Saturday, May 26, 2007

For All Those Who Say Talking A Woman Into Sex Isn't Rape

Thankfully, in this case the 3-time alleged rapist finally has become a convicted rapist.

From wftv:

Sex crimes investigators said this is their strongest case yet against Daniel Pearson. It's the third time he's been accused of raping a woman. One of his victims would not cooperate. A jury acquitted him in a second case.

Pearson, 29, told the jury he and the alleged victim were acquaintances and that the night of the alleged rape, he went to her place late at night and charmed her into sex after two hours of trying.

The alleged victim said she did what he told her to do to protect herself and her children, because he had a gun. In this case, DNA evidence linked Pearson to the alleged victim and the alleged victim did cooperate with investigators. So, in this case, Pearson took the witness stand and said he finally convinced the woman into having sex.

"I told a woman what she wants to hear. Saying all the things that a woman wants to hear to get her to say yes," he told the court.

The next time you hear a boy or man say he finally convinced a girl or woman to have sex with him and you think that means he couldn't be a rapist, remember this case. The reality is always uglier than the spin when the convincee says she was raped.

If a girl or woman didn't want sex but didn't see any viable option other than submitting, don't you dare call her a liar or a willing participant. If you are incapable of believing the boy or man could be a rapist, that's your problem and your responsibility. It is not the rape victim's responsibility to describe what happened to her in a way you can accept as real rape.

If it takes you two hours of trying to convince someone to have sex with you, you have not convinced that person of anything. If you ask someone for sex when they are alert, waiting to ask again until the person is no longer alert is a method of overwhelming lack of consent. It's the MO of a rapist or wannabe rapist.

If you want to be persistent after someone refused you and know you aren't committing rape, then don't have sex the same day you finally convince the other person. If you've truly convinced them, then at a later date, with full awareness and easy options other than sex, that person will be a full participant in the sexual contact. If you want the yes to be valid, you have to be willing to accept anything less than an enthusiastic yes as a no.

If not having sex with this person isn't acceptable within your relationship, you have the option of leaving. You also have the option of assessing your means of asking for sex to see whether it is poisoning your relationship. The other person might go from being willing and turned on to being terrified of who you turn into when you want sex. If that's the case, you need to learn how to approach sex so the other person loves what you are doing.

If you have to scare girls and women into having sex with you or you have to wait and pounce in a vulnerable moment, you are terrible failure at sex no matter how many times you have sex.

When boys and men defend themselves from accusations of rape by saying they were just "Convincing a girl (or woman) to have sex" they are talking about coercion whether a weapon is present or not. The victim very likely won't use the term coercion since that is a theoretical term that doesn't capture the feeling of being coerced. Those who are coerced are more likely to talk about pressure.

For those who think the solution is to teach girls and women assertiveness, it's like talking about teaching girls how to swim better while ignoring or defending the boys trying to hold girls under water until they stop struggling. The problem is not girls lack of assertiveness, the problem is boys who think it's okay to grab girls and nearly drown them. The problem is people saying, "boys will be boys" when one of those boys succeeds at drowning a girl, followed by "she should have taken more personal responsibility for her swimming" or "what did she expect would happen when she got into a pool with boys?"

When I was growing up and spent many summer days at the public pool, the lifeguard blew the whistle on rough treatment of other swimmers. Those who liked bullying learned to stop being so rough or they got kicked out of the pool. The bullied weren't the ones who got the lecture on proper behavior and forced to leave the pool.

Why do we have it backwards when it comes to sex and outrageously say that's just how the world works?

Update: Someone who found this post through Reddit wrote the following comment.

But the point here is that verbal coercion is acceptable. Verbal coercion plus gun is not. The gun, you see, is the difference between acceptable and not. The title of this post, and many of the opinions of the blogger, are just ridiculous.

Think about the implications of this statement. If nothing else about the interaction changes except the gun, a sexual assault suddenly becomes not only legal but perfectly acceptable to this person and to many who think in this way. The man's presence and demeanor -- even without the gun -- could have instilled real, logical fear in this woman for herself and for her children.

Serious injury and death can come without the use of a gun. Yet people continue to say, no gun (or no knife) -- no crime.

The rapist's intentions haven't changed in the slightest, but if he either doesn't use a weapon to make the other person comply to an act they don't want to participate in or if he gets people to doubt that he had a weapon, he becomes a non-rapist and his victim becomes a liar.

Now that is ridiculous.

I think the problem for many people is that they can emotionally connect and project themselves into a situation when there is a gun involved and from the image of a gun barrel pointed at them say, "yes, that other person was a victim of a real crime." But a projection is not the same as recreating that real situation. Often in projections where the label rape is rejected, the person makes it easy for the "victim" to say no and makes it easy for the "victim" to walk away and makes it easy for the "victim" to get assistance. Doing what the other person wants becomes so completely optional that only someone who wants it will do it.

But that pretty little projection with all those easy outs isn't the reality the alleged rapist is trying to hide or is denying.

So many people cling to the idea that they can recreate a real situation in all its complexities based on a few details or even one detail -- absence of a gun. If we deny rape when there is no gun then we must deny bank robberies when there is no gun.

If a bank robber is unarmed, then the logic used to evaluate rape says there's no threat and no reason to give that person any cash. Yet we accept that the tellers have no way of knowing what the bank robber is capable of once that person crosses the line from customer to wannabe bank robber.

This isn't a customer jokingly asking for a million dollars in response to the question, "Can I help you with anything else?"

This is serious and this is frightening -- and for good reason.

Yet someone who goes from seeming like a normal person to a wannabe rapist isn't supposed to be frightening at all and shouldn't alter our behavior in the least -- unless a knife or gun is visible. Knowing a person previously doesn't make this situation any less frightening than if a teller is being held up by someone she or he knows. It's still a crime attempt and the danger is still real.

The only question is how many people will continue to give rapists their support when those rapists rape without a knife or gun?

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posted by Marcella Chester @ 10:38 AM   0 comments links to this post


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