Glamour Powers: "Rape" or not?:

Total posts: [85]
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Time to drop this bomb, I think.

So, let's say we have a character with "Glamour" powers. In a nutshell, people see them as being more attractive, more compelling than logic would dictate. Perhaps they have a real form which their power causes the human mind to "ignore", or perhaps their power triggers lust or complacency in situations where those reactions would not normally begin. However you want to describe it, the idea is that the thing which makes this person appealing is this power, and if they never possessed it in the first place, the subject would never haven been interested.

The idea has popped up from time to time, from characters like Dracula or Starfox (no, not THAT one—the guy from Marvel) or Poison Ivy.

I remember getting into a debate on some Tekken forums a while back because there was one line in the Tekken 3 backstory which said that Jun Kazama was "drawn to Kazuya by some irresistable force" and that was what led to the creation of series protagonist, Jin Kazama. Most people seemed to believe that is indicated that Jun was effectively raped by Kazuya while others argued that it was no different than any other form of lust. It isn't destroying free will, but merely "nudging" the person to act a certain way. Hormones and dopamine alter brain function in similar ways.

So, what say you fellow tropers? Rape or not rape?
2 drunkscriblerian17th Feb 2011 08:45:20 PM from Castle Geekhaven , Relationship Status: In season
Street Writing Man
@OP (cuz I'm sure to be ninja'd): If a girl being drunk is enough for a rape charge, then glamour powers would definitely count.

However, where does one draw the line between 'super-mystic sex powerz' and "just damn smooth"? If being good at parting girls from their panties is going to be a crime, pardon me while I take a powder...
If I were to write some of the strange things that come under my eyes they would not be believed.

~Cora M. Strayer~
3 Nicknacks17th Feb 2011 08:47:21 PM from Land Down Under
Ding-ding! Going down...
To answer the post question: yes if sex happens.

edited 17th Feb '11 8:48:01 PM by Nicknacks

This post has been powered by avenging fury and a balanced diet.
4 SpainSun17th Feb 2011 08:48:25 PM from Somewhere Beyond Here
Laugh it off, everybody

The question has no practical application, so no meaningful answer can be given. At least not from me.
I spread my wings and I learn how to fly....
Unless it's some kind of mind control, no.
6 Barkey17th Feb 2011 08:54:13 PM from Bunker 051 , Relationship Status: [TOP SECRET]
War Profiteer
If it's clear and present that without this ability they would not have gotten the poon, then yes.

If it's something the person in question can't turn off, or has horrible consequences for doing so, then no.
The AR-15 is responsible for 95% of all deaths each year. The rest of the deaths are from obesity and drone strikes.
7 Fighteer17th Feb 2011 08:59:42 PM from the Time Vortex , Relationship Status: Dancing with Captain Jack Harkness
As the question, like most rape questions, has entirely to do with matters of consent, a legal body would have to determine if the person's "powers" constituted the ability to impair his partner's consent.

After all, people put on cosmetics and clothing every day with the notional goal of altering the subconscious perceptions of others. If those actually worked, like some colognes' that "contain pheromones" purport to do, then wearing them might also constitute rape if a person would not have consented to sex without them.

In short, it's very hard to draw the line between Mind Control and simple sexual gamesmanship.

edited 17th Feb '11 9:03:36 PM by Fighteer

8 Shrimpus17th Feb 2011 09:01:04 PM from Brooklyn, NY, US
Well is makeup rape? A pretty dress or a pushup bra? What about the natural pheromones that signal your immunological composition or the aldosterone in male sweat that makes women more sexually aroused?

It seems like a straight forward question at first but when you start to parse it out you kind of start to realize that even in normal courtship some of the stuff we do might be flanderized into some sort of supernatural effect that we might label as rapey.

I suppose that the fundamental question is whether or not your hypothetical glamour impinges on free will. Now the question become what constitutes an attack on free will. Alcohol for example lowers inhibitions but it doesn't actually make you do things only make you more susceptible to 'hey why not' situations. Valium or rohypnol on the other hand are hypnotic induction agents that put you into a pliable state and dump short term memory.

To me an illusion, even one that reaches into the mind of another to do its task, can't ever constitute rape as it never takes the choice from you. You might be misled or bamboozled into make a major miscalculation but as long as the ability to opt out is still there it isn't rape. Just because a woman/man is the most lust inducing thing you have ever met if you cant put the kibosh on your own gonads then that is your issue, even if they are doing their level best to manufacture the lust.
Indeed. A person may be very attractive, but that does not take the choice away from you, so it isn't rape by any reasonable definition.
10 LoniJay17th Feb 2011 09:21:31 PM from Australia , Relationship Status: Pining for the fjords
If the power simply makes you look more attractive, or makes people feel drawn to you, then that's no more rape than, say, makeup and nice clothes is. People still have the option of resisting the draw, after all.

But if it triggers immediate uncontrollable lust in people, that they have no possibility of controlling, then I'd say yes.
Be not afraid...
Interesting that the topic is getting such mixed answers so quickly. I'd like to continue discussion to see if we can build a consensus.
12 Dec18th Feb 2011 12:06:00 AM from The Dance Floor
Stayin' Alive
I've got a story using a character with Glamour powers, but this is definitely one question I haven't thought about as much as I probably should have.

I bring that up here, however, because said character doesn't always have control over her own attractive powers or how people react to them, and she'll often slip up and attract people who she didn't intend to in the first place. Where would that fall in terms of rape?

If she does it willingly to have sex with the other person, I guess that could constitute rape in the right situation. But if she doesn't want to have sex with the other person, but they're still drawn in and take it anyways, what then? Who is to blame? If she wants it, but doesn't realize she's used her powers to attract him, does the blame still fall on her? If so, how is she supposed to know the difference between someone really liking her and being drawn in by her powers, if they appear to act exactly the same?

Also, what about powers similar to a Veela's in Harry Potter, where there is no way to turn the attractive power off? Is that person free to do as they please despite manipulating the heck out of everyone around them?

I really don't think this question has anything like an obvious answer.

edited 18th Feb '11 12:13:20 AM by Dec

Nemo enim fere saltat sobrius, nisi forte insanit
13 drunkscriblerian18th Feb 2011 12:08:31 AM from Castle Geekhaven , Relationship Status: In season
Street Writing Man
Again I say: where do we draw the line between ordinary human powers of persuasion (augmented by outside sources like drink or loneliness) and so-called "supernatural" abilities?
If I were to write some of the strange things that come under my eyes they would not be believed.

~Cora M. Strayer~
14 Pykrete18th Feb 2011 12:12:51 AM from Viridian Forest
I'm the kind of person who thinks even more than a buzz's worth of alcohol takes things into very gray areas best left avoided by people who aren't already comfortable with that lifestyle — hypnotic glamour would be even worse.

edited 18th Feb '11 12:13:20 AM by Pykrete

It sees you.
If it removes the target's ability to say no, then yes, it's rape.

If it reduces their ability to say no, then it is, at the very least, morally questionable.
16 Clarste18th Feb 2011 01:48:42 AM , Relationship Status: Non-Canon
Three Steps
So anything that provides a penalty to the Will save is morally questionable? I think it would be impossible to draw a line there in terms of perfumes and fashion and everything.
It sees you.
I think the line would be between something that makes them not want to say no, and something that reduces their ability to say no. So perfume or a fancy outfit would make you more attractive, but it wouldn't actively cloud the mind of your target.
18 TibetanFox18th Feb 2011 02:07:09 AM from Death Continent
Feels Good, Man
Guys, we already have a real world glamour power. Meets all the requirements:

  • People see them as being more attractive, more compelling than logic would dictate.
  • Their power triggers lust or complacency in situations where those reactions would not normally begin.
  • Makes this person appealing...if they never possessed it in the first place, the subject would never haven been interested.

It's called "Fame".

edited 18th Feb '11 2:08:21 AM by TibetanFox

19 MarkVonLewis18th Feb 2011 02:11:04 AM from Somewhere in Time , Relationship Status: THIS CONCEPT OF 'WUV' CONFUSES AND INFURIATES US!
Or money.
Valhalla atcha boy, yo.
20 Aryn18th Feb 2011 02:18:31 AM from The place with states.
Shipper of Spacetime
Or cash if you're so cynically inclined (and a NINJA). I tend to surround myself with people resistant to these supernatural attractors though.

edited 18th Feb '11 2:18:46 AM by Aryn

The Prodigal Returns
Hell, infatuation itself could be considered a kind of glamour. What matters is the degree and type/intent of the attractor, otherwise we're stepping into territory even most radfem won't touch.

edited 18th Feb '11 2:42:42 AM by DarkDecapodian

Aww, did I hurt your widdle fee-fees?
22 LoniJay18th Feb 2011 03:06:53 AM from Australia , Relationship Status: Pining for the fjords
As an example of this in fiction, I always thought that random furry blue elf in the Inheritance trilogy was borderline unethical. Besides being just plain wierd.
Be not afraid...
If we're talking about supernatural glamour, I would say yes, it is. Unless of course the person consented to be put under glamour beforehand.
24 Shrimpus18th Feb 2011 04:09:53 AM from Brooklyn, NY, US
[up]. But even supernatural glamour has to have a mechanism, and given that normal human beings already have mind invading powers over the opposite sex in the form of pheromones..... Just seems a little condemnatory of what we already do to label any power of suggestion beyond what is 'natural' wrong.
Failed Comic Artist
Hmmm, tough question... didnt Starfox powers work on some kind of phermonal level? Im not entirerly sure if that counts as rape or not.
I dont know why they let me out, I guess they needed a spare bed

Total posts: 85
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