Student Blasted For Noting That Sex is Complicated

Posted in Uncategorized on April 3rd, 2010 by bl1y

Alex Knepper, a student at American University, is getting a lot of panties bundled up over an article he published in the school’s paper.  Here’s the part that’s getting him into trouble:

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.

Most of his critics read the one sentence about date rape being an incoherent concept and then stopped and accused him of saying date rape isn’t rape.  What he’s actually arguing is that the concept of date rape covers too broad a spectrum, and he’s correct.  “Date rape” (or “acquaintance rape”) is rape by a person you voluntarily associated with, as opposed to stranger rape, which is the masked man who jumps you in an alley (or the prison laundry).  I have to disagree with Knepper’s use of the word “incoherent,” but I think he would have been correct in saying the category of “date rape” is over-broad to the point of being unhelpful, confusing, and hurting dialogue.  Date rape can range from forced rape (ie: the use of violence, the threat of violence, or involuntary intoxication) all the way down to the ambiguities that arise from mutual voluntary intoxication, which many people wouldn’t consider to be rape at all.

Knepper is also correct that consent is not a bright-line issue.  If you have sex with someone who’s drunk, did you commit rape?  Many people would say yes.  A drunk person cannot consent, and sex without consent is rape.  Anyone who gives that answer is a fracking retard and has obviously never been drunk and never had sex after drinking.

A reasonable person, not reciting the feminist party agenda would have a laundry list of questions that need to be considered before deciding whether to use the rape label.  How drunk was the person?  A mere 0.08, which for many people simply feels like a bit of a buzz, or are we talking about black-out drunk, or something in between?  Did the person voluntarily engage in activities that are generally considered to indicate a desire to have sex, such as going back to the person’s dorm room and taking off their clothes?  Did the other person say “I’m not going to sleep with you tonight?”  (By the way, if a girl says this to you, and your reaction is “I didn’t even mention sex,” you’re totally getting laid.)  Have you had sex with this person before, and did you have sex with them after? (In the famous study by Mary Koss which found 1 in 4 college women were the victim of a rape or attempted rape, a whopping 42% of the women had sex again with their supposed attacker.  If you get drunk, have sex with someone, sober up, and then have sex with them again, I’m going to have a real hard time calling that person a rapist.)

None of these things is a sure fire, 100% test for consent.  But, nothing is, not even saying “yes.”  After all, give me a gun and I can get you to say just about anything.  Take away the gun and give me a night at a crowded bar and a gift certificate to a fancy restaurant, and I can find a woman who will say “yes,” but who has no intention of following through.  The only fair way to construct rape laws is to look at the totality of the facts and ask if the accused had good reason to believe there was consent.

If you get in a boxing ring, put on the gloves, and at the sound of the bell you come out to the center of the ring, you can’t then complain that you got punched, and you sure as hell can’t have the person that punched you prosecuted for it.  The law will infer consent from your actions, even if you had been drinking earlier.  And, I think this is what’s really got Knepper’s goat.  In every other area of life, we are okay with saying what’s important isn’t that you had consent, but that the other person was reasonable in thinking you consented.  As far as the law is concerned, the appearance of consent is what counts.  But, with sex we don’t let the reasonable person with honest intentions off the hook.  Instead we prosecute based on the subjective experience within the head of someone who may be acting as though they consent and putting forth little or no effort in dispelling that belief.

Mr. Knepper, if you’re ever in the area and want to raid booty and women from the neighboring town, I’m game.  (You’re driving.)

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.

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