The Need To Talk About Consent

Last weekend, Max Temkin, co-creator of the popular card game Cards Against Humanity, wrote a blog post about a rape accusation. The post went up somewhat unnoticed, thanks to a combination of EVO, the World Cup, and GaymerX happening all at the same time—but he mentions something that we, as a gaming community, should talk about.

You can read Temkin's post here—he describes his previous relationship with the woman who accuses him of rape, and he talks about his complex feelings around social media, to which some people have taken to to protest him and Cards Against Humanity. He notes that he feels hurt, as he claims that he didn't rape anyone, and that he will try his best to continue to be a feminist moving forward.

Temkin writes:

Yesterday morning, Josh forwarded me a tweet that said:

"TIL: Max Temkin, co-creator of Cards Against Humanity, raped a friend of my friend while attending Goucher College. I don't support CAH.

We assumed this was someone making a tasteless joke, and I replied to tell him that it wasn't funny. But after some more digging, I found a Facebook post from a girl I knew in college accusing me of sexually assaulting her, and urging people to boycott Cards Against Humanity.

A lot of the discussion I've seen about Temkin's post has been about whether he did or didn't rape his accuser. It's about who is telling the truth. That's important, of course, but that's not what I want to talk about. What really struck me about Temkin's apology was something else he brought up, which has to do with consent and rape culture:

Part of rape culture that hurts everyone is that it makes it difficult to talk about what is and is not consent, and makes it incredibly scary for people to speak up when their boundaries are crossed. It is entirely possible she read something completely different than I did into an awkward college hookup. If any part of that was traumatic for her, I am sincerely sorry, and I wish we would have had a chance to address it privately. I've sent her an email and a Facebook message and given her my contact information, but so far I haven't heard back (but she did edit her post to remove my name).

Despite the difficult personal situation Temkin is in, I wish he would have invited people to have frank discussions about how difficult it can be to get consent completely right—an issue he himself references when discussing what he calls an "awkward college hookup." While we can't know what happened during the hook-up, he recognizes the potential miscommunication that may have transpired, an issue that is not unique to Temkin or his accuser.

We all probably have stories from high school or college where consent got tricky, muddled, confusing. Like that time you started making out with someone and you weren't sure if you should take it further, but the other person was going along with it so maybe it's okay—and the next time you see each other everything is awkward and it dawns on you that maybe you read it all wrong. Or that time you found yourself doing something you weren't sure about with someone you genuinely liked—how you let it just slide, because hey, it was nobody's fault. Or that one time you were too scared to speak up and tell someone what you wanted, because you didn't want to be fussy and they're a totally nice person. Or that time you didn't grab a condom before having sex, because you'd ruin the moment.

Or the time...

We all have stories like that, right? It's always worse when you're younger, don't know what you're doing, and are still working out unrealistic societal pressures that tell guys they have to be experienced Don Juans and women that they have to be immaculate bastions of purity.

Temkin—who, in that same blog post promises to continue to "advocate for women's rights to the best of my ability"—could have used his platform to open up a dialogue about a subject that affects a ton of people. Doing so would be a great opportunity for just such advocacy. Regardless, it's an important conversation to have with or without his initiating it.

People get consent wrong all the time, and it's not because everyone is some kind of savage, evil rapist (and to be clear, the situations I'm describing are not necessarily rape, but they are situations where boundaries were potentially crossed or needs weren't communicated, just like in Temkin's situation). Most transgressions are small, untalked about. We all falter. How could we not? This is what society tells us about romance: it should just work. You might fall in love at first sight, no words necessary. And if your love interest knows exactly what to do, if they can get it right without asking, not only is that ideal, then it was meant to be. The best romance is one where nobody communicates and everyone gets it perfectly. And if you're having trouble you can open up a magazine that has an article that can tell you what to do—because lord forbid you actually talk to the person you're interested in and ask what they need from you, what they're comfortable with. That would be embarrassing. Don't you know what you're doing? You should know what you're doing.

Consent is not about being perfect, not to me at least. Yes, consent teaches you the importance of asking for permission and making sure you don't cross any boundaries, but it also teaches you the importance of being honest about where you fall short. Consent exists not just as something that should be used to get the green light for a hook-up, but as a mode of thinking about and processing experiences you've had in the past.

Temkin almost gets there: he presents the idea that maybe the woman read the situation differently than he did. Given the public manner in which he was accused, it's understandable that Temkin's primary focus in his post was to defend himself. But allow me to take the discussion where he didn't, as this is a good opportunity to speak more frankly about something that affects us all.

I don't expect everyone to get consent right all the time. But having better conversations about consent would be a start.

Note: The above opinion piece is a revision of what we originally published that is now archived (along with the main discussions that followed it) at this link. Patricia took the unusual step of rewriting what we'd already published because of a sense from her, me and many readers that the original version and the discussion that followed collectively missed the mark. This was never supposed to be a piece about whether accuser or accused was guilty—everyone is presumed innocent—but rather about ways to handle these kinds of situations better and what we can all take from it in being more open about discussing issues of consent. That isn't how that first piece was received, and as author and editor of the piece, we both feel that's on us. It's never too late to try to do better and I hope this version gets to the core issues more effectively. For transparency's sake, the original version can still be seen at this link. - Stephen Totilo, Editor-in-Chief


    Ugh, really? Another one of these articles...

      Amen man... amen. So sick of this BS. "He didn't apologize", well he did in the quote just below it, not to mention he did nothing wrong by his account and apologizing is admitting fault... But whatever

      Ugh, another one of these comments. Discussions of masculinity, femininity, sexuality, and criminal activity are all pertinant to gaming culture, because gaming culture is full of people, and those people interact. If you're disinterested, then don't open the page, and don't waste my and other people's time with your comment.

      Or, if I've read you wrong, and you've got a complaint about the author's treatment of the issue (rather than the issue being discussed at all), then you should probably have actually, you know, said that.

        Its less about the issue. More about how gaming sites handle them. Its still about the issue though to some extent. Its not about relevance to gaming its about pandering and by your logic everything is relevant to gaming because it involves people.

          Everything is relevant to gamers, because we're people who live in the world. We approach things from a gamer's point of view, and that's what provides common ground for our culture.

          How would you prefer gaming sites handle these issues, when they crop up relevant to gamers?

            Oh I'm sorry, how is an alleged rape allegation about a guy who made a card game really relevant to video games and how is writing some pandering article about rape culture and consent relevant to it as well?

            It's sensationalism about a barely relevant news event.
            This is what kotaku does now.

            Last edited 22/07/14 10:31 pm

              I'll agree that this is sensationalist, but since it's an opportunity for us to talk about an issue, I'm okay with it. Personally, I appreciate the cultural dialogues, even if they're biased or tangential. If you don't, then you should follow only the Kotaku Core tag if you're just chasing gaming news.

                I like the other gaming related stuff, this is too far away though, I feel like I'm reading a gossip magazine.

    Seems to me Patricia has decided Temkin did it and then built a gargantuan straw man about how he shouldn't be out there trying to discredit his victim or blur the line of consent, even though he hasn't even remotely done either of those things.

    Edit: I just wanted to add, since I'm here to fix a couple of typos I made posting from my phone in the first instance and I know I'll probably spend the next day or so justifying some fairly open statements I made above, that obviously no actual crime of rape should be excused.

    But Temkin as a relatively public figure responding to and denying an accusation is not the same thing as trying to justify his crime. Saying she never took issue with him directly or reported a rape to the school or the authorities is not the same thing as victim-blaming because she should have come forward earlier. If Temkin is innocent, why should he be forced to accept slander or libel against his name, that in turn damages his business? If he's guilty, sure, let the bastard take what comes to him, assuming charges for the crime are ever filed and he's found guilty of it by a judge presiding over a jury of his peers, based on actual evidence and witness testimony - not a social media conviction based on some Facebook and Twitter posts.

    Maybe this is baseless gossip someone posted in a bid to get some petty revenge, maybe he actually crossed a line somewhere. But articles like this that introduce what basically amounts to a hypothetical discussion of issues around rape culture but with a nod and a wink imply that the accused's guilt is all but a foregone conclusion - this repulses me.

    Edit 2: In light of a second reading of the original article and the latest revision, I have removed some of the more harshly critical remarks from my post above, as it was unnecessary sniping at Patricia's style of writing and ignores that fact that she is if nothing else extremely passionate about issues that are important to discuss, even if they're out of place on a gaming culture blog like Kotaku.

    Last edited 17/07/14 9:16 am

      Thats what I was thinking, completely unknowledgable about any of it, starts talking about how its likely he didnt get consent, then proceeds to lecture us on consent related matters.

      Just digging for those oblivious white knight views I guess or lots of angry page views. Typical D grade journalism bullshit.

        Exactly. Hack journalist will always be a hack.

          I'm glad I'm not the only one who thought this article was a massive one sided hatchet job.

          I get what she was trying to say, but using the accused (and assuming his guilt) as the focal for your arguments is not the right way to go about it.

          To quote Patricia I don’t fault Temkin for not getting something like this completely right. Still, he handles it badly.

          I don't fault Patricia for not getting something like this completely right. Still, she handled it badly.

          Also the "update" should have been a "sorry I didn't express myself properly" instead it's "i get what you're saying but I think there's more to talk about". Not exactly apologizing for the incredibly one sided view.

          And since I can't help myself: Yes rape is terrible and disgusting, and I doubt that false accusations make up a large percentage of cases, but it's incredibly insensitive to not see the damage that can do to the falsely accused. Same goes for domestic violence and child abuse.

          It's incredibly important to hear both sides of each story and get to the truth.

            I actually approached Patricia over twitter to share my thoughts because on a second, less reactionary reading, I can see her point. And she admits she didn't express her point clearly enough that people take it at face value, where it looks like an attack.

            But she has also stated that she doesn't mince words, and if she had wanted to attack Temkin she would have done so plainly and clearly. I'm prepared to accept that and also bear it in mind whenever reading her future articles, where I plan to be much less harsh than I have been here, and in the past.

            Last edited 17/07/14 4:44 pm

              Attacking a public figure 'plainly and clearly' would probably get her fired and whatever else I think of Patricia Hernandez (not much), I have no doubt that she possesses some degree of self-preservation.

              I approve of the way you dealt with the situation! I just wanted to let you know that you did the right thing by seeking dialogue rather than just bashing the author.

    Sorry Patricia but that was one long condemnation of the guy with zero stone cold facts. You shouldn't be handling this or even discussing it like this. Only the appropriate parties (the law) should be. You have no clue what it's like to be falsely accused (if it is false) of this disgusting act. But swing away that hammer of judgement and don't entertain the idea he may be telling the truth? That's not me saying he's 100% innocent, that's me saying listen to both sides equally before condemning.

    Years ago I was accused of this. It was the single most horrific incident of my adult life. The young woman decided to press charges against me with the police. When they came to visit me I was treated like I was a sex offender straight off the bat. It was horrific and disgusting. Three policemen in my house (I invited them in) from CIB sitting there, all asking very probing questions while my mother sat there across from me. Me a 28 year old man at the time in tears. My father was told and raced home. The young lady in question was a schizophrenic woman who refused to take her medication. We dated for two weeks before I found out she was schizophrenic and we parted on what I thought were ok terms with me gently breaking it off, or so I thought. We split because I couldn't put my son through that and I couldn't handle the constant suicide attempts she was revealed to have been attempting. She had a record stay of over a dozen times in one year at the PA hospital in Brisbane. She was meant to be on lithium but refused.

    For the record, we never slept together. Not even once in those two weeks. The most we did, was kissed. I had a son and lived with my parents at the time.

    So, we parted and within a week CIB came knocking. She didn't take kindly to my breaking it off.
    She told the cops that I forced her into sexual relations. The police investigated, found there was zero evidence to support this, including timeframes where I was found on camera at McDonalds with my son for an hour when he played on the swings when I was supposedly at her house. Thanks to the local shops carpark they could literally track me walking from my houses to Maccas and back the entire way. Thank god for Big Brother huh.

    So they investigated and found this woman had accused over fifteen men in five years of the exact same thing. The charges were dropped immediately when they brought her in and she admitted it was crap. I even got a personal visit from one of the CIB cops, a really nice aboriginal officer, off duty where he apologised to me for how he treated me. That really meant a lot to me. He didn't have to do it but he said he realised how much it shook me and my family up.

    So what I'm saying here, and yes that's a gigantic thing to confess, is that while you can sit there in condemnation on the guy Patricia (and you'll likely never read this), many others sat there in condemnation on me. It turned out to be bullshit. Most of those people came to me asking forgiveness. I said fine, but I no longer have anything to do with them. When people assume based on nearly nothing but a few quotes or even littler information, they will always get it wrong, likely like you have here. So wait for the facts before you judge and let the relevant authorities handle it like it should be and the truth will inevitably come out on who is telling the truth and who is lying.

    (Yes I slightly edited this, I was on a phone before, on my pc now where I can elaborate.)

    Last edited 17/07/14 8:53 am

      :'( glad things somewhat worked out for u dude, sorry about the loss of friends, albeit unsupportive.

      a close friend of mine suffered a similar thing, but on top of the rape accusations, a restraining order was filed against him, and the clincher is, they share the same group of close friends, so he can't hang out with a lot of them because the girl is constantly hogging them to herself.

      also, i find there's no point referring to patricia in any of these posts, because if she learned anything at all these past few years, so much vitriol is aimed towards her lack of... ?integrity? or whatnot, and she probably ignores all of the comments in all of her posts now.

      it's ironic considering that these kinds of articles are much better delivered by someone else, but patricia out of all people working for this site, with her feministically warped perspective.

      don't get me wrong, i don't have anything against women. I love the Spice Girls.

        Thanks mate :) but I have all the friends I need in my life, those were the ones who stood by me and knew I could never do that horrible act. You're right, no point referring to her, it's not like she ever replies or anything. Even her reply in her own post was just a dismissive excuse.

        And thanks to everyone who upvoted me :) that means a lot. It was a big thing to talk about, a very bad time in my life that thankfully worked out well for me, but there's a lot of people who it doesn't because a lot of people rush to judgement. Like Patricia.

      Firstly, I have to say that was a great post Smurf. I'm so sorry to hear you had to go through something like that, but I really appreciate you sharing it.

      I read this article this morning on my way out the door, and it's been bothering me all day, pissing me off on so many levels. I had a lot of things I wanted to say, but you and Matt K have pretty much nailed it. I don't normally buy into the whole Patricia hate train mentality, but this just makes me so angry.

      A few years back, my wife had jury duty. The jury she served on was for a state level case in which a guy had been accused of multiple counts of rape and sexual assault by his ex-wife and her young daughter from a previous marriage. Their marriage had ended poorly, and shortly after she turned up at the police station and levied a long list of accusations against the guy. This woman was claiming some seriously heinous shit.

      The case was long and drawn out (this was at the state level after all), and my wife ended up spending weeks off work for this. In the end, the jury unanimously agreed that the guy's ex-wife was simply trying to throw him under a bus because she was unhappy with how the marriage ended, and had dragged her daughter into it as well. Both her and the daughter's testimony were full of holes. The evidence and time frames didn't match up, and it was readily apparent to everyone that she was full of shit. In the end the guy was acquitted of all charges and the judge tore strips off the ex-wife for wasting the court's time.

      However, despite the fact he was unanimously declared innocent, the court case had a huge effect on the guy's life. Before the accusations, the guy was a pillar of the community, involved in all kinds of charity work. Work that he was forced to step away from because of completely unfounded accusations from a bitter ex-wife that ended up being proven false. Although a lot of friends and family stood by him through it all, and testified on his behalf, there were a lot of people that didn't.

      It's all too easy for people to assume guilt in cases like this and treat people like criminals before they are proven to be so, simply because the idea of someone going unpunished for sexual crimes is hard to stomach. That doesn't make it ok.

      Whether or not Temkin is guilty is not for us to decide. Rape and sexual assault are truly despicable, but that doesn't make it acceptable to treat him as though he is guilty simply because he was accused. If a crime was committed, then let the woman file charges and leave it to the legal system. Social media justice is not justice.

    I'm not going to make a judgment call on this, because we don't have all the facts. It's an extremely controversial story. Guess what, neither should you Patricia. Actually, you're probably the LAST person who should be writing a story about this. Leave it for the appropriate parties.

    For what it's worth, this isn't me being a MRA and defending a rapist. This is me criticising poor "journalism."

    *Starts writing a comment*

    No. Bad. Stop.

    *Burns comment section to the ground before I say anything I'll regret*

    *Waddles away through a field of flowers and happiness and not touching comment sections*

      I had at least 6 paragraphs written. Just deleted them all. What's the point?

    Why the fuck is this even on this site to begin with?

    Not for us to speculate and not for us to take action. Let the relevant party handle it and stop spreading rumors.

    I got about halfway through the tenth paragraph before I gave up.

    My god, Patricia is so preachy in everything she does.

    Patricia seems to be pretty sure that the guy did rape this girl. Otherwise, why is she demanding he apologise to her? Why, when a guy is accused of rape without proof, should he have to justify himself to anyone? Why should the first item on his agenda be 'I should educate the world and open up a discussion"? My reaction would be to lawyer up and utterly destroy anyone who tried to make that sort of false accusation about me. I would use every legal resource at my disposal to dismantle her life to the same extent that mine would be ruined if she got her false way.

    The punishment for false rape accusations should be the same as the punishment for rape. No one should be able to say "I'll make a false accusation toward this person and if I can get away with it they'll get years in prison and a ruined life, but if I don't get away with it I'll only get a slap on the wrists". The argument "but this could stop legitimate rape victims from coming forward" should not have any more weight than "without this, innocent people are being wrongly convicted". Either way, an innocent party loses out. But what's more tolerable to us a society, that we wrongly imprison innocent people or that some guilty people escape punishment?

    So, videogames hey guys!

      card game, so I guess it's relevent. still a shit article though.

    I don't have the whole story but tearing down his apology and the "way he handled it"... WHAT?

    I'm not saying what he did was 100% correct but damn... it's sitting at about an 88% minimum. Just seems like no matter what Temkin would have written he was bound to get torn to pieces. I could only see someone writing WORSE stuff than what he did.

    When I'd first read about this a few days ago my initial reaction was "what the fuck". I've played Cards against humanity and I know people who have as well and to be supporting someone involved in sexual assault.. well needless to say I did a bit more reading up on the issue and I think both parties have handled the situation poorly.

    What I can safely say is this while I usually enjoy Patricia's take on things this article felt completely one sided.

    I never normally have a problem with Patricia's posts, but this one makes me angry at it's complete lack of self-awareness in assuming that Temkin is guilty of rape, or at the very least of ambiguous consent.

    "Temkin doesn’t completely apologise, and it’s hard not to read the parts about the legalities here as a threat to the woman. That’s not cool."

    If Max Temkin is innocent then he is the victim in this - to attack him for not doing the best job of communicating your agenda is pretty disgusting. It's not his responsibility to define consent or to apologise.

    Last edited 17/07/14 8:53 am

      Exactly, there's absolutely no reason why he has to turn this into a soapbox and make it about the "issue" instead of his own defence. Right now we have a "he said, she said" situation that is turning into trial by social media and more grandstanding seeking to vilify what might be an innocent man. Saying "Oh no wait, I get that he has a right to defend himself!" doesn't suddenly give Patricia absolution from screaming "You should have done more! More!" when there's zero requirement for him to do so.

    1. We live in a culture where people are considered innocent until proven guilty. Patricia, your entire article presumes guilt without evidence, and you demand that the accused person reflect on 'how he might have messed up'. Innocent people don't ponder on how they might have messed up, Patricia. Innocent people didn't mess up. Your presumption is accusatory.

    2. Jezebel is a site for anti-male sexism and hypocrisy. This is the same site that condemns men appreciating female athlete bodies and then runs an article on the sexy thighs of World Cup soccer players, and then pretends there's a difference between the two when called out on it. Never, ever reference or quote Jezebel on anything if you want to be taken seriously.

    Frankly, Patricia, you should retract your comments here. You've treated a person as guilty without evidence, solely on the basis of his gender in relation to that of the accuser. That is sexism, plain and simple.

    An article about rape culture from Kotaku's head Feminist...

    You know what, not going to bother on this one.

    *sits back and eats popcorn*

      Try chococorn. It's delicious.

        Chocolate covered Pretzels are pretty good too, the salty and sweet combo works surprisingly well.

        Surprisingly, if you replace using normal salt with garlic salt, it tastes awesome.

    Some people are just born with a chip on their shoulder
    Anyway MGS 5 us looking pretty badass!

    Last edited 17/07/14 9:38 am

    I think Patricia has based her entire article around this particular quote:

    It is entirely possible she read something completely different than I did into an awkward college hookup. If any part of that was traumatic for her, I am sincerely sorry, and I wish we would have had a chance to address it privately

    Anyone else just read this as a symbolic olive branch? The girl has specifically called him her rapist and he has quite clearly said that they didn’t even have sex. This is pretty black and white. Someones either a) lying or b) doesn’t define sex the same way as the other.

    This shouldn’t even be a debate about consent. It’s basically irrelevant and she’s being critical of this guy for no valid reason.

      Absolutely. Patricia has interpreted this statement as "I did something I shouldn't have but I refuse to acknowledge this or accept responsibility" rather than "Nothing happened, but if she has a grievance I'm willing to talk".

    It's shit like this that leads young woman and girls to believe rape accusations are okay. To attack a man who is innocent till proven guilty (remember that one) on how he has not apologised is ridiculous and childish.

    Patricia, I suggest you put down your pitch fork for a moment and take a looked at it from a man's point of view. For a man to be accused of rape is very serious! If it is true, then he deserves the just punishment at the hands of the court system. If he is innocent, then what? That man has had a trial by media (if he is at celebrity status), or at the hands of friends and family. All of which completely destroys a lot of relationships. He can lose his job, family, and friends. Even if none of it was even close to be correct.

    "Articles" (And I use quotation marks because I'm not sure if you typed this or just smashed the keyboard with your head) do not help the situation. To spread stupidity like you have is a problem, and it needs to be addressed.

    I hate the word tropes and how it is thrown around as a derogatory word. Tropes in games, tropes in writing. If somebody instinctively defends themselves in a way that is stereotypical is it not natural?

      Some of my favourite recurring themes are considered tropes!

    "It’s about who is telling the truth. That’s important, of course, "

    Gee - that's big of you to acknowledge, before spending the rest of the article ignoring how important that aspect is and instead hitching up the hobby horse about how you think he should have "responded" to the allegation. That culminates in your opinion that he handled it badly because he spend too "much time trying to defend himself" and "and not enough time contemplating the idea that he might’ve messed up" - i.e. why is he defending himself rather than just admitting he is a rapist.

    As for relevance, the opening paragraph says that is something that we "as a gaming community" should talk about - why? What possible relevance does it have to us as a gaming community, rather than as any other community?

    Disclaimer: Rape is terrible, women and men found guilty of rape (with proof mind) should be strung up by their genitalia due to the lasting effects that their actions have on their victim and their families/friends and so on. That said...hoooo boy.

    "Temkin doesn’t completely apologise, and it’s hard not to read the parts about the legalities here as a threat to the woman. That’s not cool."
    And why should he? And the threats, yes it's an attack on the woman and rightly so. His reputation is at risk and she should be thankful he didn't just arc up and sue her straight off the bat. It's cool he had the self control to not destroy her publicly by countering the potentially frivoulous lawsuit she had chomping at the bit.

    "Or the fact that he reached out to this woman privately, and how at this point that’s kind of weird"
    Let's also not forget that this is and should have remained a private matter and not been aired on a public forum whilst all the facts were unknown. What's weird is that this article exists in the first place.

    "There is of course no right way to respond to being accused of raping someone. I don’t fault Temkin for not getting something like this completely right. Still, he handles it badly. He spends too much time trying to defend himself — which I understand as an impulse, given the gravity of the situation — and not enough time contemplating the idea that he might’ve messed up. Or, more importantly than either of these, taking the discussion in a useful direction."

    Where do I fucking start with this? I could just not, and I know this but jesus fucking christ can you hear yourself spewing this bile into public? You suggestion that he could handle it better implies that every guy be trained in how to deal with being accused of rape once they hit age 15. Oh yes, it's a big deal, a situation with much gravity, I understand the impulse, all fine points if you are a man, if you are a woman then none of this matters. A simple "oops, I accused someone of raping me" will suffice and nobody will bat an eyelid. We are talking about a situations with very few apparent facts and you grabbed the "all men are rapists or capable of rape therefore are guilty" brush and just went crazy.

    Legal rape is when a cock enters a cunt without permission, it is also when cunt covers a cock without permission (yes it works both ways). When someone is in a position to exert some manner of power over someone else and uses it for sex then you have rape. Inability to refuse above situations also constitutes rape. Any other situation that might be construed as being rape, the idea of mental rape, social rape and so on, is not, it is someone being an asshole, a colossal asshole to be sure but that's all they are being.

    Same effects as rape does not equal rape. Shit, having a nosebleed results in blood, cutting my wrists results in blood, they are the same right?

    In closing
    "Discussion about this piece has turned into an argument" Ya think?

      You suggestion that he could handle it better implies that every guy be trained in how to deal with being accused of rape once they hit age 15.

      I'm starting to wonder if that's not a bad idea...

      Oh yes, it's a big deal, a situation with much gravity, I understand the impulse, all fine points if you are a man, if you are a woman then none of this matters. A simple "oops, I accused someone of raping me" will suffice and nobody will bat an eyelid.

      Literally a day after this happened.

    I don’t fault Temkin for not getting something like this completely right.
    That's big of you.

    Still, he handles it badly.
    Do tell.

    He spends too much time trying to defend himself
    If we assume in the absence of evidence that he's innocent, there is no limit to the amount of time that is reasonable to spend on defending himself. He has been accused of something absolutely awful, if he feels it is appropriate to spend 24 hours a day defending himself from that accusation who are you to judge?

    — which I understand as an impulse, given the gravity of the situation —
    It's not an 'impulse'. It's the appropriate reaction if someone accuses you of something appalling which you didn't do.

    and not enough time contemplating the idea that he might’ve messed up.
    He categorically denies that he ever had sex with this person, let alone raped her. She has openly accused him of rape. Why on Earth should he spent one second contemplaing "the idea that he might've messed up"? This is the equivalent of someone accusing you of murder, and instead of aggressively rejecting that allegation, spending your time thinking about whether you didn't hold the elevator door open for them that one time. It's completely ridiculous.

    Or, more importantly than either of these, taking the discussion in a useful direction.
    WTFBBQ. He's been accused of rape in a public forum. He has no obligation whatsoever to perform some sort of public service, "hey everyone, let's not worry about what I have to say in my defence, let's all have a group hug and talk about rape culture" - seriously? There is no "discussion", there is just an allegation which he outright rejects.

    And then you quote Jezebel, the ultimate troll site.


    Last edited 17/07/14 10:29 am

      There is no "discussion", there is just an allegation which he outright rejects
      Which is my biggest issue with this article. It calls for discussion then instead of presenting two sides of an argument, it is a straight up man bashing, no holds barred. if it tried a bit harder to be unbiased I would, whilst not perhaps been in agreement that this is the right place to have the discussion, would nonetheless have let it run its course without interference but nope, no dice.

    I think the part of this article that annoys me the most are these three words: "Nevermind the non-apology".

    Assuming his innocence, there shouldn't need to be *any* apology. You are saying that any man accused of rape needs to apologise, whether or not he did anything wrong.

    This entire article was written from that perspective. Assume for a moment that you were (assumingly wrongfully) accused of what many would say is one of the two worst crimes possible... Would you want to apologise to the person who accused you? Personally, I would be extremely angry, throw every book I could at them, and perhaps start a conversation about how any man accused of this becomes the target of articles like this.

    Now, we have no way of actually telling who is telling the truth at this point (unless evidence comes to light). But assuming he didn't do it, and his post was from that perspective, the crime at play here wouldn't be rape. It is falsely accusing someone of rape. In that case, shouldn't he be starting a discussion about the actual crime at play?

    Or the fact that he reached out to this woman privately, and how at this point that’s kind of weird

    Seriously? I'm sorry, but if someone offends you, you don't go dealing with it publicly, you talk to them about it to try to resolve the problem. That's the polite thing to do. Fighting about it publicly only serves to belittle, embarrass and shame both people involved.

    Maybe Patricia thinks it's weird because she's stuck in the mindset that if she were ever falsely accused of anything, there's money to be made off writing an article about it, instead of talking about her issue with her accuser directly like a decent human being.

    I'm sorry, but everything was going fine up until the author said "he handled it badly". What? How? Did you expect we'd all pick up on that, because I certainly didn't. When you've been accused of a something like rape, it seems that taking the time to defend yourself would make perfect sense, especially since there's no evidence to suggest he was actually guilty.

    Commenters above me have already explained it perfectly. It feels like the situation has been completely misinterpreted and stretched out of proportion to fit the author's agenda, which she made the mistake of assuming that the readers would be on board with. And this is coming from someone who considers themselves pro-feminism and definitely against the MRA rape-culture bullshit that's become endemic to certain parts of the gaming community. Posting articles like this only makes those idiots feel validated. So think about it next time.

    Last edited 17/07/14 10:54 am

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