SL 699

Brain hacks to get things done. I need this today.

There was a lot of discussion IRL about this article about boys who were falsely accused of sexual assault.

If eldercare is an increasing share of the labor market, should schools be teaching this subject?

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77 thoughts on “SL 699

  1. I don’t think “falsely accused” is supported by the story, except maybe in one case out of all.

    I do think the mother who says ‘We don’t really need to teach our sons not to rape,” suggests maybe she’s missing a key point or two unless feminism is congenital.

    1. I count three cases discussed in some detail, in two of which the “falsely accused” label seems accurate (e.g., when the police issue a warrant against the accuser for filing a false report), and one of which it maybe does not (although I would have to know more about the level of intoxication and behavior of the individuals involved to reach a firm conclusion).

      1. The story uses an odd formulation: “Their sons may not have been falsely accused, the mothers said, but they had been wrongly accused. They made a distinction.”

        That sounds to me like a concession that in most of the cases, everyone agrees as to what happened, but disagree as to whether it should have been classified as sexual assault.

      2. elizardbreath said,

        “The story uses an odd formulation: “Their sons may not have been falsely accused, the mothers said, but they had been wrongly accused. They made a distinction.” That sounds to me like a concession that in most of the cases, everyone agrees as to what happened, but disagree as to whether it should have been classified as sexual assault.”

        I take that to mean that the accusation wasn’t (as in the case of Duke Lacrosse or UVA) based on obvious lies.

  2. The Gray Lady is figuring out that she has dug herself into a hole with her uncritical backing of the anti-college boy line. Too many mothers of college sons who are deciding whether or not to continue being Times subscribers. So, to begin the extrication, a nice sympathetic group of moms defending their sons. Certainly no need to point out the Times’ coverage of the Mattress Girl case, nor of Duke Lacrosse. No no no.

  3. “..eldercare is an increasing share of the labor market..” Possibly for a month’s course at the local JC. My mother’s helpers get her out of bed and dressed and do the dishes from the previous night. It’s important! But, not the subject for a master’s degree…

      1. Wiping butts, cutting toenails, making beds, being cheerful at people who are grumpy and sore and are noticing their losses – these are not the subjects for a $15000 tuition year including Geriatric Care 102, 102, elder nutrition and special practicum. On the other hand, running Geezerville, recruiting care workers, dealing with the state regs, how to apply actuarial tables to what entry price you offer to a relatively healthy 68 year old – these things are complicated and need to be done right, and you can make a curriculum for it. And, by God, it’s out there! http://www.eldercaretrainingacademy.com/.

  4. After reading the that Times article about the mothers and seeing responses to the article, I’ve been thinking about this a lot particularly as a mother of boys. I don’t think the article does a good job of fully articulating some of the issues or maybe the women interviewed don’t do that. Here’s my question about all of this – many of my feminist colleagues (and I am a feminist too) will say that a women can never consent to sex while really drunk. But what about the situation where a male and female college student independently get wasted, meet up with each other, and have sex? It seems to me that to suggest this is rape (as some would) is to problematic, for a number of reasons. It seems to give greater agency to the man – he needs to recognize the situation and stop even though he’s really drunk too because the drunk woman can’t consent. I am not sure if that’s what one of the moms meant when she said something along the lines of – it was stupid and I got embarrassed – but it seems to me that’s what she was getting at. Maybe I am reading too much into it.

    But for many of those on the right (like Betsy DeVos) who are pushing back against campus sexual assault policy – which is a serious issue that’s bigger than this – situations like this are a problem. I don’t know how this should be dealt with – as my husband points out if you create a “two drunk people” loophole, there are clearly assholes who will take advantage of that. I suppose part of the solution (as a mother) is to tell my boys never have sex with someone (particularly if you’re not in a relationship with them) if you’re drunk, but that seems totally unrealistic.

    1. I think there’s a real problem in talking about the issue in that ‘drunk’ covers a lot of ground.

      If you limit ‘really drunk’ to ‘the kind of drunk where you’re not successfully able to do much — stumbling and nodding off’, then it makes sense to say that someone that drunk can’t give consent, and you’re not going to run into problems with ‘what if both parties are that drunk’ because someone that drunk isn’t capable of taking the initiative to do something like have sex, they’re on the brink of passing out.

      You get into complicated problems like the ones you’re worrying about if you define ‘too drunk to give consent’ as ‘drunk enough to have poor judgment, but sober enough to be taking energetic, deliberate action’. I see a lot of people complaining that colleges punish men for committing sexual assault where the sex was expressly, actively consented to by the woman at the time it took place, but she was kind of drunk. I don’t think, though, I’m aware of any specific case where both sides agree that those are the facts, and they just disagree about whether it constitutes assault under those circumstances. Maybe that happens, and it’s probably happened at least once, someplace, because it’s a big country and all sorts of things happen. But I suspect that problem is mostly a strawman, and colleges generally aren’t treating incidents where both sides agree that the woman was conscious, aware, and expressly consented as assault on the grounds that she was somewhat intoxicated.

      1. Given the secrecy which surrounds college disciplinary proceedings, I don’t know how anyone could have the faintest idea of how many cases there are of the type elizardbreath describes. There have certainly been cases where women, who were clearly (based on videos) extremely drunk, enthusiastically participated in sexual activity with similarly drunken male companions and later claimed to have been raped. How could one possibly know whether these are isolated abuses, each of which has been exposed and corrected, or whether the publicized cases are the tip of an iceberg of injustice in which college tribunals decided that, “If they’re both drunk, that means he raped her.”

      2. I don’t disagree that this is likely a strawman in terms of actual occurrence, but I have heard feminists talk about sexual assault this way – drunk women can never consent to sex. I’ve been to events on campus where I heard that and seen it on social media from people on our campus. I’ve never pushed against that assertion because some people freak out when you suggest otherwise.

        Laura has created a bit of a safe space here, such that I can feel comfortable raising these sorts of questions and can expect reasonable responses. But the fact that I feel uncomfortable bringing this up in other places (like on campus) for fear of a backlash (and I have tenure!) to me seems to empower those on the right who want to downplay campus sexual assault.

        Ultimately, I wish that NYTimes article would have engaged with this issue a bit more. Unfortunately, as it stands, it’s too easy for those on the left to dismiss the stories presented in that article as women doing anything to justify the poor behavior of their sons, which plays into the narrative on the right coming from DeVos and others that there’s a witch hunt for your sons.

      3. I recall one and will look for an article to post later, where the couple met at a party, then went their separate ways. Then, the woman called/texted him to arrange to hook up for sex. She also texted friends she was going to have sex with him. Then, she walked across campus to his dorm, they had sex, he was later thrown out of school for sexual assault.
        The man involved sued the school and won.

      4. I don’t have tenure anyplace, I just argue about things on the internet. But I have brought up the point that I don’t believe anyone really means that you can’t give meaningful consent if you’re intoxicated at all, because people have consensual sex after drinking enough to feel it some all the time, up in conversations with other feminists about rape repeatedly, and no one’s ever reacted in a hostile way — it usually gets a ‘good point’, and people clarify that drunk means ‘near passing out’.

        I might have an easier time bringing it up because I’ve only had conversations like that in venues where people mostly trusted me to be at least reasonably feminist and arguing in good faith. If you think people will cut you that much slack on your campus, I’d try bringing it up — I bet you wouldn’t have to worry about too much backlash.

  5. Last year, a group of boys, second semester seniors at a small Catholic high school, went to concert at a small private college in the Bronx. They met up with a group of girls, and one of the boys went back to the dorm room with a girl and had sex.

    The next day he was arrested by police, because the girl said that she had been raped. Later on, she took it all back. I guess she had a boyfriend and was regretting her decisions.

    But this kid’s life was completely fucked up. The college that he been accepted at sent him a letter saying that he was no longer invited to the school EVEN IF HE WAS FOUND INNOCENT. There are arrest pictures on the internet that will never go away. His reputation is totally trashed.

    What does a family do in a situation like that? Move to the woods and start farming?

  6. So, my son and all of his friends know about this story and others like it. And then they are dealing with girls who are, let’s just say, very aggressive. Like 20 texts a day and inappropriate pictures sent. How is that not harassment, btw? They really shouldn’t fear girls, but I think they do.

    1. Oh I think this is harassment, especially if your son has asked them to stop.

      I’m for getting away from the social narrative around drinking and “spontaneous” sex. Treat sex like driving- you don’t mix it with alcohol. You plan for sex ahead of time- so reduced ambiguity around consent, plus contraception. Could any of this be taught? I have no idea.

    2. Yes, this is harrssment, and part of the battle we’re fighting for our girls is also for the boys. It’s not harassment if they are equals and it’s consensual and they are legal adults. If they aren’t equals (for example the woman is a TA), the boy has said no, or they are under 18, it has to stop and should be reported.

      If my girl was on the receiving end of what you describe (and she was over 18) I would give the same advice.

      And, if it’s consensual, it still doesn’t signal consent to anything else.

      1. My teen added that sending anyone explicit pictures without a specific request is harassment (that there has to be specific consent). I did remind her that for them (who are under 18) it’s illegal.

  7. You know, I sympathize about the pictures all over the internet. But I don’t believe this: But this kid’s life was completely fucked up. The college that he been accepted at sent him a letter saying that he was no longer invited to the school EVEN IF HE WAS FOUND INNOCENT.

    Unless there’s something misleading about the way it’s been phrased.

    The woman who accused him recanted completely and made a statement to the police that she had been lying and he had done nothing wrong, and the college he was accepted at was aware of that public recantation and nonetheless took his admission back? Because if that’s the case, you should be publicizing what college that was, that’s really terrible, and I’d be out on the picket lines protesting in front of the school as well.

    If the story is more like ‘She still says that he forced her to have sex against her will, but she’s not willing to do what the police need to go forward with prosecution’, the story gets a lot more plausible to me.

    1. Note that the reasonable doubt standard means that no one can be found innocent by a court.

      And if the difference between guilt and innocence is the intent and information of two individuals and nothing else, innocence can’t be established, either. We can only have grey zones where we assess the best we can for the good of the community.

      1. Well, right, that was sort of my point. The college is in a very different position if the boy had been accused of rape, and then the accuser clearly took the position that it never happened, than if there’s someone out there who is credibly accusing him of rape but there’s no legal conviction.

        In the first case, the college would be acting very strangely, and obviously wrongfully, if they’re withdrawing an offer of acceptance on that basis. If it’s the second case — an accusation of rape that the accuser is standing by, but that isn’t going to progress through the criminal justice system for whatever reason, yeah, it’s a grey area where the college has to assess credibility, but it’s not obviously wrong to me that they might credit the accusation enough to withdraw an offer.

  8. “What does a family do in a situation like that?” Be thankful that their son is still alive.

    The dangers of drunken casual sex for young men are probably starting to become more equalized with the dangers of such conduct for young women, but it’s still a far more dangerous proposition for women.

    1. This is pretty much my thought also. It turns out the sexual relationships are full of risks and that these risks don’t go away if everybody involved is drunk. Returning to where you accept “he said” in cases of “he said vs. she said” isn’t improving the fairness of the situation overall. It’s just increasing the burden on the party that tends to be less physically strong and less physically able process too much alcohol.

    2. So you’re saying the world is getting worse, but only for men, since it was already bad for women? I can’t work up much enthusiasm for that. Equally bad treatment for different classes of people is not justice, for reasons I can hardly explain in a blog comment, but which can be studied by reading Peter Westen, “The Empty Idea of Equality,” Harvard Law Review 95 (1982): 537.

      1. As elizardbreath says below, that’s not at all what I’m saying. It’s not even a straw man you’ve created, it’s just being deliberately obtuse. I am saying that automatically not believing women (or saying that they’re entirely responsible for anything that happens if they are alone somewhere with a man) was imposing all the burden on women.

        Taking women’s accusations seriously and taking seriously the idea that being passed out isn’t “yes”, equalize that burden by placing some consequences on men. It’s not making the world worse in the aggregate. It does mean that the vulnerabilities of more equally spread, but I don’t see how it is increasing them.

    3. My advice to my sons and to my daughter is the same: don’t get stupidly drunk impaired and do stuff you will regret. I am also aware that college kids don’t necessarily remember the GOOD ADVICE OF THEIR OLD DAD WHO HAS NOTHING BUT THEIR BEST INTERESTS AT HEART when there is an actual punch bowl in front of them. So, what should happen when Emma Sulkowicz decides, several weeks after the event, that Paul Nungesser raped her? Does it matter that there are lots of flirty messages from her on his cell phone which back up his claims? When a totally nuts and implausible accusation is made against pretty much the entire Duke Lacrosse team by a stripper, and she picks out of a line-up a guy who has an ATM withdrawal for the exact time she claims he was abusing her? We are not in Scottsboro Boys territory here – yet – but we are in the same time zone.

      1. Well, Paul Nungesser’s life gets screwed up, in the same way that,say, if Paul raped her, Emma’s life would be screwed up. Women have, forever, been arranging their lives to avoid harm, being told that they shouldn’t be drunk, wear short skirts, walk in the wrong neighborhood, go to the party, talk to Harvey Weinstein, . . . for fear of harm. Since there’s no perfect solution (as is patently obvious, people won’t listen when we tell them not to drink and drive, let alone to drink and go to parties where you can’t trust each other), less uneven distribution of harm might incentivize everyone to behave a little bit more responsibly.

        The standard for convicting someone of a felony and then imprisoning them should be high, and I have no desire to change the reasonable doubt standard, even while recognizing that means some rapists go free.

        But, personal condemnation? decisions made by private universities about who they admit or chose not to? who I allow into my home or to drive my child? those are choices I should be allowed to make, absent a protected class reason for not doing so.

        The Scotsboro boys were convicted of rape and sentenced to death by an all white jury in the racist system of Jim Crow justice in Alabama. Although the verdict against the group (and the 12 year old boy accused as an adult) were set aside, the defendants were repeatedly retried, including the 12 year old, who spent the next six years in jail. We are nowhere near Scotsboro territory — I’ll consider that possibility when one of these white frat boys accused of rape is jailed by the state, after being convinced by an all female jury, for six years+ in spite of the lack of any physical evidence.

      2. “decisions made by private universities about who they admit or chose not to”

        Does this sudden libertarianism extend to all businesses, who are now free to decide which customers they will sell to and which they will not? Or is it some kind of special rule for universities?

      3. bj said: “decisions made by private universities about who they admit or chose not to”

        y81 said: “Does this sudden libertarianism extend to all businesses, who are now free to decide which customers they will sell to and which they will not? Or is it some kind of special rule for universities?”

        That’s a very fair point.

      4. “those are choices I should be allowed to make, absent a protected class reason for not doing so.”

        My escape gap. And, making a judgment call about who violated school standards on consent is not a protected class. Being male might be (though not as clearly as being pregnant). If men were being thrown out of schools left and right because private schools were using accusations of rape as an excuse to exclude men from their campuses, I might reconsider. We’re not there yet.

    4. I think it’s a mistake to look at this only in the context of college. If an allegation, even if completely untrue, is enough to ruin your life, lots of men will take steps to avoid situations where an allegation can even be made. Things like the Pence rule, which was discussed around here not too long ago. The Pence rule being a rule that a man shouldn’t socialize alone with a woman other than his wife. If you think the Pence rule is unfair to women in the workplace, and I think it certainly can be, then you need to think about how allegations are going to be taken seriously in a way that is fair to both the alleged victim and the alleged perpetrator. If colleges are teaching boys that they need to be afraid of being alone with women, that view will probably stay with them after college.

      1. The Pence rule says that a man should not have a dinnner in a restaurant—a public place—where his dining companion is a woman who is not his wife. Or that he should not attend a co-ed office happy hour, if alcohol will be served. I’d say those are self imposed restrictions that are very different from one that says, “don’t go to bed with a woman unless you are in a long-term relationship with her.”

      2. The rule is a prophylactic, the point of which is to avoid a bad situation by avoiding the situation that might lead to a bad situation. Obviously the situations with college kids is different from that with professionals in the workplace. In either case an allegation, regardless of truth, can ruin your life. It is naive to think that Attitudes in one place are not informed by current events in the other. And that goes both ways, for good behavior and bad.

  9. Well, no. It’s getting at least somewhat better for women, now that they’re living in a world where they’re not agreed upon by the authorities to be fair game for rape once they’re drunk. The change in rules doesn’t prevent all the rapes, but it helps some.

    1. So, the finding in that case was that the woman was drunk to the point of vomiting and stumbling, and she needed two friends to hold her up to walk, and that the guy accused of raping her was aware of the vomiting and stumbling (from the administrative factfinding https://www.thefire.org/decision-of-occidental-external-adjudicator-marilou-mirkovich-in-sexual-assault-case-of-john-doe/ )? Calling that ‘too drunk to consent’ does not seem like an obvious miscarriage of justice.

      1. What are you saying? If a guy was vomiting and stumbling and had sex, would the girl be guilty of rape? What if both parties were vomiting and stumbling? Vomiting and stumbling and having friends hold you up is not incompatible with consensual sex, in my (long-ago) experience.

      2. Maybe; it would depends on the details alleged by the man. I makes drunken sex a risk factor. Doesn’t forbid it, just makes it a bit more risky for both people (in addition to the other risks, of pregnancy and sexually transmitted disease).

  10. I’d welcome some pushback on the notion that it is ever socially acceptable for two people to have intercourse on the day that they meet, but I do not know if there would be any societal-wide acceptance of that position. I realize that amounts to some type of moral legislating, but that is a level that I’d be comfortable with.

    1. My pushback would be that knowing each other for more than one day does not guarantee a greater level of knowledge or intimacy would have been achieved before intercourse.

  11. God, this makes my brain hurt. At what point on the spectrum of drunkenness, does one lose the abiiity to consent? Can we say that a girl is not responsible for her actions when she’s drunk, but a guy is? Do girls get the freedom and no consequences for bad choices, while guys don’t? Can we tell girls not to get totally drunk and invite strange guys back to their dorm rooms and, at the same time, punish guys who sleep with them?

    1. I agree that it may be a tough problem to say at what point you are too drunk to consent, but “don’t have sex with somebody passed out” seems both pretty easy as a moral standard and very widely ignored. You can’t have sex if both people are passed out.

  12. You pose some hard questions, but this one has an easy answer: Can we tell girls not to get totally drunk and invite strange guys back to their dorm rooms and, at the same time, punish guys who sleep with them?

    Yes.

  13. This (what Laura said) is what bothers me – “Can we say that a girl is not responsible for her actions when she’s drunk, but a guy is?” Not only as a mother of boys, but also as a feminist because it seems to suggest that guys are more capable.

    And I don’t think the answer to her other question is as easy as Mostly Lurking suggests. What if the strange guy she invites back to her dorm is totally drunk too (likely by the way)? Why should he be punished? How is he, as a drunk person, more capable of recognizing this is something he should not do than the drunk girl?

    1. I’m making a fact claim here, but it’s one I feel pretty good about. And it’s that a man in the state of drunkenness we’re talking about — vomiting, stumbling, unable to walk without support — is unlikely to successfully initiate and perform sexual intercourse. Whiskey dick is a thing, but even more so doing anything at all in that state is unlikely.

      I’m not saying it couldn’t possibly happen, and I’d listen to evidence from a man accused of rape under those circumstances that he really was drunk to the point of incapacity himself. But my strong sense of the odds is that if sexual intercourse took place, the man involved might have been drunk, but is unlikely to have been incapacitated/almost passed out drunk.

      At which point “Why do we punish a guy for having sex with a woman who’s too drunk to consent, if he was drunk too,” has an answer, that we generally believe that the fact that sex took place means that he wasn’t all that terribly drunk by comparison. It’s a presumption. It’s one that I think could be rebutted, but I think it’s a reasonable presumption.

      1. Oral or manual contact with the genitals of another who has not consented is also sexual assault, and that can definitely happen even when both parties are very, very drunk. In fact, one common scenario is that when the guy is very drunk, the girl makes an effort to stimulate him, little knowing that she is now guilty of sexual assault, unless her gender renders her legally incapable of that offense.

  14. You are assuming that drunk = stumbling, vomiting, unable to walk. If that’s true, then you’re right. But I don’t believe that’s true. Really drunk does not necessarily equal all of those things. Believe me – I was drunk many times in my youth where I apparently exhibited none of those signs, but couldn’t remember what happened the night before. That’s where the real problems come in. I am lucky that nothing bad happened like that to me in college, but if in that state, I invited a drunk guy to my room, how would he have known if he was in a similar state?

  15. “How is he, as a drunk person, more capable of recognizing this is something he should not do than the drunk girl?” He may not be; I think both parties can make equally bad decisions when smashed. Still, I’m willing to put the risk on him.

    There is probably a body of literature out there on what happens to your brain when you are drunk. I’m not really familiar with it, and I’d be willing to change my views if someone told me what to read and to consider how it applies to these decisions. When I was in college, I did not understand that someone could be making decisions when drunk, and have no memory of those decisions afterward. It just was not my experience with alcohol, but I am told it was other people’s experience. I do not really know if decisions made under those circumstances were validly made.

    Likewise, I do not know the answer of the question–I may be phrasing it slightly differently here–of “when is someone too drunk to give consent?” Maybe there is no one accepted answer, for either legal or moral purposes. My own view is that someone can have a level of intoxication such that they could not legally drive a car, but nevertheless could give a meaningful and legal consent. But that is just based on nothing other than my opinion. And I do not know what the “too drunk to give consent” cohort means when they use that phrase, or even if that phrase means the same thing to different people. Perhaps some people would govern the driving and consent standards by the same level of blood alcohol content. I would welcome some scientific literature on the matter. For example, in the context of driving, I recall from driver’s education literature explaining how your reaction times changed because of alcohol, and maybe something about how alcohol affects judgment. Is there a body of literature that addresses how alcohol affects the brain function that goes into consent? Short of that, it seems tough to come up with a legitimate reason why one level of intoxication leaves one with an inability to give consent, but another level does not invalidate a clearly-given consent.

    1. In a different and less fraught context ‘consent’ has been thought about. As a late middle age guy whose father died of bowel cancer, I get hooked up to the roto-rooter for a looksee on a pretty regular basis and anesthetized for it. The advice is: don’t drive for a day, and don’t make any big decisions for three days. Don’t buy a car, don’t buy a house, don’t disinherit your wastrel son, initiate a divorce, nothing. They never talked about jumping into bed with somebody new, probably because that’s not a common problem for colonoscopy patients…

  16. Disagree, elizardbreath. Totally drunk guys can still perform. [laughing at this conversation. Like we know what we’re talking about.]

    Stumbling drunk, vomiting drunk, and unable to walk drunk fall on different levels of the drunk scale. There is plenty of sex where both parties are at stumbling drunk levels. Is that rape?

    As Shannon said, there is also blacked out drunk, where people are still able to walk around and do plenty of stupid things. (How did I survive college?)

    I think everyone here thinks that sexual assault is a horrible thing, and the guilt parties should be punished severely. That’s a given. We’re just trying to figure out the new rules. I wonder if our kids have these discussions, too.

    1. Can we maybe lay out some points of agreement here?
      1) Drunk isn’t a word that unambiguously determines a level of intoxication.
      2) Anyone suggesting that someone who is ‘drunk’ only in the sense of ‘having consumed at least some alcohol’ is inherently unable to give to give consent is being silly.
      2a) No university of which I am aware is punishing sexual assault on the basis of that definition of ‘drunk’.
      3) Someone who is intoxicated to the point of being on the brink of passing out and incapable of engaging in voluntary action is also incapable of giving consent to sexual intercourse.
      4) Precisely where the line of ‘too intoxicated to consent to sexual intercourse’ is, is hard to define objectively. There are going to be cases that administrative tribunals are going to decide on an ‘I know it when I see it’ basis.

      All those seem pretty uncontroversial to me. Here are some more, which I think some of you might think I disagree with, but I actually don’t, and some which I think you will disagree with.

      5) If both parties are equally in the state of ‘too intoxicated to consent to sexual intercourse’, no one should be considered to have committed a crime, regardless of gender. (Surprised? I do agree with you about this.)
      5a) As far as I know, there are no universities punishing men for sexual assault explicitly on the basis of a disagreement with (5): “If an equally drunk man and woman have sex to which they both express consent, he has raped her and she has done nothing wrong,” is not policy anywhere I know about, as much as people complain about it. (I’m fairly sure a bunch of people are going to pushback with “It’s not the explicit policy, but people are out to get college boys.” Could be, but I haven’t seen anything convincing me it’s much of a problem.)
      5b) Two people who are both too drunk to consent to sexual intercourse are unlikely to have sex, because that’s really quite drunk, to the point where they’re unlikely to do much. Not saying it couldn’t happen, but it’s not going to happen often.
      6) Mostly, when we’re talking about non-consent due to intoxication, we’re going to be talking about the complaining party being a lot drunker than the accused rapist. They might both be ‘drunk’ in the sense of having drunk alcohol, but being the same level of drunk is a different matter.

    2. “.. Totally drunk guys can still perform..” Speaking as an expert here, or at least as a guy with a penis (this makes me expert, yes?) there is an age function here. Twenty year old guys, probably sometimes at least yes. Late middle age, mmmm, probably not.

      1. I feel like, unfortunately, much of the public discussion of this topic is being conducted by people who are either middle-aged or never had penises. My experience of what is possible at age 18 (which Laura and Dave S. and I apparently remember, if others do not) and at age 59 mirrors Dave S.’s.

  17. I think the real question is, should women be allowed to be treated like humans and not objects of sexual pleasure, even if they’re doing unladylike things? It’s a tough question with no easy answers.

    1. B.I. said,

      “I think the real question is, should women be allowed to be treated like humans and not objects of sexual pleasure, even if they’re doing unladylike things? It’s a tough question with no easy answers.”

      Have you seen the Tabibi and Ames quotes from back when they were rampaging through Russia?

      I’m amazed nobody dug this stuff out before.

      Some samples:

      ” What’s nice about Russian girls is you don’t have to talk too much, you can pretend that you don’t understand Russian. And they’re usually so drunk.”

      “He spoke about his sex life in Moscow. “Russian women, especially on the first date, expect you to rape them,” said Mr. Ames. “They’ll go back home with you and say, ‘No, no, no,’ and if you’re an American, you’ve been trained to respect the ‘No,’ because you’re afraid of sexual harassment or date rape, and so you fail over and over. But it took me a while to learn you really have to force Russian girls, and that’s what they want, it’s like a mock rape. And then you come back here and you’re really freaked out–because you don’t know if that actually exists deep in all women’s psyches, that that’s what they all want. All relations between guys and girls is basically violent, I think. It’s all war.”

      http://observer.com/2000/06/from-russia-with-lust/

      Combine this with Roosh V, and no wonder our relationship with Russia has gone down the toilet.

      I’m not really familiar with the first two guys, but isn’t Tabibi uber-respectable right now? Tabibi says this, Tabibi says that?

      1. And, Wendy, Weinstein did some good movies. Clinton did some good things as President, as did Lyndon Johnson and John Kennedy. Polanski as well, good movies. As Weinstein said, Woody Allen is a comic genius. Trump’s presidency does not seem to be derailed by his pussy grabbing past – I mean, I think it’s off the rails, but that’s not what did it. Some of what we are talking about in response to various of Laura’s posts is, what should get someone consigned to the Outer Darkness.
        And in response to this post, whether an episode of drunken fumbling stupid sex, regretted in the morning, should have immense negative consequences for the boy and make a campus hero of the girl.
        My current view is, sometimes, but that there is a witch hunt going on with a presumption of evil on the part of the boy and of injured innocence on the part of the girl.

      2. dave s. said,

        “And in response to this post, whether an episode of drunken fumbling stupid sex, regretted in the morning, should have immense negative consequences for the boy and make a campus hero of the girl.”

        Is the young woman really a campus hero? Is that actually how it works? “Jackie” at UVA was no doubt a hero to her circle of like-minded activists, but was she truly a campus hero? She was very unhappy with how the UVA administration treated her, and the friends that she initially pitched her Haven (!) Monahan story were increasingly dubious about her antics (which was reflected in the way she threw them under the bus in her Rolling Stone story).

        I think there are a variety of different scenarios happening more or less at once. On the one hand, you have campus hysteria like UVA or Duke Lacrosse where literally nothing happened or elsewhere iffy or unfair procedural methods for dealing with the sort of ambiguous alcohol-fueled case you are worried about. Meanwhile, you might also have situations like Sandusky’s Penn State and various college sports coverups happening around the same time, not to mention Brock Turner’s 3 month sentence after being caught in flagrante, or the high school coverup in Steubenville. (You’ll notice that sports come up over and over again in the coverup examples.)

        Meanwhile, the rate of reported sexual assault in the US has plunged over the last 40+ years. “Over the last four decades, rape has been declining. According to the National Crime Victimization Survey, the adjusted per-capita victimization rate of rape has declined from about 2.4 per 1000 people (age 12 and above) in 1980 (that is, 2.4 persons from each 1000 people 12 and older were raped during that year) to about 0.4 per 1000 people, a decline of about 85%.”

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rape_in_the_United_States

        That’s dating from 1980, but there’s also a chart in that article that shows the peak happening in the late 1970s.

        That stat creates problems for both sides–or looked at differently, it should make both sides happy. It means that a) given that awareness is at an all-time high, rape is less of a problem than it has been in the last 40 years but at the same time b) we aren’t actually in the middle of an unprecedented witch hunt, because the reported numbers do not reflect that. There cannot be a statistically significant witch hunt going on if the national reported numbers are dropping so dramatically. That’s not to say that there can’t be issues with unfair non-judicial punishments or that particular individuals do not suffer unfairly or that particular individuals are not getting away with rape (obviously, Harvey Weinstein did for many years and Matt Tabibi and Roosh V are serial rapists who will perhaps never see the inside of a courtroom), but it is definitely not a nationally significant phenomenon.

        (And no, I don’t think we really blame underreporting for the decrease since the 1970s, unless we really want to make the argument that the climate for reporting sexual assault was dramatically better in the late 1970s/1980s than it is today. Obviously, our climate is better, since people are now coming forward who did not come forward previously.)

        Come to think of it, this is not unlike the situation with unjustified shootings of unarmed black men–while it is possible to find individual cases and while they may reflect bad local policing, the annual numbers are in the single digits (or near single digits) at this point and are not significant on a national level.

  18. Jeez, AmyP, are you SURE you want that zapped? I just zoomed through it, it’s a very useful reminder on the ‘men are vile’ front. There’s a lot there, from these apprentice Harvey Weinsteins living their Russian dream. It has the dreadful results of huge imbalance of power between men and young/vulnerable girls which we see in the Weinstein and Clinton and Trump and Cosby stories, as well (and which are there in the tawdry stories of 55 year olds from USA going to Philippines for fourteen year olds).
    I think it’s kind of different from stupid fumbling drunk college kids with reasonably equivalent power in the world, although drunkenness and quaaludes can be looked at as taking away the girl’s power, too.

  19. dave s. said,

    ” It has the dreadful results of huge imbalance of power between men and young/vulnerable girls which we see in the Weinstein and Clinton and Trump and Cosby stories, as well (and which are there in the tawdry stories of 55 year olds from USA going to Philippines for fourteen year olds).”

    Right. But then I have to ask, what were those people like before they got to be pervy, powerful middle aged people? Wouldn’t their youthful years likely have included plausible deniability drunk girl situations, each one of which could be (as a stand alone case) an innocent misunderstanding?

    A lot of times predatoriness is only visible when you have enough data and repetitions to see an emerging pattern.

    1. Do also remember that you can now go to the Safeway and be out in twenty minutes, and no one is button holing you for curb and gutter changes, or to get the trailers (erm, ‘learning chalets’) replaced with actual brick and mortar for the local elementary while your ice cream melts in the shopping cart.

      1. dave s. said,

        “Do also remember that you can now go to the Safeway and be out in twenty minutes, and no one is button holing you for curb and gutter changes, or to get the trailers (erm, ‘learning chalets’) replaced with actual brick and mortar for the local elementary while your ice cream melts in the shopping cart.”

        Case closed!

    2. I cannot imagine why this comment thread or certainly anything you have ever written should make you unelectable excepting the very power structure we are talking about.

      And, I still think you should run. Would promise you support, except that then you’d face ads like the ones in the WA state senate race.

    3. Actually, culture wars aren’t that important in local elections. My sister held several offices in her Connecticut town. Local mom, with autistic son, fancy education (suburbanites respect that), banker husband (suburban matrons identify with that), etc. Could be an ideal candidate.

      But there is a cursus honorum to be run. My sister was first PTA president, then Resident Town Meeting representative, then Board of Finance member. (Then she moved to Florida, because the taxes are too high in Connecticut, but that’s another story.) Most of these jobs are pretty boring, in my view.

      1. The culture wars are apparently alive and kicking in some local elections. The Newton, MA mayoral race just got taken over by class and gender issues due to some boorish comments by one of the candidates. The other candidate in question sounds just like your sister – although it also looks like this whole thing is good for her candidacy.

        https://www.bostonglobe.com/business/2017/10/26/newton-boring-mayor-race-just-got-lot-more-interesting/GHwAEUg0j1lcaDw8VihDgM/story.html

      2. We’ve got a war between the Bernie-ists and the Hillarycrats in the Va Dem party, and they are not doing very well at STAYING CIVIL IN FRONT OF THE CHILDREN, which is not terribly edifying. It’s sort of tangentially culture wars, each side looking to get what advantage it can out of identity stuff and the Confederate memorials sideshow. Which I think contributes to our governor race being close.

      3. dave s. said,

        “We’ve got a war between the Bernie-ists and the Hillarycrats in the Va Dem party, and they are not doing very well at STAYING CIVIL IN FRONT OF THE CHILDREN, which is not terribly edifying. It’s sort of tangentially culture wars, each side looking to get what advantage it can out of identity stuff and the Confederate memorials sideshow. Which I think contributes to our governor race being close.”

        The truck-trying-to-squish-minority-children ad was amazingly terrible.

        It certainly doesn’t help that a couple days later, an ISIS sympathizer did it for real in Manhattan, killed a bunch of cyclists and hit a school bus.

      4. We have two never-held-political office women as our finalists in our mayoral race (after the resignation of the former mayor following serious allegations of sexual misconduct decades ago). They are both wealthy (though city) white moms, with teenage kids and fairly fancy degrees. One is an ex-US attorney (who has controlled her digitial image, as attorneys often must) but the other is a long-time activist with a significant digital presence.

        Our races require money, though. There’s a lot of self-funding going on and a takeover of many of these do-gooder positions by those with significant assets (and fancy degrees).

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