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guillermox

So my School Newspaper made Washington Post, Today show and Fox News with this.....

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This was a article written by a guy called Alex Knepper. He is gay and wrote a op ed piece that lead to a huge debate in my school. I thought i would share it here.

 

 

 

Jeremiah Headen likely lost the vice presidency of the Student Government over a hyperbolic Facebook note. Its contents — a blast of old-school masculinity — slammed men for not realizing that being manly had nothing to do with what is between one’s legs, but rather is about values, stoic resolve and hard work. It ended with a silly, all-caps call to raid booty and women from neighboring villages.

The comments on The Eagle’s Web site, mostly by Gay Party activists and feminists, condemned Headen for being an “anti-queer misogynist” and for undermining American University’s commitment to being “safe space” for the “gay community.” He was also rebuked for using the term “hermaphrodite” instead of “intersex.”

What a sniveling bunch of emotional cripples! I have never encountered a more insular, solipsistic view of human sexuality than at this college. The rigidity of Pat Robertson has nothing on feminism.

Feminist religious dogma, long ago disposed of by neuroscientists and psychologists, states that men are essentially born as eunuchs, only to have wicked masculinity imposed on them by an evil society. This is usually presented as “social construction theory.”

Like the other great religions of the world, though, the goal of contemporary feminism and Gay Party activism is not to explain sex, but to abolish its passion. The yin and yang of masculinity and femininity is what makes sexual exploration exciting. Sex isn’t about contract-signing. It’s about spontaneity, raw energy and control (or its counterpart, surrender). Feminism envisions a bedroom scene in which two amorphous, gender-neutral blobs ask each other “Is this OK with you?” before daring to move their lips any lower on the other’s body. Worse yet: a gender-neutral sexuality can have no conception of the inherently gendered thrills of fetishism, sadomasochism, kink or cross-dressing. How blasé!

For my pro-sex views, I am variously called a misogynist, a rape apologist and — my personal favorite — a “pro-date rape protofascist.”

Let’s get this straight: any woman who heads to an EI party as an anonymous onlooker, drinks five cups of the jungle juice, and walks back to a boy’s room with him is indicating that she wants sex, OK? To cry “date rape” after you sober up the next morning and regret the incident is the equivalent of pulling a gun to someone’s head and then later claiming that you didn’t ever actually intend to pull the trigger.

“Date rape” is an incoherent concept. There’s rape and there’s not-rape, and we need a line of demarcation. It’s not clear enough to merely speak of consent, because the lines of consent in sex — especially anonymous sex — can become very blurry. If that bothers you, then stick with Pat Robertson and his brigade of anti-sex cavemen! Don’t jump into the sexual arena if you can’t handle the volatility of its practice!

Feminists don’t understand history, psychology, biology or sexuality. To repair this desperate situation, I have altruistically prepared a list of five favored books about sex and gender: “The Myth of Male Power” by Warren Farrell, “The Sexual Spectrum” by Olive Skene Johnson, “Vamps and Tramps” by Camille Paglia, “Philosophy In the Bedroom” by the divine Marquis de Sade, and “Who Stole Feminism?” by Christina Hoff Sommers. Put down the Andrea Dworkin and embrace the fires of sexuality!

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any woman who heads to an EI party as an anonymous onlooker, drinks five cups of the jungle juice, and walks back to a boy’s room with him is indicating that she wants sex, OK? To cry “date rape” after you sober up the next morning and regret the incident is the equivalent of pulling a gun to someone’s head and then later claiming that you didn’t ever actually intend to pull the trigger.

 

well... im surprised he didn't address the classic argument of "you were dressed slutty thus you were askin for it."

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Since when have law and love seen eye to eye?

 

And I'm still not sure how he gets beyond this:

 

For my pro-sex views, I am variously called a misogynist, a rape apologist and — my personal favorite — a “pro-date rape protofascist.”
The embedded assumption that if we can't 100% define it, it must not exist. The trope that lines of gray create non-existence of the concept is pretty regressive. His logic justifies...you gave me $20....its ok if I steal another $100 because of all those gray lines.

 

Sex isn’t about contract-signing. It’s about spontaneity, raw energy and control (or its counterpart, surrender).
It is about mutual consent. If jeremiah stalks someone or worse thats hardly a loving relationship. Edited by nathan_debate

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Removing the responsibility and power of the penetrated partner in the sexual act is one of the worst forms of infantilization. I get the impression that Knepper and I would likely disagree on most things, given his stated politics, but this one just kind of makes sense. Maybe it's because I'm a heterosexual male, but it often seems that the established feminist orthodoxy is, in fact, anti-feminist.

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The embedded assumption that if we can't 100% define it, it must not exist. The trope that lines of gray create non-existence of the concept is pretty regressive. His logic justifies...you gave me $20....its ok if I steal another $100 because of all those gray lines.

 

You're getting on the right track, imo, although I don't think your example is a very good one. To me, the example of a girl getting hammered and going to a guy's room is only half-persuasive - there is a feeling that, in that instance, the guy isn't 100% guilty of involuntary sex. The intention to be in a state of mind to be coerced into that situation was entirely voluntary.

 

However, it's still a line where a person couldn't make a conscious decision in the moment. It's like going with friends to bungee jump, only to decide right before they've strapped on the last harness that the idea is dumb and request that you be let out of it. The entire notion of commitment trap - that once you've 'signed on' to the notion at the beginning, that it's somehow not unethical to force you to ante up when the time comes - is ludicrous. People should be in a state of mind to change their mind - it's the most fundamental human freedom. In the event that they are unable to or not allowed to, a very distinct and objective line has been crossed. No 'gray area' about it.

 

The odd line, of course, is your ability to tell if they're actually not wanting to go through with what seemingly was the commitment early on or if they're just toying/want to do it but are unsure. As a guy, this is the line in party hookups that I'd have a hard time drawing, or be fearful that my drawing of the line would be scrutinized. The only thing about the op-ed that I agree with is that it does seems just as arbitrary to put all of the ethical blame on the guy for commencing.

 

It's a rough issue to address, mostly because very few people are unsure where a line can be drawn, and those that have drawn the line oftentimes assert on very arbitrary grounds (the guy is a really sober and a douche, or 'the guy should know better' but the drunk girl shouldn't). A lot of this rhetoric even falls into pretty patriarchal norms of presuming a girl to be constantly vulnerable and innocent, and for guys to ante-up with this form of chivalrism that somehow tells them when a girl is too drunk, doesn't really want to do stuff, etc.

 

I guess my reaction to the op-ed is: I'm troubled. Not necessarily by the op-ed's position. Not necessarily by those that would object to it (with either more right or left leaning interpretations) but all of it. The line probably can't be drawn - hell, we don't even know when a gray area is being hit, or how to even establish it. A bunch of characteristics very systemic in the way masculinity oriented males see the world and act accordingly has created a very sticky situation. This is probably only a 'gray zone' because of that. That seems to be the first place we have to confront if we hope for an answer.

 

In short, if a drunk girl follows a guy back to his room, this doesn't imply consent to sex. This implies that a drunk girl followed a guy back to his room. The assumption of that act implying anything deeper is the problem. It's always assumed that either means sex was consented to or a guy is being coercive. Neither of those is necessarily true, and it's probably the assumption that one of those has to be that makes date-rape cases so complicated and hard for people to analyze or deal with.

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The entire notion of commitment trap - that once you've 'signed on' to the notion at the beginning, that it's somehow not unethical to force you to ante up when the time comes - is ludicrous.

 

In the coverage that has followed the initial publication and retraction of his column, Knepper has been incredibly specific in defining his position at this point. If at any point pre or mid-coitus either party retracts their consent, continued sex would, in fact, be rape. Nobody is disputing that no means no. What is being disputed is the post facto ability of one party to decide that what happened was rape.

 

Can a person who wakes up, hungover, confused, and next to a stranger feel regret for what they've done? Absolutely. Either partner (male/female/feminine/masculine/intersex/dominant/submissive etc.) can feel remorse. Regret, as Kierkegaard would tell us, is a universal part of being human. It's the necessary result of taking a course of action; the eternal wish that you had done things differently if only because you can't possibly understand the opportunity cost of the action you didn't take. But to say that the other party in an act of copulation is a criminal because you feel regret is unconscionable.

 

What's more, it's just another representation of patriarchy, the result of a discursive shift that has the power, I think, to turn true feminism. The infantilization, presumed victimization, implied weakness of one partner because of their sex or gender is what allows the patriarchal forces to dominate. Feminist Orthodoxy is a bastion of patriarchy because of the way it uses classical misogynist rhetoric to demonize the masculine.

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ben, thats why dworkin is utter bullshit: in an attempt to restore feminist subjectivity, she removes the crucial component - agency.

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In the coverage that has followed the initial publication and retraction of his column, Knepper has been incredibly specific in defining his position at this point. If at any point pre or mid-coitus either party retracts their consent, continued sex would, in fact, be rape. Nobody is disputing that no means no. What is being disputed is the post facto ability of one party to decide that what happened was rape.

 

Can a person who wakes up, hungover, confused, and next to a stranger feel regret for what they've done? Absolutely. Either partner (male/female/feminine/masculine/intersex/dominant/submissive etc.) can feel remorse. Regret, as Kierkegaard would tell us, is a universal part of being human. It's the necessary result of taking a course of action; the eternal wish that you had done things differently if only because you can't possibly understand the opportunity cost of the action you didn't take. But to say that the other party in an act of copulation is a criminal because you feel regret is unconscionable.

 

Your scenario assumes the chick went in voluntarily, and out of a moment of de facto regret, lies/spins the truth of the merry tale to imply it wasn't consensual to save face. It's a *far stretch* to believe there are even a multiplicity of cases where many women are this heinous (although cases like this do exist - they don't frequently occur at school drinking parties...)

 

The argument held by the author is nothing short of "if she spreads her leg and doesn't say no, it's fair game." In this scenario - there is no sign a person is ignoring a denial of agreement to the sexual encounter. There can still be, however, a level of coercion preventing an outward statement to be interpreted as 'no.' And I think this is the gray area that, while indistinguishable, is not one you can just simply ignore to agree with what the author is suggesting.

 

I'm also not defending criminalizing the poor frat guy that hooked up with the drunk chick. A more thorough reading of my post would reflect that. I think those are all ethical lines that can't be drawn and, when drawn, are pretty arbitrary and probably not sufficient for a fair boundary of morality on the question.

 

I think you bring up a valid point that you can't just scream coercion when you regret a decision - I think your example overshadows that many of these scenarios are not done in full mental capacity. Due to this, the appeal of the traditional argument to most is that the costs to individual agency in an act of coerced sexual exploitation is so great, that the acuteness of the gray area is irrelevant and doesn't justify the act. That being said, I don't think the author's point is as valid when alcohol/drug use is involved. Nobody could know how the girl would react while sober - we probably can't claim the guy is a criminal, but we also probably can't claim that the girl is being unfair either.

 

What's more, it's just another representation of patriarchy, the result of a discursive shift that has the power, I think, to turn true feminism. The infantilization, presumed victimization, implied weakness of one partner because of their sex or gender is what allows the patriarchal forces to dominate. Feminist Orthodoxy is a bastion of patriarchy because of the way it uses classical misogynist rhetoric to demonize the masculine.

 

I'm gonna go for the Essentialism cheap-shot here. It's pretty silly to group all Feminisms as the problem. This also doesn't answer a valid point made - most rapists are masculine, heterosexual men! I can also go for the Realism cheap-shot here too. Realistically, the threat is a highly masculinized male ego. I think many branches of liberal feminists have a point - a dramatic number of sexual exploitation cases can be prevented assuming that lens.

 

This, however, doesn't go far enough as to create a comprehensive theory accounting for instances in which rape isn't the stereotypical masculine punk forcibly hurting a woman. This is why there is a gray area. To take the author's position does a great injustice to many victims of sexual coercion (as opposed to exploitation), while the argument he is objecting to does well to just put all blame on the man involved.

 

I don't think we're so much disagreeing than going at our agreement through different angles. The issue isn't so simple as to provide a dichotomy of 'victim' and 'aggressor.' Take example - two drunk people blacked out hooked up? The reason this example turns into a rape case or an exploitation is because of the assumption that there is a masculine role involved - it's the assumption of discursive presence that makes the issue so complicated. Yet again - voiding the discussion of that extra baggage is probably a fundamental prerequisite to drawing any objective line on the question.

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