The Raving Theist

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Rape: A Pro-Choice Crime?

February 26, 2009 | 104 Comments

Commenter Pro-choicer chides me for misreading Amanda Marcotte:

It would certainly be irrational to assert that [child-rapist Roman] Polanski’s defenders are “presumably pro-life.” But that’s not what Amanda said. Nor did she say that all rape apologists are pro-life or that all pro-lifers are rape apologists.

What she says is that the attitudes of rape apologists and anti-choicers “stem from the same misogynist place.” THAT is the point that Raving Theist should have responded to, instead of reading ridiculous things into Amanda’s post and implying that she said them.

I agree with Amanda, by the way. Anti-choicers and people who wink at rape have things in common. They do not respect women’s sovereignty over their own bodies. They do not value a woman’s consent regarding what happens to her body. They believe that it is okay for women’s bodies to be (in Amanda’s words) “commandeered for others to their own ends.”

Very well. As long as we agree that the actual rape defenders are pro-choice, which was the larger point of my post. And now let’s turn to a related question. Not about rape defenders or rape apologists, but the rapists themselves. Are most rapists pro-choice? Or is it just that their attitudes stem from the same liberal place?

I’m not asking this just because most violent criminals are card-carrying liberals. What makes me ponder the question is what appears to be going in America’s hottest hotbed of liberalism, the college campus. Consider this recent post in Feministe about “Anti-Rape Resources for Men.” In response to an e-mail from a female college student who wants “to do some education awareness on campus to make men aware that rape is not a women’s issue, that it will continue until men step in and educate themselves,” the blog readers are invited to suggest resources. And they do, recommending Men Can Stop Rape , SAFER (Students Active for Ending Rape) and MEMPSA (Men Educating Men on the Prevention of Sexual Assault).

At first I thought these organizations were all about college safety patrols, martial arts training, and coordinating with law enforcement to protect women from campus intruders. But in reality, it turns that they’re all about teaching liberal college men how not to commit rape themselves! In fact, the very first comment links to a heartwarming success story at a post about Battling Sexual Assault by Focusing on Men:

“Hey, see that girl over there?” Jones recalled an acquaintance asking, nodding toward a woman he wanted to take home. “She’s almost drunk. Not quite drunk enough. … What shot should I buy her?” There was a time, Jones says, when he might have laughed off the remark. Not anymore.

“You want to buy her something really strong to like, basically knock her out?” Jones, a University of Minnesota senior, recalled saying. “Man, that’s not right. That’s rape. That’s sexual assault.”

The acquaintance looked stunned. “Whatever,” he mumbled, and walked away.

Don’t try to tell me that the people who attend the SAFER/MEMPSA/MCSR seminars are conservatives from the Young American for Freedom or the college Republican or Christian club. Those sorts don’t go to feminist-sponsored seminars. No, the attendees are all a bunch of hardcore liberals guys caught up in the hook-up culture, who somehow reached adulthood without realizing it’s a bad thing to drug, kidnap and rape women. Liberal pro-choicers, I’m guessing.

Now let’s looks at the ultimate pro-choicers, abortion doctors. And I’m not just talking about their role in covering up child rape. If you peruse the archives of RealChoice, you’ll find a gallery of abortionist/perverts like this guy. I’m just guessing again, but I don’t think you’ll find all that many similar stories about doctors who devote their lives to delivery babies or performing delicate fetal surgery.

UPDATE: Commenter Prochoicer asks: They [the pro-choice liberal men who attend anti-rape seminars] are obviously concerned with discussing the issue and clarifying boundaries (which sadly are not clear to many people) in order to reduce rape. So your point is . . . ?

My point is that a college student who needs a seminar to figure out what a rape is, and that it includes sexual intercourse with a drugged woman, has more than just “boundary” problems. He’s mentally deranged. And very liberal.

Comments

104 Responses to “Rape: A Pro-Choice Crime?”

  1. Prochoicer
    February 26th, 2009 @ 11:59 am

    Hey, I never agreed that Polanski’s defenders are pro-choice. I don’t know.

    Also, you may be conflating the notions of “pro-choice” and “pro-abortion.” The Chinese government proves that you can be pro-abortion without being pro-choice. A rapist may not be opposed to abortion — but that doesn’t mean he has any particular respect for the woman’s agency in the situation, i.e. HER right to choose whether to abort or carry a pregnancy to term.

    As for men who go anti-rape seminars, it is fair to assume they are probably liberal and pro-choice. These men are also anti-rape. They are obviously concerned with discussing the issue and clarifying boundaries (which sadly are not clear to many people) in order to reduce rape. So your point is . . . ?

  2. Lily
    February 26th, 2009 @ 12:56 pm

    Wow-RT. That is a post that gets to the point in a hurry. Excellent, dissection. My point is that a college student who needs a seminar to figure out what a rape is, and that it includes sexual intercourse with a drugged woman, has more than just “boundary” problems. He’s mentally deranged. And very liberal.

    I imagine that the “I am not clear on the boundary between my possessions and someone else’s” must work wonders in court for shoplifters and burglars.

  3. Catholic Cat
    February 26th, 2009 @ 1:27 pm

    “As for men who go anti-rape seminars, it is fair to assume they are probably liberal and pro-choice. These men are also anti-rape. They are obviously concerned with discussing the issue and clarifying boundaries (which sadly are not clear to many people) in order to reduce rape.”

    So you’re applauding “preaching to the choir”?

  4. Prochoicer
    February 26th, 2009 @ 3:18 pm

    Catholic Cat,

    Why do you assume that the choir knows everything there is to know about the subject at hand? (You would be amazed at the misconceptions even the most well-meaning people have about rape. And even the most well-meaning men don’t necessarily think about rape that much because it is perceived as a “woman’s” problem.)

    Also it is not fair to say that men go to anti-rape seminars to learn how not to commit rape. Indeed the excerpt quoted by Raving Theist has nothing to do with attendees at seminars being educated in what constitutes rape. The excerpt is about an attendee who used what he learned in an anti-rape seminar to educate a man in a bar who HADN’T attended the seminar.

    I think these anti-rape seminars are about getting anti-rape men to stand up and do something to prevent rape. There is a difference between knowing one would never commit rape and actively challenging other men who think it is cool to get a woman too drunk to say no or commit other behaviors with the purpose of overriding consent.

  5. Joe Bruce
    February 26th, 2009 @ 5:35 pm

    The bottom line is that any man who is willing to have his own son or daughter torn apart and thrown in a garbage can dead and is able to look dispassionately at that and call it a mere “choice” could be expected to have difficulty in perceiving moral injustice in other areas of his life as well.

  6. Richard Norris
    February 26th, 2009 @ 7:02 pm

    Just out of curiosity RT, do you think any priests drove pregnant women to abortion clinics after they were done using little boys to get off?

  7. frustrated(mk)
    February 26th, 2009 @ 7:15 pm

    Just out of curiosity RT, do you think any priests drove pregnant women to abortion clinics after they were done using little boys to get off?

    Oh yeah, that makes a lot of sense. You see what I’m saying, you people have lost the reality that sex between a man and a woman is what creates babies. If a priest had sex with a little boy, why would a woman end up pregnant?

    And if he did get a woman pregnant, and then drive her to an abortion clinic, what exactly would your point be?

  8. athana
    February 26th, 2009 @ 7:24 pm

    You ought to be ashamed of yourself, RT. You haven’t read the Bible or you wouldn’t be waving it around like a flag all over your poor readers (who haven’t read the Bible either).

    You probably won’t let this appear on your blog, but you and I will know that you’ve seen it. You and I will know how uninformed (or anti-human?) you are at your core.

    In your shameful Bible are HUNDREDS of primitive, barbaric verses like the following. Did you know this about your “rule book for living”? If not, why not? And if so, how do you explain your support of this kind of barbarous sickness?

    Numbers
    1. And the LORD sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and much people of Israel died.–21.6
    2. And the LORD said …Take all the heads of the people, and hang them up before the LORD against the sun, that the fierce anger of the LORD may be turned away from Israel.–25.4
    3. The LORD will smite thee with the botch of Egypt, and with the emerods, and with the scab, and with the itch, whereof thou canst not be healed.–28.27
    4. The LORD shall smite thee with madness, and blindness, and astonishment of heart.–28.28
    5. The LORD shall smite thee in the knees, and in the legs, with a sore botch that cannot be healed, from the sole of thy foot unto the top of thy head.–28.35
    Judges
    6. But Adonibezek fled; and they pursued after him, and caught him, and cut off his thumbs and his great toes.– 1.6
    7. And when he was come into his house, he took a knife, and laid hold on his concubine, and divided her, together with her bones, into twelve pieces, and sent her into all the coasts of Israel.– 19.29
    2 Samuel
    8. Because by this deed thou hast given great occasion to the enemies of the LORD to blaspheme, the child also that is born unto thee shall surely die. And the LORD struck the child that Uriah’s wife bare unto David, and it was very sick…. And it came to pass on the seventh day, that the child died.–12.14-15
    9. And he brought forth the people that were therein, and put them under saws, and under harrows of iron, and under axes of iron, and made them pass through the brick-kiln.–12.31
    1 Kings
    10. Him that dieth of Baasha in the city shall the dogs eat; and him that dieth in the fields shall the fowls of the air eat.–16.4
    11. He slew all the house of Baasha: he left him not one that pisseth against a wall … according to the word of the LORD.–16.11-12
    12. Thus saith the LORD, In the place where dogs licked the blood of Naboth shall dogs lick thy blood, even thine.–21.19
    2 Kings
    13. This woman said unto me, Give thy son, that we may eat him to day, and we will eat my son tomorrow. So we boiled my son, and did eat him–6.28-29
    14. They took the king’s sons, and slew seventy persons, and put their heads in baskets, and sent him them to Jezreel.–10.7
    15. Therefore he smote it; and all the women therein that were with child he ripped up.–15.16
    16. The LORD sent lions among them, which slew some of them.–17.25
    2 Chronicles
    17. Behold, with a great plague will the LORD smite thy people…. And thou shalt have great sickness by disease of thy bowels, until thy bowels fall out.–21.14

    18. Behold, he was leprous in his forehead … because the LORD had smitten him.–26.20
    Psalms
    19. Break their teeth, O God, in their mouth.– 58.6
    20. Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones.– 137.9
    Isaiah
    21. And he shall snatch on the right hand, and be hungry; and he shall eat on the left hand, and they shall not be satisfied: they shall eat every man the flesh of his own arm.–9.20
    22. He hath … delivered them to the slaughter. Their … stink shall come up out of their carcases….–34.2-3
    23. And I will feed them that oppress thee with their own flesh; and they shall be drunken with their own blood, as with sweet wine.–49.26
    Jeremiah
    24. For, behold, I will send serpents, cockatrices, among you, which will not be charmed, and they shall bite you, saith the LORD.–8.17

  9. Richard Norris
    February 26th, 2009 @ 7:30 pm

    My point is, is that if rapists in general are all pro-choice, as has been stated above with no clarification, then all of them would be willing to lend a hand, right? Even the ones that sanctimoniously denounce abortion from the pulpit before going on to rape some poor 8 year old. By the way, RT, way to go on surrounding yourself with a glut of intercessors. Every time I ask you a question, it seems they answer for you.

  10. frustrated(mk)
    February 26th, 2009 @ 7:41 pm

    Athana,

    *Demeter*
    Demeter was another daughter of Rhea and Cronus. She was the Goddess of the Harvest or the Goddess of the Fields. Centuries ago Greeks used to break bread in the name of Demeter as well as drink wine to Dionysus. Sound familiar? Demeter was the mother of Persephone and that was one mother-daughter team you shouldn’t try to mess around with. When Hades did, Demeter threw the earth into an eternal winter and let nothing grow until someone helped her find her child.

    *Artemis*
    Artemis is the Goddess of the Hunt. She had 50 hounds and 50 Draiads (wood nymphs) and a quiver full of painless silver arrows. Along with her twin brother Apollo, she was the daughter of Zeus and Leto as well as being “youngest” of the three maiden goddesses (in addition to Hestia and Athena). Artemis didn’t carry the moon across the sky, but being a moon goddess was definitely part of her identity. Stunningly beautiful, she swore never to marry – this is not a coincidence! She was the Protector of Young Women as well as a midwife. She was incredibly cool for a lot of reasons, but my favorite is that her worship ranged from very dark (human sacrifice)

    Kali, also known as Kalika (Bengali: কালী, Kālī / কালিকা Kālīkā ; Sanskrit: काली), is a Hindu goddess associated with death and destruction. The name Kali means “black”, but has by folk etymology come to mean “force of time (kala)”. Despite her negative connotations, she is today considered the goddess of time and change. Although sometimes presented as dark and violent, her earliest incarnation as a figure of annihilation still has some influence.

    Oh yeah, goddesses are bastions of goodness…

    And which goddess was it that you worshiped again???

  11. Richard Norris
    February 26th, 2009 @ 7:44 pm

    Any idea that rape is a product of liberal thought is shown as a lie when you look at all of the conservative churches and political groups who have covered up such actions in the past to protect their message and pretend that corruption doesn’t happen to them due to their vaunted holy values.

  12. Richard Norris
    February 26th, 2009 @ 7:48 pm

    MK, taking the names of those goddesses and hiding behind the historical description of them so you don’t have to pay attention to the horrors of your God is ADORABLE! It’s just so cute!! “But Mommy, she did it too!”

  13. FreeDem
    February 26th, 2009 @ 8:08 pm

    Yup, it is only those bleeding heart liberals whose excessive concern for others drives them to rape and murder. The web has dozens of sites with lists of prominent liberals forcing sex or sexually harassing the women around them with midnight calls about their talent with loofas (or maybe not). It is not like there has not been a lot of money spent to create such a program, but then all those organized poor people spend their excess billions to prevent any such investigation.

  14. frustrated(mk)
    February 26th, 2009 @ 8:09 pm

    Oh Richard,

    Please. I didn’t address her comment at all except to say that calling my God violent while adhering to an equally violent God is hypocritical. Hypocrisy is what my comment was about, that and nothing more.

  15. Lily
    February 26th, 2009 @ 8:20 pm

    You don’t deserve the dignity of an answer, Richard Norris. You really don’t.

    Just out of curiosity RT, do you think any priests drove pregnant women to abortion clinics after they were done using little boys to get off?

    This ridiculous question is an example of conceptual Anschluss so breathtaking in its sheer absurdity that I am both ashamed for you and doubtful that you will ever have anything of value to add to any discussion here.

    I say this not as an ” intercessor” for RT but as someone who wants the 15 seconds of my life back that I wasted on this inane drivel. RT appears to be smarter than I, if he is just ignoring dishonest questions. Maybe you need to reread Marcotte’s piece and RT’s posts on the subject.

    ATHANA: If you continue to read the Skeptics Annotated Bible and take it seriously, you will go blind and your brain will rot. We have discussed the Old Testament at length here. You can find a lot of good information to guide you into a more intelligent way of reading it in the Back to Eden thread. You can start with my comments, 7, 12 etc. and then more good stuff gets added, when mk (frustrated)weighs in.

  16. Richard Norris
    February 26th, 2009 @ 8:24 pm

    And hypocrisy was the point of MY comment, MK, despite you not seeing the forest for the trees. But hey, at least you can agree that your deity is violent.

  17. frustrated(mk)
    February 26th, 2009 @ 8:27 pm

    I don’t believe that anyone would deny that God has used violence at times in History…your point?

  18. frustrated(mk)
    February 26th, 2009 @ 8:28 pm

    Actually, Richard, I still don’t see the point.

    In truth, I don’t believe there was one.

  19. frustrated(mk)
    February 26th, 2009 @ 8:32 pm

    Richard,

    Any idea that rape is a product of liberal thought is shown as a lie when you look at all of the conservative churches and political groups who have covered up such actions in the past to protect their message and pretend that corruption doesn’t happen to them due to their vaunted holy values.

    If you are hoping that I will try to defend the actions of priests that molest boys, and church officials that cover it up, you will be sorely disappointed.

    Nowhere, and I mean NOWHERE will you find a church teaching that says either molesting children OR lying about it is church teaching…and the teachings of the church are what it’s all about.

    Hypocrisy exists everywhere. Did you expect me to claim that the members of the Catholic Church were exempt??? For heavens sake, Nancy Pelosi, Joe Biden and Ted Kennedy are all members…I’m afraid you’re preaching to the choir if you’re trying to point out Catholics that fail to follow church teaching…sheesh. Try again.

  20. Daniel M
    February 26th, 2009 @ 8:51 pm

    violent criminals are liberals? (obviously implying that “liberal” == “violent criminal”)

    rapists are pro-rape and pro-choice? (obviously and directly implying pro-choice == pro-rape)

    catholic =/= christian when they go about kiddy-fiddling? (ie, when it suits you, someone isn’t christian)

    all rapists are liberal? (implying that all liberals are rapists)

    men trying to work out how to better educate other men on what rape is somehow equates to them being liberal, rapists, pro-rape drug-users?

    and…your “argument” is rational and supported by evidence?

    No, this is all some sort of baseless ad hominem attack which really shows me the depth of the depravity that some people can go to defending their own poorly thought-out viewpoint.

    RAT does not succesfully make the point of either of the previous two rants, and yet the religious me-too’s are bobbing their heads like those ridiculous dolls espousing the wisdom of this drek.

    I finally see why more and more people are getting fed up of these sorts of religious extremists and religions in general.

    Well done, RAT, your plan for creating atheists by destroying religion from the inside is working perfectly.

  21. FreeDem
    February 26th, 2009 @ 9:05 pm

    Hypocrisy is not the issue when lifestyle and basic philosophy produce known outcomes. It has been well documented that harsh oppressive upbringing with lots of negative reinforcement as is favored by Dobson et. al. produces an outlook that is more conservative and less empathetic. It also produces in some such anger and repressed sexual aggression that genuine monsters are the natural result.

    By contrast a Dr Spock type upbringing, of child centered support and family empathy and responsibility, produces an outlook more liberal and empathetic. With such a concern for others, brutal behavior common to such monsters is most unlikely. And because open thought is encouraged the RWA mental compartmentalization is also more rare, and thus so is hypocrisy.

  22. Lily
    February 26th, 2009 @ 9:13 pm

    Daniel, you need to think first, then write. The church is a hospital for sinners. It is not a place for the perfect who have no need of it. However, to be a Christian is to accept a set of propositions. If one deliberately violates them over and over again, one is not a Christian. This wasn’t lost on St. Paul who wrote “By their fruits, ye shall know them”.

    If you really don’t understand this not very subtle point, you don’t understand the nature of propositional logic. I cannot claim to be an atheist who believes in God. That is nonsense. I cannot claim to be a vegetarian and eat steak every night. Words mean something. If they don’t, they are useless and communication is impossible.

    all rapists are liberal? (implying that all liberals are rapists)

    Oh dear. This violates logic, since it is absurd on its face. It implies no such thing. Have you actually read Marcotte’s post and Rt’s two subsequent posts? I suggest that you need to before weighing in. If you tell me that you have, I recommend doing so again.

  23. athana
    February 26th, 2009 @ 9:23 pm

    Dear Frustrated,

    Of *course* the goddesses you mention are mean and plug-ugly. They come from mean and plug-ugly patriarchal cultures (ancient Greece, Roman empire, and Indo-European India).

    Try looking at goddesses from non-patriarchal places, like Minoan Crete, the Indus Valley Civilization, or almost anywhere during the 6000-year-long Neolithic.

  24. FreeDem
    February 26th, 2009 @ 9:36 pm

    athana – I would not reach too hard for Authoritarian Matriarchies as superior to Authoritarian Patriarchies. Any pre-machine culture that achieved enough to leave much of a trace had to do so on the back of a steep power pyramid, and that was only possible with a lot of force applied to those on the bottom, without much reward.

    Really egalitarian places rarely left much for Archaeologists to learn about them. Some writers on the other hand left excellent thoughts, even though they stood on such a bloody pyramid.

  25. Lily
    February 26th, 2009 @ 9:43 pm

    Minoan Crete! Great flaming balls of fire, where do you get this stuff, Athana! I suggest you read some serious history and not the women’s studies garbage that your posts seem to reflect. If you need a bibliography, I can supply you with one.

  26. Lily
    February 26th, 2009 @ 9:44 pm

    Really egalitarian places rarely left much for Archaeologists to learn about them.

    So how do you know they existed? What is the source of your information?

  27. athana
    February 26th, 2009 @ 9:52 pm

    Lily, I’m an archaeologist. I don’t read “women’s studies garbage.” And what’s your background that you think you have a bib superior to mine?

  28. athana
    February 26th, 2009 @ 9:58 pm

    Dearest FreeDem,

    What the heck makes you think the Indus Valley Civ and Minoan Crete were “authoritiarian matriarchies”?

    Also — compared to the war-god-centered Mycenaeans who ran them over, the Minoans were paragons of social equality.

    Hey: I’m an archaeologist. What’s your training, my dear friend?

  29. FreeDem
    February 26th, 2009 @ 10:30 pm

    Really egalitarian places rarely left much for Archaeologists to learn about them.

    The problem is one of capacity. Without mechanical power,large projects took immense human labor. Food of course is the first requirement but even where food becomes abundant (Nile, Tigris, etc) much organizing is necessary to achieve this. To do this a pyramid of political power arises putting the results of centralized labor with such force as is needed to accomplish massive goals.

    Without large supplies of labor, and a central planner with the power to set the task, both the goals and results are much more modest. What the residents of grand palaces tell about themselves will be much more favorable, but the very grandness of the palace creates the dissonance. The more organized and planned the palace, the more force must have been used to create it.

    The force may be more theocratic, or more raw brutality, but the building cannot exist unless to obey is not an option.

  30. athana
    February 26th, 2009 @ 10:54 pm

    But FreeDem, people can and do give freely of their labor without being forced to do so.

    It seems to me your mind is confined to modern Western ideas of what’s possible. Forgive me for saying so, but it seems you aren’t looking beyond your own back yard.

    Read Jane McIntosh’s The Peaceful Realm, about the Indus Valley Civilization of c. 2000 BC. The people in the IVC cities (up to 80,000 in size) were all relatively equal in terms of the material wealth they possessed.

    “Political power,” “centralized labor,” “force,” — all these are concepts you’ve been trained to think are inevitable. They’re not!

  31. Lily
    February 26th, 2009 @ 11:00 pm

    Athana, do you really want to get into a game of duelling credentials? I asked you the source of your information; particularly with regard to Minoan Crete, since you said, “Really egalitarian places rarely left much for Archaeologists to learn about them”. If they didn’t leave much, how do you *know* what you claim to know? It is all very fine that you are an archaeologist but that doesn’t begin to settle the matter. If you must know, I have a background in classical civilization, and two advanced degrees, one of which is in late classical and medieval literature and culture.

    Now that we have settled the question of credentials, would you like to tell me the source of your information?

    Let’s review the facts. Minoan Crete left no literature and no sacred texts. Therefore, we cannot reconstruct their religion with anything like probability, much less certainty. Figurines of goddesses and a few survivng frescos are not hard evidence to support any argument for or against a matriarchy, patriarchy or egalitarian society. We know very little about the Minoan Cretans and certainly not that they were “paragons of social equality”.

    Amusingly, it is archaeology that argues against such a view! The numerous multi-level palaces with their throne rooms, ceremonial courts,and controlled entrances do not point to an egalitarian society but, rather, to a hierarchical one. The palaces were unfortified, too, which suggests that Crete was protected by its navy. Given the times, it is a virtual certainty that the Cretans were not navel-gazing peaceniks, singing Kumbaya as those mean Mycenaens overran them.

    Well, I’m looking forward to you filling in the gaps in my understanding of cretan culture. Maybe a treasure trove of written literature has been found and we have cracked Linear A, as well? Won’t I feel stupid if that is true!

  32. Lily
    February 26th, 2009 @ 11:22 pm

    Sorry, Athana, I just realized it is Free Dem who said ” “Really egalitarian places rarely left much for Archaeologists to learn about them”. Nevertheless, I would like to know the source of your claim that Minoan Crete was a “non patriarchal place”. I especially would like to know why you think neolithic matriarchies (assuming they existed) were peaceful. What is the evidence?

  33. FreeDem
    February 27th, 2009 @ 12:00 am

    I am drawn to consider two obvious examples that I am aware of. One is Amish barn building, and the other Chaco canyon.

    In the case of the Amish the labor is certainly voluntary, and nobody is “Forced” to participate. However there is a theocratic underpinning (also largely voluntary) that makes such activity possible. Without the implied agreement that such help will be returned, it would not succeed. The goals are modest still, and only a much more coercive religious expression will produce even a very large church.

    Chaco Canyon is an example where grand stories are told and amazing accomplishments documented, yet the dark secrets scream from so many places where one can only reach by difficult narrow passage that one person could defend against hundreds.

    Islands (in desert or ocean) can make coercion easier especially as long as there is relative wealth in food and materials (where would you go?), but can be especially nightmarish when the wealth is overused (Easter Island is poster child).

    There are examples in places like Sri Lanka and Bali where Theocratic coercion historically both kept peace and prevented exploitation in the form of huge palaces etc. My only knowledge of IVC was that it was very mysterious and missing grand palaces, and like Sri Lanka and Bali very organized in water distribution primarily.

    That knowledge is quite old, and even then somewhat sketchy, but an Amish model would not negate the logic of what I have said above. The Lasa Palace of Tibet is about as extreme a place as I can think of to produce theocratic grandeur without bloody assault, but it too was historically a sort of island, well positioned to profit from neighbors as well.

  34. Daniel M
    February 27th, 2009 @ 7:42 am

    @22: lily, I assume you have failed reading comprehension 101 when you failed to understand the following sentences:

    As long as we agree that the actual rape defenders are pro-choice, which was the larger point of my post

    and

    Are most rapists pro-choice? Or is it just that their attitudes stem from the same liberal place?

    and

    the attendees are all a bunch of hardcore liberals guys caught up in the hook-up culture, who somehow reached adulthood without realizing it’s a bad thing to drug, kidnap and rape women. Liberal pro-choicers, I’m guessing.

    (bolded text highlighted by me) and that is just in this rant alone.

    you state I need to read the rant again – I think I’ve proved to my satisfaction that I don’t, especially when the very titles of these pieces allude very strongly that pro choice == pro rape, yet fail – utterly fail – to prove any such thing.

    That makes them nothing more than despicable baseless ad-hominem attacks, your failure to understand this is either due to a lack of intelligence or willful ignorance.

    Yours (and others) willful ignorance extends to throwing the “no true Scotsman” argument over such atrocities as pedophilia and murder (not to mention breaking your own perceived commandments of homosexual relations) whenever a religious person commits such a crime, but yet you have the gall to tar and feather all “abortion doctors” with the same brush whenever an individual is guilty of such crimes.

    So which is it? Are all christians rapists, pedophiles and murderers because some of them are, in the same way RAT describes all “abortion doctors” because some of their number do such despicable things? The same way all muslims are suicide bombers?

    Or are you capable of rational thought and understanding that individuals exist, and that some of these do bad things?

  35. Lily
    February 27th, 2009 @ 7:53 am

    Daniel, yet again, you failed to read carefully enough. I stated plainly that an assumption that all liberals were rapists was absurd on its face. How much clearer can I be? RT tends to be rather more subtle and you failed to understand him.

    I think he is used to it.

  36. frustrated(mk)
    February 27th, 2009 @ 8:22 am

    Daniel,

    Pedophile priests are and ABERRATION. They are NOT THE NORM. There actions are DIRECTLY OPPOSED to CHURCH TEACHING.

    IF the church TAUGHT that pedophilia was a good thing, you would have a point.

    ALL ABORTION DOCTORS kill children. ALL OF THEM. BY DEFINITION. An abortion doctor kills unborn children is NOT an ABERRATION! He is THE NORM…

    This is where you are mucking it up.

    Therefore it is not such a leap to generalize that abortion doctors are nasty pieces of work as their main objective in life is to KILL HUMAN BEINGS.

    Whereas a priest that STRAYS from the churches teachings, and abuses a child, is NOT fulfilling his commitment to the church…He is NEGATING it.

    Therefore, you can call that priest a nasty piece of work, but NOT the priesthood. You can point to a particular member of the clergy, but NOT the entire church!

    Abortion PROMOTES the killing of human beings.
    The Church does NOT PROMOTE pedophilia…

    Duh.

  37. athana
    February 27th, 2009 @ 8:22 am

    Lily,

    I’ve interjected my responses into your last post:

    “Let’s review the facts. Minoan Crete left no literature and no sacred texts.

    Not strictly true. They left them; they just didn’t survive for us to find.

    “Therefore, we cannot reconstruct their religion with anything like probability, much less certainty.

    Try telling that to Nanno Marinatos, the archaeologist who wrote a 306-page tome in 1993 called Minoan Religion (U. of South Carolina Press).

    “Figurines of goddesses and a few survivng frescos are not hard evidence to support any argument for or against a matriarchy, patriarchy or egalitarian society.

    The archaeological evidence goes far, far beyond “figurines of goddesses and … frescoes.” There are town configurations, building configurations, town sites, room configurations within buildings (bathing pools; indoor bathrooms), furniture, cups, jugs, jars, graves, cemeteries, jewelry, pictorial clay ID stamps, scores of votive figurines left in cave niches, tools, the remains of roads, etc., etc.

    “We know very little about the Minoan Cretans and certainly not that they were “paragons of social equality”.

    Who used the term “paragons of social equality”? Not me. What we do know is that the homes of the Minoans are all good-sized, comfortable places. The patriarchal Mycenaeans who conquered them had “palaces” like the Minoans did, but the Mycenean people all lived in miserable hovels.

    Archaeologists have also discovered that after the Mycenaeans took over Crete, the Minoan people began to show signs of malnutrition.

    “Amusingly, it is archaeology that argues against such a view! The numerous multi-level palaces with their throne rooms, ceremonial courts,and controlled entrances do not point to an egalitarian society but, rather, to a hierarchical one.

    The only “throne room” I know of is the one at Knossos — and it comes from the time when the patriarchal Mycenaeans took over.

    And there’s no proof your so-called palaces were palaces. They could just as easily be the equivalent of our shopping malls — buildings where all the society’s civic activities took place: education, law offices, “church” services, the farmers market, potter’s shops, jewelry shops, a nice sit-down restaurant or two, etc., etc.

    “The palaces were unfortified, too, which suggests that Crete was protected by its navy.

    What?!? Nuh-uh. First, let’s stop calling them “palaces,” which automatically conjures up images of kings, queens and court jesters. Let’s call them civic buildings. The Minoan civic buildings were unfortified because until the Myce came, no one had enough naval technology to invade Crete. AND because the Minoans had the ability to live with each other peacefully, for over 1000 years. As much as certain archaeologists would like to destroy the idea of “Pax Minoica,” no one so far has even come close to doing a credible job of it (see Studebaker, “A Millennium Without War?” PanGaia Vol. 38, 2004).

    Just because the Egyptians and Mesopotamians were cesspools of war, violence and hierarchy doesn’t mean the rest of the world at that time had to be. Get Jane McIntosh’s (Jane’s an archaeologist) A Peaceful Realm, about the Indus Valley Civilization. No evidence for war, police forces (even though cities were up to 80,000 people in size), hierarchy, or brutal rulers.

  38. Daniel M
    February 27th, 2009 @ 8:36 am

    @36: I see you fell for the trap that I left – to be honest, I didn’t leave it as a trap so much as I expected your type to leap on it. You failed to understand what I wrote – either willfully or through a lack of intelligence.

    If you ignore the murder part (bear with me, this takes some thinking, but not too much), and go straight for the rest of the argument – that tarring and feathering all doctors (as specifically perverts and rapists) over the actions of a minority which RAT is specifically doing then by the same logic, all christians are guilty by association with pedophile priests and rapists.

    Saying “but so and so strayed from the flock” is the “no true Scotsman” argument and without merit, especially when you turn around and denounce all doctors over the actions of a few, who universally get struck off and punished (maybe not enough, maybe not soon enough).

    Coming back to murder, that’s obviously where we (and the law) differs – a fetus isn’t a human being (in my opinion and under the eyes of the law). Your opinion is that a fetus is a fully-formed human being with all the rights and privileges of an independant, conscious, self-aware person. Therefore you call abortion murder – the reason I repeat this is to try to show you that (duh) I understand your reasoning.

    The sad fact is you and your ilk fail to understand everyone else’s – you’re not being asked to agree with it, just to understand it.

    You didn’t.

    If it is through ignorance, I wish you the best in trying to rectify that.

    If it is through willfull ignorance, there is nothing more I can say.

  39. Stones Cry Out - If they keep silent… » Things Heard: e56v5
    February 27th, 2009 @ 9:12 am

    […] Pro-choice and rape. […]

  40. Lily
    February 27th, 2009 @ 9:19 am

    Athana, you have badly overstated the available archaeological evidence (and in the absence of texts, stones and frecoes, figurines, vases, etc can tell us relatively little). Moreover, it is the scholarly consensus that Minoan Crete was a “palatial society”. There were complex palaces at Knossus,Mallia, Phaistos,and Zakro that have left remains. The consensus may be wrong, but you cannot simply claim that. You must demonstrate it with hard evidence. But back to your egalitarian society– archaeology alone cannot recreate a culture. If only! We would know a heck of a lot more about the ancient world if it could.

    The Minoans may well have lived with each other in peace but that doesn’t mean they had an egalitarian society. Moreover they were in contact with many other cultures, including Egypt, and their artefacts are found all over the Aegean. They traded on Thera and may well have colonized it.

    I am thinking that you might want to take Jane McIntosh with a heaping tablespoon of salt if it is she who has convinced you that there were matriarchial, peaceable societies all over the Indus Valley and that only a few places were “cesspools” of war. Maybe there were. But just exactly what hard evidence do you have? An argument from silence (No evidence for war, police forces (even though cities were up to 80,000 people in size), hierarchy, or brutal rulers.)is no argument at all.

  41. athana
    February 27th, 2009 @ 9:39 am

    Frustrated,

    You say you “don’t believe that anyone would deny that God has used violence at times in History…your point?”

    The point is simple: you are what you worship. You worship sick deities, you get sick.

    Open any college archaeology or anthropology text book and you’ll see that the consensus is there was little if any institutionalalized warfare, social violence or social hierarchy before ca 4000 BC. Then your type of sick god hit the deck running (sky gods, war gods, father gods who gave birth through their “sweaty armpits,” penises — and later through Adam’s rib). And all the above big uglies (war etc.) have been with us ever since.

  42. athana
    February 27th, 2009 @ 10:18 am

    Lily,

    This is the second time you’ve sniffed at archaeological evidence and placed your written-text evidence up on a sacred pedestal. You might not know this, but archaeologists constantly find mistruth after mistruth in your written texts. In many cases the real truth is revealed only after the archaeological evidence is uncovered.

    And there you go using the word “palace” again. Even if you don’t like my term “civil building,” you should know that many archaeologists have stopped using the word “palace” for these buildings. “Palace” is very old school. No one has come up with a good term for them, however, because you’re right — we still don’t know exactly what they were used for. But palace is out, because people are realizing that the Minoans didn’t have kings, queens or other bully-boy rulers like their surrounding contemporaries did.

    Some use the word “temple” instead of palace, but they use it hesitatingly.

    And I certainly didn’t mean to say that just because the Minoans were peaceful that this means they automatically were egalitarian.

    What I was trying to get across to you is that compared to the Mycenaeans who conquered them, the Minoans were indeed quite egalitarian (homes all decent; no signs of malnutrition in some and not others; no signs of slavery; certainly no signs that women were relegated to second-class positions).

    And what’s wrong with starting a “colony” (loaded word) on Thera?

    And please! Stop using the word matriarchal in reference to me! I have not once used that word here. I resent the fact that you keep trying to accuse me of claiming “matriarchy” everywhere.

    Also, please excuse me if I gave you the impression that Jane McIntosh is the only academic admitting that the Indus Valley civ was peaceful and non-violent. Take a peek at Kenoyer’s “Birth of a Civilization” Archaeology 51, no. 1 (1998): 54-61 or his “Uncovering the Keys to the Lost Indus Cities” Scientific American Special Edition 15, issue 1 (2005): 25-33.

    And by the way — as you’ve requested — I’ve given you several direct academic sources, now, to back up what I’ve been saying.

    Why haven’t you given me any of your sources?

    I didn’t say “only a few places where cesspools of war.” Egypt and Mesopotamia were cesspools at the time; Crete and the Indus Valley were not.

    The evidence that the Indus Valley was peaceful? There’s no evidence they did war! What more evidence do you want that they were peaceful?!? You can’t carry on warfare and leave no trace of it. Warring societies build huge, thick walls around their cities (there were none in the Indus Valley). These walls show specific signs of battle, seige, and attack. Warring societies show signs on skeletal remains of parry fractures of the right forearm, multiple injuries on skeletons buried with weapons, armor, shields and helmets. You dig up seige engines.

    There’s none of this in the huge Indus Valley Civilization (if I remember right it covered a quarter of a million square miles).

    No Hierarchy: Evidence: All the homes were equipped with the same high-quality stuff. You certainly can’t say that about modern America or Europe. Everyone had indoor bathrooms. That didn’t happen in the West until ca. 1950 AD. I find it pretty hard to see hierarchy in a place where everyone’s getting an equal share of the same good stuff.

  43. Gary Keith Chesterton
    February 27th, 2009 @ 10:34 am

    Athana,

    As you a real archaeologist, I wonder if you will bear with me asking a parenthetical question. I am sincere; I am not trying to bait you or hijack the thread. I ask you only because I don’t know any archaeologists (except one man who was a lodge brother of mine–he died of a heart attack before I becamse interested in these things).

    My question, which I understand is much too involved to answer in a combox (but maybe you can hit the high points), is how can archaeology possibly be justified in making the kinds of sweeping general claims it makes based on what amounts to a bunch of scraps dug out of a garbage dump? I understand you have mentioned city plans and architecture, and other things, but honestly, withouot actual texts, how can any archaeologist make any claims about societal organization, religious beliefs and practices, or anything except “These potsherds are painted red”?

    Again, this is an actual request for explanation, not an attempt at snark. Please help.

  44. Gary Keith Chesterton
    February 27th, 2009 @ 10:36 am

    Sorry, I should have proofread before posting. :^)

  45. frustrated(mk)
    February 27th, 2009 @ 10:38 am

    Athana,

    Not strictly true. They left them; they just didn’t survive for us to find.

    And you know this becaaaaaussse???

  46. frustrated(mk)
    February 27th, 2009 @ 10:44 am

    @36: I see you fell for the trap that I left – to be honest, I didn’t leave it as a trap so much as I expected your type to leap on it. You failed to understand what I wrote – either willfully or through a lack of intelligence.

    It would also take very little intelligence to see that I have not weighed in one way or the other about whether abortion doctors are the scum of the earth. All I did was point out that by definition, by creed, abortion doctors take human life. So when they act according to their doctrine, they act as providers of death. It is WHO THEY ARE, it is WHAT THEY DO.

    Priests on the other had are NOT SUPPOSED to molest children.

    If you ignore the murder part (bear with me, this takes some thinking, but not too much), and go straight for the rest of the argument – that tarring and feathering all doctors (as specifically perverts and rapists) over the actions of a minority which RAT is specifically doing then by the same logic, all christians are guilty by association with pedophile priests and rapists.

    Except that I haven’t lumped all doctors, no not even all abortion doctors, as perverts and rapists. My “type” has stayed out of that barroom. I have simply addressed that the nature of an abortion doctors business is by definition seedy and immoral. A priests is not.

    So to leap to the conclusion that ALL abortion doctors are seedy and immoral is not that great of a leap as by definition, according to my “type”, abortion is immoral. Since abortion is what abortionists do, it stands to reason that when they are being TRUE to their profession they are being immoral!

    While a priest, when being TRUE to his profession, is NOT immoral.

    again. duh.

  47. Lily
    February 27th, 2009 @ 10:59 am

    Athana: an argument from silence is not an argument. Archaeology cannot trump written records, although it does help us in many ways and supplements the written record, when one exists. But stones don’t speak. Figurines don’t speak. Anything we conclude from them must be highly provisional. It really is as simple as that.

  48. athana
    February 27th, 2009 @ 11:11 am

    frustrated,

    We know the Minoans had writing and written texts. Their written language is called “Linear A.” Almost the only remains of this language that have survived, however, are on a few small clay tablets that were baked in the fires that destroyed many of the Minoan buildings when the Mycenaeans attacked Crete c. 1450 BC.

    Any texts on papyrus or other organic material would not have survived fire or Crete’s particular climate/environment.

    The Minoans were incredibly technologically sophisticated. I fail to see how they could have managed this level of sophistication without relying extensively on written texts.

  49. frustrated(mk)
    February 27th, 2009 @ 11:11 am

    Daniel M,

    Coming back to murder, that’s obviously where we (and the law) differs – a fetus isn’t a human being (in my opinion and under the eyes of the law). Your opinion is that a fetus is a fully-formed human being with all the rights and privileges of an independant, conscious, self-aware person. Therefore you call abortion murder – the reason I repeat this is to try to show you that (duh) I understand your reasoning.

    Well considering that I have typed about three paragraphs you certainly do seem to know a lot about what I think…

    I have never said and would never say that a “fetus” is a conscious, self aware, independent, fully formed human being.

    It is a human being. That is enough. The fact that you do not think it is a human being is enough reason to assume that you never got past the 3rd grade. Again (and again, and again) the term fetus can apply to a dog, cat, mouse or aardvark. All the term fetus tells us is that it is an unborn animal of some sort.

    When discussing abortion we are talking about a HUMAN fetus. A HUMAN being. NOBODY with any education would dispute the fact the unborn “entity” growing inside of a human woman, and conceived with a human man was ANYTHING but a human being. Except perhaps, you and “your type”.

    Person is a different story. It is simply a legal term and does nothing to speak to what is actually growing inside of a woman. The unborn HUMAN BEING has not been afforded equal legal rights. Period. It has not been deemed inhuman.

    I don’t require that a HUMAN BEING be conscious, or intelligent, or self aware, or fully formed or any of your absurd criteria, to be worthy of protection.

    A comatose man, a conjoined twin, an amputee, a sleeping person…all of these can either be dependent, unformed, unaware or unconscious…yet I consider them to be HUMAN BEINGS and PERSONS also.

    I think I need to be done with you, as a.) you have no clue how to debate b.) you have no clue how to reason and c.) you are rude.

  50. frustrated(mk)
    February 27th, 2009 @ 11:13 am

    Daniel M,

    @46: willfull ignorance it is, then.

    Yes, I would concur. You are showing an incredible amount of willful ignorance. At least you admit it.

  51. frustrated(mk)
    February 27th, 2009 @ 11:14 am

    Athana,

    Thank you. But may I ask, what this has to do with what you believe in? Are you saying that your goddess is the goddess of the Minoans?

  52. Lily
    February 27th, 2009 @ 11:17 am

    Kenoyer does not support your assertion that all was peaceful and egalitarian in the entire region. In the article you referenced he is careful to uses words like “suggest” “may”. He also says of the city that this article is mainly concerned with:

    A theme on many seals and impressions on clay tablets is that of a deity strangling two tigers, in some instance s depicted standing on top of an elephant. A similar scene found in Mesopotamia is associated with the Gilgamesh epic, in which the hero strangles a pair of lions. The similarities between these motifs are evidence of shared concepts of power and dominance, but we do not know if the specific narrative spread from one region to the other.

    A little later he says this:

    Previously scholars argued that the Indus cities were suddenly abandoned around 1750 B.C.E., but our recent work at Harappa has clearly demonstrated that during its late phase, from 1900 to 1300 B.C.E., Harappa was indeed inhabited. In fact, signs that drain and city walls were not maintained pro vide proof of crowding and a break down of civic order. The remains suggest that the ruling elites were no longer able to control the day-to-day functioning of the urban center. This loss of authority must have eventually led to reorganization of society, not just in Harappa but throughout the entire region that the upper classes had dominated for 700 years. Similar changes were occurring at the other big cities such as Mohenjo Daro to the south and Dhol avira in western India.

    So, I fail to see how he supports your major assertions. Still, the article was very interesting (I know nothing about that region of the world) and I am glad to have read it.

  53. athana
    February 27th, 2009 @ 11:20 am

    Just because you say it Lily doesn’t make it true.

    I’d love to see you stand up and face a group of 21st-century archaeologists and tell them what you just told me.

    Tell them to their faces that *nothing* they excavate gives anything but “highly provisional” information.

    You obviously know very, very little about the discipline of archaeology. And you totally blow off almost anything I try to tell you, including my highly reputable sources. You know so little, as a matter of fact, that you don’t even make an interesting sparring partner.

  54. Lily
    February 27th, 2009 @ 11:32 am

    Athana: What good does it do you to lose your temper? Childish insults will never trump solid arguments. Do you even have your B. A. yet? If you are still a student, I can understand where you are coming from. If you are an actual working archaeologist, I can’t.

    Most archaeologists do not claim that their findings are anything but provisional, without other information to inform those findings. Even then, they don’t usually go out on a limb making claims that they know could be upset by further evidence turning up that does not support the claim. Kenoyer demonstrates how careful archaeolgists are when he uses words like “suggest” and “may” as he draws meaning from the ruins he examines. Those are the most common verbs I see in archaeological literature. Is this really news to you?

  55. FreeDem
    February 27th, 2009 @ 11:33 am

    In learning much more about Indus Civilization than I was aware of before I doubt the Amish model as possible, but I doubt the peaceful traders as well. The Italian city state or Greek without Spartans might be a better comparison.

    If the Indus Civilization was so peaceful, they would have been eaten by those they traded with. The society is too organized and disbursed not to have controls, and the uniformity of process implies a strong force to hold it uniform. I see much political reading of insufficient data.

    To the original part of the thread, the concept of “murdering” a lump of cells with no place for a mind is beyond the consideration of any but recent political hysteria. That even the Catholic Church, much less others were historically of this opinion can be demonstrated in any really old graveyard.

    Most pregnancies ended in miscarriage or the children did not live to age five. A fact that would have filled the graveyards with such miscarriages if they had been considered to have souls much less humanity. There are children in numbers less than existed, but no miscarriages.

    Thus by rules of normal Humanity, children (and adults)are human when they posses a mind. Before that and after that a working heart or other organ is insufficient to qualify. By extension possessing a non human mind is worthy of consideration as well.

    It is the lack of concern for folk with actual minds, and the use of whatever is available to abuse and take power over others, that is likely to abuse others in more regressive ways as well. Not all conservatives are raving monsters, but then many who think themselves conservative actually hold very liberal views.

  56. frustrated(mk)
    February 27th, 2009 @ 11:35 am

    But Athana,

    Isn’t it true that much of what you come up with is conjecture? I mean, I understand why you would, for instance, assume that there were other writings that got burnt up, or that certain buildings served probable purposes…but you can’t know

    I mean suppose there was a nuclear explosion and very little was left of the world…2000 years from now some people that weren’t wiped out stumble across the ruins of Chicago. One of the things that they see are boatloads of gym shoes hanging on telephone wires…imagine the scenarios they could come up with from that!

    Now, I’m not doubting what you are saying, because I know nothing about archeology. I’m just saying that while it seems that you can “know” some things, most of what you come up with (sans written transcripts) MUST be conjecture. Educated guesses to be sure, but “guesses” nonetheless.

    I watch the Naked Archeologist all the time. LOVE the guy. But many archeologists think he’s a fruitcake. Why? Why are his conclusions any less valid than someone elses? You see, what I mean. 3 men look at the same piece of pottery and draw three different conclusions…

    How do you know which one is right?

  57. athana
    February 27th, 2009 @ 11:37 am

    Lily,

    My exact words:

    “Also, please excuse me if I gave you the impression that Jane McIntosh is the only academic admitting that the Indus Valley civ was PEACEFUL AND NON-VIOLENT. Take a peek at Kenoyer’s “Birth of a Civilization” Archaeology 51, no. 1 (1998): 54-61 or his “Uncovering the Keys to the Lost Indus Cities” Scientific American Special Edition 15, issue 1 (2005): 25-33.”

    Your excerpts from Kenoyer in no way show he thinks the Indus Valley Civ. was warlike and violent. If there was violence at the very end, this in no way makes the entire centuries-long civilization violent.

  58. frustrated(mk)
    February 27th, 2009 @ 11:46 am

    FeeDem,

    If you believe that the mind and the brain are the same thing, then you understanding might make some sense.

    I do not. I believe the brain, which does function at a very early gestational age, is very different from the mind. The mind, the ability to reason, to paint pictures, to do math, are the things that are meant by “created in His image”…this is the spirit of God breathed into us, at creation and breathed out of us at the fall.

    When the brain fails, the mind has no way of expressing itself. This does not mean that it doesn’t exist, only that it is limited in being perceived in our physical world.

    Every life that is created, is a “soul”. The soul does not die, simply because the brain ceases to function.

    This is the danger that your way of thinking proposes. The idea that the brain and the soul/mind are the same thing.

    One is part of this world, the other has a foot in both worlds. When a new LIFE is created, a new soul comes into being, regardless of whether or not their brain is functioning at a higher level.

    That little tiny being may not be a fully functioning, independent, completely formed physical entity, but it IS a fully functioning, independent, completely formed “soul”. You’re mistake is in confusing what you can “see” with what is actual.

  59. Lily
    February 27th, 2009 @ 11:49 am

    Athana: You are not reading carefully enough. My cites are there to indicate that he does not posit an *egalitarian* society which is no surprise, since such a notion flies in the face of most of what we know (to the extent we can know it) about the ancient world.

    I am cautioning you against drawing wild conclusions from *silence*.

  60. athana
    February 27th, 2009 @ 11:50 am

    Frustrated,

    No, nothing is known for certain. Not even written texts ever tell 100% of the truth. There are scores of ways written texts can lie, deceive, and obscure “truth.” And no written text can tell the entire truth about anything.

    Archaeologists are constantly coming up with info that show, for example, how our historical texts in America lie, distort, and/or conceal the truth, either intentionally or unintentionally.

    For ways archaeology produces information about the past, get a copy of Brian Fagan’s Time Detectives: How Archeologists Use Technology to Recpature the Past, or Bruce Trigger’s History of Archaeological Thought, or Colin Renfrew’s Archaeology: Theories, Methods and Practice.

  61. Gary Keith Chesterton
    February 27th, 2009 @ 11:55 am

    Okay, I’ll go ask a book or something.

  62. athana
    February 27th, 2009 @ 11:56 am

    Lily, I didn’t claim that Kenoyer agreed with me — or Jane McIntosh — about egalitarianism.

    Archaeology is like a lot of things in life. People don’t always agree about everything. You don’t agree with everyone about which political party is best. You don’t agree with everyone about which religion is best. I’m sure you don’t always agree with everyone about what your historical textual material means. I could go on and on!

    And archaeology is like almost everything else in life: you present your evidence and you see whose evidence stacks up best against everyone else’s.

  63. athana
    February 27th, 2009 @ 12:03 pm

    Lily,

    “*egalitarian* society … such a notion flies in the face of most of what we know (to the extent we can know it) about the ancient world.”

    This is just plain, flat-out wrong. Pick up any college archaeology textbook and it will tell you that during the Neolithic (c 10,000 BC to c 4000 BC depending on where you are in the world) most human societies were almost certainly egalitarian.

  64. athana
    February 27th, 2009 @ 12:15 pm

    frustrated,

    “3 men look at the same piece of pottery and draw three different conclusions… How do you know which one is right?”

    Well, I agree, it’s not always easy to tell who’s right. Of course if there’s a fourth person looking, and she’s a woman, you know right away that it’s she who’s right.

    [Just kidding!]

    You can look first of all to see how well respected each person is by his/her colleagues. Although this won’t always get you to the truth of the matter, it’s a good start.

    You can also consider the quality of the evidence each of the three people bring to bear on the matter. How good is it? How well does it all hang together?

    Interpreting one single piece of pottery doesn’t just depend on the evidence presented by that one little artifact. The archaeologist will bring in scores of other pieces of information he has about the culture in which that shard came from.

    It’s really like anything else in life. People disagree on lots of things. You have to evaluate the evidence and decide for yourself who makes the better case. It’s an imperfect system for an imperfect (human) species.

  65. Lily
    February 27th, 2009 @ 12:21 pm

    This is just plain, flat-out wrong. Pick up any college archaeology textbook and it will tell you that during the Neolithic (c 10,000 BC to c 4000 BC depending on where you are in the world) most human societies were almost certainly egalitarian.

    I rest my case.

    Now let’s suppose this hypothesis is completely accurate. How do you account for hierarchical societies arising?

  66. Lily
    February 27th, 2009 @ 12:26 pm

    You can also consider the quality of the evidence each of the three people bring to bear on the matter. How good is it? How well does it all hang together? …

    It’s really like anything else in life. People disagree on lots of things. You have to evaluate the evidence and decide for yourself who makes the better case. It’s an imperfect system for an imperfect (human) species.

    Ah, now we have arrived at a good place. You do recognize that certainty is rarely, if ever, possible. So what have the last half dozen messages or so been arguing about?

  67. frustrated(mk)
    February 27th, 2009 @ 12:34 pm

    Athana,

    Okay. Thank you again.

    But I’m still curious. Is this goddess the goddess that you “worship” or is your “goddess” more generic? Sort of the female version of a superior being, but without any specifics?

    Does she have a name? Attributes? Where does she come from? How does she fit into your theological view? What is your relationship to her, if any?

  68. athana
    February 27th, 2009 @ 12:35 pm

    Lily,

    “How do you account for hierarchical societies arising?”

    The theories on this would fill the old Library of Alexandria.

  69. athana
    February 27th, 2009 @ 12:45 pm

    Frustrated, you say you’re “still curious. Is this goddess the goddess that you “worship” or is your “goddess” more generic? Sort of the female version of a superior being, but without any specifics?

    I don’t really “worship” any deity. I am, however, spiritually attuned to what I call the Guiding Goddess. I dislike the word “superior,” but I do believe that the divine has more femaleness about it than maleness. This feels right both subjectively and objectively: can males give birth? No. Can males feed young life directly from their own flesh-and-blood bodies? No. Only the female of any species can do that (or at least most species — just in case there might be a few exceptions to this rule). Are males born with the ability to feel unconditional love? No, but the latest evidence suggests that women are.

  70. frustrated(mk)
    February 27th, 2009 @ 1:09 pm

    Athana,

    So you don’t have any specifics? I mean, “she” isn’t a particular goddess? If she isn’t supreme (which is what I meant when I wrote superior) than what makes her a goddess? Is she a real entity, or more of an idea?

    You see, for us, the maleness of God is not so much a sexual identity as a “role” description. He plays our father, our lover, our husband, our brother. But He isn’t really a “HE”…He has no true sexual identity.

    We look at the role He plays…Father/Husband…and the role we play…Children/Bride…

    We can also apply this to how a husband and wife should act. The husband being the protector, provider…the wife being the nurturer, the reciever of gifts from the protector…

    We see woman as being receptors, as the church is a receptor, and the man as being a “giver” as God is a giver.

    This does not mean that women don’t give or that men can’t nurture. It is more about how we should relate to each other…

  71. athana
    February 27th, 2009 @ 1:54 pm

    Our species is divided into two types of humans: one can create life (let’s call this type “gyne”), the other cannot (let’s just for the heck of it call this type “non-gyne”).

    And let’s just play a little joke on people, ok? We’ll try to fool people into thinking that it’s the type of human who can’t make life that actually made all life.

    Why things got turned upside down and backwards (those who can’t give birth become the divine birth givers) is something to be very, very worried about — IMO.

  72. athana
    February 27th, 2009 @ 1:55 pm

    frustrated, that last comment I made was for you.

  73. Prochoicer
    February 27th, 2009 @ 3:09 pm

    Right! The idea of Eve being born of Adam is a HUGE red flag that we are dealing with a fantasy designed to placate male fear and envy of women’s procreative power. That story always reads to me as a kind of sad and pathetic statement about male tendency to feel inadequate or powerless due to lacking a womb.

  74. Prochoicer
    February 27th, 2009 @ 3:19 pm

    I do think that viewing a deity as gendered — or as always have the qualities of one sex or the other — is problematic. Of course, it is more problematic in an authoritarian, hierarchical religion.

    The idea of one set of human beings being more like God (usually men) as compared to another set of human beings (usually women) is really scary, and the idea of one set of human beings playing a role like God’s in relation to another set of human beings is also scary. The whole set-up seems so transparent — an obvious effort by our predecessor cultures to ensure the domination of women. These religions are designed to convince women to willingly embrace a subordinate role: God says so, and you can’t argue with God, right? The question is why is the domination of women so important. I think the answer is right there in Genesis: womb-envy.

  75. frustrated(mk)
    February 27th, 2009 @ 3:34 pm

    PRO,

    Only if you feel insecure. I don’t feel threatened at all by the set up. I LIKE the idea of a God that looks after me, and I like the idea of my husband trying to do the same. It in no way demeans me, or weakens me.

    As Athana said, I am the one, the only one, that carry life inside of me, nourish it…I GIVE my entire body over to that new life, created out of the love between myself and my husband.

    On the other hand, I am not a man, and I will not strip him of his role, simply because I think it threatens mine.
    I think there is altogether too much emasculating in our society. We’ve gone overboard trying to equalize things, and now we have rendered men eunuchs.

    He has his place, I have mine. They are different in nature, but equal in dignity.

    Marriage, and child bearing is a totally self giving, not a self taking, enterprise. I give myself willingly to my husband, he gives himself totally to me. And visa versa.

    This is the same relationship that I have with God. He has given Himself totally and willing to me, body and soul, and I in turn give myself totally and willingly to Him.

    The male/female roles are not about sex, or importance, or power. They are about doing you job. This is what I was trying to tell you about “being a woman”…by taking away the very thing that makes me a woman…this huge gift of being able to carry/produce life…you render me neutered. By taking away a man’s ability to protect his family, you render him the same.

    I embrace these roles. This does not make me weak, or wishy-washy. This makes me comfortable with who I am.

    You made a comment earlier about us taking all the benefits of the womans movement, but throwing out what we don’t like.

    The original feminists were horrified at the idea of abortion. Susan B Anthony WAS pro life.

    That fight was not about woman becoming something that they weren’t, it was about woman becoming fully WOMEN.

    The skeleton we now call feminism is all about taking away womanhood and replacing it with “neutrality”. I am not asexual. I am a woman. And I don’t need a man’s permission to be so. I do need my own. It is women that are demeaning women these days, not men.

  76. frustrated(mk)
    February 27th, 2009 @ 3:38 pm

    PRO,

    The question is why is the domination of women so important. I think the answer is right there in Genesis: womb-envy.

    I don’t know why you think the Catholic Church thinks that the domination of women is a good thing. Nowhere does it teach that men should dominate women. It DOES teach that women should submit to their husbands. But it also teaches that husbands should submit to their wives…

  77. Prochoicer
    February 27th, 2009 @ 3:59 pm

    Frustrated @ 77,

    I wasn’t thinking of the Catholic Church in particular, as I am not familiar with Roman Catholicism’s particular view of gender roles within marriage. (I was actually thinking more of the Southern Baptists and other socially conservative Protestant denominations in America that stress the wife’s submission and subordinate role, often using Genesis as well as other Bible verses as justification.)

    Of course, the Roman Catholic Church excludes women from church leadership, which means that an exclusively male body is making the rules and/or interpreting God’s rules for us about things such as contraception and abortion that primarily affect women, as well as non-gender specific issues that also affect women. That, I think is a form of domination.

    Mutual submission is great. It is a principle I try to apply to my own marriage. But you spoke also of gender roles in marriage and society — which traditionally involve male domination.

  78. Renee
    February 27th, 2009 @ 4:06 pm

    “I don’t know why you think the Catholic Church thinks that the domination of women is a good thing. Nowhere does it teach that men should dominate women. It DOES teach that women should submit to their husbands. But it also teaches that husbands should submit to their wives…”

    My husband comes from work every night I sarcasticly thank him for oppressing me as he is still tied to his Blackberry answering emails. My husbands asks me if we would be willing to switch, I say no thanks, maybe later when the children are older.

    When we embraced the teachings of the Church, we realize we were learning more then simply what God says. What God says rather, became a base point to learn everything there really to know about sexuality. Human sexuality is a beautiful dance of sorts, in which man and woman are not at odds with each but work together complementary, rather then let’s say eligalitarian.

    If the Catholic Church was truly domineering of women as wives and mothers, they would of called it patrimony, not matrimony. As frustrated(mk) mentioned, a woman should only submit if the man is willing to sacrifice himself for her and their children.

  79. Renee
    February 27th, 2009 @ 4:14 pm

    Prochoicer, my experience as a teenager and from my friends was that ultimately contraception became it’s own form on domination on women. The Pill basically neuters us. It’s ended up about always being on demand for men and their desires, and when we became pregnant it because ‘our problem’. Birth control should be the responsibility of both, too many times have we witnessed it being ‘her fault’ for being pregnant. We know how women get pregnant, it’s not all her fault.

    We need to talk less about contraception and freedoms, and what exactly makes for wise decision making when it comes to having sexual relationships with men. What information do we need about how a woman’s body responding differently then a mans when it comes to sexual context and to be clear in our actions when socializing with the opposite sex.

  80. Renee
    February 27th, 2009 @ 4:17 pm

    If I could also point out regarding the male role of leadership in the Catholic Church, if you frame the understanding of leadership to more of one of servitude to the people of the Catholic Faith it is not one of domination. And with the multitude of female Saints, there is plenty of example of strong women within the Church.

  81. Renee
    February 27th, 2009 @ 4:24 pm

    Sorry for another post… but pondering…. the quote in the entry.

    “commandeered for others to their own ends.”

    I guess in the Catholic Church no one had the right to even commandeer their own body to their own ends. Gulp. I said it. When it comes to human sexuality, the biological ends are ultimately the needs of any child that may be conceived from sexual activity. A man may not commandeer a woman for his own selfish desires, and a woman may not commandeer her unborn child for her own selfishness. Though as we understand as women begin to speak up on their various experiences about abortion, it is less about selfishness and more about despair from abandonment by her sexual partner and support group that leads them to situation.

  82. athana
    February 27th, 2009 @ 4:32 pm

    Why does anyone have to “submit” to anything or anyone?

    With a mother goddess we’re probably all going to be equal. Just as a healthy mother treats all her kids equally, a Mother Goddess is going to ask *us* to treat each other all equally. No more men over women, women over children, white over black, the beautiful better than the ugly, the thin better than the fat, the rich better than the poor,etc., etc. Under a male god we put everyone in good-better-best categories.

    And men suffer as much as women. Only a tiny handful of men every make it to the top of the social-caste ladders.

  83. athana
    February 27th, 2009 @ 4:32 pm

    Why does anyone have to “submit” to anything or anyone?

    With a mother goddess we’re probably all going to be equal. Just as a healthy mother treats all her kids equally, a Mother Goddess is going to ask *us* to treat each other all equally. No more men over women, women over children, white over black, the beautiful better than the ugly, the thin better than the fat, the rich better than the poor,etc., etc. Under a male god we put everyone in good-better-best categories.

    And men suffer as much as women. Only a tiny handful of men every make it to the top of the social-caste ladders.

  84. Prochoicer
    February 27th, 2009 @ 4:38 pm

    Frustrated,

    In a way, I think you and Athana are on the same page in that you both seem to view the female procreative ability as essential to a woman’s nature and identity.

    I differ in that I view my procreative ability as a biological function that I happen to have, but which is not the defining feature of my personality or my identity. I recognize and respect that the childbearing role may play a more central role in other women’s self-conception. But I reject the notion that a church or other cultural authority should dictate to me that my ability to bear children is my most important feature, that I have an obligation to bear children, or that I need to behave a certain way due to my possession of a female body.

    That having been said, I would like to revisit a statement I made in the last thread, that “I am a human being first, and a woman second.” I think that was perhaps too simplistic, because of course having lived all my life as a woman has shaped my identity in myriad ways. It is not so very simple to separate my attitudes, my beliefs, my personality, and my approach to life from the fact that I am a woman. For example, I have had a lifetime of positive and negative experiences in which other people relate to me as a woman, and in which I have had to think about how to live in a world that treats me in a particular way because I am a woman. The other thing that has affected me is that I identify with women in other situations who are treated a particular way because of their gender. While some of my experiences and observations have been very negative, I would not want to change the person I am today and the person I am today has been shaped by those social experiences of being a female in our society. So the whole issue of gender and identity is a lot more comlex and related for me than what I said in the thread yesterday.

    What I was really trying to get at is that I don’t think that all women are alike in some essential way. We are all individuals, albeit individuals who have been impacted by the fact of living in a female body and by the fact of being socialized and treated as female by our society.

  85. Prochoicer
    February 27th, 2009 @ 4:44 pm

    Renee @ 81,

    I appreciate the many wonderful female saints in the Catholic tradition. I don’t doubt that many Catholic have been extremely influential within their religion. But female saints are not creating church doctrine, controlling official church policy, or on an individual level telling people what they must do to be absolved from sin. Women are specifically excluded from those roles.

  86. Prochoicer
    February 27th, 2009 @ 5:02 pm

    Prochoicer, my experience as a teenager and from my friends was that ultimately contraception became it’s own form on domination on women. The Pill basically neuters us. It’s ended up about always being on demand for men and their desires, and when we became pregnant it because ‘our problem’. Birth control should be the responsibility of both, too many times have we witnessed it being ‘her fault’ for being pregnant. We know how women get pregnant, it’s not all her fault.

    I am SO glad you said this, because I’ve heard this argument a lot over the years — at least the first part about birth control meaning that we are “on demand for men” — and it is completely baffling to me.

    I don’t buy the idea that contraception equals “being on demand for men.” The pill doesn’t make you lose your ability or your right to say “no” to sex. As you point out in the latter part of your comment, it takes two to tango. As a teenager on the pill, I wasn’t a passive object for men to use. I sought out and actively participated in these experiences.

    Now, the second part of your comment, I understand a lot better. Of course, unwanted pregnancy has always been considered the woman’s fault. See The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne. So it seems best to just take steps to avoid it altogether, right?

  87. athana
    February 27th, 2009 @ 5:06 pm

    PRochoicer,

    “I don’t think that all women are alike in some essential way. We are all individuals, albeit individuals who have been impacted by the fact of living in a female body and by the fact of being socialized and treated as female by our society.”

    Most women have wombs, can create life, and can feed that life once it is born. This is fact. But this fact need have nothing to do with who you are, how you live your life, what you do at any point in time, who you become.

    I am perpetually scratching my head over women who deny they have bodies and wombs because they are terrified that this is somehow going to pop them into some kind of social or psychic cage! You are a free being! Your womb and your biology need have nothing, NOTHING to do with your destiny.

    Your womb and birthing ability is a humongous power. I think you’ve let men persuade you they’re not. ARe you going to let men do this to you?

  88. Prochoicer
    February 27th, 2009 @ 5:37 pm

    Hey Athana!

    I checked out your blog and really liked it!

    Maybe we don’t disagree. I was with you right up until the last paragraph of your comment. I agree that a woman’s womb and birthing ability are a humongous power AND that biology is not destiny.

    You said what I was getting at better than I could.

    P.S. Is Athana your real name? Or is it an adopted reference to the Greek Goddess? If so, I am curious why you chose a goddess who popped out of a men’s head (as you mention in one of your recent posts).

  89. frustrated(mk)
    February 27th, 2009 @ 6:42 pm

    PRO,

    I have a lot of catching up to do…

    Mutual submission is great. It is a principle I try to apply to my own marriage. But you spoke also of gender roles in marriage and society — which traditionally involve male domination.

    But you see, it’s only domination if you are being “forced” to accept it. I do view my husband as the head of the household. I do let him make final decisions. But it is my choice to do so. I know that sounds like a paradox, but it isn’t. If I didn’t want to run my house that way, I could have married someone else and lived by different rules. Even saying that he makes the final decisions, doesn’t mean that I meekly sit by and let him call all the shots. He does laundry and grocery shopping. I mow the lawn. But I let him be the “man” of the house. I believe that men and woman are different…they look at life differently. They think differently.

    I joke sometimes that men can be summed up by the five “S”s. Supper, Suds, Sex, Sports and Sleep. Granted that’s an oversimplification, but it’s pretty true. Women are much more complex. So I let him be a “Guy” and he lets me be a woman…I cry, and emote, and wax poetic, while he growls and eats and beats his chest. And that’s okay.

    As for the church, the relationship between God and the Church is a marriage. The Church is the bride of Christ. Literally. It is a “SHE” not a thing. It is alive. We, the people, ARE that living, breathing thing called the Church. Jesus takes on the husband role. Therefore, only a male can be a priest, as during the mass he actually stands in God’s place. Not in everyday life, but at the mass. It would be disordered to have a female priest as then it would be a woman playing the husbands role. Am I making sense?

    But in EVERY other area of leadership, women play an equal role. Trust me, many a priest will tell you that most parishes are run by women. We head all the guilds, are the principals of the schools, heads of the hospitals…we run the liturgy board, head the office of catechisis…

    So to us, it isn’t a matter of priests are better…they just fill a different role. Just like I am no better than a man because I can carry children. Someone had to do it, women got picked. I suppose it could just as easily have gone the other way…

    Yes, Genesis does say that we would always desire after man, always wish that we were men and that we could never be men, but I think that was a result of usurping Adams role…We didn’t let him do his job. It’s so dang hard to put into words…but let me just say, that I promise, I am NOT considered a second class citizen in the Catholic Church. Pope John Paul II was amazing in his placing women on a pedestal in the church…And Mary, our Role Model, was the strongest woman, heck the strongest PERSON ever created! No man that I know of could have done what she did and still remain untainted and unbroken!

  90. frustrated(mk)
    February 27th, 2009 @ 6:50 pm

    PRO,

    But female saints are not creating church doctrine, controlling official church policy, or on an individual level telling people what they must do to be absolved from sin. Women are specifically excluded from those roles.

    Somebody may have addressed this already. I haven’t quite caught up yet…

    BUT…St. Theresa of Avila AND St. Therese of Lisieux are both doctors of the church and were instrumental in forming many of our church teachings. Women are not excluded from these roles. The only role they may not “play” is the role of priest, because as I said, the priest represents Christ/the Husband and that is a male role.

  91. frustrated(mk)
    February 27th, 2009 @ 7:08 pm

    Your womb and birthing ability is a humongous power. I think you’ve let men persuade you they’re not. ARe you going to let men do this to you?

    I know I’m going to get bitch slapped for saying this, but our sexuality is sometimes the ONLY power that we truly have over men. Which does NOT mean that we should abuse that power. But what I think Renee was trying to say is that when we give our bodies to men without demanding that they take responsibility for the privilege, we give up that power.

    I’m convinced that the feminist movement was a man’s idea.
    Yes, I like sex. Yes, it is enjoyable…BUT…by giving it away freely, I have absolved men from performing their duty.

    I WANT a man to commit to me, completely and totally. I don’t want to be in a relationship that is “til disagreement do we part”. I want him held accountable. And by God, if I am going to hand over the most precious part of me, he damn well better be there when it’s over.

    Look at all the fatherless children. Look at women killing their own unborn children. Look at how we pump or bodies full of contraceptives…we might be enjoying the idea of freedom that comes with that…but are we REALLY free? Isn’t it still the man that decides whether he will stick around? And why should he, when there is another sexual experience just around the corner?

    I’m tellin’ ya, they’re simple creatures. You want to keep a guy, then you better keep want the guy wants under lock and key until he’s ready to commit to get it.

    Otherwise it’s just one long string of relationships that go nowhere until your 50 years old and wondering what happened.

    Granted this doesn’t happen every time. Some women get fine men in spite of being sexually active. But I think a LOT of women end up in dead end relationships over and over again.

    Maybe you could argue that not every woman WANTS to get married, and that’s fair. But I think that later in life you regret that. There is something singularly wonderful about making a life with someone…growing old with someone.

    So yeah, I think birth control actually lessens our chances of doing that. Plus, there have been studies that show that women on birth control are attracted to exactly the kind of men that don’t make good life partners. Take them off of the pill and they find they aren’t even attracted to the guy they’ve been with for the last five years. Please don’t make me go and look up those studies. I will if you make me…but it’s a headache. The theory is that the pill makes you think you are pregnant so the pheromones you send out and pick up are not the pheromones than a non pregnant woman would pick up and send out. If you’re pregnant, then you’re not sending out signals that you want to get pregnant, which means you aren’t attracting “menly men” so to speak. You attract men that don’t want to be fathers and husbands…it was an interesting study anyway…

  92. athana
    February 27th, 2009 @ 7:44 pm

    Pro,

    Athana is a name that chose me at the turn of the millennium. It’s an adopted reference to the Minoan Goddess Athana, or Atana. She was probably the forerunner of the Greek Athena, who the patriarchal Greeks turned into a war goddess.

  93. frustrated(mk)
    February 27th, 2009 @ 7:52 pm

    Athana,

    Let me get this straight…you chose, (she chose you), a goddess that came out of a man’s head (as in Eve being made from Adams rib? Man is of God, woman is of man?) that turned into the goddess of war????

    I’m really not trying to be snarky, but you gotta admit that’s kind of funny.

  94. frustrated(mk)
    February 27th, 2009 @ 7:53 pm

    Okay, okay…I get it. The Greeks (meaning men) turned her into a goddess of war…but still…when I read that I wondered if I was on the right blog…lol…

  95. Hannah
    February 28th, 2009 @ 10:17 am

    Interesting discussion.

    My comment is for Athena:

    Perhaps it’s not intentional but it sounds like you’re saying men are inferior to women because they can’t give life. Sexism in favor of either sex is wrong. Just as it is equally racist to claim that backs are superior to whites. Just a thought.

    Cheers.

  96. Katie
    February 28th, 2009 @ 12:15 pm

    1. You say that the good Christian/Conservative club members aren’t the ones attending lectures like this; I would also like to add that the kind of men who like to pick up drunk women for easy sex also seem an unlikely bunch to attend feminist-sponsored rape prevention seminars.

    2. As another commenter noted, the point of seminars like this are to help men prevent rapes committed by other men. The example cited is a good one – rather than bolstering a potential offender by laughing it off after he’d talked about potentially getting a girl drunk and taking her home, Jones shot him down by reframing the issue as a serious criminal offense. Seminars like this help men confront their peers.

    3. The reason seminars like this are important is that the general public has simply NOT come to a consensus regarding whether or not sex with a drunk woman is rape. Go ahead and Google “Is it rape if she’s drunk?” and take a look at the comments you’ll get to these kind of stories/blogs. A HUGE chunk of them will be people insisting that anything that happens to a drunk person is their own responsibility, regardless of how vulnerable that makes them; another sizable lot will contend that it’s rape ONLY if the woman is VISIBLY UNCONSCIOUS. Beliefs like this put a lot of women at risk; particularly young women who don’t have a lot of experience with alcohol and don’t yet know their limits.

    4. While universities are certainly a hotbed for political activity amongst students (which can lean liberally or conservatively, depending on the location and school), the majority of the students are NOT politically active. Usually there are a few vocal conservative groups, a few vocal liberal groups, and a select few students who take the time to write politically-charged letters to the editor of the school paper. Everyone else is more concerned with their area of study, their hobbies, their sports, or their friends, and only bother to align themselves with whichever political party their parents agree with. Therefore, I don’t think it’s even remotely accurate to ascribe college rapes to EITHER political affiliation without some actual research.

  97. Katie
    February 28th, 2009 @ 12:28 pm

    On a somewhat related note, there IS a link between controlling/abusive partners and forced pregnancy. One study found that 1 in 4 of the teen women studied – all of whom had been in abusive relationships – reported that their abusive partners had actively been trying to get them pregnant against their will “by manipulating condom use, sabotaging birth control use and making explicit statements about wanting them to become pregnant.”

    http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2007-09/uoc–tgr092007.php

    I know many very kind pro-life people and I definitely don’t think the majority of them are rape-apologists. However, rape, domestic abuse and coerced/forced pregnancy are three peas in a pod – all are centered around abusive control over non-consenting women.

  98. Ames
    February 28th, 2009 @ 4:03 pm

    It’s sick and twisted for you to be trying to score political points off of a tragic crime like rape. However, since scoring points off tragedy seems to be a popular conservative meme these days (“Evolution is Hitler!” “Obama is a communist!”), I can’t say I’m surprised.

  99. Renee
    February 28th, 2009 @ 6:13 pm

    Katie, I remember reading up on that study a while ago. One of the factors in those abusive relationships is the age of her sexual partner.

    http://www.etr.org/recapp/research/AuthoredPapOlderPrtnrs0504.htm

    Teens and Older Partners
    by Michael Males, Ph.D.
    May-June 2004

    “Consider the following:

    * “Teenage girls with older partners are more likely to become pregnant than those with partners closer in age,” Planned Parenthood (2004) reported. Further, girls who get pregnant are more likely to have the baby rather than get an abortion if their partners are older (Alan Guttmacher Institute, 1994).

    * A recent study found that 6.7 percent of women aged 15-17 have partners six or more years older. The pregnancy rate for this group is 3.7 times as high as the rate for those whose partners are no more than two years older (Planned Parenthood 2004; Darroch et al., 1999).

    * Teens who date older partners had a lower likelihood of consistent contraceptive use. For each year a partner is older than the respondent, the likelihood of always using contraception decreases by 11 percent. (In this study, on average, first sexual partners were one year older than the respondent.) Child Trends (2004).”

    Abortion really doesn’t solve the situation of these young women making poor choices in who they are sexually involved with. Abortion sucks no matter the circumstances, it’s never an empowering moment for the woman.

  100. Katie
    March 1st, 2009 @ 1:38 pm

    Renee, the information you presented fits into the study I linked quite well, but I think you missed the point. In relationships where abuse IS present (regardless of the age gap, although it may certainly be a factor in the existence of those relationships) pregnancy is often used as a method of control. Abusive men frequently try to force pregnancy on their girlfriends as a method of control. This works particularly well if the girl doesn’t have a good support system, which is usually the case if she doesn’t see removing herself from the abusive situation to be an option.

    Abortion is not a miracle problem-solver. It does nothing but terminate a pregnancy. I’m only pointing out that a quarter of abusive men attempt to force pregnancy on their victims as a means of keeping them dependent and exercising control over their bodies.

  101. Tb
    March 3rd, 2009 @ 11:25 am

    “They do not respect women’s sovereignty over their own bodies. They do not value a woman’s consent regarding what happens to her body.”

    Oh and pro abortion people do? How about all the women who did not give consent and were coerced into abortion? Or the girls who are sexually abused and who PP covers up?

    what about them?

  102. P. Ingemi
    March 4th, 2009 @ 3:51 pm

    Ah for the days of Jimmy Stewart saying to Katherine Hepburn when questioned why she was so “distant” or “unattractive” that she was the better or worse for wine and there are rules about that sort of thing.

    Of course those were evil primitive days. Good thing we don’t have the same disrespect for women those guys did.

    Oh and BTW can any of the pro abortion crowd explain to me if selective abortion as practiced in Asia is a bad thing? If so why not?

    I ask the question here:

    http://datechguy.wordpress.com/2009/03/04/why-is-this-bad-news/

  103. Barbara
    March 4th, 2009 @ 5:49 pm

    RT you make an interesting counterpoint. The tendency is to view pro-lifers and rape apologists as two sides of the same woman-hating coin. Yet both rapists and prochoicers justify and self-justify their actions by viewing the victim of them as non-human, as merely flesh to be used or disposed of. I was pro-choice for a long time until this fact became made clear to me. In order to make it morally acceptable for abortion to happen, whatever is growing within the mother can’t be considered human. If it is human, then we are on very different moral ground regarding choice. The choice to murder is not one which is acceptable in any society.

  104. Barbara
    March 4th, 2009 @ 5:54 pm

    Pignemi: This is a question I have longed to ask. What is the difference between an American college student aborting her child because she doesn’t have enough money to finish her education and raise a child, and an Indian or Chinese mother aborting her female child because she doesn’t have enough money to produce a dowry or wants a male child who will bring more money into the family? Aren’t the reasons similar to one another (issues of finance being the deciding factor, not necessarily whether she wants the female child or not)

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