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Author Topic: Matt Taylor's shirt  (Read 6159 times)

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Offline Florence

Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #175 on: November 28, 2014, 04:32:29 PM »
My opinion, simply put: Is the shirt sexist? Yes. Should he have known better than to wear it on television? Certainly. Is it a bigger deal than landing on a friggan comet? No. No it is not.

As far as sexist things go, this is like... bottom rung priority. I consider myself a feminist, but honestly, I don't really care. The shirt was stupid, but making some huge scandal out of it is almost equally stupid in my opinion. Its a shirt. A really tacky shirt.

The fact that it managed to overshadow landing a robot on a comet is... somewhat depressing.

Offline Sethala

Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #176 on: November 28, 2014, 11:12:15 PM »
So, I kind of want to give a bit of closing comments before leaving the discussion...

First, did Matt Taylor screw up by wearing the shirt on TV?  Yeah, big time.  I'm really curious why no one tried to stop him, although part of me wonders if he wore it on purpose as a way to say "thank you" to the woman that made it for him, thinking of it as sentiment that he's wearing something she made without really thinking about what it actually is he's wearing.  Did he screw it up bad enough to be fired for it?  If his job was "PR guy", then yeah, I'd say this is a big enough mistake to lose that job unless he was really good at it otherwise.  Since his job is "science guy" though, screwing up on something that's not his job shouldn't have that big of a punishment.  Reprimanded maybe, definitely told that they'll be watching what he wears to such interviews more closely, but he should at least be able to still be the science guy.

Now, as for wearing the shirt to work?  I can see a lot of jobs where such a shirt would be highly inappropriate.  If your job was to sell stuff to customers, for instance, wearing a shirt like that would definitely be a bad idea (unless you were selling bondage fetish gear...).  Anything involving meeting clients or generally people outside of the company seeing you, yeah, that's a bad idea to wear a shirt like that.  But if you work in a very closed area with a lot of tight-knit people that know you pretty closely, without people outside your work group seeing you in the context of work?  I could easily see something with a bit more personal touch that happens to be possibly offensive as allowable.  Not in every group, certainly, but I don't think any of us know enough to completely condemn him for it.  We certainly don't know enough to say whether the environment as a whole is unwelcoming to women just because he sometimes wears that shirt, at any rate.

At the end of the day, it's still a shirt.  Don't get me wrong, there are a lot of things that really are keeping women out of science fields, or even denying the accomplishments of women already in such fields; you guys have made that abundantly clear throughout the thread.  And yes, an environment that allows such a shirt without question may very well be an environment that is biased against women, but insisting that this must be the case is pretty flimsy logic.  Really, campaigning against a shirt isn't going to accomplish much.  Even if you end up banning sexist shirts from the industry, that's not going to change bias that people already have - heck, making outcries like this may end up making the bias even worse, as people who were already bias now have one more thing they can point at and say some inane crap along the lines of "See, this is why women/feminists are a joke and shouldn't be allowed here".  Focus on the real issues, the things that can be clearly shown to be important biases that have a clear, visible effect on people's lives.  You can't win an argument by shouting louder than the other guy, and trying to just makes people wonder if all that shouting is really necessary.

Granted, I can't deny one thing that was effective about this mess, and that was getting people's attention.  I generally don't care about feminist matters until they intersect with something I know or care about enough to get involved, and if it wasn't for such a loud outcry about the shirt, I probably would never have bothered to learn about the issues that women actually face.  Even if I think this is a lot of shouting about nothing, the dialog that came from reasonable discussion after the shouting was gone was productive.

Offline consortium11

Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #177 on: December 14, 2014, 01:08:22 AM »
Apologies for the late reply (and bringing the thread back up), but I missed this the first time.

Left this untouched earlier in my step back, but I really want to address it, because seriously?

Have you actually read SB 967? Because... well, it doesn't remotely do what you're claiming. In fact, I learned about affirmative consent as defined there from, and continue to find the greatest support for it in, BDSM circles. The concept is actually really, really simple: Only have sex with people who have agreed to it in ways they've agreed to. I'm involved in relationships with a fairly strong D/s element right now that are built on that foundation. So... no, this is pretty blatantly false.

Have you read SB967?

Specifically these parts (emphasis mine):

Quote
An affirmative consent standard in the determination of whether consent was given by both parties to sexual activity. “Affirmative consent” means affirmative, conscious, and voluntary agreement to engage in sexual activity. It is the responsibility of each person involved in the sexual activity to ensure that he or she has the affirmative consent of the other or others to engage in the sexual activity. Lack of protest or resistance does not mean consent, nor does silence mean consent. Affirmative consent must be ongoing throughout a sexual activity and can be revoked at any time.

That's fine in a vanilla relationship... it's a distinct improvement in fact. Of course both partners should engage in enthusiastic, ongoing sex... and if one suddenly seems to lose interest or "freeze up" then of course the other should check if they still want to continue rather than take a "I've started so I'll finish" attitude.

But in BDSM play?

Let's give a simple example. My partner and I have gone through informed consent and we're taking it strictly. Both of us know what we're planning to do in the play session and both of us refuse to go any further even if the other partner wants to "push their limits" during the play itself (acknowledging the effect that subspace can have on someone's ability to make decisions they'd be happy with when they come out of it). We have a safe word... hell, let's say we go for one of those more complex three-versions of a safe word system which correspond to traffic lights (one for stop immediately, one for keep going but lower the intensity, one for speed up because I want more). We do some play and despite whoever is in the sub role crying, screaming, being in pain, pulling away and generally appearing scared, upset and in distress they never say the safeword and never intended to. We finish playing, hug, talk about what we liked and didn't like and both came to the conclusion that we had an awesome fun session that we'd love to do again.

Perfect right? And under the way that consent used to be assessed absolutely fine.

But not under SB967.

How can a sub who is "crying, screaming, being in pain, pulling away and generally appearing scared, upset and in distress" possibly be seen as "affirmatively consenting"? Their every action and reaction is exactly the opposite. Under the old system that's fine because they hadn't said "no" (the safeword) and thus consent was still there. But under this one? As soon as one stops affirmatively consenting through word or deed then it becomes sexual assault. It doesn't matter that the safeword wasn't used. It doesn't even matter that the sub wanted to continue. As soon as the sub showed signs of distress or that they "weren't into it" (and BDSM play frequently includes people appearing to "not be into it" regardless of if they actually are) the dom would have to confirm affirmative consent or anything further is sexual assault.

Which means under a SB967 framework, BDSM play would seemingly have to take one of three forms:

1) Incredibly mild and largely cheesy play which becomes little more than a sub sticking their bottom out and going "please, spank me".

2) The dom stopping every minute (or, depending on the play possibly even few seconds) to re-establish affirmative consent.

3) The need for yet another safeword that the sub would have to say every minute (or, depending on the play possibly even few seconds) to confirm they were affirmatively consenting to the play.

Does any of that sound like an enjoyable or practical way to engage in BDSM?

In your D/s themed relationship has there been a moment during play where you or your partner(s) didn't appear to be affirmatively consenting? Where, despite not saying the safeword, if one simply looked at how they were acting and reacting one might think that you/they weren't enjoying it? Did you/they cry out in pain after a blow was struck? Did you/they try to move away as the other partner(s) approached with a flogger in hand? Etc Etc.

Because if any of those situations did occur and you didn't immediately stop to reestablish affirmative consent then under SB967 whoever was in the dom role for all of part of the play didn't just engage in BDSM play between consenting adults fully informed of what was to happen and able to end it at any time for any reason. They engaged in sexual assault.

And that's the simple issue here.

BDSM play features a vast number of situations where the entire point of the play actively goes against affirmative consent. Non-con roleplay is the obvious example... that quite clearly falls foul of it. But any play which puts the sub in seeming distress or pain is likewise in the firing line. Any play which a sub (while in the scene and not using their safeword) appears hesitant or reluctant to do falls foul. Anywhere where the sub says "no" (but without using the safeword because they don't actually want the scene to stop) is pretty much gone. Anywhere where at any point one could look at the scene and the only reason you assume you have consent is because the safeword hasn't been used is now no longer classed as consensual, regardless of what the participants want.

Welcome to SB967.

Offline Kythia

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Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #178 on: December 14, 2014, 06:13:36 AM »
I dunno. 

OK, imagine I'm an actress and something bad is happening to the character I portray.  I'm crying (because I'm an awesome actress and can do that at will), begging for it to stop, etc etc etc and generally giving all the signs that I want whatever is happening to stop (with, I might point out, Oscar winning  in a way critics will later describe as "fucking awesome")  Noone would reasonably think that I, Kythia, wanted it to stop solely that my character did.

Now, sure, there's no law, that I know of, saying "actors must continually affirm that they want to carry on acting" but there are laws about slave labour and the like.  Noone would claim that because I gave all the signs of wanting this to end and it didn't that I was being forced in to doing it.

I can see where you're going - that my lack of protesting/silence through saying the safeword can't be taken as agreement that I want you to flog me with your flogger (I googled them.  I don't - for the avoidance of doubt - want you to flog me with your flogger.  If you were running to your car, flogger in hand, then please stop) but that would translate to the second I stopped screaming "yes" in a more vanilla encounter being me revoking consent.  And noone, yourself included, thinks that that is how the law would work: "That's fine in a vanilla relationship... it's a distinct improvement in fact. Of course both partners should engage in enthusiastic, ongoing sex"

I'm neither a lawyer nor a BDSM person (while I recognise you are both) which may change matters, but just going on the words in the snippet you provided it doesn't seem to me to say that you need to be constantly nodding and saying "what's next?  I am looking forwards to it and wish to engage in it".  It seems to be saying that I can revoke my consent at any time; and that will necessarily take different forms.  Hell, it'll take different forms at different stages of a vanilla sexual encounter: if I decide before we start I don't want to go ahead I'd convey that in a different way to how I would if things were already moving. 

Offline Sethala

Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #179 on: December 14, 2014, 10:11:01 AM »
The optimist in me wants to agree with you, Kythia, but the cynical/pessimist side wants to point out that, should anyone get arrested for "sexual assault" in the middle of BDSM play for whatever reason, it also requires the judge/jury/lawyers to also understand that BDSM play will often look like one side isn't giving consent.

As an aside, I know that at least in Minnesota, if anyone's arrested for assault (not just sexual assault), the state is required to prosecute even if no one presses charges.  I'm not sure how this would apply to someone falsely arrested during BDSM play, but I assume it would end up with an arrest and court appearance even if the sub says everything was consenting.

Offline consortium11

Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #180 on: December 14, 2014, 10:14:41 AM »
I dunno. 

OK, imagine I'm an actress and something bad is happening to the character I portray.  I'm crying (because I'm an awesome actress and can do that at will), begging for it to stop, etc etc etc and generally giving all the signs that I want whatever is happening to stop (with, I might point out, Oscar winning  in a way critics will later describe as "fucking awesome")  Noone would reasonably think that I, Kythia, wanted it to stop solely that my character did.

Now, sure, there's no law, that I know of, saying "actors must continually affirm that they want to carry on acting" but there are laws about slave labour and the like.  Noone would claim that because I gave all the signs of wanting this to end and it didn't that I was being forced in to doing it.

I don't think the comparison holds up. Forced labour in the USA is governed by 18 U.S. Code § 1589 which states:

Quote
(a) Whoever knowingly provides or obtains the labor or services of a person by any one of, or by any combination of, the following means—
(1) by means of force, threats of force, physical restraint, or threats of physical restraint to that person or another person;
(2) by means of serious harm or threats of serious harm to that person or another person;
(3) by means of the abuse or threatened abuse of law or legal process; or
(4) by means of any scheme, plan, or pattern intended to cause the person to believe that, if that person did not perform such labor or services, that person or another person would suffer serious harm or physical restraint,
shall be punished as provided under subsection (d).

None of those would apply to a situation where an actress (who for the avoidance of doubt is freely and consensually acting in the scene) appears distressed while acting. Likewise in the UK it's governed by s71 of the Coroners and Justice Act 2009 which states that:

Quote
A person (D) commits an offence if—

(a)D holds another person in slavery or servitude and the circumstances are such that D knows or ought to know that the person is so held, or

(b)D requires another person to perform forced or compulsory labour and the circumstances are such that D knows or ought to know that the person is being required to perform such labour.

Again, I can't see how that would apply to an actress (who for the avoidance of doubt is freely and consensually acting in the scene) appears distressed while acting.

I can see where you're going - that my lack of protesting/silence through saying the safeword can't be taken as agreement that I want you to flog me with your flogger (I googled them.  I don't - for the avoidance of doubt - want you to flog me with your flogger.  If you were running to your car, flogger in hand, then please stop) but that would translate to the second I stopped screaming "yes" in a more vanilla encounter being me revoking consent.  And noone, yourself included, thinks that that is how the law would work: "That's fine in a vanilla relationship... it's a distinct improvement in fact. Of course both partners should engage in enthusiastic, ongoing sex"

Consent comes from word and deed... just as one didn't necessarily have to outright say "no" to revoke consent previously one doesn't have to deliberately say "yes" to affirm consent now. As long as one seems to be actively and freely engaging in the sex then it would seem that affirmative consent is there. So in relatively vanilla sex the fact that both partners are moaning lustily, moving their hips, running their hands over each others bodies, talking dirty, grinding away etc etc would seemingly be affirmative consent.

The issue is that in BDSM play that frequently doesn't happen. By both word and deed whoever takes on the sub role frequently does the exact opposite. Remember that consent can be withdrawn at any time and under a SB967 style regime consent is withdrawn the moment someone doesn't appear to affirm their consent... so any reluctance, hesitation, backing away, being upset etc etc requires the other party to immediately check that the other party is affirmatively consenting or be guilty of sexual assault.

I'm neither a lawyer nor a BDSM person (while I recognise you are both) which may change matters, but just going on the words in the snippet you provided it doesn't seem to me to say that you need to be constantly nodding and saying "what's next?  I am looking forwards to it and wish to engage in it".  It seems to be saying that I can revoke my consent at any time; and that will necessarily take different forms.  Hell, it'll take different forms at different stages of a vanilla sexual encounter: if I decide before we start I don't want to go ahead I'd convey that in a different way to how I would if things were already moving.

It changes what "revoking consent" means though. In a "no means no" style system then once sex had started one had to actively do something to indicate they'd revoked consent, even if it didn't necessarily require them to outright say "no" (and why the inclusion of safewords meant that BDSM play wasn't sexual assault). Now consent is revoked the moment one party isn't affirmatively consenting to it. Take this brief VERY NSFW BDSM clip (tubesite) for example... does the sub appear to be affirmatively consenting to her treatment, especially in the first 30 seconds or so? Or in this STILL NSFW largely softcore pro-wrestling themed trailer (MP4)? Or this STILL NSFW Superheroine in Peril style largely softcore trailer(MP4)? Now, replace the actresses and actors doing a paid film with an amateur couple doing it for their own enjoyment... is the person in the sub role clearly affirmatively consenting throughout the play? Because if they're not at that point whoever's in the dom role would have to stop, break the scene and find out if they were.

Offline Kythia

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Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #181 on: December 14, 2014, 10:54:15 AM »
OK, that makes sense.

Finally, and I recognise this is a side issue, but you mention:

Quote
We do some play and despite whoever is in the sub role crying, screaming, being in pain, pulling away and generally appearing scared, upset and in distress they never say the safeword and never intended to.

Do laws around sexual consent even apply to a situation like that?  Assuming this is during the flogging, I mean.  There's nothing in flogging that I would call sex, is there something there the law would?  Or is the "correct" language to use that of assault and whether or not when can consent to that.  Can you?  (Consent to assault, I mean)

Offline consortium11

Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #182 on: December 14, 2014, 11:42:13 AM »
Do laws around sexual consent even apply to a situation like that?  Assuming this is during the flogging, I mean.  There's nothing in flogging that I would call sex, is there something there the law would?  Or is the "correct" language to use that of assault and whether or not when can consent to that.  Can you?  (Consent to assault, I mean)

On whether hitting someone with a flogger constitutes sexual assault.

The key here is s3 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003 which states:

Quote
(1)A person (A) commits an offence if—

(a)he intentionally touches another person (B),

(b)the touching is sexual,

(c)B does not consent to the touching, and

(d)A does not reasonably believe that B consents.

"Touching" can include touching with an object rather than just with your own body. So if hitting someone with a flogger counts as sexual touching (and in BDSM play I'd argue it does) then hitting someone with a flogger without their consent does constitute sexual assault. It may also constitute one of the so-called non-fatal offences as well (likely battery, ABH or GBH).

As for whether one can consent to assault/that class of non-fatal offences (assault, battery, ABH and the two types of GBH) in the UK the general principle is "no"; if two people in a pub have an argument, one says "let's take this outside", the other agrees, the pair go outside and have a (consensual) fight where one gets injured, the other person can't use the fact the other consented as a defence. However there are a number of exceptions; every day life (so you can't claim you were battered because someone pushed into you while crowding into a train or bus), tattoos/piercings, sporting activity within the laws of the sport (which is why tackling is allowed in football and boxing is allowed at all for example) and a controversial one relating to "horseplay" are the most common

As for how that applies to BDSM it's a difficult position. I laid out some analysis in this thread but the basic position is that it's somewhat of a legal grey area already. Because of competing case law as things stand it appears that BDSM play (and likely normal sex but that hasn't been tested in court) that constitutes ABH (so leaves any bruises or marks on the skin) or worse can't use consent as a defence unless it is similar to one of existing exceptions. So we have somewhat strange situation where if one consensually spanks another on the bottom and leaves bruises it will likely be no defence that the other party consented but if I (consensually) brand or scarify someone else then consent may well be a defence (on the basis it's similar to tattooing) despite the harm being much greater.

While not tested by the courts (and not raised during the BDSM prosecutions I'm aware of) the "horseplay" defence may be the best one; in essence if one consents to "rough and undisciplined play" and there was no intention to case injury (mere foresight of bruising (or even of greater harm) not being sufficient) then consent can be raised as a defence. There are issues here though... whether BDSM constitutes "rough and undisciplined play" is one, whether it can be said that certain types of BDSM play have no intention to cause injury is another and whether the defence would even be extended is another; horseplay generally covers "japes" (to use an entirely inappropriate term) with the two leading cases being a schoolboy receiving birthday bumps which led to a broken arm and a bunch of drunken RAF officers setting fire to another was the other.

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Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #183 on: December 14, 2014, 11:58:23 AM »
I would think that the key to this would be the 'and' nature of the law as you've described it (meaning that all points listed must be present.)  In the case of BDSM, not only does point (c) fail - B consents to the touching, but point (d) would fail as A would reasonably believe that B consented as per the ongoing nature of their relationship and arrangement of safewords etc.

Offline Apple of Eris

Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #184 on: December 14, 2014, 12:40:45 PM »
I should like to point out that in BDSM play affirmative consent IS given. It would be simplistically easy to argue that a submissive has given consent and continues to give consent during a scene by not invoking their 'safe word'. Now if that's ignored you may have something, otherwise, the idea that the police will be breaking down doors and arresting people for bdsm play is utterly ridiculous.

In fact if the worst did occur when the 'victim' testifies that the play was entirely consensual, no prosecutor worth his salt is going to prosecute.

Offline consortium11

Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #185 on: December 14, 2014, 01:20:21 PM »
I would think that the key to this would be the 'and' nature of the law as you've described it (meaning that all points listed must be present.)  In the case of BDSM, not only does point (c) fail - B consents to the touching, but point (d) would fail as A would reasonably believe that B consented as per the ongoing nature of their relationship and arrangement of safewords etc.

The discussion here is if an "affirmative consent" regime is put in place... in which case B likely wouldn't be "consenting" to the touching (as they weren't affirmatively consenting to it if they were in pain, crying, screaming etc etc) and A may struggle to claim that he reasonably believed that B was consenting (would a reasonable man believe that B is affirmatively consenting to being hit again by crying, screaming and being in pain etc etc). Remember that as per SB967 silence or resistance or a lack of protest (i.e. not saying the safeword) doesn't constitute consent and any existing or past relationship is ignored (so the ongoing nature of their relationship is irrelevant).

I should like to point out that in BDSM play affirmative consent IS given. It would be simplistically easy to argue that a submissive has given consent and continues to give consent during a scene by not invoking their 'safe word'. Now if that's ignored you may have something, otherwise, the idea that the police will be breaking down doors and arresting people for bdsm play is utterly ridiculous.

1) Again, as per SB967, it doesn't matter if the person in the sub role didn't use their safe word; "Lack of protest or resistance does not mean consent, nor does silence mean consent". Safe words are based on the "no means no" theory of consent; the safe word is the person in the sub role saying no and as such is sacrosanct while anything else they say or do can (within reason) be taken as being part of the play. But in a "yes means yes"/affirmative consent theory they fail woefully because they fall squarely into the "lack of protest/silence" area.

A sub should be giving affirmative consent at the start of play; I wouldn't engage in it if they didn't. But affirmative consent has to "be ongoing throughout a sexual activity and can be revoked at any time." That means if at any point during the play the sub doesn't appear to be affirmatively consenting to the play then it has to stop or it becomes sexual assault.

2) The police already have kicked down doors for people engaging in consensual BDSM play; R v Brown is still one of (and arguably) the leading cases on consensual BDSM play in the UK (and Europe following their failed appeal) and there it was held that it was utterly irrelevant whether the so-called "victims" consented or not.

3) SB967 relates to a colleges policies rather than criminal law/the police and colleges/universities are utterly bi-polar in the way they deal with sexual assault; on one hand they generally treat people who report assaults against themselves poorly but on the other hand if they do decide to engage with it they tend to treat male alleged aggressors incredibly badly and with very little due process; this is a great, in depth article, that covers sexual assault in colleges in general but I'll pick out one statistic from it (original source here); United Educators (an insurance group for higher education) did a study of the cases where they'd paid out for claims against institutions relating to the way they dealt with sexual assault between 2006 and 2010. 72% of those payouts when to the accused, almost all young men who had had their due process rights infringed.

In fact if the worst did occur when the 'victim' testifies that the play was entirely consensual, no prosecutor worth his salt is going to prosecute.

1) I'm sure this isn't your intention but I'm incredibly hesitant about accepting any argument that touches on "well, it may technically be sexual assault but the victim won't report it/testify and so it's OK". That has profoundly worrying consequences.

2) Likewise I find it extremely troubling to be in a situation where I am technically guilty of sexual assault and rely entirely on the fact that a college/prosecutor won't take it further.

3) Remember, under SB967 the person in the sub role hasn't consented unless they affirmatively consent throughout the process. It doesn't matter if they actually did consent in their mind or they wanted the play to go on... the responsibility falls on each party to ensure the other is affirmatively consenting and so if the person in the sub role doesn't appear to affirmatively consent at any point and the person in the dom role doesn't stop to ensure they are then they're committing a sexual assault, regardless of the subs internal wishes.

Offline Apple of Eris

Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #186 on: December 14, 2014, 05:17:16 PM »
Also, SB-967 didn't create a new state law governing sexual acts between consenting adults, it:
Quote
require the governing boards of each community college district, the Trustees of the California State University, the Regents of the University of California, and the governing boards of independent postsecondary institutions, in order to receive state funds for student financial assistance, to adopt policies concerning sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking that include certain elements, including an affirmative consent standard in the determination of whether consent was given by a complainant. The bill would require these governing boards to adopt certain sexual assault policies and protocols, as specified, and would require the governing boards, to the extent feasible, to enter into memoranda of understanding or other agreements or collaborative partnerships with on-campus and community-based organizations to refer students for assistance or make services available to students. The bill would also require the governing boards to implement comprehensive prevention and outreach programs addressing sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking. By requiring community college districts to adopt or modify certain policies and protocols, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program.

It just mandates schools adopt this policy to receive state funds.

And how does a case in the United Kingdom have bearing on a new statute in California?

Also, you're reading way too much into this.

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Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #187 on: December 14, 2014, 05:58:27 PM »
I think you're misunderstanding the point a little, Apple of Eris.

Non SB-967 consent laws are like a taxi.  You can sit back and relax and do nothing until you say "I'd like to stop here please."  SB-967 is like riding a bicycle, you have to constantly reaffirm that you want to move or you won't.  I, personally, think that is a good thing, but thats off topic a little except  for the fact that it is being held up in various places as that same "good thing" which, of course, raises the possibility that other places - states or nations - will adopt something similar.  So the fact that it only mandates schools is a bit of a distraction, whats being discussed is the principle of consent laws.

Consortium's worry, which he has to a greater or lesser extent convinced me is valid, is that that model of consent is problematic in BDSM.  That raises a discussion, obviously.  Do we care that consent in BDSM would be dubious under those laws?  Is it maybe worth penalising BDSM play if it decreases rape?  Is it possible to come up with a grand unified model of consent that doesn't have issues?  Etc.  I'm taking no stance (here) on those and similar questions, simply pointing out that a discussion around the validity of the SB-967 model includes them.

As to how a case over here affects a California statute, I'm...honestly a little confused by your question.  You stated, and I'm quoting your entire post and highlighting the relevant bit:

Quote
I should like to point out that in BDSM play affirmative consent IS given. It would be simplistically easy to argue that a submissive has given consent and continues to give consent during a scene by not invoking their 'safe word'. Now if that's ignored you may have something, otherwise, the idea that the police will be breaking down doors and arresting people for bdsm play is utterly ridiculous.

In fact if the worst did occur when the 'victim' testifies that the play was entirely consensual, no prosecutor worth his salt is going to prosecute.

It's not at all clear that you're talking solely about California statutes if that's what you were doing, and certainly not about ones that affect school and wouldn't, in the first instance, be investigated by the police.  Because you don't mention it and in fact arguably mention facts that count against that interpretation.  Consortium mentions a UK case in which something broadly similar did happen in an attempt to show that the bit of your post I bolded above has in fact happened - regardless of whether its ridiculous or not. 

Does that answer your objections?

Offline consortium11

Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #188 on: December 14, 2014, 06:17:22 PM »
Also, SB-967 didn't create a new state law governing sexual acts between consenting adults, it:
It just mandates schools adopt this policy to receive state funds.

Which I noted above.

And how does a case in the United Kingdom have bearing on a new statute in California?

Because there is a growing campaign to get similar changes to the way consent in viewed in the UK, both within universities and in general.

Also, you're reading way too much into this.

Just a week or two ago it became illegal for VoD websites based in the UK to include various BDSM activities in their content. BDSM is already in a legally grey area in the UK. Certain (admittedly on the extreme end of the extreme) BDSM websites and videos are already de-facto illegal... and there have been attempted prosecutions over urethral sounding and fisting videos. We've seen the nasty specter of obscenity laws raised twice in recent years, including a prosecution for someone selling BDSM DVD's.

As someone who enjoys and engages in consensual BDSM play with other people who enjoy and engage in it and writes BDSM-based stories online am I meant to sit back and relax when it comes under threat from yet another attack from yet another angle? Especially when supporters of that sort of change make clear that they don't mind if something is bad law or if they restrict what counts as consent too far as long as it has the aim of reducing rape (see Ezra "The Yes Means Yes laws creates an equilibrium where too much counts as sexual assault. Bad as it is, that's a necessary change" Klein).





Kythia's basically got it.

I don't object to "yes means yes" in principle or with regard to what we'd consider "vanilla" relations. I think if it were to be implemented widely there would be some issues to begin with but they come down to how people react to the change rather than the change itself; rightly or wrongly (and I'd say very much wrongly) it's generally seen as being "normal" that men initiate sexual encounters and women react. If we're in a situation where men are waiting for the woman to "say" yes (noting that it's through word and/or deed) but women are reluctant to do so not because they're not interested but because they're so used to not initiating or worried about being seen as a"slut" then it could be a little awkward as things work out. Perhaps my biggest fear in that regard is that the men who have actually educated themselves about affirmative consent and take it seriously are going to be hesitant about going forward... while the men who (while not being rapists) don't really care or know about it and just push forward... and get the girl.

But as I say, that's not a concern with the change itself. It's a concern with the reaction and the reaction can be overcome.

But transferred to a BDSM context? Then the issue isn't the reaction to the change, it's the change itself. If people are willing for essentially "innocent" people in vanilla interactions to fall foul of it in the name of the greater good (see Klein above) then why should we expect them to be more merciful to BDSM... which despite 50 Shades taking (a bastardised version of) it into the mainstream remains a largely misunderstood and ignored minority? If it is argued that something that classified all of BDSM as sexual assault would help lower rapes and sexual assaults how many people would be willing to stand up for BDSM? And how many would be willing to sacrifice it?

Offline Ephiral

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Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #189 on: December 15, 2014, 03:59:37 PM »
This may be my Canadian "state stays out of the bedroom" perspective, but... consortium, you seem awfully caught up on appearances rather than matters of fact. The law does not state that both parties must appear to be actively consenting to a third party with no understanding of their relationship or dynamic; it says they must be consenting. As such, "I was consenting and enjoying myself." "So was I." would appear to be an absolute defense and case closed.

(And before you protest that it shouldn't get as far as court: The entire reason "not guilty" verdicts exist is because, as a society, we have accepted that sometimes we will arrest and try people who have committed no crime.)

Offline Sethala

Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #190 on: December 15, 2014, 07:33:38 PM »
This may be my Canadian "state stays out of the bedroom" perspective, but... consortium, you seem awfully caught up on appearances rather than matters of fact. The law does not state that both parties must appear to be actively consenting to a third party with no understanding of their relationship or dynamic; it says they must be consenting. As such, "I was consenting and enjoying myself." "So was I." would appear to be an absolute defense and case closed.

(And before you protest that it shouldn't get as far as court: The entire reason "not guilty" verdicts exist is because, as a society, we have accepted that sometimes we will arrest and try people who have committed no crime.)

I'd like to point back to my comment about Minnesota law: The state is required to prosecute in assault cases (just assault, not sexual assault, although I assume sexual assault is similar) after someone is arrested, even if the "victim" doesn't want to press charges.  On paper, this is intended for the benefit of abused spouses that can't bring themselves to press charges against an abusive partner, but all it takes is a concerned neighbor overhearing a couple's BDSM play and calling the police because they think someone's actually getting hurt.

Edit: Scrubbed the aside, apologies, bad day at work.
« Last Edit: December 15, 2014, 07:46:32 PM by Sethala »

Offline Apple of Eris

Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #191 on: December 15, 2014, 10:30:47 PM »
Once again, this isn't in Minnestoa so Minnesota law doesn't apply. This law doesn't even apply to anyone except people in schools accepting state funds. It's not like bob and janet will be in their trailer in the San Bernadino mountains and the state cops come kicking the door in cuz Bob has Janet in a hogtie and gag.

But I'm out of this one.

Offline Sethala

Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #192 on: December 15, 2014, 11:19:28 PM »
Once again, this isn't in Minnestoa so Minnesota law doesn't apply. This law doesn't even apply to anyone except people in schools accepting state funds. It's not like bob and janet will be in their trailer in the San Bernadino mountains and the state cops come kicking the door in cuz Bob has Janet in a hogtie and gag.

But I'm out of this one.

Just because a law doesn't affect you right now, doesn't mean you shouldn't argue against it if it's something that would impact you if it came to where you are.  Precedence is an important factor for people making laws, and if a law seems to work in one area, it's going to be much more readily adopted in other areas.

Also, while I'm talking about Minnesota law specifically, it's only because that's the only state I have personal experience with, and I wouldn't be surprised if other states have similar laws.

Offline Ephiral

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Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #193 on: December 16, 2014, 12:09:05 PM »
I'd like to point back to my comment about Minnesota law: The state is required to prosecute in assault cases (just assault, not sexual assault, although I assume sexual assault is similar) after someone is arrested, even if the "victim" doesn't want to press charges.  On paper, this is intended for the benefit of abused spouses that can't bring themselves to press charges against an abusive partner, but all it takes is a concerned neighbor overhearing a couple's BDSM play and calling the police because they think someone's actually getting hurt.

Edit: Scrubbed the aside, apologies, bad day at work.

I was not talking about police discretion - or in fact about police at all. Sure, the state is forced to prosecute - and when they do, "we were both consenting" is an absolute defence.

Offline Kythia

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Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #194 on: December 16, 2014, 12:39:25 PM »
I was not talking about police discretion - or in fact about police at all. Sure, the state is forced to prosecute - and when they do, "we were both consenting" is an absolute defence.

As I understand consortium11's position - and my apologies to him if I'm misrepresenting him - the problem is that they weren't consenting because the legal definition of consent, which is obviously the one that matters in a courtroom, has changed.  They were both agreeing, sure, but technically they weren't consenting. 

Offline consortium11

Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #195 on: December 16, 2014, 03:44:45 PM »
This may be my Canadian "state stays out of the bedroom" perspective, but... consortium, you seem awfully caught up on appearances rather than matters of fact. The law does not state that both parties must appear to be actively consenting to a third party with no understanding of their relationship or dynamic; it says they must be consenting. As such, "I was consenting and enjoying myself." "So was I." would appear to be an absolute defense and case closed.

(And before you protest that it shouldn't get as far as court: The entire reason "not guilty" verdicts exist is because, as a society, we have accepted that sometimes we will arrest and try people who have committed no crime.)

1) As above, I find any argument that can be described as "well, yeah, it was a sexual assault but the other party won't go to the authorities/say it was and the authorities won't press charges" incredibly problematic.

2) Again, as per SB967 the other person wasn't consenting. Consent is required to be affirmative and ongoing throughout. If at any moment one of the parties wasn't affirmatively consenting then consent is removed... that's basically the key thing about the change from "no means no" to "yes means yes". "No means no" means, once you've kicked off, you can keep going until the other party indicates you shouldn't. "Yes means yes" means you stop as soon as the other party isn't saying yes. It doesn't matter if they say after the event they consented (even if mentally they did the entire time)... at the time they weren't and thus, sexual assault.

Anything other than ongoing affirmative consent under SB967 isn't consent. Not any more. Not saying "no" (or not using a safeword) is no longer consenting. Simply lying there and taking it isn't consent. You have to, for lack of a better term, be "asking for it" (through word or deed) for there to be consent.

3) Under SB967 it is the responsibility to each party to make sure for themselves that the other party is affirmatively consenting throughout. Going "well, they'll say they consented afterwards" (even if you know) that's the case) isn't good enough. You need to check throughout and at any point where affirmative consent seemingly isn't being given, check it is.

I find it somewhat striking that the defence for SB967 with regards to BDSM breaks down to either "pretend SB967 doesn't exist and everything's exactly the same as it was before" or "well, yes, you're committing a sexual assault but it's unlikely anyone is going to go after you for it so you'll be fine."

I don't think that those behind SV967 and similar measures (or campaigning for them) have gone out of their way to target BDSM and frankly, I doubt too many even bothered to consider what the impact would be. What I'd like is some recognition of how they're turning the majority of BDSM into sexual assault and some discussion on why they think it's acceptable to treat BDSM as collateral damage in their wider campaign.

Offline Ephiral

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Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #196 on: December 16, 2014, 03:49:29 PM »
...how exactly is the state proving the case with literally zero evidence?

My defense is not "well it's sexual assault but who cares"; it is "It might be mistaken for sexual assault, but that's a factor we already accept as okay for every other crime".

Offline Garuss Vakarian

Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #197 on: January 05, 2015, 09:34:52 AM »
"Man Mat's shirt is so sexist! He is a pig. Mysogynist. Opressor! He should be ashamed! Im glad he cried on tv! "


"OMG! This shirt is the best! Yay celebs wear it >_< "




Dark Truth: The company that makes the shirt "This is what a feminist looks like" Runs a sweatshop. Paying the women essentially 1 dollar an hour, for most of their day, these women sleep in a small room where they essentially lay on the floor, and some even sleep on top of each other. It's ok though, they signed the contract so it's legal. What is it these women say though? Oh yeah. "We dont feel like we are equal." Of coarse they dont, their treated like slaves. But dont listen to me, because thats what a feminist looks like, and no one likes to acknowledge how ugly feminism has become. Heres a link to an article on it. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2817191/62p-HOUR-s-women-sleeping-16-room-paid-make-Ed-Harriet-s-45-Feminist-Looks-Like-T-shirts.html

Look into their eyes, and tell me you think they are treated fairly. Feminism is a sinking ship, if your a good person and have a lick of sense. Take my advice, bail now. Take your chances in the river, for the ship will sink you.




It's sad when a shirt made by a women, gets a man bullied for it's some what erotic nature. A man humiliated, his lifes work made a joke, his proudest moment ruined, brought to tears before the general public. When a shirt made by oppressed women is praised as the best shirt for a feminist to wear. Such is the gross hypocrisy that is modern feminism. To be honest, it deserves to be treated like a joke, men and women like the bullies who bullied Matt are the reason no one can take it seriously any more. And it is disgusting people like the company whom owns that shirt, who as the article said. Set women back. One small step for evil, 10 steps back for for feminism. A sad day indeed.
« Last Edit: January 05, 2015, 09:41:10 AM by Garuss Vakarian »

Offline Caehlim

Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #198 on: January 05, 2015, 11:01:21 AM »
Dark Truth: The company that makes the shirt "This is what a feminist looks like" Runs a sweatshop.

The company that manufactures the shirt Compagnie Mauricienne de Textile, is a private company who work for a lot of different clients. One of those clients is the Whistles clothing brand, that produces these shirts and then donates the profits to the charity known as the Fawcett society. Given that the Fawcett society is a feminist labour rights focused charity, it's rather embarassing for them to have not looked into the conditions under which a product linked to their name is manufactured.

However despite the Fawcett society's lengthy pedigree within feminist circles dating back to a suffrage movement in 1866, they are not feminism incorporated. One charity, who have unwisely contracted out their slogan to a private company to assist with fundraising, doesn't speak for feminism as a movement or philosophy.

Being a feminist requires more than wearing a shirt with a catchy slogan and debating feminism requires more than criticizing the factory in which said shirts are made.

Quote
Paying the women essentially 1 dollar an hour, for most of their day, these women sleep in a small room where they essentially lay on the floor, and some even sleep on top of each other. It's ok though, they signed the contract so it's legal. What is it these women say though? Oh yeah. "We dont feel like we are equal." Of coarse they dont, their treated like slaves.

So... do we shut down CMT? They're only one company amongst many that operate under these sorts of conditions, and unfortunately their wages are legal under Mauritius industrial law. Even if we could, do you really think that's best for these women. They chose to travel there deliberately because even though those wages are low by our standards, they're better than the jobs that are available back in their home countries. As one of the women said:

‘It is awful but we have no choice. In my country, the rupees I earn here are worth three times as much as they are in Mauritius.'

Raising the standards of living for these women will require more than criticizing a feminist shirt, they'll need serious economic growth in Bangladesh (the country the woman I quoted was from) to place these women on a footing to be able to demand better. The Whistles clothing company or the Fawcett Society withdrawing their contract to manufacture their shirts at CMT won't benefit these women, they'll just have even more labour to set up their work-areas for a different contract.

Quote
Look into their eyes, and tell me you think they are treated fairly.

Look at the label on the clothing you're wearing, do some research, find out under what conditions it's made and prepare to wince.

Full disclosure: Given how cheap the clothing I'm wearing was at K-mart, it was almost certainly made in a sweatshop but it's all I can afford.

Offline Blythe

Re: Matt Taylor's shirt
« Reply #199 on: January 05, 2015, 11:57:50 AM »
Feminism is a sinking ship, if your a good person and have a lick of sense. Take my advice, bail now. Take your chances in the river, for the ship will sink you.

I want to address this. Yes, the treatment of those women is deplorable and I hope that's addressed.

I don't believe the solution about feminism is to tell those practicing it correctly to abandon it because of those who do not seem to be holding to feminist ideals. Ceding control of a movement to groups practicing it incorrectly does not seem like a viable answer. All that does is make the problems people have had with feminism far worse.

I'd much rather see strong-voiced feminists who care about women, about equality, speak out against the treatment of women in sweatshops and do things the right way than abandon feminism, personally. Rather than tell people to stop practicing feminism, I'd much rather encourage people to jump in and practice it the right way and reclaim it.