The Situationist

What Counts as Rape?

Posted by The Situationist Staff on May 9, 2008

Image by SleEEpinGBeaUty - FlickrFrom NPR’s Day to Day story, If Your Neighbor Poses as Your Husband, Is it Rape?:

Massachusetts is the latest state to consider putting a new crime on the books: rape by fraud. Currently, a sex act only qualifies as rape if physical force is used. We talk to a woman who was tricked into having sex with her boyfriend’s brother, who pretended to be her boyfriend — and unable to convict him of rape because of this limited definition.

Under the new law, such forms of deception would be a crime. Some say the law goes too far, however, and could criminalize lies like, “Really, I’m divorced!”

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To listen to the story, click here, and to read a brief Salon article on the topic, click here. For a related Situationist post, see “Unrecognized Injustice — The Situation of Rape.”

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3 Responses to “What Counts as Rape?”

  1. This is like that scene in Revenge of the Nerds when Louis puts on the quarterback’s Darth Vader mask and nails his girlfriend on the carnival moon. That probably shouldn’t be portrayed so positively in a movie…

  2. Minerva said

    I think it’s high time that men are held accountable for their actions and if these laws forced them to answer for their unethical behavior then I’m all for it. Our world, especially America, has become more and more amoral. There are many people out there who have the dangerous mentality that if the law doesn’t say they can’t do something, they’ll go right ahead despite how wrong it is or what consequences it will bring another person. Everybody knows that men use all sorts of manipulative tactics to get a girl go to bed with him. One woman was engaged to a guy who was an identical twin. One night, her man’s twin came to her door when she was expecting her boyfriend. They talked for a moment and he left knowing that she was waiting for his brother to come over. About 30 minutes to an hour later, she got another knock on the door and unbeknownst to her, her visitor was her man’s twin brother again. He pretended he was his brother and understandably she bought it because she was expecting him and the other one had just left. They went to the bedroom and they had sex and when they finished, he made a lewd remark and said to her: “What are you going to tell _____?_____ ?” She finds out after the fact that she had just slept with her boyfriend’s twin brother. She called the police and she took his ass to court but of course they gave him some horsey ass charge and a slap on the wrist when in my opinion, he was guilty of rape. It says in the law that if a person doesn’t comprehend the ramifications of a sexual act or if they don’t understand (this usually refers to victims who are mentally ill, mentally disabled, too young to understand, too sick, etc.), then the man who exploits their youth or illness to get sex is guilty of rape. I don’t see any significant difference between this and someone tricking someone else into sex because they know they wouldn’t get consent. It’s just as bad as drugging someone or not taking no for an answer while continuing to coerce to get their way. I was gang raped at 14 and still at almost 30 years old, this kind of shit makes my blood boil. I think men have had it pretty easy so far-well, white, Christian, conservative men have anyway. Just because something isn’t illegal doesn’t mean we should do it…

  3. Dan said

    “I think it’s high time that men are held accountable for their actions and if these laws forced them to answer for their unethical behavior then I’m all for it.”

    “Everybody knows that men use all sorts of manipulative tactics to get a girl go to bed with him.”

    “I think men have had it pretty easy so far-well, white, Christian, conservative men have anyway.”

    Your generalizations and bigotry embody everything that is wrong with modern feminism. Not to be mean, but if you haven’t gone to therapy for that gang rape, you need to start.

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