Rape and Louis C.K.

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KrytenKoro
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Rape and Louis C.K.

Postby KrytenKoro » Fri Oct 17, 2014 9:21 pm UTC

This is probably old hat to most of the board, but it's something I only recently learned about and it got me to thinking. Hopefully it's on the right thread, as the question I had seemed inappropriate for the tv board.

I know that on one hand, a lot of the "hip" crowd love Louis C.K. for his type of humor, while there's another side that criticizes his comedy for making light of rape.

So.

I recently started watching his show, Louie, and I just watching "Set-up" -- the episode in which, as far as I can tell, louie is raped by Laurie (Melissa Leo).

And the thing that confuses the shit out of me, and makes me wonder if I'm misunderstanding what rape is, is that nearly all of the prominent reviews of this episode say that, in refusing to go down on Laurie because he was uncomfortable with it, Louie is being "unfair, privileged, and sexist", that Laurie is getting justice for a "double standard" and her outrage is "understandable", "righteous", and "likeable", that she was "right", and that the portrayal is pro-feminist, "fun", and commendable. I found only afew reviews that even saw it as rape.

I'm not trying to criticize the show, and I'm not trying to play "gotcha!". I'm honestly confused here - am I missing something fundamental about what defines rape as rape, and what is an obligation during sex?
From the elegant yelling of this compelling dispute comes the ghastly suspicion my opposition's a fruit.

BattleMoose
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Re: Rape and Louis C.K.

Postby BattleMoose » Sat Oct 18, 2014 1:51 am UTC

That sure was quite rapey. Gender double standards?

Mutex
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Re: Rape and Louis C.K.

Postby Mutex » Sat Oct 18, 2014 5:23 pm UTC

So she forces him to go down on her? I tried finding a synopsis online but IMDb and Wikipedia didn't have one.

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CorruptUser
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Re: Rape and Louis C.K.

Postby CorruptUser » Sat Oct 18, 2014 6:20 pm UTC

This post had objectionable content.


Sorry, I was out of town for a long weekend.

CU: I'd say you're done with this discussion.

- Az

KrytenKoro
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Re: Rape and Louis C.K.

Postby KrytenKoro » Sun Oct 19, 2014 5:41 am UTC

Just want to clarify, again: I am so, so not trying to play "gotcha" here. I'm not trying to call anyone hypocrites. I'm honestly asking if there's something in feminist doctrine that would explain whether these people are correct, OR if these authors are all saying something monstrous that feminism absolutely doesn't claim.

This isn't meant to be a trap of any kind, I want to make that absolutely clear. I'm simply trying to figure out if I've misunderstood how rape is defined.
From the elegant yelling of this compelling dispute comes the ghastly suspicion my opposition's a fruit.

elasto
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Re: Rape and Louis C.K.

Postby elasto » Sun Oct 19, 2014 7:37 am UTC

I don't think feminism is a unimind - it has its moderate and extremist wings like MRA or any other movement.

I'm honestly asking if there's something in feminist doctrine that would explain whether these people are correct, OR if these authors are all saying something monstrous that feminism absolutely doesn't claim.


You seem to be wanting there to be some sort of sacred text like the bible that we can quote from to prove these people wrong. AFAIK no such document exists. These people themselves are probably the best ones to argue their own case - either in the links themselves (which I didn't check out) or elsewhere on their sites. Maybe they'd talk in terms of some overarching social/systemic inequality or power imbalance. Maybe they'd regard it as a sad and unfortunate act from which good can still follow - like a victim of long term domestic abuse finally cracking and lashing out - or an oppressed people taking arms against a tyrannical dictator.

For me it's a pretty simple test: If the genders were reversed would we regard the situation as rape? If so then it's rape here too. I'd be very surprised if anyone here didn't take that view also - even them. However maybe they'd argue there's more to be learnt than just that: That it shines a light on various inequalities between the sexes.

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Re: Rape and Louis C.K.

Postby doogly » Sun Oct 19, 2014 1:12 pm UTC

I'm pretty sure it is High True Gospel that lacking informed, enthusiastic consent, you have rape. The sitch there was hell of rape.

I think Louie was being "unfair" in refusing, but fairness is not a reason to perform a sexual act. Right, it's interesting, he says if she had expected tit for tat she should have said so. Why his default assumption was tit for squat, that's a bit entitled, but whatever, even if he had specifically agreed to an exchange, and backed out in the middle, he'd just be an asshole. He wouldn't have contracted away his sexual autonomy. But the differing status of cunnilingus and fellatio (you don't feel intimate with me? you just put your dick in my mouth) comes from a very sexist motivation. The Salon piece made a keen observation that doesn't have to feel afraid of her. Until she slams the brake. Playing with notions of fairness, power and consent makes the scene very dynamic, uncomfortably so.

I think it's a "good scene" for these reasons. But I like audience discomfort for novel reasons. I do not think Laurie is, by any stretch, a "good person." But nobody puts good people on television, that would be boring.
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Re: Rape and Louis C.K.

Postby Lazar » Sun Oct 19, 2014 3:20 pm UTC

doogly wrote:I'm pretty sure it is High True Gospel that lacking informed, enthusiastic consent, you have rape.

I know this might be a minefield, but are you sure that lack of enthusiasm = rape? My understanding is that enthusiasm is helpful and desirable, but some people are unenthusiastic by nature, and/or may consent to something (explicitly and without coercion) while feeling indifferent about it. The phrase "enthusiastic consent" implies that there is such a thing as unenthusiastic consent.
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Re: Rape and Louis C.K.

Postby doogly » Sun Oct 19, 2014 3:45 pm UTC

I suppose it's more of a watchword than a gospel.
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HungryHobo
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Re: Rape and Louis C.K.

Postby HungryHobo » Mon Oct 20, 2014 6:07 pm UTC

No need for gotchas, "feminism" is a very very broad banner that a lot of people can get behind including a lot of unpleasant people who spend a lot of their time and energy arguing that "[evil thing] isn't bad when I do it."


The general form of the argument goes something like this, [Sexual assault/Racism/Rape/Sexism] isn't [the normal definition of the word], instead they have redefined it to be [Sexual assault/Racism/Rape/Sexism]+[Privilege] hence they themselves can never be guilty of it.


Ask 20 feminists what "feminism" means and you'll get 20 answers, 10 of them mutually exclusive and 1 or 2 of them a little evil sounding.

Just like libertarians, socialists, transhumanists etc really.

http://slatestarcodex.com/2014/07/14/ec ... -atheists/

Suppose you have a cause or movement. Let’s say libertarianism. You’re probably not going to get too far on your own, so you start looking for other people who agree with you.

You end up with a wide spectrum of people. Some of them agree with you on nearly everything. Other people consider themselves part of your movement, but disagree with your goals and hate you personally. Maybe you’re kind of a soft libertarian who just wants the government to decriminalize pot and stop ordering illegal drone attacks, but the other guy wants to disband the government entirely and make everyone live in heavily armed communes. And the other other guy is a member of the Libertarian National Socialist Green Party, and you’re not even sure if he has real opinions or just likes chaining political-sounding words together, but that swastika armband of his is starting to creep you out.

If you only work together with the libertarians who agree with you about everything, then you’ll have a nice, low-conflict group who can cooperate naturally and completely to achieve common goals. You’ll also have like three people.
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Adam H
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Re: Rape and Louis C.K.

Postby Adam H » Mon Oct 20, 2014 7:06 pm UTC

It's clearly rape, even though the rapist makes an argument that can be agreed with without condoning rape. Of course, some reviewers apparently condoned the rape, so shame on them.

That said, to me the scene depicts Louie's dramaticized, exaggerated, and comedisized version of a consensual sex act, where Laurie made her point with words only, and then Louie consented. It's like one of those scenes in comedies where two people are arguing and then the scene morphs into a battle royale of them viciously assaulting each other. I can't think of exactly where I've seen this but it's probably like Scrubs or something. Anyways, those types of scenes depict violent assault without condoning violent assault. Similar thing going on here, IMO.
-Adam

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Re: Rape and Louis C.K.

Postby Thesh » Mon Oct 20, 2014 7:45 pm UTC

I think depicting rape was the intent; especially given Louie's attempt at rape later in the season.
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artuomi
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Re: Rape and Louis C.K.

Postby artuomi » Wed Oct 22, 2014 11:22 pm UTC

KrytenKoro wrote: am I missing something fundamental about what defines rape as rape, and what is an obligation during sex?


The scene was definitely a depiction of a sexaul assault. whether or not you would call it rape, depends on how specific you are in your definition of rape.

FBI definition of rape for uniform crime reports;
“Penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim."

Department of Justice definiton of sexual assault;
"Any type of sexual contact or behavior that occurs without the explicit consent of the recipient. Falling under the definition of sexual assault are sexual activities as forced sexual intercourse, forcible sodomy, child molestation, incest, fondling, and attempted rape."

The key factor is explicit consent. Your only obligation for any sexual act is to obtain explicit consent.

This scene depicts a sexual assault, becuase the "consent" was coerced.

KrytenKoro
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Re: Rape and Louis C.K.

Postby KrytenKoro » Thu Oct 23, 2014 1:51 pm UTC

artuomi wrote:
KrytenKoro wrote: am I missing something fundamental about what defines rape as rape, and what is an obligation during sex?


The scene was definitely a depiction of a sexaul assault. whether or not you would call it rape, depends on how specific you are in your definition of rape.

FBI definition of rape for uniform crime reports;
“Penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim."

Department of Justice definiton of sexual assault;
"Any type of sexual contact or behavior that occurs without the explicit consent of the recipient. Falling under the definition of sexual assault are sexual activities as forced sexual intercourse, forcible sodomy, child molestation, incest, fondling, and attempted rape."

The key factor is explicit consent. Your only obligation for any sexual act is to obtain explicit consent.

This scene depicts a sexual assault, becuase the "consent" was coerced.

Watching the scene, I'm not seeing where consent came in at all. For some reason, Louie wasn't running away afterward, but beforehand he was definitely saying "no", and then she forced herself into his mouth.
From the elegant yelling of this compelling dispute comes the ghastly suspicion my opposition's a fruit.

artuomi
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Re: Rape and Louis C.K.

Postby artuomi » Fri Oct 24, 2014 3:56 am UTC

KrytenKoro wrote:Watching the scene, I'm not seeing where consent came in at all. For some reason, Louie wasn't running away afterward, but beforehand he was definitely saying "no", and then she forced herself into his mouth.

In the scene, consent was not obtained (did not come in), making it a sexual assault. There is the point where Louie says "okay, okay", however, this obviously isn't consent because Laurie is threatening to break his finger at the time.

There are many reasons a victim of a sexual assault may not run away afterward. They may be in shock, afraid, unsure of what to do, or feel in some way it was their fault. It is never the victims fault.

As a hypothetical situation assume that in the end, Louie decides; he is okay with returning the favor and he was being selfish earlier. In this case Laurie has still committed a sexaul assault, it is still inexcusable and it is still a crime.

KrytenKoro wrote:And the thing that confuses the shit out of me, and makes me wonder if I'm misunderstanding what rape is, is that nearly all of the prominent reviews of this episode say that, in refusing to go down on Laurie because he was uncomfortable with it, Louie is being "unfair, privileged, and sexist", that Laurie is getting justice for a "double standard" and her outrage is "understandable", "righteous", and "likeable", that she was "right", and that the portrayal is pro-feminist, "fun", and commendable. I found only a few reviews that even saw it as rape.

I think you may have been a little single minded interpreting the reviews. They may not have come right out and called it a sexaul assault / rape scene, however they do acknowledge it on the side. The comments about Louie being unfair, privileged and sexist, along with Laurie's outrage being understandable, righteous and likeable, are not meant to support the actual assault. Instead they refer to a sexual double standard where men get to do what they want, but women have certain expectations. What their saying is Louie should have realized Laurie may be expecting something in return, and made his preferences clear before accepting a blow job.


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