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MRAs respond, predictably awfully, to the arrest of IMF head Dominique Strauss-Kahn

There have been some strange, but hardly surprising, reactions in the MRA-verse to the arrest of IMF Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn on attempted rape charges.

On The False Rape Society blog, Pierce Harlan seems bothered that the police would arrest such an important man, citing an assortment of articles saying that Strauss-Kahn’s arrest will likely have a big effect on markets and on the global economy.

Harlan titles his piece: “So rape claims aren’t taken seriously? Reuters says the claim against Strauss-Kahn could impact “the well-being of the global economy.”  After quoting from an assortment of news stories that suggest that, yes, Strauss-Kahn’s arrest has already affected markets and could affect the global economy, Harlan ends with this petulant conclusion:

All because of a disputed rape allegation. Right now, that’s all it is. I have no idea if a crime was committed, and neither do you.

But I know one thing: the entire world is taking very seriously — and perhaps way too seriously — the word of an unnamed maid it knows nothing about.

First of all, just as we don’t know whether or not Strauss-Kahn is guilty of this alleged attack, we also don’t know what evidence the police have. What we do know from other media accounts suggests that there is more to go on than the “word of an unnamed maid” – including DNA and other evidence at the scene, footage from the hotel’s security cams, injuries suffered by the maid, who was treated at a local hospital. There may well have been witnesses too; we simply don’t know. (Also, the maid has now been named in the French press. Wonderful.)

Second, and more importantly, why should the fact that the arrest has affected world markets have any bearing whatsoever on the case? By this logic, no important political or financial figure should ever be arrested for anything.

To make myself perfectly clear here:  Harlan does not say explicitly that DSK is too important to be arrested on the word of a lowly maid, but that seems to be the implicit suggestion of his post, the whole reason to quote several articles about the effect this is having on the world economy, all because of  “the word of an unnamed maid [the world] knows nothing about.”  I have asked him to clarify what exactly he did mean, and he has refused. In a followup post he asks rhetorically “Have we handed an unnamed maid too much power to destroy a presumptively innocent man?” and answers himself by saying “The question scarcely survives its statement.” Which I will take as a “yes.” He goes on to say:

We reported yesterday what the world press is saying about the sexual assault claim against Dominique Strauss-Kahn. About how it could impact not only the IMF he heads, and France where is a presidential hopeful, but the global economy itself.  It is widely believed that Mr. Strauss-Kahn’s reputation has been marred beyond repair, regardless of the outcome of this affair.

To say this is morally grotesque does not capture the evil of what is happening to a presumptively innocent man. …

If there is a running theme in this blog, it is this: we have handed anonymous women and children far, far too much power to destroy the lives and reputations of presumptively innocent men before even a scrap of evidence has been introduced to prove their guilt.

If I am reading this correctly — and please correct me if I am wrong, Mr. Harlan — he is saying that ALL men are too important to be arrested on sexualk assault charges based on the word of “anonymous women and children.”

Again, let me ask you, Mr. Harlan, is this what you mean? I invite everyone here to read the two posts in question —  the first one here; the second one here — and tell me what you think he is trying to say.

Mr. Harlan, if you want to clarify what you mean here, I will put that clarification up without comment as a post, under a neutral headline (Pierce Harlan clarifies what he meant in his posts on the Dominique Strauss-Kahn arrest”).

I would also like to point out, again, that the police seem to be going on a lot more than the “word of an unnamed maid,” including surveillance tapes, statements from those who spoke to the maid immediately after the alleged incident, DNA evidence in the room. There may also be DNA evidence on her clothing; that we don’t know. But it seems fairly clear that there is evidence beyond the maid’s testimony.

Meanwhile, over on In Mala Fide, a guest blogger from Human-Stupidity.com, an MRA site that devotes a lot of its attention to railing against child porn laws, attacks the accuser and dismisses the charges. It’s hard to know what in the post is sarcasm and what is simply astounding stupidity. But as far as I can figure it, Mr. Stupidity is far more distressed by reports that the maid accidentally walked in on a naked Strauss-Kahn than he is by the possibility that he sexually assaulted her:

The story is very strange, and dominated by clear mistakes and screwups committed by the accuser. A five-star hotel maid trespasses into a naked client’s room?  Unforgivable. …

This is not supposed to happen in a high-class hotel. Were the sex roles inverted, were a male employee to walk in on a prominent female guest, like Mrs. Hillary Clinton, the male employee would be fired and arrested for sexual harassment.

Mr. Stupidity then goes on to suggest that such a powerful man would never try to rape anyone because, you know, powerful men don’t do that sort of thing.

A hitherto well behaved, civilized man, suddenly goes crazy? Just because he was naked, he wanted to take advantage of her and rape her?

A man pictured on the covers of magazines, admired by millions of women, who could get any woman he wanted with a snap of his fingers. A man from a country with legalized prostitution who could afford two luxury prostitutes per day, if he happened to be a sex addict. And this guy, exactly the moment the woman walks in, illegally, incorrectly, grabs her and rapes her?

Never mind that other women are coming forward with stories of assaults by Strauss-Kahn, suggesting that he may not be quite so well-behaved as Mr. Stupidity assumes.

So what does Mr. Stupidity think really happened? After raising the possibility that this is all some political setup, he ends the piece suggesting that the maid – who, he says “committed a serious professional lapse, almost a crime” by accidentally walking in on Strauss-Kahn – simply made up the story in order to protect her job. Because maids are instantly fired for accidentally walking in on guests? Because never ever in the history of hotels has a maid walked in on someone naked? (A quick Google search suggests not only that this is relatively common, but also that it’s a sexual fantasy of quite a few men.)

Meanwhile, Ben Stein – not, as far as I know, an MRA, but a neocon and a bit of a dick – has offered his own highly problematic defense of Strauss-Kahn, which boils down to, well, envy:

this is a case about the hatred of the have-nots for the haves, and that’s what it’s all about. A man pays $3,000 a night for a hotel room? He’s got to be guilty of something. Bring out the guillotine.

More on this as it develops. And it’s developing fast.

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Men, here we come
Men, here we come
10 years ago

“First of all, just as we don’t know whether or not Strauss-Kahn is guilty of this alleged attack, we also don’t know what evidence the police have. What we do know from other media accounts suggests that there is more to go on than the “word of an unnamed maid” – including DNA and other evidence at the scene, footage from the hotel’s security cams, injuries suffered by the maid, who was treated at a local hospital. There may well have been witnesses too; we simply don’t know. (Also, the maid has now been named in the French press. Wonderful.)

Second, and more importantly, why should the fact that the arrest has affected world markets have any bearing whatsoever on the case? By this logic, no important political or financial figure should ever be arrested for anything.”

You are refuting things that Pierce never claimed in the first place. Pierce never claimed that we know whether the man is guilty or innocent. And Pierce never claimed that because his arrest had a financial impact that he should not have been arrested – only that rape claims *are* indeed taken seriously.

I am reminded of tutoring a child for some reason.

ApeMan1976
10 years ago

NWOSlave:

If you go to a party wearing a tight T-shirt, then get so drunk you’re incapacitated, and then I jam something up your anus, would that be rape?

Laura
Laura
10 years ago

“How do you regulate male sexuality without inviting calls to control your own?”

I do control my own sexuality, genius, you know how? I don’t fucking rape people. If a guy wants to wear a miniskirt and flash his chest then more the power to him. Comparing a sexy dress to rape is fucked, and you know it.

“Not talking about an old dude who should know better here, but I think at least part of the problem with ‘rape culture’ is the incessant hammering by the media, popular culture and dating experts of the message that young men should be aggressive and take-charge, that danger is sexy, that women play ‘hard to get’ and secretly want to be ravished, that a guy who asks for permission and stops when asked is a wimp, nice guys finish last, etc.”

Precisely, Ion! This is what we call ‘rape culture’ and leads to people getting raped (and, as a consequence, accused of rape).

Comrade Svilova
Comrade Svilova
10 years ago

I do control my own sexuality, genius, you know how? I don’t fucking rape people. If a guy wants to wear a miniskirt and flash his chest then more the power to him.

Hear, hear! I see attractive men (and women) who are dressed attractively all the time, and I’ve never raped anyone. I firmly believe that men are capable of the same respect for other humans.

Plymouth
Plymouth
10 years ago

If you (second person plural) have sex with someone who is intoxicated, you’re risking that you might be raping them. If you don’t have clear, coherent, and relatively sober consent throughout, there’s a risk you might be raping your partner.

See that right there gets at what I was saying about the line between rape and not-rape being unclear. How can it it be a violent act perpetrated on an unwilling victim if sometimes they ARE willing?

That said, I’m pretty damned sure almost none of these “not totally clear if it was rape” cases even make it to trial, let alone result in convictions. So carping about them in the context of men being punished for “false rape accusations” is pretty boneheaded. However, from the standpoint of trying to make a better world where more people have the kind of sex they want and avoid being victimized I still think it’s worth discussing why this is a grey area. Deciding the grey area is across the board actually black doesn’t really accomplish anything.

Certainly my friend in the above BDSM-scene-gone-bad scenario didn’t report anything to any authorities. But there was social fallout.

SallyStrange
SallyStrange
10 years ago

How can it it be a violent act perpetrated on an unwilling victim if sometimes they ARE willing?

How sure are you that they’re willing, if they’re slurring their words and seem confused about where they are? That’s the sort of drunk we’re talking about here, not a tipsy “Get over here and take off your pants” kind of drunk.

Captain Bathrobe
Captain Bathrobe
10 years ago

Ah, I see the rape apologists are out in force today. The fact that they seem to view rape as a part of normal male sexuality makes them far more misandrist than they imagine any feminist to be.

Captain Bathrobe
Captain Bathrobe
10 years ago

Above comment directed at EWME, NWO, and that lot, not the more nuanced conversation about consent.

Comrade Svilova
Comrade Svilova
10 years ago

Plymouth, my entire point is simply “why would anyone want their partner to be unhappy/uncomfortable/unenthusiastic during sex?”

I wouldn’t want that, so I’m going to work as hard as a possibly can to be totally and absolutely sure that my partners are fully and enthusiastically consenting. It seems like the very minimum one can do to ensure that one never rapes and always enjoys great sex.

Seraph
Seraph
10 years ago

@CB, #57 – Testify, brother. Amen.

Ion
Ion
10 years ago

One of the complaints of men’s rights groups is that feminists want to broaden the definition of rape to include almost any sexual act short of one with explicit, asked and given consent throughout (or ‘signing a form beforehand’, as some joke). That a woman can accuse a man of rape if she didn’t explicitly consent to everything, if she consented at first but then stopped (with or without announcing this), if she was drunk (in which case it’s wrong even if she starts it), if she wanted to do some things but not others, and that’s without going into things like ‘verbal rape’ and so on.

So in a feminist view, what is the proper way for a man to get physical with a woman? Constantly ask permission before doing everything? “May I kiss you?” “May I touch you there?” “Do you still wish me to continue, or have you changed your mind?” Or maybe let the woman initiate everything, just to be safe?

Kendra, the bionic mommy
Kendra, the bionic mommy
10 years ago

evilwhitemaleempire, it is illegal for women to rape men, so I don’t see how you claim that the law is unjust towards men. The law is the same for men and women. Nobody is allowed to rape anyone else.

Also, a scantily clad woman is not harming a man in any way. If you don’t like the way someone else dresses, then look away. I don’t like it when people wear Confederate flag T-shirts, but it’s none of my damned business what they’re wearing. I simply look away and roll my eyes. I like living in a free country where people don’t have dress codes.

Rape is about power. It’s about a need to dominate someone, to feel strong, and to humiliate someone. I’ve heard men tell each other “I’ll make you my bitch” while they play video games. That expression shows that rape is a way to show dominance over someone else. I know it’s just a figure of speech, but I think it says a lot.

PosterformerlyknownasElizabeth
PosterformerlyknownasElizabeth
10 years ago

“Do you like this?” “What about this?” And “have you had anything to drink?”

Those are pretty obvious.

Seraph
Seraph
10 years ago

“Do you like that, baby? Does that feel good?” I mean, seriously. You even see this in porn.

Seraph
Seraph
10 years ago

Actually, for a more extensive answer:

Ion, I find it more than a little bit creepy that you’re trying to probe the boundaries of exactly where rape begins. Ideally, your partner is participating so enthusiastically that there’s no question that they’re willing – sex should be about pleasure, not conquest.

If you’re with a new partner, or an uncommunicative one, or if you’re just inexperienced at this sort of thing, asking before you do any particular thing is probably a good idea. If they demur at some point, then congratulations. You’ve just avoided traumatizing someone and the possible legal repercussions that could have followed for yourself. If, at some point, they get annoyed by all the talk and say “For God’s sake, shut up and stick it in me!”, well…congratulations for that, too.

Kes
Kes
10 years ago

MRAL: “it is a reasonable knee-jerk reaction given that these men have been spit upon and kicked and looked down upon their whole lives. The women on this thread need to check their considerable privilege.”

I’m curous, MRAL:What would a man (any man, not just one of your fellow ideologues) have to do to a woman or say about a woman for you to decide that his actions were not justified? This “men have been spit on by women and thus are entitled to be jerks” line is getting a little old. Do unto others? If everyone jumped off a bridge? In fact, I might have a bridge for sale, somewhere…

Also, Ion, I am in complete and somewhat amazed agreement with you! The current construction of gender roles with men as dominant/aggressive and women as submissive/passive is highly problematic, and feeds directly into abusive relationships and situations. This is largely what my personal feminism is about: getting people to recognize these as the constructs they are and live outside of them.

Lady Victoria von Syrus
Lady Victoria von Syrus
10 years ago

So in a feminist view, what is the proper way for a man to get physical with a woman?

It’s a crazy idea that we feminists have come up with, and it probably won’t go over well with the MRA crowd, but I think it’ll work.

Listen to her.

I know, you kind of have to presuppose that your partner is an actual person and have to actually care about what they want, which appears to be a difficult concept for the MRAs to wrap their head around.

Enthusiastic consent is not difficult to get. If she wants to, she’ll let you know in a thousand verbal and non-verbal ways. If she’s turned on by being in bed with you, she’ll respond accordingly. If she touches you, if she pulls you closer, if she starts laughing in the way people do when they’re happy – congrats, you have consent! Ask her what she wants you to do to her, ask her to show you what turns her on. Ask her if she likes *this* or *this* or *this*.

If she is just laying there, not very responsive, then the proper solution is *not* to keep going, but to stop and ask her what’s wrong. And then, whatever she says, *listen*.

Nobby
Nobby
10 years ago

@Ion the idea for most feminists is that there needs to be real, explicit consent. Both the woman and the man have to say yes. So, yeah, in most cases, you want to ask. Sometimes you can get away with not asking if the actions are relatively harmless. Touching someone’s hand, for instance, would never be rape, and under most circumstances would not count as any kind of assault. However, you do have to understand that it could be taken incorrectly and, if so, it is your fault for assuming. And when things move to anything more sexual, you really need to ask.

And actually, that’s a lot of the problem, right? We assume things, and when they blow up in our faces we try to brush it off. You touch a girl, and she gets huffy. She’s probably got a lot of good reasons for it, but it really doesn’t matter. It’s her body and you have violated her space. If I went to a bar and some gay guy came up and started pawing at me without invitation, you’re going to be a little disturbed, i assume. I would be. Heck, I have been (not in a bar, but otherwise). If some woman in a bar was all over me and I weren’t attracted to her? I’m probably going to be skeeved out and leave, or at least try to get her to go away. These situations are all the same, despite changes in gender. They’re not rape, and pretty much all of them are not assault, but I would be perfectly in me rights to rebuff those people. If one takes the risk to come on like that, one has to understand that the fault lies with the person making the come-on if it goes south, not the person being come-on to. That was an awkward sentence. Ah, well. Hopefully it’s still clear.

So, some people here may disagree, I dunno. But my understanding is that dynamic. And it can change, of course. In BDSM, for instance, the dynamic is shifted such that pretty much any action to another person, even a light touch, tends to need consent. And any person with a history of sexual assault is going to react much worse then someone who hasn’t. So that’s where playing it safe can come in handy. That’s why it’s a better idea, when you don’t know, to simply take a step back, and either wait for the other party to ask, or just ask yourself. You can have a full conversation and flirt and get someone interested in you without violating boundaries, despite what an MRA would say.

And of course, MRA’s will never admit that feminists care about men, but the guy has to give consent as well. If the woman is doing everything and the guy is not consenting? Yeah, that’s rape too. So, despite what NWO would say, it’s not just the guys that have to ask. However, with the majority of assaults being from guys we tend to focus on that.

Now, if you go any further from touching then the answer simply becomes ‘yes, you need to ask’. Kissing? Yep. And consider, if you go in for a kiss and the girl doesn’t want it, isn’t that one of the most awkward things ever? Probably worth it just to avoid that. Touching? Most certainly. Etc Etc. This is the idea behind enthusiastic consent, as I know it, that both partners are constantly saying yes, so that there is no doubt. And depending on the other person, saying ‘I really want to do X to you’ works perfectly well and can be pretty damn hot.

And of course this requires both people. It requires the woman to be comfortable saying yes. But again, consider. Isn’t sex a whole lot better when the other person is saying ‘oh god, yes!’?

@Seraph I have to disagree with you there, I don’t think asking the question is creepy. I’d much rather have someone asking that question then assuming. And especially on the internet, It’s very hard to know intent. Ion has been quite reasonable and well spoken recently (not that you weren’t necessarily before, Ion, I just haven’t been paying attention), and so I tend to think it’s a good idea to think the best. I mean, this whole thing is about saying it’s a good idea to ask questions, right? :-p

Lastly, @Lyn, i agree there seem to be different definitions floating around of ‘enthusiastic consent’. But I think it’s easily enough defined as simply constant and willfully given consent. An asexual is just as capable of saying ‘yes’ as a sexual person, should they be interested in it. Enthusiastic may be a weird word to use there, but there’s a difference between enthusiastic to mean truly interested, and enthusiastic to mean really really want it. We’d all like it to be the second all the time, but as your link points out that’s not an option all the times. So, if you really want to do something even though your body doesn’t, you still have the ability to say ‘yes, i really want to do this’. That’s still enthusiastic in my book.

Pecunium
10 years ago

Lyn: I don’t know quite what to make the complaint in that blog. I almost think the problem is that of differing expectations (one partner wants a more sexual relationship than the other) and somehow the use of the word enthusiastic has moved into an expectation of boundary shifting.

But it’s not clear to me.

darksidecat: But what of the situation where a form of consent was granted. Where by persitence, and persuasion, the other person said, “ok”. The offender believed (even if it was a case of self delusion) that consent had been obtained. Did they then mean to violate the other’s autonomy?

So I think it’s more akin to the mens rea for fraud, then for murder. Even at that the difference between morder and manslaughter is one of malice. Both are homicides, but they are treated differently.

Or bias crimes, where the intent of the actor is based on things independent of the act. It’s still “assault with a deadly weapon”, or “arson”, but it’s a differnt form. I think the place in which we disagree isn’t on the idea of it being rape; but that we don’t define violence in the same way.

It took me a long time to look at the abuse in that relationship, and call it rape. Do I think she intended to rape me? No. I don’t think she would. I have some decidedly ambivalent feelings about here, even now (some 25 years later). I was violated. I don’t think I can say it was violent.

Sallystrange: How sure are you that they’re willing, if they’re slurring their words and seem confused about where they are? That’s the sort of drunk we’re talking about here, not a tipsy “Get over here and take off your pants” kind of drunk. Plymouth isn’t talking about drunk. I mentioned “Not an Odalisque” before. Here is the blog post she wrote on this subject (i.e. consent for non-consensual sex. It might be triggery, it’s certainly challenging. I found aspects of it quite disturbing. Consent, non-consent, and get the hell away from me

Ion: From this feminists view,the proper way (be it man, or woman) is to get consent. How does one get consent to do anything? One asks. Need all questions be vebalised? No. If I am with someone (for the first time), I am going to ask for some things. It will depend on the things. But I have almost 30 years of practice at figuring this shit out, so I’ve got a decent idea of what consent looks like.

Does it always work? No. I had a recent girlfriend who thought I had zero interest in her. Why? Well my primary relationship had just fallen apart, we’d had little personal interaction and absent a much more obvious sign than that of a pleasant evening in a restaurant (no, I wasn’t taking the idea that she’d made a side trip on a visit to LA from SF as, “ooh, she likes me), and a lingering conversation in my driveway as an invitation to kiss her.

When we did figure it out… she was giving me a kiss good-bye (I’d come to SF from Tennessee to give a seminar on torture/interrogation) she was being a bit more… intimate, in how she kissed me. So I did a bit of the same and the next thing I knew she and I were kissing each other.

For more than that… we talked.

I had another person I was interested in come to visit. Sex was an option, but not a certainty (it was an LDR, and we’d not figured out if the chemistry was right). We spent two nights just cuddling/sleeping. There was some phsysicality, but we kept our clothes on. When we got to the point it seemed as if more was a good idea, I asked if she minded my taking my shirt off. From there it was a lot of, “please”, and ‘yes,” for both of us.

That’s consent.

As the relationship progressed we each knew their was a strong reciprocal passion. And we still made sure to get a positive response before doing things. “Would you like to…?”, “How about…?”

If it’s not too much trouble to do that when deciding where to go for dinner, it sure as hell not too much trouble when having sex.

Seraph
Seraph
10 years ago

@Seraph I have to disagree with you there, I don’t think asking the question is creepy. I’d much rather have someone asking that question then assuming. And especially on the internet, It’s very hard to know intent. Ion has been quite reasonable and well spoken recently (not that you weren’t necessarily before, Ion, I just haven’t been paying attention), and so I tend to think it’s a good idea to think the best. I mean, this whole thing is about saying it’s a good idea to ask questions, right? :-p

In principle, I agree with you, and if Ion is behaving better these days (he wasn’t always so reasonable or well-spoken), perhaps he even deserves your benefit of the doubt. Even so, I – and many other feminists – have heard those questions before, generally from MRA’s and other misogynists who are trying to figure out exactly where their coercive tactics become rape.

Seraph
Seraph
10 years ago

That a woman can accuse a man of rape if she didn’t explicitly consent to everything, if she consented at first but then stopped (with or without announcing this), if she was drunk (in which case it’s wrong even if she starts it), if she wanted to do some things but not others,

I’d like to look at these in a bit more depth. First of all, I’d like to say that the fact these are even seen as unreasonable reveals a fundamental disconnect. For feminists, sex is something you do with a partner(s) for mutual pleasure. If your partner isn’t consenting to everything you do at all times, then they’re not experiencing pleasure, which means you’re doing something other than sex.

if she consented at first but then stopped

I’ve had partners ask me to stop in the middle of sex. Usually because something we were doing hurt. So I stopped, we shifted a bit, and went on with our business. Or sometimes, she was unable to continue. It happens. If I’d kept on, it would have been torture.

if she was drunk (in which case it’s wrong even if she starts it)

As has been pointed out, there’s a difference between a cheerfully buzzed woman asking you to drop your pants and a stumbling drunk one being used as a warm hole. If you’re not familiar enough with the woman in question to know the difference, you really are better off getting her a cab and calling back tomorrow.

if she wanted to do some things but not others

If you consented to a blowjob, are you also consenting to a prostate massage?

Nobby
Nobby
10 years ago

@Seraph Yeah, I have seen that kind of thing before as well. But considering the way Ion phrased it, even starting with admitting the fact that MRA’s make disparaging jokes about it, makes me take the question a little better. I certainly can see and have seen the question twisted in such a manner, it just didn’t strike me that way this time, I took it as an honest question.

Nobby
Nobby
10 years ago

Also, since you ninja’d me, I have to agree that some of those questions are just… odd. I’ve seen MRA’s ask them a lot, but how they don’t know the answer I have no idea. If I’m having sex with my girlfriend and something goes wrong and she or I is suddenly out of it, it becomes immediately obvious and is definitely no longer enjoyable. Why would you even want to keep going in that case? And if i was to suddenly change to something else that we hadn’t talked about, there’s just a whole range of issues there. Why would you not ask? It boggles the mind.

Tuffy
Tuffy
10 years ago

Haha, David I like that you took the opportunity to do a Google search of maids walking in on hotel guests naked. Now *that* is some thorough blogging, there.

Captain Bathrobe
Captain Bathrobe
10 years ago

I think a good rule for sex is “be aware of where your partner is at.” The corollary to that is “if you don’t like something, say so. Loudly.” Continuing to do something after a partner has clearly and explicitly said no would definitely qualify as rape. That includes continuing with intercourse that one partner may have been enjoying up to a certain point but then it became uncomfortable, painful, or just icky.

I realize that a lot of consensual sex happens without explicit verbal consent (i.e., consent is implied through actions, etc.). I don’t think that’s a problem in and of itself (as long as it was genuinely consensual) but it is highly risky. I think in particular the need to have safe sex would make some form of verbal consent necessary (i.e., “should I put a condom on now?”). Guys who are genuinely as paranoid about false rape accusations as our MRA friends claim to be would do well to add a double layer of certainty to their sexual encounters (i.e., obtaining explicit verbal consent and confirming that a condom is to be used). Women, of course, should do the same.

Ironically, the ideas the feminism promotes, specifically women taking control of their sexuality, and men respecting that control, tend to reduce misunderstandings. Women who are taught that it’s OK to say no (and yes) are apt to do so unambiguously. Women who are taught to disown and be ashamed of their own sexuality are more likely to give mixed signals. Similarly, men who are taught to listen to their partners and seek explicit consent are far less likely to be falsely accused of rape. Men who are taught that “no sometimes means yes” are much more likely to push ahead in spite of mixed or negative signals.

Bee
Bee
10 years ago

David: Re. your communications with and about Shayna, I actually found EWME’s rape-apologist comment to be personally insulting and threatening, as I imagine he meant it to be for women who have been raped. However, your blog, your rules — I don’t mean to step on any toes here. I just want to point out that if Shayna got the idea that insults and threats to commenters are okay, I think I see where she got it.

Roving Thundercloud
Roving Thundercloud
10 years ago

I agree it’s creepy that MRAs are always looking for a blow-by-blow description of how to get consent. It’s like everything has to be a transaction for them. It boggles their minds that yes, you have to keep monitoring for consent. You mean I have to check again??? And then I might have to change my actions to make my partner more comfortable??? Heaven forbid that I don’t get to just steam along on my own path to pleasure regardless.

If you can’t tell that your partner is not having a good time, it’s not your partner who has the problem.

Comrade Svilova
Comrade Svilova
10 years ago

your partner is participating so enthusiastically that there’s no question that they’re willing

The only kind of sex worth having.

Ion
Ion
10 years ago

Roving Thundercloud: Aside from the shaming language (aka “it’s creepy that you say this”), that argument is dishonest at best. It’s not like MRAs (or men in general) are looking “for a blow-by-blow description of how to get consent” just for the sake of saying something. It’s thanks to feminists looking to define pretty much any male-female interaction as rape. I think it’s pretty natural, then to ask “just how do I act around a woman so it’s not construed as rape?” and shaming those who ask the question isn’t the most constructive answer. Just saying.

Ion
Ion
10 years ago

The above isn’t directed at those who actually answered the question in a thoughtful manner, but rather those few who had the kneejerk response of “creepy! rape apologist!” etc etc.

Nobby
Nobby
10 years ago

@Ion ‘It’s thanks to feminists looking to define pretty much any male-female interaction as rape.’ Wow, and you talk about shaming? And how is giving very precise answers to your question “Defining all interactions as rape”? Get a grip.

Nobby
Nobby
10 years ago

@Ion good you made an exception, but don’t make the all too common mistake of saying ‘feminists say X’, especially when you have ample evidence otherwise.

Ion
Ion
10 years ago

Seraph: There is one case I forgot to mention – when the woman actually consents but later decides that she actually didn’t. Yes, it happens. And no matter how much feminists try to shout down and marginalize those who talk about false rape claims, they happen too.

(I know, triple post = bad. Is there any way to edit posts? it’d be a lot better and less messy.)

Pecunium
10 years ago

Ion: It’s thanks to feminists looking to define pretty much any male-female interaction as rape.

Saying things like that is a good way to make people think you are either not paying attention, or are not acting in good faith.

Rape, and I defy you to find any of the feminists here who has said any differently) is a sexual act performed by one person on another without their consent.

Not “any male female interaction”. There have actually been comments here about acceptable actions that don’t involve consent (taking someone’s hand) which were said to be perfectly ok.

The “creepy” part isn’t shaming language (and given the way the MRAs use the term, “shaming language” is, for them, a form of shaming language. It’s also a derailing tool, because the subject changes to how things were said, not what was said, but I digress: though it’s things like this which lead some people to think you are, at the very least, an MRA sympathiser). The “creepy” part is that it often feels as though the guys who ask questions like that are asking so they can know just how much they can get away with before the target of their, “affections” can call them on it.

And the answer to that is, only as far as the object of one’s attentions is willing to put up with. Everyone gets to set their own boundaries, and those boundaries are not set in stone. Just because it was ok last time doesn’t mean it’s going to be ok every time thereafter.

PosterformerlyknownasElizabeth
PosterformerlyknownasElizabeth
10 years ago

Ion, as far as I know only a very small (to the point of maybe one well known feminist) group of radical to the extreme feminists have considered sex between men and women to be rape.

And I know you know that so you should not have said it.

Seraph
Seraph
10 years ago

Still think Ion was asking an honest question, Nobby?

Still, it’s good that everybody gave detailed answers. Educating the lurkers is a good thing in its own right.

Ion
Ion
10 years ago

The “creepy” part isn’t shaming language (and given the way the MRAs use the term, “shaming language” is, for them, a form of shaming language. It’s also a derailing tool, because the subject changes to how things were said, not what was said, but I digress: though it’s things like this which lead some people to think you are, at the very least, an MRA sympathiser).

Sorry but at this point you remind me of a lawyer who twists words and meanings and nitpicks technicalities to make it sound like his client is always right and the opposition is always wrong. So ‘creepy’ isn’t shaming language, but pointing it out is? That makes about as much sense as “I wasn’t attacking you when I punched you in the face, but your face hitting my fist caused me a personal injury and thus you are the aggressor!”

The “creepy” part is that it often feels as though the guys who ask questions like that are asking so they can know just how much they can get away with before the target of their, “affections” can call them on it.

Ah yes, the “you’re creepy because of how your question made me feeeel” accusation. See Feminist Shaming Tactics, Code Orange and Code Black.

cynickal
cynickal
10 years ago

Harlan titles his piece: “So rape claims aren’t taken seriously? Reuters says the claim against Strauss-Kahn could impact “the well-being of the global economy.” After quoting from an assortment of news stories that suggest that, yes, Strauss-Kahn’s arrest has already affected markets and could affect the global economy

Has none of these media types or the bloggers using them as sources ever worked for a large company?

The arrest of any board level executive has Zero affect on the day to day running of any corporation. It may affect the stock, but that’s entirely a PR / confidence game anyway.

If my CEO got hauled away in cuffs, nobody would lose any sleep unless it was to plan on how to hide evidence or plotting on how to take advantage of the situation to advance.

MRA’s are just power worshipers. (Which explains their constant defense of rape)

Nobby
Nobby
10 years ago

@Seraph That’ll teach me to be optimistic.

Ion
Ion
10 years ago

Good job, Nobby. Keep licking those boots and maybe one day you’ll get to join the Ya-Ya Sisterhood.

Fatman
Fatman
10 years ago

Ion, if one believes that feminists have defined pretty much any male-female interaction as rape, then a woman who has been raped can be ignored, because most women interact with many men in a day, thus one woman pointing out her rape is silly, as almost every woman has been raped (interacted with a man) dozens, if not hundreds of times a day. Luckily this disconnect from the reality of feminist thought on rape can be solved easily. You have asked some feminists about rape and have received answers. I will add my answer in the hopes that this along with the other data points gained from the feminists on this board can lead to a swift correction of your misinterpretation of the feminist understanding of rape. Rape is non-consensual sex. If you need further clarification on this it can be provided.

Comrade Svilova
Comrade Svilova
10 years ago

Ion, don’t you think you can do better than unenthusiastic non-consent? Don’t you think you could find partners who you trust and with whom you communicate well, so that neither in the moment nor afterwards would your partners feel violated or hurt?

It takes more work to make sure both parties are totally into sex and totally enjoying it, but I assure you, it’s well worth it.

You’re selling yourself short. Or so it seems to me.

Nobby
Nobby
10 years ago

Nice to know, nice to know. I try to be nice, even be defensive off Ion’s intentions, and i get not only told that I think that all male-female interactions are rape, but that I’m licking boots. Ah, well. At least I tried.

SallyStrange
SallyStrange
10 years ago

It’s thanks to feminists looking to define pretty much any male-female interaction as rape.

That’s a goddamn dirty low-down lie. The people who spread it hate feminists, so they spread lies about them. And they should feel ashamed for lying.

I think it’s pretty natural, then to ask “just how do I act around a woman so it’s not construed as rape?” and shaming those who ask the question isn’t the most constructive answer. Just saying.

No, you’re not “just saying,” you’re spreading lies.

And no, it’s not natural to constantly be wondering how to avoid being accused of rape, unless you’re a.) dumber than a box of rocks and have been listening to anti-feminists or b.) a would-be rapist trying to figure out how to rape and get away with it.

Since most people are not actually that stupid, “creepy” is a useful stand-in for “would-be rapist trying to figure out how to get away with rape.”

Amused
Amused
10 years ago

Ion: “Good job, Nobby. Keep licking those boots and maybe one day you’ll get to join the Ya-Ya Sisterhood.”

Did you say something about “shaming language”, Ion?

Nobby
Nobby
10 years ago

You know, I just had to check that link Ion posted. And I’m going to pull a, lets see here, ‘Code Black’. Yup, it’s misogynist. Why? let’s see here… “Yet women are not the only ones guilty of using shaming tactics against men. Male gynocentrists use them, too.”

Yup, that’s right, only women and ‘gynocentrists’ (manginas, anyone?) use shaming tactics. That’s why Ion’s free and clear, because only women and manginas can use them.

Kendra, the bionic mommy
Kendra, the bionic mommy
10 years ago

That catalog of shaming tactics is a load of crap. It’s not a logical fallacy to show fear when someone expresses extreme misogyny. That’s a normal response to someone making an angry, irrational rant against half the population. If I encounter a militia group member, I respond with fear because those people are dangerous extremists. If you call that “shaming” then so be it.

Some of the shaming tactics are ad hominem attacks, but a lot of them are valid points, such as the charge of being an extremist, the charge of overgeneralizing, and the charge of being scary. Many MRA’s are too extreme, they are scary, and they are misogynists that overgeneralize about women. Just because you label a good argument as a “shaming tactic” and describe it with a color, does not mean you have actually given a real rebuttal at all.