Getting off on the charges of getting off without consent

Content note: sexual assault, non-consensual sexual activities.

Been a while, I know. This story reignited the RAGE BLOGGER in me, and this is a good thing, because I’ll need the warmup for what I’ve got rattling around in my head the past few days.

Apparently, in Tokyo, a man responsible for ejaculating on non-consenting, unaware women over a hundred times on Tokyo’s train system has finally been caught.

A middle-aged man, Tetsuya Fukuda, 40 has been arrested for the attacks on crowded trains between Kinshicho and Akihabara stations in the capital Tokyo.

When arrested, he said, ‘I get excited when in close contact with a woman on a crowded train.’

He is thought to have cut holes in his jacket pockets so he could pleasure himself.

He was caught after DNA tests on semen found on a teenage schoolgirl’s skirt.

I cannot fathom the mindset where you are so turned on by random women that you’d ejaculate on them, but so incapable of standard human interaction that you would not first negotiate this transaction. The idea is so alien to me as to frighten me more than a little.

And lest you think this is somehow a uniquely Japanese phenomenon, there’s this case from Blaine, Minnesota wherein a man repeatedly ejaculated into a woman’s coffee and onto her desk, and has been cleared of all charges by the judge because apparently sexual battery would require direct contact. Never mind that she evidently drank said coffee repeatedly, thus had direct physical contact through ingestion. She thought the milk had been spoiled.

I will leave you a moment to contemplate the implications of this — that despite some states having laws on the books that makes spitting into your food assault, some other states do not make illegal putting your cum in someone’s coffee as some sort of twisted tribute.

I think the reason I’m so squicked by this is because I am, like the vast majority of us, capable of the level of empathy wherein I can imagine what it would be like to be on the receiving end of the transaction. Being in possession of a sense of empathy, though, makes it difficult to imagine myself as a person without it — to imagine that I care so little about others’ reception of my actions that I would perform them without their consent.

Society has made rape and sexual battery very strongly punished crimes, even where their perpetrators are so very rarely met with actual judgment. But even given how underreported sexual assault is, and even given how difficult it is to prove — not every case of sexual battery is as demonstrable as the two above — we’ll take cut-and-dry cases and probably let the guy get off on the charge of getting off on non-consent. Some judges won’t consider it a crime.

This is why we ‘feminazis’, we sexual buzzkills, we who will end the human race by curtailing naughty funtimes, fight so hard for educating people as to what sexual assault actually is, and what it isn’t. It should be simple, but since people don’t get it, it bears repeating. Any sexual contact or sexual act in which not all parties consent is sexual assault, at minimum.

Consent is paramount. You can do any damn thing you please, with however many people you want, as long as all parties are informed and capable of uncoerced consent at the time the proposed transaction is negotiated, and as long as that consent is not revoked in the moment when circumstances change.

What scares me about this is that there are people who will “rules-lawyer” around such simple, clear rules.

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Getting off on the charges of getting off without consent
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18 thoughts on “Getting off on the charges of getting off without consent

  1. 2

    Any sexual contact or sexual act in which not all parties consent is sexual assault, at minimum.

    Consent is paramount. You can do any damn thing you please, with however many people you want, as long as all parties are informed and capable of uncoerced consent at the time the proposed transaction is negotiated, and as long as that consent is not revoked in the moment when circumstances change.

    This and also QFT. “Consent is Paramount” is pithy enough for a slogan or tagline and it should also be the foundational lesson when teaching boys and men not to rape.

    What about the issue of informed consent in the context of a marriage or other type of committed relationship though? How does that factor into this if at all? That seems more complicated and harder to parse but was hoping you could elucidate.

    To take a simple case of a heteronormative marriage where one party desires to seek intimacy outside the marriage. Could it be considered a type of assault if the one party fails to obtain informed consent from the spouse prior to going outside the marriage? Or is that stretching the definition too far? Is it some kind of lesser violation if not assault?

    What if the one party that goes outside the marriage doesn’t inform the spouse and yet continues to have intimate relations with them? Could that be considered a type of assault in the sense that the relations would be had under false pretenses and that the consent so obtained would therefore not be informed consent?

    Trying to figure out where those boundaries lie. Any clarification you might provide to help us untangle this mess would be greatly appreciated.

  2. 4

    I fail to grasp the “thinking” of some people. Actively violating another person’s dignity, privacy and body (and even safety, re: STDs) by ejaculating onto them or their belongings can only be described as sexual assault. Unless, of course, it’s a judge who sees women as lesser human beings than men.

    Paul Ruebens was arrested in Florida in 1991 for masturbating in a pornographic movie theatre (where others were consensually doing the same thing) and he was punished more severly than that Minnesota man. No, that’s not a defense of what Ruebens did, but the only unwilling viewer or participant was the cop actively seeking out people to arrest. Not arresting the one in Minnesota reeks of incompetence, corruption, sexism and selective enforcement of the law by “the authorities”.

  3. 5

    @ John Horstman @3:

    My guess would be somebody brought up a scenario where somebody was ejaculated on or in during a sexual encounter, who then charged the ejaculater with assault over a “simple misunderstanding”. For all their whining about how dangerous feminists are, MRAs have a lot more power than they like to admit.

    That the guy did this because he had a crush on her leads me to think there may be some underlying psychiatric issues (which wouldn’t excuse what he did). If he hated her, it would make a lot more sense. Did he think she’d react by saying “If it tasted that good in my coffee…?” /snark

    @Jason:

    As for the Japanese guy, given that there are men who enjoy drugging and raping women who would have otherwise consented to having sex with them (as one of Bill Cosby’s victims stated she would), it’s not too hard to imagine that guy got a thrill out of the fact that these girls had no idea he was doing it. Which is why he didn’t ask.

  4. 6

    Any sexual contact or sexual act in which not all parties consent is sexual assault, at minimum.

    Consent is paramount. You can do any damn thing you please, with however many people you want, as long as all parties are informed and capable of uncoerced consent at the time the proposed transaction is negotiated, and as long as that consent is not revoked in the moment when circumstances change.

    Except under US law; in the late 1950’s/early 1960’s, the American Law Institute issued their Model Penal Code, which explicitly excluded consent from the charge of rape. Their thinking:

    Changing the focus from the woman to the man’s conduct sounded like a step in the right direction; until then, the woman’s conduct was put on trial, judged, and often found wanting. The status of the victim then becomes a factor in the trial; was she a virgin, was she married, was she a ‘party girl’ or prostitute? Nevertheless, the reasons for not including consent in the Model Penal Code rules rested on sexist notions about women and consent too. The writers assumed that women say ‘no’ and don’t mean it, that women are ambivalent about consent to sex, and that women have conflicting emotions and are unable to directly express their sexual desires. Model Penal Code contributors delineate between forcible rapes, on the one hand, and on the other, reluctant submission. Only the former, forcible rape, was a serious crime.
    McGregor, Joan. “The legal heritage of the crime of rape,” Handbook on sexual violence. Routledge, 2011. pg. 77.

    If you’re curious for more, I did a series of comments on the subject.

  5. 7

    Rape porn is really popular here, and it’s everywhere. People aren’t very well socialized, and often times men really do not know how to talk to women at all. They have no idea how to approach a woman for a date, let alone get to know one well enough to have sex with her. I’m no psychologist, obviously, but the connection between un-socialized men and the prevalence of rape porn seems pretty obvious. If you can’t get sex any other way, if your only sexual experience has been porn, which de-humanizes women and uncouples sex from real feelings, and if you are socialized to feel women are below you, plus a lack of real sex education, and a lack of awareness of the importance of consent…..well, here’s your result.

    And I am not exaggerating when I say that this sort of thing happens on a weekly basis – last week it was a cop (yep..cops do this shit too) taking upskirt photos of a schoolgirl; the week before that, some weirdo was throwing mayonaise on women. Yeah, mayonaise- and what does that look like? A few weeks ago, another guy who was throwing his piss. There is also a reason why there are ladies-only cars on the subways. I can’t count how many times I’ve been groped, or else had some guy pressing up against me with his boner on my leg.

    Once in a while, the Japan Times prints articles about the problem Japan has with sexual predators. And lo and behold, in the comment section are the same MRAs, anti-feminists, and apologists that we have seen in our atheist community. That mixes in with the people who are what I call Japanapologists, whose attitude is, “If you don’t like Japan, then you can giiiiiiiit out!”

    So you guys in the US think you got your problems…but I can’t wait to get back there.

    Check the comments out on this article, but only if you can handle it. Huge trigger warning for rape apologists. http://www.japantimes.co.jp/community/2013/10/23/voices/japan-no-safe-country-for-foreign-women/

  6. 8

    To take a simple case of a heteronormative marriage where one party desires to seek intimacy outside the marriage. Could it be considered a type of assault if the one party fails to obtain informed consent from the spouse prior to going outside the marriage? Or is that stretching the definition too far? Is it some kind of lesser violation if not assault?
    What if the one party that goes outside the marriage doesn’t inform the spouse and yet continues to have intimate relations with them? Could that be considered a type of assault in the sense that the relations would be had under false pretenses and that the consent so obtained would therefore not be informed consent?

    Assault is physical. What you’re describing is a breach of trust or violation of contract, covered by different laws/regulations.

  7. 9

    carlie @8,
    Thanks that makes sense. What prompted our question was really this particular part from the OP:

    … as long as all parties are informed and capable of uncoerced consent at the time the proposed transaction is negotiated…

    We had been in a long term committed relationship in the past where our significant others had been unfaithful and had lied about it and hid that for quite a while. We continued to be sexually intimate during this time. When the affair was finally revealed there was a feeling of complete betrayal and violation such that assault would be a fair word to describe the subjective experience if not the legal status. Our consent had been obtained under false pretenses and thus was also coerced in a very real way. Had we known at the time about the affair we never would have consented. Never. But our partners denied us the opportunity of truly informed consent by withholding that information and did so for an extended period of time.

    That’s all in the past now. But reading this dredged up those old feelings again and we’re just trying to sort through everything with the help of a fresh perspective. The OP resonated and was hoping the author might be willing to help us sort out the moral and ethical implications of it all now that we’ve had the benefit of time and space.

  8. 10

    Plethora; Sorry to hear about how you were betrayed like that.
    Wiki has this definition of rape:

    Rape is a type of sexual assault usually involving sexual intercourse or other forms of sexual penetration perpetrated against a person without that person’s consent. The act may be carried out by physical force, coercion, abuse of authority or against a person who is incapable of valid consent, such as one who is unconscious, incapacitated, or below the legal age of consent.[1][2][3][4] The term rape is sometimes used interchangeably with the term sexual assault.[5]

    As gaining sex by dishonest means such as the situation you describe is thwarting your ability to give informed consent perhaps an argument could be made that it is a form of rape.
    I seem to recall a case in Israel where a woman tried to have a man charged with rape because he lied about what religion he belonged to, but I don’t recall the outcome.

  9. 11

    I think what Plethora describes is a different category of sexual assault, and that “rape by fraud” as people are trying to get laws passed in New Jersey for instance are problematic. Lying about having had sexual intercourse with someone else could absolutely endanger you with STIs, for instance, and I think you have an excellent case for assault in the event that you DO get an STI as a result of your partner’s undisclosed indiscretion.

    I don’t know if it rises to the level of rape, but it’s fuzzy, and I’m no lawyer, and it probably would be treated on a case by case basis anyway. Certainly lying to get sex from someone is unethical as all hell, even if not explicitly illegal. It’s a good justification for a hell of a lot of repercussions, legal and domestic (e.g. divorce), insofar as it amounts to a breach of contract.

    But the law and morality often don’t track with one another, especially where some antisocial and damaging behaviour is impossible to prove or impossible to punish effectively.

  10. 12

    Abear, I remember that case as well. It was a Palestinian man whom the woman thought was Jewish. They had fully consensual sex, but later she brought the rape charge because he had lied to her. The man, Sabbar Kashur, was convicted of “rape by deception” and sentenced to 18 months of house arrest. I do not know how to link, but the story is in The Guardian, 21 July 2010. ( I will learn how to link before I post again. Sorry)

  11. 13

    abear (#10), voyager (#12) –

    I hadn’t heard about that injustice, though I’m not surprised it happened in an Apartheid society. It borders on racism, and I’m clearly not the only person who feels that way:

    Palestinian jailed for rape after claiming to be Jewish

    […]

    Israeli legal experts said they found the verdict disquieting.

    “In the context of Israeli society, you can see that some women would feel very strongly that they had been violated by someone who says he is Jewish but is not,” said a former senior justice ministry official.

    “The question is whether the state should punish somebody in that situation. It puts the law in the position of what could loosely be described as discrimination. I would feel intuitively uncomfortable about prosecuting someone for something like that.”

    Instead of jewish and palestinian, what if the woman were a Serbian and the man a Croatian? What if she were white and the man didn’t say he had black ancestry (a parent or grandparent)? Would rape charges be filed in those cases? (In the US, an overzealous AD probably would.)

    It’s definitely not comparable to a man having an STD or HIV and lying that he doesn’t.

  12. 14

    @ ^ Voyager : Think this is the story you mentioned linked here :

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2010/jul/21/arab-guilty-rape-consensual-sex-jew

    (Just googled it then cut & paste the web address. Expect this will work, it usually does. Sometimes there are blog limits on the number of links allowed. Apparently spam tends to have a lot of links and sometimes links will make your comment go into moderation. Sorry if this sounds patronising and hope this helps.)

  13. 15

    Hmm ..and now my comment with the link to the story noted by #12. voyager is currently “awaiting moderation” here. Self-fulfilling accidental “prophecy” – or is it just me?

  14. 18

    I cannot fathom the mindset where you are so turned on by random women that you’d ejaculate on them, but so incapable of standard human interaction that you would not first negotiate this transaction.

    That is because you have the huge privilege of not being driven by these kinds of compulsions. Lucky you. I have been the victim of this kind of assault and it was nasty and a little upsetting (I caught the perpetrator in the act, he was not very subtle) but my it seemed pretty obvious to me that the principle victim was the assailant and not me. Poor bastard. Can’t think his life worked out very well.

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