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Update: Final update added 8 PM PST 6/23/11

In round two I interview Salon writer MaryElizabeth Williams on the topic of what was so objectionable about my blog post Pegs and Holes. (See prior posts for more background.)

MaryElizabeth Williams is a senior staff writer for Salon.com, an author, and has written for The New York Times and other publications. She recently wrote this about me.

Let's jump right in.

MaryElizabeth: Why did I object to your post? Perhaps you meant it humorously, but let's start with the way you lump "behaving badly, e.g. tweeting, raping, cheating, and being offensive to just about everyone in the entire world" together. Cheating is "behaving badly." Raping is a crime. Right off the bat, you're working off fuzzy logic, in which a consensual affair and an act of violence are somehow on the same plane. You do so again later when you suggest that if men were to "lose the urge for sex," there'd be "no rape, fewer divorces," as if rape was all about the "urge for sex."

You state that "society is organized in such a way that the natural instincts of men are shameful and criminal while the natural instincts of women are mostly legal and acceptable...society has evolved to keep males in a state of continuous unfulfilled urges, more commonly known as unhappiness. No one planned it that way." Your presumptuousness over the natural instincts of men is surpassed only by your wild second-guessing regarding those of women. And society, by the way, is plenty planned. Ours here in America, in fact, was planned by, and its government and businesses are still largely run by, men. So instead of going on about the "instincts" of men and women, consider what our culture deems acceptable behavior from all its members, of both sexes. I would furthermore submit that if our society is "a virtual prison for men's natural desires," you've never been to Vegas.

Now let me ask you - do you believe that rape is a "natural" instinct, or that our culture doesn't differentiate between the "urge for sex" and forcible violation? 


Scott: I'll start by answering you closing question. I think sex is a natural instinct, and it manifests differently in different people. A person who is simultaneously horny, prone to violence, and has sociopath tendencies might act in the worst possible way. That person would be abnormal, and I favor the death penalty for rape. Violent behavior is natural in the same sense that cancer and hurricanes are natural. Natural doesn't mean good. Everything I just explained was obvious to many if not most readers of my Pegs and Holes post. You can verify that claim by reading the comments on this blog and on Huffington Post.

On your other points, let me see if I can break them down to bullet points and get your agreement on what you are saying before I respond to them individually. I believe you are saying...

1. Men who have no sexual desire and no erections will still rape because it's not about the sexual urge.

2. If an author lists three things that are bad, he means all three things are equal to each other. For example, if I say blizzards, ulcers, and head lice are bad, I am implying that they should be treated the same way.

3. Society didn't evolve as the result of millions of people making millions of independent decisions. It is mostly the result of planning by men who successfully designed society to meet their needs. 

4. Men can get their natural urges satisfied by, for example, traveling to Las Vegas. Their wives and girlfriends won't mind. There's no real downside. 

5. You can't tell when I'm trying to be humorous. 

Did I accurately summarize your points?

MaryElizabeth: So to be clear, you're saying do believe that "horniness" is a factor in rape. I wonder, have you ever known someone who was raped? Are you aware that rape is used as a weapon of war? Men who have "no sexual desire and no erections" do rape, Scott. Ask someone who's experienced it. Ask Abner Louima, as just one example.

Further, I wonder why you're backing off from your own use of "tweeting, raping, cheating" and "no rape, fewer divorces" in the same lines of thought. You may facetiously compare your post to saying "blizzards, ulcers, and head lice are bad," but I would argue that if that had been your original statement, you'd have been rightly accused of posting utter gibberish.

Instead, you referred, in the most blanket-like of terms, to the "natural instincts of men" as "shameful and criminal."  You're the one who called men "square pegs" and referred to "males in a state of continuous unfulfilled urges." You made no such distinction, as you do now, for the more "prone to violence" and "sociopathic."

And let me see if I understand you correctly - society has evolved from "millions of independent decisions"? I guess the Constitution can go suck it.

Finally, just because someone can tell when you're attempting to be humorous, it doesn't follow that you're succeeding at it. Likewise, just because people disagree  with you, it's not always a sign they're just not as smart as those HuffPo commenters. Perhaps if there weren't so many of us with what you deem poor reading skills, you wouldn't have the need to create imaginary defenders. (http://www.salon.com/entertainment/tv/feature/2011/04/19/scott_adams_sock_puppetry_scandal) I'd like to believe that you've reached out to your critics because you have a genuine curiosity to understand why your remarks were so offensive to so many, Scott. Or is that one more thing I'm apparently all wrong about?

Scott: If you're lumping together every type of rape from war crimes to date rape to child rape to prison rape, most generalizations fall apart. I will grant you that when rape is used as a weapon of war, horniness is not the inspiration for the act. And I will grant you that if an erect penis is not used in the crime, horniness is probably not involved. And I will grant you that if someone who is seriously insane commits rape, it might not involve any horniness. And I will grant you that there are probably dozens of other twisted motivations that don't start with horniness.

My original reference in my Pegs and Holes blog involved the IMF chief and his alleged rape of the hotel maid. In that case, I don't think he first had an urge to do some violence and decided that his penis was the go-to weapon of choice.

Chemical castration drugs already exist, and have proven extraordinarily effective in reducing recidivism rates among sex offenders. The science is on my side. If you have a link that shows otherwise, I am happy to look at it.

And yes, I've known a number of rape victims. I don't draw conclusions from anecdotal evidence, but horniness was obviously a factor in those cases.

If we can set aside for a moment the clarity, or lack thereof, in the writing of my original blog post, can you tell me what view you think I hold that is different from your own? And please put your answer in bullet point form if you can.

MaryElizabeth: Let's look at how you're changing your narrative here. "My original reference in my Pegs and Holes blog involved the IMF chief and his alleged rape of the hotel maid." Your original post about "tweeting, raping, cheating" declared that "the natural instincts of men are shameful and criminal while the natural instincts of women are mostly legal and acceptable. In other words, men are born as round pegs in a society full of square holes. Whose fault is that? Do you blame the baby who didn't ask to be born male?"  That's not a specific reference to Dominique Strauss-Kahn, who, by the way, is not accused of "horniness" taken to an extreme, but of orally and anally assaulting a woman.  A refusal to take no for an answer may be a "factor" in some sexual assaults, but "horniness" does not lead to rape, Scott.

You go on to state, "Chemical castration drugs already exist, and have proven extraordinarily effective in reducing recidivism rates among sex offenders."  Yet in your original post you said, " Society is organized as a virtual prison for men's natural desires..." and whimsically imagined that  "science will come up with a drug that keeps men chemically castrated for as long as they are on it."  You didn't say, "sex offenders." You said "men." The entire tone of your post    suggests the two are indistinguishable in your mind, and that   " if a man meets and marries the right woman, and she fulfills his needs, he might have no desire to tweet his meat to strangers" ie, the burden of responsibility falls upon women to keep "bad behavior" in check. It's a very cynical and incredibly depressing way of looking at the world.

What views do I think you hold that's different from my own?

-      That, as you stated earlier this year,  "women are treated differently by society for exactly the same reason that children and the mentally handicapped are treated differently." I don't regard my sex as differently abled subset of society.

-      That society forces males to exist  "in a state of continuous unfulfilled urges, more commonly known as unhappiness" (Perhaps you could clarify what society you're speaking of. Is there an Unhappiness Island I'm not aware of?)

-  That "It's a zero sum game. If men get everything they want, women lose, and vice versa." I'm not convinced this general "men" you speak of all want the same things. The men   right now fighting for the right to marry their same-sex partners in New York want something very different than the men of the National Organization for Marriage. Hugh Hefner, whom you claim never got "a round hole for his round peg" likely has damn near everything he could want, if whatever he does want, it's probably not indicative of what Justin Bieber wants. And I don't believe in a world where one gender always has to win and another has to lose.  I think better of humanity.

Here are few questions for you: What are you hoping to communicate with posts like "Pegs and Holes"? Is it means as strictly satire? And if so, why bristle when people take the bait? 

Scott: On your first bullet point, you are making my point for me. The actual point of the earlier blog post you mentioned was that men don't argue in situations where the cost of doing so is greater than the gain. The world is watching you make that true for me right now. This debate will probably reduce my income by a third, as feminist forces have already mobilized and started to ask newspapers to drop Dilbert. That's the sort of risk that men don't have when they engage in a debate with other men.

The exception would be when anonymous men on the Internet debate with women. In that case they have no downside risk and are willing to fully engage. But nothing is gained by it beyond entertainment.

On your second bullet point, regarding men existing in a state of unfulfilled urges, I'm referring to the fact that men (gross generality alert) have hearts that want a relationship with one person and penises that want a thousand different women. Neither marriage nor single life can satisfy that condition. And our current society discourages any other sort of arrangement.

Woman (gross generalization alert) are biologically less inclined to crave continuous sexual variety. That's a statement about evolution. If you have a link that disproves that notion, I'm happy to look at it.

Someone will mention that men and women cheat at about the same rate. But research has shown that cheating isn't about sex for either gender. Cheaters generally just want someone to treat them the way they want to be treated.

Obviously it wouldn't be a point of disagreement if you were to say that many people differ from my gross generalizations. I said the same thing in Pegs and Holes: "Everyone is different."

On your third bullet point, you argue that life is not a zero-sum game for the sexes. That's probably true for economics. But my blog post was about natural urges. If a man you barely know wants to have sex with you, and you'd rather not, you can't both be winners. Society has to pick sides, and you won. I think we both agree that is the best solution. Even the man who wants to have sex with you is glad he lives in a world where his mother/daughter/sister can safely say no.

You asked what I'm hoping to communicate with posts such as Pegs and Holes. My only goal is to be interesting. Ideas are society's fuel. I drill a lot of wells; most of them are dry. Sometimes they produce. Sometimes the well catches on fire.

My next question: Do you support the death penalty for rape, as I do, or are you relatively pro-rape compared to me?

MaryElizabeth: First of all, Scott, your continued assertion regarding the risks "that men don't have when they engage in a debate with other men" is a stellar example of why people find your views offensive. It's insulting, it suggests that talking to a woman isn't worth your time and effort, and when you stoop to do so, you face retribution from the "feminist forces." Here's a thought: if as you claim anyone is asking for your strip to be dropped (and for the record, I am not among them) can you consider that maybe it's because of the things you say, rather than because you've so benevolently deigned to engage in a conversation with a female?

Now, let's consider your idea that "If a man you barely know wants to have sex with you, and you'd rather not, you can't both be winners." So much to unpack! What if it's a man you know well? It gets back to what you wrote about how "the natural instincts of men are shameful and criminal." You're not making the distinction between wanting to have sex with someone and wanting to force her to have sex. And to couch sexuality in terms of "winning" and "losing" just sounds really juvenile. If a woman says no to sex, the man "loses" and the woman has "won"? I will however cop that for a man who views the world that way, the burden of male "unhappiness" you spoke of earlier must be great indeed.

You say, "My only goal is to be interesting. Ideas are society's fuel." I think that sums up the essential difference in where we're coming from. I don't write to be "interesting" (go ahead, peanut gallery, take the straight line). I'm not bored or jaded enough to write just to get a reaction. My Irish firmly in the "up" position, I'm here because I care passionately about these issues, and about the world in which my two daughters are growing up. I don't want their ideas and opinions dismissed as too troublesome for a man to squander his energy on, or to have to put up with what you refer to as "gross generalizations" about their sex.

Now, regarding your question, "Do you support the death penalty for rape, as I do, or are you relatively pro-rape compared to me?" Oh Scott. Oh really. You're just messing with me now, aren't you? What's next, you going to ask when I stopped beating my wife? You can't honestly believe that being opposed to capital punishment is tantamount to be in favor of sexual assault, can you? Where's that great logic you pride yourself so much on?

Scott: I think this would be a good place to stop. I'd like to thank MaryElizabeth for being a good sport and for trying to make the world a better place in her own peculiar way.

I feel as if this has been an Internet-wide conversation, with many websites joining in the debate. I leave it to readers to decide whether it was wise for me to engage in an honest conversation on this topic or whether it would have been smarter to apologize for any alleged offenses and slink away. Here's a link that should help you answer that question.

To the women who are not batshit crazy, and fortunately that is most of you, I apologize for any lack of clarity on my part was deemed offensive. I'm reasonably sure we agree on all of the important stuff.






 

 

 
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Jun 24, 2011
The death penalty thing was a bit cheap Scott.

I think applying cost-benefit arguments would say life in prison is both cheaper (about a third the cost IIRC) and just as deterrent - no-one does a high risk crime expecting to be caught.
 
 
Jun 24, 2011
good job scott. i love it how you are always playing in the meta game. i wonder if she finally got it with her closing remarks? that you point blank showed her the logical fallacy that she and others have been using on you.

i really would like people to think of the whole conversation in a complete context. not piecemeal as the internet is so fond of doing. and remember, no advice should be taken seriously coming from a cartoonist!!!!

keep it up. always providing a good laugh at the expense of your detractors. even if they dont ever get it
 
 
+6 Rank Up Rank Down
Jun 24, 2011
I have two things to say:

1. Your original point, chemical castration, might reduce the crime rate, but it won't solve the problem of men being in a constant state of unhappiness. Instead they will be in a state on numbness, me thinks (lobotomy, anyone?. There must be a better solution.

2. A lot of people don't get what you write or what you intend to say. You want to reach a large audience. A good artist (you said so yourself, when I remember correctly), is able to reach many people. You would be a better writer if more people understood you. You cannot select your audience on the internet, as you have seen.
 
 
+3 Rank Up Rank Down
Jun 24, 2011
Scott, three remarks:

1. Thanks for the round pegs and square holes post. We (men) all know everything you said to be true - which does not include all men to be rapists btw - and it is nice to see it said publicly from time to time, just to remember we're not alone in there.
2. Thanks for the reminder that this truth is not yet ready for women to hear. I sometimes feel the urge to share this burden, and I keep reminding myself that my wife is not the right person, although for all other topics she is.
3. I think your mistake is that as you first pointed out that your post was distorted by LRC people, your answers to both persons you interviewed should have been catered for this audience. You fell short on that account (IMHO) which pretty much explains that both discussions failed to get anywhere.
 
 
-2 Rank Up Rank Down
Jun 23, 2011
Scott knows there are view points people are not allowed to be perceived as having. Well to be more accurate, people are allowed to have those viewpoints but they aren't allowed to have them and be successful. This was covered in a previous post about how much freedom of speech we really have (free from the government but not society).

Scott is smart and pragmatic, so why is he having this costly argument. Any frequent reader knows he doesn't care about the issue. I don't like to think he is martyring his career for freedom of speech from economic factors. I prefer to think it either isn't as costly as it seems or he is planning to profit from it somehow.
Maybe this is his escape from the sinking ship of newspapers to the tropical island of blogging and web-comics. You can be as offensive as you like on the internet so long as you are generating hits.
 
 
Jun 23, 2011
MaryElizabeth wrote: "I'm here because I care passionately about these issues, and about the world in which my two daughters are growing up. I don't want their ideas and opinions dismissed as too troublesome for a man to squander his energy on, or to have to put up with what you refer to as "gross generalizations" about their sex."

If you really care about understanding and honest debate you should be willing to understand human nature in all its facets, rather than attempting to impose an idealization upon it.

It's incredibly difficult, especially for women, to talk about gender differences honestly, without hysteria (yes, hysteria) so Scott deliberately pushed the envelope, and you fell for it.

Since you care about your daughters and want them to be happy, will you coerce them into science, engineering, politics, etc, in order to settle some gender score, instead of letting them follow their strengths and desires, whatever they may be?

Will you have them believe that while the frat boy parties are dangerous, the chess club nerds are perfectly safe?

Will you teach them that male sex drive is basically something men should be ashamed of, and that they need make no effort at age 27 to satisfy their cohabitating boyfriend of 4 years, who then gets frustrated and leaves. Then they "just have fun" for a few years of one night stands, until cohabitating with a younger man (who is still sweet and gets "feminism")in their early 30s because gender and age are just a construct and love is what really matters, at least until he gets tired of her or gets the blue ball treatment and dumps her, then she is even older and barren and bitter and goes back for a masters degree in women's studies then at age 38 gets artificially inseminated, perpetuating the cycle.
 
 
Jun 23, 2011
MaryElizabeth wrote: "You're not making the distinction between wanting to have sex with someone and wanting to force her to have sex. And to couch sexuality in terms of "winning" and "losing" just sounds really juvenile."

And she's missing the more important distinction between thought and action. She is unwilling or unable to view it from a man's perspective. Doing so might cause her to empathize.

Implied fallacy is that men can be more or less safely divided into good and bad, reformed and unreformed, shamed and shameless.

The devil inside, the devil inside, every single one of us, the devil inside.....
 
 
Jun 23, 2011
Scott, you were doing great up until the point where you implied that upsetting women would result in harm to your business interests, while upsetting men would not. If what you meant was that pissing off women's groups had the potential to harm your career, but pissing off men's groups wouldn't, then I agree. But it sounded like you were suggesting that women were malevolent enough to want to harm your career for expressing an opinion they disagreed with, but that men would never do that. Men do this all the time. (See, e.g., every major religious or so-called "family" watchdog organizations whose entire raison-d'etre is to try to get adult-oriented TV shows taken off the air).
 
 
Jun 23, 2011
ahh, the liberals are at least occasionally entertaining!
 
 
Jun 23, 2011
"That's the sort of risk that men don't have when they engage in a debate with other men."

Entirely untrue. If you said the same things about black men, for example, you'd be !$%*!$%
 
 
+10 Rank Up Rank Down
Jun 23, 2011
I'm glad you had this debate. When you first proposed interviewing these writers, it seemed like you just wanted to make them look stupid (because of the warning about how it wouldn't end well for them). But it was actually an interesting exchange, and both of you came off pretty well. And it was actually really nice to see the feminist viewpoint get space on this blog, even though you were disagreeing with it.

The e-mail interview format is actually extremely fair, because both participants get to explain themselves at length, after careful thought.

And the apology for lack of clarity is very much appreciated. I understand why you don't view your original post as legitimizing rape, or sympathizing with rapists in any way. But this subject is so important, and there is so much victim blaming and apologizing for rapists, that I think it's important to go out of our way to be clear, to get it right, to emphasize that rape is a horrible crime that is never okay.
 
 
Jun 23, 2011
I'd be happy to have Scott as my neighbor. I can't say the same thing about Iren or MaryElizabeth, based on what I've read here.

This has been enlightening and somewhat entertaining, but I'll be glad when it's over.
 
 
Jun 23, 2011
@Tesseracts

I interpreted that part of her article as saying that he stated his sexist view in a clumsy way.

She later said: "I'd like to believe that you've reached out to your critics because you have a genuine curiosity to understand why your remarks were so offensive to so many, Scott. Or is that one more thing I'm apparently all wrong about?"

To me, this roughly means "I'd like to believe that you've come to find out why your statements are sexist, but maybe you can't accept that you have sexist thoughts and just wanted to have fun at my expense. Which is it?"

Lastly, when she brought up the quote from the blog earlier this year, she implied that he meant that women are differently abled, which is a strong form of sexism.

It could be confirmation bias, of course, but it seems to me that she is treating Scott as an un-repenting sexist, although at least one who is willing to talk about his thoughts.

As for the exit by analogy trap, you are right that it might not work. In a live debate it is an easy trap to fall into, but by email, she should not fall for it. That being said, I still think it is the gambit that Scott was trying for when he asked that inflammatory question. Questions like that are bait. Maybe he has a different gambit in mind, but he is clearly not trying to get everyone to think that she accepts rape. He is building to something with it and the smartest thing that MaryElizabeth can do is avoid the question.

If she responds by pointing out that it is a false dilemma and completely irrelevant, he can win the debate easily from there. It's sort of like sacrificing your queen in chess. If she doesn't respond and returns to her blog and points out how dumb the question is without taking the bait, then she wins to her readers and Scott never gets to show is hand to his readers.
 
 
+10 Rank Up Rank Down
Jun 23, 2011
I kinda lost interest in this debate and was unable to absorb any further comments after Scott stated, "feminist forces have already mobilized and started to ask newspapers to drop Dilbert". I find it a bit disturbing and hope those that would pull a stunt like attempting to destroy someone's ability to make a living for no other reason than that person puts forward a point of view that they find offensive or simply disagree with is among a very very small minority.
 
 
Jun 23, 2011
@Diane1,

Scott says that society has to pick sides only insofar as the specific urges are concerned. In that simplistic (but common) scenario, one side's urges wins and the other side's loses.

The blog in question states rather clearly that modern society is predicated on men keeping their urges in check. Since men (and women) gain a lot from having a modern, advanced society, it is true that men can come out winners if all of us (or most of us) manage to keep our base urges in check. Unfortunately, when some of our base instincts get out of hand (ranging from yelling matches to bar fights to wars on the violence side and ranging from unwelcome comments to harassment to rape on the sex side), we hold the advancement of society back. I'm not sure I want to be chemically castrated, but the thought experiment is a valid one.

The second chapter of Moral Landscape by Sam Harris has a similar thought experiment with psychopaths. Psychopaths meet the definition of sanity from a psychological perspective (they can tell right from wrong) but they are unable to see the downside in doing something wrong if they are told in advance that they won't get punished for it. Psychopaths cause an enormous amount of problems to modern society. He pose the thought experiment of whether or not we would put a medicine (if it existed) in food that cured psychopaths but had no other effect on humans in general. The answer in that case is almost certainly yes.

If male urges are holding back society too, would we consider a "cure" for them?
 
 
Jun 23, 2011
You made an unfair argument there in the last question (posted as of this reading) regarding rape and the death penalty. You know full well that she opposes the death penalty for everyone (even cartoonists) and now you're asking her to state that she's pro-rape compared with you. A very smoove move, sir. I approve.

If she bothers to proceed further, she'll next demand that you prove that the death penalty is even effective at preventing rape before she will accept the premise of the question... at which, point, I suppose we need input from necromancers and/or researchers from Umbrella Corp to determine if zombies are capable of rape.

*chortle*
 
 
+4 Rank Up Rank Down
Jun 23, 2011
Scott said "If a man you barely know wants to have sex with you, and you'd rather not, you can't both be winners. Society has to pick sides, and you won."

I can think of several reasons why a man might "win" if he abstains from having sex with every woman he wants to, but do the terms "winning" and losing" have anything to do with not acting on every natural urge you have? Who says society has to pick sides?
 
 
Jun 23, 2011
"And let me see if I understand you correctly - society has evolved from 'millions of independent decisions'? I guess the Constitution can go suck it."

This is about the worst misreading of a statement I've ever seen, and shows an incredibly poor grasp of how human society has evolved. She makes it sound as if the Constitution is some kind of a priori object, that the concepts encoded within it sprung fully formed out of its creators' fertile brains, like they were channeling the Zeitgeist of the universe at large and not the culture in which they lived.

Unless she is going for humor as well. In which case I can only say FAIL.

It's eternally fascinating to me how difficult most people find it to separate their political and social views from any type of debate. I suppose it is good that they are so passionate about what they believe in, but the end result is that they have completely closed off any avenues that might challenge their cherished belief system. It's fascinating, but also kind of sad.

Also sad: how she is seemingly incapable of grasping the concept of "generalization", rebutting with specific examples that have no relevance to the larger point. If Scott said something like "men are taller than women" would she come back with examples drawn from the WNBA to "disprove" that point? I suspect even she would recognize that as a ridiculous argument, yet with a straight face, she brings up gay couples as a counterpoint to his generalizations about male sexuality. MaryElizabeth, please understand: NO GENERALIZATION WILL COVER EVERY SINGLE CORNER CASE IN THE WORLD. That's what makes it a "generalization".
 
 
Jun 23, 2011
Scott,
Please consider the following rape scenario: A guy and a girl have been dating for a little while. They have had sex with each other previously. They enjoy a night out together that involves large !$%*!$%*!$ of alcohol. The guy and girl end up back at his place and are in bed together fooling around. The drunk girl passes out. The extremely drunk h0rny guy makes a misguided and selfish decision to have sex with his passed out girlfriend. The next morning she questions him as to what happened and he admits to it all. Scott, do you think this guy deserves the electric chair?
 
 
Jun 23, 2011
In this sentence, Ms. Williams argues that sex does not have anything to do with forced sex: "A refusal to take no for an answer may be a "factor" in some sexual assaults, but "horniness" does not lead to rape, Scott."

Scott, you might want to ask her what the man was asking for when he was told no in the first place. He wasn't asking for sex? So he didn't want to have sex with her when she said no? So his level of "horniness" had absolutely nothing to do with it? Horniness in and of itself does not lead to rape, but it has an impact; anger and insanity most certainly play huge roles. She seems to have Freudian notions that sometimes there's some great meaning behind everything. Sometimes when a person dreams about potatoes all it means is that they want to eat French fries.

I agree that rape, narrowly defined (some extremists, like the late Andrea Dworkin, would include all !$%*!$%*!$% as rape), should lead to the rapist being killed by the State. You should call her out on her ad hominum attacks of have you ever known anyone who's been raped; most people do know someone and it's an intellectually dishonest thing to ask (as is the "relatively pro-rape compared to me" but you are responding in kind).
 
 
 
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