Thursday, June 18, 2009

An example of the sort of conclusion-jumping that assumes rape without sufficient basis

Here's an excerpt from an article I came across designed to foment hysteria and scare the hell out of young women about the supposed prevalence of rape on campus. Read it and then consider whether this incident should be included in the statistics as a rape, as the article seems to suggest:

A long night at a Santa Clara bar led to a scary situation for senior Melissa Somero, who got more than she bargained for when she decided to stay the night at a male friend's fraternity house in August.

She remembers falling asleep in his bed and then waking suddenly as he joined her. He fondled her breasts and forced her hand on his genitals. When he tried to push her head below the sheets, she fled. She said she confronted her friend about the incident later, and he labeled it a "misunderstanding."

Let's state the obvious: if a woman is asleep without anything more, a man isn't allowed to force her into engaging in sex acts.

But that's not exactly what happened here, is it? We need to know more, don't we? For example, what went on before she got into his bed? What exactly was their relationship? And how drunk was she? How did she end up in his bed? Did she just pass out on his bed, or did she consciously decide to get in?

But just on the facts presented, the presumption has to be that it was not rape. Any other presumption is grossly unjust to the young man. Please understand, a full development of the facts might prove that presumption to be wrong. That includes knowing his side of the story -- because all we hear in this excerpt, as is typical in these gynocentric rape articles, is from the accuser.

In any prior era of the history of the world, to even suggest from these sketchy facts that this "must" have been rape, and that he "must" be a rapist for "taking advantage" of her, would be ludicrous on its face. And I would guess that if these facts were presented to a random sampling of modern adults of both genders, the overwhelming presumption would be that it wasn't rape.

She decided to spend the night in his house, and she was sleeping in his bed. And he's not supposed to think that she is inviting sexual activity? The implicit suggestion from the tone of the article -- which was written by a female and is wholly sympathetic to the position that any assertion of impropriety by a woman must actually have been impropriety -- is that the young man's assertion that it was a "misunderstanding" is bullshit.

You know what? It sounds to me that, at best, it was a misunderstanding for which he was not culpable. More likely, she invited sexual activity and then chickened out when her boyfriend actually had the balls to initiate it.