On Life and Love

Two weeks’ linkage, ah, ah, ah

For two weeks’ worth of links, there aren’t very many. Then again, I do still have 173 unread items in Google Reader.


  • guyblade

    I had previously heard of the Arab who was convicted of rape for (essentially) being an Arab and have to say that I tend to come down on the other side. If his name had been Stevie McCrapshispants (of the New Hampshire McCrapshispants) and he was hiding this fact due to the name being embarrassing, would it still be rape? The question in my mind is this: if he were not an Arab and instead was hiding his French or German or Russian heritage, would he still have been tried? None of these questions lead to happy places.

    • Gregory Weir

      I’m on the fence about this one. It seems analogous to the question of whether fraud is equivalent to theft, although that comparison is oversimple and problematic itself.

      An extreme example of lying-to-get-sex: suppose identical twins, Bob and Bill, so similar that you can’t tell them apart by sight or mannerism. Bob is married to Cathy. Bill poses as Bob to have sex with Cathy. Is this rape? It seems clear to me that it is.

      On the other hand, what if you told a woman you were rich to get her into bed, when you really weren’t? That seems a bit more iffy. It’s certainly a sleazy, wrong thing to do, but I don’t think I’d call it rape.

      The relevant issues in the Arab/Jew case seem to me to be: 1) He actively lied; it wasn’t a lie by omission, and 2) She would have objected strongly if she had known the truth. Presumably, he knew this, which is why he lied. A deliberate lie to cover up something that would make the person not have sex with you? I think that’s pretty much rape.

      • guyblade

        My initial hearing of this issue was from the guardian coverage which goes into substantially more detail as to the events. Of course, it primarily presents the accused’s argument since the accuser has yet to make a public statement on the issue. In it, the accused alleged that the only thing he actively lied about was his single status. He alleges that he made no statements about his religion or ethnic background, but that they were likely incorrectly inferred due to his “Jewish” nickname and ability to speak Hebrew fluently.

        • Gregory Weir

          If his account is true, I think it’s only slightly in his favor. He still lied in such a way that she would sleep with him. I’m not sure that lying about your marital status is any different than lying about anything else, even if it pains me as a polyamourist to say so.