Rape Apologia…

Alright, so there’s this meltdown between TGMP and feminists…

So, I should just sit back with a bag of popcorn and enjoy the explosion I guess…

Well, as I read through this allot of “little” details come up…

There’s a whole lotta prerequisite background reading required, you can find links here. If that wasn’t enough, there’s more here.

Ya up to speed yet? Good, if not go back and re-read this a bit…

Okay, so I’m not even gonna touch on the drunk hook up guy, not that it’s not something worth discussing, but because this is already getting confusing…

I will discuss the other one and a story that had some similarities…

So, long story short, a guy penetrates a sleeping woman. Someone who is asleep can’t give consent. Now, short of some crazy fact being revealed that there was a conversation that this woman liked being fucked while she was asleep and they had agreed to do this ahead of time, what happened sounds like rape. Someone who rarely agree’s with feminists is agreeing that if this is the whole story, what happened was rape.

From the original article:

In my mind, this was rape. Because being hot, flirty, frolicky and drunk is NOT consent. Putting your penis in a woman without her consent is rape. Being drunk was not an excuse for either party. The responsibility was not on her to say “stop”, it was on him to ask if it’s okay before he did it. This part is simple.

Jill F’s take in The What in The Holy Hell Is This article was:

“This case has literally nothing to do with “mixed signals.” Even if the woman’s signals weren’t mixed at all — even if they signaled exactly what she wanted to do — he did something that in no universe is considered acceptable or anywhere within the realm of consensual. This isn’t a “we were messing around and she didn’t say yes but she didn’t say no either.” This is, “She was passed out, but because she flirted with me, I thought it was ok to stick my dick in her in a time when she couldn’t say yes or no and certainly would not be enjoying the experience.”

Now, there was another story involving a sleeping partner with a few key differences. It’s short, so here it is:

I accidentally raped my boyfriend. What happened was I awoke to find my boyfriend rubbing up against me. After a little while, he pulled my hand, motioning for me to get on top of him to have sex, as he has done many times before. I obliged, and all was well, until he apparently woke up and pushed me off of him. I did not have any indication that he was asleep, since he was an active participant the entire time and was NOT lying there like a dead fish. In the morning, he expressed his displeasure about being woken up with sex. He said that he felt really violated. I apologized and explained my understanding of the situation. Now he says he feels really weird about what happened and he can’t stomach me touching him. What should I do?

Reeling After Problematic Intimate Sex Transgression

Dan Savage had a critique which I think was WAY off base and I think it set the tone for more horrendous comments that would follow. I also have to consider the fact that this story may have been written by a troll or someone on the staff so they’d have something outrageous to write about…

Jill F at Feministe wrote:

This, though, is one of those weird wild world scenarios. I’m not sure it even matters if we call it “rape” or not (and it doesn’t sound like the boyfriend does call it that). He was sexually violated; whether she intended to or not, that’s the fact of what happened. Or it’s possible that Dan is right and the dude is being a manipulative jackass. But I think that probably dude was asleep and woke up to his girlfriend having sex with him and freaked out. And… that’s a fair reaction. It doesn’t make her a bad person or a rapist (she was awake and reasonably believed he was awake and consenting), but it also doesn’t make him not-violated or not-raped just because she didn’t mean it.

(note-this same block of text appears again when Jill F addresses Dan)

Now, it gets a little convoluted, Amanhater ah, Amanda Marcotte had her ever so lovely words to add…

Statistically speaking, abuse is exponentially more likely than that level of sleepwalking. I’d give him more benefit of the doubt if he wasn’t making her feel bad for responding enthusiastically to a man who—may I remind you—woke her up in the middle of the night for sex. If a woman was like, “Hell yeah, fuck me!” like this guy basically was, and then said she was violated later, she would also be a jerk pulling a head trip. The demand that he read his mind and somehow know that he wanted the opposite of what he claimed in the moment is pretty classic gas lighting.

Like I said, it’s possible. But the combination of both the oddness of the incident and his blaming her for taking enthusiastic consent as enthusiastic consent suggests that the likelier explanation is he woke her up for sex, she went with it, and he decided to concoct a strange story that conveniently means she feels guilty and will likely be afraid to set boundaries with him in the future, out of guilt. Statistically speaking, about 100 to 1,000 times more likely, I’d say.

Now, somehow, I believe that if the genders were reveresed and a manosphere guy said something along the lines of what Marcotte said-he’d be called a Victim Blaming Rape Apologist in no uncertain terms. Infact, I wrote about that here. All I did was switch the genders, subtracting an s from she, adding one to he and switching him/her. I believe one of the reasons this has a different impact is that “male suffering” is seen as less important than “female suffering.” On a societal level, this can be measured by much higher death rates for male employees. It can be seen when a politician like Hillary Clinton calls women the primary victims of war not because they have statistically higher death rates but because they are the one’s remaining alive with the burden of caring for the children without a husband. I also believe that many of us think that a man is “always up for it” and a boner equals instant consent. Hence you get many incredulous looks and smirks when the topic of a woman raping a man comes up. Now, it’s not just feminists who hold these views, many traditionalists hld them and even many guys who participate in the manosphere. I’m holding feminists just a little more accountable because they are the one’s who’ve been dominating the discussion on gender. Infact, I think that much of their anger towards MRA’s and TGMP is that feminist’s are starting to lose some of the monopoly in this debate. I don’t agree with MRA’s or TGMP on allot of topics, but that’s neither here nor there. I think part of this blow up is a shouting match between divergent voices.

alright, now let’s keep going here…

From Alysa Royce’s article:

Nice girls get raped. Nice guys commit rape. And it can happen the other way too. I have known men who felt violated when a date touched them in a sexual manner that they didn’t want. And certainly, if a guy wakes up to a woman “riding” him without his consent, that’s rape too. Whether or not it would be perceived as such is a much larger question, much less why. I know from experience that there are many men who feel they have been violated but don’t even know what to call it, because they have been led to believe that they are supposed to get—or at least want—sex all the time. But the simple fact is that consent needs to be the first order of business when having sex. Otherwise, well, it’s not sex, it’s rape.

Back in the comments of the Feministe article What in the Holy Hell Is This a commenter named Dan compares the similarity of the two scenarios and Jill F. kindly tells him to “fuck off” and mentions mens rea.

Dan 12.10.2012 at 7:14 pm | Permalink | Reply

Hm. Interesting take.

It reminds me of this other time that someone was sleeping and woke to unasked-for intercourse:

http://www.feministe.us/blog/archives/2012/09/19/is-it-rape-if-you-dont-mean-for-it-to-be-rape/

But that time it definitely wasn’t rape. Well, not Rape-rape.

And before someone throws up the straw-man “But that was different!”, no it wasn’t. In one situation we have an assertion by the rapist that the victim made “consent-y hand motions” and in the other we have no details at all about a story that’s already second-hand. The facts, in both cases, are one person was asleep and another had sex with them without establishing consent.

And at the time, it seemed like there was quite a lot to talk about (333 responses).

My point is, if that situation fell into a gray area, where “it might have been rape, but she wasn’t a rapist”, then a gray area exists. If a gray area exists, then we shouldn’t bash people for talking about it. It’s one thing to say you disagree about where the gray area is, it’s another to call some one an ignorant rape-apologist just because they’re discussing it.

Jill
Jill 12.10.2012 at 7:20 pm | Permalink | Reply *

Actually no, Dan, the facts aren’t the same. In the post you link, the couple had sex that the male partner indicated was consensual, as he had many times before. It turns out he was indicating that in his sleep, but the woman didn’t realize that. About the case, I wrote:

This, though, is one of those weird wild world scenarios. I’m not sure it even matters if we call it “rape” or not (and it doesn’t sound like the boyfriend does call it that). He was sexually violated; whether she intended to or not, that’s the fact of what happened. Or it’s possible that Dan is right and the dude is being a manipulative jackass. But I think that probably dude was asleep and woke up to his girlfriend having sex with him and freaked out. And… that’s a fair reaction. It doesn’t make her a bad person or a rapist (she was awake and reasonably believed he was awake and consenting), but it also doesn’t make him not-violated or not-raped just because she didn’t mean it.

So actually I did say that the boyfriend was fully justified in saying he was raped. I also said that this is one of those unicorn situations where someone who assaulted someone else genuinely did not know, and was not negligent or intentional in not knowing, that they were having sex without consent.

In the situation Alyssa describes, the two had never had sex before. There was no indication from her that she wanted to have sex, other than flirting several hours earlier. The rapist in that case knew she was asleep. Any reasonable person knows that a sleeping person cannot consent to sex. Yes, that is very different than having sex with a sleeping person who appears to be awake and meaningfully consenting.

Trying to conflate these two cases shows just how fucked up and apologist your position is. Kindly fuck off.

Jill
Jill 12.10.2012 at 7:22 pm | Permalink *

And as I said in that post, “the word “rape” has a lot of baggage and by definition requires a level of guilty-mindedness (“mens rea” or intention to harm or knowledge that you might be causing harm or whatever you want to call it) that this woman did not have.” The rapist in Alyssa’s story absolutely had intent to put his dick in a sleeping woman who could by definition not consent. He may not have thought “I am raping this person,” but he definitely knew that what he was doing was not consensual. The mens rea element is there for him.

Let’s explore this legal concept, mens rae..

according to the Great Wiki:

Mens rea is Latin for “guilty mind”.[1] In criminal law, it is viewed as one of the necessary elements of a crime. The standard common law test of criminal liability is usually expressed in the Latin phrase, actus non facit reum nisi mens sit rea, which means “the act does not make a person guilty unless the mind is also guilty”. Thus, in jurisdictions with due process, there must be an actus reus accompanied by some level of mens rea to constitute the crime with which the defendant is charged…

Now, there are allot of things we don’t know about this incident, for example if it actually occurred. It seems to me a few questions we would ask if we could, to determine culpability would be did this woman know that her boyfriend had a sleepwalking condition that could create such a scenario.

I had been discussing this at Genderratic, and Equilibrium_Shift left an interesting comment:

Equilibrium_Shift on December 16, 2012 at 8:35 pm said:

SWAB,

I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating, I have had similar experiences to that dude. I can unequivocally say that anyone paying any attention can tell you are not in your right mind when you are sleep walking/sleep fucking. That includes whether or not you are engaging in behavior that sort of follows typical patterns you might engage in, because they are done differently than normal.

Not a lot of people have experience with sleeping next to a sleepfucker, so it can catch you off guard, especially the first time. But I can almost guarantee you that there were signs that he wasn’t operating in his normal state.

So one is left to ask, is Jill F. just going through a bunch of mental gymnastics to clear a female perpetrator that she wouldn’t do for a male one? I don’t know, I’m not a lawyer.

Posted on December 17, 2012, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. excellent detailed appraisal of that clusterf*ck of a ‘debate’. I might have known Dan Savage would have waded in with his size 9s…!

  2. I haven’t read much of Savage’s stuff but I figure he’s playing from the same book as Marcotte…

    anyone who dares disagree is a “hateful homophobe.”

  3. Having just finished a long post about the responses to the “nice guys…” GMP article, reading this was a bit of a relief.
    It is amazing to me that, even in the context of the other examples, practically nobody has even considered the POSSIBILITY that maybe the guy, in his own drunk, half-asleep state, mistakenly thought that she was actually awake.
    We don’t know that she didn’t turn over in her sleep and push up against him. We don’t know that she wasn’t sexually aroused, given the context in which she had passed out.

    Maybe that isn’t what happened, but it says something about us as a society that so many people are have such passionately strong opinions without ever considering that it might have been what happened. It isn’t because of a lack of imagination. It is because of some very deep rooted assumptions about women, sexuality, and lack of agency. It is because, as a culture, we WANT to believe women are victims.

    Getting into that is way too long for a comment, but you can read my elaboration on that by clicking the website in my comment signature

  1. Pingback: Good Men, Bad Girls « Quiet Riot Girl

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