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Um…

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As Amanda says, the third incident retold here — which involves a guy lying to his partner about using a condom and going right ahead until she finds out that he’s lying — isn’t a cute anecdote about a bad hookup.   It’s sexual assault.   Consent obtained through false pretenses isn’t consent, and STDs and potential unplanned pregnancies are serious potential issues, not something to chuckle about over a Bud Lite Lime Ice and email to Penthouse Forum a second-rate sports site.*   That his reaction involves resentment and self-pity rather than remorse makes it extra special.

*Passing along tales of sexual assault for laffs aside, shouldn’t Deadspin be a lot better than it is?   We could really use a replacement for Fire Joe Morgan, but as of now it ain’t it.   I remember clicking over after the best regular season day in MLB history, and the lead stories were the least interesting sex scandal in known human history (“Brian Cashman had szzzzzzzzzzzzzzz….) and some story about Philadelphia sportswriters exchanging angry tweets.   There are talented writers there, but there seems to be a lot of that kind of dross.

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  • wiley

    Safe to say, me Cara and Marissa are all no longer friends. Oh well.

    Yeah. “Oh well.” Asshole.

  • sleepyirv

    Yeah, deadspin is starting to reflect mainstream holier-than-thou sportswriting with a slight dash of creepy sex columns (the cockblock series has been rife with stories like this). I’m not sure if it’s because Will Leitch left or what.

    The commenters remain great though. Not sure if deadspin editors do enough to deserve their readership.

  • CraigoMc

    Actually most (if not all) states do not consider fraud in the inducement of sex to be a crime. They should, but they don’t.

    • chris

      It has always seemed to me that the hard part of this is deciding which lies are sufficiently material to invalidate consent.

      Criminalizing partners that don’t actually respect you in the morning, or aren’t actually looking for a long-term committed relationship, etc., is Right Out — not that anyone actually suggests that as a goal, but it establishes that there does need to be a line.

      Someone who claims a higher social status occupation or wealth then they actually have may be a bit of a jerk, but are you really comfortable with criminalizing them?

      What about someone who passes as a different ethnicity? Should that be considered rape or some other crime if the partner wouldn’t have consented if they had known the truth? (ISTR that this actually happened in Israel, but I don’t know what came of it.)

      It’s a huge can of worms once you start to actually get into it.

      • blowback

        He was sentenced to jail:

        http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/israel/7901025/Palestinian-jailed-for-rape-after-claiming-to-be-Jewish.html

        Though the case may have been a bit more complex, it appears the woman was a serial rape victim who might have been raped by the Arab:

        http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-11329429

        The Israelis continue to use the charge against Arabs:

        http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/israel/7901025/Palestinian-jailed-for-rape-after-claiming-to-be-Jewish.html

        Note that one of the women claimed she was 42 when she was actually 59, so on equality grounds she should also have been charged with rape by deception.

        But as Gideon Levy says (see first link above):

        “I would like to raise only one question with the judge. What if this guy had been a Jew who pretended to be a Muslim and had sex with a Muslim woman. Would he have been convicted of rape? The answer is: of course not.”

      • calling all toasters

        Extremism in pandering to Marcotte is no vice.

        • NBarnes

          It’s true that the She-Devil Marcotte wields great influence in Internettingham. Defy her at your peril!

      • Lying about a condom is of a different order than lying about pursuit of a relationship. Not wearing a condom can have PHYSICAL ramifications, not just psychological ones.

        • Scott Lemieux

          Right. There’s a big difference between lying about liking Coldplay to try to get someone into bed and putting them at risk of being pregnant when they’ve made their consent contingent on minimizing said risk.

        • Anonymous

          Legally, there isn’t. The only fraud that is generally considered criminal is fraud in the factum, where the victim is deceived as to whether a sex act has occurred at all. Consent obtained under false pretenses is still consent at common law. I don’t like it, but this is not a prosecutable offense, no matter how despicable.

          • mpowell

            I think you’re not understanding the discussion. You might be correct as to the legal question, but we are debating what the law ought to be.

            I agree with Scott and Julia that you can distinguish between fraud in the form of lying about who you are and fraud in what you are doing. Sex without a condom is a different act from sex with a condom and we can draw a pretty clear bright line there.

  • Rob

    Gawker is a terrible publisher and its pay structure just encourages this.

    • Charlie Sweatpants

      This. Fake self deprecation is not a get-out-of-jail-free card.

  • heckblazer

    Having sex without a condom despite the express wishes of the partner is one of the charges being pursued against Julian Assange.

  • crayz

    If a woman lies about taking the pill, is that also considered sexual assault?

    • chauron

      Nope, because, surprise! Dudes don’t get pregnant. The “assault” portion is the bit where her bodily autonomy is being compromised by his fucking semen.

      • Walt

        I knew there would be some bullshit reason why it didn’t apply to guys. And here it is!

        • chauron

          Yep, you got it. Tricking a woman into contracting an STD and getting pregnant are exactly the same thing as a dude not being able to force a woman to get an abortion because he wanted to fuck but didn’t want to wear a condom.

          • Saurs

            Pesky biology, thwarting dudes’ ability to be victims of Lying Golddigging Bitches!

          • soullite

            Forcing a man to become a parent against his will clearly entirely justifiable!

            Sometimes women are completely fucking retarded. They think that they are the only ones who should have any say in when they (or the men in their lives) want to have kids. That is a biological necessity with abortion, but trying to expand that self-serving ideology to believing that women have every right to lie about birth control is bullshit you selfish shitbag.

            • ploeg

              Tell y’all what. If you don’t want a woman to be carrying your kid without your consent, get that all written up (you expect the woman to have taken birth control regularly for a month before the act, and that the woman will get an abortion if that doesn’t work out), and ask the woman to sign that document before sex. If you do this, I assure you that you will have no problem with any woman carrying your kid without your consent.

              Seriously, if you think that it’s even a remote possibility that a woman will do bad things with your semen, don’t let her have any. This isn’t hard.

              • I agree with ploeg.

              • Stitch

                Sometimes women are completely fucking retarded.

                Also don’t have sex with the mentally disabled.

              • Marek

                +100

        • chauron

          Your attempt to conflate physical autonomy with some pitiful MRA-fuelled whinge re child support is noted and found stupid. Find a real-world example where dudes’ bodies are treated like disposable incubators whose only purpose is to provide a warm and wet place for a parasite to grow, and then you might have something there, pal. A woman lying about using control against conception doesn’t have anything to do with a dude’s physical person. So, what’s your fucking point?

          • Walt

            You apparently are reading a much longer comment than the one I actually wrote. I’m impressed, though, that you come right and argue in favor of a woman’s right to lie about using birth control.

            • If you are so concerned about the use of birth control, use it YOURSELF.

              Take charge of your own life! Don’t be a victim!

              • Marek

                +1 million

          • Anonymous

            To be fair, I think it’s more about consent than child support, but if a guy’s that concerned about pregnancy he’s got a handy solution: go to 7-11 and buy a condom. Women don’t really have that option if a guy LIES ABOUT USING A CONDOM. There’s nothing at all the same about a woman not being truthful about using the pill and a guy ‘forgetting’ to put a condom on.

            • crayz

              If neither partner has STDs, then it seems a fairly analogous situation. The woman could choose to use birth control to prevent an unwanted pregnancy, including the morning after pill after the fact (an option a man will not have)

              If an unwanted pregnancy does occur, it’s the woman who is physically burdened by it but also the woman who is able to make the decision to terminate it (whereas the guy would be legally on the hook for supporting the child whatever his preference for the pregnancy)

              No one disagrees that this sort of lie is a shitty, shitty thing to do, but I don’t think it helps to conflate it with an assault

              • Saurs

                Men have the option of never getting anyone pregnant. In a world where rape is both possible and common, and nobody’ll agree to tie your so-called tubes unless you’ve already had a coupl’a kids (for you might “regret” the decision later, silly and flighty woman that you are), women don’t have the option of never getting pregnant.

                • wiley

                  No one will you give you an IUD before you’ve convinced them that you have zero interest in having kids and are getting close to menopause anyway.

              • mpowell


                No one disagrees that this sort of lie is a shitty, shitty thing to do, but I don’t think it helps to conflate it with an assault

                I don’t know. There is definitely a tendency to refuse to acknowledge the problems with this kind of thing in the process of establishing how different it is from not using a condom. The back and forth gets kind of ridiculous.

                But the idea that you would ever criminalize lying about the use of birth control is pretty absurd.

                • Marek

                  I disagree. I could see a criminal charge. Assault is an unwanted touching. Someone might be willing to touch you (or be touched) with a latex barrier, but not otherwise.

      • soullite

        That isn’t the law. Coming into contact with semen is considered an inevitable biproduct of sex. The FRAUD part is the only part that is actionable in any part of the US.

        • chris

          Coming into contact with semen is considered an inevitable biproduct of sex.

          Except for the fact that it’s actually pretty much evitable, if you bother. I think “usually unremarkable byproduct” might be more accurate. Exceptions should be made for things like STDs.

      • chris

        Because the consequences of conception end at birth, as everyone knows, and thus are only relevant to one person.

  • Santa Claustrophobia

    For what it’s worth, Parks and Recreation is apparently in some kind of decline. So Ken Tremendous might eventually have some free time to resurrect FJM.

  • c u n d gulag

    Believe me, I’m no pollyanna, and haven’t been a saint, but I’m at a loss as to why anyone would want to read these stupid stories?

    Is this like the flip side of the old Penthouse Forum letters, which you were sure 90%, if not more, of what you read was BS?

    Dude, I’m no more interested in how you didn’t get it, than in how you did.

  • DrDick

    *sigh*
    Some of us have come a long way in the past 40 years. Others, not so much. Stories like this are the perfect rejoinder to conservatives who claim we do not need civil rights laws any more.

  • soullite

    And no, this wouldn’t be considered sexual assault in most places. Neither is sleeping with a woman who has four beers in her, or pretending to be an astronaut, or lying about your religious/political beliefs. Feminists and their allies really need to stop lying about what laws say.

    If your partner is fully conscious, you aren’t committing rape every time you have drunken party sex. If you aren’t someone’s twin, pretending to be someone very specific in their life at a Halloween party or some other very specific and clearly fraudulent behavior, then you aren’t going to run afoul of these ‘rape by deception’ laws either.

    These laws were meant to combat very specific behaviors and circumstances that rarely actually crop up but would not trigger other specific statutes when they do. They were not meant to put in place feminist notions of ‘enthusiastic consent’, or to turn every woman into a child with no agency or responsibility for her own actions. Pretending otherwise merely muddies the water and makes prosecutions more difficult than they already are.

    Just because someone is an asshole doesn’t mean they belong in jail. That is a lesson Americans really fucking need to learn.

    • Eber

      Just because an act “wouldn’t be considered sexual assault in most places” doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be. There’s a difference between “being an asshole” and “forcing your sex partner to come into contact with your sexual fluids risking disease/pregnancy against their explicity stated will”.

      If this was a case where a woman sabotaged her male partner’s condom, I would consider that sexual assault as well.

    • Anonymous

      There’s nothing remarkable or noteworthy about this kind of garden-variety misogynist, frat-boy assholery on its own.

      What’s remarkable, though, is when you consider this is coming from someone who considers themselves the true face of the left. The mind, it reels.

      • c u n d gulag

        Dennis,
        Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz…

      • mpowell

        Eh, he’s already acknowledged that he’s pretty self centered about his political views. It’s not really out of character.

    • SeanH

      What a surprise: women are all of 50% of the population, none of which includes soullite. So forgive him if he can’t get upset about rape by deception while bitches are lying about birth control pills, amirite?

      • DrDick

        The interesting part is that in almost sixty years, I have never known a woman to lie about being on the pill.

        • chris

          What’s interesting about that? Your sample size is small (don’t worry, I only mean that literally, not as some kind of double entendre) and probably nonrepresentative.

          And I bet you don’t know anyone who has ever lied about using a condom, either. (Really, how hard is it to check? What are these people doing for foreplay anyway… on second thought, don’t answer that.) One incident somewhere + internet + monkey brains tuned to react to everything as if it occurred in a community of <100 = HUGE PROBLEM!

          • chris

            …the above should not of course be read to say that *actual* sexual assault involving a lack of consent isn’t a serious problem, whether it is common or fairly rare.

            But it’s rather questionable whether lies belong in that category.

  • RhZ

    shouldn’t Deadspin be a lot better than it is?

    Its a Nick Denton property, so, no.

  • Leeds man

    I lived in an off campus apartment with 3 of my fraternity brothers…

    This could not possibly end well.

  • mark f

    Can every douche with a keyboard please stop aping Sports Guy tics?

    • DrDick

      No. This is an inherent part of being a douche.

  • Halloween Jack

    *Passing along tales of sexual assault for laffs aside, shouldn’t Deadspin be a lot better than it is?

    Are you taking the piss, or did you forget that it’s a Gawker blog? This is the same blog that published pictures of naked Juggalettes (without even trying to rationalize what they were doing on a sports blog); Gizmodo had the flap over a contributor who wrote a post describing her refusal to have a second date with a guy because he was a former Magic: the Gathering champion (and before you go “well, duh”, consider the heavy overlap between the M:tG crowd and the readership of a gadget blog), and even Jezebel, which still has affectations of being a feminist blog, had a post from someone who flirted via text messaging with serial partner abuser Charlie Sheen. Denton isn’t even pretending anymore.

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