A follow-up on sexual predators

I confess to feeling uncomfortable with the tone of some of the comments beneath my post yesterday about welcoming the sex offender into the community. Several male commenters who normally disagree with almost everything I write were strongly supportive of my anti-vigilantism stance.

Now, I don’t automatically worry if my critics suddenly start agreeing with me. As they say, even a broken clock is likely to be right twice a day, and perhaps yesterday was such a day for my men’s rights advocate friends. But what does worry me a bit is the sense I get from some of the comments (and this is more implicit than explicit) that their support for my position is rooted in a sense that sex crimes are frequently exaggerated, and that those who are forced to register as offenders may often be those whose crimes were petty, or who were falsely accused.

One of the staples of the anti-feminist men’s movement is an insistence that rape statistics (at least those statistics that indicate that large numbers of women and girls are sexually assaulted by men) are exaggerated. There’s a widespread conviction, too, that false accusations of rape and molestation are common, and are a regular tactic in divorce and custody cases. There’s a lot of argument from anecdote, and relatively little solid evidence, but it’s something that I see my MRA friends return to again and again. And I’m wondering if they are piggy-backing on my sympathy for a man who is being hounded by his community to make a very different point altogether.

I think it’s possible to welcome a sex offender into the community and embrace him as a neighbor while simultaneously acknowledging the severity of his transgression. My support for Michael Miletti was not rooted in the sense that he was falsely accused, or that what he did to his daughter wasn’t terrible indeed. My support for him is rooted in the conviction that he is my fellow human being, a man who has (in the eyes of the state) paid for his crime. To use the well-known phrase, I’m arguing for the “love the sinner, hate the sin” approach to sex crimes; it would seem that some of my commenters are arguing the “love the sinner, and the sin of which they are accused is frequently not serious, or false” position. That troubles me.

In a volunteer capacity, and as part of men’s group work, I’ve spent time with men who had committed rape, molestation, and other forms of sexualized violence. When I was in a Twelve Step program, one of my first sponsors was a man who had gone to jail for molesting a niece (years and years earlier). He was deeply aware of the wrong he had done, and made no excuses or attempts to explain his prior actions. He had made amends, done his time, and spent years and years on his “inner work” to make certain that he was absolutely, positively, safe. I could love him with all my heart, and still think what he did was wrong, and still be glad he went to jail for it. I rejoiced that he had been changed for the better by his prison experience, which doesn’t always happen. But I wasn’t sorry he went. Neither was he.

I want to be clear that I am not accusing all men’s rights advocates of being unconcerned with the victims of sexual predators. Yet I want to make it absolutely clear that I am combining a personal horror at the crime, a strong belief in justice, and a commitment to creating a world where both the survivors of sexual abuse and those who have paid the penalty for perpetrating that abuse can live peaceably. As someone who works with young people in a professional and para-professional capacity, I am deeply interested in their physical and emotional safety. And that can concern can happily coexist with a willingness to reach out to those who have offended, to bond with them and befriend them and welcome them into the neighborhood.

44 thoughts on “A follow-up on sexual predators

  1. One of the staples of the anti-feminist men’s movement is an insistence that rape statistics (at least those statistics that indicate that large numbers of women and girls are sexually assaulted by men) are exaggerated. There’s a widespread conviction, too, that false accusations of rape and molestation are common, and are a regular tactic in divorce and custody cases. There’s a lot of argument from anecdote, and relatively little solid evidence, but it’s something that I see my MRA friends return to again and again.

    The “one in four women is raped” statistic IS exaggerated. False accusations of rape ARE common as any Law Enforcement officer will tell you. See this article:

    http://www.salon.com/news/1999/03/cov_10news.html

  2. It is true that there are an enormous number of women/girls raped and it is good that society is outraged. At the same time there are a scary number of cases where a guy convicted of rape has been freed later on by DNA evidence. In Illinois it has been striking how often these wrongly convicted “rapists” are minority men with little education and criminal histories consisting of minor infractions. They have been the victims of a police/judiciary complex hellbent on making SOMEBODY pay.

    Hugo is living the Christian ideal of “loving the sinner,” but “hating the sin.”

  3. davev wrote:

    It is true that there are an enormous number of women/girls raped and it is good that society is outraged.

    While I don’t agree–and because of the rather nebulous definition of “rape” in common parlance, really can’t agree–that an “enormous” number of rapes occur, I feel strongly that even one rape is too many. It is important to remember here, too, that the term “sexual offense,” when used properly, refers to crimes of a sexual nature against men, women, boys, and girls. Likewise, “sexual offender,” when used properly and in a nondiscriminatory way, allows for the reality of female sex offenders. Indeed, we are not speaking only of “rape” here.

    At the same time there are a scary number of cases where a guy convicted of rape has been freed later on by DNA evidence. In Illinois it has been striking how often these wrongly convicted “rapists” are minority men with little education and criminal histories consisting of minor infractions. They have been the victims of a police/judiciary complex hellbent on making SOMEBODY pay.

    The number of false accusations is indeed staggering and totally unacceptable.

  4. In our history punishing alleged rapists that have turned out to be innocent (and for the most part, minority males) has been less about protecting women but more about punishing minority males. In a related fashion, it has often been about protecting white female purity from being corrupted by the minority male. Acknowledging this hardly gives credence to the notion of an “enormous” rate of false reporting of rape. Acer already provided the numbers in the other thread on sexual predators.

    The logic behind the incredible suspicion many of the people posting in this thread have of women and their apparent incessant desire to get revenge by bringing shame to themselves and family by filing false rape charges is astounding. I’d type more, but I’m plotting a false claim of sexual abuse, and it’ll take me all night to get the details perfect!

  5. This is certainly a good addendum, but one motivating factor of the MRA concurrence is, I think, a true moment of broken-clock strong agreement with them on my part; the notion that “sex offender” status in CA can attach to relatively minor crime (solicitation, for example) if you’re lawyer isn’t competent enough to get it in the plea deal. The only way I think the “sex offender” status public stigmatization can possibly be justified is public safely, not a form of punishment in and of itself. And I’m far from convinced that living next to someone who tried to hire a prostitute once when he was 18 is a public safety issue.

  6. The “one in four women is raped” statistic IS exaggerated.

    Luckily, no one has ever argued that. The study that refers to is Mary Koss’ study that found that one in four college aged women had been the victim of attempted rape, and one in eight had been raped. The FBI estimates agree with Koss, roughly, and they also demonstrate that on 8% of rape complaints—which are not accusations—are false. The MRA myth is that women regret their dirty, dirty sluttitude and accuse men of rape because there’s no other way to get out of being a dirty, dirty slut than have a defense attorney call you that repeatedly for weeks on end in court. The truth is that most false complaints are made to get attention or out of trouble for something, and rarely are actual men fingered, but the false victim instead relies on the stranger rape example so she doesn’t implicate more people in her story.

    Anyway. No matter. My problem with the sex offender registries is that they are extralegal punishment and would be unconstitutional if we had common sense about these things. On top of it, they don’t distinguish well between some minor crimes, some major ones, and some things that shouldn’t be crimes. In fact, from what I’ve seen, they tend to mostly consistent of the people who’ve committed things that shouldn’t be crimes or minor offenses—things that are easy to plead guilty to—to a disproportionate degree. The guy who raped me had some serious charges against him, so he pled down and got the sex offender status wiped as part of his plea agreement. In contrast, I looked at the registry in my neighborhood and found a lot of men on there for having sex with 15 year old girlfriends when they were 18. That’s ridiculous. The fact that the registry has men who are not rapists by any sane measure on it but does not have the guy who actually raped me on it speaks volumes.

  7. At the same time there are a scary number of cases where a guy convicted of rape has been freed later on by DNA evidence. In Illinois it has been striking how often these wrongly convicted “rapists” are minority men with little education and criminal histories consisting of minor infractions.

    You are leaving out a very important detail, and I think you’re doing it on purpose. Those men were not convicted merely of rape. They were convicted of rape and murder and sitting on death row. The issues surrounding violent rape and murder of a white daughter of the middle class have little to nothing to do with the sort of rape that MRAs defend, the far more common kind where the rapist knows his victim and permits her to live.

  8. The “one in four women is raped” statistic IS exaggerated.

    But see also this post from Amp about that stat.

    evil_fizz, are you seriously trying to defend this (much denied now by feminists) myth?

    Not only that, are you then trying to make it credible by using Ampersand as a source?

    Anyway, Hugo – I didn’t see in the other thread any MRAs defending rapists or genuine sex offenders (i.e those who actually sexually abused their victims) – I don’t see any reason to defend this very tiny minority of men – who are often the template some radical feminists like to describe men in general with – MRAs need such awful men grossly misrepresenting all males like they need a hole in the head.

    No, from what I saw in the other thread was a strong MRA voice saying : look, the sex offender register is a joke. It is a joke because all kinds of behaviours can land you on the list – from using a prostitute to having consensual sex with your girlfriend (who is a year underage), to urinating in public, to abducting your child away from your spouse (even if it is in the true safety of the child). Reasons that will not put your neighbours well-being in any jeopardy whatsoever. But offenses that will make people lazily assume you’re a child rapist (Angry Mobs don’t let facts get in the way of their self-righteousness).

    I would have thought feminists would be agreeing with the MRAs here about this. I mean, what good does it do to dilute the meaning of ‘sex offender’? You think this dilution is going to protect people? Let’s call a rapist a rapist. Let’s call a child abuser a child abuser. By diluting the meaning, all it’s going to do is make people think “actually, he probably just visited a prostitute or something” even though he was actually convicted of sexually abusing children – it can work the other way around.

    Somewhere along the line, I truly believe some feminists forgot that their ideology was about helping women and not about punishing men.

  9. evil_fizz, are you seriously trying to defend this (much denied now by feminists) myth?

    uh, no. I am pointing out the existence of other commentary. Does this present some sort of problem? (Also, Cathy Young as the source of the original doesn’t exactly give me warm cozy feelings.)

    As far as the issue of diluting the meaning of sex offender goes, I am reminded of an article I read in Rolling Stone several years ago talking about spring break hot spots. One of them noted that skinny dipping in the hotel pool was a terrible idea because it could get you nailed for indecent exposure and put on the sex offender lists.

    Having lived in New Jersey through the entire Megan Kanka saga, one of the things that I always found interesting was that there were a number of suggestions that people in the community knew that Jesse Timmendequas and his housemates were bad news. (Whereas in the Samantha Runnion case, a registry would have made no difference, since her murderer had no priors.)

  10. I think your post here constructs a contradiction where there need not be one.

    When it comes to rape stats… it’s really really hard to tell what the actual numbers are. But I’ve noticed a disturbing trend among my friends over the years: the closer my friendship is with a woman, the higher the chances that she will at some point tell me about the time she got raped or abused or coerced into a sexual act she didn’t want. It almost as if the variable isn’t “did it happen” but “are we close enough friends that she’ll tell me about it”. Extrapolating from my admittedly very nonrandom (but pretty large) sample, I wouldn’t be surprised if the actual number is closer to 50% than to the 10%-15% that solid research can confirm.

    On the other hand, it’s also very easy to find instances of people accused or conviced of “sex crimes” who either didn’t do it, or did it where “it” is not something that indicates they’re dangerous people. Whatever you think of the age of consent in general, you have to admit that someone convicted of a “sex crime” for having enthusiastically consensual sex with their long term serious boyfriend/girlfriend because said partner was below the age of consent in their state, is probably not showing signs of being particularly dangerous or deserving of ostracism. Yet it does happen.

    We see a wide range of questionable cases. When a mother has to give up her baby to the state after being accused of child abuse because she admitted she felt pleasure from breastfeeding, that’s completely ridiculous. In contrast, there was the recent case of a guy convicted of rape, where the girl said yes because, she later testified, she felt uncomfortable saying no in the social context, but he appears to have believed she was giving voluntary consent. Then, while they were having sex, she changed her mind, told him to stop, and he did, but only after a short while (10 seconds, IIRC?). It seems that he did wrong, and she got hurt, and there’s some legitimacy to the conviction, but it’s clearly not a case of a dangerous predator we all need to be warned about.

    So, yes, people do get stamped “sex criminals” for reasons that are unjust, given the stigma of that stamp.

    In the meantime, many times more women will be victimized by first time rapists, by members of their family, or by their dates, who have never been accused or convicted of any sex-related crime or any crime at all, than will ever be victimized by those who are already registered.

    I understand your point, about treating all people as people, regardless of how awful a thing they may have done in the past. But I hope you’ll also understand that it’s legitimate to criticize the way “sex crimes” are handled, particularly the public registry, and that doing so in no way means the critic is dismissive of the seriousness of rape.

  11. But I’ve noticed a disturbing trend among my friends over the years: the closer my friendship is with a woman, the higher the chances that she will at some point tell me about the time she got raped or abused or coerced into a sexual act she didn’t want.

    I think there’s a massive difference between rape (forced sex, without consent) and ‘being coerced into a sexual act (you/she/he) didn’t want’. If you include the latter as a ‘rape stat’, then of course the stats are going to be high. I’ve done sexual acts I didn’t really want to do before.

    A lot of sex occurs that both men and women regret later on. You can actively do something that you don’t regret at the time, and then go on to later regret doing it. This happens in all activities we engage in. All of our actions can lead to future regret. To the reflecting mind, it’s easy to then conclude ‘I did an act I didn’t feel comfortable doing’ even though at the time you gave consent to it.

  12. Amanda said:

    The issues surrounding violent rape and murder of a white daughter of the middle class have little to nothing to do with the sort of rape that MRAs defend, the far more common kind where the rapist knows his victim and permits her to live.

    Hugo, if this were a man making such an outrageous claim, you would probably ban him.

    Amanda, what kind of evidence do you have that any MRAs “defend” rape? How dare you suggest that MRAs “defend” rape?

  13. I think there’s a massive difference between rape (forced sex, without consent) and ‘being coerced into a sexual act (you/she/he) didn’t want’.

    If you think that’s true, be careful. Next woman you force to have sex with you against her will may press charges.

    A lot of sex occurs that both men and women regret later on.

    True, but irrelevant. We’re discussing coercion, which is forcing someone to do something against her will. Making a choice you regret is not the same thing as being forced to do something you don’t want. If you have trouble distinguishing the two, you may want to maybe take a course or something before you rape someone.

  14. I’ve argued the questionable Koss study with Barry on any number of occasions, so I was hesitant to visit his site and re-visit old topics, but I went there anyway and was not disappointed: What I saw was the typical Ampersand – an amateurish, selective and highly-biased, un-documented and ultimately inaccurate and incorrect ‘analysis.’ Sigh. And so it goes. Barry’s ‘analysis’ is wrong on so many levels it makes a reasonably well-informed scientist’s head spin. I won’t go into the multitude of problems with his analyses of Koss’ equally problematic work because it’s off-topic, but if any of you want to discuss it PM me and I’ll be glad to oblige. As I’ve said elsewhere, Barry would be better off sticking to things he knows how to do reasonably well, i.e., drawing freaky cartoons.

    The “one if four” number is a complete fabrication, albeit an effective one vis-a-vis feminist propaganda goals.

    MRAs do not, and have never, defended true rapists. I challenge anyone here to cite a credible example of an MRA advocating or defending rape.

    Hugo, the only disconnect I see here between you and us MRAs is that you are willing to blindly accept anything a woman says as truth, while we correctly acknowledge that women can and do lie about sexual abuse, “rape,” etc. For you the injustice is local, i.e., your neighbor, and for us the injustice is global, i.e., the unacceptably high numbers of women getting away with ruining men’s lives via false allegations, all the while knowing that they will not be punished. Despite protestations from the likes of Amanda, the public ‘outing’ of the falsely-accused is far, far more broad and problematic than that of the false-accuser, who in all but the most extraorinary cases (e.g., Kobe Bryant, Duke LaCrosse) gets to remain nameless in the news media, protected from charges of perjury, false allegations, etc. The worst she has to endure is the concern of people who she chooses to tell, e.g., family members, etc., and IMO in most cases the feedback might be uncomfortable but it isn’t hostile. No such luck for the falsely-accused man who is ‘outed’ by the media, is hounded by his neighbors, abandoned by his friends and even some relatives, etc. For him there truly is no port in the storm, even if the woman lied her ass off in retribution for some petty insult like not calling her back right away after a night of sex.

    For us MRAs, false allegations are a big issue because they affect a huge number of innocent men. And IMO false allegations should be a big issue for all persons who respect and honor justice.

  15. I just want to concur with what Amanda said about the ways that one can get on to a sex offender registry. I also want to point out, regarding the post upthread about minorities being more disproportionately convicted of these sorts of crimes and later being exonerated, that just because the person accused/convicted was later found innocent doesn’t necessarily mean that the crime didn’t occur. It seems to me (without any hard evidence, just my gut feeling) that it’s more likely that the woman in question *was* raped/assaulted/etc., the police got the wrong guy, the woman involved can’t make a positive ID, and the poor guy arrested had the bad luck to be in the wrong place at the wrong time with enough circumstantial evidence to convict. Really sucks for the guy and I absolutely don’t support the incarceration (or ruining of the reputation) of innocent people, but it still doesn’t mean that the crime didn’t happen or that the woman was lying about being raped. Of course, this scenario is way more likely to occur in cases of violent stranger rape than in other situations (date rape, spousal abuse, etc.).

  16. Hugo: I’m arguing for the “love the sinner, hate the sin” approach to sex crimes; it would seem that some of my commenters are arguing the “love the sinner, and the sin of which they are accused is frequently not serious, or false” position.

    Hugo, your point reminds me of the speach Father Brown gives at the conclusion of G. K. Chesterton’s short story “The Chief Mourner of Marne,” on the difference between human charity and Christian charity. The sin involved is different, but Chesterton’s attack on the hypocrisy of a society that can only forgive those sins it considers unimportant would fit right in to your argument.

    One caution: the story dates from around 1927, and contains a racist/lynching reference shortly before this speach. Chesterton is using the reference to criticise the hypocrisy of the character speaking, but the racism goes unremarked. That’s not unusual for the period, of course.

  17. I think there’s a massive difference between rape (forced sex, without consent) and ‘being coerced into a sexual act (you/she/he) didn’t want’.

    That’s odd — the latter sounds like the definition of the former to me.

  18. Amanda tells me,
    “You are leaving out a very important detail, and I think you’re doing it on purpose.”

    She doesn’t know me, yet she is assuming to know my motives and intent. How obnoxious is that? Trust me, Amanda, there are cases in Illinois involving men wrongly convicted of rape that are NOT death row cases. I actually live in Illinois and have followed some of these cases in the media. Here’s the most recent horror. http://www.suntimes.com/news/metro/165710,rape120806.article

    The Center On Wrongful Convictions at Northwestern University has done an amazing job helping those who have been railroaded. DNA evidence has been instrumental. It’s really, really hard to ejaculate semen other than your own.

    The frequency of rape is an outrage, but no one is served well when the wrong person is convicted.

  19. When I was in college, I thoroughly beleived that women never, ever, lied about being raped, for so I had been told by those more learned than me. Furthermore I beleived that one in four women were raped.

    As far as I’m concerned, 8% is astronomical considering that my original figure was zero.

    I’m astounded that Koss’s figure was actually 1 in 8. Its certainly not true that nobody ever argues 1 in 4. 1 in 4 was beaten into my read over a series of rape awareness meetings, it is even the name of a men’s group.

    I”m NOT saying that rape isn’t common, or that its not a real problem. What I AM doing is objecting to Hugo’s Stalinist thought-crime ideology. In an earlier discussion a fellow pointed out that wearing a condom was good idea, Hugo pilloried him for perepetuating the “myth” that women trap men by getting pregnant.

    In the Stalinist world view, the world is a series of competing metanarratives, and which metanarratvie you espouse is your uniform in the war of ideas. This is a very dangerous worldview, because it causes us to look not for truth, but for the most auspicious metanarrative.

    Wipe away the metanarratives and you will see: the world is an imperfect place, with messed up people doing messed up things. People rape, they abuse, they make false accusations. In the range of human experience, there is not one thing you can think of that somebody hasn’t done. Not one.

  20. Hugo, I must say, your comment threads have changed a lot since I started reading your blog…

  21. Stalinist thought-crime ideology

    Hugo was recommending that if you disagree with him, you should be summarily arrested and executed for treason? I missed that post.

    “One in four” was originally a statistic regarding how many woman would be victims of sexual assault or attempted assault during their lifetimes. I have no idea off the top of my head of the validity of that original statistic, but it gradually morphed into “one in four women will be raped”. I’ve also heard it as “one in four women will be raped by the time they are 25.”

    Funnily, though, I don’t hear too much shrieking about the “one in sex men will be raped” statistic. I guess overblown, exaggerated statistics are only bad when feminists use them.

    Trust me, Amanda, there are cases in Illinois involving men wrongly convicted of rape that are NOT death row cases.

    They’d have to be, since rape isn’t and can’t be a capital crime, viz. Coker v. Georgia.

    Anyone concerned about wrongful convictions ought to focus their outrage in a useful fashion. “Women lying about rape” is not why people get railroaded; police and judicial corruption is. Female accusers don’t torture suspects in custody, ‘lose’ evidence, use their badges to cover up perjury, or hide exculpatory evidence from an accused person’s defense lawyer. Screaming about false report rates and the Perfidy of Woman won’t put a single rogue cop or crooked prosecutor back on the path of righteousness.

  22. Mythago, don’t be silly (or is that like asking you not to be Mythago?). The reason no one shrieks about “one in six men will be raped” is that no one makes such a preposterous claim in the first place.

  23. I think there’s a massive difference between rape (forced sex, without consent) and ‘being coerced into a sexual act (you/she/he) didn’t want’.

    If you think that’s true, be careful. Next woman you force to have sex with you against her will may press charges.

    …and…

    I think there’s a massive difference between rape (forced sex, without consent) and ‘being coerced into a sexual act (you/she/he) didn’t want’.

    That’s odd — the latter sounds like the definition of the former to me.

    Actually Patsy and Stentor, my bad – I was not being clear. I was reacting to Cos’s:-

    she will at some point tell me about the time she got raped or abused or coerced into a sexual act she didn’t want. (my emphasis)

    Cos made the original distinction – and I took the latter ‘coerced into a sexual act’ to mean ‘reluctant consent’ – to which I’ve done quite a few times myself to previous sex partners who felt randy while I was not in the mood at all (a few times, woken up in fact!).

    There is a world of difference between partaking in sex with someone you know well, albeit reluctantly, and being raped.

    I hope this post is clarification of my previous posts. If you still feel reluctant consent is the same as rape, I guess you can throw ‘rape’ onto the list of words that are being watered down (just like ‘sex offender’).

  24. I’m going to go anonymous for a second, for both my reputation and the reputation of the guy in question.

    I was a product of abstinence only education. I stayed a virgin until going to college, where I decided that my education was mostly silly superstition and nonsense. I did some independent research, learned about STDs and birth control, and went out to search for a willing partner.

    Well, the one thing that they did tell us that was correct was FFS (First F*ck Syndrome). A guy who was only supposed to be a one-night stand (who should have been, because we were so horrible for each other) turned into a two year relationship. We moved in together after about a year.

    He dumped me right before spring break. However, we were still living together, and I had no where else to live (and no money saved up to put a deposit down), so I stayed in the same house, in the same bed, with my ex (no couch to speak of either). One night, when my ex was sound a sleep, I started to cry softly: I had no place to live, no money saved up, no bed, and the guy I was in love with (well, in lust what I thought was love) just dumped me. He woke up, and started to hug me…then kiss me….and then we had sex. Well, he had sex, I laid there frozen: tears still dripping out of my eyes, watching this as if I was a fly on the wall. He finished, and rolled over and went back to sleep. I got up, took a shower, and went and slept in my car.

    I never said “no”, I never pressed charges. The only thing that changed was I was jumpy and suspicious for awhile, and didn’t want sex for a long time after that.

    But, that was rape. I didn’t just “regret” what happened, I didn’t consent to it in the first place. I never said yes: he never even bothered to ask me if I was interesting (in fact, he didn’t say a word to me). So, am I “watering down rape” because I didn’t bruise? Did I water it down because I felt (and feel) stupidly ashamed about that night?

    Why is rape the only thing where an absence of a “no” equals consent?

  25. There is a world of difference between partaking in sex with someone you know well, albeit reluctantly,

    Why did you throw the “with someone you know well” in there?

  26. em>she will at some point tell me about the time she got raped or abused or coerced into a sexual act she didn’t want.

    I took this original distinction to refer not to a difference between “reluctant consent” and force, but rather a distinction between sexual coercion that legally qualifies as rape, and sexual coercion that legally qualifies as something else. Depending on just what sexual thing someone is forced to do, and what jurisdiction the two people are in, it may or may not be legally rape. I’m pretty sure that California law, for example, has multiple legal categories for coerced sexual acts.

    Why did you throw the “with someone you know well” in there?

    To be fair, if what Andrew means by “reluctant consent” is, “I’m really not in the mood, but I’ll do this because I enjoy pleasing you,” knowing each other well may matter; it’s a lot easier to tell the difference between “I’m happy to do please you even though I’m not otherwise in the mood” and “I really, really don’t want to do this, but am going along because you’ve been bothering me so much about it” if you actually know and communicate with each other well. And if you think your partner is seriously reluctant, you should stop right there, whether or not that reluctance has been expressed in a way that would make continuing legally qualify as rape. Voluntarily getting your partner off when you’re not so much in the mood to start with is another matter.

  27. To be fair, if what Andrew means by “reluctant consent” is, “I’m really not in the mood, but I’ll do this because I enjoy pleasing you,” knowing each other well may matter; it’s a lot easier to tell the difference between “I’m happy to do please you even though I’m not otherwise in the mood” and “I really, really don’t want to do this, but am going along because you’ve been bothering me so much about it” if you actually know and communicate with each other well.

    This IS what I meant (thanks Lynn for picking up on this).

    I know many feminists who say this kind of reluctant acceptance is tantamount to rape. All shades of grey default to rape. In which, case I’ve been raped multiple times, and I suspect most people have. This is what I consider to be a dilution of the definition of rape.

    He woke up, and started to hug me…then kiss me….and then we had sex. Well, he had sex, I laid there frozen: tears still dripping out of my eyes, watching this as if I was a fly on the wall. He finished, and rolled over and went back to sleep. I got up, took a shower, and went and slept in my car.

    Well ‘Didnthappentome’, the question that is vital here is: did HE know you weren’t consenting? I’ve had sex without a word spoken before by either party – it’s not like we need to always sign consent forms or clearly verbalise consent. Your behaviour could be translated as consent. If he doesn’t read your mind correctly, does that mean he is a rapist? Do you every wonder what would have happened if you’d simply said ‘no’?

    This leads me to an interesting thought: let’s say I don’t want to have sex with a woman, but go ahead with it anyway. I know feminists get stuck on the physical aspects, so let’s assume she’s on top, and I get an erection through stimulation (which is easy to achieve, and has no bearing on consent). Despite not showing a lack of consent through my behaviour, the woman is still a rapist because inside my head, I didn’t consent.

  28. Nothing quite like a rape apologist first thing in the morning.

    did HE know you weren’t consenting?

    And is there anything in her story which suggests he had a reason to presume consent? The proper response to someone you ostensibly care about lying in bed and crying is to say “Are you okay?” not to commence intercourse without a word.

  29. And is there anything in her story which suggests he had a reason to presume consent? The proper response to someone you ostensibly care about lying in bed and crying is to say “Are you okay?” not to commence intercourse without a word.

    Well, I can only go by the short account given by Didnthappentome. I have asked her a question regarding the account – I’ll wait for the answer. However, it’s very odd that you feel free to speak on her behalf, as if you were there. I guess you did answer my question though – a lack of consent completely unshown in behaviour or word spoken will still mean rape.

    Nothing quite like a rape apologist first thing in the morning.

    evil_fizz, you live up to your name. That comment is uncalled for, and just plain aggressive. You should detract such comments.

    Let me be clear, though: I am not apologising for any rapist. If anything, I’m trying to uphold any kind of meaning the word ‘rape’ has. Not wishing to see the definition of rape be watered down does not make you a rape apologist. And why would I want to apologise on behalf of a complete stranger’s actions? You are as responsible for a rapist’s actions as I am (i.e. not at all). I said earlier that a very small minority of men commit rape – and I don’t know any MRA that doesn’t want to see them serve a heavy prison sentence.

    Your problem is you assume every single accusation and interpretation of rape IS rape.

  30. Personally, my inclination is to believe that false accusations occur at the same rate across the board for various crimes. In most cases false accusations are nearly impossible to determine unless there was physical evidence involved. So while I do not think they are nearly as common as the actual crime, there is no sufficient means of determining their real frequency. In the case, I think it is better to err on the side of caution and go through the necessary steps to ensure the accusation is true.

    Until recently I had not had any personal experience with false accusations and the affects they have on those accused. I ‘knew of it’ in the way one ‘knows of’ the affects of war or genocide. This past month that changed. One of the foster kids I stay with is a convicted sex offender. Early this year the girl he was convicted of raping recanted. This was reported to the courts. The girl’s parents attempted to have the girl’s recantation disregarded. The courts disagreed and had the girl examined. The boy’s lawyers then spent the last two months fighting to get the results. According to the results, the girl is a virgin, meaning this boy never assaulted her.

    The boy is already a wreck. Now he has the courts, DCFS and his lawyers breathing down his neck again. Added to all that, he refuses to confirm the girl’s recantation.

    This boy’s life is shattered. So when people state that false accusations have no affect and do not destroy the accused’s life, I now have a personal point of reference to disprove that. That is not to say females rampantly lie about sexual assaults. It is to say that it does happen and that it is hardly as trivial as it has been represented.

    As a side note, please do not attack this boy.

  31. That comment is uncalled for, and just plain aggressive. You should detract such comments.

    Actually, I’d say it’s accurate. First and foremost, the word apologist does not mean one who apologizes. It refers to someone who makes a defense of a particular position. You are, in fact, defending the man Didnthappentome describes and what he did. Ergo, apologist.

    And the word would be retract, not detract. But I will not be doing either.

  32. evil_fizz, Andrew is arguing against the definition of rape applied to the events described by Diddnthappentome. Ergo, he is not a “rape apologist.” That’s a slurr, it’s also combative and snide.

    Why not address his more substantive question?

    Stephen

  33. Toy Soldier: “Personally, my inclination is to believe that false accusations occur at the same rate across the board for various crimes.”

    Why should we believe this when in fact it makes no sense? A false allegation of rape needs no physical evidence, no corroboration and can be made with impunity (at least by a woman). Not so for allegations of other crimes, thus, I believe that false allegations of rape are far higher than for most other crimes.

    Also, I see nowhere in Didnthappentome’s story where she said “no,” so IMHO no rape occurred. Quiet tears in the middle of the night are in no was proof of non-consent; hell, my wife cries at seat belt commercials. Despite slanderous and bigoted statements by evil_fizz, questioning rape definitions is not “apologizing” for rape. As Andrew stated, if the standards were the same for men as they are for women, then I’ve been “raped” a number of times, which is why I am skeptical of rape allegations now. IMO femininsts have done a tremendous disservice to society and particularly women by engaging in a neo-inquisition vis-a-vis “rape” and all the various manifestations of it in their minds.

  34. I didn’t say yes, ergo rape. Unless you presume consent in all cases, unless the person in question give consent (verbally or nonverbally). I did not give consent, he had no right to have sex with me.

    You seem to be under the impression that it is the responsibility of the victim to say no. This is why I have to be anon. when I tell this story: otherwise I keep getting the list of “why didn’t you do this?” things to PROVE I had been raped.

    The presumption should be non-consent, not consent.

  35. Sorry, Didnthappentome,

    What you are showing is how far Western women have gone – no responsibilities at all, but all the rights, with all responsibilities put on the man. No sense of proportion or reasonableness or any of the rest.

    You don’t even want to be bothered with saying “no”. It’s too much effort. On the other hand, you apparently want to be able, if you so desire – even later on, to put a man in prison for 15 years for rape at the snap of your fingers, on your say so.

  36. Why should we believe this when in fact it makes no sense?

    I assume that the rate is more or less the same because there is no inherent reason to assume otherwise. That it is to say there is nothing that suggests false rape accusations would occur more frequently. What you stated suggests that they could occur more frequently than other crimes. That certainly is a possibility, but not a likelihood.

  37. Despite slanderous and bigoted statements by evil_fizz, questioning rape definitions is not “apologizing” for rape.

    Well, the truth is a defense against libel (which is what claims in writing are; slander is verbal.)

    Mr. Bad, you say some asinine things, but this is near the top of the list.

  38. I don’t think Didn’t would say American women have no responsibilities. I believe it would work both ways: a female has to have consent from a male (Or from another female, or a male has to have it from another male) or else it’s rape.

    Let me ask you Critic, if you and a man that was much bigger, stronger, and you theoritically trusted started to initiate sexual contact when you were in an emotionally vunerable state, would you need to say no before it was rape?

  39. Let’s see, Didnthappentome voluntarily got into bed with a man with whom she had a long-term sexual relationship and in fact was living with. Given that she could have (and eventually did) find another place to sleep, this at the very least implies consent. Check.

    Her live-in partner awakens, fails to notice her tears and begins to initiate sex ; Didnthappentome fails to object, say “no,” or in any other way orally or physically communicate her withdrawl of consent (which IMO a reasonable person would see was given when she got in bed with him). Check.

    IMO, no rape occurred.

    Questioning definitions of rape is appropriate and long overdue.

  40. I think the 1 in 4 statistic is lifetime chances of rape.

    The 1 in 4 statistic I gave on the other thread is for sexual abuse or molestation for girls until age 18. (I’m not going to try to copy the cite again because it didn’t work right the first time.)

    This thread reads as if we’re speaking at least 4 different languages. The discussion can’t go anywhere constructive if x different kinds of rape stats are being discussed at the same time without qualifying which one we’re talking about. It seems to me that we are discussing statistics for:
    1) rape really happened, real rapist accused
    1a) rape really happened, real rapist accused and convicted
    1b) rape really happened, real rapist accused and acquitted
    1c) rape really happened, real rapist accused but victim recants
    2) rape really happened, wrong rapist accused
    2a) rape really happened, wrong rapist accused and convicted
    2b) rape really happened, wrong rapist accused and acquitted
    2c) rape really happened, wrong rapist accused but victim recants
    3) and 4) rape didn’t happen versions of 1) and 2)
    And there are other variations that are being discussed. Maybe I’m just being pedantic and/or easily confused here or something, but I would love it if people would preface their claims with the definitions they are using when they are making their points, so that if you’re talking about version 2b I’ll at least have a clue you’re talking about that exact thing instead of talking about every rape since the War of 1812.

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