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In Response to my Newest Fan

To the male feminist who copied the text of my consent post in its entirety, then re-posted it in your own blog intertwined with straw man arguments and denial:  
   
First: Accepting implied consent as consent can get a guy charged with rape. It has gotten and can get a guy kicked out of post-secondary school through the college or university's disciplinary system. This can happen and has happened even when consent is implied by active participation. This can happen and has happened even when the female initiates sexual contact. This can happen and has happened even when there are witness to the event who explain that. Giving your own definition of what constitutes consent is interesting, but it does not change how feminist advocacy has shaped the legal definitions which determine the environment faced by sexually active men. No matter how you feel about consent, the fact is that men as a group and individually are subject to the possibility of being accused on the basis of a woman's whim. Failure to account for that reality is a risk, regardless of your feeling or belief.

Second: What we are worried about here is not, as you claim, limited to consent in terms of a relationship. We are worried about the movement in modern western society to convince women that any time sex is later regretted, for any reason, even if there was consent at the time of the activity, the act should be considered rape of the woman by the man. MRAs do not consider consent to be a trap. The movement is in overall agreement that
  •  No means no
  •  Unconscious means no
  •  Incapacitated to inability to communicate or respond means no
  •  Underage means no
MRAs consider feminist advocacy regarding its definition and usage to be a trap. We consider social and legal perception and treatment of consent to be uneven and discriminatory toward men. Society and the law apply unequal standards of accountability and rights between the sexes when considering consent, and the differing treatment of the victim when addressing sexual assault. This is especially noticeable in the expectation that men must obtain explicit, verbal consent or be guilty of rape, while women face no such dilemma because physical response in an adult man's body is considered implied consent. It is further apparent in the disparity of social and legal assumption of free will between men who drink, and women who drink, when drinking is followed by sex.

Feminists attempt to move the target regarding what constitutes consent, arguing for the right to treat consensual sex as rape if the female partner chooses to withdraw consent at a later time. The movement has successfully convinced some judges to treat post-sex-act withdrawal of consent as legally binding.

The movement has successfully advocated adoption by universities of rule sets under which consent implied by active and willful participation does not negate allegation of rape because consent was not spoken. Discussion on this often includes selective quoting of more sensible policies, as when debaters quote from Vasser's definition of consent from the school's Sexual Assault Violence Prevention plan in order to advocate treating it as "A process, which must be asked for every step of the way; if you want to move to the next level of sexual intimacy" (in other words, asking permission before each new action, such as kissing, each area touched, and so on) while ignoring the admonitions toward women (contained in the same policy statement) to communicate, "Say 'no.' Say 'I want to stop.'" and even to take matters into their own hands if communication is ignored, "In a situation where the other person isn’t listening to you and you feel unsafe, you could pretend you are going to vomit. (It’s amazing how quickly someone moves away from you if they think you are going to be sick)." Highlighting the suggestion of obsessive questioning  as a means of ensuring consent while ignoring the empowering advice below it shows a determination in the debater to embrace willful helplessness. Too often, the same feminist advocacy which demands that women be treated as being as tough, strong, and capable as men in every other situation turns around and demands that women be treated as weak, helpless, and incapable of standing up for themselves in iffy, rather than overtly forceful, sexual encounters.

The movement has successfully convinced many women that consent withdrawn after the woman has participated in sex can change the man's status from participant to rapist. When the logic of this is questioned, it is never countered on its own merits. Instead, many feminist advocates move the goalposts, choosing instead to discuss withdrawal of consent during the act, and avoiding discussion of withdrawal of consent after the act and how that can criminalize the male partner's part in consensual sex. Some instead argue that consent is not valid unless it's enthusiastic consent. In other words, heterosexual sex involving a woman who is not naturally demonstrative? Rape. Heterosexual sex involving a woman who is interested but too tired to physically show enthusiasm? Rape. Heterosexual sex involving a woman who isn't naturally assertive in the pursuit of her desires? Rape.


It is one thing to argue that sexual activity should stop when one partner communicates discomfort or dislike, or cessation of desire or interest. That is reasonable - it's rape if someone says "stop" (or in the context of alternative sex acts, utters the "safe word,") and the other partner refuses and forces the issue. It's a whole other ballgame to argue that a partner is guilty of rape because the other partner has at a later date changed her mind. It is not reasonable to expect that an individual would know consent is withdrawn, without verbal or at least easily discernible nonverbal communication of discomfort, dislike, or cessation of desire or interest (such as pushing him away, turning away, dramatic, obvious reduction in physical participation from enthusiastic to nil.) Assuming the male has such knowledge in the absence of evidence is essentially a requirement that he be psychic.

Third: Feminism does not have to be a single standpoint to be held responsible for the practical application of the advocacy discussed. I'd explain to you why, but there's another woman who has all ready given the best possible explanation, and I recommend listening to her statement on the topic. If you don't take measures to rein in the advocacy which is actively chipping away at the due process rights of men, actively shaping post-secondary educational facilities' policy on handling allegations of rape in a way that criminalizes simply being male and accused, actively teaching young women to consider themselves victimized by a man whenever the decision to have sex leads to consequences they don't like, you have no business arguing that feminism is not a single standpoint. That advocacy is the advocacy which is getting results. If you choose to wear the label under which that advocacy is active, you choose to be associated with their assertions, their beliefs, their attitudes, and their reputation. If you don't like that, then don't quietly stand by while they fight for ideals you claim not to support. Speak up, condemn the behavior, and shape your movement. If you refuse to do that, then your attempt to dissociate yourself from the mainstream, most active, most applied brand of feminism is a bald-faced lie.

Moving on: Your mischaracterization of the paragraph on female sexual liberation and slut shaming shows a lack of reading comprehension. The paragraph does not condemn the sexual liberation of women. It merely describes the activity of the movement... and there is a reason why "allegedly" precedes "male practice" in the introduction of that label. Ranting as if you didn't catch that is either disingenuous, or a sign of inability to keep up.

Your paragraph about cheating is a straw man. The last sentence states that applying the label "slut shaming" to the act of treating a female cheating on a male partner as a mistreatment of the male - in other words, a hurtful and harmful act committed against him by her - is an abuse of the label. Your response? "If a woman cheats, it hurts you, but it is no excuse to treat her as a slut." This would be a straw-man argument, as the sentence does not excuse use of the term slut, but condemns applying the label slut-shaming when a  male partner treats a betrayal as the betrayal that it is.

For the record, partner cheating is not treated equally between the sexes. Male cheating on female partners is considered abuse, condemned as the behavior of a selfish, uncaring and dishonest individual. Male cheating is blamed on the cheater, and on occasion, the other woman, but rarely on conflict with the female partner - that would be blaming the victim. The jilted woman has social and legal support behind her in expressing feelings of hurt, betrayal, abandonment, and being unwanted... and in seeking some measure of reprisal, even to the point of violent behavior. The lines drawn are clear. When a male cheats on a female, it's an abuse perpetrated against her. There is no outrage at how she chooses to treat him because of the incident. There is only support for the woman's effort to assuage her own feelings by whatever actions she chooses, up to and sometimes including assault. In fact, when a woman is seen abusing a man in public, the assumption that he deserved it because he cheated is sometimes even seen by the public, especially by other women, as an excuse for the violence. Notice the "You go girl" reaction. Notice in the narration of the linked video, it's explained that hundreds of people walk by. Notice women stating that the man probably deserved the abuse because (they assumed) he was cheating. Notice how only a small minority took any action to help the victim.

Conversely, when a female cheats, the perception often is that the cheater is the victim. It is unacceptable to assert that her behavior indicates selfishness, lack of caring, or dishonesty. Instead, the blame goes to the other man, who must have seduced her, or to her male partner, who must be abusive or neglectful of her needs. When she cheats with a woman, the blame goes to society, who kept her from figuring herself out (making up her mind about her sexuality) until too late to spare the man the experience. It's not treated as a betrayal, but a mistake which should be forgiven. When her male partner attempts to hold her responsible for her actions, that's considered treating her as if she's his property. If she's using the seduction excuse, then by claiming betrayal, he's blaming her for being tricked, as if she had no agency to consent or to withhold consent from the other man. If she's using mistreatment as an excuse, then by showing his hurt, he's blaming her for something he made her do, as if he walked her to the other man's bed and put her in it. If she's using sexual confusion as an excuse, then by feeling abandoned, he's blaming her for society's forced repression of her sexuality.

Your last sentence in discussing that paragraph is one of the defining characteristics of MRA complaints with feminism: If you treat an entire gender as jerks then you will always always be disappointed. That is what feminism does - treat an entire gender as jerks, only bigger. The feminist movement treats an entire gender as criminals waiting to happen, who must be ordered to not commit crimes, or expected to commit them.

Following that, thanks for addressing me as a man. (Have you ever considered that the problem with your dating strategy is you keep thinking that sex is something to be earned?) That's probably the most telling thing you did in your entire post. By not even bothering to read my sidebar, "Whose Blog Is This" to find out who you are dealing with, you let yourself fall into the oh-so-common feminist fallacy of assuming that the only people concerned with men's rights are men. In doing so, you have disclosed your sexist outlook.

Further, your whole argument relies upon treating your personal philosophy as being the reality in which dating takes place. It's not. It's not men who treat sex with women as a privilege, but sex with men as a given. It's women. It's even taught to daughters by their mothers and grandmothers, with inane adages like "why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free," meaning "don't be promiscuous, or no man will marry you."
 
Your belief in male consent agency is great, but it's not backed up by legal handling. The assumption that consent and body autonomy are reserved for women is an attitude which permeates modern western society, leading to such myths as the idea that men can't be raped, or if he is, he's weak or gay. Many western laws still define rape as something men do, and women suffer. When a man's sexual boundaries are violated, if there is prosecution, lesser terms like "sexual assault" and "sexual imposition" are applied. Try using "Woman convicted of forcible rape" as a search term. It doesn't call up any stories on the topic. Instead, it brings up stories on convicted men, discussions on male rapists of women, and a few hypothetical questions with hypothetical answers. Take out "woman" and you'll get even more stories about male rapists. Is this because no woman has ever forced herself on a man?

No.

Recent statistics in the U.S., from which I hail, show that women commit rape (forcing men to penetrate) as often as men (forced penetration.) However, when women do it, it's not legally considered rape - merely an "other sexual offense." When a man forces sex on a woman, it gets the most serious criminal labeling. When a woman forces sex on a man, it gets downplayed as a more minor offense. Does that show equal treatment and value of consent?

Your assessment of the paragraph beginning "In the dating arena" is another strawman, taking the discussion out of the sex act and into minor interactions, ignoring the context in which the statement is made. Again, I see two possibilities. Either your reading comprehension is low, or you're once again attempting to move the goalposts because you can't debate the topic. The claim that emotional response to sexual advances keeps women from saying no, made in the context of date-rape allegations and affirmative consent discussions, amounts to exactly what it says in that paragraph. This is reinforced by the idea that consent may be withdrawn at any time. If consent is withdrawn, but the change is not communicated, the man hasn't changed his intent. He is not responsible for the woman changing her mind. However, college disciplinary boards and criminal courts do hold men responsible for that change. Once again, your personal philosophy on how dating should be does not define how things are.

The same is true of your assessment of the one after, beginning "Complicating this environment." Your claim that no one is treating women as helpless is not backed up by criminal courts, nor is it backed up by feminist advocacy. Your next sentence attempts again to move the goalposts from discussion of incidents involving women who withhold communication and then accuse rape, to women who have been raped after saying no. The issue isn't that the circumstance described never happens. The issue is that you cannot address it without admitting that sometimes, rape allegations the woman believes to be true are false, and sometimes, a sexual encounter that a woman regrets experiencing is her own fault for choosing to not assert herself.
Following that, you add bigotry to your post, baselessly accusing MRAs as a group of having a love of "rapey behavior," which you fail to define. You've completely dropped all semblance of analysis and dropped into the realm of inarticulate denial and unmerited attacks.

Following that paragraph, you reply to the one beginning "This is taken to the extreme in the choice" with another attempt at moving the goalposts because you cannot debate the concept presented to you. With that, you level yet another straw man argument, attempting to debate an unmade statement of justification for sex with someone who is incapacitated. As previously stated, that is not a Men's Rights position.

Your answer to the next paragraph about the Gatekeeper to Consent argument is covered in my previous responses. The only thing I would add is that your reply is wandering and disconnected, and your dismissal is not a valid debate tactic.

Your response to the paragraph beginning "The answer is in how this combination may support the use of abuse" negates itself. I live in the western world - in the United States, where men are not considered able to be rape victims. Men do not have equal agency of consent here. Neither do they in Canada, or most of Europe. You can only believe otherwise if you ignore the entire first world's last few decades of legislative and legal history.

Your final paragraph is yet another straw man, choosing to argue against something much simpler and more benign than the topic discussed in the paragraph above it, the use of false allegations by women as a weapon. Attempting to retrain the reader's eye to the male rape discussion at that point is a sad stab at misdirection, considering it isn't even mentioned in the paragraph under which it is posted. You would do better to attempt to address the topic you brought up by placing that paragraph there.Your further choice to address the reply to MRAs as a group instead of the blogger at hand, leveling another ad-hominem attack on the movement instead of offering an actual point shows that your opinion is seated more in bias than knowledge.

Then again, maybe you would not. Your ability to stay on topic and handle tough questions with solid, well thought-out answers is seriously lacking. As you are a student, and as you write more like a person influenced than a person exercising reason, I suspect that you are still young, and have not had the chance to experience the level of discrimination and harassment some individuals in the movement you so hate have experienced. Perhaps after you have lived a little time outside the shelter of academia, you'll gain a better understanding of how things are in the real world. Until then, enjoy your delusions of practical equality while they last.

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