Comments are closed.
Commenting on this item is available only to members of the site. You can sign in here or create an account here.
Situation 1. Man and woman go out. They're both adults. They've both had drinks before. They've both had sex before (not with each other). They have drinks on this particular occasion. They begin making out. He, with his wits about him and with his inhibitions lowered, goes further than he otherwise might have. He has sex with her and has misgivings in the morning. She, with her wits about her and with her inhibitions lowered, goes further than she might have otherwise. She too has misgivings. My verdict: No rape.
Situation 2. Both are adults, though she's young. Both have had drinks before, but she in particular doesn't know her reaction to alcohol very well. They go out. He pressures her to drink more than she's comfortable with. He does this because he's hoping to get her drunk. She drinks too much, and he's only too glad to help her drink more than she should. Then, with her coordination shot and her decision-making seriously impaired, he has sex with her. This was his plan all along. My verdict: Rape.
Of course, there's a great deal of grey area between the 2 extremes. That's why there are lawyers to argue both sides of each case. That's why there are juries to consider both sides. A lot of the argument about what constitutes rape comes down to people not understanding how the legal system works. It's not cut and dry. Similar cases can have different outcomes depending on slight variables.
In light of the attempt on the part of some politicians to redefine rape, I believe this discussion is important, and Dan, please, give us a column with your views.
On other blogs I've seen "regular" women posting that actually believe in equality. I'm a little surprised Dan's comment-ers are all so determinedly closed-minded & backwards.
Someone remarked that my posts were repetitive. Because some of you are so closed-minded that you're unable to have a conversation...you state your point, I state mine, then apparently since you didn't read or understand mine, you state your exact same point again. So I try again to explain. I suppose that's a bit futile when the person I'm trying to talk to is completely closed-minded.
Everyone here understands you. We don't agree with you. The reason you are so repetitive is that you don't understand that to convince people you need to do more than make yourself understood. You don't persuade. You simply repeat.
I don't care what famous person agrees with you if the assertion you are making doesn't make sense to me. Someone else's resume doesn't override my judgement.
If you have read my comments you should have realized that both parents can deny the child the right to use their body, even if the child's life depends on it, and neither parent can deny the child the right to use their bank account. It puzzles me why you think that is called sexism, the word for that is actually gender equality.
Not ethically, of course. But legally.
Ummmmm, fucking bullshit? How many women are "raped" based on that BULLSHIT definition DAILY on college campuses then. That is one of the most asinine things I have read, and you have said some pretty stupid shit. I like to drink, and like to fuck. Does that mean the guys I have fucked when I have had a couple of glasses of wine and GIVEN MY CONSENT are "raping me"? HELL NO!!! Even if I am a bit fucked up, I am aware of my actions, and I am OK with this. Again, no where am I saying that its ok for a guy to proceed once a girl says "no", but it IS a girls responsibility to maintain enough sobriety to say no if thats what she wants. If she consents, then SHE CONSENTS AND ITS NOT RAPE!!!
Really, what the hell are the poor men to do these days? Where do yuou people draw the line? Is a glass of wine ok? How about 4 beers? How is the man to tell, you never answered me there.....I am beginning to think you FEMINAZIS will require written consent and breathalyers soon!
And you know what? I am not too worried about you buying my shit when I am fucked up, because #1, I would never party with you, I don't party around strangers or people I don't like. Duh, again, common sense. This held true even when I was younger, and something that should be taught to teenagers as well. And #2, I typically don't get SO wasted that I do things I would not do sober anyway.
It think it would be helpful for you to know what the laws are where you reside. For example here the law states that if the male is uninvolved with the pregnancy, then the state considers him to have had an orgasam and not fathered a child, thus his rights are not consulted for issues such as adoption. If this is a deep concern for you then you could bank your sperm and then undergo sterilization or maybe you could wear a condom or two everytime and not rely on your partner's birth control not to fail. At the very least discuss this with your partner, let her know in advance that should conception occur that you will not provide her with any financial help. Then you two can go forward with integrity on the subject.
If there is an accidental, unintended, unwanted pregnancy and the two are not married, the woman has quite a few options. She can abort the child, she can give it up for adoption or even have the child and keep it. She can do any of these things without informing the father his child exists or ever existed.
If she wants to have the child and make sure she never has to pay child support, she can simply give it up for adoption without ever telling the father his child exists.
But, if she wants to keep the child, she can force the father to give her financial aid. Once he's been forced to be a father and required to support the child, he finally gets to have a relevant feeling. Does he want some visitation rights?
Is it really so difficult to understand why some guys might honestly find that unfair without being selfish, irresponsible whores?
I am a woman and it seems unfair to me. I do think that it must be unfair in favor of the woman to some degree because of the biology involved. But, the actual unfairness doesn't seem commensurate with the biology, to me.
Well, yeah, nice, in theory, but this is the real world we are living in . Shit happens, people are going to have PIV sex. I certainly am NOT advocating abortion as birth control, but man, I am sure glad it exists as a last resort. What do guys have as an "oh shit, I am really not ready to be a father, and I want no part of this" equivalent? Just because I fucked this chick one or twice, now I am stuck with 18 years of child support, when I want nothing to do with being a father? The woman has the right to abort, shouldn't the guy have a right to waive over his rights, and thus get out of child support? But again, by doing this, he loses ALL parental rights, then and forever.
And if that PIV sex results in a pregnancy, people are going to have to deal with the results.
If I get in my car, drive home from the office, and run someone over with it, can I say "Oh, sorry, I didn't intend to run over anyone. In fact, I have this sworn affadavit stating that it is my firm intention not to run anyone over, on this day or any other day. So, very sorry to the person I ran over but I will be exercising my right to opt of of compensating you for your injuries."
Wait, no, that's ridiculous. No one could possibly argue that someone should be relieved of responsibility for the results of their actions, even if the result was accidental and unintended.
"The woman has the right to abort, shouldn't the guy have a right to waive over his rights, and thus get out of child support? But again, by doing this, he loses ALL parental rights, then and forever."
The problem with this is that, if the woman decides to carry the pregnancy to term, there will be a third party here: the child. Whatever the father chooses to do, the child has rights also, including a right to support from both of her parents.
Then it should be illegal for a woman to withhold information about a birth from any man who could potentially be the father.
And adoptive parents should be able to sue the birth mother for child support if they run into financial difficulty. Make it the law that adoptive parents have to sue for child support in order to receive government aid.
The woman can opt out after the fact, in several different ways. Which I think is good! I just think a man should have a way as well; he could fuck his life up from one ill-advised sexual encounter, and has no such recourse as abortion or adoption like the woman has, its SOLEY in her control.
@331: Your analogy is not quite correct, because, if you have a vagina, you have these last minute, emergency methods that can get you out of this scrape, its 100% your choice. If you have a cock you are completely at the mercy of the person with the vag.
We are having a TON of hypocracy on this thread here....a TON. Are the womyn's rights supporters here even noticing this? And please believe me when I do state that I AM a feminist! I just think that for some people here, the tide has turned in the other direction, towards female supremecy.
Look...we have people here beyond pissed at the very notion that this woman owes the potential baby daddy the right of knowing she has aborted (Its HER body, he doesn't have the right to know *anything* that goes on in her body!)....but then, when it comes out....want to smack this poor sucker for 18 years of child support for his pump and dump. Can't you see how convulted this way of thinking this is? Its 100% hers until it pops out, and then he owes for 50%, and he has ZERO say in the matter! Somehow this strikes me as unfair.....
I would say that *hopefully* the decision to bring a child into the world is a joint one. I realize this is not a perfect world however, and if you are not going to share this decision, then you need to accept the responsibility for raising it. Being a sperm donor does not = being a daddy. Saying "he needs to be careful where he puts his sperm" is every bit equivalent to "well, she just needs to be more careful about spreading her legs", and I can see reproductive freedoms being stripped with THAT line of thinking!!! If you can NOT handle the burden of raising the child on your own, perhaps you need to make a baby with someone who WILL support you.
"Approximately 44 States, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. Virgin Islands make provisions in their statutes that allow putative fathers to revoke or rescind a notice of intent to claim paternity.9 Of these States, approximately 15 allow revocation at any time.10 Revocation is effective only after the child's birth in Arkansas and Iowa, and Florida allows revocation of a registration prior to the child's birth only. Approximately 28 States, the District of Columbia, and the Virgin Islands limit the right of rescission to 60 days after the paternity claim is submitted or prior to a court proceeding to establish paternity, whichever occurs first.11 In 19 States and the Virgin Islands, a claim of paternity may not be revoked after the 60-day period except by court action on the basis of fraud, duress, or material mistake of fact.12
Most States will accept a written, notarized statement for rescission. Seven States, however, require a court proceeding for revocation of a claim."
I'll be honest I'm a bit confused, by the thought that a man who does not wish to revoke his paternity of a child would be unwilling to pay child support. It doesn't make sense that he would insist that the fetus not be aborted or given up for adoption and then refuse to ignore his legal responsibility to provide parenting support to the child. If he doesn't want to provide support, why is he angered by the idea that the pregnancy could be terminated or that the child be given up for adoption. This is where knowing the laws in one's individual state become important, because in some states three (3) unreturned phone calls is enough to determine that his lack of involvement during the pregnancy is sufficient to terminate his rights. Child support exists for the child, does anyone really want a child to penalized, and it is the legal responsibility of the parents to support the child.
Perhaps, my life is too small and the vast majority of single mothers that I know are DV victims that I have worked with, but the child support they receive (determined by the court) does not really make a dent in the cost of raising the child on a monthly basis. I'm sure they are grateful for every bit of help, but these women often work multiple jobs trying to make ends meet. They are the ones who must stay home with a sick child and often are the ones that go without dinner.
The reality of life is that every action has a consequence. Fertilizing an egg is no different. the system isn't perfect, nothing in this life is, but I'm willing, perhaps foolishly, to bet that the majority of those fathers that want rights and a say are individuals who want to be responsible parents. And, my hat is off to them.
And yep...the fertilization of an egg does have consequences; but women have choices after the fact. It would just be nice for men to as well. I do wish there were some more reliable b/c for men, other then just condoms.
You are correct that women have choices after the fact, but they also have the greater burden. Both pregnancy and abortion have a physical price upon the body. They also have a financial price. Raising a child has an impact upon career aspirations as well. Society assumes that women will elect to have children, and consequently that is considered in their employment, salary, and advancement. Giving a child up for adoption also has a price to be paid emotionally. Every option a woman has costs her. Biology didn't make this fair.
Hm. You quoted me, then talked about hypocrisy. I have not expressed an opinion here on whether or not a man has a right to be informed by a woman that he has impregnated her, so I don't see my hypocrisy. The drum I am (tediously, no doubt) pounding is a simple one named "Take Responsibility for Your Actions."
If my position favours the woman more than the man, I think that is only fair as pregnancy places a disproportionate burden on her. She has three choices, each life-altering in its own way: abort, adopt out, raise. I am very close to several women who have had to make one of these choices. All three choices are represented in their decisions, and all of them have one thing in common: their lives were totally changed by the decisions they made. No woman is unaffected by an accidental pregnancy. She will carry the effects of it, whatever she decides to do, for the rest of her life.
Given that, I don't have a problem saying that men shouldn't get a pass.
(And for what it's worth, I think that in most cases the man should be informed by the woman if she is pregnant. Unless he's a rapist or abuser, he has a right to know - and she has the right for him to know.)
No. She is supposed to tell the asshole that he dodged a BIG bullet because he is RESPONSIBLE for it. And if he doesn't want to pay child support to somebody else, he better think twice before having unprotected sex next time. And he better make serious amends to that slut, Classy Lady, because abortion, even potential abortion, is not the most pleasant medical procedure out there.
I think you are forgetting that the whole problem arises when the man and the woman decide together that they will have PIV sex. He is co-equal in that choice (let's just assume consent okay?) and that choice carries risk. Most of what I'm objecting to is JA5 saying that the woman has all the choices and the man has none. That's ridiculous. How did he get in the situation to begin with? Through his own choosing.
So having decided together to change the woman's body, she is now faced with a momentous choice of what to do with her body. He doesn't get a say. He doesn't get to force his opinion onto her ears. It's her body and how she goes about making her choice is up to her. That may or may not include consulting him. It's not a trivial choice for her.
The only way to "force" him to be a father is to literally steal his sperm. No one here is talking about that. We are discussing consensual sex. Feel bad all you like for the poor man having to give up money (and nothing else) because that's the only downside for him as you all have described it. You can't force him to love or parent the child.
Women and children are deserving of love and respect. Any man worth thinking about wouldn't hesitate to support a child that he brought into the world through consensual sex. Otherwise who are we talking about? Who are these poor men fathering unwanted children over and over to the financial ruin of all involved? And why should I care about them so much? Pity, yes. Free pass, no.
The child support laws do not give a shit whether your condom broke, whether the woman lied about being on the pill, whether the man wants the responsibility of supporting a kid or any of this drama. There's only one issue: the fact that there's a kid who has the LEGAL RIGHT to be supported by BOTH his/her biological parents based on how much money they make.
Take a moment and let that sink in. It's not about the woman's rights, it's not about the man's rights, it's about the CHILD's right to support, and a standard of living somewhat like he or she might have had if the parents were living together. So take all of the stuff about "the woman has all the rights, blah, blah, blah" and don't even THINK of trotting that out in front of a judge. Not only will it avail you nothing, you will have your balls handed back to you in a paper sack.
I agree, that women do still have something of an advantage in custody matters - but NOWHERE near what they used to have, and it very much depends on the judge you are in front of. There is now, in most states, a presumption that the parents should have JOINT custody. Usually one parent has primary physical custody, and it is not uncommon for it to be the father. It is not uncommon for it to be close to 50-50, either. There is often a formula that the court uses to adjust support based on the number of overnights per year spent with each parent.
This has made custody much more of a battleground than it used to be, because fathers are fighting for custody because they don't want to pay support to the mothers.
And what usually happens when they win is they dump the kid at day care or with their own mother. What progress we've made.
I have had more clients than you would think offer to give up support if the father would just agree to relinquish all his rights with respect to the child, because the child has been used as such a pawn to inflict expense, stress, conflict, etc. on the ex.
Reading these comments has been painful because it has been a display of ignorance, chauvinism and immaturity that makes me pray that most of you put off having children until you have grown up, which in many cases may be never.
If a women knows she won't get support, and doesn't want to put up the kid for adoption or get an abortion, then there's a few different interests to consider: society's interest in preventing kids from being raised by single moms, society's interest in making sure kids get taken care of, respecting the mother's rights, and respecting the father's rights. This is a complex question, and there is a case for the state taking custody of the kid (essentially forcing adoption), or for the mother not getting child support, if she insists on keeping the kid when it's clear that the father didn't want to support the kid from the beginning.
@316: Rape is not a legal term: the actual legal term is criminal sexual conduct. The question of what should be considered rape is an ethical one, independent of what sexual conduct is criminal.
@338/339: What about the men who are renouncing their paternity rights, and don't want to pay child support? They still have to: renouncing paternity rights doesn't take you off the hook for child support.
@347: A lot of states automatically garnish your wages and take away your driver's license if you don't pay child support.
Oh Kim, this needs to be written here in CAPS, several times. And so should btmom's comment #346. Maybe it would sink in eventually. Or not.
Except that that's not true: as a commenter on Nerve-dot-com points out, the problem can also arise if a woman obtains a man's semen through trickery, deceit, or even statutory rape. This is, in a word, unacceptable, and no laundry list of excuses and past injustices suffered by women will change that, because two wrongs don't make a right.
To frame a discussion of ethics around an outlier example is to trivialize the discussion. Next you'll have us worrying over which person to eat in a lifeboat.
In common usage, as on Wiki or the FindLaw legal site, rape is considered to be unlawful sexual assault. Determining that a particular sex act was rape centers around questions of consent (due to age, intoxication, mental capacity, or duress).
When you say that "what should be considered rape is an ethical [question]" -- do you mean that if I falsely tell someone that I love him to get him to have sex, that's rape? Unethical, to be sure, but rape? That's as bad as the crazy ex-boyfriend in FOFS' letter this week.
Please. I'm having a hard enough time getting Sloggers to agree that sex acts may be legal and yet unethical.
For what it's worth I totally agree "that sex acts may be legal and yet unethical." I haven't spoken up just because you handle yourself so well and because I really don't know what to make of anyone resisting that statement.
If the male is a minor, of course that would be considered in determining his support obligation, for some period of time, but once he is able to work, he will be expected to do so.
The court has the right to determine whether either or both parents are voluntarily earning less than they are capable of earning, and to calculate support based on the income it finds the parent should be earning. This is not that common, but it happens. So if you quit your job at the brokerage firm for that job at the bowling alley, just to spite your child's mother, don't be surprised if the judge makes you grab your ankles. We have a case of this nature right this moment.
Some of you seem to think only reckless, shallow men care about post-conception choice. The point of asking people to read the Salon.com article is to show that women do, feminists do, women well-versed in the law do, etc.
Yes, biology is unfair. So women will ALWAYS pay some price for the post-conception choice they make, that doesn't mean men should never get a post-conception choice.
So if a guy's vasectomy re-grows (it happens), and his condom fails, and she's lied about her tubal ligation & being on the pill...even then screw the man, right, he has no post-conception rights ever?
Having rights over a man's wallet IS having rights over his body. Forced to raise/pay for an unplanned child will affect all of his choices and the outcomes of his schooling, work, personal goals/choices, etc. Someone posted "it's just money". Uh, owing child support is quite easily life-altering. Ok, if you are already a hedge-fund manager, it probably doesn't alter your life too much, but most of us aren't hedge-fund managers. If women want rights over a man's body for 18 yrs, then perhaps he should have rights over your body post-conception. Or...neither men nor women should be able to force the other into a particular action.
Yes Mr. J., the 2 parties together took the risk of temporarily altering her body. I don't think that equates to she should then unilaterally get to decide next whether to alter his life for 18 yrs if an unplanned pregnancy results.
If women don't want an abortion, adoption, or burden of raising a child alone, maybe they should just keep their legs together. That's just the flip-side of "if a guy doesn't want to pay for a kid, don't have sex". Both sets of advice are ridiculous.
>To frame a discussion of ethics around an outlier example is to trivialize the discussion.
Not at all. It establishes whether and how extreme your position is or is not. Does the man never have post-conception choice, no matter the circumstances? If he has a vasectomy (that reverses itself, or he's not "clear" yet) & tries to seal himself in latex 24x7, but a woman drugs him and gets his semen and impregnates herself, does he still have no post-conception choice, other than to be at the whim of the woman?
Meanwhile, back in the real world, when men fuck women and get them pregnant, the children that may result will still have rights to child support.
JA5@355 So it's inconvenient to deal with this issue before you get someone pregnant. You only want to figure out some way to get other people to pay for it afterward. Suppose no men ever paid child support for children they didn't want? Are you prepared to pay higher taxes, to prevent those innocent children from starving?
Two people with mediocre IQs and no high school diploma and on welfare are allowed to have a child. Two people are allowed to decide they want to quit Wall Street and raise their child in a family lifestyle of asceticism, or in a commune/hippie/subsistence-farming situation. A woman with a billion-dollar bank account can still legally abandon her child or put it up for adoption (with slim chance that another billionaire adopts it). A single woman can have a bunch of one-night stands until she gets pregnant, keeping no contact info on the fathers (so there's no one to ask for support), and raise a child herself.
We let it happen all the time. It's legal. Most of you probably support people should get to make most of those choices. But somehow in this one scenario, an accidental pregnancy, it's apparently critical to let the women have complete control over a man's life, for the good of the child. What about the good of the child in all those other situations?
Maybe women shouldn't be allowed to put a baby up for adoption, unless they can prove their earning potential is lower than most adoptive parents. Screw whether or not she feels ready or has other plans for her life, all that matters is what's best for the child, right?
Maybe no one should be allowed to have sex without a license from the state, showing earnings, parental suitability, etc. Then we'll really be protecting children/potential children.
Then the law has to change for two reasons: one, because it's unjust, and two, because it's inevitably and indelibly contributing to male hatred of and violence against women.
To be as blunt as possible, being forced into an obligation to which he did not and/or could not consent (i.e. oral sex, statutory rape of the male, or just poking pins in a condom) is a tremendous incentive for a man to commit murder, or at least an assault sufficiently violent to induce miscarriage. People are going on and on about men trying to keep women from getting abortions, but I think the converse is far more common -- Dan totally missed the boat on this one, she'd be in far more danger if she were pregnant.
You want to say that spouses or co-habiting partners can't get off the hook, fine. But casual hookups or one-night stands? No man or woman should have to live with the consequences of that, unless they WANT to -- which is why we should have free access to abortion for women, and the right to relinquish paternal rights AND fiduciary responsibilities for men.
Of course it's "unfair" that women get to choose whether to have an abortion or bear a child. Biology is UNFAIR.
What do you wanna do? Make it legal to tie a woman down and force her to have an abortion? Do you want to tie her up and force her to bear a child?
No?? Then your problem is most likely with the state and the state's role in collecting child support.
I do think that child support payments have fucked up gender relations in this area. It's obviously not ok for high school boys to get stuck with that kind of economic debt. I'm cool with ending any and all child support and paying single parents out of a general tax fund.
But do you know what else is unfair?
It's really unfair that women have to gestate kids. The nausea? the throwing-up? The not sleeping in the 3rd trimester? Pushing a baby out of your body? Tearing and then sewing up your vaginia? Uterine prolapse? (Uterus falling...) Totally unfair, man! Why can't men do some of this work? Why is it all on women to continue the species? We have no choice unless we pay another woman to do all of this work. But men can't carry any of this load.
Which, in the final analysis, is really very unfair.
What is up with you people? Don't you know basic law?
A woman can't put a baby up for adoption unless the father also agrees. If a woman refuses to raise the baby, but the father doesn't want to adopt, the baby cannot legally be adopted.
In the above case if a woman doesn't want custody she would have to pay child support to the father.
Didn't you hear of cases like Baby Jessica? If a father doesn't sign the paper the adoption isn't legal.
MD man 2012!!!!
So tell us what you want.
Do you want to drag an unwilling woman into surgery and force her to have an abortion that she is unwilling to undergo?
Do you want to tie her down, forcibly?
What about forced pregnancy. Is that what you want?
Be explicit here about how you see this choice operating in practice.
If you're talking about $$$$ - you aren't actually talking about making a medical choice for someone else. But if you want to force a medical choice on somebody else, be explicit about it.
@352: I'm not saying any unethical sex act is rape. I'm saying that criminal sexual conduct laws are different in different states, for instance, and in some situations an act that is clearly rape according to the normal way the word is used might not be illegal. Spousal rape is one example: it was legal to rape your spouse in North Carolina until 1993. Another example is that some states use a "force" definition of rape, so unforced rape might be legal or at least a lesser degree of criminal sexual conduct.
So I think defining what should be considered rape is an ethical question, as opposed to the legal question of whether a certain act constitutes a certain degree of criminal sexual conduct in a certain state or country.
I do think women should be encouraged to have abortions, using the carrot of getting benefits from the state, and the stick of being penalized for having a kid they can't support.
I also think in some cases the State should deny child support, or take custody of the kid.
As far as child support, I'm more concerned about men being held responsible for children they didn't father through consensual sex.
More to the point, why are you interested in using the word "rape" to differentiate among different unethical sex acts? We have a word, "unethical" which means good people don't do that. How is the discussion improved by bringing in this idea of "legal (but unethical) rape"?
What do you hope to achieve, besides diluting the power of the word rape?
I don't think that people should have a license to have sex.
But I would absolutely support a license to have children (or to keep the children you have). Nothing extreme just basic pysch screening and a little class/test on basic nutrition, maybe first aid.
If anything I would support women who put their children up for adoption paying a degree of child support. How's that for equal?
It is no longer legal to rape your spouse in NC, but a man who raped his spouse before 1993 could not be prosecuted today. I'm not sure what your point is: do you think rape changed from being an ethical issue to being a legal one in 1993? What about the countries where spousal rape is legal still?
As far as unforced rape being legal, this is from my Criminal Law textbook: "Although force or threat of force is a prerequisite to conviction in most jurisdictions, several states have made intercourse without consent criminal in the absence of force. See Michelle J. Anderson, All-American Rape, 79 St. John's L. Rev. 625, 629-633 (2005) (finding that in the absence of force, only 14 states punish nonconsensual intercourse as a felony; an additional 8 states treat such conduct as a misdemeanor, and in the remaining states, such conduct is not punishable at all).
So 6 years ago, unforced rape was legal in the majority of states. It doesn't say which states, though I can look up the article for you, and things may have changed in the last 6 years. But the traditional definition of rape was in terms of force, not consent. It seems that the trend is to move towards a consent-based view though, but even then you have to deal with messy questions about what constitutes consent and what if the defendant was mistaken. For instance, even in a consent-based state there may be a court case saying that act X constitutes consent, when this isn't necessarily true.
You said to Crinoline Why are you so interested in Dan's thoughts on rape, as opposed to Dan's thoughts on when one should walk away from legal but ill-advised sex?
I see your point. The real question is what we should do, not what is legal.
Saying that rape is not always the same as criminal sexual conduct is not diluting the word. Quite the contrary, it would be diluting the word to limit it to the legal definition of criminal sexual conduct in a state.
I'm saying that we should discuss it from an ethical perspective rather than a legal one, because every state has different rape laws. When people talk about rape, they are not normally talking about statutes and court decisions, but rather questions of ethics. And I think both "what sexual activities should be criminalized" (in other words, what rape laws should say) and "how should ethical people act sexually" are good questions to ask and discuss, for Dan as well as everyone else.
a) Do you have reliable statistics and evidence to support your assertions regarding how custody has changed?
b) "don't even THINK of trotting that out in front of a judge. Not only will it avail you nothing, you will have your balls handed back to you in a paper sack." Does this approach apply equally to women, or is the de facto possession of rights by women 9/10ths of the law?
c) Since you've had over 20 years experience as part of a system that is notoriously biased and opaque in decision making and the criteria for that, when did the situation miraculously change? It hasn't in my jurisdiction.
d) Do you believe that an adversarial - and expensive - legal system is in fact in the best interests of the child?
e) Do you think legal rights & decisions are synonymous with morality?
f) Do you believe your comments reflect a balanced and even-handed reflection of gender equality? - they don't come over that way to me.
Regarding "whining and ranting", what do you want men who feel a situation is unfair to do? Shut up and lump it? Are women who complain about the situation with women's rights "whining and ranting"?
" someone with the brains of a neanderthal" - um, Neanderthals had a larger cranial capacity than Homo sapiens, and they were artistic and cared for their young and sick. They also interbred with modern humans, though I guess that would be statutory rape with the nasty Neanderthal brutish male forcing the sweet innocent Homo sapiens maiden - and not even paying child support.
"morals of a jackal" - in comparison with the morals of a lawyer, where does that stand?
If you don't mind, please could you dial back on the polarising stuff, you put yourself in the same boat as the people you don't like.
Funny how when a woman walks away from a pregnancy or a child, she is self-empowered, but when a man does the exact same thing, he's a worthless deadbeat.
What happens when a woman insists that she doesn't know the paternity of the baby? Can a man that she refuses to acknowledge as a possible candidate for biological father walk in and demand a paternity test?
It's really unfair that women have to gestate kids."
"have to" gestate kids? Really? You do realize that between abstention, contraception, emergency contraception, implantation prevention, and abortion, gestation these days is entirely voluntary?
The government can't tell either men or women to use their bodies to support the life of their child; the government will tell both men and women to give a part of the money they earn to support raising their child. NO SEXISM there.
@271: I think its *immoral* to gestate to term a baby when the sperm donor does NOT want to be a father....and I am a woman!
As avast pointed out, there are a lot of options, both pre- and post- conception. If you want to make a baby, find a man who wants to be a father. If you cannot, and still want to do it, be prepared to do it on your own.
But hey, call me old fashioned, I think people should be prepared and able to provide for children before they bring them into this world, because YES there are options for accidental pregnancies. But I am sure I am going to get a lot of shit for this *totally* unreasonable viewpoint, LOL!
How is that different from pro-lifers telling women that it's immoral TO HAVE an abortion? And some of these pro-lifers are women, yay, aren't anti-choice women so special and awesome!
I hope you agree that determining which acts are rape and which are not rape will NOT resolve the question of which acts are ethical. And I hope you are right that most people here are interested in what is ethical, rather than in what they can get away with.
Got a law degree and passed the bar, maybe. But the idea that people give you money to make arguments was hard for me to buy.
Then I thought, you know what? There are lawyers who make a good living off of sheer histrionics. There are lawyers who can become famous by making their case in the fashion of an eight grade student being weaned off of his Ritalin.
I began to think it possible that you are a lawyer.
So you know what I did? I reread all your posts in Nancy Grace's voice. It helped.
Do most (many? some?) women get off with just this? What about tit-fucking?
Don't most (many? some?) women want PIV sex?
>So tell us what you want.
Your suggestions are ridiculous. I have said what I want many times. Are you reading what I write? Or go read the Salon.com article. Maybe I should put a sig at the bottom of EVERY post I make?
Women have the post-conception choice to abort, or to have the child but give up responsibility (legally abandon, or adopt-away). Sexist laws should change so that men have the post-conception option to give up responsibility as well. He disclaims his rights & responsibilities. The woman still has the choice then to abort, legally abandon, adopt-away, or raise on her own.
>It's really unfair that women have to gestate kids.
Gestation is a choice, she can abort if she wants. And yes, it's all unfair. However, compounding the unfairness of nature by having unfair, sexist laws, is not an appropriate response.
>What is up with you people? Don't you know basic law?
My suggestion was facetious. But it still applies...if she doesn't know who the father is, or lies & claims not to know...if we're all about the "good of the child"...maybe she shouldn't be allowed to give the child up unless she can prove she + any future husband will earn less than the average adoptive parent. And yes, this comment is facetious as well, poking at the people that scream about the "good of the child".
>I don't think that people should have a license to have sex.
I was being facetious. Poking at those who selectively scream about "the good of the child".
>Meanwhile, back in the real world, when men fuck women and get them pregnant, the children that may result will still have rights to child support.
You write this as though sex is something men do TO women, that pregnancy is all the man's doing (the woman has no role in it), and as though the woman has no choices post-conception. Are you also selective about the welfare of the child, or would you prefer a more fascist state?
You're really enjoying that misandrist Kool-Aid, eh?
I believe he's not saying that he should be able to have sex without responsibility. Or that he should be able to force a woman to have an abortion. However, if a woman has an abortion, the man has absolutely no say. If a woman wants to give the child up for adoption, assuming she's "aware" of the paternity, he does have a say. If she chooses to keep the child, again, he has no say and is "stuck" paying child support without an option to rescind his claim.
As many have pointed out, because of biology, there is no way for it to not be skewed in some way towards women. Unfortunately, laws to make it the other way around would require so many intricacies, it would take ages to come about if it would be possible at all.
How many women have chosen not to abort because the babies father says all sorts of romantic things about their future family, only to run away once reality sets in? Should this man not be responsible for the child he created? Had he stated up front that he wanted her to abort or give the baby up for adoption, she would have. How long do they have to make this decision? And how far into it can they change their mind?
To say that a man got "trapped" by a women who got pregnant is ridiculous. I cannot get myself pregnant. I need a man, whether in person, or just his frozen swimmers. So no woman gets herself pregnant to trap a man. This is not to say that no woman has ever lied to a man and said she was on bc when she wasn't, but that, as much as it's a woman's responsibility to keep herself safe and unfertilized, it is a man's responsibility to protect himself, even if a woman tells him she is on bc. Yes, pregnancy could still happen, but if both parties take every precaution available to them to avoid it, it is less likely.
I would agree that if a man stated, well before the baby was born, he didn't want to be a father, he should be able to opt out of child support, assuming he also opts out of any possibility of custody. But it's difficult to arrange that because the decision would have to be made within a time frame to allow the woman to make a decision based on his. This is a limited time opportunity, which probably has something to do with why it is not an option.
(also, I apologize if this is in any way tough to follow, I am on little sleep and lots of caffeine)
You are asking for the right to have intercourse with women with no regard for the potential consequences, for her or for any child that may result. You spin paranoid fantasies about women taking your precious bodily fluids against your will and using them to create a child that you are then responsible for.
Men fuck women*, impregnate them, and abandon them all the time. For every woman that has the resources - personal and financial - to pursue the man who got her pregnant and make him accept his responsibilities - there are many who do not. Men don't need any more help in avoiding their responsibilities.
Stop playing the damn victim card. Sex is a grown-up activity. If you want to have sex, act like a grown-up.
*Yes, I am using language that implies that sex and pregnancy are something done by men to women. I am doing this deliberately because the kind of men I am talking about - who would walk away from their responsibilities - treat it that way. Women are holes for them to masturbate into, and when it's done, they treat them no better than a piece of sticky kleenex that gets thrown in the trash.
I think Black Rose mentioned this should be a small window, and ITA. I realize the logistics make this super hard, I am just coming from an ethical standpoint here. For the douchebags who initially claim that they will stand by their woman and baby, and THEN decide when the going gets rough several days/weeks/months/years down the line? Yeah, throw the books at those guys and take them for all they are worth, but I do think that post-conception opt out should be there for men as well as women.
That does sound an awful lot like misandry to me that you can't imagine how a man could be a good person and want to walk away.
Say a man was raised by an abusive father. He is young and just starting out in his life. He's still in college and he's also grappling with a lot of emotional issues from his childhood. He has not even begun to deal with the damage done to him by his own father nor can he afford to get help with it at this stage in his life.
If the woman forces him to pay child support and there is no other father figure around...what a horrible dilemma to put him into. If his own assessment that he is not ready to be a father is completely accurate, how is it a good idea to tether him to his child for the first 18 years of the child's life?
The situation you describe certainly is a horrible dilemma. There are lots of horrible dilemmas that people end up in, through combinations of random fate and their own choices. Life can be horribly unfair.
That doesn't mean I support compounding the unfairness.
And let's step back a second here: we aren't talking about "tethering" a man to his child. He doesn't have to take custody - hell, he may not be granted custody even if he wants it, if his life is messed up enough. And support payments, if any, will be geared to his means.
I don't deny it is a shitty situation for him. But it will be shittier still for the child, and the woman, if we just give him a pass.
That's not misandry.
Also, those arguing for "fairness" in laws also forget the emotional trauma that women have to go through whether it be abortion or not. Even if they decide to have the child, she won't know how she feels after she sees the baby.
Anyway, just always wear a fucking condom and you may not have to worry about it. Oh, and get the fuck over yourselves.
You can't, and you never will, get around that it isn't about what is fair to the father or the mother. The legislatures in every state have made a judgment that when you engage in sexual conduct, you assume the risk that you may father a child, whether you want to or not. If you do, you will be expected to contribute to the financial support of that child. Period. It is what is fair to the child and fair to society, and if you don't want to risk it, don't stick it in. I have seen judges shaft BOTH fathers and mothers on the issue of support -- it is an issue on which they are remarkably unsympathetic to excuses or complaints of unfairness. They look at what the parents earn and run the formula that applies to their state. If you tell them, "but your honor, I won't be able to afford my rent," they'll probably tell you to look for a smaller apartment. I've seen it happen, over and over. You don't like what I'm telling you? No skin off my back. I'm guessing that if you get married you'll end up finding out first hand.
JA5: You don't understand the laws. A woman cannot adopt-away without the permission of the father. She cannot legally abandon by her self. Unless the father is "unknown" or dead he has rights. In fact, the father has just as many rights to get $$$ support from the mother.
In other words -- she cannot legally put a child up for adoption without the father's permission. She cannot legally abandon the child by herself -- If she did it would becalled "KIDNAPPING." There is a law against this.
Once the child is born the sexes are equal. Men have support payment rights. In fact, when men contest custody they are more likely to gain custody of the child.
You're upset about the idea you might have to pay support for a kid that you don't want to be born into this world. Well, I sympathize with that fact. But is opting out of paying support really going to make this ok and fair? Even if you don't have to pay the money, the child is still going to be in the world, and that sucks if you aren't ready to be a father. Even if you could opt out, you would have to choose to abandon your own child, which would be painful for many people.
The state is not sexist -- the state is trying to save $$$. When women file for food stamps the state goes after the father for support. It is in the state interest to force somebody to help support the child -- or to refund the state the money the state spends on supporting the child. This insistance on support does not occur because the state is "feminist." This occurs because the state is trying to save money and the state does not want to pay to support somebody else's child.
There is no way the state is going to allow men to "opt out," because it's expensive to support young single mothers. The response to that support situation is NOT to tell women that you think they should get permission from flings before they have an abortion. How does that solve your upset in any way? Would it make you happy if women were forced to have children?
BTW - I do not sympathize with the state. NOT AT ALL. But you do not seem to understand who has power in this situation. Feminists are NOT making the laws here. A radical feminist would advocate the end of all support payments and would instead support custodial parents out of a general state fund.
Turn on your sarcasm meter.
But, yeah, men can't help with the actual pregnancy, and really, in the final analysis, that kind of sucks.
One of my friends threw up several times a day. She was dehydrated and it was awful.
If the human species is going to continue women have to have the babies. I would be happy if we could figure out an easier way to do this.
I don't know if a man can ask this of a single woman. I do know that the state WANTS a legal father so the state can collect support if she goes on welfare.
BUT: I do know that in a legal marriage the husband has rights over the child, even if he is shooting blanks.
In other words, the state will give rights to the husband over the biological father. The husband has to formally give up rights for the biological father to gain rights.
It is really too bad this discussion devolved into a gender war of who ought to pay support for kids.
Some posters are suggesting that flings ought to be able to exert medical force over a pregnant woman's body, which is really quite offensive.
I'm pro-choice, but I'm very offended at the suggestion that a person has the right to force a woman to have an abortion.
There's a legitimate argument to be made about state power and support payments. But some posters are framing pregnant women as your enemies.
In actuality these laws are aimed for the benefit of the state. But you are alienating your possible political allies by claiming that women are these sperm-stealing, unfair b*tches who want to take your money and have too many choices about pregnancy.
You cannot seem to conceptualize that women also pay child support payments to men.
thanks for the info!
good luck helping JA5 he's not much of a listener
She decided against the father's wishes to have the child and keep it.
What I mean by tethered to is that his life is now connected to the child's. He is going to have to write a check once a month and probably have his means reevaluated at whatever intervals.
In the situation I described, that would make the situation difficult. If his decision to not be in the child's life was a difficult and honorable decision, that is 18 years of being reminded of one of the hardest, most difficult decisions you ever made.
All this is done to him because the woman decided she wanted to keep the baby and didn't care how the father felt.
And, sure, if what you like is tit-fucking, you can find a woman into that too – just ask nicely and listen to what she says about where the spunk should land.
I can quite believe the judges manage to shaft both parties - that's because the law is mainly about ensuring the state doesn't have to shell out too much money on the kids - I don't think the state really cares too much about the adults or the kids. Whenever my state starts to claim that they want to protect my or my children's safety or health, I check my wallet and wonder what new heights of bureaucracy they've dreamt up to keep an army of public servants employed. It does not contribute to my feeling of safety that's for sure.
"You can't, and you never will " - are you omniscient? I know perfectly well what the law says (in my jurisdiction ).
"I'm guessing that if you get married you'll end up finding out first hand. " Yes, you are guessing. I'm happily married with grown kids, have been married for 32 years, and have no skin in this game. I do, however, want a better position for my children - both men and women. I think the law is an ass, and the notion that the law or state knows what is in the best interest of the child would be ludicrous if it weren't so entrenched. The idea of having costly adversarial battles is not in the best interests of the children, it's in the best interests of the lawyers and a legion of social workers.
I want there to be far more positive encouragement for a couple to cooperate in their responsibilities, and think the polarising attitudes that people have endanger that - your (factually dodgy) pejorative references to Neanderthals being a good example.
>Or that he should be able to force a woman to have an abortion.
Oh god no. Of course a man doesn't get to tell her to do that.
>Unfortunately, laws to make it the other way around would require so many intricacies, it would take ages to come about if it would be possible at all.
Meh. Have some formal way to tell the guy (registered letter? notary?). Give him a short window to formally reply, if he doesn't, then he's accepting responsibility, if she chooses to have a baby.
>You spin paranoid fantasies about women taking your precious bodily fluids against your will
I proposed an outlandish scenario to demonstrate just how extreme your misandry is. Women always get post-conception choice, men get none under any conditions. Also, I think you probably completely misunderstood my reference to fascism, since you ignored anything related to that train of thought.
>Men fuck women, impregnate them, and abandon them all the time.
If they can't afford to raise a child alone, women should keep their legs closed. Or freeze some eggs and get their tubes tied. It's your womb, if you can't handle what might happen in there, don't have sex. Yes, this is all facetious.
>the kind of men I am talking about - who would walk away from their responsibilities - treat it that way. Women are holes for them to masturbate into, and when it's done, they treat them no better than a piece of sticky kleenex that gets thrown in the trash.
The kind of women I am talking about - who would abort or give up their responsibilities - are sluts just waiting for the next cock, and when they're pregnant, they treat the fetuses no better than a piece of sticky kleenex that gets thrown in the trash.
Yes, most of this post is facetiously misogynistic as a counterpoint to BB's dead-serious misandry. The misogyny is as ridiculous as BB's misandry.
>You spin paranoid fantasies about women taking your precious bodily fluids against your will
I proposed an outlandish scenario to demonstrate just how extreme your misandry is. Women always get post-conception choice, men get none under any conditions. Also, I think you probably completely misunderstood my reference to fascism, since you ignored anything related to that train of thought.
The laws and the thinking they sprang from used to make more sense. Historically, unplanned babies were a lot more common, and post-conception choice was non-existent. Women had few rights. Women were at enormous economic disadvantage compared to men. Abortion was illegal or dangerous. Birth control was pretty unreliable. Fewer birth control options existed for either sex. Formal adoption procedures didn't exist. "Legal abandonment" laws didn't exist.
It isn't 1950 anymore, or 1050. Women now have more post-conception options. Men should too.
>Men fuck women, impregnate them, and abandon them all the time.
If they can't afford to raise a child alone, women should keep their legs closed. Or freeze some eggs and get their tubes tied. Or get regular abortions. It's your womb, if you can't handle what might happen in there, don't have sex.
Yes, I'm being facetiously misogynistic as a counterpoint to BB's dead-serious misandry. The misogyny is as ridiculous as BB's misandry.
Supporting the rights of women and children does not equal hating, or denying the rights of, men. It's not a war, we don't have to pick sides.
Argh. Do you realize that it's biology you're angry at, not the legal system? Women get post-conception choice because every person in the world, male or female, gets to decide what happens to their body, and it just so happens that conception occurs in female body, not male. Let me try to simplify (or complicate) this: women get post-conception choice and men don't because bodily integrity is a basic principle of human rights, NOT because the sexist legal system has established that women should have the right to avoid their obligation towards their offspring but men shouldn't. It's not about avoiding obligation, it's about being in charge of what happens to one's body.
The legal system DOESN'T allow men or women to escape their obligation towards their children.
It DOES allow both men and women to decide whether they will use their body/tissues/internal organs to bring their offspring to this world or keep them in it, even if their choice means that the other parent will be paying child support for a number of years. I have already pointed out a case when men can exercise that right and women don't have a say in it (boo hoo, how unfair?) - the case when the child needs organ or tissue donation and the only matching donor is its father.
Hence the legal system is NOT SEXIST. You can come up with some other word to describe it if you think that the parent who is not deciding about using their body to keep the child alive should be able to renounce their parental obligation. SEXIST is not that word because men too can find themselves in a situation to make that decision and the child's mother won't have a say in it. Both genders are EQUAL in the eyes of the law.
Historically, you've got some historical facts wrong here. A certain amount of pre- and post- conception choice was available. There's a lot of scholarship out there, but to make a long story short -- there's a reason that colonial Algonquin women bore 4-5 kids and Anglo Virginian women had a lot more live births. And in US 19th century city people left kids at orphanages quite a bit. In fact, it was easier to give up legal rights to your children in the 19th century. (see Linda Gordon, The Great Arizona Orphan Abduction, for example.)
Your argument will be stronger (and less likely to annoy people) if you separate women's legal right to an abortion from the concept that a man should get a pre-birth opt-out.
I'm fine with a one-time, pre-birth opt out for men. If a man wants to legally reject a child, it's better for everyone, including and especially the child, if his biological father is not given any legal rights or obligations over that child.
But connecting the right of a man to refuse legal fatherhood pre-birth should not be dependent on a legal right to abortion.
In fact, it's incoherent to connect it to a legal right to abortion, because as a choice, it's slippery. (see - degredation of Casey, difficulty of getting abortions in S. Dakota, ect.) And it's an annoying argument, as you are implicitly threatening the bodily integrity of women by suggesting that a human right should be taken away if the state doesn't allow men to opt out.
Make no mistake about this-- the state is protecting its interests here by looking for a man to support the child. It's actually a very patriarchal legal attitude. But how you are framing the issue is excessively annoying and insulting.
You make it sound like a power struggle between the genders: "It's not fair that she gets to choose not to have a baby!! Matriarchy!! Men are being oppressed because women are forcing us to be fathers!! or "Our birth control rocks now, so nah nah I should get to opt out!" All of this begs the question of how she got preggers in the first place if the birth control is so fantabulously wonderful.
That's a different situation, because Jimmy is choosing to drink and gamble, and maybe it ends poorly. It could have ended well. What I'm saying is pretty basic to contract law: when you knowingly make an agreement with someone who has a diminished capacity, it might not be enforceable. Drinking might be one reason, and it might matter whether you encouraged that, which is not what the casino is doing in your example.
He lost the money, and tried to get out of the debt, saying he was too drunk to know what he was doing. No one denied he was drunk; but the judge said it didn't matter. So you can get someone drunk for the purposes of affecting his judgment, and legally, you can still keep his money. At least sometimes.
It's okay for the casino to give free drinks or lend money; the choice to be involved in that is on Jimmy. However, it's still against the law for the casino to allow a visibly intoxicated person to gamble or borrow money. Heck, even the bar isn't supposed to be serving him when he's visibly intoxicated. I'm not making this up--these are pretty standard laws in most areas.
I think Badgirl is having a hard time understanding "intoxication". It doesn't mean that you're having a few drinks and, at some point in that process, give your consent to sex. I could not disagree more, when you say that, "it IS a girls responsibility to maintain enough sobriety to say no if thats what she wants." That's something I would teach my kids to do, and would do myself, but that's not her legal responsibility. Not at all. The fact that someone is wasted does not mean it's okay (or legal) to have sex with them, just because they aren't sober enough to tell you no. I also can't understand why this leads you to cry about "the poor men". They can just, you know, follow the law and not have sex with someone who's incapable of consenting. Not a big cross to bear, if you ask me.
When you ask, "where do you people draw the line", your question is similar to Hunter78's: "So tell me, at what point does a woman become "intoxicated" so she can no longer agree to have sex with some guy she seemed to be having a great time just previously?" The answer is quite simple: judges, juries, and prosecutors decide where those lines are drawn, and they are indeed being drawn in a gray area. We'd probably all agree that someone can have a few drinks and be "tipsy", but still understand what's going on and consent freely to sex. We'd probably all agree that someone who is too drunk to recognize the other person is too drunk to give consent. Somewhere in the middle, a line is drawn, and it's unfortunate that it can't be drawn as cleanly as you'd like, but that's real life. Lots of different kinds of evidence might be used to argue about this, in real cases. Decisions about those cases shape what is likely to happen in future cases.
I might add that many of these laws are gender-neutral, nowadays, so there's no need to speak only about the one kind of female/male case.
The law in these cases is designed to solve a simple problem: what needs to be done for this child, to whom the state already has an obligation? The goal here is not at all to produce the fairest or most just or least sexist outcome for the parents. What matters is what the child needs.
It's unfortunate that some men can be taken advantage of by women who make them unwilling DNA donors. It's also unfortunate that some women can be taken advantage of by men who agree to have a child but then don't uphold their commitments. Neither of these things is the court's problem, though, and that's just as it should be.