Point-Counterpoint 3: Cops and MeToo


By Scott Douglas Jacobsen and Rick Rosner

*Interview conducted June 23, 2020.*

Scott Douglas Jacobsen: Okay, so, there was a reckoning with Me Too. It was Time’s Up. It was a whole host of sub-women’s MeToos within that. What are some of the next steps after this?

Rick Rosner: The next steps probably won’t pertain to me two times up as much as other social movements. MeToo is still happening today. Ron Jeremy, the guy who’s been a porn star for 35 or 40 years, was charged with rape. Several prominent people were charged with raping. Danny Masterson, who I think was on That 70s Show, was charged with rape of a Hollywood producer, was charged with close to half a dozen rapes from 2012 to 2014. So, Time’s Up, MeToo will continue. But more people are focused on, right now, fixing the cops. Because we’ve had a number of notorious murders done by cops. George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, which may be less familiar to you in Canada, but she’s a woman. And I think in Louisville, Kentucky, where three cops were exercising a no-knock warrant.

And I think they got the wrong house or it was just like a supplementary house. And they busted down the door. And Breonna Taylor’s husband had a gun. And a no-knock warrant means the cops don’t have to identify themselves as cops. So, they just kick in the door. The husband took a shot at them and they shot Breonna Taylor like eight times or eight shots hit her. And one cop has been fired, but no cop has been charged in that. It’s hard. Anyway, these things keep happening. Cops being murderous and cops keep avoiding serious charges after the obvious assassination of largely blameless people. So, that’s the thing that people are looking at right now.

Jacobsen: And we’re dealing with a statistical thing here, too, where there will be some false accusations. There will be a small number, but there will be some.

Rosner: What, against the cops or against people?

Jacobsen: Yes, in either case, whether it’s something like a MeToo, or whether it’s something like cops.

Rosner: Yes, but okay, so, because there are also cops who’ve been killed for no reason, David, I forget his last name. Cops have been killed during these, at least half a dozen cops have been killed. Might be much higher than that, like 20. I haven’t looked it up lately. Cops who are killed during the protests, rioting.

Jacobsen: And we go to the original question theme. Excuse me.

Rosner: Hold on. One more thing, which is, black people are more than two times as likely to be killed by cops than non-black people. So, that’s that, anyway, go back to your original question.

Jacobsen: Sure. I look at the statistics. I wanted to look for boring bureaucrat, official sources. And the ones that came up were the FBI and the Home Office of the U.K. I believe the research was done independently. I know the Home Office in the UK used a thousand or two thousand cases for this research.

Rosner: Which statistics? Statistics about cops or Me Too.

Jacobsen: MeToo or related to it. But before that became a movement, it was to do with not just violence against women. It was to do with extreme violence against women in the form of rape. And in those cases, they found that only 8% were unfounded. So, I would interpret that as not enough information or the personal side.

Rosner: Yes, I’ve looked at those studies too. I took a bunch of women’s studies in college. I was taught that the percentage of false accusations of sexual assault and related stuff is no higher than for any other crime. And in actuality, you’re only a few percent, no more than 5%. And then I looked at the studies and I found that the studies are more equivocal than that, because it’s hard. Because murder is a very clearly defined crime. It’s not entirely cut and dried, but murder pretty much requires a dead person. Sexual harassment and sexual assault, the whole spectrum from harassment to rape, encompasses more stuff.

And so, when you look at studies and plus different studies have different definitions of each aspect of sexual assault, it’s harder to get a consensus. Also, it’s hard to get a consensus about sexual assault because it’s one of the least reported. Murders get reported. You’ve got a dead body. Robberies get reported. Sexual assaults often have a lower rate of being reported.

Jacobsen: In the cases of murder, the other person cannot respond, in all the other cases the person can respond, hopefully.

Rosner: Yes. But anyway, so, it’s hard to say for sure what the, and also it depends on your definition of what is well-founded.

Jacobsen: To me, these would be as founded as other research into these kind of murky or grey areas of the law and of jurisprudence. But I would say that we do have some data, we have to work with that data. However weak. And so we have that data.

Rosner: It’s tough to lock some of this shit down, like, when cops have historically been bad at dealing with sexual assault. Colleges have been terrible at dealing with sexual assault. When you have changing understandings of what sexual assault and rape are. For instance, 20 years ago, consent that is initially given and then withdrawn wouldn’t have been considered rape in a lot of places. 30, 40 years ago, 50 years ago, 60 years ago, 80 years ago, there was no such thing. There was no legal class of marital rape in most US states. And it only started turning around, I think, in the 70s and 80s. So, things change in our understanding of stuff. What’s his face? Master in none. What’s his name?

Jacobsen: I don’t know. I’m going to agree, but I don’t know who.

Rosner: Yes. So, he’s written on sex and romance and dating. But that didn’t stop him from being accused of being sexually coercive based on this woman who went on a date with him and she felt forced by him. He went down on her. He thought she was giving clear signals that that was something she was especially into. And he faced a lot of criticism. And before everybody kind of decided, I think, that it didn’t amount to rape.

So, he seems to have recovered from that. But that was based on the woman just feeling uneasy about an awkward date. James Franco has been accused of sexual coercion based on him being a movie star. And that guy does all sorts of shit, including, I guess, running acting classes when he feels like it. He would have sex with some of the women in his acting classes and they felt like the power differential was such that it created a coercive situation. He doesn’t seem to have suffered from that. Louis C.K. has had his career destroyed because it came out… well, he destroyed his career through his sexual behavior. It’s not that other people destroyed his career. He destroyed his career because he had a habit of cornering young female rookie comedians and making them watch him jerk off.

Jacobsen: So here’s the question: If we take all of those cases looking at the collective, we look at all of those cases. We take them into account and we compare the 70s, the 80s and the 20th and 21st centuries. What do you make of it? Is it better? Is it worse?

Rosner: It’s certainly better because people have more clues. I remember my friends and me growing up in the 70s. We were all the class of ‘78 and we were just clueless about almost all aspects of sex. We didn’t have sex with anybody except my one cool friend. And then another one of my friends managed to get a girlfriend right at the end, right before graduating high school. But anyway, we were largely clueless. And so, a lot of the bad things we didn’t do sexually; we didn’t do, because we couldn’t get close enough to anybody to have sex. Otherwise, we may have done shitty stuff out of ignorance. Though I do feel that, I had a certain amount of naive, clueless decency. But my ignorance was such that I still might have fucked up and did fuck up.

I don’t think I wrecked anybody’s life through bad sexual behaviour. But, I certainly had sex with various women that were probably not great sex for either person. And even if you’re completely well informed, obviously, you can’t avoid that, sometimes. But we were clueless, is the point. And now, people are wildly unclueless. At least, if they choose to be a part of the world and not like an Incel dickhead, but if you consume enough media, like my wife and I have noticed in the stuff we’ve been watching on Netflix and HBO this week, there are just penises everywhere. Like we’ve been watching a show, which is about wild behaviour among teens. And, dick pics are involved. Remember the old show from 60 years ago? You probably have never seen, but you should remember the name Perry Mason, the courtroom drama.

Jacobsen: Oh, yes, of course, it’s great.

Rosner: Ok, so, Raymond Burr, he usually gets the perpetrator to confess in the last scene. HBO just resurrected Perry Mason. But he’s not a lawyer, yet. I don’t know if he’ll ever be a lawyer. Now, he’s a down on his heels private eye. And we just watched the first episode. I thought it was pretty great. It had a huge fucking penis in it. He’d been hired by a movie studio to catch one of their stars fucking up, so they could terminate his contract because the talkies have come in and his voice is no good for the talkies. He was a silent star. He’s the guy who looks like, Hardy of Laurel and Hardy or Fatty Arbuckle.

And Perry Mason cracks him down to where he’s banging or he’s having a weird kind of sex with this woman and takes some pictures of him and he gets caught taking the pictures. And this fat guy runs down the street after him with his big old Johnson flopping all over the place chasing Perry Mason fully naked. And it’s like when you think of Perry Mason, you don’t think of dicks flapping around.

Jacobsen: But that’s a larger phenomenon. That’s a larger commentary on the pornification of culture.

Rosner: But that’s not porn. That’s gritty. It’s a gritty show.

Jacobsen: That’s nudity. And pornography is about nudity. So, I think some overlap between gritty and porn, and nudity.

Rosner: I’ll fight you on that. They’re just trying to be as gritty as possible.

Jacobsen: I think they’re trying to be as gritty, where “as gritty” means “as porny,” as possible.

Rosner: No. Because it’s not something that the producers of the show would expect you to beat off to. And I don’t think most viewers would beat off to what’s going on. And the show Euphoria, one of the main characters is a trans girl who’s – I don’t know – 16, 17, who has scary sex with people. She picks up hotel room sex with people she meets on the Internet. So, there’s all this stuff that you see. All we had in the 70s were dumb sex comedies where, sweet white boys, guys, who are portrayed as good guys would try to lose their virginity. And now, you’re seeing a more balanced picture of all aspects of sex. Also, people are having less sex, especially young people.

Jacobsen: And if people are having less sex, is there a kind of balance there between what’s portrayed externally in media and how we behave internally in the home?

Rosner: I don’t know. It’s not like the media that we consume shows everybody having sex anywhere. In the 70s, media showed, or at least implied, that cool people had a lot of sex and that you were weird if you didn’t want to have sex. And now, there’s a presentation of people as sex being just one aspect of some people’s lives. Like the other main character on that show is a drug addict, she is largely asexual. Even though, she’s kind of a cute high school girl. Nobody would have been permitted to be this girl on Saved by the Bell, except in maybe a very special episode. And plus, like, I don’t know the last thing Carol and I watched on Netflix was this show called Disclosure, which is about how trans people have finally become reasonably portrayed in media to some extent and to their years of being portrayed horribly.

Jacobsen: Ok. I’m going to play the lawmaker here, and play cop. Ok, great, if we have these shows and you reflect on the past because of the original question, where is this heading? Where is the direction of this now?

Rosner: Yes. Well, you also asked me before, are things better now than before? I said, “Yes.”

Jacobsen: Ok, so, they’re better now looking forward. Are they going to get better?

Rosner: Yes, I think I’ve done with Lance; I’ve done a lot of arguing about trans people.

Jacobsen: Does he think they are mentally ill as many conservative commentators think about?

Rosner: He does. He thinks that being trans. It means having a mental illness that makes you chop off your genitals. But I have to debunk that because of the people who have surgery at all. Only one-half of one percent have bottom surgery. It’s a crazy low number because it’s brutal surgery. And the outcomes are often not optimal. If you have penis to vagina surgery, then you have to work the area afterwards with dildos of increasing size to make sure that your vaginal canal, your surgically created vaginal canal, stays big enough for sex. So, that’s a miserable exercise. And it is surgery that, compared to a lot of surgeries, has a fairly low satisfaction rate. But the good thing here about transness is that most trans people don’t have surgery.

And, I don’t know what the statistics are on people doing hormones. It’s obviously a lot more than people having surgery. But that people feel free to live trans life without surgery, I think is a major step forward. Like, maybe, one of the most famous trans people as Caitlyn Jenner. And she had top surgery. And I think she had surgery to sort of feminize her nose, probably to get rid of her Adam’s apple. But I think she left her dick alone. And that’s a good thing, because you shouldn’t have to go through this horrible butchery to live the life as the gender that you are; that you feel you are. And I think if I were a younger person, there are a lot of options; it’s a range like every other, or hot trans people – and there are trans people who aren’t hot.

But I always felt like I had a better shot with, on a per capita basis. Like, present me to a group of women and present me to a group of trans women, I always felt like my chances would be better with the trans women. And that’s kind of weird and ridiculous, but that’s how I felt. And back in the 80s, I could have at least made out with a very hot trans woman that I knew from the bars I worked at, and also I knew her as a woman at night in bars. And I knew her in the daytime from on campus and at night when she was a woman, she was just super hot. And we were flirting and I could have gone and made out with her.

And I was afraid to because I was worried about the dick that I was going to be around. And now I think if I were twenty-five years old now instead of then, I wouldn’t be as afraid of making out with some hot woman who has a penis. It wouldn’t be that big a deal. And I’d get to make out with a hot woman because that was like a thing I always wanted to do. And, my wife is attractive, but she’s not a fucking 6-foot ballistic redhead. And anyway, so, I think it’s a step forward that trans people can be accepted and don’t have to go to ridiculous lengths to transform their bodies.

Jacobsen: Can we close this on an agreement, the idea that things have gotten better, but there have been bumps in the getting better?

Rosner: Yes. we’re living – Americans, the whole fucking world is living – in a huge bump right now. Coronavirus fucked up everything. In America, we elected a guy who claimed he would be the best president for gay people. He might still claim it because nothing stops him from saying fucking anything he fucking wants, and when Trump was running and also when he said he’d be the best president ever for LGBTQ people, I think he’s claimed to be the best president ever for gay people. And he’s obviously a piece of shit for gay people, and especially for trans people. He’s trying to remove all sorts of protection from them. He’s made it so that trans people can’t serve in the military.

Trump’s administration has been a huge step back in whatever areas he can get his fat little hands-on for trans people and just a certain extent for gay people. He’s a voice of intolerance. So, yes. at the same time, media has fucking gotten a gazillion times better with trans people. And also for anybody who wants to have sex, that doesn’t leave you scarred for life. But Trump himself is a huge step back. He’s been credibly accused of rape or sexual assault or harassment by more than two dozen women. And he got elected despite it. So, yes, it’s a mixed fucking bag.

*High range testing (HRT) should be taken with honest skepticism grounded in the limited empirical development of the field at present, even in spite of honest and sincere efforts. If a higher general intelligence score, then the greater the variability in, and margin of error in, the general intelligence scores because of the greater rarity in the population.*

Rick Rosner: “According to some semi-reputable sources gathered in a listing hereRick G. Rosner may have among America’s, North America’s, and the world’s highest measured IQs at or above 190 (S.D. 15)/196 (S.D. 16) based on several high range test performances created by Christopher HardingJason BettsPaul Cooijmans, and Ronald Hoeflin. He earned 12 years of college credit in less than a year and graduated with the equivalent of 8 majors. He has received 8 Writers Guild Awards and Emmy nominations, and was titled 2013 North American Genius of the Year by The World Genius Directory with the main “Genius” listing here.

He has written for Remote ControlCrank YankersThe Man ShowThe EmmysThe Grammys, and Jimmy Kimmel Live!. He worked as a bouncer, a nude art model, a roller-skating waiter, and a stripper. In a television commercialDomino’s Pizza named him the “World’s Smartest Man.” The commercial was taken off the air after Subway sandwiches issued a cease-and-desist. He was named “Best Bouncer” in the Denver Area, Colorado, by Westwood Magazine.

Rosner spent much of the late Disco Era as an undercover high school student. In addition, he spent 25 years as a bar bouncer and American fake ID-catcher, and 25+ years as a stripper, and nearly 30 years as a writer for more than 2,500 hours of network television. Errol Morris featured Rosner in the interview series entitled First Person, where some of this history was covered by Morris. He came in second, or lost, on Jeopardy!, sued Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? over a flawed question and lost the lawsuit. He won one game and lost one game on Are You Smarter Than a Drunk Person? (He was drunk). Finally, he spent 37+ years working on a time-invariant variation of the Big Bang Theory.

Currently, Rosner sits tweeting in a bathrobe (winter) or a towel (summer). He lives in Los AngelesCalifornia with his wife, dog, and goldfish. He and his wife have a daughter. You can send him money or questions at LanceVersusRick@Gmail.Com, or a direct message via Twitter, or find him on LinkedIn, or see him on YouTube.”

Photo by Marissa&Eric on Unsplash

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