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Author Topic: CNN Reports on the "Promising Future" of the Steubenville Rapists  (Read 11094 times)

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Offline Healergirl

Re: CNN Reports on the "Promising Future" of the Steubenville Rapists
« Reply #375 on: April 03, 2013, 11:28:40 AM »

Ephiral,

*nods*  Right, I see the distinction now.  Thank you, and I go with long and challenging.



Caehlim,

The sympathetic magic angle has occurred to me as well, and applies to a lot more of human behavior that rape prevention.

Offline consortium11

Re: CNN Reports on the "Promising Future" of the Steubenville Rapists
« Reply #376 on: April 03, 2013, 11:40:02 AM »
This is an interesting question. Several months ago, I was at a munch where a practicing Dom talked about how important it is to work out boundaries before getting started and stick to them. Part of his reasoning is that once you get into a heavy scene, you are essentially drugging the sub with a flood of feel-good hormones. This person has entered an altered state where they will often consent to things in the heat of the moment that they would not have consented to before (and may regret later). I would hesitate to call this rape, obviously, but I think I would call it taking advantage of someone. (And I can't think of any situation in which a respectable Dominant wouldn't feel bad about it if they had even unintentionally put someone else in that position.) It puts forth an interesting view of consent and when it can be given. It should be noted that I am not at this point talking about legalities, just making a comment on the general philosophy (...?) of consent.

The issue here being that if you take this point to its logical conclusion than there are precisely no situations where consent can be said to have been freely given; there will always be some form of external stimulus which impacts on us all. After all, what exactly is our "normal" mindset?

Some are obvious, the sort of things that would colloquially be called taking advantage; heavily drunk people, people in serious emotional turmoil and the like. But what about someone who's had three or four drinks but isn't obviously cognitively impaired? What about the people who for whatever reason aren't comfortable being in any form of sexual situation (which could be as minor as flirting) without some Dutch courage? What about if your partner has just got some really good news and wants to celebrate it? Are we meant to say no as they wouldn't have initiated the situation without the good news?

I'm sure you can see my point.

Offline Kythia

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Re: CNN Reports on the "Promising Future" of the Steubenville Rapists
« Reply #377 on: April 04, 2013, 01:36:43 AM »
The issue here being that if you take this point to its logical conclusion than there are precisely no situations where consent can be said to have been freely given; there will always be some form of external stimulus which impacts on us all. After all, what exactly is our "normal" mindset?

Some are obvious, the sort of things that would colloquially be called taking advantage; heavily drunk people, people in serious emotional turmoil and the like. But what about someone who's had three or four drinks but isn't obviously cognitively impaired? What about the people who for whatever reason aren't comfortable being in any form of sexual situation (which could be as minor as flirting) without some Dutch courage? What about if your partner has just got some really good news and wants to celebrate it? Are we meant to say no as they wouldn't have initiated the situation without the good news?

I'm sure you can see my point.

I think the bolded bit is the issue.  Yeah, you're right, that is perhaps the logical conclusion.  But, unless you're a psychopath, then you know when consent is being given and when it isn't.  While it may not be possible to draw up a complete list of rules for the situation, noone involved is a robot.  It's not like we need a hard and fast set of rules for it - a flowchart to work out how "impaired" a judgement is and whether its then appropriate to make sweet love to them.  I think, in this case, chasing the argument through to its logical conclusion ignores the human element.  In borderline cases, well, thats why we have trial by jury rather than by computer program - living people can make that decision. 

Offline consortium11

Re: CNN Reports on the "Promising Future" of the Steubenville Rapists
« Reply #378 on: April 04, 2013, 02:03:38 AM »
I think the bolded bit is the issue.  Yeah, you're right, that is perhaps the logical conclusion.  But, unless you're a psychopath, then you know when consent is being given and when it isn't.  While it may not be possible to draw up a complete list of rules for the situation, noone involved is a robot.  It's not like we need a hard and fast set of rules for it - a flowchart to work out how "impaired" a judgement is and whether its then appropriate to make sweet love to them.  I think, in this case, chasing the argument through to its logical conclusion ignores the human element.  In borderline cases, well, thats why we have trial by jury rather than by computer program - living people can make that decision.

But we've already had a break-down in the human element.

As per a previous exchange:

The rule of thumb I am familiar with is that if you wouldn't trust someone to drive, then you should not assume they are able to consent. Impaired is impaired. That is not necessarily coded into law (nor am I sure it should be) but the law doesn't cover everything, as we know.

I wouldn't trust anyone who had more than two drinks to drive which, if applied to activities that without consent would be sexual assault, rather limits the people I can do anything with and the circumstances I can do anything with them...

That rule of thumb (and whether Trieste believes and follows it or not, at least some people do for it to be a rule of thumb) means that I've apparently been immorally taking advantage of people who can't consent throughout my life. From after a dinner date where we've started with a gin and tonic and then split a bottle of wine during the meal (let alone gone for drinks afterwards), to dinner parties where the wine has flowed, to house parties where everything has flowed, to nights out where there have been bottles of champagne, shots and mixers, to gigs where I've been having a beer or two between sets to "lads and ladies" holidays which were basically one long binge, to quiet drinks after work, following that rule of thumb I've been an immoral abuser.

And likewise, I've apparently been abused dozens (if not hundreds) of times myself...

I'd stress, that isn't an admission that I spend my nights stalking the bars and clubs watching for incredibly intoxicated women who can technically consent but are only really doing it because they're drunk. It's because I wouldn't trust someone who's had two drinks to drive yet in the usual course of things I wouldn't think twice whether someone who's had two pints or two glasses of wine or two singles and mixer can consent. If they've had two dozen and their struggling to walk I of course would; but if they've had two and appear "normal", hell, if they've had six and appear merry... I genuinely struggle to see the moral issue... unless we're willing to extend it all the way. Yet as the rule of thumb shows, others do.

Offline Ephiral

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Re: CNN Reports on the "Promising Future" of the Steubenville Rapists
« Reply #379 on: April 04, 2013, 05:40:40 AM »
The point of the rule is that, if someone's judgement is so impaired that you cannot trust them to make safe decisions... well, their judgement is so impaired that you cannot trust them to make safe decisions. Why would you trust them with one safety call (consent) and not another (driving)?

Offline consortium11

Re: CNN Reports on the "Promising Future" of the Steubenville Rapists
« Reply #380 on: April 04, 2013, 06:21:09 AM »
It's apples and oranges

Not trusting someone who's had two drinks to drive isn't a matter of not trusting them to make safe decisions (outside of the decision to drive in the first place). It's not a case that I think they're going to make an intoxicated decision to drive into a tree. It's the fact that when driving a momentary loss of concentration, a distorted perception of the immediate events around you or poor reflexes/co-ordination can all lead to immediate horrific consequences (not just for the individual alone but those around them). It is not their decision-making that worries me; it's other things. In contrast consent is a matter of making decisions... and making decisions that can be changed. If a woman decides to drunkenly kiss me and then decides that was a mistake and that she doesn't want to take it further (even if I do) then she can stop. If she, when even mildly intoxicated, loses concentration and runs of the road she can't prevent it from happening.

If my objection to people driving having consumed alcohol only kicked in at the stage where I thought they'd make the intoxicated decision to, I don't know, drive at 100mph down a winding country lane or decide to go the wrong way down a dual carriageway then it would be a strong point, as those are both decisions. But that isn't when it kicks in for me and I suspect it isn't for most people.

Offline Ephiral

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Re: CNN Reports on the "Promising Future" of the Steubenville Rapists
« Reply #381 on: April 04, 2013, 06:24:14 AM »
But your objection to them driving presupposes them making the intoxicated decision to drive despite being too impaired to do so safely. If you're going to say "You're not in a state to make that decision." there, than why not on matters of consent?

EDIT: Let me try a different angle. Not trusting someone to drive is not a matter of judging their ability to maintain control of a vehicle, it's a matter of judging whether their judgement is too impaired to decide whether they can safely maintain control of a vehicle. If you're not going to trust their judgement... well, why would you trust their judgement?
« Last Edit: April 04, 2013, 06:27:28 AM by Ephiral »

Offline Healergirl

Re: CNN Reports on the "Promising Future" of the Steubenville Rapists
« Reply #382 on: April 04, 2013, 06:28:03 AM »
Oh boy.  In my bartender days, I spent much time dancing on that edge while observing others, debating whether to high-sign the bouncers or not.

And I don't have a hard answer for it.

People go to bars to get emotionally lubed up for all sorts of reasons.  Some women - and  (fewer) men for that matter -  need a drink or two  to  give themselves permission to seek a sex partner, because women are more likely to be culturally trained to repress their sexuality.
 

Offline Ephiral

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Re: CNN Reports on the "Promising Future" of the Steubenville Rapists
« Reply #383 on: April 04, 2013, 06:42:41 AM »
Oh boy.  In my bartender days, I spent much time dancing on that edge while observing others, debating whether to high-sign the bouncers or not.

And I don't have a hard answer for it.

People go to bars to get emotionally lubed up for all sorts of reasons.  Some women - and  (fewer) men for that matter -  need a drink or two  to  give themselves permission to seek a sex partner, because women are more likely to be culturally trained to repress their sexuality.
Nobody's saying that this is invalid or even necessarily a bad thing. The argument I'm putting forth is: if somebody is so drunk that you cannot trust their judgement, then don't trust their judgement. If they've had some to drink but are not at the point where you do not trust them to make judgement calls? Different story.

Offline Healergirl

Re: CNN Reports on the "Promising Future" of the Steubenville Rapists
« Reply #384 on: April 04, 2013, 07:20:18 AM »
Ephiral,

You are right, of course.  If they are at the point, or even close to the point where you would take their car keys if you knew them, they cannot give informed consent.

Offline consortium11

Re: CNN Reports on the "Promising Future" of the Steubenville Rapists
« Reply #385 on: April 04, 2013, 07:33:53 AM »
EDIT: Let me try a different angle. Not trusting someone to drive is not a matter of judging their ability to maintain control of a vehicle, it's a matter of judging whether their judgement is too impaired to decide whether they can safely maintain control of a vehicle. If you're not going to trust their judgement... well, why would you trust their judgement?

You see, I took the first approach. If someone asks me "would you trust them to drive?" I'm considering their actual ability to drive safely, not their ability to make a decision about whether they have the ability to drive safely. If the question was turned round "would you trust them to throw a ball accurately?" (which essentially asks the same thing) then surely what is being considered is their ability to throw a ball, not their ability to make a decision about whether they have the ability to throw a ball accurately?

Offline Ephiral

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Re: CNN Reports on the "Promising Future" of the Steubenville Rapists
« Reply #386 on: April 04, 2013, 07:50:09 AM »
Except throwing a ball doesn't first require a safety decision. Before you even get to the stage of deciding whether or not they can maintain control of a vehicle, they first need to have decided that they will drive. (If they didn't, then you never have to make that decision, did you?) So regardless of how you look at it, you must first be saying "I do not trust your assessment of your own competence."

Offline Caela

Re: CNN Reports on the "Promising Future" of the Steubenville Rapists
« Reply #387 on: April 04, 2013, 08:09:08 AM »
Ephiral,

You are right, of course.  If they are at the point, or even close to the point where you would take their car keys if you knew them, they cannot give informed consent.

The problem I have with this particular line of argument (and I'm only quoting you Healergirl because you gave the most succinct version of it, not to nit pick) is that you're talking about two very different types of decision making. I know people whose judgement I wouldn't trust stone-cold sober, and people who can make better decisions on 4 beers than most people can on their best days. Just because I don't think someone has the ability to operate a car doesn't mean I think they no longer have the ability to think.

There were plenty of times in my early twenties when I "consented while intoxicated" and while I did wake up a couple of times with a case of buyers remorse, I don't think any of those situations should be called rape. I wasn't violated against my will, I consented, I had fun during (even if I regretted it a come morning) and went home when sober. Would I have made the same choices sober?? Most of them yes. A couple no. A case of buyers remorse on sobering up, however, is NOT rape...especially when both parties are intoxicated. When one party is deliberately working to get the other three sheets to the wind however, that is a whole different ball game.

This isn't to say that I don't think rape happens while people are drunk. Of course it does. If either party is to the point they are passed out, can't walk, can't speak properly, hell can barely tell you their name, then of course they can't give consent. I just don't think that a few drinks and a pleasant buzz means you can't give consent.



 

Offline Healergirl

Re: CNN Reports on the "Promising Future" of the Steubenville Rapists
« Reply #388 on: April 04, 2013, 08:25:37 AM »
Caela,

I do not feel pick,ed on, never fear.

With people you know, people with whom you have experience of their judgement first hand?  The standards are of course different.

With strangers whom you are essentially cold-reading... using caution is a good way to stay out of trouble for both of you.

having said that, your personal experience of the times you got picked up while you were not exactly sober do mirror mine.



I agree,  your standards tend to plummet as our intoxication rises.    "Why in hell did I spread my legs for that chump?"  Is what I know I thought, word for word, on one occasion. 

*pause  as I search back in memory through the mists of time*  The chump in question may not have been male.


Offline Ephiral

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Re: CNN Reports on the "Promising Future" of the Steubenville Rapists
« Reply #389 on: April 04, 2013, 08:31:55 AM »
The problem I have with this particular line of argument (and I'm only quoting you Healergirl because you gave the most succinct version of it, not to nit pick) is that you're talking about two very different types of decision making. I know people whose judgement I wouldn't trust stone-cold sober, and people who can make better decisions on 4 beers than most people can on their best days. Just because I don't think someone has the ability to operate a car doesn't mean I think they no longer have the ability to think.
But... if you're taking their keys, you don't think they have the ability to think well enough to say "Hey, I'm too drunk to drive."

There were plenty of times in my early twenties when I "consented while intoxicated" and while I did wake up a couple of times with a case of buyers remorse, I don't think any of those situations should be called rape. I wasn't violated against my will, I consented, I had fun during (even if I regretted it a come morning) and went home when sober. Would I have made the same choices sober?? Most of them yes. A couple no. A case of buyers remorse on sobering up, however, is NOT rape...especially when both parties are intoxicated. When one party is deliberately working to get the other three sheets to the wind however, that is a whole different ball game.

This isn't to say that I don't think rape happens while people are drunk. Of course it does. If either party is to the point they are passed out, can't walk, can't speak properly, hell can barely tell you their name, then of course they can't give consent. I just don't think that a few drinks and a pleasant buzz means you can't give consent.
It seems to me that, from a moral perspective, impaired judgement is impaired judgement. Do different people have different tolerances? Yes. That's why the rule isn't "Don't sleep with someone who's had X drinks." It boils down to "If you do not trust this person to be safe, why are you trusting their judgement in any other capacity?" If we're trying to teach people to not rape, this strikes me as a pretty solid and hard-to-argue rule, really.

Offline Healergirl

Re: CNN Reports on the "Promising Future" of the Steubenville Rapists
« Reply #390 on: April 04, 2013, 08:41:44 AM »
Ephiral,

I certainly take you point, and I agree with it.

But perception of another person's  level of intoxication is by definition subjective, even with the best of intentions on the part of the observer.    The balance  between mellow and happy/truly impaired judgement can be very hard to define under actual field conditions, so to speak.

Offline Ephiral

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Re: CNN Reports on the "Promising Future" of the Steubenville Rapists
« Reply #391 on: April 04, 2013, 08:44:48 AM »
Sure, it's tricky. And you might make the wrong call. Rape can, in all honesty, happen by accident. (Though I am willing to lay odds that the accidental instances are at least an order of magnitude less common than allegedly accidental instances.) I see a measure of "err on the side of caution" in this rule, too - part of why it strikes me as working so well is that it makes you think about your safety. Would you trust this person to drive you home? No? Then why isn't their safety and security equally important?

Offline Healergirl

Re: CNN Reports on the "Promising Future" of the Steubenville Rapists
« Reply #392 on: April 04, 2013, 08:55:06 AM »
Ephiral,

 
*nods*

That is an excellent way to approach thinking about the subject.

Offline Caela

Re: CNN Reports on the "Promising Future" of the Steubenville Rapists
« Reply #393 on: April 04, 2013, 09:32:54 AM »
But... if you're taking their keys, you don't think they have the ability to think well enough to say "Hey, I'm too drunk to drive."
It seems to me that, from a moral perspective, impaired judgement is impaired judgement. Do different people have different tolerances? Yes. That's why the rule isn't "Don't sleep with someone who's had X drinks." It boils down to "If you do not trust this person to be safe, why are you trusting their judgement in any other capacity?" If we're trying to teach people to not rape, this strikes me as a pretty solid and hard-to-argue rule, really.

Ahhh, I think we are coming at this from different directions. I was reading it as simply them having had to many drinks to be safe to drive. Their ability, not their decision making. Perspective makes all the difference in how you read things sometimes. I never have a problem handing over my own keys so sometimes it's hard to imagine anyone else doing so even thought I know they do. I let my own perspective get in the way of understanding what you were actually saying. Totally my bad.

I bolded the last part because I think, personally, that a better rule would be to teach them that if they don't have an enthusiastic, and repeated, "YES", that they should assume a "No." It's frightening but a lot of people (especially younger people it seems) have gotten the idea into their heads that if the other person didn't say, "NO" that a "Yes" is implied. And this doesn't just apply to sex but a whole host of things and it starts incredibly young. Watch kids playing sometime and it's not hard to notice that when one tries to step away from the game, wanting to do something else, or just be on their own, adults often encourage the other kids to continue chasing said child. The kid can be screaming "NO" and everyone is just laughing and egging the other kids on. How are they supposed to learn to respect a "No" as adults, when they are taught as kids that if they just keep going, keep pushing, keep whining/pushing enough, that a "No" will become a "Yes"? (Not a personal pet peeve or anything! lol) Adults do it to kids all the time too. How often do you see a child tell Auntie whoever, that they don't want a hug/kiss and they just get scooped up and hugged/kissed on anyway? If no one has to respect their "No", how will they learn to respect anyone else's?

We need to start when kids are young and teach them that a, "No" is a "No" and should always be respected.  Including adults respecting theirs, and each others. Teens should be having the message repeated in their Health classes, and often, and any college class dealing with human relationships or sexuality should repeat it as well. We need to demolish the idea that, "Well X didn't actually say No, so that meant Yes, " and replace it with, "Y didn't say Yes, so that means No."

[/rant, hops off soapbox]
« Last Edit: April 04, 2013, 09:41:42 AM by Caela »

Offline Healergirl

Re: CNN Reports on the "Promising Future" of the Steubenville Rapists
« Reply #394 on: April 04, 2013, 09:40:03 AM »
The absence of a clear negative interpreted as an active affirmative... I wish I could say you were wrong in your interpretation of the culture, Caela. but I do agree that is the way things seem to be.

Offline Caela

Re: CNN Reports on the "Promising Future" of the Steubenville Rapists
« Reply #395 on: April 04, 2013, 09:48:50 AM »
Healergirl, I'll admit, I don't have any actual data on it, but it's my impression. I make a concerted effort with my own daughter to make sure that she knows that "No" means "No" even if it's something as simple as giving a friend a hug. If they don't want to be hugged, you don't touch them. If you don't have a "Yes", you don't touch them and if you didn't give a "Yes" than no one should touch you.

Offline Ephiral

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Re: CNN Reports on the "Promising Future" of the Steubenville Rapists
« Reply #396 on: April 04, 2013, 09:55:12 AM »
Caela: That's part of it, yes. There's a movement of late, and I think it's a good one, away from "No means no" and toward "yes means yes". But I don't think it's the whole package by any means. There are any number of substances which, under the influence, will make a normally reserved person give that enthusiastic yes. If their judgement is impaired, deliberately or otherwise, I'd still call that rape, or at least close enough to it to be uncomfortable and still morally wrong. Hence the impairment rule.

Offline Caela

Re: CNN Reports on the "Promising Future" of the Steubenville Rapists
« Reply #397 on: April 04, 2013, 10:09:50 AM »
Caela: That's part of it, yes. There's a movement of late, and I think it's a good one, away from "No means no" and toward "yes means yes". But I don't think it's the whole package by any means. There are any number of substances which, under the influence, will make a normally reserved person give that enthusiastic yes. If their judgement is impaired, deliberately or otherwise, I'd still call that rape, or at least close enough to it to be uncomfortable and still morally wrong. Hence the impairment rule.

My biggest problem with that rule is that it doesn't really make a distinction between a sober person taking advantage of a drunk one, and two drunk/impaired people both being idiots. Rule/laws like that just slap the blame on the male and accuse him of being a rapist when he could have been just as drunk/impaired as his partner. I don't consider two impaired people choosing to do something stupid together to be rape. A sober person taking advantage of an impaired person, yes...but that's much harder to prove.

Offline Ephiral

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Re: CNN Reports on the "Promising Future" of the Steubenville Rapists
« Reply #398 on: April 04, 2013, 10:17:13 AM »
First: Who said it should be a law? We're talking moral rules, here. The fact that it's too fuzzy to be a law has been repeatedly pointed out, by the person who brought up the idea.

Second: I've touched on this already, but... I don't see why it should make a distinction. "But I was drunk!" is not a moral defense of an action you took that hurt someone - it's an argument that you should drink less.

Offline Caela

Re: CNN Reports on the "Promising Future" of the Steubenville Rapists
« Reply #399 on: April 04, 2013, 10:38:51 AM »
First: Who said it should be a law? We're talking moral rules, here. The fact that it's too fuzzy to be a law has been repeatedly pointed out, by the person who brought up the idea.

Second: I've touched on this already, but... I don't see why it should make a distinction. "But I was drunk!" is not a moral defense of an action you took that hurt someone - it's an argument that you should drink less.

1) Moral rules can be even fuzzier than legalities. Everything tends to be situation, which makes for fun conversations, but not so great absolutes in right/wrong.

2) I think there should be a distinction but there is a huge situational difference in two drunks being stupid and a sober person taking advantage of a drunk one. In the first, someone being hurt can be arguable, in the second the drunk person was clearly taken advantage of.