Thursday, 30 August 2012

It Is Wrong to Say 'Sex Without Consent is Rape'

Brendan O Neill says:
"But it is wrong. More than that, the idea that all "non-consensual sex is rape", as Galloway himself has now said in his clarification of his defence of Assange, represents a dangerous rewriting of what rape really means."
It doesn't, because rape has always meant that.  He is confusing rape with the 'crime of rape'.  The dictionary definition doesn't change depending on whether it is a crime.  There is a standard dictionary definition: sex without consent.  Because a sleeping woman cannot consent, it is rape.  It doesn't have to be a crime of rape though.  What he really means is: when considering what actions to make a crime, using the definition "all non consensual sex" to define rape in law is dangerous.  I agree with that.  I would actually prefer there to be no relationship rape law for a few reasons.  It gives women a false sense of security; that the law protects them.  One of the motivations for the rapist is the power he gets knowing that he has raped the woman and she can do nothing about it; that there is a social pressure on her to pursue justice even though very few women want to go through the justice system.  It also means that rape becomes a taboo topic because everyone assumes that it is the government's job to handle it and deal with the aftermath of it, not the people or society's job.  So that is why a lot of women who have been raped do not want to discuss it; they feel that people will just tell them to go to the police and then blame them when they do not go.  So they feel more isolated and alone.  Which again gives the rapist power.

Link: It Is Wrong to Say 'Sex Without Consent is Rape'. Brendan O Neill, Huffington Post. 29/08/2012 00:00

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