Saturday, July 28, 2007

Now That Didn't Really Hurt You Did It?

There is a myth that there is such a thing as a non-harmful rape. Some of those who support this myth often will say that raping a woman in her sleep doesn't harm her. Others will say that raping certain women doesn't harm them because they have sex all the time.

Sometimes this is reworked to say that if there is no trauma there is no rape, but the person making the statement gets to be arbitor of what is and isn't traumatic -- often on the sketchiest of details.

Different rapes do have different types and levels of trauma. The rape that has the most traumatic memories is my first rape. But being raped when I was drinking and determined to show that sexual contact was absolutely meaningless was still rape. To use the vernacular I've heard to excuse later rapes, I was what people call sexually mature.

There were times when I was fully willing yet sexually passive (whatever) and 2 times (same guy) before I was 18 when I was willing and enthusiastic. People often say asking for explicit permission is unromantic, but I disagree. There is nothing more romantic to me than someone who cares enough about me to stop and not do what he wants to do. One man will always have a special place in my heart for showing me that not all men are users or rapists and that sex isn't always either painful or meaningless.

In any of the so-called Romeo and Juliet exceptions to statutory rape laws, explicit permission should be present with absolutely no coercion or pressure. Age difference alone is not a measure of whether the sexual contact was predatory and it isn't a sign that the adult is or is not a sexual predator.

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posted by Marcella Chester @ 3:00 PM   0 comments links to this post


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