26 August 2014

Protective or patronizing? Framing people as victims is anti-empowering.

A) A few guys, hanging out at the shared apartment of one of them.  Watching the game, drinking some beers - maybe a couple too many, but noone here has to drive anytime soon - bag of chips, maybe order a pizza later.  Talking about girls and work and the latest news during commercials.
A couple of them get into a minor dispute about some stupid thing, and its not the sort of thing that can be settled by checking google, and so the only reasonable way to settle it is with a wrestling match.
There is one dissenting voice - one of the guy's who lives there, who owns most of the furniture and electronics in the room - but everyone else thinks this is a great idea, and helps clear some space in the middle of the living room.  One of the two has the weight and strength advantage, but the other has more experience, and its up for debate which is more drunk, so it seems fair enough.
Everyone is really friends here and no one is seriously trying to hurt anyone, but it's fun sometimes to see who can force the other to say "uncle" and concede defeat, thereby winning not just the wrestling match, but also the original argument as well.

B) A guy walks out of a bar.  He realizes he has had too much to drive, and decides to take a walk. He's stumbling just a little, but he can walk. He first stops in the corner store to get a soda and snacks; he's slurring his words, but its not too hard to get the gist of "I want to buy these items" and the cashier gives him his change and sends him on his way.  But as soon as he leaves he notices a McDonald's, throws out the soda and snacks, and buys a burger and coffee.  Still just as drunk as when he left the bar twenty minutes ago, and out of ways to kill time, he calls a cab and heads home for the night.

C) Your friend has clearly had one too many.  You decide to get him home before he gets into any trouble.  He doesn't want to go, but everyone agrees it's for his own good, and besides, he's in no state to put up any serious resistance anyway.  You bring him to your place because it's closer, you won't have to go through his pockets for his keys, and hell, you're doing him a favor, you may as well not go more out of your way then you have to. You leave him in a pile on the sofa, clothes and shoes still on, and head to your own room to get some sleep.

D) Jimothy needs a ride home.  He knows it.  He asks Robin for a ride.  Robin isn't ready to go just yet, and besides, they live in opposite directions.  Jim offers to pay for gas money, plus a little extra for the favor.  $20 is almost as much as a cab would cost, but he'd just as soon the money go to a friend (and besides, he doesn't feel like waiting a whole 30min for a cab).  Robin gives in, drops Jim off, and heads back out for more fun.  Unbeknownst to Robin, Jimothy was so drunk that he had "blacked out" a while before he wanted to go home, and has absolutely no memory of having asked for a ride, nor of actually getting the ride.
When he wakes up in the morning, he has no idea how he got there.


A) Next morning when he wakes up to find bruises on his body, one of the wrestlers calls the police to report his friend for assault and battery.

B) The guy, finding his wallet empty, files a civil suit against the bar, the corner store, the MacDonalds, and the taxi company, on the grounds that each of them took his money without his valid consent.  Afterall, he was clearly intoxicated, and therefore was not able to legally consent to financial transactions.

C) Your friend wants you arrested for kidnapping.  He did not agree to get into your car, and he didn't agree to go to your house.

D) Jimothy too files charges against Robin for kidnapping.  Jimothy doesn't remember asking for a ride.  Leaving the party while the night is still young just isn't the sort of thing he would do though, so obviously he must have been coerced somehow.  Probably Robin took advantage of his drunken state because he is jealous of Jim's mad game.  What a jerk!


I left off last time having shown a bunch of evidence that:

1) Women are not "naturally" weak, helpless, or defenseless,
2) Women are not naturally or inherently submissive.

In fact, even though we have a culture that tries its best to set up women to be victims, they are still victimized at a lower rate than men, on average.

And so, in order to keep the narrative alive that we all want so badly to be true, we have found ways to pretend that situations in which there is no victim at all actually are examples of women being victimized.
This occurs not just among the most radical elements of self-proclaimed "feminism", but has become so accepted that it is almost universally accepted as policy and law.

In this post I'll attempt to expose one of the most blatant examples.

Before we go any further, though, you should probably read the last two posts (linked above), if you haven't already.

Our universal cultural assumptions about women's weakness and victimhood are so strong and so deeply internalized, it will be hard to look at any gendered issues objectively without having first questioned those underlying - and false - assumptions.


The four examples at the beginning of the page are, of course, rather ridiculous.
But if instead of roughhousing, money changing hands, or rides home, the topic is sex, everyone pretends that the equivalent to those examples is completely reasonable.

In normal day-to-day life, unless the topic is sex, people are still considered to have free will and be responsible for their actions, even if they are drunk.
If the issue is sex, than women - only women, never men- are treated like children, and they are supposed to be protected from their own choices by the people around them.
If a female chooses to drink, and then requests sex from a male, it is his responsibility to refuse - even if he is just as drunk himself.

Just to make it absolutely clear that consent plays no part in it, and to make it as blatantly obvious as possible that it is an issue of sexism and misogyny - only women are too stupid to make their own sexual choices, while for men being intoxicated is irrelevant - Occidental college gave us an example where positive consent was in the form of a written record, and where everyone involved and every witness all agreed that both parties consented and both parties were intoxicated beyond the point of valid legal consent:


We know she consciously, deliberately, decided in advance to have sex with him, as she explicitly said so in written messages to both him and her friends. 
She decided to file charges only after she had been coached to perceive the incident as rape days after the fact. 

BOTH people were drunk.  If a drunk person can be manipulated, and therefore cannot give consent, then they each sexually assaulted each other, and any punishment he receives she should receive as well.

Some laws have been changed to seem, on the surface, gender neutral by taking out gendered pronouns. Legal definitions have also expanded to include things like anal and oral penetration.  This means that the number of men who are officially "raped" is now above zero, because men are sometimes subject to forced sodomy or forced fellatio.

Yet it is still true that under most laws, rape, by definition, means "penetration". Which means if two heterosexuals are both drunk, the male is a rapist and the female is a victim.

This is the result of the misogynistic assumption that women are inherently weak and vulnerable, and that the act of intercourse is inherently one of domination of male over female.

CA PC263
"...Any sexual penetration, however slight, is sufficient to complete the crime."

IL Sec. 11-1.20
Criminal Sexual Assault. 
(a) A person commits criminal sexual assault if that person commits an act of sexual penetration and:
(1) uses force or threat of force;
(2) knows that the victim is unable to understand the nature of the act or is unable to give knowing consent;
"Sexual penetration" means any contact, however slight, between the sex organ or anus of one person and an object or the sex organ, mouth, or anus of another person, or any intrusion, however slight, of any part of the body of one person or of any animal or object into the sex organ or anus of another person"

"NH law considers a felony sexual assault to be sexual penetration of another person, that is forcible and/or against that person’s will; or, where the victim is incapable of giving consent."

HI Rev. Stat. § 707-730"Defendant knowingly subjects another person to an act of sexual penetration by strong compulsion"http://apps.rainn.org/crimedef/index.cfm?state=hawaii

"a newly revised version of New York’s “Rape is Rape” bill that classifies any vaginal contact as “rape,”"http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2013/02/14/new-york-bill-finally-expands-legal-definition-of-rape-to-include-any-forced-sexual-contact/

"The new definition is more inclusive, better reflects state criminal codes and focuses on the various forms of sexual penetration understood to be rape. The new definition of rape is: “The penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim.”"http://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/2012/January/12-ag-018.html

"The government is drawing up laws to make it easier to convict men of rape if they have sex with a woman who has drunk so much that she may not know what she is doing."

Due to basic biology, the default form of sexual contact is sexual intercourse.  Which means that defining rape as "penetration" makes it automatically biased.
If a man ties a woman to his bed and has sexual intercourse with her against her will, he is guilty of rape.
If a woman ties a man to her bed and has sexual intercourse with him against his will, she is NOT guilty of rape.  She is guilty of sexual misconduct, or forced sexual contact, or lewd and lascivious acts, all of which have substantially lighter penalties and sentences, and in some jurisdictions is not even a felony, but merely a misdemeanor.

This also means that if an adult heterosexual couple is both intoxicated and have consensual sexual intercourse, (unless she is wearing a strap-on dildo and anally "pegging" him), she can not legally be accused of rape, while he is automatically guilty of rape (regardless of whether she says so).
In fact, even if the male were drunk, and his female partner were completely sober, she still can never be found guilty of rape (assuming she sticks to the standard practice which constitutes literal sex, with a vagina enveloping a penis).

The grand total number of cases where a male has successfully had a female arrested, prosecuted, and convicted of sexual assault* on the grounds that, while he did actually consent to sex, his consent was invalid due to his being intoxicated, is exactly zero.**

*(since, by definition, non-consensual intercourse wouldn't be "rape", the best he could do would be the lesser charge of sexual assault) 
**(If anyone knows of any examples, by all means please let me know. I will amend this.  Also, it would help restore my faith in humanity)

People claim that some men use alcohol as a weapon.

We are talking about someone of legal drinking age. Unless she was raised by an extreme religious cult that neither allows any alcohol nor ever talks about it, or perhaps by wolves out in a forest, she is aware that drinking alcohol causes intoxication.
Unless a man ties up a woman and puts a funnel in her mouth, he can not "get her drunk". She drinks. She chooses, voluntarily, and with knowledge of the effects of alcohol, to drink. It doesn't matter if he offers to pay, it doesn't matter if he is persistent in suggesting it, if she is an adult, she has free will and agency.
The only way a man could possible "use alcohol as a weapon" would be with that funnel.

This view of gender relations is not feminism, it is misogyny - and it is representative of an extremely large part of how our culture - especially the view of activists and claimed feminists - look at things like rape and violence against women.

It is part of a pervasive trope that sex is something men take from women. Men supposedly frequently use "manipulation" to get sex that the woman didn't want to give. We know in the example from Occidental - because of written records - that she DID want to have sex. He didn't have to manipulate her.

Another example of this victim trope is the urban legend of date rape drugs that men slip into women's drinks in order to take advantage of them. But in reality, of those who are sure enough they were drugged to seek medical attention, 98% have nothing in them but (self-inflicted) alcohol. Thats just the ones who suspect it.  99% of the time people don't suspect it to begin with.  Which means at least 99.998% of the time women get intoxicated, its for no other reason than they decided to get intoxicated. 

That's frequently WHY women drink: so they can have the sex they actually want in a repressed society of slut-shaming.
Claims of "manipulation" are nothing more than rationalization. There is nothing about having a vagina, or XX chromosomes, that makes a person inherently more vulnerable to manipulation. That belief, even if it is never spoken explicitly, is misogynist.

How different would the Occidental case be if he had decided days later that since he didn't remember the details and she fits the profile of a manipulative person, she must have raped him and he filed charges against her? That would never be taken seriously. That's the double standard. 

When a car driver kills someone because they were drunk, we don't blame the death on the person who sold them the car, and we don't give the driver a pass and say "well, you were drunk, so you weren't responsible for your actions." 
You made a conscious choice to get drunk, and then you made another choice to get behind the wheel. 
If you try to sue someone, and they produce a signed contract, you don't get to say "yes, that is my signature your honor, but I had a drink with lunch before I signed it, so it shouldn't really count". If a person is unconscious from alcohol poisoning, he can't charge the paramedics with assault because he was too drunk to consent to care. You can't annul a marriage on the grounds that you were nervous, and therefore got drunk just before the ceremony.

When grandma manipulates you into visiting, we don't call it kidnapping. When the salesman manipulates you into buying something you don't need and can't afford, we don't call it theft. When my friend Alison manipulates me into giving her a piggy back ride because she supposedly can't walk three blocks, I can't call it assault.

Only in the case of sex do we decide that women are the equivalent of mentally disabled children, and are not responsible for their own choices.

Only when the subject is sex do we suddenly decide that "convincing" is interchangeable with "coercion". Actually, not even then - if a female manipulates a male into sex, its called "seduction". Its only specifically when a male manipulates a female that it is "rape".

The simple solution is to expect women to be responsible adults who make their own decisions, and call it rape only when an attacker actually uses physical force, threats of violence, or drugs the victim without the victim's knowledge.

No one should be able to claim rape as a way to avoid admitting regretting a decision.
Which is basically what "too drunk to consent" really means

Because, as we all know, no woman in the history of humanity has ever actually desired to have casual sex. Normal, healthy, respectable women only ever want sex in the context of a loving, committed relationship which either is, or will hopefully end in, marriage - preferably even then only for the purpose of creating a baby. 
Otherwise, she would be a slut! Only women who have no self-esteem would ever voluntarily have sex outside of a committed relationship, (because of course a woman's sexual purity is her most valuable asset). If a woman who isn't a slut has sex, a man must have manipulated her, using his powers of insertion telepathy and his jedi mind tricks (which apparently comes automatically with being male, although unfortunately somehow my own never seem to have developed).

In case you can't tell, I'm being sarcastic. I don't actually believe that last paragraph. But it is what is implied every time someone concludes that when two people are equally drunk and have consensual sex, the man raped the woman. And its what is implied every time a man uses "pressure" or "persistence" or "convincing" or anything other than force, threat or drugs, and it is called rape. And those things have become so mainstream to be called "coercion", that even the CDC used those definitions in its official report.

It reduces women to the status of children or the mentally disabled, and says they have no free will or agency. It is patronizing and demeaning. It is misogyny, framed as feminism, intended - subconsciously, to be sure, but intended none-the-less - to ensure that women retain the social role as victim.


  1. Hey thanks for posting. You and I must've been separated at birth. You've made all of the points I've been trying to make throughout the thread but better. Why do you think today's feminists cling so tightly to the notion of victimhood? I have my ideas about this.
    I would love to make a post about it, but even my masochistic tendencies only go so far.

  2. ohhh....
    such a large and complicated issue.
    for one thing, any oppressed group has both psychological and practical benefits from clinging to victim status. Its no less prevalent among African American's, who like to point out differing detention and arrest rates, while conveniently ignoring the proportionally differing crime rates, or who point out different rates of income while ignoring rates of high school graduation.
    It is always nice to be able to not have to feel responsible
    And when ideas like these are so mainstream, sometimes they get incorporated into law, giving a tangible advantage to the once oppressed group.
    I personally believe that overall its counter productive, but its not hard to see the motivation.
    Also, I think a lot of the ideas (both men and women hold) about women and sexuality are so universally assumed to be true that no one has to even say it outloud, which makes it harder to be aware of - I think the best example of that is something I pointed out in the 2nd of my recent feminism series on my blog, about the subtext of using the word "penetration" to describe (even consensual) intercourse, when in literally every other context that word means "something forcing its way in where it doesn't belong", like a needle. We don't ever say "penetrate the lock with the key". We could just as easily use "envelope" to describe intercourse, and it would be no less accurate, but it would switch the object and subject of the sentence, making it something women do to men, which in turn would change the entire psychological framework we associate with the act.
    In other words, its not "feminists", nor is it "today": our entire culture starts out with the assumption that females are the "victims" of sex by default, and that only in special circumstances can it be considered anything else. There are extremists who claim ALL heterosexual intercourse is rape, but most settle on somewhere in between.
    The idea that women can't consent to sex after voluntary intoxication is mainstream, as evidenced by it being law most places. The idea that passive consent isn't consent is mainstream enough that it was just signed into law in CA.
    That should prove interesting, since 75% of women prefer to be submissive. That means, essentially, that the vast majority of all heterosexual sex will now technically be classified as rape.
    So, in a way, we are just coming full circle - for most of history, in most of Western culture, sex was, by default, a crime, and only in the most narrow of circumstances (hetero intercourse within a religious sanctioned marriage for the express purpose of reproduction) was it acceptable.
    Today the specifics are different, but just as many people on the (supposedly) progressive side of the isle are trying to make sex a crime by default except in the most narrow of circumstances as are conservatives.


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