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The Rape Scene in The Fountainhead


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#41 Jeffery Small

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Posted 19 April 2007 - 12:28 AM

I don't find chemistry to be a big part of Rand's theory of love, however, not even at that time. Maybe... if you call love at first sight "chemistry." But Rand seemed to want to make it much more.


There are plenty of ways to interpret a novel or a philosophy and apply it to one's life. I always accepted Rand's novels (and many novels by other authors) on their own terms. Many aspects of these stories are very abstract and that is certainly true of the attraction and romance between Roark and Dominique. Personally, I never tried to boil these aspects of the book down to the level of realism and I I have never been bothered by the abstractions. I love the writing style and I found many profound messages conveyed by Roark's various responses to Dominique (as well as the other characters) throughout the book from which I could learn valuable lessons. But it never crossed my mind that this was some sort of template for actions and responses to be applied to my life and my relationships with others. Roark and Dominique are literary vehicles used to convey information and not some real life role models.

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Jeff

#42 Judith

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Posted 19 April 2007 - 01:01 AM

Oh, please. It's SUBJUNCTIVE MOOD, __not___ SUBJECTIVE TENSE.

In English, personal pronouns can be subjective or objective, and that's about CASE, not about TENSE and not about MOOD.

Verbs have TENSES, MOODS, and VOICES.

Present, present-progressive, past, present-perfect, etc, are TENSES.

Indicative and subjunctive are MOODS.

Active and passive are VOICES.

Dear god. I've found someone who knows tons more about this stuff than I do.

I think I'm in love.

:devil:

It's going out of fashion in general; even good writers will sometimes think it's wrong in contexts where once it would have been considered right. "Whom" is another one on which usage is changing.

Over my f***ing dead body.

And note that that's f***ing, not f***in'.

Judith
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#43 Ellen Stuttle

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Posted 19 April 2007 - 02:45 AM


[Use of the subjunctive mood has been] going out of fashion in general; even good writers will sometimes think it's wrong in contexts where once it would have been considered right. "Whom" is another one on which usage is changing.

Over my f***ing dead body.

And note that that's f***ing, not f***in'.

Judith
aka Preservatrix of Victorian and Edwardian English


LOL. You and MH -- although MH has been known to bend to the winds of changes in grammatical style at least as regards "whom." I haven't watched thus far to see if you always use the subjunctive and/or "whom" in "Preservatrix of Victorian and Edwardian English" fashion. But I shall watch hence. Be warned...

Ellen

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#44 Victor Pross

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Posted 19 April 2007 - 03:20 AM

Rand did not believe in the idea of “love at first sight” but rather: knowledge of that person is a precondition of love, or any other emotion or feeling you might have toward somebody. I think much of the confusion towards this “love at first sight” business comes from this: people can feel an initial attraction to another person—that they take to be “love”--but that is rather adolescent or too rash a conclusion. The confusion is compounded if one does fall in love with a person where an initial attraction was experienced, and so one can easily conclude: “Yeah, it was love at first sight.” But it wasn’t. To think otherwise is, to my mind, to empty the word “love” of any genuine meaning. Whatever is faulted in Rand’s definition or conception of love, I think it is extremely reasonable to say that a powerful emotion such as love requires knowledge of a person, something much more than a first look could offer, love being something other than a mere physical attraction.

As for Rand, she was attracted to Frank’s looks, his manner even—and then, after some dating, she fell in love with him. But love at “first sight”—without any knowledge of that person? No, I don’t see that.

-Victor

Edited by Victor Pross, 19 April 2007 - 03:23 AM.

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#45 Ellen Stuttle

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Posted 19 April 2007 - 03:41 AM

Rand did not believe in the idea of “love at first sight” but rather: knowledge of that person is a precondition of love, or any other emotion or feeling you might have toward somebody. I think much of the confusion towards this “love at first sight” business comes from this: people can feel an initial attraction to another person—that they take to be “love”--but that is rather adolescent or too rash a conclusion. The confusion is compounded if one does fall in love with a person where an initial attraction was experienced, and so one can easily conclude: “Yeah, it was love at first sight.” But it wasn’t. To think otherwise is, to my mind, to empty the word “love” of any genuine meaning. Whatever is faulted in Rand’s definition or conception of love, I think it is extremely reasonable to say that a powerful emotion such as love requires knowledge of a person, something much more than a first look could offer, love being something other than a mere physical attraction.

As for Rand, she was attracted to Frank’s looks, his manner even—and then, after some dating, she fell in love with him. But love at “first sight”—without any knowledge of that person? No, I don’t see that.

-Victor


Victor,

I partly agree with you there, but partly don't. The disagreement is because I think that Rand believed that one could tell much more about a person "on first sight," or at any rate with minimal acquaintance, than you seem to allow for. The theme of immediate attraction is so prevalent in her novels (and in her earlier stories, too). Consider Kira, for instance, Kira's immediate willingness to be Leo's lover. She even pretends to be a street-walker, when Leo at first thinks that that's what she is. Consider Rand's own attraction -- on the basis of what, realistically? -- to the real Leo of her own life. Consider her languishing in distress after she'd seen Frank once and didn't know if she'd ever see him again -- she was worried about by others at the place she was living, I forget off-hand the name of it. It isn't that she thought of love as springing from how a person looked, from straightforward appearance, but she did have an attitude that one could discern character so quickly as to amount to "at first sight."

Ellen

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#46 Chris Grieb

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Posted 19 April 2007 - 04:28 AM

Ellen; According to Passion of Ayn Rand Ayn seeing of Frank O'Connor on the set of King of Kings was love at first sight. She may have written about it because she thought it was part of her own life.

Edited by Chris Grieb, 19 April 2007 - 04:29 AM.


#47 Victor Pross

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Posted 19 April 2007 - 11:56 AM

Victor,

I partly agree with you there, but partly don't. The disagreement is because I think that Rand believed that one could tell much more about a person "on first sight," or at any rate with minimal acquaintance, than you seem to allow for. The theme of immediate attraction is so prevalent in her novels (and in her earlier stories, too). Consider Kira, for instance, Kira's immediate willingness to be Leo's lover. She even pretends to be a street-walker, when Leo at first thinks that that's what she is. Consider Rand's own attraction -- on the basis of what, realistically? -- to the real Leo of her own life. Consider her languishing in distress after she'd seen Frank once and didn't know if she'd ever see him again -- she was worried about by others at the place she was living, I forget off-hand the name of it. It isn't that she thought of love as springing from how a person looked, from straightforward appearance, but she did have an attitude that one could discern character so quickly as to amount to "at first sight."

Ellen

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Ellen,

I do follow the line of your reasoning here. Regarding Rand’s stressing over wondering if she would ever see that handsome man, Frank, ever again and only after first meeting, (or look) could be based on that this man suits her physical requirements and intrigue was there. My god, she must have thought, this holds a lot of promise. But LOVE? If you recall of how Rand conceives of love—or even as you would—can you really reconcile that to a first meeting? Physical attraction, yes, that one is easy, but love becomes more difficult.

-Victor
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#48 Dragonfly

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Posted 19 April 2007 - 12:17 PM

It's all a matter of definition, how do you define "love"? It may encompass everything from the first infatuation to the comradeship in later years. How Rand later in her life defined "love" is not relevant, she could rationalize very well, a prime example being that she imagined Frank as a Galt on strike, while he according to all accounts was a quiet, nice, good-looking but not very gifted or ambitious man who had very little in common with John Galt.

#49 Reidy

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Posted 19 April 2007 - 12:25 PM

Whether or not "love" is the right word, Rand believed you could take people's measure at first sight, or at least before meeting them. Some other examples are Hank R's first sight of Dagny Taggart, Galt's recollection of his first sight of Rearden and the Anthem narrator's first sight of the beloved. Galt may not have fallen in love with Dagny at first sight, but he falls years before he meets her. Dominique is hot to trot before she even finds out the quarry worker's name. Kin to this is her preoccupation with "disappointment" with people who turned out not to be what she expected. I think this is, in some TBD way, a part of the appeal of her novels, well worth literary study.

#50 Mike Hardy

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Posted 19 April 2007 - 12:54 PM

LOL. You and MH -- although MH has been known to bend to the winds of changes in grammatical style at least as regards "whom."


I wouldn't mind if "whom" were abandoned. But people who can't understand the difference surely need euthanasia---no one could possibly doubt that. Professional journalists who write about "The man whom police believe is the culprit...." (You wouldn't say "Police believe _him_ is the culprit.) That sort of thing.

And let us not forget what James Thurber wrote:

Take the common expression, "Whom are you, anyways?" That is of course, strictly speaking, correct - and yet how formal, how stilted! The usage to be preferred in ordinary speech and writing is "Who are you, anyways?" "Whom" should be used in the nominative case only when a note of dignity or austerity is desired. For example, if a writer is dealing with a meeting of, say, the British Cabinet, it would be better to have the Premier greet a new arrival, such as an under-secretary, with a "Whom are you, anyways?" rather than a "Who are you, anyways?" - always granted that the Premier is sincerely unaware of the man's identity. To address a person one knows by a "Whom are you?" is a mark either of incredible lapse of memory or inexcusable arrogance. "How are you?" is a much kindlier salutation.


-- Mike Hardy

#51 Michael Stuart Kelly

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Posted 19 April 2007 - 01:32 PM

Victor,

Below are two posts I made to you and Angie. The quote by Rand is from her interview tapes with Barbara. Rand did believe in love at first sight in the full sense of the term.

This is Ayn Rand's first impression of Frank O'Connor, soon after she arrived in Hollywood in the mid 1920's. It is from The Passion of Ayn Rand by Barbara Branden, pp. 78-79.

It was a morning during Ayn's second week in Hollywood. She sat on the street car, gazing abstractedly out the window. "I didn't see him enter, but then I noticed him some benches away. I suddenly caught sight of his face—and that was it."

He was tall and slender; a strand of hair fell over his forehead; he wore an open shirt, and slacks over long legs. The skin of his face was taught against high cheekbones. His mouth was long and thin. His eyes were cold, clear blue. He was half dozing, his body relaxed with the boneless elegance of a cat.

Ayn felt a shock of astonishment—a sense of almost recognition—and an emotion of such intensity that she could not know if it was pleasure or pain. She would recall thinking that if she were a painter and were asked to put on canvas her own private vision of the perfect human face and figure, it would be this face and this figure that she would struggle to create. She felt as if she were chained to her seat—or chained to him—unable to move.

"Don't let them tell me about love at first sight," she said in future years. "It was love at first sight."

Do you mean something like this from The Fountainhead?

"I did want to see you two together for once," said Toohey, holding a delicate cup balanced nonchalantly. "Perfectly silly of me, isn't it? There's really nothing to make an occasion of, but then I'm silly and sentimental at times, like all of us. My compliments on your choice, Catherine. I owe you an apology, I never suspected you of such good taste. You and Peter make a wonderful couple. You'll do a great deal for him. You'll cook his Cream of Wheat, launder his handkerchiefs and bear his children, though of course the children will all have measles at one time or another, which is a nuisance."

(...)

"Katie and I met seven years ago," said Keating defensively. "And it was love at first sight of course?"

"Yes," said Keating and felt himself being ridiculous.

"It must have been spring," said Toohey. "It usually is. There's always a dark movie theater, and two people lost to the world, their hands clasped together—but hands do perspire when held too long, don't they? Still, it's beautiful to be in love. The sweetest story ever told—and the tritest. Don't turn away like that, Catherine. We must never allow ourselves to lose our sense of humor."

He smiled. The kindliness of his smile embraced them both. The kindliness was so great that it made their love seem small and mean, because only something contemptible could evoke such immensity of compassion.

There are other indications from her writing. Also, people speculate that she never really did get over Leo, her first great love. See "The Husband I Bought" for a young version of how she viewed love. From her writings, I believe she held an infatuation for Hickman (the child murderer she was using as a partial model for a hero in an early work) based on his appearance. Even in "The Simplest Thing in the World," one of the scenes Dorn imagines is a girl. Look at the following paragraph for a real peek into the depth of where this comes from (The Romantic Manifesto, p. 182):

And the building next door—it's a smart hotel, and there's this one large window right over her roof, and the window is of frosted glass, because the view is so ugly. She can't see anything in that window—only the silhouettes of people against the light. Only the shadows. And she sees this one man there—he's tan and slender and he holds his shoulders as if he were giving orders to the whole world. And he moves as if that were a light and easy job for him to do. And she falls in love with him. With his shadow. She's never seen him and she doesn't want to. She doesn't know anything about him and she never tries to learn. She doesn't care. It's not what he is. It's what she thinks of him as being. It's a love without future, without hope or the need of hope, a love great enough to find happiness in nothing but its own greatness, unreal, inexpressible, undemanding—and more real than anything around her.
. . .
And then, that evening, she is sitting alone on the roof, and there's a shot, and that window is shattered, and that man leaps out onto her roof. She sees him for the first time—and this is the miracle: for once in her life, he is what she had wanted him to be, he looks as she had wanted him to look.

Apparently her idea was to allow herself to fall in love deeply at first sight, then make it happen in reality.

Michael

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#52 Victor Pross

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Posted 19 April 2007 - 09:55 PM

Michael,

Hmm, I may stand corrected. You’ve made a good point in establishing Rand’s out look and I’m glad you brought it to my attention. Now I’m just not sure about Rand being correct about this—but I hesitate to tell anybody that their experiences aren’t real to them. She says she fell in love with Frank at first sight...and that's what she says.

Romantic love, Nathanial Branden writes, is a passionate spiritual-emotional-sexual attachment between a man and a woman that reflects a high regard for the value of each other's person. He sees it as a pathway not only to extraordinary joy but also to profound self-discovery. But how--how I ask--can something like THIS be experienced or engendered at a “fist sight?”

So I’m just having problems reconciling LOVE (as I experience and understand the concept) to a first time gaze upon a person without any (or very little) knowledge of that person. But, on the side here, did you address your above post to Angie and me insinuating that we fell in love at first sight? Hmmm? :turned:

-Victor

Edited by Victor Pross, 19 April 2007 - 10:21 PM.

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#53 Jeff Kremer

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Posted 20 April 2007 - 01:03 AM

Naw, you just hit on her at first sight.
The belief in the morality of altruism is the belief that you should use tires without treads on a rainy day so that you don't cause a crash by kicking water into another driver's windshield; you'll definitely crash, but you may have saved someone else. Government enforced altruism is just forcing the treads off everyone's tires. This will ensure that everyone will crash, but at least they will be helping others while they do it.

#54 Victor Pross

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Posted 20 April 2007 - 01:16 AM

Naw, you just hit on her at first sight.



Jeff,

You are not far removed from the truth.

You know, there was a time when Angie didn’t have her posting pix up, and I did address her in a post having no idea of the incredible vivacious woman behind the name “CNA". But yes, when her pix went up I did think, ‘wow, that is one hot chick and she has a brain, a spirit!’ :hyper:

However, it was Angie who addressed me first in a private message. And I was fast to follow up! Thereafter, as Angie and I began to talk, I became very intrigued with her. I liked her. Soon, I begin to think of her often and I checked her back-posts to get a better idea of her and the more I found out about her the more I liked. (Of course, she was checking my ass out, too). And the rest is history: we both fell in love. But that love was based on knowledge, all of it carried away by a mutual physical attraction (for what is possible in cyber world).

-Victor

Edited by Victor Pross, 20 April 2007 - 01:21 AM.

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#55 Judith

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Posted 20 April 2007 - 01:46 AM

LOL. You and MH -- although MH has been known to bend to the winds of changes in grammatical style at least as regards "whom." I haven't watched thus far to see if you always use the subjunctive and/or "whom" in "Preservatrix of Victorian and Edwardian English" fashion. But I shall watch hence. Be warned...

I haven't heard anything about "whom" becoming obsolete. Heaven forfend! To what is this generation coming! (Note I also don't believe in ending sentences, or even clauses, with prepositions, and I HAVE heard about the relaxation of that standard.)

Judith
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#56 Judith

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Posted 20 April 2007 - 01:56 AM

Hmm, I may stand corrected. You’ve made a good point in establishing Rand’s out look and I’m glad you brought it to my attention. Now I’m just not sure about Rand being correct about this—but I hesitate to tell anybody that their experiences aren’t real to them. She says she fell in love with Frank at first sight...and that's what she says.

She says she did -- but did she ever really SEE Frank? She was in love with her own vision of Frank, and poor Frank probably never felt loved for himself.

Your own theorizing sounds closer to the truth -- we can see something intriguing at first sight, but it certainly needs to be validated with experience.

I've never experienced anything remotely like love at first sight. Quite the contrary; I've always gone for men I've known for a while and never noticed until some day something about them makes me look at them in a different light.

Judith
"Facts are stubborn things, and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence."
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#57 Jeff Kremer

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Posted 21 April 2007 - 10:20 AM

Ya, Victor, I just remember reading that whole "Looking for a real live John Galt" thing or something along those lines at one time or another.
The belief in the morality of altruism is the belief that you should use tires without treads on a rainy day so that you don't cause a crash by kicking water into another driver's windshield; you'll definitely crash, but you may have saved someone else. Government enforced altruism is just forcing the treads off everyone's tires. This will ensure that everyone will crash, but at least they will be helping others while they do it.

#58 Michael Stuart Kelly

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Posted 14 June 2007 - 12:12 PM

Disclaimer and Source Identification

A fact about the essay at the start of this thread was brought to my attention after Victor had his posting privileges canceled on OL (see here). In keeping with my policy of identifying and acknowledging all instances of plagiary on OL as I become aware of them, I am posting the following information.

The above essay was posted here on OL on April 16, 2007 and reposted on the Ayn Rand Meetup Message Boards on April 20, 2007. See here.

The source of the parts that were plagiarized is David Hayes in a post to the "rec.arts.movies.past-films" Internet newsgroup dated December 17, 1997. See here.

Dan Edge, in a post to the Meetup Message Boards on June 7, 2007, listed the infringements. From the post:

Hayes:

As for the "rape" itself, the book describes what is seen in the movie: "...she made no sound. She did not call for help...."
And then (not in the movie): "She thought she must take a bath.... She saw the purple bruises left on her body by his mouth.... She knew that she would not take a bath. She knew that she wanted to keep the feeling of his body..." By assuming our knowledge that a woman who had genuinely been raped would have experienced a dire urge to wash off the physical traces and the memory, the author communicates that the opposite has taken place.

Pross:

As for this alleged "rape", the book describes Dominique's state of mind after Roark left: "...she made no sound. She did not call for help...." And then: "She thought she must take a bath.... She saw the purple bruises left on her body by his mouth.... She knew that she would not take a bath. She knew that she wanted to keep the feeling of his body..." By what I know, a woman who had genuinely been brutally raped would have experienced a dire urge to wash off the physical traces and the memory, as is reported in most rape cases, but Rand is trying to communicate that the opposite has taken place. Dominique lingers by the tub thinking in licentious recall what had taken place.


Hayes:

When Dominique tells Roark (one among many working in her father's quarry) that she has noticed that Roark knows her name, he responds, "You've been advertising it loudly enough." When she tells him that she might regard this as insubordination, he offers to bring over the supervisor to fire him. She tells him that such is unnecessary, but that further comments of this nature "might be misunderstood." "I don't think so," says the self-assured Roark.
She intentionally cracks the marble base of her fireplace to have a pretense to bring him to her room for the repair work. He lets her know that he realizes she had this ulterior motive. Both then enact in a veneer of innocuous conversation, with both slyly aware of their double-entendres.

Pross:

When Dominique tells Roark (one among many working in her father's quarry) that she noted that Roark knows her name, he counters, "You've been advertising it loudly enough." When she threatens insubordination, he offers to bring over the supervisor to fire him. She tells him that this isn?t necessary, but that further comments of this nature "might be misunderstood." "I don't think so," he answers, perfectly poised.

Later on, we see Dominique intentionally crack the marble base of her fireplace to have pretence to bring Roark to her room for the repair work. He lets her know that he fully realizes she had this ulterior motive and they then enact an innocuous conversation, with both covertly aware of their double-entendres. It is all very sexy, very cat and mouse.


Hayes:

Roark, talking first about the marble he'll need to replace the damaged piece, remarks that marble is formed from elements, "heat and pressure," then with caution in his voice, adds: "pressure is a powerful factor--it can lead to consequences which, once started, cannot be controlled." Dominique's aroused eyebrows tell us that she knows that he's no longer talking about limestone but about testosterone. He's telling her that if she knowingly encourages his glands to well up, she may not be able to stop him from acting on them. He's telling her also that he wants her to know that this could happen, giving her the chance to alter the course they're on.
Dominique continues the vein of conversation: "What consequences?"
Roark's response: "The infiltration of foreign elements from the surrounding soil." There's no second-guessing here; he's talking about semen, and thus necessarily about the process by which that fluid is delivered.

Pross:

Roark talks about the marble he'll need to replace the damaged piece, remarking that marble is formed from certain elements: "heat and pressure.? Then with prudence in his voice, adds: "pressure is a powerful factor--it can lead to consequences which, once started, cannot be controlled." Dominique knows that he's no longer talking about limestone but about testosterone. Roark is telling her, in very seductive and subtle tones, that if she knowingly encourages his desires, she may not be able to stop him from acting on them. He's telling her also that he wants her to know that this could very well happen thus giving her the chance to revise the course they're on. "What consequences?" Dominique answers, with practiced indifference. Roark gets the message. His response: "The infiltration of foreign elements from the surrounding soil." He?s talking about semen and about the process by which that fluid is delivered.

We extend our deepest apologies to David Hayes.

Michael

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#59 Michael Stuart Kelly

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Posted 26 June 2007 - 03:12 PM

I would like to thank Dan Edge for uncovering this plagiary. In light of the recent volume of exposures, I decided to remove the article.

Michael

Know thyself...


#60 Selene

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Posted 16 February 2008 - 01:21 PM

Boy wish I had been around for this thread.

"... ever since I heard it, that Rand's own reply on the "rape" issue -- "If it was 'rape,' it was rape by engraved invitation." -- stated with precision brevity the nature of that scene."

This was so clearly a D/s scenee with a safe, sane and consensual transfer of power to a Dominant by a submissive. Now, my understanding is that a "rape scene" in a D/s context does not use safe words.

Ms. D could have stopped Roark anytime that she wanted to. Essentially, she wanted, in her own psychic-sexuality to be overpowered by a Dominant.

It is the only explanation that makes sense to me.

Adam
"Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice..and moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue."




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