Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Lie To Me, polygraphs, and command rape

Emma and I have seen the first two episodes of Lie To Me. I like it in general because its writers are happy to point out that polygraphs cannot be trusted as lie detectors; I like the second episode in particular because it's a smart examination of rape in the military.

I've said, when discussing the Assange case, that no means no and consent can be withdrawn at any time, but once you give consent, you have to withdraw it if you want to charge someone with rape. However, that only applies in situations of equivalent power. When one person has the power, meaningful consent is impossible. Sexual relationships between masters and slaves, and adults and minors, may be loving, but they cannot be considered consensual. In the military, where an officer can place a soldier in great danger, the relationship goes beyond that of boss and worker and becomes very, very close to that of master and slave.

Recommended: The private war of women soldiers - Middle East - Salon.com. But I'll add that command rape can occur between people of the same sex.