Of Date Rape and What it Really Means

There’s a topic I want to cover today, in a more serious manner than my usual tone. I want to talk about ‘Rape’, because I think a lot of us (myself included) are still unclear on what rape actually means.

In the most traditional definition, rape is when a man forces himself on a woman without her consent. What comes to mind here is news of women getting raped by men they don’t know as they walk home or take public transport, etc.

That’s the idea of rape we’re most familiar with. But there’s much more to it. The keyword here being ‘consent’. And every time consent is not given, every time you did not mutually agree to have sex, that’s rape. It can happen not only with strangers, but also friends, boyfriends, and even husbands. This is called ‘date rape’.

Let’s look at some situations that count as date rape:

You’re drunk or high
Sex that takes place when you’re drunk or high counts as rape. And here’s the most important thing to remember: Since you’re mentally unable to make sound judgment during this time, even if you say yes, it’s still rape. And as I said before, it can apply to your life partner as much as a stranger. So if you’re drunk and your boyfriend takes advantage of you, that is rape.

You’re asleep or unconscious
I know there are some movies and books that romanticize the idea of a man initiating sex while the woman is sleeping. And if you’re thinking ‘hey my boyfriend wakes me up with sex and I actually like it.’ Then that’s fine, it would be considered as consensual sex. But it doesn’t always end with the woman enjoying it.

Picture this scenario – A girl. Deep in her sleep. Peaceful. Relaxed. And then she wakes in a panic. Her pants are being pulled off. Her heart is beating so fast she thinks it might explode. She squeezes her eyes shut. She manages a powerless ‘No, please don’t’. She can feel his weight on top of her. She tries to push him away. But he’s much stronger. She whispers again ‘No, stop, please’. He doesn’t listen and forces himself on her until he’s satisfied. He rolls over to his side and goes back to sleep. She continues to lie on her stomach and cries in silence.

In the above scenario, these two have been dating for years and live together.
Does it still count as rape?
The answer is Yes.

In fact, a man could still be convicted of rape, even if consent was given. This is where a woman has agreed to sex within certain limitations, and the man has deliberately ignored those limitations.

Earlier in April, there was a case of a man accused of raping his wife, because his wife agreed to sex, but only on the condition that her husband withdrew as she did not want to become pregnant.

However, at the last minute he told her he was not withdrawing and told her ‘because you are my wife and I’ll do it if I want’. The woman became pregnant after the incident, and the husband was charged with rape.

There are many more cases of date and marital rape. And if there’s one thing you take out of reading this, I want it to be that:

Date rape is any form of sexual activity that you have not consented to. And it’s important for you to know that silence does not mean consent. So if your date, boyfriend, or husband tries to justify what they did by saying that you didn’t say no, you can kindly point out this fact to them.

Last but not least, if you are a rape survivor, or if you think you may be a victim of rape, I urge you to talk to someone. There are people who are willing to listen and help you. You don’t have to go through this alone.

Advertisements

13 thoughts on “Of Date Rape and What it Really Means

  1. Great post. So many survivors that I talk with state that they aren’t even sure what happened was rape…often other people have to convince them it really was. Men and women alike need to hear this. And hear it. And hear it again 🙂

    • totally agree aimee! this is an important conversation to have with anyone, everyone. this is particularly true now that perps are freakin’ using the internet to continue that torture online (i.e. steubenville). people also need to understand a person can be re-victimized over and over. great post! thanks for sharing this – its so needed.

      • I really think there’s a lot to be done to educate women- especially teens – on what date rape really is, and really urge them to talk to someone if they feel confused or unsure after sex. Thanks for both your thoughts!

  2. Thanks for sharing. It’s really thought provoking and I believe this would help many innocences who have been victimized especially teens either men or women.

  3. *Sex that takes place when you’re drunk or high counts as rape.*

    I don’t think any sex that took place while you were drunk or high counts as rape. If you were drunk/high to the point of passing out, then yes. But if you’re not intoxicated to that extent, than no. There are many more cases where drunk/high people wanted the sex they had compared to cases where they didn’t want it.

    Whether or not something was consensual while intoxicated is a very very grey area. What if you were incredibly enthusiastic in the evening but woke up regretting it and deciding it was rape? What if the guy was high/drunk too? Are guys (even when drunk/high themselves) expected to refuse sex with any girl who’s drunk/high? What exactly counts as drunk/high? 1 drink? 2 drinks?

    I’ve had a couple of very close guy friends get into trouble for being accused of rape after they slept with an entirely willing, but somewhat drunk girl who decided afterwards it was rape for some reason (one of them because she cheated on her boyfriend), and I don’t think the guys deserved it.

    As I said, it’s a very very grey area and it doesn’t have a black and white answer.

    • I’m not really in the best position to make a judgment call on that, because a) I’m just quoting the US law on rape vs being drunk http://www.pandys.org/whatisrape.html and b) I’ve never been in that situation myself. However, I do know that intent of the law is clearly to serve as protection. But as with everything in life, there will always be people abusing the law, using it to their advantage. And as you rightly said, there will always be grey areas – even while not intoxicated, some women are confused about whether what they just had was ‘consensual’ sex. I personally think this needs to be looked at on a case by case basis.

  4. I am celibate so personally this does not apply to me. But while I completely and utterly have no tolerance rape in any form….it strikes me as just cause for all men to be celibate….because at any time….any woman can say it was non consensual and the man charged with rape. There are no longer any incentive for men to develop an intimate relationship with women when there freedom can be taken away….even momentarily…by the word of an angry woman. Rape is bad. But what you shared makes it even easier to stay single and celibate. Just my opinion

  5. Pingback: YOUR KIND OF LOVE ENDED TRUST FOR ME | hastywords

  6. I noticed you were not sure what the law is regarding rape. The U.S. Department of Justice redefined rape in 2012. The law now states that rape is “The penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim.” As far as consent goes, there must be an explicit “YES”. Rule of thumb, if there isn’t a “YES”……. don’t have sex!
    For more information about rape and how to get help go to –
    http://rainn.org/get-information.
    You can also check out my blog about rape culture: http://thefeministhomemaker.wordpress.com/2013/06/18/inside-rape-culture-part-one/
    Hope this information helps.

  7. Thank you for defining this! I do agree with some above comments that there are grey areas, and there are certainly instances where women take advantage of the law, but I think that there are far more instances the other way.
    I have been in this situation, and was accused of lying, even though I did not press charges and was not going to take any action against the guy. It is so shitty to have people accuse me of being “a filthy whore” and the like, when I didn’t even do anything wrong, much less ruin anyone else’s life.
    Defining rape is so important! Thank you.

    • I’m glad the post at least helps identify some of the grey areas. I completely understand what you mean about people accusing the women of being the slutty ones, or for ‘letting’ it happen. I hope that the more we voice out, the more we can get others to understand the seriousness of date rape. Thanks for your thoughts and for dropping by!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: