I like to think of myself as having a thick skin. Yes, there's a lot of really really bad stuff out there in the world, but I find little of it truly surprises me. And when it comes down to it, if I'm not surprised, I can't really be all that up in arms. After all, my Hobbesian view of the world anticipates truly bad stuff and considers it normal. But once in a while, something gets through and after reading the incriminating piece, I stand up from the computer and actually pace, feeling tears of rage well up in my eyes and the tiny particles of idealism I have left rupture.
And this one almost didn't reach me, a fact that my conspiratorial side is going to repress because it's not germane to the story, though I find it interesting that this didn't warrant a passing mention in the paper of record.
Read this. (Think the folks at the Guardian are a bunch of dirty pinkos? Fine, read this.)
No. Really. Read this. READ IT!
Then come back.
Now for the only important part of this case. The only part it seems both parties agree on: there was sex and it wasn't forced.
She says it. He says it. There was consensual sex.
After the fact, when she discovered he wasn't what she thought he was, it somehow morphed into non-consensual sex. The kind that sends people to actual prison where they can experience the gamut of non-consensual sex.
Now, before you reverse the ethnic makeups of this story and decide whether or not you think this argument would hold water then, please try, as I am DESPERATELY TRYING TO DO, to think about examples where race or ethnicity have nothing to do with it and ponder the validity of the following claims. It was rape because afterward I learned he was:
a wwf fan
a bmw owner
in love with someone else
missing a toe
missing a kidney
not a member of mensa
not a graduate of an ivy
not a doctor
a gas station attendant
your best friend's ex-boyfriend from high school
Yeah. I'm done. This list could literally go on forever.
And before we get all high and mighty that this kind of nonsense would never happen here in our land of the free, let's make sure we truly believe it (he didn't tell me he was muslim/an illegal immmigrant/in favor of Obama's socialist policies). Cause I can't say with any assurance that I couldn't see some judge, somewhere in our great country pronouncing the same verdict which, while striking a vomit-inducing blow against equal rights SIMULTANEOUSLY weakens the definition of rape and, when the blowback comes, will negatively affect the actual victims of rape.
Rape is serious. And perilously open to interpretation. After all, if you punch someone in the face and later on that person discovers something about you he doesn't like or realizes he had one too many drinks, the punch doesn't suddenly become attempted murder. And as pissed off as I am at this woman and this judge, I am equally pissed off at women's groups who, in order to preserve the rights of actual rape victims, blindly side with any woman who changes her mind after sex and chooses to call what happened rape. Bad decisions are not actionable offenses. And, for all parties concerned, consensual sex after a 10-minute discussion in a convenience store is a bad decision. Women who don't own up to their own bad decisions shouldn't complain when they're not treated equally in other environments; after all, they just said they couldn't be held responsible for their decisions - they made themselves unequal.
Frankly, I don't even know what to do with this information. Yes, there's a lot of horror out there, but I expect most of it. In war, there will be war crimes. It doesn't make them any prettier, but it doesn't shock me to learn of them. This: a woman accusing a man (and a judge convicting him) of rape because she later discovered she wasn't keen on his ethnicity? Never saw it coming. Cannot even conceive of it. Which is my fault and naivete. But, jeez, what do I do now that I have this information? It turns out I bitch and moan and conceivably make myself ineligible for any job in the future that would find my opinions on this matter questionable.
I can only hope that when the dust clears, Saber Kushour has the mother of all civil cases against, well, anyone involved in his prosecution. After all, that's the American way!
2 weeks ago