Earlier today, several readers alerted me to a new video out with an alarming title: Vox Day Admits to Sex with Women Without Consent, Says Gay is a Birth Defect.
The video, a 46-minute interview of Science Fiction’s biggest asshole conducted by YouTuber David Pakman, doesn’t quite live up to its sensational title (which I now see Pakman has changed).
While Day — real name Theodore Beale — does indeed say that gayness is a birth defect, he’s evasive when Pakman asks him point-blank about some of the more amazingly wrong and creepy things he’s written about rape. Indeed, he’s so evasive in his answers it’s easy to lose track of what exactly Pakman is trying to get him to clarify.
If the definition of rape is stretched so far to include women who have not given consent, then I am absolutely a serial rapist. So, too, is every man I know.
Pakman is of course correct to see this as a rather startling admission. Because the very definition of rape is sex without consent; there is no stretching going on here.
In the interview, Vox doesn’t repudiate these comments, but he doesn’t exactly affirm them either; he tells Pakman that he has indeed had sex with women without first obtaining explicit written consent, introducing a qualifier that was not there in the original. He goes on to say that he’s had sex without getting explicit verbal consent for each and every sexual act, a la the famous Antioch College rules. Again, that wasn’t the question. Pakman makes a valiant effort to pin Day down on this, but he wriggles away every time.
If you look at some of the other things Day was writing about rape around the same time of that 2005 post, you can see that he’s been using the “written permission” nonsense to muddle the issue for a very long time.
Less than a week before his “serial rape” comment, Day posted a long, victim-blamey disquisition on rape (archived here), in which he drew a distinction between “genuine rape” and date rape, saying that
most so-called “date rape” is not rape nor a crime of any kind, because he said-she said is no basis for a system of justice. If sex without written permission is a crime, then all sex is rape and all men are unrepentant criminals.
Never mind that “written permission” is never the issue in rape cases.
“Date rape” is distinguished from real rape as it involves inherently sexual situations where there is seldom any possibility of obtaining evidence of either criminal activity or criminal intent, both of which are necessary to demonstrate in the conviction of real crimes.
Back to the present. Pakman asks Day about another kind of rape that he thinks doesn’t exist: rape in marriage. In a blog post last year, as you may recall, Day wrote that
The concept of marital rape is not merely an oxymoron, it is an attack on the institution of marriage, on the concept of objective law, and indeed, on the core foundation of human civilization itself.
So why isn’t marital rape rape? As Day sees it, “marriage grants consent on an ongoing basis.” So once a woman says “I do” on her wedding day, he believes, she can no longer say no to sex with her husband, as sex is part of her marital duty.
In his interview with Pakman, Day reiterates this basic argument, though he is notably elusive about just which sexual acts a married woman has intrinsically said yes to when she agrees to be married. Pakman asks Day if he believes married men should go ahead and force their wives to have sex when they’ve explicitly said no; Day allows that this might not be such a good idea.
Pakman devotes a decent portion of the interview to the troubling things Day has said about rape; he could easily have devoted an entire hour or two to Day’s odious opinions on the subject. Pakman, for example, doesn’t ask Day about his bizarre assertion, in a blog post last December, that any woman who says a white man raped her is lying. No, really. This is what he wrote:
White American men simply don’t rape these days. At this point, unless a womann claims it was committed by a black or Hispanic man she didn’t previously know, all claims of rape, especially by a college woman, have to be considered intrinsically suspect.
Even though Pakman is unable to get straight answers from Day on most of the questions he asks, the interview is well worth watching. No, scratch that: It is largely because he is unable to get straight answers from Day that the interview is so compelling.
Day is weirdly and floridly evasive on virtually every topic Pakman brings up, from rape to the intentions of #Gamergate, and while he’s never willing to say outright that he was wrong about anything Pakman puts before him, he’s remarkably unwilling to take responsibility for the words he’s written, sounding very little like the “alpha male” he so often proclaims himself to be.
Here’s the video, if you have 45 minutes to spare:
@laughnwitch on Twitter, the first of several people who alerted me to this video
EDIT: I noted that Pakman has changed the title of his video.