On Chivalry and Sexual Violence

Discussion in 'Ethics, Morality, & Justice' started by Tiassa, Jan 9, 2020.

  1. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    Yes. And a sense of failure - one woman I spoke to saw the rape as her failure, because she tried to avoid it and failed. Thus it was partly her fault (in her mind) and avoiding any accusations would keep it 'under wraps' and hide her 'mistake.' Another thought that defending him would help prove to others (and herself) that the assault did not do her much damage. A third could not disentangle her anger at her attacker from her relationship with him - it was a family member, and other people in the family supported him and advised her to forget it.

    There are, unfortunately, a lot of reasons.
    Yeah, that's one of the big issues I have with the Trump apologists. Sure, in rare cases a woman might see someone famous and lie to get attention, or money or something. But 23?
    Yep. I understand the responsibility a lawyer has towards her client - but the other side of the equation (the damage they do to society in general) can't be completely ignored (IMO.)
     
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  3. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

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    How many times have you skipped over a news-item about a man shooting or stabbing his ex-wife? Sometimes the kids and in-laws, as well. For a lot of women, that possibility is the most powerful thing in their lives. Non-lethal kinds of revenge - and there are many - can be pretty bad, too.
    I think you share exactly as much as you want to. You are in control now.
     
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  5. wegs Matter & Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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    I know, very true. All too often, abusers don’t let their victims go easily. After I broke up with that guy, it took a while for him to leave me alone. Then one day he did. And I realized that most likely, he had found a new victim.

    Yes. Thanks for “listening”.
     
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  7. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

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    It's important to be aware of that.
    Abused people - men and children, too, not just women - often feel helpless, as if nothing is within their own power to control. When you get free, you take control - that's amazing and terrifying and overwhelming. Sometimes you want to crawl back into where you were not in charge, not free, not responsible. But you are, and it's great.
     
  8. parmalee peripatetic artisan Valued Senior Member

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    I don't know (re: unaware). I mean, look at Bill Cosby. The allegations against him were public knowledge for decades prior to his trial. Well, "public knowledge" in the sense that the information was out there, for anyone who cared to look. How much publicity was there? Difficult to say, but I do recall having seen a clip from SNL's Weekend Update with Tina Fey and Amy Poehler that addressed the allegations, so that must have been very early 2000's.

    Or, for that matter, consider Trump. Allegations against him--about three dozen presently--were also public for decades. Of course, in Trump's case, most who voted for him were aware of the allegations and even believed them--some, at least--to be true, so that's a slightly different scenario.

    Somehow, there always seems to be an incredible number of people who don't seem to know things that seem almost impossible to not know.
     
  9. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    Like any other skill, intentional ignorance is a skill one can master if one tries hard enough.
     
  10. Truck Captain Stumpy The Right Honourable Reverend Truck Captain Valued Senior Member

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    I was just about to ask Tiassa about this as it (chivalry) depends on the code, culture and area being used.

    The Chivalric code was informal, widely varying, culturally dependent and never actually formalised into any singular code, even today in the US South. The use of the word "chivalry" is confusing, IMHO, as it's so poorly defined and there are no actual references being used to state it's specific meaning, including the OP as the OP only gives a situation of opening a door for a woman, which isn't chivalrous so much as just plain polite.

    The closest thing we can get to a clear (?) definition of chivalry comes from the Cambridge dictionary: "very polite, honest, and kind behaviour, especially by men towards women".

    There is no reason to include the latter "especially by men towards women" simply because a (the?) chivalric code, being culturally defined, should move with the times and be refined to emphasise societies more general social and moral virtues, especially as it's already grown and modernised itself from its military roots, far from the requirement of horse-mounted soldier. It's demonstrably modernised itself many times over the centuries.
     
  11. Truck Captain Stumpy The Right Honourable Reverend Truck Captain Valued Senior Member

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    billvon and parmalee
    IMHO - I really don't think it's always about intentional ignorance
    The problem as I see it isn't that the accusations were out there, but that no action was taken to either validate or prosecute them.

    You can't assume that an accusation is accurate just because it's been made or because it's been reported. This is especially true when there is a requirement of innocence until proven guilty.
     
  12. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

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    I'm guessing the word 'chivalry' was used here in the simplest popular version, meaning what 20th century Americans regarded as gentlemanly behaviour toward the fair sex. Back in those days when girls were girls and men were men and LaSalles ran great.... and you could got off a careless driving or domestic violence charge with the excuse that you were drunk and not responsible.

    I suspect Tiassa used it in that context, to dramatize the argument.
    Piqued your interest, didn't it?
     
  13. Bells Staff Member

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    She is signaling.

    Whether she is doing this because it's her job or if she truly believes it, she is signaling to society.

    She is trying to paint a picture of a future where men will not hold doors open for women, because women are now so far from acting or being "women", that a man holding a door for her may be deemed sexual harassment.

    She is arguing that men are always the ones open doors, to be chivalrous. Women are always on the receiving end of that.

    Instill fear in society, that men are being stifled in how they interact with women.

    That anything can be deemed sexual harassment.

    No.

    She is trying to insinuate that the system is now geared against men like her client.

    So much so that poor men could end up in prison or on trial for opening a door for a woman.

    She lessens his crimes by doing so.
     
  14. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

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    Except that he's not being charged with the hundred or thousand instances of harassment of which he's probably guilty, but with two specific instances of rape - which was always a crime, even in the Old Testament (well, sort of -- maybe not so much in Weinstein's position). I'm pretty sure this ploy will be no more successful than the other things she's tried in court, but it does resonate with a segment of Americans we regularly encounter on forums. It will garner a kind of sympathy you don't get with the poor, frail old man routine.
     
  15. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    Or perhaps both will, to different segments of society (a few of which are no doubt present on the jury.) At this stage, the "throw everything on the wall and see what sticks" approach might be their best bet.
     
  16. wegs Matter & Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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    The thing is, these ''ideas'' don't make up a viable defense. She needs to cross examine witnesses and the women who are accusing him, and blaming them for ''misunderstanding'' Weinstein (and his behaviors), isn't going to help her client much.
     
  17. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    The sad thing is, she doesn't need a viable defense, if she can convince just one person on the jury that:

    - convicting Weinstein will put America on the path where men can't open doors for women without being called out as being sexist jerks
    - Weinstein is a frail old geezer who is going to die soon anyway, so isn't he suffering enough?
    - convicting Weinstein means that THEY are more likely to be convicted for some super minor thing they did
     
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  18. wegs Matter & Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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    That’s if any of the jurors consider rape to be minor.
     
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  19. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

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    I assumed that. I can picture the target audience for "they're coming for your guns; they're coming for your cattle; they're coming for your balls" argument, in their signature teeshirts and tractor caps.
    Not if the prosecution was paying attention.
    Yes, that's pretty much what I think they're doing.
    Trouble is, that's hard to prove. Especially if you have no recent photos of a 14-year-old with bruises all over.
     
  20. Bells Staff Member

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    Her ploy is already successful.

    She is feeding into the men's rights movement, who have been prattling about how men cannot be men and women cannot be women and who have decried the #MeToo movement for a long time now.

    She has already signaled that here she is, a woman, who stands with them because poor men just won't be able to open doors for women soon.

    Why do you say that?

    Has no one found it strange that she has come out with this argument about men vs women and the #MeToo movement at around the same time that her client declared that he was helping women in the industry before anyone else would or had? That he had figuratively opened the door to all these women into the industry and made them famous?
     
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  21. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    Everyone is the hero in their own story. And most rapes are not carried out by a man dressed in black, crouching in the bushes with a knife, ready to spring out at an unsuspecting victim. They are people the victim knows - friends, family members, even boyfriends and husbands. Consider this statement, made in defense of rapist Brock Turner:

    "This is completely different from a woman getting kidnapped and raped as she is walking to her car in a parking lot. That is a rapist."

    The rationale there is that Brock, who had sex with a drunk, unconscious woman behind a dumpster, was not a "real rapist" and it wasn't fair to lump him in with the rest of them. It was more of a minor rape.

    Here's an account from Swarthmore:

    "They’d now decided—mutually, she thought—just to be friends. When he ended up falling asleep on her bed, she changed into pajamas and climbed in next to him. Soon, he was putting his arm around her and taking off her clothes. 'I basically said, "No, I don’t want to have sex with you." And then he said, "Okay, that’s fine" and stopped. ... And then he started again a few minutes later, taking off my panties, taking off his boxers. I just kind of laid there and didn’t do anything — I had already said no."

    Again, the argument was made that that's not "real rape." And that is what the guy in question claimed, because she hadn't objected more strenuously. It was more a minor rape.

    And again, just based on statistics, there's a good chance that one of those 12 jurors was in a position like that once - where it wasn't all that explicit, where it was a "minor" case of not getting consent, where it wasn't really even sex like most people define it, so it doesn't count. If you can convince a juror that finding Weinstein guilty might mean that HE could someday be prosecuted for his "minor" assault, then that's a win for the defense.

    And again, not a great legal strategy. But if you are at the "we don't know what else to try, let's try EVERYTHING" stage it might be a strategy they try.
     
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  22. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

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    Yes, of course, that's whom I meant by "I can picture the target audience for "they're coming for your guns; they're coming for your cattle; they're coming for your balls" argument, in their signature teeshirts and tractor caps."

    The question - the really big, really important, really culture-defining question is:
    What if this works? What if that faction wins? What next?
     
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  23. wegs Matter & Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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    I wonder if this is along the lines of ''involuntary manslaughter'' vs. ''murder.'' Murder shows intent, whereas involuntary manslaughter infers that there wasn't an intent to kill. So, could Weinstein's attorney pull another rabbit out of her hat...''he didn't mean to rape anyone, he didn't consider it rape.'' Hmm.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2020
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