No point in responding to the flames, but thank you beatricious for giving me a more thorough argument and responding to my points in a non-flaming manner.
Originally Posted by beatricious
As I said, I didn't have time to respond fully because I was just about to leave work. I recently did a paper for women's studies on the dangers of rape stereotypes and I think your argument is a good example. The stereotype of rape (TRIGGER WARNING) is a white woman, alone in a public place, being attacked by a man who is either much larger than her or in possession of a weapon or both, who then rapes her while she struggles and fights. The fact is that there are very few rapes that actually conform to this stereotype, and the further a real case deviates, the more difficult it is for the victim to be taken seriously. In this case, you're saying that it's not "real" rape or it's only "rape of a sort" (or "non-criminal rape", whatever that is) because the victim didn't say "no" enough. Most rape laws, as I understand them, operate under the principle of enthusiastic consent: if a "yes" is not clearly understood between both parties, "no" is supposedly implied. That's why it's legally considered rape if one party is unable to give a no or to otherwise object in any coherent way (like if s/he is drugged or drunk or asleep). In this case, the victim actually did say no, and that's enough for the law (in theory at least), even if he didn't say it really loud or a bunch of times. And as Sketchy pointed out, I'm not sure how we would go about discerning the forcefulness of his "no" in any meaningful way.
Yes, it would be difficult to discern, and I can understand the obvious "yes". Before reading your response, I had already thought it through and decided that, at least on the "no" issue, the likelihood of someone not knowing the other person wasn't into it would be fairly small, if not impossibly so, verbality aside. Just trying to imagine such a scenario was difficult without massive intoxication on the part of both people, and I'll let the law work itself out on those cases and won't comment.
What you're doing is basically what happens anytime an accusation of rape is made public. As soon as someone says s/he was raped, people fall all over themselves trying to think of reasons why s/he was "asking for it" in one way or another. I can't think of any other crime where the victim is so consistently implicated in her/his own victimization
Well, I wouldn't say that was what I was trying to do. I wasn't trying to imply the man was asking for it, but that on his end he could have been clearer about his state of mind. I was not speaking on rape in general, but this one specific semi-hypothetical instance.
I couldn't disagree with this more. No one should be made to feel responsible for their own rape, and unfortunately, most victims are in one way or another. According to most law in the Western world, if consent is not clear, then it has not been given. If you think that's unfair to those accused of rape, then I suggest you take a look at the dismal statistics of how many rape victims actually manage to see their rapists convicted or even just arrested.
That's understandable. I wasn't trying to make blanket statements against all rape victims here, and when I was saying one party was more responsible, it's sort of how like a pebble and a football field both have length, but one is longer. Some hazy cases, but for the most cases, not in the same ballpark.
I was just questioning the hypothetical (due to lack of information here) situation of someone of at least equal if not greater strength not resisting in any serious manner. I think intentions and expectations are important, and it's not unreasonable for a woman to expect that were the man seriously not interested, he would have been able to make a stronger case, and an erection and drinking may have further clouded her understanding of his emotional state.
I don't like seeing criminals get away free from a crime any more than the next guy, but I also don't like to see people have their lives ruined and spend decades in jail because of an honest communication failure. The vast majority of rape cases are probably very clear cut, at least for those involved, but there is always the chance of the odd case where it was only clear cut on one side. It may be very unlikely, but I think in this semi-hypothetical case the likelihood is high enough to require consideration at least.
I will stand by my statements, for now, that the feelings of the victim need to be made clear in any crime. I'll retract, after reflection, that it should have any bearing on the criminality of the act, for the above-mentioned reasons (and I was speaking ideally, not actually, when referencing the law, which I thought was obvious). But still consider it the victim's responsibility to resist and make verbal their feelings, so long as it does not compromise their safety. It's understandable if they are too scared to do so, but the responsibility still remains.
Now, personally, would I really blame someone for not being so vocal? No. But I would expect it of myself. I think people here are misinterpreting my words as I haven't probably qualified them as best as I could, but I try to keep my posts as short as possible. I find that regardless of how well I can try to word things, people will start skipping over things when I add in a million qualifiers or make a long post.