The Mythical “Maybe-No”: Our Twisted Definitions of Rape | #SAAM #DavidChoe #GameofThrones

When we excuse rape because it doesn't look like what we think rape looks like.
When we excuse rape because it doesn’t look like what we think rape looks like.

It’s poignant that on the start of this year’s Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM), I wrote a post about the unseen sexual violence in the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community; and, as SAAM draws to a close this year, I find myself compelled to write this post about our culture’s twisted ideas about rape and rapists, and how it obscures and excuses high rates of sexual violence within our community by masking our understanding of what rape is.

Nearly two weeks ago, I wrote about Korean American graffiti artist David Choe, who in a March 10th episode of his raunchy podcast DVDASA confessed to an incident that sounded very much like rape. That post quickly became my site’s most popular post to-date and received an overwhelming amount of positive feedback through Twitter and Facebook, as men and women of all races and ethnicities weighed in with their own condemnation of Choe and his self-professed coercion of a sexual act.

https://twitter.com/dnkboston/status/458644939870851072

Even after Choe confessed that the act — one he described as “rapey” although he maintains he is not a “rapist” — was fictional, writers debated whether an aspirational story about rape (real or not) could nonetheless be damaging to rape survivors. Feminists maintained that a tale that brags about rape, itself, reinforced “rape culture”: the normalization of sexual violence that both condones and minimizes rape.

My own post on Choe’s behaviour sparked a comment thread that now includes nearly 200 responses; and in contrast to the majority of supportive comments I received through social media, my comments thread has been flooded with (predominantly Asian American and predominantly male) commenters, litigating whether or not Choe’s described story, if taken to be a true account of the events of the night, actually describes an act of rape or not. These commenters accuse me of inventing a “rape narrative” unsupported by the account of the evening, and instead argue that the described event was an act of uncoerced, consensual sex.

So, let me be clear: the act, if it happened exactly as described, was an act of rape. It was not an act of uncoerced, consensual sex. Period.

Here’s what we know happened according to Choe’s own words in the podcast: Choe arrived for a massage and became sexually aroused. He began to masturbate himself. The masseuse, “Rose”, continues the massage. Choe gropes her ass. “Rose” moves away. Choe asks for her to masturbate him. “Rose” refuses. Choe asks again. “Rose” puts her hand on his penis, but barely moves it. Choe grabs her hand with both of his and moves it vigorously. Choe asks “Rose” for oral sex. “Rose” refuses. Choe asks again. “Rose” says no again.  Choe grabs the back of her head with both of his hands and pushes it to his crotch. He holds her head there commanding her to open her mouth; when she does, he puts his penis in her mouth and “face-fucks” her until he ejaculates.

Rape, according to California state law, is “an act of sexual intercourse accomplished with a person not the spouse of the perpetrator … where it is accomplished against a person’s will by means of force, violence, duress, menace, or fear of immediate and unlawful bodily injury on the person or another.” Duress refers to “direct or implied threat of force, violence, danger or retribution”. Menace refers basically to any communicated threat or intent of the same.

So, translating the legalese: rape is an act of sexual intercourse performed against a person’s stated will accompanied with physical force or threat of violence.

By Choe’s own admission, “Rose” refused to consent to oral sex not once but twice immediately prior to having her head grabbed. There can be no mistake about “Rose’s” will: she verbalized “no” between two and four times prior to the act of oral sex. By any definition, “Rose” was not a consenting sexual partner.

Yet, Choe ignored the fact that he did not have “Rose’s” consent to continue with sex; instead, he used physical force to restrain her head against his crotch and verbally browbeat her into opening her mouth. At this point, he has engaged in physical force despite “Rose’s” explicit verbal refusal. This use of force with knowledge that consent has not been given, and the reasonable implication that additional force will be used if “Rose” refuses to open her mouth, meets California’s legal definition of rape.

Put more simply: Every time, Choe makes a sexual advance, “Rose” signals that she is reluctant or not consenting. And, every time, Choe ignores the fact that he has not received consent, and continues his advances with greater and coercive force anyways. That he made physical sexual advances towards “Rose” against her stated will is sexual assault; that he coerced oral sex against against her stated will is rape. Despite our protestations, this incident bears all the hallmarks of rape.

Yet, for some, Choe’s acts do not rise to the level of rape; to examine why is telling. For some, it is unclear that Choe holding “Rose’s” head by both hands and pushing it towards his groin is an act of coercion of restraint.

byron-comment-001

 

For others, “Rose’s” act of opening her mouth while having her head pushed into place by Choe signals final consent.

klean-comment

For still others, “Rose’s” behaviour subsequent to her rape — failing to run away or fight back; instead asking for Choe’s number, etc — is evidence of retrograde consent: “she must have enjoyed it by the end, so what happened earlier wasn’t rape”.

tom-comment

TBH-comment

In a recent episode of Game of Thrones, a scene between Jaime Lannister and sister Cersei also raised eyebrows when (spoiler) Jaime, sexually and physically frustrated after his sister and lover spurns his sexual advances, forces himself onto Cersei while their son, Joffrey, lies in state. Cersei repeatedly says “no”, and even tries to fight Jaime off with her fists; nonetheless, Jaime persists in his sexual advances and what results is a scene of rape. Yet, despite this scene presenting all the hallmarks of coerced, unconsensual sex, several of those responsible for the scene — from the director to the actor who plays Jaime Lannister — insisted that the scene was consensual; director Alex Graves went so far as to remark that the sex scene wasn’t rape because it was “consensual by the end”.

Somehow, Cersei consented to sex with Jaime in the end. I think it was somewhere between the muffled "no's" and the fists beating against his chest.
Somehow, Cersei consented to sex with Jaime in the end. I think it was somewhere between the muffled “no’s” and the fists beating powerlessly against his chest.

And so we arrive at the crux of the matter. Whereas our definitions of rape and sexual assault are actually quite straightforward — making continued, and often increasingly forceful, advances towards the end-goal of sexual intercourse in knowing violation of your partner’s communicated refusal to grant consent — our culture nonetheless has a very twisted, very bizarre definition of what rape actually looks like.

We seem to know what rape is, but we don’t recognize it when we see it.

Instead, we imagine rape is violent. We visualize rape as happening to a chaste young girl walking down a dark alley. We assert that a rapist is an older man, unshaven and smelling sourly of sweat and dirt, wielding a knife or maybe a gun. He’s a loser and a social reject; he clearly can’t get a date any other way. She’s beautiful and out of his league. Maybe she’s wearing a skirt. He jumps out, and surprises her. He forces himself upon her. She screams, tries to fight back,  but is overpowered. She survives with bruises. He flees into the night and she stumbles away, her pantyhose torn, to give tearful testimony to Mariska Hargitay and Ice-T.

If a scene doesn’t look like this, it’s not rape.

Rape doesn’t happen to people we know. Rape doesn’t happen between people who know each other. Rape survivors are not our friends, our sisters, ourselves. Rapists are not our friends, our brothers, ourselves.

Rape is the crime of a few bad actors. Normal people, we assert, cannot be guilty of rape.

DK-comment

 

And so, even when faced with clear examples of coerced unconsensual sex, some among us continue to deny that a rape took place because the scene presented does not meet this narrow, scripted Law & Order fantasy of what rape looks like. We have trouble recognizing rape between Jaime and Cersei Lannister because it happened between lovers. We have trouble recognizing rape between David Choe and “Rose” because Choe did not apply what we believe to be the requisite force to physically overpower his partner. We have trouble recognizing rape between Khal Drogo and Daenerys  Targaryen because Daenerys did not fight back.  Never mind that in none of these examples of sex did the female partner articulate any sort of consent; consent (or the lack thereof), it seems, is functionally less critical to our idea of what constitutes rape than is the violence. If we don’t see sufficient force — blood, bruises and tears — we imagine therefore that a woman’s failure to physically defend herself must mean that she wanted the sex, or at least that she didn’t “not want” it enough for it to be rape.

Consent, in fact, is so malleable in our minds that an act of rape can become “not-rape” after-the-fact. Nonconsensual sex can, as Graves argued with Game of Thrones and as others argue on my blog, “become consensual by the end”. Just rape her enough and she’ll like it enough to erase the fact of the rape.

This idea of “consensual by the end” hinges upon a more fundamental fallacy. Rape, we imagine, is a violation of the “no-that-actually-means-no”. That “no-that-actually-means-no” is obvious and discernible, we insist. In fact, Choe admits that had “Rose” threatened to call security, he would have stopped — a clear indication that he understood that there was some version of “no” that was inviolate.

By contrast, he and others who fail to see rape in the examples provided above assert that there is a second kind of “no”: the mythical “maybe-no”. This is the “maybe-no” that doesn’t actually mean “no”. This is the “maybe-no” that can be safely ignored, or if violated, does not constitute rape. This is the “maybe-no” that leaves wiggle room for men to pry into a “yes”. This is the “maybe-no” that can be battered into “consent by the end” with increasingly aggressive non-consensual sexual advances. This is the “maybe-no” that rationalizes coercion or force, because this is the “maybe-no” uttered by a woman who actually doesn’t know what she really wants. This was the “maybe-no” uttered by Cersei Lannister and “Rose” that refutes their rape. This was the “maybe-no” that with enough persistence can become “yes” by the end, and thereby nullify all the non-consensual things you did to get there.

byron-comment-002

Consider for a minute the hubris of the “maybe-no”: according to this mythology, a woman utters this “no” because she thinks she doesn’t want sex. But, force her mouth onto your oil-soaked penis in all its erect glory (as does Choe) or penetrate her against her will (as does Jaime), and she becomes so overwhelmed by your virility that she realizes that she wanted it all along. “Rose” didn’t want to give Choe oral sex until he literally forced her face into his crotch; and then suddenly she was so compelled by how great his dick looked or smelled and how strongly he was restraining her by the back of her head that she realized she was wrong all along and then gave him retroactive consent for all the violations of her will along the way to her sudden sexual epiphany. The “maybe-no”, it is asserted, can be shattered by simply demonstrating to your partner (against her will) how awesome your penis is. Because you know better than she does what she’s turning down. Once she tries it, she’ll change her mind. Once she gets a taste, she can’t possibly refuse.

yoda-comment

In short, the “maybe-no” is not considered to be a true lack of consent. It’s considered a speed bump towards sex, to be ignored and overrun by the “I’m-not-a-rapist rapist”. The rapist who achieves the mythical “consent by the end” is not chastised for the rape that comes with having violated his partner’s consent with increasingly forceful sexual advances against her will, he is instead praised for his “persistence” in not taking “no” for an answer. The continuous assertion of the existence of the “maybe-no” in our society doesn’t just excuse or minimize rape, it actually encourages the repeated violation of vocalized refusals in pursuit of the “consent by the end”. Just keep “insisting” and she’ll give you consent eventually.

yun-comment

And in this mythology, what is the difference between the “maybe-no” that rewards persistence and the “no-that-actually-means-no” that is a bridge too far? The difference is in the “eyes”, says Choe, or in a “gut feeling”. Hearing your partner uttering the word “no” becomes less important than if you choose to believe it or respect it for what it is. You can tell the difference between the “maybe-no” and the “no-that-actually-means-no”, goes the mythology, even if the words are exactly the same.

Thus, we arrive at full comprehension of society’s twisted definition of rape as an act that only occurs between a crazed loser and his victim, in dark alleys; a crime that only involves the violation of the “no-that-actually-means-no” that we all understand signals rape. We tell ourselves that rape does not occur between lovers, that rape is never anything but the most violent and forceful of acts, that rape never involves a victim who is too terrified to fight back tooth and nail.  Rape doesn’t happen to you. You’re not a rapist because you’re a good person.

And therefore, if she’s saying “no”, she must be saying “maybe-no” because she doesn’t really know what she wants and anyways you could tell if she really meant “no”. Instead, she’s saying “maybe-no” because she needs you to show her what she really wants. You know her sexual desires better than she does. If you violate her consent now, she’ll love what you’re giving her so much she’ll forget that she refused you before.

Rape her enough and she’ll say “yes”, and then it won’t be rape anymore.

And so you’re left with David Choe and his twisted idea of how to compel a sex act without it really being rape: “you never ask first, you just do it, get in trouble and then pay the price later.” Sure it’s “rapey”, says Choe, but Choe’s not a “rapist”. He’s a good guy and she didn’t act like a rape victim is scripted to act on TV, so it wasn’t rape. It was “consensual by the end”. It was “persistence”.

But here’s the truth: all of these intellectual twists are really ways to muddy the waters around the otherwise very straightforward concept of consent. Consent is a binary: you either have it or you don’t. There is no such thing as “maybe-no”; it was invented by people who wanted to build a back-door to sex in the face of a verbalized “no”.

On the other hand, to respect one’s sexual partner is to respect that your gut doesn’t know better than your sexual partner what he or she wants. To respect one’s sexual partner is to hear “no” and to actually hear “no”. To not rape your partner is to not force your way towards sex, but to instead ask for consent every step of the way. And yes, that means being comfortable and confident enough accept being turned down for sex as a valid possible outcome.

rape-flow-chart

Women should not be held to a standard of needing to prove she means “no”. Requiring that a woman claw, scratch, or threaten to call the cops in order for her “no” to bear weight requires that a woman assert her power in a rape situation where power is being progressively, and deliberately, removed from her. Telling a woman that she must prove that she means “no” argues that her right to refuse sex is not an innate right; it must instead be demonstrated. Expecting a woman to fight back when she has already had it proven to her that her would-be rapist is more physically powerful than her, and is willing to use that strength to compel a sex act, before we will accept that a woman actually means “no” when she says “no” is unreasonable. Her word should be enough.

So here’s the pro-tip: If you hear “no”, stop and ask for clarification. Play it safe and check in with your partner. Don’t play by Choe’s rules and “do it first and pay the price later”; the price if you’re wrong is the sexual violation of your partner. If your partner says “no” or seems like they don’t want it, just don’t do it. It really is just that simple.

And really, people. Stop excusing rape, in yourself and in others.

Note: This post has highlighted some troublesome comments from my blog to serve as examples in this post, but should not be interpreted as asserting that the writers of those comments condone rape when they recognize it as such; most do not. Additionally, as with my previous post, David Choe is an alleged rapist who maintains that his story is pure fiction, and should be treated as such.

Did you like this post? Please support Reappropriate on Patreon!
  • Yoda

    to open her mouth did chose use force, hmm? to open her mouth did chose use violence, hmm? Directly or indirectly threaten her with harm did he, hmm?

    holding her head down counts not. yes, hmmm. we know not how he did that. herh herh herh. push has to be forceful or violent not.

    but you assume, forceful and violent, it was. when manufacturing rape, essential to make baseless assumptions, is it. hmmmmmm.

  • So your argument is that Choe wasn’t forceful or violent enough in continuing to make sexual advances against her vocalized refusal for you to think it was rape.

    If only that viewpoint wasn’t already addressed in this post…

  • “Anti woman race denialism”? What the hell is that even, Snoopy Jenkins? Is that an actual phrase or did you just froth out from your mouth some kind of regurgitated mixture from all those years of Victims Studies?

    But let’s be clear – your perspective was flawed. Jenn’s post above neatly dissects the ludicrous and anti-woman race denialism you and others indulge to offer reasonable doubt toward David Choe, and yes, it makes you guys appear crazy. I think you guys have tried to offer a considered alternative take on the Choe situation worth reading, in your better moments. But mostly, you deny the possibility of rape for selfish and misogynistic ends, and you don’t deserve a unfiltered blog post here to promote that filth.

    No, I think that what is more clear is that you and Jenn have found it convenient to lump together all opposing views no matter the differences into a handy little group you can tag in the entirety as misogynistic, crazy and whatever. This has been foreseen. 🙂

    That was a very cool story she wrote. However the meaning she ascribed to MY words lumped in together with the others were at the very least her own “interpretations”.

    Jenn’s more than capable of deciding what she wants to do with her blog. She’s paying for it. But it should be noted that many readers like myself who comes here for an Asian American feminist perspective would not support reading eight hundred words from The Bloody Handed’s on why opening one’s mouth during a sexual assault constitutes consent.

    Well, two things, Snoopy.

    1. How do you know what I’m going to write? Can you read my mind? This is the same problem you have right now as you did in the earlier discussion. Much of what you assert is true is WHOLLY IMAGINED, and therefore true only in your own mind.

    2. Enough with the emotive labelling, I know you come here for the bona fide “Asian American feminist perspective” but you should not get a hissy fit just because I ask for the right of reply instead of having you and her conveniently lump in the views from a whole bunch of us into this neat little “Asian American feminist” story.

    You’d better call up BigWOWO to publish that screed.

    Why should I do so? Bigwowo was not the one who took a gift of apple pie and mixed it with oranges and raisins to make a fruitcake.

    In any case, it’s not a biggie to me. Have a nice day. 😉

  • Only an idiot would give a priori total approval to relinquish one’s editorial rights and publish a submitted article unedited knowing neither the author, nor the subject matter, nor the length, nor the quality of the person’s writing.

    So that you would ask a question like that speaks volumes of how much respect you have for my intellect or this process, and what I can expect in trying to collaborate with you on a piece like this. You didn’t even respect this process enough to email me a proposal, as you were asked to do.

    As I said, I will consider all submissions and you are free to give one.

    I’m just not stupid.

    Well, look at it from the poor commentor’s point of view.

    Thanks to your editing principles only selected posts of mine – the ones convenient to your story – made it to be featured alongside the work of luminaries like Kal Drogo and Daenarys Taliesin and that KING OF PHILOSOPHERS Yun Xu.

    I can only guess at what further editing any writing I do would be subject to since your standards of editing are not specifically stated.

    Why do I get the feeling you’re not above “editing” other’s work to change the meaning just to make your own points look good? I may be wrong of course. I do not blog anywhere else so I would not have the chance to meaningfully set the record straight.

    You of course have the right to reject my submission. However, that would come only after I have devoted time and energy to writing the piece.

    As to why I did not email you. It wasn’t really a request. More like a CHALLENGE.

    You had nothing to lose, and every opportunity. You could have showcased my piece as the work of the perfect misogynist in another of your long winded stories if you chose to do so. I would get only the chance to say what I want to say without it being confused and conflated with nonsense from that LEARNED MASTER Yun Xu.

    However going back and forth over something as simple as the terms and conditions of publishing here and your undisguised reluctance to accept it has in turn given me doubts about the value of such an endeavor considering the crowd here’s inability to debate properly and form proper arguments.

    I must stop writing now, I’m beginning to channel the spirit of Christoph Waltz in every Quentin Tarantino film. 🙁

  • If you disagree with what is written, you have the right to reply here in this comments section, or to submit a post for consideration. You have already demonstrated your inability to do either with any sort of respect for the guidelines.

    If you think your comment, which reads

    … the alleged victim making out (implying active participation in the choice of colloquialism used) with her rapist and snowballing him already throws out the rape narrative

    … does not constitute a person arguing that Choe derived “consent at the end”, which mitigates non-consensual acts — to use force to pursue oral sex against the vocalized wish of his partner — earlier in the night, than argue against it. Your histrionic hand-wringing over perceived disenfranchisement of your right to respond is absurd, particularly in light of 3-4 comments posted above inviting you to follow the guidelines for submitting a response.

    So yes, go shop your post to Byron. I responded to his post here. He can most certainly post a response to this post on his site.

  • As to why I did not email you. It wasn’t really a request. More like a CHALLENGE.

    My about page is clear. Email me with a proposal, and then we discuss terms — editing, copyrights, etc. At that point you would’ve learned about the editing process.

    And I have no idea what you mean that it was a “challenge”. I wrote: “email me”. You didn’t. The end.

    A comments section is not the place to discuss copyright legality over a writer’s work or to float article ideas.

    If you want to interpret that as a challenge, than that’s your own issue.

    I can only guess at what further editing any writing I do would be subject to since your standards of editing are not specifically stated.

    That’s fine, which is why you should’ve emailed me. Had you emailed me with a proposal, you would have initiated the submission process and received an email outlining the following:

    1) Give me a proposal of the general topic. I will tell you if I have any interest of publishing it. That’s for me to avoid receiving a 2000 word screed about kittens, and also to give you advance notice that I have no interest in a 2000 word screed about kittens and to not waste your time writing it.
    2) I would give you guidelines about length and some stylistic guidelines (number of images, post title, hashtag usage, etc). That’s also to avoid a 2000 word screed about kittens that is nothing but pictures of kittens.
    3) We would discuss copyright issues — cross-posting, etc. That’s to protect the writer and his right over his own intellectual property.
    4) You would submit a draft.
    5) I would either reject it outright, or accept it with edits. You would see my edits (of any) and approve prior to final publication, such that the final version would be mutually satisfactory prior to publication.
    6) I would do the heavy-lifting to publicize your post on social media and raise your profile as a writer.

    This is a process designed to not screw anyone over and is applied generally to ANYONE who expresses interest in having their posts appear here.

    You could’ve engaged this process by sending me your email. You did not.

    So yes, go shop your post elsewhere. If you cannot respect the minimal effort it takes to start an email conversation offline, that is a clear signal that you will not respect the subsequent process in respecting me as an editor or this space as a forum for academic debate, which requires mutual trust that both folks are willing to take this seriously. That you refused to send an email to me signals that your interest in submitting is not in good faith; I would be an idiot to pursue any further collaboration with you.

    That you would demand something as insipid and disrespectful as blanket approval for publication without edits, without even respecting me enough to drop an email indicating that you plan on submitting something, deserves exactly the derision it has received.

    I would love to give voice to the male counter-argument on this post. But if you can’t respect the process, than clearly you are not a person who can respect the debate enough to provide that reasoned counter-argument.

  • … does not constitute a person arguing that Choe derived “consent at the end”, which mitigates non-consensual acts — to use force to pursue oral sex against the vocalized wish of his partner — earlier in the night, than argue against it.

    No, “consent at the end” is YOUR interpretation. A convenient one at that, and a straw man.

    All of your “interpretations” and cute little stories with Snoopy Jenkins, I can DEMOLISH more convincingly than anybody here thus far who were content to only have “conversations” with you, because they thought they could change your mind and that it responds to reason.

    But of course if what I have to deal with is the threat of hostile editing, emotive labelling and conflation of my own points with that of Bigwowo’s, that EXEMPLAR OF INTELLECT Yun Xu’s and his FAITHFUL SIDEKICK SANCHO PANZA “None”, as well as assorted rubbish plots of third rate television serials, I think you can understand why the option begins to look less and less appealing.

    Even if you accepted the challenge publicly now, I think the time for you to do so has long passed and lapsed.

  • @TBH

    Why do I get the feeling you’re not above “editing” other’s work to change the meaning just to make your own points look good?

    Also, having nothing to do with my own opinion, if you think that someone would do this, you should not submit your intellectual property to them. If you honestly think this of me, you shouldn’t have even entertained the idea of submitting to me, because that would be stupid on your part.

    In truth, I am extremely sensitive and fair to issues of intellectual property, and would not publish anything that hadn’t been approved by the author in terms of final edits. That’s why in the screengrabs provided above, I include additional sentences beyond the parts I wanted to highlight to specifically avoid editing people out of context.

  • What challenge?

    No, “consent at the end” is YOUR interpretation. A convenient one at that, and a straw man.

    Either you argue that she consented after-the-fact (re: making out) which is the argument of the comment quoted (she behaved after the fact like she liked it, so Choe must’ve had consent the whole time), or you argue that her stated “no” should not be taken at face value. If it’s not ‘consent by the end’ , then you argue that her vocalized “no’s” were actually “maybe-no”‘s that invited coercive force.

    Both possible arguments are addressed in this post, so it’s up to you to decide which argument you want to go with. So, which is it?

    But of course if what I have to deal with is the threat of hostile editing, emotive labelling and conflation of my own points with that of Bigwowo’s, that EXEMPLAR OF INTELLECT Yun Xu’s and his FAITHFUL SIDEKICK SANCHO PANZA “None”, as well as assorted rubbish plots of third rate television serials, I think you can understand why the option begins to look less and less appealing.

    Even if you accepted the challenge publicly now, I think the time for you to do so has long passed and lapsed.

    No worries. Given your behaviour here, it’s pretty clear you weren’t ever going to take the process seriously. I highly doubt you ever would’ve emailed me a publishable submission. It seems pretty clear you have zero interest in providing reasoned counter-argument; if you did, you would’ve bothered to email me and/or not run so quickly for the hills the minute I told you you weren’t going to get blanket approval before I even had any idea what you wanted to submit.

    Like I said, I understand the fear of submitting stuff and being edited in a way that is no longer what you wrote. Which is why I invited you to email me and learn about the process.

    The request for a proposal email is also necessary for me to know who has enough interest to take a little bit of initiative and willing to treat my process with respect, signaling to me that this person is worth investing my time into.

  • Either you argue that she consented after-the-fact (re: making out) which is the argument of the comment quoted (she behaved after the fact like she liked it, so Choe must’ve had consent the whole time), or you argue that her stated “no” should not be taken at face value. If it’s not ‘consent by the end’ , then you argue that her vocalized “no’s” were actually “maybe-no”‘s that invited coercive force.

    There is no such thing as “consent after the fact”. That’s nonsensical. I said nothing about “maybe no”s either. I never touched such a thing.

    You’re conflating whatever you’ve learned in assorted doctrines to my position.

    If you want to know my position, feel free to link back to my original posts. You must not have read them or you have problems understanding them. Right back at you.

    Hint: it has something to do with looking at the incident in the ENTIRETY and not on just one part, or attaching your own IMAGINATION and heavy significance on one thing but not another that would contradict your own position. In other words, don’t push your own biases and don’t ascribe it to others who don’t agree with your selective perception.

    Hint 2: Don’t bring up legal definitions, unless you are prepared to say you are writing from a LEGAL POINT OF VIEW.

    Hint 3: Stories are not facts. You and Snoopy have some trouble understanding this, with all the implications of suffering from the inability to comprehend this.

    No worries. Given your behaviour here, it’s pretty clear you weren’t ever going to take the process seriously. I highly doubt you ever would’ve emailed me a publishable submission. It seems pretty clear you have zero interest in providing reasoned counter-argument; if you did, you would’ve bothered to email me and/or not run so quickly for the hills the minute I told you you weren’t going to get blanket approval before I even had any idea what you wanted to submit.

    Yes, of course, because you really thought I was going to write about kittens, puppies and ponies.

    Look, now I’m really going to end it here and take my leave. I posted in this thread only to see if you had any intention at all in engaging in honest and proper discussion. This was already a forlorn hope based on how I saw you respond to Bigwowo and Ben Efsenayem, both of who are far more civilised than I am.

    Prodding you and Snoopy for a higher level of logical ability is taking up too much of my energy so I guess you both will have to settle for Yun Xu and None and other savants to make up the comic book villains in yet another episode of the “Asian American feminist” story.

  • Hint: it has something to do with looking at the incident in the ENTIRETY and not on just one part, or attaching your own IMAGINATION and heavy significance on one thing but not another that would contradict your own position.

    And this is substantively different from “she acted like she liked it at the end, so she must’ve been giving consent throughout” how?

    Hint 2: Don’t bring up legal definitions, unless you are prepared to say you are writing from a LEGAL POINT OF VIEW.

    Because only lawyers get to talk about the law?

    Hint 3: Stories are not facts.

    Agreed, which is why I call David Choe an alleged rapist and have qualified every statement with “if we take the story as fact”.

    Look, now I’m really going to end it here and take my leave. I posted in this thread only to see if you had any intention at all in engaging in honest and proper discussion. This was already a forlorn hope based on how I saw you respond to Bigwowo and Ben Efsenayem, both of who are far more civilised than I am.

    Prodding you and Snoopy for a higher level of logical ability is taking up too much of my energy so I guess you both will have to settle for Yun Xu and None and other savants to make up the comic book villains in yet another episode of the “Asian American feminist” story.

    Bye.

  • Yes, of course, because you really thought I was going to write about kittens, puppies and ponies.

    You didn’t say what you were going to write about. I don’t know anything about you. Upon what would I have any basis to assume you weren’t going to write about kittens, puppies, and ponies?

    Oh, right — that would’ve been in the email proposal you didn’t send me.

  • J. Lamb (Snoopy Jenkins)

    Aside from the hurt feelings and all, what’s really interesting about this “debate” is how disassociated it remains from the more interesting question this David Choe incident raises – how far should Asian American men upset by rampant emasculating stereotypes go to combat such perceptions?

    This was central to the documentary 9-Man I that premiered at the Boston Independent Film Festival last weekend, and it’s central to some interpretations of the utility of David Choe’s podcast. If The Bloody Handed was right about anything before his departure, it’s that it’s not helpful to miss the nuances between the various flavors of rape denialism Jenn’s detractors promote. Some see nothing morally amiss about Choe’s entire story, some want to avoid needless condemnation of Choe’s reputation over an un-investigated possible incident, and others care less for the story itself, and would rather question Jenn’s focus on this story in the face of sexual assaults committed by men from other groups.

    One of the reasons I find these nuances easy to overlook is that they all require us to look past the possible sexual assault in this instance, to forget this possible victim, in order to either deny rape outright, or to look past Asian American male criminality. I’m not willing to do that. It’s clear from Jenn’s post above that rape denialism has its fans, as bizarre as that may seem. What’s not clear is why the backlash to the backlash against Choe’s story resonated so strongly.

    Whatever their motivation – frustration with emasculation stereotypes, annoyance with un-investigated rape allegations, and/or basic indifference to sexual assault victims – I do not consider those willing to deny the possibility of sexual assault in this instance reasonable. If that makes me biased, fine. I’d rather be biased on the side of sexual assault victims than neutral toward their suffering.

  • Aside from the hurt feelings and all, what’s really interesting about this “debate” is how disassociated it remains from the more interesting question this David Choe incident raises – how far should Asian American men upset by rampant emasculating stereotypes go to combat such perceptions?

    This comment illustrates what is wrong with your racialized way of thinking. Because – believe it or not – Asian men are also human beings (it’s true), it seems obvious that they might make mistakes, or, perhaps, go through a learning curve from which they might hopefully emerge with a more balanced perspective on life. The truth is that all men go through a phase in which they explore the change from childhood to manhood, some overcompensate whilst for others the process is smoother. The difference for Asian men is that this culture offers them scarce inclusion in this process – why are we surprised that some might struggle with this process?

    Maybe you should answer the question yourself; how far should racial minorities affected by racism go to combat the effects of it? Some join gangs, some become violent, some become addicts, and some internalize the racism. As distasteful as it might be, I am willing to give Asian men (and anyone affected by racism) the room to explore their relationship to it in the way that they are able – after all, no-one is holding out a hand to Asian men and offering them a platform whereby they are able to present more culturally appropriate masculine images of themselves.

    So I’m just not willing to play the high and mighty moral arbiter, issuing sweeping moral judgements on a whole group of people because they are imperfect.

  • J. Lamb (Snoopy Jenkins)

    Ben – no one’s making sweeping moral judgments here. I’m not convinced that David Choe speaks to all Asian American men; at best, only a tiny sliver of that population even know who he is, much less pay attention to his perspectives.

    But if you believe that “no-one is holding out a hand to Asian men and offering them a platform whereby they are able to present more culturally appropriate masculine images of themselves”, I’d ask you to comment on stuff like 9-Man, or even Choe’s podcast (his alleged rape narrative appears a real outlier, as far as I know).

    Hell, you could comment on Linsanity. There, all manner of Asian American men reminded the planet that they’ve been basketball fans since antiquity, through their support for one of their number making good in the NBA (before meeting the Miami Heat, of course). Much of Linsanity was couched in a ‘reclaiming masculinity’ narrative, especially when Lin would have a good night and make plays against Black male defenders.

    Ben, this idea that our culture offers Asian men ‘scarce inclusion’ in the process to mature children into men is useful, so long as we recognize that Asian men are far from alone in being ostracized from that cultural work. The problem I have with this is that when David Choe implicates himself in a sexual assault in a podcast, or when Jeremy Lin is on a winning streak, or when a documentary filmmaker examines an Asian American sport, Asian American support for these activities is always couched in a rejection of emasculating stereotypes. It’s fair to examine the ethics of that rejection.

    Whether one believes Choe guilty of rape or not, it’s clear that Choe’s podcast attempts a gaudy sexuality for a particular purpose. I think it’s fair to question that purpose, especially since so many feel uncomfortable with questions about the man himself.

  • @Ben

    I am willing to give Asian men (and anyone affected by racism) the room to explore their relationship to it in the way that they are able

    … as am I… until they try to explore that relationship through sexism and misogyny, which some (but not all or even most) do.

    The problem here, Ben, is that there are some men who use this excuse — that there is no room for Asian men to explore their masculinity, or that they are emasculated by society’s stereotypes — to justify some vile treatment of women in general, and specific women in particular. And they use their status as an aggrieved minority to deflect challenges of their own bad behaviour.

    I believe that Asian American men have the right to explore their masculinity in a way that reclaims it from society’s emasculation. I just do not believe that this right should give Asian men free passes to recreate hierarchies of oppression against women in that “exploration”.

  • Yoda

    look at all that happened again, let us, without conveniently leaving facts out. hmmmmmm.

    when to jerk off choe starts, rose stops the massage momentarily. jerking off he asks her to pretend that he is not. to massage him after this rose then continues. rose gave him a foot massage, and to move up his leg rose began. herh herh herh.

    wway, she pulls , only when choe touches her butt. act, rose demonstrates she can when she wants not something.

    she still cares not that he is jerking off. then for oil choe asks, and on his light saber rose pours it. herh herh herh. when her hand choe takes and puts it on him, she takes not it away. when choe asks her if, it, likes she, she says “it is alright” hmmmmmm.

    for help he asks her, a bad handjob she gives him. yeesssssss. when to make it better he helps, into it she is not, but she stops not. Yes, hmmm.

    To kiss it choe asks her. hmmmmmm. ho, she says no, but only because oil on it, there is. then her head choe takes, and pushes it down. manufacturing your fake rape based on that alone, you are. yeesssssss.

    but if choe’s push was violent or foreceful you know not. he never mentioned imobilizing her. assuming it was, you must be. her verbal refusal was followed up with congruent action not. with her own actions rose contradicted what she said. hmmmmmm.

    when fed into your fake rape manufacturing spin machine, real facts are, it fails.

  • @Yoda

    So basically you’re still not reading this post. OK.

  • None

    say a guy was with a chick he likes, not a girlfriend but a girl he’s into, and they’re having sex. and the girl slaps him hard, and he says “Ow, that hurt, don’t do that”, and she tells him, “shut the fuck up, you love it” and slaps him again.

    And say the guy doesn’t love it, but doesn’t say anything because he likes the girl, and knows if he says something she’ll be angry, and he’ll have a problem on his hands after because most girls don’t emotionally take it well when you stop sex with them and tell them what they’re doing isn’t hot.

    Is that rape?

  • You and KLean are providing hypothetical scenarios under some weird assumption that I’m going to disproportionately apply the legal definition of sexual harrasment and rape only to women. If a man feels coerced into or forced into sex by his partner, male or female, he has the basis to press rape charges. None, your scenario is hard to judge because there is a requirement that the victim express non-consent in some way — which is why I harp on how many times “Rose” said no. If the guy doesn’t like it, but says absolutely nothing (which you say in your second paragraph), it would be hard to convince a jury that your partner knew you were non-consenting. On the other hand, he said “don’t do that”.

    Either way, it’s a hypothetical, and possibly one that describes sexual harassment at least. But again, it would depend if he made his non-consent to SEX clear.

    I don’t understand why any of this would be presupposed to be hard for me. Men can most certainly be raped, by both men and other women. There is a stigma towards reporting for males, but certainly not towards the possibility of the crime. I think your hypothetical is a little thin on demonstration of non-consent (as with Byron’s earlier case, coercion through “but maybe he won’t like me anymore” reasoning, is not legally obvious and would depend upon more details to convince a jury of the validity of the argument), but instead if we assume that the male says “no” multiple times and his partner uses additional force to coerce him into sex — basically identical to what happened in Choe’s case — then yes that would be rape.