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quibble: I believe the ruling was a woman can't withdraw consent after the man had penetrated her. Still is rape if she says "yes" in the bar but "no" when they get to the room (pre-insertion).

But yes, pretty appalling that a juror would say "well, the roofie was to 'loosen her up', not to assault her." What's the difference?

Posted by him | December 7, 2006 1:17 PM

Re: My Drunken Feminism Babble at Barça the Other Night and re: This Post...

Demands of Men

I don't know where this is from or with what/whom it is associated, but yikes.

Posted by Nick | December 7, 2006 1:27 PM

Commenter 1: The article specifically reports that jurors are more inclined to convict if roofies are involved:

"By contrast, where the drug Rohypnol had been used, jurors were more inclined to hold the defendant responsible for rape, even if the effect of the drug was the same as if a woman were very drunk."

Really hard to know what this study says about the English without looking at how questions were framed. The study is also missing a control condition. Would jurors be less inclined to convict a murderer based on testimony from drunk vs sober witnesses? Probably, but that doesn't mean they think the victim deserved to be killed.

Posted by Sean | December 7, 2006 1:36 PM

Good LORD, 2! I had no idea white, heterosexual men were so oppressed.

Posted by Baxter | December 7, 2006 1:52 PM

Let's face it, many men are sluts, and they get drunk to get laid. If they got raped while passed out, well, mission accomplished. They'd feel differently if physically assaulted in any other way though, or if the sex was (gasp!) homosexual. C'mon, a hole is a hole right?!

Posted by Special K | December 7, 2006 1:53 PM

Thank you for continuing to be a vigilant feminist, Erica.

Posted by Jessica | December 7, 2006 2:15 PM

Issues like this always present thorny legal issues. Especially when trying to decide criminal liability based on the testimony of two people one or both of whom my have been awfully drunk at the time. It is even more complicated when the victim suffers form a blackout (either self or attacker induced) and does not remember the event. Generally there is no physical evidence to separate this kind of rape from non-rape, nor is their often witnesses. This leaves only the victim and alleged attackers testimony

I am not really sure there is a good solution. Ideally we would be able to conclusively ascertain rape from non-rape, but that is not the case.

And HIM: Yah I think that was what it said. The traditional rule for rape revolves around forcible, non-consensual, penetration of a vagina (nothing else). Penetration was a bright lien between rape and non rape (or sexual assault). Continuing a sex act therefore, under that rule, could not be rape. May be sexual assault or something but could not be rape as the actual penetration was consensual. A stupid rule sure, but one that has fortunately been changed by statue in (almost) every jurisdiction.

Posted by Giffy | December 7, 2006 2:49 PM

Less than 6% of rape allegations lead to an offender being convicted?
That is really fucked up.

Posted by sofia | December 7, 2006 2:56 PM

To be fair, Britain is struggling mightily with the problems inherent in building a society where every single person is paralytically drunk 24 hours a day.

Posted by Fnarf | December 7, 2006 3:06 PM

To me, the obvious test for fairness in a case like this is to see if the ruling would have been identical had the alleged victim been a man. In other words, if a man fails to guard his drink adequately, another male spikes it and then "takes advantage" of his inebriation to similarly violate him without explicit consent, would a judge and jury find the defendant guilty of rape?

I rather suspect the answer is yes; they'd be much more appalled by a male being plied with drinks and then raped by another man than by a woman being identically violated. Because after all, we all know that any woman who allows herself to go into a bar and drink in the presence of men when she has her vagina with her is Asking For It, right?


Posted by Geni | December 7, 2006 4:03 PM

I remove my vagina when I go out, and replace it with a set of false teeth.

Posted by Special K | December 7, 2006 4:32 PM

The feminists must be marching today. I got 3 on 1'd earlier today in an online discussion on rape. I made the point that a fundamental fear of men is a perception gap between said woman's perception, where she believes every man is a rapist, and reality, where nearly all men are not and never will be rapists. And the Iron Femifist came down hard.

Posted by Gomez | December 7, 2006 4:37 PM

Statistics supposedly show that one out of twelve men has committed or attempted rape. I don't know how that data was compiled so I can't vouch for it, but it kind of refutes the argument that you made, Gomez.

There's also this little gem.

A study of attitudes toward rape at one college asked male students if they would commit acquaintance rape if they could be assured that no one else would find out and they would not be punished. Only 40 percent said they were not at all likely to rape a woman if given the opportunity described. Other studies on attitudes toward rape have found similar results.
Posted by keshmeshi | December 7, 2006 4:58 PM

So, while eleven out of twelve men will never attempt or commit rape, at least six out of those eleven men would like to.

Posted by keshmeshi | December 7, 2006 5:01 PM

Speaking of date rape, anyone remember what The Stranger did to Isaac Brock?

Posted by Sean | December 7, 2006 5:05 PM
Posted by Charles | December 7, 2006 5:45 PM

That study is certainly troubling. I wonder if the numbers would translate into "real world" actions; that is, for respondents who said "maybe" or equivalent (the link isn't working for me, so I can't read the article itself), how many would actually commite rape if the circumstances arose?

Imagine that at some time in the future we develop completely convincing virtual reality. So, as per numerous sci-fi movies, you can plug in and experience totally believable alternate realities. Now, imagine you can do this with complete anonymity. You could play out absolutely any scenario you wanted, with no repercussions, embarrasment to you or harm to anyone else.

What would you do in this playground of the mind? Obviously, people would experiment with whatever fetishes they are most interested in, but may be too embarrased or inhibited to engage in for real. But how many people would try more extreme and/or illegal scenarios? How many people wouldn't be tempted to try the forbidden?

And if someone does try something like rape, does that say anything meaningful about their psyche, or their potential actions back in real life? Would it be fair to condemn someone based on their virtual actions, or would it be akin to entrapment? It has been well established that otherwise good people can do pretty bad things given the appropriate impetus.

But back to the study... I sincerely hope that at least some of the "maybe's" would in fact become "no's" when it came to the crunch. But given the inherent tension set up by the differing sex drives of the genders, I think that's probably not very likely, sadly.

Posted by Tahn | December 7, 2006 9:16 PM

that study and others like it rely on an extraordinarily broad definition of what constitutes rape, including such scenarios as a girl rejecting verbal requests for sex from a potential partner.

Posted by funyun | December 7, 2006 10:40 PM

1) I continue to believe that women who drink bear a great deal of responsibility to protect themselves.

2) However, I DO NOT see the drinking women's responsibility to protect herself as a legal defense against charges of rape!

3) I am dumbfounded that any jury would not see "spiking a drink" as prima facie evidence of intent to ignore the victims consent or lack of consent, and thereby as evidence of intent to commit the crime of rape for which they are on trial. I have to think a prosecutor here in the U.S. would easily be able to get a jury to convict if the jury was given convincing evidence of the defendant having spike a victims drink.

4) But then I read the posts by commenters here, even here, and I despair.

Posted by mirror | December 8, 2006 2:23 AM

Geni wrote “To me, the obvious test for fairness in a case like this is to see if the ruling would have been identical had the alleged victim been a man.” I agree. But I also maintain the converse holds, if you wouldn’t call a woman doing it a rapist, then don’t convict a man.
The issue seems to be getting blurry between consensual alcohol intake and putting a roofie in someone’s drink. Roofie-ing someone is rape, end of story full stop. Mirror, nobody on this board is excusing the man who puts a pill surreptitiously in a woman’s drink to make her pass out, so no reason to despair.
A woman who buys and consumes drinks under her own power is a different story. If she’s passed out and a man (not a husband/boyfriend) humps her inert body, that’s also rape. But between sobriety and unconsciousness, where is the cutoff point where it’s automatically rape, and are you willing to use this yardstick for both sexes?
I’d like to see the study that shows 1 in 12 men committed or attempted rape. Until we see it, ballocks. What is presented with no evidence can be refuted with no evidence. I suspect this is one of those studies that counts women with 2 or more drinks in their systems as unable to give consent, and thus rape victims. By this logic, about 9 out of 10 women are rapists.

Posted by Cat brother | December 8, 2006 8:03 AM

@ 18 and 20,

The 1 in 13 men (I was wrong about the 1 in 12 number. I apologize to that 13th decent human being I impugned) study was conducted on college campuses. In the study, 1 out of 13 men admitted to committing acts that fit the legal definition of rape and attempted rape.

Here's the summary of the findings:

In the present study, behaviorally specific items regarding rape and lesser forms of sexual aggression or victimization were presented in a noncrime context to an approximately representative national sample of high education students. The results indicated that, since the age of 14, 27.5% of college women reported experiencing and 7.7% of college men reported perpetrating an act that met legal definitions of rape, which includes attempts. Because virtually none of these victims or perpetrators had been involved in the criminal justice system, their experiences would not be reflected in official crime statistics such as the Uniform Crime Reports.

A victimization rate for women of 38 per 1,000 was calculated, which represented the number of women per thousand who experienced a rape (that met the FBI definition) during the previous 6 months. A Corresponding perpetration rate of 9 per 1,000 men was also reported, which represented the number of men per thousand who admitted an act during the previous 6 months that met the FBI definition of rape. This rape victimization rate is 10-5 times greater than rates that are based on the NCS (National Crime Survey), which are 3.9 per 1,000 16-19 year-old women and 2.5 per 1,000 20-24 year-old women. Even men's rate of admitting to raping are 2-3 times greater than NCS estimates of the risk of rape for women between the ages of 16-24. At least among students in higher education, it must be concluded that official surveys such as the NCS fail to describe the full extent of sexual victimization.

The findings of the present study demonstrate that men do not admit enough sexual aggression to account for the number of victimizations reported by women. Specifically, 54% of college women claimed to be sexually victimized, but only 25% of college men admitted any degree of sexually aggressive behavior. The number of times that men admitted to perpetrating each aggressive act was virtually identical to the number of times women reported experiencing each act. Thus, the results of the present study failed to support notions that a few extremely sexually active men could account for the victimization of a sizable number of women. Clearly, some of the victimizations reported by college women occurred in earlier years and were not perpetrated by the men who were surveyed. In addition, some recent victimizations may have involved community members who were not attending higher education institutions. Future research must determine whether these explanations can account for the sizable difference in rates.

According to the study, the FBI (and National Crime Survey) definition of rape is "forcible actual or attempted vaginal intercourse with a woman against consent by force or threat of force." The study used the more broader state definition of "oral, anal, vaginal intercourse, or penetration by objects against consent through threat, force, or intentional incapacitation of the victim via drugs."

I can't find the questions that they asked male participants, but here are the questions to female participants:

Have you had a man attempt sexual intercourse (get on top of you, attempt to insert his penis) when you didn't want to by threatening or using some degree of force (twisting your arm, holding you down, etc.), but intercourse did not occur?

Have you had a man attempt sexual intercourse (get on top of you, attempt to insert his penis) when you didn't want to by giving alcohol or drugs, but intercourse did not occur?

Have you had sexual intercourse when you didn't want to because a man gave you alcohol or drugs?

Have you had sexual intercourse when you didn't want to because a man threatened or used some degree of physical force (twisting your arm, holding you down, etc.) to make you?

Have you had sex acts (anal or oral intercourse or penetration by objects other than the penis) when you didn't want to because a man threatened or used some degree of physical force (twisting your arm, holding you down, etc.) to make you?

Posted by keshmeshi | December 8, 2006 4:06 PM

"Have you had a man attempt sexual intercourse (get on top of you, attempt to insert his penis) when you didn't want to by giving alcohol or drugs, but intercourse did not occur?"
The problem is, this also covers a guy buying a girl drinks, attempting to climb on the girl, getting rebuffed, and going, "OK, no problem."
"Have you had sexual intercourse when you didn't want to because a man gave you alcohol or drugs?"
With this question there is no distinction between a man forcibly holding a woman down and penetrating her, and a girlfriend putting up with her drunk boyfriend when she'd really rather sleep. Or a guy putting a roofie in her drink and having his way with her, versus some guy paying for a pitcher of margaritas and her cheating on her boyfriend.
On many campuses in the 90's, a woman could accuse a man of rape, successfully, even when there had been no drugs, alcohol, or coercion involved. Men were all assumed to be rapists-in-wait, and they were not only responsible for what they did when intoxicated, they were responsible for what the women they were with did, when intoxicated. I have no idea what the scene is like on campuses now, but I believe the study Keshmeshi cites came out then.
Again, physical force, verbal threats, roofies or Everclear in your drink = rape. Next day regret does not.

Posted by cat brother | December 9, 2006 6:51 AM

And yes, a woman can tell the guy to stop at any time, and he should. If he keeps on against her will, that is also rape.

Posted by Cat brother | December 9, 2006 6:53 AM

The alcohol/drug questions accounted for only a small percentage of the yes answers in the study. But, by all means, waste your energy denying that sexual violence is an endemic problem in this country because you don't like a couple of questions in a survey.

Anyway, your bullshit is beside the point. My original comment was in response to Gomez's claim that an insignificant number of men have or will ever commit rape. Despite your guys' willingness to pretend that all rapists are dirty, stinky sociopaths hiding behind bushes, the reality is that, by all appearances, most rapists are completely normal. They're your, and my, colleagues, acquaintances, friends, and relatives.

Posted by keshmeshi | December 9, 2006 12:22 PM

If you can give the survey's location online, please do. If alcohol and drugs played only a small part in the results of that survey, I'll be happy to be corrected. My points on the non-clarity of the study still stand, however.
You're damn right I've got a problem with a couple of questions in a survey,' and if you gave a damn about the subject of either rape or justice, you would too.
Rape is a horrible act, and it's also a horrible thing to be charged with wrongly. At a certain point, a viewpoint sprang up among some women, the mirror image of some men thinking 'she's got it coming if she dresses a certain way,' that is 'he's got an accusation of rape coming, even if we have to broaden the definition of rape to something we'd never go after a woman for.' The woman just being pissed at the guy the next day was enough to bring charges - remember how, on some campuses, LYING to the girl before sex could be construed as rape?
Neither Gomez or I defended roofies, physical force, sex with the comatose, or claimed that rapists were dirty homeless men in bushes, but I'm still hearing a deafening silence on my question, also asked the last time Erica brought this subject up, namely,
What is a definition of rape that you'd like to see women prosecuted for as vigorously as men? And if the man and woman are both drunk on their own alcohol, and both consent to sex, are they both rapists? Neither of them?

Posted by Cat brother | December 9, 2006 4:06 PM

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