Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Rape Law

Suppose a car owner parked his car on a street in a dodgy neighborhood, with the doors unlocked and keys in the ignition. Suppose that the car is stolen.

Now, most people would agree somewhat with the statement that, "The car owner deserved it." This has to do with protecting yourself; with the idea that you are—must be—responsible for protection of your property and protection of yourself.

Yet I don't personally know anyone—and have a hard time imagining any person—who would maintain that the thief that stole the car is not guilty because the owner "asked for it". Every Jury I can imagine would would laugh at a thief that made that defense...and then convict. After all, the car didn't belong to the thief, and the owner's lack of caution does not imply consent (much less give explicit consent).

Yet, in this country, in the case of forcible rape of a woman, the rapist is allowed to assert that, "The woman asked for it," and is often found not guilty on that basis. If the woman wears clothing a bit too "slutty" or goes where "a proper girl wouldn't go" then she is deemed to have given implied consent by that so-called "recklessness".

Moreover, it is a non-revocable implied consent, for the woman's "recklessness" does not allow her to refuse sex. Even should she say, "I don't want to do this," the rapist will still be found not guilty because of her "implied consent."

Go back and think about it again: Try to come up with some other crime where recklessness on the part of the victim "implies consent" and exonerates the criminal.

Can't do it? Then why do we allow that argument in the case of rape? In or out of Court?

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