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(Harvard Crimson)   "Dear Harvard: I give up, you won"   (thecrimson.com) divider line 754
    More: Sick, Harvard  
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9693 clicks; posted to Main » on 01 Apr 2014 at 8:50 AM (30 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-04-01 12:52:31 AM  
Saw this in TFD, so hat tip to whoever posted it there.

Also, fark the Harvard brass for their handling of this issue.
 
2014-04-01 01:42:21 AM  
Holy shiat. I think I actually know the author personally. :(
 
2014-04-01 03:13:47 AM  
A hundred incredibly bitter and sarcastic reactions come to mind. Harvard completely failed here, as do just about all of the "institutions of higher learning" in the country. Victims are the ones who pay the full price for sexual assault far too often.

This MUST change. Now. It's far overdue.

/sexual assault survivor
 
2014-04-01 03:17:34 AM  

ecmoRandomNumbers: Holy shiat. I think I actually know the author personally. :(


Please tell her that you believe her and don't blame her for what was done to her. For the love of humanity and all that is good, DO NOT suggest that she shouldn't have been drinking, out alone after dark, wearing that outfit, or anything else that implies that she was in the wrong.
 
2014-04-01 04:31:23 AM  

ecmoRandomNumbers: Holy shiat. I think I actually know the author personally. :(


So you can verify it? Having corroborating testimony can often take this sort of thing from "anonymous narrative" to "arrest and conviction" in a great big hurry.
 
2014-04-01 06:54:34 AM  

thisdaydreamer: A hundred incredibly bitter and sarcastic reactions come to mind. Harvard completely failed here, as do just about all of the "institutions of higher learning" in the country. Victims are the ones who pay the full price for sexual assault far too often.

This MUST change. Now. It's far overdue.

/sexual assault survivor


I can't really think of anything to say, other than I'm glad that you made it through to the other side.  Fwiw, I'll send an extra good thought your way today.
 
2014-04-01 07:17:02 AM  
This is more evidence that these kinds of incidents shouldn't be handled by the schools at all.  Sexual assault is a crime, and should be reported to and investigated by the police.

Even the linked assault policy states that the proper procedure is to file a report with the Harvard University Police Department.
 
2014-04-01 07:22:55 AM  
So, when you hear the term rape culture, this is what its referring to: the definition of consent.

This guy probably honestly believes that he did nothing wrong. He didn't attack a stranger, he didn't put GBH into a girl's drink, he didn't have sex with a passed out girl- she came to his room and they had sex. She didn't say "no".

But she didn't say "yes". We- society in general and school officials in particular- need to teach ACTIVE consent.

Harvard is in a tough position- they have the right to take interim measures to keep her safe while they investigate, but she doesnt want an investigation. She wants him to be punished, but not tried.

Part of that is Harvard s fault for having outdated policies, and for not having good enough sexual assault prevention training.

A he said/she said sex coercion case is almost impossible to handle, from a school judicial perspective, and the police won't even hear it.
 
2014-04-01 07:26:46 AM  

thisdaydreamer: A hundred incredibly bitter and sarcastic reactions come to mind. Harvard completely failed here, as do just about all of the "institutions of higher learning" in the country. Victims are the ones who pay the full price for sexual assault far too often.

This MUST change. Now. It's far overdue.

/sexual assault survivor


I'm sorry that happened to you. All I can say is that schools are trying- the Dept of Ed will take away our delicious federal loans if we don't.

there has been major push over the last few years to have better sexual assault prevention training- and to hold schools accountable. Google OCR/ Yale, U Montana, Notre Dame, and of course, Penn State.
 
2014-04-01 08:35:01 AM  
/unpopular opinion puffin

If she didn't want to have sex should have -
Gone home, instead of to a guy's dorm room.
Not taken her clothes off.
Said no.
Left the room.

Sorry, I just don't believe this is rape. The guy might have pressured her, but we pressure people all the time in real life for things other than sex. People say no all the time. How is this different?
 
2014-04-01 08:36:51 AM  

what_now: So, when you hear the term rape culture, this is what its referring to: the definition of consent.


Ideally a definition of consent is what it refers to - but human nature being what it is, the definition expands to include whatever advances issues that may or may not have anything to do with getting justice done. A topic like this can really bring out the Nancy Grace in people.

This guy probably honestly believes that he did nothing wrong. He didn't attack a stranger, he didn't put GBH into a girl's drink, he didn't have sex with a passed out girl- she came to his room and they had sex. She didn't say "no".

But she didn't say "yes". We- society in general and school officials in particular- need to teach ACTIVE consent.

Harvard is in a tough position- they have the right to take interim measures to keep her safe while they investigate, but she doesnt want an investigation. She wants him to be punished, but not tried.

Part of that is Harvard s fault for having outdated policies, and for not having good enough sexual assault prevention training.


Is glamorizing violence against women part of rape culture? What about pornography? Prison-rape jokes?

And what about the role of booze? Is it really victim-blaming to advise (beforehand, at the very least) that more bad than good happens after midnight when you've got a load on?

Fixing the college's assault prevention training is half the job - anti-railroading provisions need to be there too, or what you get is ambitious prosecutors looking for scalps and who the fark cares about archaic patriarchal crap like establishing guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
 
2014-04-01 08:54:21 AM  

TuteTibiImperes: This is more evidence that these kinds of incidents shouldn't be handled by the schools at all.  Sexual assault is a crime, and should be reported to and investigated by the police.

Even the linked assault policy states that the proper procedure is to file a report with the Harvard University Police Department.


Funny, the Pope just said the same thing the other day...I'm kidding, the Pope would never say that.
 
2014-04-01 08:57:15 AM  

bpfiffner: /unpopular opinion puffin

If she didn't want to have sex should have -
Gone home, instead of to a guy's dorm room.
Not taken her clothes off.
Said no.
Left the room.

Sorry, I just don't believe this is rape. The guy might have pressured her, but we pressure people all the time in real life for things other than sex. People say no all the time. How is this different?


I don't really understand what she expects to happen to him. It sounds like she is actively refusing to cooperate and have any kind of investigation but wants him punished anyhow. If she thinks the policy is too narrow and she won't win then at least try and then you can complain when it fails and try to bring some change. Put me down in the unpopular opinion group too I guess because it doesn't seem reasonable to punish someone when their accuser won't even file a formal complaint but just wnats punishment.
 
2014-04-01 09:00:02 AM  
That's pretty messed up. I hope that girl meets someone who does dirty deeds done dirt cheap. Nothing helps ease post-traumatic depression like ice picked side walls.
 
2014-04-01 09:00:22 AM  

thisdaydreamer: Harvard completely failed here, as do just about all of the "institutions of higher learning" in the country.


Really?  In your world it's a school's job to censure people for crimes of which they're innocent?  Because if they have to censure everyone for everything of which they're innocent they're going to end up with a really weird student body.

Or did you just forget that for crimes the standard is "innocent until proven guilty"?  No conviction from a court, no action from the university.  Deal with it.

// Also, what is described in the article pretty clearly describes "making a moderately bad sexual decision while drunk", not sexual assault.  I guess we're giving benefit of the doubt that there's something significant indicating an actual crime that's being left out of the story?
 
2014-04-01 09:00:34 AM  

bpfiffner: /unpopular opinion puffin

If she didn't want to have sex should have -
Gone home, instead of to a guy's dorm room.
Not taken her clothes off.
Said no.
Left the room.

Sorry, I just don't believe this is rape. The guy might have pressured her, but we pressure people all the time in real life for things other than sex. People say no all the time. How is this different?


I hate to say it... but I kind of agree with you.
 
2014-04-01 09:04:30 AM  

TuteTibiImperes: This is more evidence that these kinds of incidents shouldn't be handled by the schools at all.  Sexual assault is a crime, and should be reported to and investigated by the police.

Even the linked assault policy states that the proper procedure is to file a report with the Harvard University Police Department.


This.

Call real police.
 
2014-04-01 09:04:34 AM  

Gulper Eel: Is it really victim-blaming to advise (beforehand, at the very least) that more bad than good happens after midnight when you've got a load on?


Yeah, a little bit, it is. It's a tacit acceptance- "getting raped while you're drunk  shouldn't happen, but we're not going to do anything to prevent it, so, y'know, be careful out there."
 
2014-04-01 09:06:53 AM  
The important thing is that she has something to blame for the rest of her life.
 
2014-04-01 09:09:11 AM  

bpfiffner: /unpopular opinion puffin

If she didn't want to have sex should have -
Gone home, instead of to a guy's dorm room.
Not taken her clothes off.
Said no.
Left the room.

Sorry, I just don't believe this is rape. The guy might have pressured her, but we pressure people all the time in real life for things other than sex. People say no all the time. How is this different?


Coerced sex is not consensual sex.
 
2014-04-01 09:09:40 AM  

t3knomanser: Gulper Eel: Is it really victim-blaming to advise (beforehand, at the very least) that more bad than good happens after midnight when you've got a load on?

Yeah, a little bit, it is. It's a tacit acceptance- "getting raped while you're drunk  shouldn't happen, but we're not going to do anything to prevent it, so, y'know, be careful out there."


How do you prevent rape?hopefully it's a better plan than preventing drunk driving. Or murder. Or illicit drug use. Or cheating on taxes. Or figuratively anything. Really, what is your plan?
 
2014-04-01 09:09:49 AM  

bpfiffner: Sorry, I just don't believe this is rape. The guy might have pressured her, but we pressure people all the time in real life for things other than sex. People say no all the time. How is this different?


Jim_Callahan: Also, what is described in the article pretty clearly describes "making a moderately bad sexual decision while drunk", not sexual assault.


A guy walks up to you and says "Give me all of your money, please."
You believe you see the outline of a gun barrel in his jacket pocket.
You wordlessly hand over your wallet.

Were you robbed?
 
2014-04-01 09:12:33 AM  

what_now: bpfiffner: /unpopular opinion puffin

If she didn't want to have sex should have -
Gone home, instead of to a guy's dorm room.
Not taken her clothes off.
Said no.
Left the room.

Sorry, I just don't believe this is rape. The guy might have pressured her, but we pressure people all the time in real life for things other than sex. People say no all the time. How is this different?

Coerced sex is not consensual sex.


So, a girl is on your doorstep.  You ask her in, she says no.  You ask again, she says yes and fun ensues.  Coercion?
 
2014-04-01 09:12:37 AM  

Cubicle Jockey: bpfiffner: Sorry, I just don't believe this is rape. The guy might have pressured her, but we pressure people all the time in real life for things other than sex. People say no all the time. How is this different?

Jim_Callahan: Also, what is described in the article pretty clearly describes "making a moderately bad sexual decision while drunk", not sexual assault.

A guy walks up to you and says "Give me all of your money, please."
You believe you see the outline of a gun barrel in his jacket pocket.
You wordlessly hand over your wallet.

Were you robbed?


The guy threatened bodily harm is what you're saying? he had a gun?
 
2014-04-01 09:14:25 AM  

Cubicle Jockey: bpfiffner: Sorry, I just don't believe this is rape. The guy might have pressured her, but we pressure people all the time in real life for things other than sex. People say no all the time. How is this different?

Jim_Callahan: Also, what is described in the article pretty clearly describes "making a moderately bad sexual decision while drunk", not sexual assault.

A guy walks up to you and says "Give me all of your money, please."
You believe you see the outline of a gun barrel in his jacket pocket.
You wordlessly hand over your wallet.

Were you robbed?


Yes.  Absolutely.  But most time strangers say "Give me all your money." are not related to arms length transactions.  I.e., they are not likely to occur.

On the other hand, most instances of sex are consensual.  So, I feel you are oversimplifying.
 
2014-04-01 09:15:54 AM  

KidneyStone: Call real police.


The "institution" would prefer to handle it "internally" if you know what they mean, and I think you do.
 
2014-04-01 09:16:02 AM  

Cubicle Jockey: bpfiffner: Sorry, I just don't believe this is rape. The guy might have pressured her, but we pressure people all the time in real life for things other than sex. People say no all the time. How is this different?

Jim_Callahan: Also, what is described in the article pretty clearly describes "making a moderately bad sexual decision while drunk", not sexual assault.

A guy walks up to you and says "Give me all of your money, please."
You believe you see the outline of a gun barrel in his jacket pocket.
You wordlessly hand over your wallet.

Were you robbed?


This is a bit closer to a guy walks up and asks for a few bucks. You don't say no but call the police. They say they don't think its a theft but you can request a investigation. You decline but say you still want him to go to jail.
 
2014-04-01 09:16:28 AM  

Cubicle Jockey: A guy walks up to you and says "Give me all of your money, please."
You believe you see the outline of a gun barrel in his jacket pocket.
You wordlessly hand over your wallet.

Were you robbed?


No.  Also, you should have said "no".  That's called panhandling, and I'm really sorry for you if you can't make it down more than a block of any downtown street without going into a panic and handing all your cash and cards to the first homeless dude that asks for 'em.

Robbery by definition requires threat of physical violence.  Products of your exceptionally stupid imagination don't count, only actual intentional threats.
 
2014-04-01 09:16:32 AM  

bpfiffner: /unpopular opinion puffin

If she didn't want to have sex should have -
Gone home, instead of to a guy's dorm room.
Not taken her clothes off.
Said no.
Left the room.

Sorry, I just don't believe this is rape. The guy might have pressured her, but we pressure people all the time in real life for things other than sex. People say no all the time. How is this different?


"We're abusive in other situations, so it's ok to be abusive with sex"

Is that really the point you want to make?
 
2014-04-01 09:16:44 AM  

NickelP: bpfiffner: /unpopular opinion puffin

If she didn't want to have sex should have -
Gone home, instead of to a guy's dorm room.
Not taken her clothes off.
Said no.
Left the room.

Sorry, I just don't believe this is rape. The guy might have pressured her, but we pressure people all the time in real life for things other than sex. People say no all the time. How is this different?

I don't really understand what she expects to happen to him. It sounds like she is actively refusing to cooperate and have any kind of investigation but wants him punished anyhow. If she thinks the policy is too narrow and she won't win then at least try and then you can complain when it fails and try to bring some change. Put me down in the unpopular opinion group too I guess because it doesn't seem reasonable to punish someone when their accuser won't even file a formal complaint but just wnats punishment.


Going through a trail could mean acknowledging that this happened in front of a group people though. Which is totally different than confiding in a person in a safe environment, even if those people you confide in are in a position to do something. I couldn't admit to myself that I was assaulted and I wouldn't press charges even though my parents wanted to and encouraged it.
 
2014-04-01 09:16:59 AM  
The article depressed me enough, the line of rape apologists circling the block is making me want to skate straight to hell on my own sick.
 
2014-04-01 09:18:28 AM  

Jim_Callahan: Cubicle Jockey: A guy walks up to you and says "Give me all of your money, please."
You believe you see the outline of a gun barrel in his jacket pocket.
You wordlessly hand over your wallet.

Were you robbed?

No.  Also, you should have said "no".  That's called panhandling, and I'm really sorry for you if you can't make it down more than a block of any downtown street without going into a panic and handing all your cash and cards to the first homeless dude that asks for 'em.

Robbery by definition requires threat of physical violence.  Products of your exceptionally stupid imagination don't count, only actual intentional threats.


Not true.  There are laws on the book sin some jurisdictions allowing for "strong arm robbery."  Like when a big guy says "let me hold your watch."  You don't have to get in a fist fight to show robbery.
 
2014-04-01 09:20:24 AM  

Vertdang: The guy threatened bodily harm is what you're saying? he had a gun?


In both cases the victim believed they would be in harm's way if they did not comply with the request of the aledged criminal, even if no overt verbal threat was made.

It was an implied threat. A verbal example would be, "Nice place you got here. Sure would be terrible if something were to happen." Taken figuratively, the words are harmless, even comforting. But they have the exact opposite implication.
 
2014-04-01 09:20:49 AM  

Methadone Girls: NickelP: bpfiffner: /unpopular opinion puffin

If she didn't want to have sex should have -
Gone home, instead of to a guy's dorm room.
Not taken her clothes off.
Said no.
Left the room.

Sorry, I just don't believe this is rape. The guy might have pressured her, but we pressure people all the time in real life for things other than sex. People say no all the time. How is this different?

I don't really understand what she expects to happen to him. It sounds like she is actively refusing to cooperate and have any kind of investigation but wants him punished anyhow. If she thinks the policy is too narrow and she won't win then at least try and then you can complain when it fails and try to bring some change. Put me down in the unpopular opinion group too I guess because it doesn't seem reasonable to punish someone when their accuser won't even file a formal complaint but just wnats punishment.

Going through a trail could mean acknowledging that this happened in front of a group people though. Which is totally different than confiding in a person in a safe environment, even if those people you confide in are in a position to do something. I couldn't admit to myself that I was assaulted and I wouldn't press charges even though my parents wanted to and encouraged it.


I can certainly emphasize with that, but I still think someone should have some right to share their side of the story or otherwise prevent evidence to claim innocence before punishments are handed down.
 
2014-04-01 09:21:04 AM  

Cubicle Jockey: bpfiffner: Sorry, I just don't believe this is rape. The guy might have pressured her, but we pressure people all the time in real life for things other than sex. People say no all the time. How is this different?

Jim_Callahan: Also, what is described in the article pretty clearly describes "making a moderately bad sexual decision while drunk", not sexual assault.

A guy walks up to you and says "Give me all of your money, please."
You believe you see the outline of a gun barrel in his jacket pocket.
You wordlessly hand over your wallet.

Were you robbed?


"Man, that's totally different!"

"Why and how?"

"Because it could actually happen to me!"
 
2014-04-01 09:21:28 AM  

Cubicle Jockey: Vertdang: The guy threatened bodily harm is what you're saying? he had a gun?

In both cases the victim believed they would be in harm's way if they did not comply with the request of the aledged criminal, even if no overt verbal threat was made.

It was an implied threat. A verbal example would be, "Nice place you got here. Sure would be terrible if something were to happen." Taken figuratively, the words are harmless, even comforting. But they have the exact opposite implication.


But was the belief that they would be in harm's way a reasonable one?
 
2014-04-01 09:23:29 AM  

what_now: So, when you hear the term rape culture, this is what its referring to: the definition of consent.

This guy probably honestly believes that he did nothing wrong. He didn't attack a stranger, he didn't put GBH into a girl's drink, he didn't have sex with a passed out girl- she came to his room and they had sex. She didn't say "no".

But she didn't say "yes". We- society in general and school officials in particular- need to teach ACTIVE consent.


The problem with what you propose is as a society, it seems we have accepted HE always wants it.  From the description, an otherwise sounding decent guy suddenly acts like a douche.  It's very possible HE was drunk that night as well and I don't hear anything in his story where HE actively said yes.

I also have great difficulty sympathizing with the girl here --

"I've spent most of 2013 fighting the Harvard administration so that they would move my assailant to a different House"

If it's so bad you are terrorized daily, why the fark didn't she move out right away?

My assailant will remain unpunished

I agree, that's farking terrible.  Harvard really farked ...

"I decided not to open a case. "

Wait, [redacted by the NSA]?  There was NO investigation?  She wants us to be upset Harvard didn't boot this guy or punish her but also she decided not to open an investigation?

Do we really want survivors who speak up to be systematically shut down

You didn't "speak up" lady.  Next time call the cops.
 
2014-04-01 09:24:31 AM  

brap: The article depressed me enough, the line of rape apologists circling the block is making me want to skate straight to hell on my own sick.


No doubt, threads were filled with comments like these in the Duke Lacrosse Rape case.
 
2014-04-01 09:25:24 AM  

Teufel Ritter: Not true.  There are laws on the book sin some jurisdictions allowing for "strong arm robbery."  Like when a big guy says "let me hold your watch."  You don't have to get in a fist fight to show robbery.


When I look up "strong arm robbery" the first five legal definitions I see explicitly state that it's robbery with an extra component of assault or use of force.

So, no, still only outright active threats.  Displaying a weapon, yes, the other person thinking there might have been a weapon no.
 
2014-04-01 09:25:50 AM  

TuteTibiImperes: This is more evidence that these kinds of incidents shouldn't be handled by the schools at all.  Sexual assault is a crime, and should be reported to and investigated by the police.

Even the linked assault policy states that the proper procedure is to file a report with the Harvard University Police Department.


I seem to remember all sorts of complaints when that FSU quarterback was investigated by the police.
 
2014-04-01 09:26:41 AM  

Teufel Ritter: Not true. There are laws on the book sin some jurisdictions allowing for "strong arm robbery." Like when a big guy says "let me hold your watch." You don't have to get in a fist fight to show robbery



Indeed. I am also curious as to what kind of town he lives in where panhandlers ask for all of your money instead of just spare change.
 
2014-04-01 09:27:24 AM  

brap: The article depressed me enough, the line of rape apologists circling the block is making me want to skate straight to hell on my own sick.


I'm hardly the "rape apologist" (a close cousin was assaulted), but you have to admit, there are holes in this story large enough to drive an 18wheeler through.

We need more info before we can say "auto-guilty"
 
2014-04-01 09:28:23 AM  

DrewCurtisJr: TuteTibiImperes: This is more evidence that these kinds of incidents shouldn't be handled by the schools at all.  Sexual assault is a crime, and should be reported to and investigated by the police.

Even the linked assault policy states that the proper procedure is to file a report with the Harvard University Police Department.

I seem to remember all sorts of complaints when that FSU quarterback was investigated by the police.


Most of the complaints I recall about that had to do with them not doing a damn thing to investigate for a year until ESPN broke the story right before national championship time and they had to have some sort of response to the media.
 
2014-04-01 09:29:14 AM  

lennavan: Wait, [redacted by the NSA]?


Okay, that's funny.
 
2014-04-01 09:29:33 AM  

bpfiffner: /unpopular opinion puffin

If she didn't want to have sex should have -
Gone home, instead of to a guy's dorm room.
Not taken her clothes off.
Said no.
Left the room.

Sorry, I just don't believe this is rape. The guy might have pressured her, but we pressure people all the time in real life for things other than sex. People say no all the time. How is this different?


This. She could have left. She could have smacked him. Punched him. Screamed. Whatever. But she just stood there and did nothing.
 
2014-04-01 09:29:39 AM  
I coerced my wife last night with a massage before the deed.

Does that mean I raped her?

/Both times?
 
2014-04-01 09:30:15 AM  

Vertdang: brap: The article depressed me enough, the line of rape apologists circling the block is making me want to skate straight to hell on my own sick.

I'm hardly the "rape apologist" (a close cousin was assaulted), but you have to admit, there are holes in this story large enough to drive an 18wheeler through.

We need more info before we can say "auto-guilty"


No one is saying auto guilty. He probably resents the hell out of this, because in his mind he did nothing wrong. This is about education- we need to teach active consent, AND we need to teach women to say no, and to not be ashamed of being a survivor.
 
2014-04-01 09:32:02 AM  

duffblue: hopefully it's a better plan than preventing drunk driving. Or murder. Or illicit drug use. Or cheating on taxes. Or figuratively anything. Really, what is your plan?


Actually, we do a  really good job preventing murder. I mean, an  incredibly good job, compared to a few decades ago. So yes, I suggest we use roughly the same approaches we use towards murder. The key difference between rape and murder, is that murder doesn't have any gradiations in it- murder is murder. Oh, we might sentence you differently depending on the whys and hows of the murder, but someone can't be "a little" dead, and the physical evidence is pretty compelling to prove that a murder has occurred. It's far more difficult to prove that a rape has occurred, which means it's more important to create a culture that  prevents rape, and that uses social pressure to avoid it, since we can't reliably punish rape after the fact.

And that's where cultural shifts come in. In general, nobody actually goes out with the goal of doing bad things to people in mind. No meaningful number of people get dressed up, look in the mirror, and say, "I'm gonna rape and/or murder some people tonight!" Even people who end up doing terrible things to others are generally operating from a position that what they're doing isn't actually bad. They agree, murder is bad, but  their murder was completely justified. They agree that rape is bad, but  this wasn't actually rape. Fortunately for society, we have built a strong cultural prohibition against murder- the justifications ring false, and since even people who do bad things want to be good people, we've seen an incredible drop in murder rates (they started rising in the 60s, peaked in the 90s, and have returned to 1963-ish levels).

We need to build the same sort of cultural prohibitions and awareness of boundaries.
 
2014-04-01 09:32:57 AM  
Also, to those of you saying to call the police, Title IX requires the school to investigate- regardless of police activity.

The police can find someone innocent, or refuse to prosecute- and the school can still take action.
 
2014-04-01 09:33:46 AM  

Jim_Callahan: So, no, still only outright active threats.


I think you are missing the point here.

To use my "Nice place you got here" example again, everyone understands the actual meaning of those words exists beyond the literal.  Yet you would not be able to start a criminial prosecution from them.
 
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