Just from reading the article quickly: It seems like they've moved the language from debating consent more to proving "coercion." So then the question becomes what will be considered sufficient proof of force. How will they treat situations where it's a matter of quid pro quo? Will the prosecution have ways to show that there was actually a threat if the threat was primarily verbal
? Or is this essentially demanding that people claw and bite at that time, despite all the physical danger and any possible social danger as well -- if they ever mean to prove coercion? I wonder.
I don't want a system that drags the victims back over a painful experience. Nor do I want a system where people are required to prove their own innocence when by standard it is treated as the default. I really don't see any good options here.
It's rarely an easy crime to deal with, at least partly because it so often happens in quiet or closed settings. Or at least in places where the offenders feel social norms are more likely to help them
(parties, bars, "good ol'" sorts of clubs, people sharing a lease or class together, groups with conflicts of interest, etc.).
And that's on top of a basic stigma against open talk of women (and some other rather marginalized groups) and sexuality when there's any actual question of abuse. Women in particular are ideally supposed to be the ones who do
say no and it somehow just works
... But when that's not true the same culture often holds that men are supposed to be the ones who keep trying to bust that barrier anyway , and/or it's said that dominant types in general often "have" to be somewhat asses just to keep their egos intact and/or whole courtship game running. And then it's still
often first presumed to be a failure of judgment or character on her part -- such a big one, apparently, that the conversation often swings back to, "Oh but didn't she really ask for it somehow
?" Cause that's just the loaded, twisted, paradoxical role anything a touch feminine, weak, soft, bottom, pretty, or most often "woman" is given.
As a rape survivor who did go to the police and pressed charges against the three that raped me, I can tell you for a fact that the onus was on the state prosecutor and me to prove that the three actually raped me.
It's a huge tribute to everything that you do for yourself that you're able to be here saying all that in the open. I wish more people were in a place where they could. You go.
Why is it that rape isn't perceived as heinous a crime as murder in the way we talk about it? For example, in this quote, we think the solution is to "convince would-be perpetrators" to not rape.
Pretty to think so. This is high on the list of what some of the university consent rules and dorm talks this last generation or so have been aiming to do. And yet, much as with the Sarkeesian discussion, whenever someone seems genuinely fervent
about making clear how big a problem there is, someone usually shows up fretting (if not venomous) that this is somehow just a ploy to "play the victim card" and put men (particularly) down. Sure certain feminists and educators sometimes overshoot with their analyses or programs... But that's not surprising given that it feels more like, almost every time someone talks about just how much violence and discrimination there is, there is a nasty backlash somewhere of, 'But you have to just deal with this. We can't expect people to change! Why it'd spoil the fun! And there's no way to police this without discriminating against men!' On and on. Over and over.
Also... You did ask about comparisons to other abuses we might talk about. Honestly... If you don't find it despicable and destabilizing for certain classes of people to tie up a huge amount of the national wealth and merely say that well, certain communities just have to do better to pull themselves up by their bootstraps and maybe they
are the ones with a culture of excessive frivolousness or violence and not deserving of any kind of economic level playing field, then: Is it really much different for some people to say, 'It's really women's own fault because they try to look attractive and flirt and read bodice-rippers themselves often enough... And of course
some of them will always be attacked. And they'll all just have to keep being super careful to prove themselves and yank themselves up to being taken seriously by their own bootstraps, too."
No? I would say actually, in the economic abuse case we have a very similar situation and there I think you're generally on the other side of it. Yet, they both result in people in the communities involved being placed in awful high profile frames in the media continuously, having more or less limited choices for safe interactions to begin with, too often getting attacked or killed, and then not being taken seriously by too many officials when they are victimized. Val, I don't doubt that you want to say something against rape as such here --- I just doubt you've actually thought about race and the employment world using all the same logic. And if you keep focusing on a functional rationale for injustice and abuse on one side ('That community just has to work harder and save itself, others can't be expected to give an inch no matter what happened or how much they hoard' basically), well others will happily carry that idea right across into other terms of exchange: Beauty, sexual freedom, income for women, choice of partners or dating situations that will get stigma or not... And thereby, rape.