Hi Jeff,

I really appreciate your thoughtful response to my article — thanks for taking the time to read it carefully, and to give me your thoughts.

Re your points — I agree that it may have been a misstep to label the stepson so negatively at that early point in the article. It was influenced, however, by what I believe is a substantial argument supporting the rape claim. In my jurisdiction — Queensland, Australia — our Criminal Code Act 1899 (Qld) s 349(2) states: A person rapes another person if the person penetrates the vulva, vagina or anus of the other person to any extent with a thing or a part of the person’s body that is not a penis without the other person’s consent; or the person penetrates the mouth of the other person to any extent with the person’s penis without the other person’s consent. The meaning of consent is defined in s 348(2) of the same act: a person’s consent to an act is not freely and voluntarily given if it is obtained — (e) by false and fraudulent representations about the nature or purpose of the act. Misrepresentations about the compensation offered for the act — i.e. fraud — abrogates consent, if I’m reading this act correctly.

Now, this isn’t to say that he is a rapist in the sense usually ascribed to the word — but I think there is a significant issue about consent here. If she had known that the compensation would not be delivered, she wouldn’t have performed the act.

EDIT: I just saw on your profile that you are a retired attorney. I would be interested to hear your take on my interpretation, given your experience!

On the second point, that’s totally fair — the arguments I propose here don’t totally apply to that version of the step-fantasy. This is admittedly a pretty specific ideology critique. I committed to it, though, on the basis that one sees it repeated throughout pornography — though of course, I wouldn’t say that it is anywhere near a universal phenomenon.

Again, thanks for reading, and I hope we can talk again about my writing in the future!

Best,
Alasdair.

writer for realtime CEO, the startup and noteworthy. politics, philosophy, economics.

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