The right to rape

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We’ve made progress; some of us are now outraged when rapists, such as Stanford University student Brock Turner, get off with a proverbial slap on the wrist.

But we haven’t made enough progress, since rapists still get off with only a proverbial slap on the wrist.

Not all rapists, of course, only the privileged rapists. And that speaks to our deep-seated cultural belief that privileged men have a right to rape.

Rape is a perk of privilege.

To the victor go the spoils, right? And for the entirety of human history, women’s bodies have been the spoils. The only thing that has changed is our concept of victory. In the beginning, the victors were the men who were better warriors. They were men from indigenous tribes who raided other tribes for “brides.” They were men from primitive (and modern) wars who raped their way through conquered cities. They were men who decreed that raping their female slaves was the “master’s obligation.”

As Snopes notes:

The use of political power (or any exalted position in society) as a means of gaining entry into women’s beds has been with us for thousands of years. The name of this phenomenon has changed over the years (from ius primae noctus to droit de seigneur to “the master’s obligation” to sexual harassment), but the concept has remained the same.

Except that Snopes is wrong in one critical detail. The modern day incarnation of “droit de seigneur” is not sexual harassment, it is rape.

The right of powerful men to rape women of the was first codified as a “religious” right.

The custom of someone other than the husband being the first to engage in sexual intercourse with a bride after the wedding goes back several thousand years and is tied to the concept of God as the source of all life. If all life springs from the creator, then surely his earthly representatives … are guarantors of fertility …

It didn’t take long for the right to rape to be enshrined as a political right:

After the Sumerians developed the concept of a divinely-ordained king “descended from heaven” as the primary intermediary between man and his creator, kings supplanted priests as the vessels of fertility …

This codified “right” survived until relatively recently:

First night customs survived in parts of Europe into the Middle Ages (as the droit du seigneur), although by then it had been stripped of any pretense that it was a means of assuring fruitful harvests and fecund brides. Feudal noblemen were not of royal blood and had no claim to divinity; they were “lords” only by virtue of having been granted titles, and they simply used their positions of power over their vassals as a basis for asserting their “right” to substitute for any of them on the wedding night…

We don’t have official nobility anymore, but we do have the privileged and they apparently have no trouble getting away with rape. Wealthy men, athletes and celebrities are the new nobility and society seems to recognize them as such. In general, privileged white men are much more likely to get away with rape than other men. Had Brock Turner been a poor, black man who met a white women at a party and raped her, he would likely have received a lengthy jail sentence. But because he was a white man, and an athlete to boot, the judge in the case seemed to have spent more time considering the impact of punishment on the perpetrator than the effect of the rape on the victim.

Lest you think that this is purely an issue of race, consider that Bill Cosby has been allegedly drugging and raping women for decades without punishment.

To the victor go the spoils and wealthy men, athletes and celebrities are the victors in contemporary society. It isn’t merely that college athletes are valuable to the team that leads universities to protect them; it’s that they are stars and taking sex without consequences is believed (consciously or unconsciously) to be one the perks of being a star.

Obviously, it was Brock Turner who raped his victim and we don’t bear collective responsibility for the rape. But we do bear collective responsibility for a society that consciously or unconsciously believes that privileged men have a right to rape.

They don’t.

  • Amazed

    It becomes worse. After the sentence, his school guidance counselor – school guidance counselor, for Pete’s sake! – wrote to the judge that Pig Junior was undeserving of this outcome and that the verdict broke her heart. Not the fact that the scum raped an unconscious woman. That he was found guilty and was possibly facing jail time. Unbelievable. No, scratch that. All too believable, in my experience.
    I feel sick at the thought that this woman is counseling students. I bet that there won’t be too many girls coming to her when they face unwanted sexual attention at school or home.

    Then, of course, she backpedaled when her school saw what happened to PJ’s other apologists. She’s soooo sorry now. So lovely that she had a change of heart. A little late but lovely anyway.

    And a judge – a family friend – wants people to look at the cultural problem and not be hateful. She, too, rides the “it wasn’t good Brocky who raped her, it was alcohol and she was asking for it anyway!” One wonders how are courts not overflowing with charges against every youung man who got drunk around a woman. Might it be that many people drink but only rapists at heart become drunken rapists? I know, I know it’s such a bizarre idea but still…

    Barf.

    • Azuran

      Oh it gets even worse. Did you read the letter that Brock himself wrote to the judge?

      • Amazed

        Did you HAVE to remind me? Let me return the favour: I even read the letter Brock’s mother wrote to the judge. I would have done a congratulatory self-slapping on the back if I wasn’t busy being sick. I can totally see why the asshole turned the shit he is. It runs in the family. Brock is never guilty. She’s all whine-whine, Why him? Why my beautful boy? Why? Why?

        Because your mama boy raped a woman, lady! That’s why! They didn’t drag him out of the swimming pool just because they had to choose someone, no matter what you think, you giant failure.

        There is only one question that I’m dying to get an answer to. Grandma and grandpa wailed that poor Brocky is the only one made to pay for the irresponsible decisions adults made that night. It’s clear that they refer to the slut who chose to get raped by choosing to get drunk. But do they mean the Swedish students who made the decision to interrupt Brocky’s fun?

        Did you see this letter? I think the lady is spot on. Makes such a nice change after the chorus of, “But he doesn’t deserve being convicted!”s from his old acquaintances (I am using this term because it’s clear that the counselor didn’t know that Pig Junior drank, smoke, and drugged his way through the high school she works in.)

        http://www.foreverymom.com/a-letter-to-judge-aaron-persky-stanford-rapist-brock-turner/

  • Amazed

    Athlete Judge actually said that “The trial is a search for the truth. It’s an imperfect process.”

    It must have been terrible for him to sit there and listen to those stupid jurors actually claim the golden Athlete Boy guilty just because he had had some fun!

    Miss “Not All Rapes Are Committed by Rapists” whined that SHE was a victim and consequently deleted the whine from Facebook.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3630583/Indie-band-Good-English-blacklisted-drummer-writes-character-letter-DEFENDING-childhood-friend-Brock-Turner-calls-verdict-political-correctness.html

    Wonder how Rig Junior’s appeal is going.

    They all make me sick. Especially the 20 year old Miss Rape Apologist who doesn’t drink. Guess what? I’ve rarely had more than a glass or two because it catches up with me pretty quick. Still don’t think I am Jesus come again to pass judgment that someone should be raped by a not-rapist because they’ve been drinking.

    • Emma

      If it helps, she’s apologized again and admitted she wasn’t there that night and had no right to make such assumptions –
      https://www.facebook.com/leslie.rasmussen.35/posts/10208252753470286

      I was stunned by her original letter, and her follow up (explaining the original letter) was terrible and sounded as though she believed *she* was a victim herself. That being said, the above statement from her does sound like maybe she is finally understanding her ignorance? Maybe?

      • Amazed

        Let’s hope so. I kind of doubt it, though. She only saw the light when her band started experiencing backlash. And the high school guidance counselor left me shaking with rage. She must be the soul sister of the school psychologist who asked me what I was wearing when a much older man started hitting on me. The cherry of the cake? At the time it took place, I had been freaking 11! What did she think I had been wearing?

        It’s always the girl. Slutty slut deserved it. Somehow. Unless she’s in a coma after an accident where she hadn’t been the one driving, I guess. Anyway, Miss Rape Apologist doesn’t disgust me nearly as much as the school counselor. She couldn’t stand for her beliefs, no matter how misguided they were. As to the beliefs themselves, I’d really advise her to take a crash course in professional performance enhancement. At this point, she might be a good counselor to privileged boys (or perhaps not, given the fact that she didn’t know or care that he partied on drugs and booze in high school). But girls who have actual problems? Methinks not.

  • DelphiniumFalcon

    Slightly OT but ties into this:

    I’ve been thinking a lot about how even now women are conditioned to accept that their bodies don’t belong to them but to society.

    I’ve gained a bit of weight lately and it’s really distressing to me. Not because my husband has said anything because he hasn’t and had repeatedly said “Society and its weight policing can go fuck itself” but I still feel the pressure. I’m afraid of the comments family will make. Of people pointing and laughing when I go to the pool to try to get my fitness level to a better point.

    Women can’t bottle or breastfeed without uninvited comments. Especially if you’re not using your breasts to “do what they were designed to” as we’ve seen here.

    A newly married woman’s reproductive status, at least where I live, is considered casual conversation fodder. My husband calls it Schroedinger’s Pregnancy. Everyone assumes you’re pregnant or trying to get pregnant as soon as you say “I do” and if you’re not then something is wrong with you. If you have infertility problems it must be the woman’s fault.

    Birth control must be everyone’s business up to Congress itself. I must have been a filthy whore since I as fifteen because I’ve needed birth control pills to keep my horrific periods and endometriosis in check. My primary doctor wanted to do a pelvic exam on me at seventeen even though I had told him I had never had sex because he didn’t he didn’t believe a teenager on birth control wasn’t having sex. Not my OBGYN who I still saw regularly, my PCP. He didn’t believe that I really was using it to control my periods. I had to get my mom involved.

    Even other women especially think it’s okay to come up and play with my hair without asking because I must want someone to play with it because it’s so long. Even since I was a child I’ve had my head whipped back because someone was playing with my hair and it’s long enough for me not to notice until I start to walk away. I can’t remember the last time someone actually -asked- to play with my hair without me telling them to ask me first after they just assumed it was okay to touch me without asking.

    I can’t say no without it meaning “try harder for a yes.”

    At church while sitting outside for a lesson on a nice day when I was fourteen a man in an authority position came over and pulled my dress down over my knees because showing my legs was inappropriate. Older women would tell me I was sending the wrong message to boys if I kept dressing in short skirts. The skirts that still brushed the top of my k we caps. Boys in high school would tell me to button my shirt up higher because I was “distracting” them when only the top button above my collar bones came undone. I wore turtlenecks and sweatshirts to avoid it and even then I was shamed for having large breasts. I had the golden ratio of bust-waist-hips in high school but was too afraid to actually like my body. Because it was inappropriate for a young woman to have a body like that.

    It’s just startling to realize even with all this progressive talk my body and sexuality still don’t belong to me.

    • guest

      This, but I am also confused by the posts from women who say they are teaching their children consent by never touching them without getting permission first – including, in the extreme, diaper changing. But leave aside the extreme. Within a family, I hate to give up on the idea that I can reach out and hug my daughter without first asking for consent. Or just put my hand on her back, perhaps, when she asks me to help her with a drawing and I move closer. Is this saying that her body is not hers as well? I cannot imagine having to ask for every instance of human (and humanizing) contact between two people.

      • DelphiniumFalcon

        I think that’s too extreme in the other direction but people just touching your clothes or your hair or your body in general without asking that aren’t your parents and don’t have “hug privileges” I guess you could call it makes me really uncomfortable.

        Basically if they’re not immediately.family or close family outside that immediate circle it’s probably best to ask first. I freeze like a deer in the headlights when people touch me and yet near strangers still think it’s just fine to grab my knee when I sit next to them or put their hand on my shoulder. If they were my mom or dad? Not a big deal. But they’re not.

        • guest

          Yeah, I am talking about immediately family, and certain very close friends (at least for some people – not for me, as I am pretty much no-contact with anyone but family, and my friends know this). But obviously not your boss at work and whatever. Still – I see hugging happening in certain instances at work. We give awards to students at a big event, and recipients are often hugged by the person giving the award. It’s uncomfortable for me, but not the same as the sexual harassment workplace touching.

          But my own son and daughter? I absolutely touch them without asking first. And if they say no, don’t touch me right now, I listen. And I’m teaching them consent. They are three, but my daughter thinks it’s funny to grab my son’s penis in the tub – No! He’s not upset by it, but that’s when I teach them: You have to ask someone before you touch their private parts, and they have to say yes.

          • KeeperOfTheBooks

            Plus, leaving aside anything else, what do you do if your two-year-old refuses permission for a diaper change? Let them get a nasty rash? I’m all in favor of natural consequences to a point, but I don’t think that a two-year-old is as capable of understanding the possibilities of a diaper rash as she is of understanding “if you hit your brother with that car, car goes to time-out.”

          • guest

            And for that matter, how does an infant give consent to a diaper change? My three-year-olds are still in diapers, and they are always resisting being changed. I have to assume the women who say they are doing this are either A) lying, or B) failing to mention that asking for consent doesn’t mean respecting it in cases of a poopy diaper and needing to get to work on time. Or else they have angel children and assume the rest of us all would too if only we asked consent before touching them to change a diaper.

            Here’s an example of one place advocating for asking consent for diaper changes and not really acknowledging how infrequently you’re likely to get it: https://www.romper.com/p/how-to-start-teaching-your-kids-about-consent-even-when-theyre-a-baby-306

            I’ve seen others.

        • guest

          I REALLY don’t like being touched by people not in my immediate family (and sometimes I’ve had enough of them by the end of the day) and I get teased about this all the time, like there is something wrong with me for feeling this way. As an adult I refuse to apologize for this. I try to respect my children on this as well. When someone not in the immediate family wants to touch them and they pull back, I just say “he/she’s not comfortable with strangers touching them” and offer an alternative, like asking my children if they want to say hello instead. While my husband and I don’t ask permission every time we touch our children, I have been insistent on respecting them when for example we ask for a goodnight kiss and they don’t want to. I just say “okay, love you, see you in the morning.” My husband is very touchy feely and I try to give that to him when he needs it and in return expect him to respect me when I say I don’t want him touching me right now for whatever reason. He’s learned that for me, that is how he can show affection. With people not close to you (general you) who gives a crap if they are offended. And for people who are close to you, these should be easy conversations to have if the person you are talking to isn’t an asshat.

      • Kelly

        I feel like in a family, if you child does not want a hug, then you respect their no. That seems to me to be too extreme.

        • guest

          Yeah, I’m fine with not hugging/kissing when the child says they don’t want to – although I still think there’s some value in learning to hug old Aunt Tilly when she asks even if she does smell like cat food and you don’t really want to. But that’s still family, and in a very specific context of saying hello or goodbye.

      • StephanieA

        My son is only 2.5, but he will tell us ‘don’t touch me!’ If he doesn’t want our hand on his back, etc. I always respect his wishes and stop touching him (unless safety is an issue, like in the parking lot). I don’t ask first though- seems a little extreme to me.

    • TheArtistFormerlyKnownAsYoya

      And every pregnant woman has a story to tell about uninvited belly rubbing…

      • DelphiniumFalcon

        I’ve considered investing in a “Rub the Belly/Lose a Hand” shirts when we have kids. I won’t deny it.

        • KeeperOfTheBooks

          I will say that having RBF (Resting Bitch Face) helps immensely in this regard. Two pregnancies-that-show in, and I’ve never had anyone touch the belly without permission. Mind you, I have plenty of friends who weren’t so lucky, but they don’t have “WTF do YOU want?!” as their default facial expression. (I’m not especially like that, but that’s what my face says much of the time, apparently…)

          • An Actual Attorney

            I never had anyone touch me without asking either. But I don’t even have RBF. I have Resting “I will cut you” Face.

          • Who?

            I wonder if I could move straight to that?

          • Who?

            People tell me their life story in the supermarket queue-perhaps I need to work on my rbf.

          • KeeperOfTheBooks

            While it has its downsides (I once got pulled into a manager’s office two weeks into a new job because most of my coworkers apparently thought I hated them–and I didn’t at all!), it has decided advantages.

          • Monkey Professor for a Head

            I only had one random belly rub, and I don’t think I have RBF. But apparently I have resting sad face, so maybe that scared people off.

      • CharlotteB

        One time–one tiny little girl started touching my stomach because she was SO excited there was a baby in there. Her mother was MORTIFIED, but I thought it was sweet, and she was small enough that she was still learning manners so I figured it was probably a good learning experience for her, haha.

        • TheArtistFormerlyKnownAsYoya

          That’s adorable. My 5 year old niece hugs my belly and asks “how’s your baby?” every time she sees me. But she already had hug privileges, so.

      • The Computer Ate My Nym

        I was nauseous and looked it most of my single pregnancy. Looking like you might throw up on someone at any moment is a great way to discourage unwanted physical contact. And get seats on the subway.

        OT, but re getting seats on the subway, wondering if anyone else has had this experience: Women of any age or race would sometimes offer me a seat, but if a man offered me a seat, it was almost always a young black or hispanic man. This was partly because I was commuting on the A train and that’s who was there, but the white guys who were there simply didn’t notice me or care that I was exhausted and about to throw up. Made me regret not being able to let fly at will. Say, right on their shoes.

  • MaineJen

    In the movie “Animal House,” one of the main characters proves his ‘good guy’ cred by NOT taking advantage of a passed-out-drunk woman he’s helped back to his room. We’re supposed to say “Awww, what a good guy he is for NOT raping her, when he totally could have!”

    In the movie “Sixteen Candles,” one of the main characters actually DOES rape a passed-out-drunk high school girl. No one bats an eye. Not even her.

    These movies are considered American classics. Let that sink in.

    • guest

      They’re still classics. I taught 16 Candles last semester and we absolutely talked about the rape (and call it rape), as well as the racism of Long Duk Dong. At least as far as my students were concerned, these things are not funny and even incomprehensible. Things *have* changed – when that film was released, almost everyone thought it was A-OK hilarious funning. But as far as the cannon goes, there’s be no such thing as a “classic” if it had to meet all of today’s standards. Charles Foster Kane abuses his wife. Groucho Marx makes a sexist comment every time he opens his mouth.

      • Roadstergal

        There’s a scene in Breaking Bad where Jesse is having his massive bender party, and at one point there’s a girl who’s obviously off her ass on alcohol, meth, or both, and he grabs her and takes her upstairs. My entire body was tense with “He’s going to sleep with her and they’re going to paint it as NBD,” but instead he plays Mario Kart with her. It was such a little moment, but it really stuck with me. :p

        • guest

          Yes, having lived through 80s films, I always get tense and then tearily happy when contemporary stuff goes a different way. I defend the canon as a historian, not because I want to see more of the same.

    • PrimaryCareDoc

      Revenge of the Nerds was on tv recently. One of the nerds pretends to be one of the football players by wearing his costume and mask, and has sex with the football player’s girlfriend. Rape. Totally, 100% rape.

    • TheArtistFormerlyKnownAsYoya

      I was horrified when I re-watched “Fast Times at Ridgemont High” a few years back, another American classic. There’s a scene where the “popular” guy gives one of the “loser” guys permission to take his car with his passed-out-drunk girlfriend in the back seat and do with her as he wishes.

  • Amazed

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3630119/Brian-Banks-wrongfully-convicted-rape-teen-cites-privilege-Stanford-rape-case.html

    Poor, poor Brock, so unprepared for the horrors of prison! Fuck the judge who, by the way, was just reelected. Frankly, if I were a prosecutor, I’d fight with all I have not to enter this fuckard’s hall. Who knows who else will Athlete Judge feel kinship to?

  • LibrarianSarah

    To be fair, we do this with other crime as well not just rape. How many times have we seen a CEO get away with embezzling millions of dollars with a slap on the wrist if we’re lucky? How many of those who tanked the economy in 2009 saw any time for it?

    Embezzlement and other white colored (it’s a pun not a typo) crime isn’t seen as “real theft.” Just like when a rich to upper middle class kid smokes pot or does harder drugs it isn’t seen as “real drug use.” The punishments for crimes have always been based on who commits them.

  • The Bofa on the Sofa

    Would a car thief get a lighter sentence by claiming that the car doors were unlocked when he stole it? Heck, even say the keys were in it?

    And would anyone accept a plea that a car thief is, deep down, really a good guy and just made a mistake, which was because the opportunity presented itself?

    “Yes, your honor, he took the car of someone he didn’t know, and didn’t have their permission. But he’s never done anything like this before, and he’s really a good guy.”

    Would anyone buy that? No, dumb ass, he’s a car thief. That’s not “a good guy.” By definition.

    • LeighW

      Hell, even if it was someone who’d borrowed your car multiple times before, WITH your permission, it doesn’t give them the right to take your car for a joyride WITHOUT ASKING!

    • Amazed

      Pig Junior’s court file revealed him to have a story of partying with alcohol and drugs but Athlete Judge shrugged this off in favour of his stellar character. What the actual fuck? A good part of the defense was that Pig Junior wasn’t used to drinking so it was an extreme case. What is Pig Junior going to teach young people in those ridiculous lectures of his? Hey sluts! Come to Brock Turner’s class! I’ll teach you just how much booze and drugs are safe for the guys you are with before they throw you behind the dumpster for some 20 minutes of action!

      • The Bofa on the Sofa

        Pig Junior’s court file revealed him to have a story of partying with alcohol and drugs but Athlete Judge shrugged this off in favour of his stellar character.

        This is my feeling as well. The judge seriously believes that this is a clean-cut American boy? It may be true, if he thinks that creepy frat boys are clean-cut Americans. Personally, I am un-impressed.

        Believe me, I knew guys like that in college. Partiers, but aggressively on the prowl. I didn’t know them to rape anyone (not that I heard of), but if I heard they did, my response would not be “but he is such a nice guy.” It would be like, I’m not surprised, because the guy has never shown any signs that he has any respect for anyone else.

        I’m sure his party buddies would defend him, of course.

        • Amazed

          I knew guys like that in the university as well. I’ve only attended a few parties since I’m rather of the boring type. But those guys were just what I expected of my interactions with them in our daily co-existence. They were well-mannered, always, and that helped disguise how dismissive they were of other people. It was bred into them, the manners and dismissal both. They could easily fool everyone that they were “good people” because they held the door open for us girls and took the bill on themselves when in company – but they weren’t generous. They just had good money from home while the rest of us didn’t. I’ve had more than one fellow student comparing them to your average Joe who was “stingy” when we were outside. No matter that Joe had to work his ass off to both have a home AND graduate. Sorry but impressing girls by paying the bill for the most expensive vodka wasn’t on their list of priorities.

          In fact, I have my doubts about the judge as well. HE was a star athlete back in the day and then, those things were treated as much more normal. My impression is that star athletes at the university think they are different breed. One of them was actually stunned that I rejected him when he had deigned to notice me – a non make-up, not particularly attractive bookworm. He felt as if he were… well, honouring me with his attention. I won’t be surprised if the judge in this case has had his fair share of drunken consent or “consent”.

          • KeeperOfTheBooks

            I wasn’t at all attractive in high school, and my total lack of self-esteem didn’t help, I’m sure. Nonetheless, the star of the wrestling team seemed genuinely *shocked* when I told him what he could do to himself when he ever-so-kindly offered to sleep with me, provided I’d wear a paper bag over my head.

          • Amazed

            I still have no idea what brought “my” guy to notice me. Must have been my newfound confidence that I was finally turning into a woman and not someone with boobs of my age and a face a few years younger. I remember the first time I really took a notice of him, though. I had let a friend drag me to a party and this guy drank, like, 3/4 of a bottle of vodka and wasn’t even slurring his words! His baseball achievements aside, that was one that really impressed me. Just in a “wow, I’d better stay away from this one!” kind of way.

    • guest

      I’d have sympathy for the car thief if he had starving children at home and was desperate for cash so he could buy them food. Still a crime, but yes, I’d support more leniency.

      However, there’s no such equivalent in rape.

      • Roadstergal

        There is no Jean ValJean of rape.

        • guest

          No Robin Hood of rape, either.

          • AirPlant

            Don’t tell the Men’s rights activists…

          • DelphiniumFalcon

            Or the incel movement.

          • guest

            I’m a woman. I can’t tell them anything. :/

        • LibrarianSarah

          I want this on a T-shirt

    • Who?

      Maybe, maybe not. But if you leave the keys in it you won’t get any money from your insurance company if it turns up wrecked.

      • Amazed

        That doesn’t change the fact that a crime took place, though.

        My flat was robbed once when I was a broke student. The lock was not a particularly strong one. I still maintain that I didn’t invite the burglar in by not having the best lock available. This said, the police was trying to guide me into saying that I had left the door unlocked. From their PoV, I was just losing their time. A poor student with a few perfumes missing, a phone, a few textbooks… No biggie here.

        Not to you: There are those internet sages who think the victim was not traumatised because she wasn’t conscious, so she could not remember it. Bollocks. I wasn’t even raped or anything but I washed my clothes obsessively many times before being able to wear them again since the burglar(s) had leafed through them. And since they have gone through my poor stock of lipsticks and mascaras, I felt I had to throw them away as well.

        • Who?

          Oh it is still a crime the police will do the perpetraror for, no question. And so it should be.

          And I agree it is the violation that’s the issue. We were burgled years ago, not much stolen, but it does leave you feeling very vulnerable in your own home. And I was the same, washed or tossed anything I thought they may have touched.

    • mishabear

      Sigh. Have spent time arguing this exact point (similar theft scenario) with a Redditor who insists that it does matter and the victim “bears responsibility”. He/She just told me that I knew nothing about the criminal system…I went to law school. The amount of stupid I see on Reddit makes a Donald Trump presidency seem inevitable.

  • Amazed
  • Amazed

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/john-pavlovitz/to-brock-turners-father-from-another-father_b_10339418.html

    Now, that’s some perspective, not that Pig Senior will appreciate it.

    • Who?

      Pithy. I like it. He’s quite right, of course. I’m waiting for the mainstream fightback, but I’m not hearing it yet.

  • Amy

    The first time my husband and I hooked up there was a lot of alcohol (along with other substances) involved. I’m using the phrase “hooked up” deliberately. We did NOT have sex. And the reason we did not have sex was because at regular intervals, he would pause and verify consent. And even though at every interval I responded with an enthusiastic yes, he STILL didn’t feel comfortable going further because he wasn’t 100% sure that my yesses were 100% sincere.

    THAT is what consensual sexual activity looks like. Two partners who are both enthusiastically into it AND sure that the other partner is as well. We are trying to raise our daughters with the same values. That their bodies belong to them and them only, and that if anyone touches them without their permission it is NOT okay and probably a crime, and they should tell us right away so we can help them. We reinforce this by asking permission before giving them hugs or kisses or even holding hands.

    But having lived through an assault in high school and then a model of how things are supposed to be in my adult life, I am acutely aware of the rape culture in which we live. Brock Turner’s father’s attitude is disgusting, and it’s pretty obvious where Brock learned how to view women.

    • Amazed

      And Mommy, Don’t forget Mommy. Brave warrior mommy who enters court, face like a rock, holding Mommy’s little boy’s hand. I can’t imagine she didn’t read the letter her husband sent the judge. I believe she approved it because of a tiny detail – poor little boy couldn’t eat his favourite foods. I can tell you that when the Intruder got into messes that were downright against the law – drunkenly breaking an old woman’s window was one such example – he didn’t get his favourite foods made for him. There was no pampering from my mom. There was shaking, conversations, shouting and the cold shoulder for a very long time. Now, I know a year is a long time but you can bet your ass that if her son – heavens forbid! – was a freaking rapist, my mom would have never coddled him. When I got in teenage shit at school, her reaction was never “let’s summon sympathy for my little girl!” I got in her books for shits for months because, frankly, I was a little shit. She was all for “oh it’s so hard for her!” but she was raising a human. A human, damn it! Not a (quite oversized) doll who needed to be pampered. Raising a human means bettering them. Not painting them as victims.

      Mind you, I am not at all for blaming parents for their kids’ messes by default. But I think we just have two assholes here who produced an asshole they took out of messes for forever. I don’t believe Brock was an ange, I think his shits of parents has been saving his miserable ass many times. And I don’t believe it was his first time either. His actions was too well-practiced. I mean, hiding behind a dumpster? I think it was just his first time to be caught.

      • KeeperOfTheBooks

        Quite.
        The young idiots next door, age late teens/early twenties, at one point got into a drunken fight and one punched the other through my fence. Mommy and Daddy came by the next day to apologize and offer to fix the fence, but phrased it as “well, you know, boys will be boys, it’s not really their fault.” I smiled politely and said something about how I do know how boys are, DH being one of six. What I *didn’t* say was “and if any one of the six had pulled a stunt like that, they’d have been grounded ’til they’d hit their twenty-year wedding anniversary, wouldn’t be using the family cars, and would sure as hell be over here THEMSELVES to apologize and fix the fence.”

        • Amazed

          The “let her come and apologize herself” part was something I once told my neighbour when she apologized to me yet again that her granddaughter’s crying kept me awake. I was like, “Well, we’ve had this conversation before, haven’t we? Let her come over and apologize herself. As soon as she starts talking…”

          I thought this was a period children grew out of. Apparently, not all of them.

    • LeighW

      That’s why I always hated “No means No”

      We should be teaching “Anything other than an enthusiastic Yes! from someone (who’s able to give consent) should be considered a No”

      • Yes yes all the this.
        That’s why there’s been a move towards “Yes means Yes” in a lot of colleges and other areas.

      • StephanieA

        Exactly. I’m a people pleaser (the type that apologizes to nurses and doctors while I’m in labor) and have a very hard time saying no to anything. I was a huge partier in college and did some things I didn’t want to because I just didn’t know how to say no, but I wasn’t saying yes either.

  • Chi

    “…punishment on the perpetrator than the effect of the rape on the assailant….” Is that assailant meant to be victim? Because it reads more as the judge worrying about the effect of the rape on the guy who did the raping, rather than the woman who was raped?

    • KeeperOfTheBooks

      Sadly, I don’t think it was. The judge specifically said that he was concerned that a longer jail sentence might adversely affect the rapist’s life.

      • Chi

        Yes he was concerned the punishment would have an adverse affect, not disputing that. But I think that Dr Amy was implying that the judge was more concerned with the slimeball perpetrator and his well-being, when he should have been considering the effect it has had on the woman – and he knows how it affected her because of her victim statement. So there is no excuse for him to ignore that and give slimeball a reduced sentence.

        • Amazed

          The judge ignored the victim’s statement indeed. At least he acknowledged it which he didn’t do for the letter from Stanford students pleading with him to recognize Turner’s crime for what it was. Instead he lapped at the letters from the father and the Leslie asshole as if they were the Holy Script and announced Turner of flawless character – a clear indication that Turner was more important than a mere victim.

    • Amy Tuteur, MD

      Oops.

  • DisqusUser8030

    Well said, Dr. Tuteur. And thank you.

  • Deborah

    The same argument rings true for domestic violence. When the story of Johnny Depp’s violence toward Amber Heard broke I remember thinking – I bet he gets away with this. He is worth upwards of 400 million, has a plethora of hit movies to his credit, and has superstars and royalty in his circle of friends. She is a young, blond bimbo who rose to fame on the basis of her bisexuality, former unconventional relationship prior to meeting Johnny and playing the lead role in the breakdown of his former relationship to the mother of his kids.
    Sure enough, the tabloids are painting her as the villain: her immaturity, neediness, partying ways, idiotic friends that poor Johnny doesn’t like. People are coming out of the woodwork to support him and denigrate her. All printed alongside a large photo of her with her face bruised and battered.
    Women do not deserve to have their faces smashed in for poor behaviour.

    • MI Dawn

      I don’t want to go too far off topic, but, to be honest, I think both parties are at fault. I’ve seen the pictures, and oddly enough, think the story that he threw her cell phone at her and it hit her in the face is plausible from the bruise.

      From the pictures, she does not have a lot of bruising on her face like she was physically hit. The injury I see in the pictures is consistent with getting hit by a thrown object.

      Did he lose his temper? Yes, it sounds like it. And throwing a cell phone in a pet isn’t very adult.

      Did she push for an altercation? I don’t know. Did she make things up? I also don’t know that.

      I do question that the police left after saying they saw nothing wrong. Did she have bruises then? If so, why did they leave? Why didn’t she leave with them?

      Too many questions and, unlike this case, I don’t believe either side is blameless.

      • LeighW

        Did she push for an altercation?
        Wtf?

        If your harpy of a wife is riding your ass about something, you walk away. You dont throw your phone or hit her.

        • Charybdis

          It is not unheard of for an abused wife/person to do something to trigger an abusive episode so that things go smoother for a bigger activity.

          For example: You’ve got family coming for Thanksgiving dinner and you don’t want your abusive SO to be a complete asshat to everybody. So you trigger an abusive episode so that you are in the “I’m so sorry honeymoon” period while everyone else is present. Or some other similar scenario.***

          ***I’m NOT condoning abuse/domestic violence AT ALL. Having been in an abusive relationship (he never hauled off and hit me, but mental, emotional, sexual and financial abuse was there aplenty), you figure out what you can control, and often it is not much, not much at all. But if you can “manage” the abuse so that others don’t find out your shameful secret, then you do that, because it gives you a tiny measure of control. You can’t control the how or why, but you can control, to a certain extent, the when.

          Again, NOT defending abuse in any way, shape or form; the abusive dynamic is complicated and if it were easy to leave and escape such things, it wouldn’t be as large a problem as it is.

          • Irène Delse

            Oh, my. I hadn’t thought of that aspect, but it makes a lot of sense. Terrible sense.

      • Don’t forget the string of text messages indicating that this was not the first, second, or even fifth incident. Don’t forget that she references being kicked by him, saying something like “I always leave and he’s always sorry and promises it’ll change, then 3-6 months later here I am again”, which sounds like a classic cycle of abuse, honeymoon period and all.

        I don’t care how badly she pissed him off, you DO NOT throw hard objects at people. That is still physical abuse. My god, just because the thing that did the hurt wasn’t physically attached to your body doesn’t mean you didn’t do it! This is like Physics 101 combined with How to Not Be a Shitty Person 101.

      • Daleth

        Wtf? Are you saying that throwing a cell phone at someone’s head, and doing so hard enough to leave a bruise, somehow doesn’t count as abuse? What, does the abuser have to use his own hands? Would a slap count, or only a closed fist?!

        That’s insane. Physically hurting someone is violence. Physically hurting someone is abuse. It doesn’t matter precisely what method of physical harm you use.

      • Irène Delse

        Throwing an object at someone’s face hard enough to leave a bruise *is* violence, as others pointed out. Depending on the object, it may even do more damage than hitting with your hand, because people generally tend to avoid hurting their own bodily appendages, even when mad at someone.

      • TheArtistFormerlyKnownAsYoya

        I think whether she “pushed for an altercation” is absolutely irrelevant, and victim blaming.

  • Amazed

    Good news: idiotic Miss “rape on campuses isn’t always because people are rapists” just got her musical band thrown out of a festival because they don’t embrace rape apology. I don’t feel sorry for her at all. I wonder if she’d like to have some drinks with Brock-Not-A-Rapist anytime soon.

    • Amy

      Do you have a link? I feel a little fortunate to be completely unfamiliar with this “artist”

      • Amazed

        They took their page down – “they” are Miss ROCIABPAR and her sissters – but they were called Good English. For real.

      • LeighW

        “We have been informed of the situation regarding a member of Good English and a letter written in support of Brock Turner, a convicted rapist. We do not support any such action, and will be removing them from the festival. The safety and comfort of everyone who attends our festival is number one to us. Such actions should not be defended, friend or not. Thank you all for bringing this to our attention.”

        https://www.facebook.com/daytonmusicfest/posts/1218140281554167

  • Jules B

    Ah, alcohol: the magical substance that apparently absolves rapist’s of responsibility for their crimes, but at the same time makes victims to blame for what happened to them! /sarcasm

    • Amazed

      I almost wish I could have some time alone with lovely Lesley. No matter how rude I am in my comments, I can be charming. People are just inclined to trust me. A little chat, woman to woman, a little drink, perhaps something in lovely Lesley’s tea… It she wakes up with her vagina full of debris, well, it won’t be my fault because I didn’t jump from behind a bush ahd we’ve known each other for two whole hours! No rape here!

      • Daleth

        Yes, and anyway I question whether she was unconscious just from drinking–he apparently acknowledged at trial that she fell down. Did she hit her head? That plus drinking is more consistent with being out cold for several HOURS (!!!!) than just drinking is. I mean, is it even possible to drink so much you’re completely unconscious for six hours (as she apparently was), without approaching death by alcohol poisoning?

  • Zornorph

    I don’t really get into these whole ‘rape’ conversations. No question this man is an utter turd. Mind you, I suspect if he’d carried her to an empty bedroom instead of behind a dumpster, he’d have gotten away with it. It wouldn’t have looked as bad and he could have made his claim that she’d said yes seem more credible. I think the best/worst part of the dad’s clueless letter was the bit about his son no longer liking rib eye steaks.
    As for the drunk thing, I do have some sympathy for a situation where both people are bombed, something (non violent) happens and then then the woman says she was raped. Twice in my life I have had very drunk women come on to me when I was only tipsy – in both cases they were girls I found attractive and had they been sober, I would have slept with them. But in both cases, I was sure they would have regretted it in the morning so said no. Had I been wasted, I am not sure my filters would have been there, though I would have also not been able to get it up, to be quite blunt. I’d have tried, anyway.
    To be clear, that’s not what happened her – the guy might have had some booze in him, but he was certainly aware enough to know what he was doing was wrong because he ran.

    • Amazed

      Indeed. I have yet to see the woman, drunk or sober, who gets wet – pardon my French – when having pine needles and debris pushed into her you-know-what. And we’re supposed to believe this? Please.

      • Megan

        You mean being fingered with pine needles behind a dumpster in plain view isn’t every girl’s dream date?

        /sarcasm, which I would hope I wouldn’t have to specify but you never know…

        God, it sickens me to even type that.

        • Amazed

          Well, it was mine. I am just envious of her and want the awesome Brocky and his lovely dad both for myself. I am still trying to decide whether a single dumpster will suffice. *barf*

    • Megan

      Even now, when we have been married for quite some time (and consent would be seen as a given by some), if both my husband and I were totally blitzed and I either asked him to stop or I stopped responding, that would be the end of it, no matter how much he wanted to have sex. He would not continue and assume consent. That’s what normal men do and alcohol doesn’t negate that. I really don’t buy the argument that men, if “wasted enough,” will commit rape because of that. (Note, I am not really commenting about you or the experiences you mentioned personally; just an observation about the “alcohol argument.”)

      • guest

        It’s not like we use alcohol to excuse other crimes. “Sorry for robbing that bank, your honor, but I was wasted and didn’t know what I was doing.”

        • Jules B

          “I didn’t mean to murder my mother – but I had had way too much vodka!”

          • AirPlant

            I didn’t mean to murder my mother but she had way too much vodka…

          • I didn’t mean to murder my mother, but we both had way too much vodka, and one thing led to another, and she passed out so I stabbed her nine times. Really, Your Honor, who could blame me? I was tipsy, she clearly didn’t say no, so no harm no foul, right?

          • Monkey Professor for a Head

            Really it was her fault for being so stabbable.

          • Mattie

            If you didn’t want to get stabbed you shouldn’t have been wearing thin clothes that a knife could cut through, really it’s your own fault for not sufficiently protecting yourself from harm.

          • Charybdis

            Kevlar corset? But as I understand it, kevlar doesn’t stop stabbing attacks.

            8-in-1 chainmail can, though.

          • guest

            Well, that one I can see, with an accidental discharge of a firearm.

      • Daleth

        if both my husband and I were totally blitzed and I either asked him to stop or I stopped responding, that would be the end of it, no matter how much he wanted to have sex. He would not continue and assume consent. That’s what normal men do and alcohol doesn’t negate that.

        That’s true, but that’s not what he’s saying. He said that if he were absolutely trashed and a similarly trashed attractive woman came on to him, he might go for it, whereas in his actual experience he was merely tipsy when this happened so he was still able to realize the women were only doing it because they were drunk, so he didn’t respond.

        As I read it, he’s NOT saying if he were really trashed he would have had sex with them even if they stopped responding or asked him to stop. He’s saying he would not have the perspective to realize that even though they’re really into it now, that’s only because they’re trashed and they would regret it in the morning.

        • guest

          That’s how I read it, too. And I get why that makes people angry, but I can’t say that this is an impossible scenario. For one thing, some people hide their intoxication better than others. I am far more likely to sleep with someone (by choice) when drunk. But I’m also really good at acting like I’m not that drunk – obviously not when I’m falling down passed out drunk, but definitely when I’m drunk enough that I’d consent to having sex with someone I wouldn’t consent to having sex with while sober. Alcohol does lower my inhibitions. I personally need them to be lowered a bit to get over my social anxiety. Anyway, my point is not that sober guys should be going around getting drunk women to say yes – that’s pretty icky. But if two people are drunk and it’s not necessarily visible/known HOW drunk, and they both say yes, let’s do this, well, they certainly might regret it in the morning, and I can’t call that rape *since it wasn’t clear how drunk the other party was and both parties had altered capacity.*

          I don’t think we can expect to ever reach a point where no on ever regrets having sex with a particular person the next morning when they sober up. At least, not as long as drinking to excess is considered a socially appropriate activity, and not as long as casual sex is considered a-ok (I’m not saying I disapprove of either, mind – but if you DID think we’d be better off as a culture without both, you could cut down on this particular scenario).

          None of this applies to the Stanford Rapist case, of course.

          • Roadstergal

            “I don’t think we can expect to ever reach a point where no on ever regrets having sex with a particular person the next morning when they sober up.”

            No, and I think it’s good to have conversations around regretted sex and how to put that in its proper place.

            However, how often does it ever happen that a guy is then accused of rape? The vast majority of guys who honest to gawd rape someone never get accused of rape, after all.

            I think guys throw up ‘regretted sex means I’m a post-hoc rapist!’ as a way to discredit bona fide rape victims, so I’m a bit sensitive to that line of reasoning.

          • guest

            Agreed. (I seem to agree with you a lot!) I don’t think this is a huge danger to men. I think the vast majority of women take responsibility when they give consent to sex – they may regret it, and they have every right to cut off all contact with their partner from there on out, but they’re not going to pursue a rape claim over that. The MRAs seem to think this happens all the time and I didn’t mean to sound like I was giving any credence to their nonsense. But I am seeing statements from feminists that suggest men should always have full control of their actions, and women should never have to, and I think that’s dangerous, too. It’s definitely possible for a man to not know I’m drunk. It’s a defense mechanism I employ to avoid looking like an easy target. If in that state I agree to sex, that’s on me.

    • Amy

      This comment is pretty disgusting. The woman didn’t wake up the next morning and decide that what happened was rape. She woke up IN A HOSPITAL EMERGENCY DEPARTMENT after being rescued by two bikers who caught her attacker and contacted first responders. That is not a matter of opinion. How can you ignore that in favor of your narrative that two young people merely did something they regretted the next day?!?!

      • guest

        He clearly states that that’s not what he thinks happened in this case.

    • Rachel

      Your first sentence is the embodiment of male privilege.

    • Irène Delse

      Serious question: is it even possible for a man to maintain full sexual function while completely plastered? In other words, shouldn’t judges, and society, call bullshit on the “I was drunk” excuse? Not that being drunk would actually excuse anything, but I suspect in most cases, the men who claim to have been too imbibed to know right from wrong, were in fact at most somewhat tipsy.

      • Zornorph

        Oh, yes, it’s possible to get it up while plastered, but it’s very hard to achieve orgasm in that state.

      • guest

        It’s possible. Some men are more sensitive in that way than others. And anyway, you can sexually assault someone even without penile penetration.

      • mishabear

        Actually, I think this is why Brock Turner is technically NOT a convicted rapist…. The two rape charges (rape of an intoxicated person and rape of an unconscious person) were dropped earlier. He was convicted of sexual penetration by a foreign object of an unconscious woman, sexual penetration by a foreign object of an intoxicated woman, and assault with intent to commit rape.

        When he was caught by the two Swedish grad students, the victim was naked from the waist down, but he was fully clothed and apparently sort of dry humping her. There was also no semen. Since the victim blacked out and couldn’t remember, the prosecutor couldn’t prove rape under the California statue (i.e., PIV).

    • MaineJen

      “Not all men.”

      The difference here is, he DIDN’T say no. He took advantage, without stopping to care whether or not she would “regret it” the next day. He didn’t even stop to care whether she wanted it in the first place. He took her behind a dumpster and raped her and then tried to run away, and you have the nerve to put the word ‘rape’ in quotes?

      • Zornorph

        Oh, no, you’ve misunderstood – there’s no question that this was rape with a capital R. It was probably just a bad use of punctuation on my part – I think I was just trying to emphasize the word to indicate is was conversations about rape. Didn’t put too much thought into it really, and this sort of minefield is why I usually don’t speak up – too easy for somebody to misunderstand and it’s such a loaded topic.

        • MaineJen

          OK 🙂 I’ve been reading so much about this case in the past 24 hours, my outrage-a-meter is on a hair trigger.

  • prudentplanner

    I’m pretty sure that the ‘right of first night’ was a boogie-man for peasants. there isn’t really any evidence supporting the practice actually occurring in medieval England.

    • Inmara

      At least in my country what really happened was that aristocracy took advantage of peasant and other low class women as they wished – but better part of them didn’t leave those girls stranded if they got pregnant but gave a decent dowry and husband. Not the best start for a family life, of course, but at least some of them could establish decent living. That’s the case with my great-great-great grandmother, she got not only a farmstead as a dowry but a pub too, and made a good fortune by running it. My great-great grandmother used to say with a hint of pride: “Why do I have those dark eyes? Why do I have hooked nose? My mother was a nanny in manor!” (so her biological father was a German squire)

    • Roadstergal

      Hey, if you can’t trust Beaumarchais, who can you trust?

      • Spiderpigmom

        There’s actually never been such a right in France. It’s highly likely noblemen felt entitled to having forced intercourse with women of lower rank, but there’s zero historical proof a formal right ever existed.

  • Roadstergal

    So, I’ve been searching for engine swap options to make a bike I have more fun – which might seem OT, but then I come across this comment.

    http://www.visordown.com/comment/2393873#comment-2393873

    • Megan

      Ugh! Sounds like that poster made quite a few assumptions about the demographic of those reading and assumed they would find that funny. Gross.

      • Roadstergal

        It’s funny-not-funny that I really did come across this post while this here discussion was open in another window.

  • indigosky

    Just wow. I have a lot of friends who are male, and they like to go out and drink. They will drink a lot. Funny, how none of them have ever raped or sexually assaulted a woman. One admits to doing an “accidental” boob brush once and getting decked for it (by a woman half his weight and a foot shorter) and he felt very guilty even almost 10 years later. But none of them were raised to think women were objects, that women were there for their sexual pleasure. Booze does not make people rape, entitlement makes people rape. Booze just might help the entitled types be more bold.

    • Cartman36

      Agreed.

    • Inmara

      If I think now about my late teens and early 20s – boy, did I have opportunities to be raped! I drank together with guys in parties, hitchiked, had blind dates with strangers from Internet, stayed overnight at places owned by males of various degrees of acquaintance (including in one bed)… and yet those were decent people with a respect of women’s bodily autonomy! Even if we were making out I could stop it at any point and nobody had a problem with it. And that’s the norm! (Of course, there were other women not so lucky, I remember family talking about my cousin who was drank and almost raped at a party with her classmates… fortunately someone intervened)

    • Amazed

      I love the “but he was drunk!” defense. If alcohol was such a prompt for your inned Mr Hyde to come out and seize control from your good Jekyll self, why do some people start singing terrible songs when they’re drunk? Why others go to bed? Why third start getting emotional about the worst moments in their lives? Why don’t they all throw themselves upon the first unconscious body they see lying around because SEEEEEEEX?

      The fact is, they don’t. Pig Junior did.

      And his friend’s letter was touching in a laughable way. She did indeed say that the victim and the rapist were equally guilty – “idiot boys and girls”. She’s scum, just like the Pigs.

      • The Bofa on the Sofa

        If alcohol was such a prompt for your inned Mr Hyde to come out and seize control from your good Jekyll self, why do some people start singing terrible songs when they’re drunk? Why others go to bed? Why third start getting emotional about the worst moments in their lives? Why don’t they all throw themselves upon the first unconscious body they see lying around because SEEEEEEEX?

        I saw another article last night that talked about this. The “inner-self comes out when you are drunk” idea. The point was, yeah, ok, the inner self comes out. But why does that mean you rape? When your “inner-self” behavior is to rape, what does that reflect? It is a reflection of your values and what you are taught. And if that is what you are taught, where is the real problem?

        BTW, this article was in the form of a “letter to the dad.”

        • Amazed

          That’s it. That’s the problem.

  • CSN0116

    OT: Anybody here read “Guilt Free Bottle Feeding”?

    I had a really hard time getting a copy shipped here to the States. By that I mean I couldn’t find it anywhere in the US and I had to wait a full two weeks for it to come via Amazon. Though I only paid $3 for the copy 😉

    If anyone has read it, thoughts? I’m meh… definitely expected more/different. There’s a lot of apologizing for writing the book in the first place (i.e. we are NOT against breastfeeding x 100, like a ‘please don’t hurt us’ plea in the tone) and the analyses of the scientific evidence is not entirely on point. Oh and I hate the cover; it significantly furthers their apologetic tone, IMO. I’m still reading.

    • Megan
      • CSN0116

        Damn it, I can’t read the full version where I’m at right now. For discussion’s sake:

        1. It’s a .21 kg or .46 lb weight difference at six months. Something to write home about?

        2. Were they heavier at 12 months? 24? 48? Or did things sort themselves out?

        3. They say “use a large bottle” but “use” is not defined. Are the parents feeding 6 oz feeds from an 8 oz bottle (like I do)? Or is the baby eating 8 oz from an 8 oz bottle? Is baby finishing every feeding or leaving excess? I make 6 oz bottles all the time just to toss 1-2 oz.

        4. The biggest lack of a control is a reflux diagnosis. Reflux babies notoriously overeat to ease symptom pain and discomfort, especially if they’re not medicated properly or using other interventions.

        5. Solids? Is the introduction of solids controlled for? A lot of people initiate them within the study’s 2-6 month gap.

        The fact that the authors call bottles that hold 6 oz or less “regular” is curious to me and calls into question their knowledge of the bottle market. Once you get out of small 4 oz bottles, 8+ oz bottles dominate the market.

        • Valerie

          Haven’t read this paper, but I can tell you that they use breastfed infants as the gold standard, whether or not they have better outcomes. As in, we don’t know that there is a causal relationship between infant formula feeding and child or adult obesity, so why should we speculate that the increased growth of formula-fed babies is detrimental in the first place? Why should exclusively breastfed babies be the standard, when we know that supply-demand of breastfeeding is imperfect and some babies get less than they need to grow? Or, perhaps there is a bias because the babies who grow faster have greater caloric needs and are more often switched or supplemented with formula? I’m spitballing here, but in everything I read, there seems to be this assumption that everything about breastfeeding is optimal, so anything that is different about formula-fed infants (as a group, on average) must be detrimental. It’s the same with newborn weight loss- FF babies experience less weight loss on average than EBF babies, so they assume weight loss is beneficial.

          • CSN0116

            Good points! Take out the decent percentage of BF babies who struggle to gain during their first 2 months, or even continue to lose, and then talk to me about BF average weight gains vs formula fed average weight gains.

            If all the FTT and borderline FTT breast fed infants were factored out of the equation, I’d imagine that these numbers would come much closer to converging.

            But it’s like babies who are just born large. So what? My babies are all born over 9 lbs – I have no idea why – but by 1 year are a very average ~20 lbs. Opposite, friends’ kids are born at 6 lbs but weigh 25 lbs by age 1. Does it really freaking matter? Things sort themselves out and genes and such take over.

          • Megan

            My babies are always born huge and then get tiny. This happened with my breastfed and formula fed baby. It’s always very stressful in the beginning and hard to know when to be worried vs what is just genetics.

          • swbarnes2

            This paper is comparing “small” bottle babies to “big” bottle babies. See table 2. The means and SDs seem to be drawn from the bottle-fed babies of the study itself.

          • Valerie

            I mean that the probable motivation for the study is that there is a supposed optimal weight gain profile, and that profile is the average of exclusively breastfed babies. I just wanted to point out that bias.

            I haven’t read the paper yet, and they may have legit reasons for why faster-than-average is bad (another outcome?), but that’s my hunch. Further deviation from EBF baby=bad.

          • swbarnes2

            Here’s why they are looking at this in babies…

            “A recent meta-analysis found that there is a positive, stepwise relationship in the change in weight SD score (z score) in the first year of life with childhood obesity.”

            And they note that they haven’t gotten to year one yet.

            They say “The z score changes of the magnitude we found over a relatively short period of time likely reflect an independent influence of bottle size on volumes of formula given to infants.”

            But that just sounds like opinion, without a firm “gold standard” to know what variation is healthy.

            I would guess that if the top 10% of breastfed babies (who presumably are harder to overfeed) were a lot slimmer than the top 10% of formula-fed babies, then you might have a decent argument that some parents are overfeeding with bottles, but this paper doesn’t include the corresponding values for breastfed babies. Or if you showed that the top 10% of formula-fed babies were more likely than the top 10% of breastfed babies to be climbing percentiles, that would mean something. But just showing a significant spread in feeding outcomes doesn’t show any of that.

            But also note that this is not a random sample, it’s of lower-income families, who are more likely to be obese. So you might expect more examples of poor feeding techniques here, maybe more reluctance to throw away formula, than you would see across the whole population.

          • Valerie

            Thank you for clearing that up. So, in short, there is a correlation, between relatively quick growth and childhood obesity, but there are assumed confounding factors that may influence both accelerated growth in infancy and childhood obesity. Eg, a poor family that may overfeed instead of wasting formula may also overfeed their children for the same reason. Or babies who are low on the growth curve early on due to malnutrition tend to rebound quickly and become obese in childhood and adulthood (as in http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26893597 studied in small-for-gestational-age infants, but also infants born in times of famine).

            I guess I got immediately put off by the statements in the abstract about formula-fed infants and the implicit comparison to breastfed infants.

          • swbarnes2

            Well maybe a correlation at age 1, according to the meta-study cited. But baby’s diet changes a lot between age 1 and 6 months…

            Is it possible that some parents are pushing too much formula into their kids? Sure. Is it possible that too much food in infancy might set up a kid for problems later in life? Sure that’s possible. Though the biggest contributor to childhood and adult obesity is what they are actually eating, (high fat foods, no veggies, etc) and that’s not an issue with formula. Low-income kids might have less opportunity for outdoor play, but at 6 months, that’s not a problem for babies either. But pushing kids to ignore their satiety signals is likely a bad idea. Is that more likely to be happening in this population? Well, maybe, if lower-income people are more likely to avoid wasting formula. Is it correlated to bottle size? Again, maybe.

            The bright side is, maybe we can make a good impact with a simple intervention of counseling parents not to push extra formula on their kids. It’s a low-risk intervention, so why not? Of course improving the parent’s economic conditions to the point where they can easily say “I don’t care if a buck’s worth of formula goes down the drain every day” couldn’t hurt.

            I’m just not sure that this study tell us anything about how common the problem is, because the data is hopelessly confounded with babies of all sizes growing at all rates.

          • swbarnes2

            The means and SDs for both bottle groups were the same in terms of birth weight, so there was probably not a large difference in the number of small babies in the large bottle group. And even if a baby was growing fast, ideally, their weight/length percentile would stay stable, but that was different between the groups.

            The lower bound for inclusion in the study was being better than the 3rd percentile for weight, as early as 34 weeks. I would have thought that cutting out the bottom 10th percentile would have been a good idea, to get rid of weird outliers moving all over the growth charts.

      • swbarnes2

        Looks REALLY hard to separate out “some babies are wired to grow faster, to want to drink more at one sitting”. I think you would need a third group, where you intervened by suggesting smaller bottles, counseled the parents about not pushing more formula, show that that intervention made babies slimmer.

        It would also be nice to see how these weight distributions compared to the distribution of breastfed babies, if the ranges are mostly the same at the top, then this study doesn’t mean much.

      • Roadstergal

        So, all they showed is that bigger babies were being fed with larger bottles. Zero cause and effect, and zero evidence (although plenty of supposition) that the ‘bigger’ babies were unhealthy in any way. I will put forward the hypothesis – which is fully compatible with their data – that parents with bigger babies found it convenient to switch to bigger bottles.
        Note:

        “Infants using larger bottles were more likely to be male (OR: 1.54 [95% CI: 1.02 to 2.32]) and older, with 15% higher odds of larger bottle use with each week older (OR: 1.15 [95% CI: 1.03 to 1.29]).”

        Wait, I got it – bigger bottles made babies male!! And ages them!

        • Megan

          Uh oh. Better stick to small bottles for my daughter then! I kind of like her the way she is! 😉

        • Megan

          Are there any studies showing long term risk for obesity is at all related to weight gain in early infancy? It seems like this is just an assumption on the part of many researchers.

        • guest

          I’ll say. I owned bigger bottles when I brought my preemies home, but due to their size, I had to get smaller ones with nipples that were easier to get milk from. Had they been destroying the hospital nursettes and crying in frustration, I certainly would have switched to the bigger bottles sooner. But they were not eating a lot or sucking vigorously at the beginning – they were, however, always offered as much as they wanted to eat.

        • swbarnes2

          Or, sadly, it might be sexism, as parents assume that boys need more food, and girls need less. 🙁

      • OttawaAlison

        Wow, not only did my daughter consume copious amounts of formula from a big bottle, she actually was a slow gainer since she was physically very active. Almost 10 years later she is still a slow gainer… I guess it’s genetics (ones I didn’t inherit).

  • AirPlant

    I just saw on the news that the rapist is appealing the decision. I can’t find it on the internet so it could just be a cnn moment, but I just want to roll my eyes and scream! This asshole seriously got the lightest sentencing possible and he is still appealing it as unfair? He has what feels like the entire internet saying he got off easy! What kind of bullshit is this even?

    • Ennis Demeter

      That explains the statements from him that never acknowledged responsibility or gave any true apology to the victim.

  • Amy M

    http://www.todayifoundout.com/index.php/2014/09/jus-primae-noctis-fact-fiction/

    I agree with the general premise here, that powerful men at every time and place in history have raped women for political reasons. However, just for historical accuracy, I’m not sure that “first night rights” were truly a well-established custom. I posted a link to an article that argues that position.

    As far as Brock Turner goes, I think he and his family who thinks his actions were acceptable are disgusting, and its appalling that a rapist can get such a light punishment. Some of the media (https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2016/03/31/all-american-swimmer-found-guilty-of-sexually-assaulting-unconscious-woman-on-stanford-campus/, for example) writes as though Turner was wronged by being accused of rape and it perpetuates the “boys will be boys and she was drunk and asking for it” stereotypes. I hate it that the “blame the victim” card never dies with rape.

    • Irène Delse

      I’ve read a lot of history and I agree, the idea of “first night” as a right codified in law is just one of the many historical myths. It’s something that people want to believe because (probably) by making ancient times more horrible, it makes our time look better in comparison.

      In reality, the Middle Ages in Europe were indeed a time where feudal lords routinely got away with raping peasant women – but not because they had the right to the first night of marriage. For one thing, peasants were serfs at the time this was supposed to happen, so little better than slaves: the only difference being you didn’t sell individual serfs, but the land a family lived on. The idea of marriage wasn’t even on the horizon for them: men and women lived together and had children and it was the only life they knew. Lords who were lucky to see a population increase in their land sometimes had a priest give a benediction for a few dozens couples at the same time, and the idea was to get everybody with a mate and children as soon as possible. The life of the peasant women was such that the possibility of being raped by a nobleman and pregnant with his children was not seen by society not so much as a danger for *her*, but a form of lottery for the man who lived with her: he could never know whose children he was helping feed with his backbreaking work!

      Another common misconception about Middle Ages in Europe: the king was important but at the beginning, he was only first among the lords, not the autocrat ruler that emerged in the Early Modern period. The first kings of France or England for instance were chosen by assemblies of lords. It’s only when the kings had become more powerful that they could in turn create new knights and lords to recompense their faithfuls. In the beginning, a knight was just a man with weapons and a horse, which meant someone with a land rich enough to pay for that. A baron was a lord who was followed by many knights. The highest lords (the dukes, counts, etc.) ruled over a whole province and could claim the support of many barons. There were were often princes of the same blood as the king, being a nephew, cousin, etc. (There’s a saying in France to mean “someone who is not important” that translates into “The king is not his cousin”.)

      This aristocracy was, to make things more complicated, not of the same stock as the overwhelming peasant population: they were descended from the Germanic tribes that came into Western Europe during the last centuries of the Roman Empire, and they ruled by “right of conquest”. That last one is an actual phrase from aristocratic writings.

  • fiftyfifty1

    I disagree with this partially. It’s not just powerful or wealthy men who get away with rape. Impoverished powerless men rape impoverished powerless women all the time and get away with it. The only sort of rape that really upsets society is when a powerless impoverished man rapes a powerful privileged woman (e.g. your poor black man and rich white woman example).

    • Azuran

      I think those are actually two different situation. (still both horrible situations)

      The first one is how privileged people will be favoured in those situation. Either a privileged rapist getting a light sentence, or the rapist of a privileged women getting a harsher sentence.

      The other one is the indifference our society has with the suffering of the poor and less privileged. Powerless victims will often lack the support and resources to report the crimes. If they do end up doing a complaint they will probably be received with a shrug and bluntly told that there nothing to be done.

    • J.

      Child rape bothers society too. If the child’s family is middle-class or higher and the rapist isn’t part of the child’s family. If the child is poor, then no matter how young she is there are going to be people saying she asked for it.

      I read articles about a horrible case of gang rape a few years ago where the townspeople seemed to think the little girl deserved to be raped because she was poor and wandering around a bad neighborhood after school.

      • Roadstergal

        “If the child’s family is middle-class or higher and the rapist isn’t part of the child’s family.”

        And yet, the Duggars still have a TV show.

      • Cody

        Or because her parents let her wear “slutty” clothing.

  • LeighW

    Has anyone else seen this little gem?

    “But where do we draw the line and stop worrying about being politically
    correct every second of the day and see that rape on campuses isn’t
    always because people are rapists.”

    http://jezebel.com/brock-turners-childhood-friend-blames-his-rape-convicti-1780954372

    • Azuran

      What the…..

      I’m pretty sure 100% of rapes are done by rapist. No matter what the circumstances were, if you rape someone, it’s because you are a rapist.

      • Roadstergal

        Calling someone who rapes a rapist is PC gone mad, now?

        • AirPlant

          Supporting anybody not a rich white dude is PC gone mad. Didn’t you read the newsletter?

      • Valerie

        I think people don’t understand that you don’t necessarily have to intend to rape somebody to do so. Eg, through self-serving assumptions about what the victim actually wants and failure to obtain actual consent (possibly including ignorance of what constitutes consent), it may not dawn on them at the time that they are raping somebody. The crime is what they put the victim through, not the intentions of the rapist.

        • AirPlant

          If I dig a giant hole in my yard and someone falls in I am liable for their injuries. I might have only wanted to plant a tree and ran out of time, but that doesn’t make me less liable. It is only with crimes like rape that we say that the suffering of the victim is irrelevant next to the intentions of the perpetrator.

          • fiftyfifty1

            ” It is only with crimes like rape that we say that the suffering of the victim is irrelevant next to the intentions of the perpetrator.”

            No, actually there are a lot of other examples where the intentions of the person who caused harm are considered more important than the suffering of the victim. For instance there are clear legal differences between murder and manslaughter and an accident. The victim may die in the same way (say run over by a car), but whether you meant to run the victim over (and why) can make the difference between death row and no punishment at all.

          • AirPlant

            but manslaughter is still a crime. There is no “rape through negligence.”

          • fiftyfifty1

            “There is no “rape through negligence.” ”
            Right, there isn’t. At least not written into the law. But informally, yes. When judges decide how long you will spend in jail, they are basically deciding whether you set out that evening “meaning to rape” (similar to murder), or whether you set out that evening hoping to get laid and just “neglected” to stop when the other person started to show signs of being incapacitated (similar to manslaughter). So basically they do make a distinction between “rape rape” and “date rape”.

    • The Bofa on the Sofa

      The problem is that they don’t agree that it is rape. It’s more of the “legitimate rape” nonsense.

      I remember a discussion I had with a lab mate back in the Mike Tyson rape trial. Tyson was constantly denying that he didn’t do anything wrong. My friend was saying it was like someone arrested for stealing saying he didn’t do it. The problem was, Tyson admitted to having sex with her, he just denied it was rape, so the stealing analogy is not necessarily clear. When he says he didn’t steal, is he saying that he never took anything? Or is he saying, yeah, he took something, but thought he was allowed to?

      There’s a huge difference between “I didn’t do it” and “I thought it was ok to do it.”

      The latter was what Tyson was saying. And the problem with it is that it shows that he doesn’t understand what rape really is.

      Personally, i almost consider that a bigger concern than those who deny it totally. At least the know it’s wrong. However, if you don’t know the difference between right and wrong in the first place, what’s stopping you from doing wrong?

      • Valerie

        I think maybe the stealing analogy is “It was a gift- it’s just my word against theirs, right?”

        • Roadstergal

          “It’s PC gone mad! It’s gotten to the point where you can’t even accept a gift, because you might get falsely accused of stealing, and have to _prove_ that it was a gift and not stolen!”

          Pro tip – if you’re in a situation where you think you might be falsely accused of stealing, just don’t take the thing.

          • Valerie

            I’m not sure where people get the idea that it can be soooo tough to tell if a person is consenting or not. If there is any doubt, just don’t. It’s not worth putting another person through that trauma, and there isn’t much to gain.

            I’m trying to imagine sex where my partner isn’t sure if I’m into it, with a lack of participation, where it isn’t obvious if I’m conscious or not. No signs of enjoyment. That just doesn’t sound like fun, even if it were consensual. I get the creeps thinking about it.

      • Petticoat Philosopher

        Except I really do question how often they really didn’t know that it wasn’t okay to do it. Undoubtedly this happens but playing dumb is a good way to try to cover your ass too. It plays right into the “But it’s so haaaaaaard to know when someone is truly consenting or not!” crap.

        No, it really isn’t. And certainly there are some people who are simply dumb as boxes of rocks or socialized so terribly that they honestly don’t know what consent is. I have heard of disturbing cases (often involving very young perpetrators) where this seems to be the case. But I think a lot of men who rape also bank on this ridiculous idea that knowing whether or not a woman wants sex is some incredible riddle that only The Very Wise can possibly hope to solve. What’s a regular guy to do! Who ever really knows what women want, amirite?

        • The Bofa on the Sofa

          Except I really do question how often they really didn’t know that it wasn’t okay to do it.

          I don’t. I honestly think that way, way, way too many people really do think it’s ok to have sex with a too-drunk-consent woman. It’s ingrained in things like, “Get her drunk and take advantage of her,” which is an admission that you are relying on diminished capacity. Yet, it is a common concept, generally considered without question as something to do.

          • And that is unquestionably rape. Yes, too many people don’t seem to realize that, but one (ONE!) conversation or poster makes it bloody obvious. When you* get someone drunk in order to diminish their capacity, you are a rapist.

            *general you, not you personally of course

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            Yes, too many people don’t seem to realize that, but one (ONE!) conversation or poster makes it bloody obvious.

            You would think, but no. The defense is, “Some women like to drink to remove their inhibitions, therefore, it’s not always rape…”

            Which turns it into a fine line somewhere, and, amazingly, no one ever goes past it.

            Never underestimate the stubbornness of rape apologetics.

          • Amazed

            Relying on diminished capacity isn’t the same as taking advantage of someone who has no capacity thanks to being dead to the world. I myself had a boyfriend who used the “get her drunk and make it all good again” tactics. Sometimes it worked. But when it didn’t, he never tried to force himself on me. Sure, we’d end up having another blazing row (the opposite of making up through sex but I digress) but there was never any sex involved when I could say that I didn’t want it. I really can’t imagine what pleasure do some people derive from having an unresponsive body under them. Generally, make her drunk and make it good again only worked when I wanted to patch things up. When I didn’t, no amount of booze could get me say yes and it would have been a rape for him to do it.

            “Get her drunk and take advantage of her” is bad enough but many of those who use this reasoning would balk at thrusting themselves into someone who has no idea that they’re there and therefore can’t say no (or yes). And yes, I agree there are too many of those. Even one is one too many.

        • Azuran

          This should help them figure it out: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pZwvrxVavnQ

          • Roadstergal

            “Unconscious people don’t want tea.” That is a perfect bit.

            You could extend the metaphor. If someone wants tea, you can and should find out what type of tea they want and what they want in it. Maybe they’re not comfortable with caffeinated tea, and it doesn’t ruin the mood to clarify what kind of tea they want while you’re making it, and what they want in it. If it turns out the type of tea you like and have on hand isn’t the type of tea they want, you can have something other than tea and still enjoy the company.

    • TheArtistFormerlyKnownAsYoya

      Um WHAT? Just because you rape someone, that doesn’t make you a rapist! Ok then.

    • Amazed

      I saw it. Just as I expected. “She asked for it,” “Our boy is not a rapist”. Sorry, she didn’t and he is.

      Genuinely good person? Genuinely good people who are truly sorry don’t drag their victims through the drag of a trial trying to blacken their character which was was Pig Junior’s defense was based on. Owning up to your fuckup isn’t at all enough to show remorse but it is the first step.

      But then, we know that Pig Junior, Pig Senior and Judge-Former-Stanford-Swimmer substitute “naughty tipsy boy” for a ‘rapist” and Pig Junior did express regret for being this. Pig Senior and the Judge for All Rapist Pigs agreed.

    • indigosky

      And yet people who call out that people of color get jail sentences not at all proportional to those of whites are called Social Justice Warriors and are considered naive at best and stupid at worst. Yet supporting white people who get a slap on the wrist is still OK.

      • TheArtistFormerlyKnownAsYoya

        I find that most people who use the terms “social justice warrior” or “political correctness” as if they are bad things can be dismissed.

        • Monkey Professor for a Head

          I think that the phrase “political correctness gone mad” is, for me, a red flag which tells me that I’m probably not going to like a person very much. I’ve got a few such phrases on file – “I’m not (racist/sexist/homophobic etc) but…” is probably listed at number one.

          • Who?

            For me it is ‘activist’ which now always seems to have a pejorative ring to it.

    • LibrarianSarah

      All I heard was bla bla bla respectability politics bla bla bla “good” aka rich family bla bla bla it’s not like, rape rape.

      All the typical bullshit that upper middle class white people use to differentiate themselves as “good.”

      Also it is funny that HE isn’t responsible for his actions because he drank too much but SHE is responsible for HIS actions because she drank too much.

      Double standards much? Sit down Leslie.