December 7, 2010

"[I]t’s important to counter the 'haha sex by surprise those crazy Swedes' media narrative..."

"... with the fact that actually, non-consensual sex is assault and should be recognized as such by law. Consenting to one kind of sexual act doesn’t mean that you consent to anything else your partner wants to do; if it’s agreed that the only kind of sex we’re having is with a condom, then it does remove an element of consent to have sex without a condom with only one partner’s knowledge. To use another example, if you and your partner agree that you can penetrate her, it doesn’t necessarily follow that she has the green light to penetrate you whenever and however."

Feministe wants to talk about that "sex by surprise" charge against Julian Assange.

53 comments:

Scott M said...

Is it assault if a man wants to have sex (in all it's gooey permutations) with a woman (who likewise wants to bump said uglies) who lies and tells him she's on the pill when she's not?

Sorry to answer a thread topic with a question, but the whole thing is a tad ridiculous. It smacks of going after Capone for income tax evasion, only sillier.

rhhardin said...

The correct charge is assault, not rape.

The same thing ought to apply to marital rape - it's not rape but assault.

Feminine modesty and its social value is not involved in either case.

Playing the rape card is a mistake for feminists. They still think that women are special while denying it.

AllenS said...

That's why Bill Clinton always carries a cigar.

MayBee said...

with a woman (who likewise wants to bump said uglies) who lies and tells him she's on the pill when she's not?

That was my first thought, too. Perhaps any woman who comes back to tell a man that she had casual sex with that she is now pregnant could be charged with some sort of assault. He only consented to sex, not fatherhood.

Kirby Olson said...

Well, it could be assault with a deadly weapon if it turns out that Assange has AIDS, for instance.

Treacle said...

you just know he has a thin dick. a pinkie finger-sized, pale, limpid dick surrounded by sparse, straight blond-white pubic hair. a tow-headed crotch with a bleached vienna sausage.

FormerTucsonan said...

Ok, so they had sex, but he refused to wear a condom and she wanted him to wear one, but she didn't refuse to have sex even though he wouldn't wear a condom, but apparently he didn't hold her down and force her, but that's ok because it was rape even though she could have refused to have sex with him because he wouldn't wear a condom but didn't.....

My what passive agressives the Swedes are!

And it looks like it's rape in Sweden if she decides she doesn't like you a couple of weeks later.

Got it.

Fen said...

Feministe: It also sounds like in one case, condom use was negotiated for and Assange agreed to wear a condom but didn’t, and the woman didn’t realize it until after they had sex

Jill is actually spot on for once.

Marshal said...

I agree with others that non-condom use is different than rape. Are you not having sex if you use a condom? The author goes on about how this belief contradicts "consent" theory, but I don't think so. We punish rape so harshly because of the emotional damage it can do. It's hard to believe not using a condom can inflict anywhere near the same emotional damage, so it seems appropriate that a lower punishment apply.

That said, the linked post claims the punishment Assange faces is a $700 fine, a preposterous punishment for rape. If the post is accurate Swedish law seems to make that distinction.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

I'm married, so my wife agreeing to have sex is always a surprise.

WV: cunfuri- no comment

kent said...

Sex By Surprise: finding out that your male partner's wiki leaks.

edutcher said...

The literal term, sex by surprise, conjures up the image of rape.

This thing, however, reads like the trans-whatever in WA, I think, who claimed to be a gynecologist so he could feel women's breasts. Only lamer - a variant of, "Of course, I'll still respect you, now get your underpants off".

Frankly, I think Assange was getting scared he was going to get hit and he came in from the Cold.

Freeman Hunt said...

I don't see how cases of agreeing to use a condom and then not could ever be proved.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

I don't see how cases of agreeing to use a condom and then not could ever be proved.

That's why I insist on video-taping every encounter. ( which may, in turn, explain why there aren't actually any encounters ).

traditionalguy said...

Does the legal doctrine of de minimis apply here? The withdrawal on consent cannot be proved except by a swearing contest that has no possibility of any other proof. I would like to hear what a Court would say back to a man who complained that the woman wanted cuddling and talk after ejaculation and would not withdraw her terrible demands...Rape! Rape! Perhaps De Minimis is the best answer.

The Crack Emcee said...

After reading that, all I have to say is, you people are doing it all wrong!

Jay said...

It also sounds like in one case, condom use was negotiated for and Assange agreed to wear a condom but didn’t, and the woman didn’t realize it until after they had sex


Really?

Is this even possible?

YoungHegelian said...

"...it doesn’t necessarily follow that she has the green light to penetrate you whenever and however."

Is this a common problem for guys in Sweden?

Should the guidebooks warn male tourists to visit wearing a strategically placed cork to ward off "surprise sex"?

I guess those Swedish chicks have got us pegged!

Jay said...

From the blog:
If you consent to sex but then at some point during sex withdraw that consent by telling your partner to stop, your partner should stop, and if your partner doesn’t stop then that’s assault. It’s not too hard, for those of us who have had sex, to imagine how this works

Actually, it is hard (pun intended) to imagine as my question is, who does this?

Is it really that bad for some people?

EDH said...

“People my age don’t want to put hats and scarves on in their homes, but there’s nothing we can do about it.”

Ditto condoms?

Joe said...

I agree with Jay, how did this woman not know? Maybe she had a Novocain fetish, but she does have eyes, right?

And the condom broke? Ah, either the classic bullshit excuse, Mr. Assange doesn't know how to put on a condom or he claims it broke.

rhhardin said...

Sex by surprise has to be a machine translation.

If the lady fell asleep on the bus, you could have sex by surprise.

cubanbob said...

A communist jailed on a bullshit PC charge? I love it.
Come on people, enjoy the irony of the wikileaks asshole geting jailed for another type of leakage.

David said...

There is a detailed account of the goings on in Daily Mail.

The notion that Assange is guilty of any sex crime is utterly ridiculous.

He's a despicable person, but a sex crime? Give me a break.

Memo to men: Do not have sex with Swedish women in Sweden, unless you are willing to be totally fucked by a legal system as well.

David said...

Cubanbob, I do not enjoy any irony. These are Police State tactics, on an international scale. Very dangerous.

David said...

Condoms do break, Joe.

David said...

Freeman Hunt said...
I don't see how cases of agreeing to use a condom and then not could ever be proved.

Could not, to your reasonable eyes. But the problem with modern "sex crime" law is the willingness to accept inherently unreliable evidence, together with the restriction on rights of cross examination. This is particularly true in campus "harassment" prosecutions, but now its leaking (yes, leaking) out into national law.

Joe said...

Rarely when used correctly, David. When condoms do break, it's usually because they were put on too tight (or were already damaged--perhaps Assange shouldn't have used a condom he'd been carrying around since he was 12.)

Luke Lea said...

Memeogram links to is back story at the Daily Mail: The Wikileaks sex files: How two one-night stands sparked a worldwide hunt for Julian Assange

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1336291/Wikileaks-Julian-Assanges-2-night-stands-spark-worldwide-hunt.html?ito=feeds-newsxml

Marshal said...

I followed the Daily Mail link. The assertion that the consent was contingent on condom use isn't accurate, at least if the DM story is correct. The DM story says she was upset Assange refused to wear a condom for the second act, but that they had sex anyway. Since there are no other criminal facts mentioned the only conclusion is that while she preferred he use a condom she agreed to sex anyway.

Julius said...

the accusers are Anna Ardin and Sofia Wilén

Shining Wit said...

Physical contact that exceeds the bounds of consent is battery, not assault. If I contract with a doctor to fix my nose, and he gratuitously operates on my ear, he has battered me.

The proper penalty is probably civil damages, not criminal action. Penal statutes should be reserved for cases where 1) the activity is not legitimate (it is clear that the burden of precaution is negative, and the magnitude of harm times its probability is high); 2) there is a real problem of insolvency, such that fines would not amply deter.

Here, the activity wasn't as clearly illegitimate as, say, stealing a wallet. Further, penal statutes of this sort put too much of the onus on courts when we should incentivize private parties to take precautions.

In this case, civil damages should work fine. If there is an accidental pregnancy, then Assange should have to bear the costs either of terminating it or raising the child. If an STD is transmitted, Assange should be liable for civil damages.

jr565 said...

Jay wrote:
If you consent to sex but then at some point during sex withdraw that consent by telling your partner to stop, your partner should stop, and if your partner doesn’t stop then that’s assault. It’s not too hard, for those of us who have had sex, to imagine how this works

Actually, it is hard (pun intended) to imagine as my question is, who does this?

Is it really that bad for some people?


I guess it would depend on the circumstances, but it's kind of hard to envision a scenario whereby you would give someone consent to have sex with you and then right in the middle of the deed you withold consent. Maybe if you get a call that your mom died, or your lover tells you he killed your puppy or something, but short of that why would your intent change so abruptly to something so counter to your initial intent?
And i could see some unscrupulous person using this as an excuse to cry rape and put someone in jail. Allow them to have sex with you then in the middle simply say stop. If they don't stop in a reasaonable time they are now rapists. What if you're about to climax and she says Stop right at the climaxing moment? Is that rape because you can't stop yourself?
It's kind of like giving someone permission to take a dump in your house, and right in the middle of their dump saying that you are not allowed to take a dump and if you don't cease taking a dump you will be charged with trespassing. Not cool.

Synova said...

"Well, it could be assault with a deadly weapon if it turns out that Assange has AIDS, for instance."

My thought as well.

These days the condom is such a big deal that the same act with or without one seems like a completely different story. The commitment to condom-free sex makes the other sort look like passing someone on the sidewalk, relationship-wise, and sex without a condom "by surprise" downright violent.

Methadras said...

I think the charges of sexual assault on Assange is due to the surprise butt-sex that might have ensued. Also, once said surprise butt-sex was made public, then humiliation and regret took place. But I thought he was the victim. :D

Jay said...

but it's kind of hard to envision a scenario whereby you would give someone consent to have sex with you and then right in the middle of the deed you withold consent. Maybe if you get a call that your mom died, or your lover tells you he killed your puppy or something, but short of that why would your intent change so abruptly to something so counter to your initial intent?

I'm baffled too.

The author goes on to write "STOP, STOP, STOP" in all caps.

It all makes for a good Law & Order SVU episode, but I doubt has little bearing to reality...

Fen said...

I guess it would depend on the circumstances, but it's kind of hard to envision a scenario whereby you would give someone consent to have sex with you and then right in the middle of the deed you withold consent.

Grudge sex. She wants lovemaking, but you hurt her with rough sex. Just because you're inside her doesn't give you the right to pound her pussy like a rabbit on steroids. Unless she's okay with it.

Lots of women enjoy rough sex. Lots of women endure some pain for the pleasure. And these same women will say "stop" if you are actually hurting them.

Scott M said...

"The safety word is banana."

Fen said...

I had a guy to that to an ex-girlfriend of mine. He was huge and knew he need to be careful down there (she's pettite). But he got carried away and ripped her vagina open. She had to have surgery.

Caught up with him and put him on crutches for 4 months. And as soon as he was off crutches, I broke the other leg to send him back for another 4.

Revenant said...

Sounds like a bad law to me.

jr565 said...

Fen wrote:
Grudge sex. She wants lovemaking, but you hurt her with rough sex. Just because you're inside her doesn't give you the right to pound her pussy like a rabbit on steroids. Unless she's okay with it.

Lots of women enjoy rough sex. Lots of women endure some pain for the pleasure. And these same women will say "stop" if you are actually hurting them.


That can happen, and I'd probably put that under the kill your puppy category (ie your partner deliberately hurts you). I will say though that sometimes, especially the first time for women it can be a painful experience (or so I hear not actually being a woman and thus no way to test this). So the mere fact that a woman experiences pain should in no way infer that the main is raping the woman. He may similarly not be particularly experienced and not know how hard to thrust.

Synova said...

It doesn't have to be violent sex either, it can be something more like, "Oops, that's not comfortable, shift that way" or "OMG my hair is caught on your watch band, ow, ow, ow."

Srsly

TangoMan said...

I guess it would depend on the circumstances, but it's kind of hard to envision a scenario whereby you would give someone consent to have sex with you and then right in the middle of the deed you withold consent.

Taking no longer than 30 seconds to withdraw after consent is rejected equates to rape and this man was sentenced to 4 years in prison.

Jay said...

Ok, I see the point about thinks getting rough, or creepy, but the author didn't really articulate that.

And I'm not into the whole "degrading" thing or anything like that so I guess my frame of reference is coloring my view on this.

Bruce Hayden said...

As I thought about this, I remembered the case of the Kobe Bryant rape case. There, she wanted it one way, and he gave it to her another way.

But Kobe had a couple of advantages that Assange may not have, like a big fan base and enough money to buy the best attorneys around. And, it was in Colorado, not Europe. (I showed up at the Eagle County court house during one of his appearances, and it was a total zoo with fans and the press everywhere).

TangoMan said...

I guess it would depend on the circumstances, but it's kind of hard to envision a scenario whereby you would give someone consent to have sex with you and then right in the middle of the deed you withold consent.

This case has eerie parallels to Assange's case. Not being quick enough on the withdrawal leads to 4 years in prison.

Revenant said...

Caught up with him and put him on crutches for 4 months. And as soon as he was off crutches, I broke the other leg to send him back for another 4.

So how much prison time did you get for your first and second felony aggravated assault convictions?

Revenant said...

Kobe had a couple of advantages that Assange may not have, like a big fan base and enough money to buy the best attorneys around. And, it was in Colorado, not Europe.

Also, American courts still usually require a rape to have occurred before convicting a person of rape. Not always, but usually.

rcocean said...

That's what happens when your country if full of Great Looking babes. You try to please 'em, and before you know it you're sitting down to piss.

Or maybe Sweden is full of wimps.

Fen said...

So how much prison time did you get for your first and second felony aggravated assault convictions?

None. And they were hardly the first and second.

Why does it offend you?

Revenant said...

None. And they were hardly the first and second. Why does it offend you?

For it to offend me I'd have to believe you. I think you're just another anonymous internet tough guy inventing a tough guy life history.

In real life, when you hospitalize a guy twice for messing with your ex-girlfriend, the police come have a little chat with you. Then you go to prison and find out what the real tough guys are like.

Lu said...

It seems that the Law and Society really can't cope situations where a person is driven mad by desire or driven mad with anger or just driven mad.

Inevitably it turns out to be the driven persons fault not the drivers for the consequences except, possibly, some self defence cases.

Oddly enough, drugs or alcohol can be mitigating circumstances otherwise one is expected to be totally in control of oneself.

It's a pity that self control isn't taught in schools.

[also a pity that this discussion has to degenerate into personal views of what is 'ugly']

AllenS said...

Watch Gibbs' reaction at about 48 seconds. He's not happy.