I found that photo on Facebook a while back, with the following caption:

This photo was posted on STFU, Conservatives Tumblr page last night [here]. The reason why I’m sharing it is not because of the photo itself (which is epic in it’s [sic] own right), but for the comments it generated.

One person wrote, “but then again, its kind like putting a meat suit on and telling a shark not to eat you”.

STFU responded (with bolded text):

We (men) are not fucking sharks!

We are not rabid animals living off of pure instinct

We are capable of rational thinking and understanding.

Just because someone is cooking food doesn’t mean you’re entitled to eat it.

Just because a banker is counting money doesn’t mean you’re being given free money.

Just because a person is naked doesn’t mean you’re entitled to fuck them.

You are not entitled to someone else’s body just because it’s exposed.

What is so fucking difficult about this concept?


Indeed. Also, Laura Jedeed has some really excellent comments on rape and this image too.

Happily, the rights of women in western countries are more widely recognized and better protected today than at any other time in human history. That’s a huge achievement, and part of why I’m grateful to live in modern America.

However, more progress awaits us. One example was in the news last year:

A recent court case just exposed a barbarity in California law, namely that it’s not rape to trick an unmarried woman into sleeping with you by pretending to be her boyfriend.

Julio Morales was convicted and sentenced to three years in state prison for entering an 18-year-old woman’s bedroom and instigating sex with her while she was asleep after a night of drinking at a house party in 2009. According to prosecutors, it wasn’t until “light coming through a crack in the bedroom door illuminated the face of the person having sex with her” that she realized Morales wasn’t her boyfriend. Holy shit.

But a panel of judges overturned the conviction this week because of a law from 1872 that doesn’t give women the same protections as married women because, as we all know, single women are always down for nonconsensual sex, even when they’re asleep and/or purposefully tricked into the act.

The court admitted that “If the woman had been married and the man had impersonated her husband” it would be rape. But since there was no ring on her finger, it’s not!

Eugene Volokh had some comments here. I agree that rape by fraud shouldn’t be a punishable offense, except in cases of impersonation of a lover or spouse. (I’m not sure of the case of mere friends.) As Eugene says of such impersonation:

It is, thankfully, apparently a rare sort of lie; it is very far outside the normal level of dishonesty that people expect might happen in their relationships; it is one for which there is no plausible justification or mitigation; and criminalizing it is unlikely to sweep in the garden variety lies that, unfortunately, often appear in people’s sexual and romantic lives.

California law obviously needs to be updated.

Here’s another example. The 2012 election was replete with politicians making ridiculous and offensive comments about rape in order to rationalize their across-the-board opposition to abortion. Most notable was Todd Akin’s justification for denying abortions to women pregnant due to rape:

… from what I understand from doctors, that’s really rare. If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down. But let’s assume that maybe that didn’t work or something. I think there should be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be on the rapist and not attacking the child.

Conservatives need to recognize that forced pregnancy — not just pregnancy due to rape but any unwanted pregnancy — is a morally abhorrent violation of rights, not a gift from God.

Alas, the third example hits closer to home for me. In a February 2012 podcast, Leonard Peikoff said that a man is entitled to force himself on a woman if she has a few drinks with him and then goes up to his hotel room. Thankfully, he corrected that a few weeks later, but only in part. By a rather strange analysis, Peikoff concluded that a woman cannot withdraw consent after penetration. In reality, that means that the man can do whatever he pleases to the woman after penetration, even as she kicks and screams and yells and cries in protest. That’s seriously, seriously wrong — and dangerous too.

On a more positive note, you’ll find my own views on the nature and limits of consent in sex in this podcast. (It’s a pretty lengthy discussion… about over 40 minutes.)

Ultimately, my point here is that the rights of women matter — and they’re not yet fully protected. The image at the top of this post reminds us of that. The fact that she’s half-naked doesn’t make her any less of a person with the absolute right to forbid another person access to her body.

That’s a lesson that some people still need to learn, unfortunately.

  • William H. Stoddard

    I’ve thought for a while that there are problems with the legal treatment of what you are calling “rape by fraud” that are not addressed either by punishing it as rape or by permitting it. Basically, it treats crimes of violence and crimes of deception, or of simply taking. as equivalent. The law doesn’t do that for other crimes; for example, it distinguishes robbery (taking property away from a person who has it in their possession), which is a crime of violence, from theft or larceny (taking something by stealth, picking something up and walking off with it, or gaining property by fraud), which is not.

    I don’t suggest that obtaining sexual cooperation by deception, without genuine consent, is as minor an offense as shoplifting or consumer fraud (both of which still merit punishment). But it’s not comparable to beating a victim into helplessness, holding them down by superior strength, or placing them in fear with a threat to their life or bodily integrity, just as shoplifting isn’t comparable to taking someone’s wallet at the point of a knife. At the same time, “A had sex with B and didn’t obtain B’s actual consent” isn’t something the law should overlook.

    We used to have a legal category that included this: the crime of seduction. Unfortunately, the old law didn’t clearly distinguish sexual fraud from simple persuasion; and the idea of “seduction” took on a romantic overtone as a result—it suggested the sex life of Gail Wynand or James Bond, not that of a young man getting his date drunk. So reviving the term wouldn’t work well. But reviving the legal concept might clear up some of the current issues.

  • khaight

    I don’t think I listened to Peikoff’s discussion. My thinking on the withdrawal of consent (whether in a sexual situation or not) is that it has to respect the context of the other party, and give them a reasonable opportunity to grasp the new circumstances and alter their behavior accordingly. I cannot invite someone into my house, change my mind and have them charged with trespassing without first giving them a chance to leave. There are difficult corner cases in sex because the level of passion involved can make it legitimately difficult for one party to express a change in consent and for the other party to grasp the change and react to it.

    What this really means is that rational people should not get into such situations without a clear and mutual understanding of what they’re going to be doing, so the likelihood of change-of-consent is minimized.

    • John Pryce

      I was going to object to the notion of “change-of-consent at any time” outright, but I think you did a better job of saying what I wanted to say.

      Issues like this are one of the reasons I have a lot of sympathy for the “wait until marriage” concept, as it simplifies this considerably.

      • khaight

        John’s point on abortion is the reason I wince whenever I see one of those pro-choice memes saying “Don’t like abortion? Don’t have one.” This so completely misses the point. To a pro-lifer it’s the same as saying “Don’t like murder? Don’t get killed.” Sure, great advice, except that it isn’t really up to me when someone else is trying to do so.

        • c_andrew

          I agree with Kyle and John, but I’d like to add one more point. Kyle winces at the bumper sticker but it is illuminating. It’s making explicit the fact that the question of retaining a pregnancy or not is within the rightful volition of the woman in question.

          Of course, as Kyle points out, this is unconvincing to the religious right because the undeveloped fetus, embryo, blastocyst, zygote (fertilized egg) trumps whatever moral volition the female in question possesses.

          And, consistent with their Comstockian roots, the modern religious right, although they began the modern abortion fight by disclaiming any interest in stopping contraception, have now moved the volitional trump card further up the reproductive chain to fertilized yet un-implanted eggs; zygotes that are routinely flushed by natural processes. They are doing this by arguing that contraceptives that prevent implantation are actually “chemical abortions.” And presumably worthy of a death penalty with all the rest.

          There is just one more step in this chain which would return us to the Post-Comstock Pre-Griswold state. The outright ban on contraception. Don’t kid yourself. That IS where they are headed. And so the opposition to abortion is revealed, at its heart, to be an advocacy for state action in the sexual realm between consenting adults.

          This is no great surprise. The Social Purity movements (in which Comstock was one of the movers and shakers) were part of the grand Progressive Alliance that brought us Prohibition, Eugenics, and the Omnipotent State. Which gives you a preview of what kind of political system the religious M2′s will bring in their train.

  • James

    There are two issues involved here: Women’s rights and the nature of rape. Usually rape is a man violating a woman’s rights, but it can happen the other way around and I think we need to be cognazant of that fact, particularly in law. Laws that presume rape is a male activity are not objective; women can rape men, particularly if we include deception and intoxication in the mix. Honestly, I think this would go a long way towards advancing the cause of women’s rights–IF it were done by saying, essentially, “We need to treat people the same under the law. Rape is rape, and is illegal.” That would place the moral determination on the activity, while emphasis on sex (er, meaning “male vs female”) places the moral determination, to varying extents on the victim.

    The issue with women’s rights is that men have some rights women don’t. Approaching rape law from the perspective of establishing objective laws to address this rights violation would protect women’s rights by removing the idea that women are somehow alien and different from men. The issue becomes not men’s rights vs. women’s, but rather rights as such.

    • http://getironic.blogspot.com/ getironic

      When we evaluate rape statistics among genders we have to bear three most important things in mind. 1) In modern Western culture men are less likely to admit it than women, 2) Men are less likely to consider that they were raped, even if they were, objectively raped, and 3) What do we mean by rape?

      According to the FBI’s newly amended definition of rape, men that non-consensually penetrate women are committing rape, but women who non-consensually envelope a man are only committing sexual assault. When many academic reports on rape define rape as “forced penetration” it necessarily excludes men from being able to be defined as victims unless the perpetrator is another man. How might that skew the statistics?

      Shockingly, when women rape men not only is it not classified as rape, and not classified as “forced envelopment” it is rather often classified as “made to penetrate”. This should inform everyone about Western cultural valuations of the male body and sex v.s the female. It’s totally sexist and portrays men as the only moral agent involved, depriving women of agency and responsibility, paving the way to victim-blaming.

      Until recently men were never asked about being raped. For example, the 2010 CDC Survey on sexual assault, for all its flaws actually pursues these numbers, and it is a rarity. We also do not know that “”Usually rape is a man violating a woman’s rights,” because we do not have lifetime numbers. This is a cultural belief facilitated by feminist fear-mongering. We don’t have lifetime numbers because men’s “sex” is devalued culturally and no one cared to ask until recently. And, they only cared to ask recently because gay men became a culturally preferred minority, not because men as a gender are considered to be of equal value compared to women.

      • John Pryce

        I’ve actually been told before that the Bible’s prohibition on gay sex is actually an admonishment against men humiliating defeated enemies by raping them, which was apparently a common enough practice in ancient times to warrant a “hey, let’s really not do that, okay guys?”

        I find this claim …. basically believable, especially considering how much this apparently happens in more primitive areas of the Middle East.

  • Maus Merryjest

    Well said!

  • Teresa


  • Misogynist

    When a woman goes out “dressed” like that, what – exactly – is she asking for? Attention she doesn’t deserve, of course. The better men (the men who’s attention she seeks) will ignore her, and the lesser men (the types of men who actually would rape her, ironically) fill the vacuum. It doesn’t mean she deserves it, but it’s really, really, really stupid. Would I help someone who, as a matter of policy, ran with scissors and finally impaled herself? Yeah, but it would be a very low priority.

    Psycho-epistemologically there is very little difference between someone who is willing to pander to the worst within others in order to acquire something, and someone who is willing to just take it by force.

  • John Pryce

    There’s also this issue: if a person – male or female – willingly and knowingly walks into a wolf’s den naked, smelling like blood, covered with raw meat, and with feet so wounded as to be unable to run away, I would say they were asking to be eaten. And I would justify this by saying “You knew the wolves were there, you knew that being covered in raw meat and blood would make them hungry, you know that hungry wolves WILL hunt and eat humans, and you had neither a means to defend yourself nor the ability to flee. Yes, it’s YOUR FAULT you were there, and it’s therefore YOUR FAULT that you got eaten.”

    The vast majority of all rapes are committed by serial rapists (last statistic I say said 3% of men committed 90+% of all rapes). These men often commit dozens of rapes before being caught and imprisoned. So classifying them alongside dangerous animals – animals unlikely to and unwilling to refrain from harming the vulnerable – is not unreasonable.

    Are these men still human? I don’t think they warrant that kind of consideration. They don’t respect the rights of their victims, therefore they are not entitled to rights. And if they are not entitled to rights, they are not actually human beings in the moral sense.

    Because of this, the blame for some instances of rape does indeed fall partially upon the victim. If you were in your home, and a rapist broke into your home and raped you; not your fault. Driving in your car, and a rapist puts a gun to your head? Not your fault.

    Drunk (and wearing revealing clothing, though the choice of clothing may not add much) while walking unescorted and unarmed in a bad neighborhood at night? Covered in meat, effectively naked, unarmed and unable to flee, walking into the wolves’ den.

    • James

      How often is rape committed by someone close to the victim, such as a family member or friend? I seriously doubt that most rape is the type that can be justifiably described as “drunk….walking unescorted and unarmed in a bad neighborhood at night”. Furthermore, the “unescorted” part is rather disturbing–are you suggesting that women require male protection?

      I will say that we as a culture deserve some blame for those rapes that DO occur that way. Every cop I’ve spoken to knows where the bad neighborhoods are. They know where the gangs are, where murders, rapes, assaults, burgleries occur. Yet they don’t stop them. The reason is valid–they don’t have the resources to effectively end such activities. And that’s because our society quite simply doesn’t value ourselves enough to put the proper resources in place to keep ourselves safe.

      • John Pryce

        As for the escort issue, actually a very large and well-trained dog would suffice. But I said “unescorted” to indicate that an escort can sometimes be an appropriate substitute for armaments, not to indicate that women ought to be expected to have an escort to travel; I am not a Muslim. A woman who travels with a Glock 29 loaded with 10mm 200 grain JHP bullets in her purse (or any number of other potential calibers and/or weapons), and the will and capability to use it, IS, in a sense, escorted, in the original connotation of “escort” as “protection”, not as supervision. Such a woman will not likely put out a “fear” vibe, and so is less likely to be accosted or attacked in the first place (like most opportunistic predators, rapists seek out the vulnerable).

        I agree, being cornered and raped by someone you know is very much not like the other scenario. However, it is well-established outside of feminist circles that women will lie about both rape and other kinds of abuse, as often as to strike back at some slight from the accused as for attention-seeking reasons. While this certainly doesn’t mean that such things don’t happen, the fact that they DO happen means that the statistics we have regarding such abuse are, to one extent or another, false. I recall a few years ago an Australian study that claimed that 1 in 9 Australian girls (or some horrifically high figure) was sexually abused by her father, when the real figure was about 1 in 100 (both studies were written about by Thomas Sowell, my source). One problem with such studies is that they will lump together fathers who are present with mostly-absentee fathers, along with stepfathers and even the mother’s live-in boyfriends, and the last category is by far the most likely group to sexually abuse the young girls in question. By the same token, many studies on rape count as rape even encounters that the ‘victims’ admitted that they did not consider rape at the time, and even counted – as rapists – men whom the ‘victims’ had subsequent sexual encounters with. Whatever the motivations of the people conducting these studies, truth isn’t it. More likely it’s some variation of ‘lying for what you believe in’.

        And as for the ‘bad neighborhoods’ issue, such things can and do happen on their own, but many modern ‘bad neighborhoods’ are created by the very policies put in place to prevent them. My view? Legalize open carry and concealed carry, either on a ‘shall-issue’ permit basis or else unrestricted, and there will be a lot less violent crime (possibly more property crimes like burglary, but unfortunately some people cannot be reformed by making their chosen profession more hazardous). You can’t stop criminals from being criminals, but you CAN make them stop committing crimes by making criminal behavior more hazardous.

  • TrentMax

    God, you are a disgusting woman.

  • c_andrew

    God is a disgusting woman?

    • Trent Max

      No, Diana Hsieh is an utterly foul human being. Not just physically. That’s abundantly obvious. But she also has the ugliest soul I have ever come across. If she were posting as a simple feminist, she would just be repulsive. But the contradictions inherent in combining her supposed admiration for Ayn Rand with her clear hatred of men twists her into a gargoyle.

      • c_andrew

        Max, Sounds to me like you’re projecting. Women apparently find you repulsive and you turn that around to save your pseudo-self esteem. Good luck with that. I’m curious how you rationalize the position that supporting the right of a woman to withdraw consent to sex makes Diana a gargoyle or a man-hater? See if you can answer that without having your rage-o-meter turned up to 11. And if you find what I said in the first paragraph to be an insulting ad hominem, you’re right. It is. Now compare that with your “discourse” and see if there are any similarities.

        • Trent Max

          Sounds to me like you are a moron who tries to use big words up make yourself seem smart. And that isn’t an ad hominem. That’s an observation, given that you have absolutely no context for your assertion. In fact, I am quite comfortable with my level of attractiveness, as are the women I date. So, that’s not at all what is going on here.

          Now, I am engaging in “psychologizing” which may have been the concept for which you were searching. And, while one must be careful with drawing general conclusions about people based on their words and actions, they are from invalid. Diana has never said “I hate men” but I have been watching her writing for some time and I strongly believe that is the case. In fact, I believe she is a closeted lesbian.

          Now, when I say “men” I am talking about strong, masculine males; not effeminate beta bootlickers. She surrounds herself with twisted gay men (again note the distinction between twisted and normal gay men) like Trey Peyden who teaches classes on “Anal Play” at supposed Objectivist conferences. She engages shamelessly in promoting Feminism 2.0 and “You Go Girlism” which are movements specifically designed up emasculate men and masculinize women. And, of course, she attacks Dr. Peikoff and every opportunity, who epitomizes the strength, resolve and clear thinking that make a man a man.

          I could go on with endless additional examples, but why bother? If you are ome pf her supporters at this point, it is unlikely that you will be dissuaded. She has likely blocked my IP. If not, I’ll leave this for anyone else interested in following the bread crumbs and end this conversation.

          • c_andrew

            What is significant about your rant, here, Max, is that you find her proclivities in friendship threatening to your masculinity. I am acquainted with Diana, but doubt that she would consider me a friend because of our rather tenuous social connections. Nor do I agree with all of her positions; with some I have very significant disagreements.

            Here’s the funny thing. You think that she is somehow morally remiss in blocking your IP address when all you have to offer, like some deranged leftist, is character assassination. Maybe what really bothers you is that she refuses to be your psychological punching bag. Perhaps your accusation of closeted lesbianism is merely your projection of your ideal woman as a passive recipient of your sadistic impulses; any female who doesn’t conform to this twisted ideal is somehow a “lesbian,” closeted or otherwise.

            When I dislike a person, I usually make a point of avoiding their company. Apparently you don’t do the same. But my policy is the first reason I won’t be following any “bread crumbs” to your site. The second reason is that, if your “intellectual” offerings here are any guide to the substance of your website, it would be a complete and utter waste of my time.

            So why am I engaging you here? Because you are the interloper and Diana, even when I disagree with her, offers intellectual values in exchange. You with your vituperative approach (Horrors! a BIIIIIIG word. I must be compensating for my low intelligence!) do not.

          • Trent Max

            What the hell are you talking about?

          • c_andrew

            I’m sorry if my demonstrably low intelligence has outstripped yours.

          • Mike

            Voltaire once wrote, “I have never made but one prayer to God, a very short one: ‘O Lord make my enemies ridiculous.’ And God granted it.” Diana Hsieh seems similarly blessed.

  • Nagra Gautiavana

    After reading this post I believe it should be the understanding that the unreasonable person is the one who commits rape. As the quote says, “We are capable of rational thinking and understanding”. Yes we are capable of rational thinking. Not everybody is. That is why murder, rape, and such disgusting crimes exist. There are those who commit these crimes based on lack of morality, lack of sanity, or are just plain evil. These are the people that will throw off your message. If EVERYONE was reasonable, then what would be the amount of such crimes?

  • Golden Dollar

    Someday, you will be forgotten about, Diana. And, when your name comes up occasionally, it will only be as a bad example.

    • P.Romero

      Says someone posting as a defunct currency.

      Deep, man, deep. How many neurons had to die for you to come up with that?

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