Tag Archives: rhetoric

the “you’re wrong because you trust me” gambit

Saw this comic on sex & consent, had things to say, deleted the draft, then several months later, saw it again.  So here we go.  Take two.

The comic there expresses a nice idea, mostly, good examples and advice etc. etc. but the part that caught my attention was this: the green-haired person in the third panel who says, “Wait a minute!  I’ve been with my wife for 15 years.  There’s no way we cover all of this [checklist] every time we have sex!  We usually don’t even explicitly ask each other!  Are you saying that we’re not having consensual sex??” to which the blue-haired narrator says, “Of course not!”

At which point in my mind I hear the sound of screeching brakes.

I’ve seen this kind of objection play out before, sure, in contexts where someone has dared talk explicitly about consent — it’s happened often enough that I can’t even remember specifics of when or where.  What gets me is not the confusion over implicit communication, or even how readily someone jumps to assure them, “No, not at all!  You’ve merely misunderstood the message.  I wouldn’t dare impugn your honor, my 100% ethical friend who has never done anything wrong!”

What gets me is how consistently there’s always someone, even a complete stranger, ready to interject this way in the first place and essentially say, “You trust me, right?  You have faith in me, right?  You believe I’m not a rapist, right?”

And I’m like… the heck?  I don’t even know you.  I probably wouldn’t be rock-solid certain of those things even if I did know you.  Why are you expecting anyone, let alone strangers on the internet, to assure you how much they’re sure you’ve never raped?

Note that this is different from the anxious uncertainty of “oh man, I’m scared I may have hurt someone.”  This is something else.  This is “Excuse me, are you suggesting that I, Me, a Good Person, am somehow not flawless?  For I, Me, a Good Person, have in fact done the-things-that-I’m-interpreting-you-as-saying-are-unethical, so clearly you ought to be ashamed of yourself, or at least explain in a way that clears my name.”

I shouldn’t even have a dog in this hunt, since I don’t group communication and consent as the same thing anyway.  But geez, it bothers me, people thinking they’re entitled to automatic couldn’t-possibly-be-a-rapist trust, or even couldn’t-possibly-need-to-improve-on-the-communication-front trust.  I try to mentally give everyone a null value there.  And from the consistency with which I see “No I’m sure you’re fiiiiiine”-type answers, it almost sounds like not-automatically-placing-unwarranted-trust-in-people is some kind of taboo, if not simply unconsidered as an option.

I guess I just don’t understand going through life without a little paranoia.


More personal standards for how to argue

Recently, Siggy posted some “principles that he personally has found useful” in regards to how to argue.  I’ve decided I want to do that too, because I think about it a lot anyway.  Things like actively participating in the ace community & ace outreach tend to involve a lot of arguing, so I think it’s worth thinking about our overall strategies for how we like to go about that.  This is a post about the standards I set for myself, that others might consider if it suits them.

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Force

Re: this, on rhetorical strategies for dealing with Christian anti-gay vitriol —

Yes to nixing the antisemitism, but this… “no one should be forced to adhere to the beliefs of someone else’s religion”… *rubs temples*  Look, I know, what you’re going for.  There’s real value to that.

But in so far as I believe in a Thing that is Religion (I don’t), I consider it one of my “”””religious beliefs”””” that all people deserve to live, so… yeah, I’m invested in “forcing” people to abide by that one.

anyway

less arbitrary religious/secular divisions as a basis for deicing what’s appropriate, more responding to bigoted abusive Christians with Bible-based anarchy

as allacharade put it:

more arguments pointing out that the very same book of the bible demands you leave some of your food for the poor, that you act unbiasedly in upholding the law, that you never take advantage of those at risk in your community, that you never mistreat the poor, the stranger and foreigner in your land, those with disabilities or the elderly. More arguments that point out that you can’t be mad that the law of a secular country doesn’t fit with your one interpretation of one verse in Leviticus, but not be furious at the way minorities and poor people in the country are treated. That if you want to call yourself defenders of the bible and this is the only thing you get mad about, you don’t know the bible very well.


The platonic and the Platonic

A post about not telling people what identity labels to use, and also classic philosophy.

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hey

Can anybody tell me why it’s a thing to sexualize Christian iconography and write sex songs based around the euphemistic use of Church terminology?

I mean, I think I know why, but I don’t want to say it.