The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Rape Without Context

Posted on | July 11, 2014 | 41 Comments

Perusing the #fem2 (feminist) hashtag, I found a post at @TheNib that tells the story of a woman’s rape, in a way that makes no sense.

Go read the whole thing and try to figure it out. The guy “hovered over” her — where? — and told her she was “pretty,” had sex with her after she said “no,” and she made the guy breakfast the next morning.

The End.

Who is this guy? When did this happen? How did they meet and where were they when he “hovered over” her? We could speculate that this happened while she was a college student, and the incident transpired in a coed dorm or a shared apartment. The guy was, maybe, a friend of one of her male roommates? But this is mere speculation — a wild guess — because the author does not provide enough facts to place the incident in context. What is omitted and why?

But enough with the deliberate obtuseness — we actually know why she’s telling this story. In the context of the “rape culture” discourse being promoted by feminists, we frequently encounter the situation where a drunk college boy is accused of raping a drunk college girl. In his defense, the boy says their sexual activity was consensual, and points out that in the immediate aftermath of the alleged crime, the girl didn’t say she was raped or act hostile toward him. Often times, in this scenario, the boy has text messages or emails from the girl showing that she continued to be friendly. Only later, perhaps many weeks or months later, did she say it was rape.

What the teller of the “I Made Him Breakfast” story intends to convey is that friendly post-coital gestures can mean something else. Just because she was nice to the guy the morning after, doesn’t mean the sex was consensual. And without arguing with her basic point, I remain troubled by the lack of context: What is omitted and why? If we knew everything — the whole story, the names, the date, the location, etc. — how would that affect our perception of her story?

Rape is a felony in every state. Such crimes should be prosecuted. Telling stories on the Internet is a poor substitute for prosecution, and probably won’t do anything to solve the problem.



41 Responses to “Rape Without Context”

  1. Political Rift » Rape Without Context
    July 11th, 2014 @ 4:35 pm

    […] Read more here: Rape Without Context […]

  2. M. Thompson
    July 11th, 2014 @ 4:50 pm

    Yeah, there are some HUGE problems here.

    Doesn’t that kind of act take two people?

    And how did he get in?

  3. robertstacymccain
    July 11th, 2014 @ 5:01 pm

    The reporter in me wants to know the whole story, and I become suspicious when I get a partial story .

  4. RKae
    July 11th, 2014 @ 5:02 pm

    My mother-in-law just bought me breakfast.

    I feel dirty now.

    Seriously, though, what is it with people who live so ambiguously? Why live in a limbo-land of “is it is or is it ain’t” rape? And then these same people get pregnant by their confusing sexual act and are faced with “is it is or is it ain’t” a baby.

    Can’t they even TRY to live by some sort of mature, deliberate actions? Or am I just being Captain Buzzkill again?

  5. Evi L. Bloggerlady
    July 11th, 2014 @ 5:13 pm

    Guys can fail to take “no” as an answer. I do get that part. But rather than escalate it she gave in and then later regretted it. And then made him breakfast to try to rationalize it. I could see that.

    The well cooked egg sunny side was clearly a call for help. Because overcooking sunny side eggs like that is a crime.

    It would help to have more of the facts, if such facts exist. She brought it up, was this a friend who slept over and then wanted more than a place to crash? We have to speculate what the circumstances were.

    Or the story is a completely bunch of BS and made up. There is that blogger-journalist you’ve noted in the past (I forget what she calls herself) who is “anonymous” and it is likely her posts are complete utter BS.

  6. Radical Feminist Julia Penelope Stanley RIP | Batshit Crazy News
    July 11th, 2014 @ 5:18 pm

    […] TOM: Rape Without Context […]

  7. Art Deco
    July 11th, 2014 @ 5:22 pm

    What the teller of the “I Made Him Breakfast” story intends to convey is
    that friendly post-coital gestures can mean something else. Just
    because she was nice to the guy the morning after, doesn’t mean the sex
    was consensual.

    Because women have options….

  8. Evi L. Bloggerlady
    July 11th, 2014 @ 5:39 pm

    Did you mother in law over cook the eggs?

  9. RS
    July 11th, 2014 @ 5:59 pm

    Let me suggest, the ambiguity is deliberate and serves a very specific purpose. That is, it eliminates the possibility of any objective analysis of the evidence/facts. We are told at the beginning that the author has defined this incident as “rape.” Ergo, nothing further is required. Once objective analysis is eliminated from the equation we are left with only the power inherent in the ability to define a set of facts however the definer chooses to do so, in this case “rape.” The facts become irrelevant; only the definition matters, especially where the definition necessitates an oppressor and a victim. See, e.g. the various claims of black democratic politicians claiming they were spit on by Tea Partiers.

    Note also, the paucity of relevant information, together with the anonymity of the author puts this sort of “story” in the category of Urban Legend. For all anyone knows, it’s fiction designed to feed into the current “rape culture” Zeitgeist, get a lot of hits on someone’s webpage and maybe a mention by Amanda Marcotte.

  10. RS
    July 11th, 2014 @ 6:00 pm

    Must stop using HTML.

  11. Sharc 65
    July 11th, 2014 @ 6:30 pm

    I believe there is a “yada yada yada” missing here.

  12. DeadMessenger
    July 11th, 2014 @ 6:52 pm

    There was an episode of Friends in which Phoebe tells the group a particularly horrible story of living on the street, and her tone conveys the message that it was just business as usual.

    The friends all sit silently for a moment afterward, and Ross says, “I think the word you’re looking for is aaannyyway.”

    I think that’s the word we’re looking for here.

  13. Evi L. Bloggerlady
    July 11th, 2014 @ 6:54 pm

    There is some wacky stuff at that site. This at least had a more complete narrative. And these individuals are completely bat shit crazy!

  14. Dana
    July 11th, 2014 @ 7:45 pm

    Just because he was let in, doesn’t mean that she meant to let him in, so to speak.

  15. Dana
    July 11th, 2014 @ 7:50 pm

    What you are getting is all of the information on which the authors want you to take your decisions. She said no, and, at that point, the man didn’t get up and immediately leave.

    We are to assume that he persisted, she declined to vigorously resist, and the lesson the author wishes to teach is that persistence itself constitutes rape, not leaving after the first no constitutes rape.

    You are told no more because you are not meant to know more; knowing more might add nuance to the story, nuance that the author did not want you to take.

  16. Dana
    July 11th, 2014 @ 7:54 pm

    There’s also the lesson that the “it wasn’t that bad rape” is still rape, and I don’t disagree with that point. The trouble is that, from the bare basics we are given, we don’t know if the male saw it as rape, which is another lesson we are supposed to learn, that just because the male didn’t think it was rape doesn’t mean it wasn’t rape.

  17. RKae
    July 11th, 2014 @ 8:00 pm

    Let’s admit it: We need Whoopi in here to tell us what “rape-rape” is!

    I mean, was the mystery “hovering man” a celebrity? If so, then the rules are different!

    In fact, the idea of “hovering” makes me think that this could have been an encounter with a space alien! Look at those eyes! And the gray skin!

  18. RKae
    July 11th, 2014 @ 8:02 pm

    I’m pretty sure it’s implied.

    Sometimes if you have to say it, it loses its impact.

  19. Quartermaster
    July 11th, 2014 @ 8:17 pm

    Was it legitimate rape, or rape-rape. I can’t tell.

  20. K-Bob
    July 11th, 2014 @ 8:36 pm

    I think the cartoon would have been greatly improved with CSS3 hover effects. Maybe some HTML5 use of the canvas and some animation.

    But mostly hover effects.

  21. K-Bob
    July 11th, 2014 @ 8:38 pm

    Needs more effects. Have you considered use of the pseudo-selector :hover?

  22. K-Bob
    July 11th, 2014 @ 8:40 pm

    He probably felt like he successfully seduced her.

    That only happens when they crash at your place, not when you wake up surrounded by dust rufles and extra pillows (unless, well, you know).

  23. NeoWayland
    July 11th, 2014 @ 10:00 pm

    Only if the celebrity had been a progressive.

    Conservative and libertarian celebrities should always pay, even if they were out of town at the time.

  24. Laura Cereta
    July 11th, 2014 @ 11:23 pm

    There is absolutely a HUGE problem . . . using a victims story and then doubting it based on ignorance of various behavior associated with rapes and/or sexual assaults of any manner, not to mention the obvious lack of understanding that trauma LITERALLY changes the brain and can therefore lead to memory loss as well as many other symptoms IS a HUGE problem. It borders on narcissism and can rarely be helped even by medication. Thank you for mentioning that rape is a felony crime defined by state and federal statutes, none of which address behavior before of after the crime. The criminal justice system is unfortunately not equipped to handle sex crimes without often further traumatizing the victim. This is part of why so many victims are hesitant to report a sex crime. All of this is textbook information and can be learned at an Institution of Higher Learning. Education would be a good idea in this case though I doubt it would help this state of ignorance. The responses I will get will serve as proof of that.

  25. darleenclick
    July 11th, 2014 @ 11:37 pm

    I work in the judicial system. I don’t know about other states/counties, but we have a very active and trained victim/witness advocate system. Rape is taken very seriously.

    At the same time, false reports of rape (or domestic violence) DO happen – and far more often than the “rape culture” acolytes want to admit.

    It is reminiscent of the whole child-abuse hysteria of the 80s that produced debacles like the McMartin Preschool affair.

    The shibboleths surrounding “rape” & “rape culture” are what harm actual rape victims.

  26. Laura Cereta
    July 12th, 2014 @ 12:17 am

    I work in it as well, darleenclick. I applaud the counties that have become very proactive in protecting victims of sexual abuse. There are even places in which they are providing law enforcement officers with sensitivity training specifically on how to deal with traumatized victims of sexual assault. Unfortunately, I am not in one of those counties. We do have a non-profit safe house in which a person is examined and there clothes are taken, plus DNA, if found, is preserved, and kept for 90 days giving them the option of reporting the crime and having the bet possible chance of catching and prosecuting the perpetrator. I certainly did not, nor would would I say, that false reports are not made. However, for every report made there are at least four more not made at all. I do not think rape needs to be an issue that is thought of in a right or left way politically. And to use derogatory words towards feminists or others who are concerned about women’s rights is not helpful to the situation either. My issue with this post was making fun of a person’s story and then telling them, as an alleged victim of a crime, something none of us can or should speak to the validity of, how to handle it. That truly is unconscionable. I also double majored as an undergrad before law school so I have studied this subject some and it’s not as cut and dried as people would like to make it because of the psychological and as I said, biological effects on the brain from this type of ordeal. Sexism is a very real and ongoing global phenomena, and sexual assault runs rampant here, too. Arguing as to whether or not we have a “rape culture” is a useless argument of semantics, in my opinion and does nothing to address the problem. Using sardonic language to degrade a rape victim ADDS to the problem and I would be remiss to not say that in no uncertain terms. Once again, though, I appreciate your comments, and am happy to hear about the efforts of your county to address this issue and protect victims. Thanks for the reply.

  27. Matt_SE
    July 12th, 2014 @ 12:45 am

    Sorry, I refuse to accept your framing.
    Now go fix me a sammich.

  28. Matt_SE
    July 12th, 2014 @ 12:46 am

    Porridge-In-Veranda is always rape, OK?

  29. Julie Pascal
    July 12th, 2014 @ 12:47 am

    Have you ever considered that the responses you get are because you fail to adequately understand the other argument so respond to what was never asserted and then fail to make your case?

  30. concern00
    July 12th, 2014 @ 4:34 am

    Rape has somehow been cheapened to a minor misdemeanor best dealt with by college authorities.

    Or alternatively, the definition of rape has been expanded so that a) all men are guilty and b) every women is a victim and welcomed into the liberal club. Rational conservative women should not apply.

  31. Adjoran
    July 12th, 2014 @ 6:17 am

    “Context” my ass.

    I’ve known and dealt with rape victims. Sometimes days later they are still too traumatized to function.

    A woman who makes breakfast for you wants you to come back. It’s a pretty clear signal. This girl didn’t get a call back, so decided it was rape. BS.

  32. K-Bob
    July 12th, 2014 @ 6:18 am

    How are things back there in 1972?

    Here in the future, we’ve made huge improvements in how law enforcement handles rape victims. Very few officers of the court will allow victims to be re-victimized in their quest to seek justice.

    In fact, the subject of re-victimizing rape victoms has been a staple of the entertainment business for so long that it’s rarely used anymore due to the changes made since your era.

    Also, here in the future we have information in electronic form. I know, it’s really cool, man! (I believe that was the expression you folks used). So textbooks aren’t used as much in institutions of higher learning. In fact, you can attend college over something called a “network.”

    On the new, electronic form of information, you can readily find out that instances of rape reporting have vastly increased since your era. In fact, it’s gotten to the point where small children are being indoctrinated, right in our primary schools, into thinking any unrequested touching is rape.

    The eighties will be along soon, and you’ll see what I mean. By the nineties you will already see articles where people are alarmed over “over-reporting” of rape, and the possibility of lives being ruined by it. Then you get to where we are today, where men not present are accused of rape, and lose scholarships, careers, and job prospects.

    I hope this message reaches you in time so you can maybe do something back there in the seventies to help prevent the state of affairs regarding rape here in our time.

    But don’t stop Al Gore from building the Internet.

  33. K-Bob
    July 12th, 2014 @ 6:21 am

    You are responsible for performing the appropriate eyeroll when the yaddas are left out.

    I think that’s on page three somewhere.

  34. K-Bob
    July 12th, 2014 @ 6:34 am

    Or it could be guilt over having given up the goods too readily to a guy she knew was not “life partner” material long before she ever got to that “hover” moment.

  35. Rob Crawford
    July 12th, 2014 @ 12:28 pm

    My God… I thought it was just breakfast and some fresh air!

  36. Rob Crawford
    July 12th, 2014 @ 12:29 pm

    I would say they need to seek counseling, but there’s a chance the “therapist” would just have them wallow in their victimized, and make it worse.

  37. JeffS
    July 12th, 2014 @ 1:12 pm

    It’s akin to lefties calling anyone who disagrees with Obama a “racist” — after being abused for so long, the word loses its power to influence by shaming or labeling. People laugh at it.

    And that’s exactly the wrong attitude to have about racism. Or rape.

    In my humble opinion, anywho. I suspect lefties will disagree with me.

  38. sarah wells
    July 12th, 2014 @ 2:06 pm

    Hey, this makes sense to me. I guess I’m for the looney bin.

  39. K-Bob
    July 13th, 2014 @ 1:06 am

    The old, foot-in-the-door trick, perhaps.

  40. Sorta Blogless Sunday Pinup » Pirate's Cove
    July 13th, 2014 @ 8:46 am

    […] The Other McCain discusses rape without context […]

  41. Moneyrunner
    July 13th, 2014 @ 3:13 pm

    We keep hearing that for every rape that is reported there
    are “X” (some multiple of X somewhere between 4 and 40) that are not reported. If they are not reported, where does this statistic come from? Is there a place
    where you can report a rape anonymously? Where is that and why would anyone do that?