swimming and rape

"Swimming and Rape" cartoon by nakedpastor David Hayward

“Swimming and Rape” cartoon by nakedpastor David Hayward

I hope you’re keeping up on the story of the 23 year old Stanford student who was raped. This, in my opinion and the opinion of many is that this is a terrible breach of justice and indicative of what I hope is the growing acknowledgement that we live in a rape culture.

She writes in her powerful victim impact statement:

“The probation officer weighed the fact that he has surrendered a hard earned swimming scholarship. If I had been sexually assaulted by an un-athletic guy from a community college, what would his sentence be? If a first time offender from an underprivileged background was accused of three felonies and displayed no accountability for his actions other than drinking, what would his sentence be? How fast he swims does not lessen the impact of what happened to me.”

This is what inspired this cartoon.


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44 Responses

  1. Brigitte says:

    It’s an atrocity, of course.

    On the other hand, we have not answered the question we have raised before: if the new culture is that anyone can fuck anyone anytime and anywhere (also called “love”), without guilt, then how is it that a hot blooded male is now supposed to ask consent at every button of the blouse he opens. Is part of the pleasure not the complete giving into passion?–it really does have to be the right person, in the right place, under the right circumstance, and then you can give yourself fully to it.

    But that is too restrictive for many. Still, we can see that we cannot have it both ways. I don’t want to be in a situation where someone has to ask consent every minute. How is that fun?

  2. Brigitte says:

    You ask your wife for consent, every move you make?

  3. Seriously? You cannot compare the making of love between life-long partners to raping an unconscious woman behind a dumpster.

  4. Brigitte says:

    You asserted that consent at every step is “easy”. That is what the question is.

  5. Well yes. Consent is easy! It really really is. Lisa and I now know that consent can be the brush of a hand or the twinkle of an eye. Lots of signals of consent because we know each other so well. But those couples who just meet and want to engage in sex… there are more obvious ways of expressing consent or not that should be understood and respected. Have you seen this helpful video?

  6. Brigitte says:

    And committed marriage, is obviously what I am advocating.

  7. Brigitte says:

    Oh my god, is that ever a brilliant video. Sex is like having tea. A very unfortunate analogy.

  8. I suppose there’s gentle tea drinking. And I suppose there is vigorous tea drinking. Decaf and caf?

  9. Brigitte says:

    Have they not considered that sex is about the most powerful drive we have and that everybody is looking for love, like true love. In its own way the video promotes hook-up culture.

  10. The hook up culture is real. Providing good advice on how to be safe is necessary. Kind of like providing condoms in high schools to prevent worse things.

  11. Kris799 says:

    I love how Fundamentalist Christianity believes men should be in control of everything except themselves.

  12. Arlene says:

    Yes, consent is easy. If a wife says, “No, not tonight honey. I don’t feel good,” but her husband proceeds any way, she has not given consent, and he has raped her. A spouse can rape their suppose: end of story. If consent takes away “the fun” for you, too bad.

  13. BJW says:

    A woman was unconscious and a man was having sex with her. This is the definition of NO CONSENT, otherwise known as RAPE.

  14. Brigitte says:

    If you read the guidelines on consent, you have to ask for consent at each step of proceeding a little further. So someone might agree to passionate kissing but not petting, etc. Most of us have bee there, and we know how this usually goes. It goes kind of automatically and instinctively.

    It interferes with most people’s idea of what passionate love is to have to stop and ask every other minute.

    The hook up culture may be here for better or for worse, but again, let’s ask the biological females here: how many really want to be in hook-up culture? How many times do you want to have your heart broken? How many really want all the risks involved?

    Hook up culture is only to a degree less demeaning than actual “date rape” or not having given explicit consent to one particular act or another. If you are going to decry date rape (or probably worse, an unconscious woman found lying around), then should also have some words for the indignities of hook-up culture, whether you can stop it or not.

  15. Brigette: You say “Hook up culture is only to a degree less demeaning than actual “date rape”. I disagree. I know that’s the way things used to be, but it’s not any longer.

    Besides, we’re not talking about consensual sex here, wether you believe it’s immoral or not. This is about rape. Whether she was unconscious, unmarried, etcetera etcetera, it doesn’t matter. She was raped.

  16. Brigitte says:

    “Consent must be clear and unambiguous for each participant at every stage of a sexual encounter. The absence of “no” should not be understood to mean there is consent.”

    So the requirement is that consent should be given at every stage of the encounter.

  17. Brigitte says:

    “However potentially awkward it may seem, talking about your own and your partner’s sexual desires, needs, and limitations provides a basis for a positive experience.”

    At least someone admits that this is potentially awkward.

  18. I don’t think anyone said there wasn’t the potential for awkwardness. It can be awkward, especially for people who are new to each other. Longer term relationships negotiate these moments of consent smoothly.

  19. Wendy says:

    Thank you David. Another illustration that sums up the situation exactly. Excellent job.

  20. Brigitte says:

    If he dumped her after a “longer-term” consensual relationship, the cartoon could potentially work, too. It Could be a great illustration for that. She could be heart-broken, be pregnant, or have HIV, hepatitis, herpes, warts, low self-esteem, depression, and nowadays even Zika virus. We also have anti-biotic resistant gonorrhea now. Many of these problems have impact on child-bearing.

    To any female I would say: watch yourself very, very carefully. The future is worth protecting. Be smart. Certain situations carry more risk than you really want to expose yourself to. Don’t be foolish. Don’t be desperate. Don’t hang out with people who need a bunch of substance to have a good time. Don’t get into situations you can’t back out of when you need to. There are many who don’t care about your heart or health. Don’t be dazzled by money, prestige, or fun times. It is not worth it.

    To males who take advantage of females, I don’t know what to say, except: you are predators, not men, and certainly not lovers or athletes. The full force of the law should apply.

  21. Brigette: did you read her victim impact statement. She has advice for women too.

  22. Brigitte says:

    Thanks, I have only read a snippet somewhere.

  23. It’s linked above in the post. Be warned: honest, powerful, emotional, just.

  24. Brigitte says:

    I read the whole thing, now. It is brave and just.

    Still, it might be valuable, after all, for Brock to go around and talk about what is wrong with campus drinking, and so on. I have an acquaintance whose daughter went off to the University in Vancouver, who died from a drug, at her first party. Her young life was snuffed out just like that.

    I don’t see the victim here giving a lot of advice. She is speaking out about the impact of the crime and did not give up. Go girl. But as a mother and as a former University student, I really don’t want a woman to get into this situation in the first place.

    With my daughter, I gave her grief over various outings, and she is only thawing now that she has her own child. It is pretty tough to go against this culture.

  25. Caryn LeMur says:

    I read her letter. Heart wrenching! I had to skip over paragraphs.

    Found guilty of 3 counts, and given 6 months? Yes, he is a convicted sex offender now… but among the men that lived in the woods, that Bonnie and I took food to, were several sex offenders…. not one of them had a sentence this light. Not. One.

    If I read the story(s) correctly, the recommended sentence is 14 years…. one twenty-eighth of that recommendation was given to the felon.

    Surely, if it was murder 2 or 3, and the sentencing guidelines called for 28 years, this judge would give only 1 year. One. Year.

    After all, the murderer would have some amazing book to write, some great project to do, and we do not want to interfere with his future success.

    My mind is melted.

  26. Yes incredibly outrageous.

  27. Brigitte says:

    And still, you have to admit that rape is only the worst part of the underbelly of the culture. There is a whole whale of it to look at. There is rape, but there also is death, disease, there is drug addiction, the inebriation, there is looking at women simply as sex objects, rating them on their hotness factor, there is the never-ending pornography, there are the utterly disgusting songs, there is abortion, there is neglect, abuse and discarding when no longer exciting enough… and I am still wondering what will be said about that whole ball of wax, to help any young people navigate this minefield, outside of make sure he wears a condom. How and when should a young woman “consent” to have what kind of sex with what kind of person? The serious question remains, even after we have all condemned the perpetrator in this case.

    What did you tell your daughter, David?

  28. Brigitte says:

    How to navigate this scene and how to guard her heart and her body. And when to consent to what kind of sex. How should she figure it out before she possibly gets irreparably hurt. The kinds of things a caring parent would try to get across.

  29. Brigitte says:

    No answer.

    This came to me in the shower this morning: it also could be the picture of the woman left behind when her spouse of many years decides to become a woman, oblivious to the fate and needs of the actual woman. We don’t hear their stories told very much. Another way to wreck a woman’s life.

  30. Brigitte says:

    Your favorite publication, the National Review, has come out with an article about Stanford and hook-up culture.


    “Turner is a criminal, something liberals as well as conservatives should be able to agree upon. One can understand the judge taking the defendant’s age and lack of priors into account in sentencing, but to cite his drunkenness as a mitigating factor is peculiar. Oh, you were drunk when you robbed the liquor store? Reduced sentence. It may not be a crime to get blind drunk at a bar or party — but it’s reckless. Here is the truth that the Left will never acknowledge — the hook-up culture they celebrate and defend is the greatest petri dish for enabling rape and sexual assault imaginable. It does women no favors to tell them that the way they drink is irrelevant. It may not be a crime to get blind drunk at a bar or party — but it’s reckless. The Stanford woman’s blood-alcohol level was three times the legal limit. Again, that doesn’t make her a criminal, but who can doubt that, but for that, she would not have become a victim? Here is what the Right must come to grips with: Some of the women “crying rape” were truly raped, even if their attackers were not knife-wielding assailants jumping out from behind trees. The anti-constitutional adjudication system erected by universities to hear sexual-assault cases is a disgrace. The judicial system isn’t the whole answer either. Most cases of rape have no witnesses. They reduce to he said/she said. Those who care about innocent young people of both sexes whose lives have been blighted by the current mess need to step back. The problem is hook-up culture.”

  31. Um… rape was around long before the hookup culture was.

    About my daughter: we taught her to be fiercely independent, wise, confident, and loving. We also taught her that she will get hurt and how to respond to hurt. We also taught her that it is not a safe world for many women and that she needs to be careful. We also taught her about birth control, sex, and loving relationships, aware that she would have to learn a lot of that on her own. She’s doing well.

  32. Brigitte says:

    “Here is the truth that the Left will never acknowledge — the hook-up culture they celebrate and defend is the greatest petri dish for enabling rape and sexual assault imaginable. It does women no favors to tell them that the way they drink is irrelevant. It may not be a crime to get blind drunk at a bar or party — but it’s reckless.”

  33. Brigitte says:

    To say that rape was around long before hook-up culture, is like dismissing the whole trauma for women, once more.

    It’s like saying: ” there have always been unwanted pregnancies so lets all mess around as much as we want.”

    In one of my incarnations, I was a crisis-pregnancy counselor. In those days, women would come in for a pregnancy test and more often than not, they were not actually pregnant. So what happens then? You have in front of you now a young woman, who is in a very teachable situation. She has had a very near miss. She is ready to look at her life, and see how she got to where she is and how she was almost (most of the time) in a place where she had three difficult options: abortion, single parenthood, or making adoption plans.

    So first of all you clarify, that those options all were not great for most people, for this and that, and this reason… Let them explore it.

    Second of all, you let them see that there were certain behaviors that let them come into this position. It is high time for some deep analysis. Most often they were not in a supportive relationship. Often they drank quite a bit and worried that a potential embryo/fetus/baby had been exposed to alcohol and might be affected by that already. This was a big one. (I drank and now my baby might have had FAS and what not.)

    You try to help them find some redirection and a better support system. You refer them to appropriate people in the system. You get them to connect with their parents and people who care for them, when possible. You follow up. You try to get them to give up abusive partners and situations. But this is very difficult. They can’t seem to want to get out enough. They can’t imagine something better.

    Often, they cry a lot; many have a wake-up call. You try to get them to be realistic about quite a number of specific things. For women things are quite realistic in effect. They bear the prime responsibility in many burdens, and they are more easily hurt and they suffer more serious and longer-consequence health effects.

    But the very serious long-term health effect, is an intangible one, it is the matter of the heart.

    When you have been with a number of guys, when you have had your first brushes with disease or pregnancy, or have had one, or two, or three abortions, your heart is not what it was. You can only give a very special present away so many times before it loses all of its value.

    I did not advocate provide birth control for my daughter. I expected her to have sound judgment and control of the situation. I expected her to not become vulnerable around strangers or friends alike. As she is adopted and does not look like me, she is stunningly gorgeous, the first baby of a teenage mother who chose open adoption. As she is a blond bombshell, as they like to say, she has had many inappropriate comments come her way, and many unappealing suitors. One of them two-timed on her, as she was not “putting out”. So he found someone else to sleep with, while he courted her.

    It was to my great relief when she married a childhood friend and got settled. We fought about going out to bars. We fought about how she dressed. We fought about the kinds of parties at University. Whether or not it did her much good, at least she was cautioned. Certainly, there is no way to supervise all that. In any case, sex ed in school inculcated whatever it did inculcate. One teacher gave slide shows about sexually transmitted diseases that were graphic. I am not against that sort of realism and I certainly did not withhold it from her. She is smart and tough, but what is a mother for.

    On the flip side is the explaining the specialness of a lifelong relationship build on a foundation of fidelity and truth. With all that is difficult in life, it is still worth aiming for. What is all wonderful about sex, we don’t need to explain a lot; it explains itself.

    In any case, the risks are so great, the stakes are so high, the impact on future happiness is so great, the hurt when things go wrong so profound, we need to give our girls the very best advice. We must.

  34. Whoa Brigette. Those are a lot of words you put in my mouth and I’m choking on them right now.

    You suggested that this rape happened because of the hook-up culture. I said no. That’s it.

    And this isn’t to condone hook-ups and drinking too much and everything else. It’s just to say that there really is no excuse for rape that should exonerate the perpetrator.

  35. Brigitte says:

    I think we have agreed on the latter, some way back, and so did the National Review.

    Also, there is no particular causality between this particular rape and this particular party. It was a particular incident that needs proper investigation and proper judgement.

    I am speaking only very generally. What is it we should say or do as parents, elders, counsellors… to minimize the risk for women. We bear some responsibility to impress on them the seriousness of the concerns, and the dangers that lurk, since they lack experience and since we also bear some responsibility in making things very clear for them. Overall, I was trying to give the benefit of my own experience to whomever it could possibly mean something.

  36. Brigitte says:

    I do admit that I felt a kind of flippancy in how you put it, which compelled me into the whole thing.

  37. Headless Unicorn Guy says:

    “I love how Fundamentalist Christianity believes men should be in control of everything except themselves.”

    The more POWER, the less Responsibility.
    Ask Caesar Caligula, Caesar Nero, Caesar Eleglabius, Comrade Dear Leader Kim Jong-whatever…
    They achieved the Ultimate: INFINITE POWER, ZERO RESPONSIBILITY.
    “Just Because I CAN!”

  38. Headless Unicorn Guy says:

    One word: ATHLETE.
    I’m only surprised it was Swimming instead of Football.
    (But then if he were Football, he probably wouldn’t even have been charged.)

  39. Brigitte says:


    Do you want any of these guys anywhere near your precious young daughter? Even if they don’t rape?

  40. Brigitte: You seem very interested in the hookup culture. But it really has nothing at all to do with this cartoon and post or this story of the rape of a young woman by a complete stranger she never met before. Although I suppose at the root of a rapist and a hooker-upper is the disdain of women and the urge to inflict violation upon them.

  41. Brigitte says:


    Poignant analysis of these days. The absurdity of our outlook on sex and when and why to have it.