Author Topic: In a self described serial rapist's own words, with an interesting twist...  (Read 44229 times)

NobleHunter

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She does more than just withhold information, her entire narrative is structured to evoke to impression of a male narrator, including using language similar to that used by MRA-types (or particularly entitled Doms *coughs*). She manipulates the performative aspect of gender, granting herself the actions and agency typically assigned to men while casting her partner/victim in a passive more usally female role. While she assiduously keeps her language gender-neutral on a denotive level, the connotations and context are gendered as all hell.

The piece suggests a number of interesting issues regarding gender roles, consent, masculinity and such, it's not really useful in coming to conclusions about it. The deception at the core of the piece renders makes it usuitable for testing the boundaries of consent or non-consent.

Pete at Home

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She manipulates the performative aspect of gender, granting herself the actions and agency typically assigned to men while casting her partner/victim in a passive more usally female role.

That's not obfuscation; that's a very useful way of forcing us to question the sexist way that we assign agency to males and passivity to females.

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The piece suggests a number of interesting issues regarding gender roles, consent, masculinity and such, it's not really useful in coming to conclusions about it.

I absolutely agree.  What buggers my mind is that you speak of that as if it were a bad thing.  I guess that the modern post-2000 feminist doesn't ask questions, but finds a piece useless unless it presents neatly packaged answers.  That's a bummer.

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The deception at the core of the piece renders makes it usuitable for testing the boundaries of consent or non-consent.

It's not useful as a test of consent, but it's useful to evaluate the "tests" that we use for consent, to measure the degree to which we are still bundling consent with dangerous archaic and oppressive assumptions about gender.  It's a meta-test
« Last Edit: March 03, 2016, 01:59:17 PM by Pete at Home »

NobleHunter

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It's mostly in response to Pyrtolin and Fenring's blathering about forcefulness and coercion and rape. I'm half-expecting one of them to start in about Helen of Troy.

The article is useful on a conceptual level but not much good in evaluating the author's conduct. Nor is it good at considering the experiences of her partner/victims. It's not that the piece doesn't provide answers, it's that the piece inhibits answers. It sacrifices utility for cleverness.

Bleh, I'm not communicating well I think.

Pete at Home

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Thanks for clarifying.

It's mostly in response to Pyrtolin and Fenring's blathering about forcefulness and coercion and rape. I'm half-expecting one of them to start in about Helen of Troy.

The article is useful on a conceptual level but not much good in evaluating the author's conduct. Nor is it good at considering the experiences of her partner/victims. It's not that the piece doesn't provide answers, it's that the piece inhibits answers. It sacrifices utility for cleverness.

Bleh, I'm not communicating well I think.

I agree that the piece is useless as applied to the victim's experience.  I do think that it's useful to deconstruct broken assumptions about rape.  And even the Helen story is useful there.  Have you read the Gorgias, Plato's recorded speech of a leading Sophist regarding Helen of Troy? Gorgias argues that Paris "compelled" Helen with his words, and that an artful speaker has such power to "compel" his audience to do anything.  (It is from the Plato's history of the Sophists, btw, that we get the word "sophistry.")  Interesting that some of the new constructs of "rape" revert to Gorgian sophistry, and assume an ability to force via mere verbal persuasion.

NobleHunter

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I was making a reference to that very argument. :)

Pete at Home

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I was making a reference to that very argument. :)

Then you are awesome.  8)

Fenring

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By chance I read the Gorgias again last week, although I didn't get NH's reference until Pete pointed it out. NH, my initial response was only an attempt to solve what the author's intent was. The rest of the 'blathering' was an attempt to get Pyr to define his terms since he claimed that she was a rapist. I agree with you that the conversation predictably became pedantic very quickly but that's what has to happen when creeping changing of definitions (even of the word "force") makes conversation using common language mired in confusion. This problem is indeed at the heart of the Gorgias, where Socrates knows that the three rhetors are not only using different definitions of the same words but don't even have a clear sense of what those definitions are when making broad sweeping statements. In other words, he shows the difference between rhetorical speech meant to convince and really getting into the issue. The issue here is not that exciting to me and I didn't think much of the article, but the meta-issue of subversion of language is very interesting to me.

Fenring

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And even the Helen story is useful there.  Have you read the Gorgias, Plato's recorded speech of a leading Sophist regarding Helen of Troy? Gorgias argues that Paris "compelled" Helen with his words, and that an artful speaker has such power to "compel" his audience to do anything.  (It is from the Plato's history of the Sophists, btw, that we get the word "sophistry.")

Seeing as I read Plato's Gorgias quite carefully last week I felt kind of dumb straight up missing a reference to it. I wondered how in the world I could forget a reference as vivid as to Helen of Troy; I swear I had no recollection of such a passage. I just skimmed the whole dialogue again and cannot find any such passage; certainly not in a speech by Gorgias himself (of which there are very few since Socrates tries to forbid speeches in the Gorgias). Pete, is it possible you're actually thinking of the rhetorical speech written by Gorgias himself called the Encomium of Helen? This speech discusses in detail all the possible ways and reasons Helen might have gone to Troy with Paris. If this is actually what you were thinking of, rather than Plato's dialogue, I then have to ask NH whether he was referencing that same speech!

Pete at Home

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quite possible.  I'd been told that the only speech we had by Gorgias himself had actually been recorded by Plato.  Was that erroneous?  It's been decades since I read it.  Funny that I instantly thought of it when I read NH's reference, but didn't realize his reference was intentional.

Fenring

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quite possible.  I'd been told that the only speech we had by Gorgias himself had actually been recorded by Plato.  Was that erroneous?  It's been decades since I read it.  Funny that I instantly thought of it when I read NH's reference, but didn't realize his reference was intentional.

I did a little checking and I can't find any source saying that Plato is the one who transcribed the one extant Gorgias speech on Helen. In Plato's own dialogue featuring Gorgias all of the text is Plato's writing in a fictitious scenario, and there is only one short speech by Gorgias there, which only answers a question Socrates asked him about why rhetoric is useful.

I'm curious to know whether NH was referencing the dialogue or the Gorgias speech.

NobleHunter

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The classics geekery has just gone off the scale.

I encountered the argument unconnected to its source. It was a class on argumentation rather than philosophy or Greek.

Pete, what else would I have been referencing?

Pete at Home

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The classics geekery has just gone off the scale.

I encountered the argument unconnected to its source. It was a class on argumentation rather than philosophy or Greek.

Pete, what else would I have been referencing?

I thought you were referencing the Helen story, not any particular argument about it.

Have you confused me with Fenring? 

I also encountered Gorgias in my studies of rhetoric, not of languuage or philosophy. Greek language is still Greek to me.

NobleHunter

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I meant that I don't see how the Helen of Troy story would have been relevant to Pyr and Fen's exchange without Gorgias' argument.

Pete at Home

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Exactly.  I thought you raised it as an example of something totally irrelevant to the topic.  hence my Gorgias response.

Fenring

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I'm lost.

NobleHunter

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Exactly.  I thought you raised it as an example of something totally irrelevant to the topic.  hence my Gorgias response.
It would have been an incredibly fortuitous non-sequitor.

Pete at Home

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Exactly.  I thought you raised it as an example of something totally irrelevant to the topic.  hence my Gorgias response.
It would have been an incredibly fortuitous non-sequitor.

Hence my eagerness to explain it.  Had no idea we had no less that three members educated in obscure rhetorica .  next you'll tell me you are familiar with Korax vs Tisias...

NobleHunter

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Nope.

Pyrtolin

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She made it clear in both stories that when she asked previously they had declined, which is why she resorted to applying pressure while they were off-guard in order to force them to give in.

Show me one quote where she said anything like this.

One:
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My mouth is ravenous on yours, but you don’t seem to want to cross the line.
Two:
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You’re kind of shocked. You start to talk. To argue. You’re not sure. I don’t care.

Three:
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I thrust you up against the wall. You’re protesting. You have to get back to the customers. I don’t care. I shove my hands rudely down the front of your clothes. Basically undress you.

Four:
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I *censored* you up against the wall while you protest.

That's four quotes intended to show up that the other partner was objecting and ignored; that she forced them to have sex despite explicit objections.

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I think you just made it up to dare me to go back and check. I did, and now it's your turn. And yes, she applied pressure for sure, but if by "force" you just mean some small amount of force, as in, "forcefulness",
Force as in pushing them to do something that they did not want to do. Again, violence isn't the only kind of force. She only said that she didn't resort to violence, not that she didn't force them to do things they objected to doing. In fact, she made it very clear that she did force them to have sex despite their objections. Again, you seem to be confusing being physically forceful/violent with the more general notion forcing someone to do something hey didn't want to do.

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and you call that alone "rape" then your definition is wanting.
The lack of consent is what makes it rape.

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That would be you determining for others what tone their sex has to be and taking away their right to have forceful rather than amiable sex.
That's absurdly irrelevan., Once can apply force in a consensual context. There's a huge difference between pushing someone who has agreed that they want to be pushed and pushing someone despite objections to being pushed.

 
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But ah - you are worried about consent. The first story mentions the guy "arguing", but she doesn't say what he was arguing. You assume his argument was "no", but what if it was "wait, are you sure you're ready?"
Doesn't matter. He was objecting and instead of respecting the objections, she ignored them and proceeded anyway.

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Your argument hinges on knowing what his argument is and that it's negative.
The story as presented depends on the implication that it was negative. It's possible that she's misrepresenting the scenario, but without evidence to support that, we should interpret it in the context that it's presented rather than inventing an infinite number of possibilities that could certainly change the context of the situation.

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In the second story she says he was "protesting" and continued to do so during. That seems like a clincher, then, except that the only thing she mentions him protesting is that he has customers upstairs. So again his protest could have been of the form "no, I don't want to do this now, some other time", which would validate your position, or it could have been "well of course I want to have sex but there are customers upstairs, this is crazy." How do you know which it was?
An objection is an objection. It doesn't matter what the objection is that was overridden to have the effect of overriding and invalidating the objection being offered. It's just as damaging and degrading to be invalidated either way.

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There's no question her actions weren't 100% cut and dry cordial, but for you to call them rape requires knowing more than you do. Are you sure you're not just calling it rape because she did and buying into her narrative? Because, again, I believe that is exactly how she wants certain kinds of people to react.
I called it rape because she acted without consent and despite explicit objections.

Pete at Home

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Pyr is consistent on this.  But no one else who claims that view is.

Pyrtolin

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Here's a good take on the matter, written from someone that gets it a bit better than the original article, which was, as noted, trying to mock the ideas that it highlighted when it played on harmful stereotypes to try to make a point:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ravishly/learning-to-practice-cons_1_b_8229342.html

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I thought I had seduced him, but the next morning, I learned I had actually guilted him. “I didn’t want you to feel bad,” he said. He didn’t want me to be the girl whose naked body could not even arouse her boyfriend.

I told my friend the story the next day. I told her I realized I would not be OK with any guy doing that. Was this any different?

“I think it’s different because men are more threatening,” she said. I think this belief is really dangerous. There are plenty of women who are physically stronger than plenty of men, but that’s beside the point. Sexual misconduct isn’t always accomplished through physical force. It’s often accomplished through emotional manipulation. And I had done that.

The truth of the matter is, if you convince someone to sleep with you, then the sex is not 100% consensual. It’s not necessarily rape, but it is a form of misconduct. Even if someone physically gets on top of you, they are not making the decision freely if something other than their own desires are influencing them.[/quote[

D.W.

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The truth of the matter is, if you convince someone to sleep with you, then the sex is not 100% consensual.
This poorly thought out sentence pretty much ruins their whole point.
If you are "convinced" then it is indeed 100% consensual.  If you agree after being pressured, that can be something else.

Pyrtolin

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The truth of the matter is, if you convince someone to sleep with you, then the sex is not 100% consensual.
This poorly thought out sentence pretty much ruins their whole point.
If you are "convinced" then it is indeed 100% consensual.  If you agree after being pressured, that can be something else.
How so? If you have to be convinced, then it's not consensual. That means someone had to apply pressure to you to get you to change your mind. (Unless you specifically put forth that you _want_ to be convinced as part of the process, but at that point you've already voluntarily engaged by confirming that you're open to the idea)

D.W.

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Do you believe we all have some sort of pre ordained destiny and that our first position is our final one and anything that makes us reconsider is an affront if not an assault?

"How so?"

In the manner that most if not all reasoning beings understand the concept of free will.

You are attempting to convey a point of view through a narrative which does not support it.  While it doesn't refute your point of view, the vehicle you (by agreeing with or defending the author) have chosen is faulty.

Pyrtolin

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Do you believe we all have some sort of pre ordained destiny and that our first position is our final one and anything that makes us reconsider is an affront if not an assault?
Impressions change over time. There's a difference between allowing them to evolve naturally and applying pressure to someone to manipulate them to meet your will.

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In the manner that most if not all reasoning beings understand the concept of free will.
Then all of advertizing and marketing is nonsense and doesn't work. The facts of the world disagree sharply. Emotional and psychological manipulation are real things and can have real effects on people, overriding their basic will. As the writer points out, we need to be very careful to distinguish between acting in ways that might lead to someone consenting and playing games that manipulate them into giving consent because we've decided that they will is less important to use than having our personal desires met.

D.W.

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Now read the quote I took issue with again.
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The truth of the matter is, if you convince someone to sleep with you, then the sex is not 100% consensual.

Are you suggesting that the act of convincing someone ALWAYS equates to manipulation?  Does this only apply to acts of sexual contact?  Are you proposing a "love at first sight" or "swipe for mutual consent based upon first impression app" as an ideal?

The reason making the point you are trying to, is so often met with resistance is not evidence of some wrong in the world or with a gender or preconceptions of gender norms.  It's that the approach often goes too far and looses cohesion. 

Advertising and marketing does work.  People ARE vulnerable to manipulation.  That does not however excuse or justify a position that any and all attempts to change someone's initial impressions or decisions is a sign of malevolence or even selfishness.  It is in my opinion the very definition of humanity.  When we become so insulated from others that our opinion is never influenced by others we have ceased to be human at all.

Maybe that's where things are trending?  It would explain our increasingly childish and uncivilized political rhetoric this season.  :P

Pyrtolin

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Are you suggesting that the act of convincing someone ALWAYS equates to manipulation?
Trying to convince someone is always a directed and intentional act. It's inherently manipulative. It's also very distinct from honestly presenting yourself and allowing them to choose how to react, because in the latter case, you're not applying pressure to them in order to push them toward your desired result. (Dishonestly presenting yourself, on the other hand is absolutely a ploy to try to convince them to do something by trying to force their reactions to go a certain way)

As soon as you step from "I'm doing this because this is who I am" (Which includes "This is how I react to what you've communicated to me") to I'm doing thins because I want to make you act in a certain way" you've stepped from controlling yourself to attempting to control others.

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It is in my opinion the very definition of humanity.  When we become so insulated from others that our opinion is never influenced by others we have ceased to be human at all.
There's a difference between not being influenced by what others feel, and using the fact taht you know others will be influenced to control them and make them act in ways that they'd otherwise prefer not to. One can react to the opinion of others, even to offer the suggestion that the opinion is wrong or to demonstrate honest change because of it, without attempting to force them to change their opinion.

Acting better in an honest way because you'd like someone to have a more accurate impression of who you are is one thing. That's controlling your behavior and allowing them to react as they will. Intentionally putting on an act for someone in order to force them to react in a specific way that meets your desires is not okay. BEcause you've gone from controlling your behavior and allowing them to choose how to react to it to controlling their behavior and reactions through manipulation.

Fenring

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DW, I think I know what Pyr is saying. He's saying that applying mental force to get someone to do what you want is morally questionable or even outright bad. Instead you should consult them about what they want and work with that. I recognize this as a kind of idealistic goal in human interaction, so let's work with that for a moment as assume it's a coherent goal.

What sorts of interactions in human society make use of persuasion where you finally get the person to do something other than what he/she originally wanted to, but where the final result is 'agreed' upon? If persuasion is going to be considered off-limits let's try and figure out which parts of life will be considered off-limits.

-Obviously advertising will be illegal, as its entire basis is in persuading people to do things. Sometimes it's borderline brainwashing, so advertising is right out. Likewise with attempts to market to customers or compete in any overt way.
-In business neither party in a transaction tends to accept an initial offer, and a negotiation must be made with each side trying to get the most out of the other. This will obviously be off-limits, and price negotiation will be illegal since it's 'coercive.' Market-based economics cannot function without initial disagreement and either one side persuading the other or a half-way point decided upon.
-There can be no moral education, since education (especially in young people) requires convincing someone that what they are currently doing, or at least naturally inclined to do, is harmful and should be stopped. Ironically this includes trying to persuade people that persuasion is illegitimate (!).
-The legal system is currently based upon two parties (lawyers) persuading a third party (judge or jury) of the merit of a case. There could be a legal system without persuasion, but the current one is based upon persuasion and so would obviously have to be scrapped.
-Jurisprudence and Congressional work also involve a great deal of persuasion. Even setting aside corruption for the moment, the activity of politics appears to mostly reside in the attempt to convince others to support or oppose a cause or a bill. Since this would now be considered as an assault jurisprudence and law-making as we know it would be scrapped in favor of another system.
-Friends who want to go out to the movies might have to all split up and go see different film alone, since persuading your friend to see the movie you want to see would be assault.

I think I can stop there. It should be evident by now that what I mean to say is that most human interaction of any kind involves persuasion and - ideally - agreement after the attempt to persuade or negotiate are concluded. Without each person being able to push their own idea of what should happen next, which in turn results in some kind of agreement being hammered out, then you have not only the end of personal agency within society, but also the end of society as we know it. From an idealistic standpoint maybe there would be something good about this, and indeed I wouldn't entirely be against the abolition of some of the cornerstones of culture as we know it. But typically when someone throws out a broad sweeping idealistic statement it will rarely come along with what the real consequences of its implementation would be. The words and the reality remain separate from each other, which is probably why the word "idealism" is met with such derision in most circles.

As DW has pointed out, it is Pyr's formulation of "persuasion cannot lead to consent" that is the issue here.
« Last Edit: March 21, 2016, 11:47:17 AM by Fenring »

Pyrtolin

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Obviously advertising will be illegal, as its entire basis is in persuading people to do things. Sometimes it's borderline brainwashing, so advertising is right out. Likewise with attempts to market to customers or compete in any overt way.
You are confusing right and wrong with legal and illegal. The two categories are orthogonal to each other. There's some overlap but it's absurd to suggest that they're even remotely the same. Advertising is coercive and manipulative. That means people should be aware of its nature so they can' better apply discernment. It doesn't mean that it should illegal.

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In business neither party in a transaction tends to accept an initial offer, and a negotiation must be made with each side trying to get the most out of the other. This will obviously be off-limits, and price negotiation will be illegal since it's 'coercive.' Market-based economics cannot function without initial disagreement and either one side persuading the other or a half-way point decided upon.
THis is not true if you start from the premise taht both parties _want_ to make a deal. Negotiating toward an end goal that both want is not coercive. Approaching someone taht _does not want_ to make a deal and pressuring them until they give in and make a deal is coercive.

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There can be no moral education, since education (especially in young people) requires convincing someone that what they are currently doing, or at least naturally inclined to do, is harmful and should be stopped.
Showing someone how something is hurtful and knowing that this will cause them to avoid that behavior is vastly different from making someone thing that a behavior is harmful to as to manipulate them into reacting. And again, there's the line between guiding someone who _wants to learn_ and forcing someone to listen who is uninterested in learning.

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The legal system, which is currently based upon two sides (lawyers) persuading a third party (judge or jury) of the merit of a case. There could be a legal system without persuasion, but the current one is based upon persuasion and so would obviously have to be scrapped.
Our legal system as even more problems than it might seem if you start from the presumption that judges and juries do not _want_ to be convinced of a given position; that they're being forced to review evidence against their will.

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Friends who want to go out to the movies might have to all split up and go see different film alone, since persuading your friend to see the movie you want to see would be assault.
Again, you're confusing negotiating toward a common goal with manipulating someone into participating in negotiation. Pretty much every item you put forth here ignores the difference between voluntary participation and being forced to participate.

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It should be evident by now that what I mean to say is that most human interaction of any kind involves persuasion and - ideally - agreement after the attempt to persuade or negotiate are concluded.
PErhaps, but on a voluntary basis. People negotiate because they both want something. When only one person whats something and they force the other person to negotiate and eventually give in to their desires, you've violated taht important baseline of mutual desire and are, instead, imposing your will on them.

D.W.

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Look up "convince" then "persuade" Pyr.  You appear to be running on an alternate definition where it is interchangeable with "coerce" or "deceit".

Pyrtolin

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Look up "convince" then "persuade" Pyr.  You appear to be running on an alternate definition where it is interchangeable with "coerce" or "deceit".
who do you convince or persuade someone who does not _want_ to be convinced or persuaded without first coercing them into being receptive in some way?

Again, as I directly qualified from the start, we're not talking about situations where someone has _invites_ another person to convince them, but rather where once person is trying to convince another _against their will_. That is fundamentally coercive.

Fenring

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You are confusing right and wrong with legal and illegal. The two categories are orthogonal to each other. There's some overlap but it's absurd to suggest that they're even remotely the same. Advertising is coercive and manipulative. That means people should be aware of its nature so they can' better apply discernment. It doesn't mean that it should illegal.

I'm not confusing legal/illegal with right/wrong. On the contrary, it's you who forgets the link between these. When you suggest that persuasion in a sexual context prevents real consent you perhaps think you're making a right/wrong argument but you fail to realize that you are simultaneously making a legal argument as well. If there wasn't consent the act was illegal. There is no way in our current way of conceiving law to think of a sexual act as non-consensual but legal. Again, I think you are speaking in idealistic terms without sight of what your use of terms would imply in the real world.

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THis is not true if you start from the premise taht both parties _want_ to make a deal. Negotiating toward an end goal that both want is not coercive. Approaching someone taht _does not want_ to make a deal and pressuring them until they give in and make a deal is coercive.

NO ONE in business wants to make less money than they dream of, and no one wants to accept high overheads and low profit from competitive selling prices. They accept this because they must, and because the choice is to be persuaded to offer goods and services at lower costs or else to lose the contract. I assure you they don't do this because it's what they always wanted. Negotiation in business doesn't happen because anyone wants to negotiate; it happens because otherwise you'll get nothing so you have to struggle with others to make a deal with them. In my experience commercial business is around 70% persuasion and 30% efficiency, with marketing and having the right access to resources being of primary importance.

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And again, there's the line between guiding someone who _wants to learn_ and forcing someone to listen who is uninterested in learning.

You think children want to learn how to curb their behavior? That they've volunteered to be trained and managed? And what about college age students? Do you think they attend in order to learn right from wrong - that attendance there is synonymous with requesting a moral education? If moral education was only given to 'the willing' then there would likely be very little of it around.

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Again, you're confusing negotiating toward a common goal with manipulating someone into participating in negotiation.

I'm not confusing anything. It is pretty much a de facto premise of living in society that you must be constantly open to negotiation. That basically is what living around others means. Simply congregating with others automatically implies that negotiations are constantly open, and only an explicit statement that "I am not open to negotiation right now" ought to be understood as being an exception. The idea that life isn't an exercise in constant negotiation is one or the more active arguments for the suppression of personal agency that I've seen. Agency means precisely trying to effect change in others!

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People negotiate because they both want something. When only one person whats something and they force the other person to negotiate and eventually give in to their desires, you've violated taht important baseline of mutual desire and are, instead, imposing your will on them.

People always want something. What you mean to say is that one person may want something orthogonal to what the other person wants and the other person would like to create an alignment in their desires. Yes, how terrible, trying to get people to want the same thing. I guess agreement has to be a spontaneous and magical thing.
« Last Edit: March 21, 2016, 12:26:44 PM by Fenring »

D.W.

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That basically is what living around others means. Simply congregating with others automatically implies that negotiations are constantly open, and only an explicit statement that "I am not open to negotiation right now" ought to be understood as being an exception.
While criticizing the message, seems to be a no-no to Pyr, I think you just hit on a point I wasn't even aware I was trying to make Fenring.

The attempts to protect people from coercion and harm would likely benefit from a discussion on how to best convey "I am not open to negotiation right now".  Suggesting that it is never OK cannot help but be read as ridiculous.  We need solutions which do not erase what it means to be human beings taking part in a society. 

Pyrtolin

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I'm not confusing legal/illegal with right/wrong. On the contrary, it's you who forgets the link between these.
We have a broken system that has may laws built on ignoring that distinction. That doesn't make the system de facto right, nor does to make the system illegal. It meas that people who see how it's broken should try to advocate for ways to fix and improve it to be more just and less coercive.

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NO ONE in business wants to make less money than they dream of, and no one wants to accept high overheads and low profit from competitive selling prices.
Sure most people are in business because they have a skill at creating a certain kind of value and they want to find a way to meet their needs and desire for luxury beyond them. Markets and money are tools they choose to use in pursuit of those goals because they've evolved to be the most effective way we have to transact on such issues. Heck, the most fundamental rule of markets:

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But man has almost constant occasion for the help
of his brethren, and it is in vain for him to expect it from their
benevolence only. He will be more likely to prevail if he can interest their self-love in his favour, and shew them that it is for their own advantage to do for him what he requires of them. Whoever offers to
another a bargain of any kind, proposes to do this. Give me that which
I want, and you shall have this which you want, is the meaning of every
such offer; and it is in this manner that we obtain from one another the
far greater part of those good offices which we stand in need of. It is
not from the benevolence of the butcher the brewer, or the baker that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest. We address ourselves, not to their humanity, but to their self-love, and never talk to them of our own necessities, but of their advantages.
Rests on pointing out that it's incumbent on anyone in business to fin out what others want and offer it to them so that they _want_ to trade with you, not to try to manipulate others into giving you what you want against their will.

Remembering, also, that the fundamental characteristic of a free market- the one that defines it as free, even, is the ability of other parties to choose to engage with each other on and honest and purely voluntary basis. Both parties have to want to reach a deal with each other, if one does not want to make a deal, but is compelled to transact, then the market is no longer a free one, whatever other market features it may still employ.

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I'm not confusing anything. It is pretty much a de facto premise of living in society that you must be constantly open to negotiation.
About factors relevant to managing the society? Yes. About anything and everything taht someone whats to commodify? No. I must will willing to negotiate on the rules of society in order to come to common ground with others in that society. That's far different than saying I must be open to negotiating with every other person about meeting their arbitrary personal desires.

We have a tool for social negotiation- government and the rule of law. We even have guidelines for personal dealings- courtesy and ethics. Those are certainly areas taht you must be able and willing to negotiate on in order to exist with others in a non coercive state. But none of them are sexual availability or other forms of direct personal trade, service, or attention.

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You think children want to learn how to curb their behavior?
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Most children want to learn and they want to be treated justly. Most certainly want to know how to be liked and treated well by their peers. They are absolutely open to learning about morality and behavior standards as the basic tools to those ends, though they may object to coercive methods of teaching.

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What you mean to say is that one person may want something orthogonal to what the other person wants and the other person would like to create an alignment in their desires.
Sure, which is why it's okay to ask if someone is open to making a particular deal, but not okay to manipulated them into doing so if they decline.

Pyrtolin

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The attempts to protect people from coercion and harm would likely benefit from a discussion on how to best convey "I am not open to negotiation right now".  Suggesting that it is never OK cannot help but be read as ridiculous.  We need solutions which do not erase what it means to be human beings taking part in a society.
One would think that saying that would be sufficient, but the problem comes not from trying to say that, but from the way we punish those who say it or just outright ignore it in favor of persisting to push them to change their mind instead of accepting the reply and perhaps changing what we offer until they choose under their own will to come to the table.

Fenring

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But man has almost constant occasion for the help
of his brethren, and it is in vain for him to expect it from their
benevolence only. He will be more likely to prevail if he can interest their self-love in his favour, and shew them that it is for their own advantage to do for him what he requires of them. Whoever offers to
another a bargain of any kind, proposes to do this. Give me that which
I want, and you shall have this which you want, is the meaning of every
such offer; and it is in this manner that we obtain from one another the
far greater part of those good offices which we stand in need of. It is
not from the benevolence of the butcher the brewer, or the baker that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest. We address ourselves, not to their humanity, but to their self-love, and never talk to them of our own necessities, but of their advantages.

Wait - does the highlighted part contradict your own intent in using this quote? It seems to me to detail what persuasion is and why it's necessary. The difference between persuasion and coercion is precisely that with persuasion you try to show how it would be in someone's interest to do something, even if they don't initially see it or agree. With coercion you don't care what they want and you try to force them.
 
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I'm not confusing anything. It is pretty much a de facto premise of living in society that you must be constantly open to negotiation.
About factors relevant to managing the society? Yes. About anything and everything taht someone whats to commodify? No. I must will willing to negotiate on the rules of society in order to come to common ground with others in that society. That's far different than saying I must be open to negotiating with every other person about meeting their arbitrary personal desires.

Wrong. I'm willing to simply state that you have a mistaken understanding of this, or perhaps just missed what I was saying. Negotiation in society is about everything, full stop. Humans are constantly in the process of assessing, conforming, changing, trying to change, and fighting for what they want. If you don't think interpersonal relations are about negotiating what each person wants and can get then while I can't speak to your personal experience (maybe it is like this) I can certainly suggest that you don't have much of an understanding on how most other people interact with each other.

I could go further and detail how the brain's basic design is geared towards negotiation and a constant give-and-take in every aspect of consciousness, including identity and sense of reality, but I won't even go there since it's too much to tackle here.

scifibum

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The reason that the bright line is "sober, enthusiastic consent" is that there is no other bright line.  Reluctant or hesitant consent are red flags and potentially indicate some kind of coercion. 

It'd be good for everyone to make the distinction between sexual ethics and legal standards when talking about this stuff.  Pyrtolin is espousing a bright line standard for ethical sexual behavior, but is not proposing to use the same standard to distinguish between felonious acts and non-felonious acts.  However, he's using terms that often have a legal meaning, so it gets pretty confusing.

When teaching people not to rape, I think teaching them to follow the bright line ethical standard is the right thing to do.  We have to admit that there's gray area between this standard and the legal definition of rape, but that highlights the reason we should be teaching this stuff: not because we want to prevent violations of statutes, but because we want to prevent harmful acts.   

There's also some gray area between the bright line standard and harmful behavior, but there's no way to consistently navigate that gray area without making mistakes and causing harm. 

One could argue that teaching the bright line standard is counterproductive because no one actually follows it in practice, but I'm not convinced.  We DO need to straighten out the terminology so that "tipsy sex with a new partner may be unethical" doesn't get morphed into the claim "tipsy sex with a new partner means you have definitely committed a felony".  The latter WOULD be a counterproductive message in the cases where it isn't actually true.  But it's hard to draw the distinctions without softpedaling the importance of the message.  I don't think we've got it figured out yet.

NobleHunter

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Enthusiastic strikes me more of an ideal than a minimum requirement at least within certain contexts. There are reasons other than simple desire to engage in sexual activity. While some of them are bad reasons, not all of them are. I think it's important to recognize that sex may be transactional or circumstantial. Bright lines are good but people are rather messy and it's unfair to set a standard of behavior that doesn't reflect that.

Pete at Home

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If Pyr wanted a bright line, he would use a term other thsn rape, because that is the sourde of all of the blurryiness, confusion, and catastrophe in the story.

Fenring

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We DO need to straighten out the terminology so that "tipsy sex with a new partner may be unethical" doesn't get morphed into the claim "tipsy sex with a new partner means you have definitely committed a felony".

It would additionally need to be clear that when we say "tipsy sex may be unethical" that means that, as you put it, it's a red flag, but does not automatically imply anything. I find it very hard to accept any standard for consent that cannot permit the possibility of tipsy sex with a new partner. Naturally it's possible someone can use drunkenness in someone else to circumvent what they knew the person's previous decision was, or to cajole them with untruths that in their state they can't process that clearly. But it's also possible that two people who are shy or inhibited both want to unwind their brains and get a little alcohol in them to do what they both want. And as you say there are grey zones, where neither party really knows what they want and a little booze helps inform their decision. After all, booze not only inhibits your processing but can alter personality and desire. I hear it makes people horny, too (it's only a rumor). I think in cases of tipsy sex, for example, specifics need to be determined before one can start passing judgement. Actually I don't like the idea of passing judgement on other people anyhow, but insofar as perhaps we must do so to an extent, I would prefer to be clear that just because a scenario 'may be' problematic doesn't mean it should be saddled with judgemental baggage and assumed to be a problem.

Insofar as alcohol can change personality and desire, I would prefer to argue that someone choosing to drink is choosing to become a new person temporarily, rather than to argue that they are the same person they were before and now lose the right to agency. In fact I think the reality would often bear out this position, since I would argue that a large part of the incentive to drink is for people to cease being restricted by what they think of as their personality or reputation or whatever, and to enable doing what they really want (whether this is 'really having fun', or 'venting', or exploring sexuality). Insofar as the desire to alter one's personality or perspective may often be a voluntary and deliberate act, I do not like the idea of claiming that such a person should be considered incompetent to actually carry out those acts once under the influence. It's a prohibition-type argument, where people are effectively forbidden from exploring altered states of consciousness or perception, and I don't like the idea of people being dictated to like that. I would make the same argument for drug use, by the way, on a libertarian basis.

Pyrtolin

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Wait - does the highlighted part contradict your own intent in using this quote? It seems to me to detail what persuasion is and why it's necessary. The difference between persuasion and coercion is precisely that with persuasion you try to show how it would be in someone's interest to do something, even if they don't initially see it or agree. With coercion you don't care what they want and you try to force them.
The difference is specifically in that last bit. In the quote they _already have the interest_ . You ask them "would you be willing to negotiate over this they say yes, and then everything is above board. IF they don't have an interest- if they say "No, this is not negotiable" and then you keep pushing them to negotiate regardless, you're not letting them freely choose to engage, but instead showing that you don't care what they want, but only about getting what you want from them. (The free choice to engage also applies if you're holding an existential need over their head- something they can't refuse to try to get because they need it to survive.

Remember wanting to not negotiate about something is, very much a thing they want. If you ignore that and try to force them to negotiate, then you are being coercive on that standard of not paying attention to what they want.

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Negotiation in society is about everything, full stop. Humans are constantly in the process of assessing, conforming, changing, trying to change, and fighting for what they want. If you don't think interpersonal relations are about negotiating what each person wants and can get then while I can't speak to your personal experience (maybe it is like this) I can certainly suggest that you don't have much of an understanding on how most other people interact with each other.
Not everything is a commodity up for sale, and it's exceptionally dehumanizing to not respect that. IF a person wants to puts some part of themselves on the market for trade, that should be their decision, not yours to force them into because you want to be able to buy it. IF they say taht their sexual attention, secret thoughts, their family heirlooms, or anything else is not for sale, then it is absolutely coercion to try to force them to sell them to you, regardless of the price you offer. IF they later see that you have something they want and willingly come to you in order to make such a trade, knowing that you've expressed a given desire in the past, then you're working on equitable ground.

Some people do seek out and enjoy prostitution as a trade. But  you're effectively saying that everyone's a prostitute, all you have to do is keep on them to sell you sex until they give in and do it, and so long as they break down in the ned and give you what you want, you must have been right, without any regard to the damage done in the process.

Pyrtolin

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If Pyr wanted a bright line, he would use a term other thsn rape, because that is the sourde of all of the blurryiness, confusion, and catastrophe in the story.
I like the phrase "sexual misconduct" that was used in this article to cover the grey area of things that are not okay, even if they may be legal. I'd be perfectly happy to run with that, since we lack much other language to specifically refer to it, short of pointing out the presence or lack of consent being the only real way to sort things between being labeled as sex or rape

Pyrtolin

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It would additionally need to be clear that when we say "tipsy sex may be unethical" that means that, as you put it, it's a red flag, but does not automatically imply anything.
It means caveat emptor. You're taking a risk because you don't know how it's going to turn out. IT won't necessarily go wrong, but it if does, that's the price you take for taking the risk.

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Insofar as alcohol can change personality and desire, I would prefer to argue that someone choosing to drink is choosing to become a new person temporarily, rather than to argue that they are the same person they were before and now lose the right to agency.
Sure, but unless they plan on staying drunk for the rest of their lives, you have to accept taht you're interacting with both people the sober and the drunk one, and that the sober one is likely going to be the one reacting to what happened after the fact, with as full legal rights to their body as the drunk person has (And alcohol is nothing compared to, say, MDMA (Molly/Ecstasy) when playing along those lines)

It's just as valid to say "I'm using this drug to help loosen my up to act a certain way" as it is to say "I trust that no one in this place will take advantage of my altered state to do something I would otherwise disapprove of" and there's no way to tell the difference unless you've talked to the sober self to understand what their actual desires are. It's fully possible you'll get the first case, but if you hit the second case, even if that was poor judgement on their part, the you can't walk back the damage after the fact.

Gaoics79

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Sure, but unless they plan on staying drunk for the rest of their lives, you have to accept taht you're interacting with both people the sober and the drunk one, and that the sober one is likely going to be the one reacting to what happened after the fact, with as full legal rights to their body as the drunk person has (And alcohol is nothing compared to, say, MDMA (Molly/Ecstasy) when playing along those lines)

It's just as valid to say "I'm using this drug to help loosen my up to act a certain way" as it is to say "I trust that no one in this place will take advantage of my altered state to do something I would otherwise disapprove of" and there's no way to tell the difference unless you've talked to the sober self to understand what their actual desires are. It's fully possible you'll get the first case, but if you hit the second case, even if that was poor judgement on their part, the you can't walk back the damage after the fact.

Curious that your rule seems to pre-suppose or at least strongly imply the least likely scenario, namely that one party is tipsy and the other is stone cold sober. How about a more realistic one.

What if they're both tipsy?

If they both regret it the night after, does that make them both mutually guilty of "sexual misconduct"?

If one regrets it but the other doesn't, then the one whodoesn't regret it is guilty and the one who does regret it is innocent?

What if someone feels okay about it the next day, but a week later feels regret? Does that retroactively impugn said conduct? If so, does the resulting regret in the party accused of misconduct in turn transmute the initial regretor's conduct, rendering it "misconduct"?

And appropo to the spirit of this topic, does the sex of the regretor versus regretee play any role in evaluating the nature of the "misconduct"?
« Last Edit: March 21, 2016, 09:32:27 PM by jasonr »

Pyrtolin

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What if they're both tipsy?
Then they both have impaired judgment and risk causing harm.

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If they both regret it the night after, does that make them both mutually guilty of "sexual misconduct"?
If both drivers in an accident are drunk, are they both guilty of a DUI and shared fault in the accident? Or does it mean that there was no accident?

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If one regrets it but the other doesn't, then the one who doesn't regret it is guilty and the one who does regret it is innocent?
If both drivers are drunk and the only driver that was injured was actually properly following the other rules of the road at the time (say, stopped at a red light) how does taht affect things?

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What if someone feels okay about it the next day, but a week later feels regret? Does that retroactively impugn said conduct? If so, does the resulting regret in the party accused of misconduct in turn transmute the initial regretor's conduct, rendering it "misconduct"?
If it takes a week for an injury stemming from the accident to be identified, does it make it any less an injury from the accident?

Except for the kind of harm taht one is at risk of causing, there really is very little difference between getting drunk and deciding to drive on a public road and getting drunk and trying to have sex with someone that one does not have prior agreements in place with. It can and many times does go okay, but the degree to which it increases the risk of an accident and personal harm to someone makes it reasonable for us to tell people that they should just assume taht it's not okay from the outset; and we don't try to magically make the harm justified just because both people happened to be impaired, rather we do absolutely hold them mutually culpable for misconduct.

Fenring

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I like the fact that you equate guilt or bad feelings resulting from sex to physical damage to a car. I suppose the car also gets to decide, based on public mores and advice from friends, whether or not it needs to go to the mechanic? Your analogy would be better if you were discussing injury or STD from sex, but when it comes to emotional fallout I don't see the analogy as being relevant. You may as well argue that you shouldn't get out of bed while tipsy, or better yet, that getting tipsy in the first place is a risk and you should only drink while tied down. After all, you could fall down the stairs.

Pyrtolin

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A risk to your self is a risk taht it's your business to manage. A risk to you and other people aroudn you becomes a risk that everyone has a stake in managing.

And being dismissive about emotional and mental harm just contributes to it, you're actively begging the question when you try to handwave them away as if they weren't meaningful, especially since every bit of evidence we have points to them being at least, if not more crippling in many cases than physical harm.

Fenring

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When you and someone else mutually agree to do something, you are not responsible for their part in deciding to do something, unless of course you engage in gross misconduct during the interaction and effectively break the deal. Anyone who has buyer's remorse after engaging in a voluntary act may feel badly about the other person but the only responsible party is him or herself.

Now, your analogy might be a little better if you were talking about drunken drag racing, but comparing an automobile accident to two people doing something legal and voluntary and one of them regretting it...l don't see the point. Sounds like a semantical waste of time.

Pyrtolin

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Now, your analogy might be a little better if you were talking about drunken drag racing, but comparing an automobile accident to two people doing something legal and voluntary and one of them regretting it...l don't see the point. Sounds like a semantical waste of time.
Wait, so if we didn't have laws against DUIs you'd be fine with drunken accidents, since it was two people deciding to do something legal and voluntary?

The law against it is a recognition of the degree of potential for harm and damage, and the degree to which it's important to bring community assessment of cost to bear against the issue, not what makes it dangerous in the first place.

D.W.

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I'm not sure the risk of crashing into a third party is equivalent to someone walking by an open door or window and seeing two drunkards going at it.  Some times there just aren't any good analogies.