Monday, February 20, 2012

Terry O'Neill: (~C Tu is ~C Si) & ~ (Tu is Si)

On this evening’s episode of the Ed Show, Terry O’Neill, president of N.O.W., stated that the Virginia Transvaginal Ultrasound Bill amounts to state-sanctioned rape.

Terry O’Neill: To take that experience and make it state mandated, even when it is medically inappropriate, there are a number of women who have begun to say let's look at the state definition in fact the new FBI definition of rape. And that would include vaginal penetration against the will without the consent of the woman. now --

Ed: Is it rape in your opinion?

Terry O’Neill: I think it is.

Ed: You do think it's rape?

Terry O’Neill: I think it is, Ed, I do.

Ed: Clearly it's something that a woman would be forced to do so she would lose control of her body.

Terry O’Neill: It's non-consensual. If it's non-consensual penetration of her vagina I don't know what else you call it but rape.

Last Friday I posted about this. Apparently I was not clear enough. So, let’s try this again, in the form of a dialog.

Terry: A non-consensual transvaginal ultrasound is rape.

Jay: Rape is non-consensual sexual intercourse, yes?

Terry: Of course.

Jay: So a non-consensual transvaginal ultrasound is non-consensual sexual intercourse?

Terry: Yes. That’s what I said!

Jay: So a consensual transvaginal ultrasound is consensual sexual intercourse?

Terry: Not at all! I never said that!

Jay: For simplicity’s sake, let’s utilize the following abbreviations for the rest of the argument:

Non-Consensual: ~C
Consensual: C
Transvaginal Ultrasound: Tu
Sexual Intercourse: Si
Rape: R


Terry: That’s fine.

Jay: So,

~C Tu is R
R is ~C Si
Therefore: ~C Tu is ~C Si

Terry: Yes. ~C Tu is ~C Si. And ~C Si is R. So, ~C Tu is R!

Jay: Now, watch what happens when we remove the ~C from each side: Tu is Si.


Jay: No, my symbolization of your argument belied the fundamental problem with your position: you have argued that Tu is Si.

Terry: But it’s obviously not the case that Tu is Si.

Jay: Then how are you arguing that ~C Tu is ~C Si?

Terry: Your symbols are blurring the argument; when there is no consent, the insertion of a probe into a vagina is rape. But when there is consent, it’s just a medical procedure.

Jay: Isn’t it a medical procedure in both cases?

Terry: Yes, but the medical procedure forced on women by this bill is unnecessary.

Jay: That doesn’t change its being a medical procedure.

Terry: Alright. But it’s still rape!

Jay: You seem to be claiming that where consent is not present, sexuality is present.

Terry: Yes! Exactly! The lack of consent makes the procedure sexual.

Jay: Is that the case with any act to which one does not consent?

Terry: Well, not any act. Only sexual acts!

Jay: So, a transvaginal ultrasound is a sexual act?

Terry: No, of course not! It’s only sexual when there is no consent!

Jay: What makes a ~C Tu a sexual act?

Terry: They’re inserting a probe into a woman’s vagina against her will!

Jay: And the insertion of a probe into a vagina is sexual?

Terry: No! Of course it isn’t! It’s only sexual when it’s not consensual!

Jay: I can understand how a sexual act is a sexual act, and a non-consensual act is a non-consensual act. I don’t understand how you’re relating a lack of consent to a presence of sexuality.

Terry: It is sexual because they are inserting a probe into a woman’s vagina!

Jay: That’s what they do in a consensual transvaginal ultrasound. But when they insert a probe into a vagina, within a context of consent, you don’t think that’s sexual.

Terry: Of course it isn’t sexual; it’s a medical procedure.

Jay: But when they perform the exact same medical procedure within a non-consensual context that medical procedure, which is not sexual in a consenting context, becomes sexual?

Terry: Exactly.

Jay: So where there is no consent, there is sexuality?

Terry: No!

Jay: But the lack of consent for these transvaginal ultrasounds makes them sexual?

Terry: Obviously.

I don’t know how to make Terry’s position sensible, unless we maintain (C Tu is C Si). If we aren’t going to do that, then we’re left with a very bizarre position wherein the absence of consent yields a presence of sexuality.

Which, by the way, is fucked up.


_J_ said...

"If it's non-consensual penetration of her vagina I don't know what else you call it but rape."

You call it "non-consensual penetration of a vagina".

Caleb said...

Yes. It is clear that Mr. O'Neill is making the wrong argument, but would it perhaps be for the better, since the argument is already been publicly stated, to let the weaker argument stand.

Perhaps the enemies of sensibility would not notice the deficiencies you are above pointing out--certainly they would not be as adept at underlining them. At any rate, why should any of us labor after the point that this argumentation is wrong when the threat of this shit-ass shitty legislation is still present.

I think Senator Janet Howell had it right here:

_J_ said...

The person arguing the sane position needs to offer a sane argument. We can explain the problems with this bill without equating the procedure to rape.

Think of it this way: If a person hates women to the degree that they support this legislation, equating the legislation to rape isn't going to dissuade them.

Howell's strategy is a sensible means of addressing the fundamental problems with the bill.

_J_ said...

Also, it's Ms. O'Neill.

Cause, you know, the National Organization for Women isn't going to have a male president.

Hmm...I wonder if they've ever had a male president...


Caleb said...

Also, it's Ms. O'Neill.-- Shit. Right.

The person arguing the sane position needs to offer a sane argument.

I wholly agree with you here, but my suggestion is that, instead of pointing out the flaws in their little red wagon, the cause would be better off if we built them a batmobile.

Anyway, it was my understanding that the rape argument was primarily being used to demonize the people who hate women to the degree that they support this legislation and are not dissuaded by its equivocation with rape.

Anonymous said...

Actually your logic doesn't hold at all. It was you that tried to put "sexual act" into the definition, not Ms. O'Neill. The FBIs definition of rape is "penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim." Rape is a violent crime, not a crime of passion. There needs to be no sexual intent.

The particular logical fallacy you employed is a "straw man"