Question Du Jour

Paleo Retiree writes:

Why are so many young Americans today (esp. of the white-and-privileged sort) not-OK with the idea that there’s a difference between messy, bad sex and rape? Is it mainly because everyone these days craves victim status? And, if so: Why on earth are we cultivating a culture that holds up victim status as something that’s to be passionately desired?


  • Thank god for Camille Paglia.
  • Esther Perel is another brainy woman with a sensible, worldly view of sex. Here’s her fabulous book; here’s her latest column.
  • Those in a mood for a great anti-feminist rant might want to give a book by another Esther a look, Esther Vilar’s 1971  “The Manipulated Man.” It’s a little dated in some details, but Vilar’s generalizations about men and women — and especially about how women use men and men deceive themselves about women — hold up awfully well. There are good reasons why it’s become an underground classic. The Kindle version is only $4.99.
  • At my old blog I interviewed a woman who really was raped while a college student: Part One, Part Two. These days do I need to spell out that by “raped” I mean that she was raped in the traditional sense of “being forcibly penetrated under threat of physical harm”? I guess I do.

About Paleo Retiree

Onetime media flunky and movie buff and very glad to have left that mess behind. Formerly Michael Blowhard of the cultureblog Now a rootless parasite and bon vivant on a quest to find the perfectly-crafted artisanal cocktail.
This entry was posted in Politics and Economics, Sex and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

31 Responses to Question Du Jour

  1. Not sure I’d describe “The Manipulated Man” as anti-feminist, in the sense that it’s so much more. Certainly the portrayal of men is withering, though sympathetic. Anybody over 40 will recognize these harried mulemen as their dads, uncles and teachers. The Greatest Generation were very macho, and very much ruled over by their women. We forget that I think.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. michelle says:

    yes! that’s it exactly! today’s privileged white women think it is their right to enjoy sex as much as men! this is because they have been taught to read, have leisure time to do so, and often have unfettered access to the internet and books like dunham’s! it is only a matter of time before they are granted equal rights and what used to be a lousy lay is prosecuted as a hate crime! men will face the death penalty for shoddy sexual performance.

    young men will have to be informed at an early age that they must be nice to women, listen carefully to what they’re saying (no means no!), refrain from advancing upon them if they are drunk or otherwise incapacitated and deliver a serious deep-dicking to boot! it is also wise to develop prolonged post-coital cuddling and sandwhich-making skills lest they fall victim.

    or, we could just keep insisting that men are powerless to avoid charges of rape. everyone these days craves victim status.


    • I confess I have no idea what point you’re trying to make or even what point of view you’re trying to mock. I have no idea whether to take issue or give you a round of applause. Would you mind giving it another shot?

      Liked by 3 people

  3. Then we both lose, I guess.

    Liked by 1 person

    • michelle says:

      same as it ever was


      • Toddy Cat says:

        I gather that this is supposed to be sarcasm or something? Guess you showed me! You go (take your meds) girl!


      • michelle says:

        not sarcasm at all. i assumed the question was satirical because i don’t know who would perpetuate that tired, old way of thinking seriously or who it benefits. i only saw this hysteria through to it’s logical end and proposed a solution. eat a bag of dicks, toddy puss.


  4. Maule Driver says:

    I’ve only read the Time piece on Dunham’s book so far. The reference to a study saying the 9 out of 10 sexual assaulters are repeat offenders is interesting because it sounds like stats I’ve heard about other sexual predators, espescially child predators.

    One might think of child molestation as the ultimate sexual power play. It’s also often a play on what is considered consensual or not; the predator often depending on an agreement to silence about the act. But our society puts age constraints on such power plays so that any consent is invalid and the act illegal, i.e. statutory rape.

    I’ve known guys who ‘specialize’ in fucking inebriated women. They are not engaging in any kind of exciting ‘power play’ with a friend or acquaintance. They are predators taking advantage of those that lack the wherewithal to evade them. They get good at doing it and repeat the act on new victims. Some people like kids, others like drunk and stoned women. I’d submit that rape applies to both.

    My guess is that up-against-the-wall surprise butt sex following a sound thrashing between consensual adults can be great fun. But it shouldn’t be confused with a coercive end-of-the-night-at-the-club inebriated deflowering with a stranger.

    It’s not about the attractiveness of victimhood, even among the white and privileged. It’s about victims being allowed to move out from the shadows and the predators being held accountable. Popular among the white and privileged because victimhood is a privilege.

    The less privileged among us need to wait their turn because everyone knows that’s just the way they are or worse they be accused of some form of predation from the bottom.

    I think I’ll pick up Lena’s book, it sounds smart and interesting.


    • Gray zones are interesting to think about and god knows sex is almost always a messy thing. (And, as Esther Perel points out, who wants to lose what’s sexy about sex, which can include power dynamics, unfairnesses, force and inequalities?) But dwelling on gray zones can also lead to bad law. Do you really consider the encounter that Dunham describes to be rape? She lets him finger-fuck her. She goes back to his place. She doesn’t seem to have protested at any point. It doesn’t seem unreasonable to me to interpret all of her behavior as signaling “yes” … And it doesn’t occur to her to even think about the event as rape. So what’s wrong with filing the event in the “unfortunate and regretted” category? The trad definition of rape is along the lines of “coercively penetrated, accompanied by fear of physical harm and maybe even death.” Women who are raped in the trad sense have no doubt whatsoever about having been raped. NONE of that applies to Dunham’s encounter. Why, these days, would we want to move the goalposts? Isn’t a distinction between murky-and-regretted and outright-rape worth preserving?

      Liked by 2 people

      • michelle says:

        wait. this guy was charged with and convicted of rape? either you left that part out or it didn’t happen. i am absolutely certain that there are no well-adjusted young men who are as concerned with the definition of rape as you appear to be. most see women they’d like to have sex with as human beings and potential life-partners, not someone they are seeking to victimize without consequence. why would someone free from pathology wish to have sex with anyone who hasn’t clearly consented? why the interest in protecting someone with such bad judgement from the consequences of their actions?


      • Maule Driver says:

        Sometimes I so hate my MacAir – I just lost a reasonably thoughtful response that tied together child molestation and sexual predation into a cogent definition of ‘non-trad’ rape. Oh well.

        Let me just say that it isn’t worth preserving the distinction between “murky-and-regretted (sex) and outright-rape”. If men assume greater responsibility for their behavior and if women can more openly and safely indulge their own sexual desires then there will be more for both sexes to enjoy.

        Hedonism is good.

        That’s not to say we need to all go around looking for potential life partners to consent to carnal activities. When the dialog is less about getting to a consensual ‘yes’ and more about ‘no means no’, the real fun can begin.

        My fingers are bleeding!

        Liked by 1 person

    • Consent-while-intoxicated is still consent, hence I have a hard time viewing men who “specialize” in bedding inebriated women, as “predators” of any kind. They are simply giving certain women exactly what they want, at a time when they actually want it. The fact the woman might (or might not!) turn him down when she wasn’t inebriated, is not something he can ever know for certain, and is simply of no logical consequence. The fact is, while drunk, she did want it. And she thus she got what she wanted. And drunk women have the same rights as sober women; you aren’t under any obligation to deny them what they want, merely because they are drunk. And who’s to say that intoxicated desire is no less authentic than sober desire? I’m not sure the reverse isn’t true.


  5. Toddy Cat says:

    “The less privileged among us need to wait their turn”
    “Privileged” in what way? “Wait their turn” for what? Victimhood? What does this even mean?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Maule Driver says:

      It means that a black single mom that claims rape after a drinking session at the corner bar with an off duty police officer that lives near by, may be better off licking her wounds than trying to claim victim hood in a court of law. Make sense?


      • peterike2 says:

        Wow, that’s as wrong as it’s possible for a scenario to be. Black single mom, white cop? That’s a legal slam dunk for the mom and a ruined career for the cop from the moment the accusation is made. This scenario is very nearly non-existent and thus will be hyped in the media 24×7.

        Black man — drunk or otherwise, cop or otherwise — and white woman? Tough luck, whitey. Happens every day. Tens of thousands of times a year. Ho hum. We’re too busy dealing with “hate crimes” to help you out.


  6. Toddy Cat says:

    “i only saw this hysteria through to it’s logical end and proposed a solution. eat a bag of dicks, toddy puss.”

    Behold, feminist logic in action…


  7. slumlord says:

    It’s all become too friggin hard. Feminists have killed sex.


    • michelle says:

      oh, i see. that is the point if this after all. boring! i won’t be wasting any more of my time or yours. good day! good luck with your brand.


  8. Maule Driver — I’ve got nothing against men taking responsibility, women having a good time or anyone choosing to pursue hedonism as a lifestyle. I’m not sure I see how erasing the legal distinction between rape-as-traditionally-understood and messy-and-regretted-sex helps advance any of those causes, though. Or why the law should be concerned with advancing those causes, come to think of it.


    • slumlord says:

      The law has ceased becoming an arbiter of conflicts but rather an instrument of social change. The manboobs and hairy armpit brigade have taken over the legal establishment and seeking to establish through legal interpretation what they cannot do through democratic legislation.


  9. Speaking of the teaching of practices and values … Are youngsters no longer taught to cite evidence and make arguments? Or is expressing-your-feelings the be-all and end-all of contemporary discourse?


  10. agnostic says:

    Incidents like Dunham’s are obviously not rape, they are getting taken advantage of. Why can’t today’s leftoids speak out against vulnerable people getting taken advantage of? Partly because the women make themselves vulnerable in the first place by blasting their brain with so many hard substances in rapid succession, in a public place where they know strangers only have one goal on their mind.

    But there must be something more to it. We would object to a sleazy pawn shop owner offering a couple bucks for pristine 1970s receiver if it came in from a clearly stoned-out customer who says he just wants some cash to feed the munchies, man, you gimme anything for this thing?

    These cases involve not harm or force but violation of trust. She trusted the guys at the party not to be that type of sleazeball, the stoner trusted the shopkeepers to give him honest treatment. When they wake up the next morning worrying, “Oh God, what did I do?” they feel betrayed or lied to.

    Why insist on framing it as harm when it is not? Liberals are becoming so infantilized that it’s the only moral foundation they can appeal to anymore. “Mommy, that person hurt me!” No, they took advantage of you — it’s still wrong, but different from harming you. Kids don’t get it because they’re naive and don’t know about the possibility of having their trust betrayed.

    Grown-ups should, though, and the fact that liberals cannot even appeal to their second-favorite moral foundation — fair treatment — shows how stunted this society has become.

    Betrayal also taps into the moral foundation of community or in-group cohesion, but liberals are numb to that. If you’re both members of the same community (and typically they are even closer, being at least acquaintances), how could you think of taking advantage of her? Shame on you. Get out, and don’t come back until you’ve made up for it.

    But liberals value hedonism, laissez-faire, individual advancement, and other quasi-libertarian leanings that most Republicans do. Hence they cannot object on the basis of wanting to prevent people from taking advantage of others. Under hedonism, that is guaranteed. And if laissez-faire and non-judgementalism are sacrosanct, who’s really to say that we’re in a place to judge a mere sleazeball who takes advantage of others? I mean, it’s not like he’s using force or violence.

    Therefore, yes, he must have used force or threatened violence — that’s the farthest that the liberal is willing to draw the boundary. If they have an instinctive revulsion, it must be framed as some kind of harm, because anything less severe than that but still repugnant (like taking advantage of a drunk chick at a party) lies on the “fair game” side of the moral boundary line. Cognitive dissonance kicks in, so they rationalize what happened as harm / rape.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. agnostic says:

    I alluded to it by calling Republicans quasi-libertarians, but let me say that too many conservatives don’t know how to react to these scenarios either. They know that the liberals are hysterically over-exaggerating, and like to invent new classes of victimhood, so their instinct is to dismiss these cases altogether.

    But a drunk girl getting taken advantage of at a party isn’t a brand-new victim class. I’m sure that was a concern in Biblical times when the wine began flowing. It’s not as though she were a black who was denied admission to law school due to low LSAT scores, or a mentally ill tranny who feels robbed because ObamaCare won’t fund his castration / mangina surgery.

    Brushing the Dunham type cases aside, like “Bitch deserved what she got for getting drunk,” or “Bitches need to learn to fend for themselves when drunk at college parties,” is too far in the anti-PC direction, however understandable the revulsion toward PC is.

    I don’t sense any of that here — that’s more of a shrill Men’s Rights thing — but it’s worth emphasizing that it isn’t only liberals who are dumbfounded when they try to articulate their reaction to “drunk chick gets taken advantage of.” They both rely too heavily on laissez-faire and hedonistic norms to be able to say there’s something wrong with someone betraying another’s trust.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. DJ says:

    If women have “superior biological status as magical life-creator,” as Esther Perel so turgidly puts it in her latest column linked above, let’s see them procreate without sperm.


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