Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Year in Consent

Posted By on 12.30.09 at 10:05 AM

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This was the year of the armchair rape analyst (ARA). If you’ve never run into such a person, here’s a job description: While men across the globe generate allegations of rape, ARAs are charged with casually dismissing the problem from the comfort of their living rooms. They sit back, stroke the chin, and plant gray where black and white work just fine.

ARAs have a field day when high-profile alleged rapes surface in the media. Though they always concede that “no means no,” in such cases it’s not always clear who said what. The ambiguity allows ARAs to decide matters of consent based on the suspect’s skill on the football field, the victim’s blood alcohol level, or the presence or absence of a rope.

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