Third of women say there are varying degrees of rape

(99 Posts)

..and that it isn't rape if the victim doesn't fight back.

Article here

How on earth do people still believe this kind of crap?? How do we change it?

WhentheRed Sat 07-Sep-13 00:14:08

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

JessePinkmansBitch Sat 07-Sep-13 00:15:14

It can be pretty fucking difficult to fight back when you're fucking unconscious! hmm So what anyone is allowed to penetrate you when you're asleep/drugged up to your eyeballs/passed out drunk, and it's not rape because you didn't fight back? Stupid arse fucking article written by a stupid arse fucking author. hmm

mirry2 Sat 07-Sep-13 00:17:02

So Samandi, you're saying you're walking home at night and a stranger gets hold of you, marches you down an alley and rapes you and you just go along with it because you're frozen with fear, it's not rape because you haven't said no? It happens. it's rape.

gettingstrng I have been there. I have been forced into sex, in that, I didn't want to do it at all, but it was far easier to just shut my eyes and let it happen then deal with the violent fallout that I had experienced before. I never fought, never said no. But I also never said yes, explicitly, I just let it happen for want of a better phrase. Just in case he would get violent.

Rape is rape is rape. A penis (or anything else?) penetrating another person without obvious consent is rape.

CailinDana Sat 07-Sep-13 07:55:42

Queenofdrama - I absolutely say yes every time I have sex, by smiling, kissing and participating enthusiastically which all shows that I am happy and joining in without fear or reservation. Any normal man can tell a yes from a no just from his partner's body language. If I seem even a tiny bit uncomfortable or unhappy my dh immediately asks me if I'm ok. For a man to claim that he "didn't realise" his partner wasn't willing is utter bullshit - what he means is he could see she wasn't enjoying it but he couldn't care less and he can cover his rapist arse by saying "she didn't say no" because people like you are only too happy to excuse him on that basis. I didn't say no to my rape because I was asleep. Do you consider me not to have been raped?

Toomuch are you ok? Do you want to talk more about it?

Is active consent really that hard a concept to grasp? I hate this weird OTT response that certain people have to the issue of active consent being a requirement. Active consent doesn't mean signing a bloody contract beforehand, it just means consenting, and it's a bit more than just "not saying no".

Anniegetyourgun Sat 07-Sep-13 14:22:36

Kind of like saying that if your window isn't broken you weren't burgled. Or that burglaries where windows get broken are worse than ones where the intruder used a skeleton key. The question is did the accused come into your house uninvited and take your stuff? If the answer is yes, it was a "real" burglary. He could also be done for the additional offences of breaking and entering or criminal damage, but your house was no less entered nor your stuff less stolen if he didn't also break something. If you invited him round for tea a few hours before, that doesn't make your possessions any less gone than if a total stranger had driven in from out of town to take them. And only a very weird person would suggest it did.

I like that Annie

Anniegetyourgun Sat 07-Sep-13 14:43:15

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

BasilBabyEater Sat 07-Sep-13 15:08:11

There are loads of reasons why women don't say no when men rape them, quite apart from the obvious ones of being asleep, unconscious or too scared.

It took me years to analyse why I didn't say no, but one of the reasons was because subconsciously I knew there was no point anyway as he was going to rape me whether I said no or not and also, because it may have made things more dangerous for me.

This man had already overrode all the boundaries I'd tried to set. He'd already made it perfectly clear to me that "no" wasn't going to stop him doing what he wanted with me. He'd kissed me when I hadn't wanted him to, he put his hands all over my body when I was trying to pull away from him, he'd pulled me down an alleyway laughing when I'd said it was getting late and I needed to get home. "No" wouldn't have stopped him, but what it would have done, is brought out into the open, that what he was doing, was rape. Men are supposed to stop when you say no, so if they don't, it's clear to both of you, that what is happening, is not a misunderstanding or a mis-communication, it's a rape. If you make that clear by saying no, then there it is, there between you - he's a rapist and you're his victim. And then you won't both be able to pretend it's all OK, you've just had sex, and that might be dangerous because rape is a very serious crime and men are supposed to be sent to prison for a long time for it. And in order to stop that happening or to punish you for the fact that it might happen, he might do something much, much worse than raping you. And so actually, it's better not to say no.

And then rapists and people like queenofdrama who take their cue from rapists, can tell you that you were never raped at all and just had bad sex that you regret and that you should have said no if you didn't want it, because how is the poor guy to know if you don't say no?

CailinDana Sat 07-Sep-13 15:30:57

Well said Basil and Annie.

CailinDana Sat 07-Sep-13 15:32:51

I said to the guy who raped me "I didn't want sex and you went ahead and did it anyway while I was asleep," to which he replied "You're making it sound rapey." Nice, eh. I should have said "Well yes that's because it is rape," but at the time I just wanted to finish with him and forget about it. I still long to confront him about it but for complicated reasons I can't. Bugs me.

SabrinaMulhollandJjones Sat 07-Sep-13 15:44:59

I'd like to confront the guy who raped me in my sleep too, caillin. I didn't have the chance to say no - didn't even see it as rape until I joined MN.

He was a trusted boyfriend. It was in our bed, in our flat. When I ended the relationship I hadn't consciously thought it was because of this - I thought I had just fallen out of love with him. Sex with him had started to make my skin crawl - it never occurred to me at the time that this was linked to the sense of violation and the betrayal of trust because of what he had done to me (many times).

He was thought of as an all-round 'nice guy' by everyone, too. sad

One of my exes attempted to rape me (in a fucked up way I was lucky he tried it anally and couldn't force it in) didn't realise the severity of it until years later thanks to MN, like so many I've never confronted him. As far as he is concerned he's just a nice guy, not an attempted rapist. sad

GettingStrong Sun 08-Sep-13 12:36:08

I did try confronting the ex who forced me into sex on numerous occasions. I wanted to make him to see it how I saw it, to make him realize he wasn't being a nice guy but a rapist. I perhaps naively hoped he would understand how much he had upset me and change his ways.

But confronting him didn't work, I couldn't get him to understand. It may have been partly the way I phrased it, as I didn't call him a rapist but instead phrased it along the lines of 'when you force me it feels a bit like rape'. So not exactly direct, but he was my partner at the time and I hoped I could get him to change. He couldn't accept it, and I wish I never bothered to confront him tbh, because he came up with all sorts of reasons why it wasn't rape, to explain and justify his behavior. And for some reason I ended up believing his rationale, and went back to not seeing it as rape. I think I just didn't really want to believe it was rape either. He told me all sorts of crap about men having to have sex when aroused, and I ended up believing stuff about that at 19 that I hadn't believed at 16 hmm

So confronting didn't really do me much good.

SabrinaMulhollandJjones Sun 08-Sep-13 12:57:49

I'm not sure it would do me much good either.

I know that he would just do a horrified, put upon look that he was so good at, and say something like 'I would have stopped any time you wanted to' and probably sincerely believed that. Fact was, of course, I was always in a deep slumber and wasn't really in a position to stop him... the sense of having my slumber and peace in my own bed violated like that stays with me still.

I haven't seen him for well over a decade. I think he's with another woman, who I used to work with and know quite well, now. I often wonder if he does it to her. sad

BasilBabyEater Sun 08-Sep-13 13:57:00

I think this is what women mean when they assent to the idea that there are "different degrees of rape".

A quarter of us experience rape or sexual assault. But most of us don't report it, partly because we're aware that the "different degrees" idea means that there is simply no point. No jury will convict a nice guy who rapes his sleeping girlfriend. I knew a jury wouldn't convict the "nice guy" who raped me because I couldn't remember if I'd actually used the word no (and still can't tbh). I also wouldn't have wanted them to convict him - I thought he was a nice guy who had not realised he'd raped me, I thought I was responsible for not having said no clearly enough and I would have been horrified to have had him sent to prison just for accidentally breaching my bodily integrity.

It didn't even occur to me that it was his job to prevent my rape, not mine. I had the same attitude that queenofdrama and most of the rest of society has - that it's women's job to prevent rape, not men's. Part of doing that job properly is to say no (even if it would be dangerous to do so) or not to have given mixed signals by being in a relationship with a man or married to him or sharing a bed with him because we live with him, or having had sex with him or someone else previously, or having flirted with him or not having reported him for sexual assault immediately when he put his hand where we didn't want him to. So we accept that there are degrees to rape and resign ourselves to the fact that men are legally entitled to rape us in most circumstances, because we didn't stop them.

That's what rapists want. And there are only too many people willing to support them in that. Some of them are working at the BBC.

zatyaballerina Sun 15-Sep-13 17:01:22

There are varying degrees, just as there are varying degrees for any other type of assault. Being dragged off the street and viciously gang raped by a group of men would obviously be far more horrific and traumatising than being raped by a partner, they are both awful crimes but in no way equal.

No zatya there is only one degree of rape. What you are getting confused by is that there can be additional crimes on top of it.

SabrinaMulhollandJjones Sun 15-Sep-13 20:15:20

I think also - before you think of the rape of a woman by her partner as 'better' than a stranger rape - you have to consider the immense breach of trust involved when you are raped by someone you love and trust. It may not carry the immediate fear that being dragged into an alley by a stranger carries - but being raped by your partner, ie. the one person who is supposed to love and care for you beyond all others, can have long-term affects on the ability to maintain future relationships.

And that's not to say that women are not raped and murdered by their partners - so it's not as if the fear of violence is absent just because he's your partner.

learnasyougo Sun 15-Sep-13 20:42:42

A man leading out of the bushes and forcing sex is rape.
A friend who pressurised you into sexual activity you are not comfortable with is rape. the boyfriend who mounts his sleeping girlfriend is rape. However, I do still think there are degrees of rape, in the same way there are degrees of theft. Someone could violently mug you, mug you with only the threat of violence, a friend could steal your phone, your boyfriend steals your credit card. All are theft, but different degrees if it. in none of those scenarios is the victim to blame, though. (not even if you were out late at night, alone, you left your wallet in plain view, your boyfriend knows where you keep your credit card). Saying there are degrees of rape us NOT like saying there are degrees of victim culpability, just that rapists have different modus operandi. I would expect a violent mugger to get a heftier sentence than the wallet stealing friend, and the trauma felt by the victim to be different. But that doesn't mean the person who had her card stolen by a ratbag boyfriend should feel fine, but I'd expect the violently mugged to be a but more shaken up.

SabrinaMulhollandJjones Sun 15-Sep-13 20:45:40

The violence is a crime in itself though, surely? If a rapist punches a victim first, then he's guilty of assault and rape. The rape is still rape - but with aggravating circumstances - it's not "degrees of rape."

CaptChaos Sun 15-Sep-13 22:05:37

There are no degrees of rape.

Rape is rape is rape. There might be aggravating factors, but the rape is the same.

For those that believe that being raped by someone you know is less awful than being raped by a stranger, can you tell me how much worse it is? A ball park percentage. Is it better to be raped by your partner or a family friend? I'm interested to know, so I can understand just how horrific and traumatising my rapes were allowed to be. A scale from 1 to 10 would be good.

I'm interested to know because it would seem that the family friend who raped me and my ExH who repeatedly raped me as part of his DV toward me shouldn't have traumatised me as much as if a stranger did it. I'm probably not being very rational about this, but it sounds to me as if some people would suggest that I might be over dramatising it all, that it wasn't really too bad. It was. It just was.

ModeratelyObvious Mon 16-Sep-13 08:23:41

Do people think that there are different degrees of GBH, depending on whether a friend, a family member or a stranger breaks your arm?

DropYourSword Mon 16-Sep-13 16:10:53

I'm confused as to why people are so adamant that there are no "degrees" of rape and that it's very clear and black and white. While at the same time saying they hadn't realised their experience was a rape until coming onto a site such as MN. Surely if that's your experience, then other people will also believe there are different degrees / levels.

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