I'm not arguing that force or violence is present in every rape. Not at all. I'm just saying that to call an act rape, there has to be a clear absence of consent, whether because one person has said or signaled no, or because they're incapable of consenting due to drunkenness or unconsciousness.
This is a very dangerous position which I see most often from those claiming most of those who disclose having been raped are liars. This view sets up people (mostly boys and men) to commit rape which if it is rightfully reported will be claimed to have been a false report.
For sex to be consensual and legal there needs to be a clear presence of freely and legally given consent. This is a far different standard than Kittywampus has defined for "real" rape.
If you go to a car dealership and test drive a car, say wonderful things about that car, you have not consented to buy that car simply because you didn't say, "No, I'm not buying this car." It would be absurd to demand that all car shoppers' absence of consent must be clear.
Nobody who goes to a car dealership needs to be empowered to always say no in order to avoid unwanted car ownership or car ownership which comes at too high of a price.
If a shopper says, "maybe" or "I'll think about it" or says nothing everybody gets that there is no consent. So this concept is not a difficult one. Yet many people -- including those who vocally oppose rape -- continue to have trouble with this concept when it comes to sex or sexual contact.
Besides trivializing actual rape, the inflationary labeling of all coercion as "rape" drains women of agency. We remain free to say no - even when we're afraid of being called a prude or a tease, even when our partner is a manipulative bastard, even when a guy has footed the bill for haute cuisine and roses. As Natalia said, we are not children.
This view is what allows rapists to justify raping a girl after she agrees to kiss him or agrees to sexual touching. She didn't say no (because she wasn't asked since that would give her a chance to say no) so her lack of consent wasn't clear. Therefore, he can't be a "real" rapist.
The car shopper was free to say no, but we don't call that shopper's decision not to say no when that person isn't ready to consent to buy the car as turning that shopper into a child. This argument that some feminists want to treat women like children is therefore illogical and invalid.
When I did a radio interview shortly after my novel Cherry Love was published a caller disclosed a rape which highlights the danger Kittywampus ignores. When this woman was 14 an older boy she had a crush on gave her her very first kiss (which she welcomed) but that boy went quickly from that agreed upon kiss to rape. She was so shocked that she didn't have a chance to clearly communicate her lack of consent.
That rapist would be nodding in agreement with Kittywampus. If that girl didn't want sex then the fault was hers for not communicating her lack of consent clearly.
This is dangerously wrong and it encourages rapists to rape as long as they can find a way to do so in the absence of a clear lack of consent.