Author Topic: Richard Dawkins is not my hero  (Read 4077 times)

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Online nogodsforme

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Re: Richard Dawkins is not my hero
« Reply #58 on: September 09, 2013, 02:29:12 PM »
Hatter, suppose you have a niece or daughter about 12 or 13. What would you tell her about what she can expect from men in public as she gets older? Do you tell her nothing, and let her think it is her fault that she gets sexual comments and more from men she does not know? A grown man in a park holding a baby asked me if I wanted to f--k him. I was a skinny, ugly 13 year old. The man scared me to death, because I had never been prepared for such a situation.

You wonder if there is something wrong with you-- why are you attracting this? Are you supposed to learn to like it?  You begin to think about how you dress, how you walk, what expression you have on your face. You hate anyone who seems to like the attention, and join in condemning the people who do end up attacked-- they were asking for it, right?

From the time we are little girls, we are taught that we cannot be as free to move about in the world as our brothers, because stuff--even if it is not clear what-- happens to girls that is less likely to happen to boys. And the way we are treated when we are out and about reinforces what we have been told. I have many other stories, some far worse than what happened to me on the bus. And I don't think I have been particularly unlucky. 

How different life would be for men, if any time they left their house, they could expect that gay men would randomly call out comments to them from passing cars, openly assess their body parts, rate them as a 2 or an 8, sometimes try to touch them, proposition them, make lewd gestures at them, and so forth.  Imagine how aggravating and exhausting that would be.

If you react negatively to any of this, you can be expected to be called even worse names or threatened with attack. Like the lady at the atheist convention. Sometimes the same sh!t comes from people you know, people you like and respect, so you don't know how to respond.  Kick him between the legs? Right. You have to keep on interacting with the neighbor, coworker or friend's father. It never even occurs to you to tell anyone.

And women have less recourse when stuff does happen because of the power relation thing. Most women don't do anything about it, even when assaulted-- some don't even tell anyone it happened. Amazingly, it does not make women hate men. After being assaulted by men, women continue to work beside them, befriend them, date them and marry them. Seriously, it is almost impossible for women to avoid men completely, even if they wanted to. So I don't get the "women over react and hate all men" crap.

What more is there to understanding the issue--it is a fact that women need to be wary of men. Men need to be wary of men as well. Men are the people most likely to do bad sh!t to other people. And being wary does not mean that women hate all men. We have been taught by experience and from accounts by other women to watch out. Any interaction with a stranger, friend, neighbor, boss or celebrity can turn sour.

The problem here is that if women are not wary of men, it is still the women who are blamed if something bad happens to them. Just like the lady at the atheist convention--she reports what happened and she is the one who gets the insults, the rape and death threats, not the guys involved. That is why most women don't tell. The accounts that get public attention are just the tip of a very ugly iceberg.

Now I have to teach my daughter how to deal with the comments and so forth she is beginning to get when she is out.  :( :-\
Extraordinary claims of the bible don't even have ordinary evidence.

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Online Jag

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Re: Richard Dawkins is not my hero
« Reply #59 on: September 27, 2013, 10:27:31 AM »
True story: I was in my car stopped in a left turn lane behind an SUV sporting a "Marriage is between One Man and One Woman" bumper sticker. That's the limit of what I noticed in an absent-minded way about the vehicle. The light turned, and we both proceeded through the intersection with the SUV swinging wide to end up in the right hand lane as the turn was completed. I stayed in the left lane and glanced to the side at the driver, out of habit, simply ensuring the he was, in fact, bound for the far lane. Imagine my shock when the older gentleman driver made this gesture at me: index and middle finger spread wide and his tongue flicking back and forth between them while leering at me.

What I just sexually assaulted? I guess it depend on how you define assault. Technically, I was, but honestly, in my mind I was being threatened more than anything. My instant reaction was fear, but me being me, it was closely followed by fury. That arrogant f'ing cretin had just threatened to sexually assault me, simply because I was a woman driving on the same road as he was.

Is it okay for me to say, guys, don't do that?

It gets better. The same guy honked at me at the next light, which was red. I knew what was coming but was actually prepared for it this time - I looked at him again, to see him repeating the same gesture. I smiled sweetly and showed him the now-opened folding knife that was in my console by sheer coincidence and watch all the color drain our of his face, while his hand fell away from his mouth. As far as I could tell, he never even looked at me again, and I accelerated hard when the light turned green. I wanted as much distance as possible between me and him. Oh and this happened less than a mile from my house in my own neighborhood. Creepy in the extreme to think that this man may be one of my neighbors - we live in a community on the outskirts of the metro area, and the properties there are typically 3-5 acres and surrounded by tress - the privacy is a big part of the appeal but suddenly seemed a bit less appealing.

This is not an unusual occurrence, and I'm still furious about it, months after the fact. The man threatened my sense of safety, my sense of autonomy and my absent minded assumption that I could drive down a highway as a human being instead of an object to be treated as such. This isn't even the first time that specific thing has happened to me, but something in that encounter really hit me hard, and lingers to this day. I think it might be my "elevatorgate" - the single incident that proved to be my last straw on the matter, after a lifetime of equally upsetting incidents directed at me for not having a penis. This event, in isolation, is a relatively small matter, but enough on it's own to tip the whole history of similar events into "that's e-fricking-nough and I'm done being silent about this crap."

Yes, these things happen to women every day and this story isn't really any big deal AT ALL in the face of countless examples of much, much worse. I absolutely believe that most men do not behave this way (my BF was shocked to his core that ANYONE would do such a thing), and that the old fart in the SUV MEANT to scare me - how many women had he pulled that exact same stunt on who responded as expected? I'm pretty confident that he was shocked by my response but the unsettling thought that didn't occur to me for several hours is that this man lives in my neighborhood - and could find me again if he decided to do so.

This is the only place I have voiced that fear.

I carry that same knife with me everywhere now.
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Online nogodsforme

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Re: Richard Dawkins is not my hero
« Reply #60 on: September 27, 2013, 03:53:12 PM »
I hear you, Jag. I think most women have experienced enough events like that to fill a book.  What seems like a minor thing to the man doing it can mess up your whole day, week, month. You can't just forget about it. Plus you have to worry about seeing him again. Sh!t like that affects how we see the world. 

I saw the man who propositioned me in the park a few days later in a local department store. He saw me and grinned. I was so scared I had to leave my shopping and get out of the store.   A man might think that I over-reacted, like the woman in the elevator. After all, we were also in a public place and he never even touched me-- can't a man smile at a lady or ask her to join him for a cup of coffee anymore?

When stats show that women still don't earn as much as men, I wonder how much of that is due to women trying to avoid future harassment and assault, or reacting to something like that in the past. Trying to be safe and vigilant can affect what jobs we decide to take, whether we work late or on weekends, if we should go on that sales trip with the boss, what conference events we attend, which bus route to take, or if there is a safe place to park after driving to work.

Even with all that constant vigilance, if something bad happens, the woman still has to justify why she was where she was. People will speculate about what she had on, whether she was too friendly and "led him on". I have a friend who has a very talkative, outgoing and bubbly personality. She is constantly dealing with aggressive attention from men she doesn't know. She says it is exhausting and makes her try to tone herself down.

On the other hand, if a woman is just trying to go about her life, she can be blamed for being stuck up and not friendly enough. If I had a dollar for every time some slimeball intruded on my private thoughts with, "C'mon, baby, how about a smile for me, you sweet thing." I have gotten increasingly hostile reactions from men for not smiling back, chatting or seeming appreciative enough after an initial sexual remark.

Sometimes, it is a relief to be getting old. :P
Extraordinary claims of the bible don't even have ordinary evidence.

Kids aren't paying attention most of the time in science classes so it seems silly to get worked up over ID being taught in schools.

Offline LoriPinkAngel

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Re: Richard Dawkins is not my hero
« Reply #61 on: September 30, 2013, 05:05:59 PM »

Even with all that constant vigilance, if something bad happens, the woman still has to justify why she was where she was. People will speculate about what she had on, whether she was too friendly and "led him on". I have a friend who has a very talkative, outgoing and bubbly personality. She is constantly dealing with aggressive attention from men she doesn't know. She says it is exhausting and makes her try to tone herself down.
 

And even worse, we can be our own worst enemies.  How much negative attention does this woman above get from other women hating on her and jealous of the attention she gets from men?
It doesn't make sense to let go of something you've had for so long.  But it also doesn't make sense to hold on when there's actually nothing there.

Offline Quesi

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Re: Richard Dawkins is not my hero
« Reply #62 on: September 30, 2013, 05:59:03 PM »

And even worse, we can be our own worst enemies.  How much negative attention does this woman above get from other women hating on her and jealous of the attention she gets from men?

That is the saddest part of the story.

What was she doing there in that bar drinking at 4 AM?  What did she expect would happen?

No man would ever have to face those questions. 

Offline LoriPinkAngel

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It doesn't make sense to let go of something you've had for so long.  But it also doesn't make sense to hold on when there's actually nothing there.

Offline screwtape

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Re: Richard Dawkins is not my hero
« Reply #64 on: October 01, 2013, 07:35:34 AM »
That is the saddest part of the story.

What was she doing there in that bar drinking at 4 AM?  What did she expect would happen?

No man would ever have to face those questions.

Terrific point.  If some guy coming home from a bar at 3am on sunday morning were raped, would anyone question the way he was dressed?  Question what he was doing there?  Call him a slut and suggest he was asking for it?  Tell him he should have just laid back and enjoyed it?


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Offline pianodwarf

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Re: Richard Dawkins is not my hero
« Reply #65 on: October 01, 2013, 07:48:50 AM »
If some guy coming home from a bar at 3am on sunday morning were raped, would anyone question the way he was dressed?  Question what he was doing there?  Call him a slut and suggest he was asking for it?  Tell him he should have just laid back and enjoyed it?

No.  Some would say he was gay, some would laugh at him, some would say he wasn't a real man because he wasn't able to fight off his attackers, some would sneer at him and say that now he "knows what it's like", etc etc.
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Offline Hatter23

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Re: Richard Dawkins is not my hero
« Reply #66 on: October 01, 2013, 07:57:23 AM »

Terrific point.  If some guy coming home from a bar at 3am on sunday morning were raped, would anyone question the way he was dressed? 

Actually, yes. If he was crossdressing, or wearing revealing, tight clothes, or fetish attire....I would bet people would say 'he was asking for it.'





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Offline screwtape

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Re: Richard Dawkins is not my hero
« Reply #67 on: October 01, 2013, 08:17:53 AM »
Actually, yes. If he was crossdressing, or wearing revealing, tight clothes, or fetish attire....I would bet people would say 'he was asking for it.'

I'm talking about just some regular guy wearing regular clothes.  I doubt that most women who are raped are walking around in fetish gear or clothing that is especially out of the ordinary.
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Re: Richard Dawkins is not my hero
« Reply #68 on: October 02, 2013, 12:20:51 PM »
From a link posted over at Pharyngula, about sexism online and in the music industry. The last paragraph is (to me) an eloquent reply to the accusation that women who speak out about this kind of shit are "whining" or cultivating "victimhood".
Quote
I am almost entirely sure that the comments underneath this article will be as varied as those underneath my original post. I am not a martyr, nor am I attempting to change the world in any revolutionary way. I am only in a band, not one of the many wonderful people in organisations striving for change. My involvement in this discussion is not motivated by a self-righteous or self-pitying urge. My hopes are that if anything good comes out of this, it will start a conversation, or continue the conversation which is already happening, encouraging others to reject an acceptance of the status quo, and that our band can continue to do what we are doing in our own way and on our own terms. For us, this has always been – and hopefully will always be – about the music, and that is what we will be getting back to now.

http://www.theguardian.com/music/musicblog/2013/sep/30/chvrches-lauren-mayberry-online-misogyny?commentpage=3
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Offline Graybeard

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Re: Richard Dawkins is not my hero
« Reply #69 on: October 05, 2013, 08:35:43 AM »
..the older gentleman driver made this gesture at me: index and middle finger spread wide and his tongue flicking back and forth between them while leering at me.
Has this man not immediately removed himself from the gene-pool? I see this in evolutionary terms: if the peacock tries to sing instead of displaying its feathers, its line is going to end pretty sharply.

We can all think of "the worst chat-up lines in the world." and that is why we don't use them - we know what would happen if we did. The unfortunate thing is that there must be some women who think his general behaviour (of which this is likely to be a very small part) is acceptable/funny/etc.
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Online Jag

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Re: Richard Dawkins is not my hero
« Reply #70 on: October 05, 2013, 10:13:54 AM »
..the older gentleman driver made this gesture at me: index and middle finger spread wide and his tongue flicking back and forth between them while leering at me.
Has this man not immediately removed himself from the gene-pool? I see this in evolutionary terms: if the peacock tries to sing instead of displaying its feathers, its line is going to end pretty sharply.

We can all think of "the worst chat-up lines in the world." and that is why we don't use them - we know what would happen if we did. The unfortunate thing is that there must be some women who think his general behaviour (of which this is likely to be a very small part) is acceptable/funny/etc.

Perhaps, but I might be more inclined to see it that way if I thought it was an invitation, an opening gambit, an effort to break the ice. I don't. And I'm certainly not going to excuse it as a "very small part" of his "general behavior" - I think I'll just stick with seeing it as a "general indication of his disdain for women".

Thanks for man'splaining it to me though.
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Offline neopagan

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Re: Richard Dawkins is not my hero
« Reply #71 on: October 05, 2013, 10:51:22 AM »
I wondered what the eff this lunatic hoped to accomplish by his behavior?  Did he think you would pull over and invite him back to your home for a tumble?  Did he hope to frighten you (obviously, but to what end - a quick giggle at your expense)?  Either way, it shows he is either delusional or a predator.  I feel sorry for his family, assuming he has one that can bear to be around him.

I was in a somewhat similar situation while in a foreign locale once, and it took me completely by surprise to be "sexually threatened" (by a male).  I could not imagine that being something in the back of my mind in every most interactions with men, like it must be for many women.
« Last Edit: October 05, 2013, 10:53:35 AM by neopagan »
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Offline Azdgari

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Re: Richard Dawkins is not my hero
« Reply #72 on: October 05, 2013, 11:06:04 AM »
I understand that I am a big bad male, but I'm going to put a different spin on it.

I have been shot at by a black person. Should I now treat all blacks as people who want to shoot me?

Because AFAIAC, that is THE SAME ARGUMENT, except it isn't the politically correct one.

Can you identify something about someone being black that would make you far more likely to get shot by one than by someone who is not black?  Do a large % of people get shot by black men at some point in their lives?

If the answer to both of those questions is "yes", then the answer to your question above is also "yes".  As far as I know, the answer to both of those questions is "no", though.

Can you identify something about someone being a man that would make a woman far more likely to get raped by him than by someone who is not a man?  Do a large % of women get raped by men at some point in their lives?

If the answer to both of those questions is "yes", then women are likewise justified in feeling afraid.  And unlike in your analogy, the answer to these questions really is yes.
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Offline neopagan

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Re: Richard Dawkins is not my hero
« Reply #73 on: October 05, 2013, 11:27:11 AM »
^^^
Quote
Do a large % of women get raped by men at some point in their lives?

If you meant, "Do a large % of the women who are raped get raped by men," then I agree
If xian hell really exists, the stench of the burning billions of us should be a constant, putrid reminder to the handful of heavenward xians how loving your god is.  - neopagan

Offline Azdgari

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Re: Richard Dawkins is not my hero
« Reply #74 on: October 05, 2013, 12:16:07 PM »
No, I meant what I wrote.  You don't think the minimum of 5% of all women is a large %, given the subject matter?  How about the "nearly 20%" of women who'd been sexually attacked according to the CDC?  Not a high enough % to worry about yet, for you?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rape_by_gender#Rape_of_females_by_males
« Last Edit: October 05, 2013, 12:20:31 PM by Azdgari »
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Offline neopagan

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Re: Richard Dawkins is not my hero
« Reply #75 on: October 05, 2013, 12:47:50 PM »
No, I meant what I wrote.  You don't think the minimum of 5% of all women is a large %, given the subject matter?  How about the "nearly 20%" of women who'd been sexually attacked according to the CDC?  Not a high enough % to worry about yet, for you?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rape_by_gender#Rape_of_females_by_males

understood... see where you were going now
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Offline LoriPinkAngel

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Re: Richard Dawkins is not my hero
« Reply #76 on: October 05, 2013, 04:03:28 PM »

Can you identify something about someone being black that would make you far more likely to get shot by one than by someone who is not black?

No, all blacks do not have guns.
Quote
Can you identify something about someone being a man that would make a woman far more likely to get raped by him than by someone who is not a man? 

Most rapes are done with penises.  All men have penises.











It doesn't make sense to let go of something you've had for so long.  But it also doesn't make sense to hold on when there's actually nothing there.

Offline Azdgari

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Re: Richard Dawkins is not my hero
« Reply #77 on: October 05, 2013, 08:09:10 PM »
^^ Indeed.
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Offline Nam

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Re: Richard Dawkins is not my hero
« Reply #78 on: October 05, 2013, 09:07:55 PM »
All men have penises.

John Boehner doesn't, and he's raping 800,000 people simultaneously.

;)

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Re: Richard Dawkins is not my hero
« Reply #79 on: October 05, 2013, 10:05:33 PM »
^^What is sitting on top of his shoulders?
It doesn't make sense to let go of something you've had for so long.  But it also doesn't make sense to hold on when there's actually nothing there.

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Re: Richard Dawkins is not my hero
« Reply #80 on: October 06, 2013, 01:11:31 PM »
^^^^Ohhhh, no she di'in't! And it's neon orange!
Extraordinary claims of the bible don't even have ordinary evidence.

Kids aren't paying attention most of the time in science classes so it seems silly to get worked up over ID being taught in schools.

Online nogodsforme

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Re: Richard Dawkins is not my hero
« Reply #81 on: October 06, 2013, 03:09:53 PM »
If some guy coming home from a bar at 3am on sunday morning were raped, would anyone question the way he was dressed?  Question what he was doing there?  Call him a slut and suggest he was asking for it?  Tell him he should have just laid back and enjoyed it?

No.  Some would say he was gay, some would laugh at him, some would say he wasn't a real man because he wasn't able to fight off his attackers, some would sneer at him and say that now he "knows what it's like", etc etc.

Yes, a man who is attacked sexually will get even more ridicule and derision than a woman-- from the same people who say women are "asking for it". I was trying to think what the reason for this would be. I believe it is because a man who is attacked is put into the same category as a woman. See, if a man is raped, it had to be because he was not manly enough. He was too much like a woman, and you know what kind of treatment women get.

Whether he was assaulted in the military by another soldier, in jail by a fellow prisoner, on the street by a gang or by the truck driver who picked him up hitchhiking. He was gay, or dressed too flamboyantly, or was too-youthful looking, or did not fight hard enough. If he had been a real man, something like a cross between Rambo and the Terminator, he would never have been attacked.

The mentality there is that women should expect to be treated like pieces of meat, and men who somehow get put into the same category as women (even after the fact) can also expect that treatment. That is why some men are so terrified of gay rights, gays in the military, etc. These men are afraid of being treated by gay men the way they themselves treat women-- being ogled, propositioned, harassed, touched, leered at, even assaulted.
 
Some men dismiss the effects of this on women as trivial, what they deserve for behaving too assertively or being a slut or whatever.[1]But the fear and horror some men express at the idea of being on the receiving end (so to speak) of similar treatment is telling. "What if one of those fags looks at me in the shower! Ugh! I would feel violated!"

However, men don't grow up with the same kinds of restrictions that are supposed to protect them. So I think a man is especially shocked if he gets attacked. Women at some level, expect it to happen. And sadly, it sometimes does.

 1. People on this site are probably too young to remember Phyllis Schlafly dismissing sexual harassment in the workplace-- "A virtuous women would never have to worry about something like that."
Extraordinary claims of the bible don't even have ordinary evidence.

Kids aren't paying attention most of the time in science classes so it seems silly to get worked up over ID being taught in schools.

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Re: Richard Dawkins is not my hero
« Reply #82 on: October 06, 2013, 03:31:04 PM »
The truth is absolute. Life forms are specks of specks (...) of specks of dust in the universe.
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Re: Richard Dawkins is not my hero
« Reply #83 on: October 06, 2013, 06:31:06 PM »
I started thinking about this thread again after reading about a cab driver in another country who raped his female passengers. I can hear the unsympathetic remarks about how girls and women nowadays go around dressed like whores and joining the army trying to do men's jobs, so what do they expect? And if the woman herself was not dressed like a whore, well, it's because other women dress like that and men just lose control and attack the next female they see.  (They remain in enough control to make sure to wait and attack the woman in a place where they won't get caught.... &))

<sarcasm alert>Stuff like this is bound to happen when women move around the world like they are human beings or something. It's like a natural disaster or being struck by lightning. Women are magnets and men are just mindless iron filings-- they can't help it, poor things. It is not really the responsibility of men to not attack women. It's up to women to behave in a way so they don't get bothered by men.[1] Women should never leave their homes unless accompanied by a male relative, like in Saudi Arabia. See, a virtuous woman would never be alone with a man she does not know, under any circumstances. Not even in a cab with the driver.

However, if a straight man even suspects that a gay man might be checking him out, the straight man has the right to beat the gay man to death.... :P
 1. I heard an Iranian woman in a hijab say exactly that on a video.
Extraordinary claims of the bible don't even have ordinary evidence.

Kids aren't paying attention most of the time in science classes so it seems silly to get worked up over ID being taught in schools.

Offline Willie

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Re: Richard Dawkins is not my hero
« Reply #84 on: October 06, 2013, 08:36:42 PM »
However, if a straight man even suspects that a gay man might be checking him out, the straight man has the right to beat the gay man to death.... :P

I've never quite understood that reaction. I've been hit on by gay men a couple of times, and although I don't swing that way, I never felt the slightest urge to beat anyone up for it.


Offline Angus and Alexis

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Re: Richard Dawkins is not my hero
« Reply #85 on: October 07, 2013, 03:46:30 AM »
However, if a straight man even suspects that a gay man might be checking him out, the straight man has the right to beat the gay man to death.... :P

Wait...what?...
Does that mean men can hit ladies (or vice versa) if one checks the other out?
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Offline Graybeard

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Re: Richard Dawkins is not my hero
« Reply #86 on: October 07, 2013, 07:04:33 AM »
In the UK and until recently[1], rape was the only serious crime that may (not "must") rely upon the personal opinion of two independent persons. Robbery requires there to be property taken but rape does not have a requirement for physical evidence[2](although it helps.)

For a conviction, there has to be "mens rea": the accused must have a genuine and substantiated belief that the action was wrong. The victim must, either never have given consent by word, deed or normal lack of action or at any time, before during or after, have withdrawn consent.[3]

From the Wiki link:

Quote
In a 2000 research article from the Home Office, in England and Wales, around 1 in 20 women (5%) said that they had been raped at some point in their life from the age of 16 beyond.[5]

In 2011, the US Centers for Disease Control found that "nearly 20% of all women" suffered rape or attempted rape sometime in their life. More than a third of the victims were raped before the age of 18.[6]

Many rapes by males against females are unreported because of "fear of reprisal from the assailant"[7] and because of "shame...and deep-seated cultural notions that the woman is somehow to blame". [8] Researchers from the University of Surrey estimate that approximately 1 in 7 rapes by males against females are reported.[9]

From "The Independent"  http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/100000-assaults-1000-rapists-sentenced-shockingly-low-conviction-rates-revealed-8446058.html January 2013:
Quote
"100,000 assaults. 1,000 rapists sentenced. Shockingly low conviction rates revealed.

Taking these two statistics together, can we conclude that only one in a thousand accusations of rape is substantiated, so the "(5%) [who] said that they had been raped" reduces to 0.005%? Or is it a misconception of what rape is?

I think that we are dealing with a problem that we know exists but we have absolutely no idea of the figures. All that we have left is our emotions.

Perhaps we could compare rape to common assault and ask, "How many assaults are there, including unreported ones and how many of the reported cases end in a conviction?" but this is not the same. The essence of assault is no person is ever willingly and knowingly assaulted, whereas we know that most persons are willing to have sexual intercourse at some time. These circumstances then create a similar but not identical instance: Assume that you attend a college sports meeting and watch the high jump from a distance. You know the winner so you go over and, as his back is turned, you slap him heartily on it and say, "Well done!" The winner turns round and he is a complete stranger - you don't know him. Did you assault him? If it had been your friend, was there an implied consent to be slapped? - And if so, is that true even if the slap turned out harder than you intended? How much harder?

With assault, no victim thinks "Oh yes, it's OK if he hits me." and then, shortly before, during, or only after the blow, do they say, "I didn't want any of that! That was assault."

Added to this, there is the fact that (at least in the UK) if you were "of previously good character" and you assault (non-aggravated) someone, you'll probably be fined. In the same circumstances for rape, an immediate sentence of at least 5 years will ensue.

Cases of malicious false reporting of rape are not unknown and (IIRC) at least three women in the UK are serving time for this offence. I can't say that I have heard of a case of malicious false reporting of assault.

I was involved in gathering information of "unreported crime". In my case, it was (i) not a crime against the person and (ii) victimless and was therefore easier to assess as there was no "personal opinion" but, even then, the final figure was, of necessity, an approximation.

The lessons are:

1. Rape is easy to detect in some cases
2. The consequences of being raped and of being wrongly convicted for rape are equally serious
3. We have no idea of the number of rapes
4. The laws on rape are probably the best we are likely to have because, at the moment, two personal opinions rely upon the personal opinions of a jury.
5. Secure acceptance that education, support and protection are given in the case of "Many rapes by males against females are unreported because of "fear of reprisal from the assailant"[7] and because of "shame...and deep-seated cultural notions that the woman is somehow to blame."  is essential.
6. There are no easy answers that are both effective and just.

 1. More recently, there has been introduced racial hatred crimes in which, for conviciton, "somebody has to be offended" and that particular "somebody" need not be the victim, indeed, there need not be a victim at all and there need be no real evidence that the offence caused was real.
 2. I exclude murder where there is no body to be found, as these cases are very rare, require the highest standard of evidence and there is no personal opinion of the victim
 3. There was one case in which a girl had initially willingly consented but then, halfway through, decided that she did not like it, and told the man to stop but he did not.
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