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"It's really like rape"
February 28, 2002 11:14 PM   Subscribe

"It's really like rape" say lawyers for a college student who sued Arco Media (makers of "Wild Party Girls Video") and won 5 million dollars. From what I was able to find, alcohol was not forced down her throat (she used intoxication as part of her defense) so I am having a difficult time seeing where the "rape" part comes in.
posted by KevinSkomsvold (53 comments total)

 
When a guy and a girl hook up, both are consenting to have sex. They both agree that certain shit is going down. In this case, a company used her actions for profit. She did not consent to this, therefore, it's like rape.

Let's be honest here. It's nothing like rape, but to a jury, rape has such a negative connotation, if the plaintiffs use it properly, the trial is in the bag.

On a side note, I completely agree with the ruling. She made a mistake, a huge mistake, but they(the people selling the tape) have no release form, therefore, this ruling is fair.
posted by BlueTrain at 11:28 PM on February 28, 2002


She never signed a consent form, and they used her image to sell millions of videotapes.

It's not just who owns your image, sure celebrites can be photographed for money they'll never see, but if you taped Brad Pitt walking down Sunset for 45 minutes and sold millions of copies, you know you'd at least owe him something or get his consent, no?

Screw the drunkeness angle, someone tell me why she doesn't deserve the money?
posted by mathowie at 11:28 PM on February 28, 2002


I'm just wondering what kind of precedence this sets seeing as how these videos are sold on TV quite readily. I imagine this may open the floodgates.

Part of Arco Media's defense was that she was in a public place and this voided any right to privacy she had. I have never heard of this type of thing so it will be interesting to see if this case has a more lasting effect.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 11:40 PM on February 28, 2002


My understanding is that unless you're shooting a large crowd, you must still get a model's release from people you photograph in public.

I think this applies particularly if there is a clear subject to the shot, as was the case here.

I could be wrong though. Anyone have the skinny?

And yes, she definitely deserved the money, and these guys deserve to be put right out of business.
posted by frykitty at 11:51 PM on February 28, 2002


In this particular case, she was on private property, and the property managers (or owners) were at least complicit, if not actual partners, with the producers. (On the other hand, the incident took place in Mexico. Interesting.)

Hard to say which way the case might have gone had the producers responded to the suit, let alone gotten legal representation that specializes in these things. Although I think she (Kulhanek) had a better case than the Florida State University student.

In the latter case, there was absolutely no expectation of privacy. Not only was she in a public place, but the defendants were one of, conservatively, fifty people at the event with cameras.
posted by pzarquon at 11:52 PM on February 28, 2002


She doesn't have an expectation of privacy in a public bar, regardless of the situation. The whole bit about getting her drunk is so much smoke and mirrors, the real issue is she did something in public and someone marketed it.

I can see a problem with using her specifically for the advertising campaign, but this ruling could have a chilling effect on public video. Police officer beating someone down? Sorry we need a consent form from all parties.
posted by skallas at 11:52 PM on February 28, 2002


Which one was she?

Seriously though, the mastermind geniuses behind this caper had to know lawsuits would come from this. As much as "Girls Gone Wild" was innundatingly advertised this time last year, someone, something, of extreme wealth had to have been behind it. It had to have been projected before the advert campaign what the profit to lawsuit ratio loss would be.

Ahhh the masterminds. . . Indeed, somebody has tucked away a good sum because of this and somebody will be left holding the bag. It should get interesting as it plays out.
posted by crasspastor at 12:00 AM on March 1, 2002


Part of Arco Media's defense...

What defense? They didn't even show up for the trial. This was a default judgement.
posted by aaron at 12:01 AM on March 1, 2002


Quoting from the article:

A lawyer for the video producers told The Associated Press that privacy protection does not extend to people who take their clothes off in public and especially not at large events where many people have video cameras.

I'm just glad video cameras were not around to tape some of my early, drunken escapades. Yikes.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 12:12 AM on March 1, 2002


Police officer beating someone down? Sorry we need a consent form from all parties.

That's a scary thought, but wouldn't that only apply if the maker of the video was trying to sell the tape as a commercial product? I wouldn't think the Rodney King tape would be subject to the same arguement, but then I'm not a lawyer.
posted by homunculus at 12:13 AM on March 1, 2002


Think also of the endless videotaping tourists in Padre Island, the French Quarter etc. How could the court come back on one simple videographer who decided to turn a buck, when every day a naked someone is being photgraphically captured in those locales? Are we to illegalize photography in places where someone may be caught unseemly? Are we to illegalize turning a buck? And consequently, are we to make illegal 'having fun'? How much more frivolity is possible in an increasingly war/security focused and surveilled society? What of footage shot in Mexico or Rio? What kind of privacy laws come into play for an American filmed there?

Questions questions. . .
posted by crasspastor at 12:20 AM on March 1, 2002


How could the court come back on one simple videographer who decided to turn a buck, when every day a naked someone is being photgraphically captured in those locales?

This wasn't a simple photographer. This was a national campaign. Here's the moral: make the dollars locally and hopefully you won't get caught. Otherwise, get a release form from the subjects involved.

Are we to illegalize photography in places where someone may be caught unseemly? Are we to illegalize turning a buck?

No, get their permission and go nuts.

And consequently, are we to make illegal 'having fun'?

Videotaping unconsenting individuals and profiting from their naughty escapades is apparently illegal. I'm not sure how "fun" has anything to do with it.

How much more frivolity is possible in an increasingly war/security focused and surveilled society?

I would hardly consider this frivolous. If someone videotaped you taking a piss and made money off of the fact that your dick is tiny, you wouldn't be laughing. (I honestly mean no offense; just trying to make a point)

What of footage shot in Mexico or Rio? What kind of privacy laws come into play for an American filmed there?

If the videotape was sold abroad, the victim would have to deal with international law. Since the tapes were sold in the US, US laws settled the matter.
posted by BlueTrain at 12:37 AM on March 1, 2002


Police officer beating someone down? Sorry we need a consent form from all parties

Only if you want to sell it as "Cops Gone Wild" to millions. The US is getting coated with security cameras in major cities, stuff like this is going to start coming up often, who exactly "owns" your image and how consent will be given.
posted by mathowie at 12:38 AM on March 1, 2002


That's a scary thought, but wouldn't that only apply if the maker of the video was trying to sell the tape as a commercial product?

Maybe. Look at it this way, say there really wasn't any police brutality, but the suspect says there was. Someone tapes a video and the defense wants to use it as evidence. The suspect could claim that he was on a lot of drugs pushed by him by a dealer (a la the bartender argument) and the video can't be accepted in court without his consent.
posted by skallas at 12:41 AM on March 1, 2002


"Kulhanek's lawyer, David Sergi, said Arco Media representatives conspired with bartenders to get pretty young women to drink alcohol and convince them to enter wet T-shirt contests."

If that's true, these guy are pretty low, even on the pornographer scale. They find a pretty girl and then collude with a bartender to get her drunk (drugged) enough to be stupid just long enough for them to get her on tape.

The sort of thing they might say to her after they've gotten her wasted: "Come on, no one will ever know. You're a thousand miles from home. And you're beautiful. Why not show it off? It's just for laughs. Look at all the other girls having such a good time. And there's a prize." A month or two later, thousands of men are paying to jack off to her image, and her friends at college are starting to find out.

How could there be any sort of consent, casual or legal, when the guy seeking the consent and holding the camera makes sure the girl is senseless before she agrees to what he wants? Is a contract legal when one party is drunk and the other party made sure of that drunkenness?
posted by pracowity at 12:44 AM on March 1, 2002


I forgot to mention this point, from what the article presents it looks like the defense is "I'm so wasted I'm not responsible for my actions." Bullshit, we don't apply that standard to anyone, imagine if drunk drivers could pull that one off. "We were doing beer bong hits and they pressured me into getting f'd up so I drove home..."
posted by skallas at 12:50 AM on March 1, 2002


If someone videotaped you taking a piss and made money off of the fact that your dick is tiny, you wouldn't be laughing. (I honestly mean no offense; just trying to make a point.)

Probably not, if he was dumb enough to take a piss outside NBC's window during a taping of the "Today Show," or off a float or balcony during Mardi Gras. If he was taped in a bathroom - a locale where one has a "reasonable expectation of privacy" - he might laugh a little, all the way to the bank. (Provided anyone actually did make money off the piss video.)

And just as a point of clarification, the "expectation of privacy" argument quoted wasn't put forward by Arco Media in the case that led off the article. (It was the defense in the FSU case.) As aaron noted, Arco Media simply didn't respond to the suit.

Thing is, a private bar in Mexico where the filmmakers likely had a contract with the proprieters is a considerably different venue than a street in New Orleans, in determining "public" as well as malicious intent. But I'm not sure how the law would've come down had the case been actively contested.
posted by pzarquon at 1:01 AM on March 1, 2002


call me a fence rider.. but... I find this ruling troublesome to say the least..

I can see how she may be entitled to some kind of compensation if her image is used as one of the sole vehicles for advertising the product...

but beyond that.. if you're acting like a slut in public, and you see cameras all around you, and you continue acting like a slut... well, this is just my OPINION and not a LEGAL thing -- but if you do all this, you are implying consent for other people to see it.

What the hell would the video camera(s) be there for in the first place? Whether it's spank material for some singular lonely cameraman or material obviously to be used for a greater purpose later on... if you're a slut.. you're a slut... she's just pissed that all her friends have confirmation she's a slut.

private bar or not - like someone else said, she wasn't forced to go to the bar, OR forced to drink the alcohol, nor was she forced to get naked (or half naked or whatever)...

The only thing I question, and frankly I have trouble deciding which moral side I'm on, is the whole money thing... but I'm pretty sure I think she doesn't deserve jack shit.. because she knowingly got naked in front of cameras, and never asked for anything in return... of course, I'm sure the legal standpoint is that it needs to be the other way around - they need to ask her if they can sell the video.. so, once again I point out I'm speaking opinion, not law...

seems everyone here is pretty pro-pay-the-slut though... oh well :-)
posted by twiggy at 1:12 AM on March 1, 2002


Its not a private bar. Its a public business. No where is it mentioned that its a members only type place and I ain't talking about the jackets. Its like saying K-Mart is a private business, thus special protections are given while shopping like not being videotaped by security cameras.
posted by skallas at 1:14 AM on March 1, 2002


quoth twiggy : call me a fence rider

Why would someone want to do that? Your frequent referral to the girl as a slut is proof enough that you've picked a side in the argument.

What she did was considerably stupid, agreed (though it doesn't really make her a slut). But (imo) it's a pretty clear case -- they didn't have her implicit consent to use, sell and profit from video of her acting a fool, but she IS on the video, so why shouldn't she be entitled to renumeration? $5M is just ridiculous though. america is crazy.

quoth skallas : Its like saying K-Mart is a private business, thus special protections are given while shopping like not being videotaped by security cameras.

it's not like that at all. department stores usually have a condition of entry (and warnings on publicly viewable monitors) that you are being monitored via security camera... walking into a bar and being videotaped by a 3rd party acting silly while drunk is somewhat different, no?
posted by cheaily at 1:46 AM on March 1, 2002


I don't think anyone comes out of this with much credit. The video company clearly have no scruples or morals at all. The girl is old enough to take responsibility for her actions. Nobody forced her to drink, or to get drunk. If I get drunk and kill someone, I'm still responsible for it and guilty of murder, aren't I? Surely there is a "public place" defence? And finally, $5 million is just ridiculous. Even if this girl derserved money, which I am undecided about, $5000 would be nearer the mark. No wonder America is such a litigous country, when people see suing is easier than the lottery if you want to get rich quick.

A British serviceman was found not guilty this week of rape and murder. He had spent 8 years in jail before advances in DNA testing cleared him. If anybody derserves that kind of payout, it's him.
posted by salmacis at 2:22 AM on March 1, 2002


> What she did was considerably stupid...

Well, give her a break, she's only a communications major. Scroll down to the (har) "Your future is what you make it" article at the bottom.

What she did was get five million bucks out of some very sleazy businessmen, so her future's looking pretty good now.
posted by pracowity at 2:31 AM on March 1, 2002


Sergi said Kulhanek was put in a barbershop type chair where liquor was poured down her throat.

Doesn't everyone get liquor poured down his/her throat in Mexico? I mean, that's what they do in Mexico. They blow whistles and everything, it's really quite fun.

If I had to gaze into my semi-reliable crystal ball, I'd say she probably wasn't put in a barbershop type chair so much as she sat in a barbershop type chair, tilted her head back, and opened wide.

"The people from Arco were egging her on to enter the wet T-shirt contest. The next thing she knew she was in front of a bunch of people with her shirt off."

It's the "they were egging me on" defense. I don't know, I never had much luck with that one myself.

All I know is someone needs to bend that lawyer over and show him what rape is really like.

No wonder America is such a litigous country, when people see suing is easier than the lottery if you want to get rich quick.

Truer words were never spoken.
posted by David Dark at 2:31 AM on March 1, 2002


When MTV's The Real World is filming, the crew must carry around consent forms so that random people caught on camera can agree to appear on tape, or disagree, if they so choose. Participants in America's Funniest Home Videos had to sign a waiver indicating that the show had legal license to display their images on television. People cannot legally go around in America today taking pictures of you and profiting from the images without your consent. Imagine if this girl were topless on a nude beach, and happened to appear in the background of a photo someone was taking, to find later that the image has been placed on the photographer's softcore website. She'd be entitled to sue the guy, get money, and have her picture removed.

People are responsible for their own actions when drunk, but that is not the issue here. It's rather irrelevant, in fact. That argument would only even begin to apply if Kulhanek had signed a consent form, which she did not.

Even if she had signed a consent form, however, the comparison to rape was valid in terms of the fact that a woman can charge a man with rape if he has sex with her while she's drunk, the logic being that one cannot give consent when drunk. That may have been what the lawyer was referring to primarily. This is exploitative and wrong, and I'm happy she's getting the money. $5000 would be a slap on the wrist for the video company; I'm sure they recoup that in sales within a week. $5 million is my idea of a deterrent.

All I know is someone needs to bend that lawyer over and show him what rape is really like.

I can't believe you just said that. Wow. That's really, really frightening. That absolutely sickens me.
posted by grrarrgh00 at 2:37 AM on March 1, 2002


oh shit! sorry, forgot this part!

*JOKE!*
posted by David Dark at 2:43 AM on March 1, 2002


Does it matter? It's a really sickening sentiment, no matter how you spin it.
posted by grrarrgh00 at 2:46 AM on March 1, 2002


Spin it? It's a joke. It doesn't need to be spun. I didn't realize it needed a label, either. My mistake. You might not find it funny, but there's no need to be frightened of a joke. This post was ended with the phrase, "I don't see where the rape part comes in." Neither did I, because being videotaped with your top off is nothing like being raped, and if the lawyer thinks that the two are equal, he's wrong.
posted by David Dark at 3:11 AM on March 1, 2002


When MTV's The Real World is filming, the crew must carry around consent forms so that random people caught on camera can agree to appear on tape, or disagree, if they so choose. Participants in America's Funniest Home Videos had to sign a waiver indicating that the show had legal license to display their images on television. People cannot legally go around in America today taking pictures of you and profiting from the images without your consent.

MTV uses consent forms because they wish to cover themselves from potential lawsuits - it gives them that extra bit of CYA any large enterprise would be smart to have. But the consent forms are not necessary in a legal sense. They do not HAVE to obtain consent from bystanders in a public place, they just do it because it lessens the likelihood of someone bringing a successful civil suit against them.

AFHV is a totally different animal, since they're profiting from videos whose copyright belongs to someone else - no similiarity to this case.

As to your last statement, things are not so cut and dried. I cannot take your picture in a public place and then use it to suggest that you endorse a product I sell, but actually selling your picture is another story.

For anecdotal examples, think of all of the embarrassing celebrity photos that show up in tablods. Tabloids certainly don't have signed consent forms for these photos, and are often sued - but they often win the lawsuits precisely because the subject of the photographs was in a public place when the photos were taken. If I were Arco's lawyers, I would seriously consider classifying the videos as "tabloid news videos". It appears to me, though, that Arco didn't realy care (or maybe plans to fight it on appeal).

see here
posted by syzygy at 3:44 AM on March 1, 2002


After rereading the article in question, I imagine this is the reason that Kuhlanek received the judgement (and the reason the judgement may be upheld on appeal):

Sergi said that although Kulhanek did not end up in the actual video, her image was in ads that ran for several month on E! and on the "Wild Party Girls" Internet site,

The problem here is a right of publicity. Her picture was used as an endorsement (of sorts) of the video. Kulhanek's case was greatly strengthened by this one technicality - her image was used to sell the product, but wasn't actually included in the product's content.

Stupid move on Arco's part, and great for Kuhlanek - her embarrassing antics weren't on the video, and she gets a nice windfall. Lucky her...
posted by syzygy at 3:51 AM on March 1, 2002


syzygy: That was the point I was going to make. So I won't make it again.

David Dark: This is my last word on the subject, because it's tangential and contributes nothing to the thread in question. But I think it bears saying that if you have a problem with the flippant use of the term rape, don't use the term flippantly.
posted by grrarrgh00 at 3:57 AM on March 1, 2002


"The girl is old enough to take responsibility for her actions. Nobody forced her to drink, or to get drunk."

You don't know this for a fact.

I am an alumna of a national Women's Fraternity, and before spring break, info is circulated among our chapters about where NOT to go, based on crap like this that has happened to our members and members of other sororities.

You would not BELIEVE the things on this list. Reports of bartenders deliberately overserving minors (ie, you order a juice based cocktail and they drop in 3 extra shots to get you liquored up), girls having drugs dropped in their drinks, and all orchestrated by 'party promoters' looking to get young women drunk or stoned enough to strip down for male patrons.

I feel very sorry for this young woman, who was used by the video company. Frankly, I think she should have gotten more money from them.
posted by kristin at 4:42 AM on March 1, 2002


Brad Pitt walking down Sunset for 45 minutes and sold millions of copies, you know you'd at least owe him something or get his consent, no?

Entertainment tonight shows this kind of thing to millions of people and sells commercial space. Does Brad Pitt get a cut? Nope. When you're in public, you are public domain. End of story.

I must say that while it's a tad off-topic, I'm a little uncomfortable with everyone here's definition of rape. Someone very close to me had too much to drink at a party at her own house, went back to her room to pass out (alone) and woke up pregnant. I'd call that rape. If you leave your keys in the car, it's not very wise, but If I steal your car it's still stealing.
posted by glenwood at 6:08 AM on March 1, 2002


The word Rape has become so diluted that it doesn't even have the same meaning anymore. It used to be that the word Rape conjured up some very ugly images and feelings. Now, it's just an inflammatory word that has almost no significance. Good job, feminists.
posted by eas98 at 6:48 AM on March 1, 2002


[I just wanted to state, for the record, that I have absolutely nothing to do with Arco Media, in any way. Not that anybody was thinking that...]
posted by arco at 7:34 AM on March 1, 2002


The word Rape has become so diluted that it doesn't even have the same meaning anymore.

Exactly what I was going for here although I disagree with the second half of your statement. I don't think blame can be pinned squarely on feminism but more the cult of victimology that has been prevalent throughout the 80's, 90's and now into the next century.

This does not fit the "typical" rape scenario that society seems familiar with. Yes. It appears quite possibly she put herself in a very bad position and payed a steep emotional price but rape? "Like rape" seems to be a typical lawyer ploy to bait the jury. It is like Adult Children of Alcoholics comparing themselves to Holocaust victims. What was she a victim of? Bad judgement? Aren't we all at one point or another?. Stupidity? Hey. It was spring break. I'm sure she was not the only person who exposed themselves in public.

So many questions, so little time...
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 7:51 AM on March 1, 2002


what KevinSkomsvold said.

grarrrrrghOO: It's not tangential, because the lawyer's use of the word rape is part of the reason we're discussing this story in the first place. That's why the quote in question is in big yellow letters at the top of the page. I don't have a problem with flippant use of the word, I only have a problem with faulty over the top similes that use a horrible violent crime to coerce sympathy and a huge payday out of a jury.
posted by David Dark at 8:34 AM on March 1, 2002


When you're in public, you are public domain. End of story.

I don't know what country you live in, but that's not the story here in the US. The rules are expressly different for 'public figures' than they are for 'private citizens.' And just because the girl was doing her thing in a 'public place' does not in any way make her a public figure. You cannot use images of a private citizen for profit without their consent -- it is as simple as that. She says they got her drunk and egged her on until she entered the t-shirt contest. If that is what happened, it is not a good thing, but it is not illegal. What is illegal is videotaping it and selling the videos without her consent. This is what the company was busted for -- that they allegedly got her on stage in the first place with less-than-honorable tactics is simply evidence that the defendants are 'bad people.'

And yes, you can make a 40 minute video of Brad Pitt walking down the street and profit from it if you want to. And no, none of this has anything to do with Rodney King-type videos -- that would be considered coverage of a newsworthy event, and again, the rules are different.

And what the heck is up with all the 'slut' name-calling and hostility?
posted by spilon at 9:14 AM on March 1, 2002


everyone here is pretty pro-pay-the-slut though...

Jeez, that's putting it a little strongly. It was a Spring Break situation, people are there for the express purpose of going a little nuts. I don't that I'd characterize all the girls who flash at events like this as "sluts" just for getting in the spirit of things.
Although, truth be told, I'm on the fence here as well. These guys did seem to manipulate her somewhat and they did make money off her. On the other hand, common sense dictates that you shouldn't do anything in a public venue that you wouldn't want the whole world seeing and this does seem to contradict the idea of an adult taking responsibility for their own actions.
posted by jonmc at 9:31 AM on March 1, 2002


I'm not going to get into what is legal because media law is a muddled mess. But for a related story two French women won a case in which an image of them praying in church was coupled with the headline "is God misogynist?" The court ruled that the women had a right to not have their image used to support a political statement they disagreed with. The courts did uphold the right to photograph people in public without permission.

I also think that you can make a case that the video was wrong on copyright grounds. The creator of a "performance" has a right to profits from the commercial use of that performance. In that respect this would be no different from making bootleg concert videos.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 9:35 AM on March 1, 2002


Could they have used her if they blured her face like the people on COPS? I am no fan of the courts, but I can't get upset over such a nice victory for the individual.
posted by thirteen at 9:42 AM on March 1, 2002


she is shamless and will not recieve her money.i mean, look at this person and tell me she isnt going to come tosome rude end."It was a Spring Break situation, people are there for the express purpose of going a little nuts." sounds like a private defending his unauthorized dunebugy to the sarge.
posted by clavdivs at 9:59 AM on March 1, 2002


clavdivs-I'm wasn't saying that to exonerate her, just saying that women who do such things aren't necessarily "sluts" is all.
posted by jonmc at 10:22 AM on March 1, 2002


Slut. A four-letter word.
posted by grrarrgh00 at 10:39 AM on March 1, 2002


"Blurring" or pixellating faces is a pretty common strategy for shows like "COPS," "Jackass," and the late unlamented "Tom Green Show."

I've seen those ads for "Girls Gone Wild" on TV and wondered why on earth those women had signed releases to have such embarrassing footage of themselves shown. It never occurred to me that the producers of those videos would be stupid enough to use people's identifiable images without their permission. That's a big, big no-no under US law.

If someone took a photo of Brad Pitt and slapped it without his permission on a video they sold that didn't actually contain any footage of Brad Pitt, I'd be surprised if the judgment against them was *only* $5 million.
posted by Sidhedevil at 10:55 AM on March 1, 2002


For reference, the LA Weekly did a very explicit cover story on the whole phenomenon back in November. I had assumed that whoever makes these videos just collects a bunch of amateur footage shot at the right place at the right time.

While this may have been true at some point, nowadays, to get raw, sexy, and outrageous footage professional companies go out and interact with their subjects stretching (among other things) the "reality genre" label to its limits and blurring the line between porn and a wild weekend out on the lake.
posted by euphorb at 12:14 PM on March 1, 2002


Good note, kristin. Thanks.

"The word Rape has become so diluted that it doesn't even have the same meaning anymore. "

The word isn't the thing. The meanings of words change all the time. The word rape, like all words, can sometimes be used by people in ways that may differ, for example, a good friend of yours might have their house broken into, their personal effects stolen, and their room vandalised. They might turn to you and say, "It feels like I have been raped" Because they are looking for words to describe the gravitas of the situation. Would you then start in on a lengthy discussion on semiotics? Or would you right away know what they mean, and comfort them?

The next time you hear about a case of rape, do you then think "Gee, yesterday I would have felt bad about this, but my friend talked about rape, and they were referring to their house having been broken into, a traumatic event, but not on a par with having been raped. So now I don't feel so sad or shocked about this"

Words are ephemeral in that their meaning is changing all of the time. Acts are constant. Things are constant. If you say to me, "I saw a field of rape today, and it was beautiful, bright yellow in the sun, I took a photo" It would not mean that I would misunderstand you or misjudge you. The fact that words sometimes change, or that the meanings of words change, does not effect how we perceive the act, or if you let that happen, then that is your problem.

"everyone here is pretty pro-pay-the-slut though"

That's pretty damned low.
posted by lucien at 12:15 PM on March 1, 2002


"from what the article presents it looks like the defence is "I'm so wasted I'm not responsible for my actions." Bullshit, we don't apply that standard to anyone; imagine if drunk drivers could pull that one off. "

If you got a guy drunk by spiking his drinks skallas, with the expressed purpose that he would then get in his car and cause an accident, then I would hope that you went to jail for a very long time.

If you also filmed the accident, and put it in a video called "Bloodiest car accidents" And made money from said video, I wouldn't be too perturbed frankly if you went to jail for the rest of your life, and also were sued to the hilt.

We don't use drunkenness as a defence in situations where people cause accidents because they are drunk, but we do use it as evidence in trials whereby somebody takes advantage of somebody else whilst they are drunk.
posted by lucien at 12:42 PM on March 1, 2002


if you're a slut.. you're a slut... she's just pissed that all her friends have confirmation she's a slut.

Different atmospheres, different people, and different states of mind result in different actions. It's possible she has no problem with certain people knowing that during a spring break "let loose" party, she took her shirt off. That doesn't mean she'd be comfortable with her dad seeing her topless on TV. (Conversely she may have just made one big mistake that she regrets terribly and is embarrassed by, in which case your nomenclature is entirely inappropriate.)

I don't know how you define "slut", but my advice to you is to chill out. Nudity is not scary. Human breasts being revealed is not a sign of bad character. Even having sex is not evil. She was having fun. But she didn't want to be used for a tacky, lame, pseudo porno. And they had no right to use her image toward their own ends without her consent.
posted by mdn at 1:43 PM on March 1, 2002


First off, in wading through the posts here, it looks like nobody read the fine print, something that aaron has pointed out already. This was a default judgment. The video company never showed. There was no trial. There was no defense. Consequentially, the attorney for this young lady could ask for just about anything he wanted. In this case, it was $5 million, a figure that couldn't possibly have flown had Arco Media actually prepared a defense.

While I'm completely against any slimeball who confuses a lady with marinated meat, the issue of whether Kulhanek deserved the money or not is moot. We didn't hear both sides. In a default judgment, even if the defendant is absolutely innocent, if he fails to answer a complaint in court, he will lose automatically.

All we have in this article (and all the other ones circulating around the newswires) are Kulhanek's words. And, quite frankly, it's really not enough for anyone to call Kulhanek a "slut" (insert your favorite derogatory comment towards women here, you bastions of common sense, you) or for anyone here to really know everything that went down.

How can anyone conclude the character of a woman or the practices of a video company when the damned case didn't even go to trial?
posted by ed at 2:55 PM on March 1, 2002


so.. what exactly is the fun of taking off your top in front of a crowd? i'm actually curious about the whole phenomenon. maybe i just don't know how to have fun, 'cause joking aside, i can't imagine any atmosphere that would lead me to believe that pulling down my pants and screaming "w00t" would be something i'd enjoy.
posted by lotsofno at 3:56 PM on March 1, 2002


Tangentially: nothing should be exempted from occasional forays into flippancy. Especially tragic stuff. Especially tragic stuff that happens to me.

Sacred Cows wind up seeming full of Sacred Cowshit.
posted by umberto at 4:59 PM on March 1, 2002


Much ado about nothing. Geez folks, the nudity wasn't even full-frontal.
posted by Ty Webb at 5:20 PM on March 1, 2002


i can't imagine any atmosphere that would lead me to believe that pulling down my pants and screaming "w00t" would be something i'd enjoy.

1) taking off a top vs. pulling down pants are two diff things - pulling down pants introduces vulnerability for both sexes. Taking off a shirt for men was considered nudity until about fifty years ago but that's changed; perhaps a similar transition will take place for women.

2) nudity can be considered pleasurable because a person feels comfortable with their body and the environment and being naked (as long as it's warm enough) is just the most natural "attire"

3) nudity can be considered pleasurable because it arouses sensuality and sexuality; in an environment where you're excited and turned on, less clothing increases that...

But you knew all that, just can't imagine feeling it in a group setting, maybe... For it really to be fun, you'd have to be pretty happy with the group, etc etc. Ultimately, we can't expect to always understand what other people consider fun. Why go to florida with a bunch of frat boys for your one week vacation from school to start with?
posted by mdn at 3:55 PM on March 6, 2002


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