Is There A Solution To Date Rape?

1491 words - 6 pages

Rape is variable in its types and definitions. It is defined by Merriam-Webster as the action of forcing someone to have sex with a person by the threat or use of violence. According to Lois Pineau, rape is best defined as nonconsensual sex that involves the male penetration of a woman that is not his marital partner (Pineau 452). There are also several types of rape that include: date rape, gang rape, statutory rape, prison rape, etc. However, Pineau’s focus is on date rape and its problems about if it really occurred or not. Date rape, according to Pineau, is “nonaggravated sexual assault” or nonconsensual sex that does not include physical injury or its threats (Pineau 452). Pineau addresses several issues within her essay. She describes the problems that arise when attempting to classify whether or not date rape has actually occurred. She also argues that communicative sexuality is a successful tool in defining date rape. Ideally, she is stating that women, implicitly of course, want to be raped and that they lead men onto the idea.

There are several problems that Pineau addresses about how to determine if date rape occurred. Her first argument is against the legal system. She states that courts, back then, were less likely to believe a woman’s claim of rape because it was hard to tell on the man’s part whether or not the woman was consenting to sex or not. In other words, conviction of men could only occur if he knew the woman was not consenting, but he had the intention (Pineau 453). Pineau, in the present at the time (1989), explains that there was little to no protection against sexual assault while casually dating. It is very hard to tell whether or not the woman gave consent regardless of her resisting sex. She provides an example from a legal text where a typical case in court. It starts out by saying that when a man is known to a woman, she has to do whatever she can to “repel” him sexually (Pineau 453). The man takes her “no” responses as “yes” responses, displaying a matter of pretense. This makes it very hard to prove that the man is guilty of rape because there is no significant proof or clear evidence against him. Pineau presents two problems here—women are extremely vulnerable to men that know them and no evidence against them being assault will stand in court regardless of their consent. Her solution to these problems is that a clearer understanding of sexuality would help represent women better in the judicial system (Pineau 454).

Another significant problem is the idea that date rape comes from myths. Pineau places emphasis on several myths. The first one is “She asked for it”, the most common defense by men accused of sexual assault (Pineau 454). Pineau argues that if a woman is not supposed to be sexually provocative but she is anyways, she shall lay claim to the consequences. She criticizes that when a woman acts in a sexually open way towards a man, she is implicitly offering sex to him. This is an example of a...

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