Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Poll of Polls on the EU referendum : "Leave" campaign draws level on average of online polls

This is only the third update of this blog's Poll of Polls for the EU referendum - I haven't been able to produce new figures as often as I expected, partly because telephone polling has been surprisingly infrequent. The "Leave" camp has now practically drawn level on the average for online polls, and although the "Remain" lead on the telephone average is still hefty, it's been slashed by 5% since mid-December. That may simply be a reversion to the mean, because the telephone lead was actually slightly smaller in the first update back in October.  Even so, the 50/50 average (ie. the mid-point between the telephone and online averages) shows a Remain lead of less than 10% for the first time.

SCOT GOES POP POLL OF POLLS

Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union?

50/50 ONLINE/TELEPHONE AVERAGE :

Remain 48.4% (-1.7)
Leave 39.0% (+1.4)

ONLINE AVERAGE :

Remain 42.3% (-0.8)
Leave 41.9% (+0.2)

TELEPHONE AVERAGE :

Remain 54.5% (-2.5)
Leave 36.0% (+2.5)

(The online average is based on seven polls - four from ICM, one from YouGov, one from Survation and one from Panelbase. The telephone average is based on one poll from ComRes and one from Ipsos-Mori.)

As we've discussed before, the two most plausible explanations for the enormous gulf between telephone and online results are that volunteer online polling panels contain a disproportionate number of politically committed people (which would imply that telephone polls are most accurate), and that some people may be too embarrassed to tell a telephone interviewer that they want to leave the EU (which would imply that online polls are most accurate). It could be a bit of both, of course, in which case the 50/50 average might be the best guide.

Just to muddy the waters further, Anthony Wells has pointed out that telephone polls are producing far fewer Don't Knows than online polls. That's an entirely counter-intuitive finding, because if online samples really do contain more politically committed people, you'd expect those individuals to know their own minds. Could it be that online respondents are thinking about the question more carefully and giving a considered response, while many telephone respondents are just giving a very casual answer? If so, we should be cautious about assuming that telephone polls are more likely to be on the money, because sooner or later the disinterested telephone respondents will start considering the issue in more depth, and might just reach the same conclusions as their online counterparts. Some would say that was precisely the explanation for the sudden convergence in the polls at the end of the independence referendum campaign, when the telephone and face-to-face polls showed a seismic shift, but the online polls barely budged. (The big exception was YouGov, an online-only firm that showed a massive swing to Yes - but that might be partly explained by their convoluted and secretive "Kellner Correction", which artificially generated No-friendly results earlier in the campaign.)

* * *

As you know, the uncertainty has returned in respect of present-day polling on independence - there have been just two 'real world' polls (ie. telephone or face-to-face) on the topic since the referendum, and both have shown significant Yes leads. All of the other polls have used volunteer online polling panels, and with the odd exception have generally shown narrow No leads. But our occasional commenter "Roger Mexico" confused the issue slightly on the previous thread by claiming there was a third 'real world' poll out there - an ICM telephone poll showing a No lead. Roger has a fairly obvious agenda, but he's far more knowledgeable about polling than the likes of Aldo, so I do start to question my own sanity when he says things like that. However, I've double-checked and triple-checked - I can only find one ICM poll since the referendum, it was commissioned by the Guardian, and they clearly stated that it was conducted online.  So I'm pretty sure Roger has got this one wrong, and that (as things stand) the divide between real world and online pollsters is extremely clear-cut.

*  *  *

It's not often that I disagree with the editorial stance of The National, but I think they've got it wrong in their endorsement for a campaign that would criminalise the likes of the "pick-up artist" Roosh V for incitement of hatred against women.  I've read the blogpost in which he argues that rape should be legalised on private property, and as idiotic, outrageous and offensive as it is, it doesn't actually contain any incitement to rape - in fact the opening part of the post contains a long explanation that he thinks rape is morally wrong.  He's essentially arguing that the onus for reducing the incidence of rape should be entirely placed on women, rather than on men or on the law - and he claims to honestly believe that would be far more effective.  You might think that his argument is a complete sham (it probably is) and that he really is as "pro-rape" as the newspapers have dubbed him.  But in a society that is supposed to treasure the right to free speech, it's dangerous enough to throw a person into jail for his actual words.  To incarcerate someone because of our contested interpretation of the hidden meaning of his words...well, that's crossing a threshold that we really shouldn't ever cross.

70 comments:

  1. I'd be pleased if we could have a bit more discussion,conjecture and analysis of the online/telephone anomaly.

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    1. Anthony Wells has addressed this several times.

      As far as I can see, the preliminary report of the polling inquiry is firm that "Mode of interview" was "Unlikely to have had an effect".

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    2. In polling for the general election, yes. Quite clearly it is having a massive effect in polling for the EU referendum.

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    3. Which doesn't convince they the pollsters have got it right, either way. This far out from a hypothetical referendum at a so-far-unspecified date, how reliable as more than the vaguest hint should we rely on these daft numbers?

      By the way, it seems to have all gone a bit EVEL. I note that the European Union Referendum Act 2015 specifies wording in English, and in Welsh. In fairness, why not also in Gàidhlig, Gaeilge, and even Ulstèr-Scotch/"Ullens"? If nationalists of all stripes were being truly obstructive (hint, hint), we should be pushing back at them.

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  2. I did an online YouGov poll yesterday.

    The independence question/referendum vote recollection/EU referendum vote were all asked.
    As well as Scottish elections & approval ratings for Scottish & UK leaders.

    Interestingly Lib Dem leaders were excluded from both approval questions - not worth asking I guess!

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    1. A number of people mentioned being interviewed for a YouGov Scottish poll the other week, but nothing was ever published, so it was probably a private poll for a political party. It'll be interesting to see if this one sees the light of day.

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  3. If these polls were conducted as a part of a larger poll is it not perhaps possible to make a comparison with another question, say recalled vote, to see if there's any consistent pattern?

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  4. Off topic. Delete if yu want. In Iowa caucuses - usa- Cruz 28% / trump 24%. Rubio 23%. Rubio was at 15% going in.
    Dems : Hillary 49.9 % Bernie 49.6. 10 precincts not in yet.
    From polling perspective nothing out of line. These are caucuses, so very hard to call. Do you have caucuses in Scotland?

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    1. Not really - I can't think of any obvious equivalent.

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    2. By the way, Bill, thanks for your email the other day.

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    3. I suffer severe gob-smackedness at how anything as loose as the Iowa caucuses could be polled. 1,682 precinct caucuses (all balanced according to voter turn-out last time), feeding into 99 County conventions, selecting delegates for the State convention, with time allowances (rather like show-jumping?). And all for just a couple percent of all delegate to the Party National Convention.

      Makes predicting the fall-out from a 15th preference recount and transfer, under STV, in an Irish five-seater an absolute doddle.

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  5. It will be close (too close for anyone's comfort), but I still think the UK will vote narrowly to remain in the EU. The interesting question is what happens then? Do UKIP fight on, encouraged by a close result, or does it quietly disappear, never to be seen or heard of again?

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  6. Glasgow Working ClassFebruary 2, 2016 at 10:44 AM

    I do not understand why the Nats who want iindependence from their neighbour want to hand control to Bruxelles and Frankfurt. Is it a safe meal ticket if the Nats screw the economy like the Greek's did!

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    1. Sorry, but what power would be handed to Brussels that isn't already there? And where does Frankfurt come into it? Nobody is talking about joining the euro.

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    2. Westminster britnats currently running up a debt of £1.8 trillions.

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  7. "I've read the blogpost in which he argues that rape should be legalised on private property, and as idiotic, outrageous and offensive as it is, it doesn't actually contain any incitement to rape - in fact the opening part of the post contains a long explanation that he thinks rape is morally wrong."

    I do have to say that the obvious chip on your shoulder you have against feminism is pretty off-putting, as a woman. I'd stick to the opinion polling (and yes, it is that obvious - this isn't the first time you've latched on to the issue to try and defend the indefensible).

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    1. Jen, if you disagree with my views on a subject you feel strongly about (and I should certainly hope those views are "obvious", because I've expressed them clearly and honestly on a number of occasions), it's unsurprising you should find that off-putting. However, that doesn't justify you making an ad hominem attack on me. If you think I'm defending the indefensible, please explain why. As far as I can see, the one and only thing I'm defending in this case is the idea that people shouldn't be thrown into jail for unpleasant ideological views. Is that really so indefensible? If so, explain why.

      Trying to close down the debate and telling me what I am and am not allowed to have opinions about just ain't on, I'm afraid. This is not a dedicated polling blog, and I will continue to speak out on any subject I choose. If you find free speech so intolerable, I'm sure we can all suggest one or two highly appropriate alternative blogs you could try instead.

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  8. What are the Scottish polling results for/against Brexit?

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    1. Scotland is heavily in favour of Remain, although the telephone/online split seems to apply here as well.

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    2. May I suggest we'd need to be a bit wary here.

      Unless the poll is specifically Scotland-only, all we are reading are a small cross-tab sub-sample, so (in theory) 8-9% of the UK sample. Which may, in a typical sample of 1,000-ish be barely 100 individuals. By which time we're down to those vampire polls so loved by toothpaste, soap and cosmetic firms.

      Across the UK, two main "established" pollsters [yeah, yeah, I know, Got it.] aren't scoring it anywhere close to even-Stephen:
      ComRes (Daily Mail, Friday last): stay 54%, out 36%, dunno 10%.
      Ipsos Mori (Monthly Monitor): stay 50%, out 38%, dunno 12%.

      Yet YouGov (on their website) differs: stay 38%, leave 42%, dunno/won't say/won't vote) 20%.

      Apparently telephone polls produce far fewer "don't knows, etc" than face-to-face.

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    3. I do struggle to follow some of your posts, Malcolm, but you seem to be reiterating some of the points from my own blogpost, and also misunderstanding some points. There are no GB-wide face-to-face polls on the EU referendum. There are telephone polls (ComRes and Ipsos-Mori) which always show far better results for Remain than online polls (YouGov, etc). Anthony Wells' point was that telephone polls are producing fewer Don't Knows than online polls, which is not at all what you'd expect.

      There have been a number of Scotland-specific polls on the referendum, by the way.

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    4. List them.

      I know I was rehearsing some of your points. My take is somewhat different. And "averaging" polls, without reference to how they were taken, what question was put, and without knowledge of the methodology and weighting of the averaging means it comes down to blind trust.

      Perhaps that is what I should have said.

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    5. Sigh. That's probably why I split the Poll of Polls into distinct online and telephone sections - something that John Curtice doesn't do, incidentally.

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  9. It looks like the council can't prevent Roosh V's meeting.

    Experience and research shows there's widespread confusion over what rape is and isn't, and that'll result in a wider range of interpretations of whether or not RV is promoting rape.

    RV's definition of what rape is, is very different from what the legal definition of rape is here and in other countries. By relabelling several kinds of deliberate breaches of consent as not rape, it's possible to claim you are against rape while actively promoting rape.

    Looking at what he says in terms of our legal definition of rape, I'd say he openly promotes rape and also denies that he does.

    Working out if any of what he says comes under incitement to violence or hate speech laws, or if they should, isn't the only free speech issue here.

    RVs threats to protesters are written in all his promotional info for all his events round the world but in this country may be legal. He intends to intimidate women from openly criticising him online or in public. At the same time he wants to provoke responses that'll help him promote himself as a free speech martyr.

    He forgot to threaten feminist men, but he's told gay and bisexual men and all women they shouldn't be in George Square in Glasgow or the Grassmarket in Edinburgh at 8pm next Saturday. He's telling women, that if they are in these public spaces to protest (or mebbe just laugh) at his meeting, his followers will film them so they can find them and exact “furious retribution” and “tear them up”. He promotes rape and he's using these words to tell his followers what to do to women criticising him in public.

    It'll be argued that he isn't specifically inciting physical or sexual violence with these words, so there's no problem, legally. All just interpretation, but we know the range of interpretations his followers will make and so does he. We know a lot of the likely outcomes.

    Putting aside the law, his intention is to intimidate and exclude women who disagree with him from a public space and he intends his “tribe” to cause harm to any woman who's not intimidated. This is a free speech issue too.

    The meeting will probably intimidate some women from going for a night out in town, and his threats will stop some people from coming to protest, but they'll attract other protesters and more media attention. I'm hoping the media discussion on free speech will be much wider than his and his “tribe's” rights to free speech.


    It'd make me happy if Glasgow's LGBT bars emptied into George Square at 8pm, and we all tag along behind R.V.s “tribe” to the bars they're going to to target young women.


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    1. "By relabelling several kinds of deliberate breaches of consent as not rape, it's possible to claim you are against rape while actively promoting rape."

      I'm only going on the one blogpost I read, but I'm struggling to see anything there that specifically characterises deliberate breaches of consent as "not rape". You're correct that he wants to radically redefine the legal concept of consent to an extent that the vast majority of people would find utterly crazy, but is that so outwith the bounds of legitimate debate that he should actually be thrown into prison for saying it? That's the issue I'm raising. He's not telling people to break the law on rape as it stands - he's arguing (probably just to provoke a reaction) for a change in the law. That puts him in much the same position as the BNP, who say completely outrageous things about race, but we don't lock them up either. We allow them to stand for election and defeat their attempts to change the law at the ballot box.

      I saw Vonny Moyes point out in her column that he doesn't allow women to comment on his website, and my initial reaction was "God, that's outrageous", but my second thought was "actually, there are quite a few forums and Facebook groups that I'm not allowed to join because I'm a man, so is there any real difference in principle?".

      "The meeting will probably intimidate some women from going for a night out in town"

      Seriously? I very much doubt if more than two men and a dog will turn up for the main event at George Square. It's just one of hundreds of simultaneous "meet-ups" around the globe - probably he asked his disciples to suggest meeting-points in various cities without really having a clue whether more than a handful will turn up at some of them.

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    2. "I very much doubt if more than two men and a dog will turn up for the main event at George Square."

      Then they'll be severely outnumbered by cohorts of feminists. Perhaps that is precisely what this publicity-seeker and victim-wannabe was about.

      Delete
  10. You don't have to like what he says, and it may even be construed as hate crime. But you have to be very careful about curtailing his right to the freedom of speech, lest you end up curtailing your own.

    Win the argument and freedom is reinforced, freedom is much more important than dogma even your own fiercely beliefs, no matter how valid.

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  11. James you said

    "I'm only going on the one blogpost I read, but I'm struggling to see anything there that specifically characterises deliberate breaches of consent as "not rape". You're correct that he wants to radically redefine the legal concept of consent to an extent that the vast majority of people would find utterly crazy, but is that so outwith the bounds of legitimate debate that he should actually be thrown into prison for saying it? That's the issue I'm raising. He's not telling people to break the law on rape as it stands - he's arguing (probably just to provoke a reaction) for a change in the law."

    If you have a bit of a read around what he has to say, more than that one blog post and compare what he says to our legal definition of rape, you might see the ways he is redefining deliberate breaches of consent as not rape, and is promoting rape.

    I understand it's your focus but I hadn't answered you on if he should go to prison for what he says other than to say I don't think anything he's said yet would make that a remote possibility. So it's really not something I'm worrying about.


    I was saying that there's more than one big freedom of speech issue here and other freedoms he's threatening, without having broken the law.


    No, we don't know how many men will show up to his tribal meetings in Glasgow and Edinburgh. Maybe it will just be two. We don't know.

    My understanding is that in other places some women have stayed away from the areas he's held his meetings. Some people won't go out in the town that night and won't be at the protest because of the threats he has made.

    Unless you've been through sexual violence and/or stalking or have seen up close the harm it does, and listened to women about all the things they do and think about to try to be safe, things that most men never think about, it can be hard for some men to get how very different most women's choices are.

    I'm hoping lots of men who see themselves as feminists or feminist allies will come to George Square

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    1. Under the new laws as they stand today you can have enthusiastic sex with a woman screaming at you to f**k her and still end up in prison. Just ask a certain footballer. And he had a witness that he wasn't committing rape.

      Rape is rape. Not rape is not rape and people like you make me sick.

      You couldn't care less about real victims of crime. Just as long as you and your SJW friends get to wave your feminist credentials around and try to bet a BJ off some of your fellow protesters.

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    2. "things that most men never think about"

      That statement is in itself a form of prejudice. Many men are the victims of stalking or sexual violence. Sometimes other men are the perpetrators, sometimes women are the perpetrators.

      If you think there is some evidence of his supposed hate-speech beyond that blogpost, I wish you'd direct me to it, because it's really troubling me that the media are almost universally calling him "pro-rape" as if that's an established fact.

      "I hadn't answered you on if he should go to prison for what he says other than to say I don't think anything he's said yet would make that a remote possibility."

      You mean under the law as it stands? Of course not. The point is that there's a campaign to change the law so that the expression of his views would be criminalised.

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  12. James said

    ""things that most men never think about"

    That statement is in itself a form of prejudice. Many men are the victims of stalking or sexual violence. Sometimes other men are the perpetrators, sometimes women are the perpetrators."

    My apologies James - I'm tired and wasn't writing clearly enough, the more accurate way to put it would be "in my experience many men find it hard to fully understand and don't think a great deal about...." I don't believe that is a sexist statement.

    You misread the bit that preceded this line. It included the possibility that men are also victims of sexual violence and stalking and also didn't suggest 100% of sexual violence is perpetrated by men. The majority of it is though. It's not sexist to say this.

    On the campaign to criminalise sexual hate speech that would mean things RV has said would be criminalised - I was explaining that your answer read as if I'd commented on this concern of yours, beyond saying he wasn't currently under threat. I hadn't.

    I haven't engaged much with the issue that is your main focus, just as you've not responded to most of the concerns I've raised.

    I could be wrong and I can't be arsed checking but I don't think I described Roosh V's statements as hate speech. If you want to understand more about rape and Roosh V's beliefs on rape please do go and have yourself a read around. Lots of his stuff is online and he has some books that can probably be got second hand if you don't want to support him financially. There are articles by other people quoting from him and giving different views on what rape is and what consent is. I haven't time/energy tonight to get all these references for you but just have a look around. Would you not want to get a broader understanding of the person whose rights you are concerned for and why others disagree with you, than you can get from from one blog post and the papers? You'll maybe say I can't support my statements as if that's a win, the end of it and maybe you won't feel like doing much more reading about it all. Up to you how much you want to understand this and how much you want to "win"



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    1. "If you want to understand more about rape..."

      Oh, for the love of God, what a load of patronising crap. To the extent that it's possible for someone who hasn't experienced rape to understand it (am I right in saying that applies to both of us?), then I understand rape EXACTLY as well as you do. No more of that nonsense, please. I asked you to provide evidence to support your claims about this particular individual and his stated views - you appear to be declining to do so for some reason. You've now asked me twice to have a look at his stuff myself - I can assure you I have done so and have drawn a complete blank.

      This has got absolutely nothing to do with 'winning' or 'losing' - if you're making claims of fact that you're simply unable or unwilling to support, the problem with that should be self-evident.

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  13. James said
    "To the extent that it's possible for someone who hasn't experienced rape to understand it(am I right in saying that applies to both of us?),then I understand rape EXACTLY as well as you do. No more of that nonsense please"

    fuckn dodgy question. Shows we have a very different understanding of sexual violence.

    I don't understand all there is to understand about sexual violence. I'd guess that no one does.

    There hasn't been a great deal of time since you said you'd only read one blog post of his. I also suggested you could read sources other than him.

    I've a fever and I'm knackered. I haven't the mental and physical energy to sit up getting you references. It's up to you if you're interested enough and want to think some more about all this.

    I might come back here with references. Or I might first re read these comments and have a think about if you're straightforward enough and have enough genuine interest for it to be a constructive thing to do.

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    1. "There hasn't been a great deal of time since you said you'd only read one blog post of his."

      No, I did NOT say that. Read it again. The point I was making is that the blogpost is the only thing of his I've read that is directly relevant to the issue of rape. I'd seen his website a number of times before this controversy ever arose, and at some point I read a long and damning review of 'Don't Bang Denmark' or whatever it was called. So, yes, my delightful patronising friend, I've had a reasonable amount of exposure to the guy's views - enough to reach what I believe to be informed conclusions. And yes, you'll have to provide references if you're interested in challenging those conclusions.

      It's really up to you whether you only want to engage with the small percentage of the population you consider to be sufficiently ideologically pure. Nobody can force you to take a less dogmatic approach. For my part, I'm tired and feeling under the weather as well, so I'm not going to shed any tears if you decide only to debate with people who already agree with you.

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  14. sorry you're not feeling good

    He has written a deal more that's available and relevant to this discussion than just that one blogpost. Some of it is on the same site. You stated "I'm only going on the one blogpost I read". So if I made a wrong assumption that you'd only read one blogpost by him, it was an easy one to make. Either you were basing your "informed conclusions" on more than that one blogpost, or nothing else you've read was relevant. Can't see how it can be both.


    People get patronising with you when you get squawky, squabbly and disingenuous.


    It's nothing to do with "ideologically pure" and nothing I've said suggests I'll only discuss with people who already agree with me. That's you making crap up again. I'm saying you aren't always straightforward in how you communicate, and that and the things you say, suggest you aren't much interested in understanding more about a big complex subject.

    I said "I don't understand all there is to understand about sexual violence. I'd guess that no one does." that was my crap fever brain trying to say this is a big complex subject, everyday's a school day if we want.

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    1. "Either you were basing your "informed conclusions" on more than that one blogpost, or nothing else you've read was relevant. Can't see how it can be both. "

      Sigh. (Counts very slowly to ten.) I will try to make this really, really simple for you, Owen. That blogpost is the only thing of his I've read that has any direct relevance to rape. I have, however, read plenty of stuff by him and about him (in line with what you kept telling me to do) and drew a blank on the subject of him supposedly "promoting rape". Can you really not see that those two statements are entirely consistent? Perhaps you can't, but that's scarcely my fault.

      "People get patronising with you when you get squawky, squabbly and disingenuous."

      A word of advice, Owen - if you don't want people to get extremely and justifiably annoyed with you in circumstances like this, it might be best not to speak to anyone who queries your ideological doctrines in any way as a primary school teacher might speak to a disobedient seven-year-old.

      I suspect you'll probably ignore that advice, but it's sincerely meant.

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    2. Owen : Comment deleted. Please check the moderation policy I've set out on numerous occasions before you attempt another post of that sort.

      Feel free to re-post your comment without the offending line.

      Delete
  15. As well as arguing for the legalisation of rape under certain circumstances, Roosh V has posted this video (http://www.rooshv.com/all-public-rape-allegations-are-false)

    in which he argues that any woman who makes public allegations of rape is lying. In defence of this argument, he asks us to name one rape allegation that led to a conviction and imprisonment of an alleged rapist. As he cannot think of one, he concludes that ALL women who have made public allegations are lying.

    He also made the following statements:

    "Women have been trained to use rape allegations to boost themselves up" (trained by whom?)

    "I'm more inclined to believe in conspiracy theories than to believe in an American woman's public rape allegation".

    He then lists some theories he finds more credible, like the suggestion that GW Bush was responsible for 9/11.

    He also suggested that Bill Cosby's accusers are lying, despite the fact that some of his accusers' claims have not yet been tried in court, and despite the fact that it is not clear that Cosby's alleged victims went to the media before going to the police, as he has suggested they did.

    To me, stigmatising all women who make complaints of rape as liars motivated by publicity or gain, unless there has been a conviction, is a clear instance of hate speech, seemingly designed to reduce the number of rape allegations. I understand that Roosh V will not attend the events in Scotland this weekend but I think there is a clear case for refusing him entry to the UK if he attempts to come.


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    1. " "actually, there are quite a few forums and Facebook groups that I'm not allowed to join because I'm a man, so is there any real difference in principle?"."

      I'm going to guess that the women who post on those forums and facebook groups aren't discussing why they should be allowed to sexually violate you without consequence if you happen to visit their homes.

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    2. So, Niall, I'm gathering that what you're saying is that men should be allowed to join female-only Facebook groups just as soon as the members start saying something totally outrageous on a subject of importance to men? That would appear to be the logic?

      I'm perhaps not quite as confident as you that such a circumstance would never arise.

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    3. "To me, stigmatising all women who make complaints of rape as liars motivated by publicity or gain, unless there has been a conviction, is a clear instance of hate speech, seemingly designed to reduce the number of rape allegations."

      Niall : I approach this subject gingerly, because once again I'm not "defending what he's saying" (as I'll doubtless be accused of) but simply trying to point out why it shouldn't be criminalised in a country with a commitment to free speech. It seems to me you're misrepresenting both his argument and his aims. You mentioned the word 'public' a couple of times, but then totally ignored the importance of it. He's not (if we take his words at face value, which is all the law can or should do) trying to stigmatise all rape complainants, but only those who make their complaints to the media before making them to the police.

      The counterargument to your own is that some feminist groups say that all rape complaints should be automatically believed. Is that a form of "hate-speech" against men who are still innocent in the eyes of the law? I don't think that sort of thing should be criminalised (in fact most people would find the idea of criminalising it totally ridiculous) but it seems to me that logically you can't have it both ways. To say that all rape allegations are true is at least as extreme as saying that all public rape allegations are false.

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    4. James, as an avid watcher of politics you are surely aware of the concept of the 'dogwhistle'. A politician wanting to communicate a controversial or publically unpalatable message will often choose a form of words that allows him to appear to say something other than what he is really saying. When Roosh makes certain caveats at the beginning of that video, we know he doesn't actually mean what he says. We know because in the bulk of the video he then goes on to say what he really thinks, and totally contradict the caveats he made at the beginning. In doing so, he is speaking directly to his fans and validating their own views about rape.

      It's quite easy to see this is true - that's why I referred to his mention of Bill Cosby. As you'll be aware more than 50 women have made allegations against Cosby. At least one criminal case and several US federal lawsuits are pending. None of them have had their day in court yet. Roosh considers that whether a woman succeeds or not in obtaining a conviction is absolute proof of whether a rape took place. There's also no evidence I can find that any of them went to the media before going to the police. So why is he damning the Cosby accusers as 'full of shit' before those cases are resolved?

      Dutiful caveats aside, Roosh then starts to say what he really thinks: 'I am more inclined to believe in conspiracy theories than in an American woman's public rape allegation'. Of course, some public rape allegations in the US have indeed secured convictions, yet Roosh claims not to have heard of any, even though eg the Steubenville rape case has been well publicised.

      It's easy to see what Roosh is trying to do - he is trying to create a climate in which womens' rape allegations are generally NOT believed. If his views became widely accepted, it's clear that fewer rape allegations would be made and fewer would be properly investigated. I suspect this would suit his fans perfectly.

      Please note also that I was personally arguing for Roosh to be denied entry to the UK (he has visited here before) rather than for him to be put in jail for what he says. The bar for such a ban on entry is lower and I think you can make a case that his visit is not in the public interest.

      As for: the feminist groups who say that ALL rape allegations are true, I'd appreciate it if you could link me to such a statement.

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    5. "As for: the feminist groups who say that ALL rape allegations are true, I'd appreciate it if you could link me to such a statement."

      Certainly. Try here, for example -

      https://stavvers.wordpress.com/2014/02/03/why-ibelieveher-is-so-vital/

      "We say “I believe her”, because we know that it’s more likely for a man to be hit by an asteroid than it is for him to have been falsely accused."

      Delete
    6. "A politician wanting to communicate a controversial or publically unpalatable message will often choose a form of words that allows him to appear to say something other than what he is really saying."

      That's precisely the point I was getting at earlier - it's dangerous enough to criminalise people for things they actually say, but it's far, far more dangerous to criminalise people for our contested interpretations of their subtext.

      Delete
    7. That link doesn't say, as per the sentence i quoted from your post, that 'all rape allegations are true'. It also doesn't say that law enforcement or the justice system should act as if all rape allegations are true. It says that feminists (acting outside the justice system) should reflexively believe rape allegations and act as if they are true as a political strategy in order to attempt to change prevailing beliefs about rape (which tend to assume women are lying) and because the number of false allegations are very small.

      Now, there are things to criticise in that blog post and with that approach, but it clearly doesn't do the same as what Roosh did, which was to claim that ALL public allegations of rape are OBJECTIVELY false. That blog post also doesn't attempt to intervene in ongoing cases, as Roosh did, to make a claim about their validity.

      Back to Roosh - I'm curious to know whether you agree with the British government's decision to ban the Westboro Baptist Church from the UK? I should think that is an analogous case.

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    8. "That link doesn't say, as per the sentence i quoted from your post, that 'all rape allegations are true'."

      Oh, come off it, Niall. How many men have been hit by asteroids in the whole of recorded history? That sentence is saying that the assumption should be that all rape allegations are true, because the possibility of one proving to be false would be just about the most freakish event you could possibly imagine. (Which is a load of rubbish, of course - she completely misrepresents the statistic she is quoting.)

      "Back to Roosh - I'm curious to know whether you agree with the British government's decision to ban the Westboro Baptist Church from the UK?"

      I know next to nothing about that, so I can't answer off the top of my head.

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    9. I've no idea how many people have been hit by an asteroid or comet. The buzzfeed article she links to assesses the chance of it happening at 1 in 250,000 (I've no idea if that is an accurate estimate either).

      If you take the 1 in 250,000 figure to be accurate, then you are in fact more likely to be hit by an asteroid in a given year than you are to win $10,000 in the Powerball lottery, which buzzfeed assesses as a 1 in 648,975.6
      chance. That would mean being hit by an asteroid isn't the most freakish event imaginable. And people win the lottery all the time. I will accept that the statistic generates more heat than light.

      The vast majority of men will never be accused of rape, whether justly or unjustly.

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    10. "The vast majority of men will never be accused of rape, whether justly or unjustly."

      Yes, Niall, exactly. That is what the statistic is getting at. The author of the blogpost is completely misrepresenting it, and implying that it instead means that a microscopically trivial minority of men who are actually accused of rape will turn out to be innocent.

      Incidentally, as far as I can see the number of men that have been hit by asteroids (as strictly defined) in recorded history is zero. If a looser definition including meteorites is used, the number is still tiny - there have only been a handful of recorded incidents.

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    11. Here is the sentence you quoted:

      ""We say “I believe her”, because we know that it’s more likely for a man to be hit by an asteroid than it is for him to have been falsely accused.""

      Note that she did not say "It's more likely for a man to be hit by an asteroid than it is for a rape allegation to turn out to be false" as you are suggesting she did.

      I don't think we need to research the history of asteroid/meteor strikes: the point is the 1 in 250,000 figure I quoted earlier.

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    12. "Note that she did not say "It's more likely for a man to be hit by an asteroid than it is for a rape allegation to turn out to be false" as you are suggesting she did."

      Her meaning is absolutely crystal-clear. I am dumbfounded that you are disputing it.

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  16. If the difference between online and telephone polls are that online respondents have spent more time thinking about the issues than telephone respondents, that would suggest that telephone polls could potentially show much bigger shifts in opinion in a short time (that was indeed the case in the independence referendum). But as Cameron seems very keen to have a snap referendum, perhaps as early as June, I guess we have to ask whether it will be enough time for the Leave side to make up the ground.

    Conversely, a significant refugee crisis occurring over the spring and summer could see freedom of movement totally suspended across Europe (this is already beginning to happen) and if at the same time there is an economic downturn there could be a sense that the European project is falling apart. So Cameron's strategy would then (not for the first time) backfire massively.

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    1. Freedom of movement isn't being suspended. Just some countries thinking about border checks to ensure that freedom of movement continues, but only for European passport holders / those with a valid visa. This is something that people living in the UK are used to already.

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  17. I am an American man, and I have decided to boycott American women. In a nutshell, American women are the most likely to cheat on you, to divorce you, to get fat, to steal half of your money in the divorce courts, don't know how to cook or clean, don't want to have children, etc. Therefore, what intelligent man would want to get involved with American women?

    American women are generally immature, selfish, extremely arrogant and self-centered, mentally unstable, irresponsible, and highly unchaste. The behavior of most American women is utterly disgusting, to say the least.

    This blog is my attempt to explain why I feel American women are inferior to foreign women (non-American women), and why American men should boycott American women, and date/marry only foreign (non-American) women.

    http://boycottamericanwomen.blogspot.com/

    BOYCOTT AMERICAN WOMEN!

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    1. I'm sure all American women are absolutely devastated by this news

      Delete
  18. Dividing this into parts because of the character limit
    You've been asking for references and arguments for why other people including newspaper journalists would claim that R V is pro rape and you said you could see no reason why they would see him this way.

    If someone's definition of what rape is, is the same as R V's, they probably won't see him as pro rape. R V doesn't have to believe he is pro rape to be pro rape. Many men who rape, deny that what they do is rape and will claim to be against rape.

    Calling something satire doesn't make it so. R V didn't come up with his definitions
    of rape for satirical purposes for his “Make Rape Legal” post, he's been using them all along. The frequency of rape and sexual assault is as high as it is partly because many of his beliefs are common. He makes money because lots of men take him serious. The Make Rape Legal post is not that different from lots of his other statements, e.g. In his post “Women must have their behaviour and decisions controlled by men”, In his Bang books he shows he believes he has the right to rape in private and believes that other men should do too. Where's the satire?

    The evidence is that sexual assault and rape is common, that the majority of rapes are committed in private, that the perpetrators are usually well known to the person they rape and are most often a partner or ex partner friend or relative, and that false allegations of rape are no more common than false allegations of other crimes. Here
    http://www.dailydot.com/lifestyle/roosh-v-mens-rights-sexism-misogyny/
    he says that women who say they've been raped by their partner are usually lying and shouldn't be believed by anyone unless there's evidence of other kinds of physical violence too. He has said that without confession, conviction, or evidence of other violence, all accusations of rape must be disbelieved. He suggests rape is only rape when there's other kinds of physical violence too, and that most perpetrators are strangers in dark alleys. These rape myths make reporting and prosecution of rape harder, and encourages more men who rape to believe that what they do is not rape. That's pro rape.

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    1. No, that's a subjective rather than an objective characterisation. He's making claims about the incidence of rape in various contexts that you think can be disproved by hard evidence. That makes him wrong, and it perhaps makes him knowingly dishonest. But it doesn't make him an advocate for the committing of rape, and so far you've failed to provide the remotest justification for newspapers labelling him as "pro-rape" as if that was an objective fact. However, I shall read on.

      "In his Bang books he shows he believes he has the right to rape in private and believes that other men should do too."

      A direct quote would be useful, because so far your characterisation of his statements has proven to be somewhat misleading. We know that he thinks rape on private property should be legalised (or claims to believe that for shock purposes), but so far I haven't see any evidence that he thinks he has the right to break the law as it stands, or has urged anyone else to do so.

      Delete
    2. The more straightforward way to answer would've been to read the three parts as the one comment, read all the quotes and sources suggested to you in all sections, and use them to look back at the all arguments that are being made here, then respond.

      No, he's made subjective claims about rape that are disproved by the evidence. When we have evidence a man pretends the majority of rapes are not rape and advocates for the conditions that we know enable rape, and encourages men to repeatedly ignore woman when they say no to sex, it's fair and reasonable for people to call him pro rape. Your characterisation of him is subjective too. You wanted to understand if there were reasonable grounds for other people to call him pro rape. I've suggested that for you to be able to assess if he is pro rape, it could be useful to have a look at the law to see if you've understood what rape is. Your answers here yesterday confirmed that you've misunderstood what rape is, in some of the same ways RV does. We have a legal definition of rape and your arguments for why you feel it's not reasonable for others to call him pro rape, have been based on you redefining rape in some of the same ways that he does. When the definition of rape you use is so different from the legal definition, you can't make a reasonable assessment of the evidence on if it is fair for other people to call RV pro rape.

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    3. "The more straightforward way to answer would've been to read the three parts as the one comment"

      I'm terribly sorry that I fell short of your exacting standards on straightforwardness, Mr Owen, sir. (Doffs cap.)

      Alternatively, of course, I could just do as I please.

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    4. "You wanted to understand if there were reasonable grounds for other people to call him pro rape."

      Nope. That's yet another misrepresentation. If you want to wage an ideological campaign against the guy and wear T-shirts calling him pro-rape, that's up to you. (Although doubtless someone, somewhere would call on you to be criminalised for hate speech, and the irony would be lost on you.) What I was pointing out is that the media have almost universally branded him as pro-rape, as if that's an objective fact beyond any credible dispute. You have fallen woefully short of reaching that standard.

      "Your answers here yesterday confirmed that you've misunderstood what rape is"

      Nice try, Owen, but I took the precaution of re-reading the legal definition of rape, and the prosecution guidelines, before I ever responded to you.

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  19. If someone denies the evidence that a violent crime is common, denies that it is violent or a crime, says that anyone reporting it should be disbelieved, promotes the exact same conditions that the evidence shows us this crime occurs most often in, and writes books that describe themselves committing that violent crime, promote this as a good thing for others to do and train others how to do the same, then it's fair to call them pro that violent crime.

    He says in his blog posts and books that verbal and physical communication of No means Yes. He tells his followers to ignore repeated refusals of consent and to intimidate, but gives women the responsibility to prevent rape.

    From his blog “When No means Yes”
    “No” when you try to take off her jeans or shirt means… “You need to turn me on a lot more.”
    “No” when you try to take off her bra means… “Try again in five minutes.”
    “No” when you try to take off her panties means… “Don’t give up now!””
    His words promoting Bang
    “Steps to taking off her clothes that includes tactics to fight any late-minute resistance she might throw at you”
    From Bang
    “Panties are sex. It's for this reason that you might encounter firm resistance at this point, even if she didn't resist prior steps. Just treat it like every other form of resistance and start over if she stops you, making a panty removal attempt every 10-15 minutes. At this stage you can use raw persistence to break down any remaining resistance”

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    1. I think the above post gets to the heart of what appears to be the dishonesty over the "pro-rape" label. You appear to be portraying the quoted passage as a breach of consent. Assuming we're not living in a fantastical world where young people in situations of intimacy never even start to loosen each other's clothes until unambiguous consent has been established, what is being described is a failed attempt at seeking consent which is then repeated later on. At no point in that passage does he advocate going ahead by force - he's simply saying that consent will always be granted eventually. That makes him self-evidently wrong, but it doesn't make him "pro-rape".

      I can understand why the disrespectful language is winding you up, but you're seeing statements in that passage that aren't there. 'Persistence' isn't a synonym for 'force'.

      Delete
    2. James,
      You've misunderstood the law in several ways.

      You have to have reasonable belief the other person consents. “Persistence” after someone has said no is assault. If someone has said no to you trying to take their clothes off, trying to take their clothes off five minutes later is assault.

      A man's interpretation of whether or not he has used “force” isn't too relevant here, it's whether he had a “reasonable belief” that the woman had consented. If she's said no and he's ignored her and started to pressure her again, then he can't be said to have a reasonable belief she has consented .

      Consent can be withdrawn at any point. If the woman says no at any stage, before any physical contact, at any stage of undress, at any stage of sex, if they say no and the man makes the choice to not stop, that's rape. RV says it is not rape.

      Writing books and blogs saying that consent will always be granted if you persist in ignoring someone saying No to sex, is pro rape.

      RV describes raping a woman who had said No at least 30 times over a period of four hours. He says how unhappy she is. I wonder how much of it he makes up, but he's promoting this as the way men should behave. This is in 30 Bangs and is on the hunting the mammoth site and elsewhere.

      Saying No to sex doesn't have a 5 minute time limit before you have to say No again, No doesn't mean keep ignoring me saying no, and keep pressuring me till I'm too intimidated to speak. When No means Yes inside a man's head, then what he calls persuasion, persistence, foreplay and sex (penetrative sex) will often in reality be him ignoring her refusal of consent, then pressure, intimidation, sexual assault and rape. Men who do this may end up believing they've been falsely accused of rape.

      Delete
    3. "“Persistence” after someone has said no is assault."

      Oh for the love of God. What he seems to be describing (and you certainly have no hard evidence that this isn't what he means) is a situation where consensual sexual activity has continued for a few minutes after a woman has refused permission for a specific item of clothing to be removed. The way you're characterising it as the ignoring of a complete denial of consent for all sexual activity is absurd given the way that passage is written, and I suspect you know that perfectly well.

      "Consent can be withdrawn at any point."

      And a refusal of consent can also be reversed. If it is, that's not rape.

      "Writing books and blogs saying that consent will always be granted if you persist in ignoring someone saying No to sex, is pro rape."

      No. It really, really isn't. It's wrong, it's delusional, it's arguably grossly irresponsible. But it isn't "pro-rape". Words have meanings, Owen.

      Delete
  20. I'm not copying his descriptions of raping women who said no repeatedly, sometimes over a period of hours, but it's in his books and easy to find online. Straight after describing these rapes he says “No means no—until it means yes.” and “I told myself she’s not walking out my door without getting fucked. At that moment I accepted the idea of getting locked up in a Polish prison to make it happen.”

    He describes raping women who said no repeatedly over a long period of time. (30 Bangs and Bang Poland)
    He describes raping a woman who is half asleep, (Bang Iceland, also in interview with Reggie Yates. He expresses disbelief that Yates doesn't rape women when they are half asleep.)
    His “justification” for why it was consensual was that this wasn't the first time they'd had “sex”. (interview with Reggie Yates)
    Quote from Bang Iceland “If a girl is willing to walk home with me, she’s going to get the dick no matter how much she has drunk.”

    RV says it can be OK for a man to have sex with his partner when she's half asleep without her consent http://www.dailydot.com/lifestyle/roosh-v-mens-rights-sexism-misogyny/ suggests that it shouldn't be seen as rape, and there's no real problem because if the woman decides she doesn't like this she can always leave him.

    So for RV, rape isn't rape unless there is evidence of other violence, and consent to sex is expressed by
    Being drunk
    Being half asleep
    Verbally saying No
    Physically communicating that you don't want sex
    Expressing distress and fear
    Being in a private place with the other person
    Having had sex with the person before, (if we translate this and the above list into our definitions of consent and rape, he's saying committing rape means you should always be allowed to rape that person again)

    By saying that rape in these situations isn't rape, and selling books of “pick up tips” that describe how he raped women, and tell men to keep ignoring a woman's refusal of consent, he's promoting rape.

    He says his “Make Rape Legal” is “satirical” but in his other writing says men need to control all women's decisions and behaviour, and he describes himself acting as if he believes he has the right to rape in a private space, and promotes all this as the right and natural way for all men to live. It's hard to see where the satire is.

    If you still feel there is no good reason for people to call him pro rape, and have a look at the law on rape and read about what consent is.






    ReplyDelete
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    1. As you're specifically declining to provide direct quotes of these supposed descriptions of him raping women (with the partial exception of the Iceland and Poland quotes), I can't really comment on them, especially because your paraphrasing elsewhere has proven to be so misleading.

      You've provided one link there in which his statement about sex with women who are half-asleep turns out to be a touch more ambiguous than you portrayed it - "Well if this guy is hurting his girlfriend, she should break up with him. I think we just have to use common sense. If she likes him and he sleeps with her when she's half-asleep, is that rape and does he deserve to go to jail? I'm not a lawyer..."

      As I said before, I have read a long and less than complimentary review of 'Don't Bang Denmark'. So if the guy really does use his books to confess to serial rapes, I'm surprised it didn't come through in that review.

      Delete
    2. I gave you enough info so you could easily find these quotes if you'd wanted, they are all on the we hunted the mammoth site, and you'll find them in other places too. I gave you quotes of him speaking in support of committing rape that you've ignored. You said I've misleadingly paraphrased him, as your reason for not answering some of the arguments I've made, but that position comes from you misunderstanding what rape is, and agreeing with some of the rape myths and redefinitions of rape that RV peddles.

      I can see why RV wants you to think the quote that starts “Well if this guy is hurting jis girlfriend, is ambiguous, but unless partners agree beforehand that there is pre consent for sex in this situation then the boyfriend can't claim to have a reasonable belief that there is consent. See also his interview with Reggie Yates where he describes “jamming it into her” when the woman was half asleep , with no reasonable belief she was consenting. RV doesn't believe this is rape because they'd had sex before.

      The most common perpetrators are partners and ex partners. Do you believe it's not rape/or it's ambiguous if she likes him? because they've had sex before? if she can leave him after being raped? In the same daily dot article RV says that women who report rape by their partner should not be believed unless there is evidence of other forms of violence.



      Delete
    3. "I gave you enough info so you could easily find these quotes if you'd wanted"

      Rubbish. Largely because of you, I've wasted much of the last 48 hours reading the guy's assorted tedious ramblings, and so far I've drawn a complete blank. I suspect there's a good reason for that.

      "but that position comes from you misunderstanding what rape is"

      Actually, the legal definition and prosecution guidelines are crystal-clear. If you think they mean something different, you'll have to explain why.

      "Do you believe it's not rape/or it's ambiguous if she likes him?"

      You are an absolute bloody disgrace, Owen. You are knowingly twisting my words. You know perfectly well that I meant his statement was ambiguous (in the sense that he was asking a question and admitting he wasn't a lawyer), and yet you pretend that I was actually saying that a type of rape is ambiguous. How do you feel after that pathetic little stunt? Proud of yourself?

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  21. Part 1 of RV's beliefs on how women express consent to sex.

    Yesterday I gave you this list of where RV's statements shows where his definition of rape differs from the legal definition of rape. I already gave you either quotes or enough info that you could find the sources and quotes for yourself but you chose not to. I'll try again.

    For RV, rape isn't rape unless there is evidence of other forms of violence http://www.dailydot.com/lifestyle/roosh-v-mens-rights-sexism-misogyny/ ,

    and for RV consent to sex is expressed by

    1 Being drunk
    Quote from Bang Iceland “If a girl is willing to walk home with me, she’s going to get the dick no matter how much she has drunk.”

    2 Being half asleep
    Discussed here www.dailydot.com/lifestyle/roosh-v-mens-rights-sexism-misogyny/
    And his interview with Reggie Yates www.wehuntedthemammoth.com/2015/12/23/roosh-v-is-angry-that-the-bbc-has-portrayed-him-as-the-monster-he-is/


    3 Verbally saying No
    RV blog post “When No means Yes”
    Interview with Reggie Yates is on www.wehuntedthemammoth.com/2015/12/23/roosh-v-is-angry-that-the-bbc-has-portrayed-him-as-the-monster-he-is/
    For the relevant quotes from 30 Bangs and Bang Poland see various sites or www.wehuntedthemammoth.com/2015/08/14/are-roosh-vs-bang-books-how-to-guides-for-date-rape/

    4Physically saying No
    See the quotes already given to you from Bang and “When No means Yes”

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Part 2 of list of RV's beliefs on how women consent to sex
      5 Expressing distress and fear
      Same 30 Bangs quote as above

      6 Being in a private place with another person
      From Bang Iceland “If a girl is willing to walk home with me, she’s going to get the dick no matter how much she has drunk.”
      His blog post “Make rape Legal”

      7Having had sex with the person before , (if we translate this and the above list into our definitions of consent and rape, he's also saying committing rape means you should always be allowed to rape that person again)
      In the interview with Reggie Yates, RV s justification for penetration of a woman who was half asleep without reasonable belief she was consenting, was that they'd had sex before.
      http://www.wehuntedthemammoth.com/2015/12/23/roosh-v-is-angry-that-the-bbc-has-portrayed-him-as-the-monster-he-is/

      And here http://www.dailydot.com/lifestyle/roosh-v-mens-rights-sexism-misogyny/
      he again suggests a similar situation isn't rape if the two people have had sex before, if she likes him etc. He also says in this interview that unless there is evidence of other forms of violence too, a woman who reports that her partner has raped her should never be believed.

      Part 2
      In the list above on RV's beliefs on what rape and consent are, you've got the evidence that he thinks he has the right to break the law and that he encourages others to break the law. In promoting these views and encouraging men to believe these actions are not rape, and that it's right for all men to behave this way, he's made it fair and reasonable for people to call him pro rape. You've shown you also believe some of the rape-isn't-rape myths that RV promotes, so I can't expect you to be able to get why people are reasonably calling him pro rape. You got very angry when I suggested you read about the law on rape and consent, but you don't understand it and it could be useful to have a look. http://www.gov.scot/Resource/Doc/254429/0105624.pdf


      If you believe our law on rape shouldn't be based on consent, or that our definition of consent should be altered, work out what your case is and start a campaign to change it.

      Delete
    2. I suspect you should take your own advice. Your whole case on this thread has been an enormous bluff. You have failed to establish that Roosh V is objectively "pro-rape", and you have failed to provide any supporting evidence for your assertions about consent (that final link most certainly doesn't do the trick, by the way).

      There's a good reason why I'm angry with you. You've been behaving appallingly badly on this thread - arrogantly throwing your weight around, using the most condescending language possible without a trace of self-awareness, and cynically misrepresenting my own statements. My suggestion is that you pack it in.

      Delete