Tobold's Blog
Monday, October 10, 2016
A political prediction

I predict that in the coming weeks more women will come forward and accuse Donald Trump of having sexually assaulted her back in <insert year here> causing a big media stir. I'm not saying that he did it, he might well be all talk. But the opportunity for somebody to grab some instant fame and maybe a fat settlement is unlikely to be missed, not in America. As his admission is already running on every news show (and some women already accused him), many people would instantly believe that any accusation of an actual sexual assault must be true. While many other people would instantly believe that any accusation must be false and engineered by Clinton.

Germany this year did two two things that demonstrate a bit of the problem: They passed a "no means no" rape law which says that verbal-only non-consent is enough to constitute rape. And they fined a beauty pageant / celebrity €24,000 for falsely having accused two men of rape. In a way both of these are very modern. Many law systems still require physical resistance from a woman in case of sexual assault. That feels very much like putting a burden on the victim, but is probably mostly due to very pragmatic reasons: Without signs of physical violence and no witnesses, how do you prove verbal non-consent in a sexual assault case? What about the principle of assumption of innocence? The large majority of actual sexual assault cases go unreported, but creating "false positives" can't be the solution to that. "Hey, many men get away with sexual assault, so let's put a few innocent men in prison on false charges to make up for that!". I don't think so. So any law designed to protect women against sexual assault must also come with sufficient legal protection for men against false accusations.

In the political arena the problem is not so much the difficulty of proving sexual assault, but the impossibility of proving sexual assault *didn't* happen. The Clintons have no possible answer to a 20-year old accusation of an alleged 40-year old rape. The Donald, who doesn't have an answer to easy questions like "what is your plan for healthcare", is unlikely to have a better answer to accusations of sexual assault. All this accusations might be true, or they might be all be just a huge <left|right> -wing conspiracy. How will we ever be able to tell?

I don't think this new scandal will hurt Trump the slightest bit more than all the shit he said over the past year. In a way it looks as if he is purposely saying the most egregious things just to look what happens "hold my beer and watch this".

About the German "no means no" law: I am for it. I can imagine that a woman would rather not physically fight back on account of fear to get hurt even more. I hope investigations are done properly with the help of psychiatrists to figure out if anyone lies.
"So any law designed to protect women against sexual assault must also come with sufficient legal protection for men against false accusations."

Translated, this means - as a man, I am comfortable with the status quo. Any changes will take as long as it takes me to be comfortable with them. The women who are being assaulted even as we speak are the price with which my comfort will be paid.
Well, what is your alternative? Man automatically goes to prison in any she said, he said situation?
Falsely accusing of a crime already gets you up to 10 years prison in Germany depending the circumstances, doesn't have to be mentioned in every other law.
The Trump locker room rapey-talk is already having a lot of impact. It's done nothing for the firm Trump supporters, who have already excused every word to every come out of his mouth as raw honesty, nor has it done anything to sway hard line pro-Clinton Dems. It's hitting the unspoken middle-ground, the centrists, especially women who may have not yet fully been certain that Trump was bad news.

I argued Friday with co-workers this would do nothing to impact him. After today, I think I was wrong. The fallout is much worse than I expected. His boarderline unapologetic stance in the 2nd debate may have cinched it, apparently.
Part of reason behind no-means-no laws is to challenge conceptions about what is acceptable behaviour. A no-means-no law tells people that it is unacceptable to continuing an assault until the target gives up. It states that all parties have the right to change their mind at any time before or during the event and it means an offender has no excuse to ignore a target's protests.
The difficulty to enforcement is why I think a yes-means-yes law is much better. That promotes the idea that it is wrong to engage in sexual activities with people that are unable (due to physical/mental state) or forced consent. It confirms that a glance, a smile and a skimpy clothes aren't consent. Finally it encourages sex to be a healthy, positive activity with active co-operation and communication as opposed to something shift and negative.
@Tobold: at first, dobablo is right, the law - even if unenforcable - is a guideline for proper behavior. Most people respect the "do not enter with bare shoulders and miniskirts" on the cathedral door, despite I doubt anything would happen. "No means no" is needed because many men HONESTLY think the woman is consenting when in reality she is scared or drunk. While this law probably won't prevent a single gunpoint rape, it can prevent lot of honest misunderstandings that traumatizing women. Think of the rule "pilots must use the term `departure` for the various actions they perform when leaving an airport and ONLY use `takeoff` when they mean "engines to full, let's fly". No one means to mix the two

Secondly: malicious false accusation of ANYTHING is rare. There are a small amount of false accusations when someone genuinely feels wronged but the law isn't on his side. I don't expect more women accusing a man of rape after they've given consent than people accusing others of theft after they've given consent to take an item.

Because of these, I do NOT expect any new women stand out and accuse Donald or Bill. The same women will be given lots of spotlight who were accusing them when there was nothing else to gain than their life back after a traumatic incident.

I don't think this new scandal will hurt Trump the slightest bit more than all the shit he said over the past year. In a way it looks as if he is purposely saying the most egregious things just to look what happens "hold my beer and watch this".

This one seems a bit different. He's attacked a big part of his base.

When he was attacking immigrants, or Muslims, or his press pool, or people who live in the 'inner city', it was all fun and games. His supporters would cheer him on and say, "Yes! No more political correctness! 'Those People' need to be put in their place!"

But now he's attacking married white women. Most of his supporters have a married white woman somewhere in their immediate family, and they don't like the idea of their family members being groped by predators. (When I say this "most of his supporters" I mean his supporters in the *real world*. His supporters on Reddit and other Internet comment boards are part of a different demographic.)

Here's a partial list of elected Republicans who have turned against Trump since the tape came out on Friday.

Notice how many quotes have the politicians talking about their own families. This is why they've just started denouncing Trump now: When he says, "I'm going to build a wall and make Those People pay for it" or "I'm not going to allow followers of That Religion to enter this country, not even on a diplomatic passport", they could shrug and say, "Well, whatever, maybe I disagree, but it's not going to affect people I care about." They can't do that this time.
Secondly: malicious false accusation of ANYTHING is rare.

Well, the current US presidential election has one alleged sexual assaulter standing against the wife of another alleged sexual assaulter. Unless you believe that a great percentage of men are all guilty of sexual assault, two out of two men at the top of that election being guilty of sexual assault appears to be somewhat statistically improbable. It is far more probable that at least one of them, if not both, are victim of malicious false accusation for political reasons. It is proven that malicious false accusations have cost Dominique Strauss Kahn the French presidency (not that he is a choir boy).

Note that in countries where homosexuality is illegal, political dissidents and opponents are often maliciously falsely accused of homosexuality and jailed, because that is better PR than jailing them for their opposition. If we introduce rape laws where the presumption of innocence is not applied, future political dissidents will all be in jail for rape.
@Tobold: I do believe that great percentage of powerful men are guilty of sexual assault. Just look at gamers talking "rape those bitches" [defeat enemy players]. I don't mean gamers are powerful, they emulate being powerful in the games.

The attitude of powerful men and their emulators is aggressive, and the real powerful men could get away with it for decades by silencing the women and supporters.

Strauss Kahn did most of the things he was accused with. Maybe the accuser overreacted. Wouldn't you?

In countries where the rule of law isn't present, lawless things happen. Surprise! We are talking about decent legal system countries.

But the most important evidence that the Clinton and Trump accusations are [mostly] true: all of the women spoke up long before the current campaign. Unless you claim that the women foresaw that Trump will run president a decade later or Hillary will run president FOUR decades after she bailed out a child-rapist by victim-blaming, you have to accept that these women had no other reason than being violated. If the accusations were false, they were new. I mean it cost me nothing to claim that Hillary reached into my pants when she visited Hungary in 2011 and by accident was in the same room as me (and other 100+ people). Yet no "new" accuser emerged. I would also never claim she did, despite I REALLY want her to lose.
Strauss Kahn did most of the things he was accused with.

Strauss Kahn had a lot of sex with prostitutes, and used prostitutes to peddle influence. The *one* thing he didn't do is sexually assault somebody. Why would he, given easy access to women using money and influence instead of violence? And I believe the same thing is true of most powerful men, including Bill Clinton and Donald Trump. Too much to lose, very little to gain. Rape is a hate crime of the powerless, the men rejected by women, not of the powerful who already have enough means to get women to sleep with them.
@Tobold: rape with a knife is the hate crime of the powerless. The powerful don't "rape", they merely "take what they deserve" and "she wanted it too as I'm a true stud".

No one is claiming that Kahn, Clinton and Trump ever grabbed a random woman and forced them into sex. Women are claiming that they were in a subservient position where the only way to avoid the "dating" of these men was quiting their job and moving to another city. Sure, they could do just that, and many women surely did that. The victims are definitely not the strongest of women. But if raping them is OK because of that, then robbing the elderly is also fine as they aren't putting up much of a fight.
@Tobold: yes. I did not see this coming.
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