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Peikoff on date rape

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Peikoff has no real reason to address this as far as I know. Why would he bother? It is not his problem if people drop his context and make up a new one and then wonder how he could say such "horrible" things. Really, he has far better things to do. Especially since it is really a marginal issue, compared to the far more important questions he could spend his time answering.

If you keep the context in mind, including that of his previously stated views on violition , consent etc, it is very clear what he meant.

Edited by Prometheus98876

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Couldn't we at least try giving it a week or so? Is it that hard to not argue over speculation while waiting a week to see if we may get certainty? I'm sure we can manage.

Are you kidding? In a week we'll be off bashing Mitt Romney because he loves to fire people and is not concerned about the very poor. These things come and go, we can't just wait for clarifications.

It's a fast paced world we live in, you have to learn to just ignore a career as a benevolent businessman or a distinguished Objectivist intellectual, and call people a racist or a rapist the first chance you get. Then move on to the next thing.

Get with the program, bluecherry. This is the state of discourse, in the 21st century. Peikoff said he wants to shut his ears and bang away. The Internet is running with this. It's a big sensation. That's the press, baby, and there's nothing you can do about it.

Edited by Nicky

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Peikoff has no real reason to address this as far as I know. Why would he bother? It is not his problem if people drop his context and make up a new one and then wonder how he could say such "horrible" things. Really, he has far better things to do. Especially since it is really a marginal issue, compared to the far more important questions he could spend his time answering.

If you keep the context in mind, including that of his previously stated views on violition , consent etc, it is very clear what he meant.

Are you going to clarify it for the rest of us? Since so many long time Rand fans are getting it wrong, maybe we're going to need you to help us.

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No, I am not going to clarify it for you. I have no interest in explaining something which was in fact presented with reasonable clarity the first time and which is even more clear if one does not pretend he said or implied things which he did not. Do your own thinking.

Also, I have no interest in how many "long t ime Rand fans" are getting it wrong. That has no bearing on the issue. It does not make any difference how many "long time fans" are getting it right or wrong. As with any issue, how well it is grasped, even by those that you would expect to grasp it if it was true, makes no real difference. It just demonstrates that even alleged "fans" are not infallible ( or that possibly the speaker / writer is not either ).

Edited by Prometheus98876

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If you have enough time, energy, and concern to post about your displeasure at the things people seem to believe in this thread, then why do you not have enough time, energy, and concern to try to correct that which is causing you the displeasure rather than just talking about the fact of the displeasure? Reason is not automatic, not everybody learns as quickly and easily as others for a variety of different reasons. If you believe mistakes have been made here, why give up and presume it's due to people being hopelessly evasive and trying not to understand rather than simply the fact that something which is obvious to you may not be obvious to everybody?

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No, I am not going to clarify it for you. I have no interest in explaining something which was in fact presented with reasonable clarity the first time and which is even more clear if one does not pretend he said or implied things which he did not. Do your own thinking.

Also, I have no interest in how many "long t ime Rand fans" are getting it wrong. That has no bearing on the issue. It does not make any difference how many "long time fans" are getting it right or wrong. As with any issue, how well it is grasped, even by those that you would expect to grasp it if it was true, makes no real difference. It just demonstrates that even alleged "fans" are not infallible ( or that possibly the speaker / writer is not either ).

Au contraire... if a LOT of people are getting it wrong, perhaps it's not as obvious as you seem to think it is, and it's something where a lot of people could benefit from an explanation. Or is it that you don't actually have an explanation?

But I've seen this pattern before. "It's really, really blindingly obvious to some of us, I am going to condemn you for not seeing it, but I am not going to explain it."

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Again, it does not matter how many people get it wrong. What matters is whether or not Peikoff is correct and whether what he said is sufficently clear so that [ with some effort], his meaning can be divined by someone applying the *correct* methods of evaluation. The fact a thousand ( or more, or less) people get it wrong ( especially when those I consider to be careful thinkers get it right ) is no reason for me to think it is in fact *not * as obvious as it seems to me. It would be silly to think so. That is not a rational method to evaluate the truth or clarity of someones statements.

What matters are the facts and how they are presented. Not how others choose to intrepret them.

Nor is the fact I refuse to go into it, a rational reason to assume I am unable to do so.

Edited by Prometheus98876

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Look, it seems to me that you imagine you are defending Peikoff here, but as usual you've presented no actual defense (telling people they should be able to see it is not a defense), but rather you've been at pains to make excuses for the fact that you are not, in fact, actually presenting a defense.

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No, I am not going to clarify it for you. I have no interest in explaining something which was in fact presented with reasonable clarity the first time and which is even more clear if one does not pretend he said or implied things which he did not. Do your own thinking.

I think the point is that rather than letting this devolve into bickering (and worst case scenario a locked thread), it would be better to actually discuss things reasonably rather than refusing to explain what is clear to you. I doubt anyone in here claims to be infallible, so it is useful to explain exactly where you think people went wrong, especially since reason is not automatic. The point of any discussion really is to do some thinking or explain how you came to a conclusion, and by entering in a discussion at all, someone is hopefully going to learn something, or even in some cases learn you are wrong. That goes for all people, myself included.

I'd have to say, the quote in question is odd, and it's especially odd to suggest there is any point where saying "no" to sex makes it still okay to have sex. I have no idea what Peikoff meant other than "Hey, once they're in your bedroom, that's consent enough". I mean, that's what it sounds like. And I'll leave it at that, because I don't know enough information. I'm fine with being perplexed, like the earlier posters, and if people want to discuss the nature of consent involved with sex, that's fine, too.

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I did not attempt to give you defense of Peikoff. I never pretended that I was offering one. I have no interest in persuading those there that are wrong that they are so, that is why I have not tried. They have already shown poor judgement on this issue and I have no interest in trying to untangle their errors. I simply pointed out that it is in fact clear as far as I am concerned. It should be to you if you keep the context in mind and do not insert your own, as others here have done.

That and pointing out that you (and others) have implied I should apply very poor methods of evaluating Peikoffs statements. Methods which make no sense.

Anyway, I made my point. He is not going to comment on this or bother to clarify. His point was actually not very unclear, it just takes a little reasonable effort to fill in the gaps. Why would he care if people are not willing or able to do so correctly? It was a throwaway comment after all and if others do not get the idea and wish aato get the wrong idea, it has no bearing on him as far as I see.

Point made ( not case closed, given as pointed out I did not choose to make a unifying case ).

Edited by Prometheus98876

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Btw, I think that Rand would be appalled at Peikoff's statement, and that she'd go much farther than I have in questioning and challenging the implications and flawed premises that one must hold in order to make such a statement, and she'd be rightfully enraged at the suggestion that anyone should keep speculation to a minimum because Peikoff has earned some leeway or authority or respect or whatever. I think her view would be that Peikoff should know better, and is therefore deserving of less slack than others, and that he should be condemned for tarnishing the image of Objectivism by speaking as its representative.

J

While she's at it, she would admit to the whole world that Roark really did rape Dominique. Because after all, Rand is human and therefore fallible and capable of errors and contradictions. Never mind how rigorous and integrated her thought processes were, or how many years she spent perfecting her ideas. (If anything, she should know better!) Dominique struggled, therefore it is rape. The full context of the chapter gave Roark no excuse to use force against Dominique! I see it so clearly now! How could I have ever thought that Rand or Peikoff or any consistent Objectivist who has been thinking deeply about and applying this philosophy for decades, how could I have ever thought that my context-dropping interpretation deserved any less consideration than their well-reasoned positions? (This isn't focused on you Jonathan13, don't worry. I'm not singling you out.)

Is there a special OO award for stubbornness? How about obtuseness? I have a couple nominations to make.

I think there ought to be a special Dunning-Kruger award. I seriously have no idea how I would narrow down the nominations though.

Think about the context of sex itself. When it comes to sex, the man is generally the initiator, and the woman generally lures the man into initiating. Now what does the sex act itself involve? At minimum, the man generally has his arms wrapped firmly around the woman, and generally keeps hold of her while penetrating her. Sex is a very physical act.

I'm still thinking about this, but I think as of now that a woman sending signals of consent to a man and then withdrawing them once the man begins to initiate is just as fraudulant as a man sending signals that he loves her when he doesn't to get her consent. There are two reasons I can see behind this. One, if the man had known this would be the result, he would not have committed to initiating anything. Two, due to the physical nature of the sex act, a woman consenting is implicitly authorizing the man to get physical with her. Can such an authorization be withdrawn once it has been given and once the man has initiated based on that authorization?

If you don't drop context, maybe Peikoff's position won't seem so ridiculous. Maybe you'll see that there's something to it. Maybe Peikoff is a deep thinker after all! He ought to be after thirty-plus years of studying under Rand herself and having a lifelong carreer as an intellectual beyond that. I've only read Atlas Shrugged five years ago, and even I can see that there's something to this. Seriously guys. A lot of you have been part of this site longer than I have and have probably read more of Rand's works than me more times than me. How can you be so incredibly wrong about Peikoff's judgment?

Edited by Amaroq

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Just think about it : Did Peikoff say that if the woman tries to get out of the situation alluded to, that the man has the right to kidnap her and force her to stay there? Or anything like that? No. That would be the initiation of force, which you know full well Peikoff is against.

No, he implied no such thing. He simply said that the fact she then withdrew consent part way through, does not make the act rape , morally or legally.

Sure, if he held her down after the point where she tried to actually get out of the situation ( as opposed to simply "withdrawing consent" ) and tried to sexually violate her, that would be an act of sexual violence. Maybe *that* would be rape. That is not what Peikoff was discussing, or at least there is not reason given his track record to think that it was and *every* reason not to.

Seems to me you people are confused on this point, which is why I accused you of switching / dropping contexts.

Edited by Prometheus98876

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Can such an authorization be withdrawn once it has been given and once the man has initiated based on that authorization?

In a word, yes, and I can think of a number of reasons why she might very reasonably do so. Maybe the guy doesn't put on a condom. Maybe he gets too 'physical' with her. Maybe he has an obvious STD. Maybe it turns out he's into to some kinky stuff that she doesn't wanna do. Or maybe for no particular reason at all, just because she doesn't feel right about what's happening. If there's one thing that a person (not just a woman) should legitimately have absolute control over at all times, it's who he or she has sex with.

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No, he implied no such thing. He simply said that the fact she then withdrew consent part way through, does not make the act rape , morally or legally.

Actually, he said something more than that. He said that a woman's presence in certain situations can be taken as consenting to sex even when she explicitly refuses. As far as I can tell, this clearly means that the woman's mere presence in the situation (the room, in his example) is consent enough for ignoring her verbally saying stop, even if you as the other individual judge that she's sincere and not being playful or flirty.

This is a different conversation than arguing over whether continuing at that point falls under the term rape. If you've posited that she's not actually struggling or resisting other than verbally, then we could have the argument about whether that legally qualifies as rape, or whether instead it falls under the broader term sexual assault or whatever. In that case, we're just arguing over what to call this (clearly despicable and illegal) act.

It's also a different conversation from the question of what level of legal proof someone would need to put forth to substantiate the claim that they verbally withdrew consent and their partner continued regardless. Obviously, it can't just be their word, as that would give someone the power to send any of their previous sexual partners to jail whenever she wanted. Anyways, all of this is irrelevant to the question of what the person in the room should do and is legally obligated to do when their partner verbally withdraws consent.

I can think of one situation the woman saying "no" or "stop" doesn't obligate you to stop, and that's the situation where both people have agreed beforehand on another word that means stop instead (the safe word) for the purposes of a resistance fantasy. Here, it's okay to continue because she's not actually communicating that you should stop by saying 'stop,' and she could easily do that by saying the safe word instead. That is not the example Peikoff gives. In his example, the woman verbally withdraws consent, the man knows she is doing so and thinks she's sincere, but her 'presence' overrides that somehow. It seems to be an argument that she can't actually withdraw consent without leaving the room, so until she physically tries to do that he's got a green light. This is just plainly false. If she clearly and sincerely says 'stop,' then guess what: you no longer have her consent to continue, regardless of which room she's standing in.

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Just think about it : Did Peikoff say that if the woman tries to get out of the situation alluded to, that the man has the right to kidnap her and force her to stay there? Or anything like that? No. That would be the initiation of force, which you know full well Peikoff is against.

No, he implied no such thing. He simply said that the fact she then withdrew consent part way through, does not make the act rape , morally or legally.

If I am to accept what you say, then he was addressing a scenario that I cannot imagine ever happening: a woman politely saying "I withdraw consent" without actually trying to leave the situation. Do I have this much correct?

Edited by brian0918

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I don't want my writings on this site. I don't want them.

I did this gag already, but I'll do it again. Me continuing to post in this thread is implicit consent to have my posts published here. My statement that I don't want them here is irrelevant. The website's owner can safely assume that I'm screwing around, and ignore what I say in favor of what I do.

I'm gonna reply to this, because after reading Peikoff's comments carefully and also reading this thread, I think this argument is clearly the same one Peikoff's putting forth.

So the argument here is that she actually is consenting by being in the room regardless of what she says, up to the point where she tries to leave the room. The analogy is that posting on this site communicates one's consent to be posting on this site, even if one says in the post "I don't consent to posting here." This is a flawed analogy because here, the individual is simultaneously taking the action and also stating that they don't consent to it. Their statement is the relevant action. In this posting analogy, we have just one action, making the post, and it's sending contradictory messages about consent. In the Kobe example, on the other hand, we have two separate actions. The first is going up to the room, and the second is verbally stating 'stop.' The first gives consent, and the second is intended by the woman to withdraw that consent.

Therefore, a more relevant analogy would be making a post, and then later messaging the site owner or an admin asking to have it taken down. In that situation, it seems obvious to me that the later message does adequately communicate that the post is staying up without the poster's consent. (Of course, that doesn't obligate the post being taken down, because the site owner doesn't need continued consent to keep posts up, as stated in the forum rules. Here, consent is not required to keep the post up, because it's on the site owner's property and not the poster's. Unless someone wants to argue that the sex situation is analogous and continued consent by the woman isn't required, the analogy breaks down here).

The salient point is that the later message does withdraw consent. It's a separate action, taken after the first consenting action, clearly intended to communicate that the situation has changed and consent no longer exists. If you continue at that point, you're continuing without the consent of the person. In certain circumstances, that's permissible. The posting example is one; holding someone to a bet that they made, lost, and then tried to back out of would be another. In the sex example, I hope we can agree it's not.

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This is a flawed analogy

It's not an analogy. I did the gag twice, and each time I replied to the exact same statement: the claim that consent is always determined by what is said, never by what is done. I gave one example, to disprove that claim. I did not try to make any kind of an analogy.

My defense of the quote is the same as Prometheus's. It contains no suggestion that a man is justified in initiating force to have sex with a woman. That is something people who aren't paying attention read into it, because it says that the man is justified in having sex with the woman. I don't know why, but some people just assume that Dr. Peikoff's idea of sex involves the use of force. Either that, of their own idea involves the use of force. Neither of those is true.

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I think there ought to be a special Dunning-Kruger award. I seriously have no idea how I would narrow down the nominations though.

Easy, look for people who defend Peikoff no matter what he says.

I'm still thinking about this, but I think as of now that a woman sending signals of consent to a man and then withdrawing them once the man begins to initiate is just as fraudulant as a man sending signals that he loves her when he doesn't to get her consent.

Fraudulent? Who cares if her behavior has been fraudulent? She could be the worst tease in history, rape is still rape.

Now, I’m going to try giving Peikoff’s statement the most charitable reading I can manage. Earlier I said his moral guidance to women is “don’t go up to his room is you’re not up for sex”, and his moral guidance to men is “she’s here, now plug your ears and bone her”. If you can grant that his statement was only meant as advice to women, then it’s really not so bad, a woman ought to be aware that she could be raped if she puts herself in that position. If you have a daughter, it's a fact that you want her to be aware of. The trouble is the corollary, the necessary implication for how men are expected to behave. Take the way he puts it, “you cannot do that”, “and it’s too late at that point”, I find it inescapable that this is moral license for the male party to say: “you cannot do that”, and “it’s too late at this point”, meaning, for him to commit rape, and for the female to do what? She sure as hell isn’t allowed to change her mind, is she? Grin and bear it?

Do we need Peikoff to come right out and say: “men, this means it’s a-ok to hold the lady down and jam it in there”? This is like expecting Obama to come right out and say “I’m here to enslave producers at the point of a gun” or for the crazed Islamophobes to say “bomb the madrassas, and be sure to do it while they’re occupied”. Such candor is rare indeed.

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It's not an analogy. I did the gag twice, and each time I replied to the exact same statement: the claim that consent is always determined by what is said, never by what is done. I gave one example, to disprove that claim. I did not try to make any kind of an analogy.

Okay, so how about this claim: In this particular example, the one that Peikoff gives, what is said ("stop") does override or nullify what is done (the woman's previous action of going up to the room). Furthermore, taking this former action as continued consent when in fact it is not amounts to initiating force.

Edited by Dante
clarity

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Nicky, of course it's a broken analogy. Your post saying "I don't consent to post here" is deliberately doing exactly what it claims to not be consenting to. Dante's change is more apropos, where you cause your post to be published, then later withdraw consent, but that analogy breaks down too.

Sex, unless you are a complete failure at it, is a process that takes time and therefore can be interrupted. A man's obligation, if a woman suddenly says "stop" (or uses a pre-arranged different word or signal), is to stop. Right then. It is never "too late" for her to change her mind, she can indeed do that. It does not matter if she started with the intention of interrupting the act, or just changed her mind for any of the possible reasons Dante mentioned (or others he did not). The man's obligation is to stop when she says stop. Her motivations for doing so might reflect poorly on her or not, but even if it is certain they do, it does not give the man license to continue. "Oh, she's a blueballing cocktease, it's OK, therefore for me to continue" doesn't cut the mustard.

(Similarly, reverse the roles if she is on top doing the work.)

What she cannot morally or legally do is accuse him of rape because she later regretted the act even though she consented to it at the time. But that is not the situation Peikoff is adressing here. It's quite clear from the quote that LP is stating that at some point the woman is no longer allowed to interrupt the process for whatever reason. He doesn't follow that chain of reasoning to its logical conclusion, but he does not have to. It's clearly wrong.

She also cannot cause the act to be interrupted and then claim the part that did happen was rape. As long as the man stops when she indicates "stop", it's not rape. It's possible that that is what Dr. Peikoff was trying to say here, but if so he did a really poor job of expressing himself here. Because it sure looks like Peikoff was saying she's not allowed to interrupt the process at all, that once started, it is "too late."

If he didn't mean to say that, then he can certainly correct it. If he chooses not to, then he deserves to be misunderstood because he'd be allowing to stand verbiage that clearly indicates something he didn't mean.

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The only context that means anything is the morality.

Not initiation of force, or the legalities of rape - for certain, LP would rightly

disavow these. Strawmen, I believe.

What concerns me is his finding the errant behavior, not in the man, but in

the woman. ("You") "You cannot do that" and, "...then it's too late at that point

to say "Sorry,, but no!""

It isn't only that any Objectivist worth his salt would not know the morality

of this situation:

Reality - a 'no' does not mean a 'yes'.

Value for life - all life, and this individual woman, specifically.

Pride - one's self worth cannot be compromised.

Volition: choice is inarguable, always.

BUT - that Dr Peikoff is rationalizing the man's behavior, by condemning hers.

which frees him "to have sex regardless..."

Morality is the only context here, as far as I see.

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As to this moral vs. legal issue, there’s always going to be a he says she says aspect to rape allegations, and I don’t see how Peikoff is shedding any light on the matter. What I do see is him giving moral license to men to force themselves on women, and I think it’s horrifying.

I'm horrified as well at Peikoff's statement.

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