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Sun Mar 24, 2013, 11:46 AM

Why the "My bad sex wasn't rape" editorial is so utterly, utterly vile.

So, this was posted: http://www.salon.com/2013/03/22/my_bad_sex_wasnt_rape/


I'm going to try to break down why this was so disgustingly, sickeningly wrong.

I say "try", because to do so properly would take a lot more time, because there is a shit ton of crap to sift through here.

First of all, let's take the verbiage she uses. Stuff like this:
sleeping with any girl who would spread her legs

Does that sound neutral to you? Sure doesn't sound that way to me. I've heard that terminology used many times, and never by anyone who respected women.

Let's move on.


Two weeks after we had sex for the first time, he and I and his best friend got drunk — me for the first time in my life — and I ended up having sex in a park with both of them. It was somewhat miserable...

This short passage gives us a lot to analyze. She lost her virginity at 15, and two weeks later is in a threesome. While drunk for the first time. But hey, it was only somewhat miserable, so she's lucky, I guess.

So yeah, that's not worthy of analysis at all, I'm sure. Surely not, in a culture in which young women are conditioned from birth to see their worth and value in their looks and sexual desirability. Messages which this particular woman started learning way too early, earlier than other girls who aren't introduced to that world... way too early. No, let's just pretend that she's perfectly reasonable to dismiss her desire to have sex when she didn't really want to in order to please males with a handwave. Cause really, how is that meaningful, right?

And let's just skip over fact that so many people here have been focusing like a laser on the idea that since it's not illegal everywhere for 15 year olds to have sex with 19 year olds, none of this is questionable at all. Let's assume that she was in one of those places where it was legal, and let's pretend that it is also meaningless that she was drunk for the first time, or that she had lost her virginity 14 days earlier and was now involved in her first threesome.

And let's also skip the part where she was sexually abused from 4 to 9. And let's also skip the part about her acting out with an old man in her neighborhood at age 12, engaging him in phone sex. For all we know, she considers this acting out part of her "agency" and exploring her own sexuality, so let's just leave that aside.

Let's just skip to the part about her not thinking it was rape. You know what? Good for her. I'm really happy for her that she doesn't feel victimized, and wasn't traumatized. That's nice for her.

But she isn't the only woman in the world, and for her to be pushing the idea that drunk 15 year olds are fair game is, frankly, beyond fucked up. We all know that teens will have sex when they want to. But the fact is that rapists use alcohol to rape. Her muddying the waters on this issue by pretending her experience is somehow noteworthy is bullshit.

So she didn't feel like she was raped, big fucking deal! A whole hell of a lot of women who first had sex at 15 don't feel like they were raped. A whole hell lot of a women who first had sex at 12 don't feel like they were raped either. No one is out there telling women that they have to feel that they were raped if they don't feel that way. Because if they don't, that's their prerogative.

No, what's important is reaching the tens of thousands of women each year who do feel that they were raped. What is important is reaching the women who do feel that they were raped but who still aren't reporting it. And what this person is doing is not fucking helping.

No, what she is doing is playing into the hands of MRAs and victim blamers who want to silence women. More on that later.

whether the coverage on CNN after the conviction was too sympathetic to the rapists (perhaps CNN went too far,...

"Whether" it was too sympathetic? Really? "Whether"?

"Perhaps" they went too far?

Telling, yes? Yes. Let's move on.


So much of victim blaming relies on these outmoded views of women’s sexuality.

No, no it doesn't. Victim-blaming relies on bullshit ideas. For example, the one where some people like to trumpet the idea that women claim they were raped just because they didn't enjoy the sex, or they regretted it later. (Sound familiar? It should. Because Anna trumpeted that shit herself, in this piece of shit editorial. Good work, Anna!)


At the same time, it is not helpful to label every murky sexual encounter as rape or to say that anything any woman states is rape is, in fact, rape.

Yeah, that's a huge problem, taking women at their word. She's so brave to stick her neck out on this. Rapists and MRAs everywhere are so grateful a woman has finally had the courage to come out in a (supposedly) progressive publication and say that since women VERY RARELY lie about being raped, that makes it "not helpful" to label rape as rape, just because a woman says she was raped.

So great to see this being praised here on DU, really.


If they don’t take control of their own erotic development early, they may never take control — like the women I knew in college who blamed alcohol or drugs for their own sexual adventures or misadventures,

Yet another attempt to give credence to the victim-blaming lies that rape culture finds so comforting. I imagine, given what she said about the coverage of the Steubenville rapists, that the writer probably has all kinds of empathy for rapists in college.

Seeing a pattern here?


For most of us, we don’t come into our own about articulating our specific wants and desires until late in life, if ever. Let us encourage a culture where everyone – regardless of gender, orientation, etc. – does so openly, honestly, respectfully. Let us all learn to say, “I don’t know how I’m going to like that, but let’s try it out.” (We could take some lessons from the BDSM communities where boundaries and limits are strictly negotiated in advance.)

Yes, the BDSM community, where rape is even more common than in the so-called "vanilla" community. What stinking, stupid bullshit.


I guess that's gonna have to be enough. I'm not willing to spend the time that would be necessary to really expose every ounce of steaming shit in this thing.

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Reply Why the "My bad sex wasn't rape" editorial is so utterly, utterly vile. (Original post)
redqueen Mar 2013 OP
La Lioness Priyanka Mar 2013 #1
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Response to redqueen (Original post)

Sun Mar 24, 2013, 11:50 AM

1. what bothers me most about that article is the implication of the title

as thought most women claim bad sex as rape. she is not special in the fact that her bad sex was not rape, and all people have bad sex and don't claim it was rape.

the underlying assumption of her thread title is that people in general are claiming bad sex as rape, really irks me.

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Response to La Lioness Priyanka (Reply #1)

Sun Mar 24, 2013, 12:04 PM

12. I tried to express that, or something like

Crudely and badly, so I didn't participate in the thread after.




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Response to ismnotwasm (Reply #12)

Sun Mar 24, 2013, 04:54 PM

172. Me, too. I cont'd to participate for a while, to no avail. nt

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Response to ismnotwasm (Reply #12)

Sun Mar 24, 2013, 06:01 PM

191. Same here.

The gist was that two predators got her drunk on her ass and then used her body to masturbate into. It's kind of sad that she sees that as merely "bad sex," but maybe that allowed her to survive it all these years.

And that's as nicely as I can put it.

"Bad sex" is Leroy in "Waiting to Exhale," a passage that was so funny I laughed hard enough to drop the book.

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Response to La Lioness Priyanka (Reply #1)

Sun Mar 24, 2013, 12:06 PM

17. She is being a good little girl just like her father taught her to be. You know, always protect the

Rapist. I know those values - I grew up with them too. My sister and brother are outraged with me that I have told the truth about the regular rapes I grew up with. They say its sick to remember or talk about that stuff. My sister said "boys will be boys, they have to have sex" meaning it was okay my brother a decade older was raping me. And my brother claims what he did to me was normal and right but how morally terrible of me to have told on him.

I know all about those fun family values. F*ck them and f*ck being a good little girl.

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Response to LiberalLoner (Reply #17)

Sun Mar 24, 2013, 12:10 PM

21. ugh. sorry to hear that. i do agree with you that it's a good girl syndrome

and a great need to be accepted by men

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Response to La Lioness Priyanka (Reply #21)

Sun Mar 24, 2013, 12:11 PM

24. Yup....

Think I will exit this thread now as the attacks are beginning like always and it's far too triggering for me.

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Response to LiberalLoner (Reply #24)

Sun Mar 24, 2013, 07:20 PM

211. Telling on your perp

in a toxic family seems to guarantee that you -- the survivor of the dangerous and damaging environment within which you should have known only love, trust, and healthy nurturing -- will be labeled the "bad girl"!

In my toxic family, I have been labeled the seductress, and BLAMED for my sick perp's actions, despite the fact I was a child when he molested me.

I am estranged from most of my family, because the pain is still too big. It's overwhelming.

I usually ask survivors if I can give a hug. I hope you will accept this one from a kindred survivor.


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Response to chervilant (Reply #211)

Sun Mar 24, 2013, 08:28 PM

231. Thank you, and a hug right back!

Lets hear it for us "bad" girls who agitate for change and justice!

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Response to LiberalLoner (Reply #17)

Sun Mar 24, 2013, 02:00 PM

130. if it's "normal and right" what's wrong with "telling"?

Abuserbrother fail

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Response to elehhhhna (Reply #130)

Sun Mar 24, 2013, 02:09 PM

133. Lol well he is a homeless alcoholic at this point so, fail in general too....

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Response to La Lioness Priyanka (Reply #1)

Sun Mar 24, 2013, 12:36 PM

53. Yes. That false assumption renders it pointless...

But was guaranteed to get her loads of attention - and approval from men.

I think its why so many responded by describing it as creepy. The whole premise seems manufactured as a way for her to make a buck off her sad experiences.

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Response to bettyellen (Reply #53)

Sun Mar 24, 2013, 12:40 PM

59. I agree with you.

The title of her wagon load of straw mixed with a steaming pile of manure should have been -

Attention! Attention! I Need Attention.


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Response to DURHAM D (Reply #59)

Sun Mar 24, 2013, 01:07 PM

109. She's only been published widely 3x: writing about her "boobs" , Dad as a lover

And now this.
Not so hard to figure out that she's tired of writing for her local Penny saver. Salon should be mortified.

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Response to bettyellen (Reply #53)

Sun Mar 24, 2013, 02:37 PM

150. Yes, bettyellen, you've got it: attention and approval from men

Lets the abusers off the hook, and allows those non-abusers who are made uncomfortable by talking about it to sink comfortably back into denial.

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Response to La Lioness Priyanka (Reply #1)

Sun Mar 24, 2013, 12:39 PM

58. I don't see how it can be anything but intentional.

Conflating bad sex with rape is something rape apologists and MRAs do.

There are a lot of discussions about "grey rape" and things like that, which involve the idea that it's pretty hard to understand how there could be much confusion, if you care much at all about how your partner feels while you're having sex... but that isn't 'calling bad sex rape'... and such over simplification only feeds rape culture. It's the kind of reactionary simplistic bullshit we see used by republicans to dumb down issues into meaningless talking points.

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Response to redqueen (Reply #58)

Sun Mar 24, 2013, 07:06 PM

205. the worst is that it helps rapists justify their behavior

Didn't she give any thought to that before writing? Why didn't Salon consider what they were publishing?

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Response to BainsBane (Reply #205)

Sun Mar 24, 2013, 07:19 PM

210. Good questions.

I'd like to know the answers, too.

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Response to BainsBane (Reply #205)

Sun Mar 24, 2013, 07:21 PM

213. we watch a lot of people validate the rape culture and sexism for their own personal reasons. nt

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Response to redqueen (Reply #58)

Sun Mar 24, 2013, 10:03 PM

249. DING DING DING! Redqueen, you're our grand prize winner!

Last edited Thu May 2, 2013, 04:29 PM - Edit history (5)

I don't see how it can be anything but intentional...(S)uch oversimplification only feeds rape culture...(T)he kind of reactionary simplistic bullshit...used...to dumb down issues...

By glossing over the fact that her first "bad sex" was actually at the age of four via her father, Ann March paints a grossly oversimplified and hypocritically false self-portrait that falls light years short of the most basic editorial standards (which Salon should have noticed). Either she's sicker than she realizes, or she's "intentionally" stirring up controversy just to help sell her forthcoming book.


rocktivity

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Response to redqueen (Original post)

Sun Mar 24, 2013, 11:54 AM

2. Not to mention she describes her experiences with her father raping her as a 4 year old as

"I guess it's true you never forget your first lover."

That being said I saw myself in her history. Thinking I owed sex to every man who expressed interest. Thinking that was my purpose in life. Putting up with anal rape, a guy once trying to drown me, and other various forms of abuse because I had been taught thoroughly from a very young age I deserved that kind of treatment - that all women and girls deserved that in fact.

I've been told I have either NMO or MS. Part of me is hoping it will turn out to be NMO, which is fatal, so I can just exit already. Just so freaking tired sometimes.

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Response to LiberalLoner (Reply #2)

Sun Mar 24, 2013, 11:56 AM

5. I am so sorry for your pain.

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Response to In_The_Wind (Reply #5)

Sun Mar 24, 2013, 11:57 AM

6. Thank you.

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Response to LiberalLoner (Reply #2)

Sun Mar 24, 2013, 11:57 AM

7. Me too, LL.

I saw myself in her acting out as well.

And I'm sorry... I know it's so hard sometimes... I hope the other part of you, the hopeful part, triumphs.

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Response to redqueen (Reply #7)

Sun Mar 24, 2013, 11:58 AM

8. Thank you. It's hard watching the increasing woman hatred sometimes.

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Response to LiberalLoner (Reply #2)

Sun Mar 24, 2013, 12:05 PM

14. Just so freaking tired sometimes.


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Response to LiberalLoner (Reply #2)

Sun Mar 24, 2013, 12:50 PM

79. The way I dealt with it

was that I forgave that little girl (me when I was six)who was raped. It wasn't her fault which I know as an adult. The adult me figuratively hugged her close and let her cry and told her she didn't deserve it and promised I would never let her get hurt again. When I did that the pain stopped and I became a defender of women, not men.

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Response to lunatica (Reply #79)

Sun Mar 24, 2013, 12:53 PM

87. Thank you.

That process is so valuable, but so hard, and so painful. I've never cried so hard or felt so much pain in my life.

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Response to lunatica (Reply #79)

Sun Mar 24, 2013, 12:53 PM

88. Yes! Thank you. I am sorry it happened to you too.

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Response to LiberalLoner (Reply #88)

Sun Mar 24, 2013, 12:57 PM

96. Hugs



Sharing our stories is very important. Shame is something we need to get rid of forever.

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Response to lunatica (Reply #96)

Sun Mar 24, 2013, 12:58 PM

98. :)

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Response to lunatica (Reply #96)

Sun Mar 24, 2013, 03:24 PM

157. And really hard to get rid of when it's such an instinctive reflex/reaction

This thread is full of "ugh" 's and hugs. DU women are awesome.

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Response to loudsue (Reply #157)

Sun Mar 24, 2013, 04:13 PM

166. It's a learned reaction

No one is born with shame. It has to be taught. It can feel like it's instinctive because many of us can't really remember not feeling it. I felt it for many decades but I don't anymore. I was victimized and have no reason whatsoever to feel shame because of it. There is nothing I did or I was to cause it to happen.

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Response to lunatica (Reply #166)

Sun Mar 24, 2013, 08:40 PM

237. Shame is the hardest. It affects every single aspect of my life

It affects every relationship.

Did a lot of therapy in midlife -- could probably still be doing it but decided to do something else with the money, so it's been awhile. Reading through this thread makes me think it would probably be of benefit to go back, but the depression ironically enough gets in the way of putting forth the effort.

About 20 years after the year-long molestation I opened Pandora's Box and started to tell. I was 32. It was not a rewarding experience. My mother never liked me again. My brother wanted to know if I had been brutalized and when it seemed I had not, basically didn't want to know about it ever again, and was angry at me for hurting our mother. My sister was my ally, but not going to do my battles for me. More than one person outside the family advised me to not "claim to be a victim." I stopped telling. I'm now 65.

My mother's shame issues were if anything more corrosive than mine. She actually caught the SOB molesting my daughter (age 3 y.o at the time), whom I had thought would be safe until puberty. And she, my mother, did not tell me. I had to tell her because my little girl told me. And, like I said, she never really liked me again. My relationship with my daughter is less than optimal to this day. Shame about that, so to speak. It was -- bizarre -- but you have to come from a dysfunctional family yourself to get how it works.

Anyway, the writing I did at midlife on Persephone, Demeter, and Hekate was good. Had a lot of material.

Hekate

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Response to Hekate (Reply #237)

Sun Mar 24, 2013, 08:43 PM

238. Yes, I understand very well the dynamics you are talking about.

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Response to lunatica (Reply #79)

Sun Mar 24, 2013, 12:55 PM

91. The adult me figuratively hugged her close and let her cry

this is a technique that can be applied to so much of the pain in life that we later have to deal with.

i havent heard many speak about this. and i agree totally. one step further.

the ego. i tell the ego. i do not need you any more. can be along for the ride but not the driver. lol

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Response to lunatica (Reply #79)

Sun Mar 24, 2013, 12:57 PM

94. ...

 



I'll hug you and that little girl too.

and to hell with those here that want to dismiss the pain, we have each other and fuck em all they can all go to hell.

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Response to Whisp (Reply #94)

Sun Mar 24, 2013, 01:01 PM

103. We both thank you!

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Response to lunatica (Reply #79)

Mon Mar 25, 2013, 10:38 AM

320. My heart breaks for the six year old you.

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Response to LiberalLoner (Reply #2)

Sun Mar 24, 2013, 02:47 PM

152. Regarding chronic disease

First, I hope you regain some health and hope.

Second, and this is related, though it's not your illness.

I have struggled with fibromyalgia et al. (it's a cluster) for well over half my life, and a few years ago my sister sent me some links regarding childhood sexual abuse and the incidence of fibromyalgia in the survivors. It's enormous. In the few years since then, many more articles have been written, too many for me to sort and reference at the moment. Just Google "fibromyalgia + sexual abuse" if interested.

Childhood abuse is the "gift" that just keeps on giving.

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Response to Hekate (Reply #152)

Sun Mar 24, 2013, 03:45 PM

163. I'm sorry you have suffered with all of this!

I was thinking about that. How it doesn't surprise me that the MRI showed there is such a large lesion covering my spinal cord - big time scar tissue - I have been asking God to let me die, off and on, all my life that I can remember.

I read those who were abused as children have older DNA or something - it literally on a molecular level ages us horrendously....I have felt very old for a long time. I am sure you have too...

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Response to LiberalLoner (Reply #2)

Sun Mar 24, 2013, 03:26 PM

159. This made me cry. My heart goes

out to you and all abuse victims.

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Response to sufrommich (Reply #159)

Sun Mar 24, 2013, 03:46 PM

164. I want better for those coming after us.

That is why we keep not shutting up. We want better for the young ones...

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Response to LiberalLoner (Reply #2)

Sun Mar 24, 2013, 08:30 PM

232. I didn't see that

Did she publish that elsewhere?

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Response to LiberalLoner (Reply #2)

Mon Mar 25, 2013, 08:58 AM

297. Oh, Liberal Loner, thank

you for sharing. Despite the mockery and dismissivness that rape victims face here, know that what you share here may be helping someone reading your experience. You are so brave.

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Response to myrna minx (Reply #297)

Mon Mar 25, 2013, 09:00 AM

298. Thank you so much. Oh I hope it helps. Been feeling like we are losing the fight lately. Think

I am going to watch "Mega Disasters" on TV to cheer myself up now.

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Response to LiberalLoner (Reply #298)

Mon Mar 25, 2013, 09:10 AM

300. It's an uphill challange to be sure. The sheer contempt we face even here

on a "liberal" message board (and even in this thread) is difficult, but discovering brave souls like you brings comfort and makes it worth wading through the nasty mockery and eye rolling.

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Response to myrna minx (Reply #300)

Mon Mar 25, 2013, 09:17 AM

301. Thank you. The struggle continues....

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Response to redqueen (Original post)

Sun Mar 24, 2013, 11:55 AM

3. I agree with you.

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Response to In_The_Wind (Reply #3)

Sun Mar 24, 2013, 12:42 PM

64. Thank you.

It was rough having to sift through that. I trust you understand.

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Response to redqueen (Original post)

Sun Mar 24, 2013, 11:55 AM

4. .

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Response to theKed (Reply #4)

Sun Mar 24, 2013, 12:10 PM

22. Jury results

REASON FOR ALERT:

This post is disruptive, hurtful, rude, insensitive, over-the-top, or otherwise inappropriate. (See <a href="http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=aboutus#communitystandards" target="_blank">Community Standards</a>.)

ALERTER'S COMMENTS:

Popcorn? Really?

You served on a randomly-selected Jury of DU members which reviewed this post. The review was completed at Sun Mar 24, 2013, 11:07 AM, and the Jury voted 2-4 to LEAVE IT.

Juror #1 voted to HIDE IT and said: No explanation given
Juror #2 voted to LEAVE IT ALONE and said: No explanation given
Juror #3 voted to LEAVE IT ALONE and said: No explanation given
Juror #4 voted to LEAVE IT ALONE and said: Yeah, popcorn. If it's really that egregious the poster will be appropriately dealt with.
Juror #5 voted to LEAVE IT ALONE and said: The popcorn smilie should only be used in emergency circumstances but...I'll let it pass this time.
Juror #6 voted to HIDE IT and said: I'm more bothered by the rolling eyes. As if being concerned that an editorial that reaches thousands could be detrimental and pointing that out is somehow eyeroll and popcorn worthy. I'm sure this post will stand but it's quite insulting.

I was Juror #6.

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Response to justiceischeap (Reply #22)

Sun Mar 24, 2013, 12:15 PM

29. thank you jury 6. this is jsut another way for men to work at derailing these conversations.

says a hell of a lot about a man that can roll the eyes and suggest entertainment in a discussion that is so painful for so many.

the very bottomline of the real problem in our society today. and the war on women.

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Response to seabeyond (Reply #29)

Sun Mar 24, 2013, 12:19 PM

33. I agree.

As someone who has had bad sex and definitely had sex I regretted and as someone who has been sexually assaulted, I probably should have opted out as a juror. But it shows that the poster thinks my personal pain, that was kinda demeaned by the editorial and then further demeaned by the eye roll and popcorn, is something not worth discussing. Forget about why this editorial goes beyond someone's mear "personal situation...", anyway, if I said what I really thought about theKed, I'd be alerted on.

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Response to justiceischeap (Reply #33)

Sun Mar 24, 2013, 12:22 PM

36. yup. nt

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Response to justiceischeap (Reply #33)

Sun Mar 24, 2013, 12:23 PM

38. Oh, be my guest.

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Response to theKed (Reply #38)

Sun Mar 24, 2013, 12:44 PM

68. remdi95

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Response to niyad (Reply #68)

Sun Mar 24, 2013, 01:08 PM

111. huh?

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Response to theKed (Reply #38)

Sun Mar 24, 2013, 07:09 PM