But most men have had experience with crossed signals in a courtship situation, and a lot of them seem to be afraid that they could get accused of rape if they read a woman's signals wrong.
I don't know how many times I've read or heard a comment like this, but this time I noticed something revealing about these men's concerns. The impact of their actions on the woman is totally absent. They are only afraid of what she will do if they've read a woman's signals wrong.There is no concern about the harm they will do to the woman if they guess wrong about whether they have full, legal consent. Without concern for the impact of their actions, they will minimize that impact until it is as close to being nothing as humanly possible.
Once that happens, her reporting of the rape will be inflated into a lie told to the police rather than the simple act of reporting a crime.
Rather than being afraid of being accused of rape, these boys and men should be afraid that they will be guilty of causing a woman to experience rape. If their only or main concern is whether they will face criminal charges, their priorities are the rapists priorities. All that matters is not getting caught.
The impact their actions have on the person they are "courting" must be central to their thinking and decision making with no rationalizations or manipulation allowed. If there is any chance their actions will leave the other person feeling raped or violated or coerced, they must stop.
If the sex isn't fully and freely mutual, you're doing something wrong. A good test for this (when consensual sex is legal) is to wait 24 hours or more after the uncertain agreement. If you won't let the other person opt out without protest, you should worry about being accused of rape.
Technorati tags: rape crime politics sexual violence sexual assault feminism