Sunday, December 26, 2010

Sex and WikiLeaks

An editorial at LAT.

After an extremely narrow background summary we get this:
These titillating and not-very-nice allegations involving the man who has distributed tens of thousands of secret State Department cables and documents to the news media are being discussed by people across the country and around the world, just as they once discussed the tiniest particulars of President Clinton's Oval Office trysts with Monica Lewinsky. And as they discuss the details, they're also raising serious questions about how sexual misconduct should be dealt with: Should a man be charged with rape for having sex without a condom? For having sex with a woman when she's asleep? In recent decades, Sweden's laws have grown increasingly protective of women's rights; are they too tough, or do they strike the right balance? Does it make sense that Sweden has three degrees of rape, including "less severe," which Assange is charged with and which is generally used when a person uses threats or mild force to have non-consensual sex?

Actually, as progressive feminists point out, the key issue really is consent. But when does that begin and end? What's the contextual nature of the consensual agreement, for example, if a woman changes her mind about intercourse at just about the time a guy's gonna to explode. Recall Cathy Young's essay, "
Julian Assange, Feminism, and Rape":
Once, feminist reformers rightly fought against laws that required a rape victim to fight her attacker "to the utmost." But removing any element of actual or threatened force from the crime of rape makes it too easy to criminalize miscommunications and morning-after regrets. Should non-consent require a firm "Stop!" or does it cover a hesitant or coy "Maybe we should stop"—perhaps accompanied by actions that contradict the words? Is the man guilty of rape if the woman says early in the evening that she does not want to have sex, but does not rebuff his overtures later? Is the woman a rapist if the roles are reversed? Writing the "forcible" part out of the definition of rape makes it much more of a two-way street ....

Earlier generations of feminists argued that rape should be treated the same as any other violent crime: The victim should not be subjected to special standards of resistance or chastity. These days, the demand for special treatment is so blatant that some activists openly support abolishing the presumption of innocence for rape cases and requiring the accused to prove consent ... In an ironic twist, these activists actually seem to hold women in very little esteem: in their world, women are too timid to push a man away if he won't take no for an answer and too addled to know that they have been raped.
Sady Doyle dismissed Cathy Young's argument out of hand (feminist intellectual), and in so doing failed to notice the Young's article named the accusers. Doyle deleted her tweet to Young's article after blaming her mistake on the misogynist trolls.

These are bad people, as I always say.

RELATED: "What Line Did Sady Doyle Cross?"