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MineralMan

(146,531 posts)
Sat Apr 19, 2014, 12:08 PM Apr 2014

Rape Culture: One way to say yes, many ways to say no.

A lot of men are confused, it seems. A lack of empathy seems to push its way into situations where two people are exploring the potential sexual side of a relationship. An inability to put oneself into the position of the other person seems to get in the way of understanding some really simple stuff. There's really only one way that sexual activity is OK, and that is if there is conscious, enthusiastic consent on the part of BOTH parties.

Yes! means yes. Pretty much everything else means NO! Yes! can be spoken or unspoken. But if it's unspoken, it needs to be very clear that the other person is eager to continue whatever the two of you are doing and may even be taking the lead. Silence or physical resistance is never Yes! Lots of things aren't Yes! and if it's not Yes! it's no.

Spoken No.
"No" means no, no matter how it is said.
"Stop" means no.
"Cut that out" means no.
"I'm uncomfortable about this" means no.
"Let's take this a little slower" means no.
"I wish you wouldn't do that right now" means no.
"I'm not really ready for this yet" means no.
"You're pushing me" means no.
"I don't know if I want to do this" means no.
"I give up." means no.
"Whatever. I'm not arguing any more" means no.
"Take me home" means no.
Slurred speech means no.
Essentially, anything said that is not enthusiastic approval means no.
If you've been whining, pleading, arguing, or using any psychological strategies, it's no.

Unspoken No.
Semi-consciousness means no.
Stumbling and falling due to intoxication means no.
Sleeping means no.
Pushing away means no.
Suddenly becoming stiff and uncooperative means no.
Going completely limp and unresponsive means no.
Withdrawal from what's going on means no.
Physical resistance of any kind means no.
Blank, checked-out eyes mean no.
A bored, apathetic reaction means no.
If you're at all unsure of whether you should keep on with what's going on, it's probably no.

If you have any question about whether there is an enthusiastic "Yes!" it's probably no. Empathy means being aware of the other person and how that person is reacting to what is going on. It's putting yourself in the other person's position and asking yourself whether you'd be behaving or speaking in that way if you meant "Yes!" If you're not sure it's "Yes!" it's probably no.

How should you react to any of the things that are "No?" Just stop. Back up. Talk to the other person and find out what's going on with that person. Find out what the other person is thinking about what's happening. Just stop. Put your empathy hat on and back off. Ask questions and accept the answers. Listen. Ask. Be a caring human being.

Bottom line: If it's "no," continuing is sexual assault, at best, or rape, at worst. Don't do that. Don't be that guy.



81 replies = new reply since forum marked as read
Highlight: NoneDon't highlight anything 5 newestHighlight 5 most recent replies
Rape Culture: One way to say yes, many ways to say no. (Original Post) MineralMan Apr 2014 OP
~kick! CrispyQ Apr 2014 #1
Thanks for the kick! MineralMan Apr 2014 #2
I don't think we're teaching empathy MineralMan Apr 2014 #3
BECUZ EMPUTHY IS FOR WUSSES AND MANGINAS DUHHHHHH alp227 Apr 2014 #23
Well, I never had much to do with the "cool crowd." MineralMan Apr 2014 #31
I know that rape and sexual assault are about power, but it also happens because LuvNewcastle Apr 2014 #4
Well, my opinion about that is that if you're MineralMan Apr 2014 #5
Recreational sex isn't really my style, either. LuvNewcastle Apr 2014 #8
I'm OK with it, or was in my younger years. MineralMan Apr 2014 #13
Thank you for posting this. K&R Tuesday Afternoon Apr 2014 #6
And thank you for replying to it. MineralMan Apr 2014 #11
Kicked and recommended! In_The_Wind Apr 2014 #7
k&r, uppityperson Apr 2014 #9
K & R n/t Aerows Apr 2014 #10
Thanks for the K&Rs! MineralMan Apr 2014 #12
What a fantastic way you laid out this op mineral. Nt seabeyond Apr 2014 #14
Thank you. I've been thinking about posting something MineralMan Apr 2014 #15
A friend told me the boys at her son's college, in orientation, Bette Noir Apr 2014 #16
Good for that college. MineralMan Apr 2014 #19
Ha! I love that! Prophet 451 Apr 2014 #76
KnR with naught more to add other than thank you. chknltl Apr 2014 #17
More: How to know if it's "Yes!" MineralMan Apr 2014 #18
Very nice, thank you. MuseRider Apr 2014 #20
I agree with much but disagree with the part about "whining" etc. Jim Lane Apr 2014 #21
Examples 1 & 3 certainly don't sound like rape scenarios. But if the guy's pushy all the time then nomorenomore08 Apr 2014 #22
I disagree. What I wrote is the OPPOSITE of minimizing rape. Jim Lane Apr 2014 #24
Stop minimizing rape, Jim. CFLDem Apr 2014 #27
Let's look at this from another perspective: chervilant Apr 2014 #25
Example 1 is coercion, pure and simple intaglio Apr 2014 #26
Poor examples, all. chervilant Apr 2014 #29
Have you ever heard anyone talk TBF Apr 2014 #28
Real-life conversations are indeed much more nuanced and ambiguous. Jim Lane Apr 2014 #61
I think if you turn TBF Apr 2014 #64
Trust me, I wasn't offering Example 1 as relationship advice. Jim Lane Apr 2014 #67
Nope, I'm not counseling anything other than TBF Apr 2014 #78
Your first example is coercive. MineralMan Apr 2014 #30
I disagree. She said no and instead of respecting that he pressed her on it. If she says no IT'S NO. redqueen Apr 2014 #32
I understand what you're saying, and tend to agree. MineralMan Apr 2014 #35
Didn't read it. She said no. redqueen Apr 2014 #39
No is a complete sentence. KitSileya Apr 2014 #40
"Treat anyone's no as negotiable, and you are enabling rape culture, pure and simple." <- BOOM redqueen Apr 2014 #43
But asking why someone is uncomfortable isn't necessarily enabling rape culture. msanthrope Apr 2014 #77
Follow-up question for redqueen and KitSileya Jim Lane Apr 2014 #63
It's not necessarily a crime, or provable as one at least, but that doesn't make it okay to keep nomorenomore08 Apr 2014 #65
We're talking ethics here. KitSileya Apr 2014 #75
The "was this rape" question involves both law and ethics. Jim Lane Apr 2014 #81
What if the athlete says it in a slightly different manner? Hippo_Tron Apr 2014 #33
It's still coercive. MineralMan Apr 2014 #34
Maybe I'm confusing two different things here Hippo_Tron Apr 2014 #36
Nope. It's still coercive. MineralMan Apr 2014 #37
So how does one tactfully say they don't want to be in a relationship with no sex? Hippo_Tron Apr 2014 #38
Nobody is obligated to continue dating anyone. MineralMan Apr 2014 #41
Right, and that's why I think this is NOT coercive. Jim Lane Apr 2014 #62
Why are you spending so much energy debating where the "line" is anyway? nomorenomore08 Apr 2014 #66
The OP was thought-provoking and I shared some of the thoughts it provoked. Jim Lane Apr 2014 #69
I do not want to date you noiretextatique Apr 2014 #42
I think "I do not want to date you" is a shitty way to break up with someone Hippo_Tron Apr 2014 #46
Yours is closer to respectable. redqueen Apr 2014 #47
Well no, he should find someone who has a similar timeframe about sex Hippo_Tron Apr 2014 #48
He's clearly got a problem waiting for a woman to be ready. redqueen Apr 2014 #49
Well I don't agree that it's a problem, but... Hippo_Tron Apr 2014 #50
no it isn't qazplm Apr 2014 #51
Oh, yes it is. MineralMan Apr 2014 #52
can you cite Niceguy1 Apr 2014 #53
What criminal code? MineralMan Apr 2014 #54
so basically you're just a opining Niceguy1 Apr 2014 #55
I'm having trouble understanding your reply. MineralMan Apr 2014 #56
fixed Niceguy1 Apr 2014 #57
Sexual assault can be defined in law or in MineralMan Apr 2014 #58
I think your op would be more accurate amd better Niceguy1 Apr 2014 #59
OK. Well, thanks for your feedback. MineralMan Apr 2014 #60
So if it's technically not rape by a strict legal definition, then it's a-okay? nomorenomore08 Apr 2014 #70
hmmmm no cause she can Niceguy1 Apr 2014 #71
what a load noiretextatique Apr 2014 #44
whining for sex because, yeah, that is So Attractive ... NOT !!! Tuesday Afternoon Apr 2014 #45
And if in doubt, you can always ask. Merely saying "Is this okay?" shouldn't ruin the moment. nomorenomore08 Apr 2014 #68
Love the use of the "Don't be that guy" line. Ken Burch Apr 2014 #72
The chronology was the other way around. Jim Lane Apr 2014 #73
I didn't know that. n/t. Ken Burch Apr 2014 #74
How about, Brigid Apr 2014 #79
Pretty ugly situation that would require that, for sure. MineralMan Apr 2014 #80

MineralMan

(146,531 posts)
3. I don't think we're teaching empathy
Sat Apr 19, 2014, 12:56 PM
Apr 2014

enough to our children at home and at school. Maybe we can do better with that.

alp227

(32,268 posts)
23. BECUZ EMPUTHY IS FOR WUSSES AND MANGINAS DUHHHHHH
Sun Apr 20, 2014, 01:53 AM
Apr 2014


Seriously though, you wonder why young people act out like sociopaths on purpose. It's because the "cool crowd" is as anti-emotional and anti-wisdom as possible.

MineralMan

(146,531 posts)
31. Well, I never had much to do with the "cool crowd."
Sun Apr 20, 2014, 09:34 AM
Apr 2014

I thought they were pretty uncool, really. Still do.

LuvNewcastle

(16,922 posts)
4. I know that rape and sexual assault are about power, but it also happens because
Sat Apr 19, 2014, 01:01 PM
Apr 2014

some people are so focused on their own desires that they don't notice the other person's reactions. It's selfishness. If you go out with someone with the basic purpose of getting laid instead of getting to know the other person and enjoying their company, it's easy to find yourself in a situation in which you're trying to talk your date into something that she/he had no intention of doing. Unless someone invites you over for a booty call or you've gotten signals from the other person that they want to get laid, you don't need to go out with people you're only interested in for sex.

MineralMan

(146,531 posts)
5. Well, my opinion about that is that if you're
Sat Apr 19, 2014, 01:04 PM
Apr 2014

going out with someone with only the goal of "getting laid," you probably should stay home and take things into your own hands. Simpler, and nobody gets hurt, either physically or emotionally.

I have little patience with dating only for sex. Someone usually suffers in some way. I'm not into suffering.

LuvNewcastle

(16,922 posts)
8. Recreational sex isn't really my style, either.
Sat Apr 19, 2014, 01:28 PM
Apr 2014

I just can't have sex with strangers. I have to know someone at least fairly well. Otherwise, it's just too weird for me.

MineralMan

(146,531 posts)
13. I'm OK with it, or was in my younger years.
Sat Apr 19, 2014, 02:01 PM
Apr 2014

But, unless it was a mutual goal, it wasn't happening with me. Sex can be a really fun thing to do if both people involved are into it at the time. Still, within a caring relationship, it's way better.

MineralMan

(146,531 posts)
15. Thank you. I've been thinking about posting something
Sat Apr 19, 2014, 02:28 PM
Apr 2014

like this for a few days, and finally did. Thanks for the reply.

Bette Noir

(3,581 posts)
16. A friend told me the boys at her son's college, in orientation,
Sat Apr 19, 2014, 02:40 PM
Apr 2014

were told, "Consent is too low a bar. Hold out for enthusiasm."

MineralMan

(146,531 posts)
19. Good for that college.
Sat Apr 19, 2014, 02:49 PM
Apr 2014

It's not something that every guy understands without being told. In fact, the opposite message is often given. I like that, and wish it was standard advice, starting way earlier than college.

MineralMan

(146,531 posts)
18. More: How to know if it's "Yes!"
Sat Apr 19, 2014, 02:46 PM
Apr 2014

Ask. Ask before acting.

"I'd really like to ______ right now? Would that be OK?"

It's easy. If you're not sure how the person you're with will answer, just ask. That person will let you know whether it's OK or not.

Sometimes, you know without asking. Maybe you and that person often engage in that activity and you know that it's OK. But, especially in new relationships or if you have just met, you don't know. Instead of just trying something, you can ask. The person you're with will think you're a good person for asking and appreciate your concern for his or her feelings. You might hear a "yes" or a "no" or an "I'm not really ready to go there," but you'll know the answer, and will know you're not about to do something that is unwelcome or premature.

Communication is important when working out a sexual relationship. It's not just about what you want, but about mutual consent. Always. And you don't always know the answer you'll get. So, instead of just barging ahead, put it into words. That's respect for the other person.

MuseRider

(34,246 posts)
20. Very nice, thank you.
Sat Apr 19, 2014, 03:00 PM
Apr 2014

As said above, we are not teaching our kids empathy much anymore apparently. Too bad, everything is so much better when you have it. Rec!

 

Jim Lane

(11,175 posts)
21. I agree with much but disagree with the part about "whining" etc.
Sat Apr 19, 2014, 11:29 PM
Apr 2014

You write:

If you've been whining, pleading, arguing, or using any psychological strategies, it's no.


This is far too broad. A person can't give legally effective consent (to sex or anything else) if unconscious, or threatened with force, or underage, or any number of other situations -- but all of us routinely engage in nonviolently persuading other people.

A case study for your consideration:

Example 1: Star college athlete has dated another student a few times when they have a conversation.
He: "I'd really like to have sex with you right now? Would that be OK?"
She: "No, I'm uncomfortable about that. Let's take this a little more slowly."
He: "Well, I'm really horny and I'm uncomfortable with waiting longer. If you don't want to have sex now, I'll respect that, go away, and never date you again. If we have sex now, you can be my girlfriend, go with me to the many parties I'm invited to, be part of my crowd, and be more popular on campus."
She agrees and they have sex.

Example 2: A salesman for a lawn-care company has come to the door of a single woman who owns her own house.
He: "I'd really like for you to hire us to care for your lawn. We'll remove dead leaves, plant some flowers along the walk, and use fertilizer that will make your grass look much greener and prettier. Would that be OK?"
She: "No, I'm not interested in that."
He: "Right now you have, frankly, one of the most decrepit-looking lawns on the block. If you hire us it will make the whole block look better and you'll be more popular in the neighborhood."
She agrees and gives him the money.

If Example 1 is rape, then is Example 2 theft? Put more broadly, are we saying that adults can make their own decisions about money (provided there's no fraud, no threat of force, etc.), even if their decisions are procured by whining, pleading, arguing, or using any psychological strategies, but that adults (or maybe just adult women) are incapable of making free decisions under those circumstances if the context is sex rather than money?

Finally, I agree with your conclusion about communicating with the other person, so here's another case for your comment:

Example 3:
He: "I'd really like to have sex with you right now? Would that be OK?"
She: "No, I'm uncomfortable about that."
He: "Oh, what are you thinking about what's happening?"
She: "I'm worried about HIV, and even a condom isn't absolutely 100% certain protection."
He: "I understand. I can tell you that, after my last relationship ended, I waited three months and got tested for HIV. The result was negative. Since that relationship ended, I haven't had sex, protected or unprotected, with anyone else, nor have I used IV drugs or received a blood transfusion. As I understand the medical science, those facts combined mean that I'm not carrying HIV."
She: "In that case, yes, let's have sex."

Was that rape? He engaged in arguing. (An argument is a connected series of statements to establish a definite proposition, as anyone knows who's seen the "Argument Clinic" by Monty Python.) By arguing, he changed her No to a Yes. It seems that, by your definition, he raped her, or at least committed a sexual assault. I'd say his behavior was perfectly proper.

By contrast, the man in Example 1 was a selfish and insensitive clod. To say that he committed rape or sexual assault, however, seems to imply that the woman is not capable of making her own decisions about sex. I say that it's not rape or sexual assault -- because I respect women's autonomy.

nomorenomore08

(13,324 posts)
22. Examples 1 & 3 certainly don't sound like rape scenarios. But if the guy's pushy all the time then
Sun Apr 20, 2014, 12:06 AM
Apr 2014

it sounds like he has some boundary issues, which might rather easily cross the line into sexual assault, given the "right" circumstances.

But I really doubt that your hypothetical situation(s) has much to do with a typical forced-sex scenario, where the aggressor generally knows what he's doing and doesn't care.

So yes, you are minimizing rape, at least somewhat. Even if you don't intend to.

 

Jim Lane

(11,175 posts)
24. I disagree. What I wrote is the OPPOSITE of minimizing rape.
Sun Apr 20, 2014, 03:48 AM
Apr 2014

Conflating rape with "psychological strategies" is what minimizes it.

If merely pushy behavior were defined as rape, then some things labeled "rape" would strike many people as being not all that bad. I think the solution is to make clear that those things are not rape.

With regard to your statement that "the aggressor generally knows what he's doing," my impression (admittedly based on very little knowledge) is to the contrary. An important reason to have rape education (for example, on college campuses) is that a significant number of people, mostly men, sincerely believe that it can't be rape as long as he didn't hold a knife to her throat or the like. I took that to be the point of MineralMan's OP. Some scenarios that don't involve force may nevertheless constitute rape, and MineralMan set forth some specific examples. I agree with the general proposition. I thought MineralMan's specific examples were worth discussing.

chervilant

(8,267 posts)
25. Let's look at this from another perspective:
Sun Apr 20, 2014, 07:30 AM
Apr 2014
If you've been whining, pleading, arguing, or using any psychological strategies, it's no.


Survivors of rape and other types of sexual assault can readily identify the type of person whose sexual agenda compels him (or her, though statistically far less often) to use coercion to achieve their selfish goals. That resistance to coercive techniques means NO! doesn't equate to rape unless the aggressor persists with physically sexually assaulting his chosen victim.

intaglio

(8,170 posts)
26. Example 1 is coercion, pure and simple
Sun Apr 20, 2014, 08:51 AM
Apr 2014

The athlete is saying, in effect he no longer want to know the woman unless they have sex and that if she continues to refuse he will see her excluded from social circles in which he has influence

Example 2 is unethical and degrading sales technique and the guy should be reported to a Better Business Bureau.

Example 3 is adding information that the woman has, implicitly, requested, there is no coercion and no threat of social exclusion

I have seen similar arguments from PUAs otherwise known as the slime on the boots of the Mens Rights Movement.

TBF

(32,540 posts)
28. Have you ever heard anyone talk
Sun Apr 20, 2014, 09:16 AM
Apr 2014

like this IRL? Seriously? It's a date Jim, not a business transaction.

Nevertheless most of the words you wrote don't matter. There is one word that matters - no. Whatever you write before and after that doesn't matter. No is no.

 

Jim Lane

(11,175 posts)
61. Real-life conversations are indeed much more nuanced and ambiguous.
Sun Apr 20, 2014, 05:18 PM
Apr 2014

My examples set things out explicitly just so that we could focus on the substantive issues. I wanted to avoid the distraction of questions like whether "It would be too bad" was, in context, a threat of force.

Your response suggests that you believe that Example 1 and Example 3 are both rape. Is that correct?

BTW, as an aside, to your reference to a business transaction -- as a lawyer I can tell you that people aren't always unambiguous even in business transactions. I'm on a case now where eight lawyers spent most of the day negotiating a written contract on a seven-figure deal and discovered after it was signed that they had different understandings about a key issue. The lesson, applicable to sex as well as to money, is that what you think is absolutely clear won't always be clear to someone else.

TBF

(32,540 posts)
64. I think if you turn
Sun Apr 20, 2014, 07:19 PM
Apr 2014

A conversation into an argument you're taking your chances that later she'll become remorseful and then the relationship is over whether rape is accused or not. Patience, grasshopper.

 

Jim Lane

(11,175 posts)
67. Trust me, I wasn't offering Example 1 as relationship advice.
Sun Apr 20, 2014, 09:13 PM
Apr 2014

You seem to be counseling me as to why the hypothetical athlete is a bad role model -- a proposition I already believe. The issue is where we draw the line between "That's his personal style, but I sure as hell wouldn't do it" and "That was rape."

Of course, the man in Example 1 might respond to both of us by saying that he values the sex more than the relationship. He'd say, "If the relationship is over then so be it. I'll just move on to my next target." (And he's the type who might well use the word "target" in this context.)

TBF

(32,540 posts)
78. Nope, I'm not counseling anything other than
Mon Apr 21, 2014, 07:53 AM
Apr 2014

"no means no". It's really a pretty simple concept.

MineralMan

(146,531 posts)
30. Your first example is coercive.
Sun Apr 20, 2014, 09:28 AM
Apr 2014

By threatening not to see her again, and holding out a carrot of acceptance, etc., it's just plain coercive and the consent is not enthusiastic.

It's one of the oldest ploys in the book, and it won't wash.

Your final example, however, is OK. She explained why she was uncomfortable. He responded with information and she then agreed. That's not coercive, nor is it an argument. She was worried about STDs and he explained why that wasn't a risk. As long as he's not lying, that's a conversation most couples should have before becoming sexually active. If he's lying, it's fraud.

redqueen

(115,113 posts)
32. I disagree. She said no and instead of respecting that he pressed her on it. If she says no IT'S NO.
Sun Apr 20, 2014, 09:55 AM
Apr 2014

Why do so many men have such a fucking problem just taking NO for an answer?

Why is their insistence that their boner trumps a woman's wishes tolerated at all?

If a man wants to 'discuss' why you say no, you get up and fucking leave and never speak to him or anyone who condones that shit again because that is apparently the only way this bullshit will ever stop.

MineralMan

(146,531 posts)
35. I understand what you're saying, and tend to agree.
Sun Apr 20, 2014, 10:13 AM
Apr 2014

However, the conversation about STDs is an important one, and one that should always take place between people who don't know each other particularly well.

I'm an old monogamous married guy now, but certainly wasn't when I was single. The STD conversation was something I had with every person I had sex with. Unless I was reassured about that, I wasn't about to enthusiastically consent to anything.

The "I'm uncomfortable about this" thing is resolvable. Asking why is appropriate, I think, and is not coercive. There are many possible answers. Some are simply "No." Others are about being uncomfortable due to unanswered questions and concerns. If consent is enthusiastic once those questions and concerns are addressed, then the answer is Yes!

At the bottom line of all of this, enthusiasm is the key. It's not enough to "allow" someone to have sex with you. That's not enthusiastic. But, if one person's concern is about something like STDs, then it's entirely possible that the person just wants information. Once satisfied with the information, enthusiastic consent may be the result. If it is, then there's no issue.

That said, I think that discussion should happen at a time when it's not done in the heat of the moment. Couples can discuss sexual issues any time. All too often, though, such things come up at times when canoodling is well underway. For myself, when the "uncomfortable" thing has come up, I have always treated it the same as any "no." At another time, a conversation about what was uncomfortable makes good sense. That seems to me to be a better way.

redqueen

(115,113 posts)
39. Didn't read it. She said no.
Sun Apr 20, 2014, 10:26 AM
Apr 2014

Whether she said she was uncomfortable after, and whatever about STDs - the salient point is that he kept after her after she said NO.

She said no, he kept pushing.

End of.

KitSileya

(4,035 posts)
40. No is a complete sentence.
Sun Apr 20, 2014, 10:50 AM
Apr 2014

No. You don't need anything after that, and anyone who doesn't respect that no, is a rape apologist. Treat anyone's no as negotiable, and you are enabling rape culture, pure and simple. Most often, of course, it is women who try to say no, and when you take the fact that women are conditioned by culture to give only soft nos, the picture gets even more damning. Anyone who wants to have sex has the responsibility to make sure the consent is enthusiastic, and arguing that men might not pick up on a soft no is no longer an excuse. They have no problems picking up on soft nos from other men, but women are suddenly so difficult? That is rape culture in practice.

I didn't read past the first rape apologist example in the sub-thread op, don't have the patience to anymore.

redqueen

(115,113 posts)
43. "Treat anyone's no as negotiable, and you are enabling rape culture, pure and simple." <- BOOM
Sun Apr 20, 2014, 11:01 AM
Apr 2014

That's it. It's not fucking complicated.


"Anyone who wants to have sex has the responsibility to make sure the consent is enthusiastic, and arguing that men might not pick up on a soft no is no longer an excuse. They have no problems picking up on soft nos from other men, but women are suddenly so difficult? That is rape culture in practice."

 

msanthrope

(37,549 posts)
77. But asking why someone is uncomfortable isn't necessarily enabling rape culture.
Mon Apr 21, 2014, 07:25 AM
Apr 2014

And I think that MM made the point that simple inquiry isn't coercive. He's correct.

Heck...I'd want to know why someone is feeling uncomfortable...maybe it's resolveable. Maybe it's not.

 

Jim Lane

(11,175 posts)
63. Follow-up question for redqueen and KitSileya
Sun Apr 20, 2014, 06:55 PM
Apr 2014

I originally took MineralMan's OP to be talking about legal standards, but he clarified that he wasn't addressing laws, just morality.

Each of you condemns the behavior of a man who presses on after getting an initial No. My question is whether, aside from whether he's acting morally or fairly or sensibly, do you think he's acting illegally (under the laws we have now or as they should be)? If, after the further conversation, either of the women who initially said No then says Yes and they have sex, but she subsequently reports the incident to the police, should the district attorney prosecute him (for rape or sexual assault or whatever)? If you were on the jury, would you vote to convict him?

My own view is that the man in Example 1 is selfish and insensitive, and both he and the women in his life would be better off if he took a more mature view of relationships; the man in Example 3 is acting responsibly and appropriately; but the law does not and should not criminalize what either of them has done.

nomorenomore08

(13,324 posts)
65. It's not necessarily a crime, or provable as one at least, but that doesn't make it okay to keep
Sun Apr 20, 2014, 09:05 PM
Apr 2014

bugging someone when they've made their "no" very clear.

KitSileya

(4,035 posts)
75. We're talking ethics here.
Mon Apr 21, 2014, 02:28 AM
Apr 2014

While it may not be against the law (yet), it is contributing to rape culture. When you argue that the man is "immature", you are excusing him, and as such, you are contributing to rape culture. You are arguing for a society, a culture, where it isn't men's fault if they pressure others to have sex with them. They 'just don't know any better' because they aren't "mature" enough. 'It isn't against the law', is what you are saying, and so you argue "but what if, but what if" to create a continuum of gray-scale cases. That view makes it easier for rapists to get away with their rapes.

To use an analogy, cutting food stamps and denying the expansion of medicaid isn't illegal, but it will cause a certain number of people to die, and it will most certainly cause the quality of life for many people to be worse than it could be, than it should be. Instead of saying that all humans deserve health care and enough food, that is, we should make enthusiastic consent the standard, you are pointing to the welfare cheat, the "lazy bum", and other stereotypes, and using them as a way to derail the work others are doing to make sure everyone has a decent quality of life.

Working to make enthusiastic consent the default in our culture will help create a better society for over half the people in that society, and ultimately a better society for everyone, regardless of gender. In the mean time, those of us that want to change society have to work against not only those neanderthals on the Republican side, but also against armchair quarterbacks and 'devil's advocates' on our own side. So thanks for that.

 

Jim Lane

(11,175 posts)
81. The "was this rape" question involves both law and ethics.
Mon Apr 21, 2014, 01:52 PM
Apr 2014

There are some instances of bad conduct that are unethical but that are not illegal. One can ask whether something is ethical, whether it's legal, and (a third separate question) whether it should be legal. Each of these is a legitimate question. The questions won't necessarily all have the same answer.

You write, "You are arguing for a society, a culture, where it isn't men's fault if they pressure others to have sex with them." No, I am not, and I would appreciate it if you would refrain from putting words in my mouth.

I said that the man in Example 1 was selfish and insensitive. That's criticizing him, not excusing him. "Immature" can be an excuse if said of someone who's not of legal age; said of an adult, however, it also is a criticism. To state what I thought was clear in my post: I do consider his behavior unethical and I do think it's his fault. As I understand the current law, however, he has not acted illegally, and I would oppose making such actions illegal.

You're right that I'm considering a continuum of gray-scale cases. In the real world, that's what actually comes up. In the context of deciding what should be illegal, it's very important that laws, especially criminal laws, give people reasonable notice of what is prohibited, so that continuum has to be considered. Note that, just in this thread, there's disagreement about the ethics of the man in Example 3. That naturally raises the questions whether his conduct is or should be illegal.

Your food stamp analogy would apply to someone who pointed to examples of improper prosecution for rape and argued on that basis that laws against rape should be abolished. My own belief is that rape laws and food stamp eligibility criteria are both administered by fallible human beings. The inevitable result is that mistakes will be made in both directions -- some people convicted of rape are innocent, some who are guilty are acquitted or never even charged, some people get food stamps who aren't really eligible and some who are eligible are denied. Although it's true that we could completely eliminate the mistakes by eliminating the underlying law, that would be too drastic a solution. For both rape and food stamps, we should instead do our best to achieve correct results in each case, bringing the system as close to perfection as possible while acknowledging that we'll never succeed completely.

Logically I would end this post there. The problem is that I said "some people convicted of rape are innocent," which, in the unfortunate current atmosphere on DU, might well prompt the charge that I'm a "rape culture apologist" because I'm "emphasizing" false prosecutions or parroting an MRA talking point or whatever. To try to avert that distraction: I'm sure that the number of guilty people who are not convicted greatly exceeds the number of innocent people who are convicted. I was merely listing the problems, not quantifying them.

Hippo_Tron

(25,453 posts)
33. What if the athlete says it in a slightly different manner?
Sun Apr 20, 2014, 09:55 AM
Apr 2014

"Look you're great, but sex is very important to me. If you're not into that then maybe we're just not a good fit for each other." I don't think there's anything wrong with telling your partner that sex has to be part of the deal or the relationship is over. I think the non-shitty way to do it, though, is to tell them that in a manner that indicates you respect their decision either way.

MineralMan

(146,531 posts)
34. It's still coercive.
Sun Apr 20, 2014, 10:03 AM
Apr 2014

A star athlete generally has no difficulty whatever in finding willing and enthusiastic sex partners. The athlete in your example should just move on. Bargaining for sex has a name.

The desire to have sex on one person's part has nothing to do with the other person's feelings in the matter, or shouldn't, I think. See, the thing about enthusiastic consent is that it is enthusiastic. It doesn't require wheedling or bargaining. If it does, any consent given isn't enthusiastic. The bargain the athlete is offering is just a ruse to get someone to have sex with him. That someone might give in based on that bargain doesn't mean the consent is enthusiastic. It's a pathetic, sad way to get someone to consent.

The problem here is that any way the person puts it, he's saying, "Either have sex with me now or we're finished." That's coercive, no matter what language is used to say it. It devalues the other person, and that's never appropriate.

Hippo_Tron

(25,453 posts)
36. Maybe I'm confusing two different things here
Sun Apr 20, 2014, 10:14 AM
Apr 2014

If he's saying "have sex with me right here right now or I'll break up with you" then yea she ought to run the hell away.

But if she's saying "look I'd like to wait a few months" and he says "I'm sorry I don't want to wait that long, maybe we're just not a good fit. If you wan't to think that over for a few days and let me know" then I think that's a totally different story.



MineralMan

(146,531 posts)
37. Nope. It's still coercive.
Sun Apr 20, 2014, 10:16 AM
Apr 2014

It's the same thing as the old "fuck or walk" argument. That bullshit takes many forms, but it all comes down to the same thing. The guy wants to have sex and his companion doesn't. Right now or later doesn't matter. It's coercion. It's wrong.

Hippo_Tron

(25,453 posts)
38. So how does one tactfully say they don't want to be in a relationship with no sex?
Sun Apr 20, 2014, 10:18 AM
Apr 2014

Certainly the athlete isn't obligated to continue dating her.

MineralMan

(146,531 posts)
41. Nobody is obligated to continue dating anyone.
Sun Apr 20, 2014, 10:54 AM
Apr 2014

If one person doesn't want to have sex, you simply don't ask them out if that's your main wish for that person. That seems simple enough. If she says no and that doesn't fit the other person's wishes, then the answer is simple. Don't date that person again. If, on the other hand, this mythical athlete is truly looking for a relationship with someone, sex shouldn't be the primary criterion.

In a dating relationship, as in all relationships, the two people are their own agents. Both have an equal right to determine their own wishes and actions. That is always true. In casual dating situations, there are no obligations, except to respect the other person's wishes. That seems simple enough to understand.

Sex is one aspect of life, and it's an aspect that takes up very little of a person's actual life. It's never an essential thing. It's a desire, not a mandate. If a person believes that sex is the primary object of relationships, then that person still has some growing up to do, in my opinion.

 

Jim Lane

(11,175 posts)
62. Right, and that's why I think this is NOT coercive.
Sun Apr 20, 2014, 05:46 PM
Apr 2014

Examples of coercion would include "Have sex with me or I'll hit you" and "Have sex with me or I'll go on Facebook and post those photos from the party where you got drunk." She has a right not to be assaulted and a right not to have her privacy invaded. Therefore, he has a duty to respect those rights. For him to threaten to breach that duty would be coercion.

On the other hand, he has no duty to date her. He has a privilege to NOT date her if he so chooses -- for a good reason, a bad reason, or no reason at all. I think we all agree with you that he has some growing up to do and that the woman is better off without him, but not dating her is his choice to make.

There's a difference between a carrot and a stick. Dangling a carrot is not coercion.

This was the point of my Example 2. Would you say that the lawn-care guy was coercive? I see the situations as parallel. Salesman: "I have no obligation to take care of your lawn. If you give me money I will and if you don't give me money I won't." Horny college kid: "I have no obligation to date you. If you give me sex I will and if you don't give me sex I won't."

nomorenomore08

(13,324 posts)
66. Why are you spending so much energy debating where the "line" is anyway?
Sun Apr 20, 2014, 09:10 PM
Apr 2014

Why not err on the side of caution?

And just because something isn't a crime doesn't mean it's "okay" from an ethical standpoint. Remember that too.

 

Jim Lane

(11,175 posts)
69. The OP was thought-provoking and I shared some of the thoughts it provoked.
Sun Apr 20, 2014, 09:27 PM
Apr 2014

Your "err on the side of caution" statement misses the point. I wasn't asking whether the men in my examples had erred but rather whether they had committed crimes. The law does (and must) draw lines. The process is sometimes difficult and fraught with subjectivity. I was addressing that line-drawing problem, but there's certainly no moral requirement that you or anyone else take any interest in that subject.

You're certainly correct that what's legal and what's ethical are two separate categories. My first post (#21) made clear my disapproval of the college student's conduct before I got into the question whether it was a crime.

noiretextatique

(27,275 posts)
42. I do not want to date you
Sun Apr 20, 2014, 10:59 AM
Apr 2014

Would suffice. I will not date you unless you have sex with me is not the same as I will not date you.

Hippo_Tron

(25,453 posts)
46. I think "I do not want to date you" is a shitty way to break up with someone
Sun Apr 20, 2014, 11:09 AM
Apr 2014

It typically leaves the person wondering if they did something wrong, when in reality they did absolutely nothing wrong. "I do not want to date you, because we're not sexually compatible" lets the person know that it's a compatibility issue.

redqueen

(115,113 posts)
47. Yours is closer to respectable.
Sun Apr 20, 2014, 11:13 AM
Apr 2014

Instead of making a threat, just say it straight out.

"Look you're great and all, but I only date women who put out when I'm ready, not when they are."

That's it. She'll (hopefully) go, and he can find someone willing to fuck him as soon as he expects that to happen in the relationship.

Hippo_Tron

(25,453 posts)
48. Well no, he should find someone who has a similar timeframe about sex
Sun Apr 20, 2014, 11:47 AM
Apr 2014

Not someone who puts out because he's ready.

redqueen

(115,113 posts)
49. He's clearly got a problem waiting for a woman to be ready.
Sun Apr 20, 2014, 11:54 AM
Apr 2014

I think my take was accurate.

He should state his 'timeframe' before he even asks a woman out. Just cut the bullshit out and let her know straight up that he's not planning to go out with her unless he gets to fuck her after x many dates.

Hippo_Tron

(25,453 posts)
50. Well I don't agree that it's a problem, but...
Sun Apr 20, 2014, 12:13 PM
Apr 2014

But he should probably just be asking women to sleep with him not date him.

qazplm

(3,626 posts)
51. no it isn't
Sun Apr 20, 2014, 12:32 PM
Apr 2014

not remotely. He wants to have sex to continue the relationship. She is free to say yes, or no. It is most certainly not a sexual assault if she DECIDES to have sex with him in order to keep the relationship, anymore than if she DECIDES to have sex with him for any other reason.

If it's tied to threat of violence, or I can see in situations where he's made her dependent on him financially/living and threatens that, but simply I'm ready to have sex and if you don't want to that's fine but then I need to move on? That's not "coercive." It may be immature (then again if they have been dating for a year, it very well may not be immature at all, but reasonable), but it is not coercive nor is it sexual assault.

MineralMan

(146,531 posts)
54. What criminal code?
Sun Apr 20, 2014, 01:55 PM
Apr 2014

This is about interpersonal relations, not laws. I'm not discussing laws in this thread. I'm discussing ethical behavior. You may have heard of that.

Beyond that, I'm not rising to your bait. It doesn't look like real food.

Niceguy1

(2,467 posts)
55. so basically you're just a opining
Sun Apr 20, 2014, 01:59 PM
Apr 2014

what sexual assault is but without no basis in actual law.

I don't think that the reply above is sexual assault legally. Telling a woman that you were interested only in a sexual relationship inst assault. , your example #3

MineralMan

(146,531 posts)
56. I'm having trouble understanding your reply.
Sun Apr 20, 2014, 02:01 PM
Apr 2014

Could you go back and proofread it to make it more understandable?

Or not. I think I made myself pretty clear in the original post.

MineralMan

(146,531 posts)
58. Sexual assault can be defined in law or in
Sun Apr 20, 2014, 02:08 PM
Apr 2014

usage. I can use the term to describe sexual activity with a person who has not given enthusiastic consent. I'm not speaking of laws, but of ethics. Many legal terms have meanings in common usage.

I'm still not sure what "a opining" might be, though. On DU, you can edit any post you make at any time to correct errors that may have crept in as you wrote it. Your reply made very little sense to me. So, I did not answer it.

Niceguy1

(2,467 posts)
59. I think your op would be more accurate amd better
Sun Apr 20, 2014, 02:11 PM
Apr 2014

Served if you substituted sexual assault with immoral. ...

MineralMan

(146,531 posts)
60. OK. Well, thanks for your feedback.
Sun Apr 20, 2014, 02:11 PM
Apr 2014

I won't be changing what I wrote, though. Please have a nice Easter.

nomorenomore08

(13,324 posts)
70. So if it's technically not rape by a strict legal definition, then it's a-okay?
Sun Apr 20, 2014, 09:36 PM
Apr 2014

I hope you're not simpleminded enough to actually believe that.

noiretextatique

(27,275 posts)
44. what a load
Sun Apr 20, 2014, 11:05 AM
Apr 2014
it is much easier to accept that no means no. As I tell those who are of false accusation, err on the side of caution. Really simple concept.

Tuesday Afternoon

(56,912 posts)
45. whining for sex because, yeah, that is So Attractive ... NOT !!!
Sun Apr 20, 2014, 11:06 AM
Apr 2014

Arguing because, Why? You want "rough" Sex or "make-up" sex. amirite?

Pleading ... so close to begging and whining ... and that is Oh. So. NOT !!! attractive.

Gross.

nomorenomore08

(13,324 posts)
68. And if in doubt, you can always ask. Merely saying "Is this okay?" shouldn't ruin the moment.
Sun Apr 20, 2014, 09:14 PM
Apr 2014

Clear communication in a relationship - even a casual one - is generally always a good thing.

 

Ken Burch

(50,254 posts)
72. Love the use of the "Don't be that guy" line.
Sun Apr 20, 2014, 10:56 PM
Apr 2014

(for those who don't know about this yet...that's a reference to the "Don't Be That Girl" poster campaign that the so-called "Manhood 101" group has run on various college campuses...a campaign designed to discourage women from reporting rapes by implying that many, if not most rape accusations are false).

 

Jim Lane

(11,175 posts)
73. The chronology was the other way around.
Mon Apr 21, 2014, 12:51 AM
Apr 2014
"Don't Be That Guy" was an anti-rape campaign that came first. The men doing "Don't Be That Girl" riffed on the name and mimicked the general look of the ads for their own counter-message discouraging rape reports.

Brigid

(17,621 posts)
79. How about,
Mon Apr 21, 2014, 07:57 AM
Apr 2014

"Touch me again and I'll break your arm!". I wonder if even that would be clear enough for some.

MineralMan

(146,531 posts)
80. Pretty ugly situation that would require that, for sure.
Mon Apr 21, 2014, 09:02 AM
Apr 2014

I guess the whole thing for me is that whether or not a couple has sex at some particular time just doesn't seem like an earth-shaking issue. Or it shouldn't, in my opinion. Sex is or should be enjoyable, exciting, passionate, and equally desired by both parties, it seems to me. I can't imagine much enjoyment or any of those other things if the situation is tense, argumentative, or whiny. That just isn't much of a turn-on for me.

"I don't want to do this," said in any way at all or expressed in any way isn't the end of the world. The only reasonable answer is "OK. No problem. Let's do something else." None of us is compelled to continue moving toward an unwanted goal. We can all change directions and find something else to do. Sex is a voluntary activity, and should be voluntary and wanted by both people.

That's my opinion.

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