June 18, 2024

Rape, a New Definition

A recent Time article begins thusly:

If a woman consents to having sex with a man but then during intercourse says no, and the man continues, is it rape?

The answer depends on where you live. The highest courts of seven states, including Connecticut and Kansas, have ruled that a woman may withdraw her consent at any time, and if the man doesn’t stop, he is committing rape.

At any time? Surely not. Mel Feit, executive director of the National Center for Men says, “At a certain point during arousal, we don’t have complete control over our ability to stop.”

Not so, says Lisae C. Jordan, legislative counsel for the Maryland Coalition Against Sexual Assault. “Any one of us who’s had a toddler walk in on them knows that that’s not true.”
While the rules of chivalry demand the end of the sex act should a woman become unhappy, the better part of wisdom would be to remember the place of law in a society.

That is, laws dictate the minimum acceptable standard of behavior rather than the ideal. Codifying best-case scenarios into law and demanding retribution time for crimes against the ideal is one clear sign of correctness gone too far.

This is demonstrated in a 2004 Maryland case cited by Time:

The accuser and the defendant agree that after he began to penetrate her and she wanted him to stop, he did so within a matter of seconds and did not climax.

Even so…they [the jury] convicted the defendant of first-degree rape, among other sex offenses.

In my opinion the verdict is asinine, assuming the facts are correct and complete as presented. The female in this case seems to have had an encounter that can only be described as a “best case” scenario for a woman who willingly removes her clothes, arouses a man, allows him to enter her, and then decides to say no. He did. What else can a woman ask for? Nothing.

More from the article:

Advocates for victims’ rights insist it’s not just a matter of allowing a woman to have a change of heart. If the law doesn’t recognize a woman’s right to say no during sex, they say, there is no recourse for a woman who begins to feel pain or who learns her partner isn’t wearing a condom or has HIV.

Only the first of these is of any real concern to me. Women choosing sex partners have ample opportunity to discover whether their paramour has AIDS or not; certainly during the act is the last time it’s going to come up. Condom use is also a non-issue – this must be dealt with before sex, not during. It’s not hard.

Most men would agree that hurting a woman during sex is not what they want to do and would stop immediately. But, as Feit put it, at a certain point in the event, a few seconds more becomes a biological necessity. This must be acknowledged in the law. Legal limits must be reasonable first, ideal second.

Time says:

In Maryland, rape is determined at the beginning of the sex act, and therefore consent is officially given at that point.

Parents of girls might disagree. Likewise, the desire of women’s rights advocates is understandable and even valid to the extent that it’s honestly directed to the issue under discussion.

But at the same time it contradicts the most fundamental principle of liberal jurisprudence, that it’s better to let any number of guilty people go free rather than convicting one innocent one.

If nothing else the Liberal Left should respect their own principles, assuming they really believe in them. In the meantime, the new definition of rape should be a subject that fathers discuss with their sons. It’s one damn good reason not to have pre-marital sex, isn’t it?


Marc is a software developer, writer, and part-time political know-it-all who currently resides in Texas in the good ol' U.S.A.

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