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tigtog (aka Viv) is the founder of this blog. She lives in Sydney, Australia: husband, 2 kids, cat, house, garden, just enough wine-racks and (sigh) far too few bookshelves.

This author has written 3414 posts for Hoyden About Town. Read more about tigtog »

6 responses to “Rebecca Watson made Mount Wahmbulance explode”

  1. SunlessNick

    Here’s a thought: if you’re about to have sex with someone and you feel like they might have drunk too much to consent but you don’t have a breathalyzer handy, then why not err on the side of not being a rapist and not have sex with them?

    That’s what I don’t get. Or rather, what I do get, and find very telling about the people who “don’t.” If, somehow, you really do find consent hard to figure out, you could conclude that it therefore doesn’t matter much if you violate, ignore, or bypass it – or you could conclude it’s therefore important to take extra care about whether you have it and that it’s not impaired – which conclusion you draw says a lot about you. Whether you want it to or not.

  2. quixote

    This reminds me of the work, going back to around 1980 eg Tim Beneke 1982, Robin Warshaw 1994), showing that it’s not at all hard to get rapists to admit to what they do so long as it’s not called rape. A recent-ish study: Lisak and Miller 2002 (abstract only), and some general discussion.

    Nothing has changed. I wish I was surprised.

  3. quixote

    (Gah. Sorry. Could a kind moderator fix my link in the previous comment? :redface:)

    [Moderator note: done! ~tt]

  4. Dmit

    “If you have sex w/ someone who is drunk, they are unable to consent & that is rape.” – Rebecca Watson

    If this is true, than 80-90% of people who have ever had sex have been raped.

  5. tigtog

    Dmit’s comment belatedly approved because I couldn’t cope yesterday with this level of teh stoopid it burns.

    ** have been drinking =/= drunk **

    I like my wine with my meals, and drink more than my doctor would like most weeks. I haven’t been drunk to the point of incapacity for decades. There is a very large difference, and pretending that Watson didn’t know that difference because of the limitations of 140-character tweetspace is a blatant strawman argument against the fact that she is describing an actual legal definition of criminal sexual assault in many, many jurisdictions.

  6. tigtog

    P.S. too drunk (or otherwise temporarily impaired) to consent is an ancient legal standard, by the way, when it comes to contract law. It was enacted to prevent fraudsters from getting people drunk or otherwise intoxicated enough to sign over assets/rights while their cognitive faculties are impaired, and for several centuries now has been a legitimate argument for the court to negate the validity of many a legal transaction.

    There’s also a long-standing requirement in legal transactions for consent to be fully informed.

    Decades ago the law caught up to the obvious logic that these venerable standards of establishing the validity of consent for transactions are ethically also applicable to personal interactions. If not, why not?

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