fotocat

Rape by an Objectivist

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I was pointed to this site if I felt it was valuable to discuss the moral implications of rape with an objectivist/obectivist leader. Is this a place to speak about this? If not, where? Thanks.

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Don't see why not. This wouldn't be a difficult question for an Objectivist, since rape entails the use of coercion, and an Objectivist would never condone that.

If you have the famous scene in The Fountainhead in mind, it isn't rape. The story spends a chapter or two establishing that this is what Dominique wants and that it's the only way she wants to be taken.

Welcome to OL.

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Fotocat,

Here.

I like clarity, so let's just get the whole thing out. That way it won't turn into a labyrinth of links and discussions almost cryptically alluding to things in those links like last time.


But first, let me answer your opening question. Is it "valuable to discuss the moral implications of rape with an objectivist/obectivist leader?"

There are some Objectivists on this site (as opposed to Objectivism-friendly people), but I don't know of any Objectivist leaders except David Kelley and he never posts. (I'm not sure I would call Ed Hudgins an "Objectivist leader," although some might see him as that because of his position and TAS and his mainstream news presence.)

Is it valuable to discuss the moral implications of rape with the Objectivists on OL? Maybe. Lots of things get discussed on OL.

Or is your question "rape BY an Objectivist and/or Objectivist leader"? In that case, why not discuss it if there is good evidence?

For example, we have discussed Therapist by Ellen Plasil several times on OL (see here for instance). I think it is fair to say Lonnie Leonard (the subject of that book) was a rapist acting in the name of Objectivism. If you want more posts on that case, just copy/paste (including the quote marks) the following into Google:

"lonnie leonard" site:objectivistliving.com

But I believe we have been around your issue before, so here are some links with comments for the reader.


Please correct me if I am wrong. I believe the "Objectivist leader" you want to discuss is John Ridpath since you were a former romantic partner of his--going by your own words on OL:

Ridpath was not an intellectual. He wrote to please Peikoff and others. He had a library full of books he never read. He always waited to get Peikoff's approval before submitting anything. Sad but true. (ex romantic partner of RIPDATH)

Dennis (Ninth Doctor) wondered at the time (February 2014):

I wonder if there's any relationship to this situation:


http://www.objectivistliving.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=12029&page=1entry161811

What has Ridpath ever produced? We should we care? So he has at least one, probably two vocally unhappy ex-lovers. I would conclude with a 'so what' but manners dictate I say: Welcome to OL, fotocat!

The OL link Dennis gave is actually a thread he started: New (old) dirty laundry aired. Apparently you (I'm assuming it was you, but please correct me if I'm wrong) sent him a private message prompted by a discussion on OO about a book by Buechner. And you gave him a link, which goes to the following webpage:

On the Independent Pursuit of Justice--March 23, 1990

Here are a few quotes from the Timeline section of that webpage (the stars in parenthesis indicate links to scans of original documents at the bottom of that webpage):

·· In 1987 Catherine and Ridpath meet at Reisman’s biannual Thomas Jefferson School held at the University of San Diego. Near the end Ridpath asks Catherine to move to Toronto and live with him. (*)

·· February 1988 Catherine moves in with Ridpath at his Toronto apartment.

·· Ridpath twice physically assaults Catherine by restraining her and preventing her from leaving their apartment against her will. After the second assault, in May, Catherine breaks with Ridpath and moves out. Some time later she tells her friends the Marcs what happened.

. . .

·· Ridpath tells Reisman that Catherine is immoral. It isn’t clear what else he tells him.

·· Reisman bars Catherine from visiting the Marcs at their TJS IV dormitory room, and later bars her from attending the closing banquet. (She hadn’t registered for the conference itself, not being able to afford it. (*) )

·· Ridpath tells Buechner that the Marcs are accusing him of raping Catherine. He says the Marcs base this on lies Catherine told them and on how he decorates his apartment. Ridpath asks Buechner to bar the Marcs from attending his upcoming Objectivist conference “The Power of Objectivity.”

. . .

The gist of the story presented in OTIPOJ is that Ridpath duped his friend Buechner into barring the Marcs from his Objectivist conference in order to cover up a rape accusation by a former girlfriend. Whether or not OTIPOJ proves this claim is for the reader to decide.

I am assuming you (Fotocat) are the Catherine mentioned, but please let me know if that assumption is not correct.

For the record, I believe the best place to report a rape is to file a complaint with the police, but I also realize it is complicated for the people who get entangled in something like this, the statute of limitations has expired and Ridpath has passed away.

Is the above a reasonable overview of the issue you want to discuss?

Is there anything in particular you want to discuss about it?

Is there anything you want people on OL to do?

What's on your mind?

Michael

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The OL link Dennis gave is actually a thread he started: New (old) dirty laundry aired. Apparently you (I'm assuming it was you, but please correct me if I'm wrong) sent him a private message prompted by a discussion on OO about a book by Buechner. And you gave him a link, which goes to the following webpage:

I mentioned the OTIPOJ monograph in "Who's Who" -- just the title, no link -- and gave a one sentence summary of its contents. Cat recently discovered this and emailed me, asking if I'd like to know more. I replied that someone had put OTIPOJ online and gave her the same link Michael has in his post.

She replied that there is more to the story that she would like known. I suggested that she say it on OL. (I'm the one mentioned in her first post.)

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Ayn, when asked about whether that is a rape scene in The Fountainhead, replied that it was not an actual "rape," and referred to is somewhat humorously as, "Well, if that was rape, then it was 'rape by engraved invitation'!"

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If you look into Objectivism's view on man's rights, you will understand everything Objectivism would have to say in regards to rape. Clearly, the raped person's rights were violated in a majorly monstrous way.

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If you look into Objectivism's view on man's rights, you will understand everything Objectivism would have to say in regards to rape. Clearly, the raped person's rights were violated in a majorly monstrous way.

Really, so, if a highly paid CFO of a major corporation chooses to be "raped by invitation," your statement means...?

A...

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If you look into Objectivism's view on man's rights, you will understand everything Objectivism would have to say in regards to rape. Clearly, the raped person's rights were violated in a majorly monstrous way.

Really, so, if a highly paid CFO of a major corporation chooses to be "raped by invitation," your statement means...?

A...

A "rape by engraved invitation" isn't a rape. So, Rand was saying the "rape scene" wasn't really a rape scene. Peter is just saying that a real rape is really bad.

Darrell

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Dennis (Ninth Doctor) wondered at the time (February 2014):

I wonder if there's any relationship to this situation:

http://www.objectivistliving.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=12029&page=1entry161811

What has Ridpath ever produced? We should we care? So he has at least one, probably two vocally unhappy ex-lovers. I would conclude with a 'so what' but manners dictate I say: Welcome to OL, fotocat!

Ouch, I was pretty rude! Must have been a bad day or something. I here offer my appy polly loggies.

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If you look into Objectivism's view on man's rights, you will understand everything Objectivism would have to say in regards to rape. Clearly, the raped person's rights were violated in a majorly monstrous way.

Really, so, if a highly paid CFO of a major corporation chooses to be "raped by invitation," your statement means...?

A...

I really don't understand. Choosing rape? I don't understand. Obviously, you can't choose to be raped.

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Mmmm. Suffice to say that the "gentler sex" can surprise you, sometimes.

Has made me wonder (on occasions) if men themselves shouldn't lay some greater claim to that epithet.

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Rape+invitation? I see that as a contradiction in terms.

If you're inviting someone how is it rape?

Rape, by definition, is a forced sexual act on the unwilling, no?

-J

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At some point you simply have to make allowances for "poetic license." The Fountainhead is a dramatic, hyperbolic, fictional story -- not real life.

(Reference.com defines poetic license as: "license or liberty taken by a poet, prose writer, or other artist in deviating from rule, conventional form, logic, or fact, in order to produce a desired effect.")

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Right. We’re not talking about romance novel rape here, we’re talking about criminal rape. A victim started this thread.

Jerry Biggers used this thread to repeat an old joke, which posted here is easily understood as blaming the victim. He should have known how she would react, but apparently what intelligence he has doesn’t encourage thoughtfulness. The man must be pushing 70, age without wisdom. He should smirk at himself in the mirror.

The limited account on the OTIPOJ webpage focuses on Ridpath’s public actions rather than what there was to cover up. Apparently the latter is what fotocat would have written about. Several days ago I received a brief email from her. In an earlier email she’d given me permission to repeat whatever she said, so I’ll quote part of it:

"... I did not know how emotionally exhausting this would be. Perhaps a cancellation is appropriate."

I gathered this was a tactful way of saying she’s not going through with posting here. I replied that I understood and asked her a question. I’ve been waiting for her to reply but she never did. I don’t know if she returned here to see what people had posted. I can understand her not wanting to subject herself to people like Biggers.

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Kyrel,

Re The Fountainhead, to me no poetic license was ever needed. I rarely participate in the rape scene discussions because they always focus on the wrong thing--the behavior framed by current social standards.

In Rand's story, Roark was not a sexist pig and Dominique was not a defenseless woman being terrorized as a sex object and nothing more. They were both individuals for whom the rules of others did not apply. They made their own realities and they did not bow to society. They were the same kind of people. From that lens, the rape scene was their highest tribute to each other.

From the lens of the guilt and shame that rules the current culture, Roark was a brute akin to a drunken football jock who should get his ass sued off and do a stint in jail.

To people who see life through the unstoppable force lens, they can't imagine Roark doing that with any woman other than Dominique. To those who see through the second, the obedience to the rules of others lens, they can't imagine Roark not doing that to any woman who catches his fancy.

One perspective sees Roark and Dominique as magnificent. The other sees Roark as a thug and Dominique as a helpless victim.

That rape scene is actually a very good barometer for a person to see what he resonates with.

Now back to the topic. As Mark just pointed out, this has nothing to do with the issue at the start of this thread where, regardless of what happened, it left some deep pain and unhealed scars in a woman. I feel bad for her and hope some day she finds serenity about her awful experience.

Michael

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I can understand her not wanting to subject herself to people like Biggers.

Mark,

Come on.

Jerry made a tangential comment off the top of his head. Small talk about a scene from The Fountainhead that has been discussed to death in O-Land. I didn't even relate it to Catherine's situation until you just did.

Until further notice from him, small talk is how I interpret it.

Michael

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Marc and other posters:

As I see it, there are three possibilities/probabilities that could have existed:

1) rape initiated and carried out by force; a crime - malum en prohibitum - malum en se;

2) rape initiated by agreement between two persons;

3) rape by request;

Now, in the first case, the victim has several options:

1) kill the rapist; [my personal favorite];

2) go to an emergency room and have them process a rape kit and report the crime;

3) treat any physical, emotional and mental damages; or,

4) hide it.

A...

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A victim started this thread.

Trouble is, she didn't identify herself as a victim. You did that, later. This was true also when she first posted, when I was a little rude. Here was her first post:

Ridpath was not an intellectual. He wrote to please Peikoff and others. He had a library full of books he never read. He always waited to get Peikoff's approval before submitting anything. Sad but true. (ex romantic partner of RIPDATH)

"ex romantic partner" and "rape victim" simply aren't the same thing. BTW I think you owe Jerry an appy polly loggie. The worst you could say about what he posted is that it's shopworn.

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I told a story about John Ridpath years ago and I will try to repeat it. My brother Robert, Willard R. Grace III, and I had an apartment on Madison Lane just off the Rotunda at the University of Virginia in 1966. John Ridpath sub-let our apartment for the summer. After the summer he was to move out and to leave the apartment as he had found it.

We drove from Delaware to UVA at the end of August, and accompanying us was my grandmother and grandfather. My grandmother, upon entering the apartment said this place is a mess, and proceeding to clean the apartment, even though we told her please dont, its fine. She enlisted my brother to help and when we were done she told us we were to keep it this clean as long as we lived there and we agreed.

The next day, my brother said to a mutual friend that John had left the apartment in a mess, and the friend told John. John showed up the day after that with a broom, mop, bucket and every other cleaning utensil that might be needed to clean the apartment.

I answered the door and there he was, standing with all that stuff. He said his word was good and he was there to clean the apartment. My brother came to the door behind me and said something sarcastic to John, which John accepted without responding. I told John that the apartment was fine, our grandmother had helped us cleaning and anyway I think it was as clean as we had left it in June.

I had no idea at the time that he was an Objectivist, but later found out. His behavior left a huge impression on me. Personal relationships meant something to him, not just because of the honor code at UVA, but because a deal was a deal. His word was his bond.

Later I got to know John better through the campus Objectivist club. I did not know of his relationship problem. I still wish him the best.

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An alleged rape and cover-up is not best characterized as "a relationship problem."

About the apartment cleaning: Why did Ridpath vacate leaving a mess when apparently he knew he had done so? Had the owner returned his deposit before he belatedly showed up to clean?

Anyway, to quote the refrain of an old song:

"But he went to Church on Sunday, so they called him an honest man."

Regarding this thread, Ridpath's housekeeping habits are irrelevant and immaterial.

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... and Ridpath has passed away.

I screwed up. I was thinking about Allan Gotthelf for some reason.

As far as I know, John Ridpath is still alive.

Michael

The reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated.

Mark Twain

Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/m/marktwain141773.html#ZchfR3YJaiHRHtVU.99

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Mark wrote:

About the apartment cleaning: Why did Ridpath vacate leaving a mess when apparently he knew he had done so? Had the owner returned his deposit before he belatedly showed up to clean?

end quote

We were paid up with John Ridpath for the sublet. John was to vacate on a certain day and he did. We returned the next day. To my eye, the apartment was very close to the way we left it in September. We were two messy guys, (Bills room was spotless) but the place was really not that bad considering. I did not blame John for any additions to the mess, but my brother did, and our roommate Bill stayed out of any condemnation of John. So, it was my brother and grandmother who were critical of Mr. Ridpath. And when I say it was messy I mean papers left stacked, food stains on the frig and stove, etc., which we had left. Our apartment was not a pig sty.

I am glad to hear he is still alive. I hope he stopped smoking that Sherlock Holmsian pipe. He started using the pipe for a prop after he vacated our apartment. Trivia. His girlfriend at the time was a nurse who made a heck of a lot working long hours and she was very pretty. I think I remember her talking about investing her dough in some fashion.

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I continued to write:

Anyway, to quote the refrain of an old song:

"But he went to Church on Sunday, so they called him an honest man."

Regarding this thread, Ridpath's housekeeping habits are irrelevant and immaterial.

I shouldn't have discussed the church-going myself.

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