Sex in Class, boys, girls and consent


Last night Channel 4 showed a new documentary, Sex In Class. 

It followed Belgian sex educator Goedele Liekens as she brought her frank and explicit classroom methods, normally delivered in the Netherlands, to a group of 15/16 year-olds at a state secondary school in Accrington, Lancashire.

The programme was great in many ways, demonstrating not only the desperate need for full and proper sex and relationships education in British schools, but also the effectiveness and enormous benefits of the Dutch approach. Where the film fell short was not in what it portrayed, but what it didn’t.

Of course the documentary had been made from many weeks filming and edited down into 47 minutes, so this is not necessarily a criticism of Liekens, but there were a couple of troubling omissions from the final cut.

Most obviously, there was no mention of diverse sexualities or gender alignments. It was assumed that everyone present and watching was cis and straight. This was surprising and disappointing.

Less surprising, if no less disappointing, was that while the issue of consent was explored quite deeply, it was strictly in one direction. The teenage girls were portrayed as victims-in-waiting for the crass, crude, porn-scarred boys beside them. I’m not going to dwell on this point because it’s a familiar narrative. Sure, a couple of the boys themselves provided enough raw material to prove that such fears are not entirely unfounded. At the same time, there was little editorial effort made to suggest it might actually be a bit more complicated than that.

One dynamic which was not shown – and I am not  surprised because it is scarcely if ever mentioned in such contexts – was the concept of a boy’s consent, his right to say no. Despite its radical pretensions, the documentary did not entertain the idea that one of the girls in the room might be the instigator or even the aggressor in a sexual approach, or that a boy might ever not want to have sex. With tedious cultural conservatism, the boys were presented strictly as brash sex machines, while the girls were the custodians of sexual consent.

There are at least two distinct reasons why this has to become part of the conversation and curriculum on SRE. I’ve written both here and elsewhere about the research which shows surprising prevalence of coercion and abuse perpetrated by women against men and boys. There can be little doubt that many of those incidents or crimes are the product of a mindset which says men are always up for sex and if they can be physically aroused then they are fair game. Their consciously-expressed consent is considered irrelevant.

The other reason is illustrated powerfully by a thread on Reddit today. It’s a single comment thread drawn from a wider discussion about men’s experiences of female sexual abuse. The initial comment was this:

Had a girl physically hold me down and say “I can’t believe you’re saying no.” It was very uncomfortable. It didn’t go any further than that but I still can’t believe she assumed that I wanted to have sex with her.

I’d suggest reading the whole thread because it is fascinating, but in brief, it includes a string of men recalling female partners who had reacted to a man saying “no” with dejection, depression, anger or even violence.  Perhaps even more revealing were similar numbers of women confirming that they had indeed felt all of these emotions and more.

OHHHH yes. I remember the first time my now-husband just didnt feel like having sex. I had a bit of a meltdown. I was freaking 25. I feel bad about it now because I realize how dismissive that is of his needs and feelings, and at the time, HE wound up feeling guilty. I later told him he didn’t have anything to feel guilty about and he has every right to autonomy and consent. It worked out ok and I learned a very important thing, but at the time it was very emotional.

 

I was raised my whole life to believe that men got horny all the time and need it all the time, to the point that you need to be on guard so you aren’t raped. So how was I supposed to know that it wasn’t like that? I felt like the biggest asshole.

 

Same here. I was like 20. We were sort of living together (been married 15 years now). He came home from work and just wanted to take a nap. Turned me down. I flipped out. We aren’t just taught men are always up for it, IMO we’re basically taught its all they care about, all they think about, and the ultimate goal to anything they do or say. So when he said no it was very confusing. I now know that men as well sometimes just aren’t up for it.

Those are just a few of many. And I think there are some really, really important lessons there. Most obviously, the male sexual insatiability is a myth. Not every man is in the mood all the time, for whatever reason, not every man is unable to resist a woman’s attractions.

At a more profound level though, I think it shows that sex education which depends upon stereotypes and generalisations of women or men does no one any favours. Sex education which denigrates or even demonizes men and male sexuality is quite simply bad sex education, it does not adequately prepare boys or girls for a healthy and satisfying sex life and can create whole new problems. The women writing on Reddit today were describing emotional distress and relationship problems that had been created by a myth about male sexuality, a myth which I fear SRE classes could, in some instances, perpetuate. Great, healthy sex requires not only mutual consent, it also demands mutual attraction, mutual enthusiasm and mutual trust. Great, healthy sex education needs to nourish those, not undermine them.

 

Comments

  1. StillGjenganger says

    <blockquote.Great, healthy sex requires not only mutual consent, it also demands mutual attraction, mutual enthusiasm and mutual trust.
    Tired sigh!

    I by and large agree with your post, but all this stuff about mutual enthusiasm makes me reach for my aspirins. Personally I have spent years when I was ready at every minor chance for sex. Not that it was necessarily good if it happened, or even healthy for you sex life in the long run. Just that if you know that sex happens at random unpredictable moments with an average delay of five months between drinks, you grab every chance you get without asking irrelevant questions like whether you happen to feel excited at the moment.

  2. Luther Blissett says

    Good post, thanks.

    How much is this wrapped up with the way society deals with consent in other areas?

    How much with how little we are taught about how power works, while we are in school?

    I would guess that on the one hand we are taught that consent is coerced by the threat of physical strength, as a stereotypical example, yet, on the other hand we have a practical everyday experience of consent meaning nothing in areas that have nothing to do with physical strength but everything to do with power.

    This leads to people wondering how a man can be raped if he is stronger than his attacker, or, an acceptance that men can be raped, but it must be in small numbers because ‘men are stronger than women’.

    If you asked the average unemployed person outside a jobcentre, ‘what could you be forced to do, in order to avoid a sanction?’, I think the answers would be quite frightening.

    The question of consent is rarely listened to, or even thought of in the context of the recent Guardian/Amnesty discussion. It seemed pretty clear that the Amnesty position has the consent of the women involved and affected, but that meant little to the Guardian side.

    If rape is to be considered as an act of power abuse, why no wider consideration of power abuses, especially on the side of people who profess to care about the powerless? Why does the voice of the powerless matter in one instance and not the other?

    I’m not having a go at you Ally, as you seem to be aware of this dilemma, but what about the more mainstream voices?

  3. Ally Fogg says

    Luther B [3]

    Great post. I don’t have answers to your questions but I have a feeling they were mostly rhetorical anyway!

  4. leinado says

    Definitely a glaring omission in sexual education. It worries that things like a male’s consent are assumed to just fall into place or something like that so there is no need to address it. That’s a bad assumption.

  5. GL says

    Great post, Ally. I agree with Luther’s considerations, and I also agree with what you said about education classes inadvertently distorting male sexuality. We’d have to give a good deal of consideration in what reforms we’d enact to the curriculum, though. Many of these girls seem to have taken it as a personal affront when their partners didn’t want to have sex–teaching them that such is an unhealthy attitude, and many men also get tired, or just distracted by other things and that rejecting sex for the night isn’t a rejection of them, personally, might go some way in defusing the kinds of unfortunate situations documented in the OP.

  6. Luther Blissett says

    @ Ally, thanks for you kind words.

    I wish the questions were rhetorical, but sadly not.

    It just seems to me that we are telling children and young adults, ‘No means NO, except when it means yes’, and then leaving them to work it out for themselves. This probably causes a lot of confusion, and must have bad results not only for others but also themselves.

  7. 123454321 says

    From Ally’s piece he linked to:

    “I simply do not recognise the dominant media narrative in the young men I know. They are not sex-crazed monsters, treating girls as meat before casting them aside and moving on to the next one.

    Couldn’t agree more. And couldn’t watch the channel 4 doc as someone has borrowed my extra large concrete bucket which I knew i would have needed.

    Sick and tired of the media and people in general labelling every male as sex-crazed people who don’t have to give their consent. None of the teenage boys I know are like this. I feel so sorry for all those poor souls being cast in this light. Thanks for a great piece, Ally.

  8. Pete says

    This is a great post.

    I find it incredible how many of the comments on the reddit thread are about how difficult women have it when men don’t want sex with them because it makes them feel ugly or unwanted or whatever. It really strikes me as WATW. I don’t buy the AVFM line about female narcissism, but I understand where the impression comes from reading threads like that.

  9. 123454321 says

    from the reddit comments:

    “when she started fondling my junk.”

    Nothing new here but men and boys are so indoctrinated to not respect themselves that they refer to their own genitals (the most private thing they can associate with as theirs) as “junk”. Dear oh dear!

  10. s says

    @123454321
    ‘junk’ is a jokey term used by men and women to refer to genitalia, i wouldn’t say it comes from a lack of self-respect, and it’s definitely not just male.

  11. xyz says

    Thanks, Ally. I think this is especially key when we talk about what kids are learning from porn, because porn presents a messed up concept of male sexuality as well as female sexuality.

    (Not to get too graphic but…)

    Consider the extreme measures cis male porn stars use to keep their erections at all times and ejaculate on command. Cis boys shouldn’t grow up to expect that of themselves and nor should their partners expect it of them. I occasionally answer sex questions on reddit and there are a LOT of recurring concerns about penis size, staying hard during cunnilingus, and other expectations cultivated by porn. 🙁

  12. Mr Duck says

    “from the reddit comments:

    “when she started fondling my junk.”

    Nothing new here but men and boys are so indoctrinated to not respect themselves that they refer to their own genitals (the most private thing they can associate with as theirs) as “junk”. Dear oh dear!”

    As opposed to the utterly respectful ways that men talk about female genitalia?

  13. 123454321 says

    “‘junk’ is a jokey term used by men and women to refer to genitalia, i wouldn’t say it comes from a lack of self-respect, and it’s definitely not just male.”

    Yes, it possibly is done in a “jokey” style. And those using it probably don’t align the use with obvious aspects of disrespect. You’re also right that it’s not just male. However, you failed to mention that the ratio of use in terms of male/female genitals is probably 90:10 – pretty much what I’d expect!

    http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=junk

    Scroll down and read the link above (many out there all demonstrating the solidity of my statements above).

  14. 123454321 says

    “As opposed to the utterly respectful ways that men talk about female genitalia?”

    Let’s talk mainstream media (at kid’s viewing times too if you like) and general socialising (talking, as you put it).

    Would you like to go first with drawing up a list of disrespectful words and comments relating to female genitalia?

  15. proudmra says

    Very well articulated, Fogg. The notion that consent is a ‘given’ for men and boys is as demeaning and dehumanizing as the virgin/whore message given to women and girls. Reality is not that simple, no matter how much traditionalist conservatives (and more than a few radical feminists) may want to paint it that way.

    It’s interesting to note the differing ways men and women react to rejection, too. It’s far less common for a woman to blame herself or her inadequacies, instead projecting inadequacies onto her rejector (even “What are you, gay?”) as the problem. Perhaps women simply have less experience with rejection than men. Equality should help close that gap as well.

  16. nrjnigel says

    Finally caught this prog. Really interesting. Inevitably edited and probably reflecting the directors narrative. It struck me the very british complete panic at the Belgian’s main theme of sex as pleasureable. Even the School’s PHSE teacher appeared concerned to have “challenge” (aka “telling off”) of the boys and relived that rape appeared in the exam. So no notion sex as a good thing there then! Ms. Leikens body language and verbals communicated in line with her theme. The boys clearly respected her direct style. Clearly regarding some ideas the boys had from porn as simply bad info and some of their wilder statements as part of “bravado” she set them homeworks that were fun and causing reflection and learning. addressing the girls diffidence she identified confidence and addressed this through education about their sex organs. Here I was shocked at the girl’s ignorance about their own bodies. This caused me to reflect on the simple practical difference between having external genitals easily seen and examined and internal organs which require the help of a mirror. Anyway I was actually quite struck with the “bad” boy’s reflections, these did include more empathy and respect for girls but included that they,the boys, felt more respected when the girls told them what they liked. This seemed to reflect her objective that all would end able to have pleasure from sex. As a finally comment I have to say her non verbal communication was congruent with her message, she showed she liked the boys and girls. This contrasted by the bodily expressions of distaste from the two female Lancashire teachers when talking about the boys. It reminded me of warren Farrell and the way boys in Anglo saxon culture at least are placed in an initiator role without any actual knowledge and with no feedback from girls not least because the girls are equally ignorant. In comparison the Belgian seemed to act on her belief that knowledge would enhance pleasure for all concerned and prevent all sorts of mistakes in the process. It left me breathless at the Anglo Saxon wilfulness in presuming young people especially boys must behave well, without almost any helpful educational or other effort to guide either sex. Deep deep in our narratives is a distaste for sex and we act on an apparent belief that if it has to happen it’s appropriate to police ignorant youth telling them off while talking in code and euphemism. What a mess.

  17. 123454321 says

    I reckon the issue of consent boils down to two fundamental components: the perceived level of associated risk for each person, and the perceived level of respect for the person giving consent (or, conversely, the perceived level of disrespect for the person NOT expected to give consent).

    There are plenty of reasons why females should ask males for their consent but social programming has rendered the issue practicably irrelevant as all the limelight surrounding the issues of consent are now shone on the female. It is HER who supposedly takes all of the risk and HER who demands all of the respect. What unfortunate hogwash.

    Women have more control in terms of contraception and ought to be able to manage the risk better than men. Women have full visibility of a condom whereas a man may feel obliged to take a woman’s word for the contraception she claims to be using (stupid!), which he has no visibility of. It would be difficult to deceive a woman in this sense, but probably fairly easy to deceive a man into taking on the fatherhood role earlier than he may have liked. In addition, whether by deceitfulness or by accident, if a woman becomes pregnant HE will get no say in the matter of abortion. SHE gets full control. Even when the child is born, HE is at risk of being ousted from the child’s life, where as SHE is pretty much guaranteed Motherly residence for the life of the child. HE will be expected to pay no matter what the circumstances are. HE will be blamed no matter what. HE will be labelled a deadbeat. HE will be perceived as the root cause of any problems. SHE will always be perceived as the poor, helpless victim of yet another sex-crazed, testosterone-filled male.

    Strange then, how a man carrying so much risk can be denied access to basic, moral edification. Strange how the place HE may find himself in commands zero respect from society. How really strange!

  18. proudmra says

    Not that strange, 123. Remember, men are disposable. Just as the vast majority of men without power or influence are invisible.

  19. sonofrojblake says

    probably fairly easy to deceive a man into taking on the fatherhood role earlier than he may have liked

    I’d say the opposite – it’s nigh on impossible to deceive a man into taking on that role. I’ve never in my life been deceived into putting my unprotected penis into the vagina of a woman of childbearing age – indeed I can’t even imagine how such deception could be carried out. I’m very attached to my penis and take a great interest in all the places where it might be put, and since I like it just the way it is (disease-free, among other features) if I ever find myself urgently wanting to stick it somewhere I don’t have full advance knowledge of, I take great care to protect it. Frankly any other course of action seems not just deeply irresponsible but actually wilfully self-destructive. I have no sympathy at all for the whining of men who’ve stuck their unprotected penis into places without thinking through the possible consequences.

    This is doubly true because, as the various comments on this programme have pointed out, education in this country focuses almost entirely on the NEGATIVE consequences of such actions. You’d never guess from any of the sex education I received that sticking your unprotected penis into ANYTHING might cause pleasure. Anything from itching to a slow, painful death was all I heard about.

  20. 123454321 says

    sonofrojblake you sound as sensible as me. Unfortunately, not all men are careful risk analysers, which is why there are many thousands of males who have become Fathers much earlier than they anticipated.
    My statement remains that it is easier for a woman to deceive a man into entering into parenthood than it is the other way around. If a woman is deceived (we’re talking statements around sterility or poking holes in condoms – not rape) she can still have an abortion without requiring his consent.

    Yes, she has more risk associated with her body, but in that case, why would she have protected sex or take risks if she was sensible? if I were a woman I would take plenty of extra care and I certainly wouldn’t blame any man if I got pregnant. I would have too much to lose.

    The male takes plenty of risks, gets all the blame when it goes wrong, and yet gets no funded edification or encouragement to give consent and neither does the funded education aimed at females say much about them asking for consent due to the risks associated with being male. But as prouder says, it’s not that strange when you think about all the other shit men have to put up with! All in a day’s work wearing that invisible cloak.

  21. sonofrojblake says

    not all men are careful risk analysers, which is why there are many thousands of males who have become Fathers much earlier than they anticipated

    Well, yes. Obviously.

    But, hang on – that diametrically contradicts what you said in post 19. In post 19 you were squarely placing the blame for (some) early fatherhood on women’s deception, depicting “men” as gullible, mindless dupes of those wily wimminz. Now suddenly men DO have agency and responsibility for their fertility, but they’re just too lazy or stupid to do something about it? Which is it? Because either of your positions appears to me to be pretty insulting to men. Take your radical feminist insults somewhere where they’d be more welcome.

  22. proudmra says

    Blast from the past! “If you didn’t want a raise a child, you should have kept your legs closed.” Ahh, that takes me back to the days of the 1970s, when that same argument was used on -women- who wanted reproductive rights….

  23. 123454321 says

    ” that diametrically contradicts what you said in post 19. ”

    No it doesn’t. I believe men and women alike both share risks and are often both irresponsible, regardless of gender.

    My main point is that it’s easier for a woman to deceive a man into becoming a father than for a man to deceive a woman into becoming a mother. It’s also possible for a mother to deceitfully (or inadvertently) attribute the wrong man as the biological father without his knowledge. Men can’t do that; it would be pretty difficult the other way around! Also, like I said, there are no abortion rights for men; women get all the say on that one. So overall, men face plenty of risks (just as women do) but one or two different but just as important ones, and they have less control over outcomes. when the outcome is unfavourable (for the woman), men are quickly stigmatised and blamed by society – far more than women – there is little to no respect for men in this area. They also get no advice or education in the area of consent as far as the male is concerned. All they hear is how MEN should obtain consent (which of course they should). But they never hear advice based on the other side of the coin. Women get no advice in terms of obtaining consent from men. Women hear the same one-sided messages as men. But they are all one-sided. Biased. Not the whole story.

    Which bit of that little lot is contradictory and which part of it don’t you understand or agree with? I can simplify it even more, if you require, especially for you.

  24. 123454321 says

    Further evidence of discriminatory, hypocritical, subliminal misrepresentation, relentless inconsistent treatment, and the general notion employed by Tessa Jowell that silence is consent, especially when applied to issues adversely affecting the perception of men and boys. I wonder if she’ll practice what she preaches by continuing with the vow to ban these sexist, anti-male posters?

    http://www.harrowtimes.co.uk/news/13615832.Fathers_removed_by_police_after_protesting_against__sexist__domestic_violence_poster/

  25. sonofrojblake says

    it’s easier for a woman to deceive a man into becoming a father than for a man to deceive a woman into becoming a mother

    You’ve still not explained how this allegedly easy deception could be achieved, and I’m having trouble picturing it. I’ve dabbled with conjuring on a party-trick basis, so I’m familiar with how surprisingly easy it is to distract an audience’s attention for long enough to sneak a card under a glass or a coin into a sock. I can’t think of anything I’ve learned about what Derren Brown calls “magic, suggestion, psychology, misdirection and showmanship” that would enable someone to convince a man to stick his unprotected penis somewhere without knowing what he was doing.

    I’m also baffled by proudmra’s suggestion that celibacy is the alternative to fatherhood. I guess you’re too young to remember the public information campaigns of the 80s promoting the use of a thing called a “condom”. Certainly nobody alive and paying any attention at that time could forget them. Want to talk about massively negative sex education? They rarely mentioned the fact that unprotected sex could lead to unwanted pregnancy. Oh no – unprotected sex would lead to painful lingering DEATH. It’s amazing anyone ever managed to get laid at all with adverts like this on the telly every night: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8cbgDjB-aS8

  26. 123454321 says

    A woman can lure a man into having unprotected sex by telling him that she’s on the pill. There are men who will stupidly take her word for it, either because they are head over heels in love with the woman (or the moment), and consequently get her pregnant. He has no control over the rest of the story. Yes, he should have put a condom on but we’re dealing with young people, drunk people, stupid people etc. He has no actual visibility over her methods of contraception (he has to take her word for it – stupid!) but she has full knowledge and visibility of the entire situation. He is vulnerable and at considerably more risk in terms of being potentially duped. Also, a man could easily be fooled into sleeping with a woman that is already pregnant and subsequently labelled as the father. This is virtually impossible the other way around. These things happen often. They’re in the stats. Boys are not taught this, they are vulnerable in their own right and yet receive little guidance on the matter other than taught on the whole to obtain consent from the female – that’s all that seems to matter! No wonder the stats look pretty dismal.

    Seriously, if you’re having trouble picturing how a woman could deceive a man (even inadvertently) into getting her pregnant then you need to give up right now. My main point is that boys face all sorts of potentially life-changing risks but get absolutely no recognition other than to be branded the sex-craved, testosterone-filled, evil ones who are always to blame following an unwanted pregnancy.

    Even if a man could somehow deceive a woman into becoming pregnant (condom pricking or pretending he is madly in love with her and intends to become the best father in the world) he still loses all control for the rest of the plot. Women have far more control than a man over virtually every aspect. Yes, I recognise that women have no control of a father (or father-to-be) who chooses to walk out of his own volition but the same can happen the other way around. At least in that situation she gets to keep the kids and probably the house based on family court rulings more likely to support women.
    I’m talking about risk and perceived respect here, the two fundamental values which have been screwed up and manipulated to favour women. When it comes to education around the subject of consent and potential outcomes, boys receive no advice specifically addressing THEIR needs. It amazes me how a world full of adult men and women in 2015 still perpetuate the notion that the boys will always be there to pick up the shitty end of the stick. If we were to start looking out for the boys as well, instead of just handing them invisibility cloaks while we direct all our efforts towards the girls, we would start to reap huge benefits for EVERYONE, including girls. But, DOH, nobody gets it because they’re too busy flying around in white-knight capes while they follow the extreme feminist agenda which, regardless of what anyone says, is designed to completely eradicate men and boys from the storyline unless it can conveniently portray them in a negative light!

  27. proudmra says

    “I’m also baffled by proudmra’s suggestion that celibacy is the alternative to fatherhood. ”

    I wish I could say I was baffled by sonofroj’s willful misinterpretation and strawmanning, but that seems to be par for the course with him.

  28. sonofrojblake says

    A woman can lure a man into having unprotected sex by telling him that she’s on the pill

    She can try.

    There are men who will stupidly take her word for i[…]. Yes, he should have put a condom on but we’re dealing with young people, drunk people, stupid people etc,

    We seem to be in agreement. Men who have unprotected sex with women they don’t intend to impregnate are stupid. Where we disagree is whether stupid adults should be required to take responsibility for the outcome of their stupidity. Which is fair enough – I can respect your position of indulgent tolerance towards the deliberately self-destructive. Expensive, but admirable.

  29. 123454321 says

    “Where we disagree is whether stupid adults should be required to take responsibility for the outcome of their stupidity.”

    Actually, I think you’ll find we probably agree on that one too. You’re totally missing the point I’m trying to make – i.e. the differences between men and women in terms of how they are supported, the different risks they face and the fact that men/boys receive virtually no respect, recognition, funding or education which specifically addresses their needs – whereas girls clearly do, all of the time, via friends, family, school, TV documentaries etc. Any education boys DO receive is squarely aimed around encouraging them how to respect – and make life better – for women and girls, regardless of any expense to themselves. Either that or they are continuously bombarded with the notion that they are porn-loving neanderthals. No one mentions the risk of being duped or the risk of not having a say in the pregnancy/abortion. No one talks about risks surrounding the fact that a girl could already be pregnant or that she might get pregnant and not tell him. Or that she might get pregnant and then tell him to fuck off out of her life. Nah, none of that is taught because that would make girls look bad. Boys just remain ignorant to these facts whilst the girls get all the attention and education they need in order for them to make fully informed decisions. The boys are clearly expected to take accountability of their “mistakes” (we see it written into family law and school education) – get a girl pregnant and you WILL pay! But girls? Nah, they aren’t encouraged to have any respect for boys because, well, boys are just sex craved sperm banks put there on Earth to be used as a sperm bank as and when it is convenient to do so. Females needn’t request consent from a male because, after all, the only thing that matters is the fact that SHE carries the baby, and that fact alone means that NOTHING else matters, especially the so-called father and his (lack of) rights! Girls are encouraged to believe that all pregnancies are probably all his fault anyway, and everyone will believe that! Girls don’t need to think about how they could potentially wreck a boy’s life, they are not encouraged to think about the rights of the father and they are certainly not held accountable in the same way men and boys are.

    Maybe after the millionth time of repeating these FACTS, people might start to realise what’s going on and take some forward steps towards delivering some action! In the meantime, people remain blissfully unenlightened ignoramuses as they continue to wonder why the world is so fucked up when they persistently ignore half the population! Dear oh dear or dear or dear oh dear oh fucking dear!

  30. JT says

    And given the fact that there is the misnomer “prochoice”, which should actually read “herchoice and the male is damned if he does either way. Shirk your responsibility and the state will make you pay. Step up to the plate and she’ll let you know if she will keep the baby. Its all about equality, well, sometimes it is.

  31. D506 says

    @sonofrojblake 31

    If a woman consents to sex under the condition of using a condom, and a man takes it off without her notice and proceeds – that’s rape.

    Why then, if a man consents to sex under the condition that a woman is on the pill (or using an IUD or whatnot) and it turns out she’s lying would you not also consider that rape? This isn’t a question of stupidity it’s a question of CONSENT.

  32. 123454321 says

    And of course no one is prepared to mention that wrapped up in all of this is another significant risk to men and boys i.e. the potential of being falsely accused of rape. The risks for men and boys when it comes to intimate relations is getting pretty steep and yet the respect remains as flat as ever.

  33. Anton Mates says

    If a woman consents to sex under the condition of using a condom, and a man takes it off without her notice and proceeds – that’s rape.

    Why then, if a man consents to sex under the condition that a woman is on the pill (or using an IUD or whatnot) and it turns out she’s lying would you not also consider that rape?

    I’d consider them both to be violations of consent, but there’s a pretty big physical difference between the two cases. In the first case, the man is introducing semen into the woman’s body without her consent–an active biological substance that can have profound physical effects on her, including STD infections and pregnancy. In the second case, the man has already consented to inseminate the woman. The woman’s deception concerns what will happen to her body as a result, not what will happen to his.

    Yes, if she has his child, that will (probably) affect his life profoundly. But I don’t see that it’s the kind of direct physical impact that would justify calling this rape.

  34. D506 says

    @Anton Mates

    “I’d consider them both to be violations of consent”

    Sex without consent is rape. You’ve just agreed that this is a violation of consent; what more do you need to justify calling it rape? It’s like arguing that it’s not ‘as rape’ as jumping out of a dark alley. I thought we’d come past that.

  35. 123454321 says

    “The woman’s deception concerns what will happen to her body as a result, not what will happen to his.”

    Thanks for the evidence of perpetuating the perpetual and sewing up a few more invisibility cloaks for all those boys out there.

    “Yes, if she has his child, that will (probably) affect his life profoundly. But I don’t see that it’s the kind of direct physical impact that would justify calling this rape.”

    But we all know that rape is not just about physical harm; it’s also about emotional harm. Besides, the outcome for a man being deceitfully dealt a blow to their lives probably WILL affect them in many life-changing physical ways as well as emotionally. Many duped men would tell you that.

    If you suspected a woman had deceitfully used your sperm to get pregnant and gave you no say in any of the decision-making process, gave you no access to your child, lied about you in a defamatory way and demanded you paid for 18 years (yes all of this happens out there in the big, wide world), would you not consider that a form of rape?

  36. Anton Mates says

    @D506,

    Sex without consent is rape.

    Sex without consent to have sex, or to engage in a particular sexual act, is rape. Sex without consent to the probable consequences of sex is not generally considered rape.

    If I make false promises to you about the consequences of our having sex—“We’ll get married,” “I’ll respect you in the morning,” “You’ll have the best orgasm ever,” “You won’t get pregnant as long as you drink a lot of ice water afterwards”—then I’m certainly being deceptive, and may be legally culpable. But that doesn’t make the sex itself rape. And it seems to me that a woman lying about being on the pill is in this category.

    OTOH, if I lie to you about what I’m doing to you during sex—“I’m wearing a condom, and won’t inseminate you”—and you haven’t consented to what we’re actually doing, then that is rape. It’s about the act, not the consequences.

    @ 123454321,

    Thanks for the evidence of perpetuating the perpetual and sewing up a few more invisibility cloaks for all those boys out there

    Granted, I shouldn’t have treated trans men as invisible. But there aren’t a lot of cis boys who can get pregnant, are there?

    But we all know that rape is not just about physical harm; it’s also about emotional harm.

    Which impacts the seriousness of the crime, but not whether it is a crime. A rape victim who copes well with their assault has still been raped; someone who suffers emotional trauma from consensual sex has not been raped.

    Besides, the outcome for a man being deceitfully dealt a blow to their lives probably WILL affect them in many life-changing physical ways as well as emotionally.

    Sure, but I said “direct physical impact.” Unemployment can affect a man in life-changing physical ways too, but that doesn’t mean that the boss who fires him is guilty of assault.

    If you suspected a woman had deceitfully used your sperm to get pregnant and gave you no say in any of the decision-making process, gave you no access to your child, lied about you in a defamatory way and demanded you paid for 18 years (yes all of this happens out there in the big, wide world), would you not consider that a form of rape?

    If I’d willingly given her my sperm in the first place? No. I’d consider it a form of fraud, but not rape. And all that subsequent nastiness—no visitation rights, slander, child support demands—is irrelevant to whether the original sex act was rape. Consensual sex doesn’t become rape retroactively if your one-time partner starts acting like an asshole in the future.

    By analogy, if someone jabs me with a needle and forcibly extracts my blood, that’s assault. If I donate blood to a blood bank and it later uses the blood for a purpose I haven’t agreed to, that’s not assault. It’s unethical and potentially illegal, but not assault.

  37. D506 says

    @Anton Mates

    “It’s about the act, not the consequences.”

    Is it? Why?

    Again, rape is sex without consent. Consent can be conditional. Your strange contention that consent can only be conditioned on doing makes no sense and certainly has no moral foundation at all. You can say “it’s about the act, not the consequences” all you like, but I don’t see why you get to make that decision for everyone and I don’t see any support for it outside of the MRA sphere.

  38. 123454321 says

    “If I make false promises to you about the consequences of our having sex—“We’ll get married,” “I’ll respect you in the morning,” “You’ll have the best orgasm ever,” “You won’t get pregnant as long as you drink a lot of ice water afterwards”—then I’m certainly being deceptive, and may be legally culpable. But that doesn’t make the sex itself rape. And it seems to me that a woman lying about being on the pill is in this category.”

    Get out of fucking town, you’re having a laugh. None of that lot in the first half of your paragraph is anywhere near as serious or has the same longterm repercussions as the potential consequences of deceiving some poor lad into providing his sperm based on deception. Fuck away with that shit. Ok, telling some naive woman that drinking ice cold water to prevent pregnancy would be pretty deceitful but firstly how many men would actually say that and secondly how many dumb women out there would believe it and fall for it? That’s right – virtually none! However, there are thousands of men and boys deceitfully misled in a much more convincing way than your ice water story who find themselves in a far more depressing set of circumstances. You’re hardly comparing like for like.

    “It’s about the act, not the consequences.”

    No, it’s about the act AND the consequences. Where there are no recognised consequences associated with an action (physical or emotional harm), then the act probably wouldn’t be considered unlawful in the first place, unless, of course, society doesn’t recognise the associated consequences as being important enough to attribute the act as being unlawful (yes, I’m hinting this is where men are at in relation to respect and recognition surrounding risks and consequences – too many invisibility cloaks floating around, I guess).

    “someone who suffers emotional trauma from consensual sex has not been raped.”

    But someone who has entered into consensual sex based around a level of verbal trust, but later finds out they were lied to and now faces life-changing issues because they’ve been duped into parenthood? You sayin’ that’s not rape of your human entitlement rights to choose whether or not you want to be a parent? Are you saying that women who do this should not be held accountable, or at least enlightened via officially funded education in the same way that boys are ‘enlightened’ and encouraged to positively evolve their behaviour? I recall on Loose Women a few years ago, one of the panelists actually boasted about tricking her husband into getting her pregnant. Everyone in the audience laughed as usual, just as they would if they saw a man getting punched in the groin, but I failed to see the funny side. Having the gall to actually say this on TV (and garner laughter of approval) virtually proves that women these days feel absolutely entitled to disregard the feelings and rights of men in these matters. There is no accountability, no recognition of potential damaging consequences and totally no respect for men whatsoever. Nothing. Zilch. Nullity. Zero. Zot. Diddly squat.

    I suppose you agree with this pitiful excuse of a judge?

    http://uptownmagazine.com/2014/02/woman-used-sperm-oral-sex-get-pregnant-get-child-support/

    or this hideously selfish woman:

    http://www.mommyish.com/2011/11/23/woman-steals-ex-boyfriends-sperm-has-twins-sues-for-child-support-836/

    or perhaps you support the gang of women who did this:

    http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/women-rape-man-gunpoint-before-5654704

    or you think this woman deserves the right to frozen sperm without the ex-boyfriend’s consent?

    http://kfor.com/2015/08/12/man-suing-ex-girlfriend-for-conceiving-his-child-without-his-permission/

  39. Anton Mates says

    @D506,

    It’s about the act, not the consequences.”
    Is it? Why?

    Because that’s how the law works? Look up “actus reus”—crimes are defined in terms of specific actions (or deliberate inaction). “Arranging for something to happen to someone who doesn’t want it to happen” is not a crime.

    Again, rape is sex without consent. Consent can be conditional.

    But violating conditions of consent is not generally equivalent to violating consent itself. If I force you to work against your consent, I’m guilty of enslavement—of holding you to forced servitude. If you consent to work for me for an agreed-upon wage, but then I don’t pay you, I’m guilty of violating the labor code, and possibly also of criminal fraud. Different crimes.
    That’s why “rape by deception” is defined very narrowly, in jurisdictions that recognize it at all. Most deceptions that could motivate someone to have sex with you do not turn that sex into rape. Even if they’re highly unethical; even if they’re fraudulent.

    If you disagree, consider examples like the ones I already gave.

    “I promise, I’m in love with you.”
    “I promise, I’m going to marry you.”
    “I promise, I won’t tell your friends/spouse/mom we hooked up.”
    “I promise, I’m 9” long and a licensed tantric sex master and you’ll have the most mind-blowing orgasm in history.”

    Any of these statements could motivate you to consent to sex. If they turn out to be lies, does that mean you were raped?

    Your strange contention that consent can only be conditioned on doing makes no sense and certainly has no moral foundation at all.

    It’s a pretty basic moral principle, actually: I have more right to control my body than I do to control your body, and vice versa. My squirting fluids inside your body, without your consent, is therefore a worse crime than you making use of those fluids without my consent. Likewise, if I make you pregnant against your will, that’s a worse crime than if you become pregnant against my will, using sperm I provided. I’m not sure why this isn’t obvious.

    You can say “it’s about the act, not the consequences” all you like, but I don’t see why you get to make that decision for everyone and I don’t see any support for it outside of the MRA sphere.

    Yeah, right. Do you really think MRAs are less worried about women tricking men into getting them pregnant than everyone else is?

  40. Anton Mates says

    @123454321,

    Get out of fucking town, you’re having a laugh. None of that lot in the first half of your paragraph is anywhere near as serious or has the same longterm repercussions as the potential consequences of deceiving some poor lad into providing his sperm based on deception.

    So? I was responding to D506, who claimed that sex is rape if the conditions of consent are violated, period. D506 didn’t say that the condition had to be sufficiently “serious” for this to apply.

    And do you really think that promising marriage isn’t a serious issue? Whether you’re talking financial, medical, or emotional consequences, marrying someone is as significant as having a child with them.

    Ok, telling some naive woman that drinking ice cold water to prevent pregnancy would be pretty deceitful but firstly how many men would actually say that and secondly how many dumb women out there would believe it and fall for it?

    Google for people asking whether eating/drinking XYZ will kill sperm after sex. There’s a lot of them.

    No, it’s about the act AND the consequences. Where there are no recognised consequences associated with an action (physical or emotional harm), then the act probably wouldn’t be considered unlawful in the first place

    True enough, but it’s still the act which is unlawful. Drunk driving wouldn’t be illegal if it wasn’t dangerous, but it remains illegal even if you don’t hit anybody this time.

    But someone who has entered into consensual sex based around a level of verbal trust, but later finds out they were lied to and now faces life-changing issues because they’ve been duped into parenthood?

    ….has still not been raped. A terrible thing has been done to them. They may well be really really miserable. I don’t think they should be liable for child support, and I do think they’re entitled to sue for emotional damages. But the terrible thing that was done to them was not rape.

    You sayin’ that’s not rape of your human entitlement rights to choose whether or not you want to be a parent?

    “Rape of your rights?” I thought we were talking about actual rape, not the metaphorical kind. Rights aren’t people.

    Are you saying that women who do this should not be held accountable, or at least enlightened via officially funded education in the same way that boys are ‘enlightened’ and encouraged to positively evolve their behaviour?

    No? I’m saying they shouldn’t be charged with rape. There are other ways to hold someone accountable besides charging them with that specific crime. As for education, yes, women and men alike should be taught that tricking someone else into parenthood is a horrible thing to do.

    I suppose you agree with this pitiful excuse of a judge?
    http://uptownmagazine.com/2014/02/woman-used-sperm-oral-sex-get-pregnant-get-child-support/

    You’ll have to specify which judge, since that case was heard by multiple courts. I agree with the appeals court that the woman is not guilty of theft—if someone ejaculates in your mouth, they can’t really ask for it back later—but is liable for emotional damages. I would like to say that she’s also guilty of misusing a tissue sample; unfortunately, the laws governing that are pathetically limited at the moment. And I don’t think she’s entitled to child support from the father, but I don’t think the appeals court was ruling on that.

    or this hideously selfish woman:
    http://www.mommyish.com/2011/11/23/woman-steals-ex-boyfriends-sperm-has-twins-sues-for-child-support-836/

    Same as above, basically. Going through someone’s garbage for a tissue sample and using it for your own benefit should be illegal, but it’s currently not, at least in the US.

    or perhaps you support the gang of women who did this:
    http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/women-rape-man-gunpoint-before-5654704

    They had sex with a man and collected his semen without any kind of consent. They threatened him with a freaking gun. That’s rape, obviously.

    or you think this woman deserves the right to frozen sperm without the ex-boyfriend’s consent?
    http://kfor.com/2015/08/12/man-suing-ex-girlfriend-for-conceiving-his-child-without-his-permission/

    No? That’s theft and/or fraud, and the fertility clinic is criminally negligent at best. But it’s not rape.

  41. 123454321 says

    From this link : http://www.telegraph.co.uk/women/womens-life/10319902/Did-you-know-the-legal-definition-of-rape-and-consent-is-changing-Heres-how.html

    “The ‘offence of rape’ is changing
    The offence of rape has continued to become more complex, and malleable, as the result of three cases from the higher courts. If you thought rape is only where a man uses violence against a woman to have sex you would be wrong – violence is not necessary. If you thought rape is where a man has sex with a woman without her consent – you would be right but consent is not black and white. A man could be guilty of rape if he ‘tricks’ a women into bed; if he agrees to use a condom but then removes it or damages it; or, if he agrees to withdraw from her but refuses to at the end. So the offence of rape now definitely does not just concern the knife-wielding maniac in the alleyway.”

    So, Anton Mates, will you be agreeing with the higher courts on this one – that this was consensual intercourse but due to deception it is determined to be rape? If you do, then I see no reason why you wouldn’t agree the same conclusions can be drawn when a woman entices a man to bed and deceptively lies to him that she’s wearing a coil, the consequences being extremely dramatic for the victim.

  42. 123454321 says

    “Because that’s how the law works? Look up “actus reus”—crimes are defined in terms of specific actions (or deliberate inaction). “Arranging for something to happen to someone who doesn’t want it to happen” is not a crime.”

    FAIL. Yes of course actions/inactions are predetermined signs of an unlawful act and that’s what we are taught: don’t stab someone, don’t drink and drive etc. But the real reason behind certain actions being enforced as crimes is due to the recognised CONSEQUENCES they cause. It only seems like a few years ago when you could drink and drive. Root cause analysis has told us that people suffer due to the action of drinking while driving and so it is now an unlawful act. society recognises women as suffering and there is no hesitation in deterring via a root cause analysis where the action lies – and then making it unlawful.

    Men enjoy no such attention. it will happen, but not with people like you blocking it!

  43. Anton Mates says

    @123454321,

    So, Anton Mates, will you be agreeing with the higher courts on this one – that this was consensual intercourse but due to deception it is determined to be rape?

    In the particular cases mentioned in that article? Sure. Two of those deceptions come down to introducing semen into somebody’s body without their consent, and we’ve already talked about why that’s rape. The third—posing as a police officer to threaten someone into sex—would probably count as rape even without the deception, which was mainly employed to give the threat more teeth.

    If you do, then I see no reason why you wouldn’t agree the same conclusions can be drawn when a woman entices a man to bed and deceptively lies to him that she’s wearing a coil, the consequences being extremely dramatic for the victim.

    As I said before, the types of deception that can lead to a rape conviction are quite limited. The same UK court that held that “gender deception” could make sex rape, also held that “some deceptions (such as, for example, in relation to wealth) will obviously not be sufficient to vitiate consent.” Likewise, American and Canadian courts have stated that deception about individually private matters should not impact legal consent, because the state does not have the rightful power to investigate those matters.

    So, no, you can’t automatically extend the same legal classification to all other deceptions, whether the consequences are dramatic or not.

    That said, the courts that have considered consequences—see R. v. Hutchinson in Canada, 2014—have still concluded that the consequences are less severe for a male tricked into parenthood than for a female, because of the obvious pregnancy factor. A man who’s tricked into parenthood is on the hook for financial support and possibly physical caregiving, if no other caregiver is available. A woman who’s tricked into parenthood is on the hook for exactly the same things, plus she has to go through pregnancy and childbirth—and any Western court considers direct bodily harm to be way more significant than financial cost.

    And no, the fact that the woman might be able to avoid many of these consequences via abortion does not reduce the harm done to her by impregnating her against her will. Even if it were easily available in every time and place, abortion is an invasive, uncomfortable and hazardous medical procedure, and forcing someone to have an abortion is itself a harm. The opinion in R. v. Hutchinson made that clear.

    So whether you’re doing a consequence-based or an action-based argument, the courts still tend to consider tricking a female into parenthood to be a more severe crime than tricking a male into it. And that makes sense to me.

    But the real reason behind certain actions being enforced as crimes is due to the recognised CONSEQUENCES they cause.

    Correct. And since tricking a man into parenthood pretty reliably has negative consequences, I’m all for it being categorized as a crime. But that doesn’t mean it should be the specific crime of rape. Rape is hardly the only crime—even the only sexual crime—associated with violation of consent.

    When an action has significant negative consequences, but it’s not the same action as any covered by existing crimes, you define a new crime.

  44. 123454321 says

    “A woman who’s tricked into parenthood is on the hook for exactly the same things, plus she has to go through pregnancy and childbirth—and any Western court considers direct bodily harm to be way more significant than financial cost.”

    But she KNOWS the consequences associated with her own body when SHE CHOOSES to deceive the male. So you can wipe that factor out as a difference. The perpetrator is in full control of their own actions and consequences.

  45. Anton Mates says

    But she KNOWS the consequences associated with her own body when SHE CHOOSES to deceive the male.

    I said “a woman who’s tricked into parenthood.” Certainly a deliberately deceptive woman is at fault, and the deceived man is the injured party. But the question is whether his injury is as severe as a woman’s would be if she were deceived into parenthood. If it’s not–and courts generally seem to agree that it’s not–then it makes sense to categorize deceiving a man and deceiving a woman as separate crimes, rather than classing them both as “rape.”

  46. 123454321 says

    “Two of those deceptions come down to introducing semen into somebody’s body without their consent, and we’ve already talked about why that’s rape.”

    Ok, so we agree that consensual sex but with an element of deception leading to consequences could constitute rape. You believe that women face more consequences than men and, as such, the action associated with getting a woman pregnant based on deception is obviously a severe criminal act. I agree. But you don’t believe tricking a man into providing sperm during consensual sex (or otherwise) has the same level of severity in terms of consequences. Your assumption appears to be based around one simple fact – it is her body becoming pregnant, and I respect that and agree with it. However, if you analyse the situations and compare the choices they both have, the level of control they each have, and the potential outcomes, the woman does have an element of advantage because (and I recognise this is contentious) she can choose an early abortion where as the man is forced into parenthood without any control at all and potentially used and abused for 18 years minimum, depending on the Mother’s decisions. If you were a parent of two teenage children – a son and a daughter – wouldn’t it be a tough call between which one would potentially suffer the most as a result of consensual sex and deception?

    I ask you this: Do you think a man having consensual intercourse with a woman but knowingly giving her HIV could be viewed as a type of rape?

  47. Lucy says

    ProudMRA

    “It’s far less common for a woman to blame herself or her inadequacies, instead projecting inadequacies onto her rejector”

    What the actual fuck?

  48. Lucy says

    “Would you like to go first with drawing up a list of disrespectful words and comments relating to female genitalia?”

    Sure.

    Vagina: meaning sword sheath.

    Your turn.

  49. Holms says

    No. People misleading others about their HIV (or other STD) status in order to have sex with them has already been seen in court, and to my knowledge none of them were tried as rape, because the crime was not ‘having sex in the absence of consent’ but rather something along the lines of ‘knowingly exposing the other person to bodily harm’. As such, they tend to be tried as something along the lines of reckless endangerment or negligence leading to harm.

  50. Holms says

    Oops, that reply was directed at #50 1234; Lucy hadn’t replied at that point.

    Somtthing else I didn’t spot at first:

    […]However, if you analyse the situations and compare the choices they both have, the level of control they each have, and the potential outcomes, the woman does have an element of advantage because […] she can choose an early abortion where as the man is forced into parenthood without any control at all and potentially used and abused for 18 years minimum, depending on the Mother’s decisions.

    In an ideal world, yes the mother can simply get an abortion and be done with that particular consequence of deception. But what if the woman is somewhere like Ireland, where abortion – even in the event of rape – is illegal?

  51. 123454321 says

    Lucy – we were talking about derogatory connotations used to represent human genitalia in the media and socially, often used around children etc. Not the scientific words used to name them. Fuck the fuck off, you know very well that there are far more slang words used in everyday language to represent male genitalia than female genitalia, much of the slang used in denigratory ways aimed at men that are not in the same way aimed at women using slang words representing female genitalia. There are a few but they are rarely used on TV/radio etc. Go listen and figure for yourself.

  52. 123454321 says

    “In an ideal world, yes the mother can simply get an abortion and be done with that particular consequence of deception. But what if the woman is somewhere like Ireland, where abortion – even in the event of rape – is illegal?”

    Good point but not an insurmountable situation for a woman, where as for a deceived male everything beyond conception is out of his control. I know which sex I’d rather be if I were to be deceived!

    “No. People misleading others about their HIV (or other STD) status in order to have sex with them has already been seen in court, and to my knowledge none of them were tried as rape, ……”

    So Anton Mates suggests that a woman inseminated with sperm via deception (despite the sex being consensual) is rape, even though she has a cure (abortion) available. Anton doesn’t think the same should be said for men even though a man, due to his lack of control, may have to endure longer-term harm against his will. If a woman is deceived into being infected with HIV (a lifelong, serious problem), you, Holmes, say this is not a form of rape. I wonder what Anton makes of that one as a comparison with pregnancy.

  53. 123454321 says

    To make a baby requires two fundamental parts: an egg and a sperm, each of which is owned by an individual who has the right to choose what they do with their part. An egg remains an egg and a sperm remains a sperm until a choice has been made on BOTH sides to consensually use each other’s part to make a baby. Not exactly rocket science! Breaching these fundamental rules could lead to potentially undesirable (often severe) consequences for both parties, obviously depending on how the individuals react following a breach of agreement. We’ve discussed this and agreed that deception of this kind is a crime all round, regardless. What appears to be the point of contention is the fact that the woman is the person who carries the baby and so carries the most risk of potential harm. This is mostly seen as being a disadvantage for the woman because we all know that pregnancy does indeed affect the woman far more than a man (as part of an agreed pregnancy spanning full term), and then she is usually the primary carer, breast feeding, getting up in the night and all that. Totally agree with that, but in the case of consensual sex based around a predetermined agreement which then actually turns out to have been a purposeful deception tactic to effectively steal the other fundamental half used to make a baby, in that case, the woman with her baby-carrying body actually has a distinct advantage because she can terminate the pregnancy, where as HE can’t. So a woman deceiving a man ought to be perceived in a very similar way to that of a man deceiving a woman. But it’s not and so there is still room for the law to evolve and catch up. Also, women intentionally deceiving men would, I imagine, be far more prevalent than men intentianally deceiving women?? Perhaps I am wrong on that one, but if I am right, then the absence of action in this area – to effectively attempt to lawfully control the demographic where the perpetration is more heavily weighted – goes against the grain of what I hear many feminists often say, which is something like: “well we, as women, are affected more and are hit hardest by issues X,Y and Z so action should start with helping us women by tackling issues X, Y and Z, blah, blah, blah….”. But the issue of deception must affect thousands of men who literally have zero control and yet they are completely ignored by the law, which remains firm with the notion that only deception by a male aimed at a female victim can infer or deduce to a category of rape.

    So, where deception leading to consequences of potential harm is concerned, this is what evolution brings us to so far:

    1.Man deceitfully infects woman with HIV. Life ruined for woman, awful position to be in, she has no control. No rape charge for him, which is ridiculous because he has taken away an incredible amount of freedoms and choices from another individual!

    2.Woman deceitfully infects man with HIV. Life ruined for man, awful position to be in, he has no control. No rape charge for her, which is ridiculous because she has taken away an incredible amount of freedoms and choices from another individual!

    3.Man deceitfully inseminates sperm into woman. Awful position for her but, luckily for he,r she still has some control of situation. Rape charges apply to him, which I agree with.

    4.Woman deceitfully inseminates man’s sperm into herself. Awful position for him as he has zero control of situation. Rape charges don’t apply to her. She gets what she wants and is free to claim support and even alienate the father from his offspring, possibly even labelling him as the deadbeat dad who was at fault for getting her pregnant in the first place!

    And people view this deceptive, life-changing theft of sperm as being acceptable, simply because SHE has the body? Really?

  54. Anton Mates says

    @123454321,

    Ok, so we agree that consensual sex but with an element of deception leading to consequences could constitute rape.

    Well, no, since my position is that deception leading to nonconsensual sexual acts can constitute rape, and the further consequences are irrelevant. I was simply saying that, even when courts do use consequences to determine whether sex was rape or not, they still conclude that tricking a woman into pregnancy is worse than tricking a man into fatherhood.

    However, if you analyse the situations and compare the choices they both have, the level of control they each have, and the potential outcomes, the woman does have an element of advantage because (and I recognise this is contentious) she can choose an early abortion

    She can choose it—if she’s lucky and lives in the right place—but as I said, abortions are invasive, hazardous and uncomfortable. And courts have included abortion complications as part of the harm caused by impregnating a woman against her will. Besides, an abortion doesn’t erase the time she already spent unwillingly pregnant, nor can it solve every medical problem caused by insemination (disease, ectopic pregnancy, etc.)

    But even if abortions were instant, fun, and 100% safe we don’t generally measure the severity of crimes by a particular victim’s ability to recover from them. If somebody knocks my teeth out, their level of guilt doesn’t depend on whether I have easy access to a good dental surgeon. Why should nonconsensual impregnation be less of a crime because many women have access to abortion?

    where as the man is forced into parenthood without any control at all and potentially used and abused for 18 years minimum, depending on the Mother’s decisions.

    OK, but let’s break down the effects on the man here.

    First, he becomes a parent without intending to be. Thing is, I don’t think any Western courts consider unintentional parenthood to constitute a “harm” which should be covered by criminal law. I imagine that this is partly because most children are conceived more or less unintentionally, and most parents cope with that fine; and partly because it doesn’t make much sense to declare that one person’s existence is injurious to another person. Some courts have allowed men to claim emotional damages as a result of unwanted parenthood, which makes sense to me, but that’s in civil cases rather than criminal ones.

    Second, there is no direct bodily harm to the man, unlike a woman who’s impregnated against her will; the primary cost to him is financial. Courts pretty much always rank bodily harm as more significant than financial harm.

    Finally, the “use and abuse” of a father does not depend primarily on the mother’s decisions, but on the state’s. It’s the state that determines and enforces visitation rights and the payment of child support—and that support is intended not as a punishment or reward for either parent, but as a necessary and beneficial service for the child. Courts don’t generally view the requirement of child support as a legal injury to a parent at all, any more than being required to pay your taxes is an injury, and it’s certainly not an injury perpetrated by the other parent.

    If you were a parent of two teenage children – a son and a daughter – wouldn’t it be a tough call between which one would potentially suffer the most as a result of consensual sex and deception?

    Probably, but you could say that about lots of crimes if you’re trying to predict consequences over the next 18 years. Butterfly effect and all. Will your son suffer more from getting his arm broken in a mugging, or will your daughter suffer more from having her bus pass pickpocketed so she misses a critical test and doesn’t get into her desired university?

    I ask you this: Do you think a man having consensual intercourse with a woman but knowingly giving her HIV could be viewed as a type of rape?

    Assuming the woman consents to unprotected sex, but doesn’t know the man is HIV+? I can see arguments both ways, but I would not view that as rape. I’d view it as a physical assault and/or attempted murder, which happens to occur during consensual intercourse. Much the same as if someone unexpectedly shoots or stabs or poisons their partner during sex. Or injects them with a syringe of HIV+ blood. The partner hasn’t consented to sex-with-attempted-murder-attached, but I think it’s reasonable to legally separate the consensual sex from the unconsensual attempted murder.

  55. Anton Mates says

    So Anton Mates suggests that a woman inseminated with sperm via deception (despite the sex being consensual) is rape, even though she has a cure (abortion) available.

    Rather, I don’t think that the sex is consensual, because having a man ejaculate inside her is a sexual act to which she has not consented. I don’t think that is affected by whether she gets pregnant, or has access to abortion.

    Anton doesn’t think the same should be said for men even though a man, due to his lack of control, may have to endure longer-term harm against his will. If a woman is deceived into being infected with HIV (a lifelong, serious problem), you, Holmes, say this is not a form of rape. I wonder what Anton makes of that one as a comparison with pregnancy.

    I would say the same thing in both cases. If a woman is deliberately inseminated against her will during sex—whether this infects her with HIV, makes her pregnant, or has no health consequences at all—then that’s rape. If a woman agrees to be inseminated, but does not realize that the semen is potentially harmful (because it’s fertile, or HIV+, or whatever), then that’s not rape, although it may be assault if the man is intentionally using his semen to cause her physical harm.

    As another example of this principle, men have tricked women into pregnancy by falsely claiming to be sterile and having consensual unprotected sex. Not only do US courts generally not consider that rape, but a number of courts have said that the woman can’t even sue the man for fraud or injury in this case. Isn’t that scenario precisely parallel to a woman lying about being on the pill?

    An egg remains an egg and a sperm remains a sperm until a choice has been made on BOTH sides to consensually use each other’s part to make a baby.

    No, this is actually not true. Once your egg or sperm or any other body tissue leaves your possession, other people can legally do pretty much anything with it except for selling it. They can use it for research, they can use it to make a baby, they can gel their hair with it, whatever. Your consent is irrelevant, unless you had already arranged to retain some rights over that tissue sample via a legal contract.

    Under existing Western law, AFAICT, your right to physical autonomy does not extend to former pieces of your body in the slightest. I think that’s wrong, but I don’t think involving rape laws is the right way to fix it.

    She gets what she wants and is free to claim support and even alienate the father from his offspring

    She’s not legally free to alienate the father; I mean, she can tell his kids he’s a horrible person or something, but any parent can do that. He still gets equal parenting rights if he wants them.

    possibly even labelling him as the deadbeat dad who was at fault for getting her pregnant in the first place!

    I’d be surprised if she can legally do that in the UK, especially if there’s enough evidence of her deception to convince a judge. Don’t you guys have pretty strong slander/libel laws?

    And people view this deceptive, life-changing theft of sperm as being acceptable, simply because SHE has the body?

    Not acceptable, but not rape.

    (Of course, some people do view it as acceptable, but I suspect that’s due to pro-natalism rather than feminism. They’re just thinking Babies = Good, especially inside a marriage.)

  56. 123454321 says

    “they still conclude that tricking a woman into pregnancy is worse than tricking a man into fatherhood.”

    I know what they conclude. I’m suggesting that such a conclusion is an unfair determination. Law is still evolving, thank goodness, so there is still room for positive improvement.

    “She can choose it—if she’s lucky and lives in the right place—but as I said, abortions are invasive, hazardous and uncomfortable. And courts have included abortion complications as part of the harm caused by impregnating a woman against her will. Besides, an abortion doesn’t erase the time she already spent unwillingly pregnant…”

    Completely agree.

    “…nor can it solve every medical problem caused by insemination (disease, ectopic pregnancy, etc.)”

    Be careful not to mix issues here. Besides, ectopic issues arise later on, hopefully after the time at which an abortion would be done.

    “Why should nonconsensual impregnation be less of a crime because many women have access to abortion?”

    First off, I’ve never said that deceptive impregnation should be less of a crime. I’ve actually said the opposite. I think it’s a despicable act of indecency for a man to deceitfully impregnate a woman against her will. It’s clearly a form of rape. I have merely pointed out that women do, compared with men, have the fortunate option of abortion where as men have no control over that one when they are deceived and robbed of their sperm. It Is you who is trying to lower the severity attributed to a woman deceiving a man, and that very attitude, or reluctance to acknowledge the emotional (and often physical) pain and suffering a men may have to endure for years, is perpetuating the myth that men aren’t affected, or don’t care, in the least, which is why they are rendered invisible within the court system. nobody cares! I’m sure that if men had a level of control above and beyond women after the point of conception you would soon jump all over that fact and exploit it, wouldn’t you!

    “First, he becomes a parent without intending to be.”

    You sure make that sound as if he was the one who slipped up. Typical. Walking into the path of a car without “intending” to implies a level of harm by self cause. It exonerates the true perpatrator behind the wheel who may have purposefully mounted the pavement to run them over. But the statement is still true. Nice! I suppose that’s how the woman who deceitfully stole sperm from a man by holding it in her cheeks and using it later got off the hook. The judges see him as not “intentionally” becoming a Father, but he just happened to stumble across a person who made up his mind for him and she got away with it because the court systems are so far lagging behind where they actually should be by now! it seems that theft of sperm is easy pickings for thieves.

    ” don’t think any Western courts consider unintentional parenthood to constitute a “harm” ”

    Neither would I. Because “unintentional” parenthood is probably widespread and a result of couples being irresponsible or not paying due care and attention. It is NOT the same as someone saying “I can’t have kids”, “I’m on the pill and also got a coil fitted” or “come and squirt in my mouth and that’s be safe”. I’m talking about THEFT of sperm here, just as you talk about insemination of an egg against a person’s will – without having it agreed.

    “and partly because it doesn’t make much sense to declare that one person’s existence is injurious to another person.”

    Hang on, you can’t have it both ways.

    “Some courts have allowed men to claim emotional damages as a result of unwanted parenthood, which makes sense to me, but that’s in civil cases rather than criminal ones.”

    Ok, some recognition. But diminished to the point of bordering on pointless. Why not criminal? Anyone who steals my sperm on purpose without my consent is a criminal.

    “Second, there is no direct bodily harm to the man, unlike a woman who’s impregnated against her will”

    Ok, but she has a choice to end the pregnancy with no long term bodily harm.

    “the primary cost to him is financial.”

    That statement completely wipes out virtually every other aspect of being a good father and places him firmly and squarely as a meal ticket provider via his wallet. Thanks.

    “Finally, the “use and abuse” of a father does not depend primarily on the mother’s decisions, but on the state’s.”

    …which always supports the needs of the Mother over that of any Father. Moot point in today’s female biased court system.

    “Probably, but you could say that about lots of crimes if you’re trying to predict consequences over the next 18 years. Butterfly effect and all. Will your son suffer more from getting his arm broken in a mugging, or will your daughter suffer more from having her bus pass pickpocketed so she misses a critical test and doesn’t get into her desired university?”

    tell you what, Anton, rather than skirting, please answer the question I posed: i.e. If you were a parent of two teenage children – a son and a daughter – wouldn’t it be a tough call between which one would potentially suffer the most as a result of consensual sex and deception?

    “Assuming the woman consents to unprotected sex, but doesn’t know the man is HIV+? I can see arguments both ways, but I would not view that as rape.”

    Ok, so if you had a Daughter, would you rather her be deceived into getting pregnant or being impregnated with HIV+? Just asking. I wouldn’t expect you to “prefer” any of the options, but let’s for the sake of argument at least determine which one is worse.

  57. 123454321 says

    “Rather, I don’t think that the sex is consensual, because having a man ejaculate inside her is a sexual act to which she has not consented. I don’t think that is affected by whether she gets pregnant, or has access to abortion.”

    Yes, I agree. But like I said before the law is created based on social, cultural perceptions of an action leading to recognised consequences – risk of harm to an individual or group (physical and emotional). The risk of harm can be lessened and the consequences of the initial action, depending on the circumstances of the victim, can also be lessened in circumstances where an individual has an option to reduce the impact of harm. I repeat that I’m not in the slightest trying to debase the awful crime of a man deceitfully inseminating a woman, which is rape. But I don’t understand why you can’t see that a woman effectively stealing a man’s sperm to make a baby he didn’t consent to at the time of “consensual” sex is not dealt with in the same way. My take on this subject is clearly aimed at improving recognition of the millions of currently invisible men and boys out there and encouraging people and the law to look beyond where we are today for the purpose of evolving a fairer system which would benefit everyone. Your stance so far is to merely regurgitate text book law as it is today, which will get society nowhere.

    “No, this is actually not true. Once your egg or sperm or any other body tissue leaves your possession, other people can legally do pretty much anything with it except for selling it. ”

    There you go then, the perfect example statement of how law has evolved to ensure that women (having the egg contained within them and thus more secure in the first place) are protected, and yet men (who are vulnerable because their sperm can leave the body) are not protected by a law which has evolved to say “Once your egg or sperm or any other body tissue leaves your possession, other people can legally do pretty much anything with it”. By this very statement it is clear to see that the law clearly serves women well, which is obviously right and good, but it doesn’t account for the potential deception a man can be exposed to. Nobody cares!

    “She’s not legally free to alienate the father; I mean, she can tell his kids he’s a horrible person or something, but any parent can do that. He still gets equal parenting rights if he wants them.”

    That is not true. Lots of women diss and alienate the fathers and successfully restrict parenting rights. I know someone who was actually told by a solicitor not to even bother with trying to obtain half share of house and kids because he was male. And that’s after SHE left him for another rich man and made the father’s life hell by lying through her teeth. I’m telling you, the family courts do NOT support fathers the way they should. I don’t even want to get into homelessness and suicide. I just can’t understand why people persistently refuse to spare a thought for the welfare of our future generation of boys as well as our girls and grant them the same level of consideration when it comes to such matters. Geez, it wouldn’t be that difficult, surely. Just a teeny weeny thought? No? Oh well, I guess lack, of rights, social disenfranchisement, male depression, anger, frustration, turning to crime, homelessness and suicide will have to do for now!

  58. Holms says

    There is no talking with a person that wants to portray themselves as a victim at all turns; dear god, you lay it on thick.

  59. sonofrojblake says

    Great story on the news this morning regarding boys, girls and consent.

    Girl, 14, takes photo of herself naked, sends it to her same-age boyfriend. Without her consent, he shares it around. She’s obviously the victim of a crime – “revenge porn” has been in the news – so as you might imagine, as a victim, she was sensitively interviewed by the school and the police tracked down and prosecuted the person(s) who distributed this image without her consent.

    Oh, no hang on, that’s not how it went down at all. The circumstances were the same, the actions were the same, but the photo taker/sender was male, the revenge porn perp female. Result? School interviewed the BOY without his solicitor OR EVEN PARENT present and pressurised him into admitting to taking and sending the picture. Police have pursued HIM and now he has a record for producing a distributing an indecent image of a child, a charge he will be forced to reveal to any future prospective employer – even though the image was of himself. In an interview with the BBC he mentioned that other kids at his school still have the picture and have threatened him in relation to it – apparently there’s been no particular interest from the police in pursuing those known to be in possession of the image.

    In none of the coverage I’ve heard did anyone mention the massive double standard at work.

  60. 123454321 says

    Hey there, Sonofrojblake, prepare your ears for the deafening silence you will have to endure on this one, and other stories like this. Makes me sick how people can’t see the extortionate amount of hypocrisy currently flowing through our culture. always the fault of the boy! Cultural indoctrination. People are either too scared or too dumb to speak out, but surely not both! This story is absolute proof that boys do not receive the same level of protection and entitlement when it comes to sexual issues and decency. Words fail me.

  61. Anton Mates says

    @123454321,

    And now I have to take a break; big project due next week. I’ll come back to this after that!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *