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How does one justify the rape of Dominique in FH?

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But then your warning is too mild, since you need a signed and notarized consent form to avoid arrest. Even then...

Point taken. Nonetheless, "consentual" potentially coming down to a he said/she said is one thing; having to possibly admit in a courtroom that she did resist is a whole other thing.

As you imply, such private acts generally can't be proven to be one case or the other. That being said, I'd still say this would be one of those "better safe than sorry" situations.

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Nonetheless, "consentual" potentially coming down to a he said/she said is one thing; having to possibly admit in a courtroom that she did resist is a whole other thing.

That's one of the reasons why it's a good policy not to lay any gal you don't know well enough to tell whether she's going to take you to court.

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That's one of the reasons why it's a good policy not to lay any gal you don't know well enough to tell whether she's going to take you to court.

Which I guess I'm trying to say is what Roark (corrected spelling :lol: ) did. I know that Rand is trying to say that all they had to do was look at each other and they knew what kind of person the other was, but that's a little far-fetched, and human fallibility can still come into play.

And wasn't Dominique very confused afterwards? She was feeling pleasure, it's true, but she was also feeling negative emotions. If she had wanted Howard to take her (if she liked it "rough"), I think her emotional state in the aftermath would have been a little more positive than it was.

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Which I guess I'm trying to say is what Roark (corrected spelling :lol: ) did.

Roark understood Dominique's personality right from the start, and that allowed him to trust her.

I know that Rand is trying to say that all they had to do was look at each other and they knew what kind of person the other was, but that's a little far-fetched, and human fallibility can still come into play.

Far-fetched or not, that's how it happened in the novel.

Let me quote myself from the previous thread:

The purer a personality, the more clearly it is reflected in the person's appearance. The people you meet day by day are usually mixed bags, which makes it more difficult to evaluate them. One sign about them makes you think they are honest, but tnen you see another sign that calls it into question. But the characters of The Fountainhead are abstractions of the essential components that make up the personalities of people--so with them, all signs point one way.

And wasn't Dominique very confused afterwards? She was feeling pleasure, it's true, but she was also feeling negative emotions. If she had wanted Howard to take her (if she liked it "rough"), I think her emotional state in the aftermath would have been a little more positive than it was.

It was not that "she liked it rough." Keep on reading the book, and you'll understand why she behaved the way she did.

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"If I found a job, a project, an idea or a person I wanted -- I'd have to depend on the whole world." D to Alvah Scar.

The "rape" was the only situation D could construe at that point, without completely losing her control/soul.

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I think it is what in social psychology is called "cognitive dissonance"- that is, when something happens to you that clearly contradicts the rules you lived by so far/what you believed in etc. you have to "make up" something that will adjust your new experience to your old beliefs. She couldn't have said "I wanted Roark" because she was strictly imposing on herself not to want anything- therefore she "makes up" in her mind that he raped her- since that would imply no desire of her own.

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It's imperative to point out that much of our conceptions regarding courtship and sexual behaviour have been distorted beyond rational considerations by a legalistic culture that intentionally promotes repression.

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It's imperative to point out that much of our conceptions regarding courtship and sexual behaviour have been distorted beyond rational considerations by a legalistic culture that intentionally promotes repression.

Can you explain more?

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There is no excuse for that scene in the Fountainhead. If a woman resists, if she says no, then the only moral response is to stop. A single moment of entertaining the preposterous lie: "there was no no no on her lips, but yes yes yes in her heart", lends credibility to the sleeziest barbarian's pathetic rationalization: "she really wanted it, I knew it."

Dressing up what is in reality a bit of fetishist fluff as something profound corrupts reason at its foundation.

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There is no excuse for that scene in the Fountainhead.

The scene helps to illustrate the confusion that Dominique suffered from -- her apparent split between mind and body. It is clear throughout the novel and especially by the end what "she really wanted".

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If a woman resists, if she says no, then the only moral response is to stop.

Apparently you misunderstand the purpose of fiction as an art form. You do realize that willfully blowing up someone else's building is also an immoral act, and that it would likewise be wrong for a jury to find such an individual Not Guilty, correct? Ask yourself why Rand included those scenes - do you believe she actually thought they should be considered moral actions in reality? Or was there possibly another reason for their inclusion?

Edited by brian0918

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I find myself a little bit staggered looking through the history of this thread. The initial consensus appeared to be that this was not at all a rape:

What rape? Anyone who claims Roark raped Dominique has the onus of proof.

It's been a little while since I have read The Fountainhead, but I do not remember any rape.

He was physically violent BECAUSE she wanted him to be--and he knew it.

This is the first reply in the thread:

Quoting from Ayn Rand (in Letters of Ayn Rand):

"But the fact is that Roark did not actually rape Dominique; she had asked for it, and he knew that she wanted it. A man who would force himself on a woman against her wishes would be committing a dreadful crime. What Dominique liked about Roark was the fact that he took the responsibility for their romance and for his own actions. Most men nowadays, like Peter Keating, expect to seduce a woman, or rather they let her seduce them and thus shift the responsibility to her. That is what a truly feminine woman would despise. The lesson in the Roark-Dominique romance is one of spiritual strength and self-confidence, not of physical violence."

"It was not an actual rape, but a symbolic action which Dominique all but invited. This was the action she wanted and Howard Roark knew it."

It's been a very long while since reading The Fountainhead, so I'm relying on the material I've found throughout this thread, but apparently Dominique "fought like an animal." Apparently she thought to herself thereafter that she had been raped... and then told another character that she had been raped.

I don't know. That sounds very similar to rape to me. And perhaps I'm one of those men "like Peter Keating," but I guess that if a woman was trying to physically fight me off, that might discourage me from engaging in intercourse with her.

But then, I don't suppose I'm Howard Roark, and I don't have his particular powers of observation. My ability to divine a woman's true wishes as against her trying to resist me physically, and then describing our congress as rape, is limited. Do we suppose, if I was arrested and brought before a jury of Objectivists (perhaps the ones I've quoted who do not regard this scene as "rape," for convenience), that I could convince them otherwise? Do we think that I could successfully argue that she'd given me significant glances, and contrived to put us in situations that assured me that she wanted me to force her down? That deep down inside, she really actually wanted it? Or do we think that they would pronounce me a rapist and put me in prison?

I get that this is fiction. But even within that context, I'd prefer to call a spade a spade. And this does seem like a rape.

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I get that this is fiction.

Apparently not. Fiction doesn't just mean "it didn't actually happen". It makes use of dramatization and accentuates certain dilemmas and themes that are important to the author. It is not simply a documentation of events to be objectively examined like a jury listening to a court case. The reader as an omniscient observer is supposed to understand that Dominique has a history of saying one thing and feeling another. This is just as true during the alleged "rape" scene. We are supposed to know that she is experiencing an internal conflict, and Roark understands this as well.

None of this could ever stand up in a court of law in a rape case - nor could bombing a building. That is irrelevant to the purpose of the scene.

Edited by brian0918

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I get that this is fiction. But even within that context, I'd prefer to call a spade a spade. And this does seem like a rape.

So you want to classify the scene as rape against the explicit exhortations of the author to the contrary?

Apparently she thought to herself thereafter that she had been raped... and then told another character that she had been raped.

You'll have to substantiate this with a quote, I don't recall it.

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Apparently not.

No? You honestly suppose that if I were in a library, I would look for The Fountainhead in the nonfiction section? Or are you just being jerky for its own sake? (If the latter, let me know now so we can end this conversation quickly.)

Fiction doesn't just mean "it didn't actually happen". It makes use of dramatization and accentuates certain dilemmas and themes that are important to the author. It is not simply a documentation of events to be objectively examined like a jury listening to a court case. The reader as an omniscient observer is supposed to understand that Dominique has a history of saying one thing and feeling another. This history continues during the alleged "rape" scene. We are supposed to know that she is experiencing an internal conflict, and Roark understands this as well.

None of this could ever stand up in a court of law in a rape case - nor could bombing a building. That is irrelevant to the purpose of the scene.

The events of a story aren't supposed to be objectively examined? If you say so. Dominique experiences internal conflict? Agreed.

It still appears to be rape to me, on the basis of what I've already said. If you wouldn't push past a woman's physically struggling against you, then perhaps you find such a scenario to be rape, too.

So you want to classify the scene as rape against the explicit exhortations of the author to the contrary?

I want to classify the scene according to the events the author dramatized.

You'll have to substantiate this with a quote, I don't recall it.

I'm relying on the material already provided and discussed in this thread. I apologize if that is insufficient.

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No? You honestly suppose that if I were in a library, I would look for The Fountainhead in the nonfiction section?

This is very dismissive. Knowing where to find fiction in the library, understanding the purpose of fiction and understanding Ayn Rand's purpose are three different things.

It still appears to be rape to me,

I'll let brian0918 speak for himself but he makes a very good point. Just because something "appears" to be rape doesn't mean that it is. We, who have read "The Fountainhead", have been afforded an omniscient understanding of the conflicts and states of mind of the characters and thus we know that there was no rape. In real life it would be much harder to know such a thing.

brian0918's line of inquiry will be much more fruitful and enlightening than the one I have been pursuing below.

I want to classify the scene according to the events the author dramatized.

And you understand the events and what is dramatized better than the author?

I'm relying on the material already provided and discussed in this thread. I apologize if that is insufficient.

It is insufficient.

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This is very dismissive. Knowing where to find fiction in the library, understanding the purpose of fiction and understanding Ayn Rand's purpose are three different things.

Certainly those are three different things. And had I been replying to a compelling demonstration of those three things, and not an equally dismissive (and I will add "offensive") "Apparently not," I would have replied in kind. We all have the choice to be civil or not and many of us don't consider it of importance. I consider it important, but I'm growing weary of those on this board who don't, and frustrated by them, and angry, and I feel ever-more-strongly that engaging with them is a waste of everybody's time.

There are others, and I don't mind naming them, who seem to me to be unfailingly civil, including Eiuol and Dante. They also regularly seem the most reasonable to my understanding, and their arguments the strongest. I suspect this is not coincidental. I suspect that the incivility of many stems from a weakness in their arguments, and in their thought overall. But that's not really to my point here. My point is: be nice or leave me alone.

(And because I've received this kind of response to that sentiment before, this has nothing to do with the truth of the case; it's fine to say that I'm wrong about something. I *love* that. And I love being shown wrong so that I can understand my error. There's no need to choose between being clear and in opposition, and being friendly. That so many people seem to think there is, as demonstrated by their actions and rhetoric, is a deep shame.)

I'll let brian0918 speak for himself but he makes a very good point. Just because something "appears" to be rape doesn't mean that it is. We, who have read "The Fountainhead", have been afforded an omniscient understanding of the conflicts and states of mind of the characters and thus we know that there was no rape. In real life it would be much harder to know such a thing.

I grant this omniscient understanding, and that Dominique experienced internal conflict. It is this taken together with her struggling against the sex act, and her considering it to be rape thereafter, that I conclude that it is rape.

You're welcome to conclude otherwise, but based on the evidence we've thus far discussed I will consider your conclusion mistaken.

And you understand the events and what is dramatized better than the author?

Possibly so. I guess that's for each man to judge for himself; I can only present my case.

Where I'm personally concerned, would you suggest that I substitute someone else's understanding (of anything) for my own? I read The Fountainhead and these are the conclusions I've come to. I have no better to offer than that.

It is insufficient.

Ah, I see. Well in that case, hopefully you took up the apology I'd proffered in what you've quoted.

Or, if not, then perhaps you could avail yourself of the opportunity to read the thread -- this very thread that we're now participating in -- to find the material which I've referenced. Truth be told, I would have expected you to be familiar with the contents of the thread prior to joining in.

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I grant this omniscient understanding, and that Dominique experienced internal conflict. It is this taken together with her struggling against the sex act, and her considering it to be rape thereafter, that I conclude that it is rape.

You're welcome to conclude otherwise, but based on the evidence we've thus far discussed I will consider your conclusion mistaken.

OK but I would have to consider your conclusion not only mistaken but unsupported.

You provided a quote to support "her struggling against the sex act" and I accept it because it jibes with my own memory of the novel. However, you haven't provided a quote to support "her considering it to be rape thereafter" or that she told others. So, on the evidence we've thus far discussed, your conclusion is unsupported.

Possibly so. I guess that's for each man to judge for himself; I can only present my case.

Where I'm personally concerned, would you suggest that I substitute someone else's understanding (of anything) for my own? I read The Fountainhead and these are the conclusions I've come to. I have no better to offer than that.

Well, I wouldn't suggest that you "substitute" someone else's understanding, just consider it. After all, it is Ayn Rand we are talking about: contradict her at your own risk. I hope you'll excuse me if I agree with her and not you since in my long time here any time someone has disagreed with her, they have been wrong.

Ah, I see. Well in that case, hopefully you took up the apology I'd proffered in what you've quoted. Or, if not, then perhaps you could avail yourself of the opportunity to read the thread -- this very thread that we're now participating in -- to find the material which I've referenced. Truth be told, I would have expected you to be familiar with the contents of the thread prior to joining in.

All the material you have referenced supports my understanding.

And by the way, tone is hard to read on the internet: now yours seems to be leaning snarky. I entered the thread in answer to an apparently ignorant comment after the thread had been dormant for a year. Now I am interacting with you, not those others who posted a year ago. Please don't lecture me on my methodology when I could just as easily question your taking what others have said on face value, without evidence.

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I was also confused about the nature of this scene when I first read it. I've seen a lot of books and movies with rape scenes, but none of them have been quite so romanticized as in The Fountainhead. With a closer look at the text, it doesn't seem like this was actually rape: Dominique had the opportunity to call out for help but chose not to, she didn't take a bath afterwards because "she wanted to keep the feeling of his body on hers," and she later realized she enjoyed it (and why). The entire scene seems extremely sadistic, which is apparently what both of them wanted. This can also be seen in Atlas Shrugged between Dagny and Rearden.. but over time, both couples seem to mellow out and their sexual lives become more passionate.

As an aside, I haven't read The Fountainhead in awhile, but I'm still not sure why this scene was really necessary. What I find more interesting is the idea that in almost all of Rand's books, couples seem to immediately understand each other without having any dialogue.

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You provided a quote to support "her struggling against the sex act" and I accept it because it jibes with my own memory of the novel. However, you haven't provided a quote to support "her considering it to be rape thereafter" or that she told others. So, on the evidence we've thus far discussed, your conclusion is unsupported.

Isn't that sufficient for anyone to stop sexual pursuit in the moment? Why, yes, there is dramatization, and we know what is going on in Dominique's mind, but it is clear Roark didn't. Evaluating Roark's actions in the context seem to indicate a morally questionable act, regardless of if the action was rape. The scene is overall *strange* to me. What is the justification to have sex with someone if they resist? We'd have to presume that Roark is a mind reader. How did Roark, as an individual, come to decide that what he was doing was okay?

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If you can get your hands on it, you should read the essay on The Fountainhead's rape scene in Essays on Ayn Rand's The Fountainhead: http://www.amazon.co...w/dp/0739115782. It does an excellent job of breaking down the 'rape' scene, illustrating that it was not an actual rape and what Rand was trying to accomplish with the scene. To clarify the point, Dominique does think of it as 'a rape' later on in the novel; her inner monologue does use that word. The essay critically examines this as well. Rand herself said in a Q&A period that this was not a rape; that Dominique wanted Roark and Roark knew it without a doubt.

Edited by Dante
Clarity

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Apparently you misunderstand the purpose of fiction as an art form. You do realize that willfully blowing up someone else's building is also an immoral act, and that it would likewise be wrong for a jury to find such an individual Not Guilty, correct? Ask yourself why Rand included those scenes - do you believe she actually thought they should be considered moral actions in reality? Or was there possibly another reason for their inclusion?

Thank you for highlighting the other fatal flaw in The Fountainhead.

No, of course I don't believe that Rand would consider rape and arson moral in reality.

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OK but I would have to consider your conclusion not only mistaken but unsupported.

You provided a quote to support "her struggling against the sex act" and I accept it because it jibes with my own memory of the novel. However, you haven't provided a quote to support "her considering it to be rape thereafter" or that she told others. So, on the evidence we've thus far discussed, your conclusion is unsupported.

All right. Rather than belabor the unhelpful point that this is an ongoing thread, and that I was merely referring to posts already available and under discussion, here are the relevant posts.

In support of Dominique considering the act a rape:

Part 2. Ellsworth M. Toohey.

Chapter 2.

She read it and smiled. She thought, if they knew...those people..that old life and that awed reverence before her person...I've been raped...I've been raped by some red-headed hoodlum...I, Dominique Francon...Through the firece sense of humiliation, the words gave her the same kind of pleasure she had felt in his arms.

There, that's the exact quote from my version of the book, where she thinks to herself, "I have been raped." In response to Inspector. This comes soon after Roark gets the letter from Enright asking him to build the house.

In support of Dominique describing the act as a rape:

It was Part IV (Howard Roark) Chapter 17. In my edition, it is 8 pages after the beginning of chapter 17.

Dominique is talking to Wynand after Wynand has learnt the truth about Dominique's relationship to him and Roark. Here is the full quote

Here is some more material for us to consider. Not that this will necessarily carry any weight, but in doing a search I came upon SparkNotes' analysis of that scene. Here is a telling sentence:

Rand presents Dominique’s rape as a violent but necessary encounter—as just what Dominique needs.

From ARI's site, here is a question from their lesson plan/study guide for The Fountainhead:

1. At the granite quarry, Dominique is deeply attracted to the red-headed worker who stares at her insolently. She pursues him aggressively, but resists him in the moment of her triumph. Given that Dominique is eager to make love to Roark, why does she physically resist? Ayn Rand once stated regarding this scene that, if it is rape, “ then it is rape by engraved invitation.” What does she mean? Is this actually rape, i.e., is Dominique an unwilling victim?

And with the above as background here's my case and the conclusion which I draw from it:

Rape is forcing someone to have sex. In that Dominique struggled against Roark "like an animal," he forced her to have sex. If there were further question on this account, Dominique reckons the act to have been rape. She also describes the act to have been rape to another.

Perhaps we can conclude that this rape was "a violent but necessary encounter." Perhaps we can conclude that it is "rape by engraved invitation." Perhaps in answer to the query that this thread's title suggests, we are able to justify this rape and account it moral. All of these are possible (though I would demur from arguing them at present), but based on the scene itself, I must first recognize that it does indeed depict a rape.

Because it's so central to our discussion, I'll now go ahead and present the scene in question (taken from this site), emphasis added:

He came in. He wore his work clothes, the dirty shirt with rolled sleeves, the trousers smeared with stone dust. He stood looking at her. There was no laughing understanding in his face. His face was drawn, austere in cruelty, ascetic in passion, the cheeks sunken, the lips pulled down, set tight. She jumped to her feet, she stood, her arms thrown back, her fingers spread apart. He did not move. She saw a vein of his neck rise, beating, and fall down again.

Then he walked to her. He held her as if his flesh had cut through hers and she felt the bones of his arms on the bones of her ribs, her legs jerked tight against his, his mouth on hers.

She did not know whether the jolt of terror shook her first and she thrust her elbows at his throat, twisting her body to escape, or whether she lay still in his arms, in the first instant, in the shock of feeling his skin against hers, the thing she had thought about, had expected, had never known to be like this, could not have known, because this was not part of living, but a thing one could not bear longer than a second.

She tried to tear herself away from him. The effort broke against his arms that had not felt it. Her fists beat against his shoulders, against his face. He moved one hand, took her two wrists, pinned them behind her, under his arm, wrenching her shoulder blades. She twisted her head back. She felt his lips on her breast. She tore herself free.

She fell back against the dressing table, she stood crouching, her hands clasping the edge behind her, her eyes wide, colorless, shapeless in terror. He was laughing. There was the movement of laughter on his face, but no sound. Perhaps he had released her intentionally. He stood, his legs apart, his arms hanging at his sides, letting her be more sharply aware of his body across the space between them than she had been in his arms. She looked at the door behind him, he saw the first hint of movement, no more than a thought of leaping toward that door. He extended his arm, not touching her, and fell back. Her shoulders moved faintly, rising. He took a step forward and her shoulders fell. She huddled lower, closer to the table. He let her wait. Then he approached. He lifted her without effort. She let her teeth sink into his hand and felt blood on the tip of her tongue. He pulled her head back and he forced her mouth open against his.

She fought like an animal. But she made no sound. She did not call for help. She heard the echoes of her blows in a gasp of his breath, and she knew that it was a gasp of pleasure. She reached for the lamp on the dressing table. He knocked the lamp out of her hand. The crystal burst to pieces in the darkness.

He had thrown her down on the bed and she felt the blood beating in her throat, in her eyes, the hatred, the helpless terror in her blood. She felt the hatred and his hands; his hands moving over her body, the hands that broke granite. She fought in a last convulsion. Then the sudden pain shot up, through her body, to her throat, and she screamed. Then she lay still.

There's more, and perhaps that more is relevant, but let's look at what we have, as this is the very sex act under discussion. In describing Dominique's internal state, the word "terror" is used three times. She fights against him physically, using her fists, her elbows, her teeth. She looks to escape by the door and huddles against a table. Her arms are pinned behind her back, "wrenching her shoulder blades." This is the description of a rape. Or, at the risk of being grotesque, at least allow me to observe that consensual sex in my (limited?) experience typically involves less terror, "hatred," and physical abuse.

Now, what if "deep down" she "wants it"? What if Dominique is "conflicted"? "Confused"? Then she is conflicted and confused. A person has the right to be conflicted, and confused, and free from force. A person has the right to be conflicted and confused on the issue of whether they want to sleep with another, and yet not be trapped in a room, have their arms pinned behind their back, their mouth forced open, and thereby forced to have sex, which is rape.

What if, thereafter, Dominique was glad to have had this happen? Then she was glad to have been raped.

Well, I wouldn't suggest that you "substitute" someone else's understanding, just consider it. After all, it is Ayn Rand we are talking about: contradict her at your own risk. I hope you'll excuse me if I agree with her and not you since in my long time here any time someone has disagreed with her, they have been wrong.

Consider Rand's understanding/explanation? Of course! Why would you think I wouldn't?! I'm willing to consider anyone's explanation (well, just about, at least :) ), and I have no reason to prejudge your explanation as being inferior to mine, or Rand's, or anyone else's. I am fully willing to consider any understanding which disagrees with my own, and should I find it more reasonable, I plan to adopt it. But I won't defer to anyone, not even Rand, and honestly that's what I felt you were suggesting.

As to contradicting Rand "at my own risk," it's not Rand I fear contradicting -- it's reality. And you're welcome to agree with Rand and disagree with me for any reason at all, but I'd hope it was because she made the more compelling argument. If you can consider the case that I've made, and read the above scene, and continue to believe that this was not the depiction of a rape, more power to you. I don't begrudge you that at all. And should you and Rand prove to be right, and if I can see that (which I will endeavor to do), I will have no compunction at admitting the fact. I am not hostile to those who disagree with me; in the context of friendly and spirited discussion, I regard them as my benefactors.

And by the way, tone is hard to read on the internet: now yours seems to be leaning snarky. I entered the thread in answer to an apparently ignorant comment after the thread had been dormant for a year. Now I am interacting with you, not those others who posted a year ago. Please don't lecture me on my methodology when I could just as easily question your taking what others have said on face value, without evidence.

Your points are fair in that tone is hard to read and that my response was "leaning snarky"... Actually, if I managed "leaning snarky," I'm a little proud because what I was feeling was much darker. I tried to rein it in, but I apologize for any failure. (And that goes for brian0918 as well if in fact I misread his tone.)

As for "methodology," I do consider it courteous to read a thread before engaging in it (within reason; some threads, here and on other boards, are miles and miles long). But no matter. We're here now, hopefully your desire for reference points has been assuaged, and if you'd like to proceed in civility, I'd be happy to continue.

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It's important to focus on the Objectivist view of the relationship between force and reason. Force, of course, makes reason impossible. Reason is the faculty that determines consent. Dominique appeared to desire kinky Klingon sex, and wanted someone to help her fulfill that desire. In doing so, Roark was not bypassing her consent, and so his physical violence was not a form of force. I know The Fountainhead was completed before her philosophy was, but Rand seemed to be illustrating that poin*t in a counter-intuitive way. It's a stylistic choice that works well sometimes, and at other times fails. I didn't have a problem with the scene, but I'm not trying to defend it on stylistic grounds; it sure looks enough like a rape to most readers that it can cause discomfort. I'm just saying that interpreted properly, this was not a rape.

Edit:* the point that force isn't violence

Edited by FeatherFall

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