November 8, 2013

"Perhaps the most astonishing aspect of this story is the virtually unanimous support for the 'survivor' from anti-rape activists and their supporters."

"Letters published in The Post, from women and men alike, deplored the 'disheartening' skepticism about the 'poor woman's' claims and decried the pernicious sway of 'the rape culture.'" 
[A] class of 2013 alumnus... chided "misguided skeptics" for failing to realize that "it takes incredible courage for a woman to come forward and report a rape," since she subjects herself to "massive public scrutiny."...

A column on ThinkProgress.org.... suggested that eyewitness accounts confirming that both participants in the act were "very, very drunk" proved that, no matter how consensual it looked, it fit Ohio University's criteria for sexual assault.  (Actually, the university policy quoted in the column states that a person is unable to consent if "incapacitated" due to alcohol or other factors.)  The writer, Tara Culp-Resser, did not seem to realize that by her definition, the man can be considered a victim of sexual assault as much as the woman — leading to the absurd conclusion that they were raping each other.
That's actually not "absurd." In statutory rape, depending on how the statute is written, both can be committing the crime. If you want to define "sexual assault" broadly, it can be possible for both to be committing the offense. If a campus would like to exercise more parental control over students, it can say no drinking and sex. You can think about why that may or may not be a good policy, but it's not absurd. In the old days, the rule was just: No sex.

The question of what is "rape" — or a "rape culture" — can be distracting. We're talking about a university's disciplinary code, not putting people in prison. The case at the link shows the problem of treating the female as the presumptive victim in drunken-but-otherwise-seemingly-consensual sex. But what's so bad about treating them both as violators of a campus code forbidding drunken sex?

As I said the other day, it might help to ease up on the "rape culture" talk and discuss whether there's a "bad sex" culture.

64 comments:

MadisonMan said...

Of course the woman is a victim. All women are victims! They certainly can't be expected to be strong, as they are too busy being victimized by the patriarchy. So it's certainly not her fault. No woman can be expected to be blamed for anything where men are involved.

This, IMO, is what feminism is all about: Women wring their hands and blame the man.

rhhardin said...

Q: How do you get into those pants?

A: You might start by buying me a drink.

RecChief said...

maybe it's not a question of "bad sex", but a question of too easy sex.

Werent we alot better off when Janie kept her knees together and Joey had to promise, and follow through on, something weighty?

Congrats feminists and free love proponents, you got what you wanted. And to paraphrase Mencken, good and hard.

David said...

Imagine how proud their parents must be.

And at Chase Bank? Have a little class, please. Get your public head at J.P. Morgan. Why not the best?

Julie C said...

So we have "slut walks" on the one hand, and on the other, a woman who has public sex and is then so ashamed at being outed, she claims she's been raped. I'm so confused. I thought the feminists were telling us to own our sexuality, yada yada yada. Own it, but if anyone finds out, then it's RAPE!

Bob R said...

Reading the last post, I was skeptical about the use of "bad sex culture" as a communication tool. In this situation, I think it might do a lot of good. While I mostly disagree with campus authorities that want to exercise more parental authority, I don't think the people who are for it are arguing in bad faith. Discussion about how sex where either or both parties have a .05 BAC may be great, but sex where either or both have .2 BAC is bad might actually produce some agreement.

Virgil Hilts said...

Whats is astonishing is that we are effectively making it advisable (rather than disgusting) for male univ. students to, where possible, videotape their sexual encounters so they retain some evidence (ala dash board cams) to defend from fraudulent claims of coercion and incapacity.

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

Sorry to be insensitive, but the first thing that comes to my mind in cases like this is ridicule. Just about everything about the situation is a product of irresponsible stupidity, emanating from supposedly educated people.

I still cling to the belief that there are people in universities like this who can think for themselves and recognize the absurdities involved. Certainly the police and the grand jury could.

This leaves me with the even more depressing thought that nonconformity of thought on the campus has become so dangerous that those who might dispute the automatic response of victimization dare not speak.

A "rape culture" is a culture of intimidation. But it's not the only form of cultural intimidation.

The question is, which form of cultural intimidation is actually the pervasive one?

n.n said...

Is this a "friends with benefits" or libertine phenomenon? Perhaps men and women should commit to each other before indulging their sexual appetites. It seems that women and men with a progressive morality are disproportionately obese.

It's possible that some traditions were not capriciously conceived and constructed, and that they were grounded in a scientific perspective. Our ancestors may have been wise men and women with cause.

We have been hustled by promises of free sex, money, and medical care.

pduggie said...

Back in the day, progressives and TV told me that fornication was AOK, and outdated notions that you shouldn't have sex until you're committed to marry the person forever was foolish prudery. "When you love someone, then you're ready to have sex"

Now people just have sex without love.

YoungHegelian said...

How can one NOT be skeptical of a claim made by someone who was "very, very drunk" when the event in question was taking place?

Being simultaneously shitfaced & capable of objective judgements is not something we mere mortals can accomplish.

n.n said...

Julie C:

Avert your eyes! This is a pay for play production. Thought crimes will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law and beyond.

Perhaps this is intended to produce a population of eunuchs and barren women. Who is controlling the levers of evolutionary fitness? Their efforts to normalize dysfunctional behaviors is threatening our future and diminishing our liberty.

pduggie said...

i have to say, to the original article title, this was not 'hyped'

Jezebel never even touched it, and while gawker did, it was rather mild on how obvious the rapiness was.

where was it hyped? Its a hard case to hype.

pduggie said...

OH!

"While none of the onlookers thought the sex was non-consensual, at least one or two of them berated the man as a "slut" and physically assaulted him after he stood up, bloodying his face--an ironic detail considering feminist complaints that women are stigmatized for sexually "loose" behavior while men are not.)"

good for them. So much for the nobody tried to intervene lie.

Marshal said...

There's clearly a difference between not remembering giving consent and not consenting. The activists are pretending someone drunk enough not to remember must have been too drunk to consent, but the video proves that false. At one point she puts her hand to the back of his head, and at another she expresses her desire to continue despite the audience.

Of course the activists are in full outrage mode so they don't care about the issues, but it's clearly not rape.

And what's with someone punching the guy?

sean said...

"it might help to ease up on the "rape culture" talk and discuss whether there's a "bad sex" culture"

Did you ever go to a church where the pastor preached about the evil of poor church attendance? Of course, he is preaching to the people who do come to church. Prof. Althouse's suggestions for improving the campus culture, which she doesn't dare address to her colleagues, since she knows that they aren't interested and would insult her if she tried, are strikingly similar. The readers here aren't unthinking, sanctimonious, politically correct academics who need this sort of advice.

PB Reader said...

Why stand up for your rights, report a crime, and actually have to face the burden of proof when you can impugn a whole sex? Accusations and innuendo seem to be sufficient in the court of public opinion.

Cathy Young said...

Ann, thanks for the link! I'm actually totally in favor of holding "campus conversations" about bad/irresponsible sex (and not averse to using disciplinary charges in some cases, particularly one like this where the irresponsible sex is public). My issue is with labeling it rape or sexual assault, which creates multiple problems -- among other things, making it virtually impossible to hold women responsible for their behavior that contributes to these situations. "Don't get so drunk you that end up doing really dumb things you'll feel immensely embarrassed about when you sober up" is sensible advice; "Don't get drunk because you might get raped" sounds like "victim-blaming."

Cathy Young said...

Oh, and Jezebel did post something about it. So did Salon.com, and I believe ThinkProgress had at least three posts. There was also a fair amount of coverage in the "traditional" media including The Daily News (sorry, don't have the time to dig up the links right now).

Mary said...
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pduggie said...

well, maybe i've read so much breathless hyped stuff on rape I'm jaded when something gets ambiguous attention. The story deserved attention, clearly. I'm also not sure the 'groupthink' part of Jezebel is their main page content. and unlike other rape stories they cover, they only seem to have 1 post.

Michael K said...

It's OK. The inflatable sex dolls are available NSW, by the way. I can see this will be a bull market for them, so to speak.

Even Amazon has them.

EDH said...

Solution: have both students sue the bar for their respective rapes by each other.

EDH said...

Incredibly, there's even video of the male suspect's police interrogation.

Sorun said...

There's video, so we can believe what the sobered-up girl said happened, or we can believe our own eyes.

William said...

If women are resolute enough to serve in combat positions, surely we can allow them to get drunk and have sex in public. Men get drunk and have sex in public all the time, and nobody thinks the worse of them. No one should pass judgment on this woman, including, of course, the woman herself. She should own her act--maybe even take pride in it. Many people feel inhibited by the presence of strangers or have their libidos blunted by strong drink. It's particularly distressing when your love partner engages in projectile vomiting. Not so this woman. She knew what she wanted and went for it. Screw the conventions and gender stereotypes. Full speed ahead. The force is strong with her. There's much to admire in her brave act. I feel certain that if more women get drunk and have sex in public, many gender stereotypes will be laid to rest.

paul a'barge said...

David: Sorry to be insensitive, but the first thing that comes to my mind in cases like this is ridicule.

David, the entire point of the slut-shaming anti-movement and feminism and the rape culture assertion is to emasculate ridicule.

R. Chatt said...

What exactly is meant by the term, "bad sex?" Do you mean sex where the woman is not sexually satisfied but the man is, or vice versa? Or do you mean sex where there is no emotional relationship whatsoever between the consenting parties? Or where the guy persuades the girl to engage in sex acts under a false pretense, i.e., that he loves her when he doesn't?

Ann Althouse said...

Cathy Young said… "Ann, thanks for the link!"

Thanks for coming into the comments.

"I'm actually totally in favor of holding "campus conversations" about bad/irresponsible sex (and not averse to using disciplinary charges in some cases, particularly one like this where the irresponsible sex is public)."

Good. Note that I'm not asking the campus authorities to do reeducation on the meaning of what is good. I think people should talk amongst themselves. And I'm stressing the difference between criminal law, which should be limited, and campus codes, which can vary from school to school. Students can go to the kind of school they like. That is, I'm for more individual expression and choice.

"My issue is with labeling it rape or sexual assault, which creates multiple problems -- among other things, making it virtually impossible to hold women responsible for their behavior that contributes to these situations."

I think "rape" and "sexual assault" should refer to crimes, what we are willing to prosecute and punish people for. There, it's important to catch/deter bad actors and victims may have foolishly exposed themselves but we still hold the criminally guilty responsible. If you're wallet was stolen because you had it in an exposed back pocket, the thief is prosecuted just the same. That's important to nail down, and it is wrong to blame the victim (even if you'd like to strengthen the citizenry's resistance to crime).

With that part of the analysis properly attended to, individuals should also look at other issues, such as: What is your conception of the good? How should you live? Are you drinking too much and, if so, why? What does drinking have to do with your sexuality? Are you drinking to overcome inhibition, to gain courage? If so and you regret your behavior, then why do you still drink? Who do you really want to be? You're in college, you should be finding yourself and thinking about how you want to live.

James Pawlak said...

When my daughters reached "a certain age" I instructed them in very personal self-defense methods.

One, protecting our home and her younger sibs, drove off some would be home invaders with a very large knife. The younger girl sent a young man to the hospital with a coke bottle to the head in response to putting his hands in her pants.

If sober, no reasonably trained female need worry about anything but offering the following to the police: "He tried to rape me! Is the medical examiner here yet?"

Shouting Thomas said...

The definition of an "anti-rape activist" is "a college girl who wants a government job after she graduates."

You might want to make that "a college girl with a worthless liberal arts degree."

fivewheels said...

"massive public scrutiny"

If only. This woman still hasn't had her name published that I've seen. Why not? Because women are never held accountable. If there had been a prosecution, the guy's name would be printed in indelible ink and tagged for life on the internet. The woman? Nothing. Why? Can you call it anything other than a media conspiracy? It's a custom they choose to maintain voluntarily, and for some reason they all agree.

Men who are accused, including those falsely accused, get shamed and publicly abused plenty. Years later, I still remember the names of Reade Seligman and Collin Finnerty without having to look them up (I did forget the third Duke guy).

fivewheels said...

In that Ohio State Carlos Hyde case, where he was falsely accused of punching a woman in a bar and knocking her out ... what was her name?

It was never mentioned in any story. It wasn't even a rape case. The allegation (disproved by videotape, once again) was that he decked her. No reason to "protect" her, other than she's a chick and shouldn't he responsible for the false charges she makes. Full media blackout.

Saint Croix said...

It should be a felony to make a false rape accusation.

William R. Hamblen said...

In older days the rule included "no drinking", at least on campus.

Sam L. said...

Cathy Young wrote, " "Don't get so drunk you that end up doing really dumb things you'll feel immensely embarrassed about when you sober up" is sensible advice; "Don't get drunk because you might get raped" sounds like "victim-blaming." "

I say that's nonsensical. The first part applies throughout, and 'might get raped' is a strictly cautionary admonition on this continuum.

damikesc said...

Not to be mean, but it seems exceptionally hard to rape a girl by going down on her.

The man is in an incredibly vulnerable position in doing that.

Whats is astonishing is that we are effectively making it advisable (rather than disgusting) for male univ. students to, where possible, videotape their sexual encounters so they retain some evidence (ala dash board cams) to defend from fraudulent claims of coercion and incapacity.

Not just in university...in life. If I were single, I'd only have sex in my house and I'd have cameras rolling.

My issue is with labeling it rape or sexual assault, which creates multiple problems -- among other things, making it virtually impossible to hold women responsible for their behavior that contributes to these situations.

My problem isn't even that. It's that men ALONE are supposed to be "in control" when drunk. If both parties are drunk, how is the man supposed to be the "rational" one (especially since feminists have spent decades discussing how men think with their penises only) in a situation where both are ripped?

Poor choices and regrets aren't rape.

Men who are accused, including those falsely accused, get shamed and publicly abused plenty. Years later, I still remember the names of Reade Seligman and Collin Finnerty without having to look them up (I did forget the third Duke guy).

Evans was the third one. Dave Evans, I think.

And the media tried their best to keep Crystal Mangum's name out of the news.

I'm a firm advocate in false accusations of crimes getting the same punishment as the crime itself.

Col. Milquetoast said...

Cathy young says
"Don't get drunk because you might get raped" sounds like "victim-blaming."

Note to all parents and teachers : Tell kids they should climb into the creepy guy's rustoleum colored van who is offering candy, a puppy and a secret in his pocket because telling them not to put themselves in a potentially bad situation is victim blaming.

digdeeper said...

"That's actually not "absurd." In statutory rape, depending on how the statute is written, both can be committing the crime. "

Why can't a law be absurd?

Paul Zrimsek said...

I think "rape" and "sexual assault" should refer to crimes, what we are willing to prosecute and punish people for.

+1. One of the effects of blurring a line is to make it easier to cross.

Big Mike said...

Why can't a law be absurd?

Indeed many are. Here are some just from Wisconsin.

Regarding the female (I was about to type "lady," but changed my mind) in this particular situation, she's labeled as a "survivor." This is the first I've heard that it is possible for a woman to perish from receiving oral sex. Now a young man can say "You just do me -- I've learned that reciprocating the oral sex and harm you."

Gene said...

Feminists have been trying for a long time to either drive the males out of school or cow them into submission. As far as I can tell, they've largely succeeded.

Saint Croix said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
rcocean said...

I've never been able to understand how you can charge and convict someone of rape - beyond a reasonable doubt - based on nothing more than a drunken women's word.

But that's just me - a skeptic.

rcocean said...

The problem with Althouse's analogy is that rarely does anyone give their wallet/money to another person. OTOH, the difference between legal sex and rape is nothing more than a women's consent, i.e. what's going on in her mind.

Oso Negro said...

"Widespread" outrage, indeed.

Saint Croix said...

You can see the video for yourself here.

n.n said...

If there is a "rape culture", then it can be directly attributed to a progressive morality. It can also be attributed to degraded individual dignity and treating human life as property which is disposable and interchangeable.

The anti-rape activists should refrain from following the standards of traditional civil rights activists, including: extrapolating from the individual to forming general conclusions, and participating in extortion schemes.

They should also reconsider their support for disposable (i.e. abortion) and interchangeable (i.e. diversity) human lives. Reducing a human life to property is not only counterproductive, but mentally and physically injurious to real people.

Michael said...

With 11 out of 6 women claiming they have been raped while in college there is no wonder the rape culture flourishes.

rcocean said...

"With 11 out of 6 women claiming they have been raped while in college there is no wonder the rape culture flourishes."

Yes, math is hard. But then when nobody really knows what "rape" or "culture" is, its not surprising.

I assume they know what "college" is, but I wouldn't bet on it.

SOJO said...



I've never been raped, but a best friend of mine was. And this was a rape Whoopie Goldberg would not likely classify as "rape rape." It was by a newish boyfriend she'd already slept with, but it was still rape. She didn't go through with pressing charges because it was already so traumatic.

She went from being the most self-confident person I'd ever known to being a paranoid, withdrawn, afraid-to-go-out-in-public type overnight.

She came from a wonderful, supportive family and had a great childhood. It was nuked OVERNIGHT. She may as well have come from 20 years of a drunken abusive home.

She stopped talking to me and some other friends shortly thereafter when she entered therapy. As a "first responder" I was a reminder. I missed her for years.

The effect of rape in a person's life and in those of their friends and family is very real, so I can see why people are paranoid about it no matter what the circumstances. I don't think it's the place to get cavalier.

Men (or boys) are raped by other men more, as far as I know, with very detrimental effects. Men are not raped by women in anywhere near the same numbers.

That's why.

Inga said...

They don't care and won't believe you SOJO. It's become misogyny central around here lately.

Saint Croix said...

I've never been raped, but a best friend of mine was.

I feel sorry for your friend, SOJO.

I can see why people are paranoid about it no matter what the circumstances. I don't think it's the place to get cavalier.

Watch the video. What you describe as "the circumstances" is that there is no rape, and the people who claim it is have no interest in reality, or facts, or truth, or innocent men. It's a weird ideology that is being indoctrinated in schools. It's very political, very McCarthy stuff.

Saint Croix said...

Watch The Manchurian Candidate if you don't understand why this mockery is happening.

You can also watch The Crucible for the dramatic version of a witch hunt. This is directly analogous. Young girl gets mad, points at somebody, labels him a witch.

Althouse is, gently, trying to get feminism to be more rational about sex and more rigorous about using the word "rape."

Saint Croix said...

Men are not raped by women in anywhere near the same numbers

Imagine a black person accused of a crime, and they are obviously innocent. And instead of talking about the facts of the case, his accusers can only focus on his skin color. And they make statistical arguments about what people with what skin colors do what crimes.

How would you feel about this argument?

And how would you feel if this was taught in the schools? If people were indoctrinated so that every time an accusation is made, guilt is assumed?

Matthew Sablan said...

How do you even prosecute a case of mutual rape? I think some very brave person should write a John Grisham-esque novel tackling that subject.

Matthew Sablan said...

"OTOH, the difference between legal sex and rape is nothing more than a women's consent, i.e. what's going on in her mind."

-- If the only place consent exists is in her mind -- and not in words or actions -- then I would hope that no man would try sleeping with her. If the woman can't be honest and up front about what she wants, then any man who has learned from watching how the world works should just not sleep with her.

Yes, this will lead to a lot of people having a lot less sex, but, it is good advice. Don't sleep with people who haven't made it abundantly clear they want to sleep with you. Even if you have to kill the mood with something like: "Are you sure?"

Larry J said...

Inga said...
They don't care and won't believe you SOJO. It's become misogyny central around here lately.


Yes, because misogyny is when any man disagrees with any woman about anything, no matter how absurd. Meanwhile, the feminists never seem to grasp that broadly labeling all men as rapists or potential rapists is misandry in the grossest form.

Sayyid said...

"We're talking about a university's disciplinary code, not putting people in prison."

Please don't pretend that a university's adjudication of "rape" will not ruin someone's life just as much as a criminal case. Hell, in many ways, it would be better for the accused if it were a criminal case. The requirement of actual proof of guilt being one big reason.

jr565 said...

If you want to define "sexual assault" broadly, it can be possible for both to be committing the offense.

Maybe then we should redefine sexual asault since this broad application makes it farcical.

jr565 said...

"As I said the other day, it might help to ease up on the “rape culture” talk and discuss whether there’s a “bad sex” culture."

So instead of banning drunk driving we'll ban drunk f*cking. And if you get too drunk to screw we can have designated screwers.
And mothers against drunk f*ckers.

Victor Erimita said...

The pervasive campus rape culture should be the subject of intensive lectures and workshops during the "sex weeks" now common on campuses. Maybe they could find room between, you know, the seminars on fisting, anal explorations, lectures by porn stars, "sex workers" and proselytizers of sundry libertine ways.

Victor Erimita said...

Years ago a female co-worker angrily related to me something that had happened at a party the night before. A man she had spent much time with over a couple of months had had sex with her at the party. She was drunk and supposedly protested. He had evidently thought her mouth had said no but her eyes had said yes. She was angry, but not traumatized. She still saw him after that. A few weeks later they took a vacation to Mexico together. They eventually married and had two kids.

I realize this situation would not be complicated to the pure moral fire of an angry feminist's mind. The man should have been punished, maybe his life ruined, right? I think human sexuality is a little more complicated than the Calvinist Puritans in feminist clothing believe, in all their white hot fury.