Archive for June 15th, 2009

The more I think about rape, the more I feel that it exists in a wider spectrum than is currently acknowledged.  I recently got the news that a girl I know was raped by the guy she was seeing at the time.  There were drugs involved.  She wasn’t passed out and she didn’t say no, but afterwards she was really upset because she thought she was too intoxicated to consent.  I think if  she feels raped she deserves the support that would be given to any other rape survivor, but is the guy who did this a rapist?  Do you think it’s possible for a man to rape a woman unintentionally?  I know that right now the law says it technically counts as rape if the person you had sex with was intoxicated, but most of the drunken sex I hear about (or participate in) results in no more trauma than the mutual awkwardness that sets in the morning after.  It seems like between sobriety and blacked out, there’s a lot of grey area that isn’t addressed very often.  Maybe there are situations where rape has occurred, but also where a prison sentence for the man wouldn’t be appropriate.

So far I haven’t given the guy in this story much of a face, because for the purposes of this post I’m really using him as a composite to make a point about other men in similar situations.  But I can’t allow myself to end the entry without bringing up one terrible thing that he absolutely DID do.  I don’t know if he did it because he actually DID intend to rape this girl, or if he did it out of fear, or if it was a knee-jerk reaction or whatever, but it’s completely unacceptable.  This girl worked up the courage to confront him about what happened and instead of saying “I’m sorry, I didn’t think you felt raped, is there anything I can do?” he got defensive and basically said “no I didn’t, you’re a liar.  fuck off.”  I’m not just bringing this up because it makes me want to do all kinds of harm to this guy.  I’m bringing it up because I think it points to a possible (maybe only partial) solution in those rape cases where the line between able to contest and unable to consent was blurry.  So the question is this:  if this guy had been more compassionate, do you think it would have helped the girl cope with what happened?  And put more broadly, when it comes to the kind of situation I’ve just talked about (because i think there are some rape scenarios that simply DO NOT offer this possibility), do you think it’s possible for the “rapist” to act as a base of support for the rape survivor?

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