June 29, 2019

"... an especially apposite response..."


ADDED: Rothstein's question made me think of something in that book I recently read twice, "Kafka on the Shore," by Haruki Murakami:
“Is it okay if I imagine you naked?”

Her hand stops and she looks me in the eyes.

“You want to imagine me naked while we’re doing this?”

“Yeah. I’ve been trying to keep from imagining that, but I can’t.”

“Really?”

“It’s like a TV you can’t turn off.”

She laughs. “I don’t get it. You didn’t have to tell me that! Why don’t you just go ahead and imagine what you want? You don’t need my permission. How can I know what’s in your head?”

“I can’t help it. Imagining something’s very important, so I thought I’d better tell you. It has nothing to do with whether you know or not.”

“You are some kind of polite boy, aren’t you,” she says, impressed. “I guess it’s nice, though, that you wanted to let me know. All right, permission granted. Go ahead and picture me nude.”

"Thanks," I say.

58 comments:

readering said...

WTF

rhhardin said...

Rousseau thought about it. He could have his way with any woman against her will in secret.

rhhardin said...

It will be readily conceived that this mode of making love is not attended with a rapid progress or imminent danger to the virtue of its object; yet, though I have few favors to boast of, I have not been excluded from enjoyment, however imaginary. Thus the senses, in concurrence with a mind equally timid and romantic, have preserved my morals chaste, and feelings uncorrupted, with precisely the same inclinations, which, seconded with a moderate portion of effrontery, might have plunged me into the most unwarrantable excesses.

Terry di Tufo said...

If I love you what business is it of yours? -- Goethe

Otto said...

Adolescent babble as blogged by a 67 year old retired law professor. Me think the professor had a repressed adolescence.

Lucid-Ideas said...

"You're some kind of polite boy aren't you."

He doesn't get it. She already made her decision. He can do whatever he wants to her. She already gave him permission...even before he asked. Her response expresses both confusion and annoyance that he 'doesn't get it'.

There's also a bit of her losing some esteem for him. Why doesn't he get it? Why doesn't he do and take what he wants? Is he week? Why does he need my permission?

I should stop now. This conversation, this day and age, is potentially dangerous. Most people think of picturing people naked without their permission is sexy. Think of the fantasies.

Leland said...

I didn't know there were terms involved, particularly the "energetic" clause. As for letting them know; I have no issue with someone's imagination but I draw the line at telling them. That's when it becomes disrespectful.

On a similar topic, I saw a few years ago an interview with Carrie Fisher's daughter. She remarked how uncomfortable she was in school, as fellow students would come up to her and say they masturbated to her mother's picture from Star Wars. She told her mom about it. Carrie told her daughter to respond, "me too". Billie Lourd says that's the moment she realized her childhood wasn't 100% normal.

rhhardin said...

I wish it were as easy to banish hunger by rubbing my belly. - Diogenes

Darrell said...

Dear Women,

You don't want to know what we're thinking.

--Men.

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

That is why I only fantasize about porn stars. They have given their consent. I also keep a calendar of Everytime I masturbate and the porn star I was thinking of.

I believe it will be very useful in the future criminal trial for "mind rape."

stevew said...

Caroline Rothstein is a tantalizing and refreshing avant garde performer of spoken word poetry who has been mesmerizing audiences for years.

I think I see what's going on here...

Fritz said...

'DeepNude' app to 'undress' women shut down after furor

Birkel said...

I will not have a Struggle Session.
I will not submit.
My mind, my choice.
GTFOOH

MadisonMan said...

@Fritz, take the output from the App, make a movie of the nude person with the new technology that creates movies from simple gifs, and presto! You have all the Presidential Candidates in an orgy on stage.

(If that's the kind of thing that floats your boat)

Ann Althouse said...

“He doesn't get it. She already made her decision. He can do whatever he wants to her. She already gave him permission...even before he asked. Her response expresses both confusion and annoyance that he 'doesn't get it'.”

The context is she’s made it clear that she will not have sex with him, but she’s giving him a hand job so he can relax and go to sleep and she’s stated that the hand job is not sex. So he is not free to do more, only to experience the hand job, and he asks permission to have thoughts about the things he can’t do in real life.

Fernandistein said...

He doesn't get it.

Most of the male characters in Murakami's stories are unrealistically passive and wimpy; one reason I got tired of him.

Jamie said...

Ok, so the priest (Episcopalian) who married my husband and me would not pray for anyone without that person's permission. Prayer, he said, had tangible effects in the world, and therefore it's an infringement of a person's right to privacy and autonomy to be subjected to unwanted prayer. He cited some studies about people who were prayed for in hospitals and so on. (Not a scientist, he didn't point out the confounding factors there.)

Anybody know of any studies that indicate that if I, say, picture holding hands with Hugh Jackman or something, he suddenly raises his head, wherever he is, sensing a disturbance in the Force? Because otherwise I'm going to carry on.

Henry said...

She laughs. “I don’t get it. You didn’t have to tell me that! Why don’t you just go ahead and imagine what you want? You don’t need my permission. How can I know what’s in your head?”

This is an interesting passage to remember in contrast to the disturbing dream sequence later in the novel.

Howard said...

Resurrect FDR to declare a spank bank holiday

Howard said...

Darrell reminded me of my favorite movie quote from Wall Street:

Roger: Still seeing that sexy french chick?
Bud: No, No. She asked the wrong question.
Roger: What was that?
Bud:"What are you thinking?"

David Begley said...

Where’s Laslo?

Tina Trent said...

Ah, Cathy Young.

Who said the women assaulted at the Puerto Rican Day parade in 2000 deserved it because they were wearing jogging clothes while jogging in a park.

It takes skill to be so ecumenically despicable.

Virgil Hilts said...

15 years from now -- “Is it okay if I [order a sex robot customized with your exact face, body and figure]?” Her hand stops and she looks me in the eyes.

Ingachuck'stoothlessARM said...

If only you knew what's inside of me now
You wouldn't want to know me somehow,
But
You will love me tonight,
We alone will be alright,
In the end.

Ingachuck'stoothlessARM said...

@Virgil Hilts
do we own the rights to our own looks? Can we sue?
Is there such thing as 'virtual rape'(yet)?
If mind-reading technology works, will there be Thought Police?

Gahrie said...

Is it wrong for women to enjoy rape fantasies? How about if they fantasize about a real person raping them?

rcocean said...

Carrie Fisher's daughter - is she mentally ill too? Its astounding how many "Show biz" folk need psychiatric drugs and therapy.

Ingachuck'stoothlessARM said...

today, is the most climactic part of a rape fantasy

when you go public?

John henry said...

As with so much in life, there was a seinfeld episode about this.

A store maniquin that looks like Elaine is posed suggestively in a store window.

Elaine is offended, hijinks ensue.

John Henry

bagoh20 said...

"He doesn't get it." Yea. That's the problem right there.


It's unrealistic to think you can find the time to get permission from every woman you meet, becuase that's how many women men want to see naked, except for Lena Dunham. It's always what you don't want that they hand out like government cheese.

Swede said...

We are so overdue a super plague.

Seeing Red said...

What did Peanut admit to?

I have sinned in my heart?

Howard said...

What do you think you deplorables are, Swede? That's why you people get so verklempt when the immune response via Twitter YouTube Google Instagram kicks in

Swede said...

That "immune response" is a man made obstacle to silence people.

Because those that can fashion that obstacle know that they can't win the war of ideas.

And so, roadblock and delay where they can.

In the end, Trump will win again. The Senate will stay in Republican control.

And after seeing the Democrats trying to out-commie each other during the debates, I think the House is actually in play.

Regardless, I see regulation in the future for those entities that will give it the ol' college try to influence the election one way. They see it, too. It's why they're not even trying to hide what they're doing any more.

Zach said...

This comes up any time someone tries to use "consent" outside of a legal context.

Consent is an ethical standard. It's a bright line used to establish that someone has broken the law or gone well beyond the bounds of decency. Fundamentally, it's a process question: did the right person sign off at the right time before the activity began?

Most sexual issues are moral issues. Is it right to do this, or wrong to do this? Consent is not very relevant to this question.

"Enthusiastic consent" is a phrase at war with itself. You're elevating an ethical standard to a moral precept, and completely ignoring the moral dimension.

The question which Rothstein needs to answer is: is it wrong to imagine having sex with someone without getting their permission ahead of time? That's a question that only she can answer.

Ann Althouse said...

"@Fritz, take the output from the App, make a movie of the nude person with the new technology that creates movies from simple gifs, and presto! You have all the Presidential Candidates in an orgy on stage."

1. Jon Stewart's 2004 book "America" showed all the Supreme Court Justices naked.

2. Dylan, famously:

While preachers preach of evil fates
Teachers teach that knowledge waits
Can lead to hundred-dollar plates
Goodness hides behind its gates
But even the president of the United States
Sometimes must have to stand naked

Ann Althouse said...

"This is an interesting passage to remember in contrast to the disturbing dream sequence later in the novel."

Yes, exactly.

What you do in your head really matters in that book!

Fen said...

"... he asks permission to have thoughts..."

Keep him busy while I go find my blaster. BRB.

Zach said...

The context is she’s made it clear that she will not have sex with him, but she’s giving him a hand job so he can relax and go to sleep and she’s stated that the hand job is not sex. So he is not free to do more, only to experience the hand job, and he asks permission to have thoughts about the things he can’t do in real life.

This is the kind of person who will spend their entire life on a college campus writing sexual conduct codes. Someone who sees sex as a minor branch of contract law. From this perspective, you could eliminate the entire moral dimension of sex if you had the right paperwork on file.

Ken B said...

Zach raises an interesting point.why “enthusiastic”? This is a really Puritan standard. If you both want to do it, but you are only normally keen, not enthusiastically so, you should both refrain. Like having sex is inherently bad and the justification must be very strong.

gilbar said...

nope, never ever worried about that!
when i'm worrying about pointless things, i usually worry about
a) i won hundreds of millions in the lottery
b) i hire a secretary/cook/trainer/nurse/fishing guide
c) i develop HUGE CRUSH on person from step b
d) i do NOT do anything inappropriate to that person, no quids, no pros, no quos
e) i realize that is JUST A MATTER OF TIME before that person realizes that i'm stuck on her
f) WHAT NOW? how do i propose to her? Terminate employment 1st? Propose 1st?

That's the pointless thing i worry about. Since i don't buy lottery tickets, it's kinda moot. I'd never propose to someone that i knew wouldn't possibly say yes

buwaya said...

Does that line actually work?
Huh. I've been over-thinking this stuff for too many decades.

Howard said...

Yeah Swede. That all could might happen. If DJT wins in 2020, the Democrats will finally have to have a come to Jesus transition. You might not get your plague, but California is long overdue for a Great Earthquake. Hate to see it.

wholelottasplainin' said...

Apropos of an Althouse post a few days back:

When Chuck Norris ejaculates, it creates a sonic boom.

Jeff Brokaw said...

This concept that you might need permission from anyone to have a certain thought in your head, about anything at all, is pure totalitarianism.

She talks about in a sexual context but the concept is exactly the same.

Do NOT give in to these people, even a little bit. Freedom means nothing if you cannot think freely about anything you choose.

Birkel said...

It really matters in that books, said the person locked away too long inside the ivory tower with her thoughts.

Meanwhile it matters precious little in the wider world.
Your bubble is showing.

Oso Negro said...

Die Gedanken sind frei, wer kann sie erraten,
sie fliegen vorbei wie nächtliche Schatten.
Kein Mensch kann sie wissen, kein Jäger sie schießen
mit Pulver und Blei: Die Gedanken sind frei!

Ich denke was ich will und was mich beglücket,
doch alles in der Still', und wie es sich schicket.
Mein Wunsch und Begehren kann niemand verwehren,
es bleibet dabei: Die Gedanken sind frei!

Und sperrt man mich ein im finsteren Kerker,
das alles sind rein vergebliche Werke.
Denn meine Gedanken zerreißen die Schranken
und Mauern entzwei: Die Gedanken sind frei!

Drum will ich auf immer den Sorgen entsagen
und will mich auch nimmer mit Grillen mehr plagen.
Man kann ja im Herzen stets lachen und scherzen
und denken dabei: Die Gedanken sind frei!

Ich liebe den Wein, mein Mädchen vor allen,
sie tut mir allein am besten gefallen.
Ich sitz nicht alleine bei meinem Glas Weine,
mein Mädchen dabei: Die Gedanken sind frei!

TheDude said...

Oso Negro:

Wunderbar! Ich habe dieses Lied immer geliebt!

Oso Negro said...

@ TheDude - Let us remember Sophie Scholl. In 1942, Sophie Scholl, a member of the White Rose resistance group, played the song on her flute outside the walls of Ulm prison, where her father Robert had been detained for calling the Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler a "scourge of God".

Oso Negro said...

For the less informed, Sophie was executed by the Nazis at the age of 22. According to prison officials her words on the way to the guillotine were "Such a fine, sunny day, and I have to go... What does my death matter, if through us, thousands of people are awakened and stirred to action?" Sadly, our universities are producing too many incipient Nazis and too few Sophie Scholls.

Oso Negro said...

Correction - she was only 21.

buwaya said...

Die Gedanken Sind Frei

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=3h6ZZ28QtX4

Mark said...

"The real damage is done by those millions who want to "survive." The honest men who just want to be left in peace. Those who don't want their little lives disturbed by anything bigger than themselves. Those with no sides and no causes. Those who won't take measure of their own strength, for fear of antagonizing their own weakness. Those who don't like to make waves — or enemies. Those for whom freedom, honor, truth, and principles are only literature. Those who live small, mate small, die small. It's the reductionist approach to life: if you keep it small, you'll keep it under control. If you don't make any noise, the bogeyman won't find you.

"But it's all an illusion, because they die too, those people who roll up their spirits into tiny little balls so as to be safe. Safe?! From what? Life is always on the edge of death; narrow streets lead to the same place as wide avenues, and a little candle burns itself out just like a flaming torch does. I choose my own way to burn."

-- Sophie Scholl

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

She told her mom about it. Carrie told her daughter to respond, "me too".

+1 Carrie Fisher

Wince said...

I've got your picture
Of me and you
You wrote "I love you"
I wrote "me too"
I sit there staring and there's nothing else to do

Oh it's in color
Your hair is brown
Your eyes are hazel
And soft as clouds
I often kiss you when there's no one else around

I've got your picture, I've got your picture
I'd like a million of you all 'round my cell
I want the doctor to take your picture
So I can look at you from inside as well
You've got me turning up and turning down, I'm turning in, I'm turning 'round

I'm turning Japanese, I think I'm turning Japanese, I really think so
Turning Japanese, I think I'm turning Japanese, I really think so

Josephbleau said...

I hope everyone understands that sex, in Japan, is very different than sex in the US.

Ken B said...

The “Deep Nude” app has been banned. Some of the complaints were about privacy. How is that relevant? It’s not a real nude photo. It's a digital painting of a nude body. Say Bob paints the people on his street, but he paints them nude. How has Bob invaded privacy? Should bob's paintings be illegal? It's deranged, it’s magical thinking.

veni vidi vici said...

People who think like that are so completely belosered that it defies reason and comprehension.

One simply cannot be so big a loser, such a colossus of loss.

And yet, here they are.