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Continuing With “Rape is Rape”

This article “Rape is Rape” is so rich.  Stephanie Hallett  unpacks succinctly so much of what is left out of these traditional definitions.  I will just list what she includes:

  • non-consenual sodomy
  • non-consenual oral rape.
  • object rape such as fingers, fists, and objects.
  • all male survivors.
  • people with physical or mental disabilities, unconscious, or under the influence of drugs or alcohol.  She says that at least 22% of all rapes involve substances or a type of incapacitation and that some studies rate it as high at 77%.

Since FBI’s Uniform crime Report says “The carnal knowledge of a female forcibly and against her will” is so archaic, it impacts prosecution of rapists.  She writes that there are studies showing that 90-95% of rapes are committed by serial rapists .  Obviously if the law limits what is investigated and prosecutes then serial rapes can be left free to continue their crimes.

Stephanie accurately says that an updated definition would include all victims …”regardless of sex, gender, age, disability, consciousness or level of intoxication.  And it would encompass incest: rape with an object, finger or fist; and sodomy or oral copulation without consent.”

Once issue I have is that she calls the above “sex without consent.’  This statement is an oxymoron and is impossible.  Sex is beautiful, desired, and consensual only among two adults capable of consent.  It is meant to be confined within marriage.  It has nothing to do with sexual violence of any sort.  What she really means I believe is that ‘sexual violence of all types.’  We do get easily confused because the weapons of choice are usually the genitals.

She concludes her article by describing what went on in 2010 with Senatorial hearings and the following statement:  “It’s high time for a change.  For rape survivors, a modern definition of rape at the federal level  would acknowledge, once and for all, that rape is rape–and that the stories and experiences of all rape survivors count.”

What is the resistance to the need for change?  To even be able to say the real words and take the power out of them?  The word homosexual is in common non-reactional use everywhere today.  The same is true of pornography.  These two words were hidden under the rug maybe as recently as 30 years ago.  Sexual Violence words and being open to change in how we think about rape can happen.

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