Closed FQ thread on laws about sexual assault. Why?

You are probably imagining yourself walking along a featureless platonic plane when you come across a person and need to determine if a rape occurred?

In the more realistic scenario where a girl walks into a police station, or a school counselor’s office and makes a complaint, the presumption that no rape occurred unless you see blood or broken bones (or even bruises and torn clothes) is an EXTREMELY destructive one, and this possibility contributes to the lack of reporting for sexual assaults.

Maybe that’s not what you meant, but as a lawyer, you should be familiar with the concept of Appearance of Impropriety

FQ has standards different than other fora. Posting wildly false information as a factual response is IMHO worth a note. It’s okay to be ignorant. I am and by reading the thread and searching and reading based on it was becoming less so. But that phrasing was more than ignorantly incorrect; it was also needlessly provocative.

Again however - a poor post, several poor posts, or a poster behaving badly, does not require closing a thread; it requires a response directing that poster to behave differently.

What I said was factually correct. The leap that you (and others) are making is that I would totally discount the girl’s story as you describe in the hypo. Her story should and will be taken seriously. But the fact that she is physically unharmed will be a powerful piece of evidence for the defendant that she consented. Not totally exculpatory, but powerful evidence that will possibly convince a jury.

And while that may be insensitive, are we to be modded for stating facts?

“Powerful evidence” is a very different statement than “assumed” and is also, as stated in an article linked to, not quite the case:

Depending on the state, assuming capacity, the question is usually if there is evidence of saying no, or not explicitly communicating yes. And there is a question of capacity v incapacity and if incapacity whether by choice or involuntarily, also depending on the jurisdiction.

There is no assumption that sex was consensual so long as there are no broken bones and is no blood. If a victim states that they said no but were threatened with violence, hence bringing the complaint, there is no assumption that the statement is false. If a victim claims they were drugged and were unable consent there is no assumption that such is false.

No you did NOT state facts.

Point though to THIS thread: as bad as some posts were, and they were, closing a thread that had some posters contributing in good faith with no attempt to moderate it, no warnings or notes, seems like a bad decision to me.

I disagree. I don’t think it was salvageable. There were posts too inflammatory to ignore, the OP wasn’t a great subject for GQ (what little bit of factual information requested was provided early), and I don’t see how it could have continued as a productive thread. I can’t say it was a bad call. The thread should stay closed.

You added to my statement. That claim by an alleged victim calls into question the previous assumption, all of which is factual. And if you disagree, that doesn’t mean it should be modded, you just argue to the contrary.

This thread is generating a lot of flags. Unfortunately I have been very busy today and haven’t had a chance to read through the thread, and don’t have time right now. I am temporarily closing this until tomorrow until I can at least read through everything and see what is going on.

I finally had a chance to read through everything.

The FQ thread started with a factual question about the law involving a specific situation. Sometimes legal questions end up being more legal opinion than legal fact, and since legal interpretations are often involved, IMHO is often the better forum. But if you want an answer about what the law says in a particular case, there’s nothing wrong with starting the thread in FQ. We have plenty of those types of threads in FQ.

The first few posts attempt to answer the question factually. Chingon’s post (#5) accuses the OP’s author of motivation that is not in the actual OP as written. But post 8 is where things start to go off the rails. The question gets into the subject of consent, and UltraVires throws the thread completely off the rails by bringing in an unrelated situation beyond the scope of the OP, adds opinions, and is definitely off topic for both the thread and for FQ.

The hijack about a drunk spouse (completely different than the situation of the OP) and consent continues for a while. At this point the thread is off in IMHO or GD territory. No one is discussing the facts of legal law as they apply in the OP’s situation. Instead there is opinion and debate about laws on sexual assault in general, consent, inebriation, and all sorts of hypothetical situations.

By the end of it, the hijack is several times longer than the actual discussion of the OP. Do we move it to GD? There’s not really a debate there, only debatable elements. The questions and opinions aren’t formed into cohesive enough elements to have a proper debate. Should it move to IMHO? The topic that people are actually discussing is more GD than IMHO, so that doesn’t seem like a good fit either.

I agree with Chronos. At that point the thread really isn’t salvageable. It’s really morphed into a GD topic but the thread is too much of a mess to just punt it over to GD. I wouldn’t want to go into a debate when you have to read halfway through a thread just to figure out what the debate is, especially when the debated topics are all over the place and it’s not clear exactly what the debate should be about.

The FQ thread will stay closed. Those interested in discussing the topic of sexual assault laws in general are free to open a thread in the appropriate forum, but if you want to discuss the topic in GD, try to make it clear exactly what you want to debate so that the thread doesn’t end up all over the place and ever-expanding in scope.

A few things that need to be mentioned:

  1. We do not moderate for factual correctness (there are rare exceptions). If you believe that something is factually incorrect, that is something to discuss in the thread. It’s not something to report for moderation. In FQ, it is expected that you can back up your assertions of what is factually correct with cites.

  2. Rants about political correctness have no place in FQ. You all know where the Pit is.

  3. Rape is a very sensitive subject. Do not trivialize it.

  4. In a factual thread about the law as it pertains to a particular topic, stick to that topic. Do not expand the topic to include overall far-reaching issues as that will drag the thread well outside of the bounds of FQ. If someone wants to know what the law says, it is possible to discuss what the law says in a factual manner. Your opinions of society and how those laws are sometimes interpreted is not a topic for FQ.

Now to this ATMB thread.

Do not bring topics from threads into ATMB except as necessary to discuss the moderation of those topics. This is not the proper forum to debate sexual assault issues or to rant against political correctness. Keep your posts relevant to the rules and moderation.

This ATMB thread is now re-opened. Please keep all discussions here appropriate to ATMB.

Your thoughtful response and explanation is appreciated. And rereading the thread, including posts I had paid less close attention to, I can understand the ruling and the conclusion that it had reached a point that there was no right place for it other than locked.

More broadly a question remains: even if no one has flagged any particular post as sending an FQ “off the rails”, or hijacked it, is a mod comment still of value before closure? If only for guidance to improve behavior, or lacking such improvement, the record of warnings that add up to disciplinary action?

As a general form to be preferred not required.

Thank you again for the through explanation.

I do think this to be a very thoughtful response and it is appreciated. I simply disagree with your characterization of my post.

Yes, I did inject an opinion without carefully reading the forum that the post was in, but as you said, such a thing really doesn’t lead itself to a GQ answer. And this idea that we must tip toe around when discussing rape really doesn’t allow us to discuss rape because such a topic is always a sensitive thing.

On review, the term “blood” was a very poor choice because of a possible double meaning there and I apologize for that, yet I contend that my opinion is correct and even if it wasn’t correct as you recognize it should not be modded for being incorrect simply because some posters on this board have drastically run away from the idea (which is what drew me to the board in 2007 and a lurker before) that this is not a safe space, but one where we bluntly discuss anything. If you need a feinting couch, go somewhere else. I hate that the safe space attitude has intruded here.

Maybe shoulda stayed closed. You know, IMO.

I’ve been on the ‘Internet’ since the era of 110 baud rate dial-up.

For as long as there have been message boards, there have been people who really need to say … whatever it is they need to say … and in whatever way it’s most convenient for them to say it.

Other humans (and their very humanity) be damned.

About This Message Board ? Okay.

Every time something hateful, incendiary, intolerant, misogynistic, or racist comes up, a minority of Dopers gets a chance to speak up and say how they (SD board members who ‘represent’ minority populations, at least on this MB) feel deprecated, diminished, demeaned, devalued, and dismissed.

And every time it happens, the few minority posters remind the majority of why there are so few minority posters, the majority effectively defaulting to such sententious ideas as “grow a pair” or “get thicker skin.”

“Political correctness” can be taken too far, but it mostly isn’t – at least not around here.

Any number of incendiary topics can readily be discussed without causing undue pain. It just requires a modicum of restraint, deliberation, consideration, and – dare I say – empathy.

On another thread, I posted this blurb about “thinking ‘win-win’:”

To go for win-win, you not only have to be empathic, but you also have to be confident. You not only have to be considerate and sensitive, but you also have to be brave. That balance between courage and consideration is the essence of real maturity and is fundamental to win-win.

The use of (or implication of) ‘political correctness’ by certain types, as a snarl word, is – as I’ve said in other contexts – really just a naked admission that the person wants to say whatever they want to say, and wants freedom from any blowback.

They want a dais and a megaphone, and they want unqualified immunity from reproach, rebuke, and derision.

That’s not the society I want to live in. It’s also not the highest and best MB that the SDMB can be (but that’s just MHO).

Taking on hot-button issues doesn’t have to devolve into a hate- and carnage-filled shitstorm, but having it not do so (simply) requires that we all try to be just slightly better versions of ourselves.

Y’know, while I’d be interested in the answer to my remaining question/comment, the response already given is satisfactory and there are other threads in other fora for the discussion this is veering into.

Not sure that this request has any power, but I agree that closing this thread now is a good idea.

I don’t have much of an objection to what you say as the rhetoric should be dialed back by all of us. But something to keep in mind is that this is a message board, not a formal brief for academic or legal purposes. We respond informally, sometimes with curse words, and most of the times with typos. That means that things said in a moment may seem to be insensitive, but the poster wasn’t really thinking it through, was drunk, or did it in a moment of haste.

But from my perspective, it seems that we must state things with absolute precision or else be accused of the things you said. If I ever personally hurt anyone on here, it is not intended and I will withdraw the comment. I don’t participate in the Pit for reasons discussed in other threads. I agree with the idea of civility, but I’ll make a mistake here and there, and if the standard is that comments made without precise, up to date PC terminology are forbidden, then you won’t have conservative posters because we will all get banned for saying the wrong thing as I have no interest in proofing my comments.

This is not at all why the term “blood” was a poor choice. SMH.

I don’t have any interest in a back and forth until you finally let me know what you found insulting about the term.

My position was, and I think it unassailable, that if a man and a woman meet at a bar, go back to one or another’s home, engage in sexual conduct, and one of the people leave the next day unharmed, that the initial belief, not an irrebuttable one, is that they had consensual sex. I think any of us would think that. Just as, like my example stated, one would think that the Uber contract was voluntary.

I did not say, although my inarticulate way of saying it caused doubts, that such assumptions could not be rebutted by a woman saying that she did not consent, even if that was the only contradictory evidence. I meant to say what is normal custom in society and the law.

We’re getting right back into the types of comments that closed this thread in the first place. I’m going to close this again before I have to start handing out warnings.

@Babale and @UltraVires if you want to have a go at each other, you both know where the Pit is.

If anyone has a compelling reason to re-open this, send me a PM.