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Peikoff on date rape

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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.

Physical force amounts to force. You haven't described any force, you described a thought. It is force only if someone acts on that thought with the use of force.

Once again, there is nothing in the quote that attempts to justify any kind of use of force. The only physical action mentioned in the quote, and justified, is sex. Sex is not force.

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I'm also horrified at the extent of the attempts by participants in this forum to rationalize Peikoff's statement.

I'm unimpressed by your horror. I bet you're not even screaming right now. People who are horrified should at least make the effort to scream. Possibly even run around the room in a panic.

Edited by Nicky

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While she's at it, she would admit to the whole world that Roark really did rape Dominique.

ENOUGH of this already!

Roark did not rape Dominique. Do you want to know why Roark did not rape Dominique? Because Ayn Rand said so.

Ayn Rand created these characters in a fictionalized universe in a novel. She is their God, metaphorically speaking. She created them. She knows everything these charcters think, feel, desire, etc. Even if she did not make it clear to you or anyone else.

These are characters, they are not real people, they don't think, feel, or desire anything Ayn Rand does not want them to. The same applies to all characters in all fiction, any piece ever created.

If it looks like rape, but the author says it's not, then that's it. Maybe it doesn't look like it, maybe the author did a really shitty job of showing that, but that's it.

As for Peikoff's statement, I'm with Eioul on this, for now. I'm going to wait a week or two to see if he clarifies, but if not I can only take him at what he said (which was a tad bit disturbing).

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Once again, there is nothing in the quote that attempts to justify any kind of use of force. The only physical action mentioned in the quote, and justified, is sex. Sex is not force.

Even without inferring that Peikoff is endorsing rape, what he actually DID say directly is bad enough. And I discussed that in my last post.

I do wish people hadn't followed things to (what I agree is) the logical conclusion, because it gave certain individuals an excuse to focus on the "overblown" implications, and to try to blow the real issues off by simply claiming "well Peikoff never said that." Rather than focusing on what Peikoff actually said.

Which (again) I discussed in my last post.

How about this, Nicky? Defend what he actually said, rather than sniping at people who after all only tried to follow it to its logical conclusion.

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Once again, there is nothing in the quote that attempts to justify any kind of use of force. The only physical action mentioned in the quote, and justified, is sex. Sex is not force.

If I am to accept what you state, then Peikoff was addressing a scenario that I cannot imagine ever happening: a woman politely saying "I withdraw consent" without actually trying to leave the situation. Am I accurate in my description of the scenario he was describing?

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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.)

That's an interesting approach to philosophy. You seem to saying that Rand rigorously integrated her ideas, and Roark was a fictional idealization and summation of her perfected ideas, and therefore everything that Roark did was not only moral, but highly virtuous. Is that correct? And therefore his violently taking of a woman sexually could not possibly qualify as rape?

And it was also somehow moral and virtuous of Roark to ignore others' rights to not hire him, and to instead commit the dishonesty and fraud of intentionally passing off his work as someone else's, and to then destroy others' property over a mere aesthetic disagreement while claiming those who were in charge of the building project didn't abide by a contract that they did not have with Roark? Do I have that right? In your view, do we begin with the assumption that Roark absolutely must have been a morally perfect, fictional representation of how rational people should behave, so therefore we have to come up with some means of denying that his uses of force, dishonesty and fraud were actually force, dishonesty and fraud?

Do you take Rand's fictional creations that literally? Are you not familiar with her views on the aesthetics of heroic criminals?

J

Edited by Jonathan13

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I think actually he just meant that for a man to make a sexual advance on a woman in such a situation could not be construed as attempted rape, as she has given every indication (without explicitly saying) that that's what she wants. However if, despite this, the woman then said 'stop' and the man continued, then that is mostly definitely rape (or attempted rape) and reprehensible. It would be idiotic to think otherwise.

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Leonard Peikoff wants to anally rape Kobe Bryant? Did I read that right? This is so confusing.

Try reading from left to right; also, you need to start at the top of each page, then proceed downwards. I did sneak some kabbalistic double coding into the opening post, but you'll need to use the right gematria table to unlock it. Here's a hint: Fibonacci.

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I think actually he just meant that for a man to make a sexual advance on a woman in such a situation could not be construed as attempted rape, as she has given every indication (without explicitly saying) that that's what she wants. However if, despite this, the woman then said 'stop' and the man continued, then that is mostly definitely rape (or attempted rape) and reprehensible. It would be idiotic to think otherwise.

I feel like this horse ought to be dead by now. The quote, again:

"A woman can give her consent by her presence, in certain contexts, and that frees the man to have sex regardless of what she then says."

Does it need further explaining? In a sense I agree with Dwayne that Peikoff has been completely clear here. However, we have utterly opposing interpretations of it, so, never mind that!

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Regardless of what she then says - to whom? What she says to the man as he continues his sexual advance (rape), or what she says to the police when she explains she went to his hotel room in the middle of the night but at no point had she invited a sexual advancement?

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Defend what he actually said, .

I agree that that is the right place to start.

Starting from the assumption the LP would not endorse rape, because he probably wouldn't, I notice that the section in question is immediately followed by "So, we're assuming it's not that type of case and you actually have created some kind of false identity; she falls for it and she never would have otherwise." The "So" implies that this sentence follows from the point made in the previous example. The false identity a guy in the actual question he is answering, would be using, was not used in the case of Kobe Bryant. He invited her up to his bedroom to have sex. She agreed and then changed her mind at some point in the encounter. I take it to mean that a woman in that position could not claim that she was defrauded into going up to his room.

,Since the Kobe case was dismissed and charges dropped, he may have, rightly or wrongly, been thinking of that as one of those cases where a woman goes to a man's bedroom and consents to have sex, does so, and then remembers being raped the next day, either for money or to protect her opinion of her own chastity. To which he is saying, "you cannot do that." You cannot have your cake and eat to.

edit: I agree, btw, that it wasn't clearly said, but having listened to most of his podcasts, read his books and having met him personally I can't imagine for a second that anyone similarly familiar with his writing and being honest about it would think he was actually, or would ever endorse rape.

Edited by aequalsa

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Regardless of what she then says - to whom? What she says to the man as he continues his sexual advance (rape), or what she says to the police when she explains she went to his hotel room in the middle of the night but at no point had she invited a sexual advancement?

The following sentences make it clear that Peikoff means, as you put it, "the man as he continues his sexual advance (rape)".

"I'm thinking of that case of Kobe Bryant, where the woman came up sometime in the middle of the night, after some drinking, to his bedroom, and then when he purported to do something, she said, 'No, I don't consent.' You cannot do that. You have given every evidence that that is what you are going to do, and it's too late at that point to say, 'Sorry but no.'"

FWIW I don't think he has a sound reading of the Kobe Bryant case. We can go into that, but I think it's better if we stick to the facts as he ascribes them to the case.

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aequalsa's formulation sounds much more in sync with what someone like Peikoff would actually mean.

Really, I find this thread ridiculous! No, I do not think Peikoff is infallible, but it would be like him saying anything as outrageous as endorsing rape: we can assume that, without further clarification, he most likely did not mean to endorse rape or something as outrageous.

If he never clarifies his statements here, I personally am going to assume the best. He has stated numerous times that he thinks of his podcasts are spur-of-the-moment responses, which means he probably doesn't care to debate every little point of confusion after releasing the recording, and he definitely doesn't consider his wording as carefully as he would in a lecture or book so as to avoid such confusion in the first place.

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Well the best thing would just be to ask Peikoff to clarify what he went. But from his choice of words, like 'when he purported to do something', I get the feeling he's talking about whether the woman could retrospectively claim that the advance was unwarranted, although he could have phrased it better.

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Really, I find this thread ridiculous! No, I do not think Peikoff is infallible, but it would be like him saying anything as outrageous as endorsing rape: we can assume that, without further clarification, he most likely did not mean to endorse rape or something as outrageous.

You’re working from an expectation that Peikoff wouldn’t ever contradict Objectivism, but, without laboriously rehashing the controversies of just the last few years, let me just say that presumption ought to be thrown out the window. You can’t count on him to be consistent with Objectivist principles, either in word or deed.

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This example http://jsiegel.blogspot.com/2007/02/rape-law.html where, mid coitus, a man took 5 seconds to stop after the woman said stop and was convicted of rape, would probably have been better in his answer. If you replace this example with his off the cuff example it makes more sense. He's saying, no, you don't get to call something like this rape, morally. It's an affront to real victims to even put something like this in the same category.

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You’re working from an expectation that Peikoff wouldn’t ever contradict Objectivism,

Not even that much, really. We are working from the expectation the Peikoff is NOT horribly depraved, which is what you have to assume to think that he was meaning to endorse rape.

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Not even that much, really. We are working from the expectation the Peikoff is NOT horribly depraved, which is what you have to assume to think that he was meaning to endorse rape.

I believe you'll find Camille Paglia put forward a similar position. She used to talk about date rape, and had controversial things to say about it. PC types were up in arms. I might have to go looking for quotes.

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Well the best thing would just be to ask Peikoff to clarify what he went. But from his choice of words, like 'when he purported to do something', I get the feeling he's talking about whether the woman could retrospectively claim that the advance was unwarranted, although he could have phrased it better.
I assume some friend has already told Peikoff that people are discussing that snippet. It's quite likely he's listened to it and realizes that he did not mean what he said... it's a risk of being ex tempore. So, he'll probably clarify this, to the chagrin of those who are standing up for his words exactly as he said them.

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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?

You tell me, you guys are the ones reading things into what he said, things which he neither said nor implied. It has been pointed out what he did and did not imply ( to some extent). I can only speculate as to what you seem to be pretending he said/implied, hence the previous post. However I think I am correct as to what I beleive you are choosing to beleive that he says/implies ( despite the fact it is fantasy).

"Now, I’m going to try giving Peikoff’s statement the most charitable reading I can manage"

You have already aproven that false by choosing to ignore his context and imagine your own in its place. That is not conduct proper to a rational mind. Or would you like to demonstrate that he did say or imply what you think?

"I'm also horrified at the extent of the attempts by participants in this forum to rationalize Peikoff's statement."

I am disturbed that "Objectivists" would ignore the context of Peikoffs explicitly stated philosophical views, in order to try justify a rather illogical interpretation of what he said. Let alone the context in which he was speaking at the time.

This kind of poor thinking is not going to do anyone any good. Check your premises.

Edited by Prometheus98876

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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.

I was actually already thinking of this. I'd say the authorization comes with implicit expectations. The woman wants to receive satisfaction, so the consent should still imply reasonable limits. If the guy takes a dump on her chest for example, authorization is obviously legitimately out the window, because he's doing something that is just, absolutely not a part of the deal. Unless she's into that sort of thing..

What I'm referring to is a woman who, say, wants sex from the man. But she's evasive. She doesn't let herself know that that's what she wants. She flirts, sends all the signals, goes up with him to his room, all the time telling herself that it's just innocent fun, that it won't lead to anything, but secretly wanting it to lead to something. And then when it inevitably does lead to something, she finally has to face what she's been evading. Can she then, morally speaking, "get out of it"? I don't think any rational woman would find herself faced with this kind of situation, because she'd probably be aware of what she's doing. But keep in mind my first paragraph about there being reasonable expectations. I think there are to be reasonable expectations whether or not a woman is fully conscious of her consent.

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

I was referring to people like you. Concrete-bound "Objectivists" who shallowly apply a single context-less principle to a single context-less concrete and then think they're smarter than Peikoff based on their shallow interpretations of a single concrete thing that he says. It's a perfect example of the Dunning-Kruger effect. Peikoff has been studying, integrating, applying Objectivism since before I was born. I'd never be pompous enough to unquestioningly think that I'm right and Peikoff is wrong when me and him come to such incredibly opposing and contradictory conclusions. I would try to understand his reasoning first before I conclude that he's a depraved lunatic and that my reasoning is superior to his. And so far I have agreed with his reasoning on all of these huge controversies. Because I reference reality, and search for the principles, facts and context that give rise to the controversial things he and Rand have said, while everyone else is screaming about how horrible he must be because he said something that's too selfish for them to feel comfortable with. You should already be doing this when you study any written work of Rand's or Peikoff's. Why don't you do this when you hear something you don't like on his podcast? Granted I don't always do so. But whenever I am eventually exposed to the full context, whether by someone else exposing me to it or me finding it myself, I find that Peikoff was taking the fullest, broadest context and body of knowledge into account in his conclusions. People acting like he's a moron for these stunningly shallow reasons is a perfect example of the Dunning-Kruger effect. A student in a high school small engines class would never be pompous enough to think he knows how to build an engine better than his teacher who has been building engines his whole life. So why does this shit still fly in philosophy? Do you not know that ideas have just as absolute of an identity as engine parts do? Do you have no respect for people who have been masters of this field for longer than you've known it existed?

ENOUGH of this already!

Roark did not rape Dominique. Do you want to know why Roark did not rape Dominique? Because Ayn Rand said so.

Sorry, I was being sarcastic, if you couldn't tell. I'm aware that it's a work of fiction. A work of romantic realism. A dramatization.

But the reason Roark did not rape Dominique was not just "because Ayn Rand said so". The full context of the chapter established that she wanted Roark badly, but she was evading her desire. Roark knew this fully, so he knew he was not raping her. The reason not to act this scenario out literally in real life is not because Ayn Rand isn't a real god to say that it isn't rape. It's because you can't know the other woman's intentions for sure as well as Roark knew Dominique's.

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Sorry, I was being sarcastic, if you couldn't tell. I'm aware that it's a work of fiction. A work of romantic realism. A dramatization.

But the reason Roark did not rape Dominique was not just "because Ayn Rand said so". The full context of the chapter established that she wanted Roark badly, but she was evading her desire. Roark knew this fully, so he knew he was not raping her. The reason not to act this scenario out literally in real life is not because Ayn Rand isn't a real god to say that it isn't rape. It's because you can't know the other woman's intentions for sure as well as Roark knew Dominique's.

Woops, my bad! ^_^

And I agree, it wasn't just because Ayn Rand said so. But a lot of people, even with the mentioned context, still say otherwise. So I was giving them the benefit of the doubt, arguing that even if the context was dropped it would still be the same way. And I will stop hijacking this thread now. ;)

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What I'm referring to is a woman who, say, wants sex from the man. But she's evasive. She doesn't let herself know that that's what she wants. She flirts, sends all the signals, goes up with him to his room, all the time telling herself that it's just innocent fun, that it won't lead to anything, but secretly wanting it to lead to something. And then when it inevitably does lead to something, she finally has to face what she's been evading. Can she then, morally speaking, "get out of it"?
I think the real question is not about the woman as much as about the man.

Let's say this woman has come up to your room and so on. Forget flirting and "signals". Let's say she says "Hey Amaroq, let's go up to your room and have wild sex". So, you're in your room. Let's say she takes her clothes off and gets into bed. Then, as you're getting into bed she pulls back and says "No, what am I thinking. I don't want to do this." I don't want to suggest some half-chewed doubt, but instead imagine that -- while saying this -- she sits up, swings her feet to the ground while still sitting on the bed, and begins to put her clothes back on.

Now, does this fit an example where you would say she "cannot get out of it, morally speaking"?

If it fits, what do you think the guy ought to do?

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