"Someone who has a chance for a one-night stand needs to know for sure that the other person is capable of giving meaningful and legal consent and is doing so."
But my point is that in some situations it would be impossible to know for certain if someone was fully capable of consent. For example, in the example I gave in my last comment - if a new date rape drug were developed that made someone incapable of legal consent but had no obvious physical/behavioural effects, then a guy would have no way of telling whether the girl he's about to have sex with is legally consenting or not. Therefore, unless there is literally no chance that this drug has been given to her (for example she has been in the house the whole day, hasn't eaten or drunk anything and hasn't seen anyone) any sex with her, under your definition, is rape.
You are creating a false scenario with a non-existent drug as my position and then trying to disprove that false scenario. I'm beginning to doubt that you are commenting in good faith.
If a person is in a situation where it is impossible to know for certain if someone else is fully capable of consent, then there needs to be enough of a gap between initial consent and consummation so that it will be possible for both parties to know for certain that the other person is fully capable of consenting and is freely choosing to participate.
"Wanna have sex?"
"Meet me here tomorrow night and we'll pick up where we left off."
This simple solution is something that those willing to rape will reject because of the chance that the delay will mean they won't get the sex they want. There's a chance that the answer to the question will be no or a polite equivalent of no which is why so many "it was consensual" rapists don't ask this question. Rather than risking the loss of a sex partner they are willing to risk being a rapist.
That speaks directly to that person's character and conscious decision making. Nothing accidental here.
"If there is any possibility at all that she is impaired or not freely consenting then proceeding is rape."
There clearly would be some possibility, however slight, of non-meaningful consent in every situation, especially is this new drug became semi-widespread.
Your reliance on a drug that doesn't exist except in your imagination is troubling. But again, there is a simple solution whenever there is a possibility of non-meaningful consent. Delay sex until any hypothetical drug would have worn off. Then verify consent.
"Allowing gaps in knowledge to be a workable defense judges rapists not by the crime they committed or the harm they inflicted through their actions but judges rapists by a general opinion of that rapist's MO."There is a 100% reliable way a man can find out whether someone is incapable of consent if that is a possibility. Wait and then verify.
I see where you're coming from here, but you seem to be judging rape by a different standard from other crimes. In all other crimes, ignorance is a defence. For example, if someone presses a button intending to operate factory equipment, but because of a fault in the machine he couldn't have known about, he ends up killing someone, he's not guilty of murder - because he didn't know that his actions were illegal. Likewise, surely if a man has sex with someone that he doesn't know is incapable of consent (and there was no way he could have found out) then he's not guity of rape?
Why should rape have its own separate standards?
Raping someone incapable of consenting is not like properly operating a piece of factory equipment that has been properly maintained and properly operated and which malfunctions in a way that could not be anticipated. The physical and emotional impact of being raped comes from a direct choice of actions by the rapist.
A closer analogy is the man who dismisses those who talk of the importance of everyone's safety and who can't be bothered to learn how to safely operate a piece of factory equipment because he wants instant results and what he wants is all he thinks about. Then he ends up killing someone with a piece of equipment that works as designed and he tries everything he can think of to shift responsibility for his actions away from himself and his disregard for the safety of others.
A failure to consider the harmful consequences of your actions is negligence not innocent ignorance.
Rape doesn't have separate standards. Criminal statutes in many other non-sex crimes don't allow ignorance as a defense. And I'm not talking about hidden laws few people are aware of. Traffic laws such as speeding don't allow ignorance as a defense.
The reason for this is that public safety is the priority. The goal is to reduce the number and severity of crashes. Allowing ignorance to be an excuse puts lives in danger.
If you choose to drive you have an obligation to ensure that you are obeying the law and not putting other people's lives in danger. Part of this is your driving, but another part is ensuring that the vehicle you drive is safe. Ignorance about the danger of driving on bald tires is not innocent ignorance but negligence.
If you drive it is your obligation to know how much space you need to keep between your car and the vehicle in front of you so that if something unexpected happens to that car's movement you won't crash into that car.
If you have sex it is your obligation to know that you are not causing someone else to be raped. The application of many sex crime laws unfortunately don't back up this obligation even when the signs of impairment are undeniable such as a girl who is gang raped while passed out. Excuses for committing this sort of crime often come back to, "If she'd yelled "stop!" I would have stopped. I just assumed she was consenting. Girls don't like to consent directly and clearly, you know."
This sort of ignorance is intentional and well thought out in order to justify rape by claiming the rapists thought they were having consensual sex.
And I think it's always very risky to judge the seriousness of a crime by its effects (in your words, the "harm they inflicted"). Surely you would agree that being distracted while driving is a lesser crime that purposefully going out to look for a person to murder? Yet in the first instance, a crash in which many people were killed might be caused by your inattention, and the murderer might only kill one person. The harful effects in this example are not always perfectly linked to the seriousness of a crime. This holds true in rape cases as well.
Are you serious? It's always very risky to judge the seriousness of a crime by its effect? Sorry, I don't believe you are doing anything except making excuses for allowing many rapists to continue with no punishment for deliberate actions which disregard the harm these rapists do to their victims as long as these rapists claim ignorance.
When one punch results in the victim having a concussion it is assault, when one punch results in the victim's death it is at least manslaughter and possibly murder. The courts absolutely view the seriousness of these 2 crimes by their effect.
Through your analogy you are again trying to position many rapists as people who have made no choices which directly resulted in someone else being raped. Instead of so-called victimless crimes you are trying to create perpetrator-free crimes.
No man or boy I've ever heard of has been walking along distracted and who just happened to bump into a girl's vagina with his penis.
Sorry, I'm not buying your accidental rape analogy.
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