Is the Whole Concept of Rape Just Sort of Going Away?

Categories: Schutze

Thumbnail image for RapeoftheSabineWomen.jpg
Were the Sabine women actually raped, or were they engaging in social upward mobility?

What do you think? Should Dallas Judge of Criminal District Court #6 Jeanine Howard, now at least nationally famous if not internationally for her "You Ignorant Slut" ruling in a rape case, think about returning to private law practice? Or run for president? It's so hard to know these days.

What is the liberal position on rape right now? What is conservative? Does any of that matter anymore? We're all still agreed that rape is bad, right? Right? Hmm. Pretty quiet out there. I guess we're thinking about that.

Judge Howard is the one who gave a 20-year-old convicted rapist 45 days in the slammer instead of 20 years because his 14-year-old victim had been sexually active and had given birth to a baby before he raped her. The victim's version is that she told him to stop and he did not. The inner logic of the judge's ruling is that you don't have to stop if the 14-year-old you are trying to penetrate has had sex and a baby before.

So nobody believes that, right? Or maybe just liberals believe it? No, wait, maybe conservatives are the ones who believe it?

The biggest rape story right now nationally is college campus rape. There's a new book out, Paying for the Party from Harvard University Press, in which two female sociologists "embed" themselves (one dreads to think ...) at an unnamed Midwest university that sure as hell sounds like my own alma mater, the University of Michigan, where they study the immemorial riddle of all higher education: Which gets you richer in the long run, studying or drinking?

Surprise, surprise, it's drinking, which is not a surprise for many of us, I would think, because we know that 97 percent of all business gets done by schmoozing and social climbing while drinking. I think the unnamed school is UofM as we call it (sorry, Missouri), because one of the authors is a faculty member there; they dub their unnamed school "MU;" and I distinctly remember as a student seeing students in Ann Arbor consuming what I believe were alcoholic beverages. (I was a little out of it, which explains my social status now.)

I also remember taking a political science course at UofM based on the professor's year of study in Washington during which he embedded himself at cocktail parties. He reduced the entire year to a mathematical equation so long it took almost the entire semester for him to write it out on the chalk board and for us to copy it down. Probably to keep us from skipping en masse he declined to divulge the principle expressed by the equation until the very last class before the exam: He had discovered in his year away from home that a whole lot of politics -- I mean really a lot -- gets done at parties. I hope if he ever did a book about it the title was No Shit, Sherlock.

Maybe this new book, which I have not read, is more significant. I did read Russ Douthat's column about it in The New York Times in which he called the fraternity and sorority booze scene "the great unequalizer." He said the book argues that kids who come to school ready to drink and party -- kids who come knowing how to drink and party -- will get a lot farther later in life than kids who naively think it's all about the books.

Maybe. Depends on what you mean by farther. Recent experience leads me to believe that big state schools are still divided domains as they were in my distant time there, occupied in part by young people who go there in search of social and business connections but also in part by young people who go there because they are intellectually, scientifically or aesthetically curious. I'm OK with all of them and consider their different missions equally necessary to making the world go 'round.

But here is the question that haunts all of it for me and takes me back to Judge Howard. Where are the bright lines? Where are the moral cut-offs? If girls can act like boys and boys can act like girls, if everybody, 14 years old or 20, social or science-minded, can get shit-faced high and pull out the paws, where is the red light?

I do get that it's all gray up to a point. Let's imagine it from a parent's point of view: Imagine that we want our daughter to be a social success in Austin. I think we can agree that means we want her to go to parties. We want her to have fun, but we also want her to be fun. Same for the lad. He should be a bit of a player as well. We all know that means a good deal of booze will be spilled. We hope it won't also involve Vicodin or cocaine, but there's many a spill twixt the cup and the lip, is there not? If we want the kid to be cool, we have to roll the dice on how cool.

In all of this, where is "Stop?" Who can say "Stop" and have it mean stop? Can anyone, boy or girl, say stop? Or is that moment gone? If your daughter or son says stop and somebody keeps right on penetrating her or him, will some judge later on start sorting out how much sex he or she had before the incident; what sort of party behavior this young person may be known for; and, oh, by the way, are the parents sluts, too? Did the parents implicitly encourage slutdom in order to enable social mobility?

We can have it one of two ways. We can say that stop means stop, and if the other party persists after stop is said, then that party is a rapist. Or we can decide that gray trumps stop. There is no stop, only gray.

I would argue that it doesn't make any difference how much sex kids have had before they get to that moment -- it doesn't even matter how blitzed they get -- if there is no longer a bright-line stop, a stop no matter what, a stop you have to hear, then there is no longer rape. If that's how it is, then it's a huge cultural shift, and we should recognize it by electing Judge Howard president. If that's not it, then I vote for private practice. Soon.


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68 comments
tested
tested

This is such a clear-cut case of a judge getting it wrong.

Fact: he's 20.  Fact: she's 14.  It could not be consentual sex because of her age. That makes it rape.  She said no.  That too makes it rape.  Nothing else matters.

She could have 8 kids at age 14 and it still would be rape.  He should be in prison. The judge is certainly allowed to do less than that under state law.  But to justify probation by saying the victim was not the victim she claimed to be is idiotic. This judge needs to be removed from office.

PlanoDave
PlanoDave

An instance of a Republican congressman making a thoroughly inappropriate comment about rape turned into a "War on Women" (dum dum dum dummmmm).


To what level does the assault rise when it's not a comment of opinion, but a ruling in a legal case by a judge?


Why no assumptions on what was going on in the head of the judge?  When it was a Republican, there was opining a'pleanty on what was going on behind the comment.  But here, there is no assumption about her hatred of women or closet Naziism?

Here, the assumption is that maybe society has changed.  Seriously?!?!?!?!?!  That is the only thing more fucking ridiculous than the racist shit you spewed all over the interwebs about Toyota relocating to Plano instead of Dallas.


Go back to writing about property deals and JWP, Jim.  This shit just embarrasses you.



paulpsycho78
paulpsycho78

Rape is rape unless a rich guy does it, then its an gentlemanly indiscretion.

scottindallas
scottindallas topcommenter

actually Jim, the young 14 year old claimed to be a virgin, when she was a mother.  If you don't think perjury prejudicial to a person's credibility then you're more feeble-minded than your detractors claim. 

DOisDUMDUM
DOisDUMDUM

Is this judge a member of a protected class? i.e. a mentally deficient Obama voter?

DOisDUMDUM
DOisDUMDUM

Liberals support gun control and are therefore rape apologists. 

DOisDUMDUM
DOisDUMDUM

Liberals support gun control and are therefore rape apologists. But a liberal never found a piece of human garbage they wouldn't fight a cause for. 

bvckvs
bvckvs topcommenter

The problem isn't conservative or liberal values - it's Libertarian values.... and it doesn't stop with just regular, old every day rape.  They also don't see anything wrong with having sex with children or giving them drugs.

MikeWestEast
MikeWestEast

You have really misunderstood the intent of Mr. Douthat's column and the described book.  Neither in any way show any evidence that partying like a mad fool gives you any leg up in post college work or personal lives.  Their story is more about getting caught up in that scene and losing focus on professional preparation without strong cultural foundation.  Their thesis is working class and poor students are doing acrobatics without a net if they follow more well-off peers into party scene, especially if they allow participation to affect classes and academic performance.  Well-off students can afford to make dumb mistakes.  Others cannot. 


If you want a bright line, it's the advice that I thought was standard to every child not from a rich family at college.  My father gave it to me.  You have a job to do and never forget it.  Life is unfair and some people won't have to work as hard.  So what.  Deal with it.  You, no one else, decide what you want out of life and how hard you work for it.  College ends and then you have the rest of your life.  Do not screw up the first 4 years making stupid decisions following others.

domusplacet1
domusplacet1

We seem to be ignoring the fact that the young lady was 14 years old. The Laws of the State of Texas have proclaimed that she is unable to consent to sex with a person who is over 16 years old. Add to that the fact that she claimed to have said NO and the rapist agrees that she said NO and I am even more confused by the Judge. And I firmly believe that this is an issue which does/should transcend political party lines.( In my social group it does.) And the victim and her Mom have adamantly disputed the report of a child, not that that should have any bearing on the case. Are we certain that this Judge has no mental issue that may have impaired her judgment?

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

You are right on Jim, stop means stop.

In the case in front of Howard, the Defendant was found guilty. The uproar is over Howard's decision on punishment, she was very lenient and based her decision on the prior conduct of the victim. This prior conduct did not mean the accused was not guilty.

Let's not forget there was a guilty verdict. Sir Young is a convicted rapist.

Stop did mean stop in this case. The price Young is to pay for ignoring this is little more than a ruler slap on the back of his hand.

becoolerifyoudid
becoolerifyoudid

The whole rape concept involves that other concept of right vs. wrong.  Right vs. wrong is a bit too restrictive so we are trying to do away with that and replace it with "what I want" and "what someone else should do for me."  Once these two concepts completely supplant the right vs. wrong dichotomy there will no longer be rape or murder just ungood acts. 

James080
James080 topcommenter

Low information voters elect low performing judges.

Didn't some rich white kid slaughter four people recently in a drunk driving stupor and then receive probation along with a summer camp-like rehab assignment? 

What exactly is justice anyway? Didn't several thousand Wall Street money changers recently get filthy rich by nearly bankrupting the country by fraudulently packaging and selling bonds backed by rotten mortgages? The NYTimes reports that exactly one low level Wall Street executive has gone to prison over the collapse of 2008.


Texas and the federal government, with an assist from the judiciary, pick and choose which laws to enforce and which to ignore every day. "Justice" is subordinated to politics.

RTGolden1
RTGolden1 topcommenter

I dunno Jim, doesn't seem too tough for me.  If you don't have clear, sober, unmistakable consent, it's rape.  I've had people tell me that's a high bar to set; I think a high bar is a good moral standard in this case.
As for the comments below, could we please stop using Hollywood and the entertainment industry as measuring sticks for political thought?  Whoopi doesn't represent mainstream liberal thought any more than Mel Gibson represents mainstream conservative thought.  I don't know if there even exists such an animal as mainstream political thought in this country anymore.  I myself am conservative in some ways, liberal in others, as is nearly everyone I know (all 9 of them!).  voting decisions usually come down to who is going to do the least amount of damage or a dart throw.

ozonelarryb
ozonelarryb

The perp admitted to her STOP pleas.

While I don't wish it on the judge's daughter, maybe someone will rape her, and use the samepleading.

Howard is gonna have to change party, to either shariah or tea.

She is proof that erectus interbred with Neanderthal.

Now all is after me...

bvckvs
bvckvs topcommenter

@scottindallas

The mistake you're making is in thinking that it's okay for you to have sex with a child who says they consent.  Children can't give legal consent.

It's a common belief among Libertarians and religious conservatives that it's okay - but decent people disagree with that, as does the law.

It doesn't matter if she tells you she is a virgin... or that she's not a virgin.... or that she doesn't want to be a virgin... or whatever excuse you use.  It's just not possible for her to consent.

JimSX
JimSX topcommenter

@scottindallas  

I'm going to guess -- wild speculation -- that you do not have or have never had a 14-year-old child.

PlanoDave
PlanoDave

@bvckvs The judge in question is a Democrat, Sanders.  Please keep up or just get yourself the home version of the game.

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

@bvckvs

So, your folks were libertarian then?

JimSX
JimSX topcommenter

@MikeWestEast  

From the Harvard University Press blurb, discussing Greek debauchery:

"This pathway exerts influence over the academic and social experiences of all students, and while it benefits the affluent and well-connected, Armstrong and Hamilton make clear how it seriously disadvantages the majority."

ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul
ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul topcommenter

@domusplacet1  

If she indeed had a child at the time, then why hasn't that father been charged with statutory rape if the father was over 18 at the time.


In fact, where is the father of her child?

scottindallas
scottindallas topcommenter

@domusplacet1 we are certain than the victim committed perjury, which undermines her credibility in court.  She swore she was a virgin, who we later learned had a baby.

lolotehe
lolotehe

@holmantx You mean how Bill Murray does not take advantage of the situation because he's one of the good guys?

holmantx
holmantx topcommenter

Now.  Was she violated or was she willing while of diminished capacity?

It is not a trick question.


TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

@mavdog

Eventually Sir Sir will be in a position himself to scream "STOP!!!", and get the message. Justice will out eventually for the little bitch.

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

@ozonelarryb

I didn't think there would be a reference to the TEA party until at least ten or so comments in, but good to see someone is on top of things. After all, Palin.

Jim did a good job in his rambling - without having to google, I know the judge is Democrat since party wasn't mentioned.

As to rape, heterosexual or queer, I'm against it - but I do believe that the practice of naming the accused while withholding the accusers name is somewhat wrong.

But, Jim's rumination are a bit pointless, I believe the White House has released it's view and intent on the issue yesterday.

everlastingphelps
everlastingphelps topcommenter

@ozonelarryb  Why would she change?  Her position is the mainstream liberal position.  Whoopi Goldberg is the one asking whether Roman Polanski sodomizing a drugged and resisting 14 year old girl is "rape-rape".  


There's a lot of conservative pushback on the idea that kangaroo courts in colleges shouldn't be holding their own trials and not notifying the police of alleged rapes, and pushing back at the idea that anything resembling a double entrendre is evidence of "rape culture."  What there isn't is conservatives claiming that adults having sex with teenagers is rape.

leftocenter
leftocenter

@JimSX @scottindallas  I certainly hope you are right about that Jim.

What part of she's too young to consent is confusing you SinD?

bvckvs
bvckvs topcommenter

@JimSX @scottindallas

There's not a lot of controversy around raping children.  It's pretty much, universally accepted as a no-no.

MikeWestEast
MikeWestEast

@JimSX @MikeWestEast That blurb does not make clear the nature of the disadvantage or the benefit.  The pathway is nice as a fun time, not a special leg up, if you can handle it.  If you cannot handle it, the majority does not have the net to prevent serious harm.

domusplacet1
domusplacet1

@ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul @domusplacet1Both good questions. I feel as if the actual rape has been diminished and overshadowed by the "character" of the victim. She said no/stop, the rapist admits that she did say no/stop. All of this other noise seems to be getting in the way of that fact.

domusplacet1
domusplacet1

@scottindallas @domusplacet1In response to your unseemly defense,

1. The rapist admits that the victim said NO/STOP. Is there really anything more to say?

2. The victim was 14 and the rapist was 18.

I don't understand your logic. NO means NO. The judge is the one who claims she has a child; the victim and her mother continue to deny this "fact". Assume that she lied about her virginity and the child; how does that diminish the rape?

observist
observist topcommenter

@TheRuddSki No crime story is complete without a unique and hilarious prison rape joke!

JackJett
JackJett

@TheRuddSki If you use the word heterosexual then use the proper homosexual.   I know you love to be a bigoted homophobe then claim your not, but you give yourself away when your phrase it like that.      Say homosexual with heterosexual and use queer with breeder.   But best yet, whenever you discuss issues....


PUT a DISCLAIMER that you are NOT a TEXAN.  I simply comment here as you are trolling for potential lawsuits.  




ozonelarryb
ozonelarryb

Didn't know the Texas Education Association had its own party. Thx

fred.garvin.mp.713
fred.garvin.mp.713

Sir Young is not an accused person, he's a convicted rapist. The names of the convicted are part of the public record.

JimSX
JimSX topcommenter

@everlastingphelps @ozonelarryb  

Phelps you're a bit all over the map here. Conservatives do not claim that adults having sex with teenagers is rape, is that right? So is that man-boy love?

PlanoDave
PlanoDave

@JimSX  I joined a fraternity to go to parties, get drunk and get laid.  Mission accomplished.

Did get to meet President Reagan (*angels*) when he visited campus, though. 

JimSX
JimSX topcommenter

@MikeWestEast @JimSX  

You lost me on subsidizing drunkenness of the working class. Maybe you and I both need to read the book, although I dread it.

MikeWestEast
MikeWestEast

@JimSX @MikeWestEast Plenty of ways exist to be social without getting drunk.  I'm not saying getting drunk is not a perceived pathway usually by people that would get drunk in any case.  It is just not any better than any other and carries significant risks, particularly if you do not have the resources to make trouble disappear.  That is the message of the book, not that we need to subsidize drunkenness by the working class.

JimSX
JimSX topcommenter

@MikeWestEast @JimSX  

Look, I'm sure you would agree that a major reason why people send their kids to college and kids join fraternities and sororities when they get there is for the social and business leg-up. Right?

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

@observist

Karma is not a joke.

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

@JackJett

Oh, forgot the disclaimer you demanded, identity politics being your thang

TheRuddski is Not A Texan.

There ya go!

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

@JackJett

C'mon, amigo, getting someone to create a sockpuppet to tail me was "successful" setting you straight was just community service. No pun intended.

But now, the comment that vanished has re-appeared. Must be cinnamon.

Good luck frying those fish with the tepid nature of your flame and all....

JackJett
JackJett

@TheRuddSki It was a duplicate.  I have bigger fish to fry here now.   Consider yourself successful. 

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

@JackJett

That's odd. You went after me for improper language, I proved you clearly wrong, and me right, with a supporting link. You didn't reply (oddly enough). And now, one of your comment shows as deleted, and my reply to you which proved you wrong has vanished.

Just to keep the historical record honest, and you and others up-to-date on the demands of politically-correct speech, I'll re-post the link while ignoring your UN-supportable charges of homophobia and bigotry. Isn't that nice of me ?

http://www.glaad.org/reference/offensive

PlanoDave
PlanoDave

@DOisDUMDUM

You totally drive a Volvo. 240 station wagon for sure.  

This totally cracked me up...

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

@JackJett

You devote over ninety percent if your commentary here to me. Not any points or issues I may raise, but to me, personally. You even create sock puppets for that sole purpose.

You're not doing yourself any favors, but it's a free world and if exhibiting your intellectual vapidity, humorless prigishness, and OCD is your thing, don't let anyone step on your routine, even vapid commentary builds page views. You're a cash cow.

tdkisok
tdkisok

@mavdog


"pointless then.

thanks for clearing that up."


Yes, Ruddy's speciality.   

JackJett
JackJett

@holmantx@TheRuddSki Well folks the day is coming to an end and so The Ruddski Show with his little lap dog holmantx must return to their rooms for 7pm bedtime. 


Did you like them?  I mean did you REALLY LIKE them?  If so, remember our sponsors Viracept and tune in tomorrow for some more non stop blathering bigotry and bullshit that include one run on sentence after another run on sentence into yet another run on sentence. 


Lastly....Obamacare  is bad...MMM-Kay

And Benghazi is bad.....MMM-Kay

Hillary is really bad.......MMM-Kay

Obama's war born in Kenya.......MMM-Kay


Remember FREE stool softeners for every LIKE and

lawsuits for ever retort that hurts.

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

@mavdog

Think "Duke Rape Case", you'll get it.

Maybe.

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

@mavdog

.... what "point" exactly did you intend to make?

All of them.

But if you look at the comment directed at me to which I responded - which addressed one of the several points I made, you can, by using contextual clues, ascertain which specific point both Fred.garvin and I were referencing.

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

@TheRuddSki

"my point stands"

that is a confusing statement. what "point"  exactly did you intend to make?

let's see, a refernece to how soon the Tea Party is mentioned, you presumption Judge Howard is a Democrat (not too hard to find tho with the link to her website provided), your pronouncement you are against rape...but then again, who isn't?....that you believe the accuser should not remain unmentioned, and closing with the obligatory obsessive mention of Obama that is in every one of your posts.

could you let us know what your "point" is?

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

@fred.garvin.mp.713

Good points, all true.

But Jim is writing about rape, not just this case. My point stands.

DOisDUMDUM
DOisDUMDUM

@tdkisok @everlastingphelps  The worst thing anyone can be to a lefty pussy like you is a hypocrite right?


As long as you don't actually stand for anything at all, you can do whatever you want. You might even be elected president some day.

tdkisok
tdkisok

@everlastingphelps


"You do not have conservatives claiming that adult-child sex isn't rape."


No they are just anti-Gay while having Gay sex in airport bathrooms. Oh yeah, and then there is that Mark Foley guy who had a habit of hitting on Congressional pages who just happened to be teenage boys.   

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