For the last couple days, feminists everywhere have been crowing about the redefinition of “rape” by the FBI. The definition now includes in blanket any situation where there is penetration of the vagina or anus in any way, or penetration of the mouth with a sex organ, without consent. This removes the word “forcible”, which while interpreted as being designed to require the woman to fight back, was actually designed to exclude cases where consent was obtained fraudulently or by means of alcohol. We’ll get back to this another time, it’s not really relevant here.
MRAs and egalitarians have also been crowing about it, for somewhat different reasons: for the first time, this new definition acknowledges that men can be raped.
But does it, really? Well, sort of. Let’s look at the possible cases of “rape” in the definition. Penetration, penetration, penetration. All three cases require penetration. Let’s actually make a chart comparing what is and isn’t rape if it happens to one sex or the other, presuming the attacker is a member of the opposite sex.
Act Female Male
Forced Heterosexual Intercourse Rape Not Rape
Forced Oral (Giving) Rape Possibly Rape*
Forced Oral (Recieving) Possibly Rape* Not Rape
Forced Manual (Giving) Not Rape Not Rape
Forced Manual (Recieving) Rape Not Rape
Forced Anal (Giving) Not Rape Not Rape
Forced Anal (Recieving) Rape Rape
*For men, being forced to give oral would potentially count if any portion of the woman’s genitals entered his mouth assuming they considered that to be “penetration”, but it’s possible to perform oral sex on a woman without her labia entering your mouth. For women, being forced to receive oral would count if the man’s tongue entered the vagina.
Funny thing, that. Out of seven categories, for the exact same acts, men are labeled as victims in one or possibly two, and women are labeled as victims in four or possibly five. Same acts. Only one act (receiving forced anal) would be considered rape for both, and only one (being forced to give manual sex) would be considered not to be rape for both. In every other category, the act performed on a woman would be considered rape, and the act performed on a man would not.
Anyone claiming that the updated definition includes men is a fucking idiot.
This isn’t even the biggest problem.
Consider Bob and Mary. Bob and Mary go to a bar together. Mary has three drinks, and Bob has seven. They’re both noticeably intoxicated, Bob slightly more so than Mary. Mary suggests they go back to her house, and they do. When they get there Mary has two more drinks, and Bob has four. They’re both quite drunk, Bob significantly more so than Mary. Mary starts to make sexual advances towards Bob, and he returns them. They end up in bed. Bob is more drunk than Mary, so she takes the more active role: she’s on top the whole time. They have sex, and then fall asleep.
Let’s look at the situation.
They were both drunk, so while I may not agree with it we accept that both of them are unable to consent. Since we know they couldn’t have consented, we look up at the chart. ”Forced heterosexual intercourse”, what do we have? According to the definition, she was raped but he wasn’t. Wait, what?
- They both got drunk.
- He was more drunk than her.
- She made sexual advances.
- She got on top of him.
- She fucked him.
But he’s the rapist and she’s the victim? What. The. Everloving. Fuck.
We can actually take this further, because the same damn definition applies if he was literally passed out on the fucking floor. (Though an attorney might be able to prevent conviction through an argument to the absence of mens rea.) Let’s be clear here: this definition can be held to apply even if the man quite literally made no affirmative action whatsoever, because by defining people as being unable to consent under the influence we literally state that the man (regardless of his own potential intoxication) is responsible for the actions of the woman.
Does nobody see a problem with this?
I thought we in the UK were good, but the latest update to the Sexual Offences Act (2003) clearly states that ‘Person A’ is a rapist if:
(a) he intentionally penetrates the vagina, anus or mouth of another person (B) with his penis,
(b) B does not consent to the penetration, and
(c) A does not reasonably believe that B consents
Noticing that the Scottish version had been updated more recently, in 2005, I stupidly hoped that they might have noticed the mistake and corrected it. Not a chance. Rape only occurs if:
If a person (“A”), with A’s penis…
Yeah. You need a penis to rape, and you can’t have been raped if your penis was involved. Only penetration of the vagina, anus or mouth count.
Now, the interesting bit is that somebody has told them about post-op trans people, and they have been oh-so-careful not to be erasing. They specify that:
“penis” includes a surgically constructed penis if it forms part of A
“vagina” includes a surgically constructed vagina (together with any surgically constructed vulva), if it forms part of B.
It’s wonderfully inclusive. You can’t be a rapist if you’re born without a penis, and so if you have sex with somebody against their will that’s fine. However, you can pay money to have surgery which will transform your genitals, simply so that you can have the privilege of being called a rapist. Isn’t the twenty-first century beautiful?
The problem with British law seems to be the reverse to that with the FBI. We’re happy that men can be the victims of rape (provided that another man was the perpetrator), we just think that they are the only people who can do it. Women (or ‘women without a penis’ in Scotland) can’t be rapists, so any man raped by a woman is still going to get his experiences erased, and we still encounter ‘Bob and Mary’ double standards.
Right, so there are no laws which discriminate against men?
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- evrenrambunctious said: I don’t think I know anyone who doesn’t accept that anyone of any gender can be raped.
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