Friday Feminist Fuck You: Seth Rogen

The R-rated trailer:

Approximate transcript after the jump.


This week we offer a big Friday feminist fuck you to Seth Rogen and the crew behind Observe and Report.
Here at feministing, as you all know, we’re not exactly uptight–as the tired old feminist stereotype goes. We curse a lot. Okay, a lot. We love ourselves really dirty jokes. Heck, we’ve thrown up graphic clips from Wanda Sykes. There’s not much that’s off limits.
But Mr. Broman Comedy Dude of the moment, Seth Rogen, is seriously misguided if he thinks women are going to sit happily and giggle at the date rape scene in his new movie. Essentially Anna Faris’ character gets horrifically drunk, throws up, and passes out in a bed. As Seth Rogen’s character is basically grinding away, he suddenly pauses and appears to have a crisis of conscious, soothed immediately by Anna Faris’ character coming to and grumbling, “Why’d you stop motherfucker?”
It’s not funny Seth. First of all, one out of six women in this country is sexually assaulted in her lifetime. Which means a whole lot of your bromen are confused about what consensual sex is. Is the laugh you get worth making them even more confused? Basically giving them permission from one of the most adored dudes of the moment to not take rape seriously? Yeah, we didn’t think so.
Come correct Seth. Put out a statement apologizing for your stupid humor and start working to prevent sexual assault instead of making light of it. Otherwise 52% of the movie-watching population just might stay at home when your movies hit the theaters.
A big Friday feminist fuck you to Seth Rogen and crew. Peace.

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199 Comments

  1. Allegra
    Posted April 10, 2009 at 11:20 pm | Permalink

    I agree with the people that questioned targeting Seth Rogen for this scene. Yes, he agreed to go through with a scene that is morally questionable, but he isn’t the one that decided the scene was funny– the writer (Jody Hill) did. Isn’t that more of a crime? At the very least, shouldn’t we at least say that BOTH Rogen and Hill are at fault, Hill for writing it and Rogen for agreeing to go through with it? I don’t think it makes sense to single out Rogen for this.
    Also, to answer a speculation someone posed, he isn’t the executive producer or anything in this film, just the lead actor.
    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1197628/

  2. jaja
    Posted April 10, 2009 at 11:26 pm | Permalink

    what is so immoral about a law that says a drunk person should be held liable for their actions., if she had run someone over and killed them, do you think she should be prosecuted for it?
    and i’m not sure i believe the law in canada says a drunk person can’t consent. little research i’ve done indicates it’s more nuanced than that

  3. Cicada Nymph
    Posted April 10, 2009 at 11:35 pm | Permalink

    Ok, at the risk of making a lot of people angry, this scene was not as bad as I feared. I got the impression from the trailer that she had given consent and then passed out while they were having sex. I thought Seth stops, not because he is having a moment of his conscious bothering him, but because Anna has stopped answering him and he just realized she is passed out. He then continues after she yells at him to. My impression was that if she had not yelled at him to continue he would have stopped for good. I realize that having sex with somebody who is wasted but awake and gives consent can be considered rape and I think sometimes it is. If the girl doesn’t know what is going on cause she is so wasted, for example. However, I think the situation has to be taken into context. I have had a lot of sex with my ex while wasted and twice with dates while drunk. And yes, the bf sex was sometimes after I was so drunk I puked. (I since learned my limit) I wanted the sex and knew what I was doing and never felt taken advantage of. Granted, the guys were smart and good enough to ask for multiple reassurances that I wanted sex and to continue, etc. This movie scene makes me somewhat uneasy because I do believe that it may further add to the confusion of what is rape and not, but I don’t really consider Rogen a rapist in this film just from the trailer. I would need to see more of the film and what is said before they start having sex to judge that.

  4. Qi
    Posted April 11, 2009 at 12:34 am | Permalink

    As someone who read Carol Clover’s, Men Women and Chainsaws years ago, and who thinks she has a lot to contribute to the analysis of horror film, I do think that Clover’s emphasis on the “Final Girl” can be over-exaggerated, particularly in the slasher genre. By Clover’s own admission, the scene where the Final Girl is fighting the killer is awfully brief: only twenty minutes in Texas Chainsaw Massacre, which she identifies as the film which introduced the concept, and an even shorter time in Friday the 13th and Halloween. How can a portion of the film which is only emphasized in the final fraction of the film be the central point? Do moviegoers really go to see horror/slasher movies to see the final struggle between the Final Girl and the killer?
    I doubt it—they probably go to see horror/slasher movies to see the killing, which is why the killing portion takes up a majority of the film.
    But a bigger problem with the argument, in my opinion, is that while her entire point is that young male viewers supposedly identify with this character, for a majority of many of these slasher films we do not even know who the Final Girl is until the very end. In Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Friday the 13th, and more recent films such as Descent, we are left guessing. How can viewers identify with a character whom they do not even recognize?
    I would argue that one of the unique features of the slasher genre (beginning with Psycho, whose main innovation was killing off the main female character) is the way that it messes with character identification. Most people are inclined to identify with the character(s) they meet first—this character is most likely to be the protagonist. But in horror and particularly slashers, the films are introduced with a ‘teaser’ scene where the first characters you meet are killed off. One could easily build a narrative around this teaser scene as one could off the final girl phenomenon.
    If the Final Girl is guessable, it is because she has certain traits that Clover calls ‘boyish’ but are in many ways simply traditionally conforming. The Final Girl is usually characterized as being far more cautious, prone to fear, and abstains from having sex or taking drugs. The ones who are killed as the teens who have sex and take drugs, and generally exhibit too much confidence that nothing bad will happen to them. As Clover admits, there is a double standard where women’s death scenes are usually far more extended and tortuous than the men’s.
    Seen in this light, the Final Girl is nothing but an extension of a conservative morality tale—while killing off the women that violate traditional norms of morality, she gives the viewer an “example” of the wise, cautious woman who survives. And by defeating the killer, she completes the circle of political correctness: not only is approved behavior in women rewarded, but good triumphs over evil.
    This is not to say I don’t think Clover’s concept is valuable—only that we should ask ourselves some questions about how central the Final Girl really is to any given movie or genre (a) Is she easily identifiable from the beginning?, (b) Do her traits vary freely between films of the genre/is she able to violate traditional norms of behavior and get away with it?, (c) How central is her action really to the film, or is she just a vehicle to bring the film to a tidy feel good conclusion?after audiences have enjoyed their ‘guilty pleasure’?

  5. LisaCharly
    Posted April 11, 2009 at 12:37 am | Permalink

    I don’t much like the implication that anyone who didn’t “go to college and have a women’s studies professor put them in their place” is ignorant or incapable of recognizing sexism. Some of the people most sensitive to women’s issues I know didn’t even finish high school, much less take a women’s study course in college.

  6. mczz
    Posted April 11, 2009 at 12:42 am | Permalink

    I was blown away by that scene, and I couldn’t believe the laughter in the audience. But I guess I’m just naive.
    But the whole movie was just god-awful, I really wanted to leave halfway through.

  7. Qi
    Posted April 11, 2009 at 12:47 am | Permalink

    One final point, in the slasher genre, while all films have graphic violence and death, not all of them have a Final Girl (Wolf Creek, Last House on the Left, The Devil’s Rejects, Texas Chainsaw Massacre The Beginning). Besides adding to the confusion over audience identification, I’d argue that the features that are most consistently repeated in a genre are the most central to the genre’s essentials, and for slasher-horror, that is clearly: the victims.

  8. Strikingclaw13
    Posted April 11, 2009 at 12:51 am | Permalink

    Amen to that…a college education is not a req. for being wise to the ways of the world. Let’s not be snobbish…

  9. Penny Dreadful
    Posted April 11, 2009 at 1:12 am | Permalink

    And where the hell do you see any of those things going on in the scene portrayed? She is laying, almost lifeless (to the point of him stopping and looking concerned) and mumbles something drunkenly.
    Jesus, I went so far as to protect myself to come up with a type of ongoing explicit consent with my boyfriend, whom I trust very much. The general rule is if I’m drunk and I initiate, it’s fine, but otherwise he has to ask.

  10. mczz
    Posted April 11, 2009 at 1:14 am | Permalink

    There is vomit on the pillow. That “consent” is not valid because of how drunk she is.

  11. mczz
    Posted April 11, 2009 at 1:24 am | Permalink

    Unless I’m seriously mis-remembering this, she doesn’t react the next morning, nothing is ever said about it. Except for the part where Seth Rogen slut-shames her at the end for having sex with his enemy.

  12. mczz
    Posted April 11, 2009 at 1:29 am | Permalink

    He did not seem to be drunk, he was shown consuming a fraction of the amount of alcohol as she did (not to mention the pills she took) and for all intents and purposes was represented in the scene as sober.

  13. Ismone
    Posted April 11, 2009 at 2:09 am | Permalink

    Hey, if a drunk woman ties your drunk ass up and rapes you with a strap on, she is totally responsible. You are not. That’s right–she is still a rapist, even if she is drunk.
    Likewise, if a drunk person gets behind the wheel and hits a drunk pedestrian, or a drunk rapist rapes, the person COMMITTING A FUCKING CRIME is the one GUILTY OF A FUCKING CRIME.
    We cool on that one?

  14. Ismone
    Posted April 11, 2009 at 2:14 am | Permalink

    I agree that there can be implied consent, but I disagree that an unconscious person can consent, implicitly or not. Unless, unconscious person said, (in such a manner that a rx. person would believe him/her) hey, it would be totes cool if you started fucking me while I was asleep.
    (Some people are into that kink. I have no problem with it.)
    But there does have to be affirmative consent, which can be a kiss, a touch, responsiveness, or an “oh god yes please.”

  15. Ismone
    Posted April 11, 2009 at 2:30 am | Permalink

    How can you tell from that clip that she said yes?
    Also, if one person is intoxicated beyond the point of consent, yes means nothing.

  16. Jacob
    Posted April 11, 2009 at 2:33 am | Permalink

    The whole movie is about Seth Rogen’s character Ronnie, who is obviously mentally disturbed. He is a very delusion and violent person whose life has obviously been extremely shitty (mother is an alcoholic, father left him and his mother because he didn’t want to take care of a “mentally challenged” son, there aren’t that many parts of the movie that talk about his past but the general vibe his life sucks)
    The character Ronnie is also an extreme asshole, he makes a homophobic joke about a guy who works with Anna Faris’s character (than does the whole “i’m just kidding” thing). He is mean to this one girl who gives him coffee all the time (even though he is also sweet and caring, and they end up dating at the end of the movie, where he makes a disgusting comment about how his girlfriend is a born again virgin who made a promise to not have sex before marriage but he is planning on “making her break that promise”). Also, Seth Rogen’s character is racist, especially towards a character, Saddamn, who is Arab (he calls him a terrorist and Saddamn tells a detective that Ronnie is always harassing him).
    With Anna Faris’s character, Brandi, there are a few creepy incidents before and after the date rape incident.
    To get Anna Faris’s character on a date, he offers to drive her to her car (she is scared because the of the flasher) however Ronnie does not let Anna Faris’s character get out of the car until she promises to go out on a date with him (he even strokes her hair even though it is obvious she is turned off by him). This scene is supposed to be portray Ronnie has a creepy, delusional loser who really thinks he has a chance.
    Sidenote: The character of Brandi is depicted as a stupid, bitchy slut who parties all the time. I personally think the writer did this in order to make the things Ronnie does to her “okay”.
    During the scene before the date rape, Ronnie waits outside Brandi’s house. She comes back pretty late from a night of partying, obviously already pretty buzzed. She agrees to go on the date (first she says she has to pee and Ronnie says “should I come in with you”. Again, this is used to make Ronnie seem like a creepy clueless loser.)
    At dinner, both Brandi and Ronnie are drinking, but Brandi is obviously ten times more fucked up the Ronnie through the whole dinner. What makes Brandi even more out of it is that she sees Ronnie taking medication and asks to take some. Ronnie gives her the pills to keep and Brandi ingests a bunch of pills. So while Ronnie only had a few drinks and is obviously extremely sober, Brandi is extremely wasted and now extremely high off the pills as well.
    Another side note: Before the date, Ronnie has a conversation with her mother. The mother tells him how when she first met her father she knew she would “fuck him that night and marry him”. Ronnie says “I hope that happens too”. So Ronnie is definitely going into the date with the mindset “I will fuck Brandi”.
    Ronnie and Brandi get back home, Brandi pukes a little, obviously fucked up, and Ronnie says “I accept who you are” and kisses her. The kiss is very creepy because he basically pulls her towards her and forced his lips upon her. Than Ronnie walks Brandi to her house (she can barely even stand). Than the movie cuts to the scene you see in the trailer.
    I definitely saw it as date rape because she is obviously out of it (there is no way she couldn’t have been) and Ronnie’s character would definitely date rape someone, and the writer and the movie are aware of this. He is an anti-hero, he is a bad person, and bad people date rape.
    Another part of this movie that extremely pissed me off and that made no logical sense to me is “why didn’t Ronnie go to fucking jail”?
    For those who didn’t see the movie (spoilers coming up) Ronnie does a couple things that should have sent him to jail for life.
    During the movie, while Ronnie is having a break down and going crazier and crazier, Ronnie goes under cover to catch the flasher. During one of the days Ronnie is going under cover he is looking at Brandi through binoculars (because he is in love with her and always fucking creepy) and sees her leaving the mall and being sneaky. Ronnie than goes to see what she is up to and catches Brandi fucking the detective (Ronnie’s enemy in the movie).
    After this, Ronnie goes to Brandi and screams at her, calling her a bitch and slut, and breaking the glass counter because she “cheated on him”. This causes Ronnie to be fired.
    However, Ronnie refuses to leave the mall. So the mall calls the cops. The cops come, plus the detective, and end up having to physically escort Ronnie out of the building. Ronnie ends up getting in a major brawl with the cops and beats up at least 15 or more of them with a giant heavy flash light. Isn’t assaulting a cop a federal crime? Ronnie loses, and is sent to jail, but he gets out in what seems after a few short days.
    What came to my mind was “Because Ronnie is a white male, he got away with bashing 15 cops in the head.” There are very little consequences for Ronnie besides getting the shit beat out of him and losing his job. Ronnie is still allowed into the mall and does not go to jail for a long time, or it seems like a short time.
    The next thing that confused the shit out of me is the final part of the movie.
    The flasher comes back, flashes Ronnie and his girlfriend Nell (the born again virgin). There is a chase seen (during the chase seen Ronnie punches out Saddamn, emphasizing him being a racist.)Ronnie knocks into a dude and falls. The flasher makes a creepy grin and thinks he got away. Ronnie than goes a different way.
    Than, the flasher sees Brandi, gets excited, charges towards her, she is freaking out, and than, out of fucking nowhere…
    Ronnie shots the flasher almost point blank in the chest!
    What the fuck!
    And guess what, EVERYONE APPLAUDS!
    Ronnie brings the flasher to the police station, curses out everyone (the detective and the cops) and gets on his motor bike and drives away.
    THAN…
    Ronnie gets his job back as head of mall security.
    All is well.
    He should be in fucking jail for illegally (mall security guards can’t have or use guns) and unnecessarily (why not charge the flasher down, taze him, even though tazing is still very violent and can lead to death, in the movie it is apparent that it is legal for mall security guards to taze someone.
    Another side note: Ronnie tazes an innocent man for no reason. Again, showing he is an asshole. But the fact that the innocent man was a person of color made it worse for me, even though tazing in general is disturbing. )
    Also, one of the only people of color in the movie, the character Dennis, turns out out to be a druggie, alcoholic thief. That pissed me off as well. Also, the only other prominent people of color in the movie besides Dennis and Sadammn are the two twin security guards John Yuen and Matt Yuen, a group of kids who are drug dealers, and a black female news reporter.
    This movie is definitely for those who are part of out ignorant culture. Everything about pop culture is political. It is nearly impossible for this not to be true. Something as seemingly simple as a billboard is political (why is it so hard to have diverse ads that reflect America’s amazing collective of people and stories? For some reason skinny, young, “beautiful” white people is seen as the only way to market products). Those who are into the movies like Knocked Up and Superbad will go into the movie thinking it is one of those comedies because of purposely bad marketing. However, I bet these people will leave the movie not really getting the point. My friend is one of them, who after I said “he dated raped her” tried to argue that it wasn’t date rape, she gave consent, and I replied with “if in the future you ever have sex with a girl who is obviously fucked up out of her mind…that is rape, so don’t do it”.
    Our pop culture thrives on people not questioning the hidden messages.
    Hollywood thrives on people not question the hidden messages.
    This movie is still another Hollywood movie, it still is run by the same people whose main goal is to “make money by whatever means necessary”.
    If thinking twice about a joke or a concept in a movie will get in the way of making the big bucks, it’s not going to happen.

  17. Ismone
    Posted April 11, 2009 at 2:38 am | Permalink

    I have known quite a few women who were victims of rape who didn’t describe it as rape when it quite clearly was.
    The first one was asleep, after drinking (she was of age, if it even matters) in her own bed in her own dorm room. She had locked the door. Her stupid fucking roommate left the room and left the door unlocked. A man she knew crawled into bed and started having sex with her while she was passed out. They had no prior sexual or romantic relationship. She had a boyfriend, and he knew it. And she was ASLEEP and intoxicated. She doesn’t call it rape.
    Another thing, too. I didn’t realize this until I’d been on umpteen threads about women who don’t call rape rape. I was discussing with a man why some victims do not fight back–sort of the shock aspect of it, and I told a story about a guy who put his hands around my neck and “jokingly” choked me in a room full of people. I leaned slightly away and made a joke about it even though I was freaking out inside. He did it again, and I actually threw a block. He then groped my upper thigh. But it took me a while to remove myself from the situation.
    You know what crime he committed against me? Assault. And even though I am a lawyer who has specialized in criminal law, I did not describe what happened to me as assault until three years later and until I had discussed it dozens of times. Fancy that.
    I have also known male rape/sexual assault victims who were assaulted by women who have a damn hard time calling it rape.

  18. Ismone
    Posted April 11, 2009 at 3:24 am | Permalink

    Being fucked by someone while drunk = committing a dui.
    Good to know.
    Please don’t become a cop.
    So should we charge drunk women who have sex done to them with a crime? (Or drunk men, for that matter.)

  19. Ismone
    Posted April 11, 2009 at 3:26 am | Permalink

    Dumb & Dumber is not a black comedy. Eating Raoul, yes.

  20. Bleatmop
    Posted April 11, 2009 at 6:38 am | Permalink

    They have all the power in the world to not be in that movie.

  21. Fitz
    Posted April 11, 2009 at 6:41 am | Permalink

    Yep, everything you said is correct, although unrelated to the point I was getting at. I was saying that if a woman who is drunk consents, she has not been raped.
    And no, I’m not implying there was consent or what happened in the movie was not rape.

  22. Fitz
    Posted April 11, 2009 at 6:47 am | Permalink

    That is a repsonse to “there is no such thing as implied consent.” The comment you’re replying to said nothing about whether or not what happened in the movie was acceptable.

  23. Pantheon
    Posted April 11, 2009 at 6:55 am | Permalink

    There’s vomit on her FACE. This isn’t a case of oh, can someone who’s had a few beers consent to sex– she is completely out.

  24. Pantheon
    Posted April 11, 2009 at 7:01 am | Permalink

    If he had been shown to be as wasted as she was I’d be more inclined to give him a pass. But he seems sober and she is passed out with vomit on her face. He is clearly the one making the decisions here.

  25. jaja
    Posted April 11, 2009 at 8:00 am | Permalink

    i was speaking of consent. just like being drunk doesn’t mean a driver can’t decide to drive, the same goes for a woman that consents to sex when drunk. she can do it.
    but how was this woman raped if she told him to continue and (i’m assuming) never complains in the film that she was raped by main actor? she clearly did not see it as rape, so why do you?

  26. barefoot
    Posted April 11, 2009 at 9:03 am | Permalink

    I think a lot of people are missing the point about the consent issue in this trailer.
    The point is NOT whether or not this particular encounter between these particular people does or does not constitute rape. She consents so, yeah.
    The point IS that this scene mirrors more or less exactly a large amount of REAL RAPES, and the fact that she consents in this scene will allow men to assume consent is “implied” in other real life (i.e. not almost wholly unbelievable bad-taste comedy movie life) situations, which may in fact lead to more women being RAPED in REAL LIFE.
    Arguing about whether or not this scene is rape misses the point, because the fact that this scene clearly DOES NOT portray the act as rape is exactly what will lead to further rape apologists denying the occurence of real date rape.

  27. jaja
    Posted April 11, 2009 at 9:10 am | Permalink

    it appears to me in the scene that she was unconscious after they begun, otherwise he wouldn’t have been surprised or cared that she appeared to be asleep.

  28. trooper6.livejournal.com
    Posted April 11, 2009 at 10:08 am | Permalink

    Drunk women can’t consent in California that is the law. So, no jaja, not in all states is this not rape. In California…what happened on that screen was 100% rape.
    Now, I do have some concerns over the fact that the law only deals with women giving consent. i.e. Woman is drunk, Man is sober, she is raped. (Okay). Woman is drunk, Man is drunk, she is raped. (Hm.) Woman is sober, man is drunk…he is not raped. (Hm.) It would be easy to say that we can worry about men in the post-patriarchy, but there seem to be old, sexist assumptions about male and female sexuality embedded in this law. Mind you, better to have it at the moment than not. But I wish we could work on changing the base assumption that in any given sexual encounter between a man and a woman, the man is taking something and the woman is giving it. Then women need to give consent to give away something…but men never do because they are taking and by taking consent is automatically given.

  29. Liz-99
    Posted April 11, 2009 at 10:13 am | Permalink

    This topic is necessary for young, college and high school aged people to consider. That’s why the Antioch College policy from the early 1990s is so right on:
    http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m2372/is_3_36/ai_61487446/
    I can totally see why Antioch men would be on board with this. They are hot feminist men!

  30. mczz
    Posted April 11, 2009 at 10:16 am | Permalink

    I’m curious as to how many people who are calling this movie black humor have actually seen it? It was definitely marketed wrong, but I didn’t think that it created an interesting social commentary, or even an interesting story, that made use of black humor.
    I like black humor, I like things that are twisted but still funny. This was not that.
    By the time of the date rape scene, the movie had been so packed full of homophobia, racism, sexism, and ableism that I was sick to my stomach. But I’m just a humorless feminist.
    Also, I was really, really, really disturbed by the portrayal of mental illness and alcoholic families. I don’t think Bi-Polar depression is funny, at all, and jokes about it are over-played and inaccurate, which trivializes it. He was just shown as a general craze-o, there was no treatment of episodes of mania followed by depression (you know, accurately characterized by a week or longer), and they just generally perpetuated myths about what it means to be Bi-Polar. The stigma of depression in this country is really damaging, and movies like this just make it worse. And I don’t even know where to begin with the alcoholic mother. Alcoholism is a disease, a fatal one, which affects a whole lot of people and their families, and this movie played on misconceptions and over-tired stereotypes about alcoholism that are downright offensive.
    (Spoiler alert) My dad has always criticized the Simpsons (and shows like Titus) because he says that it gives you the feeling at the end of the episode that everything is all okay even though it’s not (in light of whatever crazy things happened throughout the course of the episode) and thereby normalizes dysfunctional families. I always thought he was an over-serious liberal and missed the humor in those shows because of that, but that’s exactly how I felt about this movie. Sure he’s the super-antihero, and a BAD guy, but in the end, everything goes his way! It’s a happy ending! He get’s his job back, accolades for “catching” the pervert, a girlfriend, and his mom announces she’s switching to beer! There’s no lesson learned, but really all of his behavior has been validated. So sure, call it black humor, but it’s amorality is pretty disturbing.
    But it was over for me after the rape scene. YES it was a rape, and what you saw in the trailer is it, nothing happens earlier or later that changes how you see it, there are no mitigating circumstances. They cut from them on the lawn (he kisses her after she vomits) to that scene to the next day. She was absolutely wasted (vomiting on the lawn and all that) and he wasn’t. It is IMPOSSIBLE to give consent at that level of inebriation. This DOES MATTER because it feeds rape culture, which tells you that she was asking for it and he can’t control himself.
    So there was the rape scene, the violence, the voyeurism, the comment that he will make his born again girlfriend break her promise, the “funny” drunk mother… I should have walked out, but didn’t because I was in a large group of people.
    My boyfriend and I played “what was wrong with that movie” on the way home.
    (This was on Tuesday, and I’ve been waiting all week for the blogosphere’s response to it, and I’m glad to see I’m not the only one who had issues with it.)

  31. trooper6.livejournal.com
    Posted April 11, 2009 at 10:42 am | Permalink

    A 13 year old girl may say, “Have sex with me!” and she may not consider it rape…but the law does. Where the age of consent sits is different with every state, but various states have decided that some people cannot consent to sex, no matter what they may think about it: underage people (however they define that), and in California drunk women.
    You keep comparing this with drunk driving. It isn’t a good comparison. The drunk driver is not the victim of a crime. The passed out woman is. Furthermore, the fact that the driver is drunk is taken into account when it comes to determining criminality. Drunk drivers tend to be charged with vehicular manslaughter rather than premeditated murder.

  32. trooper6.livejournal.com
    Posted April 11, 2009 at 10:44 am | Permalink

    Not in the state of California.
    In the state of California, if you are drunk you are not legally in a state of mind to consent. So having sex with a drunk woman, even if she drunkenly says yes, is rape in California.

  33. idiolect
    Posted April 11, 2009 at 11:23 am | Permalink

    Sort of a meta-question –
    Why are there so many people in this thread who don’t think that having sex with a passed out drunk woman is rape, or even anything but perfectly fine & dandy?? What happened?? This is not okay.

  34. Ismone
    Posted April 11, 2009 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

    Wow, thanks for the approval.
    So your position is that there is some kind of epidemic of women having a few drinks, saying yes, and then getting guys convicted of rape?
    Source please.
    You should really think about saying that “women should take responsibility” before posting some utter horseshit suggesting that women lie about being raped.
    Guess what? Lots of drunk women don’t say yes or otherwise consent. And yes, if they are drunk beyond the point of consent, it doesn’t matter if they say yes, as trooper has pointed out.

  35. Ismone
    Posted April 11, 2009 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

    Watch the scene again. She was unconscious. And plenty of rape victims “let” the other person continue. “Letting” someone continue is not consent. One gang rape victim I know of got so worn down by the process that she would say “next” when one man finished.
    She wanted it to be over.
    People here who have such strong opinions about rape victims should really talk to more of them. Read more police reports and first person accounts, and then you would really understand what is going on.
    Why don’t we ask physical assault victims why they didn’t say “no” and “stop”?

  36. Ismone
    Posted April 11, 2009 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

    Trooper–in some cases, being intoxicated can be a defense, and yes, a drunk man can be raped by a sober, or dramatically less drunk, woman. If someone reasonably believes that the other person consented, that is a defense. So if a woman is really drunk (beyond the point of consent) but only appears tipsy and says yes, the man would (and rightly so) have a defense.
    For whatever reason, I don’t know if it is weasely prosecutors or men who don’t want to bring charges, we rarely see rape cases with female defendants. That doesn’t mean that men who have these things done to them were not raped.

  37. capillary
    Posted April 11, 2009 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

    Idiolect, I agree.
    A related sort-of meta question (and I don’t at all mean for this to derail the thread, but it seems like a relevant follow-up point): at what point does one deem that someone is too inebriated to give consent? Obviously that point comes (and far before the person passes out) but neither would I necessarily feel comfortable saying that someone who’d had a glass or two of wine would be incapable of consenting. Unless they reacted unusually badly to drinking. I would not feel as if I were raped in such a circumstance, for example.
    Is there a medical/legal definition (blood alcohol percentage?) or is it entirely on a case by case basis, with a principle of erring on the side of caution?
    Again, there was clearly no ambiguity in the trailer, which was rape all the way. But as an abstract question, where does the conscientious feminist draw the line? I would really appreciate some input.

  38. Ismone
    Posted April 11, 2009 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

    Also, she is a fictitious character in a movie. And she was unconscious. And see my below post about people who don’t see things as rape.
    If someone hits you, and you don’t think of it as assault, it is still assault.
    Sex w/out consent (and in some states, either with force or over the resistence of the vic) is rape. Morally, sex w/out consent, or w/out valid consent is rape. I don’t care if the victim chooses to not call it rape as a coping mechanism, it is still rape.

  39. Ismone
    Posted April 11, 2009 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

    Does not matter. Someone becomes unconscious, or is so drunk that they will be come unconscious, consent is not valid.
    If you talk a drunk person into a bout of bare-knuckle boxing, you’re still committing assault.

  40. trooper6.livejournal.com
    Posted April 11, 2009 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

    As a guy, I’m the one most likely to be accused of rape…so I won’t give up sex to a woman I don’t know really well if she has had any more than one glass of alcohol…no matter how sober she seems or if she says yes all day long. If she’s only had one glass and is consenting and seems completely sober, but I don’t get a good vibe, I still won’t do it.
    I recall the slogan “All Men are Rapists” from a feminist newspaper from Reed College back in the early 90s. And McKinnon’s writings about women not really being able to consent in a patriarchy.
    Better safe than sorry. Don’t hit on women, don’t share sex with them unless you’ve seen an ID card, you know they haven’t had any alcohol, and you get specific verbal and physical consent for every sexual act that happens. And even then, be on the lookout for any sign that she may not be completely willing. If anything seems at all not okay, stop immediately. The safest thing really is to let the women in your life do all the initiating. Unfortunately, we are not yet at the place were our sexual scripts have been liberated…so it doesn’t happen all that often.
    But 7 years of celibacy is a small price to pay for me to aid in the diminishment of the culture of sexual harassment and rape.

  41. ShifterCat
    Posted April 11, 2009 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

    This is an example of how to do “drunk and horny” so that it’s funny.
    In case it’s not clear, the strip directly after indicates that Jason did not take advantage of Aubrey.

  42. Ismone
    Posted April 11, 2009 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

    Trooper,
    Of course, you have to do what you think is right, but I do think this “all men are rapists” stuff is bs, and MacKinnon’s writings really don’t go that far (I’ve read Words Alone, and Toward a Feminist Theory of the State.) I think it is true, based on the Milgram studies (did someone invoke those here, or was that in the other thread) and genocide and my knowledge of infantry soldiers that most people can become really, really bad in the right (well, wrong) circumstances.
    But flirtation, if the person (whether male or female) knocks it off with the flirting if it seems like the other person is not interested is okay in my book. And I think in most people’s books.
    About specific verbal and physical consent for every sexual act sounds like a really good idea with a new partner, because it is establishing good communication, but I can tell you that with an established partner (as one woman, but one who has talked to other women) this level of specificity in conversation during sex doesn’t happen–but it is usually because I feel/felt secure enough based on the sensitivity of my past partners and current partner to know that if I became uncomfortable he would react to that (actually, that is just my current partner) and that I felt safe speaking up.
    So, yeah, first time partner, more than one drink, probably not a good idea to initiate sex because even if they are not drunk past the point of consent, they may have a really tough time articulating themselves if they are simply shocked that physical overtures are being made. But, there are ways to display interest to that person so there can be a sober later.
    In short, I think your ethics are solid, but I think there are ethical ways to show interest to potential partners in the types of situations you’ve described so that you don’t cross your ethical lines, but they know you are interested.
    Unsolicited advice before I have my coffee for the win!

  43. jaja
    Posted April 11, 2009 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

    the comparison is apt because it focuses on the ability of a drunk individual to consent. your example of a minor is different because by statute the minor cannot consent under any circumstance. a drunk person can consent, even in california where a determination has to be made as to how much the person drank and whether they were unconscious.
    a drunk driver under your analysis should be free from the damage caused in a dwi situation since one could argue that she did not have the presence of mind to know she was driving. if we are willing to accept that one be responsible for their actions, drunk or not, why not in this situation? and i agree there is a general desire to see men as rapists. the original poster didnt even address the female in the scene but heaped scorn on the males.

  44. jaja
    Posted April 11, 2009 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

    yes, but if someone hits you and you consent to the hit, it isn’t an assault. the only question seems to be her ability to consent

  45. jaja
    Posted April 11, 2009 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

    thats nonsense. first you have to determine what it means to be drunk and next you need to establish if the person can give consent at that level of drunkenness.
    i’d like to see someone post a statute or other link to law that says a drunk person can’t consent. i think one would say that an unconscious person cant consent. not a drunk person

  46. Pantheon
    Posted April 11, 2009 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

    This feministing post is being reported on by Wired:
    http://blog.wired.com/underwire/2009/04/observe-and-rep.html
    That article also quotes Faris saying that when she was filming the “sex” scene, she thought it would get cut out of the final movie so she “didn’t have to worry about it.” Why would she say that? Is she implying that it shouldn’t have made it to the movie? Does she feel bad about filming it now that its caused all this controversy?

  47. Fitz
    Posted April 11, 2009 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

    Yes, yes, kill the straw man!
    That’s exactly what I said.

  48. melismarr
    Posted April 11, 2009 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

    There is a similar date rape scene in 40 Year Old Virgin as well — another Seth Rogan flick. Someone clearly needs to educate him that date rape isn’t funny.
    There is HuffPo article on this movie attempting to justify the date rape scene citing that it makes Seth Rogan’s character look like he’s a loser because he thinks having sex with (i.e. raping) a girl who is passed out is socially acceptable. I HIGHLY doubt that teenage boys and some men who see this scene will look at it in that manner. This scene will more than likely be normalized among these males and this form of rape will be continued, accepted, and not fully understood or acknowledged as rape.

  49. Pantheon
    Posted April 11, 2009 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

    What scene in 40 year old virgin? Somehow I don’t recall that.

  50. wyo_cowgirl
    Posted April 11, 2009 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

    When is someone too intoxicated to give consent?
    My two cents, for what they’re worth: I think many would agree that consent should be defined not just by the “absence of no,” but by the “presence of yes”. It follows that if one has a moment’s doubt about whether “yes” is present, one needs to stop the encounter and re-open the lines of communication.
    Similarly, let’s say something that one interprets as “yes” IS present–but there’s a question about the other party’s state of mind (this may or may not be due to intoxication). If there’s even the smallest question about whether or not the other person is truly mentally able to consent, then that’s where it all needs to stop.
    Basically, any doubt RE “presence of yes”, or reasonable and sober state of mind (your own or your partner’s)–should be heeded. It’s pretty tough to draw a hard and fast line in terms of judging someone else’s level of intoxication, so I–and most of the friends I’ve discussed this with–choose to err on the side of caution.
    And interestingly enough, my straight male friends who adhere to this rule–who, if they can be believed, would never, ever sleep with a girl in the state we see Anna Faris in the damn trailer–do not fear “false” rape accusations.
    Personally, my own best experiences have been with men who “checked in” regularly, asking for a “yes”, and definitely did not initiate first-time sex after we’d been drinking.
    I know this thread is all over the place now, but I really appreciate dialogue around issues of consent, especially when people treat it as respectfully as you did in your comment. So far the responses seem to take a similar tone. Makes me feel a bit better about some of the other things being said here. Thank you all! :-)

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