I have shown the following to Leonard Peikoff, who encouraged me to make it public. He plans to discuss this issue in his next unfilled podcast, which will be the first Monday in March (March 4).
(SPOILER ALERT for those who haven’t read The Fountainhead)
Many of you have already heard Leonard Peikoff’s recent podcast segment about obtaining sex through fraudulent means:
Few who have discussed the podcast have focused on Peikoff’s answer to the main question. I assume that is because they agree with the answer he gave and find it uncontroversial, or without any interesting implications? As has been true with other issues, some people seem to find it more interesting to focus on their disagreements with Leonard Peikoff. (Probably generates more web traffic.) With respect to this podcast, many have chosen to focus on Peikoff’s brief aside about the Kobe Bryant alleged rape case. In fact, someone (I don’t know who) went to the trouble of transcribing that portion of the podcast, probably within hours of the podcast being published (it was sent to me on Monday, February 6):
A woman can give her consent by her presence, in certain contexts, and that frees the man to have sex regardless of what she then says. I’m thinking of that case of Kobe Bryant, where the woman came up sometime in the middle of the night, after some drinking, to his bedroom, and then when he purported to do something, she said, ‘No, I don’t consent.’ You cannot do that. You have given every evidence that that is what you are going to do, and it’s too late at that point to say, “Sorry but no.”
In my view (and, I gather, that of many others), the above, as stated, is wrong. If the woman goes to his room, after he’s been drinking, etc., etc., then, yes, she should probably expect to have sex. But there are a number of reasons — some legitimate, some not — that might cause a woman to change her mind. And, whatever the reason, if she expresses her unwillingness to have sex, in a case in which there’s not enough established context to know it’s a feigned protest (i.e., in a case unlike that of Dominique/Roark in The Fountainhead), then the man should not force sex on her, simply because she had earlier given her consent. Think, e.g., of countless young girls who believe they’re ready for sex, but then decide they’re not ready quite yet, etc. No matter what the man may be justified in thinking of the woman if she changes her mind, he is not justified in forcing sex on her. And why would he want to, if he knew the woman had actually changed her mind?
Of course whether the accuser in the Kobe Bryant case actually did change her mind or put up any kind of protest is another question. But given my limited knowledge of the case, and given the way the case was presented very briefly in the podcast, I disagree with Leonard Peikoff’s analysis of it.
(Please note that I did not find it necessary to use any of the following adjectives or phrases in expressing the above disagreement: “disgraceful,” “disgusting,” “anyone of good moral character or intelligence…” etc.)