Monday, May 16, 2011

Guest Column: Feminist Redefining of "Consent" Encourages False Rape Allegations

Originally posted February 19, 2011


Blog: Don't Buy The Abortion Lie!

Over the years I've been involved in the prolife movement, I've encountered quite a few radical feminists. Even more so, now that I'm also engaged in online activism. Every single radical feminist I've run across claims to be a victim of rape. Every. Single. One. Yes, I've heard the 1 in 3 statistics about women and sexual assault. But seriously, every single one of them? This phenomenon seems woefully underrepported by MSM, doesn't it? given all the recent attacks on John Boehner by the lefty feminists on Twitter regarding his 'redefinition of rape,' I thought it was time for a closer look at how feminists themselves have redefined rape in order to play the victim card and victimize others, namely men and their own unborn babies via abortion.

No one disputes that certain plants thrive in dim light and moist conditions. Can any objective observer dispute that false rape claims likewise thrive in a culture that erupted in the past forty years as a backlash against a perceived oppressive "patriarchy" that regards even certain garden variety sexual relations as a form of tyranny against women? It is no stretch to assert that this culture actively encourages young women to manufacture rape out of whole cloth by teaching them to equate consensual intercourse with vile sexual assault.

Misinformation is the engine that drives this culture (as we know from the baby-as-a-blob-of-cells abortion rhetoric), and rape hysteria and false rape claims are its noxious emissions. Outright lies are passed off as facts by what can aptly be called the sexual grievance industry, sexual assault advocates and radical feminist writers who insist women do not lie about rape despite overwhelming evidence that a significant percentage do. The myths engendered by this toxic culture are repeated so often that they have crept into our popular culture -- including the assertion that only two percent of rape claims are false and that one-out-of-four college women are raped. The "truth" these stats seek to "prove" -- that women are routinely and brutally attacked by men -- is not supported by objective facts so it suffices to make up statistics as needed to support the "truth" being peddled.

Despite all the radical feminists' twisting, pounding, contorting and screeching, American women are not being sexually tyrannized by American men -- some women are tyrannized by some men, just as innocent people are tyrannized by criminals all the time. (Note that men and children are also victims of rape but never merit so much as a mention by feminists.) But rape is not rampant in the United States, on campus, in taxis, in wooded areas, or any of the other places where women claim they've been raped and it often turns out they haven't. The one exception may be prisons where young men with typically no experience in the prison system are routinely brutally raped and typically don't report it for fear of even worse brutalization. In fact, men may be victimized by rape more than women because of prison rape. Nevertheless, although the rape of females is treated with all the solemnity of a national crisis, the rape of men in prison is a punchline.

By demonstrating that the culture that engenders these two percent and one-in-four lies is invalid and, therefore, unacceptable, and by teaching young women to assume responsibility for their actions instead of being assured they are "victims" of some amorphous male oppression when they experience after-the-fact regret about having intercourse, we can reduce certain of the more vile kinds of false "acquaintance rape" claims.

But first it is necessary to expose this gender-divisive rape culture that encourages young women to cry "rape" even when rape has not occurred:


Young women are being wrongly taught that sex induced by a male's verbal cajoling without physical threat is rape.

They are being wrongly taught that rape occurs in the absence of a woman's "enthusiastic" consent, as if "enthusiasm" can be measured in any objective sense, and as if otherwise perfectly lawful but not necessarily "enthusiastic" consent is somehow legally inoperative.

They are being wrongly taught that sex after a woman takes any alcohol or drugs invariably negates the woman's ability to validly consent.

And they are being wrongly taught that statutory definitions of rape must yield to a woman's own experience -- thus, men somehow must mold their conduct to fit an amorphous, free-floating, moving target of a subjective and secret whim of a woman's "experience," including, presumably, her after-the-fact, ex-post facto, false and belated hissy fits of regret about having engaged in intercourse. The fact that such a standard, with all it Star Chamber ramifications, furnishes no guidance to the male as to what constitutes "rape" prior to the act, is not at all troubling to the enlightened feminists proffering this standard. Due process be damned. Rape occurs when they say it occurs, regardless of whether it actually did.

Such a standard is especially pernicious given that it has now been proven by objective evidence that women experience greater after-the-fact remorse than men about one-night stands. They encourage a slut culture, then rail at the inevitable results.

If feminists wanted to assist young women -- instead of feeding them misinformation in an attempt to have them invent rape from whole cloth, they would teach them that after-the-fact regret about one-night stands is a common, indeed natural, feeling for women. This would encourage young women to think twice before engaging in such encounters and about falsely crying rape afterwards. But, of course, the feminists accuse anyone of making suggestions that might hold young women responsible for their actions as "victim blaming" -- a magic incantation they blithely toss off in an attempt to keep young women in a state of perpetual infancy, freed of any responsibility for their actions when it comes to sex.

With such gross misinformation floating about it is little wonder that some young women have a terribly inaccurate understanding of rape. The test to determine if valid consent was given in the context of rape is whether a reasonable person in the position of the male would have believed that the woman consented, based on the totality of the circumstances, including her words and actions. If a woman willingly assents to sex, it is not rape. Whether she secretly "wanted" to have sex, or did not "want" to have sex, is completely beside the point. The inquiry focuses solely on her outward manifestations of assent.

Beyond this, it is strikingly naive to attach rigid rules as to what constitutes "consent," including, for example, any insistence that consent must be "enthusiastic." Persons in a committed relationship do things for each other with regularity out of love and sometimes, perhaps often, without all that much enthusiasm. Some people rarely express "enthusiasm" about anything. When a woman is trying to get pregnant, her partner often has sex out of obligation even when it's not especially convenient and often when he is not especially "enthusiastic." Has he been raped since he gave into her verbal desires without being "enthusiastic"? No sane person would suggest that, but by this inane feminist standard that is the only logical conclusion.

And women sometimes fake both "enthusiasm" and orgasms, often because a couple's sex drives are not in sync and because she's more interested in fostering a long-term relationship than having a momentary sexual experience. In such circumstances, if the guy knew the truth, he may or may not want to have sex. Is a woman's faked enthusiasm that induces sex a kind of rape of the man? The feminist standard, taken to its logical conclusion, suggests it must be. How utterly silly.

Another fallacy is that "no" always precludes valid consent for whatever happens after. To ignore what happens after "no" is uttered is naive in the extreme and blinks at nuance and the complexities of interpersonal relations. Again, no such rigid rule is appropriate. First, a look, a nod, an embrace inviting sex are often clearer than a teasing "no." Second, should we declare as a matter of law that valid consent is a legal impossibility after an accuser says "no" -- regardless of what occurs afterwards? Her subsequent words and actions over the next minutes or hours be damned?

"Consent" does not lend itself to a rigid definition, because human relationships in the area of romance and sexuality are often complex with literally a limitless number of possible scenarios that defy tying everything up in a nice, neat feminist package. To insist that consent must be "enthusiastic" and that "no" cuts off any possibility for romance for the entire evening are concepts unworkable in the extreme and were concocted to vilify male sexuality. Again the only valid test is that a person in the position of the male must reasonably understand that there was consent. When a woman embraces her partner and prepares for intercourse in the absence of threat of physical force, consent is present, regardless of whether every radical feminist stomps her foot and insists it isn't.

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