Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Consent, Sexual Assault, and How We Buy Cars

At Abyss 2 Hope, Marcella has come down pretty hard on my recent post on seduction and consent. I think she distorts it pretty dramatically. Disagreement is fine; misrepresentation, not so much.

Marcella basically accuses me of promoting a rape culture. Here's the paragraph of mine that she seems to find most objectionable:

I'm not arguing that force or violence is present in every rape. Not at all. I'm just saying that to call an act rape, there has to be a clear absence of consent, whether because one person has said or signaled no, or because they're incapable of consenting due to drunkenness or unconsciousness.

Here's the core of Marcella's response:
This is a very dangerous position which I see most often from those claiming most of those who disclose having been raped are liars. This view sets up people (mostly boys and men) to commit rape which if it is rightfully reported will be claimed to have been a false report.

For sex to be consensual and legal there needs to be a clear presence of freely and legally given consent. This is a far different standard than Kittywampus has defined for "real" rape.

If you go to a car dealership and test drive a car, say wonderful things about that car, you have not consented to buy that car simply because you didn't say, "No, I'm not buying this car." It would be absurd to demand that all car shoppers' absence of consent must be clear.

Nobody who goes to a car dealership needs to be empowered to always say no in order to avoid unwanted car ownership or car ownership which comes at too high of a price.
I'm positive that Marcella and I agree that in a good society, not just consent but enthusiastic consent ought to be the precondition to any sexual contact. I'm pretty sure, too, that she'd agree with my statements in that post condemning coercion as unethical and arguing that far too much sex falls short of the gold standard of enthusiastic consent. Here's what I wrote:
I think it's absolutely true that there's a continuum of coercion when it comes to sex. In fact, a dismaying amount of sex takes place between the polar extremes of rape and enthusiastic consent.
I'm flummoxed at Marcella's decision to ignore that statement. I respect the work she's done, and my impression of her is that she's both bright and fair-minded. I'm not sure why she picked a couple of statements out of context and then proceeded as though I don't insist on the importance of consent (and not reluctant consent!), and as though I don't condemn sexual coercion as ethically wrong.

The tone of her post implies I'm a cheerleader for date rape and rape culture. I don't think either this particular post, or the rest of my work, supports that implication. (A while back, she linked to a post of mine in which I condemned the sexual harassment and assault that occurred in Ohio's ex-AG Marc Dann's office.) In my recent post, I also didn't distort the law on rape in my state, Ohio, which specifies that a woman need not physically resist, but clearly expects that she make her lack of consent known (unless she's impaired in any of the ways that make consent impossible). I don't think it's fair to attack me or my argument because my state's law does not call for affirmative expressions of consent.

Perhaps this all has something to do with Marcella thinking I attacked Maggie Hays personally (as she mentions in comments on her post). I was pretty outraged by Ms. Hays' initial statement that politeness = seduction = coercion = rape, enough so that I wrote a more polemical post than is my norm. It wasn't meant as a personal attack on Ms. Hays, and I apologize if she felt it was. I do stand by my position that when we erase important distinctions and paint all men as the enemy, we do feminism a grave disservice. I also didn't misrepresent her argument, though Ms. Hays herself has gone back and edited that original post to remove the equation that leads from politeness to rape. I commend her for rethinking it, though given the amount of argument her formulation inspired, it would've been better to revise the post without erasing that key passage. Otherwise, it looks as though Natalia and I were misrepresenting her argument.

Let me return to the paragraph Marcella found objectionable - the one where I say a woman has a responsibility to convey a clear no (verbally or otherwise) if she's on the receiving end of unwanted sexual overtures. Obviously, any situation where two people are strangers and one person touches the other sexually constitutes sexual assault. The same goes for any sexual contact between two people that's not preceded by a date or flirtation. Sexual touching out of the blue is also a form of sexual assault, even if two people know each other. And in any situation where a person's ability to consent is impaired, any sexual contact is a form of assault.

The paragraph in question, however, follows one in which I briefly sketched out dating scenarios of the sort where coercion might be in play. That's the particular case I'll deal with below - the situation where date rape can occur.

In an ideal world, when two people go on a date or begin flirting, both partners would continually check in with each other. Maybe you remember the Antioch Sexual Assault Policy, which attempted to ensure that partners did just that, explicitly, repeatedly, and verbally. It got roundly mocked at the time for being infeasible (and I still think it's unworkable, for reasons I'll explain in a moment), but its intent was good. Its most controversial provision was that the initiating partner had to verbally ask for consent at every escalation of intimacy, and the partner had to verbally provide it. It further specified:
Body movements and non-verbal responses such as moans are not consent.
Now, in world where people weren't so repressed about sex, we might be more capable of verbalizing our desires and responses. We might be better able to say, "mmm, I'd really like to ..." and our partner could respond with an equally happy yes. Even then - in a utopia absent repression - not everyone could state their desires out loud without breaking their mood. Some people just go nonverbal once they get really turned on.

Also, very few of us - women and men alike - would want sex to entail the kinds of bureaucratic checklist that the Antioch policy would mandate.

What most of us do, instead, is to use precisely those body movements and moans to check in continually with our partners. Here, too, people vary greatly; some individuals have much more sensitive communicative barometers than others. That's true for women as well, but a clueless woman is obviously less problematic, given the relative infrequency of woman-on-man rape.

How is this different from buying a car? Well, most people aren't afraid that a car salesman (or the car?!) will reject them. Our egos aren't invested in car buying. We don't buy cars in a cultural climate that makes meaningful discussion of them taboo; car ads don't distort our view on driving anywhere near as much as advertising in general warps our ideas about sex! Vulnerability and emotions aren't much in play when we buy a car (except perhaps for the sort of folks who buy Porsches?). Thus, the communicative situation is much more clear-cut.

Consider a first kiss. It's not a business transaction. It's a fragile moment where the initiator makes himself (or herself!) vulnerable. Now, if non-verbal communication is working reasonably well, a potential initiator will refrain from doing anything if the other person doesn't appear interested. He or she will stop, or ask if everything is okay, if they don't get an enthusiastic response.

Some people, however, are knuckleheads. The clods who don't get that there's a problem when you stop responding enthusiastically? They are going to need to hear a clear verbal no or an unambiguous non-verbal signal (such as a push). If they don't stop at that point, they've committed sexual assault.

But I'm not willing to criminalize failure to read relatively subtle signals (those moans and movements, again) in a situation where it's reasonable to assume sexual interest and where hormones are in flux. For instance, even a sensitive person might interpret a partner's sudden lack of moans not as withdrawal of consent but as a signal to try a different sort of touch.

To repeat: Outside a dating/flirting scenario, no sexual touching should take place. Period. Within it, possibilities for honest miscommunication abound. Both parties have a responsibility to make it clear if they don't want sexual contact to begin or escalate.

Going back to that first kiss: Say a guy kisses me while on a date. If I pull away immediately, that's a clear no. He hasn't gotten my verbal permission first (who does?) and he just misread the signals. That might make him an oaf, but calling it an assault strains credulity.

Taking this a step further, lets say I respond to his kiss, and things escalate. I respond enthusiastically until we're about to have intercourse. At that moment I decide I don't want to go quite that far. I pull away, which constitutes a clear signal that he'd better put on the brakes. (Remember, my definition didn't require a verbal no, but rather, when "one person has said or signaled no.") That's the point where - if he continues anyway - he becomes a rapist.

I'm trying to see where that differs substantially from Minnesota's legal definition of rape, which Marcella quotes in the comments on her post:
"Consent" means words or overt actions by a person indicating a freely given present agreement to perform a particular sexual act with the actor. Consent does not mean the existence of a prior or current social relationship between the actor and the complainant or that the complainant failed to resist a particular sexual act.
I am in no way contradicting that. I'm not requiring a woman to physically resist. As I mentioned before, in my state, Ohio, the law is more restrictive and does not require affirmative consent, as Minnesota does, so it's disingenous of Marcella to say that my original definition was at odds with the law.

I'm only saying that in situations such as the one I just described - where the initiator can reasonably think the other person might be attracted, where the intensity is escalating, and where there's room for misunderstanding - both parties have a responsibility to clarify their boundaries. The law requires that, as does good sense. And I stand by my point that it's not infantilizing to expect women to communicate their boundaries to partners and potential partners.

If you accept a date with someone, that doesn't entitle them to kiss you, but it does give them reason to think you might be interested. If they try it and you don't want it, they've initially committed a blunder, not a criminal transgression. If they persist after you make your lack of interest clear - verbally or nonverbally - then that's sexual imposition, a form of sexual assault. The law in Ohio is very clear on the definition of sexual imposition: unless the perpetrator is a mental health practitioner or the recipient of the touch is a minor, the potential perp has to be aware that the touch was unwanted, or that its recipient could not meaningfully consent (see the text of the law for details).

In other words, the law does not expect the initiator of the conduct to be a mind reader.

Unless we want to criminalize all clumsiness within a sexual encounter, the same has to hold true as sexual contact escalates. As soon as one party says no, it has to be respected, and lack of respect for that no has to be subject to criminal penalty. But unless we want to write the Antioch code into criminal law, we have to account for the fact that where one party can reasonably understand the other party's conduct as consent, the second party needs to make it clear (verbally or not) if they withdraw their consent.

Instead, Marcella writes:
This view is what allows rapists to justify raping a girl after she agrees to kiss him or agrees to sexual touching. She didn't say no (because she wasn't asked since that would give her a chance to say no) so her lack of consent wasn't clear. Therefore, he can't be a "real" rapist.
Women have to wait to be asked before saying no? I know a lot of people who've been raped, mostly students of mine, all by acquaintances, friends, or dates. I've hugged them and cried with them and listened to their stories. None of them were asked if they wanted to proceed. In all but one case, they did convey a clear no. The guy went ahead anyway. (The one exception? The woman was drugged. That too is clearly rape, and I would never say otherwise.)

The examples I gave in my previous post were situations where coercion might be present in a dating/flirting scenario - where, for instance, a man might pressure a woman for sex because he paid for her meal. If she feels obligated to sleep with him because he treated, and goes along with his advances without ever making her lack of interest clear - kissing him politely, touching him back, but doing it all out of a sense of obligation - that's seriously messed up. It reveals all kinds of ugliness in gender socialization for both men and women. And it shows a real problem with consent. She didn't give it freely and enthusiastically, but how could the man have known that?

I don't think we can criminalize this sort of flawed consent. Instead, we need to continue educating women and men about the importance of enthusiastic consent; without it, too much bad sex will occur on that continuum where emotional manipulation damages people's ability to consent freely. Women need to be in touch with their desires. They need to realize they can express them - and say no, or yes - and that their desires must be respected. Men need to realize that a "no" isn't a signal to apply more leverage.

On that, I don't think Marcella and I are really all that far apart after all - except on the question of whether I've got a career ahead of me as the next Katie Roiphe.

14 comments:

Marcella Chester said...

Sungold,

My problem with the paragraphs you wrote which I highlighted had nothing to do with your intentions or any personal grudge on my part. I ignore flame wars/grudge posts whenever possible which often means deleting RSS feeds. In fact I deleted your RSS feed when you seemed to go off on Maggie Hays personally and I would have done so no matter what her position was on rape.

I was doing my normal scan of the blogosphere when I found your follow up post. My responding post had everything to do with the practical ramifications of those statements you made. Those ramifications didn't go away simply because you made your statements in a certain context.

One of the areas where I have focused on is how rapists rationalize their actions. And unfortunately, you reinforced several huge loopholes where they often say, "I'm a jerk, not a rapist."

This type of defense (her lack of consent wasn't clear) gets used in many rape trials where you clearly get that this statement is a lie and a real felony was committed. Those lies often result in acquittals because of the expectation that there will be proof of resistance or at least proof of lack of consent.

Even if you believe all non-mutual interactions are wrong, your stated restrictions on the definition of rape are incorrect -- even in Ohio.

The Ohio rape statute explicitly states that proof of physical resistance is not required. That means that a rape victim who did not physically resist is still a rape victim even if she was raped in Ohio and not Minnesota.

In forcible rape many times there is not clear evidence of resistance. Many times rape victims aren't given a chance to say no (or to repeat a no which had been communicated earlier.) And I'm not talking about stranger rape.

If according to all criminal statutes a rapist's defense team had to provide details of how the alleged rape victim actually consented when consent is the defense, many obvious rapes would result in a conviction because there is nothing to positively indicate consent.

And I'm not talking about enthusiastic consent, I'm talking about any freely given consent.

"She didn't scream," or "she didn't say no," would not be treated as if they were valid reasons for an acquittal.

Consenting is something we do it is not something we fail to do.

isabel said...

Hmm. On the one hand, I agree with you that I wouldn't want the Antioch policy made into law.

However, criminal repercussions aside, I do think that when two people are getting it on for the first time, on the one hand YES both partners have a responsibility to communicate their boundaries, etc.... and on the other hand I think that, well, we DON'T live in a gender-equitable society, men ARE in the vast majority of cases the one with the power to rape, and while I don't think I would want this reflected in criminal law, on an ethical level, yeah, I think the man has a little extra responsibility to double-check because, well, better safe than sorry, I think, at least when the "sorry" involves hurting someone else.

(this does NOT apply to situations where one partner checks in and the other person signals assent even though they don't really want to. that is a fucked up and sad thing that does happen and I have the utmost sympathy for people in that situation; however, I don't hold the initiating partners culpable because, you know, not mindreaders).

But, maybe I'm weird, because I don't find verbal check-ins to be mood killers at all (I mean they can be as short as "is this okay?" "yeah" and can even be quite sexy if whispered in your ear or whatever... or is that just me?).

Also in the interest of full disclosure - my perspective on this might be skewed as I am a week shy of 21, so when I picture people in these situations I tend to picture teenagers who, now that I think of it, I guess I do think should be more careful with each other than adults need to be.

Daisy Bond said...

Hi Sungold! I largely agree with you, but I wanted to take issue with one (sort of tangential) thing:

What most of us do, instead, is to use precisely those body movements and moans to check in continually with our partners. Here, too, people vary greatly; some individuals have much more sensitive communicative barometers than others. That's true for women as well, but a clueless woman is obviously less problematic, given the relative infrequency of woman-on-man rape.

No, a "clueless" woman (meaning, a woman who inadvertently date rapes a male partner) is not less problematic. Much, much less common, to be sure -- but "the relative infrequency of woman-on-man rape" doesn't make any given female rapist less problematic.

Does that make sense?

J.B. Kochanie said...

Mercella Chester,

In a comment to this post you stated:
And I'm not talking about enthusiastic consent, I'm talking about any freely given consent.

"She didn't scream," or "she didn't say no," would not be treated as if they were valid reasons for an acquittal.


I agree. Many women do not resist rape or sexual assault in an attempt to save their lives. For one reason, they may be too terrified and second, fighting back can enrage an attacker, so that the victim suffers more serious or life-threatening injuries.

However, I want to return to Maggie Hays' description of the seduction by her former boyfriend D. If we are trying to establish a clear legal framework for consent, at what point would this seduction or coercion be considered a criminal act that should be reported to the police? This is a sincere question because I am really am trying to understand how the definition of rape would be expanded to cover circumstances such as Maggie described.

Sungold said...

Hi Marcella, and thanks for coming by to comment. I'm glad if this isn't personal, so thanks for clarifying.

"This type of defense (her lack of consent wasn't clear) gets used in many rape trials where you clearly get that this statement is a lie and a real felony was committed."

Then perjury has been committed as well, if someone is lying. And it's probably just as unprovable. :-(

This part of the overall problem of proving date rape in the courtroom. Very often it *does* come down to her word against his, with no witnesses present, no physical evidence, and a legal presumption of innocence. I don't know how to resolve this problem - which surely does let a lot of rapists off the hook - without dismantling the presumption of innocence. The problem of evidence is often even worse when date rape drugs were in play.

The alternative would be that the defendant would have to prove that consent was present at every stage of the encounter. As long as our legal system insists that a defendant be considered innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, the burden of proof will rest on the accuser. The system errs in favor of keeping innocent people from being falsely convicted. And again, I'm sure a lot of rapists have used this to their advantage. I see that this is a problem. I'm not sure how to redress it within our current legal framework.

To make things worse, in these he-said/she-said situations, the woman is then still all too often raked over the coals - questioned about her sexual history, etc. Precisely this happened to a young woman I know during the past year. It's not ancient history.

As for force and resistance: I've clearly said that I'm addressing those situation where force is not in play - where in fact no force was applied but consent was not given - which I consider rape. In this respect, my definition of rape goes beyond Ohio law and would include some situations that probably couldn't be prosecuted under it.

Also, I have *never* said that physical resistance is required, and so I don't understand why you're writing as if you have to set me straight on that. Either you midread me or you're approaching this from a disingenuous angle. I said just the opposite, both respect to Ohio law and my own thoughts, and I'm fully aware that in both stranger and date rapes, women often don't resist because they fear for their safety.

Sungold said...

Isabel: Yes, I fully agree that the stronger party has a greater obligation. That's what I was trying to get at when I wrote:

"That's true for women as well, but a clueless woman is obviously less problematic, given the relative infrequency of woman-on-man rape."

A man who is tuned out absolutely is more likely to do more harm. On average, men are stronger than women. But even if he doesn't have a strength advantage, a man is more likely than a woman to feel entitled to sexual "favors" (that's an awful word, isn't it!) or to see aggression in all its forms as a positive thing. I'm not saying all men will do this - not even most - but there are aspects of male socialization that obviously support a rape culture. And that, perhaps even more than men's average strength advantage, is why men do have an additional responsibility - I agree completely.

On the other hand, female socialization plays a *huge* role in why some women consent when they really don't want to. As long as women are raised to think they have to please men, those situations will continue to occur. Discouragingly, I think they may actually be on the rise. Talking to women your age, I hear lots of stories about giving head to guys when they really don't want to, just because the guys seem to expect it!!! They don't protest, they say yes. But it's again extremely flawed consent, and hearing about it makes me queasy.

I agree, too, that teenagers ought to be more careful about these things than older people. But these stories of unwanted oral sex make me think that most young people do a pretty poor job of communicating their true desires. I don't know if they do a worse job than us older folks (I'm 45, FWIW) because overall there's a lot of crappy communication about sex, and even more silence.

As for verbalizing one's desires and preferences - I personally think it can be very hot! I just know a lot of people aren't wired that way, and a lot of people are embarrassed.

Thanks for your thoughts, Isabel.

Sungold said...

Hi Daisy! I wouldn't say your point is tangential - especially not to the man who's experienced date rape as a victim. My comment was not intended to diminish that at all. What I meant, instead, was that - for reasons I just mentioned while replying to Isabel - a woman who's insensitive to her partner's cues is much less to progress to raping him. If a woman ignores a man's "no" (verbal or otherwise) she too is guilty of sexual assault. I'm guessing that while the cases of actual woman-on-man rape are pretty rare, cases of sexual imposition are probably more common. I've never seen any stats on that, though.

Thanks for helping clarify this.

Sungold said...

Kochanie - I too am focusing on those situations where force is not applied but rape occurred anyway - and yes, I agree that the key question in this discussion is when seduction/dating/flirting crosses the line to criminal behavior.

Thanks, as always, for your comment.

Daisy Bond said...

Thank you for the clarification! That makes a lot of sense.

figleaf said...

Hi Sungold and Marcella,

I really, *really* don't want to do anything to interrupt this conversation since I'm actually learning a great deal about the obstacles to prosecuting nominally "gray area" sexual assault. (For instance I'm glad to learn of the legal distinction "sexual imposition" since that sounds like it covers a number of behaviors that are clearly a problem but that are generally handwaved in common conversation.)

But if I don't want to interrupt I do want to make a procedural point related to the blogging in general. As Sungold mentioned, and J.B. Kochanie raised in her comment (disclamer: Kochanie is my co-blogger) Maggie Hayes initially suggested that outwardly polite but inwardly insincere overtures that lead to consenting sex amounts to coercion and is therefore a form of rape. (Actually she groups this with other forms that she identifies as sexual exploitation and then, I think, shorthands them as rape.)

I think that in responding to the proposition that behaviorally polite overtures leading to consent constitutes rape, Sungold paid more attention to the specifics of her objection than to context-building with the result that she appeared more sanguine to so-called "gray area" assaults than she might otherwise have in response to, say, an apologist denying that "gray area" assaults should be prosecuted.

Speaking for myself, if my own theories of male indoctrination didn't make me sympathetic to Hays's inclusion of intentionally insincere politeness I too would have balked, and in responding to the assertion I too might have glossed details of what I (like, I suspect, Sungold) believe clearly constitutes (prosecutable or should-be-prosecutable) assaults.

My point being that whereas a discussion (however collegial, and however appropriate) clarifying interpretations of what constitutes clear communication of consent in the face of unwanted pressure, imposition, or force, are nevertheless consequences of Sungold's reaction to an entirely separate, more controversial proposition: Hays' assertion that freely given (even enthusiastic!), uncompromised consent, if obtained under with neither force nor imposition still constitutes coercion in the sense that you're both discussing it now.

I say all this because I think that *if* one begins by addressing Hays' assertion then Sungold's decision to discuss responsibility makes more sense. Had Hays instead hinted at any form of implicit or explicit unwanted pressure I don't think there's any doubt Sungold would have landed on Hays' side of the argument like a ton of bricks. But even in her unrevised post Hays didn't.

Where your discussion goes after this is up to the two of you, and because it sounds like you're both well-informed and very well-intentioned I hope it will end in an amicable synthesis that can also forward the understanding of others like myself. But I think it may proceed more directly, and more successfully, if each side recognizes you began from different places.

figleaf

Sungold said...

Figleaf, I'm always glad for your perspective.

You're right that my previous post - the one Marcella found troubling - was absolutely meant to focus on the problem of conflating seduction with rape. My intent was to show that seduction (in the sense of emotional manipulation) *is* a real problem, but it's not one that we can conflate with rape and then criminalize.

Also, my intent was not to trivialize rape - it was just the opposite - insofar as calling things rape that are less than that actually can lead to rape being taken less seriously. That is what I think Maggie Hays' original thoughts on seduction did.

I'm glad that my intent seems to have come through to you, figleaf. I also appreciate that you recognized the context of my remarks. You're quite right, in a different discussion I would have stressed *male* responsibilities more strongly.

If you read the thread at Marcella's blog, it imputes a number of positions to me that I never have held and never would defend, such as:
- that *physical* resistance is required to prove rape
- that I am denying that Marcella's experience was rape
- that a woman must say "no" repeatedly in order for it to count as lack of consent

and probably some more that don't come to mind immediately. These are positions I've never held and never expressed.

I think the latter part of our discussion at her place was actually fruitful, and I'll continue to mull over her final comment on how requiring explicit consent changes the courtroom dynamics.

Finally, I won't put myself in opposition to the work Marcella's doing, because I think it's valuable; nor will I allow myself to be placed in that position by others. And that's one additional reason I thought it was necessary to clarify my own position, and to emphasize that I don't condone the kind of courtroom tactics that she decries, and I never will - nor am I interested in victim-blaming.

Thanks, figleaf, for reading my stuff carefully, and also for having an accurate sense of where I'm coming from. I really appreciate your weighing in.

Marcella Chester said...

Sungold,

The core problem you are having understanding my criticism is that you see it as directed at you when it is directed at your definition which you are using to separate legal from illegal sexual contact.

Your extensive context attempts to mitigate the inherent problems in your definition, but no context can mitigate the real dangers in that definition.

My assertion is that any definition of rape that requires a clear lack of consent is a dangerous and incorrect definition which harms those students you talked about who did communicate their lack of consent.

Clarity is about perception and those students' rapists would claim to have not perceived anything from them which communicated a clear lack of consent. Since this is their claimed perception those rapists could never be convicted of perjury as you suggest.

The other problem you are having is a misunderstanding of the presumption of innocence. Nothing I've written requires an accused rapist to prove consent in court. Requiring someone to get consent in real time is not the same thing as requiring a defendant to prove consent in court.

The prosecution needs to prove lack of consent with any definition of rape. Unfortunately, your definition would require the prosecution to prove that no consent was given for the contact or escalation and to further prove that this reality was absolutely clear to the defendant. Yet many rapists aren't clear about lack of consent when someone says "no."

We see the results of this definition when a rapist is acquitted because the alleged rape victim didn't say no clearly enough or repeatedly enough.

Marcella Chester said...

Sungold wrote: "If you read the thread at Marcella's blog, it imputes a number of positions to me that I never have held and never would defend..."

The problem you are having is that I was talking about the real ramifications of your definition and the real ramifications of many of your clarifications related to that definition not about your intent.

You don't deny my rape, but your definition of rape does on a practical level. In your definition of rape it isn't enough that I did not consent.

That should be a red flag that your definition has a fatal flaw. Instead you see that as evidence that I'm making false accusations against you.

Because you would never interpret your definition in a certain way doesn't mean that your definition is not exploited by rapists and rape denialists.

In fact your definition (minus the context) is very close to the definition I've seen used by many of those who claim that about half of all rape reports are fraudulent.

I point that out not to lump you in with rapists, but to point out how your definition is being used against rape victims.

Marcella Chester said...

To highlight what I'm talking about when I say Sungold's definition has a fatal flaw I will quote from a defense attorney in a post by Serrena Putnam titled: Forcible Rape Defense: false accusations in relationship and date rape cases

Also, often times "no means no" to a woman. A man can easily interpret "no" as "yes." He thinks she is just trying to show that she is not easy.