Re: Shit

1

Nothing to add. This is just for the sidebar.


Posted by: Your mom | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 11:34 AM
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Wait, the fraternity had concerns about the evidence, so RS is walking the story back? To me, this is not a strong statement. Why wouldn't the fraternity have concerns about the evidence? If it were "an independent investigator with [credentials] and retained by a neutral third party had concerns about the evidence" maybe. Otherwise, absent anything more, this says nothing except "hey, the fraternity has a very strong interest in discrediting this story and has lots of money to throw at the problem".


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 11:38 AM
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Read the whole WaPo piece.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 11:39 AM
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For some reason the second link did not show up the first time I loaded the page - I was surprised that you'd posted it based only on that.


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 11:41 AM
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What I don't understand is, there were concerns before about how the article clearly identified an individual, despite the pseudonym. I didn't see the name, but I thought I saw someone here, maybe on FB, say they'd seen it.

Now, there's no such person who fits the description? What changed?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 11:42 AM
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WaPo:

Earlier this week, Jackie revealed to friends for the first time the full name of her alleged attacker, a name she had never disclosed to anyone. But after looking into that person's background, the group that had been among her closest supporters quickly began to raise suspicions about her account. The friends determined that the student that Jackie had named was not a member of Phi Kappa Psi and that other details about his background did not match up with information Jackie had disclosed earlier about her perpetrator.

The Post determined that the student Jackie named is not a member of Phi Kappa Psi and had never met her in person.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 11:44 AM
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Working with the need to protect the source of a story from danger, I might add some false detail in order to misdirect. Did Woodward and Bernstein do this, or did they simply allow misdirection? I really don't feel journalists and scholars (I read sociology which changes names by accepted practice) protect their sources enough.

But in our world that values facts more than values, it can come back to bite you.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 11:47 AM
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The answer to my 5 may be just that I was reading people speculating, rather than people who had identified the accused rapist. But I'd swear I saw people saying that the description in the article picked out an identifiable person or small group of possibles (right frat, right lifeguard or whatever job). If there were no such person who fit the description, what were people talking about?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 11:48 AM
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Not surprising. Nobody wants to hear it, but loads of sex assault cases are reports made by crazy people. Normal people are often reluctant to go to the police to report a sexual assault. Nuts and confabulators do not share that reluctance.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 11:50 AM
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Pacing!


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 11:52 AM
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The other thing, of course, is that assuming that it's true (rather than true only in some hypertechnical sense (not that I know anything specific, but something like "He wasn't a member of the frat, he was an affiliate; he didn't work at the Athletic Center, he was an unpaid volunteer," or whatever)) that there is no possible individual who fits the description given in the story, the reporter should be fired unless she's got a really good excuse. That should have been checkable.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 11:54 AM
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6 to 11.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 11:55 AM
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This is puzzling, isn't it? I just can't imagine a scenario where someone gives a reporter a hyper-detailed account of being a victim of a traumatic crime that never happened.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 11:58 AM
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12: Even if Erdeley didn't have the name, she should have been able to check the facts she'd been given, which if the paragraph below is true, she didn't do:

The officials also said that no members of the fraternity were employed at the university's Aquatic Fitness Center during that time frame -- a detail Jackie provided in her account to Rolling Stone and in interviews with The Washington Post -- and that no member of the house matches the description detailed in the Rolling Stone account.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 12:00 PM
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Erdely. I cannot spell any new name right until I've misspelled it at least a few times.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 12:10 PM
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12. Right. Sufficient details were given to identify the perp, and Erdely never claimed to have done so, as I said) here.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 12:10 PM
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16 to 14, actually.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 12:11 PM
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Well, that sucks. Still don't think that the original decision to publish was unreasonable, at all. Also I'd bet a fair amount (though we'll never be able to resolve this bet, and this obviously isn't based on much) that she was actually raped but has gotten quite hazy as to the details, obviously making criminal prosecution impossible.

The concluding sentence in the OP seems way way OTT.


Posted by: Tim "Ripper" Owens | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 12:15 PM
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You don't think failure on Erdely's part to confirm the existence of a possible Drew was unreasonable? (Your bet as to Jackie sounds very plausible to me.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 12:17 PM
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So she got the name of the frat wrong, but the way she knew which frat it was was that someone pointed it out to her a year later. That seems like a non-issue to me unless there's reason to believe her friend is incapable of making a mistake about something a full year old. So the guy she identified as her primary attacker is in a different frat, but again, there's the misidentification possibility. And claims not to have ever met her. Which is what I'd say if I was trying to deny raping someone at a frat party. And she got the date wrong. FFS! who doesn't fuck up numbers from time to time?

The debunking is weak. Erdeley may have done s shity reporting job, but the set of inaccuracies Jackie is guilty of seem like pretty fucking weak sauce to accuse someone of lying about a rape.

I'm really on the fence about this one for other reasons, but I'm also kind of pissed at the Post article.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 12:17 PM
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Nobody wants to hear it, but loads of sex assault cases are reports made by crazy people.

I will also say that in the other direction, a few acquaintances of mine that have gone full DSM-IV crazy had very detailed stories of abduction and sexual abuse that were obviously implausible. But statistics are what they are: even when only a very small percentage of reported sexual assaults are false, that can still add up to a whopping lot of false reports in a populous country with a high rate of actual assaults.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 12:18 PM
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No way, brah. This is exactly the kind of story that underwrites every "she could be lying; I guess we'll never know" reaction to rape claims.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 12:18 PM
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22 to 18.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 12:19 PM
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If it's actually her friends walking it back, I'm -- pleased it didn't happen and horrified at the effects on all future rape reports. But I'd also expect most people at the university to be hugely attracted to any reason to doubt it.

As a standard of journalistic ethics, `don't do anything that will prevent the truth coming out in court' might do, not that I'd know how to predict *that*.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 12:20 PM
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I was gang raped when I was 15. Almost 50 years ago. I didn't tell a soul. Had the weekend to "recover". Anyway, I've had a good successful UMC life and the rapists who are still alive are broken down messes with few teeth. The sort of shocking thing is that I would still advise a rape victim to do what I did. Stay quiet. Keep your head up. Get revenge by living well.


Posted by: Scooter | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 12:22 PM
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The debunking is weak.

Dude. "The Post determined that the student Jackie named is not a member of Phi Kappa Psi and had never met her in person."


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 12:22 PM
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So the guy she identified as her primary attacker is in a different frat, but again, there's the misidentification possibility.

Well right. If that guy was a lifeguard and so on, it's possible that the story is still mostly reliable, and she's just wrong about who was a member of which frat.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 12:22 PM
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26: The "had never met her in person" comes from calling him and asking him, right? Unless there's more than that, the Post should have phrased that as 'denies having met her in person'. Honestly, any two students at the same school at the same time, 'never met her in person' is an implausibly strong claim to state with certainty.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 12:24 PM
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19 -- it really depends what was in their investigative file and what else RS looked at. If they just reported the story verbatim without checking at all, sure, that wasn't close to OK under the existing "rules" such as they are. If they confirmed with a bunch of other students that there was this guy, he was her friend, she told the story, he worked at the center, etc., specifically tracking down the aquatic center to confirm that they had a particular member in a particular frat probably wasn't necessary, especially since providing that information might lead more directly to the story getting back to the target. Hard to condemn the reporting out of hand without knowing more. Also everyone should know that the more recent reporting on why the story was false is also likely lawyer-driven negotiations behind the scenes; the fraternity's lawyers discovered the "inconsistencies" and reported them to RS and the Post, which is why we have this story. That doesn't mean that the inconsistencies aren't there or that the story couldn't be entirely fabricated, of course, but there are definitely behind the scenes negotiations with people pressing the best possible case for why the story was false which is the basis for the reporting you're seeing now.


Posted by: Tim "Ripper" Owens | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 12:26 PM
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I haven't even read the whole initial article, just the first section, but wasn't the whole point of that section that her friends didn't want to be associated with her telling the story? I'm shocked they won't support it in public!


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 12:26 PM
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9: Except she didn't go straight to the police.

I thought the story seemed plausible but also thought some of the other incidents in the article had clearer evidence (maybe this is hindsight talking).


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 12:26 PM
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18: The decision to publish wasn't unreasonable if you don't much care about whether the story was true. People questioned the reporting methods, RS had no response to those questions, and the story turned out to be false. That's not just some weird coincidence. Epistemology is a thing. There are ways to know things.

Sure, a victim of violence could be hazy about the identity of the attackers and the location of the attack. Such a person could even confabulate details to fill in the forgotten blanks. I hope Jackie gets whatever help she needs, but Erdely and her editor deserve what they've got coming.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 12:28 PM
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30: The Post (and Erdely) spoke to post-incident supporters of Jackie. I don't think it's clear that the friends you refer to - the ones who were fearful about reputations and whatnot - actually exist.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 12:36 PM
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25: jesus christ, I'm sorry.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 12:36 PM
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30: Different friends. The friends that the WaPo article is describing are the people in the activist community trying to combat sexual assault.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 12:38 PM
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25: Yeah, I meant to respond. What heebie said.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 12:39 PM
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Dood. The part I bolded in 26? Deleted from the article (without note).


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 12:41 PM
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But statistics are what they are:

I spend a lot of time following this mantra and unfortunately it's applicable here. Being pretty sure someone is full of shit is one thing. Having enough to classify the report that way is another. Putting a hard number to this kind of thing is difficult. From my experience I'd be skeptical of anything single digit.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 12:43 PM
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26: Determining that something like a meeting didn't happen two years ago is bloody hard, especially when a bunch of the people involved have incentives to lie and the date is possibly wrong. Obviously I haven't seen the evidence, which may be some out kind of slam dunk, but if it's just asking people questions I doubt they've got it locked down, even if they have multiple witnesses.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 12:43 PM
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37: I therefore double down on 39.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 12:44 PM
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37- So the article about bad reporting practices followed bad reporting practices?


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 12:44 PM
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Oh, the note is appended.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 12:45 PM
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Never believe an internet commenter.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 12:45 PM
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never mind


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 12:46 PM
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the story turned out to be false

This, you for sure don't know, one way or another (certain aspects may be demonstrably false, but nothing more than that). Basically, everything you read in the press is the result of compromise, misdirection and bullshit. The same is true for the stories you're reading now, they are also the result of spin. Doesn't mean that RS couldn't and shouldn't have done a better job of checking, but still, let's not go all crazy a la Ogged in the OP. This doesn't actually "ratfuck" women's rape stories except for people who already want it to. And, except to the extent that there's a norm of never publishing non-completely-verifiable-stand-up-in-court-as-criminal-prosecution rape narratives, which is really not the most super beneficial thing for women. Also, if there really wasn't an identifiable person, then no one (except I guess the fraternity, and UVA, which obviously fucking deserves it anyway) got their reputation damaged.


Posted by: Tim "Ripper" Owens | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 12:46 PM
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It's kind of bullshit that WP wouldn't try to confirm whether they'd met in person or not. It doesn't seem like it'd be impossible to determine whether they were working at the pool at the same time.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 12:47 PM
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The story was changed to specify that the denial is from the accused, so not surprising.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 12:48 PM
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let's not go all crazy a la Ogged in the OP

There's no way to argue this from first principles. Wait and see how often people not steeped in victim-sympathetic culture bring this up.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 12:50 PM
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Oh, if the question is, will assholes use this to their advantage? Sure.

OTOH it seems like UVA may actually be far enough down the path of investigating what looks like an extreme for real rape culture that whatever happens the article will have done a ton of net good.


Posted by: Tim "Ripper" Owens | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 12:57 PM
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From my experience I'd be skeptical of anything single digit.

Wait, are you saying that the percentage of false rape accusations is in the double digits? Or something else?


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 12:57 PM
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It does seem to me that there's a big distinction between "Looking at the facts demonstrates that nothing like the events could have happened" which would have been something like "She didn't work as a lifeguard and neither did the guy she named, so she can't possibly have gone on a date with him after meeting him at their mutual lifeguard job" and "Her version has to be in error in some respects". The WaPo article has the tone of the first, but only seems to have the facts of the second.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 1:00 PM
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People who aren't sympathetic to victims will figure that there's no way there was a rape.

But, I don't see this as "story debunked!" so much as "frat speaks." We didn't have a party that day, we don't use rape as an initiation, and the guy who was identified but not identifiable or whatever says he never met her.

I'm surprised RS walked it back. I mean, my Facebook feed is full of people parsing the Serial timeline and allowing that a date or time discrepancy here or there might or might not be a big deal -- but here it means she's clearly lying?


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 1:03 PM
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Wait, are you saying that the percentage of false rape accusations is in the double digits?

Yes. So don't fret ogged, the ratfucking has been going on for a good long time. This one just might be more high profile than usual.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 1:03 PM
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51 seems right. But coupled with the RS semi-retraction, I think the damage is done. And 49.1 cuts against 49.2. Wait for the prominent "we must protect people against false accusations" plank in whatever reform UVA comes up with. Maybe still a net good, but this seems like a bridging-the-divide killer in much the same way the Michael Brown robbery video was: something that was bringing people together ends up making the divisions more stark.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 1:05 PM
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I don't think Ogged is wrong here. Even if the story is 100% true, there has been a ratfucking. The questions is whether the ratfucker is the WP or RS.

I'm open to either possibility... I still remember how the WP ratfucked the San Jose Mercury News on the story about the CIA-crack smuggling connection. So its certainly in their repertoire.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 1:08 PM
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Tommy Reid, president of the Inter-Fraternity Council, said that all Greek organizations must register parties with the IFC. He said that the council's records did not date back to the fall of 2012.

So -- they don't have records, but the frat is really really sure they didn't have a party that night. Maybe this story is just how little doubt a frat needs to raise to get everyone to write off the victim as a liar.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 1:09 PM
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I was just reading this totally invented and amazingly racist story that Stephen Glass wrote for Marty Peretz today.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 1:09 PM
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Maybe this story is just how little doubt a frat needs to raise to get everyone to write off the victim as a liar.

This would explain the Post's story, but not (I'd think) RS's note. I'm sure there's more to come on this.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 1:14 PM
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I also think the OP is flat wrong, and this story, no matter how embarrassingly refuted, will have a definite positive effect on campus rape reporting and practices.

Wait and see.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 1:19 PM
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"we must protect people against false accusations" plank in whatever reform UVA comes up with

That was coming anyway (probably rightly, too -- false accusations are bad!).

The real issue is how UVA changes its culture into the future. The sheer volume of reports on rapes and gang rapes and sexual assaults and a culture of rape that seems to have arisen from this thing makes it hard to walk away from the issue now. The response from UVA wasn't just "oh man gang rape shocking" it was "oh yeah we really do have this problem we haven't been dealing with for years." And the process of addressing that is probably far enough underway to not be shut down over the details of one incident. I hope anyway.

Actually maybe similar to Mike Brown, in the sense that you may get progress from preventative structural change caused by the controversy highlighting some really big underlying problems that people haven't talked about for a while, while at the same time there are problems with the spark for the controversy, the most-sympathetic-possible-victim portrayed in a media account, and the specific badguys portrayed in the media account are unlikely to go punished.


Posted by: Tim "Ripper" Owens | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 1:19 PM
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The thing about RS's note, is that whatever the general rights or wrongs of the story, Erdely screwed up something she could have checked: whether any member of the right frat worked as a lifeguard in the right years. That's enough for RS to lose faith in the whole story as reported, even if it's not enough for a reasonable person to be sure that "Jackie" is a fabulist.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 1:21 PM
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The response from UVA wasn't just "oh man gang rape shocking" it was "oh yeah we really do have this problem we haven't been dealing with for years."

This. The followup RS piece about the responses from UVA students they got was a big deal.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 1:22 PM
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Can we all just agree that RS fucked Jackie over? They easily could have written a story that she reported a rape at a fraternity without going writing a story that appears designed to shock with detail.

The story should be about UVa's failure to act upon a report of a rape, not whether a rape happened. Action by the University shouldn't depended on whether some administrator believes her report.

Maybe her friends found her to be a little less than credible about some details and that is why they didnt want to go public. (Maybe bc they unreasonably expect a coherent story or maybe bc she is slightly crazy.)

But RS rolls in and puts the spotlight directly and unnecessarily on Jackie. I'm not willing to cast stones at her. Just RS.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 1:23 PM
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Unsurprisingly, LB gets it exactly right in this thread.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 1:30 PM
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Erdely screwed up something she could have checked: whether any member of the right frat worked as a lifeguard in the right years.

What do you suppose she got paid for the story? I'm wondering if it was enough to support that kind of rigor. If, like many journalistic horror stories I've heard, she's getting paid the equivalent of $2 an hour, I could see why the extra legwork it would take for full fact checking wasn't a priority. That doesn't make it right, but it would be more understandable.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 1:32 PM
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"C-Ville Weekly
We want to share a statement shared with us just now by Emily Renda, an activist and sexual assault survivor who initially introduced Rolling Stone reporter Sabrina Rubin Erdely to Jackie, the woman who's account of a gang rape in 2012 is now being questioned:

"It's an advocate's job to believe and support, never to play investigator or adjudicator. I didn't and don't question Jackie's credibility because that is not my role. Rolling Stone played adjudicator, investigator and advocate--and did a slipshod job at that. As a result Jackie suffers, the young men in Phi Kappa Psi suffered, and survivors everywhere can unfairly be called into question. We still have to build a culture of support and reporting so that justice can be done right and survivors can find healing. Rolling Stone has run roughshod over years of advocacy, over fairness and justice, and ultimately, over Jackie."


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 1:34 PM
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Can we all just agree that RS fucked Jackie over?

Sure, but really this is kinda what reporters do, even good ones -- they take stories from their sources and use them as part of a narrative to make broader points that don't necessarily align with their sources' best interests. It obviously might have been better for Jackie personally to have never had the story publicized, as is often the case for people who get written up in the press. On the other hand, it seems like the broader point raised by the story has and will have extremely positive net consequences for UVA and for colleges generally (let's hope anyway).

Obviously, Jackie, RS, and the story would have been much better served by more detailed checking (though, as I said above, the norm that for a rape story to appear in a journalistic report has to be essentially supported by criminal trial beyond-a-reasonable doubt evidence isn't such a great thing either, certainly when there's not a clearly identified perpetrator being personally defamed).


Posted by: Tim "Ripper" Owens | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 1:52 PM
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Googling "fraction of false sexual assault allegations" turns up various studies which pretty much universally quote numbers in the single digits, but sure, let's believe whatever gswift pulled out of his ass.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 1:56 PM
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66.2: Of course that is what she is supposed to, expected to say.

Reagan's "welfare queens" and "Benghazi!" to whatever degree actually work. And as said above, we should not have wasted time with forensic examination of the Michael Brown case but just moved on to the next cop who killed. As to an extent we did and are still doing.

Keep moving, don't argue the facts, keep your enemies sputtering with outrage.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 2:00 PM
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67:

They didnt fuck her over by taking her story and using it for a broader purpose. They fucked her over by placing all of the minute details out there as truth when they did not need to do so, except to sensationalize it.

Were those sensational details necessary to draw attention to a neglected story? Maybe. Maybe not.

I share your hope that significant attention is brought to the issues of campus rape. But you seem a little glib about RS doing something that isn't in Jackie's best interest in order to make a broader point.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 2:05 PM
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Wait and see how often people not steeped in victim-sympathetic culture bring this up.

Data point: Red State published a piece using the term "The Rape Accusation-Industrial Complex".


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 2:06 PM
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"The Rape Accusation-Industrial Complex"

Didn't they have merger with the Abortionplex a few years back?


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 2:08 PM
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72: To form Feminazix International.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 2:10 PM
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Who or what are you "caring for" in this thread?

Journalistic integrity? Who gives a shit. This is not our goal.

Even if 50% of rape allegations are disproven in a given period, as long as we keep tossing them out there, the movement goes forward. If in a large enough quantity, cops and campus administration will, rather than ignoring allegations, will have to take them all seriously.

Wait, our goal is justice and fairness? I thought it was ending rape-culture. See Ezra Klein on campus consent rules. Collateral damage,, as long as it is more of them than us, is acceptable.

"The end doesn't justify the means" is a very efficient killer of means.

We will wake up after winning the war with guilt we can handle just fine, and corruption discarded as unnecessary.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 2:14 PM
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W/r/t the preponderance of "crazy" victims, I have known at least one friend and of one friend-of-a-friend, who after their assaults and post-assault coping/repression went "crazy" in very self-destructive and credibility-destroying ways. So it's still not exactly clear what this relationship is.

Granted, this genuinely makes it hard to assess claims -- I based my belief on things like drastic personality changes since precisely the night in question that went unexplained for years, etc. -- and I'm willing to believe that "crazy" people are more likely to then create a claim. I just think this causation can be more bi-directional.


Posted by: Thomas J. Whitmore | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 2:20 PM
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68: It also depends on who's hearing the allegations, I'd suspect.

I've had to deal with demonstrably false accusations as a victim's advocate (not for that whatever you want to call not-exactly-victim but as someone running the support group and doing other things for the college) and it was incredibly hard work emotionally to balance all that needed to be done, and my role probably shouldn't have been played by an unpaid already-stressed undergrad but such is life. I've also seen allegations I absolutely believe to be true be considered too preposterous to be realistic.

As I said before, I don't think the existence of fraternity gang rape is implausible and the only completely clanging detail from her story was the quotes of the guys encouraging the unwilling participant, which I was willing to believe the journalist had extrapolated. But that's already several layers of remove from the story and getting people to understand how these things often work is hard, as is figuring out what comes first, the "crazy" or the allegation. Even now, it seems that a lot of people who are on the committees responding to sexual assault allegations on campus really don't get this, and they certainly didn't all in my day either.

I wish RS could publish a list of what was accurate and what wasn't, but they may not be there and that may not be an option. Of course this will be one more piece of ammunition for deniers, but I don't know to what extent they care about how many cases they have and I certainly don't care much about them. But for no one involved in this woman's story to have had the name of her "date" just blows my mind and would be absolutely unheard-of in the hundreds of cases that have been personally disclosed to me. That I just don't get.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 2:21 PM
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But you seem a little glib about RS doing something that isn't in Jackie's best interest in order to make a broader point.

Let's not forget the real victims here -- entertainment media companies -- and the real perpetrators -- intellectual property pirates who drive down the funds available for investigative journalism.


Posted by: Tim "Ripper" Owens | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 2:25 PM
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Jackie is either maligned or seriously ill (or, as I think is most likely, some combo of both). Blaming Jackie for "ratfucking" rape victims is not just bullshit, but cruel. This is Rolling Stone's fuck up.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 2:38 PM
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Scooter, I'm sorry that happened to you. My response to a much milder incident was more like what 75 describes. One thing I find amazing is the variety of ways people do pull through and get past it. I still don't know how the rapists manage to, though.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 2:51 PM
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Scooter: I'll echo the others. Im sorry that happened to you. I am glad that you are well.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 2:53 PM
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Something that's interesting, is that there might be another shoe left to drop. I don't know if anyone's looking into it, but at this point "Drew" is on record as saying he's never met "Jackie". Based on her story, it's plausible that there could be third-party corroboration for their acquaintance, which would look bad for him.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 3:00 PM
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I mean, nothing more might ever come out. But it's not the sort of story where it's completely impossible that there's any more to it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 3:03 PM
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Jackie is either maligned or seriously ill

Just like her alleged rapist, I guess. Therapy for all the poor dears.

More seriously, I'm not sure I get where you're coming from. This is from the Post story.

Earlier this week, Jackie revealed to friends for the first time the full name of her alleged attacker, a name she had never disclosed to anyone. But after looking into that person's background, the group that had been among her closest supporters quickly began to raise suspicions about her account. The friends determined that the student that Jackie had named was not a member of Phi Kappa Psi and that other details about his background did not match up with information Jackie had disclosed earlier about her perpetrator.

Putting it most generously, it sounds like she misled people, or told a tale that she shouldn't have been confident of. That's...reprehensible.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 3:17 PM
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but sure, let's believe whatever gswift pulled out of his ass

I know, right? What kind of asshole relies on firsthand knowledge and experience?

Those studies rely on the classification of the cases by the police. And like I already said, there's a difference between knowing someone is full of it enough to close a case for lack of or conflicting evidence and outright labeling a case unfounded. You're just not going to get the unfounded label much without the victim retracting their allegation. Which is not necessarily a bad thing but it does mean the unfounded numbers are going to be under reported.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 3:20 PM
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That's the same article that initially reported "Accused rapist said 'I never met her,'" as "The Washington Post has determined they never met." I don't think you can count on the fairness of its tone without specifics. He wasn't a member of the frat, sure, that seems reliable at this point. Other discrepancies? I'd like to see them spelled out before I judge her on them.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 3:20 PM
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the unfounded numbers are going to be under reported.

That's pretty much the opposite of what this says, among other things I've read.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 3:32 PM
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86: Hey, whatever. I've got booze to go buy. But people should try actually asking sex crimes detectives. I'm betting that generally that 2 percent number would get a laugh.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 3:36 PM
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Or Human Rights Watch or The Nation. But sure, keep being that asshole.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 3:37 PM
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But people should try actually asking sex crimes detectives. I'm betting that generally that 2 percent number would get a laugh.

This seems relevant.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 3:38 PM
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to 84

But is the rate of under-reporting of false claims, due to--I'm assuming accurate here--police discretion greater than under-reporting due to victims not coming forward?

Not saying I know for certain, but only if the former is greater than the latter would it increase the "false" rate in the overall statistical numbers that we have.


Posted by: Thomas J. Whitmore | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 3:40 PM
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86: That's understandable based on their experience, but are the detectives more likely to encounter the "crazy"-motivated false reporters or the genuine victims that don't come forward?


Posted by: Thomas J. Whitmore | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 3:42 PM
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Blah, not even mentioning all the awful stuff mentioned in the interim.

My S/O's memories about when she was dosed and got away are certainly less painful today than the ones about getting told by a cop that night that she was just drunk and lying about it.


Posted by: Thomas J. Whitmore | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 3:47 PM
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There doesn't seem to be much mystery why victims who think about the situation might not want to talk to the police.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 3:53 PM
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It's also true that the purpose of a sex crime detective is really closely linked to the criminal judicial system -- it's to be an investigator and putter-together of a case that a prosecutor might eventually want to bring to trial. IM not that well informed O I believe that there are a lot of rapes and sexual assault crimes that are 100% real but that also 100% could not and should not support a criminal conviction, not just because of biased juries but because of things like deep inconsistencies in the (traumatized) victim's story, difficulties of proof, etc. There is likely a professional bias against wasting time on an incident that pretty clearly will never support an actual felony charge, but that may substantially overstate the number of *false* accusations.


Posted by: Tim "Ripper" Owens | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 3:53 PM
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Yeah, given the wealth of information about how many cases are classified as unfounded overall, and the well established and common phenomenon of police to pressure victims into recanting I'm guessing that one person's first hand experience does not actually trump basic statistical evidence. Also given that second bit the fact that a lot of sex crimes detectives think large numbers of rape accusations are unfounded really really does not bear on the question the way you're suggesting there...


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 3:59 PM
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94: Right. From my link in 89: 'A fifteen year veteran police officer commented, "So no I don't always believe them and yeah I let them know that. And then they say 'Nevermind. I don't want to do this.' Okay, then. Complainant refused to prosecute; case closed."'


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 4:00 PM
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94, 96: which is also pretty much what the paragraph I linked in 86 said, but gswift dismissed it, because he's an asshole.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 4:00 PM
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I'm getting close to deciding that this blog is pissing me off more often than it's amusing me lately and that I need to just stop reading altogether.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 4:02 PM
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98: noooooo!


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 4:06 PM
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Urgh. Stuff likes this makes me want to skip to the part in history where there are cameras everywhere.


Posted by: torque | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 4:06 PM
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A girl I unsuccessfully flirted with at a college party once just got shot in a department store by her ex, where she was working to earn money for law school tuition. She'd filed for a restraining order. It didn't get approved. Not that it would have necessarily done anything. I'm feeling alameida-like feelings.


Posted by: torque | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 4:09 PM
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98. It could be worse, you could be reading CT on Wonder Woman, FFS.


Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 4:18 PM
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102: OMFG I knew that would be a clusterfuck from the first comment by Rich Puchalsky (bless his heart).


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 4:20 PM
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Good heavens that got nasty quickly. I wonder if there's anything CT could do to improve their comments at this point. I can't imagine what, though.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 4:22 PM
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They could ban Puchalsky.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 4:24 PM
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101 -- holy shit, how horrible (also to 25, forgot to mention earlier).


Posted by: Tim "Ripper" Owens | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 4:24 PM
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. I wonder if there's anything CT could do to improve their comments at this point.

In Stalin's hometown in Georgia of a few thousand, there was an annual town brawl. Once a year everyone would get drunk, and refereed by equally drunken priests, the townspeople (divided up by ethnicity) would jovially fight each other and then bear hug; if things got too out of control the priests would serve more wine or separate people, but the town brawl was just part of life.

I think we should revive this tradition at some kind of all-internet meetup, maybe starting with just Unfogged and Crooked Timber. Just let everyone beat the shit out of everyone else in a gigantic melee refereed by tons of alcohol and drunk priests. Just let everyone get it out of their system.


Posted by: Tim "Ripper" Owen | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 4:30 PM
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If I go to the bar tonight, I will ask if there are any CT commenters there.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 4:35 PM
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I wonder if there's anything CT could do to improve their comments at this point. I can't imagine what, though.

Ban real-name (or quasi-real-name) commenters, maybe?

I'm only 50% kidding. There does seem to be some kind of personality trait that closely correlates being someone who uses their full legal name regularly in all comments, and being a pompous donkey.

John Emerson being a lovable exception, of course.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 4:37 PM
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"Are there any goddamn Crooked Timber commenters in this joint? [long, confused, pause] Good! Because I hate goddamn Crooked Timber commenters. Gimme a Rusty Nail."

It sets a tone for the evening, certainly.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 4:39 PM
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109: I have had exactly that thought, and I don't understand it at all.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 4:39 PM
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I see what you mean. If feel the need to mansplain something already.


Posted by: Mobius Hickfordington | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 4:40 PM
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Mobius Hickfordington

That's your stripper name?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 4:43 PM
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113: The most surprising part of it is that he grew up on a street named Hickfordington.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 4:46 PM
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After he takes off his clothing, it turns out that what's on the inside is the same as what's on the outside.


Posted by: beamish | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 4:48 PM
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I guess I should weight in on that thread, since Witt pretty obviously is pointing at me and I have been banned from that thread. If you will note, I didn't comment til Puchalsky started getting some really nasty shit and after this by Brighouse:

I know its a blog, but one reason I post less than I used to is getting tired of men (and it pretty much always is men) being rude to people (me, and others) in ways they would never dream of being in person. And even after being called out, you chose to be gratuitously insulting in your response. Get a grip.

Rude? Rich was rude? Fuck dude, I study Japan, and rude is the word they use if you use san instead of sama and don't have adequate obsequiousness in your verb endings. I don't let other people tell me what's "rude"

I could go on. Brighouse acts like someone who has been teaching women coeds for a long long time. Education at Wisonsin.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 4:49 PM
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I could go on.

You don't say.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 4:55 PM
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In other words, social justice warrior bullshit and rad-fem collegiate feminism.

Brighouse has let the worst kind of pop-feminist pandering become a habit, which I presume happens when you have a captive audience of adoring coeds for years.

The post, Lepore's NYT article, and his comments just really pissed me off.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 4:56 PM
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just really pissed me off.

You don't say.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 4:59 PM
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Georgian town brawls late 19th century style are the answer, Bob. Let's just have everyone physically into it and see who's left standing when carnival night is over.


Posted by: Tim "Ripper" Owens | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 4:59 PM
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Everyone say who you'd punch first!


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 5:01 PM
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"Bob" is the full legal name on your birth certificate? That kind of thing is unusual in what I understand is your age bracket.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 5:02 PM
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120: I for one welcome your dynamic new philosophy. Ripperism?

122: It's common in SubGenius families.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 5:06 PM
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Brighouse pissed me off for a lot of reasons, but:

"Control meany men on the internet! Rape threats! Death threats! Obscene sexualised insults. This must be stopped.

Oh, and Puchalsky you were in some unspecified manner, rude and insulting. You're banned."


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 5:08 PM
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After he takes off his clothing, it turns out that what's on the inside is the same as what's on the outside.

Cob?


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 5:09 PM
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Since 77 has convinced me that one recently departed commenter has made his triumphant return, 98 has me wondering if unfogged has some sort of informal "one pissed off regular commenter avoiding the place at a given time" rule.

And yes, reading CT comment threads these days is a good reminder of the relative benignity of unfogged.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 5:09 PM
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Heh.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 5:10 PM
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To 123.2


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 5:11 PM
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Everyone say who you'd punch first!

We might need to make it who you'd punch second to get some variation in the sample.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 5:14 PM
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114: Real estate developers are weird.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 5:18 PM
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If we do the Georgian brawl thing, there are a number of commenters who will need to choose sides. I worry that d-squared, as a FPP at CT, will fight on their side. I propose we assign nattarGcM ttaM to man-to-man coverage.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 5:30 PM
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We might need to make it who you'd punch second to get some variation in the sample.

Instant Runoff Punching


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 5:40 PM
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Were there anyone who commented at both sites under different names, I think they should be required to fight in masks, ducking behind pillars to pull them off and put them on as they change sides.

If any such commenters existed.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 5:40 PM
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131: honestly, given the stuff that d^2 calls "fighting" I'm pretty sure that parsimon could beat him like a rented mule.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 5:41 PM
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If any such commenters existed.

If any such commenters existed, I doubt their allegiance one way or the other would be material to the outcome. Unless they brought firearms, which can't quite be ruled out.



Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 5:43 PM
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110: If I don't want a Yuengling, I have to say so as soon as I walk.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 5:44 PM
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There were punches thrown at the first UnfoggeDCon, but the punchee was wearing a flak jacket.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 5:51 PM
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I'm getting close to deciding that this blog is pissing me off more often than it's amusing me lately and that I need to just stop reading altogether.

noooooooooo


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 5:59 PM
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As long as he keeps commenting, reading is optional.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 6:01 PM
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The only way to get him to stay is to entice him with creative, out-of-the-box thinking on theoretical physics that the scientific establishment is too corrupt to handle.


Posted by: Glenn Tipton | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 6:19 PM
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135. I have commented on CT as DaveL but not that often and it's much more fun here.

When I was at MIT my freshman year was the last year of the "Glove Fight" between the freshmen* and sophomore classes. We lost but I retained a tiny ring of the cheapass gloves they gave everyone and thus felt I had won somehow. There was a lot of frat-like weirdness back then, including "Freshman Shower Night" and "Pre-First-Quiz" drink-until-you-barf, among others. O tempora, o mores.

* There were about 30 women in our class and I doubt any of them were stupid enough to participate in the Glove Fight.


Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 6:25 PM
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141: AISIMHB, I saw some weird shit at Caltech (where I did my grad degree) with undergrads and their house-rites. That's the danger of a basement lab near the entrance to the steam tunnels.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 6:40 PM
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134 has me mystified: I can't tell if it's supposed to be an insult or what.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 7:02 PM
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143: I thought you were a pacifist. And d^2 is always writing about "fisticuffs" where the action is some drunk glaring at him. And clearly you've got the disapproval beat covered ;)


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 7:16 PM
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But war owls!


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 7:18 PM
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He's traveling, right? So he may be right behind me.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 7:21 PM
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145: yes, the lad has an active imagination
Much Luke the fellow with the amazing "thunderstruck" mural on the back of his truck in my hometown. He, too, thought people would be impressed.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 7:21 PM
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I like a good mural.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 7:23 PM
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Van, truck, Sistine Chapel, whatever. All good.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 7:25 PM
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144: Ah. I'm a pacifist insofar as giving in to (frequent) anger is a bad thing for me, that's all, so I (usually) walk away. So it's true, d^2 and I could probably have a decent glare-off.

Not sure what to make of the disapproval thing: no doubt I'm more willing to express disapproval than I am to express anger. Okay. Thanks for explaining.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 7:28 PM
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I forgot about the war owls! Awesome. I like raptors.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 7:29 PM
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The tv has a commercial from lawyers looking for boys who took Risperidol and grew breasts. Sometimes I think lawyers are the problem. Sometimes I think who was giving that to children.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 7:46 PM
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You have judges selling kids to private jails and have trouble imagining antipsychotic prescriptions for kids? (But me, I've administered that particular one.)


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 7:55 PM
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Loosely related, but speaking of judges, and cops, and credibility determinations, this is a really honest and open explanation from a sitting federal judge as to why he usually credits the testimony of police. To call something like that unusual and unusually reflective from a sitting federal judge would be -- what's under an understatement? A sub-understatement? Anyhow, you're never going to get a more honest answer from a trial judge.


Posted by: Tim "Ripper" Owens | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 8:07 PM
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You know,

107: I think we should revive this tradition at some kind of all-internet meetup, maybe starting with just Unfogged and Crooked Timber. Just let everyone beat the shit out of everyone else in a gigantic melee

This is an intriguing idea. Unfogged and CT alone is boring, as I'm sure you know. LGM and Balloon Juice are essential.

I don't want to get into whether inviting the Great Orange Satan could be handled by anyone. All internet meetup, my ass.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 8:12 PM
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Oops, 154 is a better topic.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 8:13 PM
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Seriously, this guy's blog is amazing (I'd never seen it before). He turns out to be an older Republican district court judge from Nebraska who is bizarrely willing to be honest and reflective in public. Here's an example:

This week I will sentence several people to prison. As I prepare, I can't get Norman Rockwell's drawing "Freedom from Want" out of my head. I wonder whether the people I will send to prison this week share the same image of Thanksgiving as I do. In some ways, I hope they do. Yet, it would make it easier for me if they viewed Thanksgiving as just another day. It helps to dehumanize those who you sentence to prison, but I just can't seem to achieve that state of perfect nirvana. Poor me.


Posted by: Tim "Ripper" Owens | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 8:22 PM
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I'm not actually going to flounce off, but I might decide not to be around as much. Although I'm touchier than usual today because I got really upset about something else this afternoon (possible two-body solution torpedoed by a department that doesn't seem to appreciate that the gf is a serious scientist in her own right).


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 8:27 PM
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He just keeps on going:

At the Supreme Court, currently dominated by Justices nominated by Republican Presidents, five of the Justices speak and write glowingly about judicial modesty and restraint. There is increasing evidence that this is empty rhetoric. At the Court, law has seemingly become politics by another name.
Like Ms. Greenhouse, the Court's "activist" behavior depresses me no end. I hate admitting that I am and have been a naive dumb ass.

Posted by: Tim "Ripper" Owens | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 8:30 PM
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158.last sounds really frustrating. I'd been hoping you'd find a pleasing solution there. Still hope you do, of course.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 8:33 PM
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Although I'm touchier than usual today because I got really upset about something else this afternoon

IME whenever people are cranky online something like this is going on. Sorry to hear about the torpedoing.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 8:44 PM
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Thanks, Thorn and Josh. There's one other possibility that I'm still reasonably optimistic about, but this is evidence that others don't think her work is as good as I do. Of course, I'm very biased, but I think our field's tendency to pay more attention to how loudly and confidently people talk than to how good their published work is is leading people to badly underestimate her.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 8:49 PM
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157: I'm going to wait until I'm sober* and send that to my dad and sister. There is no way they don't know him.

*Dad wouldn't care about the sober but sister might.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 8:50 PM
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158: If it is a local school, I can threaten people on my way home.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 8:52 PM
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I think our field's tendency to pay more attention to how loudly and confidently people talk than to how good their published work is is leading people to badly underestimate her.

If physics is anything like tech (perish the thought!), there's a fair amount of sexism bound up with this too.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 8:52 PM
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Yeah, I've worried that her sex and her nationality individually would bias people against her and that together they're much worse.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 9:00 PM
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I'm pretty excited about being selected for an interview for, basically, my dream career. It would all open up if they choose me after this interview. But why do they tell you you're selected for an interview and then all the interviews are 6 to 8 weeks later?


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 9:02 PM
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Sorry essear, women from Barbados just aren't good physicists.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 9:03 PM
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167: More time to melt into a puddle of anxiety. Good luck!


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 9:04 PM
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164: Is there a good way for me to send you a coded message about who to kneecap?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 9:05 PM
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Congratulations on the interview,anger at the sexist university. But right now I'm super into this weirdly candid old Republican federal judge.


Posted by: Tim "Ripper" Owens | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 9:22 PM
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170: I have my pseud at the usual evil domain.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 9:38 PM
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essear, breaks are healthy, and I'm now also furious with whatever departments these are on your behalf. I also think you can leverage this to get a more abject apology from heebie for the post earlier today, although it was worth it for comments 18 & 20 there, no?


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 9:43 PM
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That judge's blog is interesting. There can't be many Republicans as reasonable as him left.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 9:44 PM
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Jesus Christ. From Ripper's blog, from a guest post from a former cop turned defense investigator:

One more example of victims being believed in the face of all evidence to the contrary stands out. It was a woman who accused two guys of rape at a party. Everyone there had been drinking when the suspects took her upstairs where, the cops said, both had forced sex with her. They then had sex with her again, this time in a different position. The police reports treated this lightly. No one downstairs heard anything like a struggle. No one heard any shouting. I blinked as I reread this section several times. WHAT?!?!

When my chance to interview the victim came shortly before the trial, I had no set plan. I just determined to fill in some of the blanks left by the sloppy police reports. The most obvious questions were: Had you known both these guys before the party? What did each person do after the initial sex? How long after the first sex did the second intercourse occur? The answers, in order: No. We went to sleep. About an hour.
There were only a few more questions that would lead to a dismissal of the case. In the hour after the first sex, did you make any attempt to escape? No. Were you restrained in any way from leaving? No. Did either of these guys call you after that night? No. Were you upset by that? Yeah.

Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 9:44 PM
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Additional candor (unreconstructed sexist division) from that judge.


Posted by: potchkeh | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 9:44 PM
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He turns out to be an older Republican district court judge from Nebraska who is bizarrely willing to be honest and reflective in public.

You know, I really don't want to feel anything that approaches approbation for an older Republican judge from Nebraska. But that Thanksgiving post is a little bit remarkable.

To the OP, I have to agree with ogged about the most likely fall-out from this story. It's going to make things harder for rape victims; and it's going to make things easier for rapists and for rape denialists. For the past eight years or so, the denialists have had "Duke Lacrosse" as their mantra. Will we now be subjected to "Duke Lacrossse and UVA" sloganeering every time someone attempts to address the problem of sexual assault on college campuses?


Posted by: Just Plain Jane | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 9:48 PM
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Some of us are descended from older....
Never mind.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 9:52 PM
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Seriously, if anybody wants anything vandalized, I'm not getting any drunker and about to head home.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 10:05 PM
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I don't have anything in particular in Pittsburgh that I want vandalized, but thanks for the offer.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 10:12 PM
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I'll just piss on the bus stop shelter.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 10:15 PM
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Have at it, can hundreds of drunks be wrong?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 10:19 PM
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That works for me.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 10:19 PM
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Is it dalriata's stop?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 10:22 PM
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Not that I think he should be targeted for anything, but it does add that personal touch sadly missing from most public pissing incidents.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 10:23 PM
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Good luck essear/essear's S.O. I'll bet she's a terrific scientist.


Posted by: torque | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 10:32 PM
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I read the WP article, and I have to agree with LB. There are parts of her narrative that are wrong, but they don't necessarily debunk her story, unless we let the "bitches be crazy" narrative take over actual investigation. We know the guy doesn't belong to Phi Kappa Psi, but does he belong to another frat? Did that frat have a party on that night? What about the weekends before or after? (I have trouble remembering what day I did something a few weeks ago, much less 2 years ago). If she got the frat wrong and the date wrong, that's not something that materially detracts from her story of being raped at a frat. In terms of he said/she said, it's possible that Jackie is lying, but the accused has far more of a motive to lie than Jackie does, as he's being accused of a felony.

It's possible she's lying and made the whole thing up, it's possible she doesn't remember/misremembers details, it's possible she felt like she wasn't being taken seriously so exaggerated (e.g. 7 guys instead of 3, glass table instead of wood table). None of these things materially subtract from the facts that rapes are widespread at UVA and systematically ignored by the administration. Unfortunately, since RS's retraction, I feel like the narrative is going to turn to a backlash against rape victims, but it doesn't have to go there.

75
I've read articles by women which make the claim that rapists tend to target women who aren't particularly believable. If you're known for lying or being flaky or you're bipolar or have a drug/alcohol problem, you're an easy target for a rapist, especially if the guy has a better reputation.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 10:36 PM
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Also essear that really sucks. Unfortunately the sociological research on Asians in the sciences backs up your gf's experience. Being an Asian woman from the Mainland is basically a trifecta of getting screwed, and what's worse, people tend to think they view Asians as overachievers, which means they're far less receptive to changing or interrogating their discriminatory attitudes.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 10:40 PM
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184: So very many stops. Don't know.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 10:40 PM
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Booooo torpedoeing.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 10:47 PM
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I don't know why I'm so into excerpting things from this old federal judge, but I am. He's a truth-telling self-analytical elderly midwestern grandpa with the power to sentence you to death and access to the internet. Anyhow, here's why he says he generally, not always, has a bias favoring cops over criminal defendants (SO HONEST):

I am a shitty judge of credibility. Truly, I am ...Thus, when forced to judge between a cop and a defendant it is safer to believe the cop than the defendant particularly if a judge cares about his or her reputation. While pleading the subconscious in mitigation, there was a period of time when I really thought I might make it to the Circuit if I were a good little boy ....
As an empirical matter, the vast majority of defendants are guilty. Therefore most defendants arguably have a more intense incentive to lie compared to the incentive of a cop. This is particularly true when it is doubtful (save for the instant case where the cops were caught on video) that the real "truth" will ever come out. Both the defendant and the cop know that there is little likelihood that their testimony will ultimately be proven true or false. Prison for the defendant is far worse than dishonor for the cop. Ergo, most defendants lie more frequently than most cops ....
[n.b -- this one does not sound like strong statistical/probabilistic reasoning to me but I'll leave that to you all to decide -- TRO]
While I have never personally taken the MMPI (Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory), I would guess that I would score high for respect for rules (authoritarianism). Put more simply, my personality, formed as white middle class child, strongly incorporates a positive but stereotypical view that we need rules and cops follow them. Even more simply, I believed the Dick and Jane books.
I used to represent county sheriffs in federal civil rights actions when they were sued in their individual capacities. While I also had my fair share of criminal cases, my county sheriff clients were far more honest than my clients who were defendants in criminal cases. Experiences like that are hard to erase when one looks at the world.
While I do not think of myself as "pro prosecution," I deeply fear for our society because of the many predators I see on a daily basis. I suppose that if I am going to err, I err on the side of what I see as order.

Posted by: Tim "Ripper" Owens | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 10:52 PM
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He doesn't just blog. He engages with comments, responding to a great many of them.

I'm going to look and see what if anything he had to say about Judge Cebull.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 10:56 PM
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It is entirely possible that I am the world's only living source of knowledge about Nebraska judges (not federal) and bus stops in Squirrel Hill and lawyers who switch pseuds for pointless reasons.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 10:59 PM
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Like everybody just happens to know who sang for Judas Priest or the Jonas Brothers or wherever.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 11:03 PM
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Somebody remind me of 163 in the morning.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 11:05 PM
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Goodnight internet reprobates and lawyers and physicists.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 11:06 PM
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And teo.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 11:06 PM
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193: if you replace "judges" with "state legislators" I can probably give you a run for your money.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 11:07 PM
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Goodnight, Moby.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 11:11 PM
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And Josh.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12- 6-14 12:00 AM
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Wherever you are.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 12- 6-14 12:04 AM
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The quotations in 191 don't seem to evince a great deal of thorough thought about his bias, so much as repeated reiterations of it.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 12- 6-14 12:06 AM
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198: Maybe, but some bus routes have changed. The 61f is no more, the 61d follows the same route as the 61c through this area, and no 56u.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 6-14 6:12 AM
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Just for Moby -- a reminder ---

157: I'm going to wait until I'm sober* and send that to my dad and sister. There is no way they don't know him.

*Dad wouldn't care about the sober but sister might.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 12- 6-14 6:13 AM
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Too soon.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 6-14 6:21 AM
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I'm not ready to give full credit to the rapey WaPo on this for several reasons including status of UVa to the Washington area community. Jeff Bezos, Amazon. Sally Quinn and ogged: objectively pro-rape.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12- 6-14 9:40 AM
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O.K. I remembered.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 6-14 10:06 AM
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Although I'm touchier than usual today because I got really upset about something else this afternoon (possible two-body solution torpedoed by a department that doesn't seem to appreciate that the gf is a serious scientist in her own right).

This really sucks and I am very sorry to hear it. May you find the right home for both of you.

I'm pretty excited about being selected for an interview for, basically, my dream career.

Hooray, good luck!


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 12- 6-14 11:38 AM
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The Post article has been updated:

A student identified as "Andy" in the Rolling Stone article said in an interview with The Post Friday night that Jackie did call him and two other friends for help a few weeks into the fall semester in 2012. He said Jackie said that "something bad happened" and that he ran to meet her on campus, about a mile from the school's fraternities.

The student, who said he never spoke to a Rolling Stone reporter, said Jackie seemed "really upset, really shaken up" but disputed other details of that article's account. Rolling Stone said that the three friends found Jackie in a "bloody dress," with the Phi Kappa Psi house looming in the background, and that they debated "the social price of reporting Jackie's rape" before advising against seeking help. He said none of that is accurate.

"Andy" said Jackie said she had been at a fraternity party and had been forced to perform oral sex on a group of men, but he does not remember her identifying a specific house. He said he did not notice any injuries or blood but said the group offered to get her help. She, instead, wanted to return to her dorm, and he and the friends spent the night with her to comfort her at her request.

"The perception that I'm gravitating toward is that something happened that night and it's gotten lost in different iterations of the stories that have been told," said the student who requested anonymity. "Is there a possibility nothing happened? Sure. I think the truth probably lies somewhere in the middle."

******

Isn't that bizarre? It sounds like she was definitely raped, and it could well have been as the original RS story describes; that's not the kind of thing you'd necessarily volunteer to three people while standing on the street, but then why make the friends sound so callous in the story?


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 12- 6-14 11:43 AM
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Also, I bet it's incredibly common immediately after a super-traumatic incident to tell people a watered-down version of events. You need help and sympathy, but aren't ready yet to re-live what exactly happened, and so you give a slightly more palatable version.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12- 6-14 11:47 AM
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The extent to which one's reactions to a rape victim might be understood (probably pretty accurately) by them as debating the social price of reporting the rape sounds to me a lot like the sort of thing that one's memory would reinterpret/remember a bit differently a year after the fact. I don't know if I would take that to say much one way or the other.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 12- 6-14 11:50 AM
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why make the friends sound so callous in the story?

I was thinking the callous friends in the story might have been a projection of Jackie's. Like, she misremembers and thinks people had the unsupportive reactions, because that's what she feared would happen. That kind of mental leap seems totally possible for a person who's been through some serious trauma. Alternatively, maybe some friends were supportive and some weren't, and she's mixed up on the timing of who reacted how and when.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 12- 6-14 11:55 AM
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Or, like bad reviews or FB comments, you remember the ones that sting.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12- 6-14 11:57 AM
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Or "Andy" is lying! I think the main thing to note is: she was almost certainly raped and no one has presented evidence to dispute that. My own initial inclination was that RS discovered that her story was substantially false and so they threw her under the bus, but now I'm starting to think that the real problem here was RS's note, which perhaps should have said: Jackie was raped by multiple guys, but she misremembered some details and we should have check those out more thoroughly. As it was, they really left open the possibility that she made the whole thing up (or most of it).

Then again, maybe there's even more weirdness to come.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 12- 6-14 12:03 PM
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Right. Things they said might have honestly have been meant supportively and remembered by the speakers as such, but have reasonably (or unreasonably but understandably) have sounded callous to the speaker. Again, I kind of blame Erdely. The specific words used really affect the tone, and it's written all out to make the friends sound ghastly.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 6-14 12:05 PM
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Something like "We'll take you to get help if you want us to, but you don't have to report it if you're afraid of how they'll treat you. Do you want to just go home?" Depending on really subtle, you had to be there kind of shades of wording and intonation, could be compatible with what "Andy" said but also could come across to "Jackie" as having been pressure not to report.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 6-14 12:08 PM
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My prediction: The "tone" of the original WaPo story before corrections and notes will end up being nearly as wrong as Erdely. I suspect the writer was overly steered/influenced by a lawyer (or someone representing) of the family of the identifiable dude. I have little basis for this other than the way things go down in the local press when "respectable" people in insular, provincial communities get any mud on them.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12- 6-14 12:10 PM
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My own initial inclination was that RS discovered that her story was substantially false and so they threw her under the bus, but now I'm starting to think that the real problem here was RS's note, which perhaps should have said: Jackie was raped by multiple guys, but she misremembered some details and we should have check those out more thoroughly. As it was, they really left open the possibility that she made the whole thing up (or most of it).

This is clear from the post. Actually, have you thought about maybe an update? "Ratfucked", aimed at Jackie, seems really unjustifiably harsh to have up on the front page with the way the story looks now. (As oudemia said more forcefully upthread.) I don't mind badmouthing Erdely, who should have done a better job, but the post is otherwise awfully rough.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 6-14 12:11 PM
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The Post article has been updated:

The student, who said he never spoke to a Rolling Stone reporter

Here's an idea: how about magazines and newspapers raise their standards for when a story about non-current events is ready to publish?


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 12- 6-14 12:14 PM
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I was trying to decide between an update or a new post. I'm inclined to give it another day or two to hear more of what comes out.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 12- 6-14 12:16 PM
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217 is almost certainly right and I will take Stormcrow's side of that bet if I can find a counterparty.


Posted by: Tim "Ripper" Owens | Link to this comment | 12- 6-14 12:18 PM
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221:I'd be on your side of that one. The quickly retracted "The Post determined they never met" seems like a big tell that they were heavily influenced by "Drew".

If the story is mostly true, and "Drew" is a rapist, I hope people show up who remember their acquaintance. Denying having met her was a really bad move on his part if it's not true.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 6-14 12:23 PM
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Thank you for not pissing on my bus stop. All of you. You really rose to the occasion.

203: We live in a fallen world.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 12- 6-14 12:48 PM
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will end up being nearly as wrong as Erdely

The way it looks right now, it would actually be more wrong--given that it said they'd never met and included nothing about "Andy," it cast significant doubt on a rape having happened at all. Rolling Stone seems to have gotten that, which is the most important fact, correct. But we'll see!


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 12- 6-14 12:48 PM
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I would put that slightly differently. The problem with the Washington Post story doesn't quite come down to whether Jackie was raped substantially as described: it's still, at the end of the day, going to be she said/he said, and we're unlikely to know for absolutely certain. But the tone of the Washington Post story was that the discrepancies were such as to make it impossible that the story was true in any substantial regard, and that seems to have at least been premature, and my bet is that it will turn out to be ultimately wrong.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 6-14 12:55 PM
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Also, I really want Ederly to come out and say what fact-checking she did do. Presumably, she checked something, rather that just transcribing Jackie's story. I think she owes it to Jackie to make it explicit what corroboration she was relying on, if there's anything.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 6-14 12:57 PM
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I've been recalling how my own initial reaction to the UVA story, a week or so ago, came out of the vividness of the account, of the details. Those, which at least for me was where the force of the story came from, have been called into question, stripping the veneer of factual from it.

But it occurs to me that issues were for a long time dramatized in our culture by specifically fictional accounts. No one thought Uncle Tom's Cabin wasn't fiction. Much more recently, The Grapes of Wrath or Native Son didn't pretend to be strictly factual, but profoundly effected the national conversation anyway.

Now interestingly, Tom Wolfe, one of the founders of the New Journalism whose work is a distant ancestor of the UVA story, long ago turned to fiction. He wrote a novel a decade ago, I Am Charlotte Simmons, with a plotline strikingly similar to the UVA story in some respects. I can remember some fairly vigorous talk about the novel in my circles, although it can hardly have been said to have started a national conversation.

Have novels lost the capacity to speak to events and shape conversations? Dos Passos' USA is another example I just thought of. These novels didn't have to be and usually weren't great literature, but they sure functioned in the way we seem to want stories to, if only they'll hold up.


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 12- 6-14 1:02 PM
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I'm guessing that one person's first hand experience does not actually trump basic statistical evidence.

Hey, bandy that 2 percent number around till your heart's content, I honestly don't care. Maybe my experience here is some kind of outlier but I really doubt it. It's not something I enjoy having seen and I wish it were different.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 12- 6-14 1:22 PM
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228: Based on your experience, what's your take on 175? Legit, or false accusation?


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 12- 6-14 1:54 PM
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But it's exactly that kind of belief about rape accusations that ends up being self-fulfilling because (1) it causes more reasonable people to seriously consider not going to the police with accusations and (2) (more importantly) it causes the people who think that there's a large proportion of fake accusations to approach accusations with a relatively aggressive skepticism. And that skepticism is (we know this) a significant factor in people dropping rape accusations and taking back what they'd said (whether or not it was true). There's a big (big big big) difference between "there's a really significant percentage of fake rape accusations" and "pff. sluts just say that when they want to get some guy back for something", both in the effects involved and (massively) in the way we should think about the person. But the effects of those two things differ mainly in degree.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 12- 6-14 2:43 PM
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Thanks, 208. I feel like I want this particular job more than anyone else does, so I will probably prepare more for the interview than anyone else will. But I have to actually prepare, for that to be true.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 12- 6-14 3:10 PM
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228: Based on your experience, what's your take on 175? Legit, or false accusation?

It's not an unbelievable account by any means. A few off the top of my head, as told by the victim, by category:

Regret:

Young girl, IIRC 17 or 18. Meets up with a guy she's either been talking with online or maybe met online and has been on a date? I forget which. Anyways, they're in the back of his car. She pulls down his pants and gives him a bj, pulls up her top so he can get access to the titties, etc. She then takes off her pants and straddles him, naked from the waist down, while they're still fooling around. He leans back and slides his dick into her and she freaks out and yells at him, asking what the hell he is doing. He immediately stops and apologizes. She calls us and says she was raped because he stuck it in her without permission. And let's not forget the offhand comment she makes on scene about not wanting her first time to be in the back seat of a Honda.

I got caught cheating:

Wife is hanging out at home while her husband is at work. One of the husband's friends comes over. He's raped her in the past, which she has told no one, but of course she unlocks the door and invites him in. They're hanging out and she's doing some things around the house and they end up in a downstairs bedroom. The friend then pulls out a knife and forces her to disrobe and begins raping her. The police get called after the husband comes home early from work. Walks in the door, can't find his wife, and goes downstairs and walks in on his wife having sex with one of his friends. The friend jumps up throws on his pants, and leaves. The husband does not see a knife in the friend's hand or in the room.

I don't want to tell my family I had a multi day binge with my black drug dealer:

Husband and other relatives of a white woman from a neighboring county have reported this woman missing because they have not seen her for three or four days, she's not answering her cell, etc. She turns up in our jurisdiction and tells her husband and us she's been held hostage by one of our local drug dealers for days and he's been repeatedly raping her. The details of where this all occurred are a tad fuzzy. But more importantly, I know to run people by every name they've used, like maiden name. A day prior, in the middle of this supposed marathon of hostage rape, there's a case with this drug dealer and her, with her listed as an involved party under her maiden name. Her and this drug dealer got into an altercation down near the homeless shelter and someone called it in as a domestic fight between a couple. Multiple cops showed up, separated them, and she told the cops to go away, that the argument was just a verbal thing and she didn't want police involvement.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 12- 7-14 1:52 AM
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gswift, all I have to say is, it's real important that you be THE BEST MOTHERFUCKING ACTOR IN THE WORLD when some woman comes up on you reporting a rape. LOOK LIKE YOU BELIEVE IT.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 12- 7-14 7:27 AM
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I mean, humans exploit every possible avenue available. There is no reason to expect that humans would refrain from fake rape allegations out of allegiance with actual rape victims, any more than they refrain from lying about anything else.

This doesn't excuse the skepticism that seems to cloud most not-clearly-phony rape cases, of course.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12- 7-14 7:34 AM
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Not sure exactly when, but Rolling Stone has expanded and changed their note to readers. Here is the current one, and here is the original snapshot. It now includes some of the details form the WaPo and a different tone: These mistakes are on Rolling Stone, not on Jackie. We apologize to anyone who was affected by the story and we will continue to investigate the events of that evening. Nothing really materially new, but they should have indicated that it was changed. (Maybe they'll add a note now saying they've changed the original note, but also note that the original change did not include a note saying that the original change had not been noted in the note.)


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12- 7-14 8:06 AM
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232 I don't know, those all sound like rapes.


Posted by: Asteele | Link to this comment | 12- 7-14 8:57 AM
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And apparently "Jackie"'s name is now out there in the hands of Chuck Johnson and 4chan.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12- 7-14 1:18 PM
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237: That poor girl. How utterly horrifying. I'd be petrified.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 12- 7-14 1:31 PM
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152: Risperidone's brand name is Risperdal. I find the brand name harder to pronounce than the generic. My tongue gets caught in the back of my throat.

Oh, my God is there a huge problem with prescribing antipsychotics to kids. Stimulants aren't so great, but they are benign compared to the antipsychotic craze. Especially a problem for kids in foster care.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 12- 7-14 5:20 PM
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237: Ugh.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12- 7-14 5:21 PM
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158: As a general rule are two-body problems generally easier when people are married and not "just" partnered. I'm sure that at certain elite institutions it doesn't count for shit either way.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 12- 7-14 5:23 PM
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Emily Yoffe at Slate starts our week with a long detailed very unusually long comprehensive long article on campus rape policy

Oh, posted without comment

Oh, 12 million female students, 9 million male on current campuses is one fact. Or something like that


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 12- 8-14 6:15 AM
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Oh hell

Carol Tavris is a social psychologist and author of the feminist classic, The Mismeasure of Woman, and, with Elliot Aronson, Mistakes Were Made (but Not by Me). She says she is troubled by the blurring of distinctions between rape (notably by predatory males), unwanted sex (where one party agrees to sex not out of desire but to please or placate the partner), and the kind of consensual sex where both parties are so drunk they can barely remember what happened--and one of them later regrets it. She says, "Calling all of these kinds of sexual encounters 'rape' or 'sexual assault' doesn't teach young women how to learn what they want sexually, let alone how to communicate what they want, or don't want. It doesn't teach them to take responsibility for their decisions, for their reluctance to speak up. Sexual communication is really hard--you don't learn how to do it in a few weekends."

Tavris also believes holding only men responsible for their sexual behavior has pernicious effects on women because it supports a victim identity that is already too prevalent in our society. "It's so much easier to be a victim than to admit culpability, admit your own involvement, admit that you made a mistake," she says. "It's much easier to say it's all his fault. Look, sometimes it is all his fault. That's called rape. But ambiguities and unexpected decisions are part of many encounters, especially sexual ones."

As Blameless as a 12...never mind


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 12- 8-14 6:17 AM
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232 first, i.e., "regret": sounds like rape to me, I say with some confidence, since it's highly similar to situations I've been in where I was 100% not consenting. I don't know why you'd think "I didn't want to lose my virginity in the back of a car" is somehow credibility destroying. It explains why she consents to a blow job, but not to PIV sex. The other two are far outside my experience, and I don't know how to judge their credibility.


Posted by: Ladybird Johnson | Link to this comment | 12- 8-14 3:18 PM
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Personal and Political ...Jacobin, Elizabeth Stoker Bruening on UVA, RS, and "Individual narratives have their place in progressive struggles, but Rolling Stone's controversial article shows why they have to be wedded to a wider analysis."

"The trouble is that Erdely's journalism was not only careless, but sloppy in a very predictable way: she needed to critique a system, and chose to do it by way of an individual case; compounding her disproportionate centering of a single personal account was her unwillingness to rigorously investigate it. Both tendencies -- the preference of the personal story and the rigid taboo against anything that could possibly be seen as scrutinizing such narratives -- will, unaddressed, continue to imperil left projects, as they so clearly have here."

"Leftist analysis is at its best when it focuses on systematic critiques. Erdely's piece was arguably engaged in just such a project, though the undoing of its anecdotal obsession has undermined that thrust. The strength of leftist critique is that it concerns itself with the broad, the historical, the powerful, the structural. Contrast this with right-wing accounts of politics, which focus on individual choice and disposition, private and personal interests, and folk-legendary tales of bootstrapping."

"But if leftists' eagerness to promote personal narratives winds up irreversibly coupled with a resistance to probing those narratives, then it will continue to cause harm. In that case, we are obligated to reevaluate our commitments -- not to the project of justice, but to those specific techniques."

The "personal narrative" can be a form of intimidation, inarguable under most rules of civility.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 12- 8-14 5:09 PM
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244: I'm not even sure what to say to that. IME that's what enthusiastic consent looks like. Thank god I'm not in the dating scene I guess.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 12- 8-14 8:04 PM
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Of course, Bruening does not go far enough, and the problems of a discourse of personal experience go much further than merely a bad rhetorical strategy. This is where the modern "Left" does connect to the traditionalist right in neo-liberalism, in a new anti-intellectualism of personal experience, in a devaluation of shared experience and accumulated knowledge.

"I've been to Paris and you haven't. And in the four hours I spent in Paris I didn't see any wide streets or tall metal towers, so don't you dare, who haven't been there, dare to try to tell me what's in Paris. Books? Movies? Paintings? You think you can learn about Paris from books, and tell somebody who has actually experienced Paris what Paris is like? The arrogance, the privilege. Don't Paris-splain me!"

Of course, the shared knowledge of Paris cannot tell him a) what all people's experience is like nor b) what a particular experience is like, but let's face it, those are not really useful levels of shared knowledge or social analysis.

Noah Smith, young neo-liberal who spent three years in Japan, is really very horrible on Japan.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 2:07 AM
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244 seriously? If you were on a jury and you heard that story, you'd say "This young man is clearly, beyond reasonable doubt, guilty of rape. He had sex with this woman in the knowledge that she did not consent. No reasonable person in that situation would have thought that the woman's actions were equivalent to consent"?


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 4:01 AM
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246, 248: The first time, you don't ask? You just stick your dick in? I find that... odd.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 4:27 AM
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249: odd, maybe, but "beyond reasonable doubt he knew she didn't consent"?


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 4:41 AM
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A presidential commenter a while back told a similar story from the woman's end -- naked fooling around with a boyfriend, she didn't intend, and had told him she didn't intend, to have sex, he put his dick in her unexpectedly, she had not consented and felt violated. If I remember the story correctly, she did not report it to law enforcement or to anyone else, and when she talked to the guy about it later she was convinced that it was a genuine horrible mistake on his part.

Given the potential for genuine horrible mistake under the circumstances (in gswift's story or anything substantially similar), I don't know that it would make sense to prosecute, but it seems wrong to me to call it either a false accusation or a regretted sex act that was actually consented to in the moment, rather than a rape where the accused has a very plausible defense of lack of mens rea..


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 5:47 AM
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Or, at the very least, the idea that an accusation of rape that can't be proven beyond a reasonable doubt shouldn't be called rape seems like a reasonably concise illustration of the problem.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 6:25 AM
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A presidential commenter a while back told a similar story from the woman's end -- naked fooling around with a boyfriend, she didn't intend, and had told him she didn't intend, to have sex

The commenter had specifically denied consent in advance, which didn't happen in gswift's example.

it seems wrong to me to call it either a false accusation or a regretted sex act that was actually consented to in the moment, rather than a rape where the accused has a very plausible defense of lack of mens rea

Well, hang on a minute, is that actually a thing? If there is no mens rea, then surely no crime has actually taken place. You can't say that someone who is hit by a car was murdered, but the murderer has a very plausible defence of accident.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 6:53 AM
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In this state, in the case homicide by vehicle, being reckless, negligent, or drunk is enough to establish the charge.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 7:07 AM
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It's a situation that's distinct from any ordinary sense of 'false accusation'. Person A walks up to Person B and shoots them dead, Person C calls the cops. If Person A convincingly shows that they were sure (in some really solid way) the gun wasn't loaded and they thought they were just pretending to shoot Person B as a joke, they couldn't be convicted, but no one would call Person C's report a false accusation.

("Is that actually a thing," isn't an answerable question, where it's equivocal between a legal finding in some unidentified jurisdiction and ordinary usage of English. If someone is subjected to sexual intercourse they didn't consent to, I think it's a perfectly reasonable use of language to call that rape even if the possibility of mistake can't be ruled out.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 7:10 AM
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249: Granted, I've not been in the dating scene since the 90's. Is it one big Antioch out there? My experience has been that when a woman pulls my clothes off and goes down on me and then pulls her clothes off and climbs on top of me it's because she wants sex. Are people doing this for other reasons, like hovering their genitals in close proximity to activate their chakras or something?


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 7:11 AM
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253: And of course we only have Gswift's secondhand and very summary account -- we can't rule out verbal nonconsent, either that he didn't hear about or didn't mention.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 7:12 AM
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257: That's her version and there was no verbal non consent. Yes, we asked.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 7:15 AM
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No, it's not her version, you're not her and she's not commenting. It's the version you remember after deciding it sounded like bullshit.

I'd agree that it sounds unprosecutable (and as if genuine mistake on the man's part was a real possibility), but that's very different from being sure that she consented when it happened and went to the police about it out of whimsy. Whatever your dating life was like, naked fooling around happens and isn't necessarily consent to intercourse.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 7:21 AM
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Yeah, my version of false accusations above was someone who didn't live where the story claimed he did, wasn't in town when claimed, details changed and didn't make sense (and the story just didn't sound and wasn't told like anyone else's stories) and the accuser was someone who'd previously made seemingly false claims about having potentially deadly illnesses, so definitely a situation where something was majorly fucked up but it seemed not to be this particular "rape" that was the problem.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 7:21 AM
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If you don't use a definition something like the one in 260, you've got rape as a crime that has to be proved beyond a reasonable doubt and making a false accusation of rape as a crime that has to be disproved beyond a reasonable doubt (or a preponderance of the evidence or something).


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 7:25 AM
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Its certainly not a false accusation. There's a difference between accurately accusing someone of behavior that may not be a crime and falsely accusing someone.

It's also not fair to call it "regret" which would be someone changing their mind after the fact. Here her opinion was stated immediately and she never changed her mind about anything.

In this particular case just with the details given I don't think it's obvious whether it was or wasn't a rape. It sounds plausible that it was a genuine miscommunication, but it also sounds plausibly like a rape in progress that was stopped by assertive behavior. On the one hand, I do think "I thought I had consent and immediately stopped when it was clear I didn't" is a pretty strong legal defense. On the other hand your story never mentions a condom and just sticking it in with no condom and no discussion of why there's no condom is awful behavior and should probably be illegal on its own.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in." (9) | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 7:27 AM
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I sometimes wish there were misdemeanor sex offenses, or the existing law were used that way. For instance (civil) battery: an unwanted touching, would apply here; I don't know if a criminal equivalent existed. For a misdemeanor he might get off with a warning

I can imagine my dad—it's his yahrzeit—saying something like "She didn't think that through, did she?" Meaning it was a predicament, but you had to keep your head.

Now it happens that my very limited set of sexperiences includes one where a woman, alone with me, took all her clothes off and engaged in some acts. At just about the last moment, actual "touching," she revealed she had no intention of permitting c~tus. I of course did not force anything, but I was quite cross, and resolved to have nothing more to do with her.

This caused some social rifts, and dis-invitations in my circle, which did hurt me at the time. Nontheless, I have no regrets. I was very inexperienced then, and she was not, and many possibilities might have existed for alternative resolution which I don't feel responsible for not having accomplished. Live and learn.


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 7:27 AM
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Even if this is a case one shouldn't prosecute, it still should be something where the guy has the fear of God put into him so that he knows not to try the same stunt in the future.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in." (9) | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 7:29 AM
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This is an intermediate rape problem. Here's an advanced rape problem. Also: hella depressing.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 7:30 AM
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I do think that stats on what percentage of rape allegations are false are kind of bullshit, unless the headline is exact about what standard is being applied for false (and what the denominator is. Stories that were ever told to another person? Any kind of action sought from a third party? Law enforcement involved?)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 7:30 AM
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256: I'm guessing the amount of sleeping around that occurred at Antioch was... not small.

I honestly don't understand how it worked for you. You never talked about birth control? I also dated in the 90s, and I remember many conversations of the form "I have condoms" or "Do you have condoms?" or "Get the condom".

Also, some women don't necessarily want to have intercourse the first time, and they want to do everything but at least once. Based on my experience, which is a statistically significant random sample, ladies, this is even the norm for virgins.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 7:38 AM
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it's not her version

Fine. A version, as written down via an interview with note taking.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 7:50 AM
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Still not even that -- it's not the notes you took of her words in the interview, it's your shorthand summary of them a while after the fact.

I'm not calling you a bad guy for not wanting to move forward with charges in the case; that seems like a perfectly reasonable reaction. But being certain in your own mind that she did consent and changed her mind later for some whimsical reason, rather than having not consented in the moment, seems very unjustified to me.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 7:57 AM
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But being certain in your own mind that she did consent and changed her mind later for some whimsical reason, rather than having not consented in the moment, seems very unjustified to me.

Assuming that gswift's summary is accurate (which is all we have to go on), I have no idea whether or not she actually in-the-moment consented, but the fact that she called the police suggests strongly that she didn't. But--again, unless there's more to the story than gswift's summary presents--I'd have to say that calling this "rape"--or even a "rape in progress that was stopped by assertive behavior"--seems way off-base. It seems like a misunderstanding--a reasonable inference, based on observed behavior, that affirmative and enthusiastic consent was present--and immediately stopping the behavior once it was clear that this inferred consent had been a misunderstanding.

Of course there are times when someone just wants to get naked and fool around but at least in my experience that fact gets communicated up front. Not having that communicated up front, I would generally assume that someone who got naked and was fooling around with me was doing so out of a desire to have sex with me.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 8:12 AM
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Obviously, we know there's more to the story than gswift's summary presents, just on length -- the two people met each other somehow, they got to the point of getting naked in a car together somehow, and so on; the question is whether there's anything more to it that's relevant to the man's knowledge of the woman's state of consent to the intercourse. And we don't know that, and gswift doesn't know that.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 8:15 AM
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Based on my experience, which is a statistically significant random sample

I don't doubt you're working from a much larger sample than I am. It just seems nuts to me and like idp I would have been annoyed.

I've got to get to work.

And we don't know that, and gswift doesn't know that.

One last parting shot! I don't know it for sure. My impression was that she was worried her parents would somehow find out. IME Mormon girls have some weird not entirely rational fears this way. My wife, an otherwise sane and intelligent person, at age 19 when we were dating, was totally convinced that if she went to a doctor to get birth control that the doctor would inform her parents.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 8:23 AM
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271 Right, but she's supposed to tell the police about the various indicia of non-consent you find missing in gswift's summary. If he says 'I thought it's what she wanted' and from the summary that's pretty likely, then there's no way there's a conviction. Unless he's just got no jury appeal at all . . .


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 8:24 AM
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Yes, obviously when saying "unless there's more to the story than gswift's summary presents", I was only referring to more relevant information. I don't really care (unless it's somehow relevant!) what they ate for dinner that night, and whether that dinner was eaten together or separately, or what the last movie each of them saw was. But to be more clear, let me restate my sentence in 270, as you have suggested:

But--again, unless there's more to the storyanything more to the story that's relevant to the man's knowledge of the woman's state of consent to the intercourse than gswift's summary presents--I'd have to say that calling this "rape"--or even a "rape in progress that was stopped by assertive behavior"--seems way off-base.

Better?


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 8:25 AM
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274 to 271.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 8:26 AM
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I don't think any of us our saying it should have been prosecuted as a felony. But I think gswift's characterization of it as a false accusation is wildly off-base, I think in an optimal world where police were less assholey it'd be totally reasonable for her to call the cops over this, and I think the cops reaction should have been to read him the riot act about condoms.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 8:26 AM
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You call the police when you're a victim of a crime (or witness a crime where the victim can't call). Not because you want a guy with a gun to give someone a stern talking to.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 8:32 AM
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But I think gswift's characterization of it as a false accusation is wildly off-base, I think in an optimal world where police were less assholey it'd be totally reasonable for her to call the cops over this, and I think the cops reaction should have been to read him the riot act about condoms.

This only makes even slight sense if you imagine there were some lesser misdemeanor crime, "Engaging in Consensual Sexual Activity Without Clear Agreement Regarding Expected Protections". Maybe that would be a good crime to get on the books, but it's not there. But, on these facts, calling to report a rape? No, unless there is more to the story (and, again, to be clear, there may have been--I'm only going on the story presented), that is not at all reasonable and characterizing it as a false accusation is correct. (Was it in reality a false accusation? Maybe not. Maybe she didn't tell the police everything. I don't know.)


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 8:35 AM
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gswift wtf man? let's first say that the guy respected her by stopping when asked, but did he do something wrong at the beginning? hells yeah! what if he had stuck his dick in her ass with no warning or lube? would that be cool? do you actually think having her bare genitals near his constitutes "enthusiastic consent" to having anal sex without a condom? what about enthusiastic consent to shoving a 12" long dildo up her ass while he sticks his dick in her without any discussion about it? did she enthusiastically consent to that? if not, why not? what did she do that was meaningfully distinct from enthusiastically consenting to the unlubed dildo + PIV sex situation? do you really think that girls should be denied the opportunity to talk about birth control and disease prevention? also, did third base cease to exist? this is young people fooling around in a car. she had every right to assume he wasn't going to put his penis in her vagina without at least asking if she were on the pill, or did she have a condom. did you never fool around in a car when you were a teenager, and get partly naked without having PIV sex, maybe going so far as to get a beej and a chance to touch some pussy out of the magical evening? if you did that, did you think you had automatic permission to get your dick wet if the girl's pussy got within a certain distance? if you think that, then fuck you. I have always loved you as a commenter, and been happy to have you here, and I think it's good to hear varying points of view on things, but this? you really think this? fooling around in a car and giving a guy a blowjob and taking your panties off means the guy has automatic permission to fuck you without a condom however he wants? it hurts because it's your first time and you weren't ready to lose your virginity in this casual situation with this one guy? and the cops are LAUGHING AT YOU?! I don't even. just, a million times fuck this. do you want to know why I didn't report getting raped when I was 17 and puking drunk by a 35-year-old skeeze on my oxford summer term? this bullshit.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 8:40 AM
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"Still not even that -- it's not the notes you took of her words in the interview, it's your shorthand summary of them a while after the fact."

Sure. But it is also her memory of what she said and did and what he said and did.

Would you agree that her memory and his are both far from exact?


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 8:41 AM
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277: Don't people call the police for that reason approximately all the time? I had the police called one me once as a kid for precisely that reason.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 8:41 AM
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279:

Of course the situation as described by gswift doesn't automatically mean he gets to stick it in.

This is what makes this things so difficult. Was she sliding it up and down him? and he thought it was time? Did he move her hips as she slightly resisted? Then hell no. Totally depends on small variations in the facts. And neither one of them probably has a great memory of the exact facts bc of the situation.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 8:45 AM
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282: Given that it's their first time, how does it depend on small details? Does everyone has sex without ever discussing birth control? I'm beginning to think that a large part of the male commentariat has fathered many children unknowingly.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 8:52 AM
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279:

Are you expecting boys to know that all this play is to be expected, wherever it seems to be headed?

I'm actually amazed, looking back, at how non-verbal the go/no go decisions were in almost all my early encounters. As you might expect, surrounded by oceans of talk about everything else.

In one case, I had no expectation besides play, exploration, talk, and she more-or-less suddenly climbed on. Boy would that violate current OSU dorm rules, which is where it occured.


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 8:59 AM
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It's the fact that he immediately stopped and apologized that makes calling this "rape" seem unjustified. Affirmative consent isn't the law of the land yet, is it? He's clearly in the wrong, but his reaction (and assuming he's around the same age as the woman) points more toward cluelessness than predation.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 9:00 AM
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281 People do all sorts of bullshit things. Including trying to enlist third parties onto their side, with no thought of how things might spin out of control. Or even whether the police will take their side.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 9:03 AM
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Stepping back: there was some discussion of whether the false accusation rate statistics quoted by different studies, which are generally low, are valid, which gswift wants to dismiss in favor of the high numbers that police officers would tend to
estimate. Somehow that discussion has turned into a detailed parsing of one particular incident that was chosen not at all at random. That's an interesting argumentative strategy....


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 9:07 AM
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You call the cops to report your stolen pot one time and suddenly you're all over the news.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 9:07 AM
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You should all be discussing the case in 265.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 9:09 AM
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That's too fucking depressing for me.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 9:10 AM
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289 I was about to but I don't have much to add other than agreeing that it's very depressing indeed.

I will say that the daughters don't come off well in that story and I wonder what their relationship with their mother (and their step-father) was like before she developed dementia.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 9:14 AM
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Affirmative consent isn't the law of the land yet, is it?

What's boggling my mind is that the man's behavior seems perfectly reasonable to me even under a strict affirmative consent standard. In fact I thought it was LB* who explained that affirmative consent could be based on ordinary reasonable inferences from non-verbal cues, and she had hypotheticals very similar to this one that she used as examples of things that were misunderstandings but were not violating even a strict affirmative consent standard. All of which made affirmative consent laws sound entirely reasonable and like a good idea. And yet everyone has no problem calling this scenario "rape" (even if not prosecutable) under current law?

* I may be misremembering, of course--haven't gone back to find links.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 9:15 AM
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291: Agree. And I have no idea what the point of charging this guy is. (It sounds like the daughters were "skeeved" that the husband continued to rub up on their increasingly childlike and out-of-it mom, even though the mom seems to have been into it. Oof.)


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 9:19 AM
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291, 293: It's also sort of weird that it's a politician who's dealing with this, and I do wonder how that factors in.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 9:21 AM
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Part of the nonverbal communication involves condoms. If he'd put on a condom first and shed not objected and otherwise behaved the same my opinion would be very different. But I think it's clear from the description that she would have objected.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in." (9) | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 9:22 AM
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292: I think you are probably thinking of things like this:

"it is possible for one party to innocently overstep the bounds of the consent they have agreed on and need to have their partner communicate that something unwelcome has happened ("Please, please, touch me! Keep touching me!" [partner does something in response] "Um, I didn't mean there. Go back to that other thing you were doing?"), and there is a hyperliteral reading of this sort of policy that would call that sort of interaction a sexual assault -- there was unconsented-to sexual touching, because one party relied on the implicature of ambiguous communication, whether verbal or non-verbal. I think this issue simply has to be resolved by realizing that affirmative consent policies, like every other legal or administrative rule, will produce bad results if applied by unreasonable or malicious enforcers, and not worrying about it too much"


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 9:23 AM
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293: that was my take until about halfway into the article, at which point the guy's credibility as a narrator started to take a hit, and I stopped reading because the whole thing got too depressing.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 9:33 AM
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Amen to 279.

gswift originally called that story "regret". That to me strongly implied that he thinks she was lying. All of that woman's behavior, as reported by gswift, indicates that that is not the correct way to characterize that story, and she told the truth to the police.

I have never called the cops on anyone, for varying degrees (in different circumstances) of "this would not meet a legal standard, even though I was non-consenting," "this would meet a legal standard, but that's not how I want to deal with this person," and "this would meet a legal standard and I think this person is a predator but I am too vulnerable in this situation and have no hope of being believed." In one situation where I was sure I was dealing with a serial predator who ignored me when I clearly said no, a lot of my behavior would make the story "implausible" in the mind of some dickwad cop who thinks he understands the psychology of someone in the process of being raped. I echo al in saying that people like gswift are precisely the reason I would never consider going to the police.

the man's behavior seems perfectly reasonable to me even under a strict affirmative consent standard

Seriously, no. The first time you've met someone, a bj + taking your pants off, which you might do because you want someone to have access to your genitals for other reasons, is not consent to intercourse, particularly without a condom (condoms are useful not only for protection but as an obvious signalling device as to what is about to happen). This was a major violation of an affirmative consent standard. I do not assume that men want to have unprotected intercourse the first time I have met them just because they have their pants off, and I can think of many men of my acquaintance who would justifiably freak the fuck out at me and never talk to me again if I just climbed on top of them. If we're going to be kicking people out of school for not obtaining affirmative consent, this is just what we're kicking them out of school for.


Posted by: Ladybird Johnson | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 9:35 AM
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t's the fact that he immediately stopped and apologized that makes calling this "rape" seem unjustified. Affirmative consent isn't the law of the land yet, is it? He's clearly in the wrong, but his reaction (and assuming he's around the same age as the woman) points more toward cluelessness than predation.

A) So would you be more comfortable calling it the sexual equivalent of manslaughter?

B) As essear pointed out, we started by talking about false rape accusations. Whatever you think of this particular situation, I think most everybody at this point would agree it wasn't one of those.

C) Seems to me that what drives a lot of these conversations is dudes looking back on their pasts and thinking "well, I've done that, or something like that, and *I'm* not a rapist...". (The same dynamic shows up whenever the topic of catcalling comes up.) Congratulations, we're all bigger assholes than we realized at the time.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 9:35 AM
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265 seems to me to be mostly a custody conflict over between second spouse and kids, with sex present in the account only because it's an avenue for the kids to use against second spouse.

It seems less depressing to me than vicious custody fights or neglected kids, where the object of the struggle is hurt by the conflict. What's the harm in any of this?

Mostly to the guy's reputation and to his fragile relationship with his diminished wife at the end of her life. Maybe to the demented wife, but nobody seems to say that she felt badly. Probably a violation of her sense of dignity. A few years later, I think that the outcome will be persistent bad feeling between her surviving family (ie kids and spouse) with the expensive and public help of the courts to make those worse. No way he does time.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 9:37 AM
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This also seems relevant.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 9:38 AM
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301 is something I wish more people who've been sexually assaulted (past self included, I suppose) knew. That's one reason I think talking openly about this sort of thing helps, and I certainly consider things comments like Ladybird's above as doing that. I have so many friends who were beating themselves up for not remembering more because they'd been drinking and then talking to someone like me who'd been sober but still had patchy, fragmented memories was eye-opening. I beat myself up for other reasons....

The second time I was raped that I don't talk about was by my then-husband. I made it verbally clear that I didn't consent and was not going to change my mind but was also not going to fight and said "And so anything you do is against my will and a sexual assault" but I still didn't go to the police about it after. It did give me the strength to move out and never go back, which was the initial mistake I'd made before that night. My dad is still facebook friends with him, I think, as are a lot of my other friends because he has insinuated himself into social groups I was part of over the years since to drive me out. I don't know how he thinks of that if he ever even does.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 9:48 AM
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271 & 277. People call the cops for all sorts of reasons, and when the cops get there the Choose Your Own Adventure can go many ways. If the officer is told about something that potentially rises to the level of a crime but there is no evidence presented (verbally or visually) that it does, then the officer goes away, maybe after a "talking to" addressed to the complainant or the target.

298. Sure, she told the truth to the police but absent a "Yes means Yes" law or a signed consent form, does anyone believe there is any chance the target would be convicted? Also, the "Regret" story does not mention a condom or the lack thereof being an issue. She presumably gave the bj mentioned without one, or a dental dam. Straddling a guy with an erect penis in a stance where he can easily insert it is pretty close to what most people would suggest is "non-verbal consent."


Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 9:54 AM
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Unprotected oral sex and unprotected vaginal sex are not n no way whatsoever analogous acts.

Also any argument that has dental dams as a key component is obviously not serious.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in." (9) | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 10:01 AM
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. I do not assume that men want to have unprotected intercourse the first time I have met them just because they have their pants off

Really. A visibly excited man undresses you, undresses himself, approaches you, goes down on you and you're thinking "well, I have no idea what's going to happen next. There are any number of things he could have in mind?"


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 10:01 AM
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Sure, she told the truth to the police but absent a "Yes means Yes" law or a signed consent form, does anyone believe there is any chance the target would be convicted?

Keep your eye on the ball. The fact that you couldn't get a conviction doesn't mean it's a false accusation.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 10:02 AM
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Stupid phone "in no way whatsoever."


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in." (9) | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 10:02 AM
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gswift originally called that story "regret". That to me strongly implied that he thinks she was lying. All of that woman's behavior, as reported by gswift, indicates that that is not the correct way to characterize that story, and she told the truth to the police.

This is what I'm coming back to. The way gswift told the story, he credits that her immediate reaction to being penetrated was such as to elicit a hasty withdrawal and apology from the man she was with. This is pretty good evidence that he made a mistake (whether wildly reckless or more understandable depends, as Will said, on physical cues that we can't evaluate from here), but it's really solid evidence that she did not consent in the moment and change her mind about consensual sex in retrospect.

Calling it a matter of 'regret' seems really unfair to her.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 10:07 AM
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if we are going to reference most peoples' sexual practices, ffs, condom use for vaginal intercourse is much more standard than for oral.

what most people would suggest is "non-verbal consent."

I don't know what most people would suggest; most people would suggest a lot of things. The move to a consent standard more respectful of everyone's autonomy is happening in a tiny corner of the world. But consider this your PSA:

Just no. If you're trying to have sex with someone for the first time, either,

1) get out a condom and ostentatiously put it on. make the move nice and slow to give the other guy or gal time to process.

or

2) say something.

and 3) if you get a no to intercourse, even though the person is naked!, and you subsequently act annoyed, congratulations, you're a bigger asshole than you thought.


Posted by: LJ | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 10:12 AM
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If all that anyone were objecting to was the title of the narrative, I would completely agree that "regret" seems like a bad title that misdescribes the situation.

(Although it's possible that we're being too charitable to her and that gswift labeled the situation that way because based on the totality of the circumstances at the time, it seemed clear to the officers that's what was going on--she consented and then changed her mind, and then felt scared/guilty enough about it that she called the cops, and lied about exactly what happened. That's not the facts presented, of course. I bring this up only because otherwise using the title "Regret" makes no sense.)


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 10:15 AM
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305: What part of that signals that he wants to have unprotected intercourse? Is it going down? Is there a secret hand sign you're supposed to make? This is key information that I somehow never learned.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 10:17 AM
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Duh, Walt. All guys wanna have unprotected intercourse all the time; it's women who insist on condoms.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 10:19 AM
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I'm fine with 308; the guy in the Honda was wrong, she's clearly aggrieved, and I wish there were a way short of rape to address her grievance.

To help Josh with his indictment of me, let me add that in all of my initial encounters I verbally confessed my inexperience. This was not so much a ploy as a disclosure, and possibly a preemptive request for pardon. It meant that my partners had, knew they had, and took the initiative.

When I later realized for the first time that I was more experienced, I felt a sense of responsibility, and began describing verbally what I'd be doing next. Hearing myself was odd but I persisted. I took her non-verbal but physically assisting responses to these announcements to be non-verbal consent.

It shouldn't be too hard to find me.


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 10:19 AM
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This also seems relevant. ("What kind of a victim lets her attacker buy her a veggie burger?")


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 10:20 AM
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I do completely agree that unless you've already been having unprotected sex with someone, navigating protection is an expected first step before either party initiates intercourse. But I don't think that's a universal norm. Especially not among teenagers. Maybe especially not among religious teenagers, who may quite deliberately not want to be prepared to have sex, even when they do want to have sex.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 10:20 AM
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313: Did you miss the part where I said "we"? I fully understand the impulse I was describing and don't exempt myself from it. (I like to think I've gotten better about it over time, though.)


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 10:22 AM
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Really. A visibly excited man undresses you, undresses himself, approaches you, goes down on you and you're thinking "well, I have no idea what's going to happen next. There are any number of things he could have in mind?"

Echoing strongly 311. Yes, my presumption of non-consent to unprotected sex is incredibly strong. But for that matter, no, I don't assume he wants to have vaginal sex. The list of people I've had oral sex with and the people I've had vaginal sex are of very different lengths. I have never assumed that because a man wants to have oral sex he wants to put his dick in me; in my experience, it is not always true.


Posted by: LJ | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 10:23 AM
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310: I think you're also focusing on the man's defenses, rather than on what happened in the moment. Again, taking gswift's recounting of her story as accurate, her negative reaction to being penetrated was immediate and clear. There doesn't seem to be any question, under those facts, that what happened was nonconsensual sex. This looks like a truthful claim that a woman was penetrated despite not having consented to it, where what takes it out of the realm of what probably should or could be prosecuted is an unusual level of doubt about the possibility that the man was reasonably mistaken about it (and I wouldn't say that it's certain that his mistake was reasonable.)

(Your parenthetical I'm not touching with a ten foot pole.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 10:24 AM
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Isn't much of Clerks about exactly this point?


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in." (9) | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 10:25 AM
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319 to 317.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in." (9) | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 10:27 AM
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to 309:

No confrontation, no abuse, no expressed disappointment, we finished petting on good terms. I broke off further relations afterward, on realizing how much I was in over my head, and thought myself manipulated, on the basis of that and other evidence. I realized my telling left out some steps, and was misleading.


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 10:27 AM
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Well, he did something apology-worthy, or at least thinks he did. Whether he did something that should bring the state's punitive capacity to bear is a different question, and conflating them is, imo, unhelpful.

I do not assume that men want to have unprotected intercourse the first time I have met them just because they have their pants off

Would your assumption change if they climbed between your legs, face to face? In the back of a car?


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 10:29 AM
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292, 296: I'm not sure if there's an impression that what I'm saying now is inconsistent with what I said the other week about ordinary boundary-definition in an affirmative-consent framework. Can we accept that, if there's any transition point in a sexual encounter in which explicit consent to exactly what's happening is vital, that point is penetration?

"I meant you could touch my neck, not that you could touch my collarbone" is the sort of boundary that it's reasonable to work out by trial and error. "I meant that you could touch my vulva with your hand, not that you could penetrate me with your penis," seems to me to be an obviously different matter.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 10:32 AM
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Again, taking gswift's recounting of her story as accurate, her negative reaction to being penetrated was immediate and clear. There doesn't seem to be any question, under those facts, that what happened was nonconsensual sex. This looks like a truthful claim that a woman was penetrated despite not having consented to it, where what takes it out of the realm of what probably should or could be prosecuted is an unusual level of doubt about the possibility that the man was reasonably mistaken about it

Deliberately excluding your parenthetical, I don't disagree with this, except that your phrase "what takes out of the realm of what probably should or could be prosecuted" is unfair--the circumstances (if true and not missing relevant details or nuance or context that would make have made reasonably apparent the lack of what otherwise looks like enthusiastic consent) are what take it out of the realm of what could fairly be called rape, whether or not prosecutable.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 10:32 AM
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What's 322.1 to, specifically? I don't think there's anyone in the thread saying that it's a miscarriage of justice that this guy wasn't prosecuted (although, depending on circumstances that only the two of them are ever going to know in any meaningful sense, I might easily think that what he did was not a reasonable mistake).


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 10:34 AM
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Re: the dementia consent thing, that is depressing. I can safely say my mother is not capable of consenting at this point. There are not a lot of good medical cutoffs where this could be assessed as a black and white issue, so I think legally pursuing it is just a mess. If it were my mother, I'd probably look the other way, not phone the cops. Assisted living facilities need better policies, too. Like, years ago needed but nobody wants to think about seniors getting it on.

I think the dude is skeezy as hell, though. Who would want to fuck an incompetent dementia patient? I suppose since he was a local politician, he couldn't step out privately with a mistress, but just no, fella.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 10:34 AM
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322.2: I'm not going to be able to say this well, but to some extent my assumptions about what my partner may want are factored against what I want and what we end up doing is where that overlaps. It seems obvious to me that the guy overstepped a boundary and shouldn't have been assuming her consent, but clearly that's not how it looks to everyone. (I assume more about what partners don't want than what they do because I'm Sexual Eeyore, but that's a different issue, sort of.)


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 10:35 AM
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I suppose since he was a local politician, he couldn't step out privately with a mistress

ydnew has a much more charitable view of politicians' options than I do. But yes, absolutely there need to be better policies in place.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 10:37 AM
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Can we accept that, if there's any transition point in a sexual encounter in which explicit consent to exactly what's happening is vital, that point is penetration?

This does not seem obvious to me at all.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 10:37 AM
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(if true and not missing relevant details or nuance or context that would make have made reasonably apparent the lack of what otherwise looks like enthusiastic consent)

Again, we're taking the story Gswift related as true, which means that there in fact was not consent to penetration, whether enthusiastic or otherwise. Given that, I can think of all sorts of possibilities that would make what the man did unreasonable, even with a naked woman 'straddling' him


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 10:39 AM
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329: At that point, we've hit a limit on what we can talk about -- without that, I don't think there's any chance of agreement.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 10:40 AM
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Would your assumption change if they climbed between your legs, face to face? In the back of a car?

I would update my prior slightly, not because I was in a car, particularly. I would not update it so much so that I would consider it remotely acceptable behavior to make a rapid physical move to put their unwrapped penis inside me without verbally establishing that that's okay with them. There are many things you can do in that position besides have intercourse. I have never had sex with this person. He is not wearing a condom. Either of these things separately militate for caution about his wishes, and together they're enormous.


Posted by: LJ | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 10:41 AM
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Who would want to fuck an incompetent dementia patient?

Her husband? I'm guessing he still recognized enough of her that he thought he was still having sex with his wife, rather than just some incompetent dementia patient.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 10:42 AM
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327 -- What makes it apology worthy is that he misunderstood her intentions, which had not otherwise been made clear. Once intentions were clear, he stopped and apologized.

325 -- She was unable to give the police any reason to think it wasn't a reasonable mistake. And they were asking her for exactly that.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 10:42 AM
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(although, depending on circumstances that only the two of them are ever going to know in any meaningful sense, I might easily think that what he did was not a reasonable mistake).

In the interest of grabbing whatever comity is available, I wholeheartedly agree with this. Again, my default assumption would be that she called the cops for a reason, and then (for whatever other reason) didn't tell them the full details.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 10:45 AM
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Well, he did something apology-worthy, or at least thinks he did.Whether he did something that should bring the state's punitive capacity to bear is a different question, and conflating them is, imo, unhelpful.

Agreed.

Except don't almost everyone's first years of sexual encounters involve doubt, regret, a fair amount of confusion about what is going on.

I am all in favor of educating people to talk about consent and birth control. That absolutely should be stressed.

But....a bunch of adults with a fair amount of sexual experience isn't your typical population. Heck, many adults have difficulty with having the "I want to have sex with you. Do you want to have sex with me?" conversation."

Most of us would agree about lower culpability in criminal cases for people under 18 (maybe even 21). Yet, with these cases, these kids are supposed to navigate sex with all of its emotions and physical feelings while having mature conversations about birth control and consent. Don't get me wrong. I started teaching my son early about these things. I think everyone should. But I think it is fairly clear that sexual education is weak.

Then, add in faulty memory about what exactly was said or done. I can't tell you how many transcripts that Ive read where I don't remember using those particular words. Our memories suck.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 10:45 AM
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332 -- You've changed from talking about your assumptions regarding his intentions to what your intentions would be.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 10:46 AM
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334.1: Yeah, I have no complaints about his behavior there and think that part speaks well of him and strongly suggests he was confused about her intentions. I'm sure some stuff about the patriarchy and how men in straight couples are supposed to be the ones pushing all the boundaries in manly ways, not to mention the Mormon piece, factor into this.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 10:46 AM
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337: I do not know what you are talking about. "I would update my prior slightly, not because I was in a car, particularly. I would not update it so much ..." is describing my assumptions about his intentions. I will make it simpler for you. No. My assumptions about his intentions would not change because he was face to face in between his legs. Clear?


Posted by: LJ | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 10:50 AM
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'm sure some stuff about the patriarchy and how men in straight couples are supposed to be the ones pushing all the boundaries in manly ways, not to mention the Mormon piece, factor into this.

Absolutely. Ive mentioned before that when I was in college, women were hardly welcome to admit to wanting sex. That has changed some, but not entirely.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 10:52 AM
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See, this is really a social norm, or matter of etiquette, if you like, that not all guys have been made aware of or cottoned to. I think I was just lucky that my first sexual experiences were with women who said, explicitly, this and this but not that, so I was taught that you don't just slip your penis in her vagina because she went down on you. So to post-forty-year-old me, what the guy in the car did is an obvious party foul, but my sense is that it's not obvious to everyone.

(Just to note: there's also a rape-y reading of the situation, even as described, where the guy basically decides that he's rather ask forgiveness than permission and wants to be able to say that he "fucked" her. He might have done that and she realized it and was so pissed that she called the cops. Is that rape? I don't know, but it's a shitty thing to do.)


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 10:52 AM
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Clear.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 10:52 AM
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(Just to note: there's also a rape-y reading of the situation, even as described, where the guy basically decides that he's rather ask forgiveness than permission and wants to be able to say that he "fucked" her. He might have done that and she realized it and was so pissed that she called the cops. Is that rape? I don't know, but it's a shitty thing to do.)

Of course that's rape.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 10:55 AM
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And sorry for the misunderstanding.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 10:56 AM
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331: Are you referring specifically to vaginal penetration by a penis, or penetration of any orifice by a penis, or penetration of a vagina by anything, or penetration or anything by anything? And whatever your answer is, it's not obvious to me that any of these clearly have more need for very explicit (rather than implied) consent than a lot of other activities in which plenty of people engage in sexual encounters. I think getting explicit consent before you start, e.g., choking a partner is probably just as important.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 11:01 AM
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333: Maybe he put her in an assisted living facility early in her disease, but I would suspect that having to assist your loved spouse with toileting and dressing appropriately are big libido killers. Also, there's often a period of lowered inhibition, where they can be overly, um, affectionate at inappropriate times or places. Also probably not great for libido. I'm willing to grant ability to consent basically as long as they recognize their spouse.

Thorn, I was assuming small town Iowa would notice, not any nobility. I assume as a politician he'd be more visible.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 11:01 AM
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(Just to note: there's also a rape-y reading of the situation, even as described, where the guy basically decides that he's rather ask forgiveness than permission and wants to be able to say that he "fucked" her. He might have done that and she realized it and was so pissed that she called the cops. Is that rape? I don't know, but it's a shitty thing to do.)

Of course that's rape.

It is this reading of the situation that led me to say above, that it sounded like rape to me. Not that I knew for sure that had happened, but that it was plausible and consistent with all of that woman's behavior. My experience also teaches me there are rapists with plenty of mens rea who will back off and apologize if you freak out at them. I have had an interaction in which I told someone not to penetrate me, told an illustrative story from my history about why it would be an extra bad thing to do and I really didn't want him to, he penetrated me like a minute later, I swore at him, he backed off. He tried to claim it was an accident but later admitted that it wasn't.


Posted by: LJ | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 11:02 AM
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345: None of that seems apropos to my initial statement.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 11:06 AM
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And 347 seems right to me. I wouldn't think the police should go anywhere with the case, because there seems to be no possible way to rule out genuine mistake, but that the man intentionally went ahead with penetration knowing that the woman didn't consent seems like a real possibility.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 11:08 AM
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I really don't understand 348, but it's probably not worth further argument.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 11:11 AM
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347: Jesus Christ. I'm sorry.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 11:15 AM
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that the man intentionally went ahead with penetration knowing that the woman didn't consent seems like a real possibility

I don't think anyone has disagreed with this. But reaching this conclusion would require there be some reason to think the man suspected the woman might not consent. Which, again, is not anywhere in the story and would require circumstances or context beyond what we've been given.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 11:17 AM
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The fact that she didn't consent is established by the story (i.e., by her immediate negative reaction). That seems like enough to make it a significant possibility that she behaved in a way that would have allowed him to figure out she didn't consent, whether or not it was clear enough that she was able to communicate it to the police.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 11:21 AM
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I think not wearing a condom with a woman you've never had sex with before is more than enough context.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 11:21 AM
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Leaving aside pregnancy, teh AIDS wasn't preventable by a pill until very recently.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 11:23 AM
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Okay, 353 seems fair.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 11:29 AM
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(By the way -- Asteele and LJ: thanks for speaking up. I felt a little uncomfortable with gswift's original comment, but didn't think it through. That is, I got as far as agreeing that it didn't sound prosecutable, and then stopped there. Once I started actually thinking about it, calling it 'regret', or a false accusation of rape, made less and less sense, but I wouldn't have gotten there if the two of you hadn't pushed the conversation along.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 11:34 AM
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347 last is brutish and despicable, and I call it rape without compunction.

I carried a condom in my wallet pre-AIDs, mid-seventies until its shape left a visible impression on the outside of the wallet: the tightly-rolled ring shape in the package eventually causes softer surrounds to conform to its shape.

There were plenty of reasons for it even then, and demonstrating mindfulness and responsibility, usually an attractive quality was certainly one of them. It was also a phase-signalling device in the transaction, as suggested repeatedly in this thread.

For a neophyte I figured this stuff out pretty quickly.

I assume, although I don't know, that the advent of AIDs made them nearly mandatory absent the want/don't want religious dynamics that are so counterproductive.


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 11:35 AM
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I need to have a conversation with my nephew about this stuff. He's not going to get it from anyone else in the family. I have no idea what to do about my niece, who will also not get it from anyone if I don't intervene. Unfortunately I think it's a conversation much better had with a same-sex adult, so I need to find a sex-positive adult I can connect her with. The rest of my family is varying degrees of repressed from English Schoolmarm to Southern Baptist.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 11:43 AM
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359 Me too. How old is your nephew? I have two and I'm very close with them., one just turned 12 and the other is 10. And I really don't think they're being given good guidance on this stuff.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 11:50 AM
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I talk a good game here, but am embarrassed and stumbly with my kids (who thank goodness live in the liberal bubble; when I bring things up in my embarrassed, stumbly way, they're generally way ahead of me). But something that I have found useful in broaching consent-related issues is in the responsibility to watch out for friends; it's easier to talk about ways to intervene if you become aware that a friend might be being sexually pressured then it is to talk directly about risks to the kid in front of you or the possibility of that the kid in front of you might assault someone, but you can bring in the structure of consent generally, the importance of communication, the red-flag nature of someone who disregards communicated boundaries, and so on, as background to the conversation.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 11:50 AM
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There were plenty of reasons for it even then, and demonstrating mindfulness and responsibility, usually an attractive quality was certainly one of them. It was also a phase-signalling device in the transaction, as suggested repeatedly in this thread.
For a neophyte I figured this stuff out pretty quickly.

Would you describe yourself as a person of average intelligence and maturity? We cannot expect everyone to have the same intelligence and maturity as you. We can try to hammer it in as the standard behavior. But it certainly isn't yet. Not when some many people still object to something as basic as sex education beyond "don't do it."


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 11:52 AM
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I have found useful in broaching consent-related issues is in the responsibility to watch out for friends; it's easier to talk about ways to intervene if you become aware that a friend might be being sexually pressured then it is to talk directly about risks to the kid in front of you or the possibility of that the kid in front of you might assault someone, but you can bring in the structure of consent generally, the importance of communication, the red-flag nature of someone who disregards communicated boundaries, and so on, as background to the conversation.

This, this, a thousands times this.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 11:54 AM
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he was face to face in between his legs

That's pretty impressive flexibility.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 11:55 AM
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359: He's 13. It's time for the talk about consent and respect and mutual enjoyment. I'm going to have to try to get him alone when I visit next.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 11:58 AM
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It's time for the talk about consent and respect and mutual enjoyment. I'm going to have to try to get him alone when I visit next.

Um um um getting nervous.


Posted by: Opinionated Thirteen Year Old | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 12:02 PM
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Do you already have the puppets or will you rent them?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 12:02 PM
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I think someone here previously posted the link to this:
http://www.scarleteen.com


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 12:10 PM
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368: Might have been me. There's also the Midwest Teen Sex Show, which isn't as good but is funnier.

Pointing him at Scarleteen and the Midwest Teen Sex Show is going to happen no matter what. That I can do via facebook.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 12:20 PM
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Would you describe yourself as a person of average intelligence and maturity?

I couldn't really. A college graduate, an independent adult and veteran, over 21 when anything described here occurred. Well-informed even about this subject, a very fast learner. Translating theory into practice may have been a very steep learning curve but was a curve nonetheless.

Most people, including my kids, grappled with this in practice at earlier and more vulnerable ages, and I salute them for their apparent success.


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 12:29 PM
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Maybe there should be an "awkward nerdy virgin" defense to some forms of rape and sexual assault charges. Actually given our awkward nerd cultural and economic overlords maybe we'll see one legislatively enacted.


Posted by: Tim "Ripper" Owens | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 12:32 PM
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I agree that "Regret" was a badly chosen title for gswift's vignette, as it assumes something not in evidence.

341. Reread the story. Girls gives guy bj; he's not wearing pants, she's wearing pants. She pulls up her top so he can "access" her breasts. She removes her pants. She climbs up on him and straddles him. He concludes that she consents to sex. He initiates PIV sex. She objects and he stops.

The guy did not jump from a bj to sex without some "non-verbal cues" that she was interested. He was wrong, obviously. We don't know how old he was, or how experienced. He needs to learn some manners but based on what we know he's not a rapist.

347.last. That's a completely different situation, and was definitely rape. The suggestion that the"Regret" guy was "counting coup" assumes something not in evidence.

In any case we are getting into that parsing of events we have only a fuzzy view of (what our friend from Judas Priest got all bothered about in the Brown/Wilson case).

365. "OMG Uncle T., I know all that stuff already. Just tell me where I can buy condoms around here."


Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 12:36 PM
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368, 369 those look great. I'll have to remember them for when I get around to having that kind of talk, probably in about a year. Now it's mostly about having respect for girls as being people too and treating all people the way you want to be treated. Mostly though they want to talk about boobies and say the word "penis."


My brother had some concern (!) that his youngest was gay. To which I always said what difference would that make? Now that the youngest has been expressing interest in teh boobies he's relieved. But his interest seems too exaggerated and performative for a 10 year old. At least to me it does. That could be because he's imitating his older brother. I have no idea whether he is or not but I'm very concerned that if he is he's going to suffer a lot because of his father's expectations in addition to all the other stuff. The good thing is I think he'd come to me to confide in, he knows I don't judge people on their interests or inclinations and he's said that's one reason why he likes me so much. He got fascinated by car crash video compilations on Youtube last year and wouldn't let anyone see what he was looking at. I told him that I'm a librarian and it's part of my profession that I don't judge people based on what they like or dislike, rather, it's my job to find what they're interested in. He showed me the car crash videos and I was relieved that that's what they were and they're mostly of the fender bender variety (and mostly Russian). Then we watched them for awhile.

(Pardon my rambling, overtired, stressed and getting over a bad cold is my excuse).


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 12:42 PM
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Another question I have is how this relates to one of the core mysteries our era, the fact that you have had a total, almost unthinkable explosion of pornography in the last 20 years, especially as it is available to teenagers, but that the incredible pornography boom has had little if any obvious effect on behavior. I can see totally ubiquitous porn cutting two ways. On the one hand, there's the possible tendency for men steeped in a porn-infused culture to consistently overread small openings of consent as full on licenses to do anything ("oh, you flirted with me in the laundry room? I can expect anal in the next 4 minutes"). On the other hand, I think a lot of the fumbling/awkwardness/not knowing what is going on problems with sex, for both men and women, are just caused by straight up ignorance, and a baseline expectation that women should really be enjoying sex dramatically (as they generally are depicted as being in porn) in order for it not to be evil is a really good thing. I'd guess that the latter effect trumps the former, or the two effects net each other out so it just doesn't matter. Or maybe porn just doesn't matter at all for behavior, though this seems so bizarre and unlikely.


Posted by: Tim "Ripper" Owens | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 12:45 PM
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He needs to learn some manners but based on what we know he's not a rapist.

Bullshit.

Based on what we know, we don't know if he's a rapist or if he made an honest mistake. This is the unusual situation where an honest mistake is reasonably plausible, for the reasons you give. But there's nothing we know about the situation that rules out that he was aware she didn't want to have penetrative sex, or didn't particularly care whether she did or didn't, and went ahead anyway.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 12:45 PM
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Maybe there should be an "awkward nerdy virgin" defense to some forms of rape and sexual assault charges.

And you can find people non-ironically pushing that idea, unfortunately. I think I can compete reasonably well in the "awkward early sexual experiences" sweepstakes, and the line between "awkward" and "assault" is pretty freaking clear.

Regarding sex education generally, I think there might have been something a bit special about having one's adolescence occur right smack in the middle of the scariest period of the AIDS epidemic. It seems like maybe there was less bullshit around sex advice aimed at kids because, for a while, people felt that the subject was too important for bullshit. Maybe I'm wrong about that.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 12:46 PM
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To which I always said what difference would that make?

You need different puppets.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 12:46 PM
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376: I hadn't ever thought of it in these terms before this thread, but condom use really does clarify ambiguous consent around literal penetration -- it's a fumbly pause that's only necessary if penetration is going to happen. That might have been an accidental virtue of AIDS-centered sex-ed.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 12:49 PM
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||

Oh, god, I don't want to read the torture report. I just looked at some excerpts on Vox and I'm nauseated. Fucking hell.

I mean, it's not a surprise, but fucking hell.

|>


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 12:53 PM
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As I've mentioned here before, my junior high sex education teacher (at an all boy's school) was the wife of the fat guy from the Police Academy films. She was really great, and got a classroom of 13 y.o. boys to think constructively about consent issues, rape, etc. She would freely use her personal sex life for examples (this was effective, she did it in a joking, not gross way). So, the sex ed class was great, but I now always associate junior high sex education with the cast of Police Academy.


Posted by: Tim "Ripper" Owens | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 12:53 PM
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372: Nope it's rape. Full-on 100% forcible rape.

1) gswifts story in part reminds m of the Julian Assange thing.

2) AFAICT, pornography and hentai have this down, and in all consensual cases every step is explicitly verbalized in detail. "I'm going to put it in now. Okay?" every single fucking time. For decades. (Part of this is to make sure consent is recorded and part because verbalization is erotic.)

3) For both sides. "Can I take you in my mouth?" is common. If she didn't explicitly ask and hear permission she is a rapist. Frankly just taking off her top without consent would be pushing it, although not rape.

4) In practice, that isn't how it worked for me. "Woman in charge" was the rule, and none asked me if they could run their finger along my arm or face or rub my thigh or chest.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 12:54 PM
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Why are you italicizing "removes her pants"? This is not something that indicates consent to intercourse. It just. Is. Not. It doesn't get near it. There are many pleasurable sexual activities that are impossible to perform if the receiving partner has their pants on. I have had my pants off and spent time with someone else with their pants off in many situations where no one put their penis in any one's vagina. I have straddled people with my pants off while never having intercourse with them.

I understand that it is a different story; it is offered to illustrate that apologies are not necessarily a perfect indicator of innocent intentions a priori.

gswift offered the story as an example of a false accusation. If there is an easily accessible narrative of events such that everything she said was true, she didn't consent and he knew it, then there is not sufficient reason to say she made a false accusation. No one here has said is significant evidence that he should be convicted at trial. But there is also no evidence to believe she made a false accusation.

More broadly, the attitude that she has lied, that saying that she wouldn't want to lose her virginity in the back of a car is somehow credibility damaging, that it is appropriate to call the story "regret," is symptomatic of a predictable attitude that if you don't look like some perfect victim, all of whose behavior is perfectly comprehensible to people who manifestly have no empathy for what the experience is like, you won't just be unsuccessful in pursuing charges. You'll be disbelieved and insulted.


Posted by: LJ | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 12:55 PM
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379. I know. I'm sure it will get it's own thread soon. If only to vent and despair.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 1:00 PM
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it's s/b its


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 1:04 PM
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This is not something that indicates consent to intercourse. It just. Is. Not. It doesn't get near it.

382. Rubbing your vulva against a penis gets pretty near to a non-verbal cue to consent. I completely agree that if either person says stop in mid-stroke, then other person needs to stop. (We discussed this issue here long ago.) You will have a hard time convincing me that one stroke in under those circumstances is rape (criminal - beyond a reasonable doubt) when he stops immediately when she says "no."


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 1:08 PM
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379: Agreed, Vox's page design is pretty bad.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 1:10 PM
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No one here has said is significant evidence that he should be convicted at trial.

I'll say it. Wouldn't happen, but yes according to the story as told, it was rape.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 1:10 PM
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375. Based on what we know, we don't know if he's a rapist or if he made an honest mistake. You're right; my wording was wrong.

382.1. Italicized as plausibly construed as the "non-verbal consent" to intercourse that the referenced post left out. And sure, there are lots of things you can do with your pants off while straddling an erect penis. Most women who want to take the lead would take the ... umm ... point and continue. Of course if she wanted to she would have to ask permission, I guess, under the current dispensation.

382.last. I don't see how that damages her credibility at all. The vignette title was definitely poorly chosen, though.


Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 1:12 PM
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But there's nothing we know about the situation that rules out that he was aware she didn't want to have penetrative sex

She was unable to identify anything when the cops asked her. I'm struggling to come up with a signal from her that is clear enough that he's clearly a rapist, yet too subtle for her to tell the cops in response to a direct question. "I pushed his penis away from my vagina." "I told him at dinner that I was saving my virginity for marriage." "I told him I wanted to rub myself on him*."

I'm willing to buy that he might have suspected that she didn't want PIV - the aforementioned forgiveness rather than permission move - but I can't find how he could have known she didn't want PIV yet she was unable to explain to the cops that he had acted against her stated wishes.

And, just to be clear since I'm coming in late, I agree he should have clarified the consent - I'm not arguing here that she tacitly consented, but rather that the state of her consent was unclear, and at least suggestive of being present.

I'll also add that this story, except for the car part, is very very very similar to how I did, in fact, lose my virginity, and that there was neither condom nor verbal communication. In the moment, I made a conscious (albeit not especially cool-headed) decision to do it, but BOGF was pretty much in exactly the guy's position here. Bad person for other reasons, not a rapist.

*which would clarify why her pants were off and give him reason to expect X and not Z


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 1:20 PM
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Certainly my read was that gswift thought it was credibility damaging, though I was pretty confused about why so may have misunderstood. It seems like a rational and credible explanation for why she wanted to fool around but not have intercourse.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 1:20 PM
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condom use really does clarify ambiguous consent around literal penetration

Haven't there been cases where competing narratives describe the condom use as indicating consent and alternatively something like "I did not consent but was resigned to sex and wanted to mitigate harm"? I might be missing your point though.


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 1:22 PM
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385: There is no vulva rubbing in the original story. Also, no, it is not criminal rape beyond a reasonable doubt. It may have been a sincere mistake. But it is unreasonable to say she made a false accusation.

However, I repeat my PSA. Not wearing a condom? Don't know them? Assume the answer is no unless your reasons are really excellent for coming to a different conclusion. Pants off not enough. Vulva rubbing not enough. That goes for people of all genders (though not all interactions will involve vulvae).


Posted by: LJ | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 1:22 PM
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Oh, and I totally agree that "regret" is probably and "false accusation" is certainly inappropriate categorization.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 1:22 PM
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It's totally incomprehensible to me how someone would just have sex without birth control. I know I'm unusually risk averse, so I can understand that people are just different, but it's totally baffling to me. There's never any age or any level of drunkenness where I would have just been like "Oh yeah, unprotected sex with no birth control, great idea!"


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 1:23 PM
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"If it's just the tip, you must acquit."


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 1:24 PM
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Who are you people?

"Can I touch your breasts?"
"Please don't I'm on my period and they're tender."

Of course you ask first about anything sensitive.

And affirmative consent doesn't necessarily mean asking permission.

"Touch my breasts" "Blow me" "Put it in" works well.

Having said that, we are talking manners and politeness and sensitivity. And we are accepting gswift's story as including the pertinent facts as truth.

For campus adjudication or a courtroom, "she said he didn't ask" is not entirely adequate, given the rest of the story.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 1:25 PM
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But "tip" doesn't rhyme with "acquit". How about "if it was just a bit, you must acquit"?


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 1:26 PM
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Damn, this thread is depressing. I'm actually looking forward to a thread discussing the torture report.

If nothing else, this thread gives me yet another reason to be thankful that I somehow made it through the awkward adolescent years and into a long-term monogamous relationship without anything having gone horribly wrong along the way.

I think there might have been something a bit special about having one's adolescence occur right smack in the middle of the scariest period of the AIDS epidemic.

This definitely worked in my favor. I was able to rationalize a silver lining to my lack of success in finding anyone interested in having sex with me. "At least," thought I, "I'll be one of the ones who survives this thing."


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 1:26 PM
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But "tip" doesn't rhyme with "acquit".

Not now, it doesn't. But in Shakespeare's time, it did.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 1:28 PM
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389: I'm struggling to come up with a signal from her that is clear enough that he's clearly a rapist, yet too subtle for her to tell the cops in response to a direct question.

We don't know what she said to the police in detail, obviously. But "He put his dick in me when I didn't want him to" is compatible with will's hypothesized situation in 385, which seems like a plausible case for genuine mistake, or with a sudden forceful motion from a position in which their genitals weren't in or particularly near contact (my net-nanny appears to be asleep), which seems much less so. Trying to explain that sort of thing in fine anatomical detail to an unsympathetic audience and failing doesn't surprise me much.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 1:29 PM
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391: Yeah, it's not flawlessly clarifying, but seems to rule out some classes of misunderstanding. The cases you're talking about, which I've also seen, have been "gave up on resisting" cases, where the non-consent was clear before the condoms came out.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 1:31 PM
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Rubbing your vulva against a penis gets pretty near to a non-verbal cue to consent.

No it does fucking not, and I have been exactly there multiple times.

A non-verbal cue (sort-of, but let's not ask what is language)...is making a gesture in a direction, stopping, and waiting for nod or an okay.

Not even listening for a "stop" and going ahead if you don't hear one. WRONG

I too fear false accusations, but gwift didn't give us one.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 1:37 PM
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You would certainly prefer to have condom use if you are arguing that no rape occurred.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 1:37 PM
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I will add to my PSA: if you don't intend to have intercourse, it is prudent to say that in words to your partner. No one is arguing that point here, but I thought I'd make it explicit.


Posted by: LJ | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 1:40 PM
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When I was new to sex I certainly would have taken taking off of pants and straddling to be a sign that sex was about to happen, absent some cue that this was a special occasion where naked genitals three inches apart didn't lead to sex. I think most of my peer group would have felt the same, both men and women. It's the unprotected part that seems to me to obviously require verbal communication.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 1:41 PM
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Agreed.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 1:41 PM
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406 to 404. To 405 -- "a sign that sex was about to happen", in the sense that it's your best guess that sex is likely to follow, is conceptually distinct from "no further consent was necessary". I mean, you might have believed the latter rather than just the former (and you might have believed the latter and just been misguided rather than being a terrible person for it, particularly when young and confused), but you can accept the former as pretty obviously true (which I do, although likely isn't certain) without accepting the latter (which I don't).


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 1:45 PM
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Strongly, strongly endorsing the norm -- or should-be norm, or by-God-and-gonorrhea-and-pregnancy the new norm that we presume no consent to unprotected penetration. Because look at how strong the moral hazard of `oh, I just assumed so I put it in' is for one or both parties. (Dude wasn't worried about having a kid?) Damp frottage is risky enough.

In one of the Phryne Fisher novels there's an ecstatic 1920s cult with love-feast orgies in which everyone is sewn into snug calico undies beforehand, in the interests of more frottage and lower risk of everything else. Also possibly Catharist. I haven't gone through her end-notes, but a lot of her livelier stuff seems to be well sourced historically.

And with that segue, and because I can't handle the depressing links above because the Ferguson protests plus the IPCC report (and its almost complete non-coverage in the US) are freaking me out, the Bay Area in form on: explicit consent *and* making a profit off formalizing natural human desires! Surely I just missed everyone talking about this here:

http://www.eastbayexpress.com/oakland/the-power-of-no/Content?oid=4135664&showFullText=true


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 1:47 PM
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400: I guess, but if we're treating gswift as a reliable reporter, shouldn't we have gotten something like "all of a sudden, with no warning, BAM!," which would at least tip the scales towards him trying to pull a fast one. But that's still not especially close to him knowing that she didn't want to.

That is, we can plausibly get him to manslaughter (recklessness/heedlessness), but I can't see how we get it to murder (malice aforethought). She sent a number of signals suggesting that she was consenting, and apparently not a single clear one that she wasn't. This case is marginal under an enthusiastic consent standard*, but not even close under general social norms, let alone the law. I'm all for changing general social norms to make this sort of thing something that most people would view as clearly irresponsible behavior by the guy, but that's not where we are now.

*LJ's PSA in 392 is a great guide - truly - but condom use, especially among teens, is not remotely ubiquitous enough to be decisive evidence of consent


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 1:49 PM
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I'm on board with 404.

405: I phrased it the way I did because that distinction isn't very clear in the mind of a horny teenager, IME.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 1:58 PM
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No it does fucking not, and I have been exactly there multiple times.

bob you dog.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 1:59 PM
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How about "if it was just a bit, you must acquit"?

"If it was just the tip,
and just a tit,
you are equipped
to must acquit."


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 1:59 PM
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Yeah I just don't find the condom use argument that convincing here. It should be yes, but in actual fact it isn't, which sucks.


Posted by: Keir | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 2:05 PM
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409: I'm not meaning to impugn gswift's status as an honest reporter by saying that he's giving us a secondhand story, from someone who was talking to an unsympathetic(hopefully pokerfaced about showing it) police officer. We don't know jack about the fine details of the communication between them, we don't know what got left out of the story because the whole process of reporting it to the police was seeming pointless, and so on.

Saying that there's no way anyone would be able to rule out mistake on the guy's part under the circumstances, so no point in proceeding legally, makes perfect sense to me. But the stronger claim you seem to be making, that we know enough about the story to be sure the guy made an innocent mistake, seems like complete and utter bullshit to me. Real world communication is subtle and ambiguous, but often successful despite that. I don't see any basis for ruling out the possibility that her non-consent to penetration was actually apparent to the man in the case, but he went ahead anyway.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 2:06 PM
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413: Without any discussion on whether she was on the Pill or not? Or what their mutual opinion of abortion vs marriage was? That is some risk mismanagement.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 2:08 PM
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414: this all makes sense. I think the strong push in the other direction was coming in reaction to all of the comments suggesting it was clearly definitely rape, maybe not prosecutable but criminal and despicable nonetheless. When what it seems to be is a situation that we don't really have enough information to judge. Which is why in the absence of more information, I've been leaning on (a) yes, he probably did something wrong because most people don't call the police for no reason, but (b) we don't know that for sure and regardless we certainly don't know enough to prosecute him.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 2:14 PM
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I think maybe people don't understand the point of the condom thing?

It's not that in fact people always reliably wear condoms, especially teenagers. It's not that every instance of sex with a condom is consensual. It's not that every instance of sex between strangers where no one wore a condom is rape. It's that if the penis bearing party isn't wearing one it's a strong reason to proceed with caution. Even if your internal values it's not a huge deal to have unprotected sex with someone you just met, it's an important fact about the world you should know that many other people don't share your values. And it means that in a situation with a stranger, without a condom, the failure to exercise caution is culpable, although the degree of culpability also depends on a lot of contextual factors.


Posted by: LJ | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 2:17 PM
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When I was young, being religious meant that it wasn't okay to talk about sex, or desiring sex, or protection; a lot of people were in denial. And I don't think I'm alone, judging from the teen pregnancy rate in religious areas. So it's actually pretty believable to me that the guy thought he had nonverbal consent despite not wearing a condom, and that he was wrong about that.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 2:17 PM
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411:Well, for one story, it was a hot and humid summer in 1971, we were two living in an not air-conditioned house, we were always naked, she wasn't my girlfriend, she was just starting on the pill, and she'd promised him she'd stay faithful while he was away.

I didn't do any persuading or pushing, but we had "This isn't really sex sex" purt near every day. Toys were ok.

By August it was pull out and it won't be sex, and then i didn't come so it wasn't sex use the dildo and then i came but it wasn't really great so it wasn't sex and then she was thinking of him so still faithful.

I was the main guy, but not the only guy.

And thus I learned about women.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 2:19 PM
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Sure. When I say I don't think it's prosecutable, I say that because under the circumstances I couldn't myself rule out an actual mistake on the guy's part. I just don't think we have enough of a story to rule out the reverse either.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 2:20 PM
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What isn't clear to me is the relevant age and experience relative to the girl of man/boy in the Honda. If they're equally young and inexperienced and religiously-conflicted, then mistake seems likely if painful. If he's even a little bit older or more experienced, 1-2 years let alone more, my reading slides rapidly against him.

The interpersonal, your sense however tentative of the other's good faith and decency is crucial in those initial encounters, or at least it was for me. You'll make your decisions based on that as much or more than on what transpires in some technical sense. The girl who climbed on me was funny and kind, a sweetheart. The woman I gave up on had already started to show her selfishness.


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 2:20 PM
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i came but it wasn't really great so it wasn't sex

An admirably high bar.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 2:25 PM
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417 - it might be that it should be culpable in a moral sense - I don't think so personally, because I think that most 17 year olds failing to use condoms are in that position because of absolutely pig ignorant social structures which purposely maintain them in states of ignorance where the idea that lack of condom usage implies something about consent is a big jump into a pretty alien world, so there's no way you can use that to get to the mens rea of the participants - but it certainly isn't currently culpable in a legal sense.


Posted by: Keir | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 2:30 PM
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The other two examples are unfortunate / unrepresentative / don't matter?


Posted by: Jake | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 2:32 PM
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Not as much to argue about. The thing about the first one is that taking the facts gswift seems to accept as true (man penetrated woman without prior consent, she immediately objected and then called the police), calling it either 'regret' or a false accusation is just wrong. On the latter two, he's presenting stories he found incredible, which I might or might not if I were in his position, but can't really evaluate from here.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 2:39 PM
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my reading slides rapidly against him.

That day, we read no further, Paolo.


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 2:53 PM
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That is some risk mismanagement.

Among teenagers? The hell you say!


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 2:56 PM
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but it certainly isn't currently culpable in a legal sense

Right. Lack of condom in a situation with a stranger is one signal among many you might have that someone might not be consenting. But lack of caution does not get you to illegality. What would be currently culpable in a legal sense is if you knowingly penetrated someone contrary to their wishes. If you intentionally avoided incontrovertible knowledge of whether they'd want to have sex by just moving fast and shifting them into a position they didn't anticipate (a thing people do!), you might not be prosecutable under the law, but you're not very different from someone who ignores the word "no." If you really were just mistaken, because you know very little about the range of other peoples' values, then you and your partner are both very unfortunate.

Other people in this thread have argued that a reasonable person would take having your pants off with a stranger as strong indication of consent to sex. The lack of a condom in this situation is one of the things that makes this far less reasonable. If you want to say an unreasonable person would take having your pants off with a stranger as a strong indicator of consent to unprotected sex, then sure.


Posted by: LJ | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 2:57 PM
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Stepping back from the specifics of the situation we're discussing, this thread demonstrates that social norms and assumptions about sexual behavior can vary a lot even among people who are otherwise similar culturally and socioeconomically. The fact that they're often unspoken probably plays a big role in that. In any case it's a good thing to keep in mind.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 3:06 PM
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Stepping back from the specifics of the situation we're discussing, this thread demonstrates that social norms and assumptions about sexual behavior can vary a lot even among people who are otherwise similar culturally and socioeconomically. The fact that they're often unspoken probably plays a big role in that. In any case it's a good thing to keep in mind.

Amen.


Posted by: LJ | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 3:08 PM
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this thread demonstrates that social norms and assumptions about sexual behavior can vary a lot even among people who are otherwise similar culturally and socioeconomically. The fact that they're often unspoken probably plays a big role in that. In any case it's a good thing to keep in mind when someone grabs your butt at a meetup.


Posted by: Tim "Ripper" Owens | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 3:09 PM
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But the stronger claim you seem to be making, that we know enough about the story to be sure the guy made an innocent mistake, seems like complete and utter bullshit to me. Real world communication is subtle and ambiguous, but often successful despite that. I don't see any basis for ruling out the possibility that her non-consent to penetration was actually apparent to the man in the case, but he went ahead anyway.

Either you're misreading me, or we're quibbling about "apparent". I absolutely don't think that we can rule out that the guy had an idea that she wasn't DTF; that's why I think that - with the facts we have* - you can get him to the equivalent of manslaughter. Part of my take is that, although I agree that PIV, as a general rule, is a bright line, I also think that if someone is enthusiastic about bases 1-3, it's not at all clear that home plate is off limits in absence of fairly explicit communication**, of the sort that is readily explained to cops.

Thing is, because it's a widely recognized bright line, it's not as if it should have been hard to communicate. This isn't subtle shades between rough sex, BDSM, and abuse. They didn't need to have a lengthy negotiation to clarify where the line was.

I heartily agree with 421.1, and I wonder if some of the presumption of guilt is coming from (reasonable) assumptions of an imbalanced power relationship. For no particular reason (well, because of my own experience) I've been assuming closely matched peers.

*after I posted, I was thinking that I wasn't making enough allowance for your 414.1; she could well have been trying (awkwardly, embarrassed) trying to communicate the nonverbal cues to the cops and simply not been heard. For my argument to work, we need to assume a sympathetic cop who was genuinely trying to make the case, asking leading questions to try to ascertain what, if any, non-consent was expressed.

**in the case of My Greatest Regret, I assumed a bright line that wasn't there: she was totally DTF, if not the first time we fooled around, then on any of the subsequent encounters that spring. But I was still accustomed to being a virgin, and didn't think about what I should do.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 3:18 PM
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429 is a good point.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 3:26 PM
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We really are crossing signals -- specifically, for example, I don't have any idea what "you can get him to the equivalent of manslaughter" means, although I don't think it's important to clarify that point. Let me simplify what I think.

If we're talking about what I think could be proved against this guy beyond a reasonable doubt? Nothing. If I were the police officer in gswift's position, I'd be telling her, as sympathetically and supportively as possible, that I didn't think the police could do anything meaningful for her.

If we're talking about what I think as a human being, from the very limited, second-hand amount I know about the situation?

(1) I don't see any reason to call her a liar, or someone who changed her mind about sex that she consented to in the moment after the fact, or someone who made a false accusation of rape. She seems to have told a plausible story of having not consented to sex at the time it happened.

(2) Given the facts as described, I think it's perfectly possible the guy made an honest mistake, and thought she'd consented to having sex with him.

(3) Given the facts as described, I think it's also perfectly possible that the guy knew or believed she didn't consent to penetration, but went ahead anyway, or went ahead indifferent to whether she consented. At which point I'd be comfortable thinking of him as a rapist.

I don't have a sense of the odds to place on (2) or (3) as more or less plausible, but I don't think either is terribly unlikely.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 3:32 PM
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Unsurprisingly, I cosign 434.


Posted by: LJ | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 3:56 PM
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I don't see any reason to call her ... someone who made a false accusation of rape

Everything in 434 is perfectly sensible except this. And I think I can pinpoint exactly what I'm disagreeing with. She made an accusation of rape. That accusation is either true or false. We don't have enough information to conclude that it's true. What option does that leave? I'm not suggesting she's lying, just that there's no way without more information to conclude that her accusation of rape is true--even if we are fully crediting her story.

Maybe the word "false" is throwing people off and we shouldn't be calling it a "false accusation"--would the phrase "unsupportable accusation" be better?


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 3:57 PM
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We started talking about this in the context of statistics about what percentage of rape allegations are false. I kind of think, as I said above, that this is a poor statistic to talk about without a very clear sense of what your standard of falsity is. But I don't think it makes any sense to put a story like this under the heading of a false accusation: where a woman came to the police, with a believable story of nonconsensual sex, under circumstances where prosecution was impractical.

The specific words you want to use to describe it, so long as it's distinguished from a case where a complainant attempted to deceive the police, don't matter much to me.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 4:12 PM
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437.2--well, that's where you end up back to the point that we don't have the whole story, and gswift labeled it "Regret", which suggested he thought her story was an attempt at deception. (Note that we have been taking the story at face value for purposes of this entire discussion, when what gswift was really doing was dryly recounting what she said, with an implication that he didn't believe it. Cf. his other examples, like #2, where he dryly recounts the fact that the wife was raped at knifepoint by the friend, although the husband did not see the knife... again with the strong implication that he did not believe the story and thought it was just a cover to keep the woman out of trouble with her husband.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 4:36 PM
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These three examples were offered to support the statement:

Not surprising. Nobody wants to hear it, but loads of sex assault cases are reports made by crazy people. Normal people are often reluctant to go to the police to report a sexual assault. Nuts and confabulators do not share that reluctance.

Like LB, I think any words you want to use to distinguish this story from a probable instance of police deception are fine.

It's striking to me that gswift claims he's seen a bunch of nutty confabulators in his day and offers three examples, one of whom doesn't seem like a nutty confabulator even on his reading of the undisputed facts.


Posted by: LJ | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 4:36 PM
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||

Hawaii's principal wanted to send out a link, so he photographed the email with the link and texted that out. Like, you can see glare on the screen, and you obviously can't click it.

|>


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 4:40 PM
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Is there a better way?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 5:04 PM
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If he printed the picture of the link, it would have cost a bunch to nail a copy to every parent.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 5:10 PM
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Thumbtacks would probably work and be cheaper.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 5:14 PM
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Sure, Regret was the wrong label unless she was lying. Her story standing alone isn't enough to say she is lying. Assuming her facts are correct, it might not be rape. We didnt hear his version of the story. Maybe when we add view the two perspectives, we might conclude that we believe she regretted it.

I viewed gswift's list as "a claim of rape isn't always rape." When people hear "false accusations," it means different things. Therein lies part of the problem.

teo's comment above was excellent, btw.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 5:31 PM
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Sure, Regret was the wrong label unless she was lying. Her story standing alone isn't enough to say she is lying. Assuming her facts are correct, it might not be rape. We didnt hear his version of the story. Maybe when we add view the two perspectives, we might conclude that we believe she regretted it.

I viewed gswift's list as "a claim of rape isn't always rape." When people hear "false accusations," it means different things. Therein lies part of the problem.

teo's comment above was excellent, btw.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 5:31 PM
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Oops, guess the app that was going to let the principal quit his day job needs more tweaking.

On the gswift-cases subthread -- curious as to whether statutory rape laws apply to 17yos in his jurisdiction. I mean, apparently not, but it was my first thought. And that it's not really unreasonable for different standards of consent to hold for anyone under 18, well shy of the "all sex is rape" standard that is justly criticized (and may not ever have been real, idk).


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 5:36 PM
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|| Yesterday was police day at the #kaarmatrial, and today was neighborhood day. All day long, people who live near the shooter came in to testify for the prosecution. Maybe it's not such a post-apocalyptic urban hellscape. The defense thinks everyone is ganging up.

And the other exchange student came from South America to tell everyone that he thought going into people's garages to steal beer was a game, and had no idea you could get shot for it. |>


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 5:41 PM
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Golly gee, nobody asked me about the sweet and funny story in 419:What, Bob, did you learn about women in the summer of 1971? What did all other women who were virgins only to their boyfriends teach you?

Before, during, after, as the day is long an the night is quiet, as if their lives and souls depend on it, calculatedly and thoughtlessly, ably and stupidly, women like everybody else...

...lie about sex.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 7:48 PM
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447: Do you all have too much beer to fit in the house?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 8:09 PM
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448: From now on when someone tells me an anecdote I'm going to mentally append "And thus I learned about women."


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 8:54 PM
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She made an accusation of rape. That accusation is either true or false. We don't have enough information to conclude that it's true

"My God, Schrödinger, what are you doing to that cat?"


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 8:59 PM
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445, especially 445.2, seems right.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 12- 9-14 9:25 PM
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"Regret" is the term I used because it's a thing that happens from time to time with Mormons, especially teens, when they do something suddenly realize they've done something totally against they're upbringing and religion and lose their shit a bit. I imagine jurisdictions with evangelicals see it a bit as well. It happens in varying degrees, not just with sex. And sometimes teens just kind of craze out regardless. See here. from a neighboring jurisdiction. (if you accuse me of being a victim blamer wrt that link I will shoot you in the face, they've already recanted)

And the emphasis you all are putting on the no conversation about birth control or condoms is misplaced. Mormons don't carry around or have frank discussions about birth control, condoms, etc. because that would be an admission that they're DTF and that ain't happening. But the thing is, the Mormon girl who totally gets all hot and heavy and screws you blind and then gets all weepy about it is a real thing. And fuck yes it's all nonverbal. In case any of you don't know and/or have forgotten, I'm 38 and have a daughter who's a senior in high school via a gf now wife who I knocked up while we were both attending BYU. I might have a little personal insight here.

All that being said, that case still gets written up as a sexual assault because yes, we give the victim the benefit of the doubt. No, the DA didn't file charges.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 12-10-14 12:06 AM
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Alameida, I'll address you direct because you did the same. This " what about enthusiastic consent to shoving a 12" long dildo up her ass" and "and the cops are LAUGHING AT YOU?!"

I understand why you respond that way, but maybe you might consider what your response would be if someone came at you in a similar fashion.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 12-10-14 12:08 AM
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But the thing is, the Mormon girl who totally gets all hot and heavy and screws you blind and then gets all weepy about it is a real thing. And fuck yes it's all nonverbal.

Christians are so fucking weird. (And yes, from my perspective Mormons are Christian. From their perspective I'm a gentile, so it all evens out.)


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12-10-14 12:20 AM
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More seriously, I can definitely see how the influence of religion can throw a wrench in the consent-based approach to sexual impropriety, just as use of mind-altering drugs, including alcohol, does in a different way. I don't know enough about the specifics of Mormon attitudes to know how this shakes out in this specific case (although the combination of the girl's age and [maybe] "met online" does strongly incline me to interpret it as "older dude trolling for teenage girls to fuck, regardless of consent").


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12-10-14 12:56 AM
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On further reflection, this does also support gswift's argument that more liberals should become cops. Cops are the only people who generally end up hearing about situations like this other than the parties involved, and their judgments about what they hear have a lot of influence on how things proceed from that point. As many people have noted, it's very difficult for those of us hearing this second- or third-hand to evaluate it, given how many details of the situation we don't know.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12-10-14 1:17 AM
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Liberals should be cops, soldiers, high school administrators, all the jobs where liberals habitually pull a face and write them off as conservative ghettos. As long as liberal minded people refuse even to consider going there, the message they send is "I'm OK so fuck you, Jack."

Me? Guilty.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 12-10-14 3:00 AM
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454: OK fair enough gswift. I don't in any way think you're a bad person. this example personally hit home to me even though the (one of the LOL) situation(s haha) I've been raped in that was most like this wasn't even like this at all because there was no consensual making out. no, that's not even right, it was more like when my photography teacher finally had sex with me when it was legal, but I wasn't saying no, really, I was just shocked and horrified and betrayed and confused, even though the making out part had been fun and ok and like "sweeping romance!" to me.

I'm just in a terrible mood because I have jet lag and talking to oncologists sucks. I apologize unreservedly. I do think I disagree with you pretty completely about this example we're talking about--like, I by no means think that guy should go to jail, but that moment when he stuck it in without asking was not cool at all and was him making a morally wrong choice in the heat of the moment. but I think the fact that he stopped right away when she objected indicates he could have been legitimately confused about what she wanted (and my inclination is always to discount this possibility) and at minimum was willing to do the right thing when confronted with "hey ow stop." I would genuinely be interested to know, if you think she wasn't consenting to anal sex, why not? it would let her stay a virgin; it can be popular for that reason. I do think that if this is one of your three "go-to" anecdotes on how rape reports can be bullshit, it's pretty good evidence that rape reports are generally solid. I will concede that I haven't hung out with a crowd of conservative religious teens (not since I was 11 and my best friend's dad was a baptist preacher), and I can imagine the "regret" in the "omg what have I done?" sense could happen. I just never, ever, ever see how girls would think like this:
1) no one must EVER find out about my shameful deeds of last night after we snuck away from a matinee screening of "the fault in our stars"
2) I must go with my father to the police station of our neighborhood and describe to an acquaintance of my dad's exactly how lucas touched my vajayjay, in graphic detail.
3) every kid at my school will know all these details and side with lucas, who will say I totally was into it [this will be totes true!!!] and I'm a slut
4) ???????
5) my shame is successfully concealed
seriously, how is this a thing? finally, having apologized, I will say that when I imagine a 17-year-old girl approaching you to report being raped in her boyfriend's car after she gave him a blowjob, because that was all the fooling around she wanted to do, but he pinned her down in the back seat and raped her, and she was too ashamed to yell and have someone else in the dark, night-time walmart parking lot see her naked...like I say, please be a really good actor. pretend to believe everyone. she'll probably be able to tell in the first 30 seconds whether you think it's bullshit. it'll be so hard to have even come at all. I trust you to do your job right, because I do genuinely think you're a good dude. but there's a lot of cops adjacent to you, as it were, who reliably get this shit wrong.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 12-10-14 4:36 AM
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453: I get the repressed Mormon freakout possibility. But the story you told is about a woman who told you she got naked in a car with a guy she met online and gave him a blowjob. She's not giving you a version of events that makes her innocently sexless when some maniac attacked her. And you seem to believe she freaked out immediately when he penetrated her.

I don't understand if you think she's lying about something, or what you think she's lying about if she's lying. Assuming the events happened as you described, what makes her having consented and then instantaneously regretting her decision more plausible than having consented to the blowjob and fooling around (which repressed Mormon or not, she owned) but not to the penetration?

(But I really can't tell exactly what you're thinking. Are you maybe not thinking she was lying at all, but that she shouldn't have gone to the police because she should have known there was no way to rule out mistake on his part, given the circumstances. You're calling it a false accusation because she should have known it was unprosecutable, maybe? Because I think that misclassifies it.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-10-14 5:02 AM
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LB is the voice of reason as always.

If anybody's reading, are those Phryne Fisher any good? They sound fun.


Posted by: David the Unfogged Commenter | Link to this comment | 12-10-14 8:23 AM
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And the emphasis you all are putting on the no conversation about birth control or condoms is misplaced. Mormons don't carry around or have frank discussions about birth control, condoms, etc. because that would be an admission that they're DTF and that ain't happening.

Nothing I have said depends on a belief that everyone is carrying around condoms or commonly has conversations about birth control in every milieu. Hell, I have a lot of unprotected sex in my middle-class, educated, decadent-coastal-enclave milieu. I've even consensually negotiated a transition to unprotected sex without speaking, though I don't think ever on the first time I met someone or hooked up with them, and it always involves a lot of eye contact.

I'll try to say it again: if you are with someone you just met, and you don't have a condom as a signalling device, you are at high risk of doing something they don't want if you initiate sex without very clear communication of some kind. Many social environments do not encourage this kind of communication. But you are still at high risk, and a reasonable person, defined as reasonable by the fact that they understand that another person might not be up for unprotected sex, for a lot of reasons, among them the risk of pregnancy which even most teenagers understand, is cautious. An unreasonable person, for example, a confused Mormon 17-year-old, could make a sincere mistake.

So how old was this guy?


Posted by: LJ | Link to this comment | 12-10-14 8:28 AM
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And because I didn't say it earlier:

(Just to note: there's also a rape-y reading of the situation, even as described, where the guy basically decides that he's rather ask forgiveness than permission and wants to be able to say that he "fucked" her. He might have done that and she realized it and was so pissed that she called the cops. Is that rape? I don't know, but it's a shitty thing to do.)

This is slightly limited in its description of the range of possible rapey motivations in a guy who decides it's better to ask forgiveness than permission. Guys also sometimes gamble on women being too overwhelmed or not assertive enough to say no when the act is a fait accompli. This is sometimes effective! The reason it's prudent to use your words to say no to sex beforehand is not just to avoid genuine mistakes, but also to not seem like you'd make a good target for opportunistic exploitation. It's not a magic charm that will stave off being raped, but there's one kind of aggressor that looks for ambiguity, and the less you leave the better.


Posted by: LJ | Link to this comment | 12-10-14 8:41 AM
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alameida - on my walk to work yesterday I listened to a talk by Atul Gawande on bbc 4, on aging and dying, and I really recommend someone in your family listen to it as soon as possible. I am quite sure it is the same message he writes about in magazine articles and such, but the talk is relatively short and includes incredibly practical, humane and loving advice for people in exactly your family's situation - very down to earth advice about how to have the kind of conversations with your mom that will make it possible for you and your siblings to be effective advocates and get her the best possible care for whatever time she has left.

One of the most striking things he discussed was that patients who are not in denial and are actually engaged in an appropriate, productive discussion about their own goals as they are dying not only end up with fewer treatments and far higher quality of life - but they also live longer.

I so hope one of you can make the time to listen to this lecture, I really think it could make a huge practical difference for all of you right now.

all my best - dairy


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 12-10-14 9:06 AM
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oh - you can get to bbc programs on iplayer I think - I don't use that because I don't have that kind of phone (and won't buy from apfel), you can also get them off the bbc website and there are other ways. if you run into any problems, I am sure this lot could figure out some way!


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 12-10-14 9:08 AM
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459.2 was also my confusion about the story. I would be especially worried about the 'immediately' part of it, because "and when you said to, did he take it out?" and "did he take it out right afterwards?" seem exactly like the sort of questions that push someone already feeling really humiliated and scared into a particular sort of answer, even if it's not what the person asking intended. (They're important questions to ask, but seriously even a slightly stern voice is going to have a serious effect here.) And if this was a far less ambiguous sounding rape that got translated into what we heard here this way it isn't really so much of a case of an unfounded accusation (good grief) but of a retracted accusation for some other reason. And we damn well know for sure that accusations that are withdrawn (by retracting the initial statement) for reasons unrelated to whether or not the rape actually happened make up a pretty significant proportion of what ends up in the 'false accusation' category in the statistics, because there's little to no way of determining on any more specific level what that number would be.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 12-10-14 9:08 AM
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LJ and Lizardbreath are making sense in this thread. Also what Teo said about people with fairly common background having differing assumptions is good.

...there's one kind of aggressor that looks for ambiguity...
I think this type of aggressor is probably the majority of rapists in college type situations. Finding someone vulnerable is unfortunately not that hard on a college campus.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 12-10-14 9:17 AM
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Gawande's Reith lectures here:
https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/reith-lectures/id318705261?mt=2

BBC has them also. I haven't listened to them yet, but like his writing a lot.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 12-10-14 9:20 AM
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Thank you, lw! It's the one first broadcast yesterday.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 12-10-14 9:23 AM
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specifically, for example, I don't have any idea what "you can get him to the equivalent of manslaughter" means, although I don't think it's important to clarify that point

I was using it as shorthand because someone else had already brought it up as a sort of framework. When someone kills somebody else, there are 3 basic categories: murder, manslaughter, or accident. In all 3 categories, someone really is dead, so something bad has happened. But in the 3rd case, there's no culpability. That's the "innocent misunderstanding" read of the situation. In manslaughter, there is culpability, but not malice aforethought. And to me, that's as far as you can get from the facts presented, because, in the absence of a clear signal - one communicable to cops who are (let's credit gswift) sympathetically seeking one - how clear could she have been that she didn't want his P in her V?

As I noted above, relative experience/age is certainly relevant, where an older guy is much more likely to be seeking an opportunity, with indifference to her implicit wishes. But peers in the midst of getting hot and heavy, with her enthusiastically consenting to various pre-PIV activities? Why is he presuming nonconsent? Because, to me, if you want to accuse him of "murder" (under existing legal and cultural norms), you need more than just "he wasn't sure and should have asked."

Anyway, this is all just coming down to intuition/inclination + empathy. I've been in situations of innocent misunderstanding and culpable but nonpredatory nonverbal activities, and so that's my framework for viewing a situation that is recognizably like those. Others with experience of clearly coercive situations - including ones not that much like this one - are using that for a framework.

If the story had started out with a 22-y.o. guy and 17-y.o. girl, I would have gone directly to the latter framework as well.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 12-10-14 9:27 AM
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My response is that you don't know, sitting here, what he knew or thought in the moment. You don't have a full understanding of all the communication between them, you don't know the physical details of what happened, you have a very impoverished understanding (as do I, I don't know more than you do) of the details of the incident.

If we're talking about proof, I'm perfectly happy to agree that there's no way to establish any kind of culpable state of mind on his part on those facts.

If we're talking about our thoughts about the situation, I do not think it makes sense to rule out the possibility that he intended to penetrate her knowing or believing that she did not consent. I don't think that anyone needs to be certain that's what happened, but I think it is wrong, both in a purely epistemological sense, and also in a moral sense, to hear that story and be certain that the man involved isn't a rapist.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-10-14 9:34 AM
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Others with experience of clearly coercive situations - including ones not that much like this one - are using that for a framework.

I don't know if this is supposed to refer to me, among others, but I have a wide range of experiences in this arena! Including experiences of interactions which likely involved misunderstandings. I am not using one experience as a framework. I am using the totality of my experiences to understand that none of the facts as described, not that she was on top, not that he apologized, not that she had her pants off, means that it is just to conclude with certainty that she consented to sex and then regretted it, or that he was scrupulously concerned for her wishes and sincerely confused, such that it is fair to call this a false accusation. An accusation which could never meet the burden of proof in a trial? Sure. No one knows the exact state of mind of this guy at the time, perhaps not even him.


Posted by: LJ | Link to this comment | 12-10-14 9:50 AM
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I've had a busy morning, but don't want to let the opportunity slip to complement LJ, for adopting this persona and persisting in a reasonable line, rephrasing and bolstering with anecdotes, the freedom of pseudonymity. Especially for returning this morning. It's made a difference to me in this thread.

I'm guessing JRoth is reaching for the felony/misdemeanor distinction I made abstractly yesterday. I note the gswift's clarification this morning mentions a "sexual assault" charge they made, so without knowing anything about Ut. Crim Law, there is something trying to fill that void.


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 12-10-14 9:52 AM
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Thanks, idp. I will take this moment to acknowledge your clarification about the story you told about your girlfriend. Heard and registered.


Posted by: LJ | Link to this comment | 12-10-14 10:00 AM
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And Josh is right—how many times am I likely to be able to say that?—about the heedless impulse a young man like I was has to unprotected sex.

Never do I feel so veldty, like such a literal tool, as when recollecting that.


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 12-10-14 10:07 AM
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I've got work so a couple quick things.

Similar or same ages on the parties. Dude seemed genuinely confused. Yes this got written as a rape but it gets closed as not enough evidence to prosecute, not unfounded. False accusation might be too strong a term? Sure. Of course I don't know for certain and it's very possible it was just miscommunication. It's not the vibe I was getting but of course I don't let on about that and we still write it up as a rape, albeit one we know won't go anywhere in court.

And fucking christ am I regretting this example because the regret type reports exist but are relatively rare. It just sprang to mind as one that maybe doesn't belong in the stats and I'm an idiot and should have known that we would spend hundreds of comments picking apart minutiae on a type of case not as prevalent as others. But that's on me.

Far more common are the ones to cover up cheating and "this will delay me getting booked into jail." Had one of the jail delays Monday. She disclosed at the hospital with one of the patrol guys. The ones that do this know it is a good way to spend a couple hours in a warm clean hospital bed and get something to drink instead of going right into jail. Like Thorn's example, it's just a symptom of much larger problems.

She was up at the hospital because after I told her she was going to jail for the stolen car she lost it and started screaming bloody murder and kicking the shit out the cage of the cruiser we put her in. When she got pulled out so we could restrain her legs she rammed her own head into the asphalt crazily hard. I've seen people do that before but she might hold the record for gusto. That's why she had to go to the hospital, to get her head checked for a skull fracture. Along with rape there was also the cancer and pregnancy cards played. She's a sad case. Twenty, mentally ill, and using a mix of spice and meth.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 12-10-14 11:02 AM
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And Josh is right--how many times am I likely to be able to say that?

Aw, man, you're gonna hurt my feelings.

(But wait a sec. Did you think I was serious about dudes wanting unprotected sex all the time?)


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 12-10-14 11:05 AM
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I would have held back on "regret", but my question for gswift was "Salt Lake or Utah County?" I have married Mormon kids in my classes who giggle like eleven-year-olds if I mention sex.

459: all you need to make sense of it is the belief that the rumors that you've had sex are already floating around, and that you're better off having people think you were raped than you're a slut.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 12-10-14 11:07 AM
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476: My brother-in-law is a cop in Canada (yes, we've made all the jokes) and I swear he spends half of every shift at the hospital with someone.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 12-10-14 11:09 AM
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478.2 seems awfully naive to me when it comes to how people act about these sorts of things. I mean, from what I remember of high school (and not even a particularly conservative or religious one) the "than" in there should almost certainly be an "and".


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 12-10-14 11:12 AM
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I have married Mormon kids in my classes who giggle like eleven-year-olds if I mention sex.

I didn't know being a professor gave you the right to officiate. Or are you a member of the Universal Life Church?


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 12-10-14 11:14 AM
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Did you think I was serious about dudes wanting unprotected sex all the time?

Not consciously, as an admitted preference, no. That'd be predatory, Spitzerian. But not something to stop for, to always take responsibility for, in every situation. Which is part of the dynamic of how it happens.

As recounted above, when first I realized that I was the experienced one, and that my small age and experience advantage conferred responsibility, I got pretty earnest fast.


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 12-10-14 11:18 AM
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482: Just for the record, I was completely, 100% not serious about it, and in my world it's absolutely something to stop for and always take responsibility for. Part of it is probably having come of age during the AIDS crisis, but I had it drilled into me from very early on that you use a condom every time. And I know other guys here have mentioned the same fear and anxiety about unprotected sex.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 12-10-14 11:25 AM
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480: Well, sure, not everyone is going to believe her, but some will. Religion really messes with people about sex.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 12-10-14 11:25 AM
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Religion really messes with people about sex.


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 12-10-14 11:37 AM
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False accusation might be too strong a term? Sure. Of course I don't know for certain and it's very possible it was just miscommunication.

Yeah, at that point I haven't got anything to argue with you about.

I really kind of hate the X% of rape allegations are false stats. There just seems to be patently a huge percentage where there's no certain way to determine.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-10-14 11:40 AM
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Far more common are the ones to cover up cheating

This, I would be surprised if it was not at least somewhat common. I can't find stats now (have only spent 15 seconds looking), but I think SLPC had some report a few years ago showing this as a particularly nasty problem when white women were caught having affairs with black men, because in those cases the false allegations tended to stick even when the evidence of rape was pretty thin.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 12-10-14 11:54 AM
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487: I just reread To Kill a Mockingbird. Timely?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 12-10-14 11:57 AM
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Or worse, if the accusation happens in Texas.

http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/nation/2007-03-31-womanindicted_N.htm


Posted by: Jake | Link to this comment | 12-10-14 12:00 PM
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I really kind of hate the X% of rape allegations are false stats. There just seems to be patently a huge percentage where there's no certain way to determine.

Isn't this typically brought up as a reason to believe a rape allegation?


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 12-10-14 12:14 PM
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I only meant to quote the X person of rape allegations are false part. Not the other sentence.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 12-10-14 12:15 PM
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Right. I still hate them. I don't want people I generally agree with relying on statistics that I don't think bear the weight of the arguments that get based on them.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-10-14 12:20 PM
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488: Timely?

Well, you and Breitbart (no link):

"EXCLUSIVE: MAYELLA EWELL SPEAKS OUT AGAINST ATTICUS FINCH'S VICTIM-SHAMING"

I was raped by a large black man who entered my home at my invitation. I was on the porch, and he came along, and there was a chiffarobe in the yard Papa brought in to chop up for kindling. Papa wanted me to do it while he was off in the woods, but I wasn't feeling strong enough then.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12-10-14 12:27 PM
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False accusation might be too strong a term? Sure. Of course I don't know for certain and it's very possible it was just miscommunication.

Ok.


Posted by: LJ | Link to this comment | 12-10-14 12:47 PM
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favorite ice cube quote: "after all these years I'm still busting up the chifforobe."


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 12-10-14 1:26 PM
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