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MRAs are outraged that in Scotland, a man can’t rape his wife in her sleep

Fellas! Here’s a good thing you can do when your wife is asleep

By David Futrelle

If you want to know how Men’s Rights Activists are adjusting to the #MeToo era, well, over on A Voice for Men they’re currently getting mad about a ten-year-old Scottish law that makes it illegal to rape someone when they’re asleep.

In a post originally published on Rebel Priest — a reactionary British site filled with denunciations of such things as “transgenderism,” diversity,and “Cultural Marxism” — UK commercial law professor and former UKIP candidate Andrew Tettenborn laments that in 2009 the “oh so woke” Scottish government passed a rape law that forbid men and women from having sex with someone unable to give consent — including (as one might imagine) people who are literally asleep.

“If you want to have sex with your wife,” Tettenborn complains, “you must always thoroughly wake her up first.”

The editors at AVFM see this law as so self-evidently outrageous that they used this bit of his post as a pull quote:

As Tettenborn sees it, this law — and a recent appeals court decision upholding the whole no-sex-with-sleeping-people part of it — basically

licenses the law in Scotland to poke its nose into what one might reasonably think were the entirely unobjectionable bedroom practices of a fair number of people up and down North Britain.

Not only does he see literally penetrating someone who’s asleep to not be rape; he also seems to think it’s sort of sweet and romantic.

Imagine a long-standing and loving couple in bed: as often happens, she wakes up in the middle of the night with him (again putting matters delicately) inside her, and thereafter both take pleasure in the whole event.

Well, yes, it’s possible that the woman in question might enjoy it. It’s also possible that she will feel completely violated by someone literally penetrating her body in her sleep. The point of the law is that there’s no way to know if she consents because PEOPLE WHO ARE ASLEEP CANNOT BY DEFINITION GIVE CONSENT. BECAUSE THEY ARE ASLEEP.

When you literally cannot know if someone wants to have sex or not, it’s always a good idea to err on the side of NOT RAPING THEM.

It’s also against the law to get people to sign legal documents in their sleep by putting a pen in their hand and moving it around with your hand.

But in Tettenborn’s view, the rights of a man who wants to penetrate his sleeping wife because, hey, she might be into it, outweighs the right of a woman to not have someone put penises or anything else in her while she’s asleep.

Tettenborn is also worried that these terrible women who don’t want to be penetrated in their sleep — or when they’re blackout drunk — could turn around and “blackmail” their husbands or boyfriends by … reporting a rape as a rape.

The possibilities it opens up for blackmail by a jilted or dissatisfied partner are frightening: however much both parties may have previously enjoyed somnolent or drunken sex, she can now put entirely unfair pressure on him and say that if he doesn’t do as she wants she will make a rape complaint, with all the official sympathy and credulousness of the feminist movement behind her, and correspondingly painful consequences for him.

Scotland has a population of 5.4 million. There were 107 rape convictions in 2017-2018. Less than half of all rape cases brought to court in Scotland lead to conviction; this is the lowest conviction rate for any crime. (The average acquittal rate for all crimes in Scotland is 6%.)

So yes, clearly the most pressing rape issue in Scotland today is “blackmail” by some capricious women who suddenly decides she doesn’t like her husband sticking his dick in her while she’s asleep.

Naturally, the comments on AVFM were as bad as the post itself.

“I suppose that Scottish men should stop sleeping in the same bed with their wives,” whined someone called 2cyer.

they probably sexually assault them several times a night by accident, under the definitions that feminists come up with, ipso facto.

“These expanded definitions and all encompassing laws only ever serve to control men interestingly,” complained Andrew0007. “As if the aim of feminism is a totalitarian state where men are strictly and rigidly controlled by … women.”

Andrew literally could not be more wrong. In fact, the 2009 law that outlawed sleep sex was also the first law in Scotland to recognize that men can be victims of rape.

Men’s Rights activists claim to care about the rights of male rape victims. But on AVFM, at least, they’re apparently much more concerned about the rights of men who somehow find it impossible to wait until a woman is awake before they try to have sex with her.

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Lainy
Lainy
1 year ago

What a bunch of fucking cowards

Mexican Hot Chocolate
Mexican Hot Chocolate
1 year ago

If you literally can’t wait until the other person is awake enough to a) consent and b) enjoy it, then maybe sex isn’t it for you.

Weatherwax
Weatherwax
1 year ago

licenses the law in Scotland to poke its nose into what one might reasonably think were the entirely unobjectionable bedroom practices of a fair number of people up and down North Britain.

North Britain? That’s an unfamiliar turn of phrase. I can only assume the OP thinks his readers are so uninformed, they don’t know where Scotland is. I’m not even Scottish and I’m irritated. Scotland isn’t a sodding region. It’s a nation.

they probably sexually assault them several times a night by accident

To paraphrase Toby Ziegler, “do they trip over something?”.

Cyborgette
Cyborgette
1 year ago

Oh hell no.

There is not much in this life that feels worse than having someone take advantage of you when in a state of complete helplessness. Tettenborn and every single one of the men agreeing with him are the absolute lowest of the low.

(And that slimebag is a professor? Gods, I feel terrible for any students he might have.)

tim gueguen
1 year ago

You’d think these dips would want a law like that, so they can go after women who try to steal semen while they’re sleeping. You can be sure that some of them actually believe that’s a thing.

Bina
1 year ago

To these wankers, a marriage licence is apparently all the “consent” they ever need.

Let’s hope they all get jilted and stay that way.

CakeFace
CakeFace
1 year ago

It has never been more important to trust women

Robert
Robert
1 year ago

To paraphrase a joke a friend told me once, some men think saying ‘wake up’ is foreplay.

Apparently, some men think even that is too much effort.

Viscaria
Viscaria
1 year ago

Imagine a long-standing and loving couple in bed: as often happens, she wakes up in the middle of the night with him (again putting matters delicately) inside her, and thereafter both take pleasure in the whole event.

Way to describe one of the most horrifying things I could imagine happening to me like it’s just, you know, like, no big deal, dude.

Ellesar
Ellesar
1 year ago

His imagined scenario of a woman waking up and finding her husband already fucking her is likely to have a high failure rate. But the fact that she MIGHT be OK with it is apparently enough for him.

Also WHY would someone want to have sex with a sleeping person? Seeing as how there is that whole pesky thing of maybe they don’t want to do that?!

Ooglyboggles
Ooglyboggles
1 year ago

Well reading their posts certainly is a way to wake up.

Richard Gadsden
Richard Gadsden
1 year ago

North Britain? That’s an unfamiliar turn of phrase. I can only assume the OP thinks his readers are so uninformed, they don’t know where Scotland is. I’m not even Scottish and I’m irritated. Scotland isn’t a sodding region. It’s a nation.

This is much worse than that. It was a term used in the eighteenth century by the English to rub in that Scotland had been effectively annexed to England in the (1707) Act of Union. It was deliberately insulting at the time and is even more colonialist and insulting now.

Lainy
Lainy
1 year ago

My fiance had a fantasy about being woken up by oral sex and we did try that but even though half of the fantasy was about it being suprised I could never feel comfortable about doing that. The time we did do that before we went to bed I told him I was gonna do that and if it was okay to wake him up the next morning like that. He loved it and I’m sure the talk we had before was consent to it. That’s the only type of situation I could ever think about such a thing being okay and even that has very thin lines.

Raul
Raul
1 year ago

With Islamic terrorism the things like wahabbism, hate preachers and angry young men were quickly identified and the threat posed by them taken very seriously. Initially it was assumed this were just disaffected young men who has no life prospects who were being radicalized but then it was discovered most actual terrorists were educated and came from affluent backgrounds and the threat profiles changed. A lot of these people were being radicalized online. This was, is, and will continue to be treated as a serious threat. The entire flying experience has changed on the last 2 decades, billions of dollars have been spent on security, billions of man hours have been expended by flyer on security and entire departments with multi billion dollar budgets like the TSA in the US were created. Global co-operation among security services to identify and clamp down on both hate and violence were in motion and entire surveillance states have been erected on the basis of preventing attacks.

Why are incels, the far right being treated with kid gloves when they pose the same threat. The same pattern of hate preachers, the same pattern of angry young men, the same violence and terrorist attacks but beyond that nothing. Even on this site the occasional peddlers of hate who come here are engaged and treated as if they are rational. On a website tracking terrorism its highly unlikely a supporter justifying terrorism or spouting hateful rhetoric will be treated as a rational actor who can be engaged in civilized discourse.

The whole pattern of identifying increasingly ridiculous behavior and rhetoric and real violence and terrorism are treated in a disconnected context less fashion given these individuals pose a real threat and its difficult for the lay reader to contextualize some of this information, as if there are all these individuals promoting hate and violence are somehow normal and people will just co-exist?

For instance who are these people, what is their profile, are they limited to specific countries, is this a US only thing, are they predominantly white given the racism or is this across races and countries, what are the age groups, are they young, educated or individuals without prospects getting radicalized online, are they young adults who hate women after experiences or are they teenagers who have no real contact or connections with girls, who are the leading hate preachers, how are they organizing, can the violence be predicted, how are they getting linked up with the far right, what is the basis. Where are the psychological profiles, the sociological research. the opinions of the security services and terrorist experts, education and awareness programs in schools and universities, teacher training, outreach to parents. It seems there is zero response to by all accounts a threat as serious and hateful as Islamic terrorism. And this is strange, as strange as all the things posted here that make it increasingly more bizarre.

Rabid Rabbit
Rabid Rabbit
1 year ago

David, I know commenters here have said this many times, but I don’t know how you put up with reading all this shit. Thank you for doing it so I can stay informed by only reading your comments on it, and not the shit itself.

The next time you feel you have to take a mental health break, I’m sure you’ll be pleased to know you’re not alone: https://www.wired.com/story/existential-crisis-plaguing-online-extremism-researchers/

As for this guy, I’d love to know what he’s teaching his commercial law students. It’s fine to go into someone’s store when it’s closed and take something off the shelf, so long as you leave exact change and don’t break anything getting in?

Alex
Alex
1 year ago

My ex-husband (and he’s an ex for a reason) loved the idea of “waking me up with sex.” I was on heavy, heavy medication at the time, and I could sleep through construction and the discharge of artillery. I literally slept through a fire alarm once. The amount of times I woke up with him already doing his business, using me as an unconscious sex doll with a pulse …

Well, suffice to say, “marital rape” was in the divorce papers. I went to therapy for ages to de-sensitize myself to being touched in my sleep. I stopped that medicine that I needed cold turkey the minute I could with any reasonable amount of safety, and I’m still afraid to sleep some nights, even though my current spouse would never, ever do that to me. I mean, it was just harmless intimacy to violate my body without my consent, right? I’m just a snowflake.

But sure, sleep rape is totally romantic and outlawing it is the death of marital bliss. It took well into the 90s for marital rape to even be a thing, but I’m sure these assholes think that’s also violating the right of a husband to their spouse’s body, because as we know, marriage stopped having any romance or sexual meaning when women were allowed to be separate legal people, to say nothing of the havoc we queers have caused by getting married at all.

I hope these rancid cabbages choke on a doorknob before they violate a sleeping person that trusts them.

Lainy
Lainy
1 year ago

@Alex

I’m so sorry for what you’ve been through

weirwoodtreehugger: chief manatee

Alex,

That’s terrible. I’m glad you got away from him.

In other news, I just experienced the YouTube recommending Nazis for no real reason thing for myself. Usually it doesn’t happen to me that much, but they just decided that because I’m watching the 1990 US gymnastics championships, naturally, I must want to see Pewdiepie addressing the Nazis saying we should subscribe to him issue next. The fuck? How would an algorithm even do that unless YouTube has actively decided to promote it.

Rabid Rabbit
Rabid Rabbit
1 year ago

@Alex:

Seconding Lainy. CW for the horrible sarcasm I’m about to add:
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Well, sure! If you hadn't woken up, you'd never have known, so no harm done, right? When you think about it, it's all your fault for not sleeping the whole way through.
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Ick. Well, that was unpleasant to write. And I have no doubt that some asshats out there wouldn't be able to see all the ways it's wrong.

Tyke
Tyke
1 year ago

Maybe try talking to your spouse to find out if it’s something they are actually into! Renew the assurance every time you think you might want to try it.

“Hey, would it be all right if…?”
“Not tonight.”
“OK.”
Boom. Done. It’s so easy to not rape.

Anonymous
Anonymous
1 year ago

If a woman was really into being penetrated in their sleep, I’d assume that all this guy’s complaining would be solved by simply getting the woman’s consent in advance.

Granted, scheduling that sort of thing probably would take too much effort for them, but it could work in theory.

Anonymous
Anonymous
1 year ago

Lainy –

you both *agreed in advance* to do it. Totally different moral situation. Consent in sex is all-important.

Alex –

Jeez. Sorry to hear that. I’ll bet he never saw what the problem was, and was shocked you’re so *oversensitive*, right?

Wetherby
Wetherby
1 year ago

What’s particularly telling about all this is that nobody seems to be bothered about whether the woman is sexually aroused first. Personally, I’d have thought that the resulting discomfort would make this experience just as unpleasant for the man, but then again I’ve never been the tiniest bit inclined to rape anybody in any other way either so I have no idea how these people think.

CarrieV
CarrieV
1 year ago

If I weren’t banned from posting over at A Voice for Shitheaded Men, I’d definitely let them know that ANY man — no matter how much I loved, adored, or relied upon him — would have a dick after raping me in my sleep. And that’s precisely what inserting anything into a sleeping woman’s butt or cooch is.

My ex-husband (a pretty great guy up until the end) would always hug and fondle me in a pretty non-sexual manner when I was asleep. It was just to wake me up gently so he could ask if we could have sex. Sometimes upon waking the next morning he’d tell me I growled at him the night before, which was apparently my very sleepy way of saying ‘no’.

But seriously, if someone thought it were OK to just initiate sex when I’m not equally into it, I’d happily go Lorena Bobbitt on his ass dick.

Ohlmann
Ohlmann
1 year ago

MRAs don’t see women as human, exhibit #3878. (and I couldn’t even read entirely the post of Alex)

Then again, from my experience, a lot of privileged people don’t see *anyone* other than themselves as human. I wonder how it’s even possible to have so few empathy. Aren’t they unbearably lonely ?

My catchphrase is more or less “I hate people”, but I still need talking with fellow people with their diverging objectives and different way of thinking to feel that I am awake in the real world and not just lost in a dream. Even though I can understand one become a ball of hatred, I can’t really understand the second step of acting like thoses other peoples are mechanical puppets.

Citerior Motive
Citerior Motive
1 year ago

Scot (by adoption) and independence supported here. ‘North Britain’ was a very fashionable name in the 18th century among the Scottish upper classes that had pushed through the Act of Union in 1707. They pretty much wanted to erase their Scottishness and assimilate Scotland into England. Fortunately they failed.

The name survived in the North British Railway, one of two* competing Scottish railway companies, which existed from 1844 until the creation of the government-owned British Rail in 1948. The tendency to undervalue Scottish culture continues in opponents of independence to this day.

* The other was the Caledonian Railway, whose short-distance ferry operation survived after nationalization to become half of the Scottish ferry company Caledonian MacBrayne, which still operates most of the ferry routes in the Hebrides and Firth of Clyde.

JM
JM
1 year ago

North Britain? So I presume the author is posting from South Canada then.

Anyway, this is depressing as fuck and all too familiar. I used to provide advice on a relationship advice subreddit, and stopped for two reason – 1 became a full time youth counsellor so needed a break from that, and 2- how often a woman would say “I was raped by my partner in her sleep” to be told “No you weren’t. That’s not rape”

And the arguments were always the same, either

“Well, I wouldn’t have minded if you did it to me, therefore I don’t see what your problem is”
or
“Are you sure you didn’t consent?”

These guys, completely random guys, would be absolutely insistent on it, keeping at it for days, insisting that sleep rape was consensual sex and going into hysterics when anyone said otherwise.

Knitting Cat Lady
Knitting Cat Lady
1 year ago

Reason #842375 I am happy to be asexual AND aromantic.

I don’t need sex and I don’t need pair bonding. Bullet dodged!

Viscaria
Viscaria
1 year ago

@Alex, I’m so sorry about what he did to you and what you experienced.

Cyborgette
Cyborgette
1 year ago

@Alex

Oh gods, that is a nightmare. I am so sorry, and glad you got away from that bastard.

@WWTH

So IDK what goes on in Youtube’s suggestion algorithms exactly, but I have it from inside sources that Google has had a fascist problem for a while – like, alt-right aligned employees have been making things hard for everyone else, and especially for minority employees. Some people have left the company just because of that. IDK how high up it goes, but it wouldn’t surprise me if some of the resistance to fixing Youtube came from far-right elements inside the company.

Hambeast
Hambeast
1 year ago

Alex, I’m so sorry for your experiences with your ex. This Tettenborn person and his supporters can go chew on dead rats. (Hope that doesn’t violate the comments policy.)

*CONTENT WARNING* for describing my experiences with sleep rape.

Buckle up, kids, this’ll be a long one.

I used to sleep very heavily* in my 20s and this happened to me twice. It was horrible both times but one I consider rape and the other I don’t. Why? It was what happened after that made the difference for me.

The first time was with a boyfriend I’d been seeing for a couple of weeks. When I woke up in the middle of him fucking me, I got upset and started crying. He didn’t believe I’d been asleep. I struggled and begged him to stop, which he didn’t until he finished. It left me angry and bruised but, TBH, I didn’t even see this as rape until the early 2000s even though it was a hellish experience.

The second time was with a one night stand. When I woke up in the middle of him fucking me, I got upset and started crying. This guy did believe me when I told him I’d been asleep until that moment. He immediately stopped what he was doing because he was pretty freaked out himself, but he held me and comforted me until we were both calmed down. I felt validated and my fear and bewilderment were mitigated, so we went back to sleep and had some more nice sex in the morning after the guy made *very* sure I was really awake. I never saw him again, but I never forgot him!

I started warning sex partners after that and it thankfully never happened again.

@Wetherby – In both of my experiences, I was apparently willing and wet before the penetration commenced, but I was also still sound asleep and unable to consent. Which is why this is really tripping my trigger! Also, lube in the bedside table is a thing.

*I’d also been known to answer my phone and have pretty much normal conversations that I never remembered. An in-person conversation, too, once.

tim gueguen
1 year ago

@JM, your experience reminds me of the study that showed people will admit to sexually assaulting others if you don’t use the terms sexual assault or rape, but merely describe what they did. Too many people still think it’s only rape if the attacker matches the “masked man with a knife in the bushes” stereotype.

C.A.Collins
C.A.Collins
1 year ago

There is a parasomnia, I think it’s the REM one, that can lead to people acting out in their sleep. I’m told (by various partners) I can tribadize a leg while still out like a light. If someone thought that was concent to sex and I woke up being penetrated… Eww, that’s all I’ve got to say about it.

Yutolia the Green Hash Pronoun Boner
Yutolia the Green Hash Pronoun Boner
1 year ago

@Alex: I’m so sorry you went through that. My ex used to do the same thing to me.

He also body shamed me when doing this, because whenever I woke up, his excuse was that he had to do it while I was asleep with the lights off. He claimed I was “too overweight” to do it any other way than in the dark, half asleep. Doctors, everyone else said my weight was fine. I developed an eating disorder over this.

I can’t believe I put up with that crap for so long. But he was so good at manipulating…

Not Edward
Not Edward
1 year ago

The attitude appears to be that getting the other person turned on and into it is for these people a tediously necessary chore in order to get to make use of the other person’s body, rather than being with another person wanting you as well being rather the principle point of the exercise. Hence the outrage that you have to go to all trouble of still bothering about someone’s wishes, feelings and desires even when you have already done them the huge favour of marrying them just so you didn’t have to.
(NB Just in case, for careless readers: the above is a speculative description of the incel mindset as described in the above article, not my own views.)

Epicurus Hog
Epicurus Hog
1 year ago

That’s a very nice hypothetical scenario this person described. I’m sure both imaginary people had a ton of fun. Here’s another one: A couple is lying in bed. The man wants to have sex but the woman doesn’t. He waits until she falls asleep and penetrates her while she’s unconscious.

This is rape.

“How am I supposed to know the difference?” fucking ask. Ask while she’s awake. “I’d like to do this, are you okay with it?”. Same as anything else that has to do with sex, make sure the other person is into it beforehand. You can’t go around playing lotto with something as emotionally charged and personal as sex unless you’re fine with the possibility of seriously hurting your partner’s feelings.

kupo
kupo
1 year ago

Same as anything else that has to do with sex, make sure the other person is into it beforehand.

But that kills the mood! /s

(This is an actual argument an ex made. Any discussion of likes, dislikes, etc. kills the “spontaneity” and thus the mood. 🙄)

Hambeast
Hambeast
1 year ago

Kupo – One of my very favorite partners was the one with whom I had the most “mood killing” discussions. Before, during, after; we talked about the sex we had a LOT. And we had a lot of sex! We both enjoyed the talking and the sexing.

If talking about what kind of sex you want to have with someone is a mood killer, I think you must be doing it wrong.

It would most certainly spoil an assault, though, which is likely why these guys hate the idea so much.

Jenora Feuer
Jenora Feuer
1 year ago

Personally, I would that a lot of the ‘non-spontaneity’ would also be considered ‘foreplay’.

(Me, I’m mostly asexual but not aromantic. At least as far as I can tell. I’m human; it’s complicated.)

@Yutolia:

I can’t believe I put up with that crap for so long. But he was so good at manipulating…

There was a session on the radio this morning about the trial starting up against Keith Raniere of the sex cult/’self help group’ NXIVM, which included talking to people who had been in that and other cults, and some of the discussion about how people get sucked into them.

It came to mind (and was almost said in the show) that when you get right down to it, the whole ‘I’m too smart to fall for that sort of thing’ is:
A) beside the point, because by the time you realize it actually is that sort of thing you’ve probably already been inside for a while, because groups like that almost never reveal themselves to the new marks (this part was actively mentioned in the discussion);
B) wrong, because smart people are often also better at coming up with justifications for why they’re still going along with it after things changed;
C) actively contributing to the problem, because it’s still victim-blaming bullshit at one remove.

Which is a long way to say that from everything I’ve learned about this, ‘I can’t believe I put up with that crap for so long’ is one of those things that is much easier to say after the nightmare is over.

Alex
Alex
1 year ago

Thanks for the validation of my immense horror with my ex, y’all, honestly. He did say I was oversensitive, and told all my former friends that I was hysterical and crazy because I misinterpreted him being playful and spontaneous in bed.

Thankfully, that’s a good while back. And I have people who believe me now. But it’s really hard to get people to hear you as a man who was a victim of spousal rape. It really is. It’s why I lean into “Believe Survivors,” because being a victim knows no gender.

Hambeast
Hambeast
1 year ago

I think there’s a reason that “sleeping with someone” is a euphemism for having sex; it’s one of the most intimate things you can do with someone outside of sex. It requires a fair bit of trust to do in someone else’s presence because sleep is a state of vulnerability that is recognized throughout the animal kingdom.

How many movies, books, TV shows, etc. have scenes with people in situations where they feel they need one of their group to keep watch while others sleep? I mean, hell, we all had to take our turn in basic training getting up in the middle of the night to do our two-hour night watch shift!

So, yeah. Raping someone in their sleep isn’t playful or spontaneous, it’s fucked up.

ayanna
ayanna
1 year ago

You can only have one or the other as of now. You can either protect men from false allegations by not having any laws on rape, or you can protect women from rape, by having laws on it. Women are much, much, much, much more likely to be raped than men are to have some bitch lie about it. Who is in greater, more immediate danger? What will help the most people? What will keep morals in check? Anti-rape laws. If they’re truly worried about men in that regard, press to have laws made that help protect them, but don’t call to take away the safety nets of women just because you can’t understand why we wouldn’t want someone sticking their dick in us while we’re sleeping.