Sex Re: Mea Gulpa!
posted by February 17 at 6:12 PMon
I have to say that I strongly disagree with NIck—a generally agreeable guy.
The paper running that headline is a retrograde, conservative, reactionary piece of shit. But it doesn’t follow that no woman has ever made a false allegation of rape.
So to Nick…
Um, why are patients being treated with suspicion when they are raped? What, exactly, are patients trying to excuse? I was under the impression that patients (nay, victims of rape) should have nothing to try to excuse.
I would say this: allegations of rape are serious and, for the person accused, potentially life-destroying. People should be treated with suspicion when they claim to have been raped—always gently, and in varying degrees based on the particular circumstances—because, uh, people are innocent until proven guilty. And, yes, that includes accused rapists.
False accusations of rape are leveled against men—and false allegations undermine the credibility of women that have really been raped, victimizing men and women. We live in a culture that’s deeply sex negative and some women conflate regret with rape in order to shift responsibility for a decision, perhaps made while impaired, to have sex. In a culture where choosing to have sex makes you a bad, bad person, being able to pin all responsibility for it on someone else—on that awful man that slipped a date-rape drug into your sixth or seventh drink—is a self-exonerating temptation to which some will succumb.
To those who insist that a fucked up woman can not consent to sex, making any woman has sex while shit-faced a rape victim (but only if she chooses to regard herself as one!), I say this: If the man was drunk too doesn’t that mean he couldn’t consent to the sex either? So didn’t she rape him too? And so aren’t they even then?
I’m queer, like Nick, and I generally empathize with women in most boys-vs-girls conflicts. Yes, yes: men shouldn’t rape women. Men are violent, sexual violence is too real and utterly contemptible. We all agree on that. But false allegations of rape can do tremendous damage and should not be leveled or enabled. And, I’m sorry, but rape allegations do have to be proved before we execute anybody. It was wrong when no claim of rape was ever believed. It would be just as wrong to believe any claim of rape.
And, again, people have to take responsibility for their actions—even actions they took while impaired. Regret doesn’t make it rape. And if you don’t feel like you can make rational decisions when you’re drunk or drugged—whether you’re a boy or a girl—then don’t take drugs or drink. Period. And if you consent to sex that you later regret it’s easy to confront the guilty party. You’ll find that person in your mirror the next morning.
A long time ago—wish I had time to look it up, but I’m running out the door—a woman in a “Savage Love” column quoted, I believe, a Women’s Studies prof. She told her prof that she had sex when she was totally fucked up, sex that she would not have consented to if she were sober. “Was I raped?” she asked her prof. “Yes,” her prof replied. “You raped yourself.”