It's not rape if they don't say no (this time)

I know I haven’t been around lately, and I’m sorry. I have some posts half finished, but I haven’t had the time lately. I have a big test on Monday (continued on Wednesday), but Golden Week is coming up so maybe when I get back from Nagoya I’ll have some time. But, while you’re waiting with bated breath for more words of wisdom from me, let me point you to a post by regular reader and poster here, Darth Sidhe.

I haven’t actually read the news article that spawned the original discussion that lead to her post, but question asked was thus: If we take it that Editor (woman) brings home Drunk Guy, eventually says no to sex, he goes off elsewhere, then comes back to “her” room. In actuality, it’s Roomate’s room. Roomate is sleeping and he initiates sex with her. She wakes up and, thinking Drunk Guy is her boyfriend, doesn’t resist. She later finds out that Drunk Guy was not, in fact, her boyfriend and is pressing charges. Is Drunk Guy guilty of rape?

In Washington state (the state I identify as my home state), hell yeah he is. While alcohol is one of the factors for removing consent, I’m fairly sure it’s trumped by, you know, having sex with a sleeping person (who hasn’t consented to have sex with you under those conditions). As Darth Sidhe also points out — Editor, the woman Drunk Guy thought he was sleeping with — had already said no.

It seems pretty cut and dried, right? Well, not in the community that Darth Sidhe found the question in. She has this to say on the matter:

I’m still pretty much confused by the reactions. Several comments, disturbingly, assert that since Roommate was sober and Drunk Guy was not, she was raping him, largely ignoring the fact that Drunk Guy initiated sex with an unconscious woman. Does someone who wakes up to being fucked by a drunk person have the legal responsibility to do everything they can to stop sex or else be considered a rapist? That sounds ludicrous, yet could the letter of the law protect such a thing? I imagine that if the conscious, drunk person regretted the sex, they could legally press charges.

Anyway, go read the post and the discussions. I think they say a lot about the way Americans view rape that isn’t violent stranger rape. I’m leaving comments on for the time being, but I’d like to remind any potential posters that victim blaming is not allowed on this blog. Keep the discussion civil or I will delete your comment and ban you without notice. This is non-negotiable.

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This entry was posted in Abuse, rape, and domestic violence, Media and journalism, Sex, sexuality, and sexual politics. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to It's not rape if they don't say no (this time)

  1. Loosely Twisted says:

    i read the discussion over there, I had some serious concerns, though I snark.. But what if laws could be enacted that protected the victum? It’s definately rape. No questions, his intentions to rape the Editor were clear. But what if you could penalize him for 1. Drunkness, 2. Did he use protection? AIDS and STD’s are getting down right serious here.. What if this one sex act could give her all sorts of things from this stranger? Being drunk you know he didn’t use protection! She thought he was her boyfriend, and there fore didn’t insist on protection, not that she could anyway.

    And if you combined those two together, wouldn’t you have something like voluntary manslaughter? (humeslaughter?) Trying to use new pronouns for others comfort. But these issues bring in a new light they could use in rape trials.

    or more discussion.

  2. She said no. End of discussion: it’s rape.

    The fact that he was drunk enough to go back and assault a different woman does NOT change anything. Now he’s harmed *two* women.

    It would be nice to have laws protecting the victim, but that’s tough for me to even imagine at this point. First, we’d have to take rape seriously.

    Aside: I didn’t know you called WA your home state. I’m north of Seattle. (waves) In the blogoshpere, that makes us neighbors. ;)

  3. Lake Desire says:

    I’m also from Washington. I currently live in Bellingham. We ought to have a bloggy meet-up.

Comments are closed.