries, are prone to seeing the rapist as at least as credible as the victim and that it’s difficult to provide additional (over their witness statement) evidence that, say, the victim told the rapist to stop. So that’s, I think, the main place your suggestion breaks down.

  52. bruce bartup says

    Ally
    hmm, humour, allegories, histories, logic, bald and poetic descrpitions and comparisons don’t work, and now words that would be fairly common in any feminism 101 class are appaently ‘abstact’ (yeah, they are also concepts, ideas ….. words) and ‘rubbish’. I’m detecting a difficulty here. What s a radical man to do? Ah, i have it, possibly.

    All is fair in love, war and rugby. But not iin law.

    Although a risk or certainty of injury can be consented “No person can license another to commit a crime”. A country declaring war on another does not thereby ‘consent’ to having, bombs dropped on its cities, unrestricted submarine warfare or any other breach of agreements about conduct of hostilities. A rugby player does no consent to be punched. And (I say) a woman should not be regarded as consenting to forcible sex.

    I say that forcible sex is rape. Consent being irrelevant. Using a prostitute for forcible sex, abusing the standing consent beween longstanding partners, deception leading up to forcible penetrative sex, all of these acts are (I say) rape.

    The reasons I say that are that there is no conversation, no free exchange of equals, no choice of interpretation, no mutuality in forced or forcible sex. One partner has agency or choice or freedom and defines the other by disregard in the physical form of the word ‘bitch’.

    By extension this removal of the concept of consent in sexual matters would apply to many other issues and transform the way they viewed. My point of view is as someone said, radical and extreme. That alone does not make it either right or wrong.

    The result of what I say is that ‘consent’ should have only the scope that it has in Assault Law. Once forcible sex has been banned, bodily contact is permitted in any way by default. For example breast feeding your baby, dandling a grandchild on your knee, making a legitimate rugby tackle, bumping into someone in a crowd. Only when an injury has occurred is it felt necessary to invlove the concept of consent, to exonerate the injury – even where malice or recklessness might be involved.

    So consent in sex should only apply when an injury has been done, which for those involved in legal (non-forcible) sex should be assumed NOT to be the case by default. The engagement in a mutual, respectful and caring conversation (sex, rugby, child dandling, or commutting) being established by civil contract, verbal agreement, ref’s whistle starting the match, slow escalation of body language, or emotional exchange, or common bonds of society or love (a concept some cynics would call ‘rubbish’).

  53. Bugmaster says

    @John-Henry Beck #53:

    Besides which, if you “…can still prove that you had sex with this person without obtaining sufficient consent”.” then, uh, you’ve proven rape.

    Yes, but it’s type B rape.

    I got into my car, waited until my neighbour Cindy walked out of her house, then ran her down with the car despite her desperate attempts to flee down the alley — then I’ve committed murder. If I got into my car, then hit the gas without looking where I was going just as Cindy was crossing the street in front of me — then I’ve committed manslaughter.

    By analogy, if I spiked Cindy’s drink with a powerful drug, then proceeded to have sex with her while she was unconscious, then I have committed type A rape. If I had sex with Cindy at a party where everyone was pretty drunk, and I didn’t check to make sure that she was sober enough to offer inform consent, then I have committed type B rape.

    I agree that there’s lots of room for discussion there. My point is not that I can solve all of our sociopolitical problems all by myself, but that it’s a discussion worth having.

  54. says

    Bugmaster @ 55: Thing is, these conversations have been had, and had, and had. I’m pretty sure we understand your type A and B divisions there. It’s just that, they’re both still rape. The grading of it gets…really offensive and insulting to rape survivors while also giving cover to rapists by making it sound like it’s some notably less bad thing to prey on drunk people rather than poisoning them yourself.

  55. bruce bartup says

    Ally and others,

    if my last comment does not find the mark I don’t think I can do any better than make minorrewordng of what I said originally.

    “How would you formulate a law to criminalise rape that is any better?”

    Repeal it. And put the law back where it should always have been. On the same scale of punishments and the same basis of law as any other assault. That is ‘what harm was done?’. Consent being irrelevant.
    or
    Repeal it. Forcible sex is the point, not consent. Rape is a form of battery/bodily harm aggravated by emotional distress.
    or
    Repeal it. It’s a stupd law because it means a woman can consent to unwilling sex, which for physiological reasons is impossible.
    or
    Rape is a physical act in which one partner is prevented from ‘joining in’. It is forcible to an extraordinary unconventional degree, and that is not ‘playing the game’. It is thefore a crime. It is not possible in law to consent to a crime. So repeal the law because it is a paradox.
    or
    Delete all of the law and re-write it from scratch. Describe normal sex first. Then define it’s limits. Then define the excesses with respect to the normal range (use of penetrative force included))

    Other than our agreeing such a statement as a first step, I cannot see any reason to believe we can communicate effectively on this. matter. I can keep trying rewordings. But I don’t have much hope. I am reluctant to follow ny more specific directions from you on content or style. It just seems to make things harder. You, I think, are getting frustrated. And I know I am.

    My apologies for any previous overreaction.

  56. StillGjenganger says

    @Bruce Bartup 57
    Your sincerity is noted, but with the best will in the world your proposal comes across as incoherent. The basic question is: how do you distinguish the kind of sex that is legal, from the kind that is illegal? People do all kinds of weird and wonderful things in their sex life. The actual actions of Ched Evans or DSK would be perfectly normal in millions of sexual encounters. At the wild end, some people desire (and, if male, sometimes pay for) treatment that would be hate speech, harassment, or GBH in any other context. Consent is a clear and simple criterion: if the person decides ahead of time that it is OK, it is OK. If not, it is not. That puts a clear limit around what you can do, and respects the right of people to make their own choices.

    Going away from consent leaves it open what is legal and what is not. Since consent is not enough, you are taking away from people their right to decide what to submit to. Your talk about forcible sex sounds like some kinds of sex are illegal even if people consent to them, which is substituting your decisions for theirs. Your talk about not being able to consent to unwilling sex’ sounds like either a circular definition (‘it is illegal to do the kind of sex that you are not allowed to do’; no shit! Sherlock), or like you reserve the right to rule any action illegal after the fact, no matter what was said at the time.

    If you make something illegal you need to define it clearly enough that people can find out what it is, and what they need to do to remain within the law. The consent criterion does that. Your alternative proposal does not, at least not in a way that anybody here can understand. I guess one way out would be to answer the practical question: Under your rules, what would I have to do to ensure I was not guilty of a crime?

  57. bruce bartup says

    StillGjenganger @ 58

    thank you.

    Focible penetrative sex is penetrative sex that uses force. Literally, as might be measured in Newtons. As in ‘did you use force, that is force that might cause an nternal injury, considerably more force than would be necessary if the same physical movements were performed with the active participation of a willing partner.’ (nb a willing partner in the moment is not the same thing as a consenting partner at commencement of sexual activity). Is that sufficiently clear?

    With respect if consent were ethher clear or simple we wouldn’t have such a fuss about how to apply it.

    Yes, no one can consent to a crime, to allow people to consent to forcible sex (priostitutes) normalises forcible sex, condemns other prostitutes to a ‘race to the bottom’ for who can get violated hardest and stay alive, and deprives other women of a degree of security from being themselves assaulted/harrassed/raped, which is why women often feel scared by the appearance of prostitutes in their area, I believe. So yes my ‘rape law’ is not individualistically liberal but socially responsible.

    To be safe against criminal conviction you would only have to do no injury, even if you did use force, even if you did so deliberately. Forensic tests can now pick out evidence of characteristic injuries of rape/forcible sex/sexual assault of the vagina 87% of the time using a colposcope and imaging techniqes. Failing that technology, a doctors report based on interview of the complainant and the visual examination could be used. For the psychosocial trauma involved the reports of psychiatrists, friends, workplace manager, college mentor, police and others could be used to establish the damage level done. In either case, physical or psychological and even without the crime laboratory science, it is a lot more concrete than ‘what did he know of what she knew that she knew she wanted if anything’ and other mind games.

  58. StillGjenganger says

    @Bruce Bartup 59
    OK, that is clear. I think I can see some undesirable consequences.
    On the physical side, consensual SM or rough sex would be illegal, since is uses force. On the other hand, non-consensual sex would be legal (on this aspect), assuming the rapist was slick enough to avoid physical force and use proper lubrication.
    On the psychosocial side, it would be illegal to have sex if your bedmate felt very bad about it afterwards, no matter what she said at the time. That is something you cannot predict with any certainty ahead of time, and therefore you cannot reliably avoid. Also, even assuming that psychiatrists could reliably distinguish between somebody who had been violated from somebody who was pretending, they could certainly not distinguish the effect of a traumatic divorce (legal) from the effect of rape.
    Consent, for all the difficulties with proving its presence in practice, still seems a much better criterion.

  59. bruce bartup says

    @ StillGjenganger 59
    Thanks for the observations. If i may just clarify a few points.
    It depends on what ‘rough sex’ is but if it involves forcible pentetration, yes, for this cultural period, it would be illegal. But because the consenting adults would not suffer psychological damage the injury would only be penalised acccording to the schedule of battery/actual bodily harm (so probably a fine and criminal record if caught – like speeding grossly).

    Non-consensual sex would not be rape. It may still be illegal (fraud, deception, breach of contract… a long list, including battery for penetraing objects, being enveloped… many items but one law (Offences Against the Person Act) and no special ‘sexual’ element.

    It would only be illegal to have made your bed-mate unhappy if she was physically intimately injured by force for rape law or by risking pregnancy and a hundred other injuries (STDs…..) for other offences. It takes more than unhappiness too. According to the role of Aggravating factors it can’t just be emotional. There has to be real psychological trauma.

    Physical injury is something you have control over. If she is not physicallly injured she canot succeed in a plea of rape.

    It would not be the job of psychiatrists to determine violation injuries (that’s a job for forensic gynaecolohgy as I siuppose it would be callled). Violation psychology, would I imagine, center aroung the injureis and how they were acquired and the link to sex. I’m not sure how a lacerated fouchette (what ever that is) could relate to a divorce.

    Consent, for me, is still a misapplied concept in this matter.

  60. StillGjenganger says

    @Bruce 61
    Sorry, Bruce, but it just will not fly.
    But we are starting to repeat ourselves now. I’ll bow out at this point.

  61. Bugmaster says

    @John-Henry Beck #56:

    The separation of the act of “killing another human” into “murder” and “manslaughter” wasn’t made with the goal of letting murderers go free. Quite the opposite. It made it possible to prosecute and convict people who killed another human, even if they did not meet the stringent guidelines for murder. The category of “manslaughter” makes it possible to convict more people, while preserving the principles of “innocent until proven guilty” and “due process”.

  62. bruce bartup says

    @ StillGjenganger 63
    As I said before, cultures change slowly. All I’m really doing is restoring an acient celtic distinction between rape forcor and rape sleth. Or rape and sexual asault. Or (in modern terms and without the misandry/misogyny/sex negative attitude) rape actual bodily harm and rape as battery. So it flew before for hundred’s of years, except then the woman was the property of a man, now she belongs to herself.

    And consider the advantages over today’s law
    1. Rape is tried according to jury’sprejudices about rape
    2. Judged on objective evidence
    3. Judged only on the harm done
    4. Lighter sentences overall
    5. Statement must primarily come from the defendant, the victim is not made complicit in her own rape
    6. Accords with publilc’s definition of rape
    7. Easy to avoid and accords with sexual pleasure for both partners, encourages ‘communication’

    So,
    1 cases are quicker, more guilty pleas, more convictions, easier on the system : more justice.
    2 The worst that can hapen to a victim is the court in finding a man innocent is not condemning her as a slut or a fraud, just someone making an honest mistaken judgement (about force), she never faces the intrusive questioning from police or from defence lawyers, her story is frequently endorsed by the courts: more gender equality for women
    3 False reports are deterred, rape stats fall to expected levels rather than ‘hyped’ figures we have now, penis loses its symbolic power and threat, lower prison populations, male victims have the same rights as women: more men’s rights
    4 The words ‘bitch’, ‘slut’ ‘hoe’ etc gradually lose their capacity to insult, degade and intimidate women (because it is made plain that for anyone to treat a woman or a man lke a bitch or slut or hoe is illegal and no one can consent to it) :: less misogny on-line
    5 Sex between straight couples gets better freed from a weight of cultural baggage ??? maybe
    6 We all get a laugh at how badly 2nd/3rd wave femnism messed things up by trying to hype the issue up, wden the defnition, increase the penalty and lay the blame on all men
    7 The ‘bro’s guide’ is brief and clear – don’t use force, if she’s happy, you are happy anything goes (but no force)
    8 the cultural and legal forces combine all classes of people together rather than separating them into ‘educated’ elite and working/unwashed
    9 there is a negative reward in practice for the crime society call rape : rape is deterred at last

    what do you not like? and what is impractical?

  63. StillGjenganger says

    @Bruce 65

    Well, the idea of splitting rape in a more and a less serious variant is possible, but has some drawbacks – it has been discussed above.

    Making the use of force unconditionally illegal, and judged only on the physical evidence would be very tough on all the people who do that kind of thing consensually and joyfully, but at least it is a straightforward proposal.

    Once we get to rape that does not leave signs of physical violence, it becomes a dog’s breakfast. Being ‘treated like a bitch’ is impossible to define or prove by law (you cannot make it illegal to not be nice) and leaves no traces. Mental damage is very hard to establish, and too easy to fake. Worse, even if you can prove someone is in a bad way, how do you determine what (and who) caused it? Consider the Evans/MacDonald case. The victim was surely in a bad way afterwards, but was that because Evans raped her? Because MacDonald raped her? Or because she had taken for granted that MacDonald would continue to be nice to her afterwards, instead of dumping her like a used condom?.(which would have to be legal – it cannot be illegal to be an arsehole, or to change your mind.) Or because of something else entirely?

    As for disregarding consent and treating sexual assault like just another kind of assault?
    Well, I am no lawyer, but I contend that at low levels consent and ‘intimate life exceptions’ apply in practice in some way. Kisses and hugs are technically assault (if carried out on strangers), but hugging your wife is clearly not a crime. And she cannot come after the divorce and say “He hugged me last year! I have the video. Lock him up!” Arguably it works because both the damage and the punishments are so light. For more serious things that does not hold, but criminalising it across the board works because legitimate cases are pretty much non-existent – nobody ever have their noses broken for fun.

    Sex is too popular to criminalise, even technically, too infinitely varied to regularise by rules, and too serious (if done without consent) to simply shrug off as a minor problem. You cannot get around the need for having people decide and communicate what they are willing to do (that is consent), and for allowing other people to act on a reasonable appreciation of the consent they have.

  64. Holms says

    Bruce,

    The short response is that your ‘solution’ is fucking abysmal.

    The long response (and I weep that this is even necessary):
    “1. Rape is tried according to jury’sprejudices about rape”
    Garbage point. All jurors and other participants are human, therefore there will always by a subjective component. But if you mean that they are currently tried with ‘non-consenting sex = rape and rape is bad’ in mind, that’s quite permissable, as that is what the law says anyway

    “2. Judged on objective evidence
    3. Judged only on the harm done”

    No difference. Rape, as with any allegation, is always tried with whatever objective evidence is at hand. Witness statements, rape kits, alibis and the such. There are also subjective elemtents: personal judgement from the jurors as to whether a witness looks suspicious, personal testimony from the victim as to the psychological harm experienced… these cannot be eliminated. Even your particular criterion of harm experienced involves subjectivity, as there is no such thing as objective psychological evaluation. Subjectivity goes hand in hand with testimony.

    “4 The words ‘bitch’, ‘slut’ ‘hoe’ etc gradually lose their capacity to insult, degade and intimidate women (because it is made plain that for anyone to treat a woman or a man lke a bitch or slut or hoe is illegal and no one can consent to it) :: less misogny on-line”
    More garbage. Treating a person against their wishes to the point of trauma / fear of harm is already illegal and yet doesn’t do shit to make harassment magically disappear in a puff of egalitarianism, both online and meatspace.

    “5 Sex between straight couples gets better freed from a weight of cultural baggage ??? maybe”
    Nope. Rather than simply talking about their sexual interests and only doing things they are both cool with doing, there is now the new development that consent is actually irrelevant, and the only thing that matters is the physical result of their antics. Enthusiastic sex because one of them had to go away for work for a few weeks and the pent up reservoirs of horniness burst forth when they are finally alone together? NOPE! Better be careful to avoid soreness! Kinky shit at all? NOPE! Even consenting play needs to be hush hush lest the cops manage to get wind of it. Hell, even slipping and falling off the bed a risk.

    Essentially, more interference with their bedroom life than before, with the added downside that their consent now counts for fuck all. I guess you are fine with the religious fundamentalist idea that a wife cannot say ‘no’?

    “6 We all get a laugh at how badly 2nd/3rd wave femnism messed things up by trying to hype the issue up, wden the defnition, increase the penalty and lay the blame on all men”
    Dude, you just don’t even know what the fuck you are talking about. Feminism did nothing of the sort; rather, it fought an uphill battle to establish that consent is key. Even in marriage, drugged, whatever… for female and male victims, consent is the only criterion.

    In other words, either a genuine misunderstanding on your part, or a deliberate strawman.

    “7 The ‘bro’s guide’ is brief and clear – don’t use force, if she’s happy, you are happy anything goes (but no force)”
    Bullshit. The ‘Bro’s Guide’ is already crystal clear – consent is everything! – but it is routinely ignored because ‘who cares, she’s [a slut / unconscious / my girlfriend and therefore she can’t say no / not going to remember a thing, thanks to my friend rohypnol / etc. etc.]’ is considered an adequate reason by certain shitheads. Worse yet, your rule plays directly into their hands by dismissing their failure to gain consent entirely. So long as you’re gentle with her unconscious body, and you go to even a modicum of effort to put her undies back on or whatever, she won’t know what happened. Go for it!

    Essentially, your approach is an abuser’s dream come true. So long as the person is not mistreated – and bearing in mind that overriding consent will no longer count as mistreatment – anything goes. Breaking in at night and keeping her asleep with chloroform while you do your thang? Legal! Fondling with the altar boys in because you’re a priest and therefore trustworthy, leave them with me, they need to stay behind for extra ‘training’? Legal! Approaching young boys just old enough to go to the urinal without a parent but not old enough to really question your request to ‘look at your weewee’ so long as you maintain a calm outward demeanor and a friendly tone while you lean in for a look (kids are so trusting, teehee!), and hey, can I touch it?* Legal!

    “8 the cultural and legal forces combine all classes of people together rather than separating them into ‘educated’ elite and working/unwashed”
    You wot mate?

    “9 there is a negative reward in practice for the crime society call rape : rape is deterred at last”
    You fucking wot mate? a) There is already a lot of deterrence for rape, and rape is still with us; b) Are you even remotely aware that the most common form of rape is not the ‘woman at gunpoint by masked hoodlum’ veriety in the slightest, but is far more commonly committed by a (formerly) trusted friend / relative? Your approach criminalises the least common form of rape, and even then, only if they caused physical injury. Worse yet, this criterion accidentally criminalises plenty of consenting sex while playing directly into the hands of say… the paedophile dad that preys on his 10 year old daughter because she goddamn 10 and doesn’t know shit about what is going on but is also to weak or confused or scared to struggle and therefore probably won’t ever show signs of physical vaginal injury.

    Your approach, aside from being generally abysmal, has the added horror of abandoning those that are most vulnerable to predation: minors.

    *Why yes, this one is drawn from personal experience, how could you tell. No, I’m not discussing it further.

  65. Holms says

    Hm, for some reason I did 1-3 from the first numbered list of post #65, then jumped the rails and did 4+ from the second list. Not sure how I didn’t notice that while responding, but as both lists have some overlap, I think it stands just fine. Although, I suppose it could have used more derision; I stand by my short analysis of fucking abysmal.

  66. StillGjenganger says

    @Holms 68
    Interesting to see how you worry how the proposal would leave victims without protection, while I worry about how it would have people arbitrarily punished. I see no contradiction here – Bruce’s proposal lacks any clear rules for what is illegal and what is not, so it could go either way. I’d say we agree about its shortcomings.

  67. bruce bartup says

    StilGenjaner @ <=69 & Holms @ <=68

    For clarity I'll state my law proposal again as you still keep criticising it for things that it is not so you may be harbouring a misunderstanding. I will put the points without any emotionality and in medical/crude language so I hope you are not offended
    Inasmuch as there is ample evidence that vaginae contract upon noxious objects, specifically penises, and that movements in this stste of tension of a penis in an otherwise passive vagina require additional force and that the additional force required would be evident by sensation and exertion to the penis operator, it is proposed that
    1. Forcible rape be specifiically considered illegal and that this crime cannot be consented to by the vagina owner
    2. That non-forcible vaginal sexual assault (part of rape as currently defined but not forcible) should be considered as sexual assault, not rape, if and only if, it is non-consenting.
    Penalties
    Forcible rape should ideally attract at least as high a sentence as now 5 years plus , as this was the deterrant intent of recent changes to sentencing (but see below for aplication of OAPA)
    Non-forcible rape should only recieve a enalty for damage done both physical (STD, pregnancy etc)
    In addition any emotional and psychological trauma associated with the rape should be penalised up to and including the most severe punishment given for terrorising a murder victim (but see below for OATPA)
    Implementation
    Until such time as the law on rape can be overhauled use the Offences Against the Person Act primarily sections 42 and 62 with slight adjustments or reinterpretations of the term 'aggravated' to cover the severe loss of self-esteem and social-status associated with being a victim of forcible rape

    Background : the current law does not work well. Permits prostitutes to be 'raped forcibly for money', generaates or plays into a culture in which any sexually actiive or demostrative woman is seen as 'asking for it', is a 'bitch' etc – viictim shaming, puts the onus on victims and women (victiim blaming), The existing law has failed to deter rape or sexual assault, has normalised rape by extending the definition of rape ever wider making it appear that a large number of women are forcibly raped (25% in some surveys), and in addition has enhanced the rape by failing to convict a large number of the perpetrators that it created by extenfing the definition, thus exposing any woman consideing reporting a rape with a knife-edge choice of immense weight and complexity,. Not only that the law has put every right thinking sensitive male in a complete fix in trying to remain legal during sex by bing mindreader and forensic psychologisst, secretary taking minutes, scientist taking photographs and last and too oftten least: lover.

    So while I will addreess all your objections in turn my propsal could hardly do worse than the current law. That the consequences of the change would begin with simplifying the choice of victims to report rape, the confdence of lovers and the criminilisation of most of a postitute's clients to me justifies any minor flaw in the scheme.

  68. StillGjenganger says

    @Bruce Bartup 70
    OK, that removes one of my objections: Consent is a defence for ‘non-forcible’ rape. By the same token we will have the same problems with establishing it as we always had.

    ‘Forcible’ rape can clearly be proved by medical examination after the act in some cases – e.g. Mike Tyson was sent to jail after an initially willing woman went into his hotel room in the early morning, and then had to present in hospital with severe vaginal bleeding. More generally I do not believe this can be detected reliably. And it is just not reasonable that any sex that makes your partner sore (prostitution definitely included) automatically carries a long jail sentence. This is the classic case of looking for your key under the lamp post when you lost it in the park – it is an easier and objective measurement, but it does not tell you what you need to know.

    For ‘non-forcible’ rape there remains the problem that psychological damage cannot be reliably determined, and if people are in a bad way you cannot prove what caused it. But the biggest problem is that non-consensual sex becomes de facto legal. Imagine you have been raped and go to the police. First they examine your vagina in minute detail, and only if there are physical signs do they accept you have been ‘raped’. Wait a week or more before you go to the police, and it is too late for that. Then you have to prove non-consent, just like now. Then you get investigated by a psychologist, and two expert witness argue whether your feelings are bad enough to qualify as damage. And then you have to prove beyond reasonable doubt that you are hurt because you were raped, not because you were dumped the next morning, or because you had psychological problems already.

    This proposal is not fit for purpose. The rapists guide might end up being ‘if she is wet just stick it in – if not, lube her first’. But then, no country where women have the vote would ever pass your law.

  69. bruce bartup says

    StillGjenganger @ <=69

    To your specific objections

    Thank you for confirming that the definition of forcible rape is clear

    I doubt that any couple 'joyfully' engages in forced sex by the definition – at least not equally joyfully
    It is not the leaving of physical signs but the presence of force that defines the act, the The traces are left in the minds of the victim and perpetrator and can be revealed in normal police questioning (but without the need for 'mind reading' only for 'body reporting' so that's an improvement on current law. The additional benign advancements in imaging and gynaecology would lend weight and ease to any prosecution case made on the proposed basis (but caan't do anything for 'consent').

    Psychological disturbance is asssesssed routinely, I believe I may say that Psychiatry is based upon the fact (or belief) that it can be. Tracing that trauma to a cause is also popularly believed to be possible upon occaision (at least I am given to understand that it is popular among Psychiatrists). So unless you are a qualfied Psychiatrist with a diffferent belief perhaps we had better stop there.

    I'm not familiar with the Evans/Macdonald case in detail. The concept of consent applies here but only to sexual activity in genereral, because it should have been apparent to the men that they were not having sex with a fully conscious woman with a fully reactive vagina this for me at surface glance appears still to be in essence rape, though the force applied was drugs. To fit the revised law as I proposeit the emotional/psychological damage would be thekey criterion to the level of penalty. So 'forcible rape' need not be proven. Only 'penetartive insult' ie she was penetrated and as a result was hurt mentally. Again 'consent' is a very hard matter to apply in this case.

    For a clear abuse of consent I give you a contrasting case of Mamadeing (bar magaluf, young N.I. woman forced socially/by deception into seeking a 'trophy' for multiple oral sexual acts on the penises if 24 men no prosecution of individuals invvolved). That is a matter of deception to me. The girl was deceived into the acts as the 'trophy' was seen as a cheap reward for a cheap and self-loathing person not as a 'trophy' when the video taken of her 'exploit' was leaked and gained widespread coverage worldwide. The girl later attempted suicide.

    So, for sexual assault, however defined, the heaviest of penalties should be available even when 'consent' has been given and when no vaginal damage is detectable. It is the emotional harm that needs to be weighed there, if the victim does not suffer (as in a sexually liberated world she would not) then the male is not a rapist. If she does he is. If this means men will, in future, be kinder to drunken and overexcited women in bars and clubs that's fine by me.

    I'll quote your paragraph in full and in two parts, as it struck me rather well.
    "Sex is too popular to criminalise, even technically, too infinitely varied to regularise by rules, and too serious (if done without consent) to simply shrug off as a minor problem. "
    The proposal by accepting 'consent' as a general willingness to play the game of 'bed-rugby' but with getting psycho-socially punched or physically punched (forcibly raped) falsifies some and vigorously gives confirmation to others of the relevant clauses of that sentence. In that way the setence as a whole is refuted.

    "You cannot get around the need for having people decide and communicate what they are willing to do (that is consent), and for allowing other people to act on a reasonable appreciation of the consent they have."
    The consent is general to 'bed-rugby' the crime specific to the 'punch'.
    So far from 'You cannot…', yes I can, and I have.

  70. piratecharly says

    @ bruce bartup 72

    I have read your post about 3 times now, and I still cant understand why consent is such a problem for you.

    The first few times I had sex there was blood. With your argument my partner did something illegal, because he damaged me.
    When I am drunk, (by drinking myself) and someone rapes me me while I’n not able to state my wishes, and he does not use force, and I am not greatly traumatised, (because tauma is very different for different people) its ok?

    This is what I get from your post. Maybe your realy use the words rape, consent, and sex differently than me.

    The thing is, you really can’t take the consent away. A person has the right to determin what they do with their bodies and what is done to them.

    PS do you understand the difference between rough sex and rape? Or rape roleplay and rape?

  71. bruce bartup says

    Stilgjegjanger @ 71
    I confess to an error in my restatement of my proposed clause 2
    2. That non-forcible vaginal sexual assault (part of rape as currently defined but not forcible) should be considered as sexual assault, not rape, if and only if, it is non-consenting.
    should be
    2. That non-forcible vaginal sexual assault (part of rape as currently defined but not forcible) should be considered as sexual assault, not rape, if non-consenting OR psycho-social rape trauma is caused or triggered.

    I think I may even have miisconceived that part earlier in the discussion. Consent to ”bed-rugby’ is a necessary but not sufficient condition for sex not to be considered an assault. I offer my apologies for both errors.

    Bed rugby being defined as : ‘sexual activity as loosely understood by prospective participsants but understood by the woman not to include psycho-social abuse of male privilege in sexual matters as enjoyed or suffered by men and women in our society’

    I’m afraiid I may have been lured by that fateful logical ‘And’ again (as in ‘forcible penetrative AND non-cosensual’ as opposed to ‘…OR non-consensual’

    “But the biggest problem is that non-consensual sex becomes de facto legal.”….” you have to prove beyond reasonable doubt that you are hurt because you were raped, not because you were dumped the next morning, or because you had psychological problems already.” See above rgarding consent as a necesarry condition. The rape goes on top of all extant and within reason known susceptibilities of all partners in sex. Whether the rape tripped a bad memory or public disgrace the life history of your partner should be as much of interest as their sexual history. It is partticulraly the job of men to know what they are doing with a woman socially because the consequences for women of sex are so much worse than his, he may not wish to risk the sharing of the blame and knowing exploitatiion of a vulnerable person is illegal under the revised law (if she sufffers, he’s guilty).

    Recall the rugby issue known as the ‘spear-tackle’. The new Rugby rule might be rephrased as ‘if you sweep them off their feet, it’s up to you to make sure they land unhurt’. My proposal regarding sex is essentially the same.

    I hope that is an adequate answer.

  72. piratecharly says

    @ bruce bartup 74

    you have to prove beyond reasonable doubt that you are hurt because you were raped, not because you were dumped the next morning, or because you had psychological problems already

    Ah, there we go.

    Do you really belive the stereotype of the crazy woman who will accuse someone of rape because she regrets having sex or feels not romanced enough?

    It can happen of course, but not nearly so often as a lot of men make it out to be

  73. StillGjenganger says

    @Bruce.
    OK, I thought we had almost got to a halfway practicable, if bad, proposal. Something like:
    – Rape means the use of physical force, and is established by finding traces of that force (soreness).
    – Sexual assault is sex without consent (which is illegal always), but the punishment is judged on the damage done to the victim, and can go from a slap on the wrist to many years in prison.

    But that was not what you meant. And frankly, how can you propose new rape laws if you are not even clear in your own head if lack of consent – the key issue here – is ‘irrelevant’, or ‘sufficient to make the action a crime’, or ‘necessary but not sufficient to make the action a crime’.

    Instead we are back where ‘force’ means anything that might influence somebody’s behaviour, where consent is no defence to a charge of ‘forcible rape’ but ‘forcible rape’ has no clear, let alone operational, definition, and where you are objectively responsible for the mental reactions of your partner even though you have no way of predicting them.

    We have spent a long debate trying to figure out what you wanted, and in the end I find nothing but good intentions, confusion, and a complete lack of clarity about what any of your words mean. As someone said ‘what is dimly said was dimly thought’.

    One final comment. Psychology likes to think that it can establish damage, and even find out about causes. Maybe, when you are dealing over a long time with a cooperative patient with no motive to deceive. I have never heard of any independent verification of those claims, but if the patient is cured, we are all happy. Imagining that psychology can establish permanent damage in the face of a patient with a strong agenda to get the right result is a pious wish only. As for imagining that a psychologist can determine, beyond reasonable doubt, which potentially traumatic experience caused any such damage, well we might as well rely on witchcraft. That too would solve the problem, if only it worked.

    All we are doing is running in circles, and I shall not participate any more in this debate.

  74. bruce bartup says

    Piratecharly @73

    Consent is problematic as the ONLY criterion and as the subjective one out of a possible group of less subjective criteria. For example emotional trauma is less open to argument than consent. Consent is necessary, but not sufficient.

    Yes, damaging a hymnen is a hurt (and I believe an unnecessary one), but as long as the psycho-social damage you beasr is slight the worst your boyfriend has to fear is prosecution for the physical injury (which is slight) the court would almost certainly rule that this was ‘all in the game’ for two young people. If however he went on social media bragging to friiends – that would be much more serious. Besides which, if he made you happy despite the blood by loving/appreciating you. are you really going to complain of rape, and break the relationship?

    “When I am drunk, (by drinking myself) and someone rapes me me while I’n not able to state my wishes, and he does not use force, and I am not greatly traumatised, (because tauma is very different for different people) its ok?”
    It’s never ok to have sex not using force on inert persons, but witout trauma the most you could charge him with would be battery (quickly tried by a magistrate with probable success). And possibly a civil action to cover any medical expenses, new pair of shoes or other ‘shopping’ therapy you used to cheer yourself up, and anything else you can add on (so his ‘date rape’ could be expensive)

    “The thing is, you really can’t take the consent away. A person has the right to determin what they do with their bodies and what is done to them.”
    Flatly rejected. You have a responsibility to other women not to agree to being mistreated and always to seeek redress if abused.

    PS do you understand the difference between rough sex and rape? Or rape roleplay and rape?
    As I understand it ‘rough sex’ starts with the woman being surprised/resistant but ends to the contrary, the period of pain/dscomfort in the woman being offset by eventual pleasure — and that’s fine by me and my proposal. But not if your partner doesn’t heed a long lasting and persistant ‘no’. So in the old law you have t trust him not to rape you, in my revision he has to trust you not to cry rape.. Don’t worry, for a gentle-guy the chance of getting prosecuted adds to the fun. And as for the others…fuck ’em. Or don’t fuck ’em. The power is yours.

  75. StillGjenganger says

    @PrivateCharly
    Thanks for your 73. Very constructive, and good to have a woman chip in among all the men.

    As for your 75, that was quote from me – as part an illustration of the unacceptable consequences of Bruce’s proposal. Most rape accusations are correct, and even more are sincere, but, as you say, it can happen.

    But imagine that if you wake up alone, hung over, in a bed full of piss and residues of sex, with vague but rather disturbing memories of the night before. You never wanted that, not with him, and now he has scarpered it is clear that he felt nothing for you but contempt. That is all pretty devastating, whether you actually gave consent the night before or not. It might be understandable (if of course unacceptable and illegal) if some people found denial and a rape accusation easier than accepting that this is actually what they said yes to.

  76. bruce bartup says

    Stilgjanger@ 76

    “Instead we are back where ‘force’ means anything that might influence somebody’s behaviour,” in principle drink, drugs, inducement, payment or social manoevering can be compulsions it’s true. But I don’t attempt to build that into my offer of revised law. In my law proposal, call it ‘White Knights Law’ or ‘WKL’, only physical force is mentioned. And a rapist/defendant should know his own knob’s feelings better than he can guess his partners analytical/symbolic mental state while he is ‘on the job’ with her body and emotions.

    “where consent is no defence to a charge of ‘forcible rape’ but ‘forcible rape’ has no clear, let alone operational, definition,” In WKL forcible rape is expressed in physical terms as clear as any in law as far as I know.

    “and where you are objectively responsible for the mental reactions of your partner even though you have no way of predicting them.” You do not have to predict mental reactions, or mentality at all, there are no complex and iffy concepts like consent to deal with. All you have to do is tune into her body’s and emotional reactions and if you sense a dissonance decide accordingly. Like two rugby players, hookers in fact, going at it like billy oh when one does an actual eye-gouge. You know when you are being abused, and when you are abusing. One knows.

    “We have spent a long debate trying to figure out what you wanted,” You as an individual have chosen to argue the contrary position. For which I thank you. Ally and others have been somewhat uncomprehending and that is understandable, the thought is a startlingly new one as far as I know, and poorly described no doubt, by me.

    ” and in the end I find nothing but good intentions, confusion, and a complete lack of clarity about what any of your words mean. As someone said ‘what is dimly said was dimly thought’. ”

    Thank you for your help in clarifying my ‘dim thoughts’ What was a sharp insight has turned into a muscular and clear initial start point for any further discussion of the issues. I hope.

    1. Use of greater force than would be required with a capable and willing partner is always forcible rape in PIV sex. The penalties will be on the scale of CAPA for the physical injuries and possibly as special sexual schedule for psycho-social damage suffered but to inlude the uppermost severities as of torture/terrorism of a kidnap/murder victim
    2. Non-forcible rape is non-consensual AND/OR results in damage on the same scale as forcible rape and on the same scale of penalties

    I accept what you say about Psychology, to a degree, in general, but the alternative ‘consent psychology’ seems worse in every way to me than ‘sex psychology’ as in the WKL if only because the 2nd leaves plentiful physical evidence and is ‘nearer to it’s data’, by which I mean that ‘sex psychology’ ends up with listening to victims detailed stories, whereas consent psychology listens to perpetrators about potential excuses and victims about potential culpability in the abstract.

  77. piratecharly says

    @ bruce bartup 77

    Flatly rejected. You have a responsibility to other women not to agree to being mistreated and always to seeek redress if abused.

    What has this to do with consent? An boy howdy is this victim blaming…

    ….new pair of shoes or other ‘shopping’ therapy you used to cheer yourself up

    That is fucking sexist!

    Besides which, if he made you happy despite the blood by loving/appreciating you. are you really going to complain of rape, and break the relationship?

    That is the point! Because I consented and went into my first time knwing it could hurt (It was a few years ago… sadly then it was thought as normal to bleed the first time) I would never “cry rape”.

    As I understand it ‘rough sex’ starts with the woman being surprised/resistant but ends to the contrary, the period of pain/dscomfort in the woman being offset by eventual pleasure — and that’s fine by me and my proposal. But not if your partner doesn’t heed a long lasting and persistant ‘no’

    Do you take your views of sex from porn and bad romance novels?

    Rough sex means that both partners doing it because they want to. Because they consented to it. The myth that a woman can be raped and gets to like it is very toxic.

    So in the old law you have t trust him not to rape you, in my revision he has to trust you not to cry rape.. Don’t worry, for a gentle-guy the chance of getting prosecuted adds to the fun. And as for the others…fuck ‘em. Or don’t fuck ‘em. The power is yours.

    Sorry I don’t know what to say to this, it makes no sense

    @ StillGjenganger 78

    Sorry, i did not see that it was just a quote from you

    But imagine that if you wake up alone, hung over, in a bed full of piss and residues of sex, with vague but rather disturbing memories of the night before. You never wanted that, not with him, and now he has scarpered it is clear that he felt nothing for you but contempt. That is all pretty devastating, whether you actually gave consent the night before or not. It might be understandable (if of course unacceptable and illegal) if some people found denial and a rape accusation easier than accepting that this is actually what they said yes to.

    So, did I consent or “[I] never wanted that, not with him”? You can’t have it both ways.

    Let`s say I have sex with someone and it is shitty. He is an ashole but I put up with it and he never does something I say not to… and the next day I regret having sex with him… do you really belive my (or any womans) first instinct is to run around telling everyone that he raped me….. that says much about how you view woman

  78. StillGjenganger says

    @PirateCharly 80
    My example is of a person who did consent the night before, probably while drunk, and who feels devastated and uncomprehending the next day. And who maybe has good reason to feel badly treated – Ched Evans victim would have good reason to be pretty furious with Clayton MacDonald, even if she did remember having consented to sex with him the night before. It would be understandable if such a person felt tempted to retaliate and accuse him, especially if that meant she could deny any responsibility for a very unpleasant event. My point in telling the story was that you do not necessarily need calculating evil to do this, that momentary weakness and unbearable humiliation might be enough, at lest for long enough to phone the police. Fortunately most people (men and women) will resist this kind of temptation – as of course they must. Most people are actually honest. But, as you say, it can happen.

    And, even if you are into treating your bedmates like shit, you should maybe consider that being a bit nicer might reduce the risk of ending up in a police station. Why make it hard for people to do what you want them to do?

  79. bruce bartup says

    piratecharly @80
    thank you for your criticisms.
    The first statement said ‘responsibility not to agree ” . Perhaps I should have said ‘responsibility not to consent..’. The WKL is not individualistic, it is socially responsible. Your consent to being abused can chanag the cliamate in which other women make their choices. But to be abuse it has to be emotionally damaging effectively, if you are ok with what is going on considering and knowing all the consequences, that;s ok. But consider if a ‘sub’ female gets involved in games the males in the circle can publicly shame and humiliate her any time at the moment. With the WKL that power relationship is reveresed. My best dim understanding of such matters is that the ‘sub’ should always have the power. Even though as someone somewhat inclined that way yourself you may prefer not to havae that power and have others look after you, still power is important and the law should leave it in your hands, not with the doms. It is not victim blaming if a responsibility to do something is given with an effective power to do it. It’s disputable if it is right in its own terms, but not victim blaming.

    … that is sexist. No, boys go shopping too when they are mad (car magazines. sports events, gun ranges… and shoes)

    I’m glad we agree that honest sex is not abusive and any minor disappointments are best dealt with ‘knock for knock’ as in ‘it’s all in the game.’ I would never advocate that a victim, ‘cry rape’ in an instant where they had not been psycho-socially damaged or significantly physically injured. However you would be bound to give an accurate account if he were arrested for accepting your cpnsent to be raped if reported by someone else. That is the worst thing about the WKL for you as far as I can see. And I confess I am fine with it.

    Do you take your views of sex from porn and bad romance novels? Yes, as far as rough sex/BDSM goes. And from wikipedia, which is unfortunatelypoor on this subject. Slang dictionaries differ widely. Please reinform me. I know it’s all consensual. But what – to you- actually is ‘rough sex’.

    “The myth that a woman can be raped and gets to like it is very toxic.” Then I’m glad I did not repeat it. Your conduct as I understand it however, (consenting to be forcibly raped, if I understand you) may do just effectively that, perpetuate the myth. But I may have completly misunderstood so please correct me if necessary.

  80. piratecharly says

    @ StillGjenganger 82

    I understand what you mean, but at the end we are again at consent. If someone is so drunk that they do stuff they would sober never do, they are too drunk to give meaningfull consent. And this is where your last paragraph comes into play

    And, even if you are into treating your bedmates like shit, you should maybe consider that being a bit nicer might reduce the risk of ending up in a police station.

    And, even if you are into treating your bedmates like shit having sex with drunk people, you should maybe consider that being a bit nicer more concious about consent ,might reduce the risk of ending up in a police station.

    @bruce bartup 83

    “The myth that a woman can be raped and gets to like it is very toxic.” Then I’m glad I did not repeat it

    Oh yes you did:

    As I understand it ‘rough sex’ starts with the woman being surprised/resistant but ends to the contrary

    consenting to be forcibly raped

    you can’t be raped if you consent. Consent and rape are mutually exclusive.

    Don’t take this the wrong way, but saying that you don’t really understand the dynamics in BDSM while still trying to use it as an argument or that you take your ideas from porn and 50 shades of grey and using them to explain sex and consent in the real world means I can’t take your arguments as valid.

    reinform me

    If you use something as an argument, it is your job to research it. Use Google, there are thousend of sites where you can learn more.
    But I´ll tell you about rough sex. It means sex that can hurt (of course it is very subjective as people have different tastes) and if it hurts it is because the peole GET OFF on the pain, or the power dynamic.

  81. bruce bartup says

    piratecharly
    rough sex : painful sex that is pleasurable for that reason or for some association of pain with some other source of pleasure, power for example. Noted. It comes to the same thing as long as the vagina is not pentrated in such a way that the vagina is injured the WKL is silent on forcible rape and as long as you feel no shame and consent again no problem.

    So the only contention can be about forcible rape, what you are ding in consenting is in the new law (,y law, WKL) legal but immoral, what he is doing is moral but illegal. I’m not sure how a guy who wants to have sex that damages vaginas can stand not to be accountable in law for that decision. It doesn’t make sense to me. But I would think you and your partner would prefer that situation over having the current one where you must both constantly check for consent before making any move your partner might not expect For fear of being as guilty, but less proveably so, than in WKL.

    Rough sex and BDSM may be more widespread than I beieve, to me, they don’t make sense in a relationship. So I guess I didn’t want to look too deeply into that world. But I guess I may have to.

    Thanks for the information anyway, and do be safe, please.

    And for me forcible rape is non-consenting too, it is not possible to consent to a crime.

  82. StillGjenganger says

    If someone is so drunk that they do stuff they would sober never do, they are too drunk to give meaningfull consent

    The judge who convicted Ched Evans said the opposite. He specifically pointed out to the jury that you can be so drunk that you do things you would not otherwise do, you can be so drunk that you cannot remember what happened the next morning, and you can still be sober enough to given meaningful consent. One might be well advised not to push the edges too hard on that one, but drunken consent is still consent. As for ‘things you would not otherwise do’ surely one of the reasons for getting drunk before having sex is if you want to do things you would not do if you were sober (and to have a good excuse if you feel ashamed the next day).

    I do not think it is correct to reduce the question to one of consent. But then my arguments works equally well if you do not.

  83. piratecharly says

    @ bruce bartup 85
    This will be my last post here because as far as I can tell (nearly) all arguments you make are based on fantasy.
    Please educate yourself about facts from the real world.

    But one last thing. Just because you don’t like kinky sex doesn’t mean it is moraly wrong. (As long as there is CONSENT from all participients)

  84. bruce bartup says

    piratecharley @87

    My arguments are based on logic (AND to OR) and a reading of research and of the shortcomings and history of the current law. If I could tell facts from very suspect accounts of BDSM and ‘rough sex’ I’d be glad to know more as it would strengthen my argument. No amount of book reading, however, will give me a woman’s perspective. So I must do what I can to defend ‘egalitarian sex’ as I know it from capitalism, exploitation and feminism. Without a crib sheet or a current ‘experimental bed-rugby workshop’ for a partner to tell me where I’m wrong.

    I admit it, in trying to defend my argument I did ‘steal cool’ from the BDSM community and as I do not bear the disapproval and outcast state of that body of social pioneers I do not fit that shirt. That was a culpable error on my part for which I apologise.

    I don’t mind the idea of kinky sex, as long as it is EQUAL between partners. As far as I can tell what you describe is not equal but I acknowledge that you know for sure and I don’t have a say in your life. But I will have my say on overall political and social matters – and the current world of BDSM as far as I can see is like traditional misogynistic porn – in a perfect world it would be fine. But the world is far from perfect.

    I hope I didn’t piss you off with ‘straights’ too much.

  85. says

    To be frank I am not surprised that people have difficulty applying the definition of the idea of rape. I think it is a misconceived idea. Was harm caused? That is the nub of the issue.

    So you’re one of those proponents of “gentle silent rape” as opposed to “legitimate rape?” Wow, yet another good post tainted by a downright embarrassing commentariat. sometimes this place gives casting pearls before swine a bad name.

  86. bruce bartup says

    Raging Bee @ 89
    I read your article and I understand your concern, but I don’t understand how it applies to meand my point – which is now a more distinct proposition
    1) forcible rape is a crime, consent notwithstanding
    2) other sex withot consent is a crime
    3) if a woman traumatically shamed in sexual activity or as a result of the same that is a crime, consent notwithstanding
    there are many rewordings we;ve used so far.

    So what’s your problem. I’m too stupid to talk to? Or you don’t like it when some one else is talking? Or you actually don’t agree, in which case, please explain, why?

  87. says

    1) forcible rape is a crime, consent notwithstanding

    What the fuck does that mean? It’s rape because there’s no consent.

    3) if a woman traumatically shamed in sexual activity or as a result of the same that is a crime, consent notwithstanding
    there are many rewordings we;ve used so far.

    That “rewording” is utter gibberish. You call that a “more distinct proposition?” Please try again.

  88. Holms says

    #88
    My arguments are based on logic (AND to OR)…

    Say rather that your arguments borrow the language of boolean logic, but rarely employ logical argument. They have been frequently nonsensical. Some samples, with brief commentary:

    #1
    “To be frank I am not surprised that people have difficulty applying the definition of the idea of rape. I think it is a misconceived idea. Was harm caused? That is the nub of the issue. I don’t mind my neighbour borrowing my lawnmower even without my consent. …”

    – The definition is actually quite easy to all people that aren’t predators: make some effort to ensure that you have the consent of your potential partner. Yes, even drunk people can give meaningful consent, so long as they are not so drunk as to be insensible.

    – Overriding the personal autonomy of another is itself a source of harm, rendering your question moot.

    – Your lawnmower analogy fails, as that is a matter of property rights, whereas rape is a matter of bodily autonomy.

    #17
    “Repeal it. And put the law back where it should always have been. On the same scale of punishments and the same basis of law as any other assault. That is ‘what harm was done?’. Consent being irrelevant. Irrelevant. If we get into a ring for a boxing match and I volunteer and you hide a horseshoe in your glove and bust my jaw – my consent meant nothing. That consent was a deception …”

    – Your attempted argument against consent being relevant actually proves the opposite. You did not consent to a boxing match with weapons, you consented to a boxing match specifically without them. Hence, the hidden horseshoe constitutes a breach of consent.

    – If anything, your point actually makes an (accidental?) exploration of the difference between plain consent and informed consent. The take-home being: knowing what you are consenting to is an integral part of meaningful consent.

    #17
    “The evidence for emotional trauma is far easier to gather for a court if neccessary than a purely subjective mind state that in the heat of action no man can ever possibly read the signs for – because his mind is supposed to be focused on making her happy. A sceptical scientific mindset is just isn’t on. I mean, c’mon Ally – men of the world here, yes?”

    – Emotional trauma is also a purely subjective mind state. It cannot be objectively measured like a laceration or whatever, it is self reported.

    – Also, you are expected to ascertain that you have consent before ‘the heat of the moment’.

    – “Heat of the moment” and “Men of the world”, yeeeeeeesh. I can practically see your smirking wink.

    #17 still
    “The raising of rape to some sublime mystical level ends in no more nor less than empowering the rapist.”

    – Rape is not sublime, mystical or even slightly mysterious. Start with the concept of bodily autonomy, i.e. the right to determine what permissions other people have regarding our own bodies. There are many different things people can do to breach this personal authority, by overriding consent on matters ranging from the relatively minor ‘encroaching on my personal space’ to ‘ending my life’. Rape is just one among many different breaches, and is generally defined as ‘penetrative intercourse involving a non-consenting individual’. It is not special, it is just one of a multitude of breaches of this fundamental right, and giving it a specific term and definition in no way empowers rapists; nor does coining and defining ‘murder’ empower murderers, nor coining and defining etc. etc.

    – Note also that having some crimes as subsets within larger categories does not make that crime special in any way, it simply allows for greater definition in a legal code. As an axample, do you know what the difference between theft and robbery is? Theft is simply depriving someone of their property without their permission; robbery is depriving someone of their property without their permission by force or threat of force. See how all robberies are also thefts, but not all thefts are robberies? Just like all rapes are sexual assaults, but not all sexual assaults are rapes. That doesn’t make either of the narrower offenses more special, just more precisely defined, allowing for greater naunce in law, rather than having broadly sweeping laws that lump a large range of degrees of offense together with no differentiation.

    #17 some more
    “The law as it stands is also shaming victims (because having consented makes them complicit in this ‘spirit-guide wibbly wobbly rapey wapey’ Wiccan wombyn bullshsit .”

    – As this sentence immediately follows the above sentence referencing rape, and lacking any visible change of subject, I am forced to conclude that you are still talking about about rape when you argue that a woman is shamed by rape law “because having consented makes her complicit in [verbal effluvia].”

    – Let me just zoom in on the key word: consented. (To rape.)

    – Just stressing this: you contend that current rape law is bad because (among other imaginary faults) it implies the victim consented to rape, even though the definition of rape is that the victim did not consent. And don’t try to weasel out of this, you know the definition of rape involves breach of consent, because your previous paragraph was all about asserting that this should be removed as the defining characteristic of rape and replaced with force / harm.

    #17 yet more
    “Also the excercise of the law is effectively congratulating the rapist and approving of him (he chose the smart way to hurt women).”

    – Uh, it’s actually condemning the act of rape, and throwing rapists in jail for years at a time. Nice job on the mental gymnastics required to turn that into into ‘congratulations’ though.

    – Oh wait, this is just a repeat of the same ‘defining rape as a specific crime with specific penalties under the broader category of sexual assault makes it special’ silliness noted above.

    #17 wow, this paragraph again
    “Rapist get claen away wth rape what 90% of the time? More so if he leaves no physical damage.”

    True… which rather undermines your thesis that the element of consent should be repealed from rape law to leave only a requirement to demonstrate physical harm.

    #19
    “The rape law originally defined rape as violent penetrative AND non-consensual which by direct Logical xtension means that violent penetrative consensual sex is legal, nnormal, allowed, part of the culture. It also inroduced into law implicitly the concept of consented harm. A hurt such as a surgical operation may be consented. But a consent to being harmed is not. Because it is not truly conceivable.”

    – Regarding the implication that violent consenting sex is legal… yes, what about it? They consented to it therefore no one’s right to bodily autonomy has been breached.

    – The mere fact that people willingly partake in BDSM disproves your unsupported assertion that consenting to harm is inconcievable. A friend of mine has shown me his whip weals, his whipping frame thing, his assortment of electrodes, and a cupboard full of ropes, cuffs and lashes. Hell, I could voluntarily harm myself in some not-too-major way just to prove you wrong.

    Jackass – and many other examples of self harm for entertainment – proves you wrong.

    #19
    “The act is bodily contact. i believe that the law already contains ample provision for aggravated assaault including emotional upset. Such upset being demonstrated by psychologists reports, testimony of friends, disrdeed behaviour at work or at home etc.”

    Well no, not quite. The act is bodily contact that is not only sexual, but also penetrative, which is a world away from more mundane bodily contact such as tapping someone on the shoulder. You can believe as sincerely as you like, but the law – and the heavy majority of the population past and present – regard sexual contact as a much more significant form of contact, and as such is more heavily penalised.

    Anyway, while I knew this attempt would be long, I had no idea that it would be *this* long long – and I only got to post 19. I’ll have to catch up on your more recent strangeness after a kip. Please don’t let me catch you with anything half as silly as post #17 especially again.

  89. bruce bartup says

    Holms @ 82
    Thank you for that detailed criticism. I will try to improve. I confess I have struggled at times to make my meaning cllear. I have attempted humour. And that was my post #17, which I now see as a mistake.

    I introduced a new idea. Namely that for rape, the law would be better if it were based around the harm done than around thte idea of consent. That’ idea was met with unexpected confusion and even hostility. Which puzzled me. I do not believe that my arguments, which I accept have at times been poor, are that much worse than other cotributors.

    The confusion was the disparity beween my claim and my status, perhaps. That is to say, you expect, perhaps, that a suggestion to change the basis for law would be accompanied by detailed research, impeccable argument, an impressive resume, a written voice of natural authotity some qualification to give you an incentive to read on. Some basis upon which to trust and respect me personally so as to be confident that what you read will be worthwhile given the audacity of the idea.

    I have none of those qualifications. And you, perhaps, expect even more of me for that reason. To you Imay have broken an unwritten rule that no one on these pages should be a disgrace to read.

    In the circumstnces I do not advise you to continue your critical efforts. Although I value them personally they will not secure for you your desired outcome. I will not be shut up on thebasis that I am an idiot. I will attempt a style more concistent with your tastes.

    The substance of your many objections in logic (as separate from objections based onjstyle or person) seems to be that rape is a breach of bodily autonomy and therefore consent not bodily harm is the issue. But if so that is based on an unchallenged premise. And unlesss this is an uninentional strawman arument, my position is that challenge. Bodily integrity is the issue as, I say, during sex there is no bodily autonomy, or mental or emotional autonomy.

    So, on the basis that if my style, is poor, my argument weak, my person idiotic and my manner objectionable I am at least jusitifiably so, I will continue.

  90. bruce bartup says

    It seems that in the persons of Raging Bee and Holms I am talking now to broadly academic feminists. I’m a gutter fighting on-line anti-anti feminist, ,ie feminist, straight, white, cis, etc.. My current feminist activity is trying to save ‘lost boys’ from theredpill online. HI.

    I’m a feminist in as much as it is plain to me that not only do ‘women have it worse’ which to me is a minor point, but also that women have much less power and say over human affairs than men do. So I understand the ‘autonomy’ agenda. I am not an academic and I use your language badly, bodily autonomy and integrity are just choice and absesnce of harm to me. But I will use your words for your comfort. I hope I use them correctly.

    As I understand it, Bodily Integrity is a more basic right of non-violation as opposed to a higher one of autonomy. Thus even in feminist theory, it is acceptable to put forcible penetration and physical harm in the category of ‘impossible to consent to’ legally. That is a defensible position in feminism, I hope. The consequences of such an act (substituting integrity or harm for autonomy for consent) seem to me to be very probably benign towards feminism and it’s goals.

    Those consequences would include: a marked change in the practice of prostitution, BDSM more equal with regard to risks run, a practical and effective deterrant to rape as currently defined, a more effective legal system in terms of convicting rapists, a more easeful life for genuine lovers, a marked reduction in the volume and nastiness of abuse against women recieved in all media., and a reduction in the numbers of women shamed and destroyed by means of their having consented to sex (revenge use of media for example). I can unpack those consequences and show why I believe this is the case on request.

    The price for you, as I see it, of the proposed law change (call it the WKL and the current law the Rape Law for clarity, perhaps?) is giving up a liberal vision of an individual making choices separate from society. In accepting the ‘harm’ or ‘integrity’ basis you would be accepting that there are social obligations (for example the obligation not to limit anyone else’s choices or capabilities by the choices you make). Thus a woman cannot choose to allow forcible penetration because of the impact that would have on other women (set up a competition between women for ‘who can be the most abused?’).

    I’ll restate the proposed change for further clarity and being definite as requested by RAging Bee.

    Repeal the Rape Law or rewrite it entirely so that
    1. Forcible PIV sex is a crime and consent is not a defence
    2. All other sexual activity must be harmless (within the limits applicable to a specific social circumstance or practice – ‘fair play’) and consenting (in asmuch as partners consent to sex overall, not in specifics to each contact or touch) otherwise it is a crime.
    3. To shame or depersonalise any one involved in sexual activity for being sexual or having consented to any form of sex is a crime if it traumatises the person involved. Again consent to sex in general or specific is not a defence.
    Note: it is not legally possible to consent to a crime being committed.
    Penalties for crimes: physical injury: according to the scale for Offences Against the Person. Trauma: according to the scale of penalties in the OATP act, including the topmost aggravated crime penalty that would be applied to a tortured and kidnapped child. (physical penalties small, psycho-social penalties large)

    I hope that deals with your major overall objections (bodily autonomy, sillines, lack of clarity), if you wish me to defend any point you have made in detail please specifiy it.

  91. says

    The law as it stands is also shaming victims (because having consented makes them complicit in this ‘spirit-guide wibbly wobbly rapey wapey’ Wiccan wombyn bullshsit .

    This statement is so insultingly silly and infantile as to prove that bruce bartup neither knows nor cares what he’s talking about, and is incapable of conversing about this subject at an adult level.

    It seems that in the persons of Raging Bee and Holms I am talking now to broadly academic feminists.

    It seems that bruce bartup has no clue who he’s talking to, and is using labeling as a substitute for actual engagement. (Hint: I haven’t been an “academic” anything since 1991.) It doesn’t matter what you call us, or how close your labels are to being at all relevant — your comments are still nothing but incoherent clueless self-important bullshit.

    I’m a gutter fighting on-line anti-anti feminist, ,ie feminist, straight, white, cis, etc.. My current feminist activity is trying to save ‘lost boys’ from theredpill online. HI.

    I thought you were trying to be humorous. Here’s a protip: most right-wing idiots, like Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter, make asses of themselves trying to pretend to be serious FIRST, and THEN fall back on saying they were just kidding. You got your schtick backwards.

  92. says

    I hope that deals with your major overall objections (bodily autonomy, sillines, lack of clarity), if you wish me to defend any point you have made in detail please specifiy it.

    We’ve done that already, and all we get is more incoherent blithering. We know you’re full of shit, so no further “clarification” is needed. You may go now.

  93. bruce bartup says

    Raging Bee.
    Ok, thanks for that and for adding your expression of distaste to Holms’. I’ve already said that I now see my attempt at humour to have been a mistake. It seems that my effort at self deprecation also fell n tony ground as did my attempt to explain who I am and how I got here and my basic outlook. Somehow you and Holms seem to have got the idea that I’m a misogynist reactionary, I’m not. I am critical of the feminist mainstream and i have speciic frutrations with what appears to be dogmatism.

    But fine, you don’t like me and think that a rape law based on harm and integrity and consent and autonomy is ludicrous compared to one based solely on consent. The first part (of dislike) I can accept, but your use of that dislike to avoid addressing the suggestion itself requires an explanation, or so it seems to me.

  94. says

    Somehow you and Holms seem to have got the idea that I’m a misogynist reactionary, I’m not.

    No, we have got the idea that you’re just plain incoherent and not making any sense at all.

    I am critical of the feminist mainstream and i have speciic frutrations with what appears to be dogmatism.

    Yeah, that’s what misogynist reactionaries tend to say. They also tend not to have any clue who in the “feminist mainstream,” or which specific “dogma,” is actually wrong, or what, exactly, they/it are wrong about.

  95. StillGjenganger says

    @Bruce 97
    I admire your calm and persistence. And Raging is always rude and, well, raging, so you should not take that one personally.

    But several people on this forum seem to have found your proposals inconsistent, illogical, impossible to pin down, and at odds with reality. It is possible that we are all too biased or too limited to appreciate what you have to offer. Many forums are very closed to outside ideas, even if they gather under Freethoughtblogs. But it is also possible that your ideas need some work on consistency and detail before they are fully up to the ambitious job of completely remaking the law and philosophy of rape. I for one do not plan on engaging with them further, because I do not think either you or I would learn much from the discussion.

  96. says

    And Raging is always rude and, well, raging, so you should not take that one personally.

    …says the guy who then proceeds to repeat the same points I made.

  97. bruce bartup says

    StillGjenganger @ 99
    I accept what you say to the extent that I have probably ‘blown my self up’ as far as my credibility here goes.

    Enthusiasm for my own ideas and goodwill to others have always been my curse, my burden and my badges of honour. I have succeded in the past where more conventional minds have failed. In the trade my character type and team role preferrence is ‘plant’. The one who is novel. And the rape law as it stands is rotten and in need of rethinking from scratch and new ideas.

    So while there are poor sods llike Reg, piratecharley and my poor lost boys suffering the consequences, I must go on if there is any merit in the idea itself. I am convinced it has merit, so, I go on. I must do so, as long as I contribute to the debate rather than slow it down in total.

    If your view is that I am not quaified to participate because what I generate is too frequently idiotic (as opposed to me being an idiot), then I take that seriously and will withdraw.

  98. says

    Enthusiasm for my own ideas and goodwill to others have always been my curse, my burden and my badges of honour. I have succeded in the past where more conventional minds have failed. In the trade my character type and team role preferrence is ‘plant’. The one who is novel.

    Yup, he’s the next Galileo all right. If only he could stop sounding like an immortal alien priest in a “Star Trek” episode…

    Sincerely,
    The Bee Who Is Raging, whose character type and team role preference is ‘level-3 druid.’ The one who writes novels.

  99. bruce bartup says

    Raging Bee, ‘plant’ is one of the 7 team roles in the Beblbin model
    the full typolgy being at bellbin.com

    under which Plant
    Strengths: Creative, imaginative, free-thinking. Generates ideas and solves difficult problems. Allowable Weaknesses: Ignores incidentals. Too preoccupied to communicate effectively.

  100. says

    Too preoccupied to communicate effectively.

    If you can’t communicate any of your sooper-genius ideas effectively, then, for all practical purposes, your sooper-genius capabilities don’t really exist. At best, they can’t be proven to exist, so it’s useless to brag about them after you’ve shown yourself to be an incoherent babbling twit. (And it’s especially useless to brag about them by referring to an online app. And what the heck is a “bellbin?” A bin where you toss old broken bells?)

  101. Holms says

    #93
    The confusion was the disparity beween my claim and my status, perhaps. That is to say, you expect, perhaps, that a suggestion to change the basis for law would be accompanied by detailed research, impeccable argument, an impressive resume, a written voice of natural authotity some qualification to give you an incentive to read on.
    No, I just want sound reasoning. In fact if you did have some major authority, and you chose to rely on that to convey your point in place of an argument, you would be guilty of the argument from authority fallacy.

    Also, I asked you to stop talking nonsense, not to stop talking altogether. Nonsense like this:

    Bodily integrity is the issue as, I say, during sex there is no bodily autonomy, or mental or emotional autonomy.
    Wrong. During, before, or after sex you still have the right to determine the permissions others have with your body, and so does your partner. Self control might be more difficult, but that never stops being your responsibility because rights don’t cease just because someone is nearing orgasm.

    #94
    It seems that in the persons of Raging Bee and Holms I am talking now to broadly academic feminists. I’m a gutter fighting on-line anti-anti feminist, ,ie feminist, straight, white, cis, etc.. My current feminist activity is trying to save ‘lost boys’ from theredpill online. HI.

    Your estimation of me is incorrect, I have never studied anything relating to gender politics or similar, but have gathered my thoughts from reading various blogs and my own consideration. I am simply more coherent than you when it comes to marshalling my thoughts to put into argument.

    As I understand it, Bodily Integrity is a more basic right of non-violation as opposed to a higher one of autonomy.
    And I continue to disagree with that. All you are doing is insisting that your chosen criterion for how you treat your body should be forced onto everyone else by law. Are you aware of the vast consequences of your proposal? In a stroke, all extreme sports and most ‘normal’ sports, all unhealthy foods, tobacco, alcohol, lack of exercise, sun exposure without sunblock… all sorts of shit is immediately heavily regulated at the very least, and possibly outright illegal. Your proposal basically leads to the nanny state to end them all, in which private activities risk jail sentences or fines if word of the injury gets out.

    Thus even in feminist theory, it is acceptable to put forcible penetration and physical harm in the category of ‘impossible to consent to’ legally. That is a defensible position in feminism, I hope.
    No, it continues to be nonsensical. Consent is the difference between sex and rape in the same way that it is the difference between stealing something and being loaned / given it. It is the difference between assault versus martial arts competition, trespass versus having people over, breach of privacy versus giving someone your number… Consent is the underpinning of all law.

    Those consequences would include: a marked change in the practice of prostitution[1], BDSM more equal with regard to risks run[2], a practical and effective deterrant to rape as currently defined[3], a more effective legal system in terms of convicting rapists[4], a more easeful life for genuine lovers[5], a marked reduction in the volume and nastiness of abuse against women recieved in all media[6]., and a reduction in the numbers of women shamed and destroyed by means of their having consented to sex (revenge use of media for example)[7].
    It actually won’t do any of these things.

    [1] I don’t see how. Consenting sex is consenting sex, whether it is due to a monetary transaction or true love. All it would do is take a few of the rougher fetishes off the list of consenting activities, whether they want that or not. Prostitutes can already forbit those things if they want, and the rough stuff is already illegal if the prostitute says no to it, so no one benefits.

    [2] Those that are into BDSM are already sharing risks equally if they want to, thus no one stands to benefit from this change because there is no obligation on them to do it unevenly. On the other hand, those that don’t want to do it that way – e.g. those that are into subordinate / dominant play – are being penalised by having their choices restricted. So overall, no benefit, only detriment here.

    [3] Uh how? It’s already illegal and the harm done is already taken into account at sentencing. All your proposal really does is add rough sex to the list of illegal stuff, even if the people involved want it.

    [4] Again, harm is already taken into account, so no.

    [5] Similar to the rebuttal at [2]: those that want it that way are already doing it and thus will not benefit, while those that want their sex life to be otherwise are being punished.

    [6] It … what? There is just no way that this will happen just because harm is now being penalised… primarily because harm is already penalised. It’s called ‘harassment.’ Fuckheads still do it anyway.

    [7] That would come under privacy law, and is also already illegal. Again, fuckheads still do it anyway.

    So basically, alllllllll of this shit is but to say that your idea is unworkable and that people can consent to injury if they wish.

  102. bruce bartup says

    Holms
    thank you for continuing. I’ll respond to your specific points then make a pproposal that should put us on the same page.
    You seem to be the only one left on the blog who is respoding to me iin a sensble fashion. If you dont want a reply please say so and you’l hear no more. Also you keep repeating that women can consent to anything. In the final ananlysis that will be true. But the law criminilising certaain behaviours can run counter to autonomy and often does. The phrase ‘cannot consent to a crime’ has a pedgree. A certain fist movement inside aa vagina for example was held to be so violent that consent coulld not be considered by any participant and thus the injury was illegal. I could consent to be smashed isn tthte face with an iron bar, that does not mean that consent is the best sound or practical basis for the Offenses Against the Person Act.

    A principle of bodily integrity is compatible with martial arts, rugby and ith horsplay. It is a matter of understanding what i expected as normal ‘in the game as I understand it. If you are a commuter, you can expect to get josttled, whereas if the same person did the same thng at work in a normal office questions would be asked. Tacit consent is implied by taking part in the game.

    You claim this is nonsense
    during sex there is no bodily autonomy, or mental or emotional autonomy. And then say
    “During, before, or after sex you still have” bodily autonomy “Self control might be more difficult, but that never stops being your responsibility because rights don’t cease just because someone is nearing orgasm.”
    Rights may not change but capabiiity does. At orgsm I thnk you are aware that one is o longer capable of thining or deciding anything. Well, during sex I say that the empathic connection with a partner requires a similar loosenng of strict identity. That’s part of the fun.

    Perhaps I can show you what I mean. I have described sex as a physical-emotional conversation. Consider that we are ahving a mental convrsation right now. You are thinking what I’m thinking as I write andyou read. You have consented to do so. But from moment to moment and from word to word I am leading and you are followng me, if you follow me?

    If you did understand that example then I’m saying the same applies in sex. The sex-consent is consent to lose yourself in the moment and in the other person. And thus to be temporarily incapable of further consent as long as he empathic bond holds. It is a very open and vulnerable state to be in, but not non-sensical.

    1) a marked change in the practice of prostitution, Forcible ex is curently the stock n trade of prostitues as I understand it from Guardian articles ‘Being pad to be raped;’ The proposed law would criminilise men who pay for forcible sex. Taking a large part of the abusive side of prostitution out.

    2) BDSM more equal with regard to risks run: at the mmennt women run all the scial and reproducticve risks and he men risk little. As what men do whould be illllegal and the woman not, that even’s things out on balance

    3), a practical and effective deterrant to rape as currently defined: detterrance is based on creatng a negative incentive the current law imposes a heavy sentence, but rarely. Because people suffer from a judgement bias that it ‘will not happen to me.’ and because a stiff penalty means cautious and long court procedures this is not a good deterrant. The proposed law would deliver small penalties with a much higher expectation of loss imediately. Because any physica rape that ddes not involve trauma to the psyche has a low penalty, these can be tried at a low leve, often magstrate court as theensible option for a rapist is to confess rather than chance a plea of innocence riskig trauma being caused to the victim by the highccourt system but because of his rape (especially as the outcome would depend in high ccurt on laboratory and medcal reports not destruction of a victim as witness by a defence lawyer out to prove ‘consent’. )
    a more effective legal system in terms of convicting rapists[4],see above

    a more easeful life for genuine lovers[5], : not fearing loss of consent moment to moment (see Reg’s earlier crie de couer)

    a marked reduction in the volume and nastiness of abuse against women recieved in all media[6].,: the terms bitch and hoe as usd in this sense would lose meaning (because by law women could no longer be blamed for consenting, but men can be blamed for accepting consennt to forcible sex.)

    and a reduction in the numbers of women shamed and destroyed by means of their having consented to sex (revenge use of media for example)[7]. : see bitch and hoe above, a woman who caannot choose to be cheap or lustful is hard to shame. The shaming itself is traumatiing and thus open to the heaviest of sentences and gets social opprobrium accordingly (but in this case is deterrant because the shaming material is traceable to the culpable source, reversing the social shame before it comes to court)

  103. says

    2) BDSM more equal with regard to risks run: at the mmennt women run all the scial and reproducticve risks and he men risk little. As what men do whould be illllegal and the woman not, that even’s things out on balance

    So you’re saying that men should always be punished for engaging in CONSENSUAL kink? How is that supposed to make anything any better for victims of non-consensual actions?

    a more easeful life for genuine lovers[5], : not fearing loss of consent moment to moment (see Reg’s earlier crie de couer)

    This is such utterly incoherent rubbish as to make me wonder if you’re even serious. Are you saying “genuine lovers” have to fear “loss of consent moment to moment?” Why is that such a bad thing that we have to change our laws to prevent it? Are you saying that once a woman lets me grope her, she’s fully and irrevocably committed and I should not have to “fear” the prospect of her changing her mind? Thanks for your concern, but I think I can handle sexual frustration without such blithering idiotic ideas as yours.

    and a reduction in the numbers of women shamed and destroyed by means of their having consented to sex (revenge use of media for example)[7]. : see bitch and hoe above, a woman who caannot choose to be cheap or lustful is hard to shame. The shaming itself is traumatiing and thus open to the heaviest of sentences and gets social opprobrium accordingly (but in this case is deterrant because the shaming material is traceable to the culpable source, reversing the social shame before it comes to court)

    It’s hard to tell because your wording is so incoherent; but it really sounds like you’re supporting the current policy of the Taliban and ISIL, of “protecting” women from being “shamed” or “destroyed” by denying them the ability to make “wrong” choices. Destroying women’s freedom “for their own good” is not an option — and as both ISIL and the Taliban have shown, it won’t make women any safer from anything. (And no, it doesn’t protect them from rape — it just gives men a greater variety of rules the victim could be blamed for not obeying 24/7.)

    And what about men? They get raped too, and shamed for it, so maybe we should “protect” men the same way? Again, thanks for your concern for my welfare, but you’re really too clueless to help, and your ideas are crap.

  104. bruce bartup says

    Raging Bee
    2 BDSM In a misogynist society like the one we live in any woman active sexually can be shamed in ways that men cannot. This, I think it reasonable to say, will be more so if the activity is adventurous sexually. So a woman in BDSM is open to blackmail and pressure to do things she does not want to do. Not normally, but potentially. If such a woman were to have the countervailing potential power of informing the police of the ‘forcible sex’ crime (which carries a light penalty as long as the damage is only physical) any form of blackmail/pressure could be deterred.

    3 Changing one’s mind is fine, withdrawing consent is authoritative and fine, communicting dispeaseure or lack of pleasure is fine. But to put a lover in a position where he/she must have his/her mind analytically active (to ask ‘is she consenting to this particular groove we’re in?’) when the activity requiress engrossment and loss of self consciousness is sure to ruin the whole joyous buisness.

    7 Shaming: Boys who get raped after consenting to sex with men are subject to the same hate based shame/revenge as women are (though the effects and dynamics are different I understand – the terms ‘bitch’ etc are used for both). I tend to concentrate on the female case for eaase of language and sometimes because I forget, so thanks for the reminder.

    I’m not sure how bringing the Taliban and ISiL into the discussion can help. They restrict choice, the law I’m proposing protects choice (by making acceptance of that choice illegal for forcible rape. The woman/potential forcible sex victim is unaccountable for his/her choice it’s true, but that is much better than the current law which shames women for their choices. You offer choice with accountability inside a misogynist system. I counter propose choice without accountability because it is a misogynist system. I think that’s what it amouints to.

  105. says

    I tend to concentrate on the female case for eaase of language and sometimes because I forget, so thanks for the reminder.,/I>

    You’re welcome. Now answer my question.

    2 BDSM In a misogynist society like the one we live in any woman active sexually can be shamed in ways that men cannot. This, I think it reasonable to say, will be more so if the activity is adventurous sexually. So a woman in BDSM is open to blackmail and pressure to do things she does not want to do. Not normally, but potentially.

    So you’re saying a woman should not be allowed to engage in certain activities because she might get in trouble for them? Guess what — making an activity illegal does not make it less shameful.

    If such a woman were to have the countervailing potential power of informing the police of the ‘forcible sex’ crime (which carries a light penalty as long as the damage is only physical) any form of blackmail/pressure could be deterred.

    That’s pure bullshit, and shows your abysmal lack of common sense. If you make BDSM activities illegal, then the woman who tries to report them will still be subject to shame and possibly blackmail. (And besides, men have no problem shaming women who are victims of sex-crimes, no matter what the law says. Your fantasy about an ideal law making everything all better is insultingly infantile.)

    And what’s this asinine crap about “a light penalty as long as the damage is only physical?” Do you enjoy getting on people’s nerves with your relentless incoherent stupidity?

    They restrict choice, the law I’m proposing protects choice (by making acceptance of that choice illegal…

    You protect choice by making acceptance of a choice illegal? That’s nothing but doubletalk.

    3 Changing one’s mind is fine, withdrawing consent is authoritative and fine, communicting dispeaseure or lack of pleasure is fine. But to put a lover in a position where he/she must have his/her mind analytically active (to ask ‘is she consenting to this particular groove we’re in?’) when the activity requiress engrossment and loss of self consciousness is sure to ruin the whole joyous buisness.

    First, Do you really think any change in the law will affect how people think when they’re having sex? And second, A person’s mind does not have to be “analytically active” to perceive changes in his/her partner’s mood. In fact, being in touch with one’s partner’s mood is part of that “engrossment” you’re blathering about. Do you know ANYTHING about sex?

    The woman/potential forcible sex victim is unaccountable for his/her choice it’s true, but that is much better than the current law which shames women for their choices.

    Making a choice illegal does NOT prevent shame, it promotes it.

    I counter propose choice without accountability because it is a misogynist system. I think that’s what it amouints to.

    In other words, you pretend you’re giving women more “choice,” but then “protecting” them from their “choices” by making them either meaningless or illegal. THAT’S what your bullshit rambling about “choice without accountability” amounts to. If I have to explain to you why “choice without accountability” is a totally untenable concept — in a discussion of crime, no less — then I’m talking to an oblivious imbecile.

  106. says

    I’m not sure how bringing the Taliban and ISiL into the discussion can help.

    I mention them because they justify their extreme oppression of women the same way you do: “We honor and cherish and protect all women, honest we do, that’s why we force them to obey all these extreme Sharia laws and beat them savagely (or worse) when they disobey — it’s for their own protection so they won’t be dishonored by having sex.”

  107. Holms says

    Bruce, you admit two points that undermine your entire proposal:
    – capability may change, but rights don’t
    – things can be fine in some situations, but not fine in other situations. The defining difference between them is consent.
    So basically, we’re done already. All you are doing is repeating yourself in an increasingly verbose and decreasingly coherent fashion.

    Take your response to [2] for example.
    “BDSM more equal with regard to risks run: at the mmennt women run all the scial and reproducticve risks and he men risk little. As what men do whould be illllegal and the woman not, that even’s things out on balance”
    That’s the same thing you said before, ignoring my rebuttal to it:
    “Those that are into BDSM are already sharing risks equally if they want to, thus no one stands to benefit from this change because there is no obligation on them to do it unevenly. On the other hand, those that don’t want to do it that way – e.g. those that are into subordinate / dominant play – are being penalised by having their choices restricted. So overall, no benefit, only detriment here.”

    The fact that it still applies perfectly well without rewording it says that you aren’t responding at all, you are just repeating. (Also, since you seem to think that the man is always in the dominant role in rough sex, go to a porn site and use the search term ‘femdom’ to have your assumption shattered.) Your other points showed the same pattern of repetition, so I consider your thesis refuted.

  108. says

    You consider his thesis refuted? Good on ya, mate, you’re way ahead of me — I still can’t figure out what his thesis IS. I guess you just have a better command of Cranklish than I do.

  109. bruce bartup says

    Raging Bee,
    I’m not sure how you derive your first two statements from what I’ve said.
    My statement on BDSM stands, women specfically can be shamed by sexual choice in degrees men cannot be. Men can be shamed as victims but not as voluntary participants in the same way, a man may be seen aas weak if in submission but not as a bitch, slut etc. I accept that that is a matter of degree not kind, nut there is a distinction nonetheless.

    The nub of your difficulty with choice seems to be that I am denying it to innocent parties, I’m not. My difficulty wth the current law is that it pnalises vctims by shame for making such choices. My solution is to remove legal accountabiliy for that choice. YES legally whether it aligns with your phiosophy of moral choice or not, in the revised law someone can consent and never have to face cross-examination from a defence lawyer. Never be socially accountable to misogynist society for choosing sex. What is wrong with that?

    Women and ‘penetratees’ or more passive partners more free from social cnsequences than they are now. What is wrong with that?

    “Those that are into BDSM are already sharing risks equally if they want to, thus no one stands to benefit from this change because there is no obligation on them to do it unevenly. On the other hand, those that don’t want to do it that way – e.g. those that are into subordinate / dominant play – are being penalised by having their choices restricted. So overall, no benefit, only detriment here.”
    I thought my previous refutation was sufficient. How are men and women ‘equal’,, in reproductive rights, in public shame? How is any play other than ‘forcible sex’ penalised? Why wouldn’t forcible sex be nominally penalised? If you are going to transgress social norms you should be excited by doing something illegal. And it’s a small voluntary risk for a small number of mostly men to pay for the other benefits, for example convictions of rapists, surely? How many men are going to jail? None if they treat the ‘subs’ right.

    I will respond to points that I can understand and which are not repeitious. For repetitions I reply once.

    Most of what you say i can’t understand. So I guess I now know how others feel reading my attampts.

    Can you explain why you have an apparent monomania about consent. At one point you are demanfing it as if every tthoughtt were holy. The next you are content to let it be in the relationship. As Ihae always argued. Consent must be present but so must cae and asic respect fr personhood and bodily intehgrity. Surely choice and consent are mens of getting those. If a woman chooses to hand over some autonomy to a partner temporarily that shouuld be respected and protected surely?

    The rest ISIL etc is entirely misrepresenting me and my intentions.
    1. protects all people physically. And targets rapists
    2, alows anything un-harmful and consensual.
    3 Criminilses ‘shaming’. And protects victims.

    How is that some kind of Great Crime?

    And you’ve yet to come up with one instance where the effect of the proposal is not bnign for society (so far te only mndividual rights you have referred to are BDSM doms, and they are unliikely victims).

  110. mildlymagnificent says

    Thus even in feminist theory, it is acceptable to put forcible penetration and physical harm in the category of ‘impossible to consent to’ legally. That is a defensible position in feminism, I hope.

    You need to make better use of your dictionary and thesaurus. As I read it – and I’ll readily confess I find all of it hard to follow – you use “forcible” in two different senses. (You’d do far better to think more, write less and edit fiercely.) Consider for a moment the differences between forceful penetration and forcible penetration. There’s a distinction there that might be useful if your ideas made sense in any other way. There are plenty of people who enjoy vigorous, forceful – downright athletic – sexual activity, and who smile to themselves at the evidence in the form of bruises or “lovebites” or vaginal soreness in the following days. Most of us see these consequences in much the same light, but not emotional content, as having overestimated our abilities on a hike or playing tennis or falling over while rollerskating on the weekend. Stiff, sore muscles, a couple of oversized bruises or a bit of sunburn being the price we’re willing to pay for having had a good time

    As for your ideas about “consent” being too difficult or whatever it is that you want to get at. Let’s add a few other issues that make the sexual activity picture a bit more complete. They’re there for most heterosexual couples a lot of the time.
    One, contraception. Two, menstruation. Three, STIs.

    Menstruation.
    I mention menstruation because there are plenty of people who restrict, or completely abstain from, sexual activity when a woman is menstruating. It might be the woman doesn’t like it. Or the man who doesn’t. Or sometimes it’s OK and others it’s not. It doesn’t matter who doesn’t like it or what their reasons might be. What matters is that they don’t want to have sex, that they would very likely welcome at other times, for this particular reason. The only issue here is consent. Are you saying that neither a man nor a woman whose consent has been violated by someone having sex with them when they have explicitly stated that they don’t want it has no claim, at all, to have been raped? Or is it only the women whose reason for avoiding it is their tendency to get UTIs in these circumstances who can demonstrate physical harm.

    Contraception & STI
    Your notion of suffering demonstrable harm really falls apart here. If a woman insists that she consents to sex only if the man uses a condom and he, one way or another, manages to avoid using a condom, or it “slips off”, or whatever, has her consent been violated? Later tests show that she hasn’t conceived as a result nor has she been infected with an STI. Your proposed construct of detecting physical harm caused will seriously mess with common notions of being violated. The violation consists of two things
    a) overriding her explicitly stated conditions for consent and
    b) subjecting her to a risk she openly stated she wasn’t willing to take.

    Much more thinking and a lot less writing might do some good here.

    Start from the premise that consent is the central, maybe the only, issue determining what is and isn’t rape and go from there.

    As for differences of degrees of harm. Instead of looking to find a “lesser” form of rape, turn your thinking on its head. How about thinking that sex without consent is always and everywhere rape. Then think about legal concepts like “aggravated” which describe more serious offences. Maybe your construction works if all sex without consent is rape. If there’s any demonstrable harm in addition to the rape itself, like using a weapon or threatening the victim/her family/friends or causing physical injury then that becomes aggravated rape.

  111. bruce bartup says

    Midlymagnificent @ 114

    Thank you, I’ll try to minimise my response by clarifying and revising the proposal rather than addressing your points directly, I hope you can now see that I do bear in mind the factors you mention and that non-consensual sex is always a crime

    Repeal the Rape Law or rewrite it entirely so that
    Rape is
    1. Forcible PIV/strike> sex, consent is not a defence. Forcible being defined as using more physical force than would be necessary with an active and willing partner./b>
    Sexual assault is
    2. Sexual activity that is physically harmful to a participant (outside customary practice
    or/b> in breach of mutual consent – ‘fair play’)
    Aggravation of rape includes Assault upon the psycho-social being or ‘personhood’ of a participant to sex, which is
    3. Display of sexual activity or records of activity (spoken, written, photogrphic, video or other) that psychologically traumatises or grossly socially disgraces or shames a sex-participant (- ‘fair play’ app;ies as above, consent is not a defence).
    Note: it is not legally possible to consent to a crime being committed.
    Penalties for crimes: according to the scale for Offences Against the Person including aggravation)

    Partial Rationale:
    A consent basis puts the legal focus on the victim (if you consented to sex, prove that you didn’t consent to this)
    A force/harm basis puts the legal focus on the defendant (did you use force, were you consciously being harmful)
    Thus shifting from a consent basis to a harm basis solves one of the largest feminist objections to the rape law as it stands today

    The consensual and the normal and the harmless are defined out of rape by the proposed scheme. If sex is non-consensual and not within ‘fair-play’ the active partner would have to take care not to do harm.

    Making forcible sex the ‘star’ item in the force/harm description of rape ensures that the large majority of rape cases can be addressed in that one clause, without requiring a jury to change their whole conception of rape as forcible as opposed to non-consensual.

    Making the physical injury the minor offence and the psycho-social damage the major one I hope to effect change in attitudes and values
    1 physical rape to be seen as no big deal. Contrast this with the current version of the ‘consent’ model which makes sex loaded with potential destructive force. According to current law the minimum sentence for rape is 5 years, thus a mere harmless, non-reproductive, non-infectious penetration typically by a penis becomes a major crime like GBH to the same degree as breaking of multiple bones or breaking a jaw. So an honest, well intentioned lover may become a rapist with the social stigma, consequences in the relationship and prison sentence that entails just by making a mistake in interpreting his partners reactions.
    2 psycho-social aggravtion to be seen as the big deal. This gives victims the choice or range of emotional reactions that is natural to them as individuals, some will feell transgressed by a breach of consent, others by the force used, others by social disgrace, others by whatever deception or mind game is being played. And some will choose to ‘laugh it off’. Whatever the reaction is, only that level of reaction is requried to be evidenced in court. Contrast that with the current situation in which juries will be reluctant to convict a man for a 5 year stretch if the woman victim does not appear distraught.
    3. Sex to be seen as a good thing that we want to be good fun, not a horrible thing that is so deadly that it must be constrained by very heavy penalties for even honest mistakes. The current law is sex-negative. The proposal is intended to be sex-positive.

  112. bruce bartup says

    Mildly Magnificent @114
    Oh dear my attempt to use strikethrough and emboldening didn’t work. Kindly ignore them both. Here’s the same text without the emphasis. I’ll have to experiment with this editor elsewhere.

    —————-
    Thank you, I’ll try to minimise my response by clarifying and revising the proposal rather than addressing your points directly, I hope you can now see that I do bear in mind the factors you mention and that non-consensual sex is always a crime

    Repeal the Rape Law or rewrite it entirely so that
    Rape is
    1. Forcible sex, consent is not a defence. Forcible being defined as using more physical force than would be necessary with an active and willing partner.
    Sexual assault is
    2. Sexual activity that is physically harmful to a participant (outside customary practice or/b> in breach of mutual consent – ‘fair play’)
    Aggravation of rape includes Assault upon the psycho-social being or ‘personhood’ of a participant to sex, which is
    3. Display of sexual activity or records of activity (spoken, written, photogrphic, video or other) that psychologically traumatises or grossly socially disgraces or shames a sex-participant (- ‘fair play’ app;ies as above, consent is not a defence).
    Note: it is not legally possible to consent to a crime being committed.
    Penalties for crimes: according to the scale for Offences Against the Person including aggravation)

    Partial Rationale:
    A consent basis puts the legal focus on the victim (if you consented to sex, prove that you didn’t consent to this)
    A force/harm basis puts the legal focus on the defendant (did you use force, were you consciously being harmful)
    Thus shifting from a consent basis to a harm basis solves one of the largest feminist objections to the rape law as it stands today

    The consensual and the normal and the harmless are defined out of rape by the proposed scheme. If sex is non-consensual and not within ‘fair-play’ the active partner would have to take care not to do harm.

    Making forcible sex the ‘star’ item in the force/harm description of rape ensures that the large majority of rape cases can be addressed in that one clause, without requiring a jury to change their whole conception of rape as forcible as opposed to non-consensual.

    Making the physical injury the minor offence and the psycho-social damage the major one I hope to effect change in attitudes and values
    1 physical rape to be seen as no big deal. Contrast this with the current version of the ‘consent’ model which makes sex loaded with potential destructive force. According to current law the minimum sentence for rape is 5 years, thus a mere harmless, non-reproductive, non-infectious penetration typically by a penis becomes a major crime like GBH to the same degree as breaking of multiple bones or breaking a jaw. So an honest, well intentioned lover may become a rapist with the social stigma, consequences in the relationship and prison sentence that entails just by making a mistake in interpreting his partners reactions.
    2 psycho-social aggravtion to be seen as the big deal. This gives victims the choice or range of emotional reactions that is natural to them as individuals, some will feell transgressed by a breach of consent, others by the force used, others by social disgrace, others by whatever deception or mind game is being played. And some will choose to ‘laugh it off’. Whatever the reaction is, only that level of reaction is requried to be evidenced in court. Contrast that with the current situation in which juries will be reluctant to convict a man for a 5 year stretch if the woman victim does not appear distraught.
    3. Sex to be seen as a good thing that we want to be good fun, not a horrible thing that is so deadly that it must be constrained by very heavy penalties for even honest mistakes. The current law is sex-negative. The proposal is intended to be sex-positive.

  113. StillGjengnger says

    @Mildly 114
    I totally agree wit the main thrust your post.

    I do have a minor quibble on the exact wording of this one.

    a) overriding her explicitly stated conditions for consent

    Personally I do not think that it is rape if a) the cheque bounces, or b) it turns out that he was not actually Jewish, as he claimed – both are supposed real cases, though 1) is better known from jokes. But at is minor compare to the rest.

  114. mildlymagnificent says

    bruce @116

    A consent basis puts the legal focus on the victim (if you consented to sex, prove that you didn’t consent to this)
    A force/harm basis puts the legal focus on the defendant (did you use force, were you consciously being harmful)
    Thus shifting from a consent basis to a harm basis solves one of the largest feminist objections to the rape law as it stands today

    That’s nonsense. Consent being granted in the first place or being withdrawn at some point is the area of contest, once you get to the point of determining that it amounts to a he said/she said issue. But there are a lot of questions for a perpetrator long before you get to that stage.

    Did you ask? What was her answer? Did you look at her face? Were there tears or a frown or other grimace visible at any time? Did you listen for the words No or Don’t or Stop or Yes or That’s nice? Did she try to get away from you, refuse to kiss you, refuse to touch you? Why did you ignore the tears/ no/ stop/ don’t do that/ crying? Was she conscious?

    As for your “legal focus on the defendant”. did you use force, were you consciously being harmful allows a complete defence based on the perpetrator
    a) not knowing his own strength and
    b) being totally oblivious to any harm he might or might not cause.
    Sounds like a sociopath’s charter when you express it like that. No, I didn’t realise that I was forceful and no, I didn’t think I was doing any harm (I didn’t think about it at all.)

    I suggest you have some reading ahead of you. It’s pretty grim, but reading some samples/ transcripts of interviews with convicted rapists might open your eyes a bit.

    solves one of the largest feminist objections to the rape law as it stands

    Far from it. Complete rubbish. Your intention is to enshrine into law one of the commonest objections that women hear to their complaints about rape. It was one of the prime arguments against criminalising rape in marriage. “It’s only sex” “I/he didn’t hurt you” have been used from time immemorial to trivialise and dismiss women’s objections to rape. Personally, I’ve been rather pleased to see this sort of nonsense receding into history/ into the background. You’re proposing to revive it from the history of arguments about rape within marriage and transform it from casual dismissiveness into explicit modern law about rape in any and all relationships/ circumstances.

    Getting up to speed with the basics on feminism as well as on rape would make a world of difference to your approach.
    Start here https://yesmeansyesblog.wordpress.com/2009/11/12/meet-the-predators/
    and read the studies linked there.

    Try this for background on yes means yes http://www.yesmeansyes.com/consent-0

    https://finallyfeminism101.wordpress.com/tag/rape/
    You should read whichever of these takes your eye. I won’t choose on your behalf.
    If you want to use that blog as a stepping off point into other feminist topics or whatever, it’s a reasonable resource.

    If for some reason you need to feel depressed, try this report about the language used by convicted rapists and by men in magazines. Otherwise just skip this one.
    http://www.surrey.ac.uk/mediacentre/press/2011/69535_are_sex_offenders_and_lads_mags_using_the_same_language.htm?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

  115. bruce bartup says

    @ Mildly 114 Thank you

    I cannot put consent at the centre of the issue as I believe the centre is trust, empathy, respect and regard.

    Take two extreme examples one person who givs little scope for trust and the other who gives a life-long open commitment. One is highly conscious of and devoted to their own bodily autonomy, the other surrenders autonomy the better to engage in life long bonding with her partner. You may think of them as Ultra-feminist and traditional christian/muslim wives if that makes them more like real people.

    The first will specify and direct sex very specifically (there, not there, like this like that…) either verbally or in body talk.
    The second will be completely non-directive, the most open ended consent imaginable for periods of hours or years.

    I say that both decisions and all those in between are similar in the amount of trust required, that both are valid and should receive equal protection.

    The first has chosen to be a very definite separate person in their choosing. If the partner decides to act on a knowing misinterpretation they can invade that distinctness in an instant and greatly offfend that first person.

    The second person has temporarily chosen to almost be an object as far as choice goes. So any betrayal of he/hisr trust would have to be gross or long lasting to have the same impact as a minor error had for the first person. She//he just would not care about detailed transgressions of his/her consent.

    Now imagine both have been raped. Instantaneously using a deliberate misinterpretation of direction and protractedly including anally and bloodily, respectively

    In proposed law court both women are shameless and the rapists easily identified as such (both used force that would not be needed if the respective victims had been willing and engaged.). In a court under current cnnsent based law both cases would be hard to establish (whether consent was specific or open ended the defence would always be ablle to compare what was done with the extreme limit of consent, create a doubt and insist that the vitim justify and resolve it).

    What the two cases have in common was that their trust in their partner was betrayed. And whether one trusts a lot or a liittle, betrayal can hurt as badly. I think so. And in that way to me trust is more central to rape than consent and all sex must involve trust beyond consent. And proposed law defends that trust better than the current law in my estmation.

    (& StllG @ 117 thanks, but Jewish?, Are you subtly teliing me to respond to specific points raised? I read everything but I only respond in detail if I think the point will clarify rater than cloud the issue. I know that to you this may seem rude but I know that no-one yet has understood me. I know that I am not essentially talking non-sense. So my lack of response is not dismissive. I’m just trying to use the least words to better explain.)

  116. bruce bartup says

    Mildly @118

    thank you, you answer with intelligence, passson and some authority. I understand that some of hat I write may be reminiscent of long discarded aproaches and mininformed thinking. You may even find what I am writing to be dangerous. It may even be so. But with feminism under attack, misogyny rampant and llarge numbers of rapists getting away with the crime and not even thinkking of themselves as rapists and victims bing blamed and shamed I feel that some radical rethinking is required.

    I don’t want to pacify misogyny or manage it, or cope with it. I want to end it. I know and have conversed on line wth rapists and I know that they lying scumbags. So forgive me if I don’t see the need to read more accounts that I don’t believe. (Clue even at their most outright misogynistic hatefulness they are still lying). I will however read more about the yesmeansyes campaign and more about feminism is always good. But I don’t agree with much of what I have read already. The world excludes women and feminism has tended to exclude men. Until we get that together we are both fighting misogyny with one and behind our backs.

    As a woman you will have a reraction to the tolerance of rape n society. I’ve had mine as a man, Anger. Despair depreesion, self-doubt, self pity, self loathing, self blame, then anger, then hatred. Then doubt, curiosity, understanding, horror, curiosity, pity and finally – click – understanding. Since when I try to save lost bys before they start scapegoating women. Once they are lost, they may be gone for good.

    Only with a better idea for rape law we can cut off one source of the problem, and that problem is from a confirmed unselfinterested misogynists standpoint, rape under the current law has a positive return. This and compssion for guy’s like Reg and the Lost Boys are the reasons for my determination.

    I agree that your initial dialogue with the police accurately reflects police procedure as described in Ay’s blog
    “Did you ask? What was her answer? Did you look at her face? Were there tears or a frown or other grimace visible at any time? Did you listen for the words No or Don’t or Stop or Yes or That’s nice? Did she try to get away from you, refuse to kiss you, refuse to touch you? Why did you ignore the tears/ no/ stop/ don’t do that/ crying? Was she conscious”
    to which the rapists answers will be vague lies. ‘I don’t entirely recollect’ being prominent.

    As opposed to questions abut hiss body which I’m sure you gave a odd response to
    “a) not knowing his own strength and
    b) being totally oblivious to any harm he might or might not cause.
    Sounds like a sociopath’s charter when you express it like that. No, I didn’t realise that I was forceful and no, I didn’t think I was doing any harm (I didn’t think about it at all.) ”
    Which with respect leaves it as a “she says/he doesn’t say” contest so she should win

    He can fudge answers about her mind he cannot fudge with his own bodily account. Please also consider that laboeatory science can now detect characterristic amage to vaginal imimgs in rapppe/ssalts of that kind with asensitivity of 87% and climbing and a specificity of 10% false positives. We nail more rapists this way.

    It is not my contention that rape does not hurt, it is my contenion that the physical impact of rape is minor compared with it’s value as a physical sign ‘bitch!’ that the victim has no option in sex and misogyny but to accept as signed whereas she should be completely free to intrpret it and send it back with whatever significance she choooses,, lots or none. My proposal I believe woould restore to women a choice about rape they are as yet deprived of. The choice of what it means.

  117. says

    I cannot put consent at the centre of the issue as I believe the centre is trust, empathy, respect and regard.

    How can you determine trust, empathy, respect or regard without paying attention to consent? And why should we disregard consent, which is much easier to verify than trust, empathy, respect or regard?

    There is really no point in trying to discuss anything with someone whose ideas are so abstract, so incoherent, and so clearly disconnected from reality.

    But with feminism under attack, misogyny rampant and llarge numbers of rapists getting away with the crime and not even thinkking of themselves as rapists and victims bing blamed and shamed I feel that some radical rethinking is required.

    Don’t kid yourself — you’re not up to the task. Everything you’ve said here so far is nothing but word-salad, you don’t even care enough to edit your own typos and sentence structure, and you’re insulting the intelligence of people who have shown far more understanding of these issues than you have. We don’t need “radical rethinking,” we need common sense and grounding in reality. Even the most radical feminists are doing a better job of that then either you or the MRAs.

    Your idea of “radical rethinking” has been proven to be nothing but a stinking brown fog. We don’t need your “help,” so stop wasting your time and ours.

  118. says

    I’ll try to minimise my response by clarifying and revising the proposal rather than addressing your points directly…

    In other words, you’re not going to address our responses to your bullshit, you’re just going to keep on rewording and repeating your bullshit over and fucking over and ignoring what anyone else says about it. I, for one, take that as an indicator that the conversation is over.

  119. bruce bartup says

    Raging Bee
    Consent is currently dealt with in clause 2 of the proposal. And in clause 1. “Consent is not a defence” does not mean that consent is unnecessary. But once consent is obtained, trust must obtain or there’s a probable assault.

    Consent is harder to establish than force. By using force as a proxy for lack of minimal respect the proposal turns an abstract subjective matter (consent) into a very real one (physical force and consequent characteristic damage detectable in laboratories). Where am I incoherent?

    I know I’m not up to the task. Alone. I care enough to spend hours a day trying to argue what to me is stark obvious with a group of people who don’t like me much. I care enough as a Parkinson’s Disease sufferer with difficult tremors to write (try to write) coherently despite typos. I’m not sure people here do have more understanding than I, but they do have different understanding and that’s worthwhile.

    You seem to be mistaking commonsense and reality with unchallenged assumptions.

    I am a radical feminist. I am a feminist (want girls and women to have equal power and status) I am radical (proposing something at ninety degrees to the path of the common herd that would produce radical change.. I am a radical feminist.

  120. bruce bartup says

    Mildy @118
    Thankyou for the reading list i’ve checked and yesmeansyes is obviously going to get my suport and I’m glad to see it, very glad. Teaching boys not to rape is negative, yesmeansyes is positive. Hooray.

    But.

    It will help literate nice boys not to be assholes. It has no outreach program and no cult misogyny intervention. It willl not even make a hiccup in the programming of the next generation of rapists and suicides. this is what you are up against :
    https://www.youtube.com/user/SargonofAkkad100 70,000 subscribers
    https://www.youtube.com/user/integralmath 16,000 subscribers
    https://www.youtube.com/user/TheHappyMisogynist 15,000 subscribers
    http://www.reddit.com/r/TheRedPill/ 97,000 subscribers
    https://www.youtube.com/user/stefbot 220,000 subscribers and on it goes, and on and on
    If you really must depress yourself read a comments section (but take a vomit bag with you)

    Ths is where we must address the ball , where it lies. The Lost Boys are easy meat for these bastards I’ve listed. Once they learn the pack mentality, they are gone. You would need expert interventionists to reach any of them. They are underclass, undereducated, barely literate absolute white hot blazing hatreful misogynists, and will rape and rape once they learn how. And yesmeansyes campaigners will alienate them, put them down, make them feel stupid – and even more riipe for the ‘alleged deliberate and knowng tellers of falsehoods’.

    They need a hug, and they need to be stopped.

    My proposal would stop them (and other rapists) with a definite condition and a certain, swift and minimal penalty. Consent is far too nebulous for them to grasp. Too complex for anyone but an experienced and well sorted lover. Too complex for a jury. Personal opinion. And consent is just not up to the job overall.

    Feminism101’s I like. But I’ve read better.

  121. mildlymagnificent says

    But with feminism under attack, misogyny rampant and llarge numbers of rapists getting away with the crime and not even thinkking of themselves as rapists and victims bing blamed and shamed I feel that some radical rethinking is required.

    One thing you might not realise. I’m really old. I managed to survive the 60s and 70s without suffering the rampant gang-rape so common in surf clubs and football teams (though I suspect that several of the blokes I knew in those days participated). I’ve managed to live my 67 years without being raped at all, though I copped a few beatings from husband number one.

    From my perspective, you’re wanting to intervene in a decades long effort by feminists and their allies to change the whole objective of what we’re aiming for. You might think that misogyny, sexism and sexual violence and all the rest of it are rampant. You Have No Idea what it was like in workplaces, pubs, schools, families, anywhere and everywhere in the 70s. I have to confess acting as an Equal Employment Opportunity and Sexual Harassment counsellor in the 80s and 90s wasn’t much of a picnic either.

    We’re moving along. The pace has been slower than any of us would have liked. You’d do far better to ask how you can help in these endeavours rather than tell us that we’re Doin It Rong.

  122. Holms says

    125
    My proposal would stop them (and other rapists) with a definite condition and a certain, swift and minimal penalty. Consent is far too nebulous for them to grasp. Too complex for anyone but an experienced and well sorted lover. Too complex for a jury. Personal opinion. And consent is just not up to the job overall.

    It has been pointed out to you that your proposal wouldn’t actually do that, as the ‘brutal stranger rape’ scenario is far less common than date rape or sex-with-a-wasted-party-girl rape, both of which don’t cause injury as the victim is barely conscious and thus has no resistance to overcome. It also redefines perfectly healthy sex as criminal if there is any soreness caused by mutual enthusiasm. It has been pointed out to you that plenty of other recreational activities can result in injury despite being a positive experience overall – sports in particular – are they now crimes? You say that your proposal clarifies things, but it actually leaves far too many scenarios in a grey area, over-policed by an insane nanny state.

    Also, consent is a very easy concept to grasp. “Did you have reason to think s/he was keen?” There, consent is established. The only reason it is at all murky is that there are people that are ignorant of the distinction between ‘yes’ and ‘absence of ‘no,” a matter of growing recognition, and people that have a vested interest in disregarding the distinction.

    Those people that know they are predatory aren’t going to be deterred at all.

    But then, this has all been mentioned before, and all you do is repeat your refuted point with a slightly different wording, hoping the criticism will just… go away. Getting snippy at me for repeating said criticism is just sad. Since it is evident that you are not interesting in paying heed to any such criticism, I’m done.

  123. bruce bartup says

    If you thought I was being snippy I apologise. If you think I am repeating myself ad nauseam I apologise. If you think I cannot tell you speak with authority or do not respect your experience I apologise.

    I only wished to establish that I am no spring chicken either. Includiing being perfectly well aware of the common kinds of rape the prevalence of date rape and all other matters thaat you and others have ‘pointed out’. And I wished to ensure that my proposal was understood. As you are content that you acknowledge both and are content that there is nothing useful for you here then by all means, move on and thank you for your criticism.

    The only thing I wish to give you as a parting gesture is that force is required in all PIV rape including drunk/insensible rape and here is a source for that information. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3142744/ I have reason to believe that further advanced imaging techniques looking below the surface would improve the laboratory /force testimony versus cconsent testimomy route to conviction.

    How it makes sense to turn down a chance, without other concession, to guide victims who cannot or wlli not face the ordeal of a court case on a rape trial in the direction of using the OATPA sections 42 and 62 to get some sort of conviction baffles me. And building up rape as powerful oppression of women instead of diminishing it’s cultural significance at every opportunity seems perverse to me.

    I’m sorry that your mind is made up so firmly and that feminist strategy and concepts cannot be reconsidered. It does seem like harmfully blinkered thinking to me – but then I’m just one guy.

  124. Lucy says

    The above comment thread is what happens when you let people who who can’t read other people’s emotions have intimate relationships with other human beings who assume they can.

    Measuring units of force and alcohol are valiant efforts as a workaround under the circumstances, but impractical unless you carry the necessary equipment with you.

    Until such time as we crack genetic engineering, if you’re a man, ask and write down the answer (remember if you’re paying them or they’re not of sound mind the answer can be affected); if you’re a woman spell it out to them like when you want them to surprise you on your anniversary or before you go to a party and don’t want them to offend the host by saying something completely tactless.

  125. StillGjengganger says

    @Mildly 126
    I can see why feminists would disagree with Bruce Bartup, but please do not think you are the only ones. I am no feminist, as you likely know, and I agree consent is the one essential criterion you can use. The rules on consent are necessary to protect the victims, of course. But they protect the accused too – once you have consent you cannot be held legally responsible for ill effects that you could not foresee and that the other person had agreed to risking. BB’s rules are bad for the Clayton MacDonalds of this world, just like they are for their victims.

  126. bruce bartup says

    @Lucy 129 I am swiftly coming to the opinion thata only people who love each other very much should engage in the mental/emotional conversation known as ‘controversy’. With or without consent.

    @130 Still Do you really think Cllayton MacDonald is up to ‘yesmeansyes’ levels of consent keeping and accounting?

    We’re coming back from our expeditioin into rape mentality and defensive laws to deter or prevent or convict rapists to considering positive consent policies for boys, how can you be sure of consent? and what requests are we to turn dowm?

    Might we also agree that the maximum of physically forceful sex that can be consented would usually qualify as rape, and that the most open unspecific consent on an emotional level can include feelings that would qualify as rape victimising in a lot of cases. The overlapping interset being exploited as “she consented to sex, I read that as forceful sex, prove otherwise” defence.

    If so we may be able to agree that lovers have communications styles. And the two should match up and be declared at intial consent. For example a penetrated person might want to specify ‘rough sex” or ‘gentle sex’ or might specify ‘freewheeling sex’ which requires a very good empathic bond. Equally a penetrator may lack emotional and verbal skills or have low ‘body sense’ or physicality. But both should know the others preferred communication style and limits and be prepared to work with it, by consent.

    In that way when the judge asks ‘how do you know you had consent’ ‘ the answer could be at one extreme Aspberger’s end of the spectrum ‘I’m a technical control kind of lover so I asked for her consent in those terms, I delivered force and pressure up to 1R2 where R is the force and pressure producing tissue damage, for a period not exceeding 45 minutes – as requested. My partner did not say no during sex. I know what force I’m producing by practising against weights. And this method has been approved by a trained sex therapist’.
    But could not say ‘I don’t know my own strength or what was really required or I am high on the Autism Spectrum Disorder scale so tough she said yes and I was provoked/excited’. Like a rapist would.

    So in that way ignorance of law partnner or self would not be a defence?

    Possibly? If we must have consent centered law?

  127. Holms says

    The only thing I wish to give you as a parting gesture is that force is required in all PIV rape including drunk/insensible rape and here is a source for that information. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3142744/ I have reason to believe that further advanced imaging techniques looking below the surface would improve the laboratory /force testimony versus cconsent testimomy route to conviction.
    You seem to be under the impression that physical injury isn’t already included in trials. Brace yourself: It is. It’s used to not only corroborate the claims by the victim of violence, but also to establish just how serious the crime was. Rape is bad enough for jail, rape plus physical injury means more jail time. Because harm is already weighed.

    Thus, adding harm to the list of criminal criteria to catch ‘extra’ bad guys will do nothing but make consenting sex more uncertain; the lines of criminality have been blurred.
    This has been explained to you alraeady.

    How it makes sense to turn down a chance, without other concession, to guide victims who cannot or wlli not face the ordeal of a court case on a rape trial in the direction of using the OATPA sections 42 and 62 to get some sort of conviction baffles me.
    Because it won’t catch extra bad guys, as harm is already included in trials. Again.

    Oh and the added chance of accidentally criminalising consenting sex and sending innocent people to jail. As has been explained to you.

    And building up rape as powerful oppression of women instead of diminishing it’s cultural significance at every opportunity seems perverse to me.
    This claim continues to be stupid. It is a serious crime and it is addressed as such, and your proposal won’t shange that nor diminish the harm caused. Except for the extra it may cause by disrupting the bedroom lives of consenting couples, that is.

    I’m sorry that your mind is made up so firmly and that feminist strategy and concepts cannot be reconsidered.
    See, this is what makes talking to you so irritating. You’re unfailingly polite, but then you go and say shit like this, as if I had dismissed your proposal out of hand with no consideration. I have rebutted your idea at length, offering my reasoning every step of the way, and to have you pretend that you were cold shouldered is fucking petty.

  128. mildlymagnificent says

    And building up rape as powerful oppression of women instead of diminishing it’s cultural significance at every opportunity seems perverse to me.
    I’m sorry that your mind is made up so firmly and that feminist strategy and concepts cannot be reconsidered. It does seem like harmfully blinkered thinking to me – but then I’m just one guy.

    Nobody’s trying to diminish the “cultural significance” of rape. What we’re really trying to do, when you look at it as an overview, is to turn the ever so slow and unwieldy oil tanker of public opinion. We have to stop thinking of all rapists as monsters looming from the dark and see them clearly as most of them are. Fairly ordinary criminals rather than creatures from a horror movie.

    If they were thieves, we wouldn’t automatically classify them in the same group as violent muggers or armed robbers. Only the violent muggers and armed robbers are classified that way. Pickpockets and shoplifters are also thieves, but they are not regarded by either the public or the police as being the same kind of violent criminal even though, in any one incident, their proceeds of the crime might be much the same. They’re all thieves though.

    The important thing to do is to say that rape is a serious crime that is often committed by people we might be surprised by. If we treated these crimes seriously rather than contesting them by looking at the victim rather than the perpetrator or thinking that he’s a nice guy in other circumstances, and I’ve known him for years, so he’s probably not a real rapist. We wait for the lurking monster rapists to reinforce our notion that these are the rapists and we ignore the 95+% of rapes that are carried out by other people. Which makes us just a little less likely to accept the next rape accusation from a woman talking about an educated, well-spoken man who looks just like “us” rather than that phantom obvious criminal our mind turns to when we hear the word rape.

    The problem can become self-fulfilling. By not treating all rape seriously – especially of vulnerable, or intoxicated, or sex worker women – a man who got away with several of those crimes with little or no consequences can become the monster rapist of everyone’s nightmares. Look at the efforts of those few states on the US who’ve started work on the backlog of untested rape kits. They’ve found dozens and dozens of matches with other rape cases. Would all of them have been carried out if the rapist had been sentenced to jail in the first instance that came to the police’s attention? Worse, they’ve found that several rape kits untested 5-10 years ago match the DNA of a few murderers in later cases. If those earlier rapes had been properly tested and prosecuted, the later murder would most likely not have happened because the man in question would have been in jail.

    Tom Meagher is like you, he’s just one guy. His essay on the “monster myth” can be hard reading, but it’s worth the effort. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-04-18/meagher-the-danger-of-the-monster-myth/5399108

    The tragedy within the tragedy is that his wife could not have been killed that night by Adrian Bailey if his previous sexual crimes had been treated more seriously. He would have been in jail. And the Meaghers would still be happily married.

  129. bruce bartup says

    Naturally I knew that injury is weighed in trials and I knew that it is used to assess the degree of severity and in both cases to verifiy the account of the victim as to her/his lack of consent (to the sex and the injury).
    THAT IS part of the problem.
    1) it deprives the victim of the power to call it rape or not and about 60%? currently choose not to report it as rape (because, it is thought, of all the ramifications and complications of taking a case to trial).
    2) it deprives the victim of power to choose how serious a rape it was judged on her own emotional distress
    3) it overall results in 90% of rapes going unrecognised and unpunished (with knock on effects of ‘false claim’ rate overestimation, and combined with the high sentence that is being evaded incentivises rape (a misogynist gets a kcik out of doing bad things and getting away with it, the higher the intended penalty and the greater the police/court system effort the greater the reward from evading it)
    4) it neglects the opportunity to have a quick low court decision and forces the victim to undergo high court proceedings
    5) it results in these consequences because the jury is being asked not about the lab evidence of injury but about consent, and that is hard to know, no matter how well defined because he could have just ‘misread the signals’
    The proposal using injury not consent would not confuse a jury, would not discourage reporting and would provide a detterence because of an 87% and climbing conviction rate. Thus we net more rapists this way. Definitely, logically. More.

    The lines of criminality have been clarified – no force, and no lack of consent and no harm to be done. Not ”no sexual contact of any kind without consent” Which does criminalise normal couples who don’t always get consent in exact terms but trust and ‘play it by ear’. Continuous consent is really post-hoc approval, moment by moment. On those terms in actual legal fact the vast majority of lovers do that. So most sex is being technically criminilised.

    In fact only a fraction of the rapes that the victim considers worth calling rape are reported. Many times the infringement of consent is acceptable to the woman. Not all unconsenting sexual contact is intended to be seen as or is received as rape. Take the ‘early morning surprise’ for example. That has not been specifically consenented, but if the woman decides it’s ok then morally it’s ok. Post Hoc.

    If you understood what I was saying you wouldn’t need to make so many repetitions.

    Using section 42 (Battery) would give a woman the option of a quick low profile procedure with a high chance of conviction, thus it would encourage women to report rape, because they would be in control of the legal process to the extent of chosing how long and agonising it was going to be. Victims. In control. Being vindicated. Seeing perpetrators penalised. Being believed with a conviction to prove it (as opposed to reporting rape, finding out how horrible it will be and quitting or failing to convict in which case to her community she looks like a liar – under your syem 30% of victims are disbelieved, effectively by the priocess/system)

    Building up the status of rape gives the sign in the physical act namely ‘bitch!’ its power over the victims mind. Because in court language (your language) any non-consensual penetation (even a gentle one that pleases the receiver of such penetration) is a serious crime (and the vicim cannot choose how serious) the value of the rape that actually means ‘bitch!’ is very high to a rapist. He has been given a all the power to signify by your courts fixing the value of that signifier. The victim, who by nature should be able to attribute no, some or a lot of siignificance to the act depending on how she sees it has none hen should have it all (ie was he trying to please me and getting it wrong, was careless or was he saying ‘bitch!’. If was saying ‘bitch!’ am I annoyed, offended, outraged, hurt whatever). That is it should be her choice. Her choice.

    So by the current law the rapist can pin a label ‘bitch!’ to a woman and unless she can use the court to convict him (thus saying back with greater authority ‘botch!’) she has to wear it for the rest of her liife, doubly so in many cases if she tries and fails.

    Active and willing couples would not be criminilised in my proposal, specific pprovision has been made for them.

    It is the soundness of an argument not its length or number of repettitions or implied authorty that counts. Your rebuttal is countered.

    I know it is a lot to take in and if it’s any consolation ‘continuous consent’ is stripping away some men who fuck drunks but don’t want to see themselves as rapists. But there seem to be many who are wavering, thm and the serial date rapists will just lie about consent and carry on. Allowing victims acccess to a ‘battery’ charge wuld shut them down overnight. As well as being liars they are also cowards

  130. bruce bartup says

    @Mildly 133 Thank you for the time and effort you are making to educate me, sincerely. But I already know about rapist profiles and the 4-8% that are prolific rapists and that a lot of these are ‘nice guy’s’ on the outside and I’ll go further and say that a significant number of these are college sports stars in the USA. These are the men I’ve been talking to.

    With respect I am diminishing the cultural significance of rape. Deliberately. But I’m extending vastly the range of significance it has to the victim. From Battery to twice as bad as murder. At the victim’s interpretation. At the victim”s choice. The minimum is no injury physical (battery) the topmost is lifelong severe psycho-social trauma as would be experienced by a kidnap/torture victim, but also by some people suffering date-rape. The response of the victim is highly variable and that should be respected. In the UK I believe (non-consenting) rape is penalised with 5-15 years. My proposed range is a fine at the low end all the way up to life imprisonment.

    And again thanks for the reference material. I’m aware there has been a long campaign to get rape treated seriously by the courts. I am not an opponent of that principle. The courts should treat rape seriously. But that does not mean that every non-consensual intercourse is physically that serious. It’s up to the victim.

    With respect my mind is not turning to a ‘monster rapist’ stereotype. But every time you use the word non-consensual what you have in your mind is forcible (including drugs, drink, relationship abuse, deception, revenge porn……).That is I think you may have a stereotype of rape in mind.

    I’m all in favour of taking DNA from all the rapists. If we can convict more rapists and get more DNA so much the better.

  131. Holms says

    Bruce, it is becoming clear that there is no point talking with you on this subject. Your points have been throughly discussed and critiqued and all you do is make another lengthy post asserting the same things as the one before it but with a minor wording tweak. Pointless.

  132. bruce bartup says

    @ Holms 136
    Dicussing this discussion (off topic?)
    A word on the logical necessity of love.

    We seek the truth. As overevolved Apes we know we are susceptible to bias. We check our reasoning for each type of bias and for each type of logical fallacy. Nevertheless we cannot be certain our reason is free from passion.

    One further way to check our reasoning is dialectic, in which another like minded person adopts an opposite viewpoint for the sake of argument. But each participant must be wililing and eager to know the truth. This may mean accepting that our position is wrong. Although a scientist or philosopher should delight in being proven wrong our ‘inner ape’ may have other ideas. It is a commonplace observation that online in discussion opponents will, on contentious matters, argue with fixed minds (opposing doxastic entrenchments) leading to mutual loathing and stubborn resistance to counter arguments, including changing definitions, claims that previous statements were ‘ironic’, abuse of sources, refusal to accept that an opponent has a logical case, falsification, personalities, changing ground and finally flat refusal to accept defeat.

    Therefore the only people qualified to enter such discussions are those who are very emotionallly secure in themselves and who can produce similar security in their opponents. That is, totally loved to such degree as to feel no distress in ‘losing’ an argument and totallly loving and convincingly expressive of love to the opposite party.

    Value neutral or passionless reasoning cannot prevail in controversy. Comment rules, flagging, spam filters, and ‘standards’ cannot prevail online. I logically conclude that only those who love and are loved can be permitted to discuss matters online and that a connected world must be a loving world, for the sake of reason and truth.

  133. Holms says

    You seem to intend that to apply to me but not to you. That’s precious, because it would go a long way to explaining why you regularly chose not to respond to criticism with anything other than repeating your original assertions.

  134. bruce bartup says

    @Holms 138 I intend it for consideration by everyone. But in specific by both of us as a guide to future consideration of the question in hand.

    I have a point to make that I do not believe is understood because it is too scary to accept. The only thing I can do (rather than respond to criticism that to me does not reveal any material fact relating to the question at hand) is to assure you of my consideration and respect. This argument demonstrates that I understand the logical need for such commitment.

    Of course you may be sceptical of my motives. Understanding a need for love does not demonstrate that I have it.

    Or you could put whatever criticism I have not yet answered.

  135. says

    I have a point to make that I do not believe is understood because it is too scary to accept.

    The most charitable response I can offer here is “You’re kidding, right?” This is something that’s said by just about every idiot, bigot, nutjob and lonely crank who has ever had his nonsense thoroughly debunked and kicked to the curb: “Everyone is rejecting my ideas because I’m such a brave radical truth-teller and everyone is afraid of me because they don’t understand how brilliant I am!”

    Grow the fuck up already. Your ideas aren’t “scary,” they’re nothing but incoherent, self-important, clueless bulldada, just like Lyndon LaRouche’s ideas. Fuck off to bed and stop pestering the grownups.

  136. says

    If you understood what I was saying you wouldn’t need to make so many repetitions.

    This sentence pretty nicely describes the mindset of the isolated crank: a person so locked into his own thought-processes, and disengaged from reality for so long, that he is simply incapable of processing any criticism of his long-held and oh-so-carefully-crafted ideas, and instead clings to the notion that criticism of his ideas can only come from misunderstanding, so his only response to criticism is to repeat the same assertions over and over. He has been wedded to his ideas so tightly for so long that he can’t understand why anyone else would find fault with them, and is thus too inflexible to do anything except repeat, with only minor rewording, the same things over and over.

  137. bruce bartup says

    Raging Bee,
    that’s pretty close to gratuitous personal abuse. If we don’t agree, fine. If you don’t like me, I am unfazed. But f you say I’m wrong bcause I’m alone in this matter, all I’ll say is ‘that doesnt follow’. And I do say it.

  138. says

    If don’t like the “personal abuse,” then kindly stop earning it. There’s nothing “gratuitous” about calling out unhinged nonsense when one sees it.

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