This Jezebel piece by Moe unintentionally highlights the key problems in not labeling any rape that occurred after someone said no -- and meant it -- as real rape.
These problems don't go away if it is the victim who doesn't label a rape as real rape.
Moe's reaction to the examples given in the Cosmo story on gray rape which mirrored her own rape was to feel nothing but to instantly remember her own experience 9 years ago which she plans to forget in 3 minutes. That's one way to cope -- a way which is supported by those who want to deny rape -- but this coping strategy distorts reality and inadvertently protects rapists from being called what they really are.
But then in Israel I saw this other girl who used to hook up with him and she assured me he remains a douchebag, only now one that practices medicine in New York.
This is deeply disturbing, but not surprising. The only thing assuring about this revelation is that it shows that the fault for his behavior didn't belong to her, his victim. Other than that there is nothing assuring about discovering that your rapist is likely still raping, only now he's a medical doctor trusted by patients and the public because he seems like an upstanding citizen and not someone who has committed at least one rape.
So for those who think "gray rape" isn't real rape because the victim was mostly out of it and didn't feel great pain and there was no stereotypical violence, would you have the same opinion if this man, now a doctor, repeated what he did to Moe to a patient under the influence of anesthesia or recovering from a stroke?
If rape is only rape once the rape victim realizes what was done and says, "I am a rape victim" then the patient wasn't raped if the memories of being raped read like a nightmare.
If his excuse for what he did to Moe was that he was painfully aroused, he could become painfully aroused on the job. If rape is a natural response to painful arousal in one situation, it is a natural response in all situations. Otherwise, rape is a choice in all situations.
The raw truth is that rape, even so-called gray rape, is about ethics and opportunity, not desire.
We as a society don't have trouble believing that people who are not evil monsters commit serious non-sexual crimes. However, we as a society do have trouble believing that people who are not evil monsters commit sex crimes.
This makes absolutely no sense to anyone except those who want to get away with sex crimes or who want to allow others to get away with sex crimes.
Gray rape is about supporting cognitive dissonance and in our society the solution to this dissonance is to blame the victim. It's no wonder that so many who have been raped talk about feeling crazy.
Those who say, "Just get over it and don't be a victim" are telling rape victims, "Just let rapists get away with rape." And these people wonder in puzzled amazement why they often get an angry backlash to their "helpful" advice.
Those who say that it's only real rape if there is non-sexual physical injury are actually making it clear that only non-sexual physical injury counts. They are making it clear that rape in and of itself is not criminal.
Raped with no accompanying crime becomes gray raped. And what is gray but foggy and indeterminate. Of absolutely no substance.
Or of a substance that obscures our perception of reality.
Real rape = kidnapped and raped, or physically assaulted and raped, or raped and stabbed, or raped and murdered, or raped and [fill in blank]. Many times people will talk about these pairings as degrees of rape when they are instead multiple crimes.
If people are truly against rape then they must be against rape that isn't accompanied by any other crime.