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Oh Michael Hawkins no.

with 9 comments

I’ve been sitting on this response for a while because I knew it deserved its own post but I wasn’t sure I had it in me to write one. Now, at last, here we are:

Oh Michael Hawkins no.

Please be warned that this post contains, and links to, discussion of rape. Read with caution. Thank you.

I’ll quote the exact paragraph that makes me want to beat my head against a wall:

And that linked post wants to make everything so black and white. No, rape isn’t usually done for the primary sake of sex. That doesn’t magically mean there are no sexually deviant individuals who suffer/are subject to conditions which compel sexual acts that have nothing to do with power.

Really, Michael Hawkins? Really?

I bring up the subject of rape and you immediately leap to defend the hypothetical people who might commit that crime because of a medical condition?

What medical condition, pray tell? And what compels you to think that the defence of this no doubt miniscule percentage of rapists is the first thing with which you should concern yourself when the topic comes up?

Oh, Chin Man. If you only had a heart.

But let me be clearer still. I don’t know if such a condition exists. If it does, it is surely a problem. But it is nowhere near the problem. The problem, Michael Hawkins, is people like you. The problem is a culture in which rapists feel comfortable raping because they are counting on that bizarre compulsion people have to defend them instead of, I don’t know, defending their victims. Here, I’ll even link you the original post.

Does that worry you, Michael Hawkins? Do you feel a little uncomfortable as you consider the possibility that the words you say might give a rapist good reason to think of you as a safe harbour? I fucking hope so. It should.

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Written by Learn Hexadecimal

April 10, 2010 at 10:59 am

9 Responses

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  1. Your post said this:

    The assertion we are making is that sex is not the point of rape.

    Rape is usually about power. But life isn’t so black and white where it’s okay to assert that everyone who does a particular action is doing it for the same reason. And that is not somehow a defense of rape – no matter the reason it is done.

    There’s a difference between descriptive and normative claims that far too many people don’t seem to get. “Jones raped for the sake of sexual satisfaction” does not somehow mean “Oh, I think it’s okay when Jones rapes”.

    People rape due to mental disorders, retardation, and other impairments that may not have anything to do with wanting to dominate. They aren’t the bulk of those who rape and just because we can point to the reason for their actions does not mean we are somehow excusing those actions. Believer it or not, different people are motivated by different things sometimes.

    Michael Hawkins

    April 10, 2010 at 4:50 pm

  2. Are you a troll?

    Seriously, are you?

    You can claim you’re not defending rape, but when rapists hear you talking, they will think differently. And that is bad. Please acknowledge the second fact if not the first.

    Learn Hexadecimal

    April 10, 2010 at 7:33 pm

  3. Is this suppose to be political rhetoric I’m throwing out here? Am I suppose to be concerned with sound bytes?

    Michael Hawkins

    April 10, 2010 at 9:01 pm

  4. Are you telling me that you’ve never, ever made statements like these out loud in the physical presence of another human being?

    Learn Hexadecimal

    April 10, 2010 at 9:05 pm

  5. What I’m saying is that I’m not concerned with how the small bits and pieces of what I say sound. What matters is the entire content of my entire posts.

    Michael Hawkins

    April 11, 2010 at 7:19 pm

  6. This reminds me of the religious nutbags who claim that even talking about safe sex will automatically cause teenagers to have it.

    Michael Hawkins

    April 11, 2010 at 7:24 pm

  7. I’ve really been trying to communicate with you, but I’m starting to lose hope that my efforts will ever bear fruit. It’s like we are broadcasting on two entirely different wavelengths. Every point I try to get across just vanishes into the mists.

    To allude to our previous conversation: I am talking about the kind of wind that moves clouds through the sky, and you are talking about the kind of wind that comes out of somebody’s ass, and never the twain shall meet.

    You seem to be thoroughly convinced that your intentions are magical and will prevent anyone from ever construing your statements in a way other than how you intend them to. This despite your track record in that department, which to my knowledge has been abysmal, at least on certain topics.

    Consider this train of logic: The paragraph I quote in this post obviously comes across to me as tending in a rape-apologist kind of direction. Therefore, you can’t rule out the possibility that it and statements like it might come across in that fashion to an actual rapist; and, if you believe the science cited in the Predator Theory article, that means that every time you whip out such a conversational gem there’s a chance you are making a rapist feel a little bit safer about raping in your social circle.

    Now, have you reached the station at the end of the line with me, and do you agree that this is a disturbing prospect? Or, if not, at which stop along the way did you disembark? Which points do you contest?

    Learn Hexadecimal

    April 11, 2010 at 8:26 pm

  8. I can see how particular bytes can come across as endorsing this or that, or at least not defaming this or that enough. But I’m not willing to paint with a broad brush for the sake of damning those who may do wrong.

    Honestly, I would also argue that no objective morality exists, thus the act of rape is not objectively evil, but that doesn’t mean I don’t still think rape is wrong and deplorable. Should I squash my philosophical positions and arguments, too? Afterall, a rapist may well take comfort in the idea that I cannot objectively condemn him.

    Michael Hawkins

    April 17, 2010 at 11:30 pm

  9. I’m not necessarily telling you to sit down and shut up. What I’m saying is that it’s worth thinking about how your message will be read, and not just by the people you’re saying it to, and not just if they are telepaths.

    And in the context of the post, what I’m saying is that you should be particularly careful on this subject, because here the consequences of thoughtless speech are more serious than annoying a bunch of feminists*.

    Personally, I would never say that “the act of rape is not objectively evil”. First of all because I think it’s a ridiculous notion; you can talk about there being no objective morality, and in some contexts that assumption is even useful, but you have to keep in mind that some things are just fucking wrong regardless. The list of those things is very short. Rape is on it.

    But secondly, I wouldn’t say that because even if I acknowledged it as a viable philosophical point (which I don’t), I wouldn’t be comfortable perpetuating the disgustingly tolerant attitude towards rape that pervades our culture. It seems to me, on an entirely personal level with which I do not insist that you agree (although I hope you’ll at least understand it), that those particular consequences outweigh any benefits of making such a statement. Even such a tiny contribution is worth avoiding.

    *On reflection, after reading this post, I’ve decided that comment was in poor taste. Substitute instead, “than annoying a single hexagon”.

    Learn Hexadecimal

    April 18, 2010 at 12:58 am


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