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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Abuse & Assault » Rape is not sex.

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Author Topic: Rape is not sex.
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

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Sounds simple, no? It should, but we get enough messages from some places that it is, that I think it bears making clear now and then, very simply, that it is not.

Just to review that, Hoyden About Town (great feminist blog to look at, if you don't already) did a simple piece recently here that warrants a glance, to say the least.

Choice quote?

quote:
When you’re researching what you call “unwanted sex”, you’re not researching sex, you’re researching rape.
On that same note, our definition of rape from this piece:

quote:
Rape is when one person wants and pursues a sexual act on, to or inside another person who does not want to participate, and who does not fully and freely consent to take part in that act.

Someone giving consent to sex is someone giving a clear, active and enthusiastic yes, and who is clearly, actively and enthusiastically participating throughout... Partnered sex is about two people equally sharing something sexually, but rape, while it involves and effects both people, is only really about what one person, the rapist, desires and chooses to do to that other person against their will.

I remember the first time I finally heard someone express that. As some of you know, my primary rapes happened to me in the early 80's. While TV wasn't something I really watched anyway, at the time, I couldn't have turned it or the radio on and heard any kind of discussion about rape or sexual abuse at all, really, and certainly not with that kind of message. We were still coming out of the days then when rape was often described with such excuse-laden phrases as " he took advantage of her."

When I finally -- it was in the 1990, if I recall correctly -- heard someone saying things like this, it was like a dam broke open in me in the very best way. It was a revelation, it was something that changed my whole life, really, in a lot of ways. It let me really start to heal.

Now, I know some of you may have either grown up with this way of clearly differentiating rape from sex, and others may not have, but at least have heard it on the periphery. So, your experiences may be different than mine, though I know some of you are also hearing things like this for the first time lately, too. But I also know that our culture still enables rape so much that there remains a LOT of purposeful or careless mashups of rape and sex that this message can get easily lost in the muddle, especially if you have been raped and are self-blaming in any way.

Feelings, thoughts, experiences? Discuss. [Smile]

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
atm1
Scarleteen Volunteer
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This is one of my biggest problems with news media, honestly. How many times have you seen a headline like "Man arrested for having sex with an four year old." Even in cases where there's absolutely no doubt that it's rape, news agencies use the word sex.

It makes me seriously angry to see that all of the time.

It's also something that's mentioned in this wonderful piece at Shakesville .

I think in some circumstances it's change, but I've heard SO many people refer to what legally counts as rape as "bad sex" that I don't believe that it's changed that much.

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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

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I hear you, Anna. From my perspective, it has changed, and when I hear women talking who are 20 or more years older than me about this stuff, they tend to express it being even more changed.

But I agree, it's not been a RADICAL change, it's been fairly slow, and those attitudes are still very pervasive, especially in some areas and often in the mainstream media.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About MeGet our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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pantokrator
Activist
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I think that the way society conditions men and women into respective gender roles enables rape. Men are taught that they have to be "in control" and "get some" while women are taught to "be ladylike" and "just say no" etc. I've also decided that just telling teenagers that "no means no" isn't enough. Since I've been in college I've realized that so many men don't understand that it is still rape if the other person is intoxicated, asleep, or verbally coerced. I think that in sex ed classes, we need to start teaching people that sexual activity of any kind without a clear, sober, enthusiastic, un-coerced yes is rape.

American culture, I think, also treats survivors terribly. As a survivor myself I've been told it wouldn't have happened if I hadn't been wearing a short skirt, or been at a party, or consumed alcohol, etc. It's sickening! I think that I should be able to wear and do whatever I want, just like men, and not worry about it getting me raped. No wonder the overwhelming majority of rapes are unreported to the authorities.

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