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"Blaming the Victim"

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Robert Baratheon
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I wish you luck. You're going to be slapped a lot before you find her.

Good one. You really think that's how the world works? Are you living in a 1940s movie? The "dames" stopped slapping men over unbefitting suggestions a while back.

More importantly, I have no desire to trick women into having sex with me, or play various games that allow them to bypass rational decision making before we hook up.

A woman with self esteem will make the decision to have a relationship with me based on who I am, not by what my strategy is for getting her up to my room. I'm perfectly happy letting her make that decision, waiting for her to eliminate any doubts about it, allowing her time to be comfortable discussing the subject openly, etc., etc. I don't need or want to grab weak, shame filled strangers in bars, liquor them up to loosen their inhibitions, and rush them up to my room before they can change their minds.

That's not how sex should work, and, frankly, it's not how it does work. The vast majority of people have sex in the context of well thought out, rationally chosen relationships.

P.S. I'm not saying that I never had, or that I'm never planning to have, sex with someone the night I meet them. But, when that happens, it has to be someone confident and comfortable enough with it to be willing to discuss it openly, or initiate it herself. It can't be games and psychological tricks. That's just a dangerous and off-putting way to go about it.

Edited by Nicky
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The misconception you and another poster seem to be having is the idea that euphemisms constitute a type of "trick" one party is playing on another. In fact, the whole purpose of the exercise is both people are supposed to understand the subtext of the situation while being able to save face in the event of rejection. This empowers everyone involved by allowing them to "feel out" social situations without risking the social capital they already have. This may seem "illogical" to the more Randroid personality types out there, but it's actually a sophisticated and highly useful convention that well-adjusted people use with success and to mutual benefit in a variety of contexts.

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The misconception you and another poster seem to be having is the idea that euphemisms constitute a type of "trick" one party is playing on another. In fact, the whole purpose of the exercise is both people are supposed to understand the subtext of the situation while being able to save face in the event of rejection. This empowers everyone involved by allowing them to "feel out" social situations without risking the social capital they already have. This may seem "illogical" to the more Randroid personality types out there, but it's actually a sophisticated and highly useful convention that well-adjusted people use with success and to mutual benefit in a variety of contexts.

Whether this sort of thing is good, bad, or indifferent, what matters to me is the recognition that it exists.

People don't always speak their minds directly. Sometimes communication is coded. We don't do ourselves any service by pretending not to understand, or refusing to understand. It is better to be informed.

If you're in an angry conversation with someone in a public place, and they ask you to "step outside," they're not simply looking for fresh air. If you're on a date with a woman, and she invites you upstairs afterwards to "see her apartment" or "have coffee" or a "nightcap" or whatever else, it's important to recognize the content of what she's likely communicating (regardless of whether or not you find it "honest" of her).

It does no good to act as though you know less than you actually know. (And if you don't know, now you know.)

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I realize Objectivists aren't known for being the most socially perceptive people (it appears the Sheldon character on Big Bang Theory isn't such a caricature after all), so at the risk of belaboring what the vast majority of people intuitively navigate, I'm going to lay out how things generally do and do not work at the end of a successful date.

No, it's not a matter of not getting the point. You claim a social norm is present that we should all recognize and in fact is commonly accepted. I am claiming that it may feel that this norm exists, but there is no evidence except that it makes your argument work - it is a rationalization. It is a pretty Objectivist thing to question norms, so of course you'll be questioned on whether such norms are widespread or just beliefs ingrained by the entertainment world that were only built to get a laugh.

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It seems to me like this conversation is, so far, largely about different kinds of social circles, or social contexts. Personally, I would behave like Nicky is describing, while expecting the other guy to behave like Robert describes, unless I'm shown some strong personality reason to expect otherwise. In general, I just don't expect most people to say what they think, whereas I usually do say what I think.

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Eiuol - What would constitute "proof" to you that a social norm exists? You've already rejected popular entertainment as a valid indication, so what would be? I can't very well survey the entire population for you.

Well, believing a social norm exists is enough for it to exist. I'm just asking for evidence of a social norm beyond a very limited scope, as that's the very thing that makes for a reasonable expectation. For a social norm to be part of reasonable expectation, we at least need to be in similar enough social groups. I don't deny that some people construe meaning in all sorts of ways, but I deny that this is a widespread norm that you say it is. Popular entertainment only indicates that many people find it funny how a scenario plays out. You need examples from daily life. At best, indirectness indicates possibility, and indirectness is on a listener to interpret. To say anything stronger is to assume you know what norms are present before even investigating. Even if you don't have proof, at least give me something to work with.

 

I know I'm being way technical, my point is really just that you're taking for granted how many people really think being invited up for coffee almost certainly means sex. More people are probably comfortable with a direct proposition for sex than you claim. And that's ultimately why I think the girl in question is 0% at fault. I know you basically said that what the guy did is worse, I just don't think the girl is at fault for anything except perhaps getting drunk (5% to blame maybe, but not much).

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The misconception you and another poster seem to be having is the idea that euphemisms constitute a type of "trick" one party is playing on another. In fact, the whole purpose of the exercise is both people are supposed to understand the subtext of the situation while being able to save face in the event of rejection. This empowers everyone involved by allowing them to "feel out" social situations without risking the social capital they already have. This may seem "illogical" to the more Randroid personality types out there, but it's actually a sophisticated and highly useful convention that well-adjusted people use with success and to mutual benefit in a variety of contexts.

So now you're not content with just spaming the forum with right wing talking points (alarmingly, several of them now down playing rape), you also respond to opposing views with cheap insults against both the opposition and Ayn Rand. Edited by Nicky
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Eiuol - What would constitute "proof" to you that a social norm exists?

Well, you called coffee a euphemism, and there are dictionaries for euphemisms, so it's pretty obvious what would constitute proof of it. Publication, edition, page and line number.
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Nicky, do you think these what you are presenting here are persuasive arguments? Please address the ideas being discussed and not coming across as attacking the individual discussing them. There are others who view these posts than just members of this forum. Is this how you show respect for rational discourse guided by a method of logic?

 

Edited: before, after

 

Further point of clarification: I am specifically referring to the two posts preceding this one.

Edited by dream_weaver
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Urban Dictionary - "Cup of Coffee" - Is code for sex. When you ask someone to get a "Cup of coffee" you assume they know what it means.

 

Urban Dictionary - "Coffee" - Simply it means sex "hey u wanna come up for coffee" really he/she means hey u wanna have sex.

 

Wikipedia - Hot Coffee Mod - Hot Coffee is a normally inaccessible mini-game in the 2004 video game Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas...The name of the mod is derived from the girlfriend's offer for the main character to come into her home for "coffee", a euphemism for sex.

 

Sexually Oblivious Rhino Meme - "Do I want to come in for coffee? But it's 3am. I'll be up all night."

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Is that a response to me or just Nicky? I know it is a euphemism, but that doesn't do anything for your argument that somehow the girl is responsible on grounds that she should've known what it meant. Going into a random person's hotel room is her fault, not because she should've expected the guy expected sex, but because trusting strangers especially while drunk is stupid.

Edited by Eiuol
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Nicky, do you think these what you are presenting here are persuasive arguments?

Yes, I think they're irrefutable.

There are others who view these posts than just members of this forum. Is this how you show respect for rational discourse guided by a method of logic?

Yes. Everything I posted is perfectly logical and an appropriate response to Robert's posts.

If you think they're not, you should speak your mind instead of asking patronizing questions.

Edited by Nicky
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I would concur they are irrefutable, but it doesn't appear conducive to creating any such desire to do so. To me, it comes across as rude.

Irrefutable to you and I is due to our understanding of the framework one uses to establish it as such. Is everyone who comes here supposed to already have the framework in place? Or immediately warm up to and be receptive to it?

 

As to patronizing, I think you are pretty bright and spot on..The questions I'm asking are the ones I am using to better comprehend the matter. I don't see the questioned approach as being very effective.

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I would concur they are irrefutable, but it doesn't appear conducive to creating any such desire to do so. To me, it comes across as rude.

Irrefutable to you and I is due to our understanding of the framework one uses to establish it as such. Is everyone who comes here supposed to already have the framework in place? Or immediately warm up to and be receptive to it?

 

As to patronizing, I think you are pretty bright and spot on..The questions I'm asking are the ones I am using to better comprehend the matter. I don't see the questioned approach as being very effective.

Ok, I give up. I don't understand what you're saying.
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So now you're not content with just spaming the forum with right wing talking points (alarmingly, several of them now down playing rape), you also respond to opposing views with cheap insults against both the opposition and Ayn Rand.

This is not the first disparaging comment about Miss Rand or Objectivism. In "The Liberty Movement Isn't" (subject of his first post, no longer directly linked) he states: Objectivists denouncing everyone - especially themselves – over who is the purist heir to kingdom of Ayn Rand.

  

To me, it comes across as rude.

I owe you an apology, Nicky.

 

I launched a new liberty-oriented blog today. It is viewable at the following address:

www.thenewversailles.wordpress.com

The site will focus on what can be done in light of declining liberty in America and identifying the forces causing the decline. My hope is that it will complement other sites such as OO, and that I can direct traffic here as appropriate. Please feel free to visit and leave comments.

I'm thinking that Robert is simply hoping to direct as much traffic, to his blog by using the popularity of Objectivism Online as a springboard, to his blog rather than vice versa.

Edited by dream_weaver
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Dream Weaver - If something is objectively true, is it disparaging to point it out? Are you not aware that the history of the Objectivist philosophy is dominated by warring factions, schisms, endless arguments over purity, and denunciations by strong personalities of other strong personalities? Amd that all of this continues to this day? Rand, the Brandens, Peikoff, Brook, Kelly, the ARI, TAS, the warring blogs RoR, OL, SOLO-P, and many others, etc. etc. It's a history of intra-movement hatred, resentment, and conflict. Does it make me a disparager of Rand to point out that maybe everyone should just... you know... stop?

I'm wondering why you are focusing on attacking me, in light of the many OO discussions I have generated, and not attacking the other Objectivist writers and podcasters who post conspicuously Reblogged articles and essays on OO without even participating in the discussions as I do.

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I'm very heavily leaning towards Nicky's point of view in this so far. I've been to women's houses late into the evening, past 12 AM, to hang out, have tea, and talk and have fun. Never did I assume that sex was involved - and in most cases it wasn't involved.

 

I think a relevant question here is this: if a guy invited you up to his house at 12 AM, you being a guy as well, for coffee or a drink, would you assume he wanted sex? If no, then why not? Why is it different for a woman? In all honesty, I treat my male friends no different from my female friends. Perhaps this is an astounding attitude or something, but it has always seemed fairly reasonable to me. If a male friend asked me into his house late into the night, he'd be pretty freaked out if I started coming onto him sexually - even given that I'm bisexual and he knows it.

 

Where I come from, being invited into someone's house late in the evening for coffee, or any other kind of beverage, does not consistute an invitation for sex. All it means is the person likes hanging out and would like to continue doing so. The fact that there's a lot of question here as to whether or not what she did could be interpreted as an invitation means that there should have been an explicit question from the guy for consent before beginning, and that he should have listened when she said no.

 

Edit: Also, are you fucking serious with this? "(there are two sides to every story and we only have one here, but we’ll assume she reported accurately for our purposes)."

 

You didn't contribute a single damn thing to your post by including that. You're saying that we should assume she's not lying. But why would you include that in parentheses if that's what you were assuming? The ONLY reason that that parenthetical is necessary is to imply to the reader that the woman in this case is lying, which is a really shitty thing to do. It contributes nothing else to your article whatsoever.

Edited by Iudicious
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Ludicious - Like Nicky, you are ignoring the important context in which the invitation occurred. Of course if you have a longstanding nonsexual friendship with someone then that context will control reasonable expectations. If the invitation occurs at the end of a date bar hopping, however, then it's likely the man is trying to initiate a sexual encounter and the woman should understand that subtext.

I included the parenthetical for exactly the reason I stated. We can assume the woman's account is true for our discussion purposes, but at the same time, it's important to keep in mind that this is only one side of the story. That doesn't mean the woman is a liar. People interpret and recall events differently; they emphasize different things. If we only looked at the plaintiff's case, every trial would come out against the defendant. I doubt the man involved would have written the article the same way as the woman did, so we should refrain from condemning him until we hear his side of the events - that's all I was saying.

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 If the invitation occurs at the end of a date bar hopping, however, then it's likely the man is trying to initiate a sexual encounter and the woman should understand that subtext.

Is it not possible that to most people, it really isn't a sign of wanting sex? As much as you insist that this is just normal, there hasn't been reasonable evidence that it is a widespread norm. Urban dictionary is only evidence of its existence somewhere, not everywhere.

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Like Nicky, you are ignoring the important context in which the invitation occurred. Of course if you have a longstanding nonsexual friendship with someone then that context will control reasonable expectations. If the invitation occurs at the end of a date bar hopping, however, then it's likely the man is trying to initiate a sexual encounter and the woman should understand that subtext.

 

Except that you're only assuming that that subtext exists. I've been in similar situations on several occasions - women have invited me to their house late in the evening without me knowing them incredibly well, us having recently met. It usually means that they want to hang out and spend more time together together. It MIGHT be interpreted as being interested in something more, but without any explicit evidence of that, it's not a good assumption to make. 

 

In any case, this seems to be a subtext that obviously exists... to you. And didn't obviously exist to the woman involved, or to me, or perhaps to Eiuol or Nicky. 

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Eiuol - As already explained, I'm not sure what you would accept as proof of a widespread social norm. You don't accept references in popular entertainment. You don't accept online memes. You don't accept Wikipedia or a cultural dictionary maintained by thousands of users. Lacking the ability to conduct a society-wide poll, I'm pretty sure nothing I could reasonably present would convince you. Please feel free to correct me on that point.

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Perhaps it's best to begin with Socrates: "No one intentionally missed the mark (adika)".

No one, therefore, blames the victim, as this statement is merely a rhetorical gesture, a poisioning of the well, as it were.  

 

Rather, there are various degrees and ways of understanding victimhood. To this end, I would agree with Ludi's story that sexual language, by its nature, is ambiguous. This is because in many real circumstances the sentiment itself of desiring sex is... ambiguous. Messages, then, are apt to be misunderstood.

 

To this end, many college campuses have adopted a "If not definately yes, then no" policy in which the burden of proof (illegally?) falls upon the male. For example, if he admits that he was taking advantage of her 'maybe-language' , then it's rape.

 

The definition of rape is therefore stretched beyond 'involuntary' to desigate 'not explicitally permissive'; it's moreover done under the proviso that colleges act 'in loco parentis'.  Now speaking as someone with two college-grad daughters who now both teach and give female counseling on campuses, that's fine with me.

 

In passing, none of this has anything to do with the sexist subtext that says, "She was really asking for it" This is nothing but the toxic rhetorical obverse to "victim blaming'. I contend that taken together, these statements form a polemical cloud that obscures the possibility of seeing reality.

 

That's why, lastly, the issue frequently comes doown to forensics: is there evidence of trauma? This is ostensibly why college clinics run late hours. In counseling the incoming freshmen with their 'standard' boy/girl speech. , my two offer printed directions as to where this is located...

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I realize Objectivists aren't known for being the most socially perceptive people (it appears the Sheldon character on Big Bang Theory isn't such a caricature after all)

That's actually valid.

 

Ambiguity serves an important function here as a safe means of testing waters, affording each party the opportunity to save face through plausible deniability in the event of being rejected. But with ambiguity also comes the risk of unpleasant misunderstandings; it’s a double-edged sword to wield to be sure.

That isn't.  If I understand correctly, the issue here is one of implicit consent; even though she said 'no' she really seemed to mean 'yes' and you would hold her accountable for that.  I wouldn't.

The thing about implicit consent, or sanctions, is that they aren't always intentional (even when you correctly deduce their existence).

---

 

Suppose, for example, that she did have some sense of that man's intentions and reciprocated them on some level (which seems likely), but not a conscious level.

We all understand what that's like; people make Freudian slips all the time.  And if you accidentally referred to some woman as your "breast" friend then she would likely be correct to infer that you had been thinking about her breasts. . .  But would you consider it fair if she took that as an implicit proposition and decided to break into your house, several nights later, on that basis?

 

The thing about consent is that it must be given deliberately, which also means explicitly.

 

Do Not:

Ask a woman to go upstairs to have sex with you.

Reason:

This makes the woman feel like a prostitute and shows you lack critical social skills and awareness.

Unless, of course, you find a woman who doesn't force you to play those stupid games.  :thumbsup:

 

If the man in your story had simply said much earlier that night "I would like to make sweet love to you" then she may well have taken offense, but what if she didn't?  What if she replied with an explicit reciprocation?

 

And if she was offended by his advances then would she really be worth them, anyway?

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