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I've been teaching sexuality education to teens for a decade now.  In that time, I've seen a huge shift in the way young women respond to the issue of date rape, although almost no change in the way young men respond.

The date rape lesson in Our Whole Lives for high school students takes the form of the story of a date told from the perspective of each person.  Participants divide into two groups, each with one version of the story, which they read aloud.  The basic facts of the date are the same in each account - they go to dinner, drink a bottle of wine, go back to his room at the frat house, drink some more, play music, dance, get partly undressed, make out.  It's at this point the stories diverge radically - his version ends with them having sex, her version with her being raped.  After reading the story, participants answer a series of questions which include "What could he/she have done to change the outcome of the evening?"

I've always believed the date rape session is about communication.  Throughout the evening, the characters try to guess or intuit what the other person is thinking and feeling.  At no point in the evening does either partner bring up the question of sex, nor do they ever explicitly discuss their feelings or desires.  Both characters, seem unwilling to have the crucial discussion about sex because dinner was romantic and fun and the music in his room was wonderful and they were dancing and enjoying it and didn't want to wrecked the mood.  They each assume the other understands the meaning behind their actions - neither simply asks "Do you want to have sex" or says, "I'm not ready to have sex with you."

Every time I've taught this course, the young men responded with a variation on, "What he did was wrong.  If he wanted to have sex with her, he should have asked her."  That response assumes the male is more interested in sex than the female and that he will naturally be the one to initiate sex (and there are some problems with those assumptions) but it acknowledges the need for her consent.

Over the decade, the responses of young women have shifted dramatically.  The first time I taught the course, the young women condemned the girl in the story - she was stupid for drinking on the date, for going to his room, for getting undressed; "She should have known better!"  When I lead this session with adults, I've gotten almost the same response from the overwhelming majority of women in the room - she was stupid and put herself in harm's way, she should have known better.  A few years ago, the young women's response shifted.  Rather than condemning her, the female participants said, "She made some mistakes but she said no and he should've stopped.  He's at fault, but she didn't protect herself."  At which point they listed things like "Don't to his room if you don't want to have sex."

In the group earlier this year, the young women responded to the question "What could he/she have done to change the outcome of the evening?" with two phrases: "He could've not raped her," and "She said no and that's all she needs to do."  When I pushed them a little - is there something that either of them could have done earlier in the evening to change the outcome, I was told, "She said no.  Expecting her to do anything else is blaming the victim."  I responded by saying, "I'm talking about is there anything that didn't happen during the evening that might have changed the outcome?  Something they could have talked about it?"  At which point, one of the boys in the group asked, "Why didn't he ask if she wanted to have sex?"  Again the girls responded, "She said no.  There's nothing else she should have to do."

I said, "I'm not disagreeing that she said no and he should have honored that.  However, she said 'No' and he still raped her.  Is it possible she could have left his room earlier in the evening?  Called for a ride?  Brought up the question of sex over dinner?  In the story, almost until the moment he pulled her pants down, he's very solicitous of her, wanting to give her positive attention.  The date went well up until the very last few minutes, two sentences of the story."

The female participants were still troubled by the story but when I framed it that way, the group was able to move the discussion into the realm of "The could have talked about sex over dinner . . . She could have asked one of his frat brothers for a ride home . . . she could have asked for a taxi."

When I brought up the question of communication - actually saying over dinner, "I don't know you well enough to have sex with you" - they laughed because they said no one would do that on a date.  But, they all agreed communication broke down the date.  Rather than trying to figure out what the other was thinking, it would have opened up an avenue to discuss what they wanted from each other.  They might have agreed to not drink so much so they could have a conversation without the fuzziness of alcohol.  He would have known up front she wasn't interested in sex and wouldn't have interpreted her actions as being "into him" as he does in the story.  They even agreed that the worst case scenario after that - he gets mad and storms out of the restaurant - is better than what happened.

I've been reflecting on this experience for almost six months now.  I keep asking myself if, as adults, we've done young persons a disservice when we've taught them "No means no."  Victims of date rape are not, in any way, "asking for it."  Getting undressed isn't consenting to sex.  Getting in bed with someone is not consenting to sex.  Every account of date rape I have read includes the victim saying "No."  No means no, but saying it is obviously not enough to prevent date rape.  I am afraid that having learned "no means no" and that is enough may be blinding some people to the complexities and realities of dating.

As I reflect on my sexual encounters with a variety of partners, I recognize the complexity in the majority of those situations.  Very few were straightforward - I felt competing emotions and ambiguous desires.  Even when I most desired sex, that wasn't the only emotion I felt; I wanted my partner to enjoy the experience, to be willing, to be enthusiastic, to not feel pressured.  I think most persons experience the complexity of sexuality.  What we want and don't want isn't always clear.  It's all gradations and a continuum; not a simple yes or no reality.

I wonder if we're offering a too simple formulation about communication around sex.  No means no, but sex is rarely that simple and it's okay to negotiate and discuss our sexual feelings and desires with our potential partners.  The opportunity to ask for what you want and to set boundaries is too important to ignore.  What if we taught young people that the time to say "no" or "yes" is well before you're in bed with someone?  Talk about the boundaries, talk about what each person is okay doing and not doing.

On dates, there is (usually) an undercurrent of sexual interest and energy.  Acknowledging that interest and energy by empowering people to talk about it early seems like a better way to guarantee that "no" is respected.  Conversations about sex and contraception don't have to be difficult or awkward.  What if we teach young persons to feel comfortable having the conversation - "I'm having a great time.  Can we talk about sex and make a decision together that we both feel comfortable with so that something we both regret doesn't happen later?"

I would hate to think that we've made a well intentioned mistake that put people at risk for date rape.  I guess, as I re-read what I've written here, I'm hoping that we, as adults, can make it okay to talk about sex in ways that aren't prurient or salacious.  I hope we can be better teachers and mentors to young persons.  I hope we can model discussing sexuality in respectful ways without passing on the false narrative that a romantic dinner will let you psychically know the other person's intent and desire.  Consent needs to be explicit but if we wait till we're in the 'moment' we have waited far too long.  I hope we can give young persons, both male and female, the tools to experience satisfying, rewarding, emotionally rich, consensual relationships throughout their lives.

Originally posted to glendenb on Sun Oct 20, 2013 at 07:13 PM PDT.

Also republished by Community Spotlight.


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Comment Preferences

  •  Expecting hormone raging, (34+ / 0-)

    awkward, self conscious teenagers to have adult conversations about sex with each other is pretty naive and idealistic.  

  •  It sounds like men aren't getting the message (39+ / 0-)

    Unfortunately, the message "No means no" is reaching the wrong party. Men need to understand that they need to get an affirmative message before engaging in sex.

    look for my eSci diary series Thursday evening.

    by FishOutofWater on Sun Oct 20, 2013 at 07:28:37 PM PDT

    •  People are strange (8+ / 0-)

      In every population, there are people who are born with stronger urges, weaker impulse control.  There are people who are bipolar, on manic highs.  People with subtle traumatic brain injuries from falling off a skateboard.   People who are psychotic from drug use, and even some illness.  And, people who just don't like to follow rules.

      Have you ever seen any group of people, where you could give them instructions, and every single one of them would follow those instructions every single time.

      I haven't.

      You can't assume other people will do what they are supposed to do.  Sometimes they will, and sometimes, they won't.   If you want to stay safe, you have to remember that.

      •  I agree (9+ / 0-)
        You can't assume other people will do what they are supposed to do.  Sometimes they will, and sometimes, they won't.   If you want to stay safe, you have to remember that.
        For safety, I think every woman should remember this.

        Even though the rule is that some form of affirmative consent to sex is required - and the majority of men will instinctively follow this and immediately stop the action if "no, stop" is uttered - there are those out there who will not honor this rule for a variety of reasons/causes.  

        So women as a precaution, should practice good boundaries and try to steer clear of situations that could easily get out of hand.  It's not always clear if the guy you are spending time with is part of the rule breaking minority.

        •  knowing a guy well enough (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          to find out whether he is part of the rule breaking minority, is part of the reason why it is helpful to get to know someone before having sexual activity with him...

          but i know that falls on deaf ears these days

          Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
          Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights for support in dealing with grief.

          by TrueBlueMajority on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 09:29:01 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Enthusiastic consent (16+ / 0-)

      In other words, yes means yes. No means no kind of leaves sexuality in a realm where a man is asking for it from a woman, and she decides whether or not to give in.

      Sex really should be something that two partners ask of each other. If there are any doubts in the air, it shouldn't happen at all.

      "As the madmen play on words, and make us all dance to their song / to the tune of starving millions, to make a better kind of gun..." -- Iron Maiden

      by Lost Left Coaster on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 06:03:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  But You Can Push that Envelope (12+ / 0-)

        Pretty far.  I also told my son to "get a yes" and that "no means no". I stand by that, and so far it has served him well.

        But ask yourself:  what happens if a guy does get a "yes?" that changes at the very last minute (I.e. naked folks and all in the heat of the moment) to "no?" That is still legally, rape.  No question about it.  Yet this does happen.  At that point, it seems oversimplistic to just assume that a teenager has the wherewithal to just stand up, shrug and say "Oh well".  We expect that, and I think that expectation is the right one--for the male involved.

        Yet I also believe that the female partner has some responsibility for having let things get that far before her "yes" changed to "no." If we expect boys to be rational about these things to avoid becoming rapists then I don't think it is unreasonable to tell girls that "hey, just because you get the last word and the law will take your side if things go wrong doesn't mean it isn't your obligation just as much as his to try and not be in that situation to begin with."  

        It's all about female agency--and we don't talk about the responsibilities that go with female agency too much on the Left, because then it makes it too complicated.  Which is a shame, because if there is anything that is complicated in this world, it's sex and the many sources of unconscious messaging that come into play when folks' sexual behavior (including sexual signaling) gets active.

        •  I don't think the law would have been on her side (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Back In Blue, hmi

          in the given circumstance.  I doubt that the girl would even report it and may even blame herself realistically.  

          •  You May Be Right (0+ / 0-)

            Since of course the theory of the law and the practice of the law are often two very different things.

            But that's yet another reason why IMO it's not enough to just say "No means No".  Not if the goal is truly ending date rape.

        •  We should not teach girls the law will be on their (5+ / 0-)

          side.  There's plenty of examples of "illegitimate rape", "slut-shaming", "she wanted it", "older than her chronological age", etc. etc.

          You never know how it's going to go, so it's best to stay safe by being clear with whoever you're dating long before you get anywhere near where it could go further than you want it too.

          The priest said, "Today's sermon is called 'Liars', but first I have a question. How many of you have read Chapter 66 in Matthew?" Nearly every hand went up. "You're just the group I need to speak to," the priest said. "There's no such chapter."

          by Back In Blue on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 01:54:17 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Then it's "no". (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          kat herder
          But ask yourself:  what happens if a guy does get a "yes?" that changes at the very last minute (I.e. naked folks and all in the heat of the moment) to "no?"
          Seems pretty straightforward to me.

          People change their minds all the time.

    •  I agree. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      No means no. And we have to teach children and teens and lots of adults that, particularly Republicans.

      And boys need to learn only yes means yes.

      That said ...

      Joe Wong: Would you like to go out?
      Girl: No.
      Joe Wong: Are you sure?
      Girl: Hey Joe, No means no.
      Joe Wong: Well .... it also means nitrous oxide.

    •  Because the message was never framed for men (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mad Season

      There's never any attempt to include men in the discussion.

      None are so hopelessly enslaved, as those who falsely believe they are free. The truth has been kept from the depth of their minds by masters who rule them with lies. -Johann von Goethe

      by gjohnsit on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 09:32:51 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Nice stereotyping (5+ / 0-)

      Good to know all us men are rapists just waiting for the right opportunity in your book.

      Regardless of what you might think, most of us don't need a frickin contract drawn up so we know when we are and aren't permitted to have sexy times with the women of our desires. And it's not because we've been told umteen million times that "no means no"; it's because we're decent human beings.

  •  I appreciate your effort to broaden (26+ / 0-)

    the discussion. However, I don't think that talking about talking is going to suffice. Maybe. But just to get to the point that talking about SEX and the possibility of having it, or not, seems like a really big hurdle to cross first.

    I'm no longer a young person and so I'm very far removed from current practices. I'm betting, though, that it's even more difficult to have a pre-sex negotiating conversation than it is to have a "do you have a condom?" conversation, which is, I understand from reading the accounts of sex educators, still not a common practice.

    IOW: The prospect of sex is still treated, I would guess, like the elephant in the room, and relatively few young (or old) people are very comfortable acknowledging its possible presence. YMMV. And I'm definitely curious about what others will say.

    Support Small Business: Shop Kos Katalogue If you'd like to join the Motor City Kossacks, send me a Kosmail.

    by peregrine kate on Sun Oct 20, 2013 at 07:33:02 PM PDT

  •  Sex must be (28+ / 0-)

    unequivocally consensual.

    I think, from my 60 years of human experience that many times young people get right to the point of penetration and someone, usually the female, puts the brakes on. That is her right; to stop participating in an activity just because she wants to!

    So many people do not see this.

    I feel bad for the young men, but any of us at any time have the right to say quit.

    Young men should be made to understand that a physical encounter cannot continue, no matter at what point, if the other person wants to quit.

    •  That's all well and good... (27+ / 0-)

      But I think the author's point is that it would be better if things are headed off before that point.  Going right to the brink and then saying no obviously ends badly in a lot of cases.  

      He may be on to something that maybe we should teach people to communicate more about sex prior to the last minute.  

      •  I agree. (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        hwy70scientist, wader, linkage, sk4p, Kevskos

        It would be better if things were headed off before then.

        I do not think that message is going to reach a lot of young people. I wish it would and we should certainly try.

      •  Agreed, but sometimes people really don't (18+ / 0-)

        know how they feel until it's almost too late - so, advice for both types of situations should still be considered, IMHO.

        . . .

        Two college-aged kids going at it late in the evening, on a long-planned day that ended in a nice hotel room, off-campus.  The male was told - quite suddenly and unexpectedly - "no more tonight, OK?" when it was rather late into their shared activities.  The windows were literally steamed by that point.

        That was me who put the brakes on and my body did not know how to stop.  But, the mind and heart easily won out - took about half a second and we just snuggled.  Kinda damply.

        Then, had a nice, snowy Sunday after waking.

        I cared about and respected the young woman as a person - anything other than what she wanted wasn't really in my mind.  The "blue balls" were deeply painful later in the evening, but hey - that was a minor inconvenience for me and not a problem.

        Most of my male friends were similar to me in this respect, but we all knew guys who wouldn't have wanted to stop and likely would have pushed back hard, unfortunately.

        So, I'm all for socializing any means to get through to all of us guys that - at any point - if there was never a "yes" or other explicit invitation, then anything else is a "no" . . . and, even an apparent "yes" can be changed at a moment's notice.  Not everyone can predict how they will feel when things get hot and heavy - in my case, a woman who was about to lose her virginity was apparently still conflicted inside about what that meant.

        "So, please stay where you are. Don't move and don't panic. Don't take off your shoes! Jobs is on the way."

        by wader on Sun Oct 20, 2013 at 10:52:41 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I was in exactly the same position MANY years ago (9+ / 0-)

          We were pretty much undressed, in bed, and she suddenly said, "WHAT ARE WE DOING?!?"  I thought it was pretty obvious what we were preparing to do, but I stopped, and I took her home after cuddling for awhile.  But if I'd had a couple of more drinks, would I have stopped?  I must confess that I'll never know the answer for sure, although I certainly hope that I would have.  But what I DO know is that there are a lot of guys who wouldn't have stopped, and who would have claimed after the fact that she never said "no" -- and it would have been their word against hers, and a lot of jurors would have a reasonable doubt about what really happened.

          It's clearly rape if the woman says no at any point, and guys need to have that pounded into their brains, but it's only something that the rapist can be convicted on if a jury is convinced, beyond a reasonable doubt and to a moral certainty, that she in fact said "no," rather than having regrets after the fact.  And unfortunately, there are lots of cases where juries aren't convinced of that, and somebody who may well be a rapist goes free.

          Bin Laden is dead. GM and Chrysler are alive.

          by leevank on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 12:39:48 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  THIS is the thing we need to teach boys (17+ / 0-)
          a woman who was about to lose her virginity was apparently still conflicted inside about what that meant.
          two generations ago a lot of sexual assumptions in society were different.  a man could grab a woman in public in various situations without needing to think about the fact that she might object.

          so perhaps boys/men will take another generation or two (or three) before it sinks in as a societal norm that women can be conflicted about sex even at the last minute.

          even if she is really turned on.

          even if she enjoyed the non copulatory activity up that point.

          even if she really wants to have sex with him!

          in that respect biology is still destiny.  men just do not have the same consequences to sex that women do: the possibility of pregnancy/abortion/childbirth; the continuing double standard in terms of reputation; and, for many women, an emotional/relationship need that the man may or may not be offering along with the sex.

          i once dated a guy whose father had apparently taught him a "yes at every stage" model where he sought continuing affirmation as things progressed.  it seemed weird at the time, but the best thing about it was that it forced me to take some responsibility for sexual activity as it intensified.

          It took the "swept away because we didn't know what we were doing" aspect out of it, and some girls have been socialized to find it "romantic" to abdicate responsibility in that way.

          but "tell me what you want/tell me you want it" can be a turn on in the right context with the right person.

          his father also taught him to take 100% responsibility for birth control in a way i have never run into before or since.

          I didn't stay with him for long for other reasons, but I was very impressed with him (and his father) and I have thought many times throughout the years of what a radically different world it would be if that attitude were more widely practiced.

          Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
          Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights for support in dealing with grief.

          by TrueBlueMajority on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 08:43:29 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I too was very lucky, I had a similar (5+ / 0-)

            highschool boyfriend who was very kind, sensitive, and communicative.

            Too bad these types of encounters seem to be such a rarity.

            Gentlemen, congratulations. You're everything we've come to expect from years of government training (Zed, MIB).

            by GreenMother on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 09:04:08 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Yeah, see, that's not helping. (0+ / 0-)

              That attitude is about as helpful as all the 18-25 year old males bemoaning how easy it is for a woman to have sex during a drunken romp and then lay out rape accusations the next day to save face.

              It's stereotyping.

              Banking on the American people to be able to sort all this out and declare the adult in the room the winner is a very big bet. -Digby

              by Boogalord on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 07:19:34 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  Oh, man (5+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Sharoney, wader, worried sick, fleisch, robizio

            Now you hit another important component--the fact that so much romance fiction STILL involves the "romantic" element of being carried away  by a dominating male.  That's got nothing to do with consentual BDSM, either.  Books like Twilight and its ilk are sheer poison: low grade, accumulating poison that builds up into the brain until it kills you. A lot of young women understand that fiction is fiction, but so many don't.  The reasonable normal young guy asking "is this ok?  Do you want to?"  seems less "normal" than the sparkly, flawless vampire lad who makes a girl swoon.  

      •  The remedy has is own problems. (12+ / 0-)

        One of the reasons I think talking about it early isn't as good an idea as it sounds is that we still can't get young men to understand that consent can be withdrawn easily.

        If during dinner, they discuss having sex and she says yeah, no I want to have sex too, and then something makes her change her mind, makes her think, yeah I need to know him better, he doesn't take that well.  It also ends badly.

        By badly, I mean rape, not his being pissed at her.

        Even more often, it ends up not in rape but in obligation sex of some sort . She feels she led him on and has sex just to get it over with and moves on.  Both men and women of course can be put int his position but it happens to women much, much more than men. I do not know a women, including myself, who has not had this kind of sex or sexual act.

        The idea that we feel badly for young men who get to engage in pleasurable sexual activity (making out) simply because it didn't end in penetration or a blow job is absurd.  It is not as if there isn't a fairly quick remedy for this "frustration" available to all but amputees.

        Which brings me to the second problem with talking early, it doesn't really reflect sexual rhythms very well. One can want sex. One can think this is a likely partner. And then one's body can not cooperate. This can happen with both partners. However, if a  woman's body doesn't cooperate, there is no visible sign, and intercourse can still happen.

        And women's bodies are far more easily distracted (even with people who know what they are doing, as most young men do not).  If a woman realizes it isn't happening, she may stop. Why incur all the risks of sex (much greater for women than men) if an orgasm isn't possible.   This should be entirely reasonable.

        Sex is about both parties satisfaction after all. And until we understand that, then rape will continue to be a problem.

      •  I was drafting the same thing downthread while you (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        posted. (Too bad new comments can't pop up while one is commenting:)


        "You do not have to be good...You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves." -Mary Oliver

        by hwy70scientist on Sun Oct 20, 2013 at 08:17:51 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I do not know the answer. (8+ / 0-)

        Yes can turn into no and no can turn into yes.

        But when yes turns into no it should be over.

        And no should be the end of it before it has a chance of turning into yes.

        •  I think the answer is something that teachers (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          probably don't want to teach or possibly can't legally teach...

          That yes and that no have physical clues.

          Is the other person's body positively responding to your touch?

          Talking about the physical responses of sex is embarrassing therefore it's not often discussed. People know what happens to a guy - it's right there in front of you. But what happens to a woman?

          And then even if the right physical responses are happening and she still says no? It's a no.

          Sex isn't easy and teens need to understand that. If they can't trust their partners to listen to both the spoken and unspoken clues, they probably shouldn't be having sex yet. But that's part of the problem too.

          I think the teacher should actually let the kids lead more of this class - we have a lot to learn from our own teenagers and it's quite possible that they have the answers. We just don't often stop to listen to what they have to say.

          •  not reliable (0+ / 0-)

            You can be aroused during rape.  Your body can be very interested while your mind is like "we have no protection, I could get a STD or pregnant, there is sand on the ground that will get into everything blah blah" and you say no.

            Hell it can even be "sex makes me wide awake and I have shit to do tomorrow morning, so if we continue I'll never get to sleep".   Took a while to figure out the best approach to that one, as the individual was also not a morning person.

      •  Eh. (19+ / 0-)

        "No means no" and "Only yes means yes" are nice platitudes but woefully ignorant of the actual experience of having sex, and how warped we are by oft-conflicting social standards and norms when it comes to sexuality and sensuality.  Like most human things, it's squishy and doesn't fit well into boxes delineated by bright lines.

        Sometimes 'no' really means 'oh god harder,' or sometimes it means 'I'm' going to make you earn this.'  I've had a partner suddenly yell out 'no, no!' during sex and then be very cross with me when I pulled out, until we both realized the irony, laughed, and went back to it.  Another person I went out with was infected with that annoying 'sex is naughty and I want it but I don't want to look like I want it so I'm going to say 'no, stop' all the time even though I mean 'yes, more'' meme.  That relationship almost didn't get consummated, until we both were frustrated enough to talk about it.  

        People are weird, and they're weirdest when it comes to sex.  Particularly female people, many of whom are still affected by the whole victorian 'only sluts want it / enjoy it' meme.  As a person who's generally cautious and who cares about his sexual partners (othewise they wouldn't be a partner,) I freaking wish no always meant no, or even that yes always meant yes.  It'd make relationships less complicated.

        In the 'yes means yes' category, well, I've had very many llate night/early morning/shhh-we-don't-want-to-wake-up-my-roomate encounters where not a word was said from beginning to end.  I think affirmative action/participation/cooperation counts as well as a yes in any case.

        Frankly, I think that the diarist is right; the best thing to do is to feel things out well before you're in the bedroom/car/bathroom stall.  Always respect your partner and tread with caution, until you learn enough of your partner to read contextual clues.  

        •  But which is more important not raping or no sex (7+ / 0-)

          One of the reasons we say no means no is because that is a simple guide.  We can not expect people to mysteriously decide which no means yes, particularly if they strongly prefer the yes, and the person is as relative stranger.

          I am sure there are women who send mixed signals, and then you miss out on sex you might have had. But ok, compared to the alternative, so what?

          If one operates under no means no, then you are sure not to rape anyone.  Presumably that is more important to you as a moral person.

          And if a women always says what she means, she respects the vulnerability men have in regards to being charged with rape.  
          To say no when she means something different and expecting him to go ahead, is expecting him to put himself at risk for her sexual quirks.  She also respects other women's right to be believed. So if a women is like that, then she can explain herself well ahead, or get some therapy.

          However weird and complicated sex might be, some rules are simple.  Getting an optimum sexual experience is not as important as one's right not to be raped, (or falsely charged with rape).

          As to your morning example, just how loud do you whisper that you can't get a  verbal consent without waking your roommate?

      •  That's a good start (4+ / 0-)

        but it also requires teaching men not to take that as indicating that they should campaign for a yes, if you know what I mean. Because if the woman is pressured into saying yes, then we're right back where we started.

        "The great lie of democracy, its essential paradox, is that democracy is the first to be sacrificed when its security is at risk. Every state is totalitarian at heart; there are no ends to the cruelty it will go to to protect itself." -- Ian McDonald

        by Geenius at Wrok on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 07:20:32 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I think this is ignorant. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          WorkerInUSA, forgore, Sparhawk

          Sorry, while I get your general point, the reality is that men are always campaigning for that yes.  ALWAYS.  To argue that this should change is saying that our entire social make-up and how we view/treat relationships as a whole is wrong and immoral.  

          Last I checked, we still live in a society where men ask our the girl.  Where men have to PROVE themselves to the girl that he is worthy of dating/sleeping with.  Where men take the girl on dates to "woo" her.  Hell, even in examples of abstinence, men are still expected to be the ones to "pop the question" and propose.  The entire courtship provess is nothing BUT a campaign that the man is expected to go through to get the woman.

          Granted, this is changing and evolving, but the male is still the pursuar is the overwhelming majority of cases.  To say that men should be taught that they aren't campaigning is just flat out hypocritical and will do more to confuse boys than teach them anything.  

          •  Oh, well, in that case, let's not change anything. (7+ / 0-)

            Or we could teach both boys and girls that sex and relationships are joint decisions made by two equal agents, and that you're not out to "score a goal" (sleep with the girl, rope the rich hunk) against resistance, but to find the person who's your best willing partner.

            "The great lie of democracy, its essential paradox, is that democracy is the first to be sacrificed when its security is at risk. Every state is totalitarian at heart; there are no ends to the cruelty it will go to to protect itself." -- Ian McDonald

            by Geenius at Wrok on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 08:57:55 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  How do you do that? (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Sparhawk, Praxical

              Let's be honest.  How do you know who is your best match if not for that "campaign"?   Take two strangers or classmates or whatever.  If that long term relationship is going to occur, the firs step is always one member deciding they are going to push for it to happen.  To "campaign" if you will.  Let's say its the male.

              So now you have a male who is interested in a female but has no idea if the female is interested.  He has to make his intentions more obvious, if not openly known.  Maybe she shoots him down.  Does he just give up and go away?  Or does he campaign some more?   She doesn't know him.  He doesn't know her.  The only way for them to truly find out if they are compatible is if one of them keeps campaigning despite the other's initial refusal.  

              On the flip side, if the female says "yes" right away to his advances, she is willing to be his partner in some fashion, but that certainly doesn't mean they are even remotely compatible.

              The fact is that while a relationships is somethign with two partners who are equally into it, it doesn't at all mean that the two partners positions/views/beliefs/intentions/etc are the same.  That takes time and there are many areas in a relationship where two people may not agree but one is going to campaign over the other.

              Hell, if I may play devil's advocate for a minute, one could argue that this whole "rape culture" awareness movement is the exact opposite of what you are pushing for here.  There is no shortage of comments on this very forum right now of people basically saying the man should be subservient to the woman and the woman should never have to concern herself with what he wants because what he wants is bad or wrong.  Sex should always be a relationship where the woman is in control and the man only does what she wants, when she wants.   That isn't equal at all.  In any relationship, if one partner is witholding something knowing full well the other partner wants it, then there is no equality at all in that relationship.  The man "just accepting it" isn't equality any more than the man forcing the woman.  

              If men don't pursue, how would a relationship work? Is it a contract negotiation?  No, that wouldn't work because in contract negotiations people often have to concede issues and agree to things they don't necessarily like.  That would be rapey.

              The only other alternative is what?  That men just stand around doing nothing, waiting for a girl to say "I chose you". Then after that the man only does what the woman wants, when she wants, with no will or drive of his own?  She just puts him in the closet when he's not needed and pulls him out when she wants something?

              Now, I don't actually believe that.  However, I do believe there is grave error in confusing equality with "the exact same", and in attempting to criminalize male sexuality in order to help women...which is what I think pretending like "campaigning" or men pursuing women for sex and/or relationships is a problem does.

              Where I do agree is there needs to be a decision made by two people.  However, decisions are often about give and take and no one member imposing their wants on the other.  But when people on this very thread are saying that men "campaigning" for sex or women feeling "pressured" to have sex is basically rape...then I think the discussion is heading in a very scary direction.

              •  You have a problem right at the start (6+ / 0-)

                when you say "Let's say it's the male" and never move off of that position.  Why say it's the male?

                And this:

                The only way for them to truly find out if they are compatible is if one of them keeps campaigning despite the other's initial refusal.
                Seriously, what the actual hell?  If there is an initial refusal, why should there be any sort of continued campaign?  Why isn't the initial refusal enough of a sign that they are not compatible?
                •  Are you serious? (0+ / 0-)

                  It took me a month, maybe two, to get my current wife of 31 years into bed. Between the initial meeting and the final consummation, there was a lot of "no"s which fortunately I ignored. Our 3 children, successful relationship, and current status suggest that you are confused for at least some people. You don't seem clear on what actually happens in a sexual negotiation.

                  •  Ignoring a lot of "no"s (4+ / 0-)

                    doesn't strike me as okay behavior.

                    Unless this conversation is conflating "no" with "not now" or "not yet," which is a thing that happens in a lot of courtships as well.  The word "refusal" did not (and does not) suggest to me "I don't want to go to bed with you at this time but let's hang out some more."

                    •  Isn't that the point of this thread though? (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:

                      That "no means no", while good in principle, falls FAR short of explaining the complexities of relationship, sex, and human behaviour?  That a greater conversation needs to occur?  

                      What I was responding to was the implication that when a woman says "no", the man should just just up and go away and then any man who continues to "campaign" is bad.  The implication that men should be taught they HAVE to campaign...which goes against all real world evidence to the contrary.   My point is that relationships ARE a campaign of sorts, at least at the start.  Because until two people know each other extremely well and/or have been together for a long time, there is going to be an element of "why are you worth my time?"

                    •  I tend to (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Batya the Toon

                      think that a 'no' for sex on one date followed by a 'yes' for another date is sort of like a reset and sex is still a possibility on the next date.  

                      "In short, I was a racketeer for Capitalism" Marine Corp Brigadier General Smedley D. Butler

                      by Kevskos on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 04:56:48 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  See, yeah -- the word "refusal" (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Kevskos, TiaRachel

                        suggested to me a refusal of a date, or even of a let's-hang-out-together, rather than the refusal of sexual activity in the context of dating.  And I still think the best response to that kind of refusal is to stop, and not to keep trying to persuade the other person to change their mind.

                        If you're already in a relationship of some kind, a "no" for sex on one night does not constitute a "no" to the possibility of sex at any given future time.  (Contrariwise, of course, a "yes" to sex on one night does not constitute a "yes" to sex at any given future time.)

                •  Answers (0+ / 0-)

                  1) I'm using the male as the example becase (a) it is applicable to the discussion we are having about men being the "campaigner" and (b) because that is technically the most likely scenario in the real world.  Further, you've ignored where I admit the man as the pursuar is changing as time goes on.   However, changing the example i've given at no point changes my point at all, which is there is almost always a pursuat and a pursuee.  There is almost always one person more into pursuing a relationship than another and therefore that person needs to make the case as to why the other should agree to a date or something.

                  Where am I wrong?  Isn't that how relationships start out?  With one person, typically male, trying to convince the female they are worthy of taking the next steps...whatever that may be?  Even if the female is trying to get the male, the facts are still the same, one person is trying to convince the other.  There is no instant and immediate mutual attraction in many cases.  There is no instant flash of awareness that two people are meant to be together forever and it just magically happens.

                  2) As to your question as to why there should be any sort of continued campaign...I never said there SHOULD be.  I simply said that there are countless times where one person is rejected but continues the campaign and it works out to be the right move.  Why?  Because when someone rejects you, they may have no idea who you are or know anything about you.  But once they get to know you, their opinion changes and they realize there is a compatibility/spark.

                  Or are you honestly going to tell me that almost every single romance movie ever made (a genre primarily supported by female audiences) isn't based on this concept of the man proving himself to the woman?   Are you honestly going to tell me that you haven't seen or heard plenty of cases where one person was initially rejected by another, but eventually they got together and are happy?  All because one person kept up the campaign?   What you are acting all offended by right now, in another context is often called romantic.  

                  •  The fact that that sort of behavior (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Geenius at Wrok, Egghead, TiaRachel

                    is called romantic in other contexts is exactly the problem.  Romances based on the notion of Persistence Will Be Rewarded are terrible, precisely because they perpetuate this model of the romance where the happy ending is one person's persistence successfully overcoming the other person's avoidance.

                    Avoidance is not something that should be overcome.  It is something that should be respected.

                    It is also, by that same argument, not something that should be put on as part of a courtship game.  If you think I'm "acting all offended" now (protip, btw: don't assume I'm acting), you should see me rip apart those cute little 1950s dating advice columns for women -- the ones that tell ladies to be sure to play it coy.  Because god forbid the man who wants you should get the idea that you want him.

                    I don't know where you get the notion that mutual interest is something that never happens.  Mutual certainty of course never happens outside of fairytales, but mutual interest?  All the time.  Not necessarily the same degree of interest, or the same degree of attraction, or the same idea of what to do with that mutual interest ... but two people meeting and each of them immediately interested in maybe spending some more time with the other?  In my experience that's actually how most relationships start.

                    •  Answers pt. 2 (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:

                      I never said mutual interest never happens.  Of course it does.  But that implies one of two things - either (1) the couple already knows each other somehow, or (2) it is an instant physical attraction.

                      If we are talking about sex and relationships built on mutual respect and equality, well it is difficult to hypothesize that either or those examples fits.  If a male and femal friends sleep together, maybe that was what one of them wanted all along and they were simlpy waiting for the other to come around.  How is that different.  

                      If it is an instant physical attraction, then that sort of goes against the whole "equality" and "best suited to each other" arguement that was made because the initial attraction has no bearing on knowing whether or not the two are compatible.  Just as rejecting someone off hand and then getting angry at my point that maybe they should continue making their case.  Because when someone is rejected, it often isn't based on any rational reasoning.  You can't necessarily say you aren't attracting to someone you may not know. You can't really make a case that you don't like their personality either.  That only comes with time.  

                      Don't get me wrong.  I'm not saying that relationships and sex are ONLY about pursuit and breaking down the will of the other person.  Not at all.  My issue is with labelling all attempts and finding out if two people really are compatible as "rape culture" because if a good guy is interested in a girl, and she says she doesn't want to meet for coffee or whatever, that must mean the two can't be a couple at some point.  Reality sides with me on this.

                      The fact that you dislike romance movies so much isn't my problem really.  You will have to take that up with all the people who find it nice and good and romantic.  You will have to tell them they are wrong and bad for liking it.

                      •  Two things here: (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Egghead, TiaRachel

                        1) I have no interest in arguing about the enjoyability of romance movies.  Enjoyable doesn't equal good.

                        Hell, there are plenty of problems with my preferred genres -- a lot of the "heroic" behavior in high fantasy, for instance, would translate to elitist douchebaggery if perpetuated in the real world.  The thing is: most fans of high fantasy are perfectly aware that their genre comes with a giant implied Don't Try This At Home disclaimer.  I know people who enjoy romance movies on the same level, and are fully aware that what seems romantic in the movie would translate to creepy stalkerboy behavior in the real world -- but I've also met women who say they would like nothing better than a boyfriend like Edward Cullen, and I seriously fear for them.

                        2) We are talking about a cultural paradigm shift.  Saying "but this is how it works" does not constitute an argument in favor of it.  We know that's how it works.  We are saying it needs to change.  Going back again and again to "but people have done this for years and it works" isn't a reasonable defense, because it's ignoring all the ways in which it has worked extremely badly.

                        Plenty of men and women had perfectly happy marriages during those periods of history when a marriage meant the wife was effectively the husband's property.  You could point to them as proof that the system works fine -- but you'd be sweeping under the rug all the abuses of that system, and the reasons why we got rid of it.

                        •  I still disagree. Sorry (4+ / 0-)

                          I don't think we are that far apart on what we'd like to see happen. I agree that "this is how it works" or "this is what people have always done' is not a defensive position.

                          But what I am doing is arguing from a reality based position.  That human beings often don't just take "no" for an answer, especially when there seems to be no reasoning behind it.  That human beings should just ignore their emotions and attractions because someone believes relationships should be some sort of contractual arrangement and/or only occur between people who already know each other and are friendly with each other.  

                          You seem to be arguing from some definition of "good" that not everyone is going to agree with because you are not the moral authority.  So at the end of the day, you are trying to impose your own opinion of what is moral or right on others.  Which in my opinion, is exactly what caused those past issues you are using a negatives...women being treated as property, etc.  

                          I think we both hope for a time when people can be more open and honest and respectful to each other and where they don't need to take advantage of someone else or abuse their trust.  I just don't  believe your arguements are right because it ignores what I've seen with my own eyes and attempts to tell people who may want to be pursued or wooed that they are wrong for wanting those things.  

                        •  I'm nodding fervently at your "Edward Cullen" n/t (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Batya the Toon
                  •  There's the problem right there--movie (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Batya the Toon, Egghead

                    romances are how most Americans learn about sex. In other word, make-believe entertainment is what we have for sex ed.

                    Can you honestly say you've ever had a sexual experience that was just like in the movies?

                    "All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out." --I.F. Stone

                    by Alice in Florida on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 12:15:45 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

              •  I'll make this simple (4+ / 0-)
                So now you have a male who is interested in a female but has no idea if the female is interested.  He has to make his intentions more obvious, if not openly known.  Maybe she shoots him down.  Does he just give up and go away?


                Analogy time: If you're spamming me, and I hit "unsubscribe," and you keep sending me e-mail, the CAN-SPAM Act makes you liable for a fine of $16,000 per instance. Maybe if we extended that to hitting on people, guys like you (and me, back before I learned stuff) would get the hint more quickly.

                "The great lie of democracy, its essential paradox, is that democracy is the first to be sacrificed when its security is at risk. Every state is totalitarian at heart; there are no ends to the cruelty it will go to to protect itself." -- Ian McDonald

                by Geenius at Wrok on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 11:22:20 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Congratulations (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  You have just deligitimzed countless people who are currently in relationships or married that their relationship was built on rape culture.  

                  You have just told every woman who enjoys watching "romance" movies, that she is supporting rape culture

                  Nice work.  I guess we are just going to have to agree to disagree.  I can't debate this issue with someone who wants to pretend they speak for all other people on earth and who beleive themselves the moral authority all others should abide by.

              •  Quoting (3+ / 0-)
                How do you know who is your best match if not for that "campaign"?
                Your campaign, the way you describe it, depends pretty much on your own desires and not on the other person's preferences. That helps me a great deal in finding my best match--it isn't you or anyone like you.

                Note: Women (not girls) ask men out too. We're still getting to the point where that is just as acceptable socially for women as it is for men, but it's moving in that direction, which is a good thing. As social attitudes change, this will continue.

                I'm amazed by people's courage and kindness in the face of everything and life.

                by LaraJones on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 11:42:08 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  You know ... (8+ / 0-)

            ... I don't actually have a problem saying that our entire social make-up and how we view/treat relationships as a whole is wrong and immoral.

            Or at least that particular aspect of it.

            Men should not have to feel as though they must always be campaigning for that yes, and as though dating is a series of herculean labors for which the woman is the prize.  Women should not have to feel as though their role in sex is solely to award or withhold.

            Our cultural attitude towards sex is massively screwed up and needs to be fixed.

            •  I absolutely agree with you. (0+ / 0-)

              It is unlikely to change overnight, but I am very interested in this whole awareness of "rape culture" issue, because I think those opening conversations are now finally starting to happen.  It is an important conversation that is long overdue.

          •  I think you're outdated. (5+ / 0-)

            I was a teenager over 20 years ago and I was the one who initiated sex - and I'm a woman. It isn't always the men. And it hasn't always been men. And the idea that it is is part of the problem.

            You also conflate dating with sex and marriage with sex. In today's world, that isn't necessarily the case. Sex can happen without those other things happening at all.

            We are equal partners in this game and the sooner that teenage boys and girls figure that out, the better.

            •  No, I agree with you. (0+ / 0-)

              I'm simply trying to make a point that even today, it is generally the male who is the pursuar.  Not always, but that still seems to me to be the majority.  And I agree that dating and sex are not the same.

              My point was that someone commented that men shouldn't be taught they have to "campaign" to get women to sleep with them.  What I am saying is that anytime

              Granted, when it comes to sex, a woman who initiates isn't going to have to campaign very hard (if at all) to get the male on board.  Which in itself could be labelled an inequality of sorts.  Equality is about respect.  And where I find people get mixed up and heading in the wrong direction is when they start thinking equality = the exact same.  I don't agree with that at all.

              But again, I am admittedly speaking in generalities.

    •  Once In My Life I Had to Be Told Twice. (13+ / 0-)

      It's near to the creepiest feeling I can imagine short of contributing somehow to a death.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Sun Oct 20, 2013 at 07:55:11 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  If the girls says no (3+ / 0-)

    and the guy still forces her into sex, that's rape.

    The harder one to figure out is the intoxication cases, where the girl doesn't actually say "no."  One argument (and I believe some states' laws) say that if the girl is intoxicated, she can't give consent, and a guy has raped her if he has sex with her.  The opposing argument is that this would make about 80 percent of sexual encounters on college campuses (and to be honest, probably over 50 percent of sexual encounters in yuppie neighborhoods) rape.

    Most men aren't rapists, so this is always a difficult analysis.

    •  Yeah, when one party says no, its clear cut (0+ / 0-)

      and if one takes advantage of an intoxicated party also. But what if both are intoxicated?

      •  Then somebody else should take away the car keys (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Batya the Toon

        If they aren't alone they shouldn't be allowed alone together.  The majority of people who get really smashed do it around other people.

        Deeply intoxicated people, male or female, can't give consent.  It helps if either of the two intoxicated people have that principle ingrained, so they'll be more likely to say "woah, this is stupid" and actually say "no" if nobody else is present.

        •  You know, it's one thing to take away (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          car keys--though it's taken decades of public service announcements to convince people to do that--it's kind of a whole 'nother thing to physically separate couples who have had too many drinks. I kind of see that as likely to start a fight.

          "All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out." --I.F. Stone

          by Alice in Florida on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 12:24:10 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Taking away car keys started fights too back in (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Batya the Toon

            the day.

            Lets start the decades of public service announcements.  Perhaps behavior will be better 20 years from now.

            It won't start getting better until people who are not intoxicated start making sure people who are no longer in their right mind don't do stupid things like drive or initiate activities that might result in pregnancy, STD or rape.

        •  I mean whose business is it to separate people? (0+ / 0-)

          Adults have the right to drink and hang out with whoever they want without interference.  If I'm drunk and talking to a girl (and it's a pleasant conversation that she's happy to be part of) and some random dude tries to separate me from her because we're both drunk, I'd sure wonder who on earth he thinks he is.

      •  If someone drives drunk and hits a pedestrian (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        home solar, Batya the Toon

        or another car, they're held responsible. If someone initiates sex with another drunk person while they're drunk themselves, they're still responsible. I'm puzzled by the idea that people who get drunk aren't responsible for their actions while drunk. By that thinking, let's just let 'em all off the hook and let them raise hell, destroy things and do whatever they want; they were drunk, and that covers it.

        If you are worried about drinking and driving, don't. If you're worried that while you're drunk you might initiate sex with someone who's drunk and can't consent (that's rape), then don't get that drunk in that type of situation. Go ahead and drink. But don't get so drunk you do stuff that should put you in jail.

        People who know they'll be drinking but who want to be responsible arrange for a designated driver. Maybe it's time for a designated wingman to save drinkers from themselves.

        The idea that two drunk people "having sex" are equally responsible is only accurate if they both initiated it equally. If one person (whether drunk or sober) took advantage of another person's drunkenness to use their body, that's not equal responsibility at all. It's assault. Same as a drunk driver being charged with vehicular assault, except that with drunk drivers no one blames their victims and doubts their story from the outset.

        I'm amazed by people's courage and kindness in the face of everything and life.

        by LaraJones on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 11:54:48 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Or, the girl mumbles "mmmmm" (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      What does THAT mean.  Was it a yes, or a no?  Was she unconscious or incapacitated?

      That's a very grey area.

      •  If someone is mumbling (8+ / 0-)

        I don't think we can call that consent. If you're so druink that you can only mumble...I mean, c'mon.

        I think we need to look beyond whether or not a person says "no" and look at whether or not that person said "yes."

        The "no means no" conversation tends to forget sometimes that we need to emphasize the yes. There shouldn't be any doubts. I think (hope) that most of us can recall sexual encounters where there were no doubts, where both parties were on the same page the whole time. That's what it should be like -- every time.

        If you more or less have to talk someone into having sex with you, you're doing it wrong, even if you got that consent box checked and legally you know you've done nothing wrong.

        "As the madmen play on words, and make us all dance to their song / to the tune of starving millions, to make a better kind of gun..." -- Iron Maiden

        by Lost Left Coaster on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 06:07:27 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Sex with someone who is in the throws of alcohol (5+ / 0-)

          poisoning is not acceptable.

          Sex with someone covered in their own vomit is not acceptable in capable of incoherent speech is not acceptable.

          If the only way you are going to get with THAT girl, is that she be semi-conscious and lying in her own vomit, then you know the answer was no on any other normal sober day.

          That says more about the guy than the girl.

          Gentlemen, congratulations. You're everything we've come to expect from years of government training (Zed, MIB).

          by GreenMother on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 08:36:19 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  In theory I hear what you're saying (0+ / 0-)
          I think (hope) that most of us can recall sexual encounters where there were no doubts, where both parties were on the same page the whole time. That's what it should be like -- every time.
          Problem is, there are many examples of rape accusations where the he said/she said is this exact scenario, the guy says it was clearly consensual, the girl gives a different story.  This is the Kobe Bryant and Dominique Strauss Kahn cases, for example.  Without a videotape, how do you know who is telling the truth?
      •  It's very simple. (0+ / 0-)

        You assume a no.  If she grabs you and enthusiastically initiates more activity when you pull away, then it's fairly likely not a now.

        Communication really isn't that hard, even nonverbally.

        •  Well, according to one young gentleman I know (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Batya the Toon

          --I once actually did enthusiastically grab him and initiate more activity, then suddenly fell asleep.  He decided that meant "no," and tucked me in.

          That was my future ex-husband.  He was pure awful in many ways, but that wasn't one of them.  That one he got exactly right.

          •  Yeah. I witnessed another case in college (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            a very woman all over a friend of mine.

            He was "I was kind of into it until she lost motor control".

            That ended up as one of those "help her while she vomits,help her clean up and make sure she gets home safely" situations.

            Loss of consciousness is always "no".

      •  You think that a mumbling girl can consent? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Kevskos, Batya the Toon

        That's not a gray area.

        I'm amazed by people's courage and kindness in the face of everything and life.

        by LaraJones on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 11:56:04 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Jimmy Stewart said it best (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Batya the Toon

        From The Philadelphia Story: "There are rules about things like that."

    •  So I'm curious... (10+ / 0-)

      ...if an intoxicated woman can't give legal consent, how can an intoxicated guy give consent?  In many instances, both partners are quite drunk by that point, and so it quickly gets rather murky.

      Obviously, the best scenarios all avoid ever getting to that point.  A couple of the points that they should perhaps be teaching kids are:
      1.  Instead of "no means no", how about "consent can be withdrawn at any time".  In other words, either party is free to change their mind and stop the activity whenever they might choose to do so.  
      2.  Getting drunk to the point of being wasted on a date is dangerous for both participants.  And this is true in so many ways -- not just date rape, but also the risk of unwanted pregnancy and/or STD transmission.
      3.  Going with number 2 is the need for both participants (but especially women) to avoid situations that put themselves at risk.  An emphasis here needs to be that this isn't about blaming the victim, but it is about trying to minimize the risk of becoming a victim.
      4.  This isn't just about men and women.  Date rape can happen to a guy in a heterosexual context.  It can also happen to either a guy or woman in a same-sex context.  So the lessons shouldn't all be based on gender stereotypes.

      Anyway, a few random thoughts...

      Political Compass: -6.75, -3.08

      by TexasTom on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 06:06:44 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  This is a good point, and I don't know of any (3+ / 0-)

        state that differentiates between men and women in regard to this issue.  The biggest difference is that in most cases - I want to emphasize that most - the man is strong enough to overpower the woman.  But we do need to recognize, whenever rape is being talked about, that it's NOT always the man raping the woman.  Sometimes it is the woman who's the aggressor and sometimes it's same sex encounters which one wanted to end.

        Saying no is not done just by words.  If a person has stopped participating or is making a physical effort to stop hands or pulling away, it's equally important for those signals to be respected.  

        Most of life is based upon reading the signals others are sending out, with or without words backing them up.  I'll admit I've never said "I want to have sex with you" in my life.  However, whenever I have had sex with someone, there's been no doubt that I wanted to and he could easily tell by my actions.  I don't think it's a matter of verbal communication at all.  It's a matter of people making sure that they retain the ability to judge other people's words and nonverbal signals by not becoming overly intoxicated and then respecting those words and signals regardless of the circumstances.

    •  The problem with your analysis (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      is that you're saying "Most men aren't rapists" as an a priori assumption, and concluding that therefore if most men do something, it can't be rape.

      Do you see the logical flaw there?

      •  Not really (0+ / 0-)

        Most random sexual encounters on college campuses involve some level of intoxication.  The vast majority of these situations are not rape, yet the idea that an intoxicated girl can't consent would suddenly make all these college guys rapists.  It's not real and it cheapens the real rape cases done by the truly sick individuals who force girls against their will.

        •  Why are you assuming (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          that the vast majority of those situations are not rape?

          •  Because I remember my college days. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            I certainly had sex after drinking and/or with drunken girls dozens if not hundreds of times.  Sounds horrible, doesn't it?

            That was with 3 fairly long term girlfriends over 5+ years. I don't think any of them were rape, of them or of me. Judging by their enthusiastic participation and the fact that we remained friends for at least several years after we broke up, neither did they.

            Note that none of these cases were passed out/incapacited/vomiting drunk. Most were well past the legal limit for driving. What standard are you using for "intoxicated"?

            Are you suggesting that  girl, and only a girl, who is intoxicated (to any level?) loses the ability to consent? Even if she wants to? Even if she is actively attempting to seduce a guy?
            And that simultaneously, the guy, however drunk he is, remains completely responsible for his actions? Despite his judgement also being impaired, he must realize that she is drunk and fend off her advances? Or be a rapist?

            I'm over exaggerating here. But I think "the vast majority" is painting with a very broad brush as well.

            How do you draw the line? There's certainly a problem with guys deliberately getting girls drunk to seduce them. That's definitely creepy, if not actually rape.
            Blanket condemnation of any drunken sex as rape doesn't help though.

            And I'm deeply bothered by the idea of going beyond "No means no" to "Sometimes Yes means No as well."

            The Empire never ended.

            by thejeff on Tue Oct 22, 2013 at 03:53:40 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  We already have "sometimes yes means no." (0+ / 0-)

              It's called statutory rape and it applies when a person is below the legal age of consent.  Minors are considered incapable of giving consent to legal adults, even if they are enthusiastically participating.  (Minors are not considered incapable of giving consent to other minors; I wouldn't have a problem with "we were both drunk" being treated similarly, legally speaking.)

              I would really love for there to be a clear-cut standard for "intoxicated", a way to determine whether or not somebody was drunk to the point of impaired judgment.  But as you say, impaired judgment is frequently the point -- and yeah, if anybody deliberately gets another person drunk so as to gain "consent" that they know damn well they wouldn't get if the person were sober, that's rape.  (And no, not only a girl.  As I said elsewhere, taking sexual advantage of a guy too drunk to know what's going on is absolutely rape, and there's no excuse to call it anything else.)

              I agree that "how do you draw the line?" is a problem, but I'm inclined to think it's a problem better solved by broadening definitions than by narrowing them.

              I don't want to see a bunch of guys get charged for rape when they didn't think they were doing anything wrong -- but come on:  girls are constantly being told to avoid getting drunk in order to protect themselves from rape.  Why not tell guys to avoid getting drunk or to avoid having sex with drunk women in order to protect themselves from rape charges?

              •  Because it's a rabbit hole (0+ / 0-)

                Statutory rape and few other cases exist. Generally it's a pretty clear and obvious line in those cases.

                So if "we were both drunk" is an out, then the rapist has just enough drinks while he's getting the girl drunk and he's home free.

                And where's the standard? Bearing in mind no one is going to be having blood alcohol tests done while making these decisions.
                We've just added one more thing for defense lawyers to argue.

                I'm all for teaching guys not to take advantage of women, drunk or otherwise. I can't go for "We've got witnesses she was drinking before she left the bar with you, that's going to be 10 years."  

                The Empire never ended.

                by thejeff on Tue Oct 22, 2013 at 06:27:05 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

      •  Actually, the logical flaw is in your logic. (0+ / 0-)

        Most men -aren't- rapists.  The statistics back up that statement.

        Your statement is logically equivalent to "Saying a goose is black means that all geese are black," or maybe "Since seagulls often stand on one leg, all birds that stand on one leg are seagulls."  

        If a man does something that qualifies as rape, then he's a rapist.

        Most men don't do such things.  A significant minority, yes, but by no means 'most'.  Therefore, the correct conclusion, given that most men are not rapists, is "Most men won't rape," or even "If most men do something, it won't be rape," not "If most men do something, it -can't- be rape."  There's a difference between a conclusion and an assumption of a premise.

  •  the fact that this whole discussion still remains (39+ / 0-)

    with the women is a sign that we are seriously fucking missing the point, as a culture. the problem is entirely one with men here, and i say this as a man. it is an absurdly simple principle: one does not have the right to rape people, or coerce them into having sex, or even try to convince them to have sex after they say that they're not interested.

    men do not have the right to rape. as soon as they get it through their heads, this problem ends. everything else is a distraction.

    as a man, i had dates that were ambiguous, until the girl decided she didn't want to go any farther than wherever she felt comfortable doing. that was it. was i frustrated? yes, but because i'm a fucking decent human being, i didn't rape them.

    something needs to change in male culture. women, by and large, get it these days. most men manage not to rape as well, but culturally, rape still continues to find its male defenders and obfuscators. it drives me up the fucking wall, but there it is.

    fuck 'em.

    •  As I'm reading this... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cv lurking gf

      the diarist's point is that saying "No means NO" isn't enough. In the diarist's experience, it sounds like women are getting the message and thinking that all they have to do is say "no", and that's magically the end of it. If that were the case, there wouldn't be a date rape problem. There is, so clearly the answer is not that simple.

      Now, absolutely when a woman says she doesn't want sex, the man must respect that. However, if a rape still occurs, how much does it really matter to the victim after the fact that she said no at some point? Even if the rapist is prosecuted, the victim was still raped and can't be unraped by a conviction. We can tut-tut all day and talk about how despicable date rapists are, but that doesn't solve the problem.

      Communication before the hormones kick in might help, but it won't be foolproof. There are men who will see a preemptive "No" as a challenge. Maybe teaching women to try to avoid situations that could lead to being raped is part of the solution as well. If you don't want to be eaten by lions at the zoo, staying out of their cage is the best way to prevent that from happening. I'm not blaming the victim here, just suggesting how to prevent someone from becoming a victim in the first place. There isn't a clear cut, simple solution here, but I think getting young people to think about this and discuss it together in a classroom setting can only help.

      •  once again, it is the focus on women, *still* (5+ / 0-)

        that makes this so completely and utterly wrong. men are not some hormone-addled force of nature that just can't help raping. as a man, i find the unwillingness to focus on the rapists here unbelievably insulting and wrong-headed.

        •  And once again... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Buckeye Nut Schell, gramofsam1

          How is suggesting that there are things women can do to help reduce their risk of getting raped in the first place blaming the victim? Who has even suggested that men aren't entirely to blame for date rape, and how does that help the victim after the fact? So what's your solution?

          •  the solution is to focus on men, not women (6+ / 0-)

            if telling women to not be raped was an effective strategy, it would have worked centuries ago. rape is just about the only crime where nearly all of our discussion of the crime revolves around why the victim was attacked, and as far as i know the only crime where a significant proportion of the populace still argues that it wasn't really a crime, or that the victim made the perpetrator do it.

            the only way to solve this problem is to stop telling women that it's their job to escape from rapists, and to instead focus our efforts on convincing men that rape is a serious crime, defining it for them pretty explicitly, and prosecuting rape as if it is a serious crime and not some understandable slip-up.

            we don't talk about murder this way. i find it outrageous that we still talk about rape this way.

            •  So, Wu Ming - (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              dilireus, kat herder

              I would encourage you to write about this in more detail.

              Focus on the men, on the boys. Focus education of young men - how would you do it? How have you done it?

              The number of children and teens killed by guns in one year would fill 134 classrooms of 20 students each. (Chlldren's Defense Fund, 2013)

              by nzanne on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 10:55:05 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Talk to boys about rape, too (0+ / 0-)

                I started having those conversations with my boys when they went through sex education at school and then consistently throughout their teens, especially if there was a case in the news. I told them the story of my near-rape at a college party and of the young man who intervened; I told them the story of how their father helped a passed out woman at a frat party in college get away from three young men who were taking her up to their room to "have fun" with her; I counseled them to look out for "the only girl in the room" at parties and to intervene if it looked like she was in danger of being raped; and I reminded them, despite their rolling eyes and responses of, "what do you think I am, a Neanderthal?" that it is never ok to have sex with a partner who is passed-out or so intoxicated that they can't consent.

                I also talked to them quite a bit about a critical element of the conversation that seems to be getting overlooked here: contraception. They shouldn't even think about having sex with a woman until they've had a discussion with her, however brief, about what method of contraception, if any, besides condoms she might be using. I tried to impress upon them the fact that they're every bit as responsible for preventing pregnancy as their partners and that, as unfair as it may seem from their perspective, if an unintentional pregnancy happens, they will have no final say over whether or not it proceeds and full responsibility for the baby if their partner decides to go through with it. Basically I tried at all times to be the buzz-kill voice in their heads about the risks and responsibilities that come with sex.

      •  That "teaching women hos not to be a victim" (6+ / 0-)

        is precisely what has led to the victim blamiing.

        No one can control another person's behavior.  No one can protect themselves completely.  Avoiding dating is the best way to avoid date rape.  Would that be a ridiculous suggestion?  Sure it would.  And so is suggesting she avoid all the other steps along the way.

        The responsibility to pay attention to and respect the signals the other party is giving MUST be the sole focus of the discussion if men are ever going to fully assume responsibility for their own actions.  Until society finally says to men - YOU and you alone are responsible if you fail to pay attention to the words or the nonverbal signals your partner is giving, and you can not weasel out by making her feel responsible for your own shortcomings, this kind of discussion is doing nothing by ameliorating their sense of responsibility.

        Of course it would be an ideal world if no girl ever put herself into a vulnerable situation.  It would be even more ideal if there were no vulnerable situations.  

        The idea that people making women feel responsible for the actions of a third party is being done just to try and protect them is so old and tired, I can't believe this diary is being recced by people and that anyone on this site is still buying into it.  It's totally disgusting.

        •  And who is saying otherwise? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          home solar
          The responsibility to pay attention to and respect the signals the other party is giving MUST be the sole focus of the discussion if men are ever going to fully assume responsibility for their own actions.  Until society finally says to men - YOU and you alone are responsible if you fail to pay attention to the words or the nonverbal signals your partner is giving, and you can not weasel out by making her feel responsible for your own shortcomings, this kind of discussion is doing nothing by ameliorating their sense of responsibility.
          Show me where anyone has said this isn't the case. And also tell me how just saying "it's the man's fault" after the fact helps in any way? I think the diarist is doing her students a great service by having this discussion openly with them. Teens tend to think they're immortal and that nothing bad can happen to them. Educating them on the realities of date rape gets them to think about it, so maybe, just maybe some of them will be able to avoid it as a result.
          •  No means no is not meant to "help after (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            angelajean, denig, wu ming

            the fact."  It's meant to stop men from thinking rape is not rape.  THAT is what needs to be understood.  So women won't end up being raped by men who think that the woman must really mean yes because she ate dinner with him or drank wine with him or went to his room with him.  And this diary is telling us that we should be telling women that they don't have the right to do these things and still not expect to be raped.


            •  Sorry, don't know how you get that (n/t) (3+ / 0-)

              Please correct me if I'm wrong, but your position seems to be that men won't rape if they just hear often enough that they're supposed to stop if a woman says "no". That's incredibly naive. Sexual predators don't give a shit what their victims say. This diary is acknowledging that "just say no" alone won't solve the problem and there needs to be more to it. Teaching women strategies for avoiding situations that are more likely to result in them getting raped isn't providing cover for men who would rape them any more than teaching people to avoid dark alleys at night is justifying a mugger's actions. In both cases, the criminal's actions are his alone.

            •  Right (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              denig, splashy, TiaRachel, wu ming

              Lots of men tell themselves what they did isn't rape.  So do their friends.  They're often shocked and upset when they realize they've raped somebody.

              Other men know very well what they are doing is rape, but use this blindspot in our culture for cover and to retain social acceptance.

              •  I think that a large part of the problem ... (0+ / 0-)

       that there are many different views of what constitutes rape, which may differ by individual.

                Forcing an individual through threats or physical force to have sex is pretty much universally regarded as rape.

                Having sex with someone incapable of giving consent is also pretty much universally regarded as rape (though even that one gets fuzzy when you get into the difference between 'physically/mentally incapable' and 'legally incapable.')

                But then, things get really ill-defined.  Some people regard having sex with someone because you feel you incurred some sort of obligation to be rape, even if the participation is markedly voluntary, if not necessarily enthusiastic.  (Please note the difference between 'I bought her dinner so she owes me sex' and 'He bought me dinner so I owe him sex.'  I'm talking about the latter, not the former.)

                Some people would say that having sex because your partner wants it when you aren't really interested, just to avoid them nagging at you, or because you feel sorry for them, or just because you do it anyway in order to make them happy, or because it's your 'obligation' as a spouse, is rape.  

                Some people feel like it's rape if one of the people involved regrets it spectacularly after the fact, even though they didn't withdraw consent at the time.

                If someone has sex with you because you threatened to end the relationship if they didn't, some would regard that as rape.  

                But in all of these cases, there are significant numbers of people of either sex who wouldn't regard some or all of the above situations as rape.

                Without some sort of universally accepted definition of what actually constitutes rape, it's hard to discuss the topic or to be able to solve it.  The problem is that, in the fuzzy areas, every person draws the line a little differently.  

      •  "teaching women to try to avoid situations (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        denig, TiaRachel, wu ming

        that could lead to being raped"--what do you think has been done for the past, oh, thousands of years? Geez! This is the only message we women have been getting all our lives. It's only very recently that this discussion about rape and how maybe rapists are more to blame has even been happening.

        I'm amazed by people's courage and kindness in the face of everything and life.

        by LaraJones on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 11:58:55 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  "or even (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wu ming
      try to convince them to have sex after they say that they're not interested".
      Oh, I think that's going too far. I've been successfully persuaded myself with no regrets.
      •  given how often men use this as an excuse (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        to coerce women into situations where they really aren't comfortable, i'm OK with being a bit draconian on the rules in this spot. but yeah, i get what you're saying, in a benign situation it reads differently than when someone's using the hard sell as a tactic, in a less benign situation.

        again, i lived in a frat for several years, i've observed the whole range of situations. a lot is contextual, but since a significant % of men seem not to get it, it makes more sense IMO to draw the lines harder and push back a bit.

  •  How about "only yes means yes"? (10+ / 0-)

    (I wish I could give credit to the source for this. I think I saw it as a DK user's sig line.)
    I firmly agree with howabout above, that "sex must be unequivically consensual."

    'Only yes means yes' moves the burden to an affirmitive from both parties, perhaps pushing us as a society closer to expecting a conversation about this topic on dates or in the moment.

    I agree with perigrine kate that this is a good discussion to have... albeit potentially awkward. if being meta about it is uncomfortable, it's no wonder the actual discussions are.

    "You do not have to be good...You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves." -Mary Oliver

    by hwy70scientist on Sun Oct 20, 2013 at 08:07:06 PM PDT

    •  Exactly (4+ / 0-)

      Ambiguities and doubts should put the brakes on. Even if a clear "no" hasn't yet been spoken aloud. I hate this idea that it is okay to proceed as long as one party (almost always the woman) hasn't resisted or clearly spoken a "no."

      Teens need to be taught that consent needs to be enthusiastic and continuous. The word "yes" may not yet be spoken aloud but nevertheless communication should be clear. We communicate with our bodies, with our moves, with our inflections. If it's ambiguous, put the brakes on.

      You should just ask, "what do you want to do next?" If the answer is, "I don't know" then it is time to talk a little more.

      "As the madmen play on words, and make us all dance to their song / to the tune of starving millions, to make a better kind of gun..." -- Iron Maiden

      by Lost Left Coaster on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 06:12:11 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The problem isn't teaching that no means no (16+ / 0-)

    That's exactly what it means.  But the problem is not ALSO teaching that there are things that one can do to reduce their risk of being sexually assaulted, and one of those is to avoid engaging in what most people regard as foreplay without clearly indicating the limits that one intends to set. This is NOT "blaming the victim;" it's merely recognizing reality.

    If I park my car in a public place and leave it unlocked with valuables in full view, it's still a crime for someone who happens to observe the situation to open my car door and steal whatever they can.  But it's also reasonable for me to understand that I'm a lot less likely to be a victim of theft if I lock my car and hide any valuables.

    Bin Laden is dead. GM and Chrysler are alive.

    by leevank on Sun Oct 20, 2013 at 08:13:29 PM PDT

    •  Perhaps the conversation leevank and glendenb are (6+ / 0-)

      advocating would be best ONLY as a pre-emptive for all persons to help best protect themselves (like the car metaphor). It can become problematic when used after-the-fact, as it's utility at that time is often to assign responsibility/blame/shame to a victim.
      The only post-event conversation that should matter is the one of consent. One can NEVER determine what might've been 'if only they had/hadn't' so it's just a bit of a mindfark to ask at that time.

      Maybe it's a matter of timing.

      "You do not have to be good...You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves." -Mary Oliver

      by hwy70scientist on Sun Oct 20, 2013 at 08:38:31 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I completely agree with you! (2+ / 0-)

        I don't remotely think that it's a defense to the crime of rape for somebody to say, "Well, she said 'no,' but I thought she meant 'yes,' anymore than it's a defense to a theft charge to say, "Well, the car wasn't locked." My impression is that the diarist agrees with that.

        But it's perfectly appropriate to teach people that there are reasonable things they can do to reduce their risk of being a crime victim, whether the crime is rape, theft, or anything else.

        Bin Laden is dead. GM and Chrysler are alive.

        by leevank on Sun Oct 20, 2013 at 09:00:52 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I don't know about that. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          MHB, sk4p

          I had a girlfriend who would always start moaning or even yelling 'no' or 'stop' in the middle of sex.  The first time it happened I stopped and she was rather annoyed that I did.  Then, one time I accidentally hurt her with an ill-angled thrust, and it took a couple of seconds before I recognized that her saying 'stop' really meant 'stop!'  I can understand, if someone's in a relationship with someone else with this quirk, how a real no could be misinterpreted -- though not if the person saying no was also acting 'no', which should be obvious to most normal people.  But that's in the context of an established relationship where such things are habitual, certainly not in a one-night-encounter or something.

          •  This is why safewords were invented. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            TiaRachel, Praxical

            I'm told lots of people use them in one-night encounters, albeit in established settings where such things are habitual.

            (Personally I'd like to see safewords become a universal concept outside of kink, and even outside of sex generally.  There are a lot of entertaining pastimes where part of the fun is complaining or protesting, and where any protest would have to be followed by "no, I really mean it this time" to be understood as sincere -- tickling, splash fights, pun wars, and so on.)

            •  I completely agree with you. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Batya the Toon

              I wish safewords weren't just something associated with BDSM stuff, for the reasons you point out.

              •  My first exposure to the concept of the safeword (0+ / 0-)

                was in college, where I made friends with someone who was part of the campus society for "discussion of safe, sane and consensual BDSM."  I had only the vaguest ideas of how that kind of thing worked, had never heard it could be consensual, and asked her about it, and she explained a lot of the basics.

                My first practical exposure to the concept of the safeword was some weeks later, when I was singing a terrible song parody at her, and I (naturally) assumed that her "oh god no" reaction was part of the fun, until she said "Safeword!"  And I immediately got it.

                It is such a useful concept.  Everybody should have it.

      •  Yes. (3+ / 0-)

        "Here's what you can do not to be raped" conversations should only ever be had before the fact, they should be based on actual fact and not BS cultural fantasies -- see some of what Tara says downthread -- and they should come with the full and explicit understand that:

        1. These are only ways to protect yourself.  They do nothing to protect the girl sitting next to you.  To protect her as well you have to do these other things.  (Fighting the aforementioned BS cultural fantasies, mostly.  And then actually spend time talking about that too.  Lots of time.  More time.)

        2. They're not always going to work.  Because most rapists dont' really give much of a shit about clear communication or are too strong to overwhelm with self-defense techniques or whatever else form of preventing rape from the victim's perspective happens to be in vogue right now.  And when they don't work (or if you have ignored the advice), or if they don't work for your friend or acquaintance (or if they have ignored the advice), then always remember this -- most of the time there is  nothing reasonable you should have been expected to do to change things, it's not your fault, and it's the rapist who bears the full responsibility here.  And spend at least as much time on that as on everythign else put together.

    •  Yet (6+ / 0-)

      If someone breaks into your house and steals your valuables, you don't get blamed for it. If you are mugged or murdered, you aren't blamed for it.

      Rape is the only crime where the victims are routinely blamed for the actions of the criminal.

      And yes, you are blaming the victim. When the onus is on the victim to "reduce their risk" - you're blaming. I don't see you suggesting we teach boys and men not to be rapists.

      If you lie down with clowns, you will rise with rubber noses.

      by susanthe on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 06:05:22 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Not true (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        If you left your doors and windows unlocked and you got robbed, you would be considered to have contributed to your loss by your own carelessness. If you went walking down deserted streets by yourself late at night in a neighborhood known to be dangerous, people would think you had put yourself at risk. If you left your baby unattended in a stroller outside a store and someone snatched it, you would certainly be blamed. If you got into a car with a driver who'd been drinking, you would bear some responsibility if you got hurt.

        We're not responsible for the actions of others, but we are responsible for being prudent about our own safety.

        Would you tell your daughter it's okay for her to go wandering around the most dangerous parts of the city after midnight by herself, because if someone harms her it's their responsibility, not hers?

        Girls have to learn to be strong, smart, and take care of themselves. Everyone does. We are never going to make the world safe by teaching all the bad people not to be bad.

        •  Exactly. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          denise b

          I find that the argument that we shouldn't teach women how to avoid situations where they might get raped because it somehow legitimizes rape to be similar to abstinence-only education as a way to end teen pregnancy.  I don't think it's ever possible to completely eliminate rapists from society, but the best way to reduce the number of rapes is to tackle the problem from both sides -- yes, respect your partner, take a no for a no by default, don't be that guy -- but also, don't put yourself in vulnerable situations if you can avoid it.

          We have to recognize the realities of the situation, which are manifold.

    •  Instead of a parked car full of valuables... (9+ / 0-)

      ...I'll use a different example, one from when I first moved to Dallas 29 years ago.

      I had a friend who lived in Oak Lawn (the gay part of town, and very, very high crime at the time) who was a firm believer in the idea that if you stayed off of streets to avoid the risk of being mugged, you were "turning the streets over to the criminals".

      As a result of this attitude, he would routinely walk by himself on relatively secluded streets late at night, after leaving the bars.  One night, he was not only attacked, but he was murdered.

      The murderer was tried, convicted of murder, and was given a 99 year prison sentence.  Justice was served, the victim was not blamed for being on an empty street by himself, and the criminal rotted in jail for a very long time as he deserved to.  For that matter, the gay panic defense was used by the defendant, but was not successful.  

      But my friend was still dead.

      His attitude of "not turning the streets over to the criminals" was a stupid one, as walking those streets by himself late at night repeatedly massively increased his risk of being a crime victim, and he ultimately did become a crime victim.  If he had take what most of us would have considered reasonable precautions, his risk of being a crime victim would have been lower and he might still be alive.  Alternatively, he might not be -- after all, people who are careful still end up getting victimized.  But you do try to do what you can to minimize your risks.  That isn't blaming the victim, but it is just taking care to protect yourself as much as you reasonably can.  It is not in any way a defense for the perpetrator.

      Political Compass: -6.75, -3.08

      by TexasTom on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 06:16:47 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Stolen items from your car isn't the same as being (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      angelajean, LaraJones, denig


      And even if you locked your car in front of your house, there is no guarantee that the windows wouldn't be broken out and your valuables stolen that way too.

      You can take your car to the dealership to have it maintained and items can be stole while there.

      You can let someone into your car your trust,--even a relative or in-law and things can be stolen that way.

      At what point do you decide to A--leave your car the garage indefinitely or just get rid of it and take public transportation.

      Sadly women make similar decisions about their bodies and sex lives.

      They become shut ins and avoid all relationships altogether because they cannot discern who is trustworthy in their world due to such encounters.

      Gentlemen, congratulations. You're everything we've come to expect from years of government training (Zed, MIB).

      by GreenMother on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 08:41:01 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Becoming a shut in (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        to avoid being raped is probably not a good choice.

        Not getting blind drunk at parties to avoid getting raped is probably an excellent one. It's a choice I would encourage all young women to make.

        •  No one should get blind drunk. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          kat herder

          But rather than keep telling woman not do things, how about we start telling men to start respecting women?

          We've been warning women for generations about rape and it hasn't gone away. It's time we really started teaching men to respect women - all men, not just some of them. And it starts in school in classes like the one this teacher is teaching.

          •  Why can't we do both? (0+ / 0-)
            But rather than keep telling woman not do things, how about we start telling men to start respecting women?
            Also, how about we have them be conversations, instead of lectures?

            If you want a discussion, please stick to arguing the point. If you wanted something else...please exit the vehicle.

            by robizio on Tue Oct 22, 2013 at 09:48:20 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Of course. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              kat herder

              But as a society, we only do the former and not the latter. We're way behind on that one. And that's why you keep hearing women get so upset every time we're told what we can do to prevent a rape. When is our society going to start preventing rapists?

              •  We do the latter. (0+ / 0-)

                Some of us at least. Attitudes are changing. They have changed. Social attitudes towards rape are far different than they were 50 years ago. Far better. There's still a long way to go.

                But society is a big thing and it takes time. Generations. And there are people and institutions pushing back.

                In the meantime, there's nothing wrong with practical advice for people, especially kids, who need it now.

                The Empire never ended.

                by thejeff on Tue Oct 22, 2013 at 04:03:36 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  What do you mean "start"? (0+ / 0-)

            We've been doing it. For many years now.

            It's kind of like saying why don't we tell people not to rob, cheat or steal. Well, yeah. But you still have to assume that some people are out there who will rob you, cheat you and steal from you.

  •  Only yes means yes is better. (3+ / 0-)

    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

    by zenbassoon on Sun Oct 20, 2013 at 08:17:12 PM PDT

  •  No means no (13+ / 0-)

    and only yes means yes.

    However, this is not going to be popular.  But I'm used to that.

    Expecting a word to protect you in the case that you've gotten yourself into a situation with a person who isn't listening to you isn't going to end well.

    Did the woman in the story do anything wrong?  No, of course not.  Did she do anything imprudent?  Yes.

    Working under the assumption that this was a first date, you don't really know this person and don't know if he's going to listen to you.  Wisdom suggests that going into his room alone with him is not the best course of action and has a higher probability of ending badly than, say, hanging out at the local Denny's with him until you both sober up

    We teach children not to take candy from strangers, even though anything that would happen would not be their fault.  It'd be smart to teach young women not to put themselves into potentially dangerous situations with people they don't know well.

    (-6.38, -7.03) Moderate left, moderate libertarian

    by Lonely Liberal in PA on Sun Oct 20, 2013 at 08:21:28 PM PDT

  •  There's a common assumption (32+ / 0-)

    that date rape stems from "miscommunication" or "misreading the signals."  However, there's good research that shows this isn't the case.

    All of us - particularly women, but men too - are socialized to give refusals/rejections in an indirect, softened way, often avoiding the word "no."  Not just in sexual situations, but when telling the annoying caller that "This isn't a good time" or responding to an invitation with "I'm really busy."  We use these social cues because they are understood by both parties.

    Drawing on the conversation analytic literature, and on our own data, we claim that both men and women have a sophisticated ability to convey and to comprehend refusals, including refusals which do not include the word ‘no’, and we suggest that male claims not to have ‘understood’ refusals which conform to culturally normative patterns can only be heard as self-interested justifications for coercive behaviour.  

    I shall die, but that is all that I shall do for Death; I am not on his payroll. - Edna St. Vincent Millay

    by Tara the Antisocial Social Worker on Sun Oct 20, 2013 at 08:21:42 PM PDT

    •  Thank you for this Tara. (10+ / 0-)

      I'm disappointed that this piece made the Community Spotlight because it only highlights the extreme misunderstandings that even the progressive community have about rape.

      I know I sound like a broken record, but I really believe more people should watch The Invisible War, including the author of this piece. It is the best film I've seen for explaining how rapists work. The concept of date rape really needs to be removed from the conversation because it muddies the water in such a way that rape doesn't really ever get discussed at all.

    •  Exactly (7+ / 0-)

      I don't have the link at the moment, but I know that I have read literature about the fact that on US college campuses, a significant percentage of rapes are committed by serial rapists. They know what they're doing. They hide behind this notion of a "grey area," and a lot of people buy it.

      Children need to receive sexuality education that emphasizes that consent needs to be enthusiastic and continuous, and ambiguity means that it is time to put on the brakes. Young men need to be taught that sex is not something that you eventually convince a woman to give you. If you have to convince her, you're doing it wrong. Consent should be clear; if it is not, that doesn't mean it is okay to proceed, just because you haven't heard a plainly spoken "no."

      "As the madmen play on words, and make us all dance to their song / to the tune of starving millions, to make a better kind of gun..." -- Iron Maiden

      by Lost Left Coaster on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 06:20:24 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Based on that article (0+ / 0-)

      That article pretty clearly states that the majority of rapes are committed by serial rapists who prey on women and have multiple victims.  Sounds to me less like a "rape culture" issue and more of a criminal issue.  These people are criminals and no amount of "no" is going to stop their criminal behaviour, anymore than saying "no" is going to stop drug addicts or murderers, etc.

      What we are talking about lately, at least what I believe we are talking about, is "rape culture".  This idea that men should always pursue and try to convince or even trick women into having sex.  This idea that if a woman is drunk and doesn't say no, it is ok to have sex with her.  I don't see any connection (yet) between rape culture and criminal rapists.  To me rape culture is a thing very MUCH because of lack of education and information, communication and awareness.

      If all "rape culture" is, is about dealing with that first group of people, well sorry but good luck with that.  May as well be saying "just don't murder!" is a good enough campaign to stop murderers.  

      •  It is rape culture (1+ / 0-)

        Because they're enabled by a focus on the woman, and complete ignoring the male patterns.

        There are basically 3 kinds of people in those serial rapist-enabling environments.

        People who take seriously complaints of their female friends that an individual pushes their boundaries (invading space, groping, testing "nos" etc) or has actually raped them. They stop having to do anything with that individual, exclude the individual from social events and press charges if he did something provable.  This is sadly a fairly small percentage at the moment, men and women tend to instead fall into the next category.  

        Enablers.  People who have heard complaints about an individual but do not eject that person because it would be socially uncomfortable.  Potential victims are told to avoid the person if they're lucky.  Rapes tend to happen when somebody new gets into the environment and isn't warned (sometimes maliciously if that new person isn't popular).  When it happens the victim is flatly disbelieved or more rarely is shamed and blamed while the perpetrator gets little or no punishment.  The only solution for a victim is to leave the social environment (which can be a job, their college, their's bad.   This category is also where most of the "Crap, is that really rape?" people come from who feel bad if convinced after the fact that they really didn't have consent.  

        Predators.  People who know full well that they are at extremely low risk of being punished if they just mix a little ambiguity into their attacks, getting partial consent, consent via persistence, fucking with the minds of victims, intoxicating them etc and pleading ignorance on the rare occasion they're tested.

        This is most people in our culture, and most societies.  When a woman says an environment is "safe" it's because it is in some way immunized against the predators by various social protections.  Sometimes this belief is false (see priest pedophiles, teachers raping their students after intoxicating them, all-woman groups still having bullying or even leaving a woman vulnerable and then getting their male friends to rape the woman).

        •  Here is the difference for me. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          I believe rape culture can be stopped.  I'm not convinced all criminal behaviour can be stopped.  Therefore, "no means no", as the original diary suggests, IS a disservice because it created the view that criminal behaviour can be eliminated just by saying "no".  Or if criminals just didn't break the law.

          It is way too oversimplified and unrealistic to believe criminal actions, which have been around for probably all of time, can be ended with "Just don't do it!"  

          However, I do believe that with proper education and an open and honest and ongoing discussion (such as this), the rape culture such as victim blaming, enablers, etc can be dealt with and fixed.

        •  Oh, my God, enablers (1+ / 0-)

          Some of the most popular young male fandoms are CRAMMED full of enablers.  It just about makes me despair.

    •  let me go/i'm married/i don't feel good/i'm sick (3+ / 0-)

      don't hurt me!  please don't hurt me!  stop!

      [she slaps him]

      none of those are the word "no", but they all are intended to mean no.

      in the future, when a woman's crying like that, she isn't having any fun

      Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
      Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights for support in dealing with grief.

      by TrueBlueMajority on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 09:09:10 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I get the feeling most of the comments didn't read (7+ / 0-)

    That they didn't read the diary all that closely. Look at what was written in the first couple of paragraphs:

    "In that time, I've seen a huge shift in the way young women respond to the issue of date rape, although almost no change in the way young men respond."

    "Every time I've taught this course, the young men responded with a variation on, "What he did was wrong.  If he wanted to have sex with her, he should have asked her."  That response assumes the male is more interested in sex than the female and that he will naturally be the one to initiate sex (and there are some problems with those assumptions) but it acknowledges the need for her consent."

    It looks to me like the boys are getting the message, even if it doesn't always get followed in the heat of the moment. And yes, that's wrong. But I agree with the diarist that there probably should be more emphasis put on actual communication. Sometimes I think that people are going to start to have to getting out a signed agreement form like that old Chappelle sketch.

  •  Discussions about sex (7+ / 0-)

    In an ideal world, it would be wonderful to have a frank discussion about sex before actually doing it.  My first question would be, “Are you all right with the fact that I never want to get married or even live with anyone?”  Then my second question would be, “Would you be willing to have a physical examination so I can be sure you do not have a venereal disease?”  (Of course, I would be willing to have an exam too.)  My third question would be, “If you get pregnant, will you get an abortion?”

    But I live in the real world, and I know such questions have to be finessed. Having a frank discussion about sex in advance is a good way not to have it at all. It’s not romantic.  When the moment is right, you have to shut up and kiss her.

    So, it is fine to teach young men that they should stop when a woman says “No.” And it is fine to teach young women that they need to be careful, because some men will rape them.  But by the time a couple is on their first date, if he is the kind of guy who would rape a woman, no amount of conversation about boundaries during dinner will make any difference.  In fact, such a man would probably lie.

  •  I should mention (19+ / 0-)

    the excellent Don't Be That Guy campaign, which was aimed at men and to a lesser degree at bystanders of both genders, basically saying there's no excuse for rape.  What it communicates to would-be rapists is that no one's going to make excuses for them and or get deflected onto "what she should have done differently."

    Yes, I know "what she should have done differently" discussions are generally well-meaning, but they're mostly about switching the victim (stay sober at that campus party and maybe the rapist will target someone else instead).  rather than trying to get every single woman to police every possible risk, change is brought about when we concentrate on the small segment of the population that's actually the problem.

    I shall die, but that is all that I shall do for Death; I am not on his payroll. - Edna St. Vincent Millay

    by Tara the Antisocial Social Worker on Sun Oct 20, 2013 at 08:51:47 PM PDT

  •  While I'm sure it's not your intention (29+ / 0-)

    the framing comes off as false equivalence:  "What could each of them have done differently" makes it sound as if each bears equal responsibility for his choice to commit rape.

    What could she have done differently?  My list is a bit different than the one you were probably aiming for.  (Please note, I'm using male-on-female rape as the generic, but all of these apply if it was female-on-male or same-sex.)

    1.  Ask around among her friends about how he treats women.  Rapists are usually (2/3) repeat offenders, and they often display misogyny in other ways.

    2.  View it as a red flag any time he fails to respect the word "no" (a common example: if he insists of getting her a drink after she's already refused, then he's looking to see if she can be talked out of "no.")

    3.  If she knows any rape survivors, she should give them her unqualified support and refuse to participate in the inevitable "let's comb through everything she did and figure out what she did wrong" discussions that rape victims are ALWAYS subjected to  after the fact.  Preceding it with "I'm not blaming the victim, but..." does not change the fact that this is experienced by the victim as victim-blaming - and as exoneration by the perpetrator, who learns that he can get away with it by keeping the focus on her actions.

    4.  If any of the men she knows have committed any form of sexual assault, she should make no excuses for them and do whatever she can to see that they face consequences.  Even if the only consequence she can personally give them is freezing them out of her circle of friends, she should do it.  Rapists are not irrational or unable to control their behavior; they respond to incentives.

    5.  She should correct/confront her friends any time one of them makes a joke about rape, or spreads misinformation about it ("false reports are common," "date rape is just a failure to properly communicate the word no, and if she'd just said it the right way, he'd have listened.")

    Items 3 through 5 are also excellent suggestions for men who care about stopping rape.

    The issue is not really what one individual woman can do to police her clothing/drinking/being out of the house.  Those are really just switch-the-victim tactics, ie, stay sober so the rapist will find a different target.  As I tried to indicate in items 3 through 5, the real self-protection lies in creating a culture where the negative consequences of rape fall on the assailant and not the victim.

    Because in the end, the only thing that matters is what the rapist could do differently.  he will do it differently when it's in his self-interest to do so.

    I shall die, but that is all that I shall do for Death; I am not on his payroll. - Edna St. Vincent Millay

    by Tara the Antisocial Social Worker on Sun Oct 20, 2013 at 09:45:06 PM PDT

    •  Precaution versus blame (10+ / 0-)
      the framing comes off as false equivalence:  "What could each of them have done differently" makes it sound as if each bears equal responsibility for his choice to commit rape.
      It just doesn't sound that way to me.   BTW -- mother of two teen girls, speaking.

      What it sounds like to me, is "Rape is a bad thing, and everyone needs to be doing everything they can to make sure it doesn't happen.  What can YOU do?"

      People confuse precautions with blame.

      It's not your fault if you are raped, but sometimes, there are choices that you could have made that might have prevented rape.  We should empower women by helping them to recognize those decision points, so that they maintain more control over their situations.    BEFORE they end up in a back bedroom, wrestling with a man who three times stronger than they are, who is too drunk to care when you say, "STOP", or who just doesn't care.

      The point is to avoid the rape, not find better ways to blame people after it happens.  And, it's going to take all hands on deck, the men and the women, working together, to stop it.

      •  Framing it as "to make sure it doesn't happen" (5+ / 0-)

        makes rape sound like a natural disaster, along the lines of a flood or an earthquake.  A thing that "happens."  As opposed to a thing that a person chooses to do.

        Why are we so focused on women's agency, women's control over the situation, to the point where we talk as though rapists have no control or agency at all?

        •  To the extent.. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Alice in Florida, Hayate Yagami

          To the extent that in any human population, there are outliers that are violent criminals, statitistically, it is a natural disaster.   There is a science to rape, and an underlying natural mechanism for why some people rape and some don't.  Your theory seems to be that rape happens because no one told the rapist not to rape.   My theory is that it is more complex than that, involving such things as brain chemistry, and that is important to warn kids about the dangers of rapists, just as I warn them about the dangers of rabid animals.    

          In fact, scientists have found underlying natural rhythms to violent crime.

          Researchers have discovered that the seemingly erratic behavior of the "Rostov Ripper," a prolific serial killer active in the 1980s, conformed to the same mathematical pattern obeyed by earthquakes, avalanches, stock market crashes and many other sporadic events.
          Every woman will meet many rapists in her lifetime that she does not recognize as rapists.  The question is whether she will meet one in circumstances that give the rapists a chance to ply his trade.  I will encourage my children to be wary of situations where a rapist might get an opportunity.


          •  My theory is that people commit rape (3+ / 0-)

            because they are (a) encouraged to believe that they should get what they want and that it's an injustice if they don't, and (b) given countless societal cues that it's not really such a terrible thing to do, and even if it's technically against the rules, they'll probably get away with it if they do it right.

            If you want to reduce that to "because no one told the rapist not to rape," then okay, yeah.

            It's entirely possible that brain chemistry is involved somewhere, but do you think addressing the issue societally might possibly help somewhat?

    •  your list is what I'm looking for (2+ / 0-)

      I've long wanted to change the conversation in the date rape session.  Both the conversation from ten years ago and the one this year have always felt off.  Being able to expand the conversation and provide some ideas such ask "ask your friends how he treats women" are easy and practical, don't require any type of confrontation, which lots of people will twist themselves into knots to avoid.  

    •  Choices (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I think that very often the issue of choices in circumstances like these get confused, since we falsely equate moral choices with wise choices.  That is, a woman who unnecessarily puts herself into a vulnerable situation did not morally transgress, but she did something foolish.  Moral culpability for rape always rests with the rapist.  Sometimes, victims do foolish things in a practical sense, but they are never morally culpable for the rape.  While we should all try to do wise things, we should be more concerned with doing moral things.

      •  That would be an excellent way of looking at it (2+ / 0-)

        if women weren't constantly subjected to moral judgments for doing the kinds of things we're talking about, and if those same things weren't constantly used as defense arguments at rape trials to "prove" that no rape was actually committed.

        •  Re (0+ / 0-)

          I'm just saying this as a philosophical point, and I agree with you that people should not judge rape victims.  It is inexcusable that these things are used against women in court as well.

          What I'm trying to get at is that we should also not attack people giving earnest practical advice to women about how to avoid getting raped.  I'm sure you would agree that people should take precautions, and I will agree with you (I'm assuming anyway) that the focus of prevention efforts should be on dissuading potential rapists.  I'm sure that there is practical advice for them to avoid tempting situations in addition to the more important moral advice about respecting women as human beings and following the Golden Rule.

    •  this this a googleplex times this (4+ / 0-)
      the real self-protection lies in creating a culture where the negative consequences of rape fall on the assailant and not the victim.

      Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
      Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights for support in dealing with grief.

      by TrueBlueMajority on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 09:12:40 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  One problem I see (5+ / 0-)

    Is that for some men a woman talking about sex at all is seen as a come on, even if it's her saying she isn't interested. They think that is a challenge for them to pursue more enthusiastically, and that if a woman talks about it then they are thinking about it so could change their minds.

    Women create the entire labor force.
    Sympathy is the strongest instinct in human nature. - Charles Darwin

    by splashy on Sun Oct 20, 2013 at 09:49:57 PM PDT

  •  getting undressed and into bed with another (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MHB, Alice in Florida

    is not flashing a green light for sex????????????

    Wow.  That is news to me.  It's a Brave New World.

    Glad I'm not part of it any longer.

    Through early morning fog I see visions of the things to be the pains that are withheld for me I realize and I can see...

    by Keith930 on Sun Oct 20, 2013 at 10:00:49 PM PDT

    •  Well, generally, it is. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      GreenMother, TrueBlueMajority

      But god knows that people can have second thoughts sometimes, even in the middle of the act.  

    •  That flashing green light can turn solid red (13+ / 0-)

      at any moment for any reason with or without warning. At that point you're required to stop.

    •  When did anyone say these two people had stripped (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      down and gotten into a bed?

      Sex can take place in many places and with many different combinations of clothing or lack there of. But I think you know that.

      Please don't oversimplify rape. It makes you part of the problem.

    •  And if you got naked with a beautiful woman (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      angelajean, LaraJones, TiaRachel

      and just before you two leap into the sack to make the beast with two backs--would you stop if you noticed a big oozing sore on her thigh?

      Or a case of shingles on her body somewhere?

      Or crabs in her public hair falling onto your crisp white sheets?

      Nothing you can think of that would turn your green light red there mister? Full steam ahead--and damn the STDs!

      Gentlemen, congratulations. You're everything we've come to expect from years of government training (Zed, MIB).

      by GreenMother on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 08:46:52 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  It's definitely not consent for intercourse (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LaraJones, TiaRachel

      More than once I've "gone to bed" with a man with the understanding that we were going to fool around, but any penetrative sex acts (with penis or fingers) need specific consent. I didn't announce that in advance -- it was just understood. I guess it's the quality of the men I tend to date. It's hard for me to imagine being in bed with someone who thought that the mere fact that we were in bed meant that he got to decide which sex acts we were going to do and then he could make me do them.

      Imagine if getting into bed with a woman meant she has the right to stick fingers up your butt, whether you want that or not. Many men like their girlfriend to put a finger up there and stroke his prostate. But how would men like it if merely being naked in bed with a woman meant she needn't even ask before jamming a finger up there?

      •  That's basically the way that I look at it (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Noisy Democrat

        (as a male, FWIW.)  Each time you step up the intensity of the encounter, you should look for consent, whether it's verbal or not.  I don't think I've ever asked 'can I touch your breasts,' but -- especially in first encounters -- I'd be working my way towards that point in a way which signals my intentions and gives ample opportunity for my partner to signal a lack of consent.

        (In other words -- yeah, if a woman jammed her finger up my butt with no warning, I would probably be a bit put off.  But if she'd been playing with my anus for a while and I was enjoying it and she starts working a finger up in there, well, that's a different scenario.)

        •  I agree (0+ / 0-)

          If the woman takes the man's penis in her hand and starts guiding it in, that's a pretty clear signal. When I've gotten into a missionary-like position with a man but I still didn't want intercourse, I've always said something -- gently -- to make it clear "I just want to do this..." (although by then we usually both had a mutual understanding that it wasn't going to be intercourse). And in the scenario you described, you'd expect that if the woman started working a finger in and you said "Uh, not that," she'd take it back, not keep going. I don't expect the man to ask me for a signed consent contract before intercourse, but that level of communication -- being sensitive to signals, using verbal communication if you think the physical signals might be mis-read, and being willing to de-escalate if necessary -- seems, well, normal. In my life, that's always been how it's been, so the whole "She was in bed with him so obviously she consented to intercourse" thing feels very alien to me.

  •  Cacao (7+ / 0-)

    Seriously though, I think that as a culture we have so much baggage going on with the whole concept of sex that it's difficult to teach the idea that clear communication should be part of the date all the way through.  Though it should be.

    This is nice, should we keep going? allows for a clear answer, yes or no.  Or even, I'm not sure - when more talking should happen and a break from whatever it is the couple is doing.

  •  Communication about sex in a different context (4+ / 0-)

    I am a community theater actor. Some roles require kissing or other kinds of intimate behavior -- it's right in the script. Some roles require passion but leave it to the actors how to express it.

    This is also a case where "no means no". I don't care if it is in the script: if my partner says that she doesn't want me to kiss her or touch her in other ways, I'm not going to.

    But how can I know that? I always ask, but often I get no clear answer. Worse, I've sometimes gotten an explicit "yes" that it became obvious later did not mean "yes". Perhaps she felt she should go along with what was expected, I don't know.

    For the most part, I think that partners who equivocate are either embarrassed to talk about it outright or aren't yet sure how they feel. In both cases, I find that it helps to take it slow -- get to know each other & establish some mutual trust. Not entirely different from a date.

    So I agree with the diarist that "no means no" is necessary but not sufficient. Communication is needed! Men cannot read women's minds, nor can women read men's minds. Especially when one or the other may be unsure just what they think. So both parties would benefit from learning ways to communicate that are more subtle than "hey, I'd like sex!" and more tolerant of uncertainty.

    I don't think that's blaming the victim, anymore than teaching defensive driving blames the victim of a drunk driver. Of course, it would be entirely inappropriate to ask a rape victim "did you try to communicate about sex before you got to his bedroom", just as it would be inappropriate to ask the victim of a drunk driver "didn't you see his car weaving before you tried to pass him?"

  •  Disclaimer: I didn't read teh whole thing (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    angelajean, gustynpip, Batya the Toon

    I am going off the title and the first few paragaphs, which together suggest that the person who wrote this believes that the shift in attitude among young women from "she deserved it and should have been less stupid" to "no means no and she was not at fault" is somehow a bad thing.

    I find that baffling, and upsetting from an educator.  I reject it utterly.

    I don't fool myself for a second that rape can ever be stopped, no more than murder, or theft, or anything else.   There will always be rapists.  Plenty of studies already suggest that relatively few would ever be amenable to "conversation", because relatively few are "just ordinary guys" who got caught up in the moment.  Most were out for "sex, with rape if needed" from before they ever picked the girl out of the crowd.  You can't reason with that, and suggesting that young women should do so as a practical means to preventing rape is little better, IMO, than suggesting they wear longer skirts.  (Conversation and communication are plenty important for other reasons, obviously.)

    What I want to do, more than tilt at windmills trying to stop rape as such, is to destroy the evil societal attitudes that surround it.  And one of the worst of those attitudes is the one that puts the onus on the victim to keep it from happening.  That's what destroys lives, not being raped itself.  You get raped, it's a trauma, physical and emotional.  At its worst it is also a betrayal of trust.  That trust does not have to be further betrayed by the incessant drumbeat of "you should have stopped it yourself, how could you be so dumb, you must be a slut, etc etc etc" from everyone else the young woman used to trust and from society as a whole.

    I think these young women are getting exactly the right message, because some of them will be raped, no  matter what they do or say, and what is going to protect their spirits form that point forward is knowing, deep inside -- and getting reinforcement from their peers and their family and from authorities as well -- that they were not at fault, that they did everything any reasonable person could have been expected to do, that nothing about it should affect their own assessment of their self-worth, or judgment, or smarts, or anything else.   That's how you survive it and these women are learning how to survive it, IMO.

    •  Specifically, the diary addresses date rape (0+ / 0-)

      which sometimes can be simply the result of a misunderstanding.  If we take the misunderstandings off the table through better communication, maybe we can avoid some instances of rape.

      It's just like in my self defense class when I was taught to fight back if I had the opportunity.  Even more important: IF YOU FEEL UNSAFE, AVOID GOING TO ANOTHER LOCATION.

      I would also hope that a good sex ed class discusses rape, including WHAT TO DO IMMEDIATELY AFTER IT OCCURS.  Many adults do not know what to do involving possible evidence, going to medical authorities or filing a police report.  BOTH MEN AND WOMEN.  

      Someday, many of them will be parents.  They should also be informed of how to spot signs of sexual abuse in children--it could possibly lead to some kids addressing their own abuse earlier.

      •  Please read Tara's comment about Date Rape (0+ / 0-)

        The way it's being discussed in the diary above is part of the problem.

      •  No. Any "lack of understanding" equals (0+ / 0-)

        No. If you're confused in any way, at all, about whether your partner is consenting, you don't have sex. It's not a gray area. It's not a misunderstanding. You simply wait until you have certain consent.

        This is really, really easy--it's about the lowest possible bar to jump. Millions upon millions of people negotiate consent every day without ever raping anyone. How is it that they don't make a mistake about this their entire lives? How is it that most people don't rape anyone their entire lives? Because it's so freaking easy to get consent.

        Stupid people can do it. People with below-average IQ can do it. If you're in a gray area, don't have sex. This isn't hard; people just want to make it hard so they have cover for pushing ahead when they don't have a Yes.

        If you get a No, or you charge ahead when you're not sure, that is totally on you.

        I'm amazed by people's courage and kindness in the face of everything and life.

        by LaraJones on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 12:10:23 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I find it baffling that you feel (0+ / 0-)

      compelled to respond to the first thing that came to your mind after reading a snippet rather than bothering to read the diary and discern what is actually said...except that such shallow, unthinking knee-jerk reactions are kind of par for the course these days.

      "All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out." --I.F. Stone

      by Alice in Florida on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 01:43:23 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  No means no. So, I'm perfectly safe. Right? (4+ / 0-)

    People are told not to break into our cars that we leave parked on the street, so that should be enough.

    Right?   Because we told them so.

    I can leave my doors unlocked, and my keys in the car, and everything will stay there, safe and sound, because we told everyone that "no means no", and they should not steal things out of other people's cars.

    But, they do.   I can attest to that fact.  Things have been stolen from our cars twice, when we accidentally left them unlocked, and it appears people check them every night, because if we make one mistake, they are on us, like white on rice.  And, I know too many of my daughter's friends who got molested.   The girls might not have said "no".  I'm not sure anyone ever asked them.

    There is the way that the world should be, and the way that the world is.

    Teen brains have not fully matured.  They have problems with impulse control, and problems with judgment.    Alcohol further impairs impulse control and impairs judgment.

    Your impulse control is the equivalent of your brakes on a car.   It doesn't matter if you've been told to keep to a slow pace down the side of the mountain.   If the brakes didn't work well in the first place, and then you spring a leak of brake fluid (picture a tall glass of vodka with a dash of OJ for food coloring), you won't go slow and you won't stop.  You will basically fall off the side of a mountain.

    "No, means no" will never keep you safe, not so long as there is even one child who keeps banging on the table after you tell him to stop -- which translates to, "never".

    "No, means no" is an instruction not to rape.  But, you can never forget that some people don't follow instructions very well, particularly when they are drunk.   They may be bipolar, in a manic high.  They may be drunk.  They may have a subtle traumatic brain injury that impairs impulse control.  There are any number of reasons why they may not stop.   It doesn't really matter.  What matters is -- they may not stop.

    It is still a jungle out there.   We told the tigers not to eat you, but I wouldn't bet my life on it.

  •  NOOOO!!! Pose this question to your students: (16+ / 0-)

    First your whole approach to this has the rape bias in it. Which assumes that the problem is that they didn't talk about it. NO!! The problem is that any man would want to have sex with a woman that doesn't want to!! Do you get it? What if the woman of today thinks she wants sex with a guy...thinks she likes him but gets half way and finds out he has a strange fetish or kisses crappy or is too rough. The moment she says NO, the mutual creation of the sexual experience is over. Bottom line is that there is something wrong with the men in society who would have sex with someone when they don't want to. My husband wouldn't do it. I could change my mind at any point. Why? Because he wants good sex...not to rape or control or to use me. Because he knows that sex is not just getting his rocks off. Women enjoy sex today. They know the difference between enjoyable sex and bad sex. Men have to get a grip in their heads that if she's not having fun, you aren't having sex.

    This whole thing is framed wrong. Teach men that real sex, fun sex, healthy intimate sex, is about two people creating a sexual experience together. And that at any point when one drops's not sex it's control, now it's "access" to a body. This works on both sides for men and for women. There is a rape bias in your whole diary here.


    •  Yeah ... I tipped and recced (5+ / 0-)

      because I think the discussion is valuable. But as much as the "how could this have been headed off earlier" issue is of practical use and better communication is certainly a big part of the answer to that, there still remains the fundamental problem you identify.  There have been a handful of times in my life that the woman I was with said no at a pretty late point and my reaction each time was like mentally flinching from a hot flame - I don't think I could have continued if I tried.  I have no idea how that got ingrained in me but I'm glad it was.

      "That capability at any time could be turned around on the American people and no American would have any privacy left, such is the capability to monitor everything ... There would be no place to hide." - Senator Frank Church

      by jrooth on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 05:56:11 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  When men like you speak truth, it matters!! (5+ / 0-)

        It's understandable that any man or woman who was hoping to have sex, would be disappointed. Rejection gets mixed in with the disappointment and without good emotion regulation would be easy to "control" instead of "regulate" the emotion. But people need to understand that "access" is not sex. The woman with a headache who says "yes" just to be "nice" doing the man and woman kind a disservice. But a man or woman who would continue to get off on someone not really present and into the experience has a problem as well. He's or she has not been taught what good sex is. He's not been taught the difference between access (control of access) and a mutually satisfying experience. And kudos to the people who figure this out. People are not objects...they should not be "used" for sex. Sex is a mutually satisfying experience...or it isn't sex.

        I think this is a very important education issues. Most people really don't know what great sex is. I do think many men were taught in the old days that you just "get off" and that's sex. I think women didn't know how to enjoy sex back then. But we can undo this damage by recognizing that it always takes two "present" people to be sex. Anything else is control or using.

        Thanks for your comment...that's how most men are...I think deep down. And I think it's also why orgasms are so important for men to be able to gauge. I think most men are craving this kind of experience...and women too! We just need to differentiate and get honest about the past.

        •  Consent really is sexy. (4+ / 0-)

          Women and men need to feel safe, valued, and as if they are being listened to--even if this is just a quick encounter.

          I think too that people mistake this notion that casual sex cannot lead to rape, because some how that means she won't say no or has given up her right to say no by engaging in a kind of sex that many disapprove of.

          But the fact is--you can still be respectful of her and him as human beings in such an encounter. They have given up nothing in such an encounter and do not deserve to be punished.

          Rape is not bad sex.

          Rape is about dominating a person, disregarding their wishes to NOT have sex or NOT continue an encounter. It is about using a person who has diminished capacity to give or withhold consent either by accident or design.

          Sex should be this wonderful thing between consenting people of appropriate age. It doesn't have to be between married people or heterosexual people or even just two people. But everyone should be of an age and of a mental capacity to explicitly consent.

          Safety and Security and feelings of being respected can be a powerful turn on.

          Whereas feelings of being used, forced, judged etc., are just the opposite. Because then it's not about sex, it's about survival.

          Teaching young people and our own adult population what good sex should be like would be a powerful means of mitigating rape stats.

          Gentlemen, congratulations. You're everything we've come to expect from years of government training (Zed, MIB).

          by GreenMother on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 08:26:12 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  You have gained a new "follower" on the kos. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Your comments here wavpeac have to be the most excellent I have ever read with regards to sexual empowerment and to a healthy attitude towards sex in general.

          Thank you for being a voice of sanity here today.

          Gentlemen, congratulations. You're everything we've come to expect from years of government training (Zed, MIB).

          by GreenMother on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 08:32:02 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  I didn't exactly get that from the diary itself, (0+ / 0-)

      but I fear the curriculum could lead a teacher in that direction.

      I'm glad that this teacher is thinking about adding "you need to talk to each other" to the arsenal of safe sex behaviors.   Communication is the most effective part of a good relationship.

  •  I know you mean well but yes it is victim blaming (5+ / 0-)

    This is one of those columns that sound concerned but are not ready to give up the idea that women are responsible for their own rapes.

    Now that girls are beginning to understand that no means no, and that they are not responsible for getting rapes, have rapes gone up dramatically?

    Only then would this question have validity.

    There are other reasons why talking to early about sexual expectations is more dangerous and results in less sexual autonomy but outlining those here takes too much time.

    You have, as people have so many times, confused sex with rape.  Rape is not caused by mixed signals. It is caused by one party refusing to wait for consent before insisting on sex, (freely given consent at that).

    Your teenagers were right. The only discussion that mattered was yes or no.  

    If you are discussing the situation after one party said no, and the other party respected that no, it is a different matter.  It is entirely reasonable for the refused initiator to ask why. It is reasonable to teach young people to explain their refusal. It would go a long way to defusing the 'He wants only one thing/She's just a tease dynamic'.   Often one is hurt or angry because they didn't understand what was going on with the other person, and all too often themselves.

    Yes, the way to improve relationships is to talk frankly, but this can be done only if both parties respect the rights of the other.

    So what you did by asking what could she have done differently to not be raped, is undermine the idea that no means no and consent is what matters. The way to lower rape is to make it clear, without discussion, that only yes means yes, and one has the right to change their mind.

    •  There is a difference between... (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      nanoboy, MHB, leevank, bryduck, Praxical

      blaming a victim and mitigating risk.

      I fear that some of the more ideologically militant on this issue want to deny that risk mitigation is even possible, never mind useful.

      I find that VERY dangerous for both men and women.

      •  In theory, yes, there is a difference. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        LaraJones, TiaRachel

        In practice, failure to abide by those "risk mitigation" behaviors is routinely held up in rape trials as a moral judgment on the victim, as proof that she must have really wanted it, as a reason why her rapist could have reasonably assumed that she wanted it and therefore there was no rape.

        Advocating for risk mitigation is conflated with victim blaming because those same arguments are used to literally blame the victim.

        Those "ideologically militant" opinions don't arise in a vaccum.

        •  All the more reason, sadly, (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          for actually doing those risk mitigation behaviors.
          It's like trying to avoid Republican lies about your position by compromising with them. They're going to lie about you any way, so you might as well advocate your side boldly.

          "Lone catch of the moon, the roots of the sigh of an idea there will be the outcome may be why?"--from a spam diary entitled "The Vast World."

          by bryduck on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 01:32:50 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  It's never going to stop being used in court. (0+ / 0-)

          And that's where victim blaming matters most.

          "Jersey_Boy" was taken.

          by New Jersey Boy on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 08:37:18 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Well, on the other hand... (0+ / 0-)

            ...In many cases, actual evidence of rape is scanty, at best.  

            Let's say a girl I had sex with says she was raped.  I do not deny that sex happened, but say it was consensual all the way through.  Sure, during the rape exam they find my DNA and that there's evidence of penetration, possibly even minor bruising or tearing or abrasions -- nothing that couldn't occur during normal, vigorous sex.  To make things simpler, no intoxicants were involved.  The encounter was not filmed nor witnessed by a third party.

            At this point, it literally is he said/she said, and it all comes down to making one person's story more believable, by building up one person's 'character' and deprecating the other's.  

          •  It will stop being used in court (0+ / 0-)

            the day it stops being taken seriously by people in general.

            Because the only point to bringing it up in court is to sway the jury to thinking that the victim is That Type of Girl, and that only works because juries are made up of people raised in a society that thinks that way.

            •  I'll agree with you on this. However, I don't (0+ / 0-)

              follow that up with, "and that is why we DON'T tell girls they shouldn't get drunk and pass out in their date's bed."

              I don't believe teaching safety is promoting rape culture and I don't know when the two got conflated.

              The idea that if we stop teaching women risk mitigation it's going to trickle down and change culture and undermine the effectiveness of a defense attorney's "blame the victim" strategy is misguided at best, and reckless at it's worst.

              "Jersey_Boy" was taken.

              by New Jersey Boy on Tue Oct 22, 2013 at 06:14:04 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  Blame (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I think that you are confusing making wise choices with making moral choices.  The rapist is being immoral, and the victim is not, of course.  Sometimes, the victim may also have make some bad (though not immoral) choices.  No one should blame a victim for this, but people should make choices that do not put themselves at unnecessary risk.

  •  What I teach my daughters... (6+ / 0-)

    Know your alcohol.  Understand the concept of a serving, and know how many servings is safe.   Don't trust other people to mix your drink.  Avoid getting so drunk that you are unable to be aware of your surroundings and to make good choices.

    Read your situation.  Understand that groups of kids can engage in dangerous "pack" behavior.  

    Be cautious about getting into a car alone with someone, or going to a room alone with them.    

    Always be aware of the peripherals, the "funny" uncle, the creepy schoolbus drive, the best friend's older brother's friends.

    Always have an escape route.  Keep your cell phone handy.  Make sure you have a ride.    Have a backup plan for what you will do if a situation changes, and you no longer feel comfortable.

    Use the buddy system, whenever possible.  Keep an eye on each other.   Tap someone on the shoulder, if you think they may be doing something they might regret.

    Call me.  I'll come pick you up, anytime, anyplace.

    I teach my daughters to understand that some people do not have their best interests at heart, that they must remain alert to their situations, and avoid situations that might be unsafe.  This does not just apply to rape, but to all crimes.   Lock up your cars and your bicycle.   Keep the front door locked.  Stay away from cruising cars.   Be alert to your surroundings when getting cash from an ATM.  Protect your identity online.  Etc.

    •  and no matter what you teach them (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      GreenMother, LaraJones

      about how it's THEIR responsibility not to get raped, women still do get raped.

      In 1991 a 75 year old woman named Florence Holway was asleep, alone, in her bed in a small NH town on Easter morning. A 25 year old man broke into her house, tied her up, and repeatedly raped her - vaginally and anally. He choked her. He busted up her teeth.

      Florence Holway was not "asking for it." She wasn't drunk. She wasn't dressed trampy. And she still got raped  - because that's what rapists do. They rape.

      Putting the onus on girls/women to avoid being raped lets rapists off the hook. Haven't we been doing that for enough centuries now?

      If you lie down with clowns, you will rise with rubber noses.

      by susanthe on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 06:26:51 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        leevank, Alice in Florida

        We've been telling boys not to break into houses, and not to rape people, and still Florence Holloway got raped.

        Do you really think that helps your point?  

        I think it rather proves mine.  No matter how many well-meaning people tell people not to break the law, somehow, people still keep breaking the law.   It's incredible, but true.  

        And, I'm going to tell my kids that.  

        When your "No, means no" campaign works, and the incidence of rape drops to zero, call me, and I'll congratulate you.

        Meanwhile, people will keep ignoring our "no, means no" campaign, and kids will keep wandering into metaphorical dark alleys obliviously, and bad things will keep happening, and all we can do is the best that we can do, because this is not some fantasy world we live in, despite all the trappings of modern civilization.  

        •  Horse Hockey (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Remind me - when, in US history has there ever been any sort of educational campaign targeting boys/men to teach them not to rape? Besides never?

          Educating girls to be smart and aware is good. Teaching them that they're responsible for preventing all crimes against them is dangerous. Because, maude forbid, if one of your girls does get raped, she's going to believe it was her fault - because that's what you're setting her up for.

          The incidence of rape is never going to go down as long as we rely on men to make it happen. Men make most of our laws, men mostly are the enforcers of them, and men are mostly the judges. Men hold the balance of power in our legislative and judicial systems. Men hold the power in our military, where one in 4 women will be raped. Still, we seem to think that the military (run by men) will magically fix itself. Until women get serious about changing the balance of power and tackling rape culture, nothing is going to change - for your daughters or for mine.

          I must say I enjoyed your little admonition about how we don't live in a fantasy world. I was gang raped when I was 16. You want to wag a finger at me about rape in the real world? Really?

          If you lie down with clowns, you will rise with rubber noses.

          by susanthe on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 12:19:48 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  So... (0+ / 0-)

            Why do people still do drugs?

            We've been sending THAT message out for years.   Shouldn't it have stopped by now?

            And, rape has been against the law for a long time now.  People have been going to prison for it.   I simply disagree with you that boys don't know that rape is illegal.   Most rapists know perfectly well that rape is illegal.   It's just that many people who know what the rules are, still break the rules.

            And, that's not going to change, even with the most superific fantabulous "no means no" ad campaign ever created by man.  I'll support the ad campaign, but I will not stop my other efforts to keep my kids safe, and I will not really expect the incidence of rape to drop dramatically.  There are other forces at work.

            •  Hmmm (0+ / 0-)

              I can't seem to find where it was I said that I thought boys were unaware that rape was illegal. What I said was that we need to teach boys and men not to be rapists. You don't seem to be actually reading what I'm saying. I'm not talking about an ad campaign. I'm talking about teaching boys, from BIRTH not to be fucking rapists. We don't do that now. We haw haw haw a lot about all the things that boys will do because they are boys. We could change that. If we wanted to. If we could ever stop blaming girls and women for the crimes committed against them.

              By all means, load your daughters up with instructions and responsibility - and weapons. Will you blame them if something happens to them? Whether or not you do, you're certainly setting them up to blame themselves.

              If you lie down with clowns, you will rise with rubber noses.

              by susanthe on Tue Oct 22, 2013 at 06:12:04 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  There is an essential flaw in the lesson plan. (8+ / 0-)

    Date rape as a concept is not well defined.

    You are teaching date rape as if the guy is as equally caught off guard as the girl. He didn't go in intending to rape her but because of mixed singles, he ended up raping her. He's an accidental rapist. I think the Republican's have another term for it but the concept is the same.

    But online you find definitions that again and again talk about how the victim was drugged and/or drunk, not always of her/his own volition. The rapist targeted the victim and the victim was more easily targeted because they already knew the rapist and trusted that person. Your scenario doesn't allow for this form of date rape yet it is far more common than the definition on which your lesson plan relies.

    You are doing a serious disservice to your class - to both the men and the women. Please read Tara's comments above. She has lots of great links that could really help broaden your lesson plan and make it more appropriate for today's young people.

    I would like to suggest that you watch a film about rape in the military. It is the best example of explaining how rapists operate. I think it would make a huge difference in how you approach this topic in the future:

    Thanks for posting the diary. It made me cringe as I read it but this conversation needs to happen again and again and again until all teachers of kids who might have sex have a better understanding of what rape really is.

  •  This line (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    "I'm having a great time.  Can we talk about sex and make a decision together that we both feel comfortable with so that something we both regret doesn't happen later?"
    Would just about guarantee nothing regrettable let alone memorable would occur.

    “Conservation… is a positive exercise of skill and insight, not merely a negative exercise of abstinence and caution…” Aldo Leopold

    by ban nock on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 06:07:55 AM PDT

    •  No it doesn't. (9+ / 0-)

      A rapist could have the best conversation in the world before hand and could tell a young woman that he understands no means no. And then a rapist will very willingly ignore the no when it happens.

      That's what people are not talking about here. Rape is not a mistake. It's a crime and men who commit rape know what they are doing. It's not mixed signals. That's an excuse that rapists use to prevent being arrested and when we allow that excuse to persist in the conversations about sex and sex education, we become culpable. Our culture needs to teach that rape is rape.

      •  We Agree that For Adults (4+ / 0-)

        That this is an undeniable truth:

        "It's a crime and men who commit rape know what they are doing. "

        However, this diary is about teenagers.  Children. Do you truly believe that, taking into account the science of cognition, that all boys always know what they are doing just because and that are never any "mixed signals"? If you do, respectfully your view of this appears colored by your adulthood and you don't remember the experience of having to navigate sexuality within the context of dating as a teenager.  We're not talking about stranger rape in this diary, but something far more complex.  In the end, it's still rape -- but if we truly want to fix the problem, the context of youth sexuality screams for something more than just the pat "No means no" education--an education that talks about girls and their agency (with the commensurate responsibilities), even if that exercise of agency necessarily occurs a lot earlier in the encounter than the agency we're expecting boys to exercise right up until the 11 99/100th hour of a sexual encounter.

        •  That is why we need to have these discussions (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          angelajean, shanikka, TiaRachel, Praxical

          with young people of both genders. And keep having these discussion.

          What is Coersion.
          What is rape.
          What is Sex
          What is Consent

          Otherwise children learn all they need to know from the television, the internet, and the adults in their lives. All we have to do is take a look around and see how well that is not working.

          Gentlemen, congratulations. You're everything we've come to expect from years of government training (Zed, MIB).

          by GreenMother on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 08:17:55 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I do believe in mixed signals. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          I don't believe that rape happens because signals got mixed.

          At what age do young men suddenly become capable of telling the difference between mixed signals and clear ones? Just that conversation alone takes away from the conversation of what rape is. Rape isn't about mixed signals. It's about one person, almost always a man, forcing themselves on another person who does not want to go any further. If there is a shade of gray, then don't have sex. A young man should KNOW that the young woman is enjoying herself and wants to be doing what she is doing. She should be an active participant - kissing back, touching back, etc. The signals should be very, very clear. And yes, I do remember what sex was like when I was a teenager. And I do remember saying no, I don't want to go any further. And I can remember what the pressure felt like as well. Today, I have two teenage sons and we've had many, many conversations about sex, pregnancy, and rape, not necessarily in that order. I know that pre-marital sex is more than expected in today's generation and I also know that hooking up is a fact of life as well. It's why these conversations are so very, very important and why the idea of mixed signals is part of the problem.

          You and I both agree that sex ed needs to go beyond No means No. But the idea of mixed signals and Date Rape needs to be revamped as well. I mention that to the diarist in a comment below.

        •  I'm teaching my three boys (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          that we show respect for other people's bodies and belongings. They're young yet, but one will be a preteen in not too long. He has already internalized the idea that you don't do anything to people that they don't want.

          His relationship with his next younger brother has been helpful. Sometimes they start to play and it's all fun, but then little brother doesn't want to do it anymore and starts protesting.

          Our house rule is that anytime anybody says No, we stop. End of story. He has learned this and understands it; we've all been in situations where someone was doing something to us/with us that we didn't like.

          Yes, we have started talking about sex and have talked about Yes and No already. (You can't start too early to get ahead of schoolmates and society--they all start teaching your child very early!).

          I teach him to put himself in the other person's shoes. "That's not okay to do to brother. How would you like it if your buddy did that to you?" And he's old enough to empathize.

          These are lessons that directly impact his future relationships. I can tell you I've been in homes where future rapists were clearly in training too.

          I'm amazed by people's courage and kindness in the face of everything and life.

          by LaraJones on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 12:21:44 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  I know any number of people (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      who could bring personal anecdotal evidence to the contrary.

  •  I'm saddened by the fact that you're a sex (6+ / 0-)

    educator.  The fact that you're still so ambivalent about the idea that women can change their minds at any time, regardless of what signals they've previously sent, means you're not ready to be a sex educator.  You're still in need of education.

    You're actually at instilling a sense of guilt and responsibility in the young women you're supposed to be teaching and you're providing young men with the sense that their responsibility is lessened once she makes certain decisions.  I wonder how many of those young men will later be thinking at some point "well, if she really didn't want me to do this, she shouldn't have come to my room/drank the wine/had dinner with me".

    I'm sure you tell the women that the very safest way of avoiding date rape is to never go on a date in the first place.  That eliminates pretty much any risk.

  •  We are in a shift (7+ / 0-)

    1960 "No means try harder"
    1990 "No Means No"
    2010 "Don't be that Guy"

    The way to stop rape is to get the guys to stop raping, period.

    The young women are right.  It doesn't matter what they did. Rape is inexcusable.  She says no at any point (including in the middle of sex), it ends.


    •  "Don't be that guy" is very powerful. (4+ / 0-)

      Peer pressure will be, in the end, more powerful than anything the teacher might say.

      But the teacher can establish and reinforce healthy peer pressure.  So can the media.  We dramatically reduced smoking in this nation through media campaigns and peer pressure.

      •  Yeah. The stubinville thing struck me (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        The buddies of the rapist took away his car keys but were perfectly happy to leave him alone with a semi-conscious woman.

        That's got to change.  Most date rapes do indeed seem to be "that guy", a person everyone knows is dangerous but is tolerated socially.  But "that guy" loses a lot of cover if friends treat impaired males and females as somebody to protect from themselves and to protect others from, the same way they do with cars, until they sober up.

  •  I wonder if (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    GreenMother, Batya the Toon

    it's possible to communicate stories that model for both young men and young women the idea that sex is something you talk about with your partner before you do it.

    I agree that no means no. I also think that many people run into trouble because they don't talk more. Even in my 30s with my lawfully wedded husband, we ran into issues because neither of us felt comfortable bringing up topics like "I'd like to try _" or "I really want you to __".

  •  A Difficult Conversation to Have (7+ / 0-)

    As evinced by the comments you have received in response to this diary, which was thoughtful and nuanced about a subject where we've been trained culturally that there is only "one right answer" -- and only ever one victim when things go horribly wrong.

    I do believe that in doing a good and necessary thing -- teaching clearly that No Means No -- we have engaged in reductionist thinking, assuming that this was all that was required of women: to say no.  I realize that viewpoint is unpopular here in progressive space, but as is the case with this subject and others such as abortion, I find that too often the rhetoric essentially eliminates the concept of female agency: we're just all victims of men, all the time, with zero responsibility to think ahead and plan to take care of ourselves.  Thus, the lectures from some of the readers here when you hint the possibility that, before the ultimate moment of "No", the girl might have actually had some responsibility in the encounter to signal lack of interest before "raging teenage hormones" mixed with "cognitively immature thinking processes" got in the mix and led ultimately to her becoming a rape victim.

    Too often, we want simple.  Too often we want dogmatic.  As someone who was sexually active as teenager--and a rape victim as a teenager--who also raised three children male and female to adulthood, I know that the lessons, if we really want to end date rape as opposed to just come up with pat directives and say we did something in this extremely complicated are, I appreciated your willingness to write about this subject here and initiate a dialogue about the co-equal nature of responsibility.  

    And no, talking about her responsibility is not in my opinion, "blaming the victim", although I do know that the majority of women here at Daily Kos would rather believe that this is the case.

  •  date night (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    joegoldstein, MHB, forgore

    Boy has 1 beer,girl has 10 beers. they have sex. it is rape because she is drunk.
    Boy has 10 beers,girl has 1 beer . they have sex. it is not rape because that is silly. Anybody see a double standard here? Getting drunk and having sex with someone you regret is not rape. It is a life lesson on not drinking too much. Hr away.

    •  Of COURSE there's a double standard! (0+ / 0-)

      Men can't be raped! Just ask all the militant idealogues.

      It's bullshit, but ideology often occults reality.

      •  That's bullshit. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        angelajean, Batya the Toon

        The double standard most women face is the one where males hold a lot of power of the worth of women, based on the woman's sexual history [real or imagined].

        There is an inherent power imbalance between males and females in this Abrahamic Culture, that favors paternalism over egalitarian values.

        Women have been fighting this for a very long time. And sometimes we hit a sore spot that makes the males cry foul, because it hits too close to home.

        If I saw a man or boy being sexually assaulted I would do whatever is in my power in that moment to stop it and to prepare myself to be a witness on his behalf should he decide to press charges. Just like I would for a female.

        Don't lay this bullshit out like this.

        This is a serious discussion about a big social problem that permeates our entire culture and it is premised on cultural ideologies that treat sex like it's dirty, and forbidden and potentially a form of punishment.

        Gentlemen, congratulations. You're everything we've come to expect from years of government training (Zed, MIB).

        by GreenMother on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 08:53:23 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  You don't believe that ideology... (0+ / 0-)

          gets in the way of a serious discussion?

          I do.

          I want a serious discussion, but with all due respect, it NEEDS to go beyond the same old platitudes you and others repeat, ad nauseum.

          THAT is bullshit!

          •  I know it's so annoying when the woman attached (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            angelajean, undercovercalico

            to the girl parts says something that doesn't make you feel comfortable.

            Gosh, where are my manners--because only polite well behaved LADIES will ever be listened to.

            Gristled old female vets like me--well we are barely house trained and might say something untoward.

            So exactly what platitude were you talking about?

            The one where women want to be free of the fear of RAPE? The one where women want to be free of being judged for having or desiring sex?

            The one where women want to be free to practice reproductive self determination?

            The one where women don't have to submit to religious ideologues and their ENABLERS that manipulate the emotional state of this union against women who speak "out of turn" with their brazen heads uncovered and sometimes In Church?

            Gentlemen, congratulations. You're everything we've come to expect from years of government training (Zed, MIB).

            by GreenMother on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 09:14:02 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I think you are projecting. (0+ / 0-)

              I don't know who or what you are arguing against, but it sure as heck isn't anything I said or advocate.

              Care to try again?

              •  The author of this diary is talking about (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                the very common, scenario that leads to date rape. Which involves acts of sexual violence against the female.

                If he were talking about the rape of males then it would be a different scenario involving the rape of a male and not a female.

                It seemed to me that you were trying to shut the conversation down by bringing up the topic of male rape as if that somehow made women's arguments about the interconnection between the attack on women's rights in general and the attitudes towards the rape of females were somehow not related in the greater scheme of things.

                I am personally tired of seeing the very serious topic of male rape being used in that fashion.

                Gentlemen, congratulations. You're everything we've come to expect from years of government training (Zed, MIB).

                by GreenMother on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 09:45:18 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I apologize... (0+ / 0-)

                  if you thought I was attempting to shut the conversation down.

                  That is NOT at all my intent, I quite assure you!

                  What I am actually attempting to say (obviously quite poorly) is that I believe that the type of rape we are discussing, specifically the date or "accidental" rape is more complex than IDEOLOGY often gives us the ability to discuss.

                  I believe this very meta discussion is proof of that (that coupled with my poor communications skills of which I am sincerely sorry.)

                  I do not disagree with ANY of the ideology, BTW, regarding white male class dominated power structure. I'm a Marxist, FWIW.

                  I'm also a student of the biological and psychological sciences and realize that there is a lot more going on regarding the single most powerful force which exists on Earth, namely sexuality. (Some consider the entire reason for the "will to power" is the ability to mate.)

                  I believe that "no means no" and "only yes means yes", while technically and morally are of course, true, they are misleading and tend to trivialize the entire issue. They are very idealistic and, like most idealistic ideas really only implemented by the idealistic.

                  We need to be real, truthful, upfront and brutally frank if we seek a TRUE SOLUTION to this rather than simply echoing largely meaningless platitudes at one another.

                  Why not be openminded on this? Why not, for example, look at the area of computer security as a model? Trust is ALWAYS necessary in any sort of security system, ALL security systems are vulnerable, yet we can make it extremely inconvenient for systems penetration (ABSOLUTELY no pun intended.)

                  Why not be pragmatic (as well as idealistic) about this?

                  •  When we allow the ability to give or withhold (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:

                    consent to be trivialized--No means no, only yes means yes, then millions of people out there take that to mean that there are lines in the proverbial sand that delineate who can be raped with impunity and who cannot be raped with impunity.

                    As it stands right now, in this current Western culture,
                    sluts can be raped with impunity.

                    They do not have the recognition or protection of society in adequate measure that allows them to say NO and make it stick.

                    What is a slut?

                    Well that line is always on the move. It changes based on geography, age, sobriety, religion, race, sexual orientation, economic status, cognitive ability, it is often about gender policing.

                    Proper women are rewarded by not being raped.

                    Improper (un) women are made examples by being raped to enforce gender rules and current societal norms.

                    A girl that feels she is an equal, who goes out drinking with the boys, who feels she can desire or even pursue sex without being punished--which column do you think she is mostly likely to fall into?

                    The author is right for all the wrong reasons. It does seem cruel to lead females on to believe that they are equal in this society with all the rights and privileges conferred upon them with that status. It's only when they discover they are about to become an example that they figure that out.

                    And what just chaps my hide is the expectation that females should not fight that with tooth and nail. That is irritating and demoralizing in the extreme.

                    This isn't biology. This is about domination.

                    And I accept your apology and explanation. I too offer my apologies for getting so pissed off. Sadly, I have had a long time to learn all of this over a lifetime.  

                    If you could for a week, live your life like a 19 yr old girl, you too could see how being in this society is more like playing Frogger and less like the reality some would like to paint for females. And it doesn't end when you turn 20, or 30 or 40 or any age. For many it starts before puberty.

                    Because rape isn't necessarily about attractiveness or allure, or age--it is about putting a female in (the perceived) place reserved for such beings. It's about denying females their humanity and their equality. It's about denying females their self ownership, it's about monopolizing and appropriating access to their bodies.

                    It's about feeling powerful through the subjugation of others.

                    Thank you for being gracious during this very heated discussion.

                    Gentlemen, congratulations. You're everything we've come to expect from years of government training (Zed, MIB).

                    by GreenMother on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 10:26:04 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  I can help with the "no means no" and "only yes (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    GreenMother, TiaRachel

                    means yes" phrases that may seem like platitudes. They exist because when this conversation about holding rapists more responsible for rapes than their victims first began (historically a very recent development), the first wave of resistance was "but she didn't say No."

                    It was a heavy wave of resistance, and we're still dealing with it today--you still see it in the "gray area" arguments and the "mixed signals" arguments and so on. It's still here and people still buy it, the idea that rapes happen because women don't communicate to men what they want.

                    Specifically because of that first, massive wave of resistance to the idea of holding rapists responsible, women developed the "No Means No" campaign. It was necessary--it was essential at the time.

                    As society has continued the conversation and grown a little more sophisticated about the subject of rape, the ideas about messaging matured too. Even after the earlier "No Means No" campaigns, people were still saying things like, "But she didn't really mean No" or "She was just playing hard to get" and crap like that.

                    As a result, it became clear that  that a further message was needed. Even when women actually said No, rapists didn't listen, and society still blamed the women. (Those who keep using that as a reason why these campaigns are useless, knock it off. We push back on all other crimes and we do so without blaming the victims; we're going to continue to push back on this one too.) The word "consent" doesn't mean "no," it means "yes." So the debate on consent needed to be about saying Yes.

                    To dismiss these messages as platitudes dismisses the effort that women and our male allies have put into meeting the stupid objections of rape apologists over many decades. It also trivializes the fact that these campaigns are still relevant today--the false and foolish victim-blaming tactics that were around then are still being used today. And these phrases are about real people's lives. These aren't platitudes--they're about people's true, lived experiences.

                    The idea that "No Means No" and "Only Yes Means Yes" somehow trivialize the subject dismisses out of hand the original (and continuing) need for these campaigns. That's not trivial and these aren't platitudes. When all those victim-blaming platitudes (a more appropriate use of the term) disappear, then the need for these phrases will disappear too.

                    I'm amazed by people's courage and kindness in the face of everything and life.

                    by LaraJones on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 12:58:51 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  I don't believe that statements like "No means No (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Batya the Toon, angelajean

                      only an "Explicit Yes means consent," will ever cease being relevant. These are foundational concepts for every human being with regards to their self ownership.

                      Gentlemen, congratulations. You're everything we've come to expect from years of government training (Zed, MIB).

                      by GreenMother on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 02:47:52 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

    •  Uh, actually (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      angelajean, johnny wurster

      Boy is drunk, girl is not, they have sex = hell yes that's rape.

      If boys weren't socialized to believe that as men they must always want sex whenever it's available, and that girls can't take advantage of boys because girls are always the pursued rather than the pursuer, this kind of thing might be actually taken seriously.

    •  There's no other way to say this, except (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Batya the Toon, TiaRachel

      that's just stupid.

      Having consensual sex and regretting it later is not rape.  Non-consensual sex is rape.

      Any comments you make based on that definition are just nonsensical and smack of frat-boy bullshit.

  •  My favorite sex ed story: (5+ / 0-)

    Our children went to a Montessori pre-school which included some simple biology sex ed for the children. When my daughter heard it she was thoughtful on the way home as she mulled what she heard. Then, from the back seat, "So, when you and dad do that, do you take your clothes off?"


    "Can I watch?"

    Our son's reaction was different. Quiet mulling, and then, "So, when you and dad do that, do you take your clothes off?"



    Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary? . . . and respect the dignity of every human being.

    by Wee Mama on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 06:44:11 AM PDT

  •  NO! (0+ / 0-)

    There, now you don't have to ask

    Happy just to be alive

    by exlrrp on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 06:47:15 AM PDT

  •  Manipulation if wrong, no matter what terminology (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    you rely on to dominate another human being.  NO isn't all that bad of term.

  •  This is an excellent diary! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MHB, leevank

    I have had a problem with the whole, "No means No" meme from the beginning.  Everytime I have tried to express my issues with it (Addmittedly not as well as you have), I get blasted because I am not a woman so I have no right to input, No means No and that is all that needs to be said, yada, yada, yada.

    Your diary helps me put into words what I have hated about this campaign.  Saying "No" only works as a means to determine whether it was rape or not.  I'm not sure how many women are raped everyday in this country but I am sure it is hundreds if not thousands.  The vast majority were date raped and they all said "No" and it had absolutely no affect.  

    The discussion, as you suggest in your diary, should have happened at dinner or at the front door of the apartment or dorm or before there were close taken off and kissing and rubbing going on.  I am not saying it is the victim's sole responsibility but it should be both party's responsibility.  

    Here is where I draw the ire of every woman on the planet but I am going to say it anyway.  The person who does not want sex has more of a responsibility to make that abundantly clear than the person who wants sex!  The person who wants sex thinks they are making it clear what they want by taking the other person back to their apartment, taking off some or all of their clothes and doing a lot of the rubbing and kissing and etc...  They believe that if the other person is willingly participating in all of this, it means they want the same thing.

    The figurative saying that men are animals is correct but not just figuratively.  We actually are animals.  Ever see a male dog or cat around a female in heat?  How about a white tailed buck in rut?  They go nuts, they go raving mad to get that female.  I know that men are supposed to be civilised and in control of all of that but it takes incredible powers of restraint to so.  I have literally engaged in oral sex with a woman and moved up to position myself for entry only for the girl to say she didn't know me well enough to have sex with me.  It was like there was an animal in me trying to break loose that I had to hold back.  many women also do not realize that there is physical pain (AKA Blue Balls) that is REALLY painful and occurs when you are at that point and are stopped.  most women think this is a joke or a manipulation but it is real.

    I stopped myself and controlled my instincts and endured the pain but it was not easy and not every man will do it (as the data clearly shows).  I am not blaming the victim when I say the a woman should do everything possible to make their intentions clear from the beginning and not to put themselves in a position where a man has to excercise such extreme restraint because alcohol inhibits the judgement and the power of will to control those urges.

    No means No is absolutely true but it only helps determine if a crime was committed.  Men and women need to be more honest with their feelings, let it be known up front what the expectations are.  We, as a country, have to get over our moral righteousness and talk about sex.

    One idea is to bring up the topic of date rape.  Maybe even discuss something like recent events where one of you says that there was a date rape at my (dorm, hometown, apartment complex, etc...) and say things like, even though she was doing this or doing that, it is still rape and if that ever happened to me, I would make sure they went to prison for the rest of their life.  It could definitely be an ice breaker into the conversation.

    "Perhaps the sentiments contained in the following pages, are not YET sufficiently fashionable to procure them general favour..."

    by Buckeye Nut Schell on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 07:55:19 AM PDT

    •  ^Every male commenter needs to read this.^ (2+ / 0-)

      And then please share your opinion. I wish we could take a poll in the comment section because I would love to know what the men of DailyKos really think about this.

      •  I would love to know what you think of this... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bryduck, johnny wurster

        I have not been with someone new for over twenty years but back when I was young, I worked in bars while I was in the Navy and in College.  

        I observed a lot of situations and was in quite a few of my own that do not fit the patterns laid out in these comments.  They were not clear cut it is okay to have sex after this many drinks and not okay after this last one. There is no red light that suddenly pops up and says, "Too late" that last drink put her over the limit.  

        I have also been in situations where women say no and then look at me like I'm stupid when I try to quit.  Not everyone responds the same way and not everyone wants the same thing.  I agree that rape is always wrong but I think that many people are using their own personal experiences and thinking that is the only way things happen.  

        I have three daughters and two nieces I have helped raise and even though I really don't believe in the death penalty, I can almost say with certainty that I would hunt down any bastard that raped one of my girls and gut them like a trout at a fish fry.  I wouldn't blame any of my girls for being a victim.  However, I have told everyone of them how to avoid situations that put them in danger.  People in this comment section saying that giving prudent advice about not putting yourself in danger is blaming the victim.  

        To me, this is like the abstinance only crowd who feel like there is no need to teach kids about safe sex because you just have to tell them not to have sex.  They feel that teaching them about safe sex is condoning sex.  I am trying to teach my girls to be as safe as possible.  Don't go to a secluded area with a boy and assume that he will stop when you say stop(now matter how nice he seems).  Do not take your clothes off and be passionate with someone unless you are sure you are ready for sex and that this person is someone you feel you can trust.  This is not a fool proof plan, rapists will rape even if you are safe in bed alone in your house as a previous commenter noted but you are much safer there than in someone else's bed without any clothes on.

        Rape is rape and it is NEVER acceptable to make any type of sexual contact without consent.  I think, however, it is foolish to completely rely on the restraint of a man to stop when you say so.  I am in no way condoning or justifying a man continuing to make sexual contact after being rejected.  I just would not advise allowing yourself to be in a dangerous situation and the data backs me up.  Probably more than 9 out of ten times this happens, the man stops.  One time out of ten ending up as rape is WAY too many.  Use caution, be prepared and make sure everyone knows what to expect.  How can anyone think that is anything but good advice.

        "Perhaps the sentiments contained in the following pages, are not YET sufficiently fashionable to procure them general favour..."

        by Buckeye Nut Schell on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 12:27:08 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I think 'blue balls' is kinda bullshit... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Buckeye Nut Schell

        ...let's face it, you can take care of that with good ol' Rosy Palm, and the pain is a minor ache at best, but I concur that there's a very animalistic drive in play in the heat of the moment, and concur with most of the comment -- including the part where, if you want to withdraw consent when the ball's already rolling, it is your obligation to make that clear to the other party, within reason.

        On the other hand, there's a very animalistic drive in play when I want to deck some idiot, but I don't go around punching republicans, as much as I want to.

    •  If the crime is going to be committed no matter (5+ / 0-)

      what, is it important to make sure it's seen as a real crime?

      Heck yes. I don't get why that's a problem at all. It isn't. It's a major, major thing. Rape hasn't been seen as a crime at all, historically. Then it was seen as a crime against a man's property. Then it was seen as a crime against a lesser creature. Only now is it being confront head-on, and the pushback is incredible.

      Do you seriously believe that women think the word "No" is a magic barrier against rapists? Please. Please read more and educate yourself more. We say No when we don't want sex for two reasons:

      1. Because it does, in fact, stop non-raping men. And non-raping men are the vast majority.

      2. Because it takes away a rapist's first and handiest excuse to pin the rape on the woman: "But she didn't say No."

      These are huge. They're not little. Your original assumption about why we say No doesn't make sense.

      I'm amazed by people's courage and kindness in the face of everything and life.

      by LaraJones on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 01:04:15 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  My point was... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        johnny wurster

        The diarist was trying to offer a suggestion to help PREVENT date rape by more effective communication.  I think that is much more effective than the "No Means No" campaign because at the point of saying no when two bodies are alone and in a compromising situation is nothing more than a request thrown to the mercy of the wolf.  At that point, the potential victim has little power to actually physically stop the encounter (rape) and must hope that the potential rapist has the moral integrity to stop what they are doing.

        Opening a dialog about sex, feelings about "No means no", views on premarital sex, what types of signals will be given when the time is right, what kinds of things would change those signals and what to expect if an abort signal is given.  These things are uncomfortable to talk about because our society has convinced us that we are not supposed to talk about sex.  It means we are a slut or that we think the other person is a slut or a bad person if we talk about it.  Oh, it is perfectly acceptable to use sex to sell products and tv shows and hell, you can even sell erection pills on TV and vibrators and condoms but it is still taboo to talk to a prospective lover about it until it happens.  Guys feel presumptuous, girls feel permiscuous, it is just too uncomfortable.

        We need to get people talking.  Always blaming the guy is not the answer.  A young woman willfully getting naked into bed with a drunk naked man and passionately kissing and engaging in foreplay changing her mind and then getting raped is not the same as a jogger in the park getting tackled by a stranger and dragged into the bushes and raped.  They are both wrong and I know that "Rape is Rape" fits on a bumper sticker much easier but there are things women can do to reduce their risk of rape and it is not blaming the victim to offer that advice.

        "Perhaps the sentiments contained in the following pages, are not YET sufficiently fashionable to procure them general favour..."

        by Buckeye Nut Schell on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 01:30:45 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Interesting (4+ / 0-)

      So does this analogy work for other situations, that it is always the responsibility of the person who does not want to be harassed or bullied or intimidated for example to make it clear it is not wanted? Or is this burden of responsibility only a rule specifically for sex?

      The bothersome part for me is that it assumes for example that a kiss is not just a kiss or a touch is not just a touch.

      •  I'd say the analogy works in every situation. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        VClib, Buckeye Nut Schell

        I don't want to be stranded, so I bring a spare tire.  I live in a shitty neighborhood, so I take common sense measures to avoid being in positions where I'm more likely to be mugged.  etc etc.  

        •  One can take precautions (4+ / 0-)

          and still end up victimized.

          •  Of course. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Buckeye Nut Schell

            That's doesn't mean taking precautions isn't a good idea.

            You have to balance the risk against the rewards. Never leaving the house might be safer, but what's the point?

            We do this with everything. Driving is risky, but we still do because we want to or have to go places. And we try to make it safer, both by our own behavior and as a society by things like cracking down on drunk driving and improving safety standards.

            Take reasonable precautions and push back against rape culture.

            The Empire never ended.

            by thejeff on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 04:32:10 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Taking reasonable precautions (4+ / 0-)

              still puts all on the onus on the potential victim of rape. What happens when a woman does not do the binge drinking thing, is not ambiguous, sets up clear boundaries and still becomes a victim of rape? When I go out how many drinks is ok? If I have one drink did I make myself a possible victim? If I wear a skirt should it be down to my ankles? Who gets to decide this?

              •  What is a reasonable risk? (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                When you drive your car, do you drive a SAAB?  One of the safest vehicles on the road? Or do you drive a little Mazda Miata doing 100 mph down the highway?  I'm not saying you should or should not do either.  That is your choice but you should be aware of the dangers driving that car at that speed.  

                Are their practical safety precautions you can take in between?  Wear your seatbelt, drive a four star crash tested car, don't speed, don't text and drive.  You can do all the right stuff and still get hit by a drunk driver and killed.  I cannot promise you that you will not but you should still try to be safe.  Not driving around the time bars close is always a good safety tip.  Not assuming other drivers are going to stop at stop signs and red lights is another good safety tip.  You decide how much risk you want to take and then you decide if going back to that cute guy's house after a few drinks is safe.  Maybe he is really nice and you will cuddle on the couch and watch a movie or maybe he will rape you.  Me advising him not to rape you will not have as much of a chance for success as me advising you not to go there alone until you know him better.  He is in a lot less danger than you are.  

                "Perhaps the sentiments contained in the following pages, are not YET sufficiently fashionable to procure them general favour..."

                by Buckeye Nut Schell on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 05:08:45 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  You decide. Who else? (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Buckeye Nut Schell

                And it's still the rapist's fault. No matter what.

                Whether you stayed locked up in your house and he broke in or whether you got trashe, went home with him and didn't agree to sex. It's still his fault.

                There are two separate questions. How can we best improve society? And what are good ways to protect yourself in the meantime?
                Because even in the best case, changing society's attitudes is a generational project.  

                The Empire never ended.

                by thejeff on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 05:39:37 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

      •  No, this works for other situations as well... (0+ / 0-)

        I think I made it clear that it was still rape and the perpertrator was committing a crime.  Just like an example given by another commenter where his friend felt he shouldn't have to stay off a dangerous part of the street and surrender the streets to the criminals and ended up getting killed.  Of course this person did not deserve to be murdered for walking down the street but, he would probably still be alive today if he would have used basic, common sense, precautions and tried to avoid dangerous areas, alone at night.  That does not in any way alleviate the murderer of responsibility of the crime but it does little good to say that the victim shouldn't have had to stay off the street, alone at night in a bad neighborhood after he was dead.  

        Avoid allowing yourself to be put into compromising positions alone.

        Is that blaming the victim?We cannot control what others will do.  I can advise you to stay safe but it is useless for me to advise a rapist not to rape.  If they are of such low moral standard to commit rape, my advice will not influence them.

        I know a kiss is just a kiss and a touch is just a touch but in the example given by the diarist, they were alone in the bedroom and some of their clothes were consentually removed.  It should have been made clear way before this point that sex was not going to happen.  I am NOT saying that a women does not have the right to change her mind and I am not saying that at any point, a woman should not be able to withdrawl any implied consent.  I am saying that it would have been safer for the woman to have communicated this BEFORE she willingly got half naked in bed with a man after both consumed alcohol.  She had every right to say no and when the man continued his sexual contact after it was made clear that she wanted to stop, he committed the crime of rape and it was entirely his fault BUT who cares at this point because despite whose fault it was, the woman still got raped and no amount of punishment for the guy, no amount of blame or anything else will ever change that fact.  I believe that the woman, needs to protect herself as much as possible from allowing herself from being in such a vulnerable situation.  

        Rapes happen to people jogging in parks, they happen to people sleeping alone in their own, locked houses.  Those are almost unavoidable with the sick creatures we have in our society.  However, where do you think a rape is more likely to occur?  Alone in your locked house or while making out half naked in a drunk mans bed?  If you were to give advice to your child, would you say that you have every right to do these things and it is completely up to the man to respect your wishes?  Or do you tell them to avoid situations where a man may be able to take advantage of you in a vulnerable state?

        It is not blaming the victim to practice safe dating rules and one of those rules should be effective communication up front and consistent.  "I do not have sex with someone until we have dated them for awhile and we are in an established relationship."  "How do you feel about date rape?"  "Do you believe that no means no"  "What if I get you all hot and bothered tonight, will you be able to stop?"  These questions can be light hearted and friendly, even flirtatous but they can also be a way to establish boundaries right off the bat.  If the answers are not what you want to hear like, "Girls always say no but they always want the D" or "You better not tease me like that or I'll give you something you'll never forget."  It will give the girl time to make a plan B and get out of there.

        Another dating rule should be not to be entirely alone with a person until you know how they feel about these issues.  Double dating, public places like movie theaters, restaurants, strolls in public areas... until you know what this person is capable of.  Is it fool proof?  No.  People can hide their evil sides for years but it is much safer than a lot of encounters young women find themselves in.

        If the guy was the physically weaker of the two and there was as big of a problem of men getting date raped as there is women then I would be offering advice for them to be taking saftey measures as well but the reality is, it is the women who are in danger and they need to take responsibility for their own safety as much as possible.  They have a much better chance of preventing it than they do stopping it.

        We can talk about idealistic bullshit all we want.  Men should not do this, no means no, but the reality is, they will do it and it happens every day way too many times and hurts way too many women.  Women need to protect themselves from this danger as much as possible.  It is not their fault but that fact offers little comfort after a woman is raped.

        "Perhaps the sentiments contained in the following pages, are not YET sufficiently fashionable to procure them general favour..."

        by Buckeye Nut Schell on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 04:57:40 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Not sure which idealistic (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Buckeye Nut Schell, TiaRachel, CenPhx

          bullshit I was talking about but whatever. I actually do practice "defensive" dating so to speak especially since I am new to it after being out of the singles scene for a long time. The point is many women do set boundaries and protect themselves, it can still lead to consequences. What happens then? How is "fault" assigned? There is still this assumption in many conversations that when rape or sexual assault happens that somehow, somewhere the victim did something "wrong". Not every situation is ambiguous.

          •  I absolutely agree. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            The idealistic bullshit I was refering to was the way people here have been saying, "No means no!" and that should be the end of the discussion.  So many commenters have said things like the woman shouldn't have to do anything to protect herself.  The rapist shouldn't rape.  Men should be told not to rape instead of telling women being told not to get raped.

            Ideally, all of that is true.  I agree 100% with every word of it.  Unfortunately, this is reality and no matter how many times I tell a rapist not to rape, they will.  That is the ugly truth. It is an unfortunate reality that women cannot simply trust a seemingly nice guy to do the right thing.  So... the most effective course of action is to try to limit the risk by communicating clearly, not allowing yourself to be in compromising, vulnerable positions, try to stay around other people until you really know this person.  is it 100% effective? no.  Is it safer than simply trusting a guy to do the right thing? Yes.

            I am not meaning to be an ass here.  I do not blame women for being a victim.  I blame the rapist but that is not the goal.  I do not want to send these jackasses to jail, I want them to stop raping people.  If they won't take responsibility to stop themselves, it becomes the responsibility of the victim to do everything they can to limit their vulnerability.  It sucks that it has to be that way but that is reality.  

            I pray that you stay safe.  Not all guys are assholes and not all guys rape but unfortunately, until they prove otherwise, you have to treat them as if they do.

            "Perhaps the sentiments contained in the following pages, are not YET sufficiently fashionable to procure them general favour..."

            by Buckeye Nut Schell on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 05:29:10 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  this is a key point (6+ / 0-)

      and here is where I draw the ire of every man on the planet:

      The person who wants sex thinks they are making it clear what they want by taking the other person back to their apartment, taking off some or all of their clothes and doing a lot of the rubbing and kissing and etc...  They believe that if the other person is willingly participating in all of this, it means they want the same thing.
      please consider the possibility in the scenario above that the other person is willingly participating in taking off clothes and rubbing and kissing also "wants sex", but taking off clothes and rubbing and kissing is ALL the sexual contact she wants.

      misunderstandings about what constitutes wanting "the same thing" is the BIG question here.  taking off clothes and making out and rubbing and kissing and non-penetrative sexual contact is very pleasurable and may be all a female is interested in because those acts do not carry the risk of pregnancy

      as far as blue balls are concerned, any man old enough to have them has long before learned the best technique to get rid of them.  women can have painful vasocongestion also and our orgasms are sometimes not as easy to come by (pun intended) as yours.

      Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
      Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights for support in dealing with grief.

      by TrueBlueMajority on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 06:58:38 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Fair enough... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        My point though is there IS a miscommunication if one person thinks of sexual contact as bare skin rubbing and kissing and the other thinks of sexual contact as penetration.  

        I am trying to say that the person who is in the vulnerable position should make it clear that is all they want from a safety stand point, not a moral stand point.  A man is usually strong enough to take what he wants without consent regardless if he goes to prison later for it or not.  Him going to prison is little consolation after the fact.

        I fully understand that the physical closeness, the tenderness of caressing one another may indeed be all the woman wants and that is perfectly acceptable.  However, you must realize that puts the woman in an extremely dangerous position if she does not want anything more and she does not know that person extremely well (even then it can be risky).

        My point about the blue balls is that it is one additional incentive added to animalistic desires and alcohol and the temptation of seclusion.  It shouldn't be this way but unfortunately, it is.  It isn't the woman's fault but she has the best chance of keeping herself safe by being cautious and patient and a little bit mistrustful.

        "Perhaps the sentiments contained in the following pages, are not YET sufficiently fashionable to procure them general favour..."

        by Buckeye Nut Schell on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 07:30:03 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Wow. I don't envy you. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Buckeye Nut Schell

    My then 12-year-old was so embarrassed about taking Family Life that he hid my permission slip.  I ended up going to school to personally sign it this year.

    The curriculum my son is doing this year emphasizes a lot of physiology, which is important, but not the only thing.  It's hard to cram all that info into a quarter's worth of lessons and still have time for an effective discussion about the psychology of sex.  

    While it's nice to discuss strategies for avoiding rape situations or avoiding situations where your actions could be construed as rape, it is also important to understand the issues of cohersion and sexual violence.

    Ideally, I would love to see the following:

     - physiology of sex
     - process of conception/pregnancy
     - sexually transmitted diseases
     - prevention options for disease and pregnancy avoidance
     - psychology of sex  
     - homosexuality
     - rape, cohersion and sexual violence
     - what to do if you are raped

    For the last two parts, I would love to have the kids either talk to a rape victim, a rape victim right's advocate and a law enforcement professional.

    Chance are, in any given classroom, there will already be a rape victim.

    And I think in this case, it's important that, whenever possible, particularly for teens, that the teacher is not the only one delivering the message.  A professional in the field who has unimpeachable mounds of evidence and experience can easily field any question a kid might have and quickly shoot down misconceptions.

  •  Actually way back in the day, I would say things (4+ / 0-)


    "I don't know you well enough to have sex with you."

    If you are buying me a drink because you think I might--I won't.

    The guys would then pretend--that sex was not what they were interested in--no, it was me they were interested in, I am such a good conversationalists.(and I found this highly amusing because they were lying most of the time)

    A guy doesn't usually buy a pretty girl a drink because he wants to talk quantum mechanics or politics. That may be an added perk if that's a turn on, but that is rarely the goal.  

    Some would get offended that I said the S word and wander off, and perhaps it was in part that they realized I wasn't interested in sex with them.

    Some acted like that was a challenge.  

    There are major pieces of the puzzle missing in sexuality of our culture, where people don't feel comfortable talking about what happens before they get naked.

    NO does Mean NO--either participant can change their mind at any time, whether people are naked, kissing, mid thrust or whatever.

    It might not be pleasant and it might be frustrating but No means No and everyone has the veto power in a sexual encounter.

    Raging hormones can make someone insensitive, but that's a far cry from ignoring another person's desire to STOP.

    Would he stop if she cried out in pain? Would he stop if there were some difficulty on his part? It seems to me that ignoring the word NO even if in the midst of coitus indicates that a selective listening device has been activated and that says more about his selfishness and his disregard for his partner's feelings and satisfaction, in addition to potentially being a pre-cursor to rape.

    Gentlemen, congratulations. You're everything we've come to expect from years of government training (Zed, MIB).

    by GreenMother on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 08:07:19 AM PDT

    •  Y'know, sometimes that's hard to tell. (0+ / 0-)

      "Would he stop if she cried out in pain?"

      I was with a girl who, when she was really into it, I couldn't tell if she was getting off or if I was hurting her, except for the fact that she kept going with the flow, as it were.  When we first started having sex this really threw me off for a while.  This is the same girl who would say 'No' and 'stop' in the middle of things and then look at me like I was an idiot when I did.  After a while, I learned that these actually meant 'Yes!' and 'Faster/harder!'  

      •  That sounds like you two really needed to talk (0+ / 0-)

        If for no other reasons than to clear things up for you. She sounds like someone in dire need of a safe word, since NO--the default, universal safe word, obviously wasn't it for her, if what you say is true.

        Gentlemen, congratulations. You're everything we've come to expect from years of government training (Zed, MIB).

        by GreenMother on Wed Oct 23, 2013 at 05:51:36 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  A great take on an old problem (4+ / 0-)

    I think you rais a great point.  That people (male and female) are just expected to pick up on subtle physical cues and should never misunderstand them.   The girl says "no", but there is still an expectation that men are the pursuer and sex is about "convincing" the woman to change her mind.  If the girl says "no", but still goes to someone's room, gets undressed, gets into the bed,etc, the man is interpreting those physical cues as she wants to have sex and I just need to convince her.

    Of course, he is completely wrong because of improper "interpretation" and lack of communication.  I've been saying since this whole "rape culture" discussion has popped up that there needs to be WAY more conversation and education than there currently is.  Kids are smarter and more aware sexually than in the past.  Yet much of the conversation about sex is very limited and just isn't enough to help them get through this "interpretation" phase properly.

    I've also written more than once that, in my view, part of current rape culture is BECAUSE of the success of "no means no".  This campaign way back when (80s?) was hugely successful that I remember it and I would have been only maybe 8 years old or so.  Everyone in North America knows "no means no".  The problem we are seeing now is what happens when the woman doesn't say no, for any variety of reasons (too drunk, been drugged, etc) and a man thinks because she isn't saying "no" she must want to have sex?   I've heard stories here on Dkos about teachers discussing this with their students and being told, "How is it rape when she didn't say no?"  

    In short "no means no" is a disservice.  Not because it isn't accurate but because it is WAY too limited and too overly simplistic.  The reality is we have all been in situations where no didn't mean no.  It meant not yet, or maybe.  I'm not saying that to excuse rape.  Not at all.  But the reality is that we still live in a world where men are trained/programmed to pursue.  And I'm sure we all know a story or situation where two people wouldn't be together today if the man took "no" at face value and just walked away instead of continuing the pursuit.  

    "No means no" is good for a starting point for a discussion but certainly isn't good enough to stop rape in many cases.  And the sad reality is the whole "Just don't rape" message is just as overly simplistic and ridiculous in my opinion, because it only covers situations where a man knowingly and intentionally takes advantage/attacks a woman.  It doesn't take examples, like you give your class, where the two have very different views/interpretations of the same event.  

    A larger, serious, more open and in-depth and conversation needs to occur.  I think your story is a great example of getting people to think more about sex and communication and trying to bring men and women together in solving this issue.  Thanks.  This was a good read and its good to know some people are trying to start a real conversation.  

  •  "No Means No" is being talked about (5+ / 0-)

    in this diary as the recommended method for a person to avoid being raped.  And the diary asks if perhaps this isn't the correct tool to use because it doesn't achieve 100% of the goal.

    The problem is that "No Means No" is much more than a method to avoid rape.  It was the first and best attempt at actually defining date rape for the clueless and neanderthal contingent who continued to believe that No actually didn't really mean No if the girl was drunk, or engaged in foreplay, or smiled at the guy, etc.

    First and foremost, the slogan "No Means No" changed the entire perception and definition of what was acceptable behavior.  If you get rid of "No Means No", you open the door for the neanderthals to reassert their own definitions, and that's unacceptable.  It needs to remain the basis for discussions about date rape, and the bottom line for what is acceptable behavior.

    It's a definition more than anything else.

    •  Who is saying scrap it? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      leevank, Alice in Florida

      Nobody that I know.  The arguement is that "no means no" is not enough.  Simply teaching people "no means no" and nothing more isn't going to prevent rape culture because it doesn't address all the other ways women are raped (ie. too drunk to consent, etc) or coerced into having sex when they may not want to.  

      The thread isn't about getting rid of "no means no".  The thread, the way I see it, is about the need for more open and broad conversation on sex and sexuality.

  •  There is a hole the size of the Grand Canyon (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    in this discussion.  Where does the discussion about birth control and reproductive plan occur?  Neither man or woman should consent to sex until there is an agreement about respective reproductive plans.  This is the necessary cultural change that our society needs to promote for the well being of all.  
    This is a pathetic story.

    •  That will happen when we end Ignorance Only (3+ / 0-)

      coursework in American public schools.

      Many girls avoid carrying or using birth control, because that might mean they desire sex and desire makes one a slut. Or so I read in some books on the topic in the past few years.

      I hope that has changed or is changing.

      Gentlemen, congratulations. You're everything we've come to expect from years of government training (Zed, MIB).

      by GreenMother on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 08:56:09 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Emily Yoffe controversy. (4+ / 0-)

    Emily Yoffe is Slate's "Dear Prudence" advice columnist. She's been advising young women essentially not to get so drunk they don't know what they're doing...or what their dates are doing.

    Yoffe is taking a lot of flak for supposedly blaming the victim. A summary with links:

    FWIW: My son is 23 and my daughter just turned 21. I don't think there's any hypocrisy in teaching them both that (a) men should behave decently, and (b) women should be aware that men don't always behave decently, and should take steps to protect themselves from men who don't.

    Think about teaching your kids to drive. When the light is green, you have the right of way. But when you see another vehicle about to run the red light in violation of your right of way, you yield. If you go into the intersection anyway, you're an idiot. The fact you had the right of way will not save you from getting hurt or killed.

    Same deal with rape. Obey the lights. But stay prepared for the fact other people sometimes won't.

    "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

    by HeyMikey on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 08:29:13 AM PDT

    •  Yoffe is a good example (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      leevank, HeyMikey

      She is making very good points:

      1) You control yourself. You can't control others.
      2) Adults choose to get into or not get into situations which are hazardous. Sensible adults do not make themselves vulnerable.

      These are obvious truths. Yet the infantilization crowd continues to chant "no means no" and such.

      While not every rape can be stopped by staying in control, many dangerous situations can be controlled if you are in control.

    •  There are lots of excellent reasons (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      New Jersey Boy

      why young women (and everyone else) should avoid getting falling-down drunk: it's bad for your health, can cause brain damage, can cause you to drown in an inch of water (or your own vomit), can cause you to fall or crack your skull, or get hit by a car (we all know about drunk driving accidents, but may not realize the high number of pedestrians hit by cars who are drunk), or if driving, can cause you to accidentally kill people. Drunks are also more likely to be victims of crime, including robbery and even murder...and yes, rape too.

      I agree that women who are date-raped should not be shamed or condemned for being taken advantage of; but on the other hand, they should not consider getting shitfaced as some kind fundamental right, as a feminist thing to do. Getting drunk is not liberating, it's stupid.

      "All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out." --I.F. Stone

      by Alice in Florida on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 05:04:16 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Well done. Nicely written, important topic (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    leevank, undercovercalico

    It's not just young people who need this information. Those of us who are single - particularly newly widowed or divorced after long marriages - need this conversation, too. It's not just about date rape. It's about mutual respect and communication.

    I can imagine myself saying this to someone I really like and want to get to know better:

    "I'm having a great time.  Can we talk about sex and make a decision together that we both feel comfortable with so that something we both regret doesn't happen later?"

    "Let us not look back to the past with anger, nor towards the future with fear, but look around with awareness." James Thurber

    by annan on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 08:43:48 AM PDT

    •  Having read through all the comments, I want to (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      add that I would never say this on the first date!! LOL.

      As an adult I've learned to avoid situations where I needed to. Rape is rape is rape and I know that having this conversation won't change that.

      Early in my adult dating after a long marriage I actually excused myself from a dinner date that was getting scary and never went back. I also found myself in a frightening situation after discovering that someone lied to me about important life details. In those situations having an adult conversation about sex would not have changed a thing.

      However, beyond the topic of rape this is a great way to broach the topic of sex when casual begins to become more serious.

      "Let us not look back to the past with anger, nor towards the future with fear, but look around with awareness." James Thurber

      by annan on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 09:06:57 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Avoid situations where I needed to (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        annan, Praxical

        Your phrase "As an adult I've learned to avoid situations where I needed to" hit home for me.  It's something I've learned as well.  I've also learned that being explicit about my desires and limits up front helps.  I've arranged more than a few first dates for which I've said, "Oh and I don't have sex on the first date."  A few times the date has fallen through, but by being clear up front and taking it off the table, we've had more fun than otherwise - actually gotten to know each other as people, not just as fuck buddies.

        Like you, I've had a few dinner dates from which I departed and never returned.  I once said to a date, "You've been dishonest with me.  I don't think I trust you.  Let's split the cost of dinner and call it good."  He got pissed, marched out of the restaurant and left me with the bill.  I gladly paid the bill and moved on.  A few months later, someone I know was on a date with the same guy and he got violent when my friend said no to anal sex.  As adults, we have more life experience and trust our instincts more as a result.  We also have the resources to get ourselves out of situations - our own cars, credit cards, etc.  

  •  So are prostitutes allowed to say no? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    The Lone Apple

    Can sex workers be raped?

    Since we are talking about consent and circumstance.

    Gentlemen, congratulations. You're everything we've come to expect from years of government training (Zed, MIB).

    by GreenMother on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 08:57:42 AM PDT

    •  Yes (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      GreenMother, jessical

      Just because you hire someone for sex doesn't mean you get to do whatever you want with them. You usually get a menu of items to choose from and have to negotiate.

      The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.

      by The Lone Apple on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 09:20:05 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  So if sex workers can say no--why can't teen girls (3+ / 0-)

        I am just curious--and understand that this question isn't necessarily aimed at you The Lone Apple.

        I agree too.

        Sex workers might have a variety of reasons to say no too.

        Even if they are undressed or in a state of undress, and in a hotel room or brothel.

        By some standards expressed in this diary and some of the comments, being a sex worker might mean anyone has access to him or her as a sexual object,

        but to be in a state of undress in a hotel room or a brothel--that would be an added layer of implied consent

        and if that sex worker were high or had alcohol on their breath--yet another layer of the power to say no would be removed as well.

        The ability to withhold or give consent is a human right and is not premised on geological location, previous sexual history, sobriety, gender, race, religion, marital status, age, or anything else.

        This is about HUMAN RIGHTS clear and simple.

        Are females HUMAN--this is the question we are asking here. Are they human or are they sexual objects to be utilized?

        Gentlemen, congratulations. You're everything we've come to expect from years of government training (Zed, MIB).

        by GreenMother on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 09:24:52 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I feel like you're against a point I didn't make (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          With all due respect, I think you're arguing against a point I didn't make

          In my diary, I explicitly said that when one partner says no it should respected - I also said I believe both no and yes are more meaningful when they're part of an ongoing mutual discussion about the relationship and sexuality.

          I did not say getting undressed or going to someone's room is giving consent - I explicitly said those actions are not giving consent.  I thought I was clear that I believe most sexual encounters involve complex emotions and that often we human beings don't know what we want from them - hence the need for communication and discussion.  

          Having worked with teens for a decade now, I've seen that they can be very concrete thinkers - even the extremely smart ones.  Sometimes we give them a standard that we as adults know requires negotiation and they hear it as absolute.  

          Within my community, if two young persons are on a date and one says no the other will respect their wishes and will be able to talk about the situation; it will be mutual and supportive and caring (I know it sounds starry-eyed and naive but I've seen it happen again and again).  But young people leave the safe enclave we've created.  They go to college where they will encounter people who think "no" means try harder, who think it's okay to have sex with a woman just because she didn't say no, who think a woman who knows anything about birth control is a slut.  What if the community in which I live hasn't prepared our young people for that world?  What if we've set them up to be harmed?  When we teach our kids that no means no what if we're setting them up for failure when they run into those people wo haven't gotten that lesson?  Have we inadvertently set our kids up for harm?  I worry that the kids I work with and for whom I care deeply could be harmed.  I hope our lessons have prepared them to protect themselves from those who would harm them.

          •  I feel like you think that somehow alcohol (3+ / 0-)

            negates human rights in females.

            That you see a way to delineate who can be raped and who shouldn't be raped.

            Rape is wrong regardless. No ands, ifs or buts. Your apologist stance on this topic is deeply disturbing on many levels. I truly hope that your perspective and knowledge on this evolves over time to be less judgmental of females who drink, carouse and make out.

            Your ambiguity on this topic set females up to be harmed because it strongly implies permission to do this to females in the situation you describe.

            Alcohol does not equal consent
            Being in his bedroom does not equal consent
            Making out does not equal consent
            Being naked does not equal consent.

            Only explicit consent means consent.

            Otherwise by your standards if a dude were to get roaring drunk, kiss me and unzip his pants, when he passed out face down in the dirt--I get to what?

            Anything I want.

            If you think that is wrong and bad (which it is) then the same is true when this happens to females--they shouldn't be victimized based on the imagined, implied, consent portrayed so often in locker room talk and d-list movies.

            This isn't Porkies, this is someone's life we are talking about here.

            And Rape isn't a one time even that lasts a moment. It's an act that echoes through a person's life, affecting every aspect of it for as long as they are cognizant that the rape took place.

            Gentlemen, congratulations. You're everything we've come to expect from years of government training (Zed, MIB).

            by GreenMother on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 10:58:01 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Only one problem (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              leevank, Praxical

              It is extremely rare that a woman would have sex with a passed out man.  For a while number of reasons.  And even if it DID happen, I it extremely unlikely the man would feel abused/assaulted/raped.

              This is what people fail to understand.  Despite all this talk about equality, men and women are very different (generally speaking) when it comes to sex.  This may not always be the case, but more often than not it is. And for this reason, it is very difficult for a woman to "rape" a man and very unlikely that the man would feel violated the way a woman would.  

              So I'm sorry, but your hypothetical situation fall apart for this very reason.  While you can't seem frustrated that men don't automatically see things the way women do, your very post shows that you don't see things the same way men do either.  

              Which is why mutual respect and an open, more direct communication between both sexes is very much needed.  This "rape culture" problem isn't going away so long as both sides are extremely defensive and unable to take two seconds to put themselves in each others shoes.  We shouldn't confuse equality with sameness, and we certainly shouldn't criminalize/demean male sexuality in order to defend female sexuality.  Surely there is a better way?

              •   I honestly don't know how to reply civilly to (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                LaraJones, kat herder, angelajean

                this comment because it is so incredibly ridiculous.

                It is bad to do things to people without their consent. Period.

                And by people I refer to both male and females. Because unlike some, I consider both, people.

                Gentlemen, congratulations. You're everything we've come to expect from years of government training (Zed, MIB).

                by GreenMother on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 11:13:43 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I'm not necessarily disagreeing. (0+ / 0-)

                  I'm simply addressing the mistaken implication that men and women have the exact same views on the issue.  You say doing things to people without their consent is bad...period.  Sure, that makes perfect sense.  Yet you used an example where I think men would probably have a very different view and attitude than women.  

                  So I'm not sure your example proved what you were hoping to prove. And to argue otherwise is claiming to speak for a whole group of people you have no real authority or insight to actually speak for.  There is no shortage of men who would wake up, find out a woman had sex with them while passed out, and not care AT ALL.  They may actually brag to their friends about getting laid.  So for you to tell THEM they've been abused or violated is what I find ridiculous.  

                  •  You're projecting your view onto all men (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    GreenMother, kat herder, angelajean

                    if you believe this is so different. Thousands of male rape victims each year will strongly differ with you. Most victims of both sexes were raped by men, but a surprising number were raped by women. They do not report at all the reaction you describe. They report reacting the women react--violated, angry, devastated.

                    Does anyone on this board sincerely believe that if we stopped "training women" tomorrow to be careful, avoid that short skirt/dark alley/bar full of strangers or whatever, that women would stop being hypervigilant and extremely careful? We do those things because we are already very aware of the possibility of being raped.

                    If everyone tomorrow stopped telling women what to do to be safe, we'd still do it (one, because it's human nature to seek safety in any way we can, and two, because we know we'll be blamed in court later if we don't do everything perfectly and maybe even if we do). What would shift is this whole thing of thinking that lecturing victims is a constructive, effective way to deal with rape. It isn't.

                    I'm amazed by people's courage and kindness in the face of everything and life.

                    by LaraJones on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 01:17:27 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Projecting (0+ / 0-)

                      Maybe I am.  However, I still believe I am correct that the majority of men would not feel violated or assaulted the way a woman would.  I am well aware that many men are victims of rape, and that some of that is from women, but I am not aware of their story or situation.  

                      What I know is that based on the analogy I was presented with - a man passed out drunk and a woman having sex with him - I think most men (not all) wouldn't care that much.  I do admit to making a number of assumptions though in my position such as both are single, there is no concern for diseases, etc.  All would change my position.  On the other hand, I do believe that if any woman was passed out drunk and a man came around and had sex with her, she would call that rape and most men would as well.  

                      Is that hypocritical?  A double standard that I have different views if the exact same thing happened to a man or woman?  Probably but that's life.  People live by countless double standards, especially when it comes to sex where the level of acceptableness for behaviour is often tinted by how physically attracted we are to the person committing the behaviour.  

                      Second, I do completely agree with your final line that lecturing the victim needs to stop and is not an effective way to deal wth rape.  I absolute agree with you here.

                      •  I cannot answer that or speak to it. (0+ / 0-)

                        I can only tell you that the male survivors that I know were devistated, felt violated and it affected their whole lives---which is the same I see of women survivors.

                        Perhaps behaviors are different after the fact, but the end result on the human being is the same. When you strip every piece of dignity from a person by violating them in the most intimate and awful way one can, you leave very deep, emotional and psychological scars.

                        Gentlemen, congratulations. You're everything we've come to expect from years of government training (Zed, MIB).

                        by GreenMother on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 02:40:26 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  I would have to disagree. (0+ / 0-)

                          Intrinsic to being a rape victim is a sense of violation.  As a young man, my reaction to having a woman perform sexual acts with me while I was three sheets to the wind would have ranged between 'this is awesome' and 'I wish I remembered it, but maybe I have a chance to do it again while more sober with her.'  This correlates with the experiences of others I know who -have- been in that situation.  

                          To a heterosexual young male, having sex is almost always a good thing, if you're already Ok with casual sexual encounters.  We are primed for this reaction at both a social and physiological level.

                          Honest question here -- what percentage of those traumatized men were taken advantage of by a woman, and not a man?

                          •  What if that sexual act was pegging you? (0+ / 0-)

                            Without lube. If you don't know what it means, Google it. Some people on this thread seem to assume that forcing sex on someone else without their consent is driven by sexual passion or the need for sexual release. It isn't. It's driven by the need to dominate and exert power over another person using various forms of sexual acts as the tool of domination.

                        •  Always exceptions (0+ / 0-)

                          I think the best analogy is how we treat high school boys who sleep with a teacher vs high school girls.  In all cases, the girl is a victim of abuse and the teacher is an abuser, pervert, etc.   The law treates female teachers who sleep with male students the exact same way, however society, and students themselves don't think of the boy as a victim.  They see him as someone who get to have sex.  

                          Sure, there are those rare cases where the boy says he was a victim and feels victimized.  But most of the time the boys don't seem to think it is a big deal.  They believe they took advantage of an opportunity to get laid.  

            •  I don't why you believe that (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              leevank, dilireus, bryduck

              Seriously, I'm not being flippant.

              In this diary I talked about alcohol because it's in the curriculum - the characters get drunk.  I didn't say getting drunk is giving consent.  I don't believe anything I wrote in this diary is identifies who can be raped and who shouldn't be raped.

              The conversations I reported from the sexuality education classes started me asking the question "Are we doing what we should be doing to reduce the incidence of date rape?"  There has been a huge shift over the years in how the female participants have responded.  I was struck by the huge difference which became especially clear with the latest group of teens.  As we talked, as we explored the issue in class, I was struck by the fact that some of the young women had never thought about the issue beyond "no means no."  Could that put them at risk?

              To rephrase my question: Have we taught the right lesson in the wrong way?  Have we conveyed, without meaning to, the idea that all a person has to say is "no" and they're going to be safe?  

              I'm pondering harm reduction.  How do we reduce harm since we cannot prevent it?  I wonder if it's analogous to harm reduction in HIV transmission - we can't stop IV drug users from using, but we can provide clean needles and so reduce the risk of HIV transmission. Providing condoms isn't condoning sex, but it reduces the risk of the sex we know is going to happen.  We give homeless youth contraception because we know they're doing survival sex and we want to keep them safer.  

              Maybe we should be teaching the ideal but also saying, "not everyone has been raised this way, here are some things you can do to protect yourself." I raised the question precisely because I've been pondering for months and I keep going back and forth.  What if the attitudes of those girls from ten years ago (even though they sound like it's all the girl's fault) are more likely to keep them safe than the attitudes of the girls today?  I want no to mean no but so many times it doesn't.  How do we as adults empower young people to be safe?

              •  I think your diary was quite clear on this (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                dilireus, bryduck, Alice in Florida

                It's discouraging that so many people refuse to see your point, and insist that teaching young women ways to reduce the risk of being raped is the same thing as blaming them if they are raped.

                Bin Laden is dead. GM and Chrysler are alive.

                by leevank on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 12:44:05 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I'm not surprised by much (0+ / 0-)

                  but I've been surprised by this discussion.  It's all over the map in a way I did not expect.  To put it simply, I expected some disagreement, the level of disagreement is surprising to me.

                  I realize the issue of date rape is complex - it involves gender roles, socialization, sexuality which is always a hot topic; the topic of sexual assault and violence also activates a strong sense of injustice.  It's a difficult topic and I don't know any way to handle it beyond trying to open up the discussion and seeing where it goes.

                  •  I participated in a similar program, mentioned it (0+ / 0-)

                    here and got the same feedback about teaching "victim blaming."

                    I get the point, but I don't agree that the arguments of the defense attorneys for rapists should affect what we teach.

                    That connection is too rarified for me.  

                    Interesting diary on a difficult topic.

                    BTW, I don't think your idea of talking about it ahead of time will appeal to many peoples' sense of romance. We can teach it, but there's still something magical about the "unspoken understanding" that people desire and try to create.

                    (And I am still telling people to at this same moment get a quick confirmation of recent STI screening results!)

                    "Jersey_Boy" was taken.

                    by New Jersey Boy on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 09:23:48 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  This is the point where we disagree most. (0+ / 0-)

                    Date rape is not complex.

                    Relationships are complex. Teaching kids how to forge healthy sexual relationships is complex.

                    Proving a rape is complex. The act, not so much. And rapists use this to their advantage. They plan and they target. And they use date rape as a pretty handy way to finagle their way out of being accused at all (many women are afraid they won't be believed so will never report the act).

                    Ironically, a rapist acts very much the way the young man in your example did. He was solicitous until the very last moment. There were no warning signs. He seemed like the kind of guy this girl wanted to be with.

                    So you ask in your class:
                    Is it possible she could have left his room earlier in the evening?

                    Sure, she could have. But why should she? She was having a good time; her date was being a perfect guy and the kind of guy she's been looking for. Why should she have left?

                    Called for a ride?  

                    Same answer as before. She could have but why? There were no signs that the evening was taking a turn for the worse.

                    Brought up the question of sex over dinner?  

                    Wow. She could have. And then when she got raped later and the defense attorney asked her if she had talked about sex before hand and she answered in the affirmative, the answer would be used to prove that she knew sex was a possibility. Just talking about sex, especially if a woman brings it up herself, is as sign that she is promiscuous in many a court. Or she could have said she wasn't interested in sex on a first date and he could have easily agreed. And then still raped her.

                    In the story, almost until the moment he pulled her pants down, he's very solicitous of her, wanting to give her positive attention.  The date went well up until the very last few minutes, two sentences of the story.

                    See, he was the perfect gentleman until the end. A perfect rapist. How was she supposed to know? You wanted her to have some sixth sense because you have life experience and you think she should know better.

                    And that's the problem with the lesson plan - it assumes this young man wasn't a rapist and that he was just a casual date. You've set up these women to fail. And it makes me very angry because you've also taught before they've ever been raped that if they ever are, they could have prevented it. And the likelihood is that they couldn't have. But believe me, every woman who has been raped wonders what they should have done differently after the fact - our society guarantees it. And few people ever question why the rapist was able to get away with it in the first place.

                    Please, if you haven't seen The Invisible War, watch it. Although it doesn't deal with teenage rape, it does address some of the issues you seem concerned with and I think it would help you see how simple rape really is.

                •  But we don't tell males not to drink to avoid (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  kat herder

                  becoming rapists do we.

                  Only recently with groups like Anonymous, do we see people nailing accused rapists to the wall, with online content, the same way the survivors are with revenge porn posts and sexual bullying.

                  It's funny---most women and some men are not going to accept this line of thinking, not because it's about risk reduction, but because it fails to address the criminal element and society's implicit approval of gender policing via rape and in this country--Forced Pregnancy.

                  For women the complexities of this issue are enormous and intertwine with a host of other Freedom-issues that few straight males ever have to contend with.

                  The treatment of rape consistently is that this is a one time thing that lasts a little while and then it's over. And if you are just really careful, it might not happen again.

                  The lack of comprehension to the depth of this issue and how it echoes through lives through lifetimes used to surprise me.

                  Now it just disgusts me.

                  Gentlemen, congratulations. You're everything we've come to expect from years of government training (Zed, MIB).

                  by GreenMother on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 02:53:42 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  We try to teach the dangers of alcohol (0+ / 0-)

                    We try to teach all young people the dangers of alcohol - we try to teach the difference between binge drinking and having a glass of wine or a beer.  We try to teach that drinking lowers inhibitions and impairs decision making.

                    One of the stats that was repeated several times in this discussion was that 2/3 of rapes are committed by repeat offenders who will often identify a victim, someone who they believe is vulnerable.  Someone linked to an article by Emily Yoffe in which she argued that we need to teach people that binge drinking, getting wasted, puts you at risk for being targeted - she promptly got blasted for blaming the victim.  But, she was trying to make a middle ground argument - we must hold rapists accountable but there's no right to get wasted and taking reasonable precautions is what responsible persons do.

                    As I've read through this thread, I've seen lots of analogies.  I think there's a comparable analogy already in sexuality - the use of condoms.  If you ask your partner to use a condom, and he/she refuses (there are female condoms) you don't have to have sex with them.  But, you don't leave that conversation until the last second.  If they lie about condom use, they're accountable.  I hear many of the same objections to the condom conversation - it's spoils the mood, it's awkward, it's uncomfortable . . . so on and so on.  

                    Each of us has a role to play in protecting ourselves.  So we try to teach young persons don't get so drunk you ignore the responsibility of using condoms, don't refuse to protect yourself just because you're afraid the other person might not like you - you're safety is primary and you need to be your chief advocate.  Each partner has a role to play in using condoms.  If you behave responsibly, the outcome won't always be good but there's a much greater chance it will be good.  The whole conversation about condoms carry much of the same cultural baggage as the conversation about having sex.  

                    With regard to date rape, if we teach that we're mutually accountable, we go in groups, we don't get so drunk we lose our ability to make choices, isn't that comparable?  If a person takes reasonable steps and things go wrong, we hold the offending party accountable.  Don't we also have a responsibility to teach people to be the guardians of their own well being?  Trust their instincts (I've had a couple times in my life I'm glad I trusted my instincts), use good judgment.  

  •  i recced this diary for the comments (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    there is a great discussion doing on here

    even if I am slightly appalled that the diarist is involved in sexuality education and has such a poor understanding of the underlying issues

    Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
    Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights for support in dealing with grief.

    by TrueBlueMajority on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 09:14:16 AM PDT

    •  It's OWL, a U-U program (0+ / 0-)

      A U-U program which provides comprehensive sex education by actual people, not robots. Usually couples who are trained. Simple normal people who are experienced with sex. And understand that you can almost NEVER simply reduce a  complex situation to "no" or "yes".

      These people are real people not ideal robots mouthing platitudes. Of which there are way too many.

      •  i'm not asking anyone to be a robot (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kat herder, TheMeansAreTheEnd

        but after ten years of participating in this program I would hope for a different level of understanding of the basics.

        i have a bad reaction to the idea that rape is something women are supposed to prevent, by being on their guard and evaluating the circumstances and initiating conversations.

        Is it possible she could have left his room earlier in the evening?  Called for a ride?  Brought up the question of sex over dinner?
        to frame it in that way practically means that women are supposed to view all men as potential rapists.

        how about this scenario:  boy and girl are on a date.  he paid for the movie, she paid for the ice cream afterward.  at the end of the evening he asks her for more money and she says no.  he grabs her purse, opens her wallet, takes all the cash she has and leaves.

        who is going to ask her later what she could have done to change the outcome of the evening?  not told him she was carrying money?  locked her purse with a key?  told him while they were having ice cream "remember, just because I bought ice cream for you doesn't mean you can have the rest of the money in my pocketbook"? who is going to tell her later, "well you know you have to always keep it in mind that most young men are always thinking about how they can get some extra cash."

        i want a culture where a woman can assume when a date starts that she does not have to be on her guard about the average man stealing her wallet or raping her.

        alas, that is still too much to ask.

        Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
        Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights for support in dealing with grief.

        by TrueBlueMajority on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 11:28:37 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  You ask a good question (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    forgore, jessical, Eric RoM

    But I doubt you'll get very good answers here.

    None are so hopelessly enslaved, as those who falsely believe they are free. The truth has been kept from the depth of their minds by masters who rule them with lies. -Johann von Goethe

    by gjohnsit on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 09:30:30 AM PDT

  •  Well (3+ / 0-)

    I do think there's an aspect to the way the subject is discussed that ends up being like "weed will lead you to heroin and you'll end up a dead junkie" -- in a world where neither men nor women tend to own their own desire, and speaking directly of desire is generally the end of it, a simplistic message by itself may not help much.

    But I don't like most of your alternatives, and I think verbal assent or refusal is the gold standard for cooperative human behavior.  No means no.  Really.  It's just that by the time you say no, the other person -- if they are especially stupid or especially predatory - - is going to just keep going.  And a gold standard for conscious and cooperative agreement assumes (a) cooperating parties and (b) the ability to comprehend and act on verbal cues, in the face of what may be truly sickening and contradictory socialization about sexuality and self.  

    What I agree on is, we need to teach people to say yes, or they won't have any context for no.  Rehearse it.  Make it funny.  Do it until it is meaningless.  Then at least people will have some model for negotiating sexual experience other than their repressed parents and the locker room.

    ...j'ai découvert que tout le malheur des hommes vient d'une seule chose, qui est de ne savoir pas demeurer en repos dans une chambre.

    by jessical on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 11:08:36 AM PDT

  •  men are taught they need to make a woman want it (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    prfb, elite user

    More than the expectation that men have to make the moves, men are conditioned to believe that women are by default not interested in sex, and that if a man wants sex, he has to actively change a woman's mind.  Defying the stereotype, men are basically taught that women don't read between the lines, that they will respond to friendship with friendship, and will only respond sexually to sexual behaviors.  In other words, men have to take the lead and set the tone of the encounter, otherwise a woman will simply be friendly, chatty, etc. but nothing will happen ... because you haven't made her want it yet.

    Men are conditioned to believe that sexuality operates on very primitive software and that while women obviously intellectually want Mr. Nice Guy, what they actually get into bed with is a confident, dominant, and highly sexual alpha male.  They know the cliche about the gorgeous woman who's always complaining about her asshole boyfriend and how she wants a sensitive partner in love ... but she not only keeps sleeping with the asshole boyfriend, she's always so girly and physical with him, while all the nice guys who'd love to be that sensitive partner in love go home empty-handed, empty-walleted, and with their narrow shoulders sopping wet with her tears.  

    Consequently, a lot of men think that if you give her Mr. Nice Guy, she'll be delighted to share with you every part of herself except her body, while if you give her the alpha male, she'll give you her body but not the rest of herself ... and that's exactly what genuine creeps want.

    Domestic politics is the continuation of civil war by other means.

    by Visceral on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 01:13:42 PM PDT

    •  that was nicely worded (0+ / 0-)

      perhaps sex educators could say "no means no, and don't try and don't try and persuade her"

      if someone watches a t.v. show like dexter or breaking bad and wants their friend to see it and their friend says "no, It doesn't look interesting" how many people wouldn't try and convince your friend to actually watch it. I know it's not the same but it's in human nature to want to show someone you care about a good time.

  •  I was a rape crisis counselor (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I have counseled women who were raped in situations like this. The main thing we can teach young people that can help them avoid being victims (of rape or other types of crime, like hate crimes) is to get in touch with their own intuition and follow it. Often survivors get a funny feeling--something isn't right about the encounter--and they dismiss their own intuition, or they don't know how to extricate themselves politely. We need to teach young people to trust their instincts and not worry about seeming "weird" or impolite.

    As for drinking and being alone with a stranger while drunk, young people need to learn how much they can drink and still remain in touch with their intuition. Sometimes one or two drinks actually heightens this ability to sense things not being right (or things being very right! Lots of first kisses happen after a drink or two). More drinks can lead people to miss signs, or to be physically unable to defend themselves when the signs happen. This doesn't just apply to sexual violence but to other kinds of crimes and bullying as well, including hazing, and to decisions about whether or not the driver is sober enough to drive.

    •  Then there are the cases... (0+ / 0-)

      ...where it's not drinking with a stranger, but someone the woman already trusts. I'm not clear that the intuition advice (as good as it is -- I've given it too) is sufficient. I'd love to know what your advice has been regarding those cases.

  •  I remember one of the first times a kissed a girl (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    New Jersey Boy

    I asked her if she wanted to kiss and she said "you're not supposed to ask me, you're supposed to just do it." I guess I had consent before I even knew it and made things less romantic than they could have been if I had just went for it. I think the same thing can happen with people's first sexual encounters too.  

    •  Approaching a kiss slowly... (0+ / 0-) her a chance to turn her head or otherwise avoid the contact. And the kiss itself provides feedback whether she (or he) likes it. This seems very different from the rape or ambiguous rape situations that have been described.

  •  You've generated a good discussion (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Whatever things there were missing from your narrative, kudos for that. I will note that I'll continue to believe that "no means no" is a worthwhile rule-of-thumb; it's the context that needs to be altered in order to make that message more effective.

    One thing disturbs me more than a little bit...

    they go to dinner, drink a bottle of wine, go back to his room at the frat house, drink some more, play music, dance, get partly undressed, make out.
    I graduated college in 1968 so it's been a while. Correct me if I'm wrong here; I am way, way above the legal drinking age. But if I'm not mistaken that age is currently 21 in all jurisdictions, is it not? And while there are plenty of men and women in college who don't fit the stereotype these days, it is reasonable to assume that stereotype and thus to assume that people graduate from college at 21 or just a bit over that. So when we leave out graduating seniors and those who started college late, what we have here among other things is underage drinking. How does this happen?

    In your scenario, plenty of things happen that shouldn't and plenty of things don't happen that should. Commenters have rightly pointed those things out and you've noted some yourself. Still, the word "should" is always going to be a bit of a red flag. It indicates the substitution of an idealized situation for reality. People often don't do the things they "ought" to do. Please understand that I'm not about recommending turning back the sexual revolution; the point I'm trying to make is a successful strategy is going to be based on how people actually DO behave rather than how they ought to behave. Where in that calculation can a positive difference be made and how can it be facilitated?

  •  One thing I've been thinking about recently, (0+ / 0-)

    is that a lot of the discussion we here about date rape is too simple. It reminds me of some of my old ethics classes where the examples given were so cut and dry that the answers were absolutely obvious.  

    They might have agreed to not drink so much so they could have a conversation without the fuzziness of alcohol
    We hear, fairly commonly, the storyline of "the guy got her drunk/drugged a drink/[something along those lines] and then raped the girl." Ethically, that's pretty clear. If someone is impaired and unable to give consent, then they are incapable of giving consent. Don't make people get drunk, and don't drug them. Just like the ethics class, the answer is clear, simple, and doesn't take any brain power to actually come to.

    But real life isn't always that clear-cut. What if we expand the example to, say, two twenty-somethings who both have a little too much to drink, and end up having sex while mutually impaired (i.e., technically neither able to give consent), and one or both regret it in the morning... what then? Is it date rape because no consent could be given?

    Even if there is communication in advance (e.g. the quoted example in the diary, where over dinner, both say that they don't want sex/agree not to), if both are later impaired, and they mutually "change their mind" (at least, as much as they can, considering the intoxication).... what happens?

    "He who fights monsters should see to it that he himself does not become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you."

    by Hayate Yagami on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 03:03:59 PM PDT

    •  As far as I know, (0+ / 0-)

      There's no legal standard of "technically unable to give consent due to drunkenness". There's physically unable to give consent, because you're passed out or nearly so, but just being to drunk to drive or even to walk straight doesn't remove your ability to consent.

      Anymore than it removes your responsibility for what you do while drunk. If you get drunk and rape someone or kill someone or just vandalize the neighborhood, you can't claim "I was drunk, I'm not responsible."

      So, if your two twenty-somethings have a little too much to drink and agree, in their intoxicated state, to have sex, there was no rape.  

      The Empire never ended.

      by thejeff on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 03:31:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Grey areas. (0+ / 0-)

      This is one of those grey areas and I think similar to the example the original diarist provided.  Two people can have very different views on the exact same situation.  Given your example, the woman may very well believe she has been raped.  The man may very well have a very different viewpoint and that it was completley consentual.  

      Who is right?  Based on what I've read in a number of comments on this topic, both here and other sites, is there is no shortage of people out there who will say this is rape.  She said no early on, was too drunk to consent and didn't give verbal consent.  

      I think many would disagree though.

  •  sorry if this makes me an asshole (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    but I think people are missing a major point which is the assumption that everyone has the option and capability of carrying out these friendships and going on all these dates - like young people today always have people to hang out with and stuff, and they are constantly going out and meeting people. This is a feminine perspective and almost all the comments on here are from females. Women always seem to have people to see and endless opportunities for relationships both platonic and sexual.

    As a male, sorry, but my life is nothing like that. Forgive me, but women apparently do not know what real loneliness is. I never get to see women, ever. I went 10 years without a social phone call. I only have about 5 contacts on my phone and they are all dudes except my mother. I don't get treated like a creep because I try to have sex with a girl and am a jerk to her if she refuses my advances - I get treated like a creep way before I even have a chance to talk to the girl. Everything is treated like a sexual advance. It is never appropriate to talk to any woman anywhere or about anything but the most shallow, pretend-happy topics and in an extremely stilted, scripted manner. Any deviation from this norm is treated with extreme suspicion. Women do not know what it is like to try to approach someone you think is smart or has things in common with you for a mundane conversation at a bookstore or something and see abject fear and disgust in their eyes. When they say whatever they can to end the conversation. Every time I am in the physical proximity of a woman, they treat me like a predator. This is what life is like for a lot of young men.

    No girl I've ever met would do any of the stuff described in the post, drunk or not, to anyone but a person they've dated for at least several months. Most women I meet are very socially conservative and frankly, are like stereotypical jocks when drunk: extremely smug, elitist, dumb, ornery, and argumentative, and flinging insults - not touchy-feely and malleable. In my experience, this conversation is a moot point because it is based on an unrealistic situation. On the other hand, most men I know follow many old clichés of women: they think they only have one shot at love and they have no other options, they are suicidal after breakups, they become like their partners, etc.

    A big part of sexual awkwardness in any generation, but especially generation Y, which I am a part of, is the lack of being able to socially interact way the hell before sex can even be thought about. This discussion is borderline absurd to me, because it is at odds with everything I have experienced in life. Why are you taking as a given the much, much more fundamental and difficult part of a relationship, establishing the original platonic friendship, which is the defining aspect and root of the issues talked about here?

    •  I disagree... (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dhshoops, TiaRachel, fleisch, angelajean

      Lots of women are rejected sexually by potential partners. Lots of women try to open up dialogue and get rejected. It is a basic fact of life that we often want people who do not want us back.

      I have made overtures to men and been told in no uncertain terms they were not attracted to me. It is not something I admit I do very often but I have and I accepted the fact that the object of my interest just did not feel the same way. The fact is if one is an average looking woman they are not being besieged by a steady line of willing romantic or sexual partners. I imagine the same is true for average looking men.

    •  I've heard of this problem from other Gen Y guys (0+ / 0-)

      ...including hearing (as I wrote below) that many Gen Y women think that even accepting a date implies being willing to have sex. No wonder they react as they do if that's the messed-up mind set.

      I don't presume to advise someone in a different generation with a completely different situation. But I do know that if i were back on the dating scene, I would join mixed gender groups that do things together. In my case, musical theater (well, I'm already doing that, but not to meet girls), but it hardly matters: any activity that is interesting in its own right & that also involves casual social interaction. Then there's a reason to talk & a common topic to talk about, without being a stranger in a bookstore.

      I'm not saying it's a panacea -- it's still an incredibly tough problem. But maybe it's a step toward having relationships with girls that aren't seen as requests for sex. Although... I've heard that behaving like a disinterested friend & then expressing romantic interest is also something that scares women. And no wonder if you think about it -- it's how a predator might act. I explained to my wife that men don't react the same way because we don't feel threatened by finding out a woman is attracted to us. Women do, and given the rape statistics, it's no wonder.

      I hope this is helpful, or at least not annoying.

  •  Thanks! A very relevant subject in our home (0+ / 0-)

    with 2 teenage sons one of whom has had a steady girlfriend for 10 months.

    My suggestion for a preventive lesson to teach kids, both boys and girls of all identities and orientations:

    Sex on the first date is rarely a good choice.

    When might it be a good choice? You'll figure that out after being old and experienced enough.

    Don't confuse this with "Abstinence". Just common sense. In particular, teaching our boys not to expect sex on a first date - no ands ifs or buts - is a must.

    After a few dates with the same partner, both sides will have generally learned a bit how to understand and communicate with each other, so IMHO the risk is greatly reduced.

    Hope this helps... thanks again for sharing.

  •  Our Whole Lives? (0+ / 0-)

    That sounds like the Unitarian/Universalist Association to which I belong.

    Censorship is rogue government.

    by scott5js on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 09:02:29 PM PDT

    •  Same program (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      It's a joint venture between the UUA and UCC.  

      I hadn't really thought about it in these terms but . . . it's a very progressive program, almost every single lesson was well ahead of its time when it was published ten years ago.  and is still ahead of its time.  The sole exception may be the date rape session.

    •  I attended a series ... (0+ / 0-)

      sometime in the late 1980's at the First UU Church in Houston.
      I don't remember any coverage of date rape.

      Censorship is rogue government.

      by scott5js on Tue Oct 22, 2013 at 08:17:01 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  In the 80s it was AYS not Our Whole Lives (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        In the 80s and 90s, the UUA congregations used AYS - About Your Sexuality.  Our Whole Lives is the successor program; it covers significantly more topics and as I understand it, is even more comprehensive.  AYS was a great program, but sometime in the mid to late 90s, folks realized it wasn't as complete as they'd hoped.  The UCC and UUA combined forces and resources and produced Our Whole Lives which was publisehd in 2001 or 2002.  

      •  I forget the date (0+ / 0-)

        I am quite sure the course was called Our Whole Lives, not About Your Sexuality. I vaguely remember there was a name change. So it must have been in the 1990's.

        Censorship is rogue government.

        by scott5js on Tue Oct 22, 2013 at 11:35:42 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Different leaders and curriculum (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          The absence of a session on date rape could also be explained by lots of factors.  

          The adult curriculum deals with sexual assault and sexual violence but doesn't break out date rape as a separate session.  The young adult curriculum includes a section on dating violence.  Grades 7-9 deals with sexual assault differently than does the high school curriculum.  

          The younger ages - K-1 and grades 4-6 - don't deal with date rape but they do address sexual abuse with the motto "no, go, tell" - say no, you can't touch me, go away from that person and tell a trusted adult.

          The leaders may not have included all the sessions due to time constraints - that happens and as a leader you have to choose the topics you can cover.

  •  Great comments and discussions in this (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    diary - perhaps the gist of the diary and many discussions is that "No" is oversimplified. The word "no" should start the use of further words - talk, converse, communicate, just as the diarist has. Perhaps the lesson starts with teaching the import of "no" and then continues to teach the importance of further discussion. Of course, the scenario in the diary includes a third presence - that of substance, and its impairing effect. I seem to recall that is yet another topic that should have been discussed. Nancy Reagan, you around? Yes; another serious topic reduced to "Just Say No."

    "You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty." Mohandas Gandhi

    by cv lurking gf on Tue Oct 22, 2013 at 05:22:10 AM PDT

  •  Dan Savage podcast (0+ / 0-)

    is a great resource for all sexual humans.

    Ted Cruz (R-Tx) America's Prick

    by jackandjill on Tue Oct 22, 2013 at 09:22:23 AM PDT

  •  The unlocked bicycle (0+ / 0-)

    This diary reminds me of Emily Yoffe discussing date rape and blotto drinking at Slate. I don't get her critics. We would look cross-eyed at someone who left a bicycle unlocked and it got stolen, no matter how despicable the thief is. But instead we get a lot of dudgeon about telling boys not to rape, as if telling people not to steal would solve theft.

    My best guess is there's an inherent conflict between (1) cultural morés where women are allowed to be sexual, including choosing casual sex; (2) acceptance of binge drinking that leaves people without situational control; and (3) a cult of purity of sexual victimization that reduces any unwanted sexual experience to male-generated trauma and nothing else.

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