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Sexual Harassment and Rape Tropes
aka: Rape Tropes

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"Man’s discovery that his genitalia could serve as a weapon to generate fear must rank as one of the most important discoveries of prehistoric times, along with the use of fire, and the first crude stone axe."
Susan Brownmiller, Against Our Will: Men, Women, and Rape

Rape is one of the more difficult subjects to handle in a work of fiction, not least because (unlike, say, a gruesome and violent murder) there is a higher chance that one of the work's readers has experienced this crime first-hand. For the most part, the tropes that have been collected here describe less sensitive and sometimes downright backwards depictions of rape or harassment.

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For obvious reasons, many of these tropes are considered crossing the Moral Event Horizon. Though it's sometimes used as a cheap way to make the heroes look better in comparison even if they don't fit any definition of "Hero".

Contrast Flirting and Courtship (trying to get it on with someone properly).


Tropes:

  • Adaptational Consent: A situation originally portrayed as consensual or nonconsensual in a particular work is altered when the work is adapted to a different medium.
  • Aliens Made Them Do It: For when a third party (often a supernatural one) forces two people to copulate.
  • All Abusers Are Male: The work only shows males as being guilty of abuse.
  • All Men Are Perverts: Not always related to rape, but perverts are more likely to be rapists.
  • All Men Are Rapists: The idea that everyone who's male is a rapist.
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  • Anal Probing: Not necessarily rape as it's not usually sexual, but it's still nonconsensual and involves private areas of a human.
  • And Now You Must Marry Me: Marriage does not always equal sex so this isn't always rape, but it often is and, rape or no rape, it's still inappropriate.
  • Aren't You Going to Ravish Me?: This is when rape/sexual harassment doesn't happen, and the woman is surprised that the monsters don't do it.
  • Attempted Rape: Someone tries to commit rape, but fails.
  • Avoiding Sexual Harassment: How to avoid this behavior in Real Life.
  • Baby Factory: When taken to extremes, it basically turns into Gratuitous Rape crossed with Mate or Die.
  • Bastard Boyfriend/Bastard Girlfriend: Extreme examples of abusive partners can end up as outright rapists.
  • Bathe Her and Bring Her to Me: The villain orders his goons to capture a woman and groom her so he can rape her.
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  • Bed Trick: Because if someone is deceived into having sex, the sex is nonconsensual.
  • Bestiality Is Depraved: Seeing as animals can't talk to humans (unless they're a Talking Animal, Speech-Impaired Animal or Funny Animal), they can't get your consent, and therefore, bestiality can be considered rape.
  • Black Comedy Rape: Rape is depicted for dark humor.
  • Breeding Slave: Basically Sex Slave meets Baby Factory.
  • Broken Bird: Not always the result of rape, but very often is, especially if the character in question is female.
  • Bunker Woman: Not all women imprisoned underground get raped, but a lot of them do.
  • But Liquor Is Quicker: Having sex with someone while they're inebriated is considered rape because the person likely wouldn't have consented if they were sober.
  • Casting Couch: Becomes rape if the person says no to the sex but has to do it to get the part anyway.
  • Chained to a Bed: Can be a part of it, if it's being played seriously.
  • Chastity Dagger: Used for defense by women, usually against rape, but also could be against theft or attempted murder.
  • The Chikan: Somebody who uses the cover of crowded public transportation to sexually assault people.
  • Child by Rape: A child is conceived via rape.
  • Cuckold: a man whose Love Interest cheats on him. Not always rape, but it can lead to rape.
  • Date Rape: A person dates another with the intent of raping them.
  • Date Rape Averted: When someone looks like they're about to rape their date but someone else stops them.
  • Defiled Forever: The idea that losing one's virginity before marriage means that they're irrevocably tainted and no one would want them. This includes rape, but can also include consensual sex outside of marriage.
  • Dirty Old Man: Not every old man with a sex drive is a pervert, but there's a reason we call this one "dirty".
  • Dirty Old Woman: Ditto for old women.
  • Don't Look at Me!: A common reaction of a victim after the fact is to beg people not to look at their defiled state.
  • Double Standard: Rape, Divine on Mortal: Rape isn't considered wrong if the rapist is a deity.
  • Double Standard: Rape, Female on Female: A woman raping another woman isn't depicted as wrong.
  • Double Standard: Rape, Female on Male: A woman raping a man isn't depicted as wrong.
  • Double Standard: Rape, Male on Male: A man raping another man isn't depicted as wrong.
  • Double Standard: Rape, Sci-Fi: Sex without consent is achieved using pheromones, mind control devices, and the like to seduce the victim and this isn't considered as bad as straight-up rape.
  • Droit du Seigneur: When the ruler believes that being in charge of their land means they can have sex with whoever they want, to hell with consent.
  • Dude, She's Like, in a Coma!: Not usually, but if someone actually has sex with someone in a coma, then it's rape because you obviously can't get consent from someone who is unconscious. Kissing someone in a coma, while not rape, is still pretty creepy, unless you are giving them mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.
  • Ephebophile: Likely, though not guaranteed, to overlap with this (and will be statutory rape at best).
  • False Rape Accusation: Someone accuses someone else of rape when it's obvious that they didn't do it.
  • Fate Worse than Death: Originally, this referred to rape as being worse than death, but now it's a blanket term for anything that's considered worse than death.
  • Forceful Kiss: Kissing someone by force can sometimes be rape.
  • Gratuitous Rape: A work of fiction features a rape scene just because.
  • Hates Being Touched: A common trait in rape victims is that they feel uncomfortable about other people touching them.
  • Honor-Related Abuse: The abuse isn't necessarily sexual, but often is.
  • Horny Devils: Human-demon sexual encounters are not always rape, but many times they are.
  • Human Traffickers: If the traffickers are intending to sell their captives (mostly women and girls, sometimes boys and men) into forced prostitution.
  • I Have You Now, My Pretty: The villain has the girl in his grasp and doesn't even try to deny having unsavory intentions with her.
  • I'm a Man; I Can't Help It: The rationalization that men who rape do so because they're that desperate for sex.
  • Karmic Rape: A bad person gets raped and it is treated like the person getting their just desserts.
  • Karmic STD: The trope sometimes revolves a rapist or sexual harrasser getting a STD in "payment" for their crimes.
  • Lie Back and Think of England: If sex is something to be endured, it is by definition non-consensual.
  • Love Potion: While love potions don't always lead to rape, they do sometimes lead to one-sided love or falling in love against your will, which could lead to rape, attempted rape, or similar.
  • Marital Rape License: The rationalization that marriage entitles people to rape their spouses whenever they want sex.
  • Mate or Die: Being forced to have sex or else die is always awkward. It's not always rape because they sometimes find someone willing. If they get unlucky, though...
  • Medical Rape and Impregnate: Using medical equipment to impregnate women without their consent.
  • Memetic Molester: A fictional character is interpreted on the Internet as some kind of sexual predator due to statements, mannerisms, and actions that can be seen as unsavory.
  • Might Makes Right: If the "strong" or victorious party believes that their strength or triumph nullifies the need for consent, or they use the threat of violence to get the other party to "submit".
  • Mind Rape: Not necessarily actual rape as it's not always sexual, but it can be.
  • Murderers Are Rapists: Killers portrayed as willing to rape people as well as kill them.
  • Naughty Tentacles: While the monster may not know what it's doing is wrong, it's still technically rape.
  • Near-Rape Experience: Rape nearly happens, but stops at the last second.
  • "Not If They Enjoyed It" Rationalization: Even if someone enjoyed or orgasmed from the sex, it's still rape if the person didn't get permission.
  • Old Man Marrying a Child: While sexless marriages do exist, an old man marrying a child could lead to pedophilia, and even if it doesn't, it's still creepy.
  • Outfit-Rip Sex Check: It's not always sexual but it counts as sexual harassment.
  • Pædo Hunt: Anyone suspected of molesting children will be hunted down and systematically destroyed.
  • Parental Incest: Most common form of child sexual abuse in Real Life, and always rape due to the nature of the parent-child relationship.
  • Pedophile Priest: All pedophiliac actions by anyone, priest or not, count as rape because children are too young to give sexual consent.
  • Pervy Patdown: No, using a patdown as an excuse to feel someone up is not okay.
  • Post-Rape Taunt: A rapist gets a rise out of someone close to their victim by smugly claiming that their victim enjoyed it.
  • Prison Rape: People in prison get raped by their cellmates.
  • Promiscuity After Rape: A promiscuous character is revealed to have Rape As Back Story.
  • Questionable Consent: When it's unclear whether it was rape or not.
  • Rape and Revenge: Victim gets even with their rapist.
  • Rape and Switch: The idea that being raped will change your sexual orientation.
  • Rape as Backstory: A character's past involves being raped.
  • Rape as Drama: Rape is treated seriously and is used to add drama to the story.
  • Rape by Proxy: Forcing two people to have sex with each other.
  • Rape Discretion Shot: When a character is about to be raped, we don't actually see the rape happening.
  • Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: Rape is treated as the most reprehensible and unacceptable crime imaginable.
  • Rape Leads to Insanity: Rape is depicted as causing victims to go insane.
  • Rape, Pillage, and Burn: Razing a village may involve the inhabitants getting raped.
  • Rape Portrayed as Redemption: A mean character becomes nicer after getting raped.
  • Reluctant Fanservice Girl: Doesn't have to get raped, she doesn't even have to have anything sexual happen to her In-Universe, but rape is one of the ways things can go wrong for her.
  • Romanticized Abuse: Abuse is made to look more attractive and arousing than it is in reality.
  • Scarpia Ultimatum: Blackmailing people into having sex with you by threatening to hurt someone they care about if they say no.
  • Serial Rapist: A rapist keeps raping different people.
  • Sex for Services: When this is An Offer You Can't Refuse or similar form of extortion.
  • Sex Slave: A person is enslaved for the purpose of having sex without their consent.
  • Sextra Credit: Also when this is An Offer You Can't Refuse or similar form of extortion.
  • Sexual Extortion: Forcing people into sex by promising to give them what they want or need in exchange.
  • Shameful Strip: Can lead to sexual assault, doesn't always, but is still inappropriate.
  • Shower of Angst: Not always associated with rape, but very often is.
  • Slipping a Mickey: This trope is not always associated with rape, but it often is.
  • Stalker with a Crush: Stalking is a form of sexual harassment.
  • Unequal Pairing: Not always associated with rape, but very often is.
  • Wife Husbandry: If said "husband" persists after the prospective "wife" refuses.
  • The Women Are Safe with Us: When rape is not allowed among the protagonists' forces.
  • You Would Make a Great Model: Usually leads to rape, but doesn't always.

Alternative Title(s): Rape Tropes, Rape And Sexual Harassment Tropes

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