November 28, 2013

"Crazy, I know, but I've actually been encouraging my son and his friends to use sexting — minus the lewd photos — to protect themselves..."

"... from being wrongly accused of rape. Because just as damning text messages and Facebook posts helped convict the high-schoolers in Steubenville of rape, technology can also be used to prove innocence."

Writes Roxanne Jones of ESPN. She's getting some attention for this, notably from Melissa McEwan, who's the type of blogger who, approaching this topic, begins with "[Content Note: Rape culture.]," which is — if I understand the culture of people who say "rape culture" —an enactment of the belief that encountering the topic of rape triggers a post-traumatic experience. Why doesn't the warning itself cause alarm? Isn't that the nature of warning? I suspect that the message isn't so much to the individuals who experience post-traumatic stress but to everyone: Never forget how deeply rape hurts.

After the warning, McEwan writes:
This is an actual fucking article authored by former EPSN [sic] vice president Roxanne Jones and printed at CNN in the year of our lord Jesus Jones two thousand and thirteen: "Young men, get a 'yes' text before sex."
Hey, why didn't we get a warning that you were going to use vulgar language and mock Jesus? Because McEwan is selective about which sensitivities to pet and which to kick in the ribs. It's a way to be funny, and fuck you if you don't laugh. Plus, some people like Jesus Jones. I kinda do. Saying "Jesus Jones" is like saying "Jiminy Christmas" or whatever cornball/hip substitution for "Jesus Christ" amuses you.
[Roxanne Jones] actually posits that a text message can verify consent, as though it's not possible to ask "Do you want to have sex with me?" followed by a series of any other conceivable questions that might elicit a yes, and then delete the interceding messages to make the "yes" look like a direct reply, irrespective of what the actual reply was.
But what Jones — Roxanne, not Jesus — wrote was: "Never have sex with a girl unless she's sent you a text that proves the sexual relationship is consensual beforehand." All McEwan is saying is that some efforts at concocting text evidence could be fake. But Jones said "a text that proves," without elaborating what text would be adequate proof. And McEwan doesn't seem to realize that deleted interceding messages would be recoverable, and the deletions themselves would be evidence against the accused. If Jones's idea is any good, it's because she's encouraging building relationships — however minimal — around sexual encounters and doing so in writing so you can defend yourself if you are falsely accused.

Give Jones some credit for saying "relationship." She also recommends "follow[ing] up any sexual encounter with a tasteful text message saying how you both enjoyed being with one another — even if you never plan on hooking up again." That's also about maintaining relationships. If your concern is avoiding accusations — false, true, or true-ishly false — don't do things that provoke the person who might go on the attack. Telling males to send some nice texts is interestingly similar to telling females not to go traipsing about in short skirts. It's don't-be-a-victim advice that some people find aggravatingly close to letting the victimizer off the hook.

But, of course, McEwan doesn't want to talk about the potential for false or false-ish accusations. She rails at Jones for talking about "stupid girls" who get drunk, throw themselves at young men, and then accuse them of rape:
Ms. Jones, I was not raped because I am stupid. I was raped because I had the misfortune of being in the presence of a rapist who was determined to rape me. Fuck off.
McEwan is an enforcer of the doctrinaire position that the issue of false accusations is such a distraction from the real problem that anyone who mentions it should be slammed down hard. Isn't it odd that extreme sensitivity about rape is expressed by telling another woman to "fuck off"? Why is fucking used as the metaphor for the expression of extreme hate? It sounds as though, in the mind of the person deploying the metaphor, fucking equals rape. It's a violent hateful action directed at the woman's body.

What is the true scope of this "rape culture" we are being warned about?

36 comments:

TML said...

What a tedious woman. Let no unsanctioned thought or idea penetrate my hymen of righteousness on this matter.

Ann Althouse said...

There's ambiguity in McEwan's post title: "This is so the worst thing you're going to read all day."

Brian J Beck said...

who's the type of blogger who, approaching this topic, begins with "[Content Note: Rape culture.]," which is — if I understand the culture of people who say "rape culture" —an enactment of the belief that encountering the topic of rape triggers a post-traumatic experience.

You have your tedious feminist terminology mixed up professor. A "trigger warning" is an enactment of the belief that encountering the topic of rape triggers a post-traumatic experience.

"Rape culture" is the doctrine that any hint or suggestion that a man might defend himself against a rape charge legitimizes rape. It's far more pernicious than a mere "trigger warning."

tim maguire said...

I think "[Content Note: Rape Culture]" is a heads up to file the article and probably the author under "life's too short."

That said, it has been claimed
(entirely plausibly, in my opinion) that sending flowers and a note the next day is a common date rape tactic to lay the groundwork for a consensual sex defense.

Shouting Thomas said...

Not a new idea. The "male game" website, Heartiste, has been advocating videoing sexual encounters as protection against false accusations for years.

SomeoneHasToSayIt said...

Lay back and think of England, is still the best advice.

Shouting Thomas said...

The "I have deep deep deep feelings that are ever so exquisite" is a favorite lefty tactic. It applies to all topics and is just another way of telling heretics to shut up.

SGT Ted said...

"...an enactment of the belief that encountering the topic of rape triggers a post-traumatic experience."

This is the bullshit template used to control other peoples speech when it disagrees with or refutes the "rape culture" proponents assertions and assumptions. It's about power over others, nothing more, nothing less.

"Triggers" is just the latest tool to tell others to "shut up". It is utter psycho-babble political bullshit.

William said...

I just hope everyone has a sane, safe Thanksgiving. I would warn all women to not go overboard on the turkey. Many Republican uncles take advantage of their nieces' post prandial stupor to make unwanted advances. Be vigilant and eat responsibly.

Birches said...

I'm always a little bewildered by people who go back to their own rape as a reason why ALL accusations of rape are obviously true.

Shouting Thomas said...

"I'm always a little bewildered by people who go back to their own rape as a reason why ALL accusations of rape are obviously true."

I suspect that the claim of rape in the article is an unsubstantiated accusation against an unnamed person.

pm317 said...

All males are rapists; all women are accusers. You have to protect yourself from one or the other. Is that what they both are saying?

MadisonMan said...

[Content Note: Rape culture.]

The underlying notion being that you are too weak to handle this, maybe, and I am benevolent and am looking out for your best interests.

Not unlike Big Government.

Complete agreement with Tim Maguire: Also a nice head's up that nothing useful will follow.

Tom said...

A lot of liberals want to be seen as rationals in touch with their feelings. When in reality they're completely irrational and ruled by their feelings. Now we find out a lot of the hate speech has been faked. It's enough for me to question the existence of any sort of rape culture. I don't question that rape occurs. Just that there is a culture in the sense that culture simply means, "the way we do things around here." I think it's time to being in Myth Busters.

David said...

There will be a tipping point.

The McEwans of the world will not enjoy that one bit.

rhhardin said...

It's the nagging culture.

TML said...

It's like MoDo's "absolute moral authority" for Cindy Sheehan. It's all flexible and situational and continent and relative.

TML said...

darn it: "contingent"

David said...

Melissa's Comment Guidelines (A part of them--they are amazingly long and detailed.)

Guidelines: Comments are open to anyone as long as they don't troll and/or traffic in racist, misogynist, homophobic, trans*phobic, gender essentialist, disableist, ageist, sizeist, or otherwise objectionable commentary based on people's intrinsic characteristics and/or identities. Hate speech, slurs, rape apologia, rape jokes and metaphors, violent imagery and rhetoric, threats, trolling, concern trolling, derailing, playing the Oppression Olympics, pointless belligerence, sockpuppeting, silencing tactics, accusations of bad faith, disrespecting the mods, including ignoring them, telling contributors what they should be writing about or how they should be writing about it, and/or invoking the [CN: disablism, self-harm, and sexual violence] blogmistress' personal experience to use against her, or doing the same to any of the contributors, mods, or other commenters, could result in any of the following: Your comment edited to remove offending material, your comment replaced with an incredibly sophomoric paraphrase, your comment deleted, and/or your commenting privileges revoked.

Differences of opinion and criticism are welcome; no one has ever been nor will ever be banned on a difference of opinion alone, and criticism happens all the time here.

However, bad faith masked as disagreement or criticism is not allowed.


Abandon All Hope, Ye Who Enter Here.

Trashhauler said...

Wait a minute. A text is no proof of consent, except at that moment. What if she decides otherwise, once you show up? And then, there's always the, "He started to do something I didn't like, so I said no" removal of consent.

Overall, she should tell him to concentrate on his studies - and internet porn.

cyrus83 said...

The problem with the texting strategy is there's no way to verify who sent the text. The girl could always say the guy swiped her phone and sent the text to himself, bringing things right back to she said, he loses.

The best avoidance strategy is to wait until married to avoid a rape charge, but the next-best plan would seem to be to plop money down at a local adult establishment. Nothing says consent like cold hard cash.

n.n said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
n.n said...

Is sexting the new matrimony? It's no wonder that there are so many "relationships" which end with irreconcilable differences.

Birches said...

The best avoidance strategy is to wait until married to avoid a rape charge, but the next-best plan would seem to be to plop money down at a local adult establishment. Nothing says consent like cold hard cash.

I'll add never have sex with anyone who has been drinking.

Big Mike said...

Melissa McEwan, what are you doin'?

Joe said...

The best avoidance strategy is to wait until married to avoid a rape charge

According to feminist theory, this isn't true either. There is a rape culture and it dictates that if a woman has any regrets about a sexual encounter, even if long after the fact and no matter how consensual at the time it happened, it becomes rape.

Cedarford said...

Messages can protect, only thing better is video of the tryst.

In California a few years back, a woman claimed she got drunk and 4 guys raped her. The 4 admitted that they did encounter the (married) woman at a party and she was eager to "pull a train" so all 4 banged her. They were arrested and charged.

The woman rushed to the media to claim anonymous Victimhood of the Highest Moral Order. The guys names of course were plastered along with their arraignment photos in media. Feminists rallied to her cause. Media anger, post-rape "vigils", the usual rape politics stuff.

Then the lawyer for the guy who had the house they took her to came forth and said a video chip existed. And the whole thing was on a disc he gave authorities. Seems his client liked sex memorabilia. The video showed the woman was "vigorous and aggressive" , shouting commands for harder fucking, "more cock!", "i'm cumming - don't stop, don't stop you MF'r!" And showing speech and body coordination in various positions she easily got into that belied her claim of being in a drunken, barely conscious state when the "unspeakable assault on me" - happened.

Various rape advocates called the secret taping without permission of the woman or likely many other women "the actions of a despicable man". But authorites had to decide between political forces claiming "a raped woman never lies about such a matter" and what they saw with their own eyes.

Of course the judge did end up telling the man that since the video WAS made without the woman's knowledge or permission, he would be arrested and charged if copies showed up, or it was put on the Internet. (In response to another of the accused saying he hoped 10 million people would end up seeing the lying slut in action..with her name and address captioned.)

Of course, after carefully considering the matter, the DA declined to prosecute the woman for false rape claims.

30yearProf said...

Sexting sure beats stopping just before the condom goes on and asking your partner to sign a standard form RELEASE certifying that she (or he) really, really wants sex and is assuming the risk of over exuberance by either of you.

We lawyers love records.

Kirk Parker said...

Hey, We're All Catharine MacKinnon Now.

Michael K said...

"Heartiste, has been advocating videoing sexual encounters as protection against false accusations for years. "

A doctor I used to know actually successfully defended himself in a sexual abuse case this way. He, stupidly, had developed a sexual liaison with a much younger girl in his office, of all places. She would come in after hours. One day, he thought she was high on something and acting strangely. He turned on a tape recorder.

Sure enough, she went home and told her roommate that he had drugged her and raped her. He was arrested. His attorney presented the police with the tape and the charges were dropped.

He later closed his office (He was a GP) and went to work as an ER doc because, he said. he got busier after the publicity but the patients coming in were weird.

It worked for him.

Freeman Hunt said...

A text to prove your disposable sex wasn't criminal? Gross. How about telling your son not to be a weakling with no mastery over himself? How about telling him to be a man and take a pass on weak, crummy sex?

readering said...

A few odd things about the article because of the disparate trains of thought. A major focus is sex and lots of alchohol don't mix well. Don't see how sexting addresses that problem, even if McEwan didn't put it well. A second major focus is looking at groupie-interacting professional athletes as exemplars for the sex lives of college boys. WTF. PS. Who sends her son to start college with 300 condoms?

Trashhauler said...

"How about telling him to be a man and take a pass on weak, crummy sex?"

Huh. How does one...operationalize this advice? For example, how does one know it's going to be weak, crummy sex?

Kirk Parker said...

Trashhauler,

You're trolling, right? Freeman can, of course, speak for herself, but my take on this is that the answer is well know to most everyone, but rejected by many because it involves traditional morality.

Glen Filthie said...

Bah. If all you are after is a quick roll in the hay, pay a prostitute good money and you won't have to put up with the drama and hysterics that go with the revolting North American feminist these days.

You are far better off getting charged with patronizing prostitutes than you are with false accusations of rape.

Ann Althouse said...

"Bah. If all you are after is a quick roll in the hay, pay a prostitute good money and you won't have to put up with the drama and hysterics that go with the revolting North American feminist these days."

You should read the Roxanne Jones article, in which she says that is a big part of why athletes use prostitutes -- to avoid rape charges.