Author Topic: EP237: Roadside Rescue  (Read 26505 times)

Scattercat

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Reply #50 on: February 13, 2010, 07:37:15 PM
- I think the story would have been a lot more interesting, philosophically, if the alien wouldn't have gotten off on distressed males, but on something that doesn't require people to be discomforted in any way.

Maybe a more nuanced philosophical point, but probably a much less interesting story overall. ;-)  Weird threats and gun-toting chauffeurs are fine entertainment even without sticky moral questions.  I maintain that it would have been rape even if the alien got off on unfaked laughter rather than anger and fear.

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eytanz

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Reply #51 on: February 13, 2010, 07:40:23 PM
- I think the story would have been a lot more interesting, philosophically, if the alien wouldn't have gotten off on distressed males, but on something that doesn't require people to be discomforted in any way.

Maybe a more nuanced philosophical point, but probably a much less interesting story overall. ;-)  Weird threats and gun-toting chauffeurs are fine entertainment even without sticky moral questions.  I maintain that it would have been rape even if the alien got off on unfaked laughter rather than anger and fear.

Oh, I agree it would be harder to write an interesting story about it. But harder does not equal impossible.



Swamp

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Reply #52 on: February 13, 2010, 07:52:14 PM
...O-kay - a lot of discussion in this thread that I don't want to engage with unless I have time to engage with it seriously, and I don't have the time right now. So, instead I'll just make several comments on the story:

Thank you for bringing it back to the story.  I am very interested in all of the rape discussion, but it was starting to veer away from the story a bit.  I really want to avoid spitting the rape debae into its own thread because it is so relavent to the story at hand, but I may consider it if the conversation becomes solely about that.  Carry on.

Edit: I doubt I will split it unless it gets completely out of hand.  It's all good.  Just remember to remember the story.
« Last Edit: February 13, 2010, 08:34:20 PM by Swamp »

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Ocicat

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Reply #53 on: February 14, 2010, 03:20:31 AM
I still want to know if the alien got pregnant.




deflective

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Reply #54 on: February 14, 2010, 10:05:58 AM
Yeah, actually, the "no-means-no" campaign has some problems with it too, because it ignores that for the most part, people don't just flat-out say no when they don't want something.
...
So that has two implications: one, "no means no" is expecting women to act against years and years of social conditioning in order to avoid rape, and if they don't it's their fault they got raped because they weren't "clear" enough; and two, it implies that men are somehow able to understand polite, indirect refusals in every other aspect of their lives but suddenly become bone-stupid about it as soon as sex enters the picture.
...
You're saying girls feeling pressured into sex by boyfriends who hold a breakup over their heads as a threat is not an incredibly bad thing? Rape. Culture.

you seem unfamiliar with the campaign.

that aside, it's unlikely that we will ever find middle ground on this.  i say that a case cannot be considered rape, that we should use the words molestation & assault when appropriate, and you hear me saying that the case isn't a bad thing.  when an appeal to accurately represent the situation sounds like an attack on your beliefs it's time to take a step back and reassess your assumptions.

i get the impression that my beliefs sound chauvinistic to you, that they're an attack on women's rights.  i'm not sure that you know that your beliefs sound at least as chauvinistic to my philosophy.  the idea that women can't be expected to represent themselves properly and need to be given special consideration is insulting.


- I think the navigator handing him money wasn't supposed to be a de-victimization, but rather a further insult - an allusion to the 'money on the nightstand' trope.

aye, there could be several motivations here and extra degradation is a possibility.

it also adds a level of culpability to the victim so that if he decides to report the assault it would look bad for him.  if he had refused the money outright it would have been an indication that he wasn't ready to let the incident slide and it may have escalated things to a new level.


I still want to know if the alien got pregnant.

it seems unlikely that this was the equivalent of intercourse for the alien.  a more likely analog is a fetishist getting off on a kink.



tinroof

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Reply #55 on: February 14, 2010, 04:15:56 PM
the idea that women can't be expected to represent themselves properly and need to be given special consideration is insulting.

Show me, with direct quotations, where I said this.



deflective

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Reply #56 on: February 14, 2010, 04:54:47 PM
check your messages (top left corner of the page, right under your username) for my reply, tinroof.
if somebody else is interested in the back-and-forth send us a message and we'll create a thread for it.
« Last Edit: February 14, 2010, 04:57:24 PM by deflective »



wakela

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Reply #57 on: February 15, 2010, 01:03:03 AM
WARNING:  This post has absolutely nothing to do with the story.  If you are not interested in my attempts to make other people see the world exactly as I do, feel free to skip.

I agree that this happens and that there are guys who think it's OK, but I'm not sure how it is encouraged by the media or the culture at large.  Do you have examples?

Look, this is a huge topic.  Academics, sociologists, and psychologists have been trying to unpack it for years.  You're basically asking us to give you "examples" of the entire patriarchal system on which Western culture is founded. 

I spent twenty-five minutes writing a really long post about this, and then I hit "backspace" and my browser decided I wanted to go back two pages.  So you lost my story about how men and women have completely different views of the world and what's threatening and what isn't.

Here is a good essay.  There are other good essays.  I remember one that was a teensy bit brittle-sounding that was called "How not to be a rapist" or something.  And my google-fu-in-two-minutes is weak, so I can't find the surveys.  I know the survey tinroof mentioned, or at least a similar one.  Most 'rape' is 'just' coercion; friends and acquaintances, a little emotional blackmail, a little shame, a little mind-altering substance...  Basically, the fact that sex in the Western world is fundamentally understood as something women *have* that men *want*, or something that men *take* from women, something that women *give up*, etc.   I mean, the very language of it is rife with the inherent possibility of rape.  The answers to that are varied, but the fact of it is pretty hard to deny once you really look at it.

Man, that's a bummer.  I've been there, and I say without any intended sarcasm that I'm sure your post would have been interesting and informative.

I'm actually already OK with the fact that we live in a patriarchal society.  I was a liberal arts major, and that's all anyone talks about.  But patriarchal society does not equal rape culture.  IMHO, mainstream movies, TV, music (with the possible exception of rap), news media, and academia all are intolerant of rape.  In the case of the Duke University lacrosse players the culture at large believed they were guilty of rape even though they were determined not to be.  This article shows that rapes in the US are down 85% since the 70s.  Our society tolerates adultery, recreational drug use, and even prison rape to some extent, but it does not tolerate rape, and it doesn't tolerate date rape. 

Things I already know that do not convince me that we live in a rape culture:
-most rapes are unreported
-women are objectified by the media
-women have not achieved equality with men in many areas of society
-rape is often not a clear-cut, violent act
-there are guys who think that sexually assaulting a women is not a big deal
-there are aspects of language that encourage misogyny

Also, I can think of no situation where the victim of a crime is at fault, though there are steps people can take to decrease the likelihood of becoming victims.



Scattercat

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Reply #58 on: February 15, 2010, 02:39:28 AM
Also, I can think of no situation where the victim of a crime is at fault, though there are steps people can take to decrease the likelihood of becoming victims.

Yet somehow in every rape case the defense brings up the victim's sexual history, because everyone knows that a slut deserves whatever she gets. 

Etan wasn't hurt, right?  And he got paid!  I'd start working for these aliens on a regular basis if it was that easy!  Har.  Stupid dork should've known better than to get in a car with an alien anyway.  He knew what he was getting into, the little tease.  "Car broke down," yeah, right, haven't heard that one before.

(/sarcasm, in case that wasn't clear.)

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tinroof

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Reply #59 on: February 15, 2010, 02:44:18 AM
I'm actually already OK with the fact that we live in a patriarchal society.

Ouch. Unfortunate phrasing choice there.

You do realize that your argument boils down to "I don't believe it, therefore it isn't true"? I'd be interested to know why you don't think the facts you listed point towards rape culture. What about my examples of rapists getting acquitted for ridiculous reasons? What about the persistent social trope of women owing their partners sex, especially right now on Valentines Day? What about the casual use of the word "rape" to describe minor grievances like failing a test or losing a fight in a video game? What about deflective's claim that coercion isn't rape? If these don't point at rape culture for you, what would?

Rape culture isn't about people shouting from the rooftops that rape is awesome, just like patriarchy isn't about people shouting from the rooftops that women are less than human. It's the little things that count.



And what Scattercat just said.



Scattercat

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Reply #60 on: February 15, 2010, 05:12:12 AM
I think it's very telling, in fact, that in this story, the aliens are implicitly in a position of power and authority.  It's "normal" for aliens to have personal servants (and specially-altered, at that) and to drive around in flashy cars and generally be high rollers.  The culture seems to bend toward politeness and deference to the aliens.

Rape, as many, many experts have pointed out, is not about sex or sexual release.  It's about power dynamics: who has it, and how they use it.  The alien has the power here, implicitly, through its money and status, and it abuses that power over Etan. 

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kibitzer

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Reply #61 on: February 15, 2010, 07:56:17 AM
Weird.

And, I wouldn't have thought this would generate so much discussion. But there ya go.

One awesome thing about Escape Artists and the stories they run is that they generate such a wide variety of opinions. That's good! And the folks on these boards are pretty much erudite, forthright and robust enough to take and work through whatever misunderstandings might arise. That's also good!


DrCrisp

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Reply #62 on: February 15, 2010, 01:13:34 PM
But is it sex if you don't know it is?



tinroof

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Reply #63 on: February 15, 2010, 04:20:17 PM
Well, yeah.

Take child molestation. Lots of kids don't understand sex. Doesn't mean it wasn't.



Talia

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Reply #64 on: February 15, 2010, 04:38:54 PM
I think it's very telling, in fact, that in this story, the aliens are implicitly in a position of power and authority.  It's "normal" for aliens to have personal servants (and specially-altered, at that) and to drive around in flashy cars and generally be high rollers.  The culture seems to bend toward politeness and deference to the aliens.

Rape, as many, many experts have pointed out, is not about sex or sexual release.  It's about power dynamics: who has it, and how they use it.  The alien has the power here, implicitly, through its money and status, and it abuses that power over Etan. 

That sure seems like it would lead the the abuse of the term "rape" to me. You simply can't compare what happened to Etan to what happened to a woman who was physically raped. That's not right.



eytanz

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Reply #65 on: February 15, 2010, 05:14:07 PM
Well, yeah.

Take child molestation. Lots of kids don't understand sex. Doesn't mean it wasn't.

See, maybe it's just because I like to keep to a sex-positive ideology, but I wouldn't classify child molestation as sex, any more than I would classify beating a child as a fight.



lowky

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Reply #66 on: February 15, 2010, 06:08:01 PM
Well, yeah.

Take child molestation. Lots of kids don't understand sex. Doesn't mean it wasn't.

See, maybe it's just because I like to keep to a sex-positive ideology, but I wouldn't classify child molestation as sex, any more than I would classify beating a child as a fight.

And if penetration occurs then I say it's sex.  Child molestation doesn't have to be sex, but it doesn't mean it can't be.


DrCrisp

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Reply #67 on: February 16, 2010, 02:51:19 AM
Well, I don't think that equating those two things works.  A child has no concept of sex as a concept.  The man in this story certainly knew about sex and gender.  So he knows what sex is.  Its just that the actions that occurred were, to him, NOT sex.  But to the alien they were sex.  True, he was "forced" into an artificial set of actions to pleasure the alien.  But they were actions that if, you removed the alien, would have no relationship to sex for the human at all.

So, if an alien wanted to watch you shovel snow and paid you for it and he "got off" on it, the question remains; is that sex?

Once you KNOW that those actions represent sex for that species, once your ignorance is removed, if you were to perform that act again, I would say that it would be sex then.

Steve was right, lots of comments on this one.



wakela

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Reply #68 on: February 16, 2010, 03:45:55 AM
Also, I can think of no situation where the victim of a crime is at fault, though there are steps people can take to decrease the likelihood of becoming victims.

Yet somehow in every rape case the defense brings up the victim's sexual history, because everyone knows that a slut deserves whatever she gets. 

Etan wasn't hurt, right?  And he got paid!  I'd start working for these aliens on a regular basis if it was that easy!  Har.  Stupid dork should've known better than to get in a car with an alien anyway.  He knew what he was getting into, the little tease.  "Car broke down," yeah, right, haven't heard that one before.

(/sarcasm, in case that wasn't clear.)

I'm not a legal scholar and I have spent zero time researching rape trails, but my impression is that most rape trials boil down to he said/she said with no witnesses.  There is proof that sexual intercourse has occurred.  The man is going to argue that it was consensual, and the woman is going to argue it was forced.  If the defense can establish that the woman has a history of having consensual sex with partners she does not know very well it cast doubt on her story.    I don't think lawyers bring up the victim's sexual history because they think promiscuous women deserve to be raped.  I think convincing a jury that anyone deserves to be raped would be very difficult.  And irrelevant because whether or not she deserved it, it's still a crime.  Convincing a jury that the sex was consensual and that the victim is lying or remembering incorrectly would be easier.  The defendant is innocent until proven guilty and guilt must be proved beyond a shadow of a doubt, so all the defense has to do is cast doubt, and rape defendants are entitled to the best defense their lawyers can provide just like everyone else is. 

Quote from: tinroof
Quote from: wakela
I'm actually already OK with the fact that we live in a patriarchal society.

Ouch. Unfortunate phrasing choice there.
On this we can agree wholeheartedly.

Quote from: tinroof
You do realize that your argument boils down to "I don't believe it, therefore it isn't true"? I'd be interested to know why you don't think the facts you listed point towards rape culture. What about my examples of rapists getting acquitted for ridiculous reasons? What about the persistent social trope of women owing their partners sex, especially right now on Valentines Day? What about the casual use of the word "rape" to describe minor grievances like failing a test or losing a fight in a video game? What about deflective's claim that coercion isn't rape? If these don't point at rape culture for you, what would?

Rape culture isn't about people shouting from the rooftops that rape is awesome, just like patriarchy isn't about people shouting from the rooftops that women are less than human. It's the little things that count.

The facts I listed point to us being in a patriarchal culture, which means that men have more power than women (not that women are less than human).  Humans have more power than sheep, but I don't think we live in a bestiality culture.  Murderers get acquitted for ridiculous reasons, and you can use murder-related words in your examples about the video games and tests.  I don't think we live in a murder culture either.  Though murder happens, and some people aren't bothered by it as much as I think they should.   I don't know which comment of Deflective's you're referring to.  I can't think of any TV show or movie or newspaper article that endorses the opinion that women owe men sex in any circumstance.

I would be convinced that we lived in a rape culture if there were a public figure who admitted raping someone or was convicted of rape and they were able to maintain their public figure status.  Compare this to all the people who have admitted to using drugs or committing adultery -- those are things our society tolerates.  If a late night or daytime talk show host made a joke about rape (besides man-man prison rape), I would give some ground.  David Letterman made a joke about baseball player Alex Rodriguez (Arod) knocking up Sarah Palin's underage daughter, and he was forced to apologize.   I can't think of any sympathetic character on a popular TV show who rapes.  Dexter kills people.  Would the show be popular if he were a serial rapist only raping bad women?  A rape culture would not take steps to insure the anonymity of rape victims who go to court.  And I would not expect incidents of rape to decrease by such a large amount if we lived in a rape culture.

It's true that there are some men who congratulate each other on having coercive sex and thinking that women sometimes deserve it.  I don't have statistics for how prevalent they are, but I think they are in decline.  They are low enough that popular culture has decided to ignore them. 




tinroof

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Reply #69 on: February 16, 2010, 04:05:09 AM
And if penetration occurs then I say it's sex.  Child molestation doesn't have to be sex, but it doesn't mean it can't be.

N.b., of course, that having this as your sole definition of sex excludes lesbians and, you know, most anyone who practices sufficiently unconventional sex. Which is mainly why I've been trying to err on the side of broader definitions in this thread. If the alien came and there was another entity involved, without further knowledge of the alien's culture I'm just gonna have to assume it was sex.

Dr. Crisp - The character has an understanding of sex as it works for humans. That was sort of the point? That other species don't necessarily work the same as we do. I mean, they even came out and said it, it's not all that subtle a theme.


Wakela - ....y'know what, at this point, I'm just going to have to say that I wish I lived in the shiny fantasy world you've found your way into. I really do.

The world doesn't work that way. If you can't see it at this point I'm not sure what I can possibly say to convince you.



AJHunter

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Reply #70 on: February 16, 2010, 10:42:38 AM
I was hooked into listening to this one because of the warning: "... and sexual content... of a sort."
Anyway, I liked the story, despite realizing with horrorthat this cute fuzzy thing is a phonophile (a word I probably made up meaning "lover of speech"). "Lover of speech", indeed. A bit disturbing, but all together amazing.



lowky

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Reply #71 on: February 16, 2010, 01:55:38 PM
I was hooked into listening to this one because of the warning: "... and sexual content... of a sort."
Anyway, I liked the story, despite realizing with horrorthat this cute fuzzy thing is a phonophile (a word I probably made up meaning "lover of speech"). "Lover of speech", indeed. A bit disturbing, but all together amazing.

Yes that is definitely a good hook.  and I loved the story.


CryptoMe

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Reply #72 on: February 17, 2010, 07:32:39 AM
I liked this story. It was extremely disturbing (I think it was rape) and yet I still found it funny. That is really hard to do, so kudos!



Gamercow

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Reply #73 on: February 17, 2010, 03:46:21 PM
Abuse, yes.  Assault, yes.  Disturbing, yes.  Rape?  I don't think so, because Etan never thought of his actions as sexual, nor will he likely ever be in a society that views them as such.  I don't think that, as disturbed as he was, Etan will be scarred by this event.  There's a big disconnect of cultures here, and I would have to disagree that this assault was sexual in nature, due to those disconnects. 

For an analogy of what humans could do to an alien culture that would be considered rape, I do not have an answer.  An analogous situation of human/alien culture disconnect does come to mind, however.  In "Foundation", by Asimov, Sheldon goes to a planet that has a culture in which everyone has a shaved head.  He has to wear a skin cap to cover his head, lest he be considered indecent, vulgar, and perverted.  One of the denizens of this world as fascinated by his hair, and seduces him under the guise of wanting to touch his hair.  As it turns out, she's just a spy looking for information, and is in fact repelled by his hair, and finds it disgusting. 

The cow says "Mooooooooo"


lmircioo

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Reply #74 on: February 21, 2010, 09:21:04 AM
the weird part is how the alien, and his driver, *want* ethan to realize that his fear was producing pleasure to the alien. this is why the discussion about sex vs. gender, and the insisting on money at the end. if ethan would have never been told what is the purpose of the whole thing, and (surely) if he would have not been physically assaulted, then i think there would have been no problem.

but why would the alien insist on him knowing? that was actually the condemnable part.