Got your attention, didn't I?
OK. the thing that defines rape is lack of consent. Sex without consent. That is rape.
I have been raped. I went to a party in 1968, and allowed myself to be talked into sex with the person I went with. Much to my surprise, he left the room to "grab a beer," and another guy came in. When I informed him I wanted to leave, he slapped me around in a perfunctory way and asked if I wanted to be fucked and beat, or just fucked. I subsided and just waited for it all to be over. I was dumped off at my home in the morning. I had not even the energy to make up a fake address, though I was terrified that they knew where I lived. I had eighteen sexual encounters that night, and only the first was consensual.
By the standard that some congressmen want to apply to rape these days, all would have been considered consensual. Because, given the choice of "fucked" or "fucked and beat," I declined to be "beat." I mean, really. There were upwards of a dozen members of a motorcycle gang. I thought I might survive getting fucked, but not so sure about surviving "beat." It was winter, the "party" was out of the city--I had no idea where I was or how to get home...even if I could have escaped from the house, I could have died in the sub-freezing temperatures of an Ontario February. In short, I don't really consider my "consent" to have been consensual. Even the fact that I was very naive to have even gone to the "party" in the first place doesn't excuse what happened to me. I know that, now. But then? Not so much. Of course, I didn't report the incident to police--I just hid in fear every time I heard a Harley or saw a leather jacket.
I had nightmares for years. Twenty years later, I was telling a friend about it, and, somehow in the telling, it all turned into a joke. I laughed till I cried, and the nightmares and the fear went away.
For twenty years, I was damaged by one night in my life. Such is the power of rape.
Conservative lawmakers want to redefine rape so that what happened to me would not be considered to be rape at all. Neither would date rape, or drugged rape, or statutory rape.
Date rape happens when your date won't take "no" for an answer. Frequently, a date will insist not only that you have sex with him, but that you pretend you are enjoying it. It's still rape, people. Even if there are "roofies" in your margarita and you can't even lift a hand to defend yourself--even if you wake up with your panties around your neck with no idea how they got there, it's still rape. And, if you are not legally old enough to give consent...that's rape, too. I don't care who you are, a twelve-year-old girl is not "asking for it" because she emulates the latest girl-group dance moves. She has no idea.
It has been said over and over that rape is about power and control, not about sex. People who rape do it because they like to have sex in that way, not because they can't get it any other way. Whether the control is established by violence, drugs or seduction of a child, the gratification is in having power over another human being.
It is degrading and humiliating enough to be raped. It is worse if one is beaten to a bloody pulp as well.
This topic came up as a result of the war on abortion. Certain lawmakers think that women want abortions so badly that they will claim to have been raped, when they really haven't.
Or, if he won't, congress will do it's best.