We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
The news focuses on on-campus rape, but proportionately far more rape occurs out in the real world. In either case, prosecution can be difficult.
I know many of our readers agree with me that rape is a matter for the criminal justice system, not for college panels. At the same time, college disciplinary panels do have the task of maintaining decency on their campi and punishing or expelling wrong-doers whether the issue is rape, theft, assault, plagiarism, cheating, etc.
I am not a lawyer and I spend zero hours in courts or dealing with criminal law. So my opinion is simply what I observe and hear. It appears to me that if a woman accuses a man of rape the assumption is that he is guilty. A very difficult accusation to defend yourself against. Probably more people in jail falsely accused of rape than falsely accused of any other crimes. Where the waters seem to be muddied is when the woman doesn't accuse the man of rape until weeks, months or years later. Understandably this makes people wonder why the delay. Now I understand that in some cases there could be a valid reason for waiting but in general it makes no sense.
Then there are the 'date rapes'. I have no doubt that date rapes happen. But again common sense prevails and you have to wonder why two lovers date and have sex for weeks or months and suddenly there is a 'rape'. I am reminded of a discussion with a divorce lawyer where he told me the first thing he does in a divorce is have the woman file a restraining order claiming fear of violence. This gives the lawyer leverage in the proceedings. He also said that if there are assets to be divided he also has the woman file sex abuse charges either to herself or her children. His reason is simply that it allows him to negotiate all the assets for the female party in return for dropping the charges. I assume not everyone has had that discussion with a lawyer but in general we all know this kind of thing does in fact happen.
In my humble opinion restraining orders are probably unconstitutional and useless EXCEPT as a way to use the weight of the legal system to take revenge on someone you dislike or has pissed you off.
I agree with you about restraining orders. They've always seemed pretty unenforceable anyway.
I'm sure that "date rape" (however that is defined) happens too, but in many cases, the ambiguity caused by loosening mores almost encourages a lack of personal responsibility. Women and men should be responsible for the situations they put themselves in. That doesn't excuse the apparent behavior of the men in the stories described in the article nor does it excuse women of falsely accusing a man of rape. We are used to regarding the straight-laced morals of our parents and grandparents as being overly prudish but they did make "date rape" almost unheard of.
A large part of the problem is that women aren't given blunt but good advice as to how to navigate the sexual hazards in this world. An accusation of rape is serious, and not to be undertaken lightly or for revenge.
Someone needs to point out to the precious snowflake that - should she head out to a party with the intention of getting really high and possibly "laid" - she doesn't get to claim "rape" the morning after because the night before turned out to be disappointing. Nor does she get to claim "rape" when she's been signalling all evening that she really, really wants sex, only to be turned off by the reality.
Men - and especially young men - are hard-wired for sex. Young women need to know this. Back in the day, the received wisdom was "..when he says he loves you, he's just horny.) Given the misinformation that's out there about the "sexual revolution" and how women are taking charge of their sexuality and throwing off the tired old mores, it's hard not to sympathize with the guys who are trying to navigate these treacherous paths and still be reasonably honourable. I don't know the answer; life was simpler in my younger days. But I do know that the current system is causing serious damage to both men and women.
My proposal is do away with rape as a crime entirely and just make it assault and battery.
The term confuses women.
Back in the late 70s Buckley wrote an article on whether a man could rape his wife, when the legal question came up. Buckley said that rape was an offense against feminine modesty and that couldn't happen in marriage. The correct charge was assault.
He lost the argument, and rape now means whatever anybody can push through, but retaining the confusing color of a crime against feminine modesty. That's confusing women about what it is.