Rape, or disappointing sex?

By Karen De Coster
web posted May 8, 2000

On Thursday, April 27th, 2000, a Michigan jury of six men and six women found high-powered Macomb County Sheriff William H. Hackel guilty of two counts of third-degree criminal sexual conduct, or date rape, as it is commonly referred to in the feminist tradition. Prisoner number 000080998, of Cell "C" in the Isabella County Jail, will now occupy a 10-by-12 foot cell, much like those that he has made famous during his 24-year tenure as Macomb County Sheriff, where the local lock-up was termed the "Hackel Hotel."

No one can deny that the married William Hackel erred when he met up with an awestruck young lady at a meeting of the Michigan Sheriffs' Association in October of last year, and willingly accompanied her to her hotel room at her suggestion. The events that followed ended a career for the respected and dedicated lawman and elected official.

At the Soaring Eagle Casino and Resort in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan, a 25-year-old employee of the Michigan Sheriffs' Association, who had just met Mr. Hackel for the first time, suggested that they have lunch--via room service--in her hotel room, where she suggested they "kick back and relax." Once there, as the story goes, the unnamed woman placed her head on his chest and remarked about the excessive rate of his heartbeat, prompting a kissing and petting session, which was followed by the act of sexual intercourse.

According to his testimony, the sex was purely consensual. According to hers, she said no. Hence, the beginning of another rape trial where the jury is expected to render a decision on the basis of "he said-she
said."

A definition of rape consistent with most North American statutes is "unwanted sexual penetration perpetrated by force, threat of harm, or mental or physical inability to give consent." A despicable crime that many believe deserves the punishment of castration in the most violent cases, rape has been resonantly politicized by a modern feminist movement of male-hating fanatics, especially since the increase in reported rapes on college campuses during the 1980s. It was at this time that feminist rhetoric began its assault on male-female relationships by looking at sexual relations gone bad in terms of trying to sort through various degrees and types of rape and "rape," by trying to define how one gives or does not give consent. What has followed is twenty years of what George Gilder--in his book Men and Marriage-has called feminists "palavering endlessly" about rape.

The palavering in regards to the William Hackel rape case has been scathing, and most of the chinwag has been biased in favor of the typical sentiment: if the woman says it was rape, it must be rape. However, Sheriff Hackel's case is not helped by the fact that he is a fifty-something white male in a position of power. In fact, even the local media has referred to the verdict as "a lesson about rape for men in power."

The unnamed woman--the so-called victim--was caught on security cameras (placed in the hallway of the hotel) calmly escorting Sheriff Hackel to her room. Once in her room, she proceeded to sit next to him on the bed, and pulled barrettes and bobby pins out of her hair in the process of letting her hair down. To most reasonable people, this behavior represents a sexual invitation, or at least an attempt to get "very comfortable" with the man whose company she coveted. At the least, one can be led to believe that this behavior was hardly a response to an act of coercion. But the woman says she did not want, nor intend to have sex with William Hackel that day. The woman testified that, as the Sheriff laid her down on the bed and began to undress her, she decided not to resist him out of fear that she was "turning him on even more." Less than an hour-and-fifteen minutes later, the video shows Sheriff Hackel calmly leaving her room. He then dined with his wife, and then checked out several hours later. None of the video footage of the Sheriff arriving at the hotel room or leaving showed any signs of force, or fear of wrongdoing on his part.

There were several unusual elements of testimony brought to light during the trial. One slice of testimony revealed that the woman had said after the attack that she was repulsed by the smell of Hackel and his cologne on her hands. Yet Hackel and his wife testified that he had not worn cologne in five years, due to an asthmatic condition. Also, the woman's (former) boyfriend testified that she promised to buy him a snowmobile, or other items, if she got one million dollars from suing the Sheriff, as she expected that she would do. Sounds more like a woman with a mission if you ask me.

And what was that mission? Was it a mission to make a man pay for a disappointing sexual experience that represented nothing more than lust on his part? Or was it a mission of hate; hate for a man of position and power who valued the woman no further than reaping the benefits of her willingness to provide him with her bodily pleasures? It was as if the unnamed woman expected a more romantic interlude; one that played on her feminine needs of love, romance, partnership, and possibly, a relationship.

Well, William Hackel did not offer the woman a relationship. Nor did he offer her flowers, a love story, or even the prospects of good and unselfish sex. In fact, he didn't even offer to take her out to a nice dinner. All he did offer was to buy her a sandwich from room service after the encounter. Hardly what any woman would hope to get from a sexual encounter with such a man as Mr. Hackel.

The feminist politicization of rape has led society to buy into the belief that rape, or date rape as is the case here, can be so loosely defined that no man could ever possibly know the boundaries of what constitutes "legal" sex unless he can discover the meaning of female logic and its inner workings, something that no man other than maybe Alan Alda has ever claimed to know.

The merits of "Yes" and "Maybe" and "No" as being the true meaning of a woman's intentions toward a sexual encounter have been debated from an ethical standpoint as well as a legal one. Women don't even know what these words mean, so how could one expect a man to figure it out? Just never forget that post coital regret can never fall under the legal definition of rape. But a good attorney, and a young, pretty, crying face on the stand can make a jury forget legal definitions and rule on the basis of emotion.

The local news channels aired exclusive interviews with the woman, her face blurred to protect her identity, and not one single piece of the emotional petition on her part seemed even the slightest bit genuine. What I saw was a woman emotionally scarred by regret, and her own dislike of herself.

The facts here tell us that a woman met up with a man whom she admired and by whom she was smitten. She then invited him up to her hotel room, just the two of them alone. She then sat next to him on the bed, which made the situation even cozier for what was to come next. The fact that a woman such as myself could have little or no empathy for this woman should not be surprising. If the unnamed woman invited sex in her room, and later cried foul because she regretted her actions, how can she expect the compassion that is usually reserved for the real victims of violent rape?

William Hackel is guilty. Guilty of cheating on his wife, sexual promiscuity, and an overall stupidity for putting his career at risk for the sake of satisfying a sexual urge. But did his lack of good judgement and proper discretion deserve a vilification from the community which he served for so long, and does it deserve the destruction of a career, and a 15-year prison sentence in the name of defending the honor of a smitten woman disappointed by her sexual experience? Does his improper behavior with the young lady who took him up to her room mean that he is a threat to society, or to other women as a sexual predator? Hardly. Sheriff William Hackel was found guilty of rape by a jury of individuals who were turned off by what they saw as his apparent lack of morality, their disgust of his misguided, penile-controlled behavior, and his lack of faithfulness to his wife. None of these are crimes, however.

Clearly, this was just another of the many assaults on men, and male sexual behavior in general. After all, current victim-minded logic has everyone believing that it would be politically incorrect to believe the male side of the story in any date rape case. If she says it's rape, then it's rape. On this as on every other question, count me as politically incorrect.

Karen De Coster is a politically incorrect CPA, and an MA student in economics at Walsh College in Michigan. She can be reached at austrian-accountant@home.com.

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