Can Rape be a Question of Semantics?

Can Rape be a Question of Semantics? September 27, 2018

Guys get lucky and girls get raped.

Can sexual assault really revolve around  semantics and perspective?

Shockingly, sometimes, yes, it can.

The proof is in the current conversations on the political stage.

What some women see as inappropriate or unwelcome sexual contact — the definition of assault — some men see as consensual.

A man who thinks he is being romantic, can walk away a date rapist.

A party where teenage girls are raped, can appear to some to be parties where teenagers had sex.

Some people don’t under that consent is conditional, and it can be withdrawn at any time.

The difference in perspective can make basic understanding difficult.

Let me put this in a way men can understand:

Remember the situation where you were most embarrassed and deeply humiliated. Did you immediately demand that it stop? Were you shocked into silence? Perhaps, for some reason, you acquiesced and tolerated it. Remember the burning shame you felt. Perhaps you asked them to stop, or you tried to deflect attention away, but your humiliation was relentless. It was unwanted, unexpected and out of your control.

Remember how your position, or situation, or weakness was exploited and used against you. Perhaps your humiliation was highlighted while it happened, deepening the abasement. Perhaps you clearly and forcefully said no, and despite fighting back, you were degraded even more.

Remember a humiliating time so deep, that it damaged your self-respect. Remember the laughter of those who mocked you.

Now, tell everyone you know about your humiliation, and try to explain to them how it happen.

“Why did you let it happen?” someone might ask. “What did you do to cause it?”

“Why did I tolerate it?” you may ask yourself, as you second guess your abuse. You may blame yourself, because everyone else seems to blame you, too.

Now, imagine a humiliation multiple times more degrading, where you are completely helpless and when you manage to work up the courage to tell someone else, you are rejected, accused, questioned doubted and demeaned.

Some men will deny to their dying breath that they were ever humiliated. They will redefine humiliation, re-frame their experience, or excuse it in some way even as the humiliation affects their personalities at a core level.

Some men and some women deny the conditions for sexual assault, reject accounts of the victims, and defend attackers. And victims are victimized again. Victimizers count on the fear and humiliation of victims to protect themselves and ensure the silence of victims.

This is a reflection of our modern rape culture.

In situations of sexual assault, rape, and even sexual harassment, believe the victims.

In societies where false accusations are extremely rare and many actual incidents go unreported, those who have the courage to speak up, are nearly always telling the truth.

It’s very seldom “he said” “she said.” Both sides aren’t equal. It takes no courage to defend yourself. It takes unimaginable courage to overcome the trauma of being violated and to step up and admit the humiliation.

Pause and consider all of the men who have been accused of sexual impropriety or crimes. Think of the celebrities, politicians and names you recognize. Now try to name one single incident where the accuser was proven to be lying. We’ll wait.

I remember the Duke Lacrosse case and an article in Rolling Stone.

Can you remember any others who have claimed to be victims of sexual assault but were proven to be untrue? I can’t.

Go Google it, for every name of a false accuser, there are 20 legitimate charges.

High profile false accusations are a statistical improbability while accusations of sexual misconduct are nearly all legitimate.

Too  often, people doubt the woman and support the man? But why doubt the woman, when she faces criticism and has nothing to gain by making false charges?

Perhaps some people blame victims and believe attackers, because they can’t stand to face their own humiliations. No matter the cause, the ultimate effect of attacking women and attacking women after they say they were attacked is disrespect.

When I attended high school and college in the 1980s, I heard stories about consensual sexual encounters involving people I knew. I had no reasons to question or doubt the accounts. Knowing all of the people involved in incidents in 1986, or 1987, or 1988, if one of those women came forward today, and claimed she was coerced or forced, I would believe her without question. Because in every situation, the men I knew were disrespectful to women.

Men show us who they are.

Throughout their lives, they show us who they are.

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