Far too many men who say they can recognize when a woman is consenting don't have a clue about true, legal consent and seem to believe that any neutral response or positive response (even under duress or physical intimidation or physical incapacitation) is like a blank check. Once it's been handed to a man then he can do whatever he wants with it.
The fear is not being able to recognize if a woman is consenting. In today's society, if a woman regrets having or doesn't remember having sex after drinking, that is rape. It has nothing to do with what she wants at the time, its how she feels about herself in the morning and is willing to take personal responsiblity for her actions. I work in the court system and see many men prosecuted because of a woman's "post morning regret." Its a real shame, because it takes away from the real victims.
The impact their actions have on another person is beyond their awareness and understanding. If a man doesn't feel like a rapist, then something must be wrong with any woman who views his actions as rape.
I've lost count of the number of men who have explained consent from their perspective in a way that made it clear that they refuse to recognize certain types of sexual actions for what they are. Real rapes.
This is by no means a genetic difference in perception since many women also believe these same myths about what consent looks like and what it takes for rape to be a "real" rape.
The approach that dismisses women's experiences of rape as morning-after regret has a short term benefit (more sex, less guilt) but that benefit is an exploitive one.
The solution to the disaster is not to blame women for failing to take personal responsibility by reporting what happened to them. The solution is to make sure your actions don't cause someone else to feel raped or sexually exploited.
Technorati tags: rape crime politics sexual violence sexual assault feminism