Re: [LCA2011-Chat] Some Anti-Harassment Policies considered harmful

From: Pia Waugh <>
Date: Thu, 3 Feb 2011 14:22:57 +1100

Hi Ted,

Not sure why you are insisting on this line of thought rather than actually
contributing constructively to this discussion but I'll make it simple for

No means no, regardless of gender or any other attribute, regardless of
whether alcohol was involved. People are unquestionably raped in society,
regardless of your insistence on questioning the apparent validty of some
fringe cases, or your thought experiments, where consent may not have been
quite so clear. Some women, men and children are raped. It is horrendous but
it is reality. I have no idea what you are trying to achieve by questioning

No can you actually address some of the real issues? This tangent has become
just ridiculous.


On Thu, Feb 3, 2011 at 1:31 PM, Theodore Tso <> wrote:

> On Feb 2, 2011, at 6:41 PM, Jason White wrote:
> > None of which does anything to challenge the finding that the reported
> incidents
> > were not consensual, and hence amount to rape, whether the victims so
> > classify it or not. In fact, I have heard it reported that occurrences in
> > which victims are plied with alcohol are, as suggested above, not
> uncommon,
> > and that this is used as a strategy to weaken their resistance to what is
> > subsequently perpetrated. They do not, in these circusmtances, give free
> and
> > voluntary consent; and the absence of consent is the essence of the
> crime.
> OK, let's do a thought experiment, shall we? Suppose Alice and Bob have
> sex, and
> Bob is drunk. Did Alice rape Bob? He was drunk, and someone who is
> drunk
> presumably can't give consent. Is that rape? Does the gender of the two
> people
> matter?
> Suppose Bob was partially inebriated, and said he wasn't sure if he wanted
> to have sex,
> but Alice wheedled him and kept on asking until he said yes. No force was
> involved,
> but he could be "psychologically coerced"? Would that be an indication
> that she raped him?
> Suppose Bob drank the alcohol himself, willingly. And if he was still
> raped, does he
> bear any responsibility for put himself into a situation where Alice could
> ask and ask him
> until he said yes?
> Now suppose Alice is also drunk. Now did she rape Bob? Or did Bob rape
> Alice now?
> Or did Alice and Bob rape each other? Let's throw them both in jail!
> Now, actually, the way the law works is that not only does the being raped
> be not able to give
> consent, but that the rapist has to know that the the other person was not
> able to give
> legal consent. So if both Alice and Bob were drunk, there's no rape that
> has taken place,
> in either direction. Whew!
> So one of the problems with the Koss study is the women in question was
> only asked, did
> sex take place, and were you drunk and not able to give consent. She did
> not ask the
> question, did the other person legally know that the women was drunk. And
> given that
> the survey was asking undergraduates, and apparently on a campus where
> there was a
> lot of drinking and socializing going on, do you think that perhaps the
> numbers might
> be skewed by cases where both parties were drunk (and thus not legally able
> to
> know whether someone was legally able to give consent)? How many cases
> that might
> be, we won't know for sure, but it's certainly enough to call that survey
> flawed.
> All aside from the legal question, there's also the question, in the Alice
> and Bob thought
> experiment, regardless of whether Alice is guilty of raping Bob (assume
> that Bob was
> inebriated and couldn't give consent, and she knew that Bob was drunk),
> should Bob
> be faulted for putting him into a situation where he was so drunk that he
> couldn't take
> responsibility for himself? What if it was pretty clear that he regularly
> did this *because*
> he could lose control and not take responsibility for what he did?
> Suppose he hadn't yet
> had sex without giving consent? Would, should he, face opprobrium for his
> actions?
> If yes, does that magically go away once he is raped, and is now a victim,
> since that would
> now be blaming the victim?
> My personal opinion is that things aren't black and white, and even if
> Alice is guilty of
> raping him, Bob should also be faulted for his contribution towards the
> incident, and should
> take at least some responsibility for avoiding being put in similar
> situations in the future.
> Now, people might complain that I'm playing games by switching the genders
> around. But,
> should the gender of the parties make a difference? Be careful, lest you
> start arguing that
> the female sex is the weaker sex, and should be coddled because they can't
> take responsibility
> for their own actions when both parties are totally or partially
> inebriated. At least some people,
> such as Ms. Koss, has in fact been guilty of making that argument.
> Personally, it's not an issue for me because I strongly don't believe in
> going to parties where
> a lot of one-night stands are negotiated, nor do I like situations where a
> lot of alcohol is
> consumed. So I'm also predisposed to not have a lot of sympathy for both
> parties --- male
> or female, attacker or victim --- who put themselves in such situations.
> And how would you feel if someone generated a study where a bunch of males
> were asked
> whether they had sex while inebriated, and then announced some statistic
> indicating that
> (surprise!) a huge number of undergraduate males are raped, and that
> statistic was being
> blindly repeated without anyone asking whether that statistic was valid,
> and in fact, accused
> anyone who questioned said survey has proof positive that the questioner
> was insensitive
> to the needs of males?
> -- Ted
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Received on Thu Feb 03 2011 - 14:22:57 GMT

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