Rush Limbaugh complains about nonconsensual sex being called rape


#1

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2016/10/13/rush-limbaugh-complains-about.html


#2

Limbaugh is the walking poster child for Dunning-Kruger.


#3

My brain hurts again.


#4

What’s the problem here? He’s right.

He just needs to be more explicit about the opposing point of view. Exactly what do Conservatives think on this subject? Take your time. No hurry.


#5

If we didn’t already have the word blowhard we’d have had to coin it when Limbaugh emerged from the ooze about 20 years ago or whenever it was.


#6

Yes!

Mr. Limbaugh, you have just passed the Ideological Turing Test: you were able to correctly state your opponents’ rationale for their view.

So, now that you understand the opposing point of view, can you explain why this point of view is wrong?


#7


#8

Is… is he starting to actually get it?


#9

Libertarians, generally more to the right, would agree.


#10

Of course he’s right that consent is the magic word.

The problem is that he’s saying it as if it’s a bad thing.


#11

In other words “the left” believes every individual should be free and treated with equal respect, that every person deserves the right to decide for themselves how to act.

But don’t tell Limbaugh that.


#12

"It’s tempting to think that somewhere in Limbaugh is a decent man on the precipice of an epiphany"
Only the most optimistic of optimists would hold out hope that a Grinch Who Stole Christmas-esque ethical awakening is possible.
I wish I could beam him to the center of Aleppo …


#13

I’m actually a bit surprised: I always though of Limbaugh as a fairly dim specimen(albeit possessed of ample reserves of low cunning); but he has actually put together a largely accurate, fairly concise, and reasonably incisive analysis of ethics related to sex(if perhaps overemphasizing the number of ‘leftists’ who are actually good enough at Twister to make N-party sexual encounters work properly, the geometry is nontrivial).

It’s just that this seems to enrage him.

‘Consent’ is the ‘magic key’ to the left(though we are inclined to indulge in musings on bounded rationality, situational power imbalances, etc. as well); but that’s not some kind of myopia or a folly we are laboring under because we just can’t sort out our incoherent position; that’d the whole damn point.

The fact that he understands this; but is still working himself into a rage about it; is really, really, damning. The people who think that ‘the left’ is basically interested in sex as a source of fetuses to abort and ever more depraved and transgressive kinks to spread STDs and squick god and man are morons; but the straw man they imagine themselves to be against would arguably have a somewhat unhealthy position on sexual matters.

Rush, on the other hand, appears to have a pretty good idea of what ‘the left’ is interested in; but apparently prefers the good old days when gays knew their place and it was impossible to rape your wife because you owned her body as soon as her father agreed to the transfer of chattels from his household to yours.


#14

The chilling thing is that he has apparently figured that out; but appears to consider it a sign of just how depraved ‘the left’ is; with their vision of a grim dystopia where ‘consensual’ homo-sex runs rampant and good, honest, heterosexual rape is demonized…


#15

Thirty-two years he’s been spattering the airwaves with his muck. Thirty-two!

And his first job in talk radio was as a replacement for Morton Downey Jr.


#16
As Limbaugh is useless at both decency and conservatism...
What? He's great at fighting to maintain his own privilege. That's conservatism.

#17

The inference from the whole passage is that he thinks consent is not the key, it’s whether the act is moral or not. That the lefts care nowt for morals as long as everybody consents. He goes on to compare actual oral sex in the oval office to talking about “lewd acts” and while I know there are so many things to unpack from that I could write a book, I think he’s focussing on morality.

Which might sound like I’m apologising for him… But I’m really not. This is just as bad. He seemingly doesn’t consider consent as part of morality. As long as it’s good old sex between a married man and wife (I’m filling in what I assume are his ridiculous moral codes), who cares if either one wants that sex?

But wait, wasn’t Trump actually talking about people he wasn’t married to? Wasn’t he married to somebody else? What is Rush’s moral code? As long as you’re a rich white American man, you can do anything?

I don’t often wish a bad things on people, but it’s people like him —so disconnected in his little morality cult— who really need the experience on what it’s like to have somebody do something to your body against your will. If there were a way to demonstrate that that didn’t leave you scarred for life, I’d be all for making it mandatory. I’m certain it’d change his opinion on some things.


#18

Never mind, I found the rest of the transcript of that episode. There’s more, but I think this is the meat of his point.

Morality is what it is. Virtue is what it is. And you either are or you aren’t. And the left doesn’t like that so they’ve obscured the lines and the definitions. And the definition now is moral is whatever you can get somebody to do with you, consent. You can do anything. If you could get the dog to consent with you, if you can get the horse to consent, we got no problem with it. And they don’t! So morality has been boiled down to consent, is my point, and it’s true.

So it’s said here, “If morality is relative to each individual – a purely subjective experience – by what standard are they judging Trump? Obviously, in such a secular climate, there can’t even be a ‘standard.’ Why should anyone listen to people who out of one side of their mouths declare the death of objective moral standards yet out of the other condemn someone for violating objective moral standards?”

Because, you see, morality is not subjective. “Human beings possess the capacity for rationality and objectivity. We’re able to distinguish what’s good and what’s bad,” and we know it. We know right from wrong. We know good from bad. We know what we should do and what we shouldn’t do and the left wants to not feel guilt when they engage in what you shouldn’t do. And the way to get there is to simply erase the concept of objective morality. There isn’t any. You don’t get to define it. Nobody else does. You get to define your own. And therefore you can’t criticize.

Well, in this atmosphere, how does anybody dare preach to Donald Trump? When we have spent the last 25 or 30 years obliterating the moral code, when we have blown virtue to smithereens, who are you phony baloney, plastic banana, good-time rock ‘n’ rollers all of a sudden now sitting in judgment of Donald Trump?

Okay, you had it, Rush, and then you lost it.

First of all: by “consent,” we mean “meaningful consent.” Meaningful consent can only occur when there isn’t a power imbalance. There is a power imbalance between an adult and a teenager, so there can’t be consent there. There is a power imbalance between a human and an animal, so there can’t be consent there. Teacher and student, employer and employee, superior officer and subordinate. When one person holds power over the other, even if consent can be obtained, it isn’t meaningful consent, as the power imbalance means that the risk of coercion is too high to trust that consent.

Second: No, we aren’t disagreeing with the statement that “Human beings possess the capacity for rationality and objectivity. We’re able to distinguish what’s good and what’s bad.” We’re just disagreeing on the specifics. An act is bad in that:

  • By carelessness, recklessness, or intent
  • It causes harm to a person
  • Who did not consent to the risk of that harm
  • Either because of lack of knowledge of the risks, or because they were coerced into that action anyway.

That’s really what it boils down to. It’s not right to harm someone else, or even to carelessly risk harming someone, unless they know about, and consent to, the risk or the harm.

So no, we don’t disclaim the idea that there is an objective “right” and “wrong,” just that there is an objective “right way” and “wrong way” to have consensual sex.

And though most humans are hypocrites in one way or another, we aren’t hypocrites for judging Trump. We can disagree about which shades of grey are black, and which are white, but that doesn’t mean that we don’t agree that some are clearly brighter than others.

Yes, there are deeds that are “objectively good.” Full stop.

Yes, there are deeds that are “objectively bad.” Full stop.

Yes, if there is consent from all involved parties (and any parties that the involved parties are likewise involved with), then we believe that meaningful consent is the only thing that matters in a sexual relationship. Full stop.

But no, no, NO, the fact that we don’t believe that consensual sex is “objectively bad” doesn’t mean that we lose the right to call some other deed bad.

We believe in right and wrong, Rush. We just don’t believe the line falls exactly where you do, and that kind of difference of opinion does not negate our duty to tell Trump, and those who consider voting for Trump, that he’s on the wrong side of that line.


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#19

Then define consent.

Do I need to verbally ask my wife if she wants to have sex?
Do I need to ask my wife if would be willing to have sex with me?
Am I allowed to do this in a non verbal way?
Am I allowed to touch her without asking first?


#20

Oh, but you stab ONE guy, and suddenly they’re calling the MURDER police!