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Consensual sex is no more akin to being rubbed up against in the subway than drinking wine is to being roofied.

The sentence is from New Yorker : WHY DID CATHERINE DENEUVE AND OTHER PROMINENT FRENCHWOMEN DENOUNCE #METOO? By Lauren Colline

Here is a sample sentence from Chinese English learning site about usage of “no more than” and “not more than”:

A whale is no more a fish than a horse is. 马不是鱼,鲸也不是鱼 (=Neither a horse nor a whale is a fish)
She is not more clever than he is. 她不如他聪明 (= She is not so clever as he is).

So how to understand the quoted sentence properly? Does it make sense to break it this way? Is the grammar correct?

Consensual sex is not akin to being rubbed up against in the subway.
Consensual sex is not akin to drinking wine being roofied.

Or

Consensual sex is not akin to being rubbed up against in the subway.
Drinking wine is not akin to being roofied.

  • Yes, good method. I might suggest you reverse the order of the two extracted sentences, since the first one is supposed to be an analogy based on everyone accepting the second one. P.S. The "clever" sentence breakdown should be "Neither he nor she is clever." – Luke Sawczak Jan 13 '18 at 15:04
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Reference

https://dictionary.cambridge.org/grammar/british-grammar/no-or-not

http://www.chompchomp.com/terms/nounphrase.htm

http://www.dictionary.com/browse/akin?s=t

So how to understand the quoted sentence properly?

In answer to the question 'did I understand the quoted sentence?', yes it appears you understood it well.

Does it make sense to break it this way?

No, not at all.

Is the grammar correct?

Yes, "Drinking wine is not akin to being roofied" is technically correct.

To expand:

Consensual sex is not akin to being rubbed up against in the subway.

Consensual sex is no more akin to being rubbed up against in the subway than drinking wine is to being roofied.

The sentences cannot be broken apart. Saying that "Consensual sex is not akin to being rubbed up against in the subway" is an obvious statement, of course it is not. However, that is the point that the original writer is trying to make. By using a comparative adjective, the writer is attempting to draw an analogy to something that is clearly not "akin".

So the writer could have stated:

  • [being rubbed up against in the subway is no more akin to consensual sex] than [suicide is (akin) to being pushed off a roof]

The emphasis is the comparison, not the alliance of sex and molestation.

A whale is no more a fish than a horse is

This also is technically accurate but just too obvious to bother writing. The original statement is clever for the analogy. It would make better sense to write "a whale is no more a fish, than a horse is a donkey".

She is not more clever than he is

This doesn't sound right, see the link above of "no-or-not", if you take the "cleverness" to be "more clever than someone", then the appropriate negation would be "no more clever than someone". Alternatively it could be written "she is not as clever as he is".

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