Rape and the "Civilized" World

Discussion in 'Ethics, Morality, & Justice' started by Tiassa, Mar 27, 2013.

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  1. GeoffP Caput gerat lupinum Valued Senior Member

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    "Some men".
     
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  3. Bells Staff Member

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    I disagree, sorry.

    Although some biological theorists maintain that acknowledging a biological basis for rape does not excuse rape, such theories can contribute to and perpetuate beliefs that excuse perpetrators from responsibility their actions and blame the victims. For example, some proponents of biological theories argue that because men cannot control their irresistible impulses to rape, it is women's responsibility to avoid dressing provocatively. According to this view, women who are raped must have put themselves in circumstances that led to rape and the appropriate response is to teach them how to avoid being raped.

    Biological explanations for rape also tend to "naturalize" the perpetrator's behavior—thus leading to the conclusion that it is "acceptable" and potentially unchangeable. These theories also diminish the victim's pain and suffering. Further, biological theories have significant implications for criminal justice responses to rape. If rape is a biological adaptation, responses should include monetary penalties; further, such theories would call for chemical castration or hormonal treatments that can themselves constitute human rights violations. Finally, biological theories also lack explanatory power—they do not explain why men rape women who cannot bear children, or why they rape their intimate partners and spouses.

    Just as your biological trigger does not explain heterosexual male/male prison rape.


    How can it imply a biological basis when the rapist raping a fellow prisoner is a heterosexual?

    For Attwood, escaping rape, as well as "murder, or even having bones broken or teeth knocked out", for nearly six years was "freakishly" lucky, and thanks in part to his "English wit" and "people skills" as well his friendships with some of the gang leaders. Other prisoners avoid rape – or at least consider themselves to be avoiding it – by becoming a "punk".

    This relates to the word's original meaning – the receptive male partner in anal sex – but in prison becomes a job, an identity. You are a receptacle, owned by another.

    Human ownership.. Sound familiar?

    I understand your desire for it to have a biological basis, but ultimately, it's about power and power brought about by violence. In prison especially.

    I picked a random name and used it in an example. You blew it out to a full blown descriptive short story.

    The "really's" is a matter of expressing disbelief..

    "Now, while the above obviously occurs - although much of it was a surprise for me - I don't know how common that basis is. What you're citing here sounds like a form of sadism. Is that common enough to explain rape as a phenomenon?"​

    It is more common than you may wish to realise:

    Human Rights Watch estimated in 2010 – three years after Attwood left jail – that 140,000 US inmates have been raped. Other studies have helped fill in the quantitative picture: 21 per cent of prisoners in the Midwest reported being forced into some form of sexual activity, according to Prison Journal. Young inmates are five times more likely to be sexually assaulted, says Just Detention International, an organisation devoted to ending prison rape.

    And that is just from what we know..

    I am concerned by attempts to paint rape as being something that is a sexual urge.

    Where is the biological basis in raping an elderly person? Or a baby or toddler or child? What is the biological urge to beat an elderly woman to a pulp and rape them and threaten them with death if they call the police?

    What is the biological basis to rape your intimate partner?

    What is the biological basis for gang rape?


    There have been numerous studies on rape.

    And as a result, we now know there are numerous types of rape. You can get the basics here:

    http://www.soc.ucsb.edu/sexinfo/article/rape

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Types_of_rape


    I disagree.

    If it was just about the sex, it wouldn't be classified as a war crime.

    Why do you believe it is harder for the rapist? Simply punching someone isn't always enough. Teaching them a lesson, making sure they know who is boss, that sense and portrayal of ownership over the body of another person, even if only briefly.. Rapists often want their victims to feel all of it. They even get a bigger hard-on when their victim's body reacts to the stimulation, which further glorifies their power over the other.

    The rapists believe she was asking for it. That she wanted it.

    Nothing as simple as that. From the wiki link above:

    During war, rape is often used as a means of psychological warfare in order to humiliate the enemy and undermine their morale. Rapes in war are often systematic and thorough, and military leaders may actually encourage their soldiers to rape civilians. Likewise, systematic rapes are often employed as a form of ethnic cleansing.

    It's about humiliation and ultimately, power over one's enemies.

    Sadly, this is not usually the case.

    Biological imperative is used as a defense for rape.

    When my former brother in law pinned me against the kitchen sink 2 weeks ago, pressed his groin against my backside so that I could feel his penis getting hard as he whispered in my ear that "bitches like you deserve this and you need to be brought down a few pegs and taught a few lessons" because, it's about power. It's about control. I could not move. I was being told and reminded that this is what I deserved.. The fact that my sons and his sons, my nephews he was dropping off for a sleep over with their cousins, were in the next room only added to his sense of ownership and power. If I screamed, our children would see. If I responded with violence, our children would know.. It's about ownership of the other, and it's ultimately about power over the victim.

    Which is why I really disagree with you.

    Unfortunately, that's not how it works.

    Then perhaps you should find some research studies about the biological trigger for rape to support your contention.

    Ultimately, it's about power through violent acts.
     
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  5. GeoffP Caput gerat lupinum Valued Senior Member

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    Although some biological theorists maintain that acknowledging a biological basis for rape does not excuse rape, such theories can contribute to and perpetuate beliefs that excuse perpetrators from responsibility their actions and blame the victims. For example, some proponents of biological theories argue that because men cannot control their irresistible impulses to rape, it is women's responsibility to avoid dressing provocatively. According to this view, women who are raped must have put themselves in circumstances that led to rape and the appropriate response is to teach them how to avoid being raped.

    Biological explanations for rape also tend to "naturalize" the perpetrator's behavior—thus leading to the conclusion that it is "acceptable" and potentially unchangeable. These theories also diminish the victim's pain and suffering. Further, biological theories have significant implications for criminal justice responses to rape. If rape is a biological adaptation, responses should include monetary penalties; further, such theories would call for chemical castration or hormonal treatments that can themselves constitute human rights violations. Finally, biological theories also lack explanatory power—they do not explain why men rape women who cannot bear children, or why they rape their intimate partners and spouses.
    [/quote]

    Well, I certainly don't make such absurd conclusions. In the first instance, above, I do not conclude - and it is hard to see how a thinking person could - that it is somehow acceptable and unchangeable. I think I already posted that there is no believable onus on the woman in such situations, or some parallel thereof: there is no sufficient 'provocation' short of actual mortal self-defense that would one to justifiably take a human life. It is impossible therefore to postulate any such circumstance in the case of sexual assault: under what circumstances would one have no recourse but to sexual assault? (I imagine you might postulate cases about the argument that extreme drunkenness absolves responsibility, etc., but those fall outside the purview of this discussion. Or, if we must consider them: is drunken murder a defense? Or sleepwalking? That aspect of human morality I leave to others to decide. I'm sure many people have many views on the subject.)

    To elaborate: I might well wish to take my neighbour's goods and chattels. Perhaps I have a large castle to fill, or something. In any event, it is not more reasonable that I should murder him and take them because of the essential biological directive to gather resources than I should sexually attack a woman for reasons of badly aberrant procreative drive. It is not more excusable simply because someone puts the word "biological" in front of it. The act of war itself might be taken for a kind of conscious group selectionist dynamic for the same purposes, but it is not somehow excusable because an ESS can be postulated or even tested in line with its results. It is immoral in itself. There are a host of crimes that might be said to be part of an ESS or provide some putative benefit - theft, infanticide, fratricide - but neither are these excusable in this way. One cannot hold up a sign and say "Darwin made me do it" (or more accurately "my selfish genes made me do it") any more than one could claim that the Devil made one do it. I begin to sound like Dawkins here, and so I conclude in this way: any such conclusion is ridiculous on its face and intellectually indefensible, besides being unspeakably immoral.

    I saw one of the reviews of the Thornhill book from your page - the others had expired - and if those are the actual conclusions thereof, then I reject them utterly. I note there is a certain professional dichotomy at work also: the writers are offended at the dismissal of social science, including their definition of feminist thinking on the matter. This line from the review was disturbing: [urlhttp://justice.uaa.alaska.edu/forum/17/2summer2000/b_rape.html "Thornhill and Palmer argue that if females were less discriminating and agreeable to more sexual activity with males, there would be no need for the rape adaptation." I sincerely hope that was not the actual conclusion of Thornhill and Palmer. I think it clear that even with complete loss of such discrimination, there would still be attempts at forced copulation. Classically, it is believed that ESSs depend in part on co-adaptive strategies, with payouts and penalties for risk-taking and risk-avoidance. With respect to rape/sexual assault, I'm not sure what the precise penalties in the animal kingdom would be. They must depend on the species involved; lion females will fight for a while against forcible infanticide, but not forever. What is the cost in humans? When did the cost effects begin? Whatever the answers to those questions are, I think there are still those that would commit such crimes, on basis of the power resolution hypothesis we've been discussing. Neither hypothesis is all-encompassing, but similarly neither should be ignored: the basic activation of such a power hypothesis must be, at its core, a deformed resolution of the sexual act.

    I disagree. I'm about as heteroseuxal as one can be, and yet I still don't see human sexual behaviour as a kind of complete ordinal series; even if I saw the selection of one or another sort of gender as being a factorial (all-or-nothing) effect, there are still probably circumstances in which that gender line, which probably amounts to a kind of threshold trait informed by genetic and environmental precursors, could be 'swamped' by circumstance. Male-male exclusion might be one of these, predisposing the liability the triggering of male rape. I don't think the biological cause is exclusive but I think it significant. In the wild, erroneous or unusual copulation does occur. There must be something to that drive that exists despite all countering reason: a moose does not go after a hole in a log because it thinks something will come of it, but because this drive exists. This would be analogous to heterosexual rape in prisons: neither can children come of that, but there must be some drive triggering it. Having said that, I reiterate that this is not justification in humans: we have reasoning faculties far in excess of those in the remainder of the Kingdom and that, coupled with social education, obviates any such futile defense of evil. This is the reason it's a criminal act; because we, in possession of such ability, are not rote animals.

    But why a receptacle? I think the psychology of that incidental statement is telling; the victim as receptacle, rather than some other conceptualisation of ownership: why not a dog, or a club, or a dollar bill, or anything else that implies ownership. The sexual nature of the terminology suggests a kind of biological undertone.
    It’s not a desire, but rather my interpretation based on this process and the arguments above. Your statement is noted.
     You picked the name “Bubba” at random? And then included this moniker in a visitation of a scenario of sexual assault involving me. It’s odd. I decided to highlight that oddness. Bubba sends his regards.

    Well, that’s great, and I understand that you’re dismayed at this opinion. But there’s no need to drop these into the conversation so as to position yourself as the font of wisdom on the matter. We’re here to discuss it and it’s not necessary and not appreciated. How about we just discuss the subject? The “It is more common than you may wish to realise” comment leans in the same way: now, what I take from this is that you think there is a definitive lien between sadomasochism and rape. That’s possible. Without bivariate analysis, it would be difficult to separate these views; would the field of psychology view sadomasochists as being potential rapists? That question might be invoking argument from authority, I don’t know. I think I would doubt such a connection at large across all those in either group: I expect that there would be a strong prevalence of such sentiments in rapists, mind. I just think that a biological trigger is an important element in many sexual assaults. Otherwise, again, why not some other form of assault?

    That’s an extreme simplification of my considerations here; naturally I would be similarly concerned by an attempt at such an overt connection.

    I think these have been dealt with above.

    At no time did I ever postulate that it was “just about the sex”, and that is not my position. Actually, even if it were just about the sex, how would that not be a war crime? Causation or trigger isn’t justification.

    Bells, if your life or your person is in jeopardy, press charges immediately. Seek the protection of the police. My thoughts and even prayers go with you. Please be careful and take precautions. There is no excuse for you to be subjected to this behaviour. Given the circumstances, there is no way in which the discussion can continue. Go with safety.
     
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  7. Bells Staff Member

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    While you may not make such ridiculous conclusions, many do.

    Dark's assertion that it is sex, that a man wants to, pardon the language, "fuck" an attractive woman, if she says no, then he will just "fuck".

    That it is the primal need to relieve his sexual appetite and get off.

    As Tiassa pointed out, the very use of another person as a sexual object, to take them by force and use their body..

    I have read so much into this subject for my work, that I guess I find it hard to believe that people do still think it is somehow about "sex". If it was just about sex, then he'd just find a prostitute.

    I think you see the human species in too nice of a light. Rose coloured glasses if you will.

    Some people are arseholes and they get pleasure out of dominating other people, be it sexually or not sexually.

    Well of course the victim is the 'cum bucket'. The victim has been branded, the rapist has left his mark, the victim is their 'cum bucket'. Made their bitch.


    Who is to say there is not some other form of assault at the same time? It happens very often.

    Punches, slaps, cutting, pinching, scratching, biting. Then when they are finished with their victim, kicking, urinating on, smearing their sperm on their victim's face, more hitting, spitting on them.. What's biological about that?

    You haven't really. You provided what you believe, even in the face of all evidence that states it is not so.

    There is a lot of literature on rape, GeoffP. It pays to read up on them.

    Comments about randy soldiers..?

    When you look at things like biological triggers to rape, then it does drive it down to being about just the sex. Soldiers are not encouraged to rape the women of their enemies just to get off or relieve their sexual tensions, for example. It's about control, humiliation and power.

    I'm fine GeoffP. Thank you.

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    I am not in jeopardy. It was a very surreal moment, to be honest. But I do know how to take care of myself and my family. Suffice to say he won't be breathing through his nose anytime soon.

    But I am fine discussing this subject. I'm kind of immune to it in a way. It doesn't really upset me as some may believe it does.

    So don't stress.
     
  8. Kittamaru Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. Adieu, Sciforums. Valued Senior Member

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    I am shocked and sorry to hear that you were put through that Bells... but I am glad you know how to defrnd yourself.
     
  9. Bells Staff Member

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    Thank you. But I'm fine. Really. He isn't a well man, mentally. I don't think he has been for a long time. It was somewhat surreal and bizarre. And over and done with very quickly.

    But he's getting help now, which is the main thing.
     
  10. quinnsong Valued Senior Member

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    Thanks Bells, Geoff and Tiassa for your take on the scenario I provided.

    As much as I enjoyed your responses Geoff, especially the flatulent post(which I did agree with through my laughter) I have to disagree with the biological aspect of your argument and agree with Tiassa and Bells in regards to rape being about power and dominance. I think it is cultural and the result of patriarchal societies but I do not think matriarchal societies are the solution to the rape problem. IMO an egalitarian society where dominance and power is equally shared is the answer to the problem of rape. If/when societies become less patriarchal and more egalitarian and rape is still as prevalent then I would have to eat my words and agree with Geoff that rape is partially biological.

    @ Bells,

    I bet you have a mean right hook!
     
  11. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

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    Former LAPD Deputy Sentenced for Rape on Duty

    To Protect and Serve ... Himself

    Just another day in L.A. ....

    A former Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy has been sentenced to nine years in prison for raping a woman while on duty and trying to get another to have sex with him.

    Twenty-nine-year-old Jose Rigoberto Sanchez was sentenced Friday and ordered to register as a sex offender.


    (Associated Press)

    The article is vague about the rape count, insofar as it would seem he tried to solicit sex in exchange for not arresting her on an outstanding warrant, and then detained her, drove out into the desert, and forced her to have sex, anyway.

    Prosecutors also alleged that the officer attempted, two days later, to solicit sexual favors from a drunk driving suspect.

    Jose Rigoberto Sanchez pleaded no contest to two charges, rape under color of authority and soliciting a bribe.

    I'm not even going to complain about the light sentence; he's a cop going to prison. Myth, at the very least, suggests this will be a long, difficult, and possibly mortal nine years.
    ____________________

    Notes:

    Associated Press. "Ex-LA Deputy Gets 9 Years in Prison for Rape". ABC News. April 5, 2014. ABCNews.Go.com. April 7, 2014. http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/la-deputy-years-prison-rape-23201806
     
  12. GeoffP Caput gerat lupinum Valued Senior Member

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    Good.
     
  13. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

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    What Have We Done?

    Congratulations, Brothers!
    You can now declare victory


    Would gender reassignment for political reasons be a worthwhile undertaking?

    I'm sorry, I just ... I got nothin'.

    Most young women assume that being harassed, assaulted, and abused is simply something that everyone experiences, according to the results from a forthcoming study that will be published in the next issue of the journal Gender & Society. The perception that gender-based violence is normal dissuades most victims from reporting those crimes.

    In order to arrive at those conclusions, sociologist Heather Hlavka analyzed interviews conducted with 100 young women between the ages of three and seventeen years old. The interview subjects had been identified as potential sexual assault victims through an advocacy group that works to combat child abuse. Hlavka discovered that most of those girls rationalized their everyday experiences of abuse and harassment, simply believing there was nothing unusual about being victimized.

    “Objectification, sexual harassment, and abuse appear to be part of the fabric of young women’s lives. They had few available safe spaces; girls were harassed and assaulted at parties, in school, on the playground, on buses, and in cars,” Hlavka writes. “Overwhelmingly described as ‘normal stuff’ that ‘guys do’ or tolerating what ‘just happens,’ young women’s sexual desire and consent are largely absent. Sex was understood as something done to them.”

    In other words, these young women tend to believe that men can’t help it. They’ve been taught that men can’t control their aggressive sex drives, so it makes sense to them that girls will inevitably become the subject of that aggression. That’s a central aspect of rape culture, and Hlavka argues it’s been deeply socialized into young women. Most of the study participants didn’t understand that there was any other way for men and women to interact.


    (Culp-Ressler)

    The study is presently available for free via Gender & Society.

    Begging your pardon, I'll just be getting high and wishing for the days of dragons and magick.

    No, really, I'm having a very hard time coping with this one.

    We've known this intuitively, but ... come on.

    What have we done?
    ____________________

    Notes:

    Culp-Ressler, Tara. "For Young Women, Sexual Violence Is The New Normal". ThinkProgress. April 15, 2014. ThinkProgress.org. April 16, 2014. http://thinkprogress.org/health/2014/04/15/3426679/study-assumption-sexual-violence-normal/

    Hlavka, Heather R. "Normalizing Sexual Violence: Young Women Account for Harassment and Abuse". Gender & Society. April, 2014; 28(2). GaS.SagePub.com. April 16, 2014. http://gas.sagepub.com/content/earl...?keytype=ref&siteid=spgas&ijkey=1zjS.dsfVDs32
     
  14. GeoffP Caput gerat lupinum Valued Senior Member

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    Neither is perception of motivation motivation itself.

    Paddle onward, brave soldier.
     
  15. quinnsong Valued Senior Member

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    Common sense tells me that even if only ONE man can help IT then all men can. For example in the rape scenario that I gave above, some men would have provided the young girl with a blanket and gone to bed. Why when presented with the same circumstances, one man rape and another not even consider it? Could it be as simple as a cocktail mix of testosterone and a culture that objectifies women?
     
  16. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    Isn't this just a strategy for coping? Women who don't have those experiences generally do not share those attitudes.
     
  17. quinnsong Valued Senior Member

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    And? So? Too many women do share these attitudes and that is the problem.
     
  18. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    Because people are different, with different drives, morals, standards, expectations etc etc.

    There's way more to it than that, but those are definitely part of it.

    All men are different, so such generalizations don't always work. However, people who are responsible for their own actions (which are most people) can always decide not to perform _any_ action, although some are harder to stop than others. The difficulty, or strength of the drive, is not really the issue - the issue is their decision to act on that drive.
     
  19. quinnsong Valued Senior Member

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    So why do you think ape is so prevalent in our society billvon? Why are so many young women of the opinion that men cannot help themselves?
     
  20. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    Sure. But the quote Tiassa provided gave me the impression that the writer thinks that ALL women share these attitudes regardless of their personal experiences. I'm notorious for having primarily female friends (probably something to do with not trusting men after my best friend ran off with my wife in 1967, if you want to talk about experience shaping attitudes

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    ), and absolutely none of them have the attitude in question.

    What makes you so sure that this is a phenomenon of our time and place? Women in the contemporary USA and other more-or-less Western nations have a much louder voice than they did a mere three generations ago, and much louder than their contemporaries in other countries. So we hear them!

    They have no voice at all in several very large countries like Pakistan, in large part because if they admit to being raped they will be punished rather than the rapist, and in much of Africa where they simply get no respect.

    What good reason is there to assume that rape was any less prevalent in our colonial period, or Czarist Russia, Renaissance Europe, feudal Japan, Harappan India, or any of the world's presumably well-governed great empires including the British, Spanish, Ottoman, Mongol, Persian, Greek, Roman, Egyptian, Assyrian, Babylonian, Inca and Aztec/Maya/Olmec?
     
  21. quinnsong Valued Senior Member

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    I should have been much more specific Fraggle, your point is well taken, rape has been a problem down through history and still is. Are patriarchal societies to blame?
     
  22. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    I suppose we won't know for sure until the strong, lingering patriarchal aspect of our modern societies has fully attenuated.

    For the purposes of this discussion, the human race is still in the Paleolithic Era. Women bear, feed and care for the children, so they're structurally tied to the home (allowing them to be the gatherers) while the men (the hunters) go out on long hunting expeditions and drag home a dead woolly mammoth so everyone can eat.

    It's still a powerful meme in our society for mothers to do most of the childrearing. At the very least, they are incapacitated for several months before and after childbirth. In modern times this allows them to have careers, but these interruptions to their career path make it difficult for them to rise as high in their professions--and earn as much income and respect--as men.

    As a result, despite promising signs of change, men are still in charge of everything, including fundamental definitions of important concepts like morality. As I noted in an earlier post, there are large regions of the planet in which a man can rape any woman (who is not a member of a powerful family) with utter impunity, because she dare not admit that it happened.

    Of course there are other dynamics at work here. In these primitive societies, it is not permissible for even consenting adults to have sex unless they're married, and marriage is a rigmarole governed by the parents, rather than the couple themselves. So most young men get pretty horny, and the ones who are most desperate and least civilized might sink to the level of rape. (Yes I know women get horny too, but they seldom manifest it the way we do.)

    Nonetheless, rape is hardly unknown in our "enlightened" Western societies. It's easy to get the impression that it's suddenly become an epidemic, but I'm positive that this is just because we now talk about it. Many women are still reluctant to admit that it happened because they fear (sometimes with good reason) that it will reflect badly on them. And the new date-rape drugs can cause them to literally not remember it.

    As I said at the start, we'll probably have to wait until the masculine-feminine balance of our society is more even, before we can determine how much of this is male privilege, and how much is biology.
     
  23. quinnsong Valued Senior Member

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    [video=youtube_share;eZxv5WCWivM]http://youtu.be/eZxv5WCWivM[/video]
     
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