More from Skepchick and a concerning definition of rape

Posted: December 25, 2012 in Uncategorized

I’ve been looking over my old posts over the past few days after the recent Rebecca Watson controversy. I don’t say much on the blog (nor much until recently on my Twitter @Rocko2466), but I thought it would be useful to again step into the fray. My present post is about the Rebecca Watson nonsense and my next post will likely be about the attacks on Richard Dawkins for his comments about child abuse and the teaching of concepts of hell. 

First off the bat is Rebecca Watson. Rebecca has been at it again, making broad illogical statements about what she considers to be feminist positions. On this occasion, @rebeccawatson tweeted:

“If you have sex w/ someone who is drunk, they are unable to consent & that is rape.”

This descended into a series of arguments with various twitterers who argued that it may not necessarily be the case.

This descent can be seen at: http://skepchick.org/2012/12/twitter-users-sad-to-hear-they-may-be-rapists/. I’m reluctant to have you look (as it earns her click money) but I should point out the silliness of these arguments (and to be honest, I won’t earn her many clicks). Essentially, Rebecca would not answer if someone asked her whether if the ‘sexer’ was drunk, whether that would excuse them from the rape accusation based on the ‘sexee’s’ drunkness (my terms, not hers).

But she did provide this interesting nugget:

“And they’re comparing drunk sex to drunk driving as though drunk driving is something that is done to the drunk driver. Here’s the non-fallacious analogy: insisting on getting in a car and driving while drunk and no one can stop you is equivalent to insisting on having sex while drunk with a person who is unable to stop you. And yes, in both of those cases you, drunky, are liable.”

 

I am convinced that this was her answer to the drunk male + drunk female equation. Now, I will be making what may be an unjustified inference here: Rebecca is directing her “drunky” comments to the male in the sexual encounter. The point here is that drunk male plus drunk female plus sex equals male rapist. Just like the drunk driver, the male is responsible for his decision to have sex and is a rapist. The female on the other hand (being unable to consent) is not responsible for this decision to have sex and is the innocent victim of this “drunky’s” attack on her sexual integrity.

Now, I agree that when a sober person decides to have sex with someone who is so drunk that they are unable to consent, that the sober person has committed rape. The sober person can be male or female and drunkenness (at least as defined by Rebecca) is not necessarily indicative of an inability to consent. There is a level and the being ‘drunk’ is not necessarily the same thing as that level.

In any event, my primary concern with this is her treatment of the man as always in control of himself and the woman as not in control of herself. This undermines any concept that men and women are equal and both able to make mistakes while drunk. This lowers the woman to the level of a child – with the effective argument being that whatever you do (proposition a girl in a lift or have sex while the both of you are smashed), you shouldn’t have done it, she’s a girl for God’s sake.

This continues to concern me about the atheist movement. We let it be hijacked by those with insane concepts of gender relations in a pseudo-feminist movement where exceptionally strange rights issues grip our attention and cleave the movement in two.

Really, what we should be now aiming for is a clear recognition that those who purport to be our leaders (like Rebecca Watson and her cohorts) are not really our leaders. 

It is like a homeopath walking into a hospital, declaring himself a doctor and the rest of us (like foolish interns) following him around and assisting him in dispensing his magical water. We shouldn’t peddle nonsense. It’s the exact opposite of what we are about.

 

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Comments
  1. Watson has no science background and it shows. When she decided to attack Dawkins it altered my neutral view of her as a supportive groupie. Why she thinks her feminist agenda ought to be crammed sideways into the rationalist movement is beyond me, but actively attacking a pillar of our movement is not something I could sit silently by and not take issue with. . The majority of us don’t want her raped or savaged by email, we just want her marginalized instead of lionized, if not for attacking Dawkins, then at least for the willful assaults and ongoing rape of logic. Enjoy.

  2. Laughing says:

    “Really, what we should be now aiming for is a clear recognition that those who purport to be our leaders (like Rebecca Watson and her cohorts) are not really our leaders.

    It is like a homeopath walking into a hospital, declaring himself a doctor and the rest of us (like foolish interns) following him around and assisting him in dispensing his magical water. We shouldn’t peddle nonsense. It’s the exact opposite of what we are about.”

    Elegantly and accurately stated.

    This whole “rift” is because people are pushing back against the malicious nonsense being perpetrated by certain FreethoughtBloggers and Skepchicks. In the short run it is hurtful to the atheist/skeptic community, but in the long run it will purge those who wish to control the community for their own selfish benefit.

    Unfortunately, there are massive smear campaigns by the “homeopaths” (as you put it) against any who speak out against them. Those who do not buy into their dogma are being portrayed as “rape enablers”, “rape apologists”, “misogynists”, “gender traitors”, “sister punishers”, “chill girls”, etc. etc. etc. Instead of responding to criticism in a cal and rational way, and discussing, the homeopaths are instead going the vicious smear propaganda route.

    It’s an extremely toxic environment right now, and I can only hope that the more people in the wider community learn about these homeopaths, the sooner we can all ditch these charlatans and get on with what we’re supposed to be accomplishing in the first place.

  3. skep tickle says:

    I’ve been thinking the same thing; you said it well. Nice analogy at the end!

  4. AnimalAndy says:

    That is a very nice article – thank you for posting it!

  5. Faefel says:

    > when a sober person decides to have sex with someone who is so drunk that they are unable to consent, that the sober person has committed rape

    Still, no. People commonly describe states where they are fully capable of making decisions as drunk all the time.

    If the person can still make choices, and they choose to have sex, that is not rape. It is only rape if the person is so drunk/stoned that they can no make choices.

  6. bluharmony says:

    This line of thinking (Skepchick’s) is extremely paternalistic, infantilizing, and insulting to women.

    • rocko2466 says:

      It seems to be her style. It would seem inconsistent but there is a very paternalistic brand of feminism which suggests that women cannot consent to sex, don’t want sex and were forced into any decision that is not acting exactly in the same way as the proponents of that brand of feminism. This line of thought is not necessarily expressed but it seems a logical conclusion from a lot of their positions.

      • RaspK says:

        It’s actually a bit more sinister, in some ways: under that line of logic, women want sex, will have sex, and rationally get to say “yes” or “not” to any proposition… all very reasonable, except that happens to be the tip of the iceberg (I also find some other aspects quite reasonable).

        What is troubling are the underlying, unstated conditional sides to the matter: broad definitions which would have your paper handed back to you from any science peers or (sane) legislators, on such counts as “vague terminology” and “communication tricks not befit proper discourse” to name the most important; jabs that are meant to rile up and provoke reactions, rather than that spark of sincere interest; and so on and so forth.

        For instance, in the aforementioned situation, sex in and of itself is not the issue, nor whether a woman wants it or whatnot; nay, the issue stems from the fact the man cannot seemingly be the target, nor does she seem willing to acknowledge the common issue of someone wanting to get drunk to have sexual encounters, because it is fun (borrowing her words from her infamous Evo Psych speech against her, but she should have thought of it).

  7. harrystarkus says:

    “It is like a homeopath walking into a hospital, declaring himself a doctor and the rest of us (like foolish interns) following him around and assisting him in dispensing his magical water. We shouldn’t peddle nonsense. It’s the exact opposite of what we are about.”

    Brilliantly put – she really does remind me of Jenny McCarthy ever time she opens her mouth these days.

    And can someone please tell her that sarcasm is not wit! Please. She really needs to be told that

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