When consent becomes murky

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Her Fault She Wasn’t Raped With Force…. Seriously?

via CH

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34 Responses to “When consent becomes murky”

  1. branchmonster Says:

    Oh my goodness do we ever need the laws to be revisited. I am pleased to see the ruling by the isreali courts – it was a rare piece of positive news about some of the struggles women face.

    • hollymar Says:

      LOL. WAT. As a rape victim I was OFFENDED by that bullshit decision. C’mon now…she claimed she thought he was a nice Jewish man who wanted a real relationship. Yet, she slept with him when she barely knew him in an empty office building. Does that sound like a woman after a real relationship to you? Besides, the basic reason for the ruling was “protecting our pure women”, not unlike people who lynched black men in the past for looking at a white woman.

      No, that ruling was straight up RACIST. PERIOD. She consented. He didn’t lie about being her brother, or lie about his HIV status. He lied about his religion. That’s not rape.

      Christ.

  2. nadirpetrov Says:

    I’m afraid I can’t say that I agree that the Muslim fibber should be charged with rape. Perhaps a lesser crime, but not rape. This sets a precedent for pretty much any man to be accused of rape for any reason retroactively.

    Sure men who lie about religion, being married, being sports stars, rocks starts, rich or HIV Negative are pure scum… but for the most part there’s also bad judgment on the part of the women snowed by such characters.

    I do believe that the doppelganger should be charged, however. Impersonation is an entirely different beast from verbal lies.

  3. jenniferengland Says:

    I know this is going to come out wrong, but I want to say it anyway.

    Although I do agree with the main points of the article, I’m a little concerned over the high value assigned to women’s purity.

    Rape is a terrible crime, but it doesn’t (or shouldn’t) devalue the person it happens to. It doesn’t make her (or him) less pure, or less valuable. So when the court talks about the price of rape being “the sanctity of their bodies and souls”, they seem to be describing the women as ‘damaged goods’ in a way, and that concerns me.

    Rape is a terrible thing to have happen, but it shouldn’t affect how a woman then feels about herself and her body. It usually will, I know – my experience of ‘sexual assault’ (it can’t be rape, apparently, since both victim and perpetrator were female) still comes back to me. It’s been nine months now. But, I don’t feel that the sanctity of my body or my soul has been taken from me. It was violated, but it will heal, with time. If that is the price, then I refuse to pay it.

    • branchmonster Says:

      I think I see what you’re saying, jenniferengland. Nobody values me any less (myself included) for the assaults I have experienced. Legal decisions have to be very careful with technical language and my interpretation of “the sanctity of their bodies and souls” was “the violation of a woman’s intimacy,” although even with that explanation, I expect there would be some discussion over my choice of words.

      Part of empowering women is the delicate process of giving people a language with which to communicate about a woman’s experiences and concerns. A man who has been violated deserves that language, as well, of course. I wouldn’t want to venture too far into the realm of crimes committed against men because there is less talk about them. That being said, how can a legal document encompass and express the extent of such a crime against the body and psyche? It seems to me (with no expertise in the drafting of such legal documents) that trying to express the woman’s experience on her behalf risks sounding too cold or too sympathetic to be appropriate for sorting out the murky accounts of unwanted sexual attention.

      As a side note, my heroine and the protagonist of one of my favourite novels (A Young Lady’s Illustrated Primer – The Diamond Age – Neal Stephenson) handles being raped by turning her mind and inner self away from the act, which she sees as a violation against her body that does not have to diminish her views of herself and that will heal.

    • sz01 Says:

      A lot of people think there were religious/racist undertones to the Israeli case and that could be reflected in the choice of words (“sanctity of their bodies and souls”) made in the legal ruling. But I do agree with you – it’s important to use language that recognises the severity of the crime without disempowering victims by making them sound damaged beyond repair.

  4. celdazero Says:

    In the Israel case, that is not rape and the man should not be punished by the criminal system, as he committed no crime.

    If you disagree, then you must accept that a woman who falsely tells a man she is a virgin is guilty of rape, if the man only wishes to consent to sex with virgins.

    • notapocket Says:

      Right, because men who lie about their identity to get sex also face social prejudice, violence, and becoming unable to support themselves because they can’t get married if they were to tell the truth.

      Oh, wait, no they don’t. They just have to deal with the fact that they’re not entitled to sex regardless of a woman’s consent.

      Funny, it’s almost like the situations aren’t at all comparable.

      • sz01 Says:

        From what I’ve read, she made the assumption that he was Jewish – he claims that she didn’t ask his ethnicity/background. His lie was apparently only to say that he was single.

      • celdazero Says:

        No, that is not correct.

        Let’s say the Palestinian guy did lie pretend to be Jewish. That means lying about yourself is rape, in cases where the truth would mean the other person would not give consent.

        That’s what you believe, since you agree the Palestian case is rape.

        What you don’t seem to understand is that definition means two things:

        1. It is gender-neutral

        2. The lie can be about anything.

        If a person lies and say I love classical music, when the other person would not want to have sex with someone , that would be rape.

        If a person exaggerates their sexual history (lies about being a virgin when they are not, or says they are not a virgin and they are) and the other party only wants to have sex with people who are/aren’t virgins, that is rape.

        If a person says “I will call you tomorrow” and then does not, that would be rape if the other party would not have consented knowing that there would be no further dates. And this isn’t gender-specific, both men and women get the disappearing act after sex.

        ““if lying to get sex is rape I guess all the guys I know are rapists, lol!”

        Yes, I guess they are.”

        Lying to get sex is not gender-specific, but even if it was, you would be wrong.

      • notapocket Says:

        What you don’t seem to understand is that definition means two things:

        1. It is gender-neutral

        2. The lie can be about anything.

        You’re assuming that I don’t understand, rather than that I agree with that.

        However, bringing up the case of women lying about their virginity is disingenuous, as in most circumstances it has as much in common with this case as killing in self-defense has with cold-blooded murder.

      • celdazero Says:

        If you do understand, then you are either unaware of the full implications or can accept things that most people would agree are wrong.

        For example, Person A whas one black parent and white parent, but looks basically white. They have consensual sex with Person B. Person B is a racist that would never knowingly have sex with someone who has “black ancestry”.

        According to you, Person A is a rapist.

        Then there are transgender people. If they have consensual sex with someone who would not knowingly have sex with a transgendered person, then they are rapists.

        You find this acceptable?

      • notapocket Says:

        If you know that someone won’t have sex with you unless you lie, and you lie in order to have sex with them, regardless of what you lie about, that is rape. Full stop.

        No one is entitled to sex, and everyone is entitled to informed consent with their sexual partners. I can’t understand why someone would want to have sex with someone who would reject them if they told the truth, other than a severe sense of entitlement to other people’s bodies.

      • sz01 Says:

        Back to the specifics of the case in hand, does anyone really believe she was looking for a husband of someone who she came on to and then 15 minutes later shagged on a rooftop? 15 minutes is a quick turnaround! Maybe they both lied.

        From my perspective, a lot of this argument is getting a bit academic. But something I would like to comment on: yes, I do agree that if someone’s transexual and hides this fact in order to get sex from someone who wouldn’t sleep with them otherwise, then that crosses the line. Would anyone actually do it? I don’t know. I don’t mean to pick on transexuals either – I think there are a lot of examples that we could use. But do I think it’s rape? That I’m not sure of… I tend to favour the suggestion that it’s fraud.

      • celdazero Says:

        “If you know that someone won’t have sex with you unless you lie, and you lie in order to have sex with them, regardless of what you lie about, that is rape.”

        So you said, repeatedly.

        Yet you fail to address some important points.

        Practical objections: Rape is defined by consent or the lack thereof. You say that any lie or omission that would remove consent creates a case of rape. Fine.

        Therefore, it must be rape when someone lies/conceals REGARDLESS of whether they knew or did not know that the truth would remove consent.

        So a mixed person, even if they didn’t know the other person was a racist, would be committing rape. Unintentional rape, but rape nonetheless.

        The implications of this are of course unacceptable, since it would mean that any concealment could be grounds for rape: If I had a homosexual experience in my past, and the person I am having (heterosexual) sex with does not wish to consent to anyone tainted by homosexuality, I am a rapist. Doesn’t matter if the subject never came up, I’m still a rapist. Doesn’t matter if I didn’t know they were a homophobe, I’m still a rapist.

        Then again, let’s say I would never knowingly consent to have sex with a homophobe. They never mentioned that they were homophobic; they are also guilty of rape. We have raped each other.

        Do you see how your position creates absurd scenarios?

        Beyond that, you keep stating something to be true without justification.

        You say it’s rape if you lied, I say: Prove it. You don’t get to define rape by what you think it is.

        To Sz01: I agree that hiding being transsexual is not a good thing, but neither is it rape. Neither would I call it fraud.

        Likewise, if a person promises a long relationship and continued interaction after sex, then disappears, I don’t call that a good thing, but neither do I call it rape or fraud.

      • sz01 Says:

        But why? Fraud’s about intentional deception for personal gain. In short, it’s about lying to get something you wouldn’t otherwise get. I mean, there’s clearly a fine line but if a case is serious enough, why not? Oh god though, I don’t know. It’s certainly more tempting than calling something rape though.

      • notapocket Says:

        Therefore, it must be rape when someone lies/conceals REGARDLESS of whether they knew or did not know that the truth would remove consent.

        By the same logic, would you consider it rape if someone has sex with a drunk person without realizing that they are too drunk to consent? Or would you consider someone guilty of murder if they accidentally run someone over? Intention matters in these sorts of things, and generally the law recognizes that.

        You say it’s rape if you lied, I say: Prove it. You don’t get to define rape by what you think it is.

        Rape is sex without consent. I hadn’t thought we were arguing about that, since it’s a pretty well-accepted definition of rape; merely arguing about what exactly constitutes consent. I’d also be interested in hearing how me “defining rape by what I think it is” is any different from you “defining rape by what you think it is.”

      • celdazero Says:

        Well Sz01, if you call it fraud, then anything can be fraud.

        If Person A buys a gift for Person B or takes them out to a show, thinking that there will be a permanent or semi-permanent relationship, then Person B disappears, can Person A sue for fraud?

        What if Person B never actually said directly that there would be a relationship, but merely implied or hinted at it?

        What if Person B implied nothing of the kind, and Person A simply engaged in wishful thinking and believed that Person B did?

        Do you see the problem with getting the legal system into personal relationships?

        “By the same logic, would you consider it rape if someone has sex with a drunk person without realizing that they are too drunk to consent? Or would you consider someone guilty of murder if they accidentally run someone over? Intention matters in these sorts of things, and generally the law recognizes that.”

        The first case, um yeah it’s rape. Like, are you serious? “Your Honor, I didn’t realize that she was intoxicated, nor did I realized that she passed out during sex. Therefore it was not rape.”

        For the second, if you accidentally run someone over, that’s manslaughter and carries a stiff legal penalty.

        Likewise, if you unknowingly lie/conceal, that would be unintentional rape, which would also carry a (lesser) legal penalty.

        But you’re fine with that?

        “I’d also be interested in hearing how me “defining rape by what I think it is” is any different from you “defining rape by what you think it is.””

        Simple, you think that a person can consent to sex before, during, and after the sex act, but then sometime afterwards decide it was rape.

        I do not believe that (except for isolated cases like when a woman had sex with her husband’s twin brother, who pretended to be her husband), and thankfully neither do most people.

        Unfortunately, the racist Israel court agrees with you (if a Palestinian is the defendant of course).

      • notapocket Says:

        The first case, um yeah it’s rape. Like, are you serious?

        Yes, I am serious.

        Likewise, if you unknowingly lie/conceal, that would be unintentional rape, which would also carry a (lesser) legal penalty.

        Why should it necessarily carry a legal penalty just because something more severe does?

        Simple, you think that a person can consent to sex before, during, and after the sex act, but then sometime afterwards decide it was rape.

        No; I think that consent under false pretenses is invalid consent. It’s not a matter of someone deciding on a whim to withdraw their consent after the fact; it’s a matter of them not knowing what they’re consenting to in the first place.

        Unfortunately, the racist Israel court agrees with you (if a Palestinian is the defendant of course).

        Actually the law has been used to convict Israeli men as well, but don’t let facts get in your way.

  5. notapocket Says:

    What pisses me off most about this story is all the people who responded with “if lying to get sex is rape I guess all the guys I know are rapists, lol!”

    Yes, I guess they are.

  6. celdazero Says:

    Oops, in the part about classical music, the sentence is incomplete.

    It should be “would not have to have sex with someone who preferred pop music.

    Also, some of the comments on Jezebel about this case are pretty good reading:

    http://jezebel.com/5592676/palestinian-man-is-convicted-of-rape-after-lying-about-being-a-jew

    Such as: “A real disservice to rape victims.”

    Agreed 100%.

  7. flossiesdoll Says:

    People really think this woman was raped? I think she’s a racist who regretted consensual sex because of her racist attitudes.

  8. hollymar Says:

    I personally think a good 50% of men are rapists because they dont’ understand things like “if you pressure a woman for sex and she gives in, it’s rape” and “if you have to get a woman drunk in order for her to ‘consent’ to sex, it’s rape”.

    The Palestinian guy wasn’t a rapist. It’s offensive to me. Lying about being Jewish, or having money, or being a rock star or WHATEVER isn’t rape. Nor is lying about HIV status (however, that does make one guilty of aggravated assault and potentially murder, and one should do prison time for it).

    Lying about, say, being your twin brother and crawling into bed with his girl? Most definitely rape. Because YOU do not have consent to sleep with her.

    So what, we need to make up a bunch of babysitting laws for women now so we don’t have our purity sullied?

    Here’s an idea – how’s about the next time a woman is raped while she’s drunk, we call it what it is and put the bastard in jail, instead of going after some guy who GOD FORBID used a Jewish name instead of a Palestinian one?

  9. celdazero Says:

    “I personally think a good 50% of men are rapists because they dont’ understand things like “if you pressure a woman for sex and she gives in, it’s rape” and “if you have to get a woman drunk in order for her to ‘consent’ to sex, it’s rape”.”

    You realize that a large percent of women also pressure other people for sex, if you define pressure as asking to have sex. It’s not just men who “pressure for sex” or get someone drunk to lower their inhibitions.

  10. hollymar Says:

    No, I don’t realize that. I’ve never slept with a woman before, so it’s not something I’ve ever been exposed to. However, I DO happen to know a man that was raped by a woman and when he told me I wasn’t sure….and then he described what happened, and it most certainly WAS rape.

    I’m not sure what you’re getting at here. Are you saying pressure and getting a person drunk isn’t rape? Or are you saying that women can rape, as well? If it’s the latter then yes, you’re right. And I do think the definition of rape should include WOMEN raping MEN because it DOES happen.

    At any rate, a woman has never raped me. Two men have. So. Yeah.

  11. celdazero Says:

    What I’m saying is that any definitions of rape that would include large proportions of men and women are (in my opinion) ridiculous and (as a matter of objective fact) useless.

    “Pressuring someone into having sex” is a phrase that should never be used. The word pressure is too ambiguous to mean anything useful.

    Is it rape if someone asks to have sex, and after a first refusal, asks again later and then they agree?

    No. If you disagree, then about 90% of both men and women are rapists, making it a useless definition.

    Is it rape if someone uses or implies any illegitimate coercion (physical force is one example, but there can be other types of coercion) if the other does not agree to sex?

    Yes, because if you “agree” to sex under coercion that is not actual consent.

    Is it rape if someone says “if you don’t have sex with me, I will break up with you”, and the person agrees to have sex?

    No, because breaking up or threatening to do so is a legitimate form of coercion.

    As for getting someone drunk, if someone is too drunk and cannot give consent, then it would be rape to have sex with them. If someone drinks a bit to lower inhibitions and then consents to sex, that is not rape.

    • hollymar Says:

      ‘If someone drinks a bit to lower inhibitions and then consents to sex, that is not rape.’ And if they go in deciding to have sex, or even a “maybe…” then you’re right. It’s not. Because THEY made the choice, before drinking, to have sex.

      As for the rest, pressure OR coercion is in fact rape (I don’t see the difference, tbh). You know the person doesn’t want to, but you make them anyways. Doesn’t matter if it’s through emotional or physical abuse. So, if you know someone doesn’t want to and you make them anyways – yes, you’re a rapist. Pressure doesn’t mean giving someone an ultimatum. It could just mean bugging them about it until they give in. At a certain point, it’s easier to “consent” than it is to be pressured.

  12. celdazero Says:

    “You know the person doesn’t want to, but you make them anyways. Doesn’t matter if it’s through emotional or physical abuse. So, if you know someone doesn’t want to and you make them anyways – yes, you’re a rapist. Pressure doesn’t mean giving someone an ultimatum. It could just mean bugging them about it until they give in. At a certain point, it’s easier to “consent” than it is to be pressured.”

    So you believe that people can be forced to do things against their will.

    This is false. Free adults cannot be made to act against their will—at least not legally. Of course there are many illegal acts to force people to do something against their will (i.e. if you don’t do this I’ll beat you or destroy your property), but anyone who does those should be charged and arrested.

    “Bugging someone” is not and should not be illegal.

    If a kid repeatedly asks their parent to buy something, and the parent does so after repeated requests, was the parent forced to buy the item?

    If someone repeatedly asks their spouse to take out the trash or pick up the dirty clothes, and they finally do so after repeated requests, were they forced to do so?

    You might say that buying items or doing chores are different from sex. That’s right. You might say that since they are different they cannot be compared. That’s wrong.

    If you state that someone can be forced to have sex against their will by being “bugged”, you must then logically agree that someone can be forced into anything by being “bugged.”

    And if you do agree that is true? Then you remove agency and personal responsibility from people. For instance, I ask you to commit a crime. You refuse. I ask you again. You refuse. I keep bugging you, and eventually you do it.

    You say “I was forced to do the crime—he kept bugging me to do it!”

    Do you see the absurd conclusions of your claim?

    • hollymar Says:

      Nope. You’re comparing a kid bugging to someone emotionally abusing another until they let their guard down and take the path of least resistance. You are, in fact, saying that a rapist who pressures his victim has no personal responsibility for raping his victim because, after all, she COULD have said no. Nevermind that she did a thousand times before, for days or weeks on end, she should have continued on that path, and perhaps the rapist would have eventually gotten the message.

      As a rape victim, I can see what you are….at best, a rape apologist. At worst, well…

      I’m so done with you. And I hope I don’t know you irl.

      • celdazero Says:

        What I am is a realist. I call a spade a spade. What you are is someone that defines rape as whatever you want it to be.

        Is bugging someone repeatedly emotional abuse? Yes it can be.

        Is emotional abuse rape? No. You are claiming they are the same, that is false.

        If, because of emotional abuse, someone agrees to have sex, is that rape? No.

        Here’s a general rule how to tell if it’s rape: Pretend you have a personal force field that can be deactivated simply by saying a word you choose, like “Shakespeare123.”

        Don’t want to have sex? No one can even touch you if you don’t want, you have a force field. If, under the scenario of someone having a force field, they would still have had sex, then it’s not rape.

        (Of course this excludes exceptional cases like when the guy pretended to be his twin brother, or someone threatening to burn down your home if you don’t agree to sex, which would be a crime anyway)

        Further, why would someone choose to be in the company of a person who repeatedly asked them to do something they did not want to do? Unless you mean that the person is being followed or harassed, in which case that is illegal and should be charged.

        Lastly, you did not reply to my example of crimes.

        Would someone who was “bugged” into committing a crime not be held responsible they were “forced”?

  13. celdazero Says:

    That said, I think that anyone who repeatedly asks someone to have sex when they don’t want to is an asshole, and should be dumped.

    What they aren’t is a rapist.

    • hollymar Says:

      I didn’t reply because you are being a rape apologist. Not to mention making it sound like there are cases where people can CHOOSE not to be around rapists. Ever heard of marital rape or incest? Yeah.

      Don’t bother replying, I’m not responding to you again.

  14. celdazero Says:

    Yeah, I never knew that emotional abuse was rape until this thread.

    I’m done too, people can read this and come to their own conclusions about who is correct and logical and who is redefining words as they see fit.

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