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I am starting to think it is possible to commit rape without physical violence. There is rape by deception (lying about yourself), by pure intimidation and "presence", by continuing even though the other person has made it clear they aren't in the mood anymore, by drugs, by blackmail, by "wrestling" the person into sibmission without actually hurting them...
As for the evil, I am told rape doesn't have the same effect for everyone. Some victims don't treat it worse than a tavern brawl or a robbing, others are devastated for life. I am under the impression that the evil of rape is strongly tied to sex as a power game and how being raped affects the status of a woman in a society that considers all unvirgin women "damaged goods", i.e. re-rapeable sluts. Perhaps it is the residue of that mentality that makes rape so problematic and dramatically life-changing.
What about peer pressure?
Oh, that too.
Rape, like any objectively measurable offense, is the violation of another's control of self. Therefore, gaining sexual compliance from antother through any form of coersion is rape, be that intimidation, physical means, blackmail, drugging, et cetera.
Lying to someone to get sex, while wrong by simple virtue of being lying, is not necessarily rape (one lying about one's income or actions to impress another into engaging in sex), although it can be (one lying about one's power/influence to intimidate another into surrendering sex).
Consensual sex with someone who has lowered their own mental state voluntarily (one having sex with another who chose to imbibe excessive amounts of alcohol without coercion) is not rape, because neither party violated the other's control of self or actions.
Simply "pressuring" someone into sex, as long as no intimidation, physical or pharmaceutical coercion, or deception is involved, is not rape. Since the person being convinced into sex remains in control of their own actions, without duress, it is consensual.
edited 16th Jan '11 1:00:56 PM by Wanderhome
I would argue that rape is when one participant in the sexual act does so only because of coercion or force. It is evil because it is the infliction of harm upon an innocent party, and even more evil because it leaves lasting psychological (and often physical) harm and is only committed to give the perpetrator personal pleasure.
I would argue that rape is evil because, unlike many other evils, there is no plausible set of circumstances that would properly justify it.
This might be slightly off-topic, but how does the motivation of an action relate to its morality? Whether someone commits rape because they are, say, paid to, or for their own gratification, the fact remains that they raped another person. The actions and consequences are the same.
During the Rape of Nanking, there were cases of Japanese soldiers forcing Chinese men and boys, at bayonette point, to rape Chinese women, usually of their own family. In those cases, the rapists were also under direct physical coercion, and therefore, I would say, not guilty of a crime.
edited 16th Jan '11 1:04:28 PM by Wanderhome
^^ But would that be more evil than murder for motives that aren't debatably good?
I, too, believe that the action is more important than the intent. However, an evil act (such as murder of an innocent person) which is committed out of desperation cannot be considered to be as despicable as murder for money, or for fun. It is still despicable, but I'd argue that there are levels of evil (measured in Kilonazis, of course) that one can go through.
@Wanderhome:In that case, the rapist status is transferred to whoever initiated the coercion.
But they did not engage in rape. To them, there was probably little or no sexual element at all, but merely amusement value from the degredation of the Chinese under their power.
Wanderhome, rape is an act, not an attitude. Regardless of whether the Japanese soldiers were bored or horny, the fact remains that they engaged in unconsensual sex.
While they certainly did rape their little hearts out while they were there, in the particular instances of forcing sex between Chinese captives, none of the Japanese soldiers actually engaged in the sexual activities.
A technical distinction, to be sure, but still a distinction.
There is one aspect of attitude in rape-it must have been intentionally performed. If someone else had the intent, then the blame shifts to them.
Well, I would personally think that forcing someone to have sex with you (that is, rape) would usually involve some form of physical assault (in the sense of forcefully penetrating someone in a sexual manner or restraining them so they can't escape one's sexual advances) but it might not if it involved emotionally or mentally intimidating someone into having sex with you or threatening to hurt/kill them but not actually using the weapon on them. When I first saw the title I thought of the possibility of using the Imperius Curse from Harry Potter to command someone to have sex with you as being a form of magical rape that wouldn't necessarily involve physically attacking the victim.
edited 16th Jan '11 1:29:19 PM by Rainbow
@ Rainbow: "emotionally [...] intimidating"?
edited 16th Jan '11 1:31:25 PM by Wanderhome
Sorry, I worded that wrong. I meant intimidating someone through words and body language instead of using physical force to coerce them into having sex.
Of course it doesn't have to include physical threats. If someone were to say to an employee, for example, "Have sex with me or I will fire you", that is rape despite there being no physical assualt or threat of it.
Firsthand experience coming through.
Summer 2009 I was raped by a woman in her thirties. It was confusing as hell and I felt rather violated, but it was forgivable. Not easily; it took me a year and a half to do so, but I eventually got over it. I wasn't harmed at all, which I now understand (I got an STD test, and I'm free, so it's all harmless) so I don't see the point in stressing.
Of course, everyone else freaked out about it and tried to get me to go to a psychologist, but I refused.
I do have to concede that most victims' experiences are probably not as tolerable as mine. I guess it's YMMV.
Sorry if I don't make any sense, here, my head's jumbled.
edited 16th Jan '11 3:08:50 PM by Diamonnes
Forcing someone at gunpoint to have sex with another person is still rape on the part of the one doing the coersion. Instead of using their penis or some other object to do the rape, they're using another person.
To say that someone who forces another person (nay, two other people) to have sex is somehow not involved on a sexual level is painfully naive. Why would you even do something like that unless you were going to get off on it on some level (not that I understand why someone would Rape Nanking in the first place).
I do think it is especially evil. There is no reason for you to do that to someone. Even murder, while generally bad, can be necessary if that person was without a doubt about to kill you. I guess it could not involve physical assault, like using roofies or something. I have also heard cases of men breaking into houses, having sex (or attempting to) with the sleeping women(in one, the man actually came on the women), and leaving. There's no physical violence, but it's still most definetly rape.
Rape is especially evil because there is no justification for it in any context ever.
^ I think there can be justification. Not making it OK, but at least understandable. I really hate how rape is treated as something special - even people who use the Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique not using rape. I'd say that while rape is traumatic, it's no more traumatic than being tortured (without rape) or many other nasty things that I've seen perpetrators of get portrayed sympathetically.
**shoots Leering Josieph**
@ Post 19: I have a similar story, if a bit borderline. Funny thing about it is, the person in question was an actual lover and a person I had an emotional attachment to.
The circumstances that made it a rape was the fact that she made her move on campus (read: in public), and that getting her to stop would have involved me seriously harming her to get her off of me, which I had no intention of doing at the time (again, due to emotional attachment). She didn't harm me (aside from a strangling), but she did weigh me down and knew her way around most grapples and holds.
Was this evil on her part? Yes and no. She wasn't... all there. This seemed to be an act of desperation on her part and although her heart was in the right place, she picked the wrong location to initiate the encounter. If it was in private, it would have been consensual.
edited 16th Jan '11 7:58:47 PM by Schitzo
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