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Tuesday News: BDSM prosecution worries advocates; Google & Amazon financial arms;...

Norwegian library

32 Comments

  1. Jayne
    Oct 09, 2012 @ 06:19:04

    I am uneasy about the whole mug shot publishing thing. Aren’t these people supposed to be considered innocent until proven guilty? What if the charges are dismissed or dropped or the person is found innocent? When a mugshot of the editor in chief of that paper is published, then I’ll think it’s all “in good fun.”

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  2. hapax
    Oct 09, 2012 @ 08:35:07

    I think that the most recent xkcd comic pretty much sums up my reaction to the news about Amazon et al.’s recent business ventures (don’t forget to mouse over the comment for the extra text)

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  3. CourtneyLee
    Oct 09, 2012 @ 09:01:38

    The abuse trial really is disturbing on all sides. If the activities he engaged in with his wife were consensual, I hope she’s a witness to that effect. The fact that the victim in the case was 16 at the time does bring into question her ability to consent, though, and deserves to be explored further.

    If she was not able to consent, then he should be convicted of abuse and sentenced. If that is the case, it will be a pall cast on the consensual, mutually pleasurable activities of those who enjoy D/s, SM, and BD. It’s a lose-lose.

    ETA: reading the article, I can say for sure that if consensual acts that result in physical harm are criminalized with no regard to the context or the testimony of the alleged victim and attacker, the legal backlash from the BDSM community will be considerable. That’s not to say that sexual assault should always be viewed through a lens of “is this a BDSM situation,” and this particular case does raise a lot of legitimate and important questions about consent, but I’m sure district attorneys can apply their brains and figure out if such questions would be relevant.

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  4. Nita
    Oct 09, 2012 @ 09:28:07

    I love Spotify and bumped up to a paid membership very quickly after first trying it out about a year ago. I really like this music listening model and hope Spotify doesn’t go out of business.

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  5. Anne V
    Oct 09, 2012 @ 09:54:55

    I would really like to pay for Spotify but you can’t have an account without a Facebook account, and I don’t want Facebook.

    If either Amazon or iTunes start something equivalent, which seems like just a matter of time, I don’t see how Spotify will survive.

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  6. Isobel Carr
    Oct 09, 2012 @ 09:55:37

    I thought your link in the BDSM case would be to this: “Outrage as man jailed for raping disabled woman who can only communicate by tapping her index finger is FREED- because court ruled that she could have BIT him to say no to his advances”

    http://bit.ly/R0PLoA

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  7. Lada
    Oct 09, 2012 @ 10:48:19

    @Isobel Carr: OMG…I can’t even…

    Too outraged to even express it.

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  8. Carrie G
    Oct 09, 2012 @ 11:33:46

    @hapax:

    Very, true. (I love that comic.)

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  9. cbackson
    Oct 09, 2012 @ 11:35:30

    @Anne V: FWIW, I quickly set up a dummy FB account in order to get Spotify, and then deactivated it. You don’t have to keep the FB account open in order to use the service.

    I am a Spotify Premium member, and I LOVE it. I haven’t purchased music since I got it. You can stream almost anything, and with Premium, you can download playlists for offline listening. I really hope it survives.

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  10. Heather
    Oct 09, 2012 @ 12:25:35

    I’m not really sure in what world MVRDV lives in (probably the same world as Harper Collins), but there are books on library shelves that have been there for 20-50 years, and longer, that regularly circulate – not special collection titles, real browsing collection circulation.

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  11. Jennifer Leeland
    Oct 09, 2012 @ 13:03:07

    I’m sorry, but 16 is not consensual age. His relationship with his wife is not evidence. What might be more interesting is whether she is a co-defendant meaning did she know he acquired women for slaves who were 16 and under age? What frustrates me is that people will point to this as evidence of the evils of BDSM. Consent Consent Consent!!
    And as for the mugshot issue, I’ve been concerned since a local blogger and a local news site have begun to post mug shots with their stories. The problem is that those people aren’t guilty until the court says they are. I don’t think it’s good practice to allow it, but I don’t see how it can be stopped.

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  12. Moriah Jovan
    Oct 09, 2012 @ 13:11:17

    @Jennifer Leeland:

    I’m sorry, but 16 is not consensual age.

    Technically, in Missouri, it is.

    Other (better) arguments can be used to deal with this case (like, the age gap between them), but not that one.

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  13. LG
    Oct 09, 2012 @ 13:21:17

    @Heather: I know, even mass market paperbacks can last a lot longer than 4 years. Of course, the 4 year lifepan thing may very well become a reality in *that* particular library. Maybe it’ll be the first library ever that doesn’t have shelf space issues.

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  14. Ridley
    Oct 09, 2012 @ 13:26:41

    @Jennifer Leeland: That’s a common misconception, but the age of consent in most of the US and Canada is actually 16.

    Here’s a map.

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  15. Carrie G
    Oct 09, 2012 @ 13:46:23

    @Ridley:

    Ages of “consent” is one of those weird things. In NC, the age of consent for sex is 18, but at 16 you’re considered and adult for any criminal activity, and at either 12 or 14 you are considered an adult as far as your medical records. In other words, as a parent, I couldn’t request my children’s medical records, even to get them transferred to another Dr without my children signing for them after they were about 12. Which is confusing since, without my signed-in-blood approval, they wouldn’t even get an aspirin at school.

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  16. Janine
    Oct 09, 2012 @ 14:08:34

    That library is gorgeous and makes me want to visit the Netherlands.

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  17. Moriah Jovan
    Oct 09, 2012 @ 14:17:08

    @Janine: If you do, make sure to visit Apeldoorn. *le sigh*

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  18. Sunita
    Oct 09, 2012 @ 14:22:17

    What Carrie said. The “age of consent” is a shorthand. In Missouri, there are different ages for different types of sexual offenses. The age limit for statutory rape varies by the offense, as do the ages for assault, sodomy, molestation, and misconduct.

    For this case, the relevant age is 17 for the victim for statutory rape and sodomy in the second degree at least (because the accused is over 21). I haven’t looked at the charges, but I’m getting this information from the Missouri Statutes and basing my conclusion on the crimes alleged in various news accounts.

    The case is further complicated because there is a debate about the woman’s level of mental/cognitive development, so whether she was competent to give consent after she turned 17 is presumably part of the case.

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  19. Ridley
    Oct 09, 2012 @ 14:40:12

    Well, most people assume that sex with someone under 18 = always illegal, and I was just adding to Moriah’s point that it’s not that simple.

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  20. Carrie G
    Oct 09, 2012 @ 14:46:24

    @Ridley:

    Yep. I was agreeing with you. ;-) Our family has had an unfortunate opportunity to get acquainted with some of the laws, and found them confusing and inconsistent, to say the least.

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  21. Moriah Jovan
    Oct 09, 2012 @ 14:48:24

    Carrie’s point is well-taken, too. I was mistaken about it being 16, but Sunita cleared that up.

    That said, I was knee-jerk responding exactly as Ridley did: The default for consent is not 18.

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  22. Sunita
    Oct 09, 2012 @ 14:56:14

    @Ridley:Ah, sorry. It didn’t occur to me that people don’t generally realize that consent varies by jurisdiction, offense, and age gap of parties.

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  23. CourtneyLee
    Oct 09, 2012 @ 15:08:27

    The “age of consent” issue is indeed complex. Personally, I think 16 is too young to enter into a master-slave type D/s relationship and any responsible Dom (or Domme) of reasonable experience should know that. But that’s just my opinion and hinges on the D part of the D/s being a decent sort and not a predator, plus I’m not ready to say that the law should treat a specific type of sexual activity differently based on arbitrary standards of how “alternative” they are.

    I hope the young woman at the center of this is okay, or will be.

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  24. Avery Shy
    Oct 09, 2012 @ 15:30:25

    Hello! My name’s Avery, and I’m in the BDSM lifestyle.

    I’d like to point something out:

    Similar cases involving BDSM have already occurred. I don’t think “it was consensual” has ever successfully been used as a defense. Each time, the court has decided that consensual assault is still assault and convicted the dominant.

    And that’s horrible. >:(

    Here’s an excellent article on the subject: https://ncsfreedom.org/key-programs/consent-counts/consent-counts/item/580-consent-and-bdsm-the-state-of-the-law.html
    This cover quite a few cases (as early as one in the 1960s, I think) but the earliest is 2009. Not long ago at all.

    Anyway, IMO, it looks like this guy needs to be convicted, regardless. While his consensual activities with his wife should have nothing to do with this case, maybe they should worry less about that and more about putting this guy behind bars before he damages any more submissives. Legal precedents have already been set, and I don’t think this case is going to change anything, one way or the other.

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  25. Ros
    Oct 09, 2012 @ 17:21:29

    @Avery Shy: Thanks for those links. The question I was pondering as I was reading the other comments is whether one can ever consent to be the victim of a crime. It seems the courts think not, and I think I more or less agree. But it is obviously very complicated.

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  26. CourtneyLee
    Oct 09, 2012 @ 18:08:16

    Thanks, Avery. I kind of agree that one cannot actually consent to be the victim of a crime, but I also know several people in the lifestyle who have delved into the SM aspect fairly heavily in the past and they (both subs) look back on those experiences as fond, if intense, memories. But I think if the damage gets to the point where the sub needs emergency medical attention…yeah, that comes down on the side of crime to me. I just hope that the line can be walked between prosecuting an abuser and persecuting a dominant.

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  27. Avery Shy
    Oct 09, 2012 @ 19:16:32

    I’m more on the side of “if you consent, it’s not a crime”. Kind of like how if you consented to being robbed, it’s… not really robbery.
    At the end of it all, we’ve got to look at the intent of the law as well as the wording, yes? Law exists to protect. In consensual BDSM, there is no one to protect.

    That being said…

    When I’m talking about consensual S&M, I’m talking about things that leave bruises, not broken bones. I agree that when a sub has to go to the hospital, you’ve crossed the line from consensual play to abuse. No sane sub can consent to something that leaves them in need of medical care. (Unless, of course, the injury is accidental, but that’s another story.)

    Regardless, the guy in this case needs to be convicted. >:(

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  28. ducky
    Oct 09, 2012 @ 21:24:11

    I think if you end up in the hospital seriously injured and needing emergency care something has gone very wrong in your “consensual” BDSM relationship. But I also have never been able to understand why a woman would want to be with a sadist. Any man hurting me would be in for a very bad surprise with me.

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  29. Avery Shy
    Oct 10, 2012 @ 00:39:27

    @Ducky: It’s definitely a hard thing to understand!

    But the vast majority of BDSM relationships are nothing like the one in this case. I, personally, am a staunch feminist as well as a sub, and my relationship with my husband is based on love, trust, and communication, just like any other.

    Be assured, the desire to be with a sadist does not stem from a lack of backbone — a masochist just wants to be with someone who can fulfill their needs.

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  30. Ridley
    Oct 10, 2012 @ 14:52:04

    @ducky:

    But I also have never been able to understand why a woman would want to be with a sadist. Any man hurting me would be in for a very bad surprise with me.

    Well, that’s why consent is so important. Someone inflicting pain on you with your permission in an environment where you feel safe is completely different than someone hurting you against your will to make you afraid of him or her. A masochist enjoys pain, but he or she wouldn’t enjoy being beaten in anger any more than a woman who likes sex would enjoy being raped.

    A woman who’s into pain might be a sub, or she might not. She very well might be a dominant who tells her man how to hurt her and how hard. BDSM in real life is a lot more fluid than it’s generally portrayed in books. Just because a man is a sadist doesn’t mean he’s a Dom, or a predator or anything else. It only means that he enjoys causing pain. He might be stonefaced and stern with a masochist he’s playing with, or he might be a joker who laughs through scenes. If he’s at all ethical, he’s probably a really nice guy, and since he’s into BDSM, he’s likely going to be comfortable talking about what you need or want in a sexual relationship without judging you. Why wouldn’t a woman want to date a man like that?

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  31. Rebecca
    Oct 10, 2012 @ 20:46:58

    @Jennifer Leeland: The wife has also been charged, with trafficking.

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  32. amousie
    Oct 10, 2012 @ 20:52:11

    I’m watching Law & Order SVU and it’s pissing me off.

    Apparently if you write erotica then you must be writing about your own fantasies or your own experiences.

    I hate hate hate this storyline. Did I say hate?

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