Sunday, July 27, 2008

Implying Consent Through Summarization

I wrote the following comment on Feministe which highlights a habit I see often from those who defend lack of prosecution on acquaintance rape cases.

This statement by Sailorman (39) has a basic but critical flaw:
Acquaintance nonviolent rapes are much harder to win. Think about it: All of the physical evidence, and much of the circumstantial evidence, supports BOTH the victim’s story AND the accused’s story. yes, she came over; yes, we had drinks; yes we had sex; yes, it was that bed; and so on.
This is how a person accused of rape is likely to describe what happened if the defense is “she consented.” However, this description is not a list of what happened from the perspective of the person who reported rape if a rape really happened.

While a rapist would say, “we had sex” the rape victim might say, “I felt dizzy after the first drink, things went blank and when I woke up, I was naked in his bed and when I screamed telling him to stop he just kept raping me and telling me to loosen up because he knew I wanted it.”

These 2 descriptions are in no way parallel or easily interchangable. Yet Sailorman’s summarization of acquaintance rapes negates this reality. By doing so he creates a false picture. Consent gets implied in the single description of what happened ( “yes we had sex”) as if it has been proven.

That explains why Sailorman views fraud as the better analogy. And of course when people think about acquaintance rape in these terms the charges will seem doubtful at best and any conviction will seem to be a likely miscarriage of justice.

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posted by Marcella Chester @ 10:39 AM   1 comments links to this post


At July 28, 2008 9:51 AM, Blogger James Landrith said...

Yeah, I've been informed by several date/acquaintance rape apologists that what happened to me wasn't rape, it was "freaky sex" or "forced intercourse."

Umm, "forced intercourse" sounds like a clever attempt to make rape sound pleasant and less traumatic...


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