Last week, a very bad thing happened to me, a life changing experience, the kind of thing many people with blogs would tell everyone about, trolling for sympathy and making everyone feel bad. Well, I am certainly not above doing that, but strategically I’ve decided to tell only a few people what is going on, and everyone else … well, I’m going to leave you in a state of wondering. Which, of course, is my own narcissistic way of getting attention.

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Honorata Kizende looked out at the audience and began with a simple, declarative sentence. … “There was no dinner,” she said. “It was me who was dinner. Me, because they kicked me roughly to the ground, and they ripped off all my clothes, and between the two of them, they held my feet. One took my left foot, one took my right, and the same with my arms, and between the two of them they proceeded to rape me. Then all five of them raped me.”
Oh, it will all be blogged when the time is right and in the appropriate manner. The thing is, I’m busy converting this “bad thing” into a “good thing” and I don’t want people breathing down my neck about it right now. And, what is most important is this: Everything that I’m doing that is new … everything that is a reaction to the “bad thing” … is for you, dear reader. So just relax and enjoy me as much as I’m enjoying you.

But really, in the end, my problems are minor compared to those of others. And that is true of everyone and everything I mention in this post, which is why I’ve posted illustrated links to important stories about the overarching topic of discussion. Lest we forget.

I mention all of this misery of my own for a reason: Staring on Monday or Tuesday, I began to slide more and more rapidly toward the edge of an abyss, and on Wednesday at 10:05 AM I was kicked straight into it. I have been floating on air since then. Floating on air like a person who is falling off a very very high cliff to his death. Or, floating on air like a person who is ecstatic and uplifted by his own happiness. I can’t tell yet. But one result of this whole floating thing is total distraction from what has been happening on the blogosphere, mostly in reaction to my initial discussion about rape, related issues, rape switches, and so on. Well, all of the sudden, with the help of my friend Stephanie and my friend Lou (at least, I hope he’s my friend!), I’ve caught up on this discussion and I am now ready to do the following to you depending on who you are:

1) issue you a sincere apology;
2) kick your ass into oblivion;
3) enlighten you about life; or
4) have violent sex with you. Figuratively.

I demand an apology!

First, I want to address a few blogospheric issues. One person whom I consider to be a friend, and another person whom I consider to be some troll who dropped out of nowhere, and a few others, have been waiting for me to apologize for one or both of the following statements:

That all soldiers at war are rapists even if they don’t rape anyone, and/or that Doms as in BSDM are rapists.

Regarding the first demand for an apology: This is a semantic issue and has been from the beginning. I happen to refer to men who’s theoretical rape switch went on as “rapists” even if they had not raped, much like a person who learns how to sweat pipe might be thought of as a “plumber” even if they have not yet … plumbed anything. Technically, what I just said might still be true, or it might not be. Who cares? Clearly, people are sensitive about this and those who have not actually committed rape should probably not be called rapists. I acquiesced to this point at the time, right when the first objection was made.

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A Somali girl who said she had been raped has been stoned to death in Somalia after being accused of adultery, a human rights group has said.
However, I violated a different rule, in particular with commenter Rystefn, and I’m going continue to violate this rule forever. Just as the conversation itself is dynamic and moving, I’m going to keep moving too. It is simply not the case that whatever one utters must remain as the steadfast and unmovable thinking or idea of that person. I said it, I was challenged, I backed off. It is over. But as recently as this morning, Rystefn continues to claim that he’ll judge me as a not-too-bad person as soon as I stop insisting that he is a rapist because he was in the army. Or is a dom. Or both. Or whatever.

The rule I’m not following: The “Stand still while I continue to scream at you that you must apologize!” rule.

There are actually two fallacies in effect here: 1) That you (Rystefn, or whomever) have the right to pick a moment in time during an on-going thinking out loud conversation that happens to give you your trollish jollies and insist that this is the only thing that your trollee — your victim — has ever thought or said. No, you don’t get to do that. In fact, if you do that you will get spanked (see below for the spanking). 2) The fallacy of the universal. Both Rystefn and Lou are making this mistake, as are many others in this discussion. I’ll get to that in a moment.

You can’t have your apology, but I am sorry.

So no, guys, you can’t have your apology. We are talking about a serious issue here, and we are knocking around ideas. Nobody is accusing anyone of anything. We are just conversing. If you want to propose terminology or rhetoric, do so. If you want to propose alternative ideas, do so. But do not pick up pieces of mud and make love to them like they were the last piece of mud on the face of the earth. Do not huff and puff and blow my house down especially when it is also your house. In other words, stop acting like you were made entirely of your y-chromsome and nothing else. And, most importantly, begin to understand the fact that this discussion is not about you.

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Brazil’s president attacks Vatican for condemning nine-year-old rape victim’s abortion
But I am sorry. Not for pissing off guys who can’t handle their own gender. Rather I’m very sorry that over the last few days (since Tuesday or Wednesday, actually) I have been ignoring my BFF’s pleas to give her a hand and watch her back. Stephanie has created a number of posts and has been involved in comments there and elsewhere (including on this blog). She has been pulling more of the hard work of moving this discussion in a useful direction than anyone else. Far more than me. Here is a listing of her work:

During this time I’ve only read a few of the comments and I entirely skipped reading two of her posts on Almost Diamonds. As I say in the very beginning, I was a bit distracted with my whole life falling apart and shit. So I have reasons for having let my friend down, but I still am very very sorry about that, and for that I apologize. The most important point Stephanie makes is probably that this whole discussion is not about the guys who are slogging around in this argument. I wonder, do any of them know what this is about?

Is there any wonder why most of my best friends are not heteronormative middle class white men?

Almost all of the people I’m close to in this world are women, and I think this is in part because you don’t really get close to men quite often. You get close to their ideas or, more likely, their ideals (such as they are). You share things (like proclivities and preferences) not thoughts and points of view. You do other stuff that guys do, whatever that is. As the present discussion progresses, I increasingly understand why. I compare the comments, both on the blogs and in private emails that are going back and forth, between the women and the men and I see an overwhelming difference, and this is not even counting Stephanie with whom I communicate a lot anyway. And, if we go back to Stephanie’s post on pay rates, and to my very recent quickie about how women are smarter than men, the problem becomes utterly obvious.

Most men have very small dicks and can’t handle it.

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The mother and brother of a 14-year-old Afghan rape victim face charges after they cut her open and removed her foetus without anaesthetic, it has been reported.
Well, maybe that’s not the actual detail of importance, but it certainly is something like that. It certainly is something that makes some/many/who knows the number men oversensitive when it comes to criticism. Self victimizing wormy trollbots. That’s what most men are.

It is not the case that I’ve simply agreed with every woman who has voiced a thought in this discussion. In fact, I’m not sure at all that there is a gender bias in how much what I think may be similar to or different from what anyone else thinks. But there is a clear difference based almost entirely on gender in affect and style of effrontery.

(This is also not to say that women are nice and men are mean. If any sort of generalization would apply, that is not it. Perhaps women are smart and men are dumb. Most likely, though, I think most women are more thoughtful about what they are both saying and hearing than are men, who really don’t listen to what others say and who rarely think about what they are about to spew out as much as they should. On average.)

OK, back to some troll related commentary:

We cannot discuss anything substantive until everyone agrees on the meaning of the words we are using

This is the hobgoblin of an unthinking mind, and it is the sort of thing I have never heard a woman commenter or blogger say. I’ve only heard men say it. And no, it is not true. Well, I supposed it depends on what one means by ‘meaning’…

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As if coming forth with an allegation of sexual assault wasn’t demeaning enough in many parts of North America, Texas has quietly decided to allow hospitals to charge a fee as high as $1800 to victims for the rape kits used to prove an attack.
Why is it not utterly obvious that much, but not all, conversation is about what we call things, and how we group or subdivide things (which is very closely connected to what we call them) and to the nuances and hidden meanings as well as accidental or incidental meanings with various words? Thus, this part of the conversation needs to keep moving along with all the rest of it. We do not do this in steps.

… As you can detect, I’m working off a bit of a laundry list here… and the next items have to to with the science that has been abused in some of this discussion.

Are human universals … universal?

The term Universal in this context is not a term one simply pulls out of one’s ass. It is a term that has been in use by scholars for some time, and there is quite a bit to say about it. What it does NOT mean is this: If there is a “universal” (like the tendency to run away when the tiger looks at you) it is simply not the case that every individual has that behavior or will effect that behavior under a given circumstance.

Deer. Headlight. You know the story. You shine a spotlight or headlights into a deer’s eyes and they freeze. If you have a firearm, and you shoot the deer this way, that is called “jacking” the deer. Easy hunting. (Note: This only works at night.)

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve shined the spotlight into the eye of the deer or the antelope — hundreds of times I’m sure — and I can tell you that sometimes the “universal” behavior happens, and sometimes it does not. I have it from a good source that on one particular reservation here in Minnesota, where the deer are “jacked” on a regular basis, very few of the deer stop in a light. Learning? Natural selection? We don’t know. But it is evidence that the “universal” may be labile.

So, please do not convert the hypothetical assertion that a particular thing like a rape switch is a human trait (which could be called a universal by some) to telling every man that he is a rapist. How stupid of you to think that. You must be a guy. I don’t even “believe” in universals, for fucks sake. And more importantly, learn what a “universal” is. And isn’t.

Proximate vs. Ultimate and Conscious vs Unconscious

People are messing up these concepts all over the place. I’ll be brief: The reason we have sex is to have babies. Period. The way we have sex has nothing to do with having babies. Obviously. Same with power relationships. Same with all of it. You have to separate ultimate explanations from proximate mechanisms if you are going to speak non-stoopidly of behavior.

Same goes for conscious vs. unconscious. In fact, just forget about that. The degree to which a behavior, tendency, switch, repression, all of it is known to the individual exhibiting the behavior is not relevant at all. I assure you that the belief that you know what is going on inside your own head is one of the greatest fallacies you will ever commit. Get over it.

Who put the “D” in BDSM?

This last bit is only for you Doms (as in BDSM). Everyone else kindly go away, because this is not going to be pretty.

I’ve already addressed the issue of whether I want to call Doms rapists. I’ve addressed it a half dozen times, but I’m sure I’ll have to say it again because some of you are just not that smart: I don’t need to call you a rapist. I don’t think that pretending to rape your girlfriend is the same thing as actually raping your girlfriend.

But Dom Rystefn himself (in between bouts of raping his girlfriend and beating his dog, I assume) pointed out that play-rape is to real rape what shooting skeets is to killing people. I love that analogy, and it is exactly what I have been thinking. It is what makes the D in BDSM interesting in the context of the rape conversation.

For myself, I can’t contribute much. I am not B,D,S, or M, and I am not an expert on this, and I’ve not read the literature. I would love to hear what people who do know what they are talking about have to say about this, other than total denial that there are things to learn.

Shooting skeets is a way of shooting pigeons that does not require the pigeon. This saves some trouble and money, and it also separates the shooter from pigeon-killing which may or may not be an issue. Pigeon-shooting is interesting, and has some recent anthropology done on it. The relationship between gun-owing cultures, right wingosity, The Klan and similar groups, pigeon shooting, and the construction of whiteness has been analyzed usefully by a colleague of mine. It is all very interesting.

Similarly, I can imagine that rape simulation can bear light on actual rape. What do I mean by this? What am I implying? Of what awful thing am I accusing you (you, the Doms who are allowed to read this)? Ha! Have you not been paying attention? Would you mind please putting down your dumbifying y-chromosome for a minute and think about how you LOOK when you are foaming at the mouth?

Which brings me to my last point. It suddenly dawned on me earlier today. I had been reading comments by Angry White Male (who is either a total parody or a total ass) and our friend Rystefn and some others, and I had been discussing this very post that you are reading with a friend. The friend said “Just leave out the stuff about the Doms… they won’t handle this well.” And it all came together.

You Dom’s are a bunch of whimp-ass babies. You want someone (who is what we call “willing”) to allow you to dominate them physically and psychologically, and this is how you get off. Or how they get off. But when the issue comes up that your behavior relates to violence you fall apart and get all teary eyed like you were just jumped by the bullies. You make the rules that say everyone else has to leave you alone and while that is happening one person should volunteer for you to pretend you are raping him or her, and when the core of the argument goes a bit over your head or turns out to be something that you didn’t think it was (egg on your face) you focus on spelling and word meaning and other stupid ass shit.

I have a little advice for you. Grow some balls and start paying attention to what you are presenting to the rest of us. Stop trying to control the conversation like you control your lover’s posture and position. Be a man for once. No, wait, don’t be a man! (What am I saying?) Be smarter, more interesting, less dogmatic, and braver.

Be a woman for once!

And remember. This conversation is not about you.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Proceeds generated by hits to the rape posts during the month of June will be donated to the Ituri Forest People’s Fund.

Comments

  1. #1 pelican
    June 8, 2009

    Huh, I hadn’t been following the blog-storm on this issue because I’ve got other things to do right now, but I really liked your first post. I think all of us, men and women, can do truly awful things when we find ourselves in truly awful situations. If that’s a “switch,” so be it. It’s not a particularly well-written book, but for a lay person, Phil Zimbardo’s The Lucifer Effect is an interesting read about this issue.

    And, best wishes for whatever life-changing you’re going through. I hope you succeed in converting it to a good thing.

  2. #2 Ronja A-M
    June 8, 2009

    Thank you!

    I did not know that this blog entry was one of the things I needed to read before I read it. I feel positively awake now (pun lame, but intended).

  3. #3 D. C. Sessions
    June 8, 2009

    Best wishes, Greg.

  4. #4 Lily
    June 8, 2009

    I…what? What was the point about BDSM, other than that something about the way other people have sex somehow offends you? (I couldn’t follow the rambling there at all.)

  5. #5 J
    June 8, 2009

    Let me start by saying I agree wholeheartedly with your refusal to apologize and with your reasoning for said refusal.

    I would like to address some of the comments you’ve made regarding the D in BDSM. For the record, I am a woman, I am a lesbian, and I am a submissive to female Dommes, so I know something about the B.D.S. and M. Your characterization of the relationship is somewhat flawed as you assume, as many people do, that the D is, in fact, in charge. This is not the case. Rather it is the submissive who controls the relationship. It is the submissive who gives permission for all acts perpetrated upon them and who, with a single word or gesture, can halt said acts.

    Now, if this is not the case, if the D is going to continue once that permission has been withdrawn, then you are right, a rape is occurring; but those cases are extreme and rare given that most people only enter into a BDSM relationship with someone who has earned their trust.

    I understand your confusion given that, as you state, you have no experience or knowledge on which to base your assertions. As a scientist, you should know better than to comment on something which you admittedly know nothing about.

  6. #6 Lily
    June 8, 2009

    (Good luck with the rest of whatever’s going on.)

  7. #7 Austin
    June 8, 2009

    Lurker, here. I ready the “rape switch” post, and didn’t get involved in the comments for obvious reasons.

    That being said – I don’t think this post will do much overall good. The ones who are smart enough to get it – who can think abstractly, or who understand that 80% (or more) of our behavior is controlled by biochemistry, or, hell, who have even read Pavlov or Jung or Freud – they’re not the ones you’re talking to, and the ones who you’re talking to just won’t get it.

    Then again, some of it’s probably also a need to vent, in which case it can do a lot of good – for you, if no one else, and sometimes that’s all that matters.

    Back to lurking.

  8. #8 knows a troll when he sees one
    June 8, 2009

    WOW!
    You accuse people of being trolls, and then have phrases such as:
    “It’s bad enough that all men are rapists. Please don’t be stupid about it as well.”
    “all soldiers at war are rapists even if they don’t rape anyone”
    “Most men have very small dicks and can’t handle it. ”
    and a bunch of other gems

    I’m sure I “don’t get it” or whatever, but you’re intentionally using emotionally charged terms to cause an intense reaction to people.
    This is the definition of trolling, straight from 4chan and EncyclopediaDramatica,

  9. #9 becca
    June 8, 2009

    1)Not all doms have Y chromosomes
    2)Good doms are switches. And I’m not talking about sex.

    I strongly suspect that 1) and 2) directly relate to why you are closer to women.

    3) “The A reason for sex is babies”
    Fixed that for you. Another reason is bonding. Bonobo brains are right up there with chimp brains.

    Any possible relationship between 3) and you being close to women is for you to analyze.

    4) As far as the ‘original’ topic. The debate reminded me of a particularly entertaining philosophy class debate about whether “catharsis” exists.
    Many would argue combat experience causes violent behavior. Some would argue violent video games cause violent behavior.
    Yet few argue that viewing Picasso’s Guernica causes violent behavior.

    Context Matters.

  10. #10 Stephanie Z
    June 8, 2009

    Hey, knows a troll, Encyclopedia Dramatica is not exactly the kind of place where you want to rely on everything you read.

    Try trolls.

  11. #11 Greg Laden
    June 8, 2009

    Lily, in what way did I say that I was offended. This is something you are seeing that I’m not saying.

    J: Yes, I did actually know what you are saying about control, but again, I reiterate that this is not an area of expertise for me at all. I do reserve the right to comment on something that i don’t know much about when my comment is something like “I don’t know much about this thing” (if yo don’t mind).

    Austin, right, but venting is fine. Remember, the more hits the more money to the Ituri Forest People’s Fund!

    Knows: I’ve been accused of being a troll on my own site before, so I hope you don’t think you are the first.

    Becca: I probably should have said that I was taking of male Doms, but as I’ve suggested, I’m don’t necessarily know what I’m talking about in this area, so ….

    Regarding 3: The “ultimate reason” is sex = babies. But yes, impinging close to the ultimate level is the whole social thing. But there are still layers in between. But I take your point.

    I suspect some bureaucrats have gotten violent when viewing Guernica. Just a hunch.

    Stephanie, thanks for that link, I had actually meant to include it in the OP.

  12. #12 knows a troll when he sees one
    June 8, 2009

    I was confused after reading this:
    “Self victimizing wormy trollbots. That’s what most men are. ”
    and I thought I was on ED

  13. #13 knows a troll when he sees one
    June 8, 2009

    Thank you for mentioning me, and yet not addressing the issue.

    Don’t accuse people of trolling you if you are using shock tactics, I thought that was a no-brainer.

  14. #14 Stephanie Z
    June 8, 2009

    Silly me. I always thought the no-brainer was “Don’t tell a blogger how to blog.”

  15. #15 DuWayne
    June 8, 2009

    Gods you’re a troll sometimes Greg!!! (sorry, just had to jump on the “you’re a troll on your own blog” bandwagon – I know it gives me a warm fuzzy feeling when people accuse me of it(or maybe that’s just gas))

    Other than that, I am pretty much tapped on this discussion. I was actually going to write more about it, but honestly, it’s getting me kind of skeeved and I don’t think that the few differences we have in our respective positions are worth it. I will be posting about the underlying psychology and neurobiology that is relevant to this discussion at a later date, but I’ve seriously had enough with the rape.

    Especially given that I am about to start a series on sex and human sexuality – one that is focused on non-rape related issues. Kind of awkward reviewing a educational video about exploring the G-spot (a precursor to exploring your partner’s body – I will also have male equivelent videos), on the heels of a discussion about rape.

    Given the options, I am far more keen on writing about ways people can improve their sex lives…

  16. #16 knows a troll when he sees one
    June 8, 2009

    @Stephanie Z

    Your point being?

  17. #17 Stephanie Z
    June 8, 2009

    Just agreeing with you about the “don’t get it” part of your original statement.

  18. #18 Rystefn
    June 8, 2009

    Well, as you can imagine, my response to this is rather lengthy. So here is where the question of etiquette occurs: Is it better to post a very long comment here, or to post it elsewhere and link? Either one could possibly raise unnecessary ire, and I’m not familiar enough with the posting policy around here to jump blindly in (though I’ve probably pushed the line more than I should have already anyway).

  19. #19 knows a troll when he sees one
    June 8, 2009

    I guess I still don’t get it then

    It’s ok for Greg to use shock tactics and exaggerate, but the guy on the other side who does it is a troll?

    Is it because Greg is right and fights for a good cause?

  20. #20 Neill Raper
    June 8, 2009

    Just to clarify, that is actually my last name. I usually don’t clarify that particular point but I figured it would be prudent here just in case someone thought I was making a poor joke. Anyways, I am not personally offended by the idea of women being superior to men, it is not at all implausible, women and men are in fact different and far be it from me to assume I know where all those differences lie. The problem I have with this is basically semantic I admit but reading your post it really did get to me. I’m sure that you were just trying to get the targets of your ridicule nice and riled up and all that but there are other men in the world besides the ones you have in your crosshairs, and there are also other doms. Just because some of them have made asses of themselves does not mean that it is fair game on the rest of them. Well I suppose its your blog, its just not very nice at all. I am a man, I have a very small penis (which I can handle), and I was, and still am on your side for the intellectual meat of this conversation (excepting the dom stuff, although J covered it nicely). I also accept your point that the larger conversation surrounding this is absolutely not about me and deals with problems so far beyond my precious little hurt feelings that its like comparing a mote of dust to a galaxy. Still I figured you might want to know as someone who presumably wants to communicate science to more than slightly the over 50% of the population you are so (rightly) enamoured with you may not want to be so baiting and inflammatory to the other 40 something percent.

  21. #21 Greg Laden
    June 8, 2009

    Rystefn, you have not pushed any lines, don’t worry about that. Remember,this is all conjecture. And I’m a troll. So I’ll change my claims as needed and remain a moving target.

    Anyway, feel free to do either or both. Typically, the the comments occur on the dominant blog no matter where the prose ends up being published. A long bit of text is more comfortable in its own post. It is hard to know what the best thing to do is but there is certainly no reason to do one or the other as far as I am concerned.

  22. #22 mk
    June 8, 2009

    “I guess I still don’t get it then…

    Very well stated.

  23. #23 Jason Thibeault
    June 8, 2009

    Well, this is certainly going to force me to hurry up with my own post that’s been in draft format at least since Wednesday. You’ve already made 90% of my points redundant. Plus you did it without being nearly as apologetic or “civil” as I was.

    There is room for incivility in public discourse, I guess. I will try to affront people more often when it comes to topics that are important enough to force people to talk about it, even though it tends to engage their emotions more often than their brains.

    On a related note, Troll, don’t accuse people of trolling you if you are using shock tactics. You said it yourself. Practice what you preach.

  24. #24 Donna
    June 8, 2009

    Dr. Laden:

    I would highly recommend reading the blog of Mistress Matisse out of Seattle, if you are interested in the kink realm. She runs a great blog where she discusses her work as a professional dominatrix as well as a member of the kink community. She’s also living an alternative lifestyle (polyamory) so read her “cast of characters” first as it will solve a lot of the playbook problems. She also writes a column for the Seattle Stranger on poly and kink issues.

    http://mistressmatisse.blogspot.com

  25. #25 Puf_Almighty
    June 8, 2009

    What you say is thoughtful, intelligent, and thought-provoking. I find myself agreeing with most of your opinions on the actual subject matter. But how you say it is douchey and rude. Are you seriously surprised that you can say “all men are rapists” and men will be offended by that?

    Seriously?

    Are you retarded?

  26. #26 Rystefn
    June 8, 2009

    Oh, the only line I was talking about was about comment-length. Frankly, I couldn’t give a shit less about any other lines I may or may not have been crossing with anything I’ve said here. I wouldn’t be the Rystefn if I did. I’ll just post it here, since it has basically zero to do with the subject of my own piss-ant little blog, and I already posted a short, biased summary over there once for the nearly nonexistent audience I have these days. Actual response to follow.

  27. #27 Stephanie Z
    June 8, 2009

    Puf, are you seriously surprised that there is contempt, anger, whatever for those who can’t set aside their own feelings for a serious discussion on the topic?

  28. #28 Stephanie Z
    June 8, 2009

    Seriously, knows a troll, thank you for asking. The difference has a hell of a lot to do with whose house you’re in.

  29. #29 Amanda
    June 8, 2009

    This post was made of win, Greg. I hadn’t read the original post but I went back through it and a good deal of the comments as well.

    For someone who doesn’t know much about BDSM, I think you’re spot on. It’s overrun by whining preening narcissistic men who have read too many of the Gor novels and have ideas of “true submission.” Those are the ones who can’t handle it when someone dares to point out the incredibly obvious link between what they do and violence.

    The doms who can channel their “real woman” attitude (love that line!) can handle discussion of this nature and don’t feel the need to throw hissy fits in an attempt to defend themselves.

  30. #30 Rystefn
    June 8, 2009

    Poor Greg… Being saddled with so many misconceptions must be quite tiring. I’d express sympathy for your personal life issues, whatever they might be, but it would be nothing more than empty ritual, which I hold in contempt, so I won’t.

    In response to this post… well, I think you knew I’d have something to say. I doubt you’ll be any more surprised by any of it than I was by anything you said here, but we both say it anyway. Such is life, I suppose.

    First, I’ve said it before, and I’ll reiterate here. I did not demand an apology from anyone. I never have, and I highly doubt I ever will. Want to guess the reason for me suggesting, just this morning, that if you want me to believe you are really backing away from calling people who don’t rape “rapists” for 24 hours? Because less than 24 hours prior to that, you called me a rapist.

    Your words: “Rystefn said ‘I did that yesterday (plus/minus a detail or two).’ So, he’s a rapist.” 6/07/2009 7:10am

    At this point, you’re several hours past that mark, so, as I said – it’s a start. We’ll see how long it sticks. I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt on the title of this post, and not count it. I don’t appreciate your accusation that I pretend or believe one must be held forever to any idea ever uttered, but I’ll chalk it up to honest stupidity and self-delusion at this point rather than intentionally lying to try to make a point. I think you just managed to convince yourself that you weren’t really calling me a rapist over and over because you did it for different reasons on different occasions.

    I think that roundly destroys the first fallacy you tired to pin on me. Moving along…

    You should probably not begin a discussion that is in large part about soldiers and then tell a soldier that “this discussion is not about you.” It most certainly and demonstrably is. I know you want to tell us that it’s about women and the victims of rape, but that’s not all it’s about. If you want to talk about elevated rape numbers in war and what causes this to happen, then the people who are there and not raping are a perfectly valid piece of the puzzle to discuss. If you want to turn the rapists into nonrapists, the first thing you need to do is try to understand the differences. Try to figure out why, when put in the situation that you’re talking about, these people do not rape when others do. It might help you to tighten up your idea here. It would certainly be more productive than seemingly doing anything you can to try to alienate them further.

    As far your anti-male gender stereotyping, all I have to say is this: stereotyping is wrong. It’s wrong when it’s derogatory towards women, it’s wrong when it’s derogatory towards blacks, or Jews, or gays, or Italians, or redheads, or the poor, or lefthanded people. It’s also wrong when you do it to middle-class hetero white guys. (See that? I’m defending an out-group! That makes me a good guy, right?)

    I stand by my comment that “you cannot have any kind of discussion until everyone agrees on the words being used and what they mean.” If you could, there wouldn’t be any such thing as a language barrier. Yes, much of conversation is clarifying and that’s precisely why. When you find an issue with the language, you can’t just handwave it away and pretend it’s a nonissue. You deal with it, straighten it out, and move along. This part of the conversation can only keep moving if it is actually addressed.

    Oh, and deer in the headlights is a common response, not a universal one. Of course, it’s extremely common for people to use the word “universal” hyperbolically, that is, when something is largely the case, but not always. Common enough that it’s generally recognized as a standard usage. That’s why I say things like, “It’s not quite so universal as it’s been painted.” Those are my exact words on this subject, by the way. Of course, that particular bit may well be a reference to someone else, in which case, my mistake. Carry on, then.

    Proximate vs ultimate: Well, that never impinged on any point of the conversation I was involved with in any serious way.

    Conscious vs Unconscious: You can assure whatever you like, but you can’t expect people to just take you at your word.

    BDSM, well… That could fill a library, couldn’t it? Hell, it probably already has. You say you don’t need to call me a rapist, but you did not so long ago. More than once. However, let’s just let that go. You say you’ve moved on, and this time, maybe you really have. Wait… there you go again, saying I rape my girlfriend. Tell you what – I’ll let it go this time. Pretend it didn’t happen. In context, it’s pretty clearly a rhetorical device, so take your little asshole dig, and I hope it makes you feel better about yourself.

    Oh, and I’ve seen no one anywhere near this conversation deny that there are things to learn. Seems an odd thing to mention in there unless you intended it as an underhanded and unsubtle accusation you could later deny making… but maybe I just missed something.

    Now we get to some more generalizing, and again, as with most people who sit around generalizing about things they admit they do not understand, you’re pretty much wrong. The first glaring error is your assumption that all doms are male. Not even close. Split pretty much straight down the middle, actually. [edit: I see you modified this stance to direct your rant to male doms, as though there is a significant difference in their actions, reaction, and motivations... There may well be, but you don't know, do you? It's nice that you admit to that, but since it invalidates everything else you said, I still wonder why you bothered saying it except to be a dick.]

    The next paragraph is is basically an unfounded pack of lies and insults asserted with nothing more than the force of your own bile. When the issue comes up that our behavior related to violence, we tend to smile and agree wholeheartedly. Well, except the implied idea that by relating to violence it’s not actually violence. It is violence, and if you find a dom floating about who claims otherwise, you’ve either found one who doms strictly psychologically (rare), or a poser (common). I’m a violent person in certain circumstances, and sex very much falls into that category. I don’t half-ass it, either. I choke people. I brand people with hot metal. I strike them with my fists and knees and elbows. I cut with knives, and leave scars as a memory. If you can think of way to describe it as nonviolent, you’re more creative than I am on that front, because I can’t imagine how it could be done. Let’s not even start on the things that happen when I play with other doms.

    If you found a crybaby who tries to make rules that others have to leave them alone, I can understand why that would annoy you. It would annoy me, too. When you try to apply that to a whole group of people based on an unrelated common trait, well that’s bigotry, isn’t it? Of course, I think it’s far more likely that you’re just lying and referring to me. Just like you’re lying when you pretend there’s so much as a single word of this conversation that’s over my head, or that I ever focused on spelling… As for calling word meaning “stupid ass shit,” I’m tempted to make a crack about someone failing one too many vocab quizzes back in grade school, but that’s beneath me. Instead, I’m just going to suggest that maybe you should actually fucking think about the things you say before you say them, and then you might be able to avoid situations like this in the future… of course, it might cost you some traffic, avoiding this kind of situation, so if that’s where your priorities lie, carry on and be happy.

    So now I have a little advice for you: Go back and read what you had to say on the topic of men, “who really don’t listen to what others say and who rarely think about what they are about to spew out as much as they should.” Think long and hard about who in this conversation that really applies to.

    Oh, and stop trying to control the conversation like you wish you could control your lover’s posture and position. You lack the qualifications here as well.

  31. #31 DuWayne
    June 8, 2009

    There is room for incivility in public discourse, I guess.

    Fuck you there is!!! It’s fucking Canadians like you, thinking you’re all badass, with your rude fucking bullshit, turning decent Americans, into raging assholes!!!

    I guess I still don’t get it then

    You got one right – yeah you!!!

    Neill Raper -

    The really great thing about having a blog, is being able to pretty much put things how you want and accepting that there will be consequences for doing so. I can’t and won’t speak for Greg, but having a blog of my very own and having been given lectures like the one you’re giving Greg, I can certainly respond to your sentiment.

    I really don’t care that some people will be offended by what I have to say. I don’t even care if most people are offended by what I have to say – or how I say it. And while it might be a bit sad, if absolutely everyone was offended by what I have to say – or how I say it, I am still going to say it.

    Right or wrong, polite or raging asshole fucking rude, I say what I say, because I think that what I say is correct, or on occasion just kind of funny. And I say it in this manner or that, based on the feelings I have about something at the time I write about it.

    And while I consider the feelings of people who regularly read my blog, I most certainly don’t let that dictate what and how I write.

    That is often my response to comments like yours. Other times I just shorten it to; “Fuck you!” No offense intended…

  32. #32 Neill Raper
    June 8, 2009

    Stephanie: The fact that Greg is in his own house does not make it much less rude, but it certainly is no more productive. I would be willing to be bet that me and Puf are not the only ones who enjoyed the intellectual aspects of the post but were incredibly turned off by the inflammatory way it was presented. The kind of hyperbole he was using is just begging to be misinterpreted. As much as I hate to admit it if Greg were not on his own blog what he is doing would look a lot like trolling, just much more interesting because there is a good argument nestled in between the baiting.

  33. #33 Greg Laden
    June 8, 2009

    Jason: But of course, I have been totally civil.

    Donna, thanks for the kink. I mean link.

    PufAlmighty: Let me be clear on that point, because it is true that I left the main point of my post unspoken figuring some people would have more fun realizing it.

    I am far, far, far less concerned about the sensibilities of some joe with a Y-chromsome than I am about the life and well being of millions of women who are gang raped and eviscerated in Liberia, the Congo, elsewhere. The difference is astronomical. Everyone else should be so concerned as well. However, when I started discussing rape in wartime, the conversation devolved into a lot of whining and moaning about how I had done the men wrong.

    Men who are offended at the idea that the rest of the world has noticed that you (as a gender, not individuals, duh) are responsible for most of the evil in the world, can kiss my ass. That is the point of my post. Whining, self victimising men who think this is all about them can kiss my ass.

    Am I being clear yet?

    DuWayne, thanks for the comments. And of course, I am being totally civil,I think…..

  34. #34 Rystefn
    June 8, 2009

    Ummm.. If it’s about men being responsible for most of the evil in the world, doesn’t that make it at least partly about men?

  35. #35 Mike Haubrich, FCD
    June 8, 2009

    Most of the conversation on this issue has gone beyond me, but the few things that I have picked up on include that in some cases there has been a serious lack of empathy involved. Several comments have taken it all back on how does it affect me, and lashed out as if they themselves were the targets of the “switch” post.

    It’s an open and valid question, but as I am fighting my own abyss right now I am having trouble formulating a solid response.

  36. #36 Jason Thibeault
    June 8, 2009

    Fucking DuWayne. (See? I did it! :) )

    Okay, so I decided to rush to finish this post so by the time I was done polishing or amending it, it didn’t turn totally irrelevent — http://www.lousycanuck.ca/?p=1070

    Now that it’s done, and on reflection in light of the brilliance of this post, I honestly feel like I let my argument get pushed around too much. I think everyone is making way too much of the “inflammatory way this was presented” — to that I say, too fucking bad.

    I also wish I had some kind of training in psychology so I could tell whether I’m totally talking out my ass around here. I’m pretty sure I am though, and at least I’m pretty comfortable with that fact.

  37. #37 Greg Laden
    June 8, 2009

    Uffda … OK, OK, OK, it’s about you. IT’s… about you. OK? Happy? Totally about you.

    Jeesh…

  38. #38 Rystefn
    June 8, 2009

    Happy? No. Especially since it was sarcastic and douchey. It’s not totally about me. It’s not totally about anyone. It’s about EVERYONE. It’s not a men’s problem, or a women’s problem, or a war problem, or an African problem… It’s a human problem.

    Yeah, some people conflate relatively insignificant parts, and that’s a problem. Excluding people? That’s a problem, too. Especially when they’re people who could otherwise be your allies in a very serious struggle. I know your stubborn ego insists that you keep being a dick until you “win,” but maybe you should step back here and reassess your priorities.

  39. #39 D. C. Sessions
    June 8, 2009

    Uffda … OK, OK, OK, it’s about you. IT’s… about you. OK? Happy? Totally about you.

    Of course it is — it always is. It’s just that for some, socialization has made it necessary for “me” to behave in ways that look a lot like being about others.

    Of course, the conditioning is not uniformly effective.

  40. #40 Andrew
    June 8, 2009

    People say that rape is about power, not sex, and I would halfway agree with that, except to say that for many people power and sex are so closely entwined that it’s kind of like saying “meatloaf is about dinner, not food.”

    The main thing about BDSM is that rather than focusing on physical pleasure you’re focusing on the manipulation of emotions and sensations and relationship dynamics. The job of the dom is to make that possible and to do it safely, and a good dom certainly gets some sadistic pleasure out of causing pain and exercising power, but more than that a dom’s central source of pleasure comes from the high of what the other person is feeling – it’s fundamentally empathic. Rape and bdsm are about the same emotions and power plays, but one is fundamentally selfish and sociopathic, the other semi-selfless and empathic.

    As for your comments about men, I would agree with so much of what you said if it weren’t so hyperbolic. Much work has to be done before the world is a better place and people of all (or no) genders achieve true equality. Men are responsible for a lot of bullshit in this world, but you can’t just go around saying “because you have a Y chromosome you’re a fucking asshole” and not expect resentment – and really, dude, that’s not an effective way to get men behind the cause as well, which they should and which you should be trying to get them to do. There’s nothing worse than having a great message and saying it in a way that puts people off when they should be rallying around it.

    Or, to put it another way: It’s not just the trolls. Through your choice of diction, you have made this conversation about how you said it, not what you said. And the issues to which you’re speaking deserve better than that.

  41. #41 Neill Raper
    June 8, 2009

    Duwayne: Sure, that makes sense. The issue is whether you want to explain the principles at work or not. This is why I generally stick to blogs affiliated with some scientific news source. I just don’t happen to like the ranting because it tends to snowball and turn a nice logical argument into something like the end of the post above us (the dom part). And since I am pretty much addressing Greg now anyways.
    Greg: To be clear I would not be adsressing these issue of baiting and meanspirited language if the your post had been directly addressing rape issues. The difference is (as reflected in my mote of dust galaxy comparison) astronomical and I hope I have not given the impression otherwise. My only issue was that there seemed to be little point in making your point in the way you did because it seemed as though it would make less people understand the issue rather than more. Perhaps that is not the point of this blog however, and I should take the advice given and fuck off.

  42. #42 Azkyroth
    June 8, 2009

    J: Yes, I did actually know what you are saying about control, but again, I reiterate that this is not an area of expertise for me at all. I do reserve the right to comment on something that i don’t know much about when my comment is something like “I don’t know much about this thing” (if yo don’t mind).

    Uh, Greg, to be fair…

    This last bit is only for you Doms (as in BDSM). Everyone else kindly go away, because this is not going to be pretty.

    I’ve already addressed the issue of whether I want to call Doms rapists. I’ve addressed it a half dozen times, but I’m sure I’ll have to say it again because some of you are just not that smart: I don’t need to call you a rapist. I don’t think that pretending to rape your girlfriend is the same thing as actually raping your girlfriend.

    But Dom Rystefn himself (in between bouts of raping his girlfriend and beating his dog, I assume) pointed out that play-rape is to real rape what shooting skeets is to killing people. I love that analogy, and it is exactly what I have been thinking. It is what makes the D in BDSM interesting in the context of the rape conversation.

    For myself, I can’t contribute much. I am not B,D,S, or M, and I am not an expert on this, and I’ve not read the literature. I would love to hear what people who do know what they are talking about have to say about this, other than total denial that there are things to learn.

    Shooting skeets is a way of shooting pigeons that does not require the pigeon. This saves some trouble and money, and it also separates the shooter from pigeon-killing which may or may not be an issue. Pigeon-shooting is interesting, and has some recent anthropology done on it. The relationship between gun-owing cultures, right wingosity, The Klan and similar groups, pigeon shooting, and the construction of whiteness has been analyzed usefully by a colleague of mine. It is all very interesting.

    Similarly, I can imagine that rape simulation can bear light on actual rape. What do I mean by this? What am I implying? Of what awful thing am I accusing you (you, the Doms who are allowed to read this)? Ha! Have you not been paying attention? Would you mind please putting down your dumbifying y-chromosome for a minute and think about how you LOOK when you are foaming at the mouth?

    Which brings me to my last point. It suddenly dawned on me earlier today. I had been reading comments by Angry White Male (who is either a total parody or a total ass) and our friend Rystefn and some others, and I had been discussing this very post that you are reading with a friend. The friend said “Just leave out the stuff about the Doms… they won’t handle this well.” And it all came together.

    You Dom’s are a bunch of whimp-ass babies. You want someone (who is what we call “willing”) to allow you to dominate them physically and psychologically, and this is how you get off. Or how they get off. But when the issue comes up that your behavior relates to violence you fall apart and get all teary eyed like you were just jumped by the bullies. You make the rules that say everyone else has to leave you alone and while that is happening one person should volunteer for you to pretend you are raping him or her, and when the core of the argument goes a bit over your head or turns out to be something that you didn’t think it was (egg on your face) you focus on spelling and word meaning and other stupid ass shit.

    I have a little advice for you. Grow some balls and start paying attention to what you are presenting to the rest of us. Stop trying to control the conversation like you control your lover’s posture and position. Be a man for once. No, wait, don’t be a man! (What am I saying?) Be smarter, more interesting, less dogmatic, and braver.

    Be a woman for once!

    And remember. This conversation is not about you.

    …I think you said a little more than “I don’t know much about this thing”

  43. #43 Jason Thibeault
    June 8, 2009

    Neill: I think the point is not that this post’s tone is making less people understand, but rather that this post’s tone is making more people react, thus think about this topic, thus post more themselves. When you’re trying to drive money into the coffers of a charity, self-trolling is a noble endeavour.

    And anyway, it’s his writing style. If you don’t like it, that’s okay. You don’t have to read it. Contributing to the comments, though, is being part of the conversation. And ultimately, isn’t that a good thing for everyone?

  44. #44 Neill Raper
    June 8, 2009

    Jason: The reaction most people are having is not a good thoughtful one though. It is an emotional one. And not even a good “holy fucking shit I had no idea how huge a problem rape was” emotional reaction. Rather they have a defensive emotional reaction, then begin the rationalizations, then begin the angry diatribes, then everyone huffs off to bed fuming to themselves that someone is wrong on the internet, the result of this is that less people understand, because less effort has been put into understanding and more into fighting Although I certainly accept your argument regarding the proceeds from all these hits going to charity. At least we know that is coming out of this. For the record I love caustic writing styles. The problem here was that the caustic language actually actively hindered my ability to understand what was being said. It became more about his insistence on using the word rapist to describe someone whose potential to commit rape has been raised than about the idea that all men have the potential to commit rape.

  45. #45 knows a troll when he sees one
    June 8, 2009

    @Andrew:
    My thoughts exactly, just because Greg has valid points doesn’t automatically make him infallible in his approach

    @Jason:
    It’s a highly ineffective way, at best, and you convince people who agreed with you anyway

    More importantly, this whole post was about how awful men are, period.
    We know that, it’s nothing new.
    Since Greg wants to help stop rape, telling rapists/potential rapists/men in general that they have the potential to rape is kind of pointless, if it stops at that

    Make the discussion about what to do, not about which gender is the evil one

  46. #46 the real meme
    June 8, 2009

    What the hell is a self-victimizing m[a]n?

  47. #47 becca
    June 8, 2009

    You’re so vain, you probably think this post is about you.

    Also, did I stumble into opposite land? Cause I just took a step back and looked at this. If I’m not mistaken we have Greg taking a stand against women’s oppression and being blamed for alienating potential male allies… kharma, much?
    (part of me feels like this is too close to kicking a Greg when he’s down and I should really be focusing on *insert appropriate support and/or encouragement re: life trauma*. But I don’t mean it in a Ha-HA!/Nelson kind of way; more just musing over this dynamic repeating itself)

  48. #48 the real meme
    June 8, 2009

    Oh, yeah: the self victimizing male is like the girl who goes out late at night and gets some strangers dick shoved up her ass–or the drunk girl who willingly goes to the frat party and ends up with a bong-load of sperm down her throat. Got it.

    The self-victimizer is the one who is too stoopid for their own good, and gets what they deserve, right?

  49. #49 Jason Thibeault
    June 8, 2009

    No, Meme, the self-victimizing male is the one who takes every “big issue” that relates to women, and turns it around and makes it about men — men’s reaction to it, the damage done to men by it, etc.

    *cough cough*

    What you describe are people in unfortunate circumstances who, if they had acted more defensively, might have avoided those circumstances. They have nothing to do with people who have more focus on what an issue means to them than what an issue means to the world at large.

  50. #50 D. C. Sessions
    June 8, 2009

    becca:

    Amazing, isn’t it, how tempting it is to kid ourselves that we understand where someone is coming from. Maybe before I die I’ll at least have taught myself to do a “Whoa, boy!” when I do. Some of the time. If I work at it real hard.

  51. #51 DuWayne
    June 8, 2009

    Neill Raper,

    First, I wasn’t actually suggesting you fuck off – or maybe I was…

    The thing I think you’re missing, is that Greg wrote not one, not two, not three – he wrote four substantive, non-ranting posts on this topic. More if you count his rather exhaustive comments on my blog and Stephanie’s. I happen to largely disagree with his position, but I daresay that one can’t act as though he wasn’t extremely clear about his fundamental premise. This is a follow up post and one in which he has unloaded some rather heartfelt (seemingly heartfelt anyways) points he felt the need to put out there.

    Sometimes we all need to vent and this was obviously one of those times for Greg.

    I would also just like to point out that by limiting yourself to blogs the way you do, you’re missing out on a lot of great, substantive bloggers. And just because a blog is connected to a news source, science or otherwise, doesn’t mean that you are going to find the type of blogging you seem to want.

  52. #52 Greg Laden
    June 8, 2009

    Neill: I’m usually a totally laid back low key person, but the twentieth time I have to tell the kids in the back seat to stop messing around I usually yell it. (see:

    http://tinyurl.com/knorew
    http://tinyurl.com/lmnfde
    http://tinyurl.com/om5olc
    http://tinyurl.com/lpcs42

    And, to put this in context, to see why I’m especially interested in the African angle to this, read the following from beginning to end:

    http://tinyurl.com/lypxlo

    (at the end of that post there will be a link pointing to the next, and so on)

    Azkyroth: I don’t need to know the DS literature or lifestyle to recognize unfettered whining!

    Becca: “If I’m not mistaken we have Greg taking a stand against women’s oppression and being blamed for alienating potential male allies… kharma, much?”

    Not karma. But very funny in its own way, yes.

    And for every concern troll we have laying it on thick (above) I’ve got about ten emails from people telling me they appreciate the tone of this post. Well, OK, five. But none of them are relatives. Well, OK, one. But a 5:1 ratio is pretty good.

  53. #53 the real meme
    June 8, 2009

    Jason @”takes every “big issue” that relates to women, and turns it around and makes it about men — men’s reaction to it, the damage done to men by it, etc.”

    Oh! So, a self victimizer male is actually a late era feminist, ala Steinem, Dworkin, et al, who took time to create a social climate and insert a dialogue into every conversation where everything is based on womens fears, both real and imagined? Remember how they demanded to be allowed in mens ( and BOYS) locker rooms as sports casters? Or how they asserted that they could be Cub Scout leaders, despite no equal parity for men? Or that the Freudian rape fantasy has turned to the reality of geo-political gerrymandering(a sort of new form of colonizing force)in the form of you and me being more concerned with women getting raped across the ocean than we are with our own rights to not be falsely accused of rape/profiled as violent offenders no matter what our life choices have been against violence?

    I see.

    So self-victimizers are 1) consciousness raising 2) assertive 3) demanding equal rights and social equity 4) maintaining a clear boundary between womens violence directed at males, both young and old( ala false rape allegations directed at males, for instance, and the system of justice which makes that plausible)and mens own right to be non-violent, because despite the “science” here, we are not necessarily violent by nature?

    For some reason, I am now recalling that time in Colorado when seven maids pushed me into a room, and grabbed at me on a bed–quite a humiliating experience for a young man, and an unreported second degree assault and a “gang rape”.

    Shame? Yeah. Fear? ummm…yeah, of being labeled ‘non-conformist,’ ‘un-manly’ or ‘gay’ because I could not get past my humiliation–five old ladies grabbing at me in front of a girl I had a crush on, me too shy to speak it then–and later, my anger at a systemic flaw that permits this, and even trains boys to accept it as a rite of passage virtually from birth! Then, I began to be aware that I am not the only one; became aware of how twisted the dialogue is against male rape reporting; became aware that rape is NOT just a womens issue, and that rape is not just a male to female thing.

    Then, Jason, I got pissed, and began to speak up about that fact, and ironically found myself scorned and chastised by those who claim a desire to change the world by conflating the rape of women with every dialogue about justice, or social justice, at the deep expense of men, and particularly boys, who are abused by women long before they actually come of age and fight wars, or rape during warfare.

    Then, I had new eyes with which to see the world, and the conflicts within it.

  54. #54 Neill Raper
    June 8, 2009

    DuWayne: I think I have been unclear. I read the posts that preceded this one, I actually had very little problem with them. I think you are right that I failed to grasp the context here though. The problem is I didn’t read the comments. I’ll get to that in a second I need to correct something though.
    A couple posts back I mentioned that Greg was making it more about the word rapist than the issue at hand. That was quite stupid of me. He covered that in the body of the post. Yeah, sorry. Anyways, I have actually been thinking and I might have initially reacted a little emotionally to this and not realized it. While I went back and read the initial articles before I posted I did not read the extensive comments and really did not understand the chain of argument that lead to this point. The only part I still disagree with is a section of the part about doms. I realize he said that he was a non-expert from the start but that almost makes it worse considering he went on as if he did in fact know what he was talking about. But even that is, upon further examination, a small detail in the scheme of this whole conversation. So yeah, I yield.

  55. #55 Neill Raper
    June 8, 2009

    Greg. Hate to comment twice but I missed your response. I know I kind of yielded but this is precisely what I am talking about. You are saying I am just trying to “concern troll” and I can see where you could get that impression but really this has just been a misunderstanding on my part. I lay this out on the post above but I can assure you that I was not just trying to be a troll. I actually had a concern that seemed legitimate to me at the time. I am not just trying to stir up trouble. Now the misconception I had was fairly simple, I was just failing to take the context of your remarks fully into account. A very nice response from DuWayne got me thinking and convinced me of this. You just insulted me. I just don’t think insults are at all productive in these, already very emotional, conversations.

  56. #56 Neill Raper
    June 8, 2009

    Greg: Oh crap. I know I am hogging all of this but I made another dumbass mistake. Yeah ignore the above post, you actually gave me a very nice reply and I agree with it. I thought you were reffering to me when you adressed the concern troll. Sorry sorry sorry.

  57. #57 becca
    June 8, 2009

    D.C.- “People imagine they can reach one another. In reality they only pass each other by.”
    put less depressingly- all communication is a miracle.

    Neill Raper- it is interesting to know how you responded to the language of Greg’s posts. One of the most important things I’ve ever read in a blog was advice to pay attention when something is pissing you off. It’s an efficient way to learn.

    Greg- some posts naturally provide fodder for ‘concern trolls’. Partially because nobody is going to come out as pro-rape; yet they still want to disagree with something you say (I understand that urge only too well) and so they go after what bugs *them* the most.

  58. #58 DuWayne
    June 8, 2009

    Oh, it gets to be worse than just the comments Neill, because there are also emails that you can’t actually look at. At least I got into some email exchanges over this and would assume that Greg did too.

  59. #59 Neill Raper
    June 8, 2009

    I feel kind of like Donny from The Big Lebowski.

  60. #60 DuWayne
    June 8, 2009

    It’s all good. I only point this out because I was on the verge of my own vent from this topic – I kind of did, but it was more a cathartic hiccup, than anything else. I decided to just let this go and have gotten on with blogging about sex – a much more pleasant topic than this one.

  61. #61 knows a troll when he sees one
    June 8, 2009

    After reading a few of Greg’s previous posts on the topic and overcoming the initial INTENSE negative reaction I had, I understand more about where he’s coming from.

    I still think that this was a post arbitrarily aimed against all men, and it resulted in the predictable and intended emotional reaction.
    That is, I still think this was a trollish post, even if it is his own blog.

    But I will concede that I should have taken the context of the whole series more into account and not have a knee jerk reaction.

    On the issue of a “rape switch”, I think it probably exists, but I would like to see some evidence about other extreme situations that men go through and how it affects them.

  62. #62 Jon S.
    June 9, 2009

    Greg ftw:

    “Men who are offended at the idea that the rest of the world has noticed that you (as a gender, not individuals, duh) are responsible for most of the evil in the world, can kiss my ass. That is the point of my post. Whining, self victimizing men who think this is all about them can kiss my ass.”

  63. #63 Erin
    June 9, 2009

    I’ve been lurking and following this conversation as it’s gone around for a while, and I’ve really enjoyed reading it. I haven’t had anything particular to add, and I still don’t. I just want to clarify, and make sure that I’m understanding the overall point of this blog entry in particular. I thought I understood it, but then I read the comments, and I’m less sure.

    From what I gather, the point of this entry was primarily that last line “it’s not about you.” So it’s not about A Man, or this man, or any of you here, it’s about men. Which I take to mean that it’s not about what individual men do or not do, it’s not about the deer that stays in the headlights, it’s about what it is that makes deer freeze in the headlights in the first place?

    Did I miss the metaphor? Did I get it? Am I somewhere in the middle?

  64. #64 Confused Elf
    June 9, 2009

    The trollish elements of a post like this distract from the real, important fledgling flames of unity that awareness campaigns are trying to foster. Context is important. If you feel strongly about calling soldiers and BDSM rapists – is it that hard to wait a month or so before unleashing the diatribes?

    Nothing wrong with inflammatory opinions, but piggy-backing on all this rape publicity smacks of crass opportunism.

  65. #65 Rystefn
    June 9, 2009

    No, Erin. You got it all wrong. Somehow a post about the evils that men do is not about at all.

    Don’t feel bad, it doesn’t make any sense to me, either.

  66. #66 Stephanie Z
    June 9, 2009

    Confused Elf, I suggest you actually read my “Trolled” post that Greg linked to above. Read the comments it links to. Read the link about equal pay.

    Greg could be all sweetness and light and say, “Look over there please to find a very important cause that, please, I don’t really want to get into, but please donate to it.” This shit would still come out. The subject is inflammatory and it’s damned hard to get anybody to listen or talk about it without doing some screaming.

    As for crass opportunism, I suggest you read the bottom of the post again.

    And Greg, the number of people who are reading those posts of mine that you linked to far outweighs the number of people feeling insulted in your comments as well.

  67. #67 Michael Spencer
    June 9, 2009

    This might be the first time I have ever been able to hold the ‘rape idea’ in my mind for more than a few seconds. Thanks.

    The notion makes me feel icky, Greg, in a weird way. I dunno about the ‘switch’– in 60 years I have learned that there are some unpalatable things about myself best left alone.

    I wonder how much war rape happens when there are multiple men, though, and I also wonder about the behavioral differences between group attacks and anonymous, single attacks, They seem different.

    Right –write– on.

  68. #68 Greg Laden
    June 9, 2009

    Erin: “it’s not about you.” So it’s not about A Man, or this man, or any of you here, it’s about men.

    Erin, please note the sidebars scattered throughout the post, regarding women who have been raped, or related amazingly horrific things. It is about them.

    Confused Elf: You are largely correct that trollishness can be distracting, but the very fact that you claim that i am arbitrarily calling soldiers and BDSM rapists tells me that you have not actually read the post, so really, what value is your opinion?

    The reason why there is all this “rape publicity” is because of what we are doing here. And, again, the point (see Erin’s comments and my response) is that this is not about you. It is not about a confused elf. That would be another post.

    Stephanie: The feedback Ive gotten has been overwhelmingly positive.

    Michael: Good questions. Also, nice idea, asking questions based on ideas rather than concluding major philosophical points based on reading the headline!

  69. #69 DuWayne
    June 9, 2009

    PILE ON THE SUITABLY NAMED CONFUSED ELF!!!

    It is amusing that you mention how important context is, then ignore the actual context…Just sayin…

  70. #70 D. C. Sessions
    June 9, 2009

    Greg could be all sweetness and light and say, “Look over there please to find a very important cause that, please, I don’t really want to get into, but please donate to it.” This shit would still come out. The subject is inflammatory and it’s damned hard to get anybody to listen or talk about it without doing some screaming.

    Please distinguish between “listen” and “talk.” If you post about “the sky is blue” you’ll get a bunch of people come through, nod their heads, and go on. If you get comments, they’re going to be from the way-out-there crank brigade.

    In other words, there are topics where the ‘listeners’ and the ‘talkers’ are pretty much disjoint sets.

    And Greg, the number of people who are reading those posts of mine that you linked to far outweighs the number of people feeling insulted in your comments as well.

    After about the third round of impervious self-justification, it’s pretty obvious that the topic isn’t going anywhere. When even a compulsive commenter like me can’t see any point in sticking around, it’s time to reach for the fork.

    I would suggest that it might be interesting to compare the view hit count (esp. distinct IP addresses) to the number of commenters. I get the impression that the diversity of commenters is usually higher.

  71. #71 DuWayne
    June 9, 2009

    Erin et al -

    I have explained the point of this post at my own blog. And yes, it really is that simple…

  72. #72 DuWayne
    June 9, 2009

    And yes, it really is that simple…

    Unless of course Greg somehow feels I’ve misrepresented him, in which case it isn’t that simple at all.

    But funny regardless…

  73. #73 Greg Laden
    June 9, 2009

    Interestingly, the rate of readership per post in this series (per day) has gone up, and the ratio of comments to unique views has also gone up.

    I also note that there are die-hard commenters who even comment that they are not commenting, but many other commenters on this series have turned over considerably … people who commented on the first two who are bing quite now, and people who seem to have arrived on the scene just now (or or are just commenting).

    I think the rate at which the commenters are slogging each other had gone down slightly.

    Going over to look at DuWayne’s blog now to see what he sais I say.

    kthxby

  74. #74 Jason Thibeault
    June 9, 2009

    Not everyone has the kind of stamina it takes to argue for eight days straight about a topic as controversial as this — the stamina, and the masochism. Fresh batches of people brand new to the conversation need to be imported to keep the rage levels high and to cover ground already covered in the previous threads.

  75. #75 Andrew
    June 9, 2009

    We need the Chinese army in here, fast.

  76. #76 calvert
    June 9, 2009

    It is interesting that the numbers (ratios) seem to stay the same but the composition of the commenters shifts. Maybe there is a technical explanation for this.

  77. #77 Jason Thibeault
    June 9, 2009

    Probably has something to do with early adopters to a topic, and burn-out rate, calvert. I’m certainly feeling a lot of burn-out on it. I’ve been ignoring a lot of other stuff that deserves my attention more, with my hyper-focus on this topic.

  78. #78 catgirl
    June 9, 2009

    There are so many trolls here that I want to tell Greg that I appreciate this post. I’ve given up on engaging with trolls for the most part, but anyone who complains about Greg being a troll needs to get out a dictionary and look up the definition of “irony”. I could try to explain further, but I think that some people will just never get it. Because some people will never get it, maybe Greg should try harder not to hurt the poor boys’ feelings next time. Seriously guys, not everything is about you. Get over it.

  79. #79 Lobster
    June 9, 2009

    I’m sorry, I’ve got this on my RSS as a science blog… what the hell is this? A response, to the response, to a response on some moralization that was borderline unscientific to begin with?

  80. #80 D. C. Sessions
    June 9, 2009

    Jason @74 FTW!

  81. #81 James Sweet
    June 9, 2009

    (Facepalm!)

    I read your first post and I thought I probably would have used more guarded language (some of your sweeping assertions about the psychology of an entire gender were stated a bit boldly in comparison to the available evidence) but I didn’t feel it was anything to get upset about.

    This post, though… I gotta agree with someone early on who said that a lot of the things in this post pretty much fall into the category of “trolling”. You’re making a lot of generalizations about certain groups that 1) the groups in question most likely do not appreciate, and 2) that are not well-supported by solid scientific evidence. Caveating that what you are saying only applies to a fraction of the group (“many/most/who knows”), or that it is only your opinion, does not change the inflammatory nature of these generalizations. (Note I did not say “offensive”, I said “inflammatory”. “Inflammatory” is a step beyond “provocative”, but a step short of “offensive”… and in my book, unnecessarily inflammatory comments are pretty much the definition of trolling!)

    Of course, I suppose everything I say is suspect because I am a “heteronormative middle class white man”, right? heh, just kidding (that last sentence was “inflammatory!” :p )

    Anyway, for realsies, I’m not going to whine and call reverse discrimination here — my life has been pretty damned easy, all things considered, and probably would have been at least somewhat more challenging if I were a different race, gender, sexual preference, or born into poverty. And I will definitely acknowledge I’ll never fully understand what it feels like to be black in America, to be a woman, or what have you.

    But, that doesn’t change the fact that you’re kind of being a dick about it. Is it okay to be a dick about “heteronormative middle class white men” because our lives have been unfairly easy? Well, maybe it is. And I agree that it’s pretty pathetic to see people in an unfairly privileged social class whining about hurt feelings. But still, don’t act like you’re not being a dick about it. This post is clearly meant to piss off “heteronormative middle class white men”. And, well, that’s kinda trollish, don’t you think?… Sorry, buddy.

  82. #82 Greg Laden
    June 9, 2009

    I am totally being a dick about it. But this is not about me being a dick.

  83. #83 James Sweet
    June 9, 2009

    Greg said:

    “”"
    I am far, far, far less concerned about the sensibilities of some joe with a Y-chromsome than I am about the life and well being of millions of women who are gang raped and eviscerated in Liberia, the Congo, elsewhere.
    “”"

    Well… let me reiterate from my previous post that I totally agree that its pathetic to see people from an unfairly privileged race/gender/social class whining about hurt feelings. But the comment I quoted above is fallacious: I might just as easily say, “I am far, far, far less concerned about the sensibilities of some blogger who got trolled a couple times than I am about the life and well being of millions of women who are gang raped and eviscerated in Liberia, the Congo, elsewhere.” I think we’d all agree with that statement, right? But that’s not a free pass for me to say anything I want about said blogger, either.

    For me, this is a definite facepalm moment. So what if a bunch of people trolled your previous post? Your previous post was clearly meant to be provocative, so big surprise. However, by making this post, which as I said I think rises above “provocative” and into “inflammatory”, you have perpetuated the focus being on the trolls. If you really want the focus to be on the “Silence is the Enemy” campaign, better would have been to just ignore the trolling. At least, that’s what I’m seeing going on here….

  84. #84 Elizabeth
    June 9, 2009

    James, which part of “put your y-chromosome back in your pants” are you having difficulty understanding?

  85. #85 James Sweet
    June 9, 2009

    “I am totally being a dick about it. But this is not about me being a dick.”

    The implication here is that this post is about the “Silence is the Enemy” thing, and preventing rape. I’m not sure I entirely buy that. Check this:

    http://www.wordle.net/gallery/wrdl/927862/Gred_Laden_blog_post
    (I pasted in the text of the post and the image captions, not the comments section)

    So yeah, “rape” and “discussion” are big themes here, sure, but “Rystefn” is almost as much a part of this blog post as those things are. “Doms” doesn’t follow far behind… And since this is supposed to be about women getting raped during and after wars, where is “war” or “conflict” or “combat” on this chart? I can’t even find it…

    That’s all I’m saying here, I guess. Your first post, the one that started this whole mess, was provocative for sure, and I myself would have used more guarded language in regards to some the generalizations you posited… but yeah: the first post was pretty much a call for action in regards to women being raped during wartime and post-wartime, and it’s shitty that some people made it all about their hurt feelings. This post rises beyond provocative into inflammatory, and IMO is a distraction from the issue you are trying to get back to.

    Anyway, whatever the thing is that happened in your life, I hope it works out, and I hope this whole mess doesn’t spiral completely out of control. On the plus side, lots of hits, right? ;D

  86. #86 James Sweet
    June 9, 2009

    Elizabeth: Yeah, exactly. I am saying that I think it was unwise of Greg to make inflammatory comments that we all know are going to keep the discussion centered around the “hurt feelings” of “y-chromosomers” as opposed to what this discussion is supposed to be about. And you respond by making more inflammatory comments that we all know are going to keep the discussion centered around y-chromosomes?

    It’s fun to play the Evil White Men game, sure, but it’s shitty to do it here. Not because it will hurt the poor delicate feelings of those like me who’ve had unfairly easy lives, I mean, we’ll get over it… It’s shitty because, rather than pulling the discussion back to what it’s supposed to be about, it is perpetuating the distraction.

    Anyway, if you want to chalk this up to the contents of my underwear, go for it. At this point, I’m probably perpetuating this frustrating and ultimately Stoopid distraction myself, so I’ll be quiet. If you want to keep playing the Evil White Man game, go ahead and use me as a punching bag, I won’t mind. I think you’ll be wasting a lot of time doing something that’s completely pointless, but hey, it’s your call… no reason for my feelings to be hurt!

  87. #87 DuWayne
    June 9, 2009

    catgirl -

    You’re such a fucking troll!!! But not as much of one as Greg and certainly not nearly the troll I am…

    Of course that fucking uncivil Canadian is the motherfucking troll-king – not just Jason either – they all are!!!

    (they also have sex with ducks)

    Stephanie however, is not a troll.

  88. #88 John Funk
    June 9, 2009

    (they also have sex with ducks)

    Are you suggesting there’s something wrong with having sex with ducks? As a proud, out-of-the-closet duck-fucker, I take offense and demand an apology.

  89. #89 DuWayne
    June 9, 2009

    I don’t apologize, unless I’m wrong…

    Funking Troll…

  90. #90 Stephanie Z
    June 9, 2009

    DuWayne, of course I’m a troll. How else do you think I know how to cut them off?

  91. #91 DuWayne
    June 9, 2009

    DuWayne, of course I’m a troll.

    Yeah, right – and I suppose Greg’s not actually women…Whatever…

  92. #92 Jason Thibeault
    June 9, 2009

    I’ll cop to the sexing of the ducks. Well, not ducks, but geese — but I’m no equivocator.

    As for trolling… well, okay. I’ll cop to that too.

  93. #93 Jason Thibeault
    June 9, 2009

    NO I’M TROLLACUS

  94. #94 James Sweet
    June 9, 2009

    Okay, I lied, I’m going to say one more thing:

    The first post from Greg said some provocative things about men, but it was ultimately about women in Africa being raped. If I had brought up the comments about men in the comments for that post (as I realize that many other people did), you could rightly ask me to “put your y-chromosome back in your pants”, as Elizabeth did. But I didn’t (search for it).

    This post is about the comments about men and doms in the previous post, and is also specifically about “heteronormative middle class white males” getting their feelings hurt. So when I (GASP!) dare to discuss the topic of this post, it’s pretty fucking stupid to tell me to “put your y-chromosome back in your pants”. I didn’t start the discussion of my y-chromosome and how that may or may not affect my behavior; Greg did. So why aren’t you telling Greg to “put James’ y-chromosome back in his pants”? At the risk of stretching the metaphor to the breaking point, Greg is the one who pulled my junk out, not me. I make no apologies for sharing my feelings about that.

  95. #95 Stu
    June 9, 2009

    But wait, what about fucking Linux?!

  96. #96 Siamang
    June 9, 2009

    Greg Laden Wrote: “Erin, please note the sidebars scattered throughout the post, regarding women who have been raped, or related amazingly horrific things. It is about them.”

    Hmm… Not sure about that. The drama-queen mega-rant gives indications that it’s actually all about you.

    Get help for your emotional roller-coaster, and please try not to hurt yourself. Your opening sounds dangerously like you’re considering self-destructive actions.

    Friends of Greg, please look after him.

  97. #97 Rystefn
    June 9, 2009

    Somehow I doubt Greg’s going to hurt himself… Not in the way you’re talking about anyway.

    …and of course it’s all about Greg at this point. His earlier comment about how he’s far more dominant should have made that obvious. Of course, in light of that statement, his little rant about doms being whiny crybabies comes out in a different light, doesn’t it?

  98. #98 Wyatt
    June 9, 2009

    What? A blogger writing about himself? Writing about his perspective? Writing his thoughts and ideas? ON HIS OWN BLOG??????? I can not believe this is happening. The nerve, the nerve.

  99. #99 Rystefn
    June 9, 2009

    Oh no one’s condemning him for doing it. Only for pretending he’s not.

  100. #100 James Sweet
    June 9, 2009

    I’ve decided I’m going to put my money where my mouth is. Stop playing the Evil White Men game (which is probably fun but is getting old, and anyway, it’s a distraction). Especially stop playing the Reverse Discrimination game (because it’s tacky at best, and at worst has been associated heavily with bigots).

    Instead, let’s go read Isis’ latest post about the “Silence is the Enemy” endeavor. Let’s go click on some other sponsored links. Or better yet, tell all your friends to do so. Even the heteronormative middle class white men!

    After all, promoting the “Silence is the Enemy” campaign is what this whole shennanigans was supposed to be about. Right????

  101. #101 Greg Laden
    June 9, 2009

    OK, I’m going to go and troll Rystefn’s blog for a while. I think everybody should pile on over there. Let’s focus on his poor reading comprehension.

  102. #102 James Sweet
    June 9, 2009

    Actually, I think I just figured out what Greg is trying to do here, and I feel a little silly I didn’t figure it out before. If I’m right, then hats off to you, Mr. Laden, this was a clever ruse for a good cause, and displayed a bit of self-sacrifice as well, if I’m not mistaken.

    I don’t retract anything I said in previous comments on this thread — I just feel a little dumb that I felt it necessary to say it in the first place.

  103. #103 Rystefn
    June 9, 2009

    Come on over, the more the merrier. Your first post is moderated by the current settings, but if I get enough notifications, I’ll just turn that off, because it’s annoying.

  104. #104 erin
    June 9, 2009

    This entire debate just keeps snowballing. I jumped in a bit on Friday here and at Absolute Diamonds, but since getting back to the office Monday, I’ve been watching it unfold (maybe with horror) and trying to figure out exactly what each of the main players in this thread is trying to convince the others of. There’s so much jumping to conclusions. People are taking offense at things that aren’t aimed at them, and things that aren’t meant to be insulting. It’s incredible how defensive and on guard some of the discussion is.

    It’s also scary that half this thread is semantics and projection on the part of some, which is hilarious given that Greg points that out in the original post.

    The thing is, guys, this isn’t about you. Nobody cares about your feelings right now, they want to discuss something more significant. I definitely get that some of you don’t think the inflammatory nature of Greg’s post is conducive to open dialogue, but it sure has grabbed attention.

    I’m still irked by the way the BDSM world has been portrayed here. And while I know some enthusiasts enjoy rape fantasies, it is simply not true in all cases. Personally, I’d recoil. Of the people I do know who participate in the lifestyle (or like in my case the occasional tryst), none have made mention of that particular fetish. Online, I’ve encountered it more. The point is, when it comes to individual Doms and subs, each is unique in their preferences. To some, their S&M is more tickling with feathers than whipping and gagging. Personally, I prefer a less theatrical scene altogether.

    In the end, Doms essentially get off on getting the subs off. The sub controls the extent of the activities more than anything. They say what happens, and when it ends. The Dom doesn’t cross boundaries. It could happen, but they don’t.

    I’ve found that your average well-meaning college-aged male after a few drinks is far more capable of something like rape, or rape itself. Their intentions have more to do with taking and using than mutual pleasure. For them, it is more about using the woman than sex with her. Based on personal experience, I’m a lot more concerned for my safety at any house party I go to than I have been at any BDSM gathering I’ve been to.

    Greg, I’m having trouble sorting out why you tarred the BDSM community at length in a post about African victims of rape. Unless it’s in response to those previous comments in threads (see: Duwayne, rystefn). Given my own penchant for rambling, I’m not criticizing. I just think a lot of this thread is getting convoluted because of the number of topics being addressed by people who’ve come to be heard for all different reasons. (isn’t it great, though?)

    One more thing: it’s very irritating to hear guys over and over again whine that they aren’t rapists. Grow up and stop being so selfish. Your persistent defensiveness just makes it seem like you have something to prove. Cultivate some empathy and consider that this is bigger than your concept of self.

  105. #105 Greg Laden
    June 9, 2009

    Greg, I’m having trouble sorting out why you tarred the BDSM community at length in a post about African victims of rape.

    Thanks for the comments. I’m not really trying to do that. I’m just annoyed at a few individuals who really have been trying to make this discussion of the hundreds of thousands of women in war and post-war zones around the world who are raped every day about making sure we don’t think anyone commenting on this blog would ever do that. I really don’t have any interest in criticizing the BDSM community. Individuals who feel that I am doing that should check to make sure that I’m not just giving said individuals a well deserved hard time!

    Now, the proper troll response to this will be: “You are TOO criticizing the BDSM community!!!! And HERE IS THE PROOF that you are have been doing nothing else all along!!!!” ….. and so on ….

    In three, two, one…

  106. #106 Rystefn
    June 9, 2009

    Pffft… Where’s the fun in being a proper troll? Proper trolling is for amateurs.

    See, if the discussion were really about the hundreds of thousands of women being raped every day [citation needed], then one would think you’d… I don’t know… actually talk about that instead of pasting a pew pics with captions into a post that’s very clearly about something else.

    It’s very clear that the only reason you’re clinging to this “it’s about rape victims, not you” is because you’re trying to pretend you’ve got the moral ground here. You’ve got some people who actually want to discuss that thinking you’re telling the truth because they’re too blinded by their own desires and bias to open their eyes and see that you’re lying to them. It’s a pretty effective tactic, from that standpoint. Basically, all you have to do is tack on “it’s not about you, it’s about women” on the bottom of any rant you care to put out there, and these same people will come screaming to your defense, I’d wager.

    Sometimes I wish I had what it takes to be that kind of dishonest and manipulative. I’d at least try to peddle into some kind of income, rather than trying to win some inane blog-battle.

  107. #107 erin
    June 9, 2009

    Nope…sounds pretty valid.

  108. #108 Greg Laden
    June 9, 2009

    This overall discussion is about rape in wartime and post war settings. This particular post is about you being an unredeemable asshole.

    I think you are done now.

  109. #109 Rystefn
    June 9, 2009

    So… if the post is about me… why did you end it with a statement about how it’s not about me? I just don’t follow.

  110. #110 mk
    June 9, 2009

    @ Rystefn…

    You are just not going to let this go are you? How pathetic is that? Who are you now trying to convince? To sway? To woo? To… what?

    Seriously. What’s wrong with you? You may not be a rapist, but I’m pretty sure dead horses are unsafe around you.

  111. #111 erin
    June 9, 2009

    Whoa is that about me?? Or Greg? Anyway, I think it’s just that the first set of posts were about women, and about thinking about triggers for the behaviour of rapists. And when you throw out theories, you end up making broad statements you hope to refine later. But this is the internet, so peole get offended. And yeah, this post is about other things… but it’s a nice vent, really. I don’t agree with it all, but it’s the kind of post that gets people riled up… and it certainly moved all this off-topic banter out of the other threads.

    The things Greg said in this post were confusing, but it’s a pretty reasonable response to the mess we made of the very serious topic that was at hand. He has every right to be irritated, and the things he says about men in this post are things that relate to the male psyche. It’s all (very) loosely connected to the discussion of attitudes and triggers for rape.

    i think. (but i keep getting it wrong)

  112. #112 Wyatt
    June 9, 2009

    “And remember. This conversation is not about you.”

    Rystefn: Your problem is that you are not getting the little words. Like a. and this.

  113. #113 Rystefn
    June 9, 2009

    Let it go? You don’t get it, do you? Have you seen how dead this same conversation is at my own blog? Have you wondered why that might be? Think about it. Maybe it’ll come to you.

  114. #114 mk
    June 9, 2009

    After watching your behavior–your unredeemable loser behavior–in here… Believe me I have no interest in your blog.

  115. #115 Stephanie Z
    June 9, 2009

    erin, we’re all getting stuff wrong. I wouldn’t let it worry you too much. Jason’s attitude on that works pretty well.

  116. #116 Rystefn
    June 9, 2009

    Fair enough. I’ve no interest in driving traffic to my blog, I was just drawing a contrast hoping it might be enlightening to you. Probably a waste of time, but I just keep trying.

  117. #117 James Sweet
    June 9, 2009

    Food for thought: Greg’s and Rystefn’s actions over the last few days have probably increased the number of people who have heard of the “Silence is the Enemy” project by tenfold or more. Whatever their motivations were, mad props to both of them. Seriously.

  118. #118 Dan J
    June 9, 2009

    Well, at least some discussion took place about rape. Maybe we’ll be a little less apt to stick our collective heads in the sand the next time the subject is brought up in a news story, or by a family member, friend, or acquaintance.

  119. #119 Rystefn
    June 9, 2009

    I think you exaggerate the effect. Tenfold is far beyond my guess.

  120. #120 Greg Laden
    June 9, 2009

    James: The details are considered confidential, but between one and two thousand people have been watching this post, and almost half of them have poked their noses in here after seeing it on the “most active” widget on the science blogs home page. Of course, what they see when they get here may or may not be what they were looking for, but they did look.

    So yes, we are doing some increasing of awareness. Of rape? Of troll? I don’t know for sure.

    But all this is helpful to me. In planning my next post on the topic….

  121. #121 Llano Escantado
    June 9, 2009

    I don’t think we are in Kansas anymore, Toto.

    If this tread ever was about science, it surely has gone astray at this point.

    I’m saving this tread for a collegue who still teaches graduate clinical psychology and has an interest in the area of conflict resolution (I’m retired, consequently, I’m only amused.)

    As an aside, anyone read R.D. Laing’s book, Knots.

    “Problems in living..”. Oh, my!

  122. #122 Rystefn
    June 9, 2009

    Cool. I would be very interested to see what your colleague has to say about it. I’m a curious monkey that way.

  123. #123 Greg Laden
    June 9, 2009

    Llano, the conversation certainly is about science. Over several blog posts here and on DuWayne’s and Stephanie’s blog (Almost Diamonds) (see links with their names above), we’ve explored behavioral biology, psychology, and sociology of wartime rape.

    No test tubes were harmed during the course of this scientific discussion.

    The present post and its comments are more water-cooler talk, true. But no science blog is pure science, if it is any good.

    (Well, there are a couple.)

  124. #124 becca
    June 9, 2009

    Greg has a bad habit of saying that things are About One Thing.
    Rystfn has a bad habit of obsessing over how things are About Him Personally.
    Since Greg does not write solely about Rystfn….
    Unmovable object meet unstoppable force.

    Anyway, I find it interesting how troll-magnety these posts were. I suspect we are only talking around rape (rather than talking *about* it) because it is such an intrinsically difficult and emotionally charged topic. And this may not be the best venue for people to explore emotions on the issue.

  125. #125 Rystefn
    June 9, 2009

    In fairness, since I am the center of the universe, it’s generally accurate to just assume that everything’s about me and work from there. If it turns out that it wasn’t about me, then it was the writer’s fault, not mine.

    …also, there’s an E in my name. :P

  126. #126 Greg Laden
    June 9, 2009

    Becca: I certainly do not have such a habit. In fact, if I have one habit, it is about not talking about one thing.

    Anyway, yes, I agree that some of this conversation is around rather than about rape, and thus the effort which you are also criticizing of following Stephanie’s lead and trying to bring the conversation back home. My allusion to the next post is exactly this. I want to talk about rape. I did that before … the first two substantive posts in this set were pretty focuses. Now I want to address some other issues.

    I think the troliness is about denial of male evilness. That’s kind of obvious, I think.

    As far as venue is concerned, I suggest going to a Beer Hall.

    In fact, I’m going to the Beer Hall. Right now….

  127. #127 Jason Thibeault
    June 9, 2009

    Stephanie Zed: thanks! If there’s one thing I do well, it’s getting stuff wrong. And thank you, for sticking with the conversation the way you have.

    Now, I’m sorry to point people back to my own blog again, but Rystefn is the only commenter I’ve gotten on it… there’s lots there that’s probably wrong. Sadly, it’s still talking *around* the rapes that are happening, talking about the perpetrators rather than the victims, but I feel that figuring out somehow what exactly causes people to go absolutely crazy in a warzone is fundamental to figuring out how to stop it from happening again. I get this feeling like I’m close at least to some kind of… something. But I’m not a psychologist.

  128. #128 Jason Thibeault
    June 9, 2009

    For what it’s worth, I’m not trying to drive traffic back to my blog because of ads or anything like that. I paid for my own domain and hosting, out of vanity. I don’t have ads. If I had any proceeds to send to charity, I’d gladly do so. If you want to do something productive, go click on all the big ads in the Silence is the Enemy campaign right now. Then if you have time and want to, then stop by and tell me how wrong I am. :)

  129. #129 Kelson
    June 9, 2009

    I hate for this to be my first comment since the linux articles =(

    but..

    Reactionary, angry, intentionally inflammatory remarks is not what I come here for. =( I don’t care about anyone’s superiority beliefs. I don’t want to hear about it. I put up with enough of that from my extended family thank you very much. (They all live in west virginia, ya… its painful sometimes)

    I was just sorely disappointed in a blog that I really like most of the time. I generally expect you to rise above the peanut gallery and not sink to their level. =( Maybe Ill come back when things have calmed down, I understand it’s a vent. But I think I will stay away for a while, because honestly, I don’t want to contribute to this and encourage it.

    You compare obviously above average women with average men. Stephanie is not average(quite obviously shown by her writing, which I also enjoy), I would highly doubt many of your friends are anywhere near average. You are in academia, the top 1% of the world. I just don’t think this is particularly fair. I don’t think “average” women are any better than “average” men. Living in the South, I find that I have a hard time dealing with the American women because they have a tendency to be very petty, there is a lot of sniping behind each others back, and a lot of politics more interested in being better than the other girls in the clique than anything intellectual or empathetic. On the other hand, I also have a hard time dealing with the American guys, the frat boy mentality of *grunt grunt* *pound chest* Hear me roar shit is just as bad. So, ya Average is average and it’s not very high. I like my group of unusual above average people but in no way do I compare them as the norm.

    I don’t know, that really really bothered me. I just needed to get it off my chest. (don’t hate me lol) The original topic has been lost in a mess of rage. The original topic was interesting precisely because rape is so horrific. Awareness is really important I just thought the way this topic turned was very sad indeed.

  130. #130 becca
    June 9, 2009

    Kelson-
    First, I don’t know that I’d call academia the top 1% of the world (top in what, and measured how?). But assuming that that is the case, for some important quality… it’s Greg’s personal experience that the women he encounters are more worthwhile for relationships to him than the men he encounters. It’s entirely possible that’s only true for some Greg-specific reason (I speculated on such earlier). It’s also possible it’s more general than just-Greg but not universal (e.g. it could be a men-in-academia thing).

    (it’s also theoretically possible it’s true for men in general, but I have no particular interest in that- and I can see why the assertion would bug you)

  131. #131 McDuff
    June 9, 2009

    Here’s where I’m coming from. Not because “it’s all about me” but because context is necessary.

    I’m a dom. I don’t use the capitals because it’s posturing. I’m also a feminist, a fledgling sex worker activist, a male, a liberal, ‘sex positive’, and someone who both works in and across two separate industries where male dominance is not only accepted as part of the cultural framework but which actively promotes patriarchal norms in our society. I am aware, because of who I am, what I do, where I am, what people around me do, both of this cultural bias, my own role in it, how it affects me as a man in this society, and how that affects the women I interact with on a daily basis.

    I kept reading at the “keep reading if you’re a dom” part because, well, duh, and… OK, it’s not about me.

    I’ve had conversations with subs about where to draw the distinction between “most doms are assholes” and “most assholes think they’re doms”. As a male dom, I’m fine with general criticisms of both my gender and my proclivities because I find both schools are generally full of tossers who, through some balance of social conditioning and inability to think straight, are the kinds of guys who are rapists, borderline rapists, rape apologists and generally not nice people. I understand the desire, if there are people who walk into a thread about rape in Africa and say “I beat girls up all the time and that’s not rape!” to point out that there is a significant amount of point-missing going on. But, for me, personally, the reason the screed against doms hit so far wide of the mark was not just because I don’t personally identify with the people there, but because in general the sex-worker rights groups – which are 100% anti-rape and 95% female – overlap incredibly with the BDSM rights groups, who are also anti-rape and, generally, majority female. This is at least partly because a working Dominatrix is a sex worker, of course, and subject to the same discrimination as she goes about the business of trampling on a banker’s balls in her stiletto heels as your average working girl on the street is. It’s also, I’m inclined to think – again, from personal experience without making it “all about me” – that you can’t explore the dark bits of human sexuality without having to confront the “why is this OK?” question head on, and you come out of the other end with a pretty mature notion about just how important consent is in sexual relationships.

    It’s not about me… but to the extent that a disservice is done to the people involved in it, it is a little bit about people like Kami Robertson or Niki Flynn, who write about their experiences as subs – and who, of course, need doms. The people who work at $pread, Bound-not-Gagged, Sex 2.0, Backlash and other groups who actively work against rape while also enjoying sexual acts which are both physically and mentally violent.

    It’s hard not to sound like a concern troll here. I’d like to think that the distinction lies in the fact that your average concern “troll” is not actually concerned. I am. When I say what I am about to say, which is that uninformed rants, no matter how justly provoked, can have the effect once out there on the interwebs of putting up barriers between groups of people who would be far better served by not being separated, it is not because I want you to shush about rape, or even about the potential for rape from those who practice BDSM (which is very present, although I’d argue not particularly more present than it is among the broader community of your regular healthy sex-havers), but because it’s true.

    If what you write can make me think “wow, someone’s targeting system is way off” then there’s a chance you’re going to put some backs up.

    And here’s a thing. If you had some experience with BDSM and actually held the opinion that being a dom was being a rapist, I’d think there’s actually a discussion to be had there. It’s one that healthy doms have with themselves, that anyone who’s even talked about a rape-fantasy has had with people involved, that perhaps doesn’t reflect well on the way we perverts cope with the crazy gender norms and sexual expectations that get laid on us from childbirth, that perhaps the reason we’re frowned upon in society is because we are doing something inherently unhealthy… I’d disagree, but I’d acknowledge that there’s an argument to be had. But a screed from ignorance just shuts it down.

    If you don’t think people at $pread, or dominatrixes, or transgender submissives, or any of the other kinky queer folks who set up their stall on the “we don’t like rape” side of the street can help in the whole “stopping rape” thing, then by all means alienate them. But they get raped too. And the rape culture in our society impacts them too.

    You might not see that a screed against a particular few doms in your comments thread has anything to do with the people I’ve mentioned. But, and I may be wrong, I’m trying not to speak for everyone, I think the depth of ignorance it spoke for will find resonance with a lot of people who weren’t in your target, and will make them think “this guy has no fucking clue what he’s on about”. If doms are rapists, then subs are rape victims. Consensual rape victims, at that. The problem is, of course, that by inventing a category like a “consensual rape victim” you’re doing exactly the same thing that people have used for centuries to disempower prostitutes, removing the notion of agency from the lives of women, which has had the net effect of removing the few protections against rape that exist in this society from that class of people. You might think you’re just having a go at some asshole doms, but your blunderbuss is set to spread so wide that you’re infantilising a whole class of people, many of whom are remarkably intelligent, sex-positive and on your side in the “should men be allowed to get away with being whiny-ass titty-babies about rape culture?” thing.

    Right. This is a long-ass comment, and for that I apologise. It’s about what is a small fraction of the overall post, and a small fraction of what has been a long and, aside from the trolls, entirely good, fact-based, sacred-cow slaughtering set of posts about things that needed to be said. It seems to be the bit that you really weren’t experienced about, and I think that’s why it was the bit of the post that went dead off. Everything else, keep up the good work. Rape switches and all.

  132. #132 Greg Laden
    June 10, 2009

    McDuff: Please do not apologize. That was an excellent comment.

  133. #133 erin
    June 10, 2009

    http://jezebel.com/5279553/do-frats-contribute-to-a-culture-of-sexual-assault

    Just to let you know, Greg, you’ve been mentioned on Jezebel.com again. I was actually going to send this link before I even got to the mention of this blog…

  134. #134 Greg Laden
    June 10, 2009

    Well then. Welcome Jezebel readers.

  135. #135 Rystefn
    June 10, 2009

    McDuff, it makes even less sense than you think. “I understand the desire, if there are people who walk into a thread about rape in Africa and say ‘I beat girls up all the time and that’s not rape!’ to point out that there is a significant amount of point-missing going on.”

    He made a comment about men who “become sexually aroused — with a sustainable erection — at the immediate prospect of forcibly dragging a woman to the ground, cutting off her clothing with a knife, penetrating her, ejaculating…” After which, I pointed out that there is a category of people who do exactly that (which does include myself) that he had just made some pretty horrible statements about. His response was to say he knew all that and was just trying to give himself an excuse to call me a rapist again.

    To reiterate: Greg is the one who brought BDSM into the conversation, he did it for the sole purpose of telling me I’m a rapist, and has admitted as much.

  136. #136 Jason Thibeault
    June 10, 2009

    There are actually two fallacies in effect here: 1) That you (Rystefn, or whomever) have the right to pick a moment in time during an on-going thinking out loud conversation that happens to give you your trollish jollies and insist that this is the only thing that your trollee — your victim — has ever thought or said.

    *ahem*

  137. #137 Greg Laden
    June 10, 2009

    Jason: What, do you need a cough drop or something?

  138. #138 Rystefn
    June 10, 2009

    There are actually two fallacies in effect here: 1) That you (Rystefn, or whomever) have the right to pick a moment in time during an on-going thinking out loud conversation that happens to give you your trollish jollies and insist that this is the only thing that your trollee — your victim — has ever thought or said.

    Objection, your honor. Asked and answered.

    If you’ll kindly point out where I’ve ever done anything of the kind, I’ll concede the entire argument, then shoot myself in the head.

  139. #139 Greg Laden
    June 10, 2009

    Asked and answered? Excuse me? YOU are bringing up the Asked and Answered objection? OMG.

  140. #140 Jason Thibeault
    June 10, 2009

    Greg: nosir, just out of breath from fighting with Rystefn on two fronts.

  141. #141 Rystefn
    June 10, 2009

    Hey, if I miss the answer to a question somewhere, all you have to do is point me to it. I may be hostile, but I’m not unreasonable.

  142. #142 Stephanie Z
    June 10, 2009

    Rystefn, you have asked so few questions in this entire thing that I’ve jumped a little every time I came across one.

  143. #143 Rystefn
    June 10, 2009

    Well, I do admit that I’m far more likely to say, “correct me if I’m wrong, but it seems you’re saying…” or “if you’re saying [whatever], then…” than I am to say “are you saying…?” or “is [whatever] what you mean?” I don’t, however, see a truly substantial difference between the two sets.

    Feel free to correct me if I’m wrong about that.

  144. #144 Rystefn
    June 11, 2009

    I’ve not trawled through all the comment threads on all the posts, so I don’t have the context.

    Does anyone have a link?

    Rystefn, did you bring up the notion of consent or not? Because it sure makes a big difference as to whether I can sustain my erection. It might well be the kind of dom I am though, and I try not to pass judgement on other people’s proclivities, personally. Everyone fucks weird.

  145. #145 Rystefn
    June 11, 2009

    Actually, the notion of consent is pretty pivotal to the whole discussion, and has been brought up by nearly everyone in it. The entire point in my bringing up BDSM was to point out that the line between a rapist and not a rapist is not the ability to maintain an erection through a series of violent actions such as he listed. The line is consent. No matter what else is happening, the line is consent and nowhere else.

  146. #146 McDuff
    June 11, 2009

    But that’s not what he was talking about, from what I can gather. Hence the “this is not about you”. I mean, as I said, if you can link me through to the original comment thread I’ll be happy to form my own judgements, but I think he is dead on about you missing the point.

    Saying “men have a cultural and/or biological predisposition towards rape” is not a comment on you, personally. Or me, despite the fact that we are both included in the set. It’s a comment on masculinity, which is to men as Strunk and White’s is to writing. There are some good and positive things about masculinity, just as there are some bad things about it. But enforcing it is like saying that On the Road is a flawed piece of writing because its grammar is decidedly non-standard.

    The rape culture is a rigid enforcement of a particular conception of masculinity. It is an imposition of strict bounds of what it means to be masculine and what it means to be feminine. Prison rape, which is almost without exception male-only, is about enforcing notions of masculinity and femininity, treating the weaker and therefore “feminine” men as objects that can be sexually violated to remind them of their place in the social hierarchy. Patriarchy hurts men too, and women can be tools of the patriarchy just as much as men can.

    BDSM can’t be properly understood without fitting it into its place in that culture. This doesn’t mean that you, personally, need to have every little aspect of your personal kink deconstructed and examined in order to know that you’re not personally raping whichever consensual partner you’re having kinky sex with today. It does, though, mean you’re missing the point when you say there’s no connection between that cultural conception of masculinity and the acts you’re engaging in. You are a product of your environment just as much as the authoritarian churchgoer who believes the female orgasm is a myth and who pounds away in a guilt-and-fear-filled procreative act.

    BDSM can be considered in many ways a pushback against rigid enforcement of gender norms, whether it’s people such as you and I who embrace this disturbing and frankly quite anti-feminist desire to harm and be submitted to, but who undermine the standard expression of that culture by finding a subject for that violence who wishes it to happen to them and creating a “safe space” where both parties can indulge those dark parts of their sexual psyches, or the men who visit Dommes and beg and scrape in an absolute reversal of the role proscribed to them by that environment. And, of course, the same is true for female participants, who whether sub or Domme are similarly subverting the rules. The majority of relationships I’ve been in where BDSM has been a part of it, I’ve been pushed to do more by the sub. Hit me harder, choke me, leave marks that will show at work, humiliate me, degrade me. Being asked to degrade someone is immensely subversive to the gender norms of our society, no matter which gender you are.

    I’d be foolish to say that’s all there was to it, and even more foolish to say that this is a conscious act. But I’d also be foolish to say that there was no room for harm in a BDSM relationship, consensual or not, although I’d again stress that there’s room for harm in consensual sexual relationships of a much more socially acceptable type as well. The fact that the tropes of BDSM are well enough known to most of those who practice it, and easily available to the curious, means that not everyone has to reinvent the wheel if they want to be tied up and spanked while someone calls them a faggot. However, it also means that lots of people come into it and miss out some crucial spokes of that wheel, creating a structure that can be easily bent and cause real and lasting harm. And, of course, as with every other sector of society, there’s a sizeable minority who are just out-and-out assholes, using BDSM as an excuse to call a girl a bitch while they’re fucking her.

    Generally speaking, it’s those kinds of sexual relationships where the grey line between “consensual” and “nonconsensual” breaks down, whether BDSM or not. Consent is tricksical. For a start, it doesn’t just mean saying “yes,” it means saying “yes” given the opportunity to say “no” without suffering loss. (see also: why torture is a bad way of getting military intelligence, why bribing a witness is a bad way of getting a conviction). It also isn’t a blanket thing. Just because a girl sucks your dick does not mean you can put it anywhere else. Just because she had sex with you yesterday doesn’t mean she consented to sex with you today. And just because she consented to being spanked by the hypothetical Dominant who she thought was creating a safe space for her to express her sexuality does not mean she has consented to it with the abusive user he really is.

    Also, even if she did consent to sex with a known abusive user, it’s not rape but it’s not a good thing either, and you can invariably tie down the reasons for both the user’s userness and her consent to unhealthy and damaging sex to the fucked up gender norms and the rape culture that surround us in this society. So it all comes back around to the central point in the end anyway.

    Which is all a longer version of gently taking Greg’s well-intentioned but ill-informed and sort-of-insulting comments in the OP and saying “I think what Dr Laden meant to say was…”

    That you get hard by exerting control over girls does not mean you’re a rapist, but it is an indication that you’re a potential rapist, and if you deny that you’re a potential rapist you’re more likely to be blind to the potential turning point where you potentially turn into an actual rapist, because you’re not on the lookout for it. If you’re skirting that line, whether through BDSM or any other kind of sexual practice where consent needs constant reinforcement, it’s your ethical obligation as a human being to be aware of the line your own actions can follow if you’re not careful, and to therefore be careful. This is not a judgement of you as an individual, no matter how male. This is just good advice.

  147. #147 Rystefn
    June 11, 2009

    Right… so this occurred outside the context you’re talking about here.

    Here’s the quick version, and if I get Greg’s part wrong, I hope he steps up and corrects me.

    Greg: For the purposes of this discussion, the word “rapist” doesn’t mean a person who rapes, but a person with elevated rape potential.
    Rystefn: Well, I think that’s total bullshit
    Greg: Do you have a better word?
    Rystefn: How about “person with elevated rape potential”?
    [fair bit of argument about the word]
    Greg: I’ll use a different word if someone would just suggest one.
    Rystefn: Ummm *raises hand* I’ve suggested this short phrase several times now.
    Greg: Look, I’m just saying that there’s a difference between people who can rape and people who can’t
    Rystefn: Yeah, I agree.
    Greg: I mean, Do you think a person who [description of violent sex) is normal? If you do, you need help.
    Rystefn: Actually, it's not as bad as you seem to think. I, for one, just recently [parallel description of violent sex]. It’s called BDSM. Maybe you’d like to rephrase that statement.
    Greg: Ha! I tricked you into admitting you’re a rapist! You’re a rapist!
    Rystefn: That’s really not cool, Greg. The line between rape and not rape is consent and nothing else. You should really stop calling people rapists for other reasons.
    Greg: I’m not calling people rapists, remember when I asked for other words I could use? Besides, it’s not about you.
    Rystefn: I gave you other words like four days ago, Greg, you called me a rapist just now. Me. Specifically me. How is it not about me when you say something like “Rystefn, you’re a rapist”?

    The first part (the beginning of the disagreement over the use of the word “rape”) happened here: http://scienceblogs.com/gregladen/2009/06/is_there_a_rape_switch.php
    The second part (where BDSM came into it) happened here: http://almostdiamonds.blogspot.com/2009/06/when-is-rapist.html

  148. #148 Rystefn
    June 11, 2009

    My response contains a couple of links, and so it’s being held in moderation, waiting for approval.

  149. #149 Greg Laden
    June 11, 2009

    Corrected Transcript:

    Greg: For the purposes of this discussion, the word “rapist” doesn’t mean a person who rapes, but [DELETE:a person with elevated rape potential.] a person who’s “rape switch” has been turned “on.”
    Rystrollfn: Well, I think that’s total bullshit
    Greg: Do you have a better word?
    Rystrollfn: How about “person with elevated rape potential”?
    [fair bit of argument about the word]
    Greg: [DELETE: I'll use a different word if someone would just suggest one.] I’m happy to not use that word, use whatever word you want, it does not really matter, people who have not actually carried out a rape can certainly not be called a rapist.

    At this point everyone has moved on in this conversation except Rystrollfn and Lou.

    Rystrollfn: Ummm *raises hand* I’ve suggested this short phrase several times now.
    Greg: Look, I’m just saying that there’s a difference between people who can rape and people who can’t
    Rystrollfn: Yeah, I agree.
    Greg: I mean, Do you think a person who [description of violent sex) is normal? If you do, you need help.
    Rystrollfn: Actually, it's not as bad as you seem to think. I, for one, just recently [parallel description of violent sex]. It’s called BDSM. Maybe you’d like to rephrase that statement.
    Greg: Ha! I tricked you into admitting you’re a rapist! You’re a rapist!

    At this point, Rystrollfn, utterly shamed and embarassed at being tricked so easily, goes into a huff that he will never, ever recover from.

    Rystrollfn: That’s really not cool, Greg. The line between rape and not rape is consent and nothing else. You should really stop calling people rapists for other reasons.
    Greg: I’m not calling people rapists, remember when I asked for other words I could use? Besides, it’s not about you.
    Rystrollfn: bla bla bla

  150. #150 Andrew
    June 11, 2009

    Ristrolfn: This truly is getting boring. Are you like this in real life?

  151. #151 Rystefn
    June 11, 2009

    Well, aside from the fact that your hypothetical “rape switch” being turned on is more or less exactly the same thing as and elevated chance to rape (maybe I should have said “highly elevated”?), your characterization of me being shamed at being tricked into saying something I’ve made public knowledge for quite a few years now, and your handwaving away of the fact that you directly called me a rapist and then tried to say it wasn’t about me, yeah, it looks like we’re in agreement, more or less.

    I have to say that the name-calling bit is rather juvenile, though. Even for you. Really, Greg, you’re better than that.

  152. #152 Rystefn
    June 11, 2009

    In real life, I rarely encounter people who claim to have tricked me into revealing things about myself that are common knowledge or call me a rapist and then immediately insist that it’s not about me, so I wouldn’t really know. Probably.

  153. #153 Rystefn Jr.
    June 11, 2009

    Rystefn: It appears you have fallen into a cunt none drum: someone on the liberal left needs some ass; best way to get it? Pander to white womens rape fears,and beat the drum to exagerate the fear– and be generalizing about what ‘beasts’ men are. Then, maybe, you meet some chicks… Seems to work for those folks.

    It makes the “all women have a licking childrens asses and genitals switch” seem more plausible….

  154. #154 Louis Leakyfaucet
    June 11, 2009

    Rystefn Jr: based on my extensive field work both in the jungle and in the bush, it appears that your “all women have a licking childrens genitals switch” is quite plausible; and that switch is easily activated by the beating of the rape fear drum…

  155. #155 McDuff
    June 11, 2009

    Pander to white womens rape fears,and beat the drum to exagerate the fear– and be generalizing about what ‘beasts’ men are. Then, maybe, you meet some chicks… Seems to work for those folks.

    The Venn Diagram of “people who write comments like this” is 100% contained the one of “irredeemable asshole fucktards”. Your contribution to the discussion is noted, duly mocked and discarded as utterly worthless. Troll.

  156. #156 Jason Thibeault
    June 11, 2009

    McDuff: “Rystefn Jr.” = “the real meme”. And his dozens of other pseudonyms. The tell is the fixation on women molesting children. And I can assure you, your Venn diagram example is easily borne out by empirical evidence on this blog and elsewhere.

  157. #157 Greg Laden
    June 11, 2009

    Rystefn:

    Well, aside from the fact that your hypothetical “rape switch” being turned on is more or less exactly the same thing as and elevated chance to rape

    I’m calling willful ignorance. On two counts.

    1) “Your hypothetical?” Read the post. Who’d hypothesis is this?

    2) The whole point of the rape switch is that it is not an elevated chance to rape. It is not a rape rheostat.

    Your comments are the reason that people should be wary of what they do on the internet in case they need to apply for a job with an employer who knows what the internet is.

  158. #158 Rystefn
    June 11, 2009

    Well holy shit… Look at this: I’m agreeing with Jason again. It’s almost enough to make a guy believe in miracles.

    Also, I love the way McDuff out it. Venn diagrams FTW.

  159. #159 Rystefn
    June 11, 2009

    1) I didn’t mean “your hypothetical” in the sense that you invented it, only in the sense that you’re the one that posited it to me (not specifically directly to me, just to an audience that happened to include me).

    2) Then what is it? The only thing I got out of the lengthy description given in the post in question was that in certain situations, the chance of a given person raping goes up dramatically, an that this set of circumstances could be described (badly) by analogy to a switch being turned on.

    “Your comments are the reason that people should be wary of what they do on the internet in case they need to apply for a job with an employer who knows what the internet is.”

    Yeah, wouldn’t want a potential employer to know that I’ll defend myself vociferously against attempts to spin my statements negatively… They might not hire me if they won’t I won’t put up with that kind of bullshit.

  160. #160 Andrew
    June 11, 2009

    I think there is a very clear distinction between lower or higher levels of something and a two state system with a switch. The distinction is clear and important, and it has been made clearly all through this argument.

    I don’t agree with the “willful” part thought. This is just “ignorance, plain old”

  161. #161 Rystefn
    June 11, 2009

    Yes, the distinction has been, and is part of the flaw with the switch analogy.

  162. #162 Jason Thibeault
    June 11, 2009

    Yes, Rystefn, believe it or not, when we’re not unreasonably at each others’ throats for perceived slights, we both are capable of reasonable insight into the stupidity of others.

    That doesn’t mean I agree with your turning every discussion into a referendum about you though. Not even when I unintentionally facilitate such.

  163. #163 Louis Leakyfaucet
    June 11, 2009

    Jason, McDuff, et al: no, not a troll at all: a guy who reverses the paradigm and looks through the hole in the bottle. In this case, you, a bug at the bottom.

    Based on the evidence presented herein, chromosomal possibilities, limbic system impulses,etc, it is equaly likely that my hypothesis is true as well-if in fact there is a rape switch in male primates, and particuarly humans, then the opposite is likely true: there is a childrens ass licking mechanism in women–based on the same evidence. Why is that so hard to get?
    The argument: Mammals are mammals, males and female mammals have different impulses ( although someone nobly pointed out that women rape too, which is true); Human mammals in war time rape, because there is a switch governed by chromosomes. Men in human society are forced then, to not only war, but to have their impulses challenged or incited.

    So the opposite is also true in the female mammals and women in peacetime–that based on the observed characteristics of virtualy every single mammal in existence–please correct me if I am wrong here. So why is thta so hard for you to accept about the human female? If you can accept the rape swith, then the “babies diaper is fu of shit switch” is equally plausible, and th4 female “switch” kicks in.

    Jason ( the rapist) “tell is the fixation on women molesting children” for very very valid reasons, including personal ones, anecdotal ones, legal ones and other ones, I choose to keep this dialogue out there.

    For instance, when was the last time you told a rape survivor that she/he was “fixated’ or obsessed with the violence that had been done to HER? Then, when they began a dialogue about it, did you also accuse them of being ‘crazy’ or whatever other dismissive and perverse label you can put on dialogue?

    Yet, here, you feel quite comfortable saying that to me, a male–and you, a very passive-aggressive little sexual sadist for so doing- on your part,it is further evidence that you were likely NOT falsely accused of rape, but quite possibly, an actual rapist yourself.

    ::Oh and for the record everyone, Jason claims he was “falsely accused of rape:: Jason, you are showing clear indications of possibly being a sexual sadist, and you likely are the rapist being discussed above.

    McDuff: stop licking Jasons shit off the bathroom floor. That is a command, and I will not repeat it. And you know what that means, DON’T YOU….you piece of shit.

  164. #164 Louis Leakyfaucet
    June 11, 2009

    Oh,for anyone wanting to drown in some indecipherable mumbling, rambling shit, try this link:
    McDuff @ http://mcduff.livejournal.com/

  165. #165 Rystefn
    June 11, 2009

    Confirmation bias, Jason. You think every discussion becomes about me simply because you don’t care to notice the ones where I make a comment or two and that’s the end of it.

  166. #166 Irene
    June 11, 2009

    McDuff: “I’m not linking to the specific post because the actual post is a bit blogwarry and troll-filled and is in any event a followup to a followup of more followups and so it would be like linking straight to the middle of someone else’s drama” …. like beaming someone right into a wall instead of a nice room full of pretty aliens.

  167. #167 Jason Thibeault
    June 11, 2009

    Point of order, Rystefn: you’re suggesting this one become about you too by defending yourself against the slight of being told you make things about you. I know, it’s a catch-22 where you have to not defend yourself to disprove the point, but too bad.

    The Real Meme (now Louis Leakyfaucet): if you pick a name other than what I will refer to you as, please tell me, so I can call you something other than “the real meme”. Consistency is key so you aren’t trying to confuse your audience with a cheap parlour trick like appearing to be several people at once.

    I am sorry that you obviously have some personal trauma in your lifetime that causes you to speculate that everyone else’s trauma is derived from the same source. I daresay though, that my first girlfriend, who accused me falsely of rape, was not molested by her mother to my knowledge. I was not molested by my mother (for certain). My present girlfriend was not molested by her mother. While the plural of anecdote is not data, I suspect your speculations are based on something more insidious than confirmation bias: specifically, conspiracy theory. The evidence for such is the fact that you bring up some kind of matriarchal conspiracy every time there’s a post about anything even remotely related to sexual contact without consent. I appreciate that you’re hurting from the experience, and I appreciate that it is human nature to try to find patterns (especially where they don’t exist — see pareidolia), but I assure you there is no matriarchal conspiracy at work here.

    Though such assurances are EXACTLY WHAT THE MATRIARCHAL CONSPIRACY WOULD DO… OOOOOOOOOOOH

  168. #168 Jason Thibeault
    June 11, 2009

    And by “this one become about you too” I mean “again”.

  169. #169 Jason Thibble
    June 12, 2009

    Rapist JASON: WOW. YOU ACTUALLY DO THINK AND FEEL– SOMETIMES– BEFORE YOU REACT FROM A HYPER-NARCISSISTIC SELF PROTECTIVE CENTER, WITH A VERBAL ASSAULT THAT GOES NOWHERE but back to Jason and Jasons snarky, unproductive pandering and Lacannian projection–AND THEN YOU DROP YOUR HEAD BACK IN YOUR ASS!

    “my first girlfriend, who accused me falsely of rape, was not molested by her mother to my knowledge. I was not molested by my mother (for certain). My present girlfriend was not molested by her mother. While the plural of anecdote is not data, I suspect your speculations are based on something more insidious than confirmation bias: specifically, conspiracy theory”

    You were on to s/th until you hit that ‘conspiracy’ wall.

    Jason, I have had the gf who sleeps with her mom; the gf whose mom is all to wiling to be her personal gynecologist ( well, ‘she’s a nurse, after all!’), the girlfriend whose mother put ointment on her vagina “for what seemed like hours”, and the girlfriends who still hold their moms titties when they snuggle. I am not saying that women are all molesters, rapistJason, but I am saying that many womens boundary issues with children are outside of what is widely accepted in the literature as ‘normal’ behavior.And none of their mothers ever went to jail, or suffered the indignity of 1) rape in wartime 2) false rape allegations

    About your statement: yes, you’re wolf crying rapeology trained ex was not provably raped by her mother, but it is highly likely that she had some serious boundary issues–after all, mom owns the girl until she hits 18, and by then, man, those girls can be awfully messed up.

    My thesis, Jason, isn’t that there is a conspiracy, but a collusion of social planners that have determined that you–rapist Jason–are only a good fellow if you accept the rape paradigm–you are male and thus a rapist, so get a job and work hard for the collective right of western capitalists to call the men of other countries rapists, now lets go fight ‘em—-before you have any chance of developing your own mind.

    This guarantees that they will have progeny issue forth from your loins so that they can indoctrinate that progeny and among other things, create nice happy tax payers,and mother-lovin’ soldiers to send out against all them badmenz out there who want( in their theory) to rape yer snuggly buggly momma and yer sweet lil’ sisses’; and all this at your ultimate expense, and the expense of creating a society free from the excess of more socially sponsored murders (war) of men who uphold the primary *purpose8 of all animals: to breed.

    The mechanism employed to do this exact training is to squash all dissent or disagreement on the topic, and to create a rhetorical climate of absolutist morality: as in men are all rapists. Women are all not rapists.

    And, Jason, we know the folly of absolutism when it comes to social planning–or at least I do: all Jews are impure; all Irishmen are criminals and drunks ( well, there is some truth to the latter description of me…); all Jasons are rapists.

    And you, Jason, are an absolute rapist, because, in their paradigm, you share some sort of collective male guilt over the rape of women, and you, rapist Jason, should employ physical violence at whoever they point you to as badmenz who rape.

    Now: the other solution is relatively simple, under-explored, and not often deployed as a war preventative measure, but its a good one.

    Watch the mammals, Jason, and learn from them only one thing–you are smarter than a dog, more wiley than a monkey, and far more in conrol of your sexual impulses than they will have you believe. Why do I say “that they will have you believe”? Is ‘they’ a conspiracy? Or is they–just a bunch of mammals who follow the matriarch around in search of more food?

    But the thinking mans solution is to watch what ‘they’[ mammals: rapist male mammals and babies ass licking females] do! And Jason, the mammals who breed at the youngest ages had their collective animal butts licked by the matriarchs, hence my hypothesis.

    is that just so hard to believe?

    Notice that there is no western or empirical “judgement” attached to my thesis, Jason, my hypothesis is based on observation–but also an awareness of huge “definitional bias” and reporter biases, as well as my own.

    The root problem is semantics: when men do things, we impute violent, or sexual motives; when women do the exact same things, we impute ‘patriarchal’ corruption as a cause for womens actions, or dismiss womens actions in other ways.

    This is exactly what pre-Stonewall feminists allegedly fought to stop–the projection of ‘patriarchal’ motives on them; denying them the ‘right’ to their own sexual motives and accountability. The theoreticians blamed Freud; the feminists blamed their fathers and Freud vicariously; and at the end of the day, all I know for sure is that mammals lick each others asses in peacetime; they lick each others asses for food; and they lick each others asses for many other reasons.

    So in my theory of a “women lick childrens asses switch” when near food sources, or during the first several years of its life it is not a conspiracy at all, but an observable lump of data that chooses not to call womens motives “sexual” or in the case of naming men as rapists, chooses not to concern the rhetoric with womens coercion and violence directed at children–you don’t get happy taxpayers and for-the-love-of-mom killers if you talk about that. But with the mother knows best model, you did get the “baby boom” where western men were rewarded for a brief period of time with ample food sources, and ample women with which to create ample children–and the current credit crisis, and today’s need to bang the rape fear drum.

    Go see for yourself; go read the literature.I have. The problem is definitions, and biased reporting in complete agreement that women can, and in some literature, should do things to children that are noteworthy if only because those same things that could land a male in jail.

    In the definition, you rapistJason are a pervert if you even question womens motives, but when women chat amongst themselves about how to 1) caress 2) fondle 3) masturbate 4) indoctrinate ( ala the Coochie Snortcher story of Eve Ensler)otherwise do things to children that could easily be called molestation-make sure you keep you mouth shut, and realize that you are a rapist.

    But buddy, I never called it a conspiracy.

  170. #170 Rystefn
    June 12, 2009

    Actually, Jason, there’s a simple way out for me: I refuse to bend before the lies. See, I don’t make it about me, I just run with it when someone does. Of course, will then spout “it’s not about you!” in direct contradiction with observable truth. If I’m quiet in an attempt to prove them wrong about something… well, I’m just letting them lie and thereby encouraging them to continue to lie. So I’ll keep doing what I’ve been doing – any time someone says it’s not about me when it actually is, I’ll call them out on it. Especially if it’s the exact same person who made it about me trying to tell me it’s not about me two sentences later.

    It may not make me a lot of friends, but who wants to be friends with people like that anyway?

  171. #171 Irene
    June 12, 2009

    Rystefn

    I believe the author of this post said (above) that this post is about (what an asshat) you (are). Did you think anyone was claiming that this was not about you?

  172. #172 McDuff
    June 12, 2009

    Jason, McDuff, et al: no, not a troll at all: a guy who reverses the paradigm and looks through the hole in the bottle. In this case, you, a bug at the bottom.

    I’ve been around the internet long enough to know a troll when I see one, pal, all the fancy if quite evidently mentally ill constructions you can come up with don’t change the fact that you, sir, are a bona fide, grade A, dirty stinking troll. Your comments have come with their own bridge and a sideorder of billygoats. “Iredeemable asshole fucktard” still stands, incidentally, and that’s frankly a politer response than pestilent weeping sores on the body of the human race such as yourself could even possibly deserve.

    You troll.

  173. #173 Jason Thibeault
    June 12, 2009

    If I were a Minnesotan or a Norwegian, I’d probably just respond with “Uff da”. I can’t even begin to describe how much fail there is in the past six posts, myself included, for trolling and being trolled.

  174. #174 McDuff
    June 12, 2009

    I’m trying to write an actual comment about what went on. It’s taking me a while, I had to sleep on it, because there are points where I am frankly not sure who I actually disagree with. Bear with.

  175. #175 Jason Thibeault
    June 12, 2009

    I do not envy you this Sisyphean task. Spare no shots at me for my attempted civility — if you see something worth criticizing in my posts, hit me with both barrels. I can take (valid) criticism.

    For instance, you might mention how I keep feeding the trolls. Or am probably being intolerant to members of particular groups in doing so — firing with too wide a spread.

  176. #176 McDuff
    June 12, 2009

    Hmmm.

    Apologies to anyone who’s comments from other threads I may be taking out of context and missing the point where they retracted them. I’m just trying to unpick the knot. FWIW, executive summary, I think everyone’s wrong. I also think this may turn into more than one comment.

    I’m going to start off with one of Jason’s comments:

    Ultimately, that’s exactly what BDSM is, simulated rape by people who enjoy the idea of rape in a controlled environment.

    This is wrong. Fundamentally and quite drastically wrong, in a way that reflects a fundamental misunderstanding. It’s not always wrong in every circumstance, but I’d say that unless you’re actually simulating rape, BDSM is not simulated rape, and certainly the totality of it is not “ultimately” simulated rape. There are elements of it which are informed by the rape culture, but there are elements of straight vanilla sex that are informed by the rape culture. I don’t think it’s any fairer to say “BDSM is ultimately simulated rape” than it is to say “sex is ultimately simulated rape.”

    Further, this comment is… inept at best:

    I’d argue that, to victims of rape, to psychologists, to profilers and other professionals in law enforcement, etc., the sets of behaviours exhibited by that subset within the BDSM community that you’ve described, who take umbrage at such domination being called “rape play”, would count as being close enough to rape to raise red flags.

    The moment I trust a psychologist or a law enforcement professional to understand the complexities of sexual relationships is the day I eat my own feet. Sorry. Homosexuality was classified as a crime in American states and in the UK within our lifetimes here. It took until 1987 for homosexuality to be fully purged as a mental illness from DSM-III, and until 1994 for it to be removed from the British ICD. In general, the current state of our obsession with sexuality treats the notion of “dysfunction” or abnormality as the greatest of sins. Can’t get it up? Can’t have multiple orgasms? Don’t like to have sex at all? Like to have kinky sex? You’re DYSFUNCTIONAL. Flawed. In need of repair. Ugh, you abnormal person you!

    This is part of the reason why I say “everyone fucks weird”. When you lay down to have straight missionary vanilla sex with your long-term monogamous partner you’re a freaky little animal, you weird bastard. I mean, did you ever stop to think about just how fucking stupid and weird the actual process of sexual congress is? It smells funny, it looks ridiculous, hardly anybody does it right, sticky gunk comes out of your body. If we weren’t living in brains dominated by a hormone soup and a bunch of genes desperate to make more genes we’d have abandoned it for the test tubes long, long ago. Nobody rational would design sex.

    But you know, this is OK. The big difference between sex workers and alt.sex people and the rest of you ordinary vanilla folks is that we talk about how weird and freaky we are, and how weird and freaky our sexual partners have been. And the story that you come up with is that really there’s no such thing as vanilla and there’s no such thing as kinky, and that attempts to tell people they’re doing it wrong, to say that they raise a “red flag”, as as much a part of the process that seeks to rigidly define notions of masculine and feminine as Frat Houses and religious fundamentalism.

    Telling people “these feelings are dirty, I cannot believe you have them, God, that’s just sick” is the reason sexual behaviour turns into sexual pathology. Most people fantasise about things that are far in excess of what they’d actually do. And, generally, BDSM is a bit like the rest of all y’all’s sex. Lots of people do the radical nutty stuff when you’re young and virile and healthy and end up getting it all out of your system, and settle down into a routine with some bondage and spanking and breath play in it. You know, just like most people indulge their bisexual urges in college and then by and large figure out they prefer one gender to another after all. But clamping down on it and saying “no no, not only must you not do that, you must never even talk about it, because it’s a sign of insanity, or possibly even criminal” is a surefire way to get people to obsess over it, to presume they are the only person in the entire world who thinks like this, to make the wrong choices when they suddenly discover that they aren’t, and to potentially make that discovery not in a safe, sex-positive environment but with a bunch of assholes and users. In other words, it encourages and enables abuse and rape.

    Which is yet another reason why you get a whole pile of people in the BDSM world overlapping with the Sex Workers Rights crowd overlapping with the Feminism and Anti Rape crowd, and yet another reason why bundling them in with the rapists and abusers and fundamentalists is missing the point to an excessive degree.

    And I’m going to go write another comment now. This next one will be about how more people are wrong! At least I’ll never be popular.

  177. #177 Jason Thibeault
    June 12, 2009

    Thanks for that, though I already posted mea culpas on the subject after DuWayne took me aside and brow-beat me over my uninformed, closed-minded views. You speak unvarnished truth.

    I’d like to add that asexuality is also normal — e.g. they do not fuck, ergo it’s weird, ergo it’s normal because everyone’s weird.

  178. #178 James Sweet
    June 12, 2009

    @Irene in #171: I’m not defending Resyftn per se, but yes, actually, any time somebody who is not on Greg’s side tries to defend themselves from criticism, the chorus of “It’s not about you!” is deafening.

    I admire what Greg is trying to do… but at the same time, it’s a low blow to right a dozen paragraphs about how somebody sucks, and then at the end imply that if they address or rebut any point then they are placing their own ego above the problem of systemic rape in Africa.

    I think Greg knows he is pulling a low blow, here, so that’s fine. Just don’t act like it’s not.

  179. #179 McDuff
    June 12, 2009

    The key comment Rystefn is upset about seems to be this one, from the Almost Diamonds thread:

    You seem to be saying that you area person aroused by the violent act of rape, and capable of doing it, and that you do in fact do it. You have not explicitly said that you only carry out such acts with a totally willing partner, but I suppose we are o assume that this is the case.

    You are a rapist. You happen to not rape innocent bystanders because you stop yourself from doing it, maybe you even stop yourself from thinking about it. But rape is something you are capable of, and that you do occassionally, under artificially highly controlled circumstances.

    This is inflammatory, ill-informed and unnecessary. And it is, actually, personally calling Rystefn a rapist in response to him admitting to liking kinky sex. It is slightly ameliorated later, when Greg says “it is actually OK to be a rapist. As long as you totally keep it to yourself,” but it’s still jarring.

    That said, I get where he’s coming from.

    Let us take a hypothetical murderer in a movie. We have observed him through the various narrative stages of being wronged, reacting to that wrong according to his psychosis, preparing the perfect crime, gathering the materials, beginning to implement its execution, and then, at the last minute, with the knife blade about to fall, the trigger about to be pulled, the bomb about to go off, the flaw in his perfect plan enables the hero to prevent it. The knife is deflected, the gun is shot from his hand, the wiring on the bomb is cut.

    In the technical, legal sense of the word he is not a murderer. Yet, it fails to properly describe the colloquial realism of the situation to say that he is not a murderer. In a very real sense he is one.

    Let’s take another example. Dick Cheney, to the best of my knowledge, has never killed an infant with his bare hands. Sources whose names I cannot reveal inform me that Cheney can in fact only get sexual gratification by listening to the screams of burning children over and over again, but it would not very ethical of me to repeat such unfounded accusations. Nevertheless, Dick Cheney took part in an actual conspiracy – not the mundane, boring “causing 9/11″ one, the actual documented “standing there and lying to the public about matters of foreign policy” thing – to kill children. One can cut hairs about whether he intended to actually kill people – ladies and gentlemen of the jury should disregard any rumours they may have heard about Cheney’s child torture fetishes – or whether their lives were just materially insignificant to his greater scheme, but he contributed to the deaths of many in a psychopathic way that is morally indistinguishable from murder.

    Again, in a very real sense, Cheney is a murderer, despite that being technically untrue in a legal sense.

    In both cases there are facts, and there are facts. The rhetorical device of calling someone who has technically not committed the crime of murder a murderer is a fuzzy one, but nonetheless in both cases you would understand the concept I was conveying.

    Rapist, in this sense, (at least as I’m grasping it) is in part a rhetorical tool used to shock. The efficacy of shock tactics is, of course, debatable, but the underlying truth at which is points is not. The construction of masculinity to which you have been exposed in our culture, throughout your upbringing and your adult life, normalises sexual violence towards and hatred of feminine things. Those are strong words. The initial reaction of most men is “hey, you can’t say that about me! I [love my wife/don't hit girls/am in touch with my feelings]!” Point of reiteration: not about you, masculinity!=men. The point I believe Greg is making is that men, in this society, need to confront this ugly truth about themselves head on. While none of us here have raped here, there is a significant chance that we’ve engaged in behaviours which have reinforced the patriarchal norms of society in ways that, down the line, resulted in rape. We may not be the Dick Cheneys of the rape culture, but, even if we’re aware of it, even if we make conscious efforts to stop it, we can quite often find ourselves playing the role of the middle-managers at State who did nothing to stop it because “it wasn’t their place” and they thought they were alone and if they stood up and took a stand against the torture memos and the rush to war then they might be ostracised and lose the position they’d worked for in that culture and that hierarchy. At some point, the “murder switch” goes off in these people’s heads and they become people for whom the idea of firing a rocket at a wedding party full of children in order to kill one or two suspected terrorists becomes acceptable.

    And you got the brunt of this, personally, not I’m inclined to think because you were admitted to being a Dom but because you’d spent the threads arguing nuances of language about rape in a similar manner to that in which Creationists argue about evolution. When people come into threads about rape and say “but have you heard about this situation which can be an amelioration of the responsibility of an individual man in a particular circumstance to think about rape like that,” it’s arrogant because it presumes that people talking about it haven’t heard until you walked in with your wisdom. Of course we know that the exact word no doesn’t always mean no, that the situation for men can be complicated. We’ve talked about it with men and women and rapists and rape victims. There’s bodies of work out there, some of it off base, some of it on the money, talking about the new ideas you’re presenting ad nauseum until they’re beaten into the ground. It’s a reflection of the inherent privilege you get as a man that you feel people should listen to your ideas as if they’re brand new and shiny even if they’re old and dull. And they’re shibboleths of rape apologia, even if you’re not personally feeling like a rape apologist when you say it. It’s a patriarchal contribution to a conversation which, if it’s to have any merit and function at all, needs to be about the patriarchal structures that encourage and enable rape. It isn’t enough to say “I have not personally raped a woman, therefore I have every right to take umbrage if people accuse me of responsibility for rape.” In a perfect world, it would be, but our society is so fucked up that it simply isn’t the case. It might be very strong to equate “has some responsibility for rape” with “actual rapists” but it’s a strong subject, and if people need kicking to acknowledge their responsibilities it might well be.

    However, Greg

    While in that instance I’d say you were understandably if inexpertly making that point, I’d say (as I have already said) that focusing on BDSM is way off base. I think it was both out of line and unjustified to use ignorance of the topic as an excuse to tell Rystefn that his “rape switch” had been flipped. It might have been, it might not have been, I don’t know. I am not him and I don’t know whether I would get the same accusation, and to be fair I don’t personally know whether my “rape switch” is flipped or not. Nevertheless, nevertheless it would be out of line in this thread to say “McDuff, you engage in kinky sex, ergo you are a rapist.” I am not saying that Rystefn’s switch is not flipped, I am not saying it is, I am saying that I don’t have the information required to make a judgement on that, that you certainly did not, and that you making a judgement about someone’s mental state based on incomplete knowledge. It’s not an apology you owe Rystefn, it’s a retraction, an acknowledgement that you overstepped the limitations of your evidence and knowledge because you were emotionally caught up in the situation.

    I’m not going to reiterate my first comment, I’ve said what needs to be said, I think, about the common ground that is shared amongst the schools and the damage that shooting from the hip based on ignorance can cause. But there’s something else which I wasn’t aware of.

    To me, the notion of plugging away on top of an emotionally detached woman, spooging inside her, then rolling over and going to sleep, is abhorrent. Along the lines of Greg’s comments that if you can maintain an erection while thinking about wrestling a woman to the ground, I’d say if you can maintain an erection while thinking about or engaging in that kind of stuff you’re more like a rapist than I’d ever like to be. Yet, that kind of act is stupidly common inside marriages. Like prison rape, it is normalised to such an extent that it is an acceptable punchline for mainstream comedy. Before sexual attitudes liberalised it was probably more-or-less the default. If you’re the kind of man who sees a woman as an interconnected series of holes and bulges for use as a masturbation aid, her pleasure is so unimportant to you that her consent can’t be far away. There are social structures specifically designed to insist that it’s a wife’s “duty” to lie back and think of England, thus creating yet another situation where “consent” becomes much more of a grey area than simply saying yes. I’d be inclined to suggest without too much risk of contradiction (if only because I’m aware of the paucity of actual evidence) that before sexual liberalisation those couples with dungeons in their basement were a significant percentage of the minority with actual healthy sex lives. Even now, I’d suggest that the psychological steps required to admit to someone that you like being tied to the bed and spanked during orgasm put you in a healthier place than people who never talk about sex with a partner (aside from “I want sex, give me sex,” that is), which still appears to be a majority of people.

    I’d suggest, therefore, that picking on kinky folks as examples of “undercover rapists” in our society is not only to miss the boat but to be trying to catch it from Iowa. I don’t see why I can’t throw it right back at you married folks and point out that you’re engaging in an institution historically designed to sanctify the ongoing and continuous sexual slavery and subjugation of women, and which a significant proportion of the people in the world still view as exactly that, albeit with some minor cosmetic alterations in the west. Let’s talk about marriage as a coercive act, shall we, if we’re going to talk about why doms are rapists? I think you might be too lenient with members of your own tribe, if anything, in discussing who may or may not be a rapist according to your own rules of the game.

    Still, it’s not fair of me to say “Greg is married, therefore Greg is a rapist.” For a start, my description of marriage there was deliberately one-sided and limited to make a rhetorical point. And, secondly, I don’t have the information required to make that judgement. Greg’s “rape switch” may well be flipped and the controlled environment of a marriage to a strong and emotionally mature woman may well be the way he controls those impulses. But it is not my right to throw the accusation around, no matter the rhetorical point I wish to make. You can tell people to attend the plank in their own eye without having to step up to their face and bawl at them about it. You could be a rapist is, in the terms of this discussion and the definitions laid out by you at the beginning of it, acceptable. You are a rapist is not.

    There is a certain testosterone-fuelled masculinity about Greg’s comments on this. All well and good, up to a point, but the irony of having what is in fact a bit of a dick-wave in a discussion about rape shouldn’t be lost on anyone here. It’s often much more helpful, on feminist issues, for the feminist guys to leave the dick-waving to the women, as difficult as it may be for us to keep it in our shorts when we’re emotionally charged. The risk that a lot of feminist guys run into is that they can end up arguing about feminism in a totally male, patriarchal way. In this case, while I’d still say that Rystefn was, albeit inadvertantly and with the best of intentions, perpetuating the kind of quasi-reasonable argumentation that helps rapes happen, Greg has in his manner and tone been perpetuating the “I am a man so I get to shout about this!” attitudes which are also, in fact, part of the problem.

    There are fine lines in both cases, of course. It is not men’s place to simply sit down and shut up in all cases, and addressing the problems that masculinity causes to, say, male rape victims, or the confusion that men feel in our topsy-turvy world, is justified as long as you do it in context (and, I think the overarching point that a thread about rape victims in Africa is probable Not The Time). Similarly, though, it sometimes does even feminist men the fucking power of good to put their dicks back in their shorts and not go blundering about the place being all absurdly and stereotypically male about feminist issues, and I think this applies to Greg just as much as it does to Rystefn.

    And also, I am sure, to me, so I’ll shut up now.

  180. #180 McDuff
    June 12, 2009

    Fuck me that’s long…

    Sorry.

  181. #181 Stephanie Z
    June 12, 2009

    McDuff, not bad (although where’s my turn?), but there are a couple of misreadings of Greg that I’ll step in to correct. One is that what you’re reading as testosterone is largely a rage at what we as a society refuse to even look at in Africa. If you haven’t read the Congo memoirs, I recommend them highly. However, know that there’s a great deal of restraint that went into writing them.

    The other piece of the picture that you’re not seeing is that Greg is exceptionally good at letting women speak, and fight, for themselves. (That’s where a large part of the miscommunication between the two of us happened.) He’s pretty ruthless with the people who don’t listen, though.

  182. #182 Rystefn
    June 12, 2009

    Yeah, and the thing you’re missing about me is that I didn’t point out that “no” doesn’t always mean no because I thought no one had heard it before. I pointed it out because people were flagrantly refusing to acknowledge it. In saying “There’s no possible this act could be a miscommunication,” they were accusing people they’d never met of lying about a situation they knew nothing about. That sort of thing bothers me.

    Oh, and your comparison to the murderer would only apply to someone who had planned a rape in great detail and then was stopped by another person at the last moment. I’ve conceded before that someone who attempts rape can be considered a rapist.

  183. #183 Stephanie Z
    June 12, 2009

    Rystefn, link please to someone “flagrantly refusing to acknowledge it.”

  184. #184 McDuff
    June 12, 2009

    Stephanie

    One is that what you’re reading as testosterone is largely a rage at what we as a society refuse to even look at in Africa.

    Having read and enjoyed the Congo Diaries, and having a few Zimbabwean friends who visit every year and bring their stories about just how flawed our Western conceptions of Africa are (I have not yet had the chance to visit them back although I very much want to), I can understand that. However, I don’t see that things have to be one or the other.

    I certainly do not want to impugn Dr Laden’s personal feminism or his character. Nor do I want to say that in all cases, justified anger and rage is inappropriate. But as a male in general I have to guard myself in heated conversations because the general bias of my masculinity pushes me towards an emotional connection with being Righty McRighterson from Rightsville. Greg made, in my opinion, a flawed judgement call which stepped over the line. It’s explainable and understandable in the context, but I don’t think we can say “oh no, it’s nothing to do with him being male” when it’s a pretty typical male behaviour. In a thread which is pretty much all about guarding oneself from the pressures of masculine gender norms on behaviour, it’s not unreasonable to say that, even if you don’t believe what you are doing is dick waving, perhaps making extra sure that you are making an argument rather than exerting your dominance over your opponent is the wise and prudent course of action.

    Rystefn

    I pointed it out because people were flagrantly refusing to acknowledge it. In saying “There’s no possible this act could be a miscommunication,” they were accusing people they’d never met of lying about a situation they knew nothing about. That sort of thing bothers me.

    Actually, I’m not buying this. I’ve read the “Is there a Rape Switch” thread (at least, the relevant bits – that shit is long!) and the “No means no” thread and what you’ve manage to do in many cases is the classic “but what about…?” strategy.

    Catgirl’s comment in the “rape switch” thread which kicked off your reply cited in the “no means no” was neither exclusively nor principally about blaming men, but rather about the problems of communication that spring from massive cultural pressures on women to say “yes” or to believe that any rape is their fault because men can’t be held responsible for their actions. Your response was, and I’m paraphrasing it but I’d love you to split the hair, “well, maybe sometimes men can’t be responsible for their actions.”

    Let’s take your specific example: a young, confused boy, not entirely sure how to deal with the vast confluence of stimuli taking place, going with “no means no” and getting told off for it. I assume that, because men are pretty fucking retarded as a general rule, this happens a lot. I’m sure that in my personal experience I’ve misinterpreted something as a “no” when it was really a “playing hard to get”. Being a big boy, though, I get the fuck over it. Oh well. Shit happens. I can have sex with other people instead, and if not with that person well, hey, it’s not actually my right to have sex with every girl who is willing to do so.

    The thing is, this kind of thing will happen if you’re young and inexperienced, and is part of the learning curve that happens to change you from being young and inexperienced. If it happens too much, the problem isn’t that “no doesn’t always mean no” but that in the specific case the young man in question is incapable of interpreting the vast panoply of other verbal and non-verbal cues to work out whether in context this particular no means no or not. Personally when it’s at that stage I’ve never thought the difference between a woman who wants sex and a woman who doesn’t want sex is that hard to spot, and as an adult I’d struggle really hard to think of a situation where I couldn’t tell the difference between a playful “oh no, I couldn’t” and “actually, stop there.” I mean, this is not fucking rocket science. You do not have to be a genius. So if we’re talking about a guy who perpetually and consistently makes the error we’re introducing someone even more stupid and socially unaware than your average horny guy, on a constant basis, and I am sorry but if that kind of guy can’t get laid that is not the fault of any women in his life not laying it out properly on the table.

    It’s also to be noted that you took it to an equivalence with BDSM first, in that thread, not anyone else.

    The entire topic was, in other words, brought up by you using some specific and rare exceptions and using them to try and introduce the concept that there are situations where a male does not have to be responsible, not even for rape and rape culture in general, but specific acts of rape or near-rape that he was personally involved in.

    Otherwise, why even bring it up?

    your comparison to the murderer would only apply to someone who had planned a rape in great detail and then was stopped by another person at the last moment

    This is the reason I brought up the culpability of Cheney, which can be expanded out to include cogs in the wheel like Alberto Gonzales or Judith Miller when it comes to specific murders and abuses in Iraq. It could also be used to include people aware of it happening but not taking reasonable steps to prevent it. The gentleman quoted in the “A rape in progress” thread also gets it in the neck, I’m afraid, as do boys in frat houses who lean out of the window to cheer on abuse. Your moral culpability for an action is not just restricted to your physical involvement in it, but what you do to enable it to happen. Alberto Gonzales is morally culpable for the torture of prisoners at Abu Ghraib even if his influence was in the most general and abstract sense, because the results of his decisions would have been known to any human being with even the barest shred of moral decency. The same is true, I’d argue, although you may not like it, of rape apologists.

    I am not calling you a rapist. I am saying that your arguments are the same as those that create the grey space in which most rapists work.

  185. #185 Jason Thibeault
    June 12, 2009

    Oh McDuff, you win all my internets. Wish I was half as thorough, knowledgeable and eloquent when making my arguments. Bravo.

  186. #186 becca
    June 12, 2009

    Rystefn’s right. That’s totally what I was doing.

    I am so good, I can preemptively flagrantly refuse to acknowledge arguments before they are even raised.

    And of course, the reason I would choose to do so has everything to do with wanting to judge and insult people I have never met about situations I know nothing about, and nothing to do with avoiding creating “a grey space in which rapists operate” (great phrase, btw, McDuff).

    Also, @ McDuff- I totally agree that dickwaving metacommunication interferes with even the most noble anti-abusive-version-of-masculinity arguments.

  187. #187 Greg Laden
    June 12, 2009

    Becca, I think you need to work this comment into your c.v. somehow.

  188. #188 Rystefn
    June 12, 2009

    Stephanie, at the very beginning of the comment, I specifically state that I was referring to the comment by catgirl (#106). Now, admit that I tend to phrase things strongly, but she directly addresses the fact that nearly half of the women the survey in question classified as rape victims said it was a miscommunication. In her lengthy comment about how we live in a culture that dismisses rape as a miscommunication, she completely ignores the idea that maybe it really was just a miscommunication. So I pointed it out.

    McDuff – You can say what you like about some hypothetical strategy, but that’s what we call an assertion without evidence. Did I do anything other than point out that maybe the women were telling the truth about what happened? Have I done anything to indicate that accusing people one has never met of lying about a situation one knows nothing about doesn’t bother me? What reason do you have to disbelieve what I’m saying? Do you have one?

    After this, you jump right onto the bandwagon of pretending I said something completely different that what I actually said. Something I’ve corrected several times now, in fact. I am not trying to diminish the responsibility that anyone has for their own actions. I am not making excuses for anyone. I am not defending their actions. I particularly like your statement that “being a big boy, though, I get the fuck over it.” That’s good for you. Some people are less mature. Some people are more sensitive to that sort of thing. This is the point where you start saying I’m excusing the action again, and you’re wrong. It’s kind of analogous to waling out of the store with something you thought was a free sample, then immediately paying as soon as it’s pointed out to you that you’re wrong? Is that theft? Before everyone gets all pissed, I’m not saying rape is the same thing as theft. I’m sure someone is going accuse me of that anyway, though.

    Also, you’d be surprised how difficult it is to tell sometimes whether someone wants you to stop or if they’re just acting. No playful “haha… stop… hahaha” Actually acting like they want you to stop. It happens. We’re also not talking about a guy who constantly makes this error, and I have no idea where you got that from.

    If you look back, you’ll see that Will Shetterly first drew the equivalence to BDSM at post 114 by bringing up safe words. Unless you’re making the case that my example itself was bringing up BDSM, which would be a valid point, I suppose, except that you said in that thread, not in that comment, so I doubt that’s where you were coming from.

    After that you go back to the false claim that I’m trying to say people aren’t responsible for their own actions. Then you go on to babbling about cogs, which might be valid if we were talking about someone ordering others to rape, or people passing along those orders without complaint, or even people hearing about said orders and not speaking out… None of which apply here, either, so your comparison is still faulty.

    Oh, and if my arguments hold some similarity to the arguments people use to try to defend rape, that does not make the argument wrong. The argument is only wrong if the argument is… you know… wrong.

    Becca – I wasn’t talking about you, I was talking about the person the comment was directed to, but by your reaction, I’m guessing now that you are one of the people calling those women you’ve never met liars, aren’t you? In the interest of avoiding creating a “grey space,” you’re perfectly willing to call people liars about situations you have essentially zero knowledge of. Nice deception there with pretending I was assigning motivation there, though. I won’t let it go unchallenged, though. I never said anyone did anything because they want to judge and insult people they’ve never met. I merely said they’re judging and insulting people they’ve never met. I wouldn’t try to guess at the motivation, frankly, it baffles me.

  189. #189 Stephanie Z
    June 12, 2009

    I’m not suggesting that Greg’s aggression was useful in Rystefn’s case (because, um, wow), but I won’t rule it out as an option either. There are some people who react very well to that and nothing else. I run into the same thing dealing with trolls.

    It may not be a useful part of the conversation, but sometimes one has to clear the way for conversation to continue.

  190. #190 Luna_the_cat
    June 12, 2009

    I’ve deliberately not been participating in these discussions so far because there are a number of things which trigger unreasoning rage and shit I don’t want to deal with on this particular issue, and frankly I doubt my ability to make coherent points in a civilised fashion. However, I really deeply have to thank McDuff for stepping into this conversation and making some of the most cogent and coherent points that I have ever seen put into print.

    And I will try to add one relevant side point: one of the things I do have problems with is the whole “yes, but, not always…” response to the statement of “No means No.” Stephanie has the post about why “no means no” is an instruction, not a slogan. And she is absolutely, dead 100% right, as far as I am concerned. But there is even more of a reason to stress this here, where I live in Scotland: up until the present day in the UK, “but I thought she really wanted to and was just playing hard-to-get” is a legal defense against the charge of rape. It isn’t some exercise in hypotheticals, here; in one case only a handful of years ago, a husband who tied up his wife and invited a bunch of his mates from the pub in to rape her, and the guys from the pub who raped her, all walked free from court because despite the fact that she was screaming, crying and struggling to get away from them “they believed she really wanted it.” And the courts took their word for that. And their belief in her consent was the key point which made their actions legal. And what SHE said and did was irrelevant in the face of their claimed “belief.”

    …I wish that was the only case, but it isn’t. Hell, it gets even worse than this. And although there is a lot of noise recently about rewriting the laws, most of the rape laws in the UK are still this way.

    The “yes, but, these poor innocent boys get yelled at if they back off when they shouldn’t” objection is feeble in the face of the problems on the other side. So a guy might get yelled at if he backs off; aw, boo hoo. Where clueless guys don’t back off, women don’t get yelled at — they get raped. And until “No means no” gets taken as an absolute instruction, by everyone, including clueless girls — just the way stephanie says — then the kind of culture which accepts confusion as a “legitimate excuse” also persists.

    This may not be one of my most intelligible comments, but I hope I’m getting the point across.

    I don’t remember where I read this – it may have been in an interview with Sheri Tepper – but I remember the short anecdote:
    A group of boys were asked what they were most afraid of from girls. “We’re afraid they’ll laugh at us,” they replied. A group of girls was asked what they were most afraid of from boys. “We’re afraid they’ll kill us,” they said.

    The price of being clueless about the intent behind a statement is not the same on each side. And the guys really just need to take their lumps, on this one.

  191. #191 Rystefn
    June 12, 2009

    The point you (and damned-near everyone else, it seems) is missing here is that no one in this conversation is saying that “no” shouldn’t mean no. No one in this conversation is saying it’s ever ok to assume “no” means anything other than no without explicit discussion of this fact beforehand. You’re arguing with no one. No said anything like “if we take no to mean no, poor innocent boys will get yelled at, so we don’t have to.” I don’t know what’s so hard to understand about this: NO ONE FUCKING SAID THAT! You think you’re fighting against evil and oppression, but you’re tilting at windmills. The worst part about that is that, as you pointed out, there are real monsters for you to go out and battle if you weren’t so damned hung up on pretending I’m anything other than a fucking windmill.

    You want to complain about the laws in the UK? Go ahead. It’s a valid complaint. You want to complain about soldiers raping people? Do it. You’re right to do so. You want to complain about people thinking “no” means yes when it doesn’t? You should. It’s a mistake. You want to complain about women saying “no” when they mean yes without explaining that beforehand? You should do that as well. These are all real problems and perfectly valid reasons to get worked up. Don’t complain at people for fucking pointing them out. Even if you’re surrounded by other people doing the same thing, it’s still the wrong thing to do.

    Damn it, I hate being Sancho and the windmill surrounded by a growing throng of men of La Mancha.

  192. #192 Stephanie Z
    June 12, 2009

    Rystefn, your next assignment is to find the part of catgirl’s statement that said that all women claiming miscommunication had been raped. You might also want to read the article she was responding to. It does claim that none of the people claiming miscommunication should be counted as rapes.

  193. #193 Rystefn
    June 12, 2009

    Stephanie, I never claimed that she said, “all women claiming miscommunication had been raped.” Only that she completely ignored the fact that any of them might not have been. I was filling in that gap.

    “You might also want to read the article she was responding to. It does claim that none of the people claiming miscommunication should be counted as rapes.”

    Actually, my understanding was that anyone who answered in the affirmative were counted as rapes, regardless. Since all I see on the thread are links to discussions of the study, not the study itself, it’s difficult for me to say.

    However, I find myself wondering, if that were the case, why no one said anything in the nine days since then on that subject, given the number of times I pointed out that I was objecting to classifying something as rape when the women involved called it a “miscommunication.” Wouldn’t it have been much simpler to just say “Ummm… Rystefn, those cases aren’t being classified as rape,” just as you are (finally) doing now?

    I could be wrong, but I think I know why that would be. Because people are too in love with their rage to read for comprehension. As soon as something that can be read as a defense of a “rape culture” is posted, no matter the depth of misreading and ignoring context required to do so, the “freak out” switch goes on. Note, that when I say it, that means people actually freak out, at least a little bit.

    Any attempt to explain what the comment actually said or was meant to explain, no matter how carefully phrased, is assumed to be further defense of the “rape culture,” or a “what about the men?” expansion. Any attempt to complain about twisting of the meaning will be met with shouts of “it’s not about you!” It’s enough to drive a person to madness.

  194. #194 Jason Thibeault
    June 12, 2009

    Here, you successfully goaded me into posting one mother of a response, Don Quixote. I think this adequately explains exactly why everyone’s ganging up on you. http://www.lousycanuck.ca/?p=1070#comment-1375

    And if I missed anything, I strongly encourage others to elucidate over at my place. These “Rystefn Tangents” have distracted from the main point of the damn campaign for way too long, and I’d love to see it back on point finally.

  195. #195 Jason Thibeault
    June 12, 2009

    … I meant to call him Sancho Panza. Honest. *facepalm*

  196. #196 Luna_the_cat
    June 12, 2009

    Jason, yes, that is pretty much it.

    Rystefn, you are being an idiot and an ass. If you are intentionally trying to piss people off about an emotive (because painful) subject, you are are primarily an ass and only secondarily an idiot; if you are just genuinely unaware of how you repeatedly take things to be a specific attack on you when they are a general statement of “here, this is a problem” — like you just did with my post, above — are unaware of how responding to the same with tetchy defensiveness and dismissiveness invites backlash, and are unaware of why you get the responses you do when you take devil’s-advocate-of-hypotheticals to the stupid and inflammatory degree that you do, then you are primarily an idiot and secondarily an ass. Either way, grow the fuck up.

  197. #197 Jason Thibeault
    June 12, 2009

    Me: (writes for an hour effusively and as thoroughly as he can manage)

    Luna: “Grow the fuck up.”

    Me: Man, I wish I’d thought of that.

  198. #198 becca
    June 12, 2009

    Greg- the comment was for you. Never let it be said I am not equal opportunity in my snark.
    If I ever put together a CV (portfolio?) of snarkery, I will add that in. I’m still trying to figure out what kind of job I could use it for though (politics?). I’d be damn good at it, whatever it was. Although I do wonder what it would do to me.

  199. #199 Luna_the_cat
    June 12, 2009

    Actually, let me just clarify:

    Rystefn, when you say things like “Again, step back and put yourself in the position of someone who’s been hurt and confused by an angry response to stopping, though. Keep in mind the youth and inexperience involved. Can you understand a young man’s hesitance to make the same mistake again? in conjunction with your earlier statement about Imagine stopping only to be yelled at because your partner was getting into it and you ruined the mood. etc. — then you very much come across as defending “no doesn’t always mean no” and defending boys and men who choose to ignore “no”. I think I get the fact that you are saying “this is regrettable but it happens”– yeah, ok, but — what everyone else is saying is, that needs to stop, right here, right now, with everyone, and EVERYONE in the culture needs to be held to the “take NO seriously!” standard, and there is absolutely no defensible reason not to. And YOU need to have a good think on why everyone so universally “misinterprets” you, assuming that your riding the edge of defensive and inflammatory statements as devil’s advocate is not deliberate.

  200. #200 Rystefn
    June 12, 2009

    Luna, when you make a “general statement” that encompasses a problem has only been mentioned at all in this discussion by people who thought that’s what I was saying (such as your “‘yes, but, these poor innocent boys get yelled at if they back off when they shouldn’t’ objection”), you’re not going to fool many people into thinking it’s not about me.

    …or maybe you’re referring to Greg’s “Rystefn… you are a rapist.” Was that the “general statement” I’m not meant to take as a personal attack on me? Maybe Stephanie’s “A Note to Rystefn and Lou.” Not really an attack so much, I’ll admit, but not exactly a “general statement.”

    Now here’s the thing I find interesting, and I wonder if you might think so, too… No one’s shouting “it’s not about you!” at me on the topics that really aren’t about me. I wonder why that is.

  201. #201 Rystefn
    June 12, 2009

    I thought about it… I considered it… and I still can’t imagine how simply stating that something happens and describing the circumstances under which it might happen sometimes comes off as defending the people who do it.

    I’m about to be inflammatory again, so if you are sensitive to that sort of thing, maybe you should just stop reading here. Seriously. I don’t expect a bunch of oversensitive crying about anything I say after this point.

    I guess I can see how a stupid person might see it that way. Someone so blinded by their rage that they go out of their way looking for a reason to get offended that their brain shuts off at the very mention of rape. Maybe, just maybe, a person with sufficient damage to their brain might see it that way. Someone who wants to get pissed, and so sees what they want to see rather than what’s actually written.

    Don’t worry, though. There’s hope. Most stupid people actually have a chance. See, almost everyone suffers from temporary stupidity from time time. It may well be the world’s most common affliction. The problem is that when you point it to someone that they have it, they tend to go into denial and get stupider and stupider. You can only break the cycle from within. Step back and say, “huh, maybe I was being stupid there. Let me check myself and see.” Don’t do what most people do and say “fuck you, I’m not stupid, you are!”

    And remember this: if you think you never suffer from temporary stupidity, you’re right… You’ve got the permanent kind.

  202. #202 Luna_the_cat
    June 12, 2009

    Why, yes, because any discussion about the problem you bring up and which is extensively discussed above MUST be about you directly. </sarcasm>

    And here we get back to ye olde “grow the fuck up.”

    The point of my original post here — which you chose to flame me over — was:

    …until “No means no” gets taken as an absolute instruction, by everyone, including clueless girls — just the way stephanie says — then the kind of culture which accepts confusion as a “legitimate excuse” also persists.

    Maybe I needed to put that in 24-point flashing red font, to get across that this was the point.

    But you managed to drag it back to being all about you, didn’t you… Because, presumably, I couldn’t say anything on this theme without it being aimed as an attack on poor ol’ innocent you. Please see Jodi’s excellent comment again.

  203. #203 becca
    June 12, 2009

    Rystefn- I’m glad to see you posting on something you know about (stupidity) rather than something you don’t (rape). Please, carry on.

  204. #205 Jodi
    June 12, 2009

    One thing:

    See, almost everyone suffers from temporary stupidity from time time. It may well be the world’s most common affliction. The problem is that when you point it to someone that they have it, they tend to go into denial and get stupider and stupider. You can only break the cycle from within. Step back and say, “huh, maybe I was being stupid there. Let me check myself and see.” Don’t do what most people do and say “fuck you, I’m not stupid, you are!”

    And remember this: if you think you never suffer from temporary stupidity, you’re right… You’ve got the permanent kind.

    Irony anyone? I mean really….. a nano-second of thought about that comment would have stopped you from making it.

    All you’re doing is just repeating the same fucking nonsense over and over and over and no matter how many times you try to re-group and clarify, you still aren’t saying anything new, in fact you’re saying the same thing only more twisted and warped with 100 layers of he said she said that he thought she misunderstood what he implied might be the reason he didn’t understand what I thought I said clearly but everyone else didn’t understand.
    Enough already.

    I can’t resist the urge to quote my favourite artist ever, Tim Minchin to describe what I’m sure everyone is thinking at about this point in time.

    He’s shitting me now
    And my eyes start to glaze
    And through the haze of my anger
    I notice his G and T is gone
    And he’s starting to dribble
    As he dribbles on and fucking on.

  205. #206 Rystefn
    June 12, 2009

    No, Luna, that’s not what I said. Any mischaracterization of my comments worded in a way that makes me out to be a villain is about me at that point, though.

    See, Luna, you can say the point of your post was that not taking “no” to mean no leads to such and such problems, and I have no reason to disbelieve you. You were, however, jumping on the bandwagon of arguing with an imaginary foe, and pretty much everyone else, including McDuff, whom you praised for how he put the argument, imagined that foe was me. If I was mistaken in lumping you in with a group you were shouting along with, I apologize, but it was an honest mistake, and I think an understandable one… especially when you follow it with a comment explicitly stating that you thought my statements (the ones said group was railing against) could be taken as defending the behavior I was pointing out.

    Again, if you say it really was general, I’ll believe you and let it go.

    Becca, if you think there’s something about rape I fail to understand, please feel free to enlighten me. Otherwise, shut the fuck up. You’re not helping. In fact, the thing you’re doing? It’s the opposite of help.

    Luna, if you feel I have something to apologize for, point it out to me, and if I agree, I will apologize. I have done so more than once in this conversation. I have also said many times that I do not think rape is ok. every time someone says something to indicate they are under the impression I do, in fact. I am one of the people saying things like this. Apparently, it’s not such a fun bandwagon to ride as the “Rystefn is a complete ass and this wagon is not about you, Rystefn” one.

  206. #207 Mike Olson
    June 12, 2009

    I like women. I like women alot. I spent a lot of time thinking that women were smarter than men because many that I knew were much more capable than men of working cooperatively. My rational had nothing to do with the use of logic. It had everything to do with a less competitive, less violent, more cooperative outlook. Frankly, having spent a couple of more decades knocking around, I’ve come to realize that such thinking is prejudicial. Judging an individual is a much better idea than judging a gender. Today I think about that attitude and I think it was gullible, patronizing and a means to become an unwitting sycophant to women. There are weaknesses in the position that are not immediately apparent and the attitude is misguided at best. Men aren’t better than women and women aren’t better than men. Both genders have inherent strengths and weaknesses, but more is explained by personality, interest and sociocultural influences than gender alone. BTW, knowing how to plumb doesn’t make one a plumber. I understand completely how an internal combustion engine works. I’m incompetent with a set of ratchets. A “rape switch” is an interesting suggestion and the statement as originally made is inflammatory. The target of this vitriol (soldiers) are men who are in a highly stressful, violent environment. Currently they are lauded as protecting women and children(less so now than five years ago), it seems fairly transparent a rant when an academic who has never had to put his life on the line labels them as rapists. Your idealism is fantastic, you’re well intended, but you seek to pathologize men who appear to be capable of something you’re not. And I’m not talking about rape. Having a pair doesn’t mean name calling or stating a strong opinion. If you are concerned with defending women, than perhaps you should’ve been a soldier.

  207. #208 Rystefn
    June 12, 2009

    Jodi, you’re misusing the word “irony.” It’s a common misuse, but it’s still wrong. Watch more Futurama. Bender will educate you.

    …and thank you for giving me an excuse to use the phrase “Bender will educate you.”

    And no, I’m not saying anything new. What’s new to say? Everyone who thinks I’m defending rape is wrong. Everyone who thinks I’m excusing people for assuming “no” means yes is wrong. Everyone who thinks I’m attacking people for doing what they feel in required to stay safe is wrong. Everyone who thinks I’m out of line for taking it personally when Greg says, “Rystefn… you are a rapist” is wrong. There are only so many ways to say that. So long as these people keep saying the same wrong things, I’ll keep trying to explain to them that they’re wrong. Sure, it’s probably an exercise in futility, but I’m stubborn as a rock that way.

    If you people want to paint me as a villain, that’s fine. I am one. I will not, however, play stand-in for some other villain who isn’t here.

  208. #209 Rystefn
    June 12, 2009

    Oh… and I don’t suffer for one second from the delusion I never suffer from temporary stupidity. Every single time a person misreads one of my comments, I go back and reread it because of this. I’m fairly certain not one of the ones I made on this topic was written during a bout of stupidity. So either I didn’t, or I’m still in the middle of the damned thing. After a week, though, I think I might have noticed, given the amount of inspection I’ve given my work. Still, it is possible.

    Oh, and don’t the assurances of anyone here, or even everyone here, will help. See, I know you’re all at least as prone to stupidity as I am, and groups tend to aggravate stupidity, not cure it. Frankly, it always concerns me when too many people are on my side in an argument, and when it happens, more often than not, it turns out I was being stupid. It’s a little counterintuitive at first, I’ll admit, but my own limited experience reinforces this conclusion again and again.

  209. #210 Jason Thibeault
    June 12, 2009

    Jodi, you’re misusing the word “irony.” It’s a common misuse, but it’s still wrong

    She says, and I quote, “oh, probably, but I was just trolling, so I don’t fucking care.”

    She also says “you don’t have to quote from me” but I did because it’s FUNNY.

    Everyone who thinks I’m defending rape is wrong. Everyone who thinks I’m excusing people for assuming “no” means yes is wrong. Everyone who thinks I’m attacking people for doing what they feel in required to stay safe is wrong. Everyone who thinks I’m out of line for taking it personally when Greg says, “Rystefn… you are a rapist” is wrong.

    So you are perfectly certain that everyone is wrong but you. You admit that you will never gain consensus on this. And you seem to have a bit of a martyr complex (on top of narcissism) in that you assume you are right when everyone’s against you, and vice versa. So why DO you keep going, on and fucking on? Twenty-something of us can’t outpace, or even match, one of you and your certainty that you’re right about everything. Why not just claim victory and ride off? Unless you’re getting something out of generating outrage. Like, say, making the entire argument about you. Which this one is, yet again.

    I still contend that the problem is not in your views, assuming they are exactly what you say they are. The problem is in how you presented the devils’ advocate positions, THEN clarified your views, repeatedly. Riposte, feint. Trollish. Generates outrage. But you seem to revel in that.

  210. #211 Rystefn
    June 12, 2009

    How many people who just say “I won” and are never heard from again actually won, Jason? Not many.

    More to the point – I’m not trying to win. You can’t win an argument. It’s never been done. You can turn an argument into something else and win that, sure.. but since what I’m trying to turn the argument into is an understanding that I’m not on a different side that you, I’m not really sure I can win the following agreement, either.

    I’m pretty sure I’ve already covered this whole “winning” thing, too. See? Nothing new. Well, the martyr complex thing is new, I’ll give you that. Not just to this conversation, either. I’ve honestly never been accused of that before. It’s novel… I’ll have to chew on that for a while and get back to you.

    Oh, and it’s not that everyone is wrong but me. Just all those people thinking that list of wrong things up there.

    This usually where someone would jump in and insist that I say everyone who disagrees with me is wrong. It’s stupid when other people say it, it would be stupid for me to say it to any of you, and it would be stupid for any of you to say it to me. How about we skip that particular bit of inanity this time, yeah?

  211. #212 Rystefn
    June 12, 2009

    Oh yeah… before I forget – you feint, then riposte. A feint is a fake attack meant to bait your opponent into making a mistake (such as launching an attack of their own), and a riposte is an attack you make following a successful parry (such as the parry you made of the baited attack). It’s more or less impossible to lead with riposte.

  212. #213 Stephanie Z
    June 12, 2009

    Mike, you haven’t read the comments in the original post from Greg, have you? Or maybe you did, and you still think the only way to protect anyone is to be a soldier. We’ve seen stranger ideas persist around here.

    Silly puppy, soldiers are just the people who get the training and the arms (and sometimes pay) when they do the protecting.

  213. #214 Rystefn
    June 12, 2009

    Now how did I miss that? Got distracted in my own asides, I suppose, or possibly comments crossing in the ‘tubes… Oh well, I see it now.

    Mike, Stephanie is so right, I can’t even pretend to argue with her on this point. Every person breathing has a chance to protect and defend. Mostly, soldiering isn’t the way to do it. If you wanted to blow shit up, you should have been a soldier. If you want to defend people, you just step up and do what you can. Greg may be a misguided ass sometimes, but he’s fucking well trying and doing what I’m fairly sure he honestly believes is right (even if he gets distracted into personal asides here and there).

    Painting people to be something other than what they are is wrong. It’s wrong when Greg does it to me, and it’s wrong when you do it to him. Pretty hypocrite I’d be if I didn’t point that out, right?

  214. #215 becca
    June 12, 2009

    I already turned many of the sub-arguments into an understanding.
    I helpfully identified several points of agreement, heroically and nobly avoiding the alluring bits of annoyingly-phrased stuff and refusing to argue and thus make it about those minor issues. I even did it in a comment filled with pop-geek-culture references that was highly amusing. So that tied up some loose ends on Almost Diamonds. We were all getting along so well.
    But then…
    you had to go and keep commenting, Rystefn. And dig yourself in deeper and deeper. And utterly refuse to Play Nice. Or even just Simmah Down!!! So I decided it was more fun to be UNhelpful. Why do you think that might be?
    Am I just a psycho bitch who will Unleash the Snark on anyone who strikes my capricious whim?
    Or are you just a Very Annoying Person In Debate Who Hasn’t Obtained Real Enlightenment?

  215. #216 Rystefn
    June 12, 2009

    Is that what happened? I thought that over there, where we had reached an understanding, the last things I had to say were that DarkWing Duck was a great show, Princess Bride was a great movie, and love is a wonderful thing that the world could use more of.

    Over here, on the other hand, people were still saying the wrong stuff about my stance, so I just carried on correcting them. A few personal attacks thrown my way do have an amazing potential to get my attention that way, I’ve found.

    Frankly, I fail to see what the one has to do with the other. What in the fucking world made you think that playing nice on a different blog on a different subject would get me just roll over and let the fuckrags over here shit all over me? Is this how you think it works? Did you really expect things to go that way? Honestly? because if you really believed that’s what was going happen, the bout of stupidity you were suffering just now must have hit you like a Sherman tank and left your grey matter leaking out ass and down the shitter.

    I’m sorry, that may have been a little over the top, even for me. Allow me to rephrase: What the Hell is wrong with you? Are you on crack?

  216. #217 Jason Thibeault
    June 12, 2009

    riposte, feint

    I never said I was a fencer, or even understood the sport beyond Princess Bride.

    INIGO
    You’re using Bonetti’s defense against me, ah?

    MAN IN BLACK
    I thought it fitting, considering the rocky terrain –

    INIGO
    Naturally, you must expect me to attack with Capo Ferro –

    And he shifts his style now.

    MAN IN BLACK
    (coping as best he can)
    — naturally –
    (suddenly shifting again)
    –but I find Thibeault cancels out Capo Ferro, don’t you?

    (Okay, I added an “e” to Thibault.)

  217. #218 Rystefn
    June 12, 2009

    Unless your opponent has studied his Agrippa… which I have.

  218. #219 Jason Thibeault
    June 12, 2009

    Let’s skip to the part where I say I’m not left handed either.

    http://www.lousycanuck.ca/?p=1070#comment-1378

    You’re trolling because you want to generate clicks. You think you’re being noble while all you’re doing is increasing the noise ratio of this thread and every other one before it. And I think Greg can do that fine all by himself, thank you. So, everyone, let’s ignore Rystefn. Obvious troll is obvious.

    In case this isn’t enough proof, the private e-mail thread is definitely staying in my inbox and I’ll forward to anyone who asks. If Rystefn trolls about anything, to anyone, consider it performance art, or a very well executed Poe. If you feel bad that the click-throughs aren’t going to be generated any more, feel free to donate directly at Sheril’s (no link so I avoid the damn spam filter). About $1 per person who cares, should cover the lost click-throughs and get the topic back on track.

    Assuming everyone ignores Rystefn from now on, that is. Might I suggest people google for “scienceblogs killfile” and modify the Greasemonkey script PZ posted at Pharyngula to kill Rystefn? He’ll come back in other names, but that just means we’ll get a temporary repireve.

    PLONK MOTHERFUCKER

  219. #220 Rystefn
    June 12, 2009

    WTF? Really? This again? Well, I’ll admit, you’ve gone to more work on it than the people who suggested this a week ago. Like it’s so terribly difficult to fake a forwarded e-mail. Fuck you, man. Can’t win you resort to running some sort of scam? That’s low. Going to say Lou was in on it, too, while you’re at it? Maybe he was over here drumming up hits instead of being honestly pissed about what Greg had to say…

  220. #221 Stephanie Z
    June 13, 2009

    Jason, let’s just say I’ve got the cash part covered. Greg can just tell me what it’ll cost. It’s more than worth it to not see my friends and other people I respect abused “for a good cause.”

  221. #222 Jason Thibeault
    June 13, 2009

    Awww… You caught me. Sorry about that.

    (Lest I be accused of sockpuppetry, this is obviously not Jason. Just Rystefn showing how easy internet fakery is. Don’t worry about that crap about me coming around with another name, you’ll never see me using a different one than this.)

  222. #223 Jason Thibeault
    June 13, 2009

    You’ll never see Rystefn coming around here under a different name than Jason Thibeault?

    Brain asplode.

    Like I said, full gmail thread available to anyone willing to ask for it. With Google’s cooperation you could even get them to verify the contents of the smtp ids in question. Or someone could pull me aside and demand that I show them stuff in rapid-fire-fashion such that I could never fake it manually. Stuff like server logs showing his IP submitting the post parameters to say what he said. Sure, it sure is easy to fake who you are on a blog where you can send messages anonymously, but Greg has access to IPs, and ultimately, SHUT THE FUCK UP. You outed yourself. You thought you were doing something noble, but you weren’t. Go back to your performance art on Skepchick or wherever the hell. Though I’d love a URL to prove you even did that…

  223. #224 Jason Thibeault
    June 13, 2009

    What’s more, let’s say in the extreme hypothetical that I was able to forge your Yahoo SMTP logs (e.g. by hacking into your Yahoo account), forge web logs from my webhost, forge Gmail logs and keep all the SMTP IDs valid and functional according to Gmail and Yahoo, and forge your IP address while doing it all (because to get into Yahoo and not leave traces I’d have to do it while spoofing your IP), well, after pulling all that off, wouldn’t I just say “okay, I take it all back, I apologize for acting douchy to everyone in this thread and every other one I’ve defiled”? Coz I’d like to think I would.

    Sockpuppetry on your scale (typing a different name, e-mail address and URL, and maybe even using an anonymous proxy if you had any knowledge whatsoever) is easy. Sockpuppetry on the scale which you’re accusing me and which evidence against is available on request, not so much. I’d either have to have your passwords (BETTER GO CHANGE THEM ALL!), and your IP address (BETTER GO RESET YOUR MODEM!), and an admin account at both Google and Yahoo (BETTER REPORT ME TO THE FBI!), or you’re a douchebag. Occam’s razor.

  224. #225 Rystefn
    June 13, 2009

    …yeah, I phrased that badly. Sue me. You’ll never see me fail to identify myself as Rystefn short of situations wherein you generally don’t identify yourself at all. (I don’t walk down the street shouting “I’m Rystefn!” or splatter the global channel in MMORPGs with “My character’s name is [whatever], but you can call me Rystefn.”) Sorry for the confusion there.

    As to the rest, I’m not a computer guy. I was under the impression that it’s possible, and you admitted yourself both that it is and that you could do it. People know you fight fair, though, right? Of course your friends already believe on your say-so alone, and there’s more than enough of people here seeing stuff that isn’t there to fuel their issues with me.

    It’s low as shit, but you outplayed me on this one. There’s really not anything I can do about it.

  225. #226 the real meme
    June 13, 2009

    Hey! I am the only sock puppet on this thread! and…STOP PULLIN ON YER I_P
    but McDuff, “I’m trying to write an actual comment about what went on. It’s taking me a while, ”
    for some reason I have no problem believing this statement form you–after all, your pathetic blog is just a dump for your mind muddle. What is the word for someone like you who is so pathetic, dulll, and useless who trolls useful, profesional blogs like this one and tried to drum up hits for their muddled, vain, and mentally flatulent at best writing?
    Oh, yeah: we call you guys “spolls” a combination of useless spammer, and a troll–one step down from the intellect of a spore.

  226. #227 Jason Thibeault
    June 13, 2009

    I said some of it was spoofable, and it is, anything you can type into a text file and send and say “hey, this is full headers lolz”. But SMTP IDs can’t be forged unless you have root access to the sending and receiving servers. You’d have to get a court order to pull them to prove they were faked though. And even then, you’d fail, because they weren’t. If I really have you over a barrel, it’s because you’re full of it.

    Now, how about a nice rousing round of let’s talk about Greg’s post, huh? So how ’bout that rape switch idea? Anyone think my hypothesis of there being a number of factors related to war that stretch proclivity bubbles along the lines of various axes corresponding to personality traits of the soldiers in question, is worth a discussion? Huh? Huh???

  227. #228 Rystefn
    June 13, 2009

    So… You think saying I’d have to a court order to prove whether or not they were fakes is a defense? That’s funny.

    Also, you’re confused. This isn’t the “rape switch” thread. This is the “Rystefn’s wrong, but it’s not about Rystefn” thread. The “Rape switch” thread is here: http://scienceblogs.com/gregladen/2009/06/rape_switch_hypothesis_still_g.php

  228. #229 The loon
    June 13, 2009

    Also, you’re confused. This isn’t the “rape switch” thread. This is the “Rystefn’s wrong, but it’s not about Rystefn” thread.

    Actoolee, this is the “Rystefn is wrong that he thought the internet would talk about rape for the month of June is really talking about Rystefn for the month of June” thread. This is the “I can’t believe Rystefn can be such an obnoxious shit and then when he gets slapped up side the head for pulling the ‘I just raped my girlfriend what do you think about that?’ shit” thread. This is the “crap, it’s starting to look much like Rystefn is some kind of paranoid compulsive schizophrenic seriously mentally ill I’d love to get him some help if he wasn’t just some kind of freakin’ creep” thread. This is the “it looks too late for this Rystefn guy to grow up, glad he does not live by my house” thread. This is the “your ruining it for everyone because you make it look like you should need a license to blog … or comment on a blog … thread.” Or possibly even the “its starting to become apparent that Rystefn is nothing more than a sloppily thrown together perl script auto-troll” thread.

  229. #230 McDuff
    June 13, 2009

    Why would I drum up traffic for livejournal? The real meme isn’t even a very good troll. But he’s still an irredeemable asshole fucktard. And definitely a troll.

    Um, I’m assuming that the argument with Rystefn is catastrophically crashing and burning, so I’m just going to take the half comment I wrote last night and put it into bullet points.

    - Rystefn, your intentions are pure and innocent. You’ve argued that plenty and I’ve seen other posts, and I have no cause to disbelieve you. Nevertheless, assuming you’re also to be believed when you say you’ve been posting in good faith, your arguments were incorrect and potentially damaging, even if you posted them out of the fervent belief Jesus Himself told you to do it. Even if you did it because you believed that only by posting the comments was, in fact, a good way to prevent abuse. The argument you made were wrong. The fact that they were wrong in a way that could be damaging is icing on the cake, frankly.

    - That’s what “this is not about you” means. There is a difference between me trying to guess at the contents of the inside of your head, and me pointing out that the words I’m reading on the screen are making a flawed argument. Again, assuming that you’re arguing in good faith, you should try and remember that.

    - There are no “backsies” in rape, so the store analogy is incorrect.

    - It is, actually, easy to know when someone wants you to go further with sex, at least if you’re an adult and have done it more than, say, ten times before. If you don’t think this is the case, I am sorry, you’re one of those guys who doesn’t know how to ask questions and can’t read body language. This is not anybody’s problem but your own.

    - People win arguments all the time. Perhaps the fact that you don’t think arguments can be won explains why you’re caterwauling rather than arguing. I’m not buying the deliberate bad faith trolling thing on the evidence presented, anyway. I don’t think you’re that much of a douche. I hope I’m not wrong there.

  230. #231 Stephanie Z
    June 13, 2009

    I’ve seen the evidence, before anything was posted about it here, when it was in the asking-for-advice stage. The identity pieces match the evidence from my blog. I’ve also seen Rystefn be that much of a douche before for what he thought were good reasons.

  231. #232 Mike Olson
    June 13, 2009

    Actually, I don’t think soldiering is the only way to protect and defend. I was a Navy Corpsman. A lab tech NEC:8506. I find it interesting that you read my comments and then chose to take one statement out of context. I enlisted in the military so that I could further my medical training and in particular have spent time being fascinated by Red Blood Cells and their various functions(biochemical, antibody/antigen rxns, as well as things like clotting factor cascades). My point in my commment to Greg was that he has spent a lot of time chest thumping, making statements about the sexual prowess of others, distancing himself from white males, etc.. Much of what he has written I understand and see his rationale. There is an imbalance within the power structure of the U.S.. He is right to be outraged about his subject matter(rape). My point was that rather than label those who are doing a necessary job as potential rapists, perhaps he step up and make a literal stand. Frequently soldiers get caught up in politics beyond their control, but generally they are good men and women who seek to protect(or are willing to protect) their country in a very personal fashion. Yes, we can all be political activists. We can all petition our legislators. We can give money. All in order to protect others. But, in those situations you are not in danger of dying. That is the key point. I’m very liberal. There are many of the political arguments I hear, here that I agree with. But, to stand up questioning the masculinity of a group, while decrying them as rapists? To me, that just sounds like a guy who is concerned on a sexual level about another group that is willing or able to do something he can’t or won’t. Which is to put himself in physical danger for the benefit of others. Let’s face it, putting yourself in danger for your own benefit takes courage. But, putting yourself in danger for the safety of others is something else all together. If it helps I was a volunteer firefighter for several years as well. I did run into burning buildings and I did help get people out of their wrecked cars. I’m well aware you don’t have to soldier to protect others. I’m not trying to chest thump. I’d have rather spent my life working in the lab with those RBC’s. Just sayin’, ya know? Don’t just talk the talk, walk the walk.

  232. #233 Rystefn
    June 13, 2009

    As usual, I get to play catch-up at first. Frankly, I’m kind of tired of it, so I’m going to cut this one a bit shorter.

    loon – I know you’re trying to get in on the action by accusing me of raping someone, but you’ve fallen behind. You’re not very good at baiting people, are you?

    McDuff – Point out a flaw and we can discuss it. Otherwise, you’re talking out your ass. If you think it’s always easy to tell when a person really wants sex and is saying no as a game, I suspect you’ve had little experience with people who are into that sort of thing. If you think people win arguments, you and I are using completely different definitions of the word. One would have thought you might have picked that up before you even said it from the context of “changing it to something else and winning that” part of the statement.

    Stephanie – Did you miss the part where he said he could fake that? Also, douche doesn’t begin to describe some of the things I’ve done. Like I said before: I don’t mind being painted a villain. I am one. Just keep it to the villainy I’ve actually done, please.

    Mike – It kind of came off that. Sorry if I misunderstood you.

  233. #234 Jason Thibeault
    June 13, 2009

    Mike, I honestly feel as though Greg’s chest-thumping and troll-baiting was either acting as stupid as participants in this never-ending trollfest were being, or an attempt to illustrate how little all this male posturing and dishonest argumentation matters in comparison with the actual issue — which I feel the need to remind everyone that we’re talking about here — being widespread systematic rape of the women of Liberia, the Congo, and elsewhere, perpetrated by soldiers in those areas.

    I know “soldier” immediately makes you think you’re being directly affronted, if you’re a serviceman. But it’s a) not necessarily your country’s soldiers in question in the original argument, and b) very likely that your country’s soldiers are just as vulnerable to the same pressures that cause acts of depraved barbarity against the indigenous populace (see everything to do with Gitmo, the 12-year-old girl getting raped in Iraq, the puppy-off-a-cliff incident). Your outrage would be better spent redirected at the people who know there’s rape going on, but are too busy chest-thumping and dick-waving to do anything about the actual problem.

  234. #235 the real meme
    June 13, 2009

    “posturing and dishonest argumentation matters in comparison with the actual issue”
    No one can deny that rape is horrible. No one.

    But given a choice, I would take it up my ass before I would eat another bullet for the matriarchy.

  235. #236 McDuff
    June 13, 2009

    If you think it’s always easy to tell when a person really wants sex and is saying no as a game, I suspect you’ve had little experience with people who are into that sort of thing.

    Remind me, are you talking about BDSM when you say games, or just headgames. Because I avoid headgames unless I know the rules. So it’s probable that if I’ve encountered someone who really knew how to fake not wanting sex when they did, I just didn’t have sex with them. Madness, I know!

    I’m struggling to see where this is a fucking life-shattering wrong done by me, mind you. Chances are, if said hypothetical person kept not getting sex by making people think s/he didn’t want sex, eventually they’d learn to let people know. Then it wouldn’t be an issue.

    In any event, as before, the hypothetical person who is socially inept and can’t tell when someone wants sex and the hypothetical person who is socially inept and can’t tell someone when she wants sex are all but irrelevant. As is the totality of BDSM where “no please stop” doesn’t mean that but “safeword” does, but that’s already been discussed.

    Why bring it up? It doesn’t affect or change the outcome of anything. That’s the issue I’m struggling with most, I think. Assume you’re right and it’s difficult to tell when people want sex. So? How does this change anything? What’s the expected end result that you’re hoping to gain? I think the reason people are accusing you of “skating close to rape apologies” is because you’re making arguments which benefit rape apologists and are just a meaningless distraction if you’re not one.

  236. #237 Jason Thibeault
    June 13, 2009

    McDuff — as I said, his game is meaningless distraction by virtue of dishonest argumentation. He thinks he’s being noble by generating hits for the campaign but all he’s doing is not just contributing to the noise but causing people who *were* part of the signal to change over to noise. He’s the troll equivalent of Ice-9.

  237. #238 mr mr.
    July 20, 2009

    WOW this post or blog only shows that you are very unintellectual, and show a strong hatred towards men. Whatever he did to you must have been brought on by you, because you seem way to bitter to live with. Any man with a brain would stay as far from you as possible.

  238. #239 Capt Kirk
    July 20, 2009

    Hmm Sounds like either a fat women that never got any or a homosexual male.

  239. #240 mr. drendrich
    July 24, 2009

    Sounds to me like its aww im angry its a man’s fault. aww im getting old and ugly its a man’s fault. aww I have been always fat and ugly aww its a man’s fault. aww i am too much of a looser and a druggie to keep the father of my children aww its a man’s fault.

    Start looking at yourself and then you will find the whole world which you think is against you really is not against you.
    It is only you against you and it always has been you against you.

  240. #241 Stephanie Z
    July 24, 2009

    Wow, Greg. Have you really had trouble keeping the father of your children?

  241. #242 Jason Thibeault
    July 24, 2009

    I simply must know what troll factory linked this post so long after it died.

  242. #243 Greg Laden
    July 24, 2009

    Steph: It’s 50-50.

    Jason: There are troll factories? Interesting.

  243. #244 Pragamat
    April 28, 2011

    Man, I swear.

    this is interesting and all but it’s absolutely useless. This is just playing clean up.

    white folks always be trippin’ on their own dichotomies n’ shit. I’m leaving.

  244. #245 Kai
    November 16, 2011

    “Be a man for once. No, wait, don’t be a man! (What am I saying?) Be smarter, more interesting, less dogmatic, and braver.

    “Be a woman for once!”

    It sounds like you have a lot of issues with men.

    Oh, and again, thank you for raising awareness of the growing crisis of female soldier rapists. It takes a lot of bravery to speak up against such a taboo subject. I didn’t mean to offend by congratulating you privately….

  245. #246 human
    right here-<3
    January 21, 2014

    Sheesh! Men are pathetic when they don’t like the truth

  246. #247 human
    January 21, 2014

    It’s always the womansn fault-AWW, she musta deserved it! ‘wateva man fucked u up u obviously DESERVED IT’racka racka it’s all the same