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Old 06-29-2006, 08:37 PM   #106
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Originally posted by Irvine511

i guess i don't want there to be different rules for men and women, as i see that as sexist, but perhaps there needs to be --
I agree wholeheartedly. But the reality is that society IS sexist and even trying to determine what the rules are becomes a gender power play on who is protected and who is vulnerable...the tables can so easily be turned. That's why I said earlier that the bottom line is that the onus is on the men (carries of the weapon ha!) to be crystal clear on consent - for their own protection and well as the consideration of their partners.
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Old 06-29-2006, 09:48 PM   #107
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Quote:
Originally posted by Irvine511




that's interesting ... i wonder if you have a more nuanced view of rape due to gender? as i've said, this isn't something i spend a whole lot of time thinking about, and i hope people can appreciate that i'm doing my thinking by writing.

i suppose i am drawing a distinction between the rape-at-knifepoint (as opposed to a robbing-at-gunpoint, which is something i *do* worry about living where i live) and the "date rape scenario" is that i associate rape with a strong threat of violence and malice, and i don't see the strong violence and malice in the date rape scenario. i see other things, i see misogyny, i see domination, i see arrogance, i see violation, i see psychological trauma, but i don't see the intent to do grevious harm as in the knifepoint scenario. i see intent to get one's way, i see intent to prove manliness at the expense of someone else, but i don't see intent to destroy the other person (even though forms of destruction might occur in the aftermath).

is that a fair distinction? they may all be forms of violence, but i think to different degrees, and i think the intent of the perpetrator might matter here.

or does it? i'm really not sure, i have no answers, i'm just asking questions and thinking out loud.

i guess i see one as directly related to sex, and the other as a means of imposing grevious bodily harm in a particularly psychologically nasty form.

i also think that this is directly related to my experiences. firstly, as a gay man, i fear violence (particularly getting bashed) and though i haven't picked up anyone in a long time (and have always thought that to be a particularly risky activity) i wouldn't fear unwanted sex so much as i would fear being beaten and robbed or murdered. perhaps that's a bad assumption on my part, and perhaps i'm putting too much faith in my own physicality, but that is my honest initial reaction.

the second thing that sticks in my mind are the college experiences i've alluded to. again, none of this happened directly to me, but i can think of two distinct examples where women who i know and adore felt as if they were raped, and as much as it hurts me to say this, i really didn't agree with them based on the information i had. it really seemed like, to me, a case of women who drank too much and did something they regretted.

and i felt terribly for feeling that way, and offered them as much support as they wanted, but deep down, that was my honest conclusion.

so it seemed like they had sex that they regretted, sex that they might not have had if they had been sober, but i don't think i can see that as rape, exactly, because i have to think that part of rape (as AliE has said) has to do with the intent of the perpetrator, and knowing one (but not both) of the guys involved in these two situations, i can 100% vouch for his character -- perhaps i am wrong, but i would vouch for him in a court of law without a second thought.

where situations like those lead us to are silly laws like in the state where i went to college -- if a woman has a single drink, she is legally unable to give consent. that strikes me as tremendously sexist, and one of the themes of my posts (i hope) has been that i believe in the sexual freedom and sexual complexity of women. i think women should be free to have sex with no guilt or shame. i think women should be able to drink as much as they want and make good or bad decisions. i want women to be empowered to do whatever they want with their bodies, so long as they are responsible for their actions -- please, because i can sense this coming already, don't throw at me any hoary cliches about women asking to be raped or anything. it's very clear to me in these situations (moving away from the "Rescue Me" scenario, which is different from what i'm discussing in this post) that no means no, that sex can stop at any point, and that consent kicks off any sexual experience.
It's interesting that when I mentioned date rape, the thought of being drunk never entered my mind but I suppose that is the common scenario. I was actually talking about a woman who goes on a date, there is little to no alcohol consumed, she actually likes the guy and hopes to see him again, and at the end of the date the man kisses the woman good night, becomes a little more aggressive, she becomes uncomfortable and says she has to go, she tries to leave, he gets angry, becomes violent and rapes her. This happened to someone I know.

So I suppose our definitions come from our own experiences and/or from those of people we know. Rape to me is a violent act because it causes bodily harm and psychological harm. Ask a woman who has been raped if it felt violent. If she was drunk and doesn't remember, well, that's another story.
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Old 06-30-2006, 07:51 AM   #108
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Quote:
Originally posted by Irvine511


i also think that this is directly related to my experiences. firstly, as a gay man, i fear violence (particularly getting bashed) and though i haven't picked up anyone in a long time (and have always thought that to be a particularly risky activity) i wouldn't fear unwanted sex so much as i would fear being beaten and robbed or murdered. perhaps that's a bad assumption on my part, and perhaps i'm putting too much faith in my own physicality, but that is my honest initial reaction
But rape, non-consensual sex of any kind isn't just unwanted sex-it goes so far beyond that . It is unwanted loss of power, unwanted loss of freedom of choice, of freedom from fear, of equality, of trust-and of so many other things.

I believe in the sexual freedom of women too, but so many of our other freedoms are always at the risk of being taken away by men who can't and won't take no for an answer and who use a sexual act to do so many other things to women. So until that stops our sexual freedom is still irrelevant in that way and the least of our concerns so to speak.

Date and acquaintance rape can be the most violent act possible without being physically violent. Mental and emotional violence and what that does to your psyche can also be much worse and take a toll on your life forever.
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Old 06-30-2006, 08:49 AM   #109
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Quote:
Originally posted by MrsSpringsteen
Date and acquaintance rape can be the most violent act possible without being physically violent. Mental and emotional violence and what that does to your psyche can also be much worse and take a toll on your life forever.


Very well said.
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Old 06-30-2006, 10:07 AM   #110
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Originally posted by AliEnvy
That's why I said earlier that the bottom line is that the onus is on the men (carries of the weapon ha!) to be crystal clear on consent - for their own protection and well as the consideration of their partners.


i understand this, but is this not in and of itself sexist, it plays into the patriarchy?
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Old 06-30-2006, 10:13 AM   #111
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Quote:
Originally posted by joyfulgirl
[B]

It's interesting that when I mentioned date rape, the thought of being drunk never entered my mind but I suppose that is the common scenario. I was actually talking about a woman who goes on a date, there is little to no alcohol consumed, she actually likes the guy and hopes to see him again, and at the end of the date the man kisses the woman good night, becomes a little more aggressive, she becomes uncomfortable and says she has to go, she tries to leave, he gets angry, becomes violent and rapes her. This happened to someone I know.

yes, to me, this is certainly clear cut (as i'm sure it is to anybody). i really am talking about both the "Rescue Me" episode (which raises interesting questions) as well as the drunken college scenarios i've laid out before.

i would certainly see the above as a violent act, and i suppose i would put that in the jump-out-of-the-buses-rape-at-knifepoint cateogry as opposed to the drunken college scenario. what you described, to me, shows an intent by the perpetrator to do bodily harm to the victim, whereas the college scenario, to me, doesn't have the malicious intent.
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Old 06-30-2006, 10:26 AM   #112
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Quote:
Originally posted by MrsSpringsteen
Date and acquaintance rape can be the most violent act possible without being physically violent. Mental and emotional violence and what that does to your psyche can also be much worse and take a toll on your life forever.


it's interesting ... i think we all have somewhat different scenarios in mind when we hear words like "rape" or "date/acquaintance rape" and i think this leads to our differing (ever so slightly) reactions.

i'm sitting here thinking about it, and going through all these different scenarios, and trying to place myself in them, trying to walk in the shoes of a victim. the example Yolland brought up -- the gang rape -- or the example joyfulgirl brought up -- where a date becomes violent and rapes a woman -- strike me as physically and emotionally violent situations, though i'm surprised at how much work it takes for me to imagine myself in the second scenario. i'm a very empathetic person, and it usually doesn't take too much for me to imagine myself in someone else's place. and i think this comes down to the fact that even though i am a gay man, i am still a man, and i've never had to worry about being physically overpowered by an acquaintance, especially in an intimate situation. i'd fear being hit over the head with a crowbar, or being held up at gunpoint, or getting jumped by a group of teenagers, but in a one-on-one situation, it's hard for me to imagine, perhaps because all of the date rape literature is focused solely on women.

so it's this strange combination of being a man, yet a potential rape victim, that has made me so curious about this subject.
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Old 06-30-2006, 11:09 AM   #113
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Quote:
Originally posted by Irvine511
i understand this, but is this not in and of itself sexist, it plays into the patriarchy?
Yep and it sucks.

I've been trying to focus on rape as a clear absence of consent and a *forced* act but the world of sexual politics and law has twisted that to the extreme. Any law that says a woman who has had one drink cannot legally consent to sex is as disempowering to women as making abortion illegal.

It suggests (or reinforces?) the idea that since woman don't make their intentions clear and are easily coerced into sexual situations, they need extreme protection.
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Old 06-30-2006, 11:34 AM   #114
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Here are some rape stats as food for thought. RAINN (Rape Abuse Incest National Network), fyi, is an organization founded by Tori Amos who was raped at gunpoint by a fan, an event that inspired her song "Me and a Gun":

http://www.rainn.org/statistics/vict...da5350559252d7

The Victims of Sexual Assault

Women
* One out of every six American women have been the victims of an attempted or completed rape in their lifetime (14.8% completed rape; 2.8% attempted rape). This is according to the Prevalence, Incidence and Consequences of Violence Against Women Survey, National Institute of Justice and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1998.
* A total of 17.7 million women have been victims of these crimes.
* In 2003, nine out of every ten rape victims were female according to the 2003 National Crime Victimization Survey.

Men
* About three percent of American men —- a total of 2.78 million men—have experienced an attempted or completed rape in their lifetime according to the 1998 Prevalence, Incidence and Consequences of Violence Against Women study.
* In 2003, one in every ten rape victims were male, according to the 2003 National Crime Victimization Study.

The Rapist Isn't a Masked Man
* Approximately 70% of female rape victims and 74% of male rape victims know their assailant according to the 2003 National Crime Victimization Survey.
* Approximately 50% of female victims and 44% of male victims are raped by a friend or acquaintance; 30% of female victims and 26% of male victims by a stranger; 12% of female victims and 30% of male victims by an intimate; 8% of female victims and less than 1% of male victims by another relative; but in less than 1% of cases the relationship is unknown.

He's Not Hiding in the Bushes
According to the 1997 Sex Offenses and Offenders study, Bureau of Justice Statistics, U.S. Department of Justice:

* About four out of ten sexual assaults take place at the victim’s own home. Two in ten take place in the home of a friend, neighbor or relative. One in ten take place outside, away from home. And about one in 12 take place in a parking garage.
* More than half of all rape/sexual assault incidents were reported by victims to have occurred within one mile of their home or at their home.
* 43% of rapes occur between 6 pm and midnight. 24% occur between midnight and 6am. The other 33% take place between 6am and 6pm.
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Old 06-30-2006, 12:51 PM   #115
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I'm guessing in all the surveys and questionnaires done to amass this information, no one thought to ask if anyone thought their experience was enjoyable.



*runs*
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Old 06-30-2006, 01:06 PM   #116
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It would seem I have to revise my conclusions.

I asked my sister and my wife if they thought something could start out as rape and end up being consensual sex and both said "yes." I was quite surprised by their responses.

My sister even went on to add that if the woman has an orgasm you can't argue the sex is unwanted!!

Thoughts on that?
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Old 06-30-2006, 01:11 PM   #117
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Irvine, I think you're getting at something else. I think you may be asking the question, can a woman retract her consent after the fact. That may be what happens in some of the drunken scenarios you describe.

Alcohol always complicates things. I know for a fact that some guys hope a girl will get drunk because they know she's more likely to do things--like have sex--that maybe she wouldn't if she were sober. And when she wakes up the next morning, might she not think "dammnit, I didn't want that to happen." Is that rape?
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Old 06-30-2006, 01:15 PM   #118
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Now I'm very curious to know how your lovelies define rape!



But I guess that's been the merry-go-round in this thread all along lol.
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Old 06-30-2006, 01:29 PM   #119
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My wife says rape is non-consensual sex. I guess she figures if the woman "changes her mind" during sex then it is considered consensual.

My sisters at work so I'm not sure what her defintion.

I asked her "How likely do you think that is?"

She said, if the woman knows the person, she thinks it's possible.

I asked her about the scene in A History of Violence? She said she became okay with it, because it was clear to her that Maria Bello's character became okay with it.

Then we talked about a friend of ours that was raped by her boyfriend. We don't know for sure what happened. We think she may have been raped initially, but sexual activity continued after that. The sense we got is that she was doing a lot of things with him that she really didn't want to do, but she felt like she "had" to, otherwise he "wouldn't love her" or would "get mad." My wife feels that the kind of manipulation he had going, the power he had over, was more damaging mentally and emotionally than rape would be.
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Old 06-30-2006, 01:39 PM   #120
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And when she wakes up the next morning, might she not think "dammnit, I didn't want that to happen." Is that rape?
This sounds like more like you are describing a bad decision to have consensual sex. A decision that may have been pressured, cajoled and emotionally manipulated by the man but so what? Still her decision.

Unless he physically forced her or used physical threats, it wasn't rape.
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