The misunderstandings of rape
I’m constantly confounded by people’s relation to rape and
its confusion with sex. This is a multilayered topic which may need to be continued
in different subtopics. When is it rape, when is it sex, and when is it wrong?
I think people’s relation to sex as bad, especially extra-marital sex, makes
them confuse these acts as equivalent to rape.
Let’s take a quote from a recent NY Times article about rape
charges against Dominique Strauss-Kahn:
“But the legal charges
against him — which include attempted rape, forced oral sex and an effort to
sequester another person against her will — are of an entirely different
magnitude, even in France and elsewhere in continental Europe, where voters
have generally shown more lenience than Americans toward the sexual behavior of
prominent politicians, most notably the sexual escapades of Prime Minister
Silvio Berlusconi of Italy.”
If Europe accepts sexual escapades should that make rape any
more acceptable there? What is even the connection? Would people say the same
about murder? When Kobe Bryant raped a woman (or should I say allegedly raped)
people seemed to be mostly upset at him being married and having sex outside of
marriage rather than at the rape itself. Forgiving him was thus to forgive someone
who had an affair.
I wanted to open this topic for a long time as it always annoys me, and I don’t think
it’s only a few people who are not so clear on what rape is, it seems to be
most people. This was clearly visible in the case of Julian
Assange (wikileaks founder) where the subtleties of what is rape
became clear. Does having consensual sex without a condom (giving the woman a
poor excuse for why, or misleading her about it) constitute rape? Etc.
I quoted from one NY Times article but I could have quoted
many articles from many different places. This same confusion of sex and rape
appears and reappears, and this confusion seems to not only be in a courtroom
between two people, but for society to
understand how does it really separates rape and sex.
The very fact that so many women are afraid to file charges
and testify comes from people thinking of them as having sex and then seeing
the act of sex as bad and thus the women as bad. It’s a very strange, or should
I say deranged, logic.
Where does this misunderstanding come from?
What is a good way to educate people about this difference
and have them know how never to cross it?
and any other questions and comments which comes to your